Yesterday I heard a remark from a godly brother. I have no doubt that God is moving in his life. Nonetheless, it was a disparaging remark about FGBMFI. I will not gossip about him, nor repeat most of what he said. However, in the middle of what this brother was saying, was a gem of a quote! I wanted to share that with you…
The Laptop Miracle
“Richard Shakarian runs FGBMFI from his living room on a laptop!”
Ok, I agree, I did not believe it either. As of this writing we currently have about forty National Chapter websites listed on our links page, and a growing number of local chapters (we are adding new chapters almost daily!). To consider that any one person with a laptop could run this whole Fellowship from their living room is almost funny … if not miraculous!
To be sure, FGBMFI is miraculous! Even if you were to believe this statement (which I really do not), you should be giving glory to God for the Miracles this would require! Just to think about it is mind boggling! God is using Bro. Richard in such amazing and different ways that some people cannot understand. Just like some were opposed to his father, Bro. Demos. In fact, consider that each and every leader who really walks with God in faith, and deed, is put to the test with people who are thinking he is doing wrong.
Consider Moses! He walked with God, but oh the grumbling and complaining people did!
The Silas Scenario
Then there was the case of Paul and Barnabas! Just imagine, they were walking together, planing a missionary journey. Both were following the lead of the Holy Spirit. Both had the fruits of the Spirit showing in their lives. However, Paul and Barnabas disagreed about bringing Mark with them. Prior to this, Mark had been distracted while serving with Paul. Likewise, Barnabas felt strongly he should bring Mark with him.
Boil it down, God was telling Paul, “Do not bring Mark with you!” Likewise, God was telling Barnabas “Bring Mark with you!” Are these opposites? NO! God had a very big plan for all these men, and it is obvious later when Paul sends for Mark! The Bigger plan was that Paul and Barnabas should part company, so they could cover more ground, and get more done for the Lord!
So what was the result? They split! Oh no, the “parted ways!” Paul took Silas with him and Mark went with Barnabas.
They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.
Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left,
commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.
Just like the dear brother, who was telling be the miracle of the laptop in Richard’s living room. It is my true belief that God is leading him out of FGBMFI! Maybe it is because he has some more spiritual growth to be doing. Sort of like Mark. Or maybe because God has a great, but different, work for him to be doing, like Barnabas. However, it could also be the Silas Scenario!
Good For Paul and Silas
Remember the camp meeting song… “Give me that old time religion … it’s good enough for me… It was good for Paul and Silas … and it’s good enough for me!” What we sometimes forget, was that in the beginning it was Barnabas and Paul!
Barnabas had found Paul and Barnabas had brought Paul to the Apostles!
Paul, the Force is with You!
In the terms of the Star Wars movie series, the Force (read that, Holy Spirit) was strong with Paul… Jedi Master Barnabas took Paul to be his Padawan learner, disciple and student of the Force (Holy Spirit). I use this analogy simply because some people spend more time watching Star Wars, that reading their Bibles!
Paul had then passed the Jedi trials and had been promoted from Padawan to Jedi Master Paul! So now the Force (Holy Spirit) was telling Jedi Master Paul, that it was time to take and train a Padawan of his own. Likewise, Jedi Master Barnabas also takes a new Padawan, Mark. This is what we should be calling Coaching or Mentoring!
I call this the Silas Scenario, because when people study this story they inevitably focus on Paul and Mark, or Paul and Barnabas. In the Silas Scenario the whole focus is on Silas. Notice that Silas, going with Paul, is at the end. It is almost an after thought to the whole story. Yet, it is so powerful that you see Paul then come into his own. Only when Paul leaves Barnabas, and accepts Mentoring Silas, you see the great work of Paul and Silas!
We are likewise a part of the Silas Scenario. Either we need to be mentoring someone, or we are in need of a mentor ourselves!
A Time For Everything
For my friend and brother, who told me about the miracle of Richard’s laptop, it seems obvious it is time for him to part company with FGBMFI, and to go to where God is leading him. He should go in the grace of the Lord. We should “part company” peacefully, and with the love of the Lord…