Thursday, June 15, 2017

Do Not Be Afraid of the Hard Truth about Ministry--Be Diligent

The hard truth about ministry is that none of us is immune from the schemes of the enemy.  I must not be Little Miss Much-Afraid of the enemy...but I must be diligent.
Perhaps you read about Lysa Terkeurst pursuing divorce from her husband of ‘almost 25 years’.  I hesitate writing about this because my inclination is typically to not talk about people…but since she has addressed it publicly...God can use it to help all of us in ministry.
Lysa is president of Proverbs 31 ministry.  Maybe you have heard her voice on KLOVE during one of her ‘1 minute of encouragement’ spots or read one of her many best-selling books or possibly you even were at Union University a few months ago and heard her speak in person.  Did you know as you were listening to her on the radio or reading her blog or newest book or hearing her speak at Union that she was in such a struggle?  Was it obvious or was she, like so many of us, able to cover up her broken heart like a cast over a broken bone and just go on?
Many feelings might come when you hear of any woman in ministry experiencing the end of a marriage.  Surprise.  Anger.  Compassion.  Heartbreak.  Shock.  Empathy.  Confusion.  Questions like how?  Why?  What?   Thoughts from complete understanding to wide-ranging judgment flood our minds.
Frankly, my purpose in bringing it up is to remind us that none of us is immune to the schemes of satan, our enemy.  he (I just cannot capitalize his name…even when it breaks grammar rules) wants to destroy Christian marriages.  he wants us to think that the man (or woman) at church or at our job or a workman at home or an old boyfriend (or girlfriend) on Facebook or Instagram or WHOEVER happens to be attentive to us and pays attention to us is harmless.  he wants us to believe that that man (woman) cares more about us than our husbands (wives) do and then he desires for us to succumb to our yearnings and his seductions.  he wants us to become dissatisfied with what we have and think that the weedy grass on the other side of the fence has to be better than the dry, brown grass we currently live in. 

Or maybe....just maybe the mistress isn't a woman but the church.  ouch.  or sports.  or working out.  or a hobby.
What!  You think that couldn’t happen to you?  Yes it can!  
Be afraid of thinking you could never do that.  Be afraid of thinking he could never do that.  Remember Peter?  He said he’d never deny Jesus….and he did.
Wait!  Perhaps it already has happened to you.  If so, you are not alone.  Sadly, it has happened to lots and lots of people in ministry and your pain is unbearable at times.  The great news is that our confession brings glory to God and is a form of worship (See Joshua 7:19) and he (she) who has been forgiven much, loves much!!  You, my friend, understand God's mercy and grace like many do not.
We, especially me, must be diligent.  We must “apply all diligence, in your (my) faith supply moral excellence, and in your (my) moral excellence, knowledge, and in your (my) knowledge, self-control, and in your (my) self-control, perseverance, and in your (my) perseverance, godliness, and in your (my) godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love
“therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.  (2 Peter 5-7, 10)

Father, I pray for all of us in ministry to be diligent against the schemes of the enemy.  Use our failures to bring much Glory to Your name.  Give us wisdom to know if and when to bring that what is hidden out in to the Light and may the exposure bring healing and hope.  Wrap those who are hurting from broken or struggling marriages in Truth and give them Your Power to heal.  In Jesus' name....amen.

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