Ephesians 4:1-6 – “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” NKJV
Those who know me well know how much I tend to harp on the UNITY OF THE SPIRIT and the BOND OF PEACE in the Church preaching COVENANT. I have long been appalled at the ‘turf wars’, ‘place protecting’, ‘position guarding’, ‘numbers gathering’, and ‘personal promotion’ while there is often abject failure to become fitly framed into a singular body in Christ. Oh we may continue to have individual local sheep sheds but if we are the BODY OF CHRIST that sense of protectionism and competition MUST END.
One of the greatest detriments to the advancement of the Kingdom of God today is the lack of harmony and unity in the local churches. It seems that each local fellowship deems itself as THE BODY OF CHRIST without comprehending they are a part of the body not the body. They may be a hand a foot, a toe, or finger. They may be the lips, ears, eyes, noses, elbows, kneecaps, or some other less comely part but part is part and we are parts! We want the CHURCH of Jesus Christ to be and it will be GLORIOUS but want that to happen in our local fellowship as the whole but the part will never be the whole.
As the human body’s parts lend that which is needed to the other parts to make it a functioning whole body so is it in the Kingdom of God. It is not just each member in a local fellowship being fitted and framed into the position and come to the condition God desires it is for the local corporate entity to be incorporated in the Body of Christ Universal. It is to realize that all we have locally belongs to Christ Jesus therefore if He desires it shared with other fellowships to enhance their ability and use what they have to enhance yours how that is deemed a bad thing. Oh I know it is because we are keepers of the aquarium, tenders of the herd, counters of the coin, and growing our church into a success. How can it be a success in God’s eyes if we fail to become fitly framed into the Body of Christ universal? Isolated we are limited in what we can do even if we develop a mega church with tens of thousands members we could be much more powerful for the Kingdom and detrimental to the devil if we stripped away our competitive spirit, personal pride, and ceased guarding our turf and began seeking to advance the kingdom first and foremost and as new people come in we rejoice and report it turning immediately to helping them become fitly framed into the work of the Lord as they mature.
I recall a heated debate at a church convention where the contention was that church buses were picking up people too near another church and that there had to be a certain mileage restriction on how near churches could be established. I infuriated on fine brother who was one of the most vocal and said it really is not a problem since it is Christ’s church not ours. He immediately got in my grill and said, “Well you wouldn’t like it if they did that to you.” I said and meant, “I don’t care if they run their buses through the parking lot at our church for if people choose to go with them they are not with us and we can only do what God has given us to do with those whom God has given us. If they are not with us and committed then it is probably best they go down the road where maybe they will become committed and fitted.” He and several others threw up their hands and walked away thinking I was either not being honest, or was one of those ultra-liberals who just didn’t get it, or heaven forbid maybe I wasn’t saved. No I view the church local and the church universal as GOD’S CHURCH and if it is His Church then He can share assets, expertise, personnel, or anything as He deems best for the Kingdom and I will shout for joy whether I get any recognition or not. This is not about being recognized it is about the Kingdom of God and the Harvest. It is about fitly framing the living stones into the house where they can function powerfully. It is about equipping the saints to do the work of ministry.
May God be with you as you go through your day! Blessings!