Friday, July 01, 2011

Leave or Cleave

Believe it or not, this post is NOT about marriage. Instead, it’s about partnership in ministry – involvement in and commitment to the local church. Many years ago, as God was teaching me about faithfulness and service in my local church, He spoke very clearly to me and said, “Your commitment to your leaders is much like that of a marriage. You must leave or cleave.”

What did that mean? God was explaining to me that we are accountable to our leaders. We must be obedient and we must prove ourselves as good servants. In the same manner, we are also to be good stewards over all God has placed in us. At the end of the day, there is a choice to be made, and that choice is very serious.

Many in the body of Christ spend their time fighting with, disobeying, disrespecting and talking about their leaders. Somehow, many feel that pointing out the wrong in leadership somehow justifies their own defiant behavior – not so!
The word of God gives us a wise and spiritually mature antidote. Leave or cleave!

There are cases where the churches and leadership we sit under may be corrupt and outside the will of God. In these cases, there is a responsibility to bring forth those concerns in order and according to the word of God (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:11-13). If those actions do not result in change, we must then consider whether or not we are to be part of the solution or will become part of the problem. If no change is in sight, it’s time to be a good steward over what God has placed in you. You are not to be a partaker in that which is truly evil (Psalm 1:1). The WRONG thing to do would be to sit and become bitter and rebellious. This causes division in the Body and will not be rewarded by God.

In most cases, the assignment is to understand that disagreements may occur, but God still works through people! We may not always agree with our leaders, but the word of God is clear – we should honor and obey them (Hebrews 13:17). This is a direct commandment from the Lord.

It’s interesting to me how people who claim to be so unhappy with a leader or a church will refuse to separate themselves. Could it be that they are aware of God’s assignment – that they were sent to learn something? Could it be that despite their flesh, they realize that spiritually they are growing and don’t want to miss the next big thing? Or, could it be that while the grass looks greener on the other side, they know the work required to “start over” would be too great?

Whatever the case may be, it’s very DANGEROUS to sit in a ministry, disrespect the leaders, disregard accountability and cause division. You have become a worker of iniquity. You are now a burden on God’s people, leadership and laity alike. You are literally hindering the spiritual growth of others – what a great offense in the sight of God! It is better to LEAVE and sever your tenure than to remain in disobedience, carrying a spirit of witchcraft.

This topic is one that must be discussed in the Body of Christ. How can we walk together, if we don’t agree (Amos 3:3)? I have been in situations when I didn’t completely agree with a leader or person of authority. Yet, God did not allow me a pass to sin, simply because of my disagreement. Instead, I was still required to serve and obey. Not every disagreement means the other person is in sin or in error. Instead of being so quick to judge, we should just seek God and think… If God loves ME so much, why would He send me to someone who is wicked? After all, we often confess that God sent us! We should ask God to reveal the root of the issue. If this is not of Him, what in me is attached? If is it of Him, what in me needs to get in line?

People of God, we are blessed to be free… Flourish where God has placed you and thank Him for the connection, or leave any place where you feel God is not… Plain and simple!

No comments: