Romans 15:5-6 – One mind and one mouth glorifying God.
1 Corinthians 1:10-17, Philippians 1:27-30 – The church is to stand together, with one heart, one mind and one voice. United.
We need to have one goal in mind as we move forward, to find leadership going forward, leadership that can lead us as God would have us go.
How do we find the will of God as a congregation?
No one person in the church has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit. God expects the church to work together to find the will of God. In the early church they were told to “look for men who were qualified.” God wants the whole church body involved in the process.
The final result of this should be that the person who is called can be sure that God called him. We may not as a congregation understand, but to be called to be a leader in a church means that there will be tough times. There will be times of loneliness.
The church is facing an increasingly hostile world. Things are getting increasingly dark in our world. God is calling us as a church to demonstrate Jesus to this world.
What should the church be like? The church is like an army. We are in a battle, it is an example that Paul uses often to describe the life of a christian. This isn’t a playground. This is a battlefield.
Ephesians 6:10-20 – Stand and withstand… this takes strong soldiers, strong committed men and women and churches. The work of the church is not for cowards.
We won’t think alike in everything, but we should have the same goal.
Judges 6,7 tell the story of Gideon. The Midianites were around. They were “as grasshoppers” it was an incredible army. They were a real problem to the Israelite people. God called Gideon and said, “if you do it the way I tell you to do it, you can smite the Midianites as one man.” Gideon started out with 30,000 men and ended up with 300 to go with him against the Midianites.
The ones who were left were together. 300 men who were obedient, brave and willing to listen to Gideon and do exactly what he told them to do. The secret to the final victory seems to be that every man “stood in his place.” They smote the Midianites as one man – that is what unity under the direction of God can do.
The church is to be like a brotherhood. How do brothers/sisters relate? “He’s not heavy, he’s my brother.”
Romans 12:10-11 – Paul tells us that we should each “prefer” our brothers. The attitude being that I’d be glad to do what needs to be done, but I’d be happy if you did it a humble, submitted spirit.
Jesus told his disciples in John 14, as he was preparing to leave, that if they truly loved him they would realize that he was going back to the Father… and would be glad for him.
The church is also like a body. Many members that are controlled by the head – Christ. It is incredible how the body works. All the controls in the head, but the members go all the way to the feet. Our bodies work together to get things done. When one member suffers the entire body suffers with suffers. When one member rejoices the entire body rejoices together.
A sick body attacks other parts of the body. A healthy body compensates for the weakness and difficulty of another.
Proverbs says “only by pride comes contention.” James tells us that striving and fighting comes from the fighting in our hearts. Sometimes there needs to be a “surgery” to bring the body back into health, even then there is a right way to do it. All things need to be done in a body as Christ would have us to do them.
Mathew 18 – where two or three are gathered together in my name, there Jesus will be with them.
The final message of Christ to the church before he left was to repent and get right with God, then to do the will of God.
A lot can be accomplished for God if you don’t care who gets the credit for it.
We don’t strive after the flesh. May God teach us to stand and withstand – as a unified church body.
Are you where God wants you to be?