June 22, 2020
In the Bible, we will always find God’s work patten on this earth. He always raises up someone who is formed by the work of the Spirit and Word, so that God can raise up His people according to His pattern and agenda to present His Kingdom on this earth. In His sovereignty, He chooses whoever He wants to be the leader of a movement (Romans 9:12-18, Isiah 61).
However, many believers fail to understand God’s work pattern, because they can’t see others being their leaders. So many believers end up claiming to be the leader of movement even though they are not what they say they are. As they see that position as a respectable position and will surely get respect and treatment like a leader. That is the worldly concept in their minds. They fail to see the concept of a leader from God’s perspective, that a leader is also a servant who must serve others not only be served by others.
It is very important for believers, to ask the Holy Spirit to open their minds to see the leader of movement of a nation. Otherwise, there is always chaos and inaccuracy among believers. Everyone has their own agenda and has never been a part of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:10-16).
I dare to say: Our failure to see the leader of movement and our failure to submit to his authority is our failure to follow God’s will (we stop walking with God). That is what happened to Barnabas. He failed to see Paul as an apostle who was also the leader who carry God’s movement.
Acts 15:35-41 (NLT) Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch. They and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord there. After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. Paul chose Silas, and as he left, the believers entrusted him to the Lord’s gracious care. Then he traveled throughout Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches there.
Many people discuss and highlight the dispute that happened in the passage above. They said that ‘Paul and Barnabas’ are human beings so misunderstanding is normal to happen. Some of them even discussed about their personalities. Paul has a dominant and strong personality, on the other hand, Barnabas is a loving and gentle person. So they can’t walk together! Actually that is not the point of understand the passage.
If we look further, this is the last passage (in Acts) where the name Barnabas is written the Bible. After that, Paul dominated the movement. In His sovereignty, God chose Paul to be the leader of movement not because Paul wanted to stand out. So the important point in the passage above is ‘Barnabas failed to see Paul as the leader of movement’ (this is not a matter of who is right and who is wrong).
If only Barnabas could understand it and humbly submit to Paul’s leadership, and keep the ‘covenant’ he had with Paul, then Barnabas would certainly continue to walk with God and Paul. But unfortunately, Barnabas did not follow Paul, who walked with God, and decided to be apart just for the sake of his brotherhood with Mark (Colossians 4:10).
I learned that ‘the issue of who is the leader of movement’ that God has set becomes very important for believers at this end of time. Chaos will continue to happen in the body of Christ if we fail to see it. Everyone claims to be the leader of movement, and eventually the ministry of the body of Christ will never arise.
But I believe that God’s plan never fails. God is raising ‘a leader of movement’ and also a generation of people with one heart, one mind, one love, one soul, one purpose, not seeking self-interest and vainglory, also emptying themselves and living life as servants who serve others.
This generation will work together with the leader of movement that God has set (walk in covenant) to fulfill His agenda on this earth. In His sovereignty, God raised up a leader of movement and also a generation who emptied themselves just like Christ (Philippians 2).
Let us ask for His grace to become part of the generation who walk with God! This is the generation who will reveal the fullness of Christ and the ministry of the body of Christ at this end of time!
Ps. Steven Agustinus