Archive for the 'Pastors' Category
Pastor and church leader, are you trusting in the providence of God in your life and ministry?
Providence is God’s guidance and protection in our lives and ministries.
Pastors and church leaders teach about God’s providence to their people regularly. With a deep belief and conviction, we even counsel people about God’s guidance and protection throughout life. Yet, when it comes to our own lives and ministries, do we believe it with the same level of conviction and operate our lives and ministries accordingly? Do we make our decisions about the future God has for us based upon His providence? I promise you: God will guide and protect you in your life and ministry.
I Have Struggled with God’s Providence. Have You?
There have been seasons in life where I struggled with understanding God’s work in my own life and ministry. I have even wondered why certain doors have closed when I thought they would be open. Providence is the friend that always reminds you that God is always working.
Conversely, I have often been overwhelmed with God’s gracious blessing, opening doors for me that I know I do not deserve. Here is what I know: God always knows what is best for me. Therefore, He protects me from things I may think are best, but in reality, God knows they are not best for me. He releases me to do things I would have never dreamed I would do in my life and ministry. Again, God is always at work in our lives. Thank you, Lord, for loving me and protecting me when I do not know how to protect myself.
Are You Trusting in God’s Sovereign Will?
In addition, God desires to work through us. People, places, provisions, and experiences are all under His guidance and care. When He desires to intersect them into your life, you will see His sovereign will fulfilled.
By faith we trust in God’s sovereign will! We join Him in all He is doing.
As He invites us to join Him, trust Him. He is worthy to be trusted.
How Do We Trust in the Providence of God in Ministry?
1. Trust in God’s providence even when things are not going well.
There is nothing easy about ministry. It is not an easy calling in life. Most pastors I know are continually under scrutiny. Pastors and church leaders are weary from constant criticism and cutting cynicism. Many have questions about their future, and at times, sense their ministry is in jeopardy. They are hoping and praying for revival in the church or deliverance from the church.
Pastor and church leader, God has not forgotten you. He is with you. He wants to teach you. I will never forget one of the most challenging times I ever faced in ministry. Through that experience, God showed me that He had me in that particular place in life to teach me. God had me there for me–more than for the church! This overwhelmed me with conviction from the Spirit of God. I learned through that experience, and many times since, that He guides, protects, and provides even when things are not going well. Trust in God’s sovereign will for your life and ministry.
2. Trust in God’s providence even when you may not want to.
Oftentimes, we want to take our life and ministry into our own hands. We want to manipulate the circumstances or spin our own reality. If we are honest with one another, there are times when we struggle with anger about what we are experiencing and even with where we may be serving. How does God bless a friend’s life and ministry when my own seems to be barren? Be cautious. In ministry, jealousy and comparisons can even override our judgment.
Yet, we must trust in God’s sovereign will. At times, trusting Him and His will may be far more difficult than trying to take matters into our own hands. Trusting God in ministry involves surrendering our entire life and future to Him. We have to take our hands off of our future, leaving it all in His hands.
3. Trust in God’s providence for your future.
Trust in God’s providence for your future in life and ministry. He knows what is best for you even when you do not. He is more involved with you personally than you may even realize. He is moving in the world of today in order to prepare you for the world of tomorrow.
Pastor and church leader, I believe God has big plans for your life and future. You may not see it right now, but He is preparing you. He sees the end from the beginning. At the right time, He will raise you up and entrust you with your future. Trust God’s providential guidance and care for your life and ministry. He cares more for you than you can even imagine.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Dr. Ronnie W. Floyd
General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, told those who worked with him: “The tendency of fire is to go out; watch the fire on the altar of your heart.”1 A fire left to itself usually goes out.
What a profound statement and challenge to every pastor: Watch the fire on the altar of your heart. Oftentimes we become so concerned about the fire of God upon the church, we neglect to evaluate the fire of God within our own heart.
Of All Things
When writing to his protégé Timothy, the apostle Paul, with a sense of urgency knowing that his days on this earth were coming to an end, challenged Timothy to do whatever it took to ensure he lived and ministered with the full flame of the Holy Spirit. Of all things Paul could have told Timothy to do, he told him to stir up the gift within him, to keep the Spirit of God blazing through his life and ministry.
Under the inspiration from the fire of God’s Spirit in his own life, Paul told Timothy, “Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7
Pastor, is the Spirit of God blazing through your life and ministry?
Grasp This Moment
Grasp this moment in history: Nero was reigning ruthlessly and violently against Christians, bringing their lives to an end in all kinds of ways. While this was happening, Paul told Timothy there was no need to fear, but to be filled with God’s power, motivated by God’s love, and to navigate through the future with sound judgment.
Paul was not rebuking Timothy but cautioning him. Watch the fire on the altar of your heart. He did not tell him he believed it was going out or had gone out, but Paul was reminding Timothy that if the fire of God is ever going out in your own heart, you are entering dangerous territory personally and in ministry leadership.
While we know the apostle Paul refers in his writings about the gifts of the Spirit, here he is referring to the gift of the Holy Spirit. Within the context of this text, we know that the power of the Spirit of God is the only One who can replace fearfulness with fearlessness, selfishness with sacrificial love, and disorder with discipline. Pastor, watch the fire on the altar of your heart.
3 Actions You Can Take to Watch the Fire on Your Heart
Action #1: Retreat Now to Be with the Lord
Each morning we need to go with the Lord on our own personal retreat. We need a time to hide away with God, evaluate our own life honestly, check the level of God’s fire in our heart, and then plead with God to set our heart on fire for our life and ministry. Never should this moment be minimized or compromised.
Action #2: Reset Your Own Life and Ministry
When we have practiced due diligence spiritually, God will reset our own life and ministry. His priorities will become our priorities. His mission will become our mission.
Action #3: Rekindle the Fire in Your Ministry
When we retreat with God and He resets our life and ministry to align with His priorities and mission, it is then that the blazing fire of God will empower us with His full flame. Then, through His powerful Spirit He has given to us, we will live, we will preach, we will serve, we will lead, we will pray, and we will love with the blazing fire of God.
Pastor, of all things, watch the fire on the altar of your heart. Remember, a fire left to itself usually goes out.
Now is the Time to Lead,
Ronnie W. Floyd