Monday, May 10, 2010

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

That's what I heard him ask. Un-satisfied with his wife, filled with the counsel of his friends, he was deciding to leave her and find one who would support him, one who would make his heart sing again.

That's what I heard her ask. Un-satisfied with her church, filled with the counsel of her girlfriends who had been to "spirit-filled" churches, she was deciding to find a new church, one that would feed her better.

That's what I heard the pastor ask. He wasn't seeing much fruit from his ministry. Church seemed bland, he was out of ideas. He was deciding to find another.

It's not a bad question. It's just usually not asked under the right circumstances, with the right heart. Paul, the apostle, asked it. His whole conversation with God, self, and the question is found in Philippians. Paul was in prison for his faith, and was probably getting tired of the persecution he had suffered, and he knew that it was better for him to go to Heaven and be with His Lord than to remain on earth. But, he didn't leave, and he gave the answer for not leaving.

I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me. (Philippians 1:23-26)

Paul asked the question and answered unselfishly. And, us, the only time we can ever be sure that asking the question is ok, is when we have first spent time with God purging our selfish motives. Paul wanted to go, but he stayed. He stayed, not because it was good for him, but because it was good for the people he would have left behind. Oh, just in case someone at Calvary wonders, "No, I am not asking the question."


Debra said...

So glad you added the last line!