Saturday, 31 August 2013

Stand To Your Post

Proverbs 21:16 The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
         
        My son asked me about a married couple and their children that used to attend our church. He asked why they did not go to our assembly anymore, because he had met them in a store where he found them aloof and non-communicative. I said that they had found another church to their liking. My son asked if they were doing well, because they did not look happy to see him. 
      There was more to this story as to why they had left the church. Like many people in our polarised culture they had left with an offence against some of the pastors, and my thoughts were that it would be hard for them to be doing well at any other church because the wounds of offence would be festering. Prov. 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle. 
        I am not saying the church I attend is the one all and be all. I am saying it will be hard to find peace at any church when you have lost your peace through offences; real or perceived. When living from a position of being offended, the raw feelings of hurt are so close to the surface of our emotions they can produce irrational anger and can be unleashed with little provocation. Matt. 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 
      At this point, the spirit of offence will only let you see what is wrong in the church and the offended will not receive blessings or righteous instruction from any of their brothers and sisters in the Lord, because they will think there is an agenda against them. 
       I have been in ministry of various types and ministered in different countries since 1979. I have had many occasions to be offended by the heinous things that were done to me and said about me and my family. However, God said He would be my sufficiency and would guard my back. Isa. 58:8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 
      During these difficult trials, the leading of the Lord was to grow where I was planted and to be a good soldier from the place where God had led me to stand to my post until He gave me new marching orders. 2 Tim. 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 
       There is a caveat here that we have to be aware of. There are those who cause offences for the sake of the destruction of the church. Rom. 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. I am not talking about this situation, but I am trying to bring peace to those who have been genuinely hurt and are looking for healing and their way back to their homebody.
      We will never find a perfect church on this side of heaven as long as there are people who need redemption in the building of the church. As members of Christ's body, we can create an atmosphere of grace that will help us repent and forgive one another of offences. 
      We can be the planting of the Lord, in His strength, ready to bring forth good fruit that produces grace for each other. Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper. 
      We, as Christians soldiers, can bring the Garden of the Lord to flourish within our assemblies so that the possibility of offences can be minimised and worked out before hard and sorrowful choices are made to desert our posts. Isa. 51:3 For the LORD shall comfort Zion: He will comfort all her waste places; and He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.  
        Help us Lord stand to our post in the kingdom of God and be good and effective righteous soldiers. Amen and amen!

4 comments:

  1. Agreed and Amen! And really, each one of us has to remember that we are all human--including the people in the church around us. Most of us spend so much time looking at how everyone else has hurt us or said something to offend us, and forget that they are human and make mistakes just like we do. And sometimes, when there has been offences that are in the past, sometimes we must just forgive. Not stand in the same place to be hurt again, but forgive. Forgiveness not only releases the person that offended or hurt us, but also sets us free in the process. :) -Taia

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    1. Part of the forgiveness is to forget the event that caused the hurt as well. Joan Hunter says in one of her books," Many people get freed from the chains around their ankles by forgiving the offence but then carry the steel ball around and wonder why they can never forget the event. Get rid of the ball and it will be a complete healing." Thank you sister for your thoughts.

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  2. Offence becomes more complicated and involved the longer we marinate in it. Deal with it immediately! The principle talked about in this blog extends outside of the church as well and into work and personal relationships. What can be a struggle is when someone wants to mutually move past an offence but does not admit to what caused it in the first place and their part in it. What do you do with that?

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    1. We read in the word Matt.5:29 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
      My understanding of this verse is not to get the other cheek slapped but rather turning the other cheek is a symbolic gesture to God that you will hand over the judgment of a difficult situation to Him. As you have expressed you find yourselves in hard places because the offence is being dealt with and there can be collateral damage. However you who are more spiritual might have to carry the load until God brings clarity to everyone involved in the healing of the offence. The faster we are to forgive the quicker our personal peace will manifest. I think we can do great things when we have the peace of the Lord guiding us.

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