Acts 15:39-40 "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."
I have been doing an in depth study on Paul, and today (actually yesterday) I got to chapter 15 of the book of Acts. Anyway, when I got to this scripture the question was asked, "Do you see any evidence of a potential positive repercussion resulting from the disagreement?" My exact answer was, "Two more disciples to witness what God does through others." Implying growth. Anyway, as I continue through, that was the same point that Beth Moore made. I am going to copy what she wrote because it spoke volumes to me.
All the trials that we have been through over the last year with disagreements in beliefs, what God does or does not do, etc (You can go back and read the labels for God if you want the story.) came to mind. So, here is what Beth Moore wrote:
"Paul and Barnabas were Spirit-filled servants of God, yet they differed vehemently on whether John Mark should join them. We might assume either Paul or Barnabas was not under the leadership of the Holy Spirit; because the Spirit could not possess two opinions. Or could He? I believe both men could have been under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit and yet, still have differed. How? The Holy Spirit might have been saying yes to Barnabas and no to Paul. He might have wanted Barnabas, but not Paul, to take John Mark. Why? So God could divide and multiply. Paul had matured so effectively under Barnabas' help and encouragement, they had grown equally strong. Though they might have preferred to serve together the rest of their lives, God had a more practical plan. He had other young preachers He wanted each man to train. As a result of their differing convictions, two preachers became four, and soon we'll see a fifth! Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways, two mentors, each with a new apprentice."
"Scripture tells us most divisions are not of God, but our text today suggests that sometimes God wants to divide and multiply. Can you imagine how much simpler church life could be if we accepted that God could place two people under different convictions to multiply ministry?"
"Often differences erupt due to less noble motivations-two opinionated people unwilling to budge. Unless we invite God to come to the rescue, the results can be disastrous. Ministries and partnerships often divide and dwindle rather than divide and multiply. On the other hand, when God leads two people who have walked together to a "y" in the road, He can do something wonderful IF they and their constituents are mature enough to deal with it!"
I love this, it speaks volumes to me. The hubby and I believe we have been called to be house pastors. We would never have felt this call or except the call if we had not be on our Walks to Emmaus, because we were not listening to God, and being obedient of God. Yet the things that we learned on our walks was the dispute, causing trials. But through the trails God continued to strengthen our convictions as to what we believed and why we believed them with scripture to support those learnings. But because of those disputes, it has been easier to leave our current home church. If you go to church you know that you get attached to people, they become your family. When your family disappoints, you tend to look to God, or at least we do, thereby leading to the calling to be house pastors.
So back to the point, "So God could divide and multiply." Seems clear to me. I know it probably does not to most, because you only get pieces, but to me God just hit me with a 2x4.