We all like attention. We also like to see “success.” Then we like credit for it. Our flesh and the evil one are really good at taking wonderful things and twisting them up into evil things. This can be true of evangelism and making disciples. What starts off as a wonderful thing can be turned into a selfish thing. It has always been that way.
Check out Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8,
“14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
24 Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”
This is still a temptation today.
Anytime we see power, our flesh wants it for ourselves. When we see lives changed, we might want the credit or attention. We want the power. We want the position. We want the authority. When we do that, God won’t keep doing the work…at least not with us!
What will it take to get to an un-branded Christianity?
What will it take to get our flesh out of the way to make sure we are helping people discover Jesus and not discover us? The answer is multifaceted but one thing I do know – it is going to take a robust understanding of the gospel of the kingdom – King Jesus is in charge. It is going to take surrender to his control. It is going to take the Spirit working in our hearts to remove the works of the flesh and replace them with the fruit of the Spirit per Galatians 5!
Making disciples must be about helping people discover Jesus. We are just facilitators of that process. We are not in charge!
Lord, help us! Help us to stop trying to get the credit. Help us to un-brand our faith, un-brand our churches, and give you full credit for every good thing!