As a pastor’s wife, I wrestle with so many insecurities. In my twentieth year of fulfilling this role, I often feel less qualified for the responsibility than when I first embarked on this journey nearly two decades ago.
My mind goes back to the faces, precious faces, that have come and gone during that time. Some stayed for years, others for months, and some only for days…and I loved them all. Granted, some were easier to love than others, but in the end, my heart wrenched in agony when they left. Every. Single. Time.
Each one had issues. Relationships, health, finances, emotions, addictions, heartaches, strongholds, flesh. For the most part, I (along with my husband) was right in the middle of their situations -befriending, loving, advising, encouraging, teaching, defending, protecting, interceding. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to keep most of them.
Many have come through the church doors, and sat on its pews. They studied the Word, and prayed with us. They went on youth outings, and brought food to pitch ins. They all loved God and wanted to serve Him. They wanted to be part of the Church. They wanted to do right. They wanted to be faithful. They wanted to live holy. Yet, one by one, most went back to former lifestyles, habits and circles of influence.
Willpower isn’t enough to sustain your walk with God. Will power has its roots in the flesh, and eventually, all flesh will fail God. When I look into the faces of the precious sheep who have remained, I see the difference. Those who stayed were committed. Commitment has its roots in faith, and faith is very pleasing to God.Willpower has its roots in the flesh, and eventually, all flesh will fail God. Click To Tweet Commitment has its roots in faith, and faith is very pleasing to God. Click To Tweet
Committed sheep are faithful. Faithful sheep are consistent. Consistent sheep are hungry. Hungry sheep are filled. Filled sheep are growing. Growing sheep are maturing. Mature sheep reproduce more sheep. This is the strength of the flock, as well as the strength of each individual.
A person who is committed will stand the test of time, with all of its trials, heartaches, frustrations, and disappointments. No matter what comes their way, they will be found sitting on the pew decades later, with a praise on their lips. Why? Because they made a decision years earlier based on commitment, not emotions or circumstances. In comparison, a person who only wants to live for God based on emotion, and not commitment, is likely to turn back as soon as he is faced with any temptation or offense.
There is often an unsaid expectation when people come to the Lord. Many assume that making the decision to live for God will solve all of their problems, and fix all of their issues. Trials, temptations and heartaches come to everyone, whether they are living for God or not. People are people, both inside and outside of the Church, with all of their various personalities and quirks. Life happens to every individual, born again, or not.
Running from God and His people is not the answer in difficult times. Sheep need the Good Shepherd. Sheep need other sheep. The enemy will lure weak individuals away from the flock by telling them that they have their own personal relationship with the Shepherd, so they can serve Him anywhere by themselves. Multitudes have fallen for this lie, and been picked off one by one, at the enemy’s discretion. God’s design for His sheep is for them to abide in the flock, and to rest securely in the sheepfold.
If you are a committed sheep, I applaud you. You are a strength and encouragement to your Pastor, Pastor’s Wife and the flock. If you are a sheep serving God out of emotion, I urge you to dig deep into your innermost being, and make the decision now, before hard times come, to live for God within the parameters of the flock and sheepfold He has chosen for you. If you are a sheep wandering aimlessly on your own, I beg you, come back and abide in the flock. The enemy of your soul is lurking just out of sight. The security of the sheepfold awaits. The Shepherd is calling, and the sheep will be happy to have you home.