Consider the Hummingbird
I have a hummingbird feeder on my porch. It's one of my favorite things about summer. I'm entranced with the little birds who come to feed on the sugar water I prepare for them. At times they buzz around the feeder, trying to figure out whether or not I'm safe, and have even flown within two feet of where I'm seated. They're skittish in general and will fly away if I look at them too long.
They don't realize I'm the one providing for them and that I'd never do anything to hurt them.
God cares for us in the same way. He's watching out for us, giving us what we need, yet we spend most of our time flitting about without much thought to His presence in our lives. What He wants most is to spend time with us without us shying away from His strength. He's proven Himself faithful, has proven His intentions toward us, and has proven that He will never hurt us but we tend to put up walls in an attempt to keep Him in one spot as if we can control Him. Trying to shut Him out in any area of our lives will never elevate us to the level of spiritual maturity we desire. Giving control of our lives and our will is never easy, it's a huge step of faith but in doing so we actually gain much more than we lose.
We gain freedom from fear and confusion.
We gain wisdom and understanding.
We gain peace and rest.
Instead of flitting from here to there we are able to remain calm, knowing He is in control.
Yet sometimes bullies come along who want to take our focus from Him. While I enjoy the tiny birds in my yard they have a tendency to be territorial and aggressive with each other. One likes to perch on a clothesline close to the feeder and when another bird lands to feed the clothesline sitter immediately springs to action, chasing the other bird away and into the trees. As soon as he's finished his task he returns to the clothesline to sit on guard. Watching and waiting for someone to take what he thinks is his.
What he doesn't realize is this is my house. It's my feeder. I'm the one who placed it there for them. I didn't hang it from the ceiling so they could have a power struggle over it. How dare the bully chase the others away and prevent them from getting what they need. Their focus goes from the food to themselves.
I've seen this same type of thing happen in church. Folks with good intentions enforcing their ideas of how things should be. All this does is take the focus off of the Word of God--our daily bread--and onto their agenda. Allowing yourself to be involved in an arguments at church is nothing more than allowing yourself to be used by the enemy. Christians are used by the enemy all the time. He is a master of deceit and when the focus is taken off of the goal of the church (to make disciples, to fulfill the great commission, to be kind and forgiving to one another...) he wins. Why would the world want anything to do with us if we are fighting among ourselves?
"Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." 2 Timothy 2:23-26 (NIV)
Just as I am watching and shaking my head while these hummingbirds fight over the food, God is watching. Not only Him, but the world is watching, be the light.