Too often we view our calls as individual things to be achieved rather than a piece of a Master’s plan to accomplish a greater goal. Ironically our singular focus often ends up hurting ourselves when the Father doesn’t do things the way we expect Him to. The fact is we like to finish things. In part because we really like the sense of achievement and victory that comes when we do. Sometimes our desire to be the one who finishes something actually can hinder the work of the Father.
Here’s an example:
Lets say you have an unsaved friend that Father has called you to cultivate relationship with. You ASSUME that if He’s called you to a relationship surely He must want you to witness to them. So you begin focusing on trying to help them see truth, but in doing so unintentionally create a rift in the relationship and leave the other person with unhappy feelings about their friendship with you.
In this case, what the Father wanted you to do was to simply love on this individual so He could create a positive experience with a believer because He planned to later send in someone else to share the gospel and He knew that the love you’d expressed would be one of the tools He would use in drawing them in, but because you insisted on trying to do more than what He called you to, He then has to do a different plan, one that is now even more complicated because of their negative feelings about their relationship with you.
It is VITAL we play the part we’ve been called to. No more. No less. We have to trust YHVH knows what He’s doing and simply follow His leadings (if you aren’t sure how, you may want to read my post hearing the voice of God).
Lets make sure this aligns with scripture. First lets look at 1 Corinthians 3:6-10 ESV
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.
This is a perfect example of each doing their part. But lets pause and consider a few of the reasons why we might tend towards our singular achievements.
- Much of our schooling is spent focused on individual achievement. We have to start by acknowledging that truly we get lots of training to complete things entirely by ourselves. Team sports can counteract this to a degree, but the abundance of focus on the individual is a pretty formidable thing to counterbalance.
- Pride. The fact is it feels good when WE do it. We feel successful and it can feed our pride which may feel good to our flesh.
- Lack of trust in others to do their part. Often we think others won’t step up to the plate or won’t do it as well as we would.
- Timing. We often feel Father isn’t doing things in a timing we feel is appropriate so we try to step in to “help” rather than waiting for His perfect timing.
- Feeling like our piece is insignificant or not important. This plays into pride as well frankly because we have a tendency to judge based on human terms, which often means judging on size or perceived importance.
Lets also look at 1 Corinthians 12 to understand better how Father wants us to interact. We’ll begin with verses 4-11
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
Ok so we’ve been given specific gifts by the Father. So logically it makes sense He would want to use those gift – in other words play to our strengths.
I also want to note this means if we are NOT gifted in a particular area, there shouldn’t be shame or feelings of inadequacy about it, but rather a simple acknowledgment that He hasn’t given us that gift and that that is ok because if we’d needed that gift, He would’ve given it to us! Our job is simply to use what we have been given to the fullest potential (this comes back to the concept of talents – which I cover in greater depth here).
Lets continue with verse 12
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
So we are to function together, as a team – a single unit functioning as one. In other words it is not about singular achievements, but about our work together as a whole, as one (echad).
And moving on to verses 14-19
For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
Each part is important. It doesn’t matter if it is a big or small part. It doesn’t matter if its a glamorous part or a humble part. ALL of us are vital to accomplish His mission. Who are we to judge if we’ve been given a “good” part? We would be questioning Father’s judgment and He is God!!! We can rest in the knowledge each part has been hand selected by Him for His good purpose and we are blessed to walk out that purpose.
And finally, lets look at verses 21-26
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
Each part is vital to the mission. So we mustn’t simply be resigned to accepting the part He’s given us, but also accepting the parts He’s given others. That includes not operating in jealousy or on the flip side not operating in distain for those whose parts you see as “lesser” – NO part is lesser or greater, ALL parts are important. Parts may be more or less visible, but each part is important because without one part we are unable to accomplish our full mission. So we must think as ONE (echad). Act as ONE. Tend to the body as ONE. Truly be ONE.
My challenge for us all today is:
- Do you know what your part is?
- Are you content/satisfied with the part Father has given you?
- Are you giving honor to the other parts?
- Are you able to not walk in jealousy nor in spiritual pride?
- Are you operating in a Body mindset rather than a singular focus?
- Are you ok simply watering or simple planting? In other words are you ok doing just the piece Father has called you to, no more no less?
Father thank You for allowing us to have a part at all! Thank You for operating through us. We yield to You and Your wisdom and direction. We hold all ministry You give us with an open hand – trusting You to put things there for us to do and not being hurt or offended when You remove things when You see fit. Our desire is to be obedient to You and to walk out Your plans. Have Your way in us and be glorified!