Exodus 17:4 “And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.”
I believe this may be the cry of many a pastor on Monday morning!
Though this might seem a bit humorous to some, it is far more prevalent for the people to take up criticism, to gripe, and complain than to pray for their pastor.
The man of God that has pastored for any length of time has had days and times when he felt his life was in danger. There have been those seasons where everything and everyone seems in opposition to the path and direction he is taking them.
There is that one woman who just is not satisfied with how things are run; the subject matter of his last sermon; how the church is decorated; who is in charge of this ministry or that… and he has to come home to her every night!
Please do not mistake my injection of humor – the pastor’s wife is foundational to how the church operates. If she is his cheerleader, avid supporter, and fan; he will thrive in the worst of circumstances. But if she is in opposition to the plan of God and the man of God; he won’t last very long.
Exodus 17:8 “Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.”
If you are in a church with a God-called pastor, you should be thanking God every day and praying for him to be protected, provided for and filled with the Holy Spirit! More Christian churches are closing than opening – and it is happening at an alarming rate.
Satan knows that his time is short and is turning up the heat wherever and whenever he can. Just as God had said that Israel will have war with Amalek, we too will have opposition until we go to glory and the devil is cast into the lake of fire.
Exodus 17:16 “For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”
As Israel came face-to-face with their first real war, Moses, the man of God, led them in what to do. As God had instructed, He was to stand at the top of the hill and hold up his hands over the battlefield. When his hands were up – they prevailed. When his hands fell because of weariness, they were pushed back.
Exodus 17:11-12 “And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”
In today’s churches, we aren’t taking up sword and shield to run off into battle… or are we?
Ephesians 6:11-12 “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
As we are to be led by the man of God into this battle, why is it that some turn and fight with the one leading?
I truly understand that there are those in that position who have not used their office to glorify God but serve themselves; they are not the majority.
Every pastor will tell you that if they just had an Aaron and Hur to lift their hands in the battles they face, they would walk into Hell with a squirt gun! Satan knows full well that the man that has been called to lead you is subject to like passions as we are. But he knows that if he can bring down the man of God, he can take a whole church with him.
The power and promise we have as the local, New Testament church, is impressive when we are all on the same page and all marching in the same direction. The first church in the book of Acts literally shook nations with the power of the gospel all because they were of one mind and in one accord.
If we, the church would guard our hearts against the division the devil seeks to sow against our pastor, we could see mighty things happen.
First, before we ever take up any judgment in our heart, or bring any problem to our pastor, go to God with it and make sure we get clear direction on how to handle it. If no clear path comes, we need to go to our next authority in line. Typically, this is a ministry leader, someone on staff or a deacon.
Second, we must make sure we find the right time to bring this before the pastor. Some feel it their duty to tell the Preacher just what is what right before he is to give the sermon on Sunday.
I can tell you that whatever it is can wait till after the church is fed with the preaching of the Word of God and then make an appointment to see him and allow him to choose when he is at his best to hear your matter. You will literally suck the life out of your pastor by bringing him something that he cannot readily deal with at the time.
Lastly, by praying regularly for your pastor, God will bring things to your mind that you might not typically think he needs. Pastors get discouraged, oppressed and depressed. You may have a close friend that you have things with whom you can share. There are burdens a pastor carries that no one but he and God are privy to.
He has to deal with finances, broken marriages, in-fighting amongst the brothers and sisters of the church, kingdom keepers who usurp their authority over them to gain influence, maintenance issues with the building and on top of all that; being husband and father to the family he has first priority to uphold.
The call to the ministry is not a glamorous one – though in the pulpit on Sunday it may seem to be all that. That is only one facet of so much more than a God-called pastor has to bear.
Take up the call, child of God, and let us fall to our knees in thanksgiving for the man of God we have – and may our prayers protect, provide and bring the blessing of Almighty God upon him, his marriage, and his family.
Then you can honestly say:
“Hey, Pastor… I’m praying for you!”
and mean it!