Working With God
Matthew 12:30 (NKJV) says, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”
Humanity is, by and large, fickle. People have a tendency to be all for something one day, then when the wind shifts they are off on something else. As the church has grown away from the things God has intended for them, loyalty has become an all but forgotten concept. This is why the divorce rate in the church is almost equal to that of the world. These things ought not be so.
My pastor always told me, people are one sermon away from leaving you, and I believe it’s true. People will take offense to something spoken, generally either taking it out of context or allowing the devil to distort it in their minds. They will allow the criticism or dissent of others to affect them in such a way that leaving becomes a good idea to them. They don’t even consider that God has put them there for a reason. When God puts something together, His intent (except for very few reasons), is that it remains intact. Separation in Gods’s eyes is the exception, not the rule. 1 Corinthians 12:18 says, “But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.”
A scriptural principle that has been taught to me (and I’m so happy for it) is that what God does, He has done before. This is called type and shadow. In other words, if you want to know what God is going to do or how He thinks, look at the precedence set in scripture and you can get a very good clue. Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us, “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.” We also see this in Hebrews 13:8 which says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Then in Malachi 3:6, “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”
Like the marriage covenant, God has called His Body together for better or for worse, when it’s easy and when it’s hard. How would your body fair if you broke it up into pieces and scattered them around? Unity in the connection is vital both naturally and spiritually speaking, and any believer’s wellbeing is evidenced in how tightly they are connected. Look at Ephesians 4:16, “From whom the whole body, JOINED AND KNIT together by what EVERY JOINT SUPPLIES, according to the effective working by which EVERY PART DOES ITS SHARE, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” There are no lone wolves in the Body of Christ. It’s simply not scriptural.
In just three years of pastoring there are some things I know are the truth. They are the differences in the victory of those who come into a church and get truly connected and those who don’t. How do you know if you are truly connected? Ask yourself some questions. How often am I in church? If you see your pastor once a month you aren’t connected. Do I think about the church or the people often? Am I serving in my local church? If I were to stop giving (in any way) would it be noticed. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Your heart, mind, and finances will ALWAYS be found in what you treasure most.
No one has ever done anything that they haven’t first thought about. The problem is people don’t test their thoughts to determine whether they are good or not. The Bible instructs us, that WE MUST BRING thoughts into captivity if they don’t line up with what the Word teaches. I have literally been told on several occasions, “God directed me to leave church and just seek Him.” No He didn’t! How do I know? Because God set up the local church, He gave us pastors (found in the local church), and He intended us to be connected and flourish in the local church connected to these pastors. It’s God’s Word and He isn’t working against it! Yes, you have choice but that doesn’t mean every choice is good. The choice is literally life or death and blessing or curse. Consecrate yourself to God’s will and His way of doing things. You will be blessed and so will those around you. God didn’t give us the church to take lightly. You need the church and the church needs you. Only the people who seek and follow after God’s plan ever enter His promised land. Yes, it’s a promise, but it’s waiting on you to walk in, not walk away.