As I go through my study of the call on the life of the prophet Jeremiah this month, I stand convicted of times in my life when l have been a spiritual prostitute. The word of God is a powerful mirror that will always show us what we look like. We really cannot deny what we see in the mirror. The big question is “Are we paying attention to what the mirror is showing?” More so for those of us who stand on the pulpit, do we ever look in the mirror or do we only hold the mirror so that our audiences should see themselves? As I grow in ministry, I pray for a continual posture of humility before the mirror of God’s word and today I pray this for every believer, especially those in positions of spiritual authority.
It is my firm belief that sometimes, as a leader not only are your people a reflection of you, but you are also a reflection of your people. So what does this mean for us church folk? If we are feeling frustrated with what we see in our congregations, let us begin by asking ourselves what we have put into them. Have we fed them the truth or have we manipulated them to suit our fleshly desires? When things don’t go our way, have we trusted God in prayer to change the hearts of our people or have we prophesied lies to force their hands? Jer 5:30-31 says “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land:The prophets prophesy lies,the priests rule by their own authority,and my people love it this way.But what will you do in the end? Earlier in verse 5, we see God turning to the leaders and what He finds leaves a lot to be desired “So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the Lord, the requirements of their God.” But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds.
You see, we will only get what we put into our people. If we show them that church is a place where we play games for our own purposes, they will never take us seriously as leaders. If we show them that we desire to truly serve God with honesty and integrity, with humility and obedience to the word, even though we may fall sometimes, then our people will begin to honor the priesthood. When our people see that their leaders fear God, when they see us as true servants who are surrendered and simply obedient to our Master Jesus, when they see a greater desire in us to build them up to their divine destiny rather than tearing them down in an attempt to fuel our own self aggrandizement, then maybe, just maybe, we will begin to see the change we so crave to see in our people. Manipulation and control through lies on the pulpit is demonic! Jezebel is on the loose on our pulpits and we must arrest her in Jesus’ name! Many of us ministers of the gospel need deliverance in order to be the type of leaders God has called us to be. Before we destroy the people God has entrusted in our hands, let us look in that mirror and do the following:
– Repent of our ministerial errors
– Go for deliverance
– Complete our season of ministerial training to mature our spiritual gifting and leadership skills. Many of us rushed out of training the moment we realized we were called, the moment we could prophecy or cast a demon.
– Submit to a Godly authority who can help keep us accountable such as a spiritual father or mother, a council of apostolic church elders etc.
– Go back to out prayer closets with fasting and learn how to have true fear and reverence of the God we serve, learn how to value our congregations the way God values them.
They say uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, I know it is very difficult to lead the people of God, just ask Moses! But I encourage you today to do what king Solomon did, ask the God who called you for the wisdom you need to do right. 2 Chronicles 1:10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
And if you are a believer thinking, I have had enough of my pastor’s manipulating and controlling ways, I encourage you to also look in that mirror. Jeremiah 5:31 says “…and my people love it this way”. Does your pastor lie to you because you do not want to hear the truth? If the word of God came through your pastor to convict and correct you would you receive it or would you leave the church?
God will hold us accountable for every believer he sent our way and what we did with them.The Lord says in Jeremiah 14:14 The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. And in Zach 10:3 God says “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the LORD Almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle”.
My fellow ministers, we have all made mistakes on this journey but it is time we wake up and stop violating the bride of Christ. As challenging as it is, my heart ‘s cry is to be on a train of continual change and growth to become more Christlike in the way I lead God’s people. I pray you will join me on this train so that we can be shepherds after God’s heart. Jer 3:15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.