Causing Wreck & Ruin In Your Church?
God's Purposes Not Our Plans!
To live a God-centered life, you must focus your life on God's purposes, not your own plans. You must see to see from God's perspective rather than from your own distorted human perspective. When God starts to do something in this world, He takes the initiative to come and talk to somebody. For some divine reason, He has chosen to involve His people in accomplishing His purposes.
God was about to destroy the world with a flood when He came to Noah (Genesis 6:5-14). When God prepared to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, He came to tell Abraham about it (Genesis 18:16-21; 19:13). God came to Gideon when He was about to deliver the Israelites from the oppression of Midian (Judges 6:11-16). God came to Saul (later called Paul) on the road to Damascus when he was ready to carry the gospel message to the Gentiles around the know world (Acts 9:1-16). Without doubt, the most important factor in each situation was not what the individual wanted to do for God. The most important factor was what God was about to do.
Let's use Noah for example. What about all the plans he had to serve God? They would not make much sense in light of the coming destruction, would they? Noah was not calling God in to help him accomplish what he was dreaming he was going to do for God. You never find God asking persons to dream up what they want to do for Him.
We do not sit down and dream up what we want to do for God and then call God in to help us accomplish it. The pattern in the Scripture is that we submit ourselves to God and we wait until God shows us what He is about to do, or we watch to see what God is doing around us and join Him.
Who delivered the children of Israel from Egypt? Moses or God? God did. God chose to bring Moses into a relationship with Himself so that He - God - could deliver Israel. Did Moses ever try to take matters about the children of Israel into his own hands? Yes he did. Read this account of Moses' attempt to assume a leadership role for God's people:
- One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, "Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?" The man said, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid and thought, "What I did must have become known." When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. Exodus 2:11-15
In Exodus 2:11-15 Moses begins to assert himself in behalf of his own people. What might have happened if Moses had tried to deliver the children of Israel through a human approach? Thousands and thousands would have been slain. Moses tried to take Israelite matters into his own hand. That cost him forty years of exile in Midian working as a shepherd (and reorienting his life to God-centered living).
When God delivered the children of Israel, how many were lost? None. In the process God even led the Egyptians to give the Israelites their gold, silver, and clothes. Egypt was plundered, the Egyptian army was destroyed, and the Israelites did not lose a single person!
Why do we not realize that doing things God's way is always best? We cause some of the wreck and ruin in our churches because we have a plan. We implement the plan and get out of it only what we can do. God (Jesus) is the head over the body, the church. Oh, that we would discover the difference when we let God be the Head of that body. He will accomplish more in six months through a people yielded to Him than we could do in sixty years without Him.