Recently, I had a few weeks off from preaching in our church. Our VBS had wrapped up and the pastor of our partner church brought the message, then it was testimony Sunday – a chance for our membership to share what God is doing in, through, and around them – and then a member of our fellowship brought the message. During those three weeks I saw what my life would be like if I was not a preacher/teacher in Christ’s body…it was miserable.
The Bible teaches us that the church is like a body made up of many different parts. Each part brings something to the whole and the body is not complete or healthy without it. On the other side of that same coin, the various parts of the body are not healthy and whole without the context of the whole. Apart from my purpose in the body and kingdom of God I am distracted, disengaged, and ineffective. Without the focus that comes from actively fulfilling my purpose I saw that I get pulled aside by every relatively interesting distraction and alternative and my walk with God suffers.
You need to be active in kingdom life, but it needs to be active obedience. If you have ever felt that your Christian walk was lazy, off track, distracted, or a constant struggle I would be willing to bet that you weren’t, or aren’t, actively serving according to your gifting and calling. Apart from that active service you’re like a top: spinning and spinning, expending energy in all directions without really getting anywhere.
Busy work is not God’s work; and no work at all leaves plenty of time for the enemy’s distractions and compromises to have their way and gain a foothold in your mind and heart. There is a difference between serving according to whom God has made you, and trying to make yourself something in order to serve God. One brings great joy and fulfillment, bearing fruit. The other results in frustration…which is not a fruit of the Spirit. Frustration is the result of “me-first” living that isn’t meeting expectations.
When you engage the body of Christ, kingdom life is richer and more fulfilling. When you engage the body of Christ, the church is whole and complete and becomes the view of the kingdom that it was meant to be – people can see what they are being invited into. It really is not the same without you. God, by the Holy Spirit, appoints each one a place in the kingdom and body of Christ. You and I have no place to determine whether we are needed or not, nor can we determine whether someone else’s service is necessary or not.
Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? Your call is to do the work which God has appointed to you; works he has prepared in advance for you to do. When you withhold your service, the body suffers…and the world suffers for it. The kingdom of God is only effective in storming the gates of hell when each one does their part…when you do your part.
Thirsting for more encouragement? Read Pastor Hayward’s wonderful article Dance With Me
Click here to learn more about the author Pastor Michael Hayward