It’s Time You Listen To Me! (ATP)
How can you convince someone that they have to be planted and not travel all the time?
This question is a good pastoral question. What I mean is, this is the type of question a pastor receives on a regular basis. That said, I believe I am quite prepared to answer this. There are two scriptures that immediately come to mind.
The first scripture is speaking directly to pastors concerning their dealings with the sheep and is one I refer to repeatedly. I do believe that the principle in it applies to all Christian’s. 1 Peter 5:3 says, “nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.” God has not given me or anyone else control over anyone. Though this statement is so absolutely true, we also shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. We need human help and the Bible clearly tells us to seek wise counsel. If you’re idea is good, others generally will be able to get in agreement with you.
Note that I said, generally. There are rare times when God will lead someone against what most others would choose. These times are usually rare and He will often give the person being led special faith in the circumstance that empowers them in ways they would not normally be able to operate in. (Special faith 🤔: that would be a good Faith Fix question should someone ask.) Psalm 1 instructs us not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly but the reverse is also true, it’s wisdom to walk in the counsel of the godly. People who refuse to submit to counsel are generally operating in extreme pride but they will rarely even be able to recognize that.
So what do we do in such cases? This is where the second scripture that comes to mind comes into play. We encourage them with the Word. Psalms 92:13 says, “Planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.” This verse is in every pastor’s Bat Utility Belt! People get bored easy, even when they go to a church as exciting and fun as ours! (I hope you all know that’s a joke, though it’s not.) Sometimes they equate boredom with leading but through counsel, if a person will receive it, it’s not hard to point to the truth here.
Now that I’ve said that, and believe me have counseled people in that direction many times I want add something I think would help anyone who is trying to help keep another on track. Don’t be so quick to just negate what someone wants to do, especially if it’s something strong in them. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying jump all on board especially if you know it’s not right. But you should consider, if this is big to this person, why is it so? Desire to help them work through it even if you know what they desire is fruitless. I often tell people who are seeking a spouse, “If they truly love you, what matters to you will matter to them.” The reverse is true too! What matters to them should matter to you even if it is not right, even if you wouldn’t choose it.
Again, I am not saying to embrace what is wrong. I am saying that the very fact that it stirs them means it should be something that matters to you. You can seek God on their behalf. “Father, I believe this isn’t right. But it matters to (the one you love) and because of this it does to me. I don’t want them to be unhappy. I want to be an encouragement. Help them and help me help them.” I guarantee you that this is a prayer that will please God. He Himself is an intercessor, it is dear to His heart. An intercessor is not one who crushes desires, but one who helps get to the perfect place.
So back to that second verse (you thought I forgot). The only way for true growth is to be planted in the right place. The idea of being planted means that being uprooted continually will impede growth. Encouraging one another to stay put will help us all to grow. Remember that encouragement is not forceful. No one was ever encouraged at the receiving end of a gun barrel! Work with each other with the kind of encouragement that the Heavenly Father would bring. This is the love of God in manifestation!
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.