I’m not going to mince words, but get right to the point on this blog, specifically addressing ministers.
Are you really paying close attention to your spirit and personal life, or are you caught up in the natural things of life, the world, and the smokescreen that ministry tends to produce? Look within and examine yourself to see if you are really in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5). Are you honest with yourself and living in the sight of God? Do you have sufficient communion with the Holy Spirit to even do that? What do I mean?
TOO MANY MINISTERS ARE HIDING UNDER A FALSE PRETENSE
Many ministers are like spiritual orphans standing in their pulpits and instructing others in spiritual things while not having much spirituality themselves. They are hiding behind the cloak of anonymity where their real character is kept hidden and unknown to the public – actors with dual personalities using the stage of ministry for a cover up. Even sadder is that their spouses are compelled to cover up their failures at home and their real character issues while feeling trapped in a world that must continue to put up a front for the ones they minister to. What a prison that must be!
Not everything is as it appears. We have learned that in ministering to many people in many places over the years. Nearly everyone has a front. Nearly everyone puts their best face on and their best foot forward in public. Nearly everyone in their conversations with others will place themselves in the best possible light. Everyone wants to look good in man’s sight, and so often at the expense of defiling ourselves in the sight of God. We have personally been there, and have left there, and don’t ever wish to return.
God is extending His hand to help many leave this place. It is an awful burden and yoke to carry. I believe it is the biggest part of being burdened and heavy laden, and never having any inward rest as Jesus said in His invitation to come to Him.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Mt. 11:28-30).
BEING FREE FROM THE BIGGEST HUMAN BURDEN
I believe the greatest burden that all humans carry outside of sin, is the pretension and projection of what they want people to think they are. This rules the lives of so many.
Jesus extends His invitation to be free from these yokes of man and the law, but many refuse it because it would be too costly to have others know who they really are in private. No one likes that kind of transparency and vulnerability. All want to be loved, liked, and accepted by others.
But if you come to Him and humble yourself under the mighty hand of God He will restore all things where the enemy would no longer have a handle or grip on your soul and access into your life through these false perceptions, pretensions, and projections. Through learning of the love of the Father from Jesus you will be free from the fear and approval of man. You will learn of the meekness and lowliness of the Son of God, and you will no longer fear abuse and rejection. After all, Jesus was the most abused and rejected of all men. He is very familiar with this state of suffering in man.
We’ve got to learn to commune with God from our spirits. In order to do this you’ve got to come clean and surrender all, especially the public perception of your life and ministry. Die to your own perceived public image, and put on the image of Christ. You’ve got to come under the dealings of God that will lead to years of burdens being released from your shoulders and freedom like you’ve never known before. In plain speech, you’ve got to stop living a lie.
Transparency is difficult for many because they don’t like who they really are and don’t want their flaws, weaknesses, and imperfections made known. That would only lead to abuse and rejection. It hurts to be open and honest with yourself and with God, but it is the true pathway to true peace, freedom, stability and wholeness.
You will never really learn to commune with God from your spirit until you pay attention to those things He has put His finger on that keep coming up when you pray or talk to Him. It takes time to learn to commune with the Lord effectively where there is little mixture from your soul and emotions.
This life change was done in my wife in 1995 and in me in 2002 where we died to pride, selfish ambition, and the honor and approval of men. This led to a great transformation where we began to operate in the Spirit much more than we had before.
On our current three week ministry trip the Lord has greatly helped us to encourage ministers and pastors of smaller works. He has also downloaded many things to aid ministers in moving in the liberty of the Holy Spirit and flowing in worship out of their own personal spirits and gifts. Many of God’s ministers have used their impressive resume of achievements and accomplishments to hide their personal insecurities and true character. Many must become honest with themselves and come out from hiding behind that facade and come under the dealings of God.
LEADERSHIP IS OVERRATED
We have met too many ministers in our lifetime who are stuck in the pride of who they are, or in the defensiveness of who they are not, and justifying their position. Big leaders want to remain big, whatever big means, and little leaders, whatever little means, are striving to become big. It’s such a merry-go-round in a circus. Everyone wanting to be a success like the world counts success. And most of our conferences and seminars feed that awful ego of man.
Think about the time and money spent on such conferences and seminars. It’s a billion dollar industry even in Christendom. Do we really need another book on leadership development? Can someone please point out clear Scripture references where we are to emphasize leadership, leadership, leadership? What about following Jesus, what about being His disciple, what about servanthood alone, not as a stepping stone to leadership? Aha! But it is leadership that sells. Submission, servanthood, and sacrifice don’t. We are to raise up faithful followers, not faithful leaders. There’s been much error in the way we train and lead others through overemphases on leadership. Frankly, it feeds the ego and pride of man.
Must you have your title always attached to your name? Is your first name apostle or prophet, or doctor, or bishop? With all due respect for those who have earned or truly function in what these titles entail, must you flaunt it? Are you not happy just to be known or called by your first name? It makes me want to vomit when I see the excess in what has become the pomp and pageantry of modern day ministry.
The truth is you are a orphan in your own pulpit making feeble attempts to lead others when you are in such a broken state of confusion yourself and mired in your own image and success. But I love you and want to help you as God helped me.
Stay tuned for part 2…