by Jill Lienemann, Kesher International Missions | ©2011
Standing in a circle with our national counterparts, we listened as the missionary host briefed us on the day’s activities. Questions arose concerning the traffic flow of those who would be attending the outreach event. The administrator discussed logistical options and guided his staff to a conclusion; however, it occurred to me that there was an even better solution to the problem. Simultaneously, I realized I was only a guest of the organization and if I spoke out in front of everyone, I would harm the host’s leadership of his team. I kept silent. After the meeting was over, I pulled my mission team aside and reminded them that our visit was only temporary while our host’s residence is long-term. I went on to tell them that though we may see a better way of doing something, we should first pray and then privately discuss the idea with our missionary host so his ministry influence in the community will not be jeopardized. In essence, I was asking them to yield (relinquish one’s possession of position of advantage or point of superiority) to the local covering and authority of our mission trip.
Peter was in a parallel situation except he made an adverse decision. Reference the story in John 18:1-11, Luke 22:47-51, and Matthew 26:47-54. As Jesus was in the process of being arrested, Peter impulsively reacted out of good intentions without taking time to consider the repercussions of his actions. By cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant, he endangered God’s plan (Matthew 26:54), forced Jesus to correct an unnecessary and grave error (Luke 22:51) and perhaps fostered more mistrust of Jesus’ ministry among the crowd who were gathered to observe the event. Peter did not yield to the one in authority over the circumstances.
“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” (Hebrews 13:17 NIV)
KESHER PRAYER (connection): Abba, Father, thank you for giving me a new revelation of what being yielded to you is by showing me the need for self-control of my mind and my actions. I will “submit [myself] for the Lord’s sake to every human authority…for it is God’s will that by doing good [my example] should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.” (1 Peter 2:13a,5 NIV) I will be diligent to practice self-control for in doing so “in increasing measure, [it] will keep [me] from being ineffective and unproductive in [my] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8b NIV) Amen.