Conversations with friends who encourage, challenge and admonish always lead me to reflect and ponder things I wouldn’t normally mentally pursue.  One such conversation opened the door to a revelation of the body of Christ and its impact on my life through the image of a puzzle.   Although we shared about this and even had a time of discussion concerning this subject at our fellowship time last Sunday, it still continues to invade my thoughts and so the dialogue remains….

To summarize the content of the idea, we are each like a puzzle piece – created uniquely by the Master and in the creating we are provided with ways to “interlock” into the body of Christ.  These indentations and extentuations of our life and personality are actually the strengths and weaknesses which hold us fast to the project (building, temple, organism) Jesus is creating in and through His body.  There are many correlations we recognized, such as the need to release your own puzzle piece in order for it be integrated into the puzzle and the need for each part to be in its correct place – not trying to smash people and make them fit into places they don’t belong.  But this is not what has impacted me most about the analogy.

It’s about the puzzle piece.  Each one of us, separate, unique and individual, are created for the purpose of filling a portion of the puzzle in order to see the picture fully manifest.  But, the puzzle piece…….it is so obscure.  Who would take a puzzle piece and extol it’s virtues or exalt it’s attributes?  In the true sense of a puzzle coming together, we find that each piece is very non-descript and even unremarkable in its own right.  Without an understanding and clear vision of what the end result should be – a revelation known only to the Creator – each piece of the puzzle holds its value solely in its inherent ability to be a part of the greater creation. 

The description of the body of Christ in the Bible employs words such as knit together, fitly joined, compacted and united.  The image is clear and as our physical body does not have detached pieces functioning separately, so there is no place for independent and segregated activity that isn’t ultimately fulfilling the purpose of Christ – who is the head.  Ah, the purpose of Christ.  Not just a well-used theological phrase, but is it not the manifest answer to the prayer of Jesus himself  when he prayed, “Father, that they may be one, as we are one.”?  His purpose in coming to earth was to restore us to creation’s destiny – to be one with our Creator. 

So I find myself contemplating the impact of this reality.  All the qualities which God has been perfecting in me and those inferior traits of humanity that He is continuing to work on,  there are not to make me a better person for the sake of my own identity.  If I truly am a needed part in the interwoven plan of God, I am being changed so that I might walk in the truth of the part that is mine.

Many people spend alot of time working on themselves – letting God work on them and perfect them – simply for the purpose of becoming …….  What are we to become?  God does not transform, change, renew and restore us so He can add another trophy to an eternally long display of lives dedicated and consecrated to Him.  We are called to one body.  The transforming power of God works in each one to create a complete Body without spot or blemish. 

Does this preclude our responsibility to work out our own salvation and pursue a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?  No. Not at all.  We are each still accountable for our own actions, words, thoughts and heart issues.  The change for me, though, is the realization that everything God is working in me is about the Body of Christ.  I am who I am for the express purpose of being who I am in the body of Christ.  This is the reason I was created.  I am another brushstroke in the portrait that God has envisioned of Christ on this earth.   

This all leads me to my current state of  mind.  What would the impact be if we spent less time embellishing and “fixing” our own puzzle piece and spent more time submitting to the interweaving processing of the body of Christ?  How much power and authority would the body of Christ experience if we didn’t spend so much time examining and building up our own individual walk with God, but allow the Spirit of God to mold us into pliable portions fit for His plan? 

My journey began by spending time in God’s presence for the express purpose of receiving for the Body.  I didn’t realize how self-centered I was in the courts of the King.  I wanted His direction for my life, His blessing on my work, His peace for my heart.  I wanted new revelations, new insights, and new truths.  Now I find myself trying to hear every word God speaks and apply it to the body of Christ.  Currently, as I have implemented that change in focus, I have been overwhelmed by the strength, endurance, courage, faith and love that I am experiencing as I am surrounded by others who are in one accord and one mind.  I’m finding provision and strength in areas I have struggled with for years.  I also find myself drawn to and sometimes unexplainably dropped in the middle of opportunities to be interwoven in the work of the Kingdom – what God is doing on the earth today.   I spend much less time on personal development, but find I am being challenged and changed in the process.   

My life -the puzzle piece that God created – is no longer the focus.  In fact, as the puzzle is interlocked together and I am submitted to that process, I begin to forget what my own piece looks like.  I can’t remember whether the last revelation or great idea came from my own piece, another puzzle piece, or was the result of several pieces joining together.  Since it’s not about me…or you…but about Him, shouldn’t we make it about Him?  And where is He?  We are the body of Christ.