1 Corinthians 14:26-28 – What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn, and let someone interpret. But if there is no one to interpret, let each of them keep silent in church and speak to himself and to God.
Imagine a city without laws, law enforcement, and justice where everyone did what was right in their own eyes like the days of the Judges and the movie The Purge. Imagine a sports team with no coach or playbook where every player just played whatever position they wanted and ran whatever play they preferred minus any sort of referee to keep the peace. Imagine a family where there were children but no parents, no rules, no structure, and no authority. Imagine a company where there were numerous employees but no managers or bosses, no job descriptions, no meetings, and no deadlines or performance reviews. Imagine a church where there was no leadership, no expectations, no structures, and everyone did what they thought was best regardless of what anyone else thought. If you want to waste time, energy, and money, create division instead of unity, and discourage and exhaust people on the way to complete meltdown, these are some good examples of how our culture has tried and failed to operate with lawfulness, which only brings awfulness.
Obviously, if our King and His Kingdom are one of honor, order, and decency, then anarchy cannot be our pattern for ministry. As a general rule, spiritual gifts like leadership and administration should help to cause public worship meetings for God’s people to resemble the rule and reign of the Prince of Peace and not the Devil of Disorder. However, at times, the Holy Spirit will show up in a surprising way to do some unexpected ministry that is planned by God but seems extemporaneous to us.
In the Bible, Luke uses words like “suddenly” to remind us that God is free and can choose to show up in power unannounced:
- Luke 2:13 – And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God.
- Luke 21:34 – “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.”
- Acts 2:2 – And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
- Acts 9:3 – Now as he [Saul/Paul] went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.
- Acts 16:26 – …suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.
- Acts 22:6 – “As I [Saul/Paul] was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me…”
In moments where God moves suddenly and in unusual power, leaders that are Spirit-filled and Spirit-led need to discern what the will of God is in that moment. Often, those people who are immature – self-confident, pushy, religious, or emotional – will seek to assume leadership in the moment. It is vital for mature leaders filled with the Spirit to discern the will of God in these heightened moments of spiritual breakthrough. Otherwise, the flesh will turn it into a mess, or the demonic will twist it into a mayhem. To help your church or ministry be as healthy and godly as possible, every Christian discovering their spiritual gift(s) and finding their place to serve on Team Jesus is vital.
What would our world be like if there was no order and only disorder? Thank God that He’s a God of order.
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