It’s beyond time that we, as the Church, stopped criticizing and cannibalizing our own. Oh I have heard the arguments “examine the fruit”. Yet, are we actually looking at our own tree as well? I’ve learned over the years that sometimes the best and sweetest fruit is hidden in ugly and unlikely skins which are often mistaken for rotten. I have also seen the opposite to be true; the fruit is beautiful and plentiful but rotten at the core. It really depends on whether or not an actual dissection of said fruit is performed.
You may not agree with the outward appearance of a ministry, or a person, or how someone approaches their Kingdom service, but you should never criticize. If there is something legitimately wrong, pray for God to intervene. He already sees what is happening; He doesn’t need help.
We do a great disservice to the Body of Christ, and the pre-believer, when all we talk about and argue for is what we are against and what we find fault with. Who wants to be associated with that?
Perhaps the real issue for all the criticism is jealousy and envy. Perhaps it is because someone is stepping out in faith and preaching a message more in line with an ambassador of Jesus. Maybe it scares us because it doesn’t reflect our particular doctrinal view. Perhaps it is the realization that Grace is not a tool used to control others and truly is liberating. We will not know until we let go of all we think we know and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide. He is the one who leads us into all truth; sometimes that path will have different perspectives and points of view than what we have been taught in the confines of our particular churches. However, He will never stray from the fundamental truth of the Gospel, He will never complicate or over-theologize it, and it will always have Love at the core.
God is Love.
Jesus, the Son of God, was born of a virgin woman.
He suffered horrifically, died, and was resurrected after three days so that our belief in Him and what He did for us gives us life eternal with Him.
He is seated at the right hand of God and, as believers, we are seated with Him.
“Papa says I can call to Him and He will answer, showing me things I don’t know. I am in the loop in Papa’s house; even when I don’t see things happening I know they are. I don’t have to always know the details because I know the One taking care of the details.”
You are in the loop.
“Papa is faithful, always. He never fails and He works with my best interest in mind. His mercy endures forever and is new every morning. His grace is sufficient to carry me through all things. He is a promise-keeper and what He said He’d do, He will. I can count on Him.”
You can count on Him.
Little things, over time, add up to big things. It might be a slight demand on your time, a situation that requires your attention, or a question that you have to answer. Those small things, while not necessarily bad things, can multiply, crowd out and overtake the things God wants us to focus on, especially our time with Him.
I’m not much of a Star Trek fan, but when God recently spoke to me about allowing the aforementioned little things to build up in my life, I was reminded of the episode of the Tribbles. I don’t remember the episode details, but those cute little balls of fur multiplied so fast, it caused problems for the crew. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t good either and they became so prolific that they were everywhere. Scripturally, the Holy Spirit brought to mind this verse: Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming (Song of Solomon 2:15 NLT)!
Often it is not the major events that disrupt our time with God, it is the small, ordinary, every day things that pop up. Those things that happen and we say “I’ll pray in a bit” or “I can catch up reading later”, those things that alter our schedules or seem like great ministry opportunities. Then, all of a sudden a week (or more) has gone by and we haven’t had any meaningful conversation or study time with Jesus. Sometimes it isn’t even a tangible thing, it can be a small disappointment we linger on, a relationship (family or friend) that has fizzled out, or thoughts we’ve dwelt on. Most of the time, when we realize we’ve strayed off the path a bit, it is usually when things seem to be going really good.
As for those little foxes – well, Scripture says they will ruin the vineyard at the time when the vines are ripening. We must be guard our time with Papa jealously and fervently pursue Him, especially when things are going well because that is where the foxes are going to pop up. Let us not allow small or (cute) little things to build up in our lives and crowd out the one person we need to focus on. No is an anointed word and we could use it more often than we do. I’m going fox hunting, are you?
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need (Matthew 6:33).
"There may be obstacles along my path, but in Jesus I can overcome them. Some are there to challenge me for growth purposes and some are there to hinder me. Whatever the reason, in Christ I have strength to make it to my destination. He goes before me, He is my rear guard and He walks with me."
You are victorious and never left on your own.