Thursday, December 15, 2011

A CALL FOR *U*N*I*T*Y* IN THE BODY OF CHRIST


(Message I shared with InterVarsity on Nov. 1, 2011)
So you all know that revival is coming to town this year (God is doing and is going to do awesome things to draw people to Himself and He is inviting us to partner with Him in His mission and the enemy, the devil, wants to do his best to oppose God's plans).
Don't fret though because of the devil's opposition. "For we are not unaware of his schemes." (2 Cor. 2:11)I just want to point out one huge scheme the devil uses and wants to keep using to oppose God's good plans for us and His Kingdom, that is, DISUNITY :(

The devil isn't as dumb as you think, he is pretty sly. He knows that: "If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand." (Mark 3:24) Let's not fall for his schemes. Let's, as a body and individually: "Put on the full armor of God so that you can your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:11-12)

WHY does the devil use disunity? Because He knows there is power in unity.

1.)God is reminding us that we are a body so let's keep that in mind and start functioning like one
*Let us not get mixed up in the devil's schemes. Let us know who is fighting for us and who we are fighting against. ("If God is for us who can be against us?") -We are not fighting against each other, so let's love each other but fight against the sin in our lives and the schemes of the devil.
2.)God has given ALL of us His Holy Spirit. Yes all of us, not just staff or the seniors. God doesn't show favoritism, we are all ONE in Christ. Let's wake up to that truth! (What unites us is The Truth, The Word of God, so for us to be united we all have to align ourselves to God's Word. If we are not devoting ourselves to the Word of God -not just reading it but actually applying it- then we are being fake. We may look united by coming together but God sees our hearts so we can't fool Him so let's follow His Word alone for there to be actual unity and true worship).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~About Spiritual Gifts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Spiritual gifts are actually weapons against the enemy's plan of bringing disunity so it's important to use them as a way of defending ourselves against the devil's attacks.

Since the Holy Spirit is living inside ALL of us. He gives us different gifts. Different gifts but the same Spirit. Unity doesn't mean uniformity! I urge you read more about Spiritual gifts, desire and seek out the gifts the Holy Spirit has given you: ask people, pray about it, get prayer, take the spiritual gifts test.

****Also, I urge you to find out what other people's gifts are----->>> So that you can understand how God may be speaking through them so that when He does speak through someone you do not ignore it and treat it lightly.
For example, if I know that Thaddeus gift is music (the means through which the Holy Spirit decides to communicate to the body through him) then when he posts one of his songs, I shouldn't be like, "Oh there goes Thaddeus again, trying to promote his music. I don't even listen to rap! That's not my kind of music." NO! Instead I should think, "Oh! I know God likes speaking through Thaddeus through music, so whether or not I like rap, it will benefit me to pay attention to what God may be saying through the song."
If I know that one of Stephen's Spiritual gifts is writing, I'll benefit if I pay attention to how God is speaking through him through his blog.
If I know Mollica's gift is hospitality, I will see her acts of kindness in a different light, as God's acts of kindness towards me and the body. And just because her gift is used behind the scenes, I should not think any less of her. She's not "less spiritual" than me. "the parts we think are less honorable we treat with special honor... God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it." (1 Cor 12:23-24)
If I know that one of Shayne's gift is prophecy, if she bluntly calls me out on something I should not think that she hates me and try to start something with her. I should take her rebuke of any untruth in me as if it came from the mouth of God Himself.
I could go on and on but you get my point. Let's take each other seriously: Recognize how God is working in us and speaking through us in different ways but by the same Spirit. *Take the test (just a tool that may be helpful) or read more about Spiritual gifts at :


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*Ephesians 4: 11-16*
"It was He (Christ) who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."
WORD! It's time to grow up =)
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I feel like the change is coming (revival), change is coming in the way we do things in InterVarsity (change is good, but its not easy to adjust (surrender), but its coming so let's welcome it.
Change is coming to how we do Common ground. Common ground won't be a place where a few people get to use their gifts (preaching/teaching and music) while everyone else spectates. "our presentable parts need no special treatment." (1 Cor. 12:24) A time is coming, and has now come, when all of us will realize that the Holy Spirit is inside of us and the gifts He gives us are for the body and Common Ground will accomodate that truth within its structure, a new (revived) structure.

WHY do I feel change is coming?
"What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. ALL of these MUST be done for the strengthening of the church." (1 Cor. 14: 26, Paul then goes to give instructions for orderly worship)
God is doing a new thing, let us behold! and welcome it =)

PRACTICALS:
What are ways we can help each other discover and use our spiritual gifts? (Feel free to share more ideas!)
---> One unusual way of doing this is: Look at a person's biggest struggle, the opposite may be there spiritual gift (not always).
What's my reasoning behind this?--> The devil likes to oppose God's work and he likes to bind us up so that we don't use our gifts.
For example, some of us really struggle with unbelief yet our spiritual gift may be faith. The devil uses the spirit of unbelief to suppress our spiritual gift from being activated (from being "fan into flame").
For me, I have the gift of teaching and prophecy, and for the longest time the devil, using discouragement and fear, made me shut up and kept me from speaking God's truth.
Homework-->Tell someone what you think their spiritual gifts are and ask what yours may be.
P.S: If you have any questions, ASK! If you have any comments or complaints, SHARE! Let's be real with each other (=let's be family) =)
*I know the title of this post is "Unity in the Body of Christ" but first there should be unity within the different fellowships.


Related post: " UNITY is brewing up!" Read more about how I think unity will happen. Most times we know what the goal is (unity and racial rec) but we do not know how to get there. So I just want to share what God has been teaching me from His Word and life. Glory to God! Test everything you hear with Scripture (not your own understanding) and don't blindly accept everything you hear or you'll be misled.

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