Monday, October 20, 2008


Holiness is not to be trifled with.
The world gets to play on the wide freeway of life and you see the carnage left and right; death is everywhere. The Christian walk is narrow, about the width of a sidewalk, narrow in some places, sometimes dark, but Christ is with us always to be our Light.

As you rise in leadership, the path becomes narrower. First, it is like a balance beam, the width of a 2X4, and about 2 feet off the ground. But that's when you begin to notice you're being watched, evaluated, measured, and judged. Most times, this is as far as the congregation gets because this initial step requires accountability, more reliance on divine direction, and most importantly, obedience to the Holy Spirit. This is the first stage of the proof.

The next path, is the width of a ruler and 15 feet off the ground. People on the lower levels may or may not encourage you as you are being raised up in responsibility. In fact, petty jealousies, and offenses maybe cultivated as a means to pull you down. But so long as you listen and obey the Lord, you begin to master that level and walk in His path of Righteousness, but you cannot look down.

The next level is the width of a stamp and 30 feet high. This is the high calling of teachers, and the immense responsibilty they shoulder in teaching the Word. This is the office of church leadership; their actions affect thousands of people, either positively or destructively. This is where the few and the chosen walk, constantly being corrected and worshipping the Lord with their lives for all to see. They know how far the fall is, but choose to walk in revential fear and awe of this calling. This level takes years to attain and is not meant as a reward for faithfull service, or to fill a vacancy. It is a lifestyle.

The highest level is that of a Pastor. It is the highwire, 100 feet above the ground, the sidewalk. Serious men and women are chosen for this position, and they know they must totally depend on the Lord for everything. One mis-step, one single moment when they take their eyes off the Lord and listen to the world, they fall off. And you know what? There's no net.
Pray for our leadership. Consider the high calling and the immense responsibility that is required to assume it. This is not a cafeteria plan where you can pick and choose what the Lord would have you do; it's all of Him getting into every area of your life. And as you rise in leadership, you do not have the "luxury" of getting hidden in the masses. You are called out, and you must be obedient.

Who encourages the warriors?

In warfare, those on the front lines receive the greatest brunt of the onslaught. They are there because they know how to fight, carry out a plan, take orders and capture victory. They may get bloody, but in the end, it's all worth it.

Ministry, oustside the 4 walls of the church, is much the same. You train with people, grow with people, trust people, but most times the cost of the commitment is too great, and people leave when the rough stuff happens. We get bombarded all around us, and it's wave after wave after wave of attack in every part of our lives.

See, the enemy does not like to be challegened, and most give him an inch, but then it's a mile. We know we cannot be moved, cannot give an inch, cannot succumb to the chaos and confusion. We have to stay clear headed and mindfull that our G-d has prepared us for everything that will come against us. It is when we are going through the valley of uncertainty, the dark place when you don't see the arrows coming, is when we should give Him all praise and Glory. It is a weapon of our warfare.
We do not wear ribbons of honor, or medals of acheivement; we simply go about our jobs, which is our reasonable service, quietly, heads down, humbly, and go into enemy territory time and time again, to set the captives free.

What is my reward? To hear, "Well down, good and faithful servant, you may enter into your rest," from my Lord. We will not know many lives we have impacted until we get to heaven and meet all of them there.
Until then, we encourage one another, lifting up one another in prayer for direction, wisdom and protection. Our fights leave us exhausted, weary and sometimes debilitated. The fight consumes our strength and we are left drained. But when one, just one, comes to the Lord, and allows Him to change their life...well, again it's all worth it.

Oh and another thing, when you're a warrior, you have to be one 24/7. No time off, no vacation, there's no such thing as personal time. That means people are watching your every move, every word that comes out of your mouth, your lifestyle; everything. You may be the ONLY Bible that they may read, EVER! So, that's why the commitment level is high and the retention low. We're looking for a few good men and women willing to lay it all down, here and now, for the Glory of God, right in their own backyards.

This is the mission field.