Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sharing Part 3- One Body Many Parts

So let's go back to that afternoon in the car. My prayer was that I would be led by the Spirit. That I would not be filled with any fear. That I would delight in my children and learn to love them better. Above all I prayed for peace in my heart to direct me to the will of God.
Like I said, he led me to I Cor. 12:19 which said:
"How strange a body would be if it had only one part!"

Now, you may be baffled thinking... what in the world does that have to do with anything Alicia? But, I knew immediately what it meant.
First let's back up as I did and read more in context:

So I want you to know that no one speaking by the Spirit of God will curse Jesus, and no one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

One Body with Many Parts
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,[e] some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

Have you ever tried to put God in a box? Man, I have. I love this song because of it. One way I do this is by putting people and myself in boxes. Boxes of course represent the limits that define us. The opposite would be for God to define God and for God to define us, his body, the church. I knew immediately that he was trying to tell me (and the exclamatory sentence he chose to specifically direct me to was amazing because it got right to the heart of my box making mind) was that this burden I carried of wanting to fit in to a specific godly woman image was not from Him. I knew it the min I read the verse. You read the above passage and there is such freedom! Freedom for God, not for me. Freedom for him to say where I belong in the body of Christ, and joy to be found in serving in the way He wants me to. If we all looked the same, we would look utterly ridiculous! Yet, how we try to. In fact, we tend to try to look more the same, than we share in the joy of the differences God has given us.
While I'm on this note, I'll skip to a present tense part of this story. Yesterday Tami Rutledge did a new post called "Is it a Sin Not To Homeschool"
(Just to remind those of you who Tami is in relation to me..... Tami was our speaker at our church ladies retreat in 2007. Her message was on having Joy in Perspective. God has given her a gift that has greatly helped me and I would call it a bottom like mentality on how we find Joy in God. In a way Tami has graciously discipled me via blogs, email, and phone calls. She is has been a discipler of three girls and helpmeet of one (;)LOL Tami). She has experienced all levels of schooling with her girls but her heart has been in discipling them at home. I share this so you know more why I refer to her a great deal and why I appreciate her wisdom. God has used her greatly in my life.)
I think you would benefit from going to read her post (which is in a different location than her regular blog Rejoice!), but this paragraph is important to me in context to these thoughts:

The result of seeking God is unity, the result of seeking man’s wisdom is disunity. It is not the home schoolers versus the others. Division occurs when man sets himself up as the authority. But when with one heart and one mind we desire to please the Lord then no matter what we choose it brings unity because God leads us to peace and joy not judgment of others! God is the God of peace, there should never be anything that causes you to fear.

The very same verses that brought me joy in following God on this decision, is now convicting me to pursue unity with my brothers and sisters. You can read more on the post comments that I put on Tami's post. Again, I tend to want to use a box on everyone. Seriously, I have to fight that temptation to sin in my thinking. I am very aware of the stuck up thinking that the enemy tries so desperately to get into the minds of the followers of Christ. He wants to plant a seed that will grow a plant of bitterness instead a tree of the fruit of the spirit. He is really on me right now, and i can feel the battle taking place. I can at the same time feel Christ defending my love for my brothers and sisters who are so dear to me and in a way it's like hearing Gandalf say "You shall not pass!" Do you ever feel or hear these rumblings in your mind and soul? Pay attention... they are always there.

It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

I have been fighting the fact that I have not had the gift of academic teaching this past year. I wanted it so badly, I wanted it so I could fit into this mold. The more I desired it, the more it seemed to slip further away. It brought me finally to the feet of Jesus. When I was willing to let go of the image I was trying to become, and the desire to be one body part alone, he was able to show me it was time to be used in another way, defined only by Him.

In my prayer I ended with a desire to delight in my children. This was the next stepping stone in the journey he was about to show me. My desire to disciple my children in the ways of His word, in the life issues they would need to work through, the leaves begin to unfold to reveal His desire for THIS to be my focus. My burden of heart for leading them in the Word was not to return void. It was just going to start looking different than I had thought it would. He is showing me what He wants it to look like.
More on that later.....


tricia said...

Wow! God is so awesome. God had brought me to these same verses last week. I was reading in my Beth Moore study about the Holy Spirit and these were some of the verses I read. How free I felt when I knew God never intend me to be like anyone else. The Holy Spirit gave me gifts different than you. Loving each other, encouraging each to follow God and rejoicing that we are different will unity us and make us closer friends. Just think how boring we would be if we all had the same gifts.

I loved what Tami said about God's unity.

I am so proud of you for following God.

Mom said...

I read these encouraging words this morning and decided to share the quote with you. Hope God’s word will be light unto your path today. Love, mom

“It is only when I see what God is doing with the world through Christ, and for the glory of Christ, that I am able to see where I fit in the big storyline of the universe or in the little storyline of my own life.

The Apostle Paul’s words to the Romans are familiar passages of comfort for believers. ‘And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose’ (Rom 8:28). This verse does not mean, however, simply a cheery ‘What doesn’t kill you’ll make you stronger; hang in there.’ Instead, Paul says that the believer’s little story ultimately is a glorious one because it is part of a larger story, that I may be ‘conformed to the image of His Son, that He may be the firstborn among many brothers’ (Rom 8:29).

How do I know that my story ends happily? I only know this if I am found in Christ. But, if I am, then like all my forefathers and foremothers before me, I am free from condemnation, liberated from the curse, triumphant over death, the heir of the universe, the child of God in whom He is well pleased.”

—Russell Moore, “Beyond a Veggie Tales Gospel: Why We Must Preach Christ from Every Text”

Life Adapted said...

Hi Alicia,

I've tagged you on my blog.

Be blessed and keep the desire to please God and you will find the desires of your heart fulfilled.