For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore, I urge you, imitate me. For this reason, I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church. Corinthians 4:15-17 ”(NKJV)

The apostle Paul, being a servant of God, started a church in Corinth. Those who became members of the church, became his children and he wanted them to move in his teachings. He wanted them to stand for what he stood for. The servant of God noticed some confusion in the church and he wrote a letter out of love, to rescue those who were being led astray and to warn them, that they may be saved. The above scripture is an extract of that letter to the Corinthians and it is still very relevant today. Paul acknowledged that the people in the church may have many teachers in the ways of God. This was an acknowledgement that one may receive the word of God from many sources including books, television and even social media. In the midst of all these teachers, each person still has only one father in the Lord. Paul, as a father, had given birth to the church through the gospel of Jesus. He instructed the church to imitate him as he imitated Jesus Christ.

Child of God, you may have many instructors, but as you have submitted yourself to a church you have only one father, the one who gave birth to you through the gospel. You ought not to forget what your father stands for, you ought to imitate your father as he imitates Jesus Christ. God is looking for true sons in the church. He wants people who are dependable, stable and faithful, not people who can be found in different churches every Sunday. He wants sons who will imitate their father. Indeed, Paul was happy to have Timothy just as Moses was happy to have Joshua and Elijah was happy to have Elisha. These were sons who imitated their fathers and taught the people to do the same. They were trustworthy with the precious gospel of Jesus Christ. True sons can be sent out into the world and be trusted to stand in the teachings of their father. True sons will never doubt their father, they always stand at the father’s side.

Your spiritual father stands in the place of Jesus in your life. Therefore, you cannot refuse to obey their teachings and say you will hear from Christ, because there is no way you can hear Jesus who you do not see if you do not want to hear the servant of God whom you see. This is why in times of trouble, Jesus will appear to some Christians in their dreams to deliver them. He, however, does not appear as himself but rather in the form of the servant of God. When you obey your pastor, you obey God because it is God who puts the servant of God in that position of authority in your life. When you reject the servant of God, you reject God Himself.

On the other hand, there are some sons who are direct opposites of their fathers. In Genesis 4, we find Adam’s sons Cain and Abel. Cain did wrong, but he was jealous when his brother did right and in the end, he became a murderer. Even in the church today, there are sons who do not want to do right but they complain when their brothers do what is right. They end up competing with the brothers for the attention of the father. Competition leads to hatred because in the quest for success, the one competing wants their opponents to fail. Hatred is the sin of witchcraft. Those who harbour hatred are witches. In Genesis 9:22, we read about Ham who saw his father Moses’ nakedness and was quick to expose it to the others. There are many people who go to church just look for the pastor’s flaws and they expose them to the world. True sons do not look for their father’s weaknesses and go out and share them with others. Ham’s brothers did not want to see their father’s nakedness instead they covered their father’s nakedness, those were the true sons. In the book of Numbers 12, we read about Miriam and Aaron who criticised the servant of God for his choice of wife and as a result they angered God. Miriam contracted leprosy because of the ordeal.

There are many people today, who like Miriam, are sick physically or spiritually because of what they have said about the servant of God. They proudly open their mouths to speak badly about their pastor’s family, but they continue going to church. Who wants sons like that? You have seen God at your church, are you not afraid to criticise the person who goes before God and speaks to Him about your life? Child of God be careful what you say. In Genesis 37, we learn about Joseph and his brothers. The brothers saw that the father loved Joseph and they hated him for that. They wanted to even kill him, they did not care how the father would feel. People today see the son who is helpful to the pastor and they want to kill him. They push the father into grieving and whenever that son falls, they rejoice. Those are sons full of envy and jealousy, and the Lord does not approve of such.

There are sons like Absalom found in 2 Samuel 15, who are after the father’s position. When people have come to see the father with problems, this son convinces the people to follow him instead of the father. Today these sons are still in the church. When people get rebuked by the pastor, they follow those people and tell them that they would have dealt with the matter in a better way. They want to seem better than the pastor in the eyes of the people. When the Lord killed Moses’ opposers, even those who sympathised with them were killed (Numbers 16). If you sympathise with those who have been rebuked, you will suffer in whatever they suffer. Those who are after the Pastor’s post will die, it is God alone who has appointed the pastor.

Who would want a son like Gehazi in 2 Kings 5:20, who when the father did not charge Namaan after he received his healing, said to himself the father was wrong and went to get the money himself from Namaan. This son practised an independent mind, such sons cannot flow in the anointing of their father. Who would want a son like Judas Iscariot who will steal from you and sell you to your enemies. No one wants these bad sons and indeed those who practise the characteristics of bad sons found above, are not true sons themselves.

Be a true son child of God. Do all that you are assigned to do, to the best of your ability. May the Lord enable you to be a Timothy. As you live your life, do not give your pastor and church a bad name by living in sin. When people look at you out in the world, they should see God. If you have been living like a bad son, bow your head now and repent before the Lord. Pray that the Lord may forgive you and begin to follow Him in truth. Be blessed.