Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Confession #67 - I'm Following God and Not man

Because, I consider myself a thinking person, I don't take things at face value.  I seek to know the absolute truth.  I ask questions of those "in the know", read books on these subjects as well as reading the bible and praying, all in an effort to find out the truth.  But at the same time, I'm also a feeling person.  I trust my intuition, I follow my feelings at times and I allow  how others feel about things to sometimes influence me.  I consider myself one of reasonable intelligence that wouldn't "fall" into the hands of deception easily.  Equally, I'm also a person of faith.  I believe God is real, and Jesus is alive.  I believe in the power and movement of the Holy Spirit and I believe that what the Bible says is not only true but true for us today.

Recently I've had to use all of these gifts to decipher a problem that caused me to question the Lord.  In fact I allowed a bad seed to be planted in my mind.  A seed that nearly convinced me that since I did not understand a theology then I could no longer be a part of the body of believers that God had brought me to.

The purpose for attending church, to me, is to get spiritual food through praise & worship along with the preached message and to fellowship with other Believers.  Regardless of whether or not I have or wish to have a "religious or spiritual" experience at church, doesn't mean that I'm not getting spiritually fed. There are times things happen in church that no one can explain.  The Holy Spirit moves in and among us and things happen that are divinely inspired.  Some people seek out these "religious or spiritual" experiences regularly, perhaps not feeling complete unless they received one from a usual Sunday service.  Others are contented with a message that speaks to their very situation.  Whatever the case may be, as long as the Lord is meeting you at your point of need then you're in the right place, among the right body of Believers.   In order for me to realize that my questions were valid, normal and healthy took all my capacities, the thinking, feeling, praying, seeking, and the woman of faith.  In addition to meeting with my pastors to discuss my concerns and confusion.  Through all these avenues, finally and thankfully, I realized that God had brought me to this church body for a reason, and that this is where I was to stay put.

But what has me troubled is how easily it is to leave a church for this reason or much less.  If it was as easy for me to question where I belong, it's easier still to move on.  However, I believe this is disobedience.  By all means, if the Lord has cleared the way and put up the signs and caused you to believe it's time to move on then by all means MOVE.  But if you are following what a man has told you to do, or if you are seeking to leave because there are changes in that body of Believers, or if you can leave a church that God has called you to with the sway of the wind, then that leaves me grievously concerned.  

I myself have said on several occasions that when I walked into the church I am at now that I could feel the tangible presence of God.  After that I just couldn't go back to my usual church.  But I tell you the truth, I did.  I continued to divide my time between both churches while seeking God for His direction and plan.  Once I knew for certain that's when we made the move.

As Christians we are followers of GOD, and NOT man.  If God didn't call you away, then you do not go!  I think so many times we as believers fall into a trap, a trap between loving an individual and and an entity (i.e. church) rather than loving God.  Yes many times God does call us to leave to produce a great plan and purpose He has for our lives.  For example, if Abraham hadn't obeyed God and left everything behind him to follow the Lord I wonder what may have happened?  Would Abraham have become the Father of Issac?  Would God have made a nation from him.  On the other hand, sometimes God doesn't release us, He tells us to stay put, even though we may "feel" our season is done.  Sometimes we are hoping for some divine experience and in their absence, think we need to move on.  While others believe that the spiritual food coming from the pulpit has become stale and that's why they need to go.  Look, whatever the reason may be, I caution you not to leave until God says to go.  And staying out of church fellowship for a period of time until you find that "perfect" place is not an option.  As Christians, we need to be in church.  We are all members of the body and the body doesn't function properly unless we are all in it doing our part.

Congruently, it saddens me tremendously to know there are Christians out there not in church at all.  How can you grow and be nourished properly if you are not in the body?  A relationship with Christ also means a relationship with His people.  Christ is in the people therefore the people need each other.

I don't know where you're at, perhaps you love your church and have no definite plans of leaving, perhaps you're not happy or have unrest about your church home, perhaps your seeking a church home.  Whatever the case, I urge you to let God be your guide and NOT man.  NEVER follow a man, follow GOD.  Don't fall in love with a church so much that when God says, "Go", you say, "No".  Likewise, do not fall in love with a preacher so much that should he/she leave, you to follow in suit.  We must be praying and seeking God's direction for us.  Going any other way is disobedience.  Our role is to be obedient to Christ and to seek Him first above "religious or spiritual" experience, above a preacher, beyond a church, more higher than good works or frankly anything else that would seek to set itself up against God.

Dear Heavenly Father,  Thank you that you have given me the wisdom and discernment to deduce that your plan is for me to stay put, knowing that you have a purpose for placing me in the body of Believers you have brought me to.  Lord I lift up my sisters-in-Christ who may be struggling with this issue.  Father grant them the same wisdom and discernment to know where you are leading them.  Lord let them know that their questions are valid and healthy but their response to them needs to be carefully decided through prayer, faith and research.  Help them to know and understand how to hear from you.  Bless them and watch over them dear Lord.  And Father for those sisters who haven't found a church to call home yet, I pray that you will lead them this very Sunday to the place you have selected for them.  In Jesus' name I pray.  AMEN.
Post a Comment