The church has become sick because some of the people in it are infected. I know because I was one of them. I believe that God is calling for order in His church. In order for the body of Christ to become healthy there must be order. I served in a leadership role, and also as the youth pastor, before my illness was diagnosed. It wasn’t until the Dr.’s (my Bishop and Pastor), took away my title and sat me down, that I began to notice how infected I was. You see, the church only becomes sick and infected when the leaders of the church turn their heads and just put Band-Aids on the infected areas. Some of the infections in the body of Christ are Rebellion, Disobedience, and not following proper Protocol, to name a few.
I know these exist, for I myself, have operated in all of them. It’s because of this experience that God has shown me the prescription for these infections. I guess before I begin to talk about the prescriptions, I need to explain how I got infected. It all began with being deceived, which opened the door to everything else. I’ve found that deception begins with thoughts. Every time I agreed with the enemy, I was empowering him to act.
Thoughts that have good motives, but incorrect timing, cause us to follow our opinions. The voice of the enemy is very subtle. He’s saying and confirming what you already know, then we fall into error and move out of the timing of God. Familiar spirits know us very well and deceive us by what we are attracted to, by putting our gifts before God and by having us substitute position and power – for God’s presence.
So here I was the youth pastor and everything was going great, until I was called into the office. At that time, the “Holy Spirit” spoke for me and all I could hear in my spirit was the word (exposed). Let me explain, you see I was giving permission to have a bible study, outside of my church. I was given specific instructions on how it should operate. First, let me tell you that I didn’t get this approval until after I had already had everything in place. This was the first mistake. I was told to have it only once a month and I had it twice a month. I was told no retreats and I had retreats etc., you get the picture. I felt that there was no harm in doing what God had called me to do, so I continued operating in disobedience, which led to rebellion, completely out of order.
I also found that I wasn’t alone in this area and that many people in the body of Christ have a deaf ear when it comes to order. The congregations have been unconsciously running the churches by their opinions and how they see things. Every thought/comment that is contradicting to what the direction/vision of the leader is, releases a sabotage spirit.
Sabotage – an action taken to undermine or destroy somebody’s efforts or achievements
We seem to find people who are in agreement with how we feel. We won’t go to the office and get a clear understanding for ourselves; instead we have sheep counseling sheep, blind leading the blind. All while, the enemy is watching us sabotage the vision. It’s the silent killer of our church. If we are to be connected to our churches, we must be connected to the leaders.
Many Bishops and Pastors may not have taken the stand that my leaders did. It could be simply because they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings or maybe the person is a great tithe payer, so they really don’t want to upset them. Or maybe, they don’t want the person to leave the church therefore ruining the leader’s reputation. Whatever their reasoning are, I have to thank God for my leaders, who listened to the direction of God, put me on bed rest (sat me down), and wasn’t concerned what it looked like.
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 – The Message (MSG) 12-13 And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!
By them taking this stand, I experience complete humiliation, heartache and hurt. I truly felt that this was the ‘death of me.’ Nevertheless, in spite of the gossip and the effect this had on myself and family, I forced myself to go the church and sit on the front row (which was the instructions (prescription) I was given). From the messages that were being delivered, I was able to start my healing process. God showed me so many areas in my life that were not pleasing to Him and truly infected. He was performing surgery and removing everything that was not like Him. Little by little restoration began. I was being transformed from the inside out. My life has never been the same! After some time, I realized that It’s wasn’t what my leaders had done to me… but rather what they did for me.
I truly believe that the body of Christ will begin to heal, when the leaders administer the prescription of correction. They work under strict supervision of God.
Hebrews 13:17-The Message (MSG)-17 Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?
What we must realize is that God uses our leaders and has placed them in authority over us. So if you find yourself, as I did, being corrected, make sure that you are obedient to the voice of God. Don’t be so quick to leave your church. I wanted to leave, but God said “no”. Don’t be influenced by others, because only you know what God is telling you.
Hebrews 12:5-11 The Message (MSG)- 4-11 In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through-all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?
My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.
Leaders have a responsibility to set order and correct. God is calling for a healthy church.