I turned to Acts 1:15-26 the other day, reminded of the measures the early disciples took to avoid prejudice of dependence on human wisdom in selecting a replacement for Judas among their number, assuring a full complement of 12 apostles. Translators describe their action in different ways, attempting to interpret the ancient practice of casting lots. Best efforts at doing this tend to result in something sounding more like a guess or a gamble than a spiritual exercise. But the lesson they leave is this: They were desperate in their desire to gain God’s answer, not man’s, and an examination of the text furnishes an overarching principle that exceeds either “drawing straws” or “throwing the sacred dice”—terms different versions employ.
What they did—and what I am urgently asking you to join me in doing as the Foursquare Board meets this week—is earnestly pray. I have just written them, saying:
“We must be clear in our souls as to our place. Unaided by the Holy Spirit, we are not wise enough to select or place the right people in such key leadership positions. The New Testament model presses us beyond the exercise of judicious assessment, to earnestly pray, ‘You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two you have chosen’ (Acts 1:24). Also in humility, let us prayerfully invoke God’s seal on our best efforts as we assign district boundary lines; humbling ourselves before the One whose always-benevolent purposes administrate the ‘pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings’ for all human life and governance. (Acts 17:26).
“Accordingly, may I ask that each board member observe a one-day fast this week? By that means we shall have collectively sanctified three days in acknowledging our absolute and abject dependency upon God at this decisive season. It is only by such means that we distinguish between ‘the holy and the profane’—between the ways of the world (and too often, the Church), and the ways of God for His people.”
Would you please join us as we seek God’s grace and guidance in our governance as a church? I assure you, we have no predisposition to dependence on our wisdom, and trust that you believe this. Our entire process in district consolidation and realignment has been transparently open to our entire body of credentialed Foursquare ministers, and partnered in by hundreds who have expressed their thinking and made recommendations.
Now, let us bow together. Such moments do not require the same method that first small band of 120 employed, but it does require the same spirit—His name is Holy! So with a childlike heart and a Solomon-like “counsel of many” let us unite in prayer: “Jesus, Lord of the Church—be welcomed to oversee, overrule and overtake us with Your will, wisdom and workings as we say: Be Lord of The Foursquare Church! Amen.”
By: Pastor Jack Hayford, president