When you’re alone with the Word of God, you probably have less peace than you’re willing to publicly admit.
You’re fine at church, attending conferences, or spending time with churchgoers. But when you’re studying God’s Word by yourself, a sick feeling creeps into your stomach. How can you reconcile Jesus’ teachings with what you see in the Church?
Start with yourself
Most of us know we can’t say with the Apostle Paul, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1 TNIV) Rather than pursuing the Spirit-filled example we could be, we hide behind churchy statements like, “I’m just a man” or, “I’m not perfect, just forgiven.” That will satisfy most, but you know deep down that you’re not “just” a man or woman. You’re a temple of the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you.
It’s like buying a racecar and only using it to drive to the market at 30 mph. Not only would you be wasting horsepower, but the guy who built the car would go crazy if he knew what you were doing. Similarly, I wonder how our Creator feels seeing His Spirit-filled temples living so normally. Were you created to sit in an office, have meetings, and answer e-mails all day? You know there’s more to what God has called you to. It’s time to take a step of faith.
Pray for the supernatural
Honestly, a nonbeliever can accomplish a lot of what you’re doing. Pray that God would lead you into tasks that can only be done by the power of the Spirit. Pray for results that can’t be explained humanly. Ask Him to do what only He can do through you. Pray in faith (James 1:6) and stop looking at the men of Scripture as unattainable superheroes. “Elijah was a human being, even as we are.” (James 5:17)
Pursue unexplainable holiness
We don’t need leaders who put themselves on a pedestal and pretend they don’t struggle. Nor do we need leaders who say, “I struggle with sin just like you.” The Church is dying for leaders who admit failure but supernaturally “put to death the misdeeds of the flesh.” (Romans 8:13) They’re looking for “an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12) Don’t hide behind phrases like, “We all sin.” Use the tremendous power you’ve been given to live a holy life.
We live in a time when Christian leaders are encouraged to be lazy. I’m constantly told to “take more family time.” In our zeal to protect the family, we may have idolized it. While there are still exceptions and pastors who work too much and ignore family, the pendulum has swung the other way. Now we have students graduating from Bible college and seminary expecting “the going rate” and more “family time.” Many of you know you ought to work more diligently and with greater excellence. Don’t give in to the whining you hear. There’s tremendous peace when we work as fervently as we ought (1 Thessalonians 2:9).