Our God is a God of order not disorder. Everything He has created is orderly and structured. We see this in nature. After a long dreary winter we can count on a warm spring coming because God made it that way. When the night is over the sun will rise and the morning will come because God designed it that way. Our God brings order out of chaos.
We also see this in our personal life. Before we received Jesus into our lives as our Master and King and became His followers, our life was a mess. We didn’t know what to live for. We didn’t have healthy relationships. We didn’t know how to use our time and money properly. We did whatever we felt like doing which often got us into a big trouble.
However, when Jesus came into our life to live with us, things have started to change. We now know what to live for. We now understand how to have healthy relationships and work towards having and enjoying them. We now realize what we need to do with our time and money. We no longer try to do whatever we feel like doing. Instead, we make a serious effort to do what God is pleased with.
When Jesus comes into our lives, he throws away and cleans up the junk in our lives which have caused us so much pain and heartache. He, then, replaces them with things that are pleasing to God and joyful to us. He removes confusion and chaos from our lives and gives us structure and orderliness. I literally see this in many members’ lives here at New Life.
Nonetheless, this orderliness and structure will not happen by itself. We need to cooperate with Him for it to take root and be established in our life, family and church.
For example, in a family, God has established husband as the head and leader. This means, God will ultimately hold the husband and not the wife responsible for how the family fared here on this earth. That’s why, after talking and sharing between husband and wife over an issue, if they still can’t come to an agreement, the wife will need to respect the husband’s decision and go along with him. Of course, I am not referring to those incidences where the husband asks his wife and family to do something that is directly contrary to the revealed will of God found in the Bible. The person who will bear the ultimate responsibility must be able to make the final decision. When this family structure is embraced and respected, you will experience joy and peace in your family.
The same is true for your house church. God has established shepherds and their wives as the authority figures in your life. If you do a good job of respecting them, you will experience order and structure in your life and in your house church. The confusion and chaos will be minimized.
Let me share with you a practical example. When you want to do one-on-one discipleship Bible study, always ask your shepherd first. If you are a woman and your shepherd is married, you should approach the wife first to receive the necessary advice. If your shepherd is not married, then he may direct you to his village leader and his wife from whom you must receive the advice. When you approach them for advice and recommendation, do it with an open and teachable heart being ready to follow through on their direction. If you go out and do your own thing that is different from what your shepherd has suggested to you, you have just disrespected him and wasted his time. Take your shepherds’ words very seriously because God often speaks to you through your leaders. Whether you realize it or not, your leaders see more than you do and they often know better what is best for you.
The other day I was spending some time with a house church shepherd listening to his house church members’ situation. He was experiencing both joys and pains of shepherding ministry very similar to what I go through in pastoral ministry. And I couldn’t believe how much he has grown over the past few years as he was serving as a shepherd. During our conversation I found a secret to his spiritual growth. He said, “My wife and I have decided that as long as church leadership is not teaching some heretical things we will be on the same page as the church abiding by everything the church tells us.” This, I think, is one of the reasons why there is order, structure and growth in this shepherd couple’s lives.
If we embrace the order God has created and established in our life, family and church, not only will we minimize chaos and confusion, we will experience joyful spiritual growth. New Life, let’s respect God ordained structure and learn to do things through a proper channel to experience God and His abundant blessings!
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