These words probably conjure up memories of family vacations. Their intent here is not to begin a time of reminiscing, but to remind us of a great truth. Paul, writing to the Ephesians, spoke of a period of time marked by, “Till we all arrive in the unity of the faith … unto a perfect man …” (Eph 4:13). The time period is concluded by arriving at the “perfect man” or the completion of the Bride of Christ. Obviously, we are not there yet!
But the significance of this needs to be burned upon our consciences and become a burden in our prayer lives. Paul has been telling the believers that the risen Head, Christ, will supply gifts to His Church, until that moment the Bride is complete. If we are not “there” as yet, then the promise holds good for our day. He will continue to provide gifts to His Church.
Catalogue what gifts are needed and where they are needed: evangelists, teachers, shepherds, personal workers. Would any deny we are in great need? What about location? Canada, the USA, Mexico – is there a spot on North American soil where there is not need? Even in areas where the gospel is prospering and new assemblies are being formed, there are still millions of souls who have not heard the gospel. In prosperous Western lands, existing assemblies need teachers and shepherds.
The Lord has promised to supply the need. But are we praying for God to raise up such gift in our midst? Is the assembly with which you are linked so well endowed, “coming behind in no gift” (1 Cor 1:7), that prayer cannot be made for more? There are states and provinces with little in the way of testimony for God. Do we think that God has no interest in seeing honor brought to His Son through a testimony gathered to His Name? We do not demean what others are doing in their sincerity, even if gathered on denominational grounds. But if we believe there is a uniqueness to testimonies gathered to His Name and testifying of His sufficiency, then it is worth praying for such.
How long since prayer arose in your prayer meeting for God to raise up gift? How long since in your private prayers you thought of an area of North America and prayed for God to send men in with the gospel and to see an assembly planted?
Gift will continue to be supplied until we get “there.” If we are not exercised and praying, the Lord may well dispense it elsewhere, to our loss. We “are not there yet,” so let us lay hold of God to supply, through our risen Head, what is needed in our day.