Division. It is more common than unity in the American church culture. My heart aches to think of what it does to the Kingdom of God. When the world finds division – expecting a Family to Support each other – they turn away… not just from the church but many times from God!
The first time I saw the church truly divided -I was 7. The sermon that morning was fire and brimstone! The preacher demonized churches for heresy – not using the King James Version. The service ended with a Bible burning ceremony!!!
And the church split
Over the 30+ years I’ve been in church I have seen numerous church splits. Not surprisingly, there are countless reasons people leave the church but one outcome is the same.
Each time they leave people are hurt.
- Families torn
- Children confused
- The body of Christ is crippled for a season
- and the lost world looking in shakes it’s head at modern day Christianity
I spent a lot of years angry about the division… Hurt in so many ways. Until God taught me a Pathway to Forgiveness.
Freedom is on the other side of Forgiveness.
Can I share that story with you in this Free E-challenge?
Division hurts the church and the lost world
Honestly, God’s plan does include moving us. I’m not saying people should never leave the church – for His reasons and in His time. But how often do we leave a church for the wrong reasons?
🙋 I’ve left churches for all the wrong reasons.
It’s funny how division tears apart more than we intend.
In this season God is teaching me how to Support the Church where He has planted us – even when others are leaving. These lesson are active in my life right now – and the emotion is heavy in me.
It began with a time of fasting – praying for our church – and is ending with God revealing things in me I didn’t realize were there (Isn’t that just like God!).
Check that out here:
- 5 Reasons God Calls His People in a Fast with Hope
- 5 Simple Ways Most People Ruin a Time of Fasting
- How to Fast and Pray In A Way that Pleases God
It started with defining Support
Support – To endure bravely or quietly, to hold up or serve as a foundation, to keep from fainting, yielding, or losing courage, to keep (something) going.
This looks like setting aside my personal preferences (where they are not spine issues) and pursuing God’s plan – holding up those He called to lead out in that Plan.
Support is not always easy.
I’ve waivered back and forth as I wrestle with the validity of my own preferences. My preferences matter to me. What matters to me matters to God. But doesn’t always have a place in the local body.
After nearly a year of wrestling (Oh Lord please let us be done wrestling!) I have not heard God say move. In fact everytime my flesh says “Move” God confirms I am to stay. God is teaching me a lot about myself in this season.
3 Reason’s I Struggle To Show support:
I have a Judgement problem.
Can I be painfully honest with you? I have an opinion and preference about everything – I am not one to “Endure quietly”. When things change – I struggle. I want my way – I can ever justify my way with scripture if I try hard. My struggles include:
- A need to place blame for the struggle
- Feelings of uncertainty about the change
- Judgement of the people who caused the change
- An urge to jump ship
- Strong desires to find a place that does things my way
In Matthew 7:1-29 we are warned to not Judge others. We are told to deal with our own stuff and boy do I have stuff to deal with. Do you?
And here’s the thing… my way is not the only right way. Now I stand on Biblical Truth and if something goes against that – then we are having a different conversation. But I am talking about when things are just not what I prefer.
When I judge others instead of Supporting them (while I pray for guidance) – I am wrong.
They may be God’s instruments to bring the Change He wants. God put them in that role of leadership – And I Trust God!
Change – though it is hard – molds, sanctifies and reveals sin in me! Really, I don’t like that, but I need it. Do you?
I have a Fear problem
I would rather run from confrontation than walk through it. The urge to run comes from failures at change in my past – and my Control Issues. I am a bit of a control freak!
When things change and I get uncomfortable, it is easier to run than face what God has allowed to come in front of me.
Fear is not of God. God repeatedly tells us to not Fear in scripture. When fear sneaks in I know I am not leaning into God – I am listening to the enemy. Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 43:2
Fear lies. It whispers to all the insecure places inside of me, reminding me of the pain of the past, hinting at the pain in the future.
When the enemy whispers Fear to me I MUST stand on the Truth of God’s Word instead of spreading that fear with my words. (more about this tomorrow)
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
I am Exhausted
Living the life of a disciple can take it’s toll. Am I alone in that? People fail me, life throws chaos in and it can get hard to stay the course of one more hard change in my life. (Though I see God wants the change and it is good).
I am tempted to stop trying, stop fighting, give into the lies the enemy whispers and just take the easier path.
Scripture is filled with stories just like this! The hero’s of our faith were tried and tested beyond what they could handle. But God gives us His strength in those moments and gets all the glory as we persevere! Galatians 6:9; Isaiah 40:31
These 3 things get in my face and stop me from showing Support in the church. God shined His light on the sin tied up in those 3 things in my life. Whew, that’s not fun… but good nonetheless.
I am learning how to fight back by replacing the sin with a new pattern.
Tomorrow I’ll share the Ways I am learning to Support the Church – and Pray fervently for the Church!
When we Add scripture to our Prayers they become strategic and powerful.
I’ve pulled over 100 verses that you can use to Pray for Support, Unity and Financial Blessings. Download them below!
Will you join me in setting aside our preferences (where they are not theological issues) and hold up our leaders as they follow God’s leading?