Many of us are noticing the different types of ministers and the different types of ministries. One church comes strong with their teaching on repentance and another one seems to speak more on prosperity. No matter what the message is, if it is the Word of God, we should be there to listen. But, a common rock that is being thrown at the head of the church is separation due to lack of understanding. You may not understand why this Pastor teaches more on one subject while you are in need of ministry in another subject matter. There is a rise in subject related ministries and who are we to say that this minister was not called in that area? What then are we to do when confronted by someone who claims to be of God? 1 John 4:1 reminds us this way, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” How do we try the spirit? Try and trial are one. To try means to test and a trial is the period in which something is tested. A trial is completed upon final judgment. So, to put the spirit on trial, we have to test the spirit. But, in a court of law, a lawyer cannot successfully try a case unless he knows the law. He will not only go through several years of college and law school, he has to know the very case he is trying and the person on trial in order to defend or prosecute. To try a spirit works in a similar way. You have to know the Word of God and to learn it, you must go through persistent bible study and prayer. You must also be knowledgeable about the area you are tested in.
Who is it that ordains? God, of course. As He calls us, we must go. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14) So, what if God calls you as a marriage counselor for the body of Christ? Will you obey, or will you choose to go out and minister to street gangs about repentance? Do you realize that when Jonah ran from his calling, he was swallowed by a whale? Sure, we have a direction that we would prefer to go in, however, our desire should be to walk with Christ and not in the opposite direction. In ministry, you must do what you were called to do.
God requires unity in the body, however, separation is encouraged by the enemy of the gospel. Satan knows the power in unity and he will do whatever he can to keep the men and women of God in opposition. How does he do this? By throwing confusion in the midst with a hint of strife. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) Next question: Why does he do this? “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (James 3:16) Final question: What happens if we come together instead, for the works and the glory of the Lord? “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20) Think about it…where envy and strife is, there is every evil work, but where people are gathered together in God, He is there? It is no wonder that Satan places this wall between the saints. So, he can keep getting invited to your churches, casting a spell of confusion on the congregation. We should be coming together to edify the body of Christ, but many are caught in that snare of selfishness…forgetting their assignment and forsaking their God to enjoy the spotlight of pride.
What should we be doing then, as men and women of God? We should be avoiding the traps set before us by the enemy of the very Word we were assigned to teach. One of those traps is putting our mouth on another man or woman of God, simply because we do not understand them. Yes, if God has shown you that this ministry does not do His works, then we are to expose their workings, but many of you are persecuting one another without even consulting God. So, you do not recognize your own brothers and sisters because you did not go before the Lord and ask Him? Depending on where you are in your walk with Christ, you should know one thing…..there are different ministries, but the Word is the same.
• Some ministries are still in the process of feeding milk to the congregation because that is where they are and that is how God has commanded the one He has assigned over them to stay within that arena of the Word.
• You can outgrow a particular ministry, depending on what is being fed.
• A ministry can backslide from meat back to milk. An example of this is shown when Paul recorded his disappointment in his letter to the Hebrews: “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” (Hebrews 5:12)
• You can be spiritually too young for a particular ministry. If you are fed meat when you have no teeth to chew it and a weak digestive system, what was fed to you will be vomited out. “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” (1 Corinthians 3:2)
• You should be where God has called you.
• The body of Christ should be unified.
What is the point of all of this? Remember, there are many members of the body and they all have a particular function. The eye cannot hear and the teeth cannot see. So, in the body of Christ, we are one body, but individually, we may have different functions. If the body was full of eyes and had no legs and no ears, there would be no need for a body, just a head. The purpose of the body is to house the limbs that perform many functions, but as they do this, we are to respect each one of those members equally. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12) And of all the members, the one we should be weary of is the tongue: That would be the gossip, the complainer, the one who speaks curses, the blasphemer, etc. “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” (James 3:6) Saints, let us not operate as an evil tongue, instead, let us speak blessings over one another and praises to our God. Let us intercede for one another and minister the Word of God. That is what that tongue is for. It is not for us to persecute one another because we do not know our own brothers and sisters. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) God said that He will bless them that bless you and curse them that curse you. Should you also be told that this includes all of His children? So, if you are speaking evil of another saint, even though you are a man or woman of God, are you not calling His judgment upon your own head? Even the friends of Job were in trouble for putting their mouth on Job and Job had to intercede on their behalf.
Let us sharpen one another and lift up one another. We may not understand one another, but prayer is that missing puzzle piece that keeps confusion from destroying the whole picture. All you have to do is ask God and know that He will answer. Prayer is the doorbell that alerts God to answer the door. But, if you do not ring it, you will stand at the door, learning the characteristic of each wood chip. “Ye have not because ye ask not.” (James 4:2)