Each of us has an important role in life. As believers in Christ, we are members of the body of Christ. We each have a role to play as individuals in life, but we also have a responsibility to others. Who we are affects the lives of others. We must be faithful with what is in our own hands. When we are faithful with what God has given to us, it serves the purpose of others in the body of Christ. When we fail to be responsible with who we are in life, we fail in helping others be who they are meant to be. Each part of the body is meant to contribute to the other members of the body so together we fulfill the purpose of being the body of Christ. Our individual authority in life contributes to the corporate authority of who we are together. The authority of our own lives contributes to the authority of others. Remember, authority is not control. It is the ability to bring life to others. It is the substance of life given to us to bring life to others. Each of us must do our part. There are many members in the body of Christ, but there is only one body. We each carry a responsibility for our corporate destiny in life.
1 Cor. 12:12-20 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.
We are one body with many members. There is only one of us. We each make a great us, but a lousy someone else. Unity is not everything the same, it is everyone working together for the same purpose. Harmony makes a fuller and more powerful sound than mere melody. When we each find our role in life we contribute life to the roles of others.
Psalms 133:1-3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing–life forevermore.
It is the anointing upon the whole body that makes the whole body come to unity. It is the diversity of each part working together that produces the fruit of unity. The many sounds of harmony working together reveal the full blessing that is running down upon the body. Unity is seen in diversity working together, not in conformity. Conformity is death by control, while harmony is the fullest expression of life to the whole. The blessing is not merely on the head, but upon the ground where the body stands. It flows through and upon every member to reveal the fullness of the whole.
We need to be the functioning body of Christ. As members of Christ’s body, we were born to live for the hope of Christ’s calling. We were born to reveal Him as a testimony of His inheritance in the earth. We were born to release a power that changes the world behind us. Together we are the substance of the calling, the inheritance, and the power of Christ in the earth! We each have a part in the calling of Christ. Calling is what we are not yet. We must each be willing to embrace what we have not yet become so we can fulfill our role of giving life to others. This means we must be willing to embrace new thinking, new levels of development, new means of training, and increased levels of dependency upon God to be who we need to be for the sake of others. We must be faithful in who we are today. Inheritance is not who we are yet to become, but who we are today. We are the riches of His inheritance and who we are allows others to be who they are for His glory. We must stand in who we are today. Power is the effect of our lives for the sake of others. Power is revealed in the world we leave behind us. Christ’s power at work in our lives changes the world behind us. Others can follow and step into new territories in God because of Christ’s power at work in each of us. We must be responsible with His calling, His inheritance, and His power in life (Eph. 1:17-19). It a testimony of our authority and authority always produces life! If we live in authority we live to embrace the new things that are coming, we stand in faithfulness to who we are today, and we live to transition wealth of who we are to the world behind us.
You are an important part of a resurrected body. It is by the power of resurrection that you are a body member! It’s not just our natural abilities. It is according to the grace given to you by God. Who you are today, affects how the body will be today and tomorrow. We must each know who we are. We must each know what God has placed in our hands for the sake of others.
Romans 12:3-8 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
To not think more highly than we ought to think is to not think beyond the boundaries of whom we are. We are each valuable. We don’t need to try to be someone we are not. We must do what we are good at. It is not necessarily easy, but we are good at it. It is not just a matter of being good at it; it is a matter of bringing life to others in the process. When we are who we were meant to be, others benefit.
Many years ago I went on a quest to discover who I was. In my way of thinking, I needed to know what I was in the hand of God. If God were to build something, what tool am I in His hand? That statement alone gives a little indication of who I am. In my journey of discovering this, I decided to go pray and fast in a secluded place in the mountains for a week. Before I went I told my wife Bonnie what I was going to do. I suggested that she do the same. Her response to me was that she didn’t need to know, but she would be glad to pray for me (that statement gives an indication to who she is). I suggested to her that it was very important that we both had a purpose statement from God. She insisted that she was ok, but that she would pray while I was gone. I went to the mountains expecting to pray and fast for several days before God would answer my question. When I arrived I settled in my sleeping arrangement for the week and then proceeded to take a walk in the mountain to begin my quest of asking God what my purpose was. As quickly as I asked the question God gave me an answer. He said, “You expose the walls of the false and activate the pursuit of truth.” He then began to show me how this had been true throughout my entire life. He showed me how this even worked in natural jobs that I had held in life. One time I was given an inventory job to do in a commercial warehouse. I quickly saw that the company could have been much more efficient in their warehousing if they made some simple adjustments in their warehouse stocking practices. This wasn’t the job, however. The task was to simply take an inventory. Everything in me wanted to expose the false limitations of the system and stir them to seek a better alternative. God talked with me that week in regard to how this had worked in my daily life, my business life, and my ministry life. God then told me that my wife Bonnie was like the keel of a ship. He said that she keeps things upright and on course. He told me that she runs deep. She will never be at the forefront leading things, but she will undergird everything she is part of and help keep it upright and on course. He told me that in rough water or smooth, she is always the same. Then He said to me that I was rough water. I was meant to stir things up.
God continued to show me many things in regard to my purpose and Bonnie’s purpose throughout the week. When I returned home I asked Bonnie if she had prayed. She said that she had. I asked her if God had told her what her purpose was. She simply said, no, I am ok. You see, she being a ‘keel’ didn’t need to know. She proceeded to say that God had showed her my purpose. She then told me a phrase that God had told her that had the same meaning as exposing false walls and activating the pursuit of truth. I told her what God had revealed to me about her. When I shared what God had told me about her, she clearly saw that she was just as God had told me. She is like a keel and I am like rough water.
When we were first married Bonnie would sometimes say that something wasn’t right in a certain area. It could be in a situation or even with some person. I would then say, “What’s not right?” She would say that she didn’t know, but something wasn’t right. I would get upset and tell her that she couldn’t say that unless she knew what wasn’t right. You see, I needed to know what the false wall was and I needed to activate the pursuit of truth. She didn’t need to know that. She simply discerned something wasn’t right. I have now come to know that it is not her job or her gifting to know what isn’t right in a situation. She simply knows when something is not right. It is my task to seek what it is that is not right when she discerns something is wrong. You see, the two of us together make the complete picture of our combined gifting. When she senses I have a word for someone I can trust that God wants me to see something. When she senses something I seek to see what she senses. This is how it works in the Body of Christ.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson