An Example of God's Adaptability
So, God creates a way to solve a problem that far exceeds man’s way. He does use an organized way of approaching His problems, but it’s adaptable, whereas organizations cannot adapt and change. Let me give you a practical example of what the brother was talking about, okay? It has to do with leadership as it relates to money.
God says,” He that receives instruction in the word should share all good things with his teacher,” right? So we know there’s this interaction (1 Cor. 9). “Don’t muzzle the ox that treads out the grain.” An overseer that is also a teacher should receive double honor. There is this interaction between leadership (and there is such a thing) and giftedness. We also know that there’s some interaction between money and making sure that those that are carrying the Word of God can do what they should be doing. Those devoted to prayer and service with the Word, shouldn’t have to get too tied down with waiting on tables and other things that would take them away from what they do best.
We all understand and are very familiar with these principles because most of you in this room have some kind of leadership role. But here’s the difference between organization and organism. Paul wrote in Philippians 4, “When I was in Thessalonica you sent me care and aid. You loved me and helped me. You participated in the work of God.” He said, “It wasn’t for my sake that I cared that you did that, because God somehow would have taken care of me. I would have made tents or done something else if I needed to.
I am glad for your sake that you demonstrated faith by participating in doing the part you could to make sure the Word of God would go into every nation. That’s what counts, so good for you, I’m glad for you. It was ok for me too and I’m grateful, but that’s not why I’m mentioning this. I’m mentioning this because it was good for you to have participated in this.” Then he said, “For a time, you didn’t meet my needs. Nobody did.” We do see Paul working with his hands in his life in the book of Acts. Sometimes he worked hard with his own hands. You can see at times though, how the people shared organically with Paul—not because of organization.
We know that sometimes he went hungry.
Yes, exactly. At times Paul would meet his own needs with his hands and at times God’s people would participate in helping him—in both cases it was Organism. It is true that he who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with his teacher, but it happens through organism. There is a beauty to that which allows for adapting as circumstances and situations change.
For example, suppose one of the brothers has been caring and serving and teaching and praying and has helped change a family. He’s helped save a marriage and helped the light to pop on with the children and they become Christians. Some of the brothers and sisters see that, and they slip an envelope under that brother’s door with some cash in it to encourage him. “Let he who receives instruction in the word share all good things with his teacher.” That’s not a salary, but it’s the Holy Spirit saying to brothers and sisters that they should say “Thank you” to this brother for caring and praying for them and sharing the Word of God with them.
So God says through the Spirit, “Give a gift to this brother.” Suppose many people are giving anonymous gifts to this brother, not letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing. The brother begins thinking about his job at the factory or printing company and sees that his needs are being met by the believers, apart from his employment. Since his needs are sufficiently met, he decides to be devoted to prayer and service with the Word.
He resigns his job at the factory since his needs are fairly well met. He doesn’t have a salary or a title, but it seems like the Spirit of God is providing for his living day by day by day. He’s then free like Paul describes in Philippians 4: “Sometimes I was free, other times I worked hard with my own hands.” So, this brother lets God meet his needs however He wants to.
Then suppose this brother begins to be selfish and proud. Too many people have said, “Oh, you’ve really helped me.” And he says, “Oh yes, I have helped people, haven’t I? I’m a man of God and know the Bible, don’t I? I’m so good and so spiritual.”
God will judge that man!
This brother had been very helpful in saving people’s families and laying down his life for them and helping with the children, and we wanted to give him gifts, and then he quit his job. If he begins to get prideful, guess what happens? People would not continue to give. God would lead them to begin to give those gifts to other people. He’d have to go back and get his job again because he wouldn’t have his needs met anymore. He’d have to get a job. If a man doesn’t work, he shouldn’t eat.
God has been allowed to do the raising up and the sitting down, raising up and sitting down. Maybe this man then repents. “What am I doing? I’ve gotten proud and arrogant and I’m feeling it because people aren’t responding the way they used to. They aren’t patting me on the back and applauding me anymore. I’m beginning to see the need to repent. God has spanked me through this.”
If we have a factory system in place, then that brother would have had a salary because he went to seminary. Big deal! That doesn’t mean he knows God. The devil could go to seminary and the devil could even teach in seminary because he knows the Bible. He quoted the Bible to Jesus easily enough, right? So it isn’t what we know, it’s who we are.
In an organization, a man is given a title and a position, and he is in charge of the teaching in the city where he lives. He is the official “Holy man,” which isn’t even Biblical. That medicine-man, holy-man stuff is from man’s religion. In Christianity, Jesus said, “You’re all brothers.” So be a servant and work at being the best you possibly can be, and the rest will take care of itself.
Let the Spirit of God resolve the issues of not muzzling the ox. Then when the brother who was helpful begins to get prideful, people will “smell” that. If we’re living as a Family every day, and not just attending some Holy Mountain Sunday morning experience in a temple (whether it is a little house or a big temple) people begin to notice. If you are Family with people loving and caring for each other and somebody starts getting arrogant, wouldn’t you know it and feel it? Wouldn’t you see it in their eyes or hear it in how they said things if they started sounding a bit pushy or bossy?
When we have a system, a form, or a factory where a person gets a salary, a title and they’re the Holy man, they could be in some kind of sin and no one would know it. They could be looking at evil things in magazines or on the internet. They could be selfish and prideful in their relationships, or abusive in their marriages, but nobody knows it. They have a title and get a salary so they’re the spiritual, holy boss. That is so wrong! Paul didn’t even do that so why should any of us?
Who in here is more spiritual than Paul? If you write two-thirds of the New Testament then I’ll listen to you. In the meantime, Paul said that this is organic: “Let he who receives instruction in the word, should share all good things with his teacher.” It doesn’t say that he who has a title should receive money, but rather, he who is gifting people with the Word of God and feeding them with words from Heaven should receive his due.
“Did not our hearts burn within us as we walked along the way? Wow! That brother is walking with God because he’s feeding me manna from heaven in my daily, practical life. He’s not giving me some sermon. He’s at my house and talking to me about my life and my situation. He’s helped me in my job to see God and to win others to Christ. He’s there for me and part of my life. My heart burns within me because these are the words of Jesus. This man loves God. He’s a conduit of God’s words and life, and I want to share with him and do all I can to make sure he can help as many people as possible.”
If that man later gets arrogant and proud, then Heaven will begin to close for him. It will begin to shut, and he will then have to try to remember what he used to say. But his words are now all borrowed, babbled words. It’s not an open heaven or anointing anymore, but only coming from his head. Everybody begins to feel it because his relationship with God is being squeezed. God is pulling back away from him, because of sin in his life that no one knew about. You only saw the fruit of it. His words are beginning to fall to the ground. Thud…thud…thud…
As people begin to pull back a little bit, he feels the discipline of God. If he has a salary, a position, and a title in a machine-factory-organization, God can’t work that discipline in his life because he’s got money coming in all the time. He’s in control of the tithe and the treasury. He could even be stealing money anytime he wants because he’s the boss and totally unaccountable to anybody.
In organism, however, God does raise up leaders, but He also can sit them down if He needs to.