God’s Sovereignty: Why He Has Us At This Particular Church At This Particular Point in Time With These Particular People

Posted: June 17, 2015 in 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 4 — Today, we move into the fourth chapter of 1 Corinthians and Paul continues with the issues of divisions within the church. The way we must approach this passage for today’s church is from both the perspective of the staff of the church and from the that of the congregation. Divisions can arise within a church staff just as much as it can among the congregation of a church. When we strive to create kingdoms of our own, we are no longer effective gospel bearers.

For pastors and church staff, we must remember always that the position that we hold is a gift from God. When we begin to think that growth, both spiritually and in the numbers of people who attend our church, is because of us and our wonderful preaching and leadership skills, then we have lost focus and the message of the gospel can easily become perverted. We must remember that it is only by the grace of God that we hold the positions that we hold. God has placed us in the position that we hold to achieve a specific goal for the kingdom at this place in this era of time with these specific people. Within a church staff, we must not see our jobs as stepping stones to the next higher level of church position. We must not breed jealousies among the people of our church. We must not try to accrue a following within the following of the church. God has placed us in subservient roles under the leadership of a senior pastor for a reason.

Joseph did not complain while in prison that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He used his time in prison to speak and teach of the Almighty God to his fellow prisoners. God had placed him there for a specific purpose that comes to fruition when it allows him access to the pharaoh. His access to the pharaoh led him to become the man who saves Egypt from starvation. He became the second most powerful man in the Egyptian dynasty. All of that would have never happened if Joseph had not be a faithful servant while in prison. As pastors and staff, we often think we could do it better or that our vision is better and we begin to create division and distrust within the church staff. We try to create our own little silos of power within the church. When that happens, the church is sunk. We must realize as junior staff to the senior pastor God has placed us where we are at this moment in time to ready us for the next step in God’s plan for our lives and for our ministries. Let us learn to submit to those in authority over us and lead under their direction. Let us learn what we need to learn from our senior leadership. When we realize that God has us under the leadership we are under right now because of God’s sovereign plan for our ministries and our development, then unity comes. When we work with this idea in mind, it leads us to pray to God to teach us what we need to learn. It leads us to pray for our senior leadership. We are all here at this moment in time with these people at this place for the work that needs doing for the kingdom right now at this place. It is then a privilege not a burden to work for the senior leaders we work for.

For the flock of the church, we should not create divisions within a church so as to align ourselves with certain members of the church staff. We also should not try to create our own followings within a church just because we think we can do a better job at this church thing that the pastor and his staff can. We see this scenario play out so often in churches, often more so than a divided staff. We as church members can become arrogant in thinking that we have it all figured out. We think we know how to run a church. As church members, we can become arrogant and think we are pastors but yet have never had the commitment to follow the call but yet we will criticize in overt and covert ways that we are not being allowed to lead as we see fit. We can fail to see that it is our ego on display rather than seeking after God. For us as church members we must remember that, like a church staff, God in His sovereign wisdom has brought us together at this church at this time with these people in this place for a specific purpose in this era of time. All of us have made our way to the church that we are at now and planted our roots there at God’s sovereign design. He has orchestrated us being where we are. He has us at this church for a reason. We are being groomed and developed and we need to be at this church at this moment to be in step with God’s plan for our development as Christ followers. That means if I am placed in a position of cleaning the toilets at the church, I must do it with the understanding that God is teaching me what I need to know for the next step in my growth as a Christ follower. It does not mean that I complain that my talents are not being utilized as they should be and start creating my own following within the church, start creating this us vs. them mentality between us and the pastoral staff.

When we as pastors and we as church members remember that we are not here about us. God will bless those that humbly serve Him. God will bless the church that remembers that we all have been given a gift from God in being part of body of Christ. God will bless those churches that remember that we are here to be light in the darkness. God will bless those churches that remember that we are to be a city on a hill. God will bless those churches that demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ rather the ones who demonstrate the same strife, division and politics as the world around them. God will bless those churches where the staff and the church are humble servants who realize that the church is a precious thing and it is a gift through which the Savior of the world’s message is to be broadcast to the world. It is a privilege to be a part of the local body of which I am a part. Whatever I must do, ever how I am called to do it, at this moment in time is because of God’s sovereign plan. Who am I to dispute God’s plan. What if Joseph had rebelled against God’s plan for him to be in prison? Where would God’s people be if he decided not to be faithful because he thought he was placed in the wrong position? What if? Like Joseph, we must trust God and be faithful as preachers and as churchgoers in the positions that he places us within the body at this moment in time with these people at this place…

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