The book of 1 Samuel records how King Saul pursued David and his mighty men ruthlessly. He was fiercely jealous of David and intended to slay him. David had at least two opportunities to kill Saul, but for all his faults, scripture states that David was a man after God’s heart, and he refused to take revenge when opportunity presented itself, operating in integrity. He left Saul in God’s hands. Romans 12:18-21 instructs: “If it be possible…..live peaceably with all men. …….Avenge not yourselves…..it is written “Vengeance is mine, I will repay”, saith the Lord…..overcome evil with good”.
David placed Saul in God’s hands. Any one who sought to gain favour with David by dealing with Saul, David had killed. When we have issues with God’s people, we still should not take revenge. The New Testament, the teachings of Jesus and the apostle, Paul, clearly instruct how to live our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus wants disciples, not mere followers. Jesus said, John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one to another”.
In finality, none of us are righteous. “For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, Romans 3:23. So often we seek to control our circumstances and others, but God righteously wants full control and requires us to relinquish ours. Control is a very wicked thing in us, and is unacceptable to the Lord. It reveals a deep insecurity in us, displaying a lack of trust in God. I may observe it in others, but where is it in my life? Do I seek to win others over to MY view, MY way, MY wants by feeding information in a deceptive way to achieve MY own ends? Surrender! Let go……and let God! Here I change my perspective. As I step back, God’s perspective becomes clearer. My perspective must merge into His for His will to become clearer for my life. In this position I am lost, but found, in Him. Every Believer is on God’s side and yet we make enemies of one another in our stubborn, petty, pitiful ways through differences in believing. How grievous to the heart of God!
Philippians 2:3 instructs “……let each esteem others better than themselves”.
The apostle, Paul, began the epistle of Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle….”. He took on himself the first and most important position of servanthood to Christ, then recognised his apostolic calling as secondary. A servant may be the lowest rank in men’s eyes, but the highest rank in God’s eyes.
True authority in the kingdom of God is not position and rank, but function. As each member operates in their God-given function, God anoints and exalts. Those who appoint themselves in position and control, set themselves up for a fall. God equips each member with specific responsibilities, but together we make the whole. We take our instruction and function from the Head, our Lord Jesus Christ. If we see other members operating in their God-given function and calling, it is our responsibility to recognise the diversity of the different callings, get behind each other and encourage and support one another as team members. We all have a calling in God, not a POSITION. There is a difference. Instead of opposing others, let me find, and operate, in my calling. There is diversity in the Body of Christ and we are all important to God, and to one another.
I may have the gift of being a musician, an evangelist, a teacher, an administrator, a helper, a cleaner, an encourager…These are gifts and callings, not positions to be grasped. My number one is to be a servant of the Living God and to my fellow men. The gift is secondary. As we take our responsibility seriously, each member pulling in the same direction, we will discover Christ’s strength, and life, in unity. When I settle the fact that I am not my own, to do, and to please, then I am in God’s purpose and settled and function in the Body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 “What! Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost……and ye are not your own? For you are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”. Truly, I do not belong to myself anymore.
We need to get God’s perspective on leadership and take Jesus’ teaching seriously. Matthew 23: 8-12 v8 “Be not ye called Rabbi, for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. (9) And call no man your father upon the earth, for one is your Father, who is in heaven. (10) Neither be ye called masters, for one is your Master, even Christ. (11) But he that is greatest among you, shall be your servant. (12) And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased, and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted”.
So many in the Body of Christ fall short of these verses. Men are still looking for Leaders, or to be a Leader. Our fellow travellers on our spiritual journey are to be looked on as brothers and sisters in Christ. As we mature in Him, we learn to take our instructions from the Head, our Master, our Teacher the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 8 (above quote) instructs us not to take titles for ourselves, but to see all men as brothers. Verse 9 instructs us corporately not to place the title of Father spiritually on anyone, except our Heavenly Father.
We should neither take a title, nor allow others to place that title on us. 2 Timothy 4:5 Paul charges Timothy “….do the work of an evangelist”, fulfil the function of an evangelist, not take the title of an evangelist declaring “I am an evangelist”. It is a gift and calling in Christ, not a title….Christ in me, the hope of glory! As members of the Body of Christ we need to change our perspective on leadership, and view it as stewardship. God gives each of us responsibility in stewardship. This is our place of function in God’s calling and gift in our individual lives. I need to view my brothers and sisters from God’s perspective and recognise and support their function in stewardship corporately, for the health of Christ’s Body. God gives His unction on our function to operate, and live, for His glory.
As God imparts revelation to His Church and we function together, rightly related to one another, making Christ the Head and centre of our lives then “All the earth shall be filled with the glory of God, as the waters cover the sea”.