Pastoral Peril

Pastoral Peril

Great peace have they which love Thy law; AND NOTHING SHALL OFFEND THEM Psalms 119:165 (meaning that NOTHING in the Word will ever be offensive to those that love the Word).

Hebrews 12:12, Wherefore lift up the hands which HANG DOWN, and the feeble knees; 13. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lamed be turned out of the way; BUT RATHER LET IT BE HEALED. 14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. 15. Looking diligently LEST THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS SPRINGING UP TROUBLE YOU, and thereby many be defiled.

Negative, heart breaking, disappointments in others — can often cause the pastor to question himself and sap his joy in the ministry. People that the pastor were meant to save, because of their response and attitudes, can become his greatest trial. As one pastor jestingly said, “Pastoring would be great if it were not for people!” No other “job” on earth can even start to compare to that of “preaching the word” to people.

A pastor must beware lest he fail to see the “people” because of the “person,” or the “body” because of a “member.” More than one pastor has allowed the few to strangle the many!

When we get blinded to the “big picture,” then we head for the valley of despair, we doubt self, we doubt others, and we may even doubt God. The “pain-of-ministry” can sometimes outweigh the “joy-of-ministry.”

God designed His ministers to be vulnerable. God had Moses put down his rod and it turned into a snake. God said, Pick up the snake by the tail. 
Wait, we know any good snake handler picks up a snake from the back of the head. Why pick up a snake in an illogical way? Does God not know the good rules of snake handling?

God was teaching Moses — you have to lean not to your own understanding but to the ways of God for effective ministry through obedience.

Moses needed to learn that he would always be vulnerable and should always be cautious of the potential of a “strike.” Moses would have to depend on God to know how to “handle” the difficult situations that arise in pastoring people.

Pastors must learn that it is God, and not themselves, that must control the snake. And as long as the snake remains in God’s control all is well. Pastors do not minister by their own power.

Many have been the negative strokes that hit preachers, which have put them on their knees. Pastors can get bitter and strike back and defend their ego, or they can trust God to control the snake. God wants His leaders totally dependent on Him.

God could have pulled the teeth of the lions before Daniel was dropped by friends into the pit; God could have killed the lions with lightning; God could have killed Daniel’s opposition — but God had a plan.

We want to learn without the lions. While pastors need to dream, however, to dream of a reign of peace and never have problems is stupidity on our expectations. Where there are people there will be people problems. Pastors expecting God to move and take away all problems are headed back to kindergarten.

We need septic tanks or sewer lines where there are people. This will help keep the smell down. Too bad many preachers learn to spread the smell. Some even learn how to deodorize the problems. We need wisdom to solve the problem, identify the cause, and go to the root. Psa. 119:165 Great peace have they … and NOTHING SHALL OFFEND THEM?

Matthew 24:10 One of the characteristics of the last days shall be MANY WILL BE OFFENDED, and shall betray one another…

This verse is written about actions within the church:

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

Looking diligently LEST THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS SPRINGING UP TROUBLE YOU, and thereby many be defiled.

People are looking for Godly leadership that refuse to react to problems, but rather ACT IN FAITH. Low self esteem and lack of faith can backfire. Life often has mirror effect! You see what you are looking for?

Great peace comes by loving the Word and that prevents being offended by the Word. People may offend… but God and His Word never!

— jlg —