Jeremiah 2:11–12 (NIV84)
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods?
(Yet they are not gods at all.)
But my people have exchanged their Glory
for worthless idols.
12 Be appalled at this, O heavens,
and shudder with great horror,”
declares the Lord.
Chances are, if you are reading this, you are a Christian.
If you are not a Christian, I’m glad you have taken the time to read this far. I hope you will find this as something you’ve been waiting to hear and see.
This passage struck me very hard this morning. The kind of hard that you know isn’t your conscious biting you. The kind of hard that you know is heavier than that. The kind of hard that you are learning is the Holy Spirit pricking you.
I am convinced that it is entirely possible that the church has traded their Glory for worthless idols. The idols that they have traded for are the worst kind. They are the kind that look as if there should be no problem with them at all.
The hard reality is this. If the church has traded their Glory for worthless idols…it means I have traded my Glory for worthless idols.
I am convinced that I have exchanged my Glory for worthless idols. I am happy to say that I believe that God is convicting me of that. Conviction, though hard and difficult, is a good thing. It means He is speaking to you. It means He has a message He wants you to pay attention because He is leading you.
There is no place for a ministry leader (including the pastor) to lay blame upon God’s people for committing any corporate sin without accepting his responsibility in the matter. He may not be directly responsible but he is responsible until he begins the process of correcting the sin.
Ministry leaders are the visionaries and the people God has appointed and chosen to lead the larger portion of the flock. If the flock has gone astray. If the flock is in an area where there is no green pasture. The reality is that the shepherd wasn’t shepherding. He lost focus on his Glory.
I recognize that God has called me to the role of pastoring. That call is qualified by the fruit that my work bears. (If the fruit isn’t there, I have to acknowledge that I have mistaken my calling.) That role requires something that is very difficult for leaders. It requires humility. The bitterest pill for a leader or group of leaders is the pill of humility. (I believe it is one of those paradoxical aspects of who God uses have a look at 2 Corinthians 12:9).
I am a pastor/minister/ministry leader that is following the Master Shepherd. The Master Shepherd is revealing to me that I, many before me, and many around me are guilty of exchanging our Glory for worthless idols.
Our glory is Jesus Christ.
Not the doctrine of salvation by faith.
Not the way we structure our Sunday morning gatherings.
Not the next big event.
It’s not our work with the FCA.
It’s not the amount of baptisms or conversions we had last week, year or month.
Our Glory is Jesus Christ.
My Glory is Jesus Christ.