By Deborah Bell
(Lead Apostle DGAN Global Network and DGFC churches)
There are those that spend their time talking about what others should be doing, and then there are those that actually “build the road”. – The mandate of the great commission in Matt 28:19 was not be observers but to make disciples of all nations, baptising people in the Holy Spirit & teaching those that will hear, the Word of God.
Our job as Christians is to help people discover Christ on their journey of life, making him Saviour and Lord. The Scriptures teach us in many places, that Christ wants to use us, as we are grafted in the body of Christ. The local church is an essential part of making it happen, and I am a strong believer in the local church and her role to do this.
Yet there are so many that stand alongside the road instead of helping to build it together. For many, it is easier to criticize those who are doing the work in the field of life, than to actually meet the challenges that go with getting involved themselves.
I have found that when people make a decision to deal with their own woundedness, and are ready to get healing from the Holy Spirit, they are able to move from the “side of the road” to the forefront of what God is doing, helping others in a healthy way.
Then there are those, standing on the side, looking for allies that are in the same place of woundedness to stand with them. That’s just it, they stand but don’t move forward. It’s one thing having compassion and dealing with the pain of those you love and want to help; but it is another altogether, to be “sucked” into that dark realm and stay in that place of pain forever.
The bible talks about such people in the way of the Israelites. God’s word tells us how the Israelites in their woundedness of slavery for so many years, caused them to not trust God. Their constant mistrust, (which in essence was sin); caused them to look back to their flesh for help, the carnal things. The only place they wanted to go with that mind-set in their woundedness, was Egypt! Back into captivity!
You might say in hindsight; “who in their right mind would do such a thing?”
I believe that when we refuse to trust, when we refuse to get healing, we end up back in that same place of rebellion, just like the Israelites, and Egypt looks very good!
Friends, the “road builder” builds to move forward, in the promises of God no matter what the risks. The observer moves back into the “safe space” of their own control and dominion and they become preoccupied with self, and with their own measure of right and wrong. That’s Egypt friends, not freedom. Eventually that stance or “road” will take us into the same kind of blindness that it took the Israelites. We begin to see things through a distorted lens, and we don’t heal we just end up lost.
So Christ himself gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
In the Scriptures God has a healthy way for us to do build the road: It is God’s way, not the way of human beings!(We have never got it right on our own). We see God’s ordaining of the five fold ministry in Ephesians chap 4 and the book of Corinthians. Apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers & Evangelists, all put in place to equip the saints to do the work of the Kingdom, which is the mandate in Matt 28:19; and to reach unity and maturity.- John 15 talks about us all being in the vine, so that we can receive instruction in the way of the Lord, and stay in the waterfall of God’s presence and direction, so that we are filled up with the fullness of Christ, as Ephesians describes it.
We cannot minister to a broken world if we are not being restored ourselves. We cannot help the broken, if we ourselves are not undergoing our own healing, or we will only see the brokenness of other people through the place of hurt we are still in, instead of through the eyes of compassion and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. This is dangerous, because it leads to being enablers, instead of those that empower people to make their own decisions.
Some characteristics of a Road builder:
Road builders are not lone rangers – they don’t try to go it alone.
Road builders are community orientated – They do things together, they stand in agreement as the scriptures decree: Acts 4:32 “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” Unity is key for God’s Spirit not to be grieved. I love that submission is a healthy part of God’s plan for us. Everyone good road builder is called to test the Word but we are also challenged to trust others that God has put in place, throughout the Word of God.
Road builders have a teachable spirit – they know where they are going, and do not fear releasing their rebellion. God has not given us a spirit of fear but a sound mind!
Road builders move stumbling blocks out of their way – They don’t stop their journey because they are challenged by obstacles, they get help to move the stumbling blocks out of their path so that they can move forward.
Road builders stay immersed in meditating on God’s Word so that they are able to do what is written in it.
Road builders stay committed. They have a heart for God, a heart for their pastor, a heart for people and a heart for their tribe – They hold onto the right priorities in the right order, and they love their tribe.
Friends, don’t be an observer, be a road builder. Do not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but stay on course, stay not only with the road but on the road, and be part of the plan that God has for your life.
Heb 10:19-25 Therefore, brothers & sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Apostle Deborah Bell