Be Suitably Equipped
In the final parts of this series, I’ll explain to you the fifth and final step in this process of finding God’s plan for you. It is to be suitably equipped to fulfill the function in the body for which God has appointed you.
I’m going back once more, to Romans 12. I’m going to read the three verses that I read in the previous part and then I’m going to go on beyond them and show you the next step in Paul’s thinking. Beginning then, in Romans 12:3–5:
For through the grace given to me I say to every man among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
I pointed out that a renewed mind, like the radar of the airplane, directs us to our appointed place as a member in a corporate body. Now in what follows Paul begins to speak about equipment. The word he uses here is gifts. So I’m going to read now Romans 12:6–8, the three verses that follow on after those I’ve just read:
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
We see therefore, that these gifts of God are our equipment. And they follow logically from our function. We need to get the order right. First function, then equipment. Some people are all stirred up and excited about spiritual gifts but their excitement is often rather out of order because they don’t know what member they ought to be and therefore they don’t know what gifts they need to function as that member.
Let me give you a simple example: the foot and the hand in the human body. What is the responsibility of the foot? Very simply, it is to bear weight and to maintain balance. What’s the responsibility of the hand? To lift weight and to grasp. We find that each of these members is ideally suited to its particular function. But how silly it would be for them to try to trade functions with one another! How silly it is when the hand seeks to bear weight and maintain balance. We know how difficult that is—it takes a gymnast to do it. And how foolish it is when the foot seeks to lift weight and to grasp. You almost have to be a monkey to do that. And yet there are, I’m afraid, a number of believers who are just like that. God ordained them to be a foot and they’re trying to be a hand. And they’re all out of order. They don’t have the needed faith because the proportion of faith God gave them was for the function they were to fulfill and they don’t have the needed gifts because the gifts were also related to the function.
Dear Father, I want to serve You, and the coming of Your Kingdom in this world. So please help me to not only find my place in the Body, but also to accept it, according to the measure of faith You have allotted to me. Thank You that You will always provide for the tasks You give in grace, finances, gifts and everything I’ll need. Help me also to work together with the other parts of the Body, so we can accomplish what You have set out. In Jesus’ Name, amen!
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