Four years ago, I wrote a post called “He who promised is faithful.” The post was inspired by another blog post and a passage of Scripture in Hebrews 10:23-25. Can we follow the commands and descriptions of church meetings in Scripture and trust God to take care of things? Or, do we have to make sure that we’re in control of the meetings?
The title of this post comes from the book of Hebrews:
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23 ESV)
This is a reality in which many number of things are going on at the same time. God is working on the individual parts in getting along with each other in love, in holiness of life. And there is a work of learning how to grow, live and serve together, in mission to the world.
All of this involves becoming established in uncertainty. We don’t know what lies ahead in a day, or a week, a month or a year- and beyond. But we are willing to trust that in it all God’s will can be done in our lives, as we seek and choose that will over our own and for the true good of the world, including ourselves.
We like predictability and easy “cookie cutter” ways. But God’s ways are different. We inevitably will meet new struggles, opportunities, issues, etc., in those around us we know, as well as in our own lives.
This post came at an important time in my life. I have talked with many people who are concerned with the freedom and “unscriptedness” of the type of church meeting that we find in 1 Corinthians 14 (see “What do we do with 1 Corinthians 14” and that series).
We when we meet with other believers, and no one is scheduled to “preach” and no one is scheduled to “lead worship” and no one is schedule to read Scripture and no one is scheduled to pray… can we trust God?
Now, granted, Hebrews 10:23 is not about the church meeting. But, if we can trust God for our salvation, can we also trust Him to keep order when everyone is free to speak according to Paul’s parameters in 1 Corinthians 14?
Please note that I am not talking about a failure to plan – Paul includes the possibility of planning in 1 Corinthians 14:26. But, what if we allowed believers to plan and prepare as God directs. Also, I’m not talking about a lack of accountability. But, what if we allowed each believer to hold his or her brothers and sisters accountable? Can we trust God for this?
I know, we like to come into a church meeting, find a place to sit, open the bulletin, and know exactly what is going to happen. We feel uneasy and off-balance when we do not know who has prepared to speak and who has prepared a song. But, can we trust God with this also?
We know what we like and what we want. But, do we dare ask what God wants? Do we dare ask how he desires for the church to meet? Could it be that the only image we have in Scripture of a meeting of the church (1 Corinthians 14) is there because that is how God wants us to meet? Can we trust God in this? Is He faithful even in this?