During the first Sunday sermon, we preached that the year 2021 will be victory upon victory. Today, the world situation is hard: we are still struggling due to the pandemic, and our finance is suffering. But as long as we keep following God, we will surely have victory upon victory!
How are we to be victorious? It is not to follow a leader, but to follow God; because leader is only a human being and is certainly fallible. Recently, we have been reading the book of Judges in Morning Devotion, every judge that was mentioned was a leader with problems: Gideon, Jephthah, etc. In the end, these leaders neither brought peace to Israel, nor did they lead the whole generation to follow God, which means they did not bring complete salvation.
God chose these leaders out of necessity: there was not even one person who was even slightly better than them. Take Gideon for instance, he had turned God down several times and was reluctant to follow God and shoulder responsibilities. Yet in order for God to save, He needed a vessel to arise to be a leader. The book of Judges is sending out an important reminder: “Do not take that leaders are without flaws, quite the opposite: they all have their own weaknesses.” Hence, we should not think that we are following God just because we are following leaders.
Besides the reminder from the book of Judges, God has also given us much grace through the progress in the recent Couples’ Camp. We strongly emphasize discipleship, especially the marital relationships of pastors and leaders. Due to the pandemic, we had been unable to hold any onsite Couples’ Camp in Hong Kong for a long time. Recently, there was a physical Couples’ Camp jointly held by five of our branch churches in Taiwan. Fifty-four couples of students participated, led by 12 tutor couples, making for a total of 66 couples.
Thank God that we discovered a vital core message in this Couples’ Camp: a pastor or leader is not without problems. For example, after being married for 28 years, Pastor Yu only just realized that his wife had suffered grievances all this time. Right away, he openly confessed his sins! Such a frank and open leader is truly following God. A leader is simply a sinner under Grace. Nonetheless, God still chooses us. So we must continuously open ourselves up to confess sins, and the Couples’ Camp is a good occasion to do so.
Looking back, the first camp ever held by our church was the Couples’ Camp, which we have now have held hundreds of times, and numerous couples have been helped. Now even our branch churches are able to hold it and have received good results. When pastors and leaders confess their own weaknesses openly, our brothers and sisters will not only accept them, but also feel more secure! They can appreciate their pastors and C-mos more, and will devote themselves more to follow them.
Dear brothers and sisters; we, as God’s servants and priests, have to be bold to confess our weaknesses if we are to bring this generation to follow God. Knowing that only God is perfect is the only way of the Tree of Life. When we follow God, we do not idolize church or government leaders, as they are just human beings.
How can we be influential people in this generation? It is by following God, and confessing our own weaknesses. We must not pretend that we are perfect. When we have made a mistake, we must just admit it instead of denying it. God will do the rest for us, as He is in our midst. We will surely have victory upon victory in 2021!•[2021.01.17]