Proper Perspective on Human Power and Influence

23. February 2013 Galatians 1

Text: Galatians 2:6-14
Theme: Don’t fear men’s power and influence.
Key verses: “It makes no difference to me (or to God for that matter) if people have power or influence. God doesn’t chose favorites among His children. Even the so-called pillars of the church didn’t contribute anything to my understanding of the good news” (v. 6-7). “When James, Cephas, and John–three men purported to be pillars saw that God’s favor was upon me to fulfill this calling, they welcomed and endorsed both Barnabas and me” (v. 9a). “But when Cephas came to Antioch, there was a problem. I got in his face and exposed him in front of everyone. He was clearly wrong” (v. 11). “The rest of the Jewish believers followed his lead!, including Barnabas! Their hypocritical behavior was obvious–their actions were not at all consistent with everything the good news of our Lord represents” (v. 13b,14a).
What God said to me: Dwayne, be careful not to be too impressed with those in leadership in your church. Respect them, honor their position, but don’t see them as unapproachable or infallible. They are not. Do not fear or be in any way intimidated by those I have allowed to gain influence and power among you. They need accountability just as much as you do. Always make my Word and representing my way as your priority. Don’t be afraid to confront leaders when necessary–and don’t be shocked if someone confronts you from time to time. This is one way keep my leader servants in check.
What I said to God: Thank You Lord for this word today from Your Word. You know how much I despise confrontation. I don’t want to receive it and I sure don’t want to give it. Help me see other people’s influence and my own influence as gifts from You–gifts we must guard and hold in check. Help me always be willing to confront and be confronted, and help me respond as you did–in love, humility and firmness.

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