“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”-Job 42:2
Did you marry the person you thought you would when you were 13-years old? How many of us are working the same job we had in high school? Did my favorite football team1 or basketball team win a championship this year? These are things we wanted to happen, but they turned out differently. Was God’s will done? Yes! God directs nations, people, and world events to further the kingdom of his beloved Son (Romans 9:14-18; 13:1-7). We may not understand how or why God does things in this world but we can rest assured his plans will result in what is best for the church. My self-centered needs and desires may not be fulfilled. But God’s will? Trust it will be done.
Humility and a submission to God’s wisdom is key to understanding the inspired words of Paul to the Christians in Rome, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”-Romans 8:28. Notice it is for, “those who love God” that all things can be said to be good. If I truly love God, I want what he wants, hate what he hates, and see the advance of the kingdom as the priority one of the One who wants, “that all should come to repentance.”-II Peter 3:9. Everything is secondary to this goal. My life is a tool through which God’s will is done.
Just as in the affairs of kings and countries, God’s will is going to prevail in his church. My desires not only should be subject to his wisdom, they will be. I keep coming back to Paul’s phrase in describing the elders in the church at Ephesus as shepherding a flock, “in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers,“-Acts 20:28. God was active in their ordination and the Holy Spirit will guide this church today as we install overseers. Do I get to pick and choose how things turn out? Nope! I must trust God that his will is being done in this congregation.
A failure to grasp this concept will lead to human interference and fear. What happens if my selection(s) are not the church’s? What if one of “my men” makes it but “the other guy (or guys)” is someone of whom I do not approve? I must submit to the men chosen to be elders and view their appointment as the will of God expressed through the people of God. Will this church become what God wants it to be? Yes! My job is to trust the almighty to guide our decision. That trust will remove my fear.
Not one of us can predict what will happen on January 31st. Will three men reach the 55-percent threshold? How about two, one, or none? We have no way of knowing who or how many men will be selected.
We may be tempted to say; “I don’t think so-and-so should be an elder.” or “My favorite didn’t make the cut.” One or more men may be tempted to mutter, “Why not me?” What we need to see is God’s will being expressed in Christ’s church. What we need to find is the humility to submit to and support the men the Holy Spirit chooses as overseers for this flock. What we need to do is pray for those men and trust that God’s will for the church at North Second Street is greater than my own.