God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9
What I am learning is that God leads His people as we look to Christ as our Head, and this is a spiritual matter. We cannot know the leadership/headship of Christ by any other means than the Spirit of God. Our knowledge and reason will fail us.
I’m astounded at how beautifully the Lord leads us. It is enough almost, that He leads us as we live out our lives before Him and in pursuit of Him in the secret place. But then to experience His leading in a corporate body is something extraordinary in itself.
…and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. Col 2:19
As one of the writers on this blog has already said this month, the Head speaks of the Source. Christ is the source of our Life as His body. He is the source of our knowledge in where the Spirit is leading us as His body. And guess what? He really does lead us. Christ’s headship and leading of a body of believers is not an unattainable goal. I can give testament to the fact that Christ’s Headship is a reality in the life of God’s people without needing a human leader or facilitator.
Having said that, I don’t deny that sometimes finding agreement in the body on where God is leading may seem impossible. Sometimes there are many varying views and thoughts on what God wants of a body of believers at a particular time. And sometimes ALL these views and thoughts sound like they reflect God’s character and we can’t fault any of them, even when they oppose one another as far as direction for the church goes. But then we have to consider, are we using our own reason to weigh these views and thoughts up. Are we looking through filters of some kind? Are we even taking the time to weigh them up? Are we disregarding them straight away? Are we willing to put our reasoning aside?
One of the best things I heard recently is the very true statement that our understanding of what is ‘life’ to follow, can be subjective. For example, if sister A expresses that she feels the Lord wants to take the church into a season of evangelism, for sister B this may feel burdensome and she determines that there is no ‘life’ in it, thus making it easy to reject. However, both sister A and B have a soul that can look at things subjectively and through filters. This is why we need to bring everything to the Head. The Head as our Source, is well able to make known to His body the direction and instruction He wants to bring. He WILL make His mind known to the body if the body is humble enough to lay down views and opinions and seek HIS mind on the matter. To do that really is the work of the cross within a body of believers and we all know that after the cross comes resurrection.
To even accept the possibility that God would be requiring me to lay down my view or conviction can be an enormous challenge. Especially when my conviction seems so in line with God and where the Lord has brought me and what He’s shown and taught me. When I can see no error in my conviction that is the hardest time for me to even consider laying it down. It seems much easier to be prepared to lay something down if we ourselves can finally see error in it or even have a question mark over it doesn’t it? But when we can’t see or sense any error in them at all, in those circumstances, let’s stop and ask WHY would the Lord be asking me to lay that down?
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing…Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the great of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13: 2-13)
Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his soul for his friends (Jubilee Bible 2000, John 15:13).
The thing is, we can think that by laying our conviction down that it will be lost and that seems a far worse outcome in our eyes for the Lord’s sake. We may be thoroughly convinced and may even actually be in truth, concerning the matter. That’s the hardest thing. Are we prepared to lay it down for the sake of love, patience, kindness, hope…AND TRUST GOD WITH THE OUTCOME?
That’s the thing. TRUSTING GOD. I say again, that Christ’s headship over a body of believers is not an unattainable goal, it is a reality in the body of Christ. He is able. He wants to lead us. He has things to tell us and things and seasons to lead us into for His purpose. He wants us to know His leading. He’s not withholding His mind from us. BUT His mind will only come forward in the WHOLE of the body, when love comes first. And that means the cross.
This is my experience on a very small scale and it is my current learning.
Some years ago in the previous group of saints where we lived, all but one brother and sister felt the Lord was leading us as a church to do a certain thing. The rest of the saints decided to choose love for that brother and sister by laying the matter down, giving it over to the Lord. The thing was never taken up even after that brother and sister left the group a long time later and there was never a sense that the group had lost anything as a result of not taking up that certain thing. In fact, it was the opposite. The group felt the Lord had gained ground in our hearts and in our small community through us being prepared to lay it down for the sake of our brother and sister.
Lord, take us on in learning You as our Head in our corporate body life experiences. If You can get us to learn this one, who knows where You’ll be able to take us?! 🙂