Is not God our Father making a symphony out of our lives? Music rehearsals do not seem like discipline to me, but I know that a good group of musicians is disciplined and allows themselves to be disciplined for the sake of great music. Usually what will kill my musical discipline in a rehearsal is a director for whom I have no respect, or if I feel like I have more musical skill than the director (also known as pride!). This rests at the root of my resistance to the discipline of God. I do not respect God’s skill in conducting the score of my life, and often I consider myself to be more of an authority on it than he is. But how can I make music if I do not have the right voice to direct me? Along with that shunning of my primary calling, I can despise those in community around me, be they musicians or other Christian brothers and sisters, whom God has put in my life for my good. Then I have sloughed off my secondary calling as well, because of my pride.
But Sinclair Ferguson remains a great encouragement here as he speaks in another place of the fellowship of the church saying, “[It] is the context in which sanctification matures…The love which is the heart of imitation of Christ…cannot be isolationist.” Our Father disciplines us in the context of our community. We are all being made mature in Christ together. Together we preach the gospel to each other. Together we forgive. These trials and afflictions sanctify us only in so much as we experience them in union with Christ.
Just as each member of a musical ensemble brings their own instrument to the performance, so too each member of Christ’s body has been given a gift for use in building the church (see Ephesians 4:11-16). Developing these gifts becomes the true and proper outworking of our secondary calling in the context of loving one another in the church.