Monday, October 06, 2014
CONNECTED IN SERVICE
submitting to one another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:21)
Submission is the attitude and activity of serving another. The reach of submission is "to one another." Every member of the church is included in Paul's command. The reason for submission is "the fear of God." Having submitted to the Lord, we obey Him, and He has commanded us to submit to each other.
Far too often, churches seem marked by spiritual anarchy. The members pursue their own agenda rather than God's. Sometimes, this is through ignorance--they don't understand what the will of the Lord is (see Eph.5:17 where we are commanded to have this understanding), but far too often it is defiance--we know we are to serve others, but we want them to serve us.
The church may degenerate rapidly into a self-service operation. That is, the members are focused on self being served instead of serving their fellowman.
They demand to be "fed" which usually means they think they are so "spiritually mature" that the pastor's sermons aren't "deep" enough for them. Doubtless, there is some shallow preaching out there. But, it is likewise true that many have been exposed to the Christian celebrities on TV and the internet, and it is hard for the local church pastor to measure up in comparison. John Maxwell called people with this mindset, "spiritual porkers." They never make any effort to serve others, choosing rather to gorge themselves.
Most music ministries will not attain the quality of what you can purchase on a CD, hear on the radio, or watch on a broadcast from a mega-church. Are we concerned about the entertainment value or consumed with a passion to worship God? Is it about enjoying a performance that pleases our ears, or expressing our praise that pleases God? There is nothing wrong with seeking to do the best we can to glorify the Lord, but it is easy to cross the line into demanding music that blesses us, rather than blessing God.
Demanding ministry instead of doing ministry is missing the mark. God wants us to submit to Him in fear and out of that to serve one another in love. It is a subject worth exploring in depth, and with God's help, we will do so in subsequent studies this week.