If we, as the Body of Christ, are bound together by His love for us all, then we abide in perfect harmony; both together and individually. At least, that's how it should be, and certainly what God desires. And wrapped up in that harmony is the idea of unity. Yet I also know that God gives different callings, assignments and desires of the heart to those who are willing to co-partner and co-create with Him. That's an awful lot of opportunities for the devil to try to disrupt and corrupt our work in the world as followers of Jesus.
Throw in the fiery darts of religion, pride, and fear of man, and our mission as ambassadors of Heaven can go awry. I celebrate that "the Church" is beginning to come out of old paradigms that defined "the work" of the faithful as identical and as serving only each other. I also don't think God is primarily interested in getting church members more involved in what churches are doing inside the church buildings, but rather to encourage church members to get more involved in what God wants done out in the world. And He wants a lot done! And it all looks different! So, I also celebrate that He has made us all dissimilar and called us to different assignments and work for the purpose of transforming lives and the world.
It is my heart's desire that we could be unified in acknowledging and honoring the different work that we do. The worst thing to cause disharmony and disunity is to think that someone isn't executing their assignment the way we think they should! Or that they aren't doing enough, or performing their work often enough -- whatever words of conflict that define what the devil is whispering.
I don't pay too much attention to the "rules" or templates that men have declared as "about to happen", "are imminent, or "absolutely essential" to doing God's work. Instead, I try to always keep Jesus as my model, because He only did what He heard or saw the Father doing. So, I keep my spirit on alert, discerning when a prominent follower of Christ has heard from the Holy Spirit and is carrying out his or her instructions by informing the rest of us what the Lord desires done. And to me, this is the highest form of worship; to understand that we have been given particular gifts in order to undertake a particular calling; in order to fulfill a particular assignment that God needs accomplished; and in order to see His will done in the earth. That's how I want to glorify my Father in Heaven.
It is our job to concentrate on what the Father and Jesus are revealing to us about our assignment, while encouraging others who are receiving their own assignments. We are not going to all look alike, nor should we. We must be diligent to not "eat our own"! There is much to be done here on earth to transform and restore this place to its original design and purpose! And I know that is sometimes difficult to do... our humanness gets in the way, and we judge and compare ourselves to each other; or we analyze how we would complete that assignment differently. But we need to remember the chastisement Peter received in John 21:21-22 ... So when Peter saw him [the man that Jesus loved], he asked Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man [what is in his future]?” Jesus said to him, “If I want him to stay alive until I come [again], what is that to you? You follow Me!”
Of course, this was in reference to the way that the disciples would be persecuted and executed for following Jesus, but the same principle holds true for ministry, no matter how it affects our calling. We are to follow Him! To stay focused on the One who calls us, and on fulfilling our assignment; using the gifts and the wisdom, skills, intelligence, and knowledge we are provided by our Creator to complete our task.
I recently read a motto for a Kingdom entrepreneurial company [that seeks to help Kingdom disciples use the skills they've been given by God to succeed in the business world]. This motto works just as well in the scenario of staying focused on following Jesus in co-creating and partnering with God's purpose for our lives and assignments: "In the natural, your credentials may not be too impressive, but when God adds His super to your natural, you will be able to co-create with the Creator of the universe. God makes the wheat, man makes the cakes. God makes the trees, man makes the chairs".
So, if we each have our own unique and individual skills, talents, gifts and assignments, then, as Jesus said, "What is it to you?", how someone else makes his assignment happen? Or even what his assignment is! We cannot possibly expect to accomplish all the things God has designed or planned! I just want to do my task well and please the Father. And someone else may be given the same [or similar] assignment, but the Holy Spirit can give them different knowledge and skills to effect a different outcome that the Father wants to expand upon. That is not for me to question or to ask, "What about that person? What do You have planned for them?"
So, as we see the Enemy attempting to sow disunity and disharmony among God's workers in the world, let us be cognizant of his strategies. Let us not be like the religious Pharisees, who demanded that Jesus follow their strict and numerous regulations and governing principles of how to follow YHWH. Rather, let us be like Jesus, who sought reconciliation between man and God; not religion. Let us love and encourage as He did. Let us celebrate the particular gifts and skills that each of the disciples brought to the table of managing the earth as the Father desired. Let us celebrate our individuality, even as we join together to respect and encourage our mutual purpose of edifying the world of the Gospels of Salvation and the Kingdom. Let us celebrate the various ways we innovate and disrupt the status quo of the world! We are different but we are unified in our purpose... to see thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen!
Romans 12:4-5 For just as in one [physical] body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, so
we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and
individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each