3. Life assumes clarity when we learn to listen to Godly counsel
*The story is told of a tough general on the battlefield who was temporarily captured by the enemy and with some of his men was tossed into a pit full of manure in order to humiliate them. Without blinking an eye, the General yelled, “Come on men, there’s got to be a horse in here somewhere” (Swindoll, Tales, 99).
Jethro was the uncle we all could hope and pray for and like a general to Moses.
18:19 says, “listen to me and I will give you counsel.” He told Moses to teach the Word to the people. Jethro exemplified that the primary task of leadership is to define reality, give clear direction and walk in faith.
Then teach them the statutes and the laws and make known to them the way in which they are to walk, and the work they are to do. Exodus 18: 20, NAS
The result was to enjoy clear living and experience life with a 20-20 vision of what God has for us. Let’s take a look at the ingredients to clear living in this verse:
Statutes -meaning the laws that God has laid down for us to live by.
Laws -guidelines that are then clarified by the Holy Spirit.
Direction -to “make the way known that we are to walk” – our niche’.
Purpose -to discover the specific call we have in this life and then pursue it.
The plan here involves the selection of leadership who will assume care over people and in so doing make the village a better place to live, serve and enjoy protection.
Furthermore, you need to select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain, and you will place these (leaders) over them. Exodus 18:21, NAS
Notice the 4 qualities of effective leaders and others who assume a ministry:
- Able men – those who demonstrate desire and a skill set to do the job.
- Reverent lifestyle – a man who can give the credit to God, not self.
- Truthful – when he talks, you know that his word is like a contract.
- Honest – a man who refuses to abuse others or the truth itself.
4. Life becomes peaceful when we join the village.
Healthy churches have healthy small groups because the peace and love found there sustains the church. Another sad reality is that lonely people bounce around from church to church looking for acceptance and a sense of purpose and mission.
If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure and all these people also will go to their place in peace.
Exodus 18: 23, NAS.
Do you want peace, grace and love? Join the village and do life with God’s people.
6 BENEFITS OF JOINING THE VILLAGE OF GOD’S PEOPLE IN A SMALL GROUP:
- We get role models to live by – we see in others what we want in ourselves.
Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. –Philippians 3:17, NIV
- We get a mission.
Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us……….this will build them up. –Romans 15: 2, The Message, NIV
- We get great counsel in making decisions.
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many counselors bring success.
-Proverbs 15:22, NLT
- We get no-holds barred honesty and transparency which builds community and trust.
Tell each other the truth, because we all belong to each other in the same body. –Ephesians 4:25, NCV
- We get a safe place to hurt and to heal when life treats us badly.
Confess your sins one to another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. –James 5:16, NAS
An important principle of confession: the audience for your confession needs to be no larger than those who were affected by it, or to your confidante only. Confession is not a spectator sport!
- We get humility in a group which helps us to defeat self-centeredness.
Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage.
-Philippians 2: 3-4, The Message