Humility comes before exaltation


Published: Thursday, January 31, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 3:12 p.m.

I am constantly meeting individuals who have decided to start new churches. When I ask why they are leaving the church they are serving at, I typically hear that God is leading them to do a new thing or that it is time for them to branch out on their own.

However, after further questioning, I often discover that they are leaving due to differences in vision with church leadership.

When I first became ordained to preach the gospel, many asked me when I was starting my own church. I was concerned at this because I knew there was still so much for me to learn from my senior pastor by serving him in the ministry.

The need to learn by serving under authority is oftentimes overlooked, which is why I believe we have so many church leaders who are falling into diverse sins.

Many people want to go right out and become a pastor of their own church rather than allow God to teach them how to be a wiser, more experienced man or woman of God.

This is dangerous because it does not follow the biblical pattern for being used mightily by God. In the Bible, God always humbles his servants before exalting them.

Moses had to be humbled in the desert before delivering the children of Israel. Joseph had to be humbled in prison before he became second in command in Egypt, and even Jesus humbled himself by submitting to the will of his parents.

The Bible says in Proverbs, ‘‘only by pride cometh contention,’’ so the strife and contention are only evidences of pride being present. We should be in constant prayer to make sure that the reasons we are doing what we are doing are due to the leading of the holy spirit and not our hurt pride.

In 1 Peter 5:1-4, Peter discusses how the elder or pastor of a church should teach. In verse 5, he states the following, ‘‘Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.’’

Peter says that we are to submit to the elders or authorities God has placed in our lives, even when they do things differently than the way we would have. To submit to something implies that it was not what one wanted to do or agreed with.

In 1 Peter 5:6, God promises that if you would submit and serve in humility, in due time he will exalt thee. So, if you are leaving to start your own ministry without the full and complete approval of your shepherd, I exhort you to follow the instructions of Peter and submit in humility until God leads the shepherd to approve your departure.

If you are obedient and serve faithfully, you can be assured that in ‘‘due time,’’ God will exalt you with a ministry that will not soon fail.

Pastor Timothy L. Jones is assistant pastor of Open Door Ministries in Gainesville. He serves under the leadership of his father and Senior Pastor Samuel Jones Jr. He leads Open Door's Truth Collegiate Outreach Ministry along with his wife, Minister Nona Jones. For more information, visit www.OpenDoorMinistries.com or call (352) 377-8162.

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