Has this ever happened to you? A volunteer who’s been serving in your ministry for a few months informs you that they need to step down. You ask why and the throw down the stinkin’ God card. “I feel the Lord is calling me to do something else.” Again, I haven’t heard this one in a while as I’ve been in churches lately that were a lot less “spiritual.” Where I’m at now they just stop showing up. 🙂
What the heck are you supposed to do with that? Who am I to argue with God?
Actually, this one isn’t that difficult. It’s Joshua chapter nine. The Deception of the Gibeonites. Just before this chapter, God had given very specific instructions. He told the armies of Israelites to wipe out all the enemies. No peace treaties what so ever! So, Israel went about their business claiming their land. The Gibeonites then crafted a plan. They pretended to be from a far off land and offered to sign a peace treaty. Israel accepted. A few days later, Israel realized that they had been duped. Bamboozled. The Gibeonites were not from a far off land, but were a close by tribe that should have been annihilated.
So, what happened? Israel honored the treaty. Even though it was God’s will and command that they be wiped out, there was honor in the commitment signified by the treaty. Beautiful.
So, when our volunteers sign a commitment to serve by signing a contract, they’ve given their word. On several occasions, I’ve had volunteers pull the God card. I have responded by saying, “you know, I really don’t feel it’s God’s nature to ask someone to break a commitment.” I can’t say that it’s really changed anyone’s mind, but I feel better calling people on the truth. So go ahead. The next time someone plays the God card on you, go ahead and drop Joshua 9 on them… they never saw it coming!
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Been there when we felt it was time to move on from our prior church. We finished our our commitments – all of them. That meant serving at a church we were not actively attending on a weeknight because we had committed to that job. That meant staying longer than I would have liked because I had a commitment to teaching and singing. I have to admit that I wasn’t really thinking of it in the Joshua 9 terms, but the principle was the same – we had given our word and would stand by that.
Good point on this one all-around. I hadn’t looked at Joshua 9 that way before.
I think God is calling me to eat that bag of Cheetos in my kitchen. I’ve made no commitment to the apple on the plate in front of me. Am I so wrong?
I have said the exact same thing to people wanting ‘out.’ They didn’t stay either, but it sure felt good to call them on it!
Bro. Hate the God card.