31 March 2010

DISCERNMENT AND COURAGE

Not all change is rooted in fear or disobedience, just as not all change is rooted in discernment and courage. And this is where the power of God speaking through a group becomes so critical.

When there is division over what God's revealed will is, the clearest evidence of which way to move lies in which direction best evidences the planting, the growth, and the harvesting of fruit of the Spirit (cf., GALATIANS 5:22-23). And when divergent opinions represent the fruit of the Spirit equally, then rejoice! For then God is often sharing His desire with us that we are free to happily choose any one of the options before us, instead of believing that one option is more right than the others.

God's will isn't a tight-rope to be walked. It is a way of life to be sought and followed. And when we have a single-hearted devotion to Jesus Christ, and when seeking, finding, and following God's will is our highest aim, goal, and desire, the pathway of God's will is very often wide, not narrow ... as He gives us numerous options, all of which would be good, pleasing, and perfect, and must not be seen as competing with or divergent from one another.

And just as the role of the fruit of the Spirit is critical in identifying God's will for a group, it is also vital that the sweetness and the aroma of the fruit of the Spirit be present as we live and work with one another in all the various avenues of life and ministry we travel.

GALATIANS 5:22-23
(NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION)

22-23 And the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness
and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

When everyone within a group is seeking God's will, the unity of the Spirit will come through the seeking of the fruit of the Spirit, and not just through the majority. This is why prophetic words are important, but are only one of the specific ways God speaks to us and leads us. By prophetic, I don't mean "predicting the future", but rather "calling us back to the voice of God's Spirit through God's Word".

We must trust the words God brings to us from those we know and love as single-hearted Jesus-lovers ... and we must also trust the words God brings to us from those who speak gently, maybe even with very few words. We must trust the "Jesus voice" and the "Jesus-leading" in one another.

May you seek, find, and live into the unity that finds its source in God's Spirit, and it's expression in the fruit of God's Spirit. Godspeed

read.think.pray.live.

Gregg

2 comments:

Gil George said...

Hi Gregg,

The change-stasis balance is a tough one. I agree that discernment is key, but what I often see missing is trust. We have been programmed by our society to distrust those who think differently than us instead of valuing the ways Christ calls differently minded people together for God's glory.
The tipping point for me as a leader is the direction of discerned vision. Is changing or remaining static bringing us closer or farther from the specific vision discerned by the local body.
Maybe if we changed (HA!) the way we look at decisions from being focused on change/stasis to being focused on the previously discerned call it will be easier to weigh our options towards staying the course.
I really appreciate the idea of using the fruits of the spirit to evaluate the proposed means we use to get to our goals. Thanks for this piece.

marry said...

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