Over the years I have found myself fond of different leaders within the church. Not in a way in desiring companionship but admiring how the Lord uses them. It has at times led me to build them up in my head to where they could never fall. When I spoke about them I would highlight their accomplishments, the souls they’ve brought to Christ and exalt them as being high in God’s eyes. I did this for many years. I remember after I got saved in college telling my mom about the pastor who did the altar call. He was a dynamic speaker. His sermons would have you either at the edge of your seat or shouting at the top of your lungs “Hallelujah!” My mom scolded me about how I spoke about him. Telling me that God is who we should adore not man. I didn’t understand why she felt that way. This obviously was a man of God, and he deserved high recognition.
In years to follow I’d be shepherded by different leaders in the church. Like before, I would have high regard for them. Seeing them as highly regarded in the eyes of God. They could literally do no wrong. God called them to be pastors, ministers, preachers and even the bible says in 1 Chronicle 16:22 “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” So, I knew that to speak ill about any of them was a no-no. I remember sitting down with one particular pastor about an opportunity regarding a new ministry. He heard about an idea I had for a youth girls ministry, and he wanted me to be the leader over it at his church. I agreed, and in the midst of talking, I shared with him some things I knew regarding the word of God. To his surprise, he said he didn’t know I knew the word of God. I was thrown back as I had been a member of his church for over a year. I had been asked to speak, pray, I was even a part of the dance worship team and now I was being asked to be over a ministry. I would have thought me knowing the word of God played a huge role in being asked to do it.
Fast forward to now, and we have many dynamic pastors all over the world. We also have some dynamic women in ministry as well. When I would listen to their messages, sermons or speeches I would begin to esteem them as I did the pastor whose church I was saved at. I would go to their pages and learn about them. I would seek them out to answer questions I had about life, salvation, anything that related to my walk. I would read the other questions that people posed to possibly see if it tailored with my life. I was building a relationship with these leaders in thinking they could provide me with the knowledge I needed and I was mistaken. Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 3:4-8, “For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,”are you not mere human beings? What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.”
As I’ve grown in my walk, I realized that once we are in the Body of Christ, we are ALL servants of God the Most High. The Holy Spirit has given us different gifts but we all operate under the same source. I do have a spiritual covering through my pastor of the church I attend, but I do not expect him to have all the answers for me about my life or me. The only one who can give me the answers, my identity, and unaltered truth is God. None of these pastors or leaders in the church I’ve mentioned have ever come off to me as if they wanted others to praise them instead of worshiping God. It’s just something that people tend to do. People seek out their pastor’s approval rather than Gods. People seek out leaders in the church to tell them their life purpose rather than seek God for their purpose. People go to prophets to receive guidance through every step of their life rather than going to God directly. That’s why it’s been so easy for people to be distracted, deceived, lied too and controlled or even join cults. As the scripture says in Matthew 9:37 “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” One way to hear what God is saying is through reading the WORD of God; the Bible.
There are plenty of people who desire to know the truth. They even take out time to seek the truth. However, what can happen is they begin to look in the wrong places & to the wrong people. They allow themselves to idolize the person who planted the seed. Believing that the same person can water it and make it grow. “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So, they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen (Romans 1:25).” It’s not biblical to worship the created when we truly have a Creator who deserves all the honor, all the praise, all the worship and all of us.
Can pastors and leaders of the church get it wrong? Absolutely, because they are human. Because like the rest of us within the Body of Christ they too have not arrived. We are all here to help each other. Iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17), and we have to remember as the scripture says Romans 12:16 “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.” We have to remember we were created to work together. We were created to be united in Christ. Being humble isn’t the easiest thing to do when you operate out of your flesh, but with the Holy Spirit, it’s effortless. The scriptures say, 1 Peter 5:5 “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” So, I will hold pastors and leaders of the church to higher esteem than others? Well, even an angel said to John in Revelation 22:9, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!” I respect the calling on leaders in the church as I do the calling on all Believers. As I’m #DyingDaily I know that God is my source and my creator. The only person who has my life, my identity, my destiny, my worth in their hands is the Almighty God.
Father God, I thank you for your truth. I thank you for your unfailing love. I thank you for being perfect and giving us exceeding, abundantly, and more than what we could ever ask or think. Lord, sometimes it’s not easy looking for answers when we don’t know where to look. It’s easy to fall into what we can see & feel rather than what your WORD says about the truth. Father, help us not to hold your servants in a place that only you dwell. Allow us not to seek out our identity in people, things or situations. May our hearts be open to your correction and direction as you take us through your process of refinement. Lord, search our hearts and remove anything that is not like you even if it hurts. Father we desire to obey you and follow your will. May we not fall into the trap set forth by the enemy to confuse us with sinful actions hidden under a willing heart for you. In Jesus name.