THE CAUSE OF ~ AND ANSWER TO ~ CHURCH PROBLEMS
By Rodney W Francis
In the Book of Revelation Chapters 2 and 3, we read of the messages/letters to the seven churches. All had issues that they were instructed to get free from.
- It is very interesting to me that all of the church problems were essentially the result of one thing: they stopped listening to the Holy Spirit of Truth. And God’s answer to every church problem is: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”.
Bible Christianity is essentially simple ~ providing we do it God’s way. Here we have a lesson to learn that every church problem is caused by the same problem: the leaders stop listening to the Holy Spirit. Once man starts doing things his way, then the problems start, people get hurt, personal agendas begin to take over, church splits happen, etc. It is very important in church life that the Holy Spirit is listened to. Jesus taught us of the importance of having the Holy Spirit in our lives as He has been sent to lead and guide us into all truth (read more of what He does in John Chapters 14, 15 and 16). When He is able to lead and guide us, then He leads us in the way and will of God. He does not tell lies and is sent to help us to live the victorious, overcoming life that Jesus died to give us.
16 times in the New Testament we read: “He that has an ear, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15 ; Matthew 13:9 , 43; Mark 4:9 , 23; Mark 7:16 ; Luke 8:8 ; Luke 14:35 ; Revelation 13:9 , plus the 7 times in Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation where it states: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”). For something to be repeated that many times in Scripture surely shows us how important it is for us to listen. (I do not know of any other statement that is repeated so many times as this one.)
- We all need to ask ourselves the question: “Am I listening to the Holy Spirit?” It is vitally important that we are listening to Him as He is the One Who has been sent to “lead and guide us into all truth” (John 16:13 ).
As long as we are listening to, and obeying the Holy Spirit of Truth, then we are not going to be led astray by false voices (of which there are many today). Christian Leaders especially have a great responsibility to make sure they are listening to the Holy Spirit and not seeking “to build their own kingdom”, etc. When we do things God’s way then it always turns out right.
I have had the privileged of fellowshipping in hundreds of churches around the world, and to observe how they do things, etc. Sadly, today, very few give proper place to the Holy Spirit in their meetings. The “programme mentality” has left the Holy Spirit and His Gifts and Ministries out of it. More positive things happen in a meeting when time and place is given for the Holy Spirit to function and speak to us through prophecy and His other beautiful Gifts. Take note that the Gifts are The Gifts of The Holy Spirit. They are not man’s idea. They are given for the edification, exhortation, comfort and bringing to maturity the Christian believer. Without them having their way these things mentioned cannot really happen (read 1 Corinthians Chapters 12, 13 and 14). When we are listening to the Holy Spirit, then He can show us what to say and do. He knows what is in the heart of the people and through His Gifts He can speak and give them answers to coming out of any problems they have. I have seen so many break through into a whole new realm of usefulness to God as a result of their being released to function in the Spiritual Gifts. More things happen to the glory of God when the Holy Spirit is able to have His way.
TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS BEING LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
Let me remind you that true Christianity is all about being led by the Holy Spirit: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Romans 8:14 ). That is why it is essential that we are filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking the tongues language, and having listening ears to Him. He wants to lead and guide us, but we have to be listening and willing to do what He asks of us. Every time we obey the Holy Spirit, there is always a good testimony that comes forth from it. Praise the Lord! I have seen more supernatural happenings of God through people being obedient to the Holy Spirit than any other way. Listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying what He asks of me opened up the world for me to minister. I would never have gotten into the countries and places I have if it had not been for the Holy Spirit speaking to me, like: “I am sending you to England, and when you get there you will meet a man dressed in this clothing (and describe the clothing he would be wearing), etc.” Even though I had not been to that country at that time I met that person when I got there. It always became a divine appointment to something more in Jesus. Hallelujah! The Holy Spirit has guided, protected, kept me alive, provided my needs and given me a world-wide ministry as a result of believing what He has asked of me. It always turns out right when we are obeying the Holy Spirit. It is a far different life-style than merely trying to be a theological Christian or living by “the letter of the word” (see 1 Corinthians Chapter 2). The way of the Holy Spirit is very different to the thoughts of the natural mind! The natural mind cannot even receive the things that be of the Spirit of God!
- Jesus and Christianity are a very wonderful reality when we are listening to the Holy Spirit and doing what He asks of us.
- Make sure you know the Holy Spirit in these times.
- We are in real trouble if we do not have an ear to hear what He is saying today.
- Church problems would be greatly reduced and solved when we listen to the Holy Spirit.
- He knows the answer to every problem we face!
What is very much needed today are leaders who are developing a greater sensitivity to the voice and ways of the Holy Spirit, so they can be, like the Apostle Paul “obedient to the heavenly vision” that God has for them (Acts 26:16-19 ). The will of God was revealed to Paul through the Spiritual Gifts of Prophecy and Word of Knowledge (Acts 22:13-15 ) through Ananias. Paul’s obedience to what God said through the Holy Spirit is what set his ministry up to be the great impact it has been ever since. Every Christian today has been influenced in some way by the Apostle Paul’s ministry. It was ~ and still is ~ effective because He obeyed the voice of God through the Holy Spirit. It can be just the same for every one of us today, for the same principles given to Paul by Ananias apply to every one of us! If we live by those principles, with a listening ear to the Holy Spirit, then we can only be fruitful and effective way beyond anything our natural abilities can achieve.
Even in times of trials and testing we need to be totally devoted to the will and purposes of God. When Jesus was being tested prior to going to Calvary, He prayed to the Father: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:40-46 ). The flesh will always desire to take the easy way out, but doing the will of God commits us to the same statement of Jesus: “Nevertheless not my will, but Yours, be done”.
SEEK TO BE MORE SENSITIVE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
May we all seek to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit so we can hear what He is saying to us today, and then prove by our obedience how much better things work out when we do it His way. This is especially important for Christian Leaders as they are the ones who (generally speaking) are making the decisions with regards to church life, etc. Church decisions usually affect everyone within that church, so a right decision benefits everyone, while a wrong decision creates problems that will sometimes go on for years and often creates disunity within the ranks. The key to success is learning to do things God’s way through listening to His voice and stepping out in faith and obedience to His voice. The victory is sure when we work with Jesus! ~ Rodney W. Francis.