COMMITMENT #4  Being CAREFUL

Please READ each and every one of the verses below:

"Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood." Acts 20:28

"So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time." Mark 13:23

"Be careful not to do your "acts of righteousness" before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven." Matthew 6:1

"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will show up." Matthew 24:42

"Jesus said to them: 'Watch out that no one deceives you.'" Mark 13:5

"You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them." Mark 13:9

"Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come." Mark 13:33

"Then he said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'" Luke 12:15

"So watch yourselves. If your [sister] sins, rebuke [her], and if he repents, forgive [her] and restore her." Luke 17:3

"He replied: 'Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name...Do not follow them.'" Luke 21:8

"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation [squandering of money, energy, or your resources such as time], drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap." Luke 21:34

"Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand..." Luke 21:36

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody." Romans 12:17

"I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them." Romans 16:17

"By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds." 1 Corinthians 3:10

"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak." 1 Corinthians 8:9

"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" 1 Corinthians 10:12

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13

"If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."Galatians 5:15

"[Sisters], if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted." Galatians 6:1

"Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise." Ephesians 5:15

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." 1 Timothy 4:16

"Guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge." 1 Timothy 6:20

"Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us." 2 Timothy 1:14

"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage -- with great patience and careful instruction."2 Timothy 4:2

"You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message." 2 Timothy 4:15

"This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone." Titus 3:8

"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away." Hebrews 2:1

"Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it." Hebrews 4:1

"Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as [women] who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you." Hebrews 13:17

"Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position." 2 Peter 3:17

"Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully." 2 John 1:8

Hopefully you took time to read each of these many scriptures so you can have a good, strong, solid foundation for this commitment. 

Working with us in ministry is going to put a large target on your back as we mentioned in an earlier commitment. This means, the more you are able to do in ministry, the more you are willing to minister, the more the enemy is going to try to take you out and take you down.

There are many methods the enemy uses, but like all triumphs and failures— all of them begin in the heart. 

Taking offense, due to a misunderstanding is very popular. No matter how often we have done our best to explain a Ministry Leave of Absence, the enemy is able to whisper in the minister’s ear that it’s some sort of punishment or rebuke, when in fact, it is us showing compassion and understanding that the minister needs rest and time alone with Him.

Weariness is when the enemy loves to strike—again why we watch for weariness. And what you can do to prevent weariness, is making sure you are not trying to paddle upstream, but you’re learning to flow along with Him. 

Distractions also will cause you to be open to the enemy. It’s better to wait until He leads you to work for the ministry, rather than doing your work when there are outside distractions (like others around while you’re working), because the enemy loves to create mini crises that he will use to wreak havoc and tire you out. 

Schemes

2 Corinthians 2:11 See that “no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

2 Corinthians 2:11 The Voice “It’s my duty to make sure that Satan does not win even a small victory over us, for we don’t want to be naïve and then fall prey to his schemes.”

Years ago when we used to go to church as a family, always having small children, inevitably one of them would get a fever or get sick and keep us up all night. And the scheme always worked, and we would not go to church the next morning. Until, realizing the schemes of the enemy, we agreed that no matter what, if a child got sick, or we got little to no sleep, we were going to go to church! After just one time of going when we had 2 up sick all night and our entire house getting no sleep, we went to church anyway, and the enemy never used that scheme again!

Another example was our desire to get out of debt. My husband told me he decided to keep just one credit card for “emergencies” and for almost a year those emergencies happened. One day it dawned on us that having even one credit card was the crack that the enemy used, so my earthly husband cut up the last credit card, and not surprisingly, after that we had little to no emergencies where we would have used a credit card.

Thankfully, we don’t need to be clever or even be on our guard, because we are His! His bride. We simply have to be aware we live in and travel along a narrow road, and to move off of it means hitting spiritual landmines. However, if we faithfully hold His hand, talk to Him with each task we do, and go to Him when we have any issue, any negative emotion, any sort of doubt, and then wait to hear the truth from Him—we will never find ourselves careless and suffering the consequences. And if we don’t suffer from them, then neither will others, like our family or ministry team or ministry. 🙂

Division

One of the most common ways the enemy attacks and what we want you to be very careful of, is his scheme of division, which almost always begins with a half truth. We only need to go back to the Garden of Eden to see that the enemy caused Eve to question God’s motive, for her to not only fall, but also to cause the only other person in the Garden to also fall.

Sadly, we see this time and again, sadly, even amongst our ministers. When they doubt the ministry’s motives, my [Erin’s] motives, or even God’s motives (sometimes even thinking what God is convicting them to do something wrong, when it’s really the enemy, not Him because the enemy does come as an "angel of light")—then the door to your heart is at risk.

Taking Others with You

Recently we found out that a team member wrote to the other ministers on her team about RMI’s principle of attending church. As a result, it opened the door for everyone listening to stumble. Thankfully, we are able to trust that those who are spiritual, and take everything to the Lord, will be enlightened to the truth and they want what He wants for them. Unfortunately, it’s the weak, the spiritually young and immature, who the Lord refers to as “little ones” who always have the greatest potential to fall.

Another recent situation was when we intercepted a minister who posted a diversionary comment about how I personally felt about a company (a company and their policy that I was actually ignorant of and untrue) that could have resulted in causing other team members to stumble when they could easily be tempted to question too.

“Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! . . . It is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:7, 6.

Knowing how much the enemy wants to get in and take the ministry down, and how easily he will use weak or distracted ministers, is why we are always watching. We hope that should you see something, you follow the principles in this verse from Matthew 18:15-17 the Message Bible —

"This is what you do if one of your brothers or sisters sins against you: go to him, in private, and tell him just what you perceive the wrong to be. If he listens to you, you’ve won a brother. But sometimes he will not listen. And if he does not listen, go back, taking a friend or two friends with you (for, as we have learned in Deuteronomy, every matter of communal import should be testified to by two or three witnesses). Then, if your brother or sister still refuses to heed, you are to share what you know with the entire church; and if your brother or sister still refuses to listen to the entire church, you are to cast out your unrepentant sibling and consider him no different from outsiders and tax collectors.”

Again, here is the same verse in NASB which I have modified:

"If your [fellow minister] sins [or appears to be misguided, go and show [her] this in private; if [she] listens to you [and appears to understand], you have won [a forever friend]. But if [she] does not listen to [or understand] you, take one or two more [your OM] with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed [and explained]. If [she] refuses to listen, tell it to the [the PM who will take it to Erin]; and if [she] still refuses to listen [or can’t understand] even to the [leadership], let [her] be to you as a [brand new client] and [outsider]."

LEAVING RMI

If the Lord is leading you out from somewhere, whether it’s from RMI or a church or where you work or even where you live, the truth is—you really won’t “want” to go. When you want to go is when He will ask you to remain, in order to learn many things, most importantly, contentment. 

“Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Philippians 4:1. “…being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.’ ” Hebrews 13:5

And it’s once you’ve learn contentment, and you are content to remain wherever you work or live or minister, that’s when He will open the door and He’ll ask you to let go and leave.

Unfortunately, if you’re not spiritually at a place to be able to endure adversity—in order to learn contentment—please don’t put yourself at risk by causing someone else to stumble: Leave quietly, from RMI, from your workplace, from where you live—but if possible, share your heart with others rather than assuming something you heard or observed is correct, whatever it is that made you feel you want or need to leave. Just be sure you’ve heard the truth, not a rumor. Rather than assume something you’ve heard, that’s unfavorable about someone else, instead treat them as how you would want to be treated. As innocent. Again, the bible says love “believes all things” and encourages us to follow what the world calls the Golden Rule.

Luke 6:31 “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” 

And I’m sure before you would want a false rumor told against you, and for others to believe something about you that wasn’t true, you’d like to be thought of as innocent, and if necessary that the other person would come to you about it before assuming it’s true, or worse, spread that rumor.

Remember what you learned in Chapter 1 of Restore Your Marriage: (Many times close friends call to tell you what your husband is up to; these are not a “good report” and, most times, are not lovely, pure or right, so don't listen!) Just as you would not read or listen to someone speak negatively about your husband, the same principle applies with ALL your relationships—including well-meaning ministers. 

Yet, if you do find you have something you sense you should speak to someone about, please again follow the principle from Matthew 18:15-17. Go to them directly (this will stop rumors), and if that doesn’t work, go to one other person (who loves the person equally as you should) so that the three of you can speak together about it. Very often this will clear up the half-lie/half-truth.

The complete truth is, every situation will work perfectly if: everyone seeks God for wisdom, loves each other and “believes all things” “endures all things” and is committed to following the Lord and His lead, with His compassionate heart.

Walking a Tightrope

Once you are careful, once you are committed to working under authority, you will find that you often feel as if you are walking a fine-line between submitting to your authority and moving along in His flow.

Not too long ago I shared this principle with one of our ministers because I often witness ministers struggling—not knowing how to balance between all because they are “trying” to work under my authority. Rather than simply following His lead, yoking yourself to Him, because HE will help you stay under the authority over you—because He is who placed the authority there in the first place. Unfortunately, if you “try” to work or remain under authority, you will soon struggle and what should be easy and light becomes burdensome. 

Not surprisingly, the solution is the same as when you learned how to be submissive to any authority, like your spouse: The Lord is ALWAYS first and Who you need to go to and turn over whatever task you’re asked to do. Because He is Who will help you to do it and fulfill the request—thus finding yourself more intimate with Him—while whatever is asked of you is Light and Easy!

Matthew 11:29 “For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

IOU: 🎓 "Ministry Commitment" Assignment

1 thought on “COMMITMENT #4 Being CAREFUL”

  1. poderosa lección, en este compromiso nos explican tantas maneras que el enemigo quiero que nos desenfoquemos, pero debemos estar alerta y siempre en oración llevar todo al señor, y recordar que todo lo que hacemos es para el señor.

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