Fellow pastors – I wanted to encourage you as many of us begin to risk our lives (and the well being of our families) to serve the people in our communities. If we are being honest, many of us have loved and served the Lord for a long time, yet we have never really had to rely on His power and provision in our ministries. We may be smart; we may be effective leaders, but for some of us we have failed to truly serve in His power and strength. And if you can identify with this, you may be one of the many pastors who are now living in fear.
I say this today not to judge anyone or point any fingers. I say these things because the world needs a Savior, and we have been handpicked to share Him with the world. If you are a pastor that is truly walking in His power, this message is not for you. But I know that there are pastors out there that need to hear this. So here it goes.
There is only one way to walk in the true power of Christ. And He (as our example) sanctified Himself in order to obey the Father and receive the Word (glory/holiness) that He had in the beginning. John 17. We too are called to sanctify ourselves as we serve the Lord. Lev. 20. I tell you the truth. With so much sin in our culture and lives, this true separation from sin in our heart has been placed on the back burner. Yet it is this (not so bad) sin in our lives is the very thing that strips a pastor of the Spirit’s power.
For the power of God to truly flow through us, we need to do our best to set off the desires of the flesh and take on the armor of God. This is a perfection of intention not of application. It is submission of will rather than active rebellion against a known law of God. The world needs us to truly give up our lives and our wants and desires in order to take on His. The world needs us to be willing to lose our lives in order to save our neighbors.
How can we carry the power of God yet in the quietness of our homes hold tightly to the flesh? How can we bring the life-giving Spirit if we ourselves are void of its power because of personal sin? Therefore, let all of us maintain a spirit of repentance. Let us hit our knees and lay our struggles at the feet of the cross. Let us be honest with ourselves and bring every and any area of darkness in our lives into the Light. And let us confess our struggles to God and repent of our sins. As pastors we know that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness 1 John 1.
We are called to beat our flesh like Paul did. Not so that we can be more holy than everyone else, rather because people need the holiness of God that is meant to flow within us. It is not our doctrines, or traditions, or our rituals that will save us. It is the holiness and power of God that dwells within us.
I tell you the truth. You can’t minister in the power of the Lord if you are serving the flesh. And if any pastor is unwilling to let go of the sin that binds them, I beg that pastor not to enter this spiritual battle. For without the true armor (and power) of God (that only rests on the humble, the broken, and the obedient servants of Christ), you will be destroyed.
With that said, the Lord has called us and equipped us with everything we need to serve in His Name. We know who wins this spiritual war. Our Lord is victorious and no matter if we live or die as we serve Him in these next months, we serve with hope and joy knowing that we are only here on earth for a midst and a vapor of time. We are not called to live for the moment or in our current circumstances, we are called to live like those who have an eternal future. With that said, let us not live in fear, and let us be bold in the power that flows through us as we serve the Lord.
These are mere growing pains of the Lord’s promised return. Therefore, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart”. Heb. 12.
The harvest is plentiful. Pastors, you know what needs to be done. Let us repent, take on the Lord’s true power, and serve in the Name of the Lord. Peace be with you…
P.S. This message is really for all Christians and not just pastors…