Read Luke 9:49-50
"John answered, 'Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.' But Jesus said to him, 'Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.' "
What did Jesus mean when He said, "the one who is not against you is for you"?
As a Christian today, you've probably never encountered this exact situation. You've never tried to stop someone not affiliated with your church from casting out demons. But maybe you've been in a similar situation. Maybe you've criticized another church because they don't have a choir. Maybe you've shook your head over another campus organization who prefers street evangelism over going door-to-door.
For whatever the task--evangelism, worship, preaching--we all tend to think that our method is the best. In fact, we know it's the best because we've tried and tested our methods and run studies confirming that, say, 20 percent more people are saved in churches with choirs than those without. (I made that up by the way).
But what Jesus is teaching us in this brief passage is that, even when the methods are different, if Christ is truly the center of our focus, then we're actually working together, not against one another. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul reminds them about what's important. "But whether or not their motives are pure, the fact remains that the message about Christ is being preached, so I rejoice" (Philippians 1:18, NLT)
What should we do when we see someone else practicing their Christianity in a different way? First of all, pray for them. Pray that they would truly have Christ at the focus of their ministry. And also remember that God is in control of everything. If He can take our efforts and work miracles, He can do the same with the work of others.
Lord, I am with You. Help me to focus on Your will and Your examples in the Bible. Amen.