Many professed Christians in America have the absence of inquiry. What I mean is that they have decided in their independent spirit to go about ministry the way of their republic, namely to go independently. Fortunately, the church doesn’t work that way. Autonomy of self in a local church is antithetical to the gospel and the good of all people. A healthy sign of a Christian is when they actually inquire as to where they should serve. This comes to mind as I study 1 Kings. Ryken writes,
“What Adonijah did not do—as the Bible is careful to show—was to let God decide what he was called to do, when and where he was called to do it. This is why Adonijah did not consult with the prophet (Nathan) or the priest (Zadok) that God had anointed over Israel (see 1 Kings 1:8), and why he very conspicuously left his brother Solomon off the guest list for his coronation party (1 Kings 1:10). It also explains why he never asked what his father David wanted him to do, even though his father was the true king of Israel. Consider the audacity of what Adonijah had done: he had named himself the royal heir without having even one word with the king himself!”Phillip Ryken in Reformed Expository Commentary
The healthy Christian would then seek the Lord as to what he was called to do, seek the counsel of their pastor whom the Lord has put in place, and seek the counsel of the King of kings.
An autonomous spirit of doing things in Christian congregations is nothing other than a spirit of the evil one who wants himself to be king and not the Lord. Church is not checkers! The member is never given the right to say “king me!” No, individual members of the church work together to say “King Jesus!”
The absence of inquiry is a possible sign of different kingdoms. If inquiring of the Lord God, his pastors, and of the King of kings is absent from your life, it’s time to live much better, because Christ’s way is better.
I want to add a special note about those going into ministry. The Lord calls the minister, but the congregation affirms him. It should be clear enough to the congregation and yourself that you are called; clear to your family especially. No one is called into ministry that does not have to do the business of inquiring. And perhaps the greatest fault lays on ministers who have not practiced it. No wander many congregations are not seeking where God wants them and what God wants for them—It is perhaps because the self-called ministers are not seeking the very same things. God help us to practice the discipline of inquiry.
Living in a nation that celebrates independence doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It has its place to celebrate as a nation independence from previous tyranny. However, God is no tyrant and deserves to be sought; and the Christian is no revolutionary who does not desire to be taught. The words of Jeremiah are applicable,
They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to themJeremiah 15:19
Be thus, an inquiring people, for the good of others, and for the glory of God.