“For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking…” Titus 1:5
Why am I here on earth? What am I created to do or accomplish? What is my purpose in life? These are questions we ask ourselves once or several times in our lifetime. The reason of course is that we want to discover what we are meant to channel our time, efforts and resources to doing. I believe that discovering purpose is essential for the believer, given the lesson in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:30) and the exhortation in Romans 14:12.
In Titus 1:5, Apostle Paul states his reasons for leaving Titus at the church in Crete – to set in order the things that are lacking. Amongst these were to appoint leaders in every city (verse 5); to rebuke and stop the mouths of insubordinate, deceiving idle talkers whose activities were subverting entire households (v.10 – 16); to speak the things that are proper for sound doctrines (Titus 2:1); to exhort servants to be obedient to their masters and well pleasing in all things (Titus 2:9).
These are some of the reasons Titus was left at Crete. The question you and I must then ask ourselves is why has God left us in the cities, the nations and churches where we are? Surely, He has reasons for leading us to the places we find ourselves. Our responsibility is to discover why we are where we are – geographically and in the church or congregation where we fellowship. And then, we must diligently and faithfully give attention to those things.
What great difference a mindset such as this would make to the Body of Christ! What increased effectiveness this would bring to the Father’s business on earth! If only we can identify and focus our attention not only on what is lacking in our cities and fellowship but more importantly on what will enable us to continue the works of Jesus! I have a strong feeling that if we do discover God’s reasons for keeping us where we are, more of us will commit to soul winning, to prayer meetings and interceding for our cities and churches, to discipling new converts, to strengthening church workers and its leaders; to supporting Missionaries and their families; to funding the printing and distribution of bibles and tracts; to funding crusades, etcetera.
It was Dr Myles Munroe who said:
“When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable”.
Sadly, there are many instances of “abuse” in our churches and in the Body of Christ. There are some whose words and actions are divisive and geared towards weakening the Church of God. In Matthew 12:30 (also Luke 11:23), Jesus said:
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”
How can we claim to be Christ’ and yet continue to do and say things that harm the church and weaken its unity and ability to deliver on its mandate? Surely God’s reasons for making us part of a city, church and congregation cannot be for us to frustrate His will and purpose. If we do this, the implications are either that we are not with Jesus or that we have failed to acknowledge and apply ourselves to His reason(s) for placing us where we are.
Humbly, I ask that we commit to discovering why He has left us in the cities and churches we find ourselves in; and when we do let us commit to those things. And if for any reason we don’t find out the why, then let us abide by the final exhortation in Titus 3:14. I present this text in 3 different versions as I believe the versions together give us a clearer view of its meaning:
“And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.” NKJV
“Our people have to learn to be diligent in their work so that all necessities are met (especially among the needy) and they don’t end up with nothing to show for their lives.” MSG
“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.” NIV
In other words, if we do not clearly and concisely discover our reasons for being where we are, we are then to generally be productive (contribute positively) and devote ourselves to doing what is good.