When No One's Looking part 9: The 'S' Word (Slander)By Brent Knox
Recorded: August 13th, 2006
Location: Evergreen Community Church
I tell ya, it really isn't very easy to lead, but somebody's gotta do it. This is how God works. I can't tell you how disheartening it is to pray, to seek God about a particular decision, or particular- the direction that the church should go, and sense that God is.. um, putting an idea in our hearts. We confirm it then with other leaders and present it.. and have people say, "That's not what I wanna do." That's disheartening. You know, there's a bunch of stories in the Bible where leaders are trying to lead but people don't follow.
See this is how God does things. He puts his will in the heart of leaders lead, and then God asks people to follow. And sometimes people do, follow, and it's a blessing, and sometimes people don't follow, and it's a tragedy.
You know anything about Nero? He was a Tyrant. He- ah, his mother interfered with his business too much so he killed her. He set fire to Rome because he wanted to scourge out all the bad housing, ended up killing a lot of people, and so, to divert the political heat, he blamed the fire on the Christians and that's when the great persecution on the Christians began. This was the leader of the Roman Empire, and that's what Paul is telling his leaders to do. Submit to it. So what do we get from this?
We're being directed to submit, be submissive, even if the government doesn't deserve it, even if the authority doesn't deserve it, even if the authority doesn't do everything right, even if the authority isn't perfect. What does it mean to be submissive to a government? I think it could mean several things, it could be mean obey the laws of the land even if some of them seem to be silly or inconvienient. Need to pay our ho- taxes honestly, even if that seems like it's too much. Vote in elections, exercise our perogative, you know stuff like that.
At times, church's get cranky people who want to have it their own way, and they don't like this or that decision. Then they try to pursuade other people in the church to join them in their point of view. It's kind of what happened with Moses. The rabble didn't like the food. They started talking to a whole bunch of other people about it, and soon EVERYBODY WAS STANDING AT THE FRONT OF THEIR TENT WAILING!
You know, you're not responsible for leading. You won't- You won't be the person standing before God and giving an account for the church. It's I and the other pastors, we're the ones that are on the hot seat. But not you. You can rest. And since pastors are on the hot seat, and'll stand some day and give an account before God, God I believe is also gonna give extra grace- extra wisdom to do what we need to do. Now I- I want to encourage you to continue bringing to us your ideas and your criticisms and your input, because we need that but it's what you do after that, it's just so important - just let it go. And rest. And understand that there's a sense of grace and accountability that falls on us but it doesn't fall on you, and you can trust God through it. Trust God that he's working through his design called authority and trust God that just maybe we have a bigger picture than you do.
And so even to give the controls over to God, that's hard, but the real kicker here is God is saying, "give the controls over to people that I work through, and these people are fallable, these people make mistakes, these people are weak at times. You-outta work through it anyway," that's what God says.
Audio of Teaching (mp3)