Submit and then see what God does.
JULY 21, 2022
Submit and then see what God does. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
It’s for freedom that Christ set us free and Key Life is here to bring you Biblical teaching that encourages you to never give into slavery again. Our teacher on Key Life is Steve Brown. He’s an author, broadcaster, and seminary professor who’s sick of phony religion.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at church government, through the eyes of a church meeting in the 15th chapter of Acts. And as we look at some of the principles that are clearly apparent in this 15th chapter of Acts, we’re learning some things that we who are part of the church. And don’t ever come to me and say, when I ask you, what church are you a part of? Oh, I’m just a Christian because I’m gonna say to you, you don’t have any convictions, right? I mean, you just whiff and whaff and you don’t believe anything. You’re not willing to stand in the middle of a dark age and say whose side you’re on. So, you ought to be a part of a body of believers and certain things ought to be going on here. And this has been true from the beginning and is revealed by God. Yesterday, we talked about the importance of strong leaders and the kinds of leaders, we need to have. Gentle, manifesting the Fruit of the Spirit, willing to say when they’re wrong, wise, clear, but leaders who lead not by taking a vote, but by knowing where God is going and following him. And then the concomitant thing that has to go with that is submission, confession time. I don’t like to submit to anybody for anything. And I don’t like to be the authority either. Just leave me alone. But you can’t do that if you’re a Christian. Listen, I have an authority so big that I get mad at stop signs. If you want me to do something, tell me to do the opposite and I’ll do what you want me to do. That’s a confession and I’m better at it, but it’s taken a long time. And I’ve learned that when God leads an anointed leader, I need to follow. Now, I don’t need to follow without saying anything. Remember, one of the principles we talked about is that everybody should be heard and valued, but even if I don’t like it, I’ll submit and see what God does. Because God uses anointed leadership in the family, in the church, in a business, in a ministry like Key Life. And I could go on and on, but it requires that followers follow and that leaders lead and that it be anointed on both sides of that. I would have elders meetings, we one time decided to allow somebody to dance in church. You say, that’s no big deal. Well, in those days it was a big deal. I had a lady in my church and she was a professional ballet artist and she came to me one time and she said, Steve, I’d like to worship in my way in our church. And I’m a dancer. Could I do a ballet dance as a part of worship sometimes. You know what I said to her, do I have stupid written across my, are you crazy? Of course you can’t. They would crucify me if I allowed you to do that. And when she left, the Holy Spirit came and I decided, yeah, I think that would be a really good thing. And so, I called her and I said, I’m sorry for what I said, I want you to dance in a couple of Sundays and I’m going have our director of music, write some music in a Psalm setting and you’re gonna dance to it. And if I lose my job, you’re going have to find another one for me. Okay? So, she did, and it was so, it was incredible. I mean, God used it in such a beautiful way. There was nothing erotic about it, nothing that was not proper about it. She was a beautiful young lady who danced so incredibly for our congregation while the choir sang a Psalm that had been composed by the music director. And you know what happened? There wasn’t a dry eye in the congregation. Jesus came and moved it incredibly. But what I’m telling you this for, is because I called the elders cause I felt like there was going be some real anger about allowing somebody to dance. And by the way, it’s quite Biblical to dance in a worship service. And a couple of the elders, and I love them and they love me and we’ve been together a good while, but a couple of elders said, Steve, I don’t agree with this. And I just want you to know that, but nobody will ever know that I disagree with you because I love you enough to follow you through a wall. And so, even though some of the elders didn’t like what was going on, they said, we’re going to submit to your authority. And we’re going do this and pray that God honors it cause if he doesn’t, we’re going be in trouble. And he did. And he did in a major way. That was true, in the 15th chapter of Acts, Peter and James and the apostles made a decision. They didn’t take a vote. They made a decision and it was communicated by Peter and then by James to the whole church and God changed the world because the followers followed and submitted to the anointed leadership that was there. That’s true in church. And it needs to happen. Even if you don’t like the way the leader parts his hair or the dress that she wears. If they’ve been anointed by God, even if you disagree, tell them and then say, but I’m going to follow you because that’s what God tells me to do. And we’ll see what God does. And then let me mention another thing to you. The thing that’s going on here and you find it throughout the entire 15th chapter of Acts, is an effort at communication. I mean, these are not leaders who said, listen, don’t question us, don’t say anything, we prayed about it, we’re right, you’re wrong, this is what we’re going to do. And you will do it if you really love Jesus. None of that was going on. I mean, they spent hours and hours listening and communicating and explaining and dissecting and talking about the issue cause this was a big deal. And there wasn’t a single person at this meeting in Jerusalem who could ever, ever say nobody ever explained it to me. It was explained, you know, and I realize you can’t do that all the time, but we need to make sure that the communication channels in the church are held open. I’m glad for the Bible and that God gave us his written word. And there are a lot of reasons he did it, but one of the main reasons, if he hadn’t, we would’ve gotten it wrong. He explains over and over again. He gives us the truth and he tells us why he’s giving us the truth. He tells us what he’s doing and why he is doing it. And that’s a good model for every leader, every church, every congregation. And that is to make sure everybody understands and everybody is on board. And that happens or should happen in other places too, like our families, like the ministries we’re involved in, there needs to be a long time of preparation and understanding and communication so that people know. I had a problem with that when I was a pastor and I got into trouble, but some brothers came to me and said, Steve, we’re going to follow you, but take some time to catch us up. Take some time to explain things to us. I remember going to a deacons meeting one time and they were fighting. And when I walked in the room, I was angry. And I said, guys, I don’t understand this issue. Explain it to me and I’ll choose sides and join in the fight. And everybody laughed, but there was some truth in what I said, the importance of taking the time to communicate the decisions that are made in the family and in the church, and even in your business and in a ministry like Key Life. We had a consultant come here at Key Life, one time. And he brought out his bag of tricks and said, all right, we’re gonna first decide what you guys are about. And with one word in unison, everybody on the staff said, we’re about grace. And he was shocked. And he said, well, we don’t have to do that cause communication had taken place. Hey, you think about that. Amen.
And thank you Steve. That wraps up this week of our unhurried journey through Acts.. Remember if you missed any episodes, listen to them anytime you want at keylife.org or on the Key Life app. And be sure to join us tomorrow for Friday Q&A. Tomorrow, Steve and Pete will field this question. Were there any boats other than the ark? I have no idea. That’s a great question. Tune in and let’s find out together. Well, not too long ago, we got to chat again with one of our favorite authors, Brant Hansen. And we talked about what it really means to be a man. His new book is called The Men We Need: God’s Purpose for the Manly Man, the Avid Indoors Man, or Any Man Willing to Show Up. This conversation was equal parts, belly laughs and deep insights. And we put the whole thing on a CD that we would love to send to you for free. Get it right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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