And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers. His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body (the church). [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
It means for me, that God has given me men and women as gifts to come alongside me as i come alongside them, to grow me to that targeted place - the measure of the stature (bodily height) of the fullness of Christ. He gives me people to walk alongside me to that destination or that marked place i aim all my heart, all my running towards. To embrace these verses means i will from now onwards since i have seen, embrace people as gifts; i will from now onwards view people with honour, with thankfulness. How awesome it is when His word brings so much clarity and in an instant, brings a whole new perspective and transform an old way of seeing into a new way of understanding.
i have seen people approach these verses in churches preoccupied with the race to secure a place in one of these five offices; people spend so much to establish which box they fall into. i have seen people seeking their identity in the terminologies; they seek one of these five titles to define them or give meaning, give significance to what they do. Could it be that by doing this, they have been distracted, or diverted and have missed the heart (or the life) of these verses; they have overlooked the intention God gifted the church with people whom we call apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. (And i agree completely with Him by how He has named and set these gifts into our midst, and i honour those the church recognises as holding these offices. What i am attempting to axe at is an attitude or a spirit not inline with Kingdom culture). Perhaps, in the jostling and elbowing to exert their spiritual gifts to earn the recognition of men, some may have proved themselves still babes, like young children who seek the attention of others. Like little kids who call out to their parents, "Look at what I can do." Such behaviour is understandable for those still green, still young, still learning new skills in the Kingdom. It only gets a little disturbing when we see a forty year-old acting like a four year-old. Perhaps some may have created a culture not of the Kingdom by refusing to accept anyone lower than where they perceive they have arrived at. They may not have learned that it is God who establishes us; it is Christ Himself who set aside men and women as according to the measure of His gift (Ephesian 4:7-8). If we are not aware, we may become like the mother of Jesus' disciples entreating Him to let her sons sit on His left and right without fully understanding the cost, the cup or the weight of those seats right beside Him. Some may have allowed themselves to only see and seek the glory or the adulation or attention of the crowd and forget that without His enabling power (grace), they will not have what it takes to hold up, stand at or sit in any place He has not established them in. They may have forgotten that He is a good Businessman; He chooses very carefully whom He places to watch over His Business (Matthew 25;14-30). He is a wise King; He chooses very wisely whom to set over which domain to co-rule with Him, as according to the measure of Christ's gift.
How good and pleasant it is that Christ has come to present us another way, a better and more excellent way. What we do is not what defines us. We are defined simply by His life, by His love for us. Let us return and align ourselves with His true intention again; let us align ourselves with His heart in these verses, and put away that which distracts or diverts us. Let us come back to listen for His direction, to give ourselves into working together with the Spirit and with one another for the equipping of each other. Let us aim at that same targeted place of oneness, to come to a common goal to grow and mature into that bodily height which belongs to the fullness of Christ. Let us become wise, and not naïve to know that when a call has been proclaimed, or uncovered; when He has chosen to set us apart for Himself, there will follow a time of continuous preparation, of continuous training, of continuous development and of continuous testing. Let us not be simple to think that we are already perfect because sometimes, we will learn the same lesson over and over again because He is a good Businessman. He is a good King. Let us not be foolish to assume that we are already complete because sometimes, we will be tested on the same area over and over again, because He is a good Father. Ironically, the more i walk with Him, the more i am beginning to find that it is by the growing knowledge of His nature and His heart that i learn how to manoeuvre the training, the development and the tests necessary for the building of who i already am in His sight. In other words, it is in the learning to know Him that i discover the keys to my development, to my growth, to my passing the tests i face. And visa versa. God is awesome like that; He is great at fathering us like that.