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Pointers along the way #649

The gift and the anointing

- Jacob Ninan

God entrusts every member of the body of Christ with abilities for a specific function (1Co.12:4-6). Since these functions differ, each one's abilities also differ. All are not able to do everything, even if we wish to. We become dependent on others to perform the functions we are unable to do. Then it becomes necessary for all of us to submit to one another (Ep.5:21) when the other person is the expert in his own work.

But fallen people that we are, we tend to try for independence. When man sinned he got the knowledge of good and evil in himself apart from God and he thinks he can act like God, independently (Ge.3:5). But actually, we think we know it all, even though we know only in part! So in many ways we try to live as if each of us is the entire body of Christ. Instead of submitting to the others as they do their functions we try to handle everything by ourselves.

Each function (ministry) has its own concerns and burdens. An evangelist is concerned about people who have not heard the gospel, a teacher about the wrong doctrines people are following, a pastor about the issues people are facing in their lives, a prophet about people going away from the path of God, an administrator about getting all systems to function properly, the social worker about the injustice and inequalities people are facing, the helper about the different needs people are suffering from, etc. We can see that we don't share all of these concerns in the same measure, and it is mostly those connected with our function that occupy our mind.

Each function is also associated with a special sense of discernment concerning the situation in their areas of ministry. This helps each one to quickly see what is lacking so that they can take appropriate action. All of us don't have this sense for all areas of life. But in our own area, we become more and more sensitised as we grow. Each of us will also develop strategies for dealing with our function and to take steps in that direction.

A common problem is not understanding these differences in ministry and not keeping any boundaries for ourselves. As a result, we expect all the others to be able to understand and share our concerns and join with our efforts. Another mistake is to judge the others when they can't 'see' things in our way in areas where we have insight. Thirdly, we don't realise that we are unable to see some things connected with another's ministry about which they are sensitive and so we wonder why they do some things. Fourthly, we don't realise we are all making mistakes in many things because we don't have insights related to those.

While we recognise the inevitable diversity among people and the way we minister, we all need to follow the ways of God given in the Bible whatever we do. Here is God giving all of us instructions to do everything we do in the right way. We can do this better as we learn to submit to others who are anointed in their own areas of ministry.


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