From the Back Row: Commentary on the Church of God
Aligning Ourselves With God
Which "work" do you support? Which headquarters do you choose to follow for direction? Which council of elders or ministerial council do you look to for spiritual guidance and for defining the objectives toward which you are to move? With whom do you counsel in order to find out who you are to serve, and how? What is your "alignment"?
Dependence on men has been taught to us in the church. We rely on the worldly corporate philosophy and structure brought into our fellowships as our guide. Many of us receive our "marching orders" as Christians from those who believe such concepts. We align ourselves with a particular organization and their leaders and look to a church headquarters for guidance. The desire in humans to be a part of a group and to rally around a cause or effort is strong. It is not wrong to support and affiliate with a church group. We need, however, to refocus our attention on our PRIMARY loyalties and on where we are to ultimately seek spiritual direction.
The book of Revelation tells us where our true alignment as Christians ought to be. "And He [God] who sat there [a throne set in heaven] was like jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald ... And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings and voices. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Before the throne there was a sea of glass like crystal" (Revelation 4:3, 5-6). This awesome picture draws our attention to where a Christianís headquarters is.
"Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads" (verse 4). These elders, chosen by God, are His constant counsel in regard to His plans and His work.
"And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the book of life ... And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:12, 15). This book of salvation shows who we are to serve as Christians. We are to love and serve not only those currently in the book (Godís elect), but also humans who potentially could be in this book of eternal life (all mankind).
It is Godís TRUE headquarters where God receives input from the TRUE council of elders that we can take advantage of wherever we are on the earth. These elders impartially draw from the foundation of wisdom of Godís word and ALWAYS follow Godís lead. Additionally, our desire must be to serve ALL humanity and not only a man-made mailing or tithe list.
Fellow Christians, we are NOT sheep without a shepherd or children without a Father to lead us. God has not left us alone. Our first and foremost connection is to God and His BIG work from heaven and NOT to a particular church organization! We have ALWAYS had direct, instantaneous and personal contact with our true leader and with headquarters. It is by Godís Spirit that we receive our objectives and what we are to accomplish. Contact, counsel and leadership from HQ is only a prayer away.
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Alan Ruth is the founder of Barnabas Ministries ("Sons and Daughters of Encouragement"), a volunteer effort to promote spiritual growth in the church of God and preach the gospel to the world through the World Wide Web. Be sure to visit his website.