"Likewise, you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5). "...submitting one to another in the fear of God" (Ephesians 5:21). These verses, with many others, tell us that the nature of our relationship with every brother and sister in the church is one of submission and humility. This is so because this is the nature of God's life. His life expressed is what allows us to be bound together as one.
Before we knew God, we were self-sufficient, but now no man can say that we have no need of another member. God has chosen in His great wisdom to work through each member. Thus, a member is not just another person, but a member of Christ. This is a glorious reality! It leaves man fully involved and God fully in control.
Again, as in other relationships, if only man is in view, this will seem like a place of bondage. But if God is in view, we know no man according to the flesh (2 Corinthians 5: 16). We must see each member as a member of Christ. Now we are no longer dealing with just man--we are dealing with God in union with each member. My expectation is set on the Lord, the Head of the body. I am looking for the supply that is coming to me through each member. When I am fed, I thank the Lord. When I am not being fed, I go to the Lord to see why. If I receive a word of wisdom through man, I recognize the source and thank God. The church is a spiritual working. It is the church of Christ when Christ is in control and each member is alive unto God. Thus, when I am moving in faith in this, God is always in view, and He is the one who is directing me in all matters.
To recognize this truth and walk by faith in the revelation of it is the secret of knowing the supply of His grace to my heart. The body of Christ is God's design, and He has given grace to each member (Ephesians 4:7). He has designed the body perfectly, and put each member in as it pleased Him (1 Corinthians 12:18). Our place is to recognize God's design, ask for spiritual eyes to see and recognize the flow of grace, and submit as unto the Lord. As we submit, we are nourished, and built up in our relationship with God so that we can give a mature expression to His life (Ephesians 4:15,16).