Archive for August, 2014
Over this past year, I have had the incredible privilege to be with a few thousand pastors while leading prayer gatherings and speaking at conferences. Through this, I have observed these four things about Pastors today:
1. Pastors have a growing desperation
It may have taken longer than it should, but pastors are becoming more and more convinced that only God can penetrate the culture today. While various attempts have been repeatedly made, pastors know that our pragmatic approaches are all in vain.
Desperation is rising among pastors today. As the old hymn states, “All is vain unless the Spirit, of the Holy One comes down” is the heartbeat and conviction of pastors today. I have witnessed this all over the nation and I am more and more convinced we need a mighty spiritual awakening. Yes, a Great Awakening.
2. Pastors are becoming increasingly discouraged
Pastoring a church is an endless battle. The cultural challenges that threaten the religious freedom in our nation are a part of this battle. The growing infrequency of church attendance by professing followers of Christ is challenging spiritual leaders today. On top of all of this, pastors are easy targets for many.
Whether I am speaking at a conference or leading a prayer gathering, I receive continual appeals to reach out to discouraged pastors. Many are ready to give up and walk away from ministry. This is why we need to pray for our pastors and spiritual leaders today. Their #1 enemy is not the culture or any one person; it is Satan himself who desires their doom.
3. Pastors know we must prioritize evangelism
Pastors believe that evangelism — personally and corporately — has become demoted; therefore, there is a rising conviction that we must return to prioritizing evangelism. Sometimes as a leader, it is easy to let trivial things become the main thing. And good things can sometimes replace the best things.
The great news I hear from pastors is that they are becoming convicted by the Holy Spirit to renew their own commitment to evangelism as well as call on their churches to return to its prioritization. I have written several times recently about the need to return to prioritizing evangelism in the church. I do hope you will take time to peruse ronniefloyd.com to read these articles.
4. Pastors believe the time we live in is a special season of opportunity
Most pastors I talk with are convinced the season we are in is a special God-ordained season, overflowing with hope! Their hope is in the power of God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ. They believe Sovereign God is calling His people to extraordinary prayer that will usher in the next Great Awakening.
Yes, this is a special season. It is time to rise up and proclaim the hope we have in Christ! It is time to finish the task by taking this gospel to every person in the world.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. Floyd
Do you ever find yourself wishing all temptations would just come to an end? Maybe sin would be a little easier to ignore if not for the temptation to give in to it. Sin and temptation go hand-in-hand. Temptation without the accompanying sin has no allure.
Satan creates doubt
When Satan approached Adam and Eve in the garden, he placed doubt. He questioned whether God had indeed told the truth. Was God holding out on Adam and Eve? Was there something better to be had as a result of eating from the Tree of Knowledge? The answer, as Adam and Eve found out, was “no.” It’s a lesson each and every one of their descendants has learned.
Temptation always offers the promise of something better, but it turns into a bitter pill. Alex Himaya writes, “Wouldn’t life be easier if temptations came with warning labels? Sin promises great things up front, but it’s only after we give in that we learn about the consequences.”1
God is faithful
The Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostle Paul on overcoming temptation. Writing to the troubled church at Corinth, Paul encouraged, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.”2
There are four truthful realities that will help us overcome temptation.
1. Whatever temptation we face is common to every other believer.
While it may feel at times we are being tempted in a way no one else ever has, scripture is clear. We face what everyone else faces, and everyone else faces what we face. Remembering that our temptation has been overcome by others helps us overcome.
2. God is faithful.
This alone is a startlingly helpful truth. God is not absent. God is not indifferent. God is faithful. God’s faithfulness means He is always aware and He is always able to empower us overcome.
3. God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist.
This is a great comfort and a promise we must take on faith. Think about this: you have never been tempted beyond your ability to resist it. What an encouragement to know that God protects us in this way. He has laid down a boundary beyond which temptation cannot go. When tempted, no matter how strong or seemingly insurmountable, we can always resist it in God’s strength.
4. God will provide a way of escape to every temptation we face.
Part of the strategy of overcoming temptation is to look for the way of escape. Is it phoning a friend to ask for a ride out of a bad situation? It is simply walking away? It is dropping to our knees–literally–in prayer? Is it a greater commitment to memorizing scripture? Looking for and taking the way out is a path of overcoming.
Temptation is part of our walk in Christ, but so is overcoming it. God does not intend for us to succumb; He intends for us to overcome, and by His grace we can do so.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. Floyd
1– Bible Studies for Life, Overcome, by Alex Himaya
2– 1 Corinthians 10:13, HCSB