Planted in God's House
I realize in addressing this issue you will always have those who will say they don’t need to go to church in order to develop spiritually, but that is not what the Word of God says. People can make up their own beliefs, but that does not change what God’s Word says. Whenever we begin to develop our own belief system that does not go along with the Word of God we are falling into idolatry. We are making a god to fit us. We may still think we are serving God, but as I have heard my Pastor, Dr. Barclay say many times, you can’t serve God the way you want to, you must serve God the way He said to if you are going to serve God.
1 Tim. 3:14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly;The first thing I want to establish is the fact that scripture does speak of the house of God as a place where believers come together. There are also references to the fact that we as individual believers are also God’s house because He lives in us by way of the Holy Spirit, but as the above scriptures reveal we are also suppose to be a part of a local body of believer’s in the “house of God”, which is where we the church come together to build our lives on the truth of God’s Word. Scripture again is clear that we are to be in God’s house with other believers. Paul was writing to a young pastor, Timothy, who was not only one of Paul’s spiritual sons, but also the pastor of the church of Ephesus. He was addressing the order that should take place within the house of God among the church, God’s people.
1 Tim. 3:15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Eph. 4:11 He is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.The first key thing I want to address in how we get planted then in the house of God that the Lord has for us is what we are actually looking for. We are not to look for a church, we are to look for a pastor, a shepherd whom the Lord has anointed with the gift of a pastor to shepherd us and help us in our walk with God. They are not there to take the place of God in our life, nor should we build our faith in them, but they are there to help us look to God and have our faith built in Him.
Clearly in Ephesians 4 Paul points out here the gifts that Jesus gave to the church. Of these five gifts the pastor of course is the one who we are going to have as a shepherd over our life. The word pastor is defined as a shepherd. This is one reason why many are not planted in God’s house because they are looking only at what a church has to offer them. Their focus becomes the kids church, worship, facilities, or programs, instead of looking to the shepherd to find out if that is whom Jesus has gifted to help them. I have done teachings before on how to find your shepherd so I won’t go into that in this teaching, but it is important to know what you are looking for.
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.Here we have the apostle Paul talking to the leaders of the churches at Ephesus and giving them a stern warning that Paul himself had told them about for three years, warning them with tears. Paul here is clearly referring to the shepherds of these churches as he tells them in verse 28 to shepherd the church, which the Lord had purchased. In this final exhortation that Paul gave them, for he knew this would be the last time they would see him, he tells them to watch; for after his departure two things would happen. The first thing that they would see are wolves coming in among them not concerned at all about the welfare of the church, but they would come in to destroy the church and tear it apart getting people to turn from their leadership and depart from the faith.
Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
Acts 20:30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
The second thing Paul warns them about is that there would be people from among themselves who will rise up and speak perverse things to draw people away with them. This is referring to those who would be led astray by their flesh, or deceiving and seducing spirits to come against the leadership and church that they first knew God had called them too. These people when they leave the church and the shepherd God called them to will in turn try to convince others to go with them.
A key phrase that is used here is the words “rise up”. There are two ways to leave a church. There are those who “rise up” and there are those who are “raised up”. Those who rise up are those who know they were called to the shepherd when they came. They know there is a connection between them and this shepherd, but if they don’t get planted satan is going to work at getting them to rise up and go out. That is not the work of God. There are those in churches who are raised up by the church and then sent out to become connected with another shepherd whom God has called them too, or they after a short season they realize the shepherd they are with is not their shepherd.
No pastor serving God is going to try and keep people that are called to go and get connected with the shepherd God has for them, but there is a problem when people do this over and over again. They need to examine their heart in such a decision and stop listening to their flesh, which scripture clearly reveals is opposed to God. Most people that leave churches don’t do so because they have been raised up and sent out, nor because they have truly found the pastor God has for their life. Most leave churches because they get in the flesh, listen to their flesh, or what others who leave say to them, and they rise up and go out. This is a work of satan to keep people from being planted in God’s house.
Those who rise up and go out either compromise to go somewhere else because someone got in the flesh and then convinced them to go along to a church God did not call them too; or they rise up and go to another church for a while, then another, then another, and some eventually quit going all together. Just remember those who are planted in God’s house will flourish. So if you are going to stay planted in the house of God where He has called you, then you better make the decision to stop listening to man, following after your flesh, and instead choose to fully obey the Word of God. It will always be in your best interest to do so. It is not always easy because the flesh does not want to submit to the will of God.
Eph. 4:14 Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.In verse 14 and 15 above we find more results of being planted in God’s house. We are no longer being tossed around by all the different teachings that are going on. We become stable as a believer. We hold to the truth and become more like Christ, who is the head of the church. Then in verse 16 we see another key to getting planted. Every part of the body should do its share of the work. Church is like a family. Every family member should be involved in helping to do the work that it takes to make a church family function. This helps us get planted by being connected with the body not just coming and receiving, but giving of ourselves as well.
Eph. 4:15 Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
Eph. 4:16 Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
So recognize what we are looking for is a shepherd the Lord has for us. When you find that shepherd your heart is united with you need to make sure you are aware of those inside the body who may leave and those outside as well who will try to draw you away. You need to make sure you are not following the ways of the flesh, and you need to get connected as a part of the body God has for you. Those who stay planted will flourish and grow more and more like Christ Jesus!
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker