TASTING OF THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT:
By Janice S Ramkissoon
25th October 2011
This piece is from the series: 'Ministering Through Songs'. It is directed at praise leaders. However, the message is one for all believers, particularly those in leadership positions within the church. _________________________________________________________________
Exercising patience is a good characteristic of a leader. That means waiting on God to complete the work He has started within our fellow believers while they develop Christ-like characteristics. The same applies when an individual who doesn’t know Christ, enters our fellowship. Don’t gossip about the dress code, the language or the personality. What the bible says in Philippians 4:6-7 is that we should, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." We cannot expect our newborn babes in Christ to understand how to behave in every area of their lives—it will take time. That’s why, as leaders, patience needs to be exercised.
Pray about the ungodly behaviour in these individuals, believing God for the answer. The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Once you are walking in the will of God He says to ask what you will and it shall be granted unto you. So this is the point where you go to God on behalf of your struggling brother or sister and ask for that which will enable these individuals to grow in Christ. Matthew 7:7-8 teaches us how to do this: “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be open unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
Check point: Are you walking in God’s will and are able to ask on behalf of your brother or sister, with the understanding that you will receive?
In St. John 15:7 we read: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Abiding in Him means following His commandment and verses 10 & 12 opens this up for us:
10: “If ye keep my commandment, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandment and abide in His love."
12: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."
How did Jesus show His love for us? He laid down His life for us. “Greater Love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1st John 3:16).
Having checked that you are in line with His will, ask and it shall be given you. 1st John 3:22-24 says: “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. Therefore, having allowed His word to do its cleansing work in you and you are now abiding in His love, come boldly to the throne and ask what you will. Then seek out ways to help that struggling believer for the bible says that if you seek, you shall find. And if you knock, it shall be opened. So, having put everything in God’s hands, He will direct our paths and show us what to do, having given us instructions how to do it . If you need to rebuke or chastise, then do it in love. And wait for the healing oil to do its work in that individual. If they avoid you for awhile, be it out of embarrassment or through pride—wait on God while you continue to pray and encourage that individual with comforting words of love that will make the process less painful.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4, KJV).
Self-Control: Handling difficult situations:
While you lead your team, you will constantly be exposed to negative spirits. They will come at you through various avenues, even through those you are to report to. This means that there are times you will get angry but be careful not to sin. Anger is a terrible thing and it is the door that gives the enemy access to your mind and causes you to lose control. So when you get angry claim the Word of God: “For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2nd Timothy 1:7). Having a sound mind means, staying in control, which is a good characteristic of a leader.
Stay in control at all times and allow God to direct you, in how to handle difficult situations. You will not always have the answers. In times like these, leave the situation for a while, ask God for the wisdom to know how to deal with the problem. His word says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). When He gives you the wisdom to deal with the situation at hand—do it. Do not let it linger and cause unnecessary pain to either party. The sooner it is done, in love, the faster the healing process. That individual will continue to grow in Christ and soon they will be teaching others. You then have a team of believers working together in unity, growing in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on a daily basis.
Extend grace to each other. The unearned kindness, mercy and forgiveness of God was bestowed on us. Therefore, we ought to extend the same kindness, mercy and forgiveness to each other.
Your team will then sing in harmony, because the message you are delivering through songs are the ones you are living out in your life, daily. Hearts will be healed as you minister to the congregation because your life testifies of God’s grace and His mercy.
As Evangelists—ministering through songs, your role is to proclaim the good news of the gospel—preaching Christ. To preach Christ is to live Christ. So when others see you they can only see Christ.
If the above topics are in action; being manifested in our lives, then we are following the command to love one another.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1st John 1:7).
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth” (1st John 3:18).
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at anytime. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us” (1st John 411-12).
Your Sister in Christ,
****[From the series: 'Ministering Through Songs'. This piece is directed at praise leaders in particular but is also a reminder to all]****