Janet Smith – 9-19-2021 ©gardenministries.org
The size and intensity of our spiritual battles does not determine our stature with Christ. The level of warfare we incur does not determine the level of our eternal reward. Ephesians 1:3-4 and Ephesians 4:7, 11-13 tells us that whatever our function and calling is, we are pre-apportioned and given the appropriate amount of grace, spiritual blessings, and giftings ahead of time to perform our callings and functions.
Ephesians 1:3-4 (CSB) Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him.
Ephesians 4:4-7, 11-13, 16 (CSB)There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to one hope at 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 all. 7 Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift …11 and he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness … 16 From him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building itself up in love by the proper working of each individual part.
Whether you are called to be a sparkly Joy Bringer or a scary Dragon Slayer, you have the same level of self to die to as the next guy or gal. The death-to-self process is an equal opportunity battleground that every last one of us is asked to fight—no matter what our calling and spiritual function in the body of Christ may be.
In other words, to the degree that a person denies self and follows Christ is to the degree that they will overcome and receive the eternal rewards of an overcomer. The guy and gal with a gift of helps and mercy and the principality-fighting apostle and prophet are equally rewarded for all eternity to the degree that they were faithful to their own God-given assignments, chose the way of the cross when it was offered, and humbled themselves in their first love devotion to Jesus.
This is the great revelation to the church who tends to elevate and even idolize the 5-fold function gifts over the rest of the body. And then some go the other way and completely ignore the 5-fold function gifts in operation amongst them and let those guys and gals do all the work while the others refuse to take up their own cross of self-denial and service. The 5-fold gifts are given UNTIL WE ALL reach the unity of the faith.
No Believer in Jesus Christ should compete for a calling that doesn’t belong to them. All we are required to do is follow Jesus and overcome our own fears and mistrust toward Him by wholeheartedly loving Him and faithfully serving His body. We please the Father by the faith and trust we have in Him and by our obedience to His Word. Don’t avoid the painful process of death-to-self. Embrace it. RUN TO THE FIRE AND JUMP INTO IT! The sooner He burns up self, the better. JESUS WILL SEE US THROUGH THE FIRE. Isaiah 43.
Hebrews 11:5-6 (CSB) By faith Enoch was taken away (Gr. Transferred, changed), and so he did not experience death. He was not to be found because God took him away. For before he was taken away, he was approved as one who pleased God. 6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.