A checkered board (the battle field), in black and white, war formations assumed, 8 by 8 boxes, 64 in all; 2 Rooks, 2 Bishops, 2 Knights, 1 King, 1 Queen and 8 Pawns apiece…its 32 pieces in all, 16 against 16. It’s a chess game.
The pieces in a chess game are ranked, each serving a different function and having a unique pattern of movement, operation if you like. Regardless of the rank or hierarchy of each piece, its relevance per time is of more value than its rank. No matter how good your top striker is, you will always replace your injured No. 1 with the 2nd goalkeeper.
That’s football though, back to chess!
At a point in a game of chess, a lower ranking piece may fetch you more progress than the overall 2nd-in-command; and the chief piece (King) is better protected by the lowest ranks – Pawns. It is not uncommon too to see the high ranking officials sometimes sacrificed at will while Pawns flourish on the board. Such is the ‘amazingness’, fluidity and dynamic nature of a game of chess. The aim is always the same – make the other king bow, how this is executed from game to game is ever changing even by the same player!
Ultimately, the potency of each piece and other pieces in unison lies in the hands of the player, who wields them. An amateur may have on board all the high ranking officials and still lose to an intermediate player with only few Pawns and the King. Another interesting fact about a game of chess is how it is almost impossible to win with just one piece. It is usually a combination of at least 2. Even if you effect a checkmate with one piece, say the Queen; your King stands in another box unthreatened. If all that’s left on your side of the board is your King, the best you get out of that game is a stalemate (a draw). And you must be really good, better than your opponent to achieve that feat.
That’s enough ‘Chess-nese’ for one post. Now to the destination – the body of Christ. While I do not depict the Christian race as a game of chess where we battle an enemy with equal potential, the allegory in this analogy will soon be evident.
For we are all members of one body 1 Corinthians 12:14 paraphrased. In one body you find the eye, nose, hands, feet, head, each subserving different unique functions. How would it be if the whole body were an eye or a limb? (read 1 Corinthians 12:14-17). Weird innit? If the ears revolt against the legs and decide to run instead of listen or the head decides it’s my turn to sink into a chair in place of the bum, how chaotic our bodies will be all the time!
And he gave by the same Spirit, unto some, Apostles, Teachers, Prophets, Evangelists, Helps, Faith, Healing, Miracles etc. (read 1 Corinthians 12:4-10). The purpose of each entity is to edify the other members of the body – the body of Christ. The design of the body rests on Synergy, not Individual brilliance.
All have the same Spirit, the Spirit gives a job description to each one. 1 Corinthians 12:11 It is the same and only Holy Spirit who gives all these gifts and powers, deciding which each one of us should have. TLB
And the Spirit can delegate any other duty it deems fit to a member even if it’s not your job description. In other words, a Teacher is not forbidden to Prophesy, neither is he whose endowment is to help barred from ministering healing or working a miracle. In fact, you will observe that each in discharging its duties employs other offices in execution.
In a game of chess, when a Pawn makes it to the other side of the board, it is promoted to function in any capacity the player deems fit or useful. Hence, a player with its King intact and only Pawns left can still employ the offices of the Queen or Bishop or Rook should any of the Pawns safely arrive the other side. In effect, the Pawns are not just pawns; there’s more to them. In the hands of the skilled player, they can be anything.
Each member of the body of Christ as well is permitted and advised to earnestly covet other gifts and operate in them. 1 Corinthians 14:1, 39.
Nothing stops your church usher or sexton from healing the sick, your church bus driver has every right and endowment to minister in words of knowledge.
And those who believe shall use my authority to cast out demons, and they shall speak new languages.They will be able even to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them; and they will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them.
The signs follow believers, those who believe, not just Pastors, Apostles or Prophets.
This honour have all the saints of God. ALL.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord. KJV
When men were to be chosen to serve tables in the early church, the 7 who were chosen were not ordinary, they had the Spirit of God. One was Stephen, the one who was stoned to death, who saw Jesus standing in heaven at the right hand of the Father whilst he enlisted with the martyrs. His job description was serving tables, but he served more than just tables! He was not just a Pawn!
A quick trip back to chess, some pieces start the game as bishops, some as rooks, and so on. Pawns become better, more powerful, and more important as they advance. And there’s enough room for eight queens!
So, wherever you find yourself, keep growing, keep advancing.
‘You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God (read 1 Peter 2:2)
As the pieces in chess are as good as the person moving them, so are we as good as the one moving us – the Holy Spirit, God Himself!
How could we possibly be mere Pawns?