CONFIRMATION THROUGH THE BODY OF CHRIST
(Mat 18:16) . . . ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’
One way that God confirms His will for our lives is through the body of Christ. You see, we might have a great idea about the direction we are thinking of taking, but if others in the body do not affirm that, then we just might want to reassess our course of action through prayerful circumspection. (Eph 5:15) See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise.
Now don’t get me wrong. There are times when we will be right, and others will be wrong. Many great missionaries were told not to go on the mission field and they went anyway and were highly successful. We can’t please everybody, and we must be obedient to the Lord. This reminds me of the believers in Tyre that told Paul not to go to Jerusalem when he knew it was of the Lord for him to go. His response? (Acts 21:13) Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
What I’m talking about is those who are so hyper about what they want to do that they won’t listen to reason. They are of an independent spirit and fail to see their ship hazarding toward the rocks. The body of Christ is a good checks-and-balances system. We are to put our ideas through the grid of godly people who love us and are looking out for us. (Pro 27:17) As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. (Pro 15:22; James 3:17)
If you have a major life issue or change on the horizon, how important it is to consult with your pastor and/or a mature spiritual leader. They know God’s Word and have a lot of experience. It’s also great to ask for prayer from fellow believers you know and then to wait on the Lord. Get people’s feedback with what you are deciding to do and ponder their responses.
I’ve always liked to operate by this verse: (Acts 15:28) it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us . . . That means you present something to your support group in Christ and look for a general consensus of the mind of the Lord. The Lord promised to answer our prayers and be in our midst when we pray together about a matter. (Mat 18:19-20)
I attended Bible college and seminary to be a pastor and all my experience had been in pastoring. But then my pastor asked me to start a Christian school and be its first principle. It was a thrill for a few years, but I desired to return to pastoring. My pastor went to the Elders about it and they said they wanted me full-time overseeing the school. Even people I talked with around church didn’t seem to feel good about my direction. That is confirmation through the body of Christ. The good news is one year later I was released to pioneer a church of my own! The body of Christ is not God but can be used of God to confirm His will for our lives.