Recently I have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people who seem to be dissatisfied with their walk with the Lord, and lately many have been coming to me stating their desire to be further equipped as a son of God. Many are frustrated, not feeling as if they are being properly equipped; feeling like they are losing ground and that time is running out. Now I understand the frustration, it can overtake us all if we are not careful, but let’s not allow frustration to cause us to focus our discontentment in the wrong direction or towards the wrong person. If we are not being properly equipped, where does the fault lie?
Ephesians 4 states that Jesus gave the five-fold ministry gifts (four fold if that makes you a little more comfortable) for the equipping of the saints. So it is clear that it is the responsibility of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, preacher, and teacher to each perform their roles in helping the individual come into the fullness of which he/she was created to be and the body as a whole come into the knowledge of the son of God and whole measure of the fullness of Christ. It is their job to equip you, but is it their responsibility to make sure you are equipped? Let me say it this way.
Disclaimer: I want to stop here and say the reason I’m writing this at 4a.m. is because I have struggled with not wanting to write about this knowing that many will make assumptions that I talking about their situation or their church, or even the church I attend. Let me say this IS NOT targeted at any one situation or place. I talk to people all around the world and this is a response to the general discontentment, not any specific case or place! Now back to the show.
The ones who have come to me as of late are frustrated with those who they view are responsible to ensure they are equipped. They feel they are not getting what they need. This frustration turns into accusations against the leadership they feel is responsible to equip them. I understand they are frustrated but is it their leaderships fault? We must understand that the 5-fold is there to help you as you seek to become all you were created to be. They are there to help you, but it is your responsibility to get equipped. They are not to force any doctrine or truth on you, you are to pull it out of them. They are there to help you and to encourage you, not to push you. You are to see Christ in them and then put a demand on that area you need developed in your life. It is the placing of a demand that opens you up to Holy Spirit using them to equip you and transform you. If they try to come to you and push a teaching on you, especially if your are not ready, it will generally be met with resistance and be no benefit. As someone who has been used to help equip people, I can tell you when the demand is put on me it is easy and what the individual needs just flows out. When however, the demand is not there it is taxing and you feel like you’re pushing against a brick wall. When I teach and people are there just because they are curious but there is no demand, they may gain head knowledge but that’s all it is. However, when there is a demand from individuals it’s like deep calling unto deep and lives are transformed.
Now, I know some of you are putting a demand on leadership and still aren’t seeing any equipping. Don’t lose hope, don’t get frustrated, and don’t start judging those you feel are falling short. Take time and look around. Maybe God wants to use someone else for that particular aspect of your growth. 1 Corinthians 3 tells us that one plants and another waters but it is God who makes it grow. That doesn’t necessarily mean God is causing you to leave your fellowship, just that with this portion He will work through another individual. Look for Christ in others and then put that demand on Him, He will meet your need!
So there you have it. Take responsibility for your own growth. Allow Holy Spirit to use whoever He desires to help equip you. Allow Him to use you to help equip others!