I was driving interstate 84 near Nampa, Idaho the other day. A large diesel pickup truck pulling a covered utility trailer was loudly weaving in and out of traffic. He was going too fast and was careless. It made me feel agitated to be close to him. His recklessness was causing me to work harder to keep out of harm’s way. I was not enjoying my ride. If he would just stay in his lane, the whole road would be smoother and safer for everyone.
And so it was for the early Church in Acts 6. Pentecost had just taken place. Thousands were coming to salvation and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. There was abundant joy in the streets as people heard the good news. Programs were initiated to feed the widows and orphans, things were happening, people were zealous to know about Jesus. The number of followers, disciples, was growing every day. There arose a disagreement between the Hellenists and the Hebrews. Now these are two different groups of Jews living in Jerusalem. The Hellenists were Greek, and the Hebrews were natives of Israel. Both groups were followers of Christ. Both had a different world view and different culture. Both wanted to make the programs and charities work, but they disagreed on how to do it. Meanwhile, the 12 disciples were devoted to prayer and intercession for this amazing new revelation of God happening right in front of them. They knew from the example of Jesus, that the only way to understanding and wisdom was through prayer and intercession. The battle was on immediately, the devil did not want this movement to succeed so he started strife. The 12 recognized their dilemma and refused to be distracted by division and silly arguments. After seeking God, they asked some very trustworthy devotees to find 7 men who were of faith and integrity. These first Deacons were appointed to run the everyday administration of the Church. That delegation of authority freed up the disciples to pursue their assignment of prayer. In that exact moment, the Lord promoted the 12 to the office of Apostle. They were released to pray and take the Church on to greater things. The Church, (the body of believers), survives today because of the alignment with God through prayer.
The Church grew exponentially as a result of the apostles’ dedication to communication with God and praying out the plan of God. More and more people were filled with the Holy Spirit and given gifts to edify one another. New disciples were raised up to work according to their giftings in administration, hospitality, healing, teaching, prophecy, exhortation and more. They shared all things and worked together in harmony and the groundwork was prayer.
Are you given the gift of healing? Do that. Does the person gifted in hospitality tell the one gifted in administration what to do? Does the one gifted in exhortation correct the evangelist’s itinerary? Beloved, stay in your lane. Be you and complete your assignment so you may prosper in your calling! I thank God for you! Blessings.