I was just reflecting on a passage of scripture in Ephesians 3. Essentially, the Word came to me in that “the Mystery of Christ was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit…” (Ephesians 3:4-5). In Ephesians 2:20-22, Paul describes that we, as Christians, are being “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone”.
The Spirit revealed to me that we hold the apostles and prophets in reverence. We should, of course, admire them and desire to be like them, inasmuch as they were like Christ. However, we should be careful not to “revere” them in the sense of putting them on a pedestal, making them out to be something that they were never intended to be. First of all, the only reason we should admire and want to be like these men and women is for their obedience to the calling of God in their lives. Many people would miss the ‘obedience’ part and just think of these men and women as better, or on a higher level of Christianity than the rest of us. In my spirit, I believe that we all have the same potential of the apostles and prophets, if we are willing to be ‘broken bread and poured-out wine’ for Jesus.
To this end, I believe that we are no less capable of being obedient to the calling of God in our own lives than these people were in theirs. Our ‘works’ may never be enshrined in Scripture, but what if they were? Would our actions and words be viewed by others as of a person after God’s own heart, or would they be seen as anything less? After all, the apostles and prophets did nothing with the thought in mind that, “If I do this, I will be known as a central figure in biblical history, and my life and actions and words will be studied by generations to come,” and on and on. No, they did what God led them to do in enough ways to make an impact on the persons with whom God placed them in contact. We can do this, and so much more, because we can see how God used these people and their obedience in Scripture.
We do not have to know what this will mean for the future. That is not ours to know. If we, as ordinary people (just as were the apostles and prophets), will humble ourselves before God, and commit to being obedient to what ever His calling is in OUR lives, I am convinced that we have the SAME potential to reach into, and make a difference in, the lives of others as God directs our path. In a sense, humility and obedience are our ONLY responsibilities, as Christians — everything else flows from these; all of our activities and desires and loyalties to other human events and institutions. We may never know how one act of obedience to the Spirit will impact humanity, but that does not lessen our responsibility.
It also does not mean that we see humility and obedience as a one-time, or in any way short-term, issues. These must be on-going spiritual attitudes. Some assignments are more short-term in nature, but the overall Christian walk and calling is a steady progression toward a ‘oneness’ with our Lord (John 17). Fulfilling our calling before God is an opportunity to grow in our spirits every day, and it all starts with being humble and obedient.
Are you hearing God’s voice in your life today? Are you growing closer to Him each day through prayer and reading of the Word? “Seek ye first, the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) “These things” are different for each of us, but God will take care of every detail as we submit ourselves to Him in obedience to His calling for us.
Every human being is aware of the physical world, but few are those who explore their spiritual potential, and ultimately maximize their ability to hear the voice of God. What about you? Will you commit to God that you will grow closer to Him each day? As a humble servant, will you then be obedient to His direction and guidance, and allow Him to work through you in the lives of others? Will you let Him continue to build upon the cornerstone of Jesus Christ and the foundation of the apostles and prophets through your humble obedience to His voice in YOUR LIFE?
Will you be broken bread and poured-out wine for Jesus?