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Equipping the saints

... to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up... Ephesians 4.12

The preacher at last night's Kyleakin Fellowship said something that struck me: "God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called." This is especially helpful in our era of professionalisation, where every aspect of life is so highly regulated that people can feel unable to turn their hand to anything unless they have a certificate of authorisation. One can imagine how disastrous this is for volunteering. It can also have a stultifying impact on Christian mission. Despite its noble intentions, over-regulation can have the opposite effect if it quenches compassion and initiative, let alone the willingness to take risks. Basically, it cuts across the principle of acting in faith.

The fact is that we shall never be ready for what we need to do in life. Yet, in his grace, God has already planted within us all the qualifications we need to live faithfully and effectively. For those seeds to grow into the fulness of their potential, we need to heed and obey God's call in all its glorious variety: to maturity, parenthood, work, evangelism, prophecy... whatever and wherever. As we are all different, we can expect to be distinctively enabled and specifically called. But all are called and, as the preacher reminded us, all are equipped - but in proportion to our willingness to obey. It is as we apply ourselves to God's work in the world that he gets to work in us.



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