Having worked in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ for several years now I feel that I have a few tee shirts in my closet of the places I have been and the troubles I have seen to allow my opinion to be notable. (perhaps only Post-It ® note worthy) but noteworthy none the less. I have had to take stands over the course of my 19 years in the ministry that were not always popular and on very rare occasions, alone. And when I say alone, there would have probably been many who would have stood with me, if they had known that I was taking a stand. But sometimes in the case of leadership you take an inward stand because the outward conflict would do more harm than good to the cause of Christ if the issue never comes to a resolution.
I know that’s a vague statement, but stay with me and I’ll get this bus to the drop off point.
If you are a part of a congregation of believers where there are more than two, there is likely a separation in the church of ideology. Theology should be agreed upon, but our ideas are just that… “our” ideas. And they often collide like bumper cars in an amusement park, except without the laughter. It’s just human nature. The problem with that is as saved people we’re not supposed to be natural.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Now I get that we cannot get rid of that natural man that wars against the spiritual man within us but if the natural man or woman wins, at some point in that battle, we’ve stopped listening to the Spirit of God. So what are we to do as leaders in the church when our ideas don’t line up with others in the church and we believe we’re right? When things that are separate, are together. What then? I’m pretty sure I’m right when I say we should talk to the One Who’s never wrong. God.
In Romans 1:1 apostle Paul said that he was …separated unto the gospel of God.
Separated from what? From the world and natural man to the spiritual. He no longer considered himself to be a part of this this world, yet that’s where he was, and it was his job to share the gospel. As believers, whether or not you’ve been called into the ministry you have still been called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. So you too have been separated like Paul, unto the gospel. That automatically, like it or not, puts you on a different playing field in life. You are held to a higher accountability than the world around you.
By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
Now if you’ve been called into actual ministry work, your field just got higher still.
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
Paul desired to preach in Rome, but God had other plans, he was let hitherto. Paul knew through the Spirit of God that he was not to go to Rome, even though that was his desire. And so it is when we get ideas of our own that we want one thing and God wants another. For certain God has only one plan. Paul was in tune spiritually enough to know what it was. So what if there are people in the church with two ideas? It is for certain that only one of them is the one God wants, because God’s not in division. And if there’s division, someone’s wrong. When that’s happened, and it has, I’ve had to step out of the way. Sometimes I had to bite my tongue off. But I had to trust that God’s will would be accomplished. It’s hard to be separate when we’re together. When we don’t agree with someone in our midst. Paul reminded his friends that even though they were not together physically, they had one thing in common. Mutual faith.
Did some people get upset because they didn’t get their way? Possibly. But those in mutual faith, stayed put and waited for God to work out His amazing plan. God’s plan is always amazing, ours may seem amazing, but if God’s not in it, it will end in disaster. Mutual faith is remembering that we’re not here to please us. We’re here to please God.