Okay, here comes a confession. Sometimes I get so frustrated and so restless and so impatient in my desire to love and serve the Lord that I start wondering if I’m supposed to jump on a plane one day and move to Africa to start an orphanage, or dive head first into partnering with a sex trafficking ministry, or start becoming like this person or that person or some ministry a zillion miles away. Honestly? That’s not all. Sometimes I even become envious of others and their seemingly great success in loving and serving the Lord. Yes, there’s more. I berate myself for not doing more, wonder how I can give more, wish I could do a better job with what I am currently doing, oh, and the list goes on. Get the picture? I will walk around for periods of time in certain seasons of my life wondering if I’m missing something. Often, I’ll cry out to God to tell me WHAT IS IT YOU WANT ME TO DO, GOD? I exhaust myself sometimes with this, and oftentimes end up feeling totally defeated, totally inadequate, totally insignificant, totally, well, you do get the picture, don’t you? And do you know something? I am quite certain I am not alone in this.
A volunteer at outreach for homeless and others in need doing his part
Which is precisely why I believe God brought to mind just this very morning that He has created each part of the Body of Christ as different body parts with different gifts all to work together for His purpose and His glory. Now wait a second, now I remember. Hasn’t He told me this before? In fact, isn’t He abundantly clear in His Bible how this is all supposed to work? So what body part am I? And what body part are you? And which gifts has He given me, and which ones has He given you? Then I take a breath. Ah. Okay. Breathe. I get it. I remember. I am supposed to do my part in the Body of Christ.
I am supposed to use the gifts God has given me. And other people are supposed to do their parts, and to use the gifts God has given them. If I am an arm, someone else is a leg. If someone else is a leg, another person is a foot. We all have to be our right parts so we all fit together. Yes, now I remember. So instead of fretting over what everyone else is doing to love and serve the Lord, I need to stop getting distracted watching them and get busy doing what I’m supposed to do.
Can you imagine a body with all legs, or a body of all arms? Of course not. God made us to all fit and work together. And there are so many people already not doing their parts, doing other people’s parts instead, or not doing any parts at all, that the least I could do is be and remain committed to doing mine. Aha. And so it is that instead of standing in line at the ticket counter of an airlines to take me to Africa, I sit here and write. And I remind myself that I am called to preach, to teach, and to write for the Lord. I am called to follow Jesus. I am called to do what God wants me to do. Nobody else’s job, but mine. The gifts He has given me are so I can do my part.
So let me ask you a question. Are you using your gifts from God? Are you doing your part? If you’re not, or if you’re not sure, seek the Lord. Pray. Dig into His Word. Listen. And obey. And if you are already using your gifts, and you are already doing your part, let me offer you a word of encouragement. Carry on! Let us all work together to do our part for the Lord and the Kingdom of God. And may He, not we, get the glory!
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16 NASB 3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with youra faith; 7if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,b do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:3-8
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20But now there are many members, but one body. 21And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.26And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.29All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers ofmiracles, are they? 30All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 NASB
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