With our 2017 Convention one day away, we’re posting messages from our Ministry that go beneath the surface to overcome the imperilment of the human condition. Elder teaches us to seek God’s counsel. In times of conflict or stress, it’s how we emerge from troubles with our souls intact. It’s how we win.
Whose Team Are You On Anyway?
Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, and Final Four. It’s that month when everyone starts disappearing and watching TV on their phones. Pay attention to UNC–Unite N Christ–this weekend and every day. The Body of Christ’s winning streak has lasted longer than a last-second buzzer beater. Cue a lot of tears last March over one of the best teams on the wrong receiving end of that last second.
Translation: While everyone is glued to college basketball tournaments and million-dollar brackets, we’re excited that our Conference has a five-fold Ministry with Jesus as our Center. That’s a slam dunk 🙂
Raising A Few Flags
Elder taught a powerful series on Purpose, Motive, and Action (PM&A). The series was in-depth and personal. He explained three aspects of PM&As:
- How to call our own PM&As into question.
- How to recognize pure PM&As that focus on spiritual needs and God’s foundation.
- How to identify PM&As that serve selfish gain and prosperity.
The excerpt from Elder LaFleur’s Purpose, Motive, and Action series was taken from a Sunday evening service.
Tensions In The Wilderness
Through the Bible, God called people out of the world to save them and He had a Ministry and people who willingly loved and followed Him.
Then there was that time Korah started not seeing eye to eye with Moses and Aaron, to the point he came against Moses and campaigned for others to join in his opposition. Working against God’s ministry wasn’t his best decision. Men, women, and children were swallowed up in the earth. Literally.
The Book Of Numbers Just Got A Lot More Interesting
That Sunday night, Elder taught the 16th chapter, including a high-profile separation that left us all putting some pieces together. Mmmmhmm.
God called Moses to be in charge of leading His children. Of course this means rebellion from those who God didn’t put in charge—but thought they should be anyway. Meet Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. These men rose up and questioned the authority of Moses and Aaron. God’s men said ‘Nope, not on our watch’ to handing off power or compromising what God called them to do.
Taking It To A Whole New Rebellious Level
When Korah came against Moses and began gathering the congregation into his cause, he entered into a dangerous situation with God.
The people had to decide who would be a better leader. What was the purpose, motive, and action driving these men? The three men calling Moses’ leadership into question had bad purposes, motives, and actions. These three men influenced a great many people—200 princes and their families.
Korah drew a crowd telling them ‘there are a lot more of us than there are of them’. He fooled men of renown into thinking he stood for their best interest. His desire for a following and high position put all their lives in jeopardy. Not the qualities you want in a leader.
I’d Put That Back If I Were You
What God does, who He calls, and how He builds His Church is to be honored and respected. Do not change what God has done. For example: making men from the foundation of the Body of Christ of no effect is altering God’s work and what He established.
No negotiations here, which means it would be a good idea to finish the 16th chapter of Numbers. Bookmarking it wouldn’t hurt either.
Don’t Stand, Don’t Stand So Close to Them
Be careful where you’re hanging out. Double-check your own purpose, motive, and action and do a once over of the company you keep. Like Korah, people can’t hide how they really feel. If you think you’re better than others, that will come out. Purpose, Motive, and Action reveal your true heart.
Korah undermined Moses and divided God’s people. These men were wicked because they didn’t do right with God. The Lord wasn’t having it. Not a good day to be standing next to Korah, Dathan, Abiram, their wives, their families, their kin, their tents, their possessions, or their new recruits.
God’s Way Juxtaposed Against Carnal Ugliness
Moses already knew God was going to choose him. He said so, not with pride, but humility. Korah was pretty miffed when Moses announced that tomorrow God would show who is His and who is Holy. This confidence was too much for Korah to stand. He had actually loved Moses and Aaron at one time, so it stuck in his craw even more.
We serve God together, but in varying capacities according to what He called us. Work in what the Lord called you to do.
Even though Aaron had done nothing to them, they disliked him because he followed Moses. These two were innocent, honest men. Their PM&A was to maintain what was right and stick to the plan of God. They were loyal and would not compromise an inch of God’s work for evil or rebellion.
Now’s A Good Time To Get Out Of Here
Before God brought down his wrath on Korah and his followers, He told everyone else it might be a good time to back up. As in waaaay back. Don’t be standing anywhere near the evil men and don’t touch one thing belonging to them. God destroyed the wicked and removed all traces of their existence–except for the incense trays. Moses told Eleazar to make the plates a covering of the altar as a sign to the children of Israel.
If You’re Not On Board With Being Swallowed By The Earth
Don’t provoke God. Moses barely got out the last word of verse 30 when God opened the earth where the wicked stood and swallowed them all into a deep, dark pit to never be seen again.
Trusting those with potentially shady PM&As is like asking Delilah to just dust the ends. Their influence devours. Separate from them, or you risk being consumed into the darkness of their sins.
Is It Hot In Here?
Cough, cough . . . that’s an awful lot of smoke coming from those incense trays.
A major fire broke out from the Lord and consumed 250 men who were offering incense. They burned alive. The children in the wilderness had questions. Is it okay to twist facts to support our complaining? Has starvation been more anticipated than experienced? Exactly how important are our PM&As? Does God judge people who work against Him? Should we listen to His Ministry? Are we permitted to alter what God established?
Kidding. The Israelites knew all these answers. As they saw flesh burning and heard cries of the wicked being swallowed down into the earth, they fled for their lives.
Fast-Forward 24 Hours
The congregation’s back to blaming Moses and Aaron.
These two men would have probably responded with ‘need you to have a little more faith in us’ except there was no time. Moses knew wrath had already gone out from the Lord. He fell and asked God to forgive the people and told Aaron to make an atonement and make it snappy. Moses and Aaron were fighting against time and the very people whose lives they were trying to save.
The children in the wilderness were not having the easiest year, and they were about to get serious diseases. Add more complaining and another rebellion to the list of reasons their relationship with God was getting really, really strained.
Then this happened. Numbers 16:46-50.
No Matter What Happens, God Always Comes Forth And Directs
Those who stood with Korah became irrevocably tied to him and that loyalty cost the ultimate price. They followed a man who gained respect through disgracing Moses. Brother Nobles recently reiterated the danger of our attachment to seeking our own counsel and its disastrous outcome. It leads to betrayal of our spiritual souls.
A lot took place in Numbers 16.
Many people died because of Korah. Fourteen thousand died in the plague. By verses 47-48, Aaron made the atonement and told everyone to take ten deep breaths.
Birds Of A Feather
When people you’re hanging around can’t seem to do that thing called winning, it’s time to second guess your friend group. You become who you fellowship, so choose wisely and look for friends who are loyal to God. Loyalty to God’s Man and Ministry opens the doors to heaven!
Got questions? We have a Ministry with lots and lots of answers.
We appreciate your stopping by. Let’s get together soon for truth, fellowship, worship, and encouragement. March 16-19 works great for us, but we’d love to see you at any service!!