"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Grace Recovering? 3: Our calling vs Watchmen calling

     Jerry and I are Watchmen--but we're not.
     We do not have the same assignment the Watchmen had.
     When 176 people from our church signed on as Watchmen, I was excited. Now I felt we had back-up and support for our stand for this church. God was using them, too--through emails and through their website, Watchmen of Grace--to make known outrages going on in the church and as a result, people were being awakened.
     I was shocked when, two weeks before the meeting regarding the elders and the Statement of Faith, the Watchmen announced that if the elders were reaffirmed, they were leaving. I spoke up in Agape and said something indignant. I wouldn't have remembered all I said if a friend from class had not called me afterward and left the following voice mail:
     "I really appreciate what you shared in class, about waiting for the cloud to be lifted, being ready to go if He goes or stay if He stays, to not have a defeatist attitude, to not expect to lose, to not plan or prepare for retreat or defeat, that we can't presume to know what God wants, can't plan now to give up and flee, that there are angels fighting for this church, that we can't abandon the church [to worship elsewhere.]
     "You seem to be a woman of prayer."         
     After the vote, when the Watchmen did indeed start leaving, I felt bereft. God had not changed his orders to us and I thought the Watchmen's decision was premature. We had just assembled a lot of people to do spiritual battle--and the minute we were all together, our generals were telling us, "I've brought you all here to--desert. We've done our job. Abandon ship!" 
     That's how it felt.
     Thankfully, God had prepared me, as He does for so many things, for this exodus. In my devotional book, Jesus Calling, two days before their announcement, I read, I want you to be all Mine. I am weaning you from other dependencies. Your security rests in Me alone--not in other people, not in circumstances. 
     He drew me back to that fact. 
     I realized the Watchmen have a different calling than we do. They are being called out of this church to other churches for the sake of keeping God's word pure, of having their families fed truth and of being nurtured themselves, of having freedom to teach and share the full counsel of God. As with all God's disaporas, the scattered sheep take the gospel with them, like burrs in their wool, spreading it further.
     Jerry and I are being called to stay and stand for this church. God wants this church brought back to the truth, resettled on its true foundation. He is not willing to allow a false light or kingdom to infiltrate this community from the lighthouse Grace has always been. He wants His light shed abroad from this property and His kingdom to stay grounded and to flourish here. These physical buildings on this land--He wants them back.
     We can't lean on people. We can't insist they do what God has assigned us to do. They have to do what He is telling them to do.
     May it be done to us according to Your word.  


  1. The day after I read this post the daily devotional OUR DAILY BREAD had the following:

    Military commanders always want to have enough troops to accomplish their mission. Most would prefer having too many not too few, but not everyone agrees on just how many troops will be enough.

    When Gideon recruited an army of 32,000 men to stand against those who oppressed the Israelites, the Lord told him, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me’” (Judg. 7:2).

    So the Lord began to reduce Gideon’s army. When the fearful were allowed to leave, 22,000 men went home (v.3). A second reduction cut the force from the remaining 10,000 to 300 troops, of whom the Lord said, “By the three hundred . . . I will save you, and deliver the Midianites into your hand” (v.7). And so it happened (vv.19-23).

    In our life of faith, our resources can become the enemy of trust. God wants us to depend on Him, not our own strength, whether physical, financial, or intellectual.

    When the Lord reduces our resources from “32,000 to 300,” it is not punishment. It is preparation for Him to be glorified through our lives as we acknowledge and trust His power.

    Jessica and Jerry....I thought of you when I read this. Perhaps the resources have been reduced but you are being faithful to your own calling. May God continue to bless and strengthen you as you seek to do His will.

  2. We read Our Daily Bread together every night and when we read this, we thought of our situation, too!