One of our goals with One 5 Ministries, is to have people understand their identity in Jesus. We believe that everyone is a contributing member of the Body of Christ, and each person has a role to play. This is a story about how true this believe is.
Our staff member was telling me about a time he had been disillusioned with the church he was attending. The pastor would only allow people to speak in the church if it was a pre-approved message. Someone could not come and say that they wanted to preach on a particular topic. Every message had to be given to the speaker by the pastor. The staff member left and never went to another church for over a year.
The Problem at the Well
One day, he went to fetch water from the well on his property. He lifted the cover to the well and drew out the first bucket of water. The smell from the water was terrible. He wondered why, after all this time was the water smelling. Over the next few days, he pondered about the smelly water in his well.
On one particular day, he felt God impress on him, that because he had been sitting around his house, and not attending a fellowship with other believers, because he had covered up his gift, his spirit was becoming stagnant and smelly. He was to go out and find a church to speak at, and share this message.
He found a congregation and spoke with the pastor, explaining that he believed he had a message for the church. With no more information needed, the pastor allowed him to speak to the group assembled that day. The message spoken that day, was one that encouraged the people to recognize that they have gifts and talents. That if they did not use them, they would become like the water in his well; smelly and stagnant.
Encouragement came to everyone, including the pastor. The pastor truly believed that this was a message that the congregation needed to hear and was grateful for the staff member’s obedience to bring such an exhortation. The staff member felt also felt encouraged. He began attending the church and has never looked back.
Is Our Identity in Jesus a Spectator Sport?
You see, quite often we attend church. We go on Sunday, and listen to the musicians play and sing. Then We listen to someone tell us what is happening within the community. We listen while someone gives an update about the missionaries that the church is supporting. We sit and listen to someone deliver a message from the Scriptures and how it should apply to our lives. That is a lot of sitting and listening that doesn’t help us identify our identity in Jesus.
The belief is that the burnt offerings of the Old Testament, were a pleasing aroma to God. We hear from pastors, authors, bloggers, that Romans 12 verse 1 teaches that we are to present ourselves as “a living sacrifice, acceptable to God.” If we just sit in church and do not participate in the furtherance of the Kingdom, we become stagnant and I would dare say, our worship is not a pleasing aroma to God.
What Can You Do?
If we don’t understand that as believers, we each have roles to play in the Kingdom of God, we become stagnant pools that God cannot use. We often use a phrase like, “I could never do what you do.” That may be true. However, that does not excuse a person to do nothing. How are you impacting the world for the Kingdom? What are you doing to share the love of Jesus in a practical way? How are you being a refreshing cup a water to a thirsty soul? It is time that we stop covering up the talents that we have. It is time that we see that we are valuable members of the community of God and that we have a purpose.
Oh yeah, that well that gave smelly water? The cover is still there. It is still giving water, but it is giving water that no longer smells. Once our staff member learned the importance of using his gifts, talents, and his identity in Jesus, the water was good again.