I want to share this because I have seen people over the last few months make decisions based on “supposed” words from the Lord, which really are nothing more than their own imaginations. Sadly, this kind of “make-believe” Christianity is gaining popularity thus I felt now would be a good time to share some safeguards from being deceived by your own flesh that have served me well over the last 20 years:

1. Pray

2. Seek the Bible for a clear word or example to follow.

3. Bring the decision to my wife (have her pray) and/or collaborate with her on a decision from the Bible.

4. Then bring what Nancy and I have prayed about to the elders of MPI church.

5. Lastly, to my mentor of over 20yrs, Anthony Freeman.

My biggest mistakes have been when I have not followed this pattern. Certainly there have been times I ran through this checklist in a few hours but God was always faithful to use those around me to help slow down my movement, even if I felt the decision had to be made in the moment. For most people in a good church* I recommend the following:

1. Pray.

2. Seek the Bible for a clear word or example to follow.

3. Bring the decision to your spouse (have them pray) and/or collaborate with them on a decision from the Bible.

4. Then bring the decision to your personal mentor.

5. Lastly, bring the decision to the elders of your church.

For those in good churches* 4 & 5 should be taken serious and if they are not in agreement you should be willing to be patient until God speaks to your leaders. Going forward in life with just a “personal word” can be dangerous because the flesh is deceiving.

(*A good church would be a church that you loved and honored the leadership before the decision because they were Bible-based. In other words, you do not all of a sudden want to sacrifice your trust in leadership simply because they don’t agree with a certain choice you are making.)

For those not in a good church, the decision should be made with the intent of finding a good church so that in the future you can have a counsel of godly people around you to run things by. God can lead us for a time without a good church, but it is His default pattern to work with His ordained leadership in the church.

Lastly, and sadly, often times our friends and family are those we go to instead of our church leadership and because they want the best for us they can easily miss God and give us advice that generally affirms the flesh. Even though I have great godly parents they have not been able to see as clearly as my fellow elders and mentor what needed to be done in difficult times. I believe this is because God uses the church as our “mother, brother, etc.” in our times of difficulty because they are ordained for the task. And thankfully my close friends and parents always guide me to the advice of my elders and mentor. At the same time, we should welcome our friends and family’s prayers and cherish their support.

I will drop a few verses below to help encourage you in seeing the biblical basis for the recommendations and please ask any clarifying questions via email at info@mpichurch.org. I truly want to help disciples of Christ avoid following the flesh in such uncertain times. 🙂

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Hebrews 13:7,17, “7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith… 17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”

Proverbs 11:14, “For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.”