So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ
When I say that I broke my ankle, I’m really not telling the whole story. I should say that the bone snapped. And it didn’t snap with a single, clean break. It actually shattered. It wasn’t a small crack or a chip. It was splintered and there were floating pieces of bone all over the place inside my leg.
We won’t talk about the pain for now. Or the fact that when I tried to lift my leg, my foot just sort of laid there, hanging down like a limp noodle. There was this odd left turn in my foot that wasn’t there a minute ago. But that wasn’t all. When I tried to move, I could hear what sounded like someone crunching a handful of crackers in their hands. Except that sound was coming from my ankle.
I didn’t need a Band-Aid. I didn’t need an ace bandage. I also didn’t need a pair of crutches. Or at least not yet. What I needed was something that would hold my bones together. In place. Strong and straight.
That’s the kind of equipping the Ephesians needed. They were weak. They couldn’t do anything on their own. They needed this kind of equipping if they were going to do works of service for the body of Christ.
If people needed equipping, then they lacked something. They didn’t have everything they needed. They were missing something. It could have been that they were broken. Or weak. Or didn’t have the skills or strength to do it. Not yet anyway.
They needed this equipping not just to look good. Or to be able to say that they were now equipped. No, the equipping was for a purpose. The equipping was for them to do their job. Their calling. The equipping was a means to an end. Not an end in itself.
This equipping wasn’t just so they could say they were equipped. Or to hang a diploma on a wall. Now, there’s nothing wrong with getting an education and completing coursework. It’s a great feeling to complete a course, a degree, and hang up your certificate on the wall. Well deserved. Well done.
But their equipping was for something more. Much more. It was for God’s people to be able to perform different tasks and works. And these tasks had an aim. A goal. A purpose.
The endgame is for the body of Christ to be built up. Not built up with head knowledge, but with the life-changing experience of knowing Christ and responding to his grace for us. Not to be built up with pride, thinking that we’re so much better than everyone else.
No, we are to be built up like a construction project. It takes time. Planning. Resources. Construction. Cleanup. It also takes craftsmen that have done it before, using their skill. They don’t stop till it’s done.
And how do you know it’s done? People have moved in. They are living in it. Using it each and every day. Construction can be 90% done, but no one is happy till it’s complete and people have moved in.
We had an addition built onto our house. We planned carefully. Selected a contractor. Put down a deposit. And then turned that part of the house over to total strangers. They knocked down walls. Poured concrete. Put up walls and a roof. Rerouted plumbing, wiring, and air vents. And while they worked, no matter how hard everyone tried, there was construction dust all over the house.
And like all projects, it wasn’t easy. These projects always, always, always takes longer and costs more than anyone thought. But you know, now we have a beautiful, spacious, addition to the house that we can call our own. It has the largest bathroom and closets we’ve ever had.
The same can be said for being equipped for works of service. By the way, how’s that equipping going in your life? What are you learning? What new works of service is God developing in your life so you can be building up his body?
The construction project that is your life isn’t done. Not by a longshot. You’ve got miles to go. There’s lots of room left for lots of growth in your life. God is not done with you yet.
he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
So, what’s stopping you? What’s holding you back?
What kind of strong support and equipping do you need in your life?
Describe some of the renovations that God has done/wants to do in your life.
How have you experienced God’s “construction dust” in your life?
 Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.