We love our boxes don’t we? We go to THIS church, with THIS pastor. We listen to THIS preacher and make sure that everything we do and believe lines up with their teaching. We so limit the possibility of God speaking to us in different ways and through different means.
God used men, angels, chickens and even donkeys to speak to us. But so often we get caught up following a leader and filter everything through them instead of God’s Word.
1 Cor 1:10-13 10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? NIV
Paul knew that for us to follow after any one person was dangerous, and he was a mature enough believer to correct those who did.
There is nothing wrong with being plugged into one church, that is a good thing, but if being plugged in means that you are not allowed to hear God’s Word anywhere else, that’s dangerous. I know women who are fearful of their leadership finding out that they visited another church or meeting.
A strong-Godly leader would never fear you being ministered to by anyone else. A healthy leader would never be jealous or envious of you fellowshipping with believers outside of your church. I’ve actually heard of churches that try to control who their congregation spends time with, unbelievable!
Our identity as Christians should first be with Christ and not the name of a certain group or church.
There is a danger in making people dependent on its leaders, it’s made God’s people passive in their own spiritual growth. We wait for others to show us how, or even just follow them in hopes that they’re getting it right. Jesus wants this relationship with you and He wants you to be an active part in that process.
Jesus is the way to the Father. As you learn to yield to his Spirit and depend on His power, you’ll discover how to live in the fullness of his life. Yes, He’ll often use other people to encourage or equip you in that process, but the people He uses won’t let you grow dependent on them. Healthy leaders would never get between you and the greatest joy of a growing relationship with the Father himself.
I am not saying you should run here and there grasping for truth. We need to use discernment whenever learning about God’s Word from someone. Jesus was the greatest Teacher, but He left us His Word and the Holy Spirit to pick up where He left off.
John 14:25-26 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. NIV
Let God’s Word be the final authority in all situations and trust your gut!!