Establishing Non Negotiables

As a member of God’s family, you have a responsibility to grow and be fruitful in your Christian walk. Just as a person in the natural must receive physical nourishment to grow, develop, and be sustained properly, Christians must constantly receive spiritual nourishment in order to grow and develop spiritually as God intends. 

Below is one practical application for spiritual growth that will greatly aid you in this new life you have in Christ. It is one of what I call a non-negotiable. Non-negotiables are not up for debate.  They do not change with circumstances or with our feelings. They will keep us steady when the winds are blowing and the waves are crashing, and when things are seemingly going smoothly. The tricky thing about our adversary is that he’ll deceive us into believing that all is well or that we’re in trouble based on our current circumstances, and we will make decisions accordingly in the absence of these non-negotiables we’ve set in our lives.

Non-Negotiable #1 - Be committed to and planted in a local church
1 Corinthians 12:18 states, “But now God has set the members every one of them in the body, as it has pleased Him.” This tells us that where we go to church is a matter of obedience to the Lord rather than our own personal preference. God is the One Who knows the pastor that we need and the body we need to be connected to. He knows the supplies we need and He knows the supplies that are in us that are to be used for the building up of the body. HE knows where we will flourish. It is allowing God to plant us in the local church and staying planted that will facilitate the greatest growth in our lives. Look at this great promise God gives us when we allow Him to direct us to the church HE chooses:

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:15

The Lord told me many years ago that when He shows us what church we are to be a part of to make a big deal of that.  Write it down! Because Satan’s greatest desire is to separate a Christian from the body they are joined to, and he works to do just that mainly through offense.  Other ways as well, such as distractions, the busyness of life, etc, but a big one is through offense. If we know that ahead of time, then when the opportunity arises for us to leave the place God has called us to, we can recognize the enemy’s tactics and deal with the offense the way God tells us to deal with it rather than picking up our marbles and going down the street to another church. 

As stated earlier, staying planted in the local church God has set us in will facilitate the greatest growth in our lives. And to be frank, God is not schizophrenic. Christians should never say that God led them to a church and then a month later say He led them to another one and then to another one, when in reality, it is that they aren’t willing to deal with their own flesh when things don’t go their way, and allow God to work in them. 

And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

A minister once said, “We, as Christians, make the decision to go to church one time." One time.  That’s it. This non-negotiable in our lives now is that we go to church when the church He has led us to has services. Period. It’s not up for debate. It doesn’t depend on how we feel on that particular day or what the present circumstances are. We are committed to our local church, to not only go to church, but be involved in the life of the church, and we’ve made this decision ahead of time so other things cannot take precedence. That non-negotiable is obeying Hebrews 10:24-25. Make the decision as Joshua did and state, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).