Based on Trust and Love!

Building longlasting teams in Europe
Jan-Aage Torp
June 13, 2014

As apostolic leaders are coming together in Europe today, and in individual European nations, we need to remember that Jesus built a team of highly questionable individuals. But He made them the A-Team with a lasting impact - even 2000 years later. They learned to trust and love each other, and work together!

Based on Trust and Love!I believe that God speaks to every Christian. 1John 2:27 says that "the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him."

It is truly wonderful to be led by the Holy Spirit. He encourages us, He guides us, and He cautions us. I thank God for the eternal truth of the Bible, and for the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, and even for prophetic words that convey encouragement, exhortation and comfort.

But the leading of the Holy Spirit in our individual lives is not meant to negate the collective wisdom of the Church, and of the 5-fold Christ-gifts within the Church. Acts 13:2 gives a classic example of how the Holy Spirit also leads through the Body of Christ: "While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ´Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them´.” 

As apostolic leaders we need both: 1) Being led individually by the Holy Spirit, and 2) Being led as the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit..

Once in a while, I am astonished to hear how sure of themselves a few apostles and prophets are. "I have the gift of discernment!" is maintained with great certainty, and you can tell that they really mean it! But later it became evident that they had been wrong, or only partially right.... Their discernment wasn´t so infallible after all. 

We are fallible human beings, remember? We need to help each other. Exclusivity in "discernment" creates division and separation, and decreases our efficiency in the world. Let´s give each other some space to test what we think, and discuss with each other. Most of us learn a lot through trial and error. Where there is much grace, we will learn to accept and appreciate our differences in opinions, giftings, experiences etc.

The self-assertive pride that boasts of an almost infallible personal gift of discernment, puzzles me.... Perhaps we need to develop a bit of humility, knowing that it is not all about "me, myself and I", but that the Holy Spirit speaks and leads through the fellowship of Christ-gifts....

Apostle John P. Kelly teases apostolic leaders by saying from time to time about himself: "I don´t always know whether I am operating from the gift of discernment or the gift of suspicion".  And then he chuckles. This helps us to lower our tense shoulders and relax. Perhaps not take ourselves so seriously. It doesn´t really matter if "I am right", or if somebody else is more right, and perhaps has greater wisdom and discernment than I have. It´s the end-result that counts. 

Proverbs 20:18 reminds us: "Plans are established by counsel; By wise counsel wage war."

Let´s follow the example of Jesus and the New Testament apostles who chose to trust and encourage one another, and form dynamic apostolic teams that have longlasting effect!

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