Consensus And The Five Fold – Part V
Coming to a consensus has not been easy; ask the children of Israel while they were in Egypt and even after their Passover.
Biblical consensus occurs when one hears from God. Moses heard from a burning bush telling him to “Let my people go”. He became obedient and left with a message for Pharaoh, but after 500 years of bondage, the mindset of the Israelites was not quite ready to receive such a message. They first agreed with Moses, but after Pharaoh’s demand for more productivity at the local brickyard, they now have to get their own straw, and they began to question Moses’ directions.
After all the plagues, Pharaoh grants them their freedom, and it appears that they are finally having a consensus, going the right direction, the same direction: out of Egypt. Consensus waivers when they get to the Red Sea with the Egyptian army heading in their direction! Consensus is strong when the only option becomes the Red Sea dividing into dry land for an escape route before them. They again moved in the same direction.
Moses gets another word, the 10 commandments plus is told that they should go to the Promise Land! All are with him until the wilderness becomes known as the “Wilderness of Sin” and the Israelites become known as “Children of Disobedience”, and they are forced to walk in circles because of doubt and unbelief. Because they were not “obedient” to the Word of the Lord and pulled together to go the same direction, all but three would die in that wilderness and never enter the Promise Land. Only until Israel was finally spiritually united believing they had a consensus to “take the Land”, that the “battle was the Lord’s” did God allow them to again move forward in unity as they crossed the Jordan, fight the giants, and defeat their enemies.
As I said in an earlier blog, to have a consensus you: 1) first, have to allow God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to be in total control. God calls the shots; we are just obedient to His directions; 2) each believer, though diversely different from one another must “lay down our lives for the brethren”, individually and corporately; by 3) submitting in service to and from one another, giving away our giftings to serve others, and willingly receiving the giftings from those so diversely different than from ourselves as equal peers in Christ. If we do these three things, there will be a “consensus”.
God had to lead the Israelites through the dessert: 1) to teach them to hear from Him, trust Him, and be obedient to Him and His Word; and 2) to make these people become “God’s people” by learning to serve one another and prepare them to move forward, in one direction, for upcoming battles. Today, God is still leading his believers, His people, through wilderness experiences to teach them: 1) to hear His voice; trust His Holy Spirit, and be obedient to Him and His Word; and 2) make them “God’s people, a Priesthood of Believers, peers and equals in Jesus Christ so they can serve one another and receive one another to mature individually into becoming Christ-like and to unite corporately as a Body, a family, a Church.
Yet, like the children of Israel, we to would rather rely on institutions, on empires, on what is traditional and routine for us rather than listening to the voice of God and have a consensus to move the same direction towards the promise land. As a Church we are fragmented, divided, sectarianism rules, division persists. We are known for shooting our own even when wounded. Like the children of Israel in the dessert we resist forming a Holy consensus of becoming obedient, laying down our lives for one another, and moving in the same direction.
Consensus has not been easy for the Israelites nor for the Christian faith because it demands obedience, allowing the Holy Spirit to be in control, and trusting the Holy Spirit. It demands laying down our life for the brethren, unconditionally serving them, washing their feet no matter how dirty they may be. Consensus looks like an art the first century Church practiced but has been lost. With all this division consensus does not look like a reality, “but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) I am convinced more than ever, that “consensus” is the way God governs his Church. That is why he has established his kingdom, his government on His Son Jesus, for “the government shall be on his shoulders.” His divine will is to govern that kingdom, His Church, through consensus. The Church will hear the voice of the Lord, be obedient to it, and move forward in the same direction. Come on Church; let’s reinstitute consensus as our form of government.