Your eyes are playing a vital role for your body at this very moment – without them, you would not be reading this article. But, “if the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?” (1Co 12:17 ESV). Your eyes and ears and nose all have distinct abilities that enable them to fulfill their role in the human body. And the Church is a body – the body of Christ (Eph 1:22-23). And as a member of Christ’s body, you have a divinely arranged role to fulfill in the church. But how can you know what it is? In the previous article, we introduced the ABBA acronym and noted that the first “A” represented ability. You have abilities, and the responsibility to develop your abilities, to be used for the glory of God.
The First B Is for Burden
Another way the Holy Spirit directs us to what He wants us to do is by placing a burden within us for some particular service. I am not using the word “burden” with a negative connotation but for a strong desire in your inner man, a positive sense of responsibility, to meet an identified need. This isn’t a stand-alone, never-failing proof of a calling – none of the four parts of ABBA is sufficient on its own – but it is one of the ways He guides us. Because of our diverse personalities and backgrounds, and through the sovereign work of the Head of the body to provide for His Church (Eph 4:7-16), different people will identify different needs. They will have varying burdens and will feel pulled in diverse directions of service. That’s how God arranges it. What needs impress you in the local church? Perhaps the Lord wants to use you to meet that very need.
The Second B Is for Blessing
When you attempt to serve the Lord in some particular way, are His people being blessed? You know that your role in the body is not to promote yourself but to serve and build up the Church (Eph 4:16). Are the saints encouraged by your work? Do they encourage you in it? While others are not the perfect judge of God’s calling for your life, “in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Pro 11:14 ESV). This is also a reminder to all of us to actively encourage young believers in ministry for which they are fitted. If we simply try to push everyone into the same role, we can stumble them and hinder their knowledge of their own particular place in the body. But we should let them know when the Lord has blessed us through their contribution. And young believer, consider that blessing as another possible indicator of an area of service in which the Lord wants you to continue.