What are you seeking? In the natural realm of your life, there are many things that you can and should seek. Things like solid friendships with quality people, a happy and close knit family. Then, there’s maintaining a positive wholesome environment where each member is growing in God’s will.
On the job, you should seek to be excellent at what you do; to be hardworking and capable, as well as a pleasant person to have onboard. These are worth seeking because they give you credibility when you’re talking to others about being a servant of God. If you’re an incompetent whiner who is chronically lazy, you won’t be able to convince anybody that Jesus is Lord of your life.
How about spiritually? First off, the number one priority has to be seeking a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Without Him, there IS no true spirituality.
You have to seek Him in the right place and at the right time. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” That’s in Isaiah 55:6. And, like the angels said in Luke 24:5- 6, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here …”
After Jesus what do you seek? Having the kingdom of God at work in your life. Jesus said this in Matthew 6:33. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto thee.”
You seek to put Him first, and to live righteously. You want to have your heart full of the love of the Lord and to be full of the Holy Spirit. Then, those other goals, the ones we talked about earlier, the ones at home, and work, will be taken care of.
There’s a whole other area of seeking that most Christians totally ignore. Even Christians who are diligent at seeking the Lord in their personal prayer times. Even Christians who seek to be full of the Holy Spirit. Even Christians who like to operate in the gifts of the Spirit.
Yep. There’s still a major area that God tells all Christians, especially Christians who are zealous for spiritual gifts, to seek. Many Christians feel it’s not their job. Or, that they’re so “spiritual” that it doesn’t pertain to them. However, God doesn’t see it that way.
What is this neglected, ignored and disobeyed command to seek something from God? It’s in 1 Corinthians 14:12. “Since ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”
What’s “edify?” Edify means to build up, or strengthen; to make stronger; to cause to become greater.
God’s saying, since you’re zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that you may excel at building the church up. At making it stronger. At making it grow. At increasing the number of people coming to church and experiencing Jesus Christ. That’s what God says.
We want to be used in praying, intercession or praise. But God has bigger plans for his people. Most Christians have more interest in edifying themselves and being entertained when they come to church. Worse than that, if they come and the emphasis isn’t on their own personal edification, they get mad and leave!
The Holy Spirit is very clear about what the purpose of the church is. It’s to build up the Body of Christ, so believers can become more like Jesus. Evangelism, reaching other people for Jesus is ONE aspect of edifying the Body of Christ. A major one. But, it’s not the only one.
There’s also helping to feed those people spiritually when they come in. That’s what Jesus was talking about when He said to Peter, “Feed My sheep,” in John 21:17. The theme of the conversation was Jesus saying, “Peter, if you really love Me, feed, take care of, work for, tend to My sheep.” So, when you really love Jesus, what He’s looking for and exposing is for you to feed, or serve His sheep in some capacity or another.
You, of course have the responsibility to reach your friends and family. But, what else does the Lord expect from His people, in the area of edifying the church?
First, to seek to edify it. To make it a matter of personal prayer before the Lord. Ask, “Lord, You know me. You also know my heart. What would you have ME to do to edify the church?”
Then, be silent before Him and listen for His “still small voice.” He’ll speak, if you’ll listen. He’ll give you an area to use your talents so the Holy Spirit can use you to edify the church.
See, WE want to be used by God in the spectacular – or not at all. We might imagine getting up front and prophesying the future . . . or waving our hand and healing every sick person in the county or speaking a word that will cast all demons out of the Federal Government.
And, if God doesn’t use us in THIS way, we feel like we’re off the hook. But, what good is it to feel this way, when God is wanting to build up the church through you – and you’re only available on YOUR terms, not His???
God You Can Use ME Any Way You Want.
Just Don’t Let It Involve Work
Part of edifying the church, in a VERY real way is maintenance and upkeep of the building itself. When the early church in Acts met in houses, they had to maintain the houses. By the time Corinthians was written, they were meeting in church buildings; they had outgrown the houses, but we’re still under the Lord’s mandate to reach the lost. So, they met in larger meeting places. Church buildings came as a result of obeying God (More on that, Sunday!)
If the building is dirty, smelly, under – maintained, and “shop-worn,” how do you think God wants people with those skills to edify his church? By singing? Singing praise choruses while the building is falling down? Of course not!
There’s also teaching, discipling. New believers especially need discipling by older believers. lf you’ve know the Lord a few years, what do you think God might let you find, when you seek to edify the church? Probably an opportunity to disciple others on a steady ongoing basis.
It’ll develop discipline in you, as well as stability. It will give you fruit for eternity. It will help new believers to have an easier start in their Christian life than they would have had if you hadn’t sought to edify the church. Plus, God will open more of himself to you, as He finds that you’re faithful in the little things. Luke 16:10 teaches that.
Are you pretty good at organizing? Be zealous to seek how you can build up the church through your organizing. This is an aspect of the gift of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8). God wants you to USE that giftedness. He gave it to you so you could do more than just organize your closets!
God wants to edify the church through people who can type, visit, or make phone calls. These are all given to profit the members of the church. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says so.
God has gifted some people with the ability to ASK. These people feel comfortable approaching others and asking them to do things or to give, to build up the Kingdom. They are willing to consecrate that talent to the Lord and ask businesses, and individuals for donations and help. What a gift! It’s a part of the gift of faith, in 1 Corinthians 12:9. Are you an Asker?
Do you like babies and small children? Jesus said, ‘let the little children come unto me. ” You can edify the church by letting the little children come to Jesus, so their parents can be discipled and taught. All it takes is to do it during one service, and then you can edify yourself during some of the other ones each week.
Acts 20:28 tells us to “take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God which He has purchased with his own blood. ”
My commission from the Lord is in Colossians 1:28, where as a minister of Jesus Christ, it says, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. Whereunto l also labor; striving according to lhs working, which worketh in me mightily.”
My passion is to stir you to become the person you’ll be pleased to be, on the day that you stand before the Lord. That nothing was left undone that He set before you.
When you seek to strengthen what God is doing in your Church, he will bless you with more ideas, blessings and answers to prayer than you can even imagine. Seek to EDIFY the church!