Many young people are asking, “Where do I belong in the Body of Christ? How can I be sure of where God wants me?” I believe one of the most important priorities would be to find a body of believers who are maturing into a solid church, whose leadership is strong; a leadership who:
- Knows God’s PURPOSE for that particular group (MOTIVE).
- Knows how to order the PRIORITIES of individuals, families, and Church.
- Has established and are following a clearly defined SYSTEM to accomplish God’s purpose for HIS Church.
Behind all this, God’s plan will unfold; purposefully, clearly, and completely. His plan involves all of us, each in a clearly defined role. Most of us were not gifted to be an apostle (“are all apostles?”). Most of us were not called to be a prophet (“are all prophets?”). One of the problems created by compromise is that we each have to become for ourselves that which we will not receive from others. So, if the Church compromises out those called to be an apostle or a prophet, or a teacher, then we have to be our own teacher or prophet or apostle OR we will choose whomever we will! And Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, I chose you!”
The fruit of COMPROMISE is MEDIOCRITY!! A mediocre church will not be able to stand against all the forms of spiritual warfare that are being unleashed in the world today. To get plugged in with a body whose worship is pleasing to you is fine; but look for the strength of good leadership with clear decisions and counsel. It’s good to be where the vocal gifts are coming forth, but be sure the church’s foundation, its leadership, is firm and strong. AND be sure that Jesus Christ is the HEAD! And that His government, His rulership, and His control is established according to His plan as outlined in His Word.
At the end of his first chapter, Malachi speaks of the way the priests were compromising by using blemished animals for their sacrifices to God. Then at the beginning of the second chapter, God says, “This is My admonishment to you, O priests. If you do not listen and SET YOUR HEARTS to honor My name, I will send a curse upon you. . .The lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge,” God continues, “and from his mouth (the priest) men should seek instruction, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty, but you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble.”
In Ephesians 4:12, God’s leaders were set in the church for the express purpose of preparing God’s people for WORKS OF SERVICE. So get prepared – God’s way! SET YOUR HEARTS! Zealously seek after the “FULLNESS OF CHRIST”. . .Not MEDIOCRITY!
Happy New Year!
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 18, January 1982.