A simple old fashioned chorus has these words: “The Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all I need to do is follow.” The psalmist in chapter 25 is essentially saying those words but he knows that he needs a trail guide through that wilderness and the Lord is his for he is trustworthy. He is confident that he will not be led astray yet he fears that he will bring shame upon the name of Yahweh. Thus he prays for direction, for counsel, for instruction. In vs 4 he asks much like Moses “Show me your glory.” [Exo 33:18] When we step out from our comfort zone that is what we need; to see God’s glory and all of his holiness so that we yearn more and more for our hearts to be entwined with his. We need to be taught, to know the path that we are to take, to be instructed in His ways being confident of this truth: “Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.”[ Pro 3:6]
Is there some place you feel that you need his direction? Seek His face; seek His glory, pray that the Holy Spirit be your instructor to lead you in paths of righteousness as we journey through a world that is fraught with dangers, toils and snares. Beloved, the Lord knows the way; all we need to do is follow knowing that the words of Isaiah are as relevant today as then: “You will hear a word spoken behind you, saying, “This is the correct way, walk in it,”” [Isa 30:21 ]
Recently in a conversation about church attendance a person noted that she is a “loner” and has been all of her life. She does not require nor does she need to be a part of a group and especially church. Then today in reading for this assignment I came across a blog written by another person who is also a “lone wolf” and finds/believes that he is sharper and more wise alone than with a group. Let’s see if either of these are biblical standards according to our reading in 1Corinthians 12.
First and foremost our standard is the lifestyle of our Savior. He continually said “follow me” and included from the entire spectrum. In doing so each disciple was able to use his gifts to enhance the entire group. For example, Andrew had the gift of finding people. John had the gift of tenderness. Matthew had the gift of accounting and details. The life of a hermit or a ‘lone wolf’ was a foreign concept to our Lord and it was as well to Paul but unfortunately there were some “lone wolves” in the Corinthian camp.
Secondly, what then is the purpose of each member and their gifts? As a believer we are all blessed with the indwelling Holy Spirit who graciously shares with the Body of Believers varieties of gifts, varieties of ministries for one reason: to build up or edify the Body and to glorify God. A question then arises. How can the Body be fully functioning or edifying or glorifying if there is one member missing?
Third point Paul is making is that there is no gift that is better or lesser than another. In fact, just as the gifts are diverse so the ministries are different and the activities are diverse but they all come from one source: The Holy Spirit. David Guzik writes: “The purpose of the manifestation of the Spirit is to benefit the whole church family, not just a particular individual.” All are needed, all are manifest and all bestow great honor upon the Body. In fact, Paul writes: “those members that seem to be weaker are essential, and those members we consider less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our unpresentable members are clothed with dignity.”
Precious Ones, there are no ‘lone wolves’ in the church–only members of the flock! You are endowed with a precious gift to be used. These gifts are God’s treasure box being opened and poured out upon the church. It is God’s way of allowing us the privilege of sharing and expressing and receiving God’s love from one to the other. So now the question remains: are you using your gift(s) for Him?
Remember this rule: If feel less qualified you are listening to the lie out of the mouth of the enemy for that quenches the Spirit. The Holy Spirit has graciously given to you His blessing for one reason: to glorify God. Go forth and share!