Nurturing The Most Important Relationships In Your Life (Cont.)
4. The Household of God.
If we're saved, we're called to participate in the household of God. This means we're called to a local church family. The household of God is a real family. It is our eternal family. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Gal. 6:10)
It's not just a coincidence that you are led to be in a certain local church. The Holy Spirti has drawn you into the house of the Lord. He has led you to a certain group of people and a certain man of God to be your pastor. We can't just go anywhere and receive the full blessing of God. God chooses our relationships. We have to go where God is calling us. It is in God's will that God's Word comes alive. It is in God's will that full blessings flow into our lives. Don't settle for less that God's best. Be planted in the house God has called you to and you'll be blessed.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. (Psalm 92:13)
Relationships within the church family should have an order of importance, and receptivity. When we break the protocol for relaionships in the local church we open ourselves for confusion, distraction, and even distruction.
(1) The Pastor/Flock Relationship
Just as the parent child relationship is right below the relationship with God while we're growing up, and then just under the relaionship with our spouse when we move away and get married, the relationship we have with our pastors is one of the most important relationships in the church next to our relationship with with (set man/woman aka those leaders over us in the Lord) or spiritual parents as the case may be should be the most important relationship in the household of God. We should guard this relationship with everything within us. The devil knows that if he can turn us from our pastors then he has cut us off from the word the pastor is preaching. Since our pastors are called to speak words of blessing, encouragement, leading, guidance, revelation, feeding, teaching, etc. into our lives it is a relationship that will come under intense attack.
Don't let the devil taint your mind regarding your pastor or your spiritual parents. Recognize the methods of the devil and fight your thoughts that would contaminate your love, respect, and receptivity to them. They don't have to by your best friends. They just need to be your pastors. We need to be open to wise counsel, receptivity, prayer, and the faith relaionship that can help us through any test or trial.
And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord an admonish you, and to esteem them very hightly in love their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
Read the above verses carefully. Often people are not at peace with themselves and others because they are not at peace with their pastors. They have started to disrespect their pastors, or maybe they were offended at the word they preached, or maybe the pastors admonishment (loving correction) rubbed them the wrong way, or maybe they just didn't like something in the sermon. Whatever the case, don't let that resentment stay. Release your pastors. They are human too. If we want grace we must extend grace, even to our pastors, "But pastors are supposed to be perfect." The truth we're all to strive for perfection, but that doesn't mean flawless (Heb. 6:1). Cast wrong attitudes and the devil out. Stay right with your pastor and your life won't end up in disaster.
Elisha said to him, Did not my spirit go with you when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money, garments, olive orchards, vineyards, sheep, oxen, menservants, and maidservants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cleave to you and to your offspring forever. And Gehazi went from his presence a leper as white as snow
(II Kings 5:26-27)
Johanan ignored Jeremiah's word and he and all that followed him ended up in captivity.
When we're spiritual we begin to see how important the family of God is. In fact, as we grow in the Lord we start to feel closer to the household of God than we do to many of our extended family members. We have a unity in the Spirit with a bond of peace. It is wonderful to know we have a great big eternal family.
5. Extended family, relatives, believers outside your church household.
There are relationships that are important but of a lower priority than those previously mentioned. We need to take advantage of the opportunities these relationships afford us to witness and win them to the Lord. We need to be outreach minded.
Next week I'll write more on this. Have a blessed week.
Bishop Darrell Ellis,
Anointed Word International Fellowship