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February 23, 2011
February 12, 2011
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January 10, 2011
“The LORD has obviously brought you here, so there is nothing we can say”. Genesis 24:50
This was the response that Bethuel and Laban gave Eliezer when he explained the story of how the Lord led him to find his master’s son a wife. You may recall that Abraham sent Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac and that Eliezer was very specific in his prayer to the Lord as to how he would identify the right woman, the one God had chosen. The events that unfolded demonstrated clearly to Eliezer that the Lord had indeed answered his prayer.
When Eliezer then explained what had transpired to Bethuel and Laban their only response could be the one that they gave here in this passage. There are some churches today that don’t operate this way, meaning that when some of the people in their fellowship see the Lord’s leading taking them elsewhere or changing the direction of their life or ministry, it is not always received well by the leadership of that church.
Sadly, some pastors believe that a part of their calling is to manage the life of the people serving alongside them. These pastors tend to confuse their personal desires and interests with the Holy Spirit. The risk of losing a leader in ministry or losing control of how things get done often draws out the true motives of those in leadership. Many of us want to control our situations and circumstances especially when any change might bring unexpected stress but are we really willing to allow our personal desires and interests to override what God is doing in the life of another? Even worse, are we willing to pass judgment, silently or verbally, and even slander a brother or sister in the Lord just because they are taking a different direction?
Even though it was obvious to Bethuel and Laban that the Lord had brought this sudden and unexpected change into their lives, where Rebekah would suddenly be gone, I’m sure this situation caused them some level of momentary stress and anxiety. Rebekah was an important part of the home as we see in this entire passage in the previous verses. She did many chores that were necessary but likely taken for granted by her father and brother. All of a sudden, there would be a void in the home, in the “taking care of the work” and someone would need to fill the void.
Interestingly, the next morning when Eliezer requested that he and Rebekah leave, her brother and mother asked if she could stay an additional ten days but in the end they honored her wish and she left. This is a common response even in churches when people choose to leave. The pastor wants to hold on and perhaps even cause a delay all due to his insecurity and unwillingness to simply let the Lord lead.
If we say we trust the Lord then we need to trust that He will bring change in the lives of the people around us as well. We need to remember that we are members of the “body” of Christ not the church organization or building of Christ. While many would agree, their actions would speak otherwise. For many people, the church they attend is the place God has put them in to serve in that community and fellowship but for some of those people it is also a temporary stopping place to be nourished and fed until the next part of the journey. Let us never be an obstacle or impediment in the lives of others because we think we know what is best for them, which quite often is another way of saying we don’t want our own lives inconvenienced or changed.