Yesterday my wife and I went to a gathering of saints at one of their homes. We had known these brothers and sister since about 1970. Over the years since Jesus first knit us together we have all gone different ways and have had many different experiences in churches and life as a whole. It was really good to just come together as God’s family with no one having an agenda in mind. How often in the past I have seen Christians come together not for the best, but for the worst. When we tried to come together and it seemed that somebody (even me) had an agenda to see something happen or to get our point across and it ruined the whole time. Resting in Jesus’ presence in each one of us made all the difference, yesterday, and it was from there that HE was able to speak and act according to HIS will among us. What a difference it made.
Personal agendas can be a deadly thing in the family of God. Jesus did not live by HIS own agenda. He lived by every word that proceeded from the mouth of His Father. This was His bread (see John 4:7-32). He only did the works that He saw His Father doing. He rested in the will of the Father and in so doing He was without sin. He truly walked by faith all the days of His life right up until the night He was to go to the cross. It was then He prayed, “Father, I would that this cup pass from me… never the less, not my will, but yours be done.” He would not slip into His own will or agenda even to save His own life.
All too often we get together with other Christians with a mind to “minister” to them. We have an agenda to “strut our stuff” and impress others or convince them instead of just relaxing and being members one of another in Christ’s body. I am getting where I hate that word, “ministry,” but there was a time that it was all I could think about. This word “minister” and its derivatives were used in the KJV instead of being properly translated, “to serve,” “servant” or “service” as one who waits on tables. Jesus’ disciples didn’t get it, either. Right up until the end they were arguing over who would be first in Christ’s new kingdom government. He had to finally show them by example that leadership in His kingdom is nothing more than servant-hood and laying down ones life for others. He was a Servant in all ways. Even at the last supper where He stripped Himself of his garments, wrapped Himself in a servant’s towel and washed each of their feet. After He was finished He said to them,
“You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:13-17 RSVA)
Brothers and sisters, let us love and serve one another without an agenda other than to be obedient to the Father in all humility. God is love and love seeks not its own. Only as we abide in His rest will we hear His voice. Remember God’s warning to Israel,
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not, (Isaiah 30:15 AMP)
Let us love one another in deed and in truth, preferring and encouraging one another in all things.