In my last post, I wrote about the beauty that is the Body of Believers. I touched on how every Christian has a part in the Body of Christ. So how do you know where you fit? I mean, it would be nice if we all came with a tag at our time of birth that described why we were created and for what purpose God meant to use us on the earth, but that’s just not how it works. Many times when we come to Christ, we are entering into a learning process that will lead us into our role in the Church.
Even Paul, who was knocked up the side of the head by Christ, was not told immediately what his function would be. On the contrary, besides knowing that he would “suffer many things” for the Name of Christ, he was not given answers immediately. He spent 3 YEARS in the desert after his conversion just getting to know Jesus. This is a man who KNEW the Scriptures already. He had been raised in the Jewish faith and knew all the right answers, but he didn’t know the Way.
So we should not expect for every season of our life to be fruitful ministry as a Christian. Some of it is meant to be spent building our relationship with Jesus. To be sure, even in seasons of fruitful ministry, we have to be careful that we are still guarding our relationship with Christ.
But if you are a Jesus lover and a Jesus follower, you DO have a part to play in the Kingdom and if you are not playing it, the Church is suffering because of your absence.
The question we need to wrestle with is “What do You want me to do, Lord? What have you created me for? Where do I fit?”
I’ve been a Christian for a long time and for most of that time I have wrestled with this question. Out of my insecurity and fear, I would often beat myself up for not bearing fruit when in hindsight I would clearly see God’s Hand of preparation. Or I would beat myself up for not staying in preparation mode when in hindsight I would clearly see that it was time to bear fruit. I don’t think that I have quite made it to complete peace with this question, but the Lord has brought me a mighty long way. I could tell you a whole lot that I know that I am called to, some of which would make you laugh your head off. Such is the way of Yahweh…He can show His glory to the world through the lowliest of submitted humans.
Jesus desires to show Himself strong through everyone bearing His Name. And no doubt, you wouldn’t be reading thus far unless you were interested in pleasing Him in this regard so I hope to offer a pointing in the right direction.
I may not be the authority on this, but here are some things that have helped me in my journey to being a functioning member of the Body.
- Seek Him. The oldest answer in the Book, but always the best one. You have not because you ask not. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. You can’t be a functioning Body part without a relationship with Jesus. Paul spent 3 YEARS just developing this relationship with Jesus. There is a time for you to LEARN, for you to GLEAN, for you to PREPARE. Without Him, you can do nothing for Him. Don’t you dare try to walk into ministry without a heart that has been with Jesus. People need HIM, not us. Ask Him where He wants you and what He has for you to do, being careful always that you are working because you love HIM, not because you love works.
- Be Faithful in What He Has Already Told You. God’s Word is full of instructions for ALL believers. The beginnings of our walk with the Lord are learning the basics and walking forward in the path of all believers. There are enough instructions in the Word to keep us busy for the rest of our lives. We are all to be kind. We are all to look for every opportunity to do good. We are all to be disciplined. We are all to spend our resources wisely and guard our hearts. If you don’t know what specific function you are called to in the Body, you do know that whatever that calling is that you are to walk worthy of it every day by knowing and obeying the Word.
- Assess Yourself and Your Gifts. God has created you with strengths and weaknesses, He uses both…but if you can’t carry a tune, chances are He hasn’t called you to be a worship leader (at least not in song). Though God does call us to seasons that are WAYYYY out of our comfort zone, He has created you in a way distinctly ready to face the obstacles. What are your gifts? I will tell you that I took a personality test one time and afterwards understood so much better some of the longings in me. It also humbled me to the core that the things God uses in me are built into my personality and do not often come out of my own efforts. I also have taken a “gifts” test (the particular one that I took was developed by the Wesleyan church) that was a great asset to me. It actually revealed some things that surprised me and just recalling that one test has encouraged me whenever the enemy tries to throw doubt on my calling.
- Consider Your Circumstances. I have known God to speak and also to confirm His Word. He does this in a variety of ways, but often through our circumstances and the arenas of life we find ourselves in. Opportunity is all around you…and every person in your circle of influence is put there for a reason. The people you went to high school with are not by accident. God teaches us things throughout our lives to be used for our future call. He is a God of investment. Every message that you get to hear from a shepherd of the Church could be a confirmation in your life. Stay awake and alert to what God is saying to you through your circumstances. I would highly recommend that you listen to a message by David Platt on how the Holy Spirit led him to accept the position of President at the IMB. It is right on! http://www.radical.net/media/series/view/2421/the-blank-check
- Don’t Ever Get Too Comfortable. We should always be awake and alert to what the Spirit is saying. Some seasons are longer than others, but many things in our journey with Christ are seasons. The minute that we get comfortable with what God has called us to do, is the minute we are in danger of thinking it is about us…how much success we can achieve…how little work we can get by with…how long we can stay in the same comfortable pew week after week. I have only known the Lord to pull me in deeper as I walk with Him. I have only known Him to call me to things that INCREASE my faith. We should always continually be asking “What next, Lord?” until our last breath. Even if the answer is “stay put” we should ask the question.
- Abide. It’s a word that keeps us from separating spiritual from business, Sunday night from Monday morning, and entertainment from worship. When we are His and He is ours, our life is a continual abiding in the vine. My relationship with Jesus governs every other part of my life. He is ALWAYS with us and we are ALWAYS with Him. After all, the reason we were even created is for HIM, by HIM, and through HIM. It really is ALL about Him, and someday we will stand and give an account of every area that we kept off limits to that.
Body of Christ, there has never been a time when this has been more important than it is now. We are winding down to the end of the age. The night is far spent…the day is at hand. The world around us is quickly headed on a crash course with Judgment Day and we are IT. We are the people that God has chosen to spread His great Light to as many as we can. We’re it. And we do this so much better when we all are functioning in our God given callings and working together toward the greater goal of the Kingdom.
I encourage you in the Lord to find out what God wants you to do…and just DO IT.