A couple of Sundays ago my pastor, who is the apostle to the church I pastor, brought a word about grace. It wasn't the grace that you and I talk about all the time, the grace that makes it possible for our sins to be forgiven. He spoke on the grace that we operate in, that allows us to be what God has called us to be. It is a grace that is portioned out according to Jesus' purpose for us:
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (Ephesians 4:7)
Taking your place in the Body of Christ is not like choosing a career. In choosing a career you either pick what you enjoy doing or what will give you the biggest return for your investment. If you decide to become a doctor you are guaranteed work but it is a huge investment. In the Body of Christ you don't get to choose your place because it is God who decides. Whatever you become is not by your choice or your investment, it is not even according to your natural ability, it is only by the calling of God:
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers. (Ephesians 4:11)
This is a verse much of the Church ignores or dismisses in this age of self-choice. It is Jesus who sets aside, sanctifies for his purpose. It is Jesus who chose the trainers for the Body and he anointed them with what they need to do the job. He called, he equipped and he established, by his grace. Those called to such responsibility do so by God's grace not their ability.
Today we require the "leadership" to be well educated. They are chosen by a selection board. Their calling is either verified or denied by people. They have to have letters behind their name instead of clear signs of the anointing of Jesus. Their ability to balance the financial books outweigh any need for the evidence of the Spirit operating in them. Gone is the need for the grace of God, replaced by the career minded.
Somewhere along the line teachers have high-jacked the Body of Christ. Perhaps it was in a bid for more respect from the world. But it is wrong. Jesus did not choose the scholars of his day, he chose by the grace that was being apportioned. He chose those who were teachable, those with little value, the fishermen and tax collectors. He gave them great value and they learned, being reshaped, becoming men of awesome power and strength. They had more than letters after their name, they had Jesus written over their name.
Of course it is not just the trainers that Paul writes of. Read 1 Corinthians 12 to understand the structure and real beauty of the Church. He wrote that this grace has been given to each of us, as Jesus has apportioned it. To each of us. There are no spectator seats in the Body of Christ. Each part has an important place and role, and their function, your function, is vital to the purpose of the Body.
Not according to your ability, desire or even intelligence. It doesn't matter if you have no education or you have 12 doctorates. Your education or lack thereof is not what matters. Jesus is not looking for scholars but for those who are teachable and are willing to be shaped into what Jesus desires. He is calling those who are willing to accept and operate in the grace he has given, never questioning, just obeying. It's not by your choice but by God's grace and all he is looking for is a love response from you, a response of obedience. Do you know what grace has been apportioned to you? Have you taken your place in the Body of Christ? Are you operating in the anointing of the Spirit?