Three years into my college education, I finally admitted to myself that the career path I had chosen was not the right fit for me. After a momentary panic, that realization set in motion my quest to discover the profession that was best suited for me: one that would be fulfilling, one that was compatible with my unique talents and abilities, one that I would enjoy, and one that would allow me to improve the lives of others.
During my quest, I remember asking God to point me in the right direction. After a series of events, I ended up in a profession that I never would have considered, and it suits me better than I could have anticipated. I’m glad I asked for God’s help, because getting Him involved resulted in a career path that has been very satisfying to my soul life. But as wonderful as it was to find a well-suited career, it has been even more satisfying to find my unique place to serve in the Body of Christ. That’s right, as born-again believers we have positions to fill that carry greater significance than our earthly careers ever will. Our quest as spirit-filled men and women can be to find our places in the Body of Christ and to get busy serving.
I Corinthians 12:27 tells us that as born-again believers we are members in particular in the Body of Christ.
I Corinthians 12:27:
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
I Corinthians is written to the saints at Corinth with all those who “…call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord…” (I Corinthians 1:2). This epistle is written to those who have been born again by confessing Jesus as lord and by believing in their hearts that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). When we become born again, we are born into God’s spiritual family and we become members of the Body of Christ.
I Corinthians 12:18:
But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
Wow! Not only has God caused us to be members of the Body of Christ, but He has set us each in individual positions as it has pleased Him. God even describes different types of positions that are available.
I Corinthians 12:28:
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
This verse lists different ways of functioning in the Body of Christ. Some individuals in the Body carry out the ministry of an apostle or prophet or teacher. Some are effective miracle workers; some are effective in imparting healings. Some are skilled in helps, others in governments, and some excel in diversity of tongues. These ways of functioning can be organized into the three broader categories of gift ministries, manifestations, and service ministries.
Remember, God has set the members—“every one of them”—in the Body as it has pleased Him. No one has been missed. Each of us has been given an individual assignment in the Body of Christ.
From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
“The measure of every part” refers to the part that only you can fulfill. This Body of Christ functions like a human body as described in I Corinthians, chapter 12. Here in Ephesians 4:16, we see it is fitly joined together with each joint supplying. Each member is interconnected and interdependent on the other members. That is why, whatever our function is, we want to carry it out with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The Body of Christ is perfected as each person carries out his or her assignment in that Body.
So what is your part? Just as it was a quest to discover my career path, it can also be a quest to discover our unique function in the Body of Christ. And God will not keep it a mystery from us, because He needs us to carry out our part. With our eyes and hearts wide open, we will discover our assignment in the Body. One of the best ways to find our part is to start serving and ministering in the Church. We can start by recognizing our God-given abilities and then contribute those abilities in God’s household. Often as we do this, new strengths will come to light that we never knew we had.
Another great key is to listen to feedback from others. I keep a file called “Long suits.” It is a place where I put notes from other people who took the time to tell me how my life blessed theirs or to point out a particular quality that they recognized in me. Over the years, this feedback has been very informative and has helped me clarify my unique strengths and identify my contributions to the Body of Christ.
It makes me feel very special that God gave me a function, a unique place to serve that pleases Him. In my earthly profession, I am not particularly special. Many people do the same things as I do and do them better. What is more, eventually my abilities will fade, and the contributions I make will be forgotten. But my labor in the Body of Christ has a far-reaching and eternal impact. When I carry out my unique function in the Body of Christ, I contribute to the edification and perfection of the entire Church. I am sure my physical brain cannot fully appreciate the magnitude of that impact. To be a part of something this significant is motivation enough for me to get busy carrying out my assignment with my whole heart, soul, mind, and strength! How about you?