When anxiety and fear appear, you know the devil is near! Yes, I made that up all by myself! But, it is true! For two days now the devil has tried to steal my joy, peace, and the belief in the milk of human kindness and he used Facebook to do it. Thank God I know better and know how to turn it around.
I have had really GOOD pastors!! Pastors that loved me, genuinely loved me! Studied their days and some of their nights away so that my spiritual growth was assured! What happened to them, you may ask. They either retired or just became old and died leaving a wonderful legacy!! I have had pastors with their own agenda, which the number one thing on that agenda was getting rich and flaunting their haves to the have nots. I have had pastors that wanted to show you how smart they are so they take all of these commentaries and preach up a storm, just to find out the commentaries were wrong! You don’t need commentaries to tell you, you are right if you will let the Holy Spirit lead and teach you. They simply confirm what God has already taught you!
If you desire to grow leaps and bounds in the Lord, become FULL of His knowledge and revelation I highly recommend Rev. Kenneth Hagin, Sr. and Jr. and Rev. Ken and Gloria Copeland, along with Rev. George Pearsons. That will build a huge foundation for God to build upon! When you hear something that is off, because you have a foundation that can’t be shaken, then you know when you are hearing something that will make you say, “Huh???” You won’t be blown about by every wind and doctrine and you won’t have itching ears! You will know the truth and it will set you free! This is so important so that you don’t get sucked into the wrong church for the wrong reasons! It is important to be informed, so that you are not a victim of cliches, “I want to be a favorite”, etc..
1. In a good church, differences and misunderstandings should be handled in private and with decorum! Matthew 18:15-17 says, ““If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” You don’t vent it from the pulpit where you describe it in such a way, everyone has no doubt who you are talking about! You have only set that person up for humiliation, not loving correction. Keep it private and as God directs, not a platform to vent!
2. You should ALWAYS strive to keep peace, especially as a leader! This does NOT mean you let sin go and let God deal with it alone!! If your child was going to run in front of a car, would you say, “Well, God will tell Him that isn’t a good idea. I don’t want to upset him by correcting him. It may drive him away from me and I want him to be happy.” Of course not! But correction should be given in LOVE! Love does not mean you never correct!! “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him!” Luke 17:3. Make sure you are correcting in the right way! “ 24 The Lord’s slave must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach,[g] and patient, 25 instructing his opponents with gentleness. Perhaps God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth. 26 Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26. Notice he says we are to be gentle to EVERYONE! We are not just to be gentle to the babies in the nursery. He did not say to only handle the youth group with kid gloves! He did not say to only respect and be loving to the elderly! He said TO EVERYONE!!!! If you are a leader and you take your group on as something personal instead of as God’s children you have been put over as one who guides, instructs in the ways of the Word, and directs to go in the right direction, and you FAVOR them over the WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST, repentance is in your future! You will alienate others and you can easily run them away from your church to another and with deep hurt which YOU have caused!! And what if the hurt is so deep they decide church is not a good place for them? NO! In no way is God in that!
3. The Word of God is being taught in a practical, “I can use this in my personal life” manner. Let me give as an example of Joel Osteen. Joel has many critics, yet he is being met with great success! The body of Christ is growing, people are being saved, healed and delivered! Notice Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Ken and Gloria Copeland, Rhema, and I can name many more are giving the Word in such a way people understand how to live it in their everyday lives and FRUIT is being produced that makes their lives better and the lives of those around them. They do not preach was Jonah in the belly of the whale 3 days or 4? That is flaunting superficial, prideful, so called knowledge they probably got from a commentary. How does that save a marriage? How does that help a grieving mother who is hanging on for dear life because they just lost their baby? How does that help someone whose mate just walked out on them for someone else and now they are penniless and without comfort? IT DOESN’T!! God is always in the business of HELP AND DELIVERANCE!!
The Word and HOW GOD says to live is for a reason. He knows all and instructs and corrects and gives guidelines to preserve the body of Christ, so that satan cannot get in and divide and conquer!! Are you a mature Christian? Are you a mature leader? You know if you are if you are living by God’s standards and not your emotions!
Take an inventory, just as I have had to do! Oh, yes! I found more than one area that had to be dealt with and handled! But, instead of making excuses, I quickly said, “Father, I was WRONG!! Forgive me!” I also had to do some apologizing and my flesh rebelled against it, but I am so glad I did it God’s way and did it quickly. I want NO root of the enemy coming up and defiling any part of my life!
I hope if you recognize yourself in any of this, precious reader, you will do it as well. It doesn’t mean you aren’t a good person or you aren’t striving to be the best for God you can be! Praise God, He corrects those He loves! Maybe we are both feeling pretty loved right now! That is a better thing than we realize, but we will see the fruit and blessing of it and great joy shall be ours! See you next time!