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Encouragement Should Not A Taboo Subject!

Pastor Andrew SchankContrary to popular opinion, pastors, evangelists and missionaries are NOT supermen! Although they can jump over pews, they cannot leap over a church steeple in a single bound. They might be able to see far beyond the average church member’s horizon, but they cannot see through walls, doors, other non-transparent solid surfaces. The preacher may be full of hot air, at times, but he is not able to blow hurricane force winds out of his mouth. Radioactive kryptonite is not one of the many things which can destroy the man of God. However, a lack of encouragement can bring him to his knees. Continue reading

Why Not Let God Choose For You?

Pastor Andrew SchankAs a citizen of the United States of America, you are afforded certain rights. These privileges are guaranteed by our Constitution and are upheld by Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement. Tens of thousands of individuals are employed for the sole purpose of helping to insure that every citizen is able to utilize his or her rights each day. Couple that with the plethora of organizations and action groups dedicated to the daunting task of seeking to be an extra layer of protection for the purpose of maintaining the integrity of Civil Rights, one might well think that being a U.S. Citizen is something quite unique and special. Indeed it is!

In spite of the high and bloody cost that has been paid for every United States Citizen to exercise his or her rights, these same rights have shackled many Christians from experiencing God’s best for their lives! Now don’t misunderstand this observation. Having rights are a great thing, but the liberty afforded by them are not always the avenue of God’s will for your life. Why not let God choose for you rather than you making the choice? It could make the difference in occupying God’s good for your life or LIVING in God’s BEST for your life!

This principle is seen many times in the Scriptures. One is found in Genesis 13:8-12 where Abraham and Lot parted company due to the growing hostility between each man’s herdsmen. Abraham, by all rights, should have availed himself of the land he would desire to occupy and Lot should have gone the other direction. Instead, Abraham allowed Lot to chose and resigned his own will to whatever God sovereignly allowed. Again, Abraham let God choose and, as a result, he enjoyed God’s BEST! Things could have turned out much differently had Abraham demanded his rights!

The Apostle Paul is another great example of this in Acts 16. When incarcerated in Phillipi, he and Silas, were beaten unjustly and kept in prison. The wise Apostle did not solicit the aid of a mob to protest nor did he try to start a prison riot. Instead, he and Silas sang praises! As a result, the jailor and his family were saved by God’s amazing grace. The next day, word was sent to allow Paul and Silas to go free. It was then and only then that the Apostle Paul availed himself of his rights as a Roman Citizen. It is quite probable that at this point he used the violation of his civil rights as an occasion to help other Roman believers from being so flippantly abused. Things might have turned out very differently had Paul and Silas demanded their rights at the beginning like so many do today!

Life is full of decisions. Each one is unique from the other and they seemingly grow more complex the older you get. While there are many choices to make, one is paramount! We must make the decision, each day, to let God choose for us. It is hard and not always the easiest thing to do. While it is usually the road less traveled, it is still the BEST path!

What do you think?

Morality: Immutable Truth Or Subjective Ideology?

Pastor Andrew SchankIf we are to believe the articles and interviews published by media outlets in our nation today, then we would have to resolve that morality is no longer absolute truth. Rather, it is fluid and changes with the determination of the so-called majority. Contrary to this increasingly popular and heretical axiom, morality is not a subjective ideology, but a code of conduct which is as changeless as God’s own character.

Seasons come and go, skies change from overcast to clear and temperatures rise and fall, but God’s moral law does not vacillate one inch. Governments can be organized, tyrants can dictate and anarchy can prevail, but neither can alter the timeless treasure of morality. Indeed, people fall short of it’s expectations, but it does not diminish the luster emanating forth from it’s holy rays! Morality is not morality because man chooses to acknowledge its existence or not. The truth is that morality is because God is!

(Psalms 119:142) “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.” (KJV)

In an age when there is an ever increasing attempt to emancipate, extricate and eradicate the fetters of moral restraint, one must resolve to look to God’s Word for strength! While individuals may seem to distance themselves from their God-given conscience and realign to an artificially re-calibrated moral compass, they, in effect, authenticate Biblical morality by their depraved and darkened moral philosophy.

The old saying, “Actions speak louder than words” rings true here. A person’s moral compass directly affects his/her actions. Outside of salvation in Jesus Christ, every person’s morality has some depravity issues. When a person becomes a child of God, they have the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide them in the daily walk. Thus, they are more in tune with Biblical morality than an unbeliever. As new creatures in Christ, a believer’s actions should demonstrate the changeless moral values as taught in the Holy Scriptures.

The bottom line is that each person must seek to shelter themselves under the pavilion of God’s moral law. It cannot be improved upon, nor can it be effectively replaced with any man-made dogma. Willfully yielding to it’s authority does not bring salvation, but it does provide a tremendous opportunity for God’s Spirit to bring about the conviction of sin and urgency for repentance!

Are You Living Victoriously?

Pastor Andrew SchankWhat is victorious Christian living? How does one determine they are living victoriously? Is it okay to surmise that one had a day, week, or a season of victory? Are you living victoriously? These are questions you may have had since you became a child of God. I am sure there are other thoughts about the subject of victorious Christian living you may have had, but were too timid to ask someone for clarity. Join the club!

The ultimate source of victory in a believer’s life is always through Jesus Christ! He is our source of victory. Man, when left to himself, apart from God’s benevolent grace, will live a defeated life. Though he or she may do a great job of masking their disastrous circumstances, they cannot hide it forever. The fact is… we do not have to live a defeated life!

The Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians believers about the bedrock of Christianity, and the source of victorious Christian living in I Corinthians chapter fifteen when he spoke of the ramifications of Christ’s Resurrection. On the heels of exclaiming Christ’s triumph over death and the grave, he makes specific application to each Corinthian believer. His inspired words of encouragement ring true with each believer today. We can be STEADFAST, UNMOVABLE and ABOUNDING in our lives as God’s child!

(1 Corinthians 15:57-58) “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (KJV)

The source of victory for born again children of God is not found in themselves, man made institutions, or even in human government. Victory is not measured by the tallies of the ballot box, the sum total of a person’s net worth, or in how large a ministry someone has been a part of. The truth is that VICTORY is and and will be measured by JESUS CHRIST! He is the source, sustenance and standard for victory in a saved person’s life! Hallelujah!

It is very easy to slide into the mentality and/or philosophy of thinking that victory is based upon our works. The energy of the flesh is nothing more than a hot air balloon. The ride up is awesome, but trip down can be traumatic. God’s people must be broken vessels like Gideon’s pitchers and let the light of Jesus Christ shine forth. Gideon’s battle serves as an example for each of us today in that victory was not secured by man! Victory comes from God alone! Rest, rely and resolve to depend upon Jesus Christ for your victory and you WILL HAVE VICTORY!!!

How To Be An Accountability Partner

Pastor Andrew SchankDo you like being held accountable? Before you answer the question, you had better think about it a minute or two. Each of us like to be lauded and bragged upon for doing something well. We like receiving raises at our place of employment. We even like getting bonuses for doing a swell job for someone. While each of the aforementioned scenarios are desirable forms of accountability there is another side of the equation that few really want to explore.

Accountability is something that God is very much involved in and carries out in our life whether we like it or not. It is so needful in our lives as believers that Jesus used various parables illustrating the numerous aspects of it to teach spiritual truths. From a very young age we learn about accountability from our loving parents and we try to pass along its importance to the next generation of young people as we mature. It is safe to say that most know how accountability works and why it is important even though we detest it when we do not measure up.

Every believer needs accountability and God desires that His children help each other in the process. Many verses can be cited to drive home this precept. We will focus on one such passage. Consider Galatians 6:1…

(Galatians 6:1) “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (KJV)

The Apostle Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, made it absolutely clear that Spirit led children of God were to restore folks that had fallen into sin. In the context of the previous chapters this error could be both doctrinal and/or other fruits of carnality.

In view of this passage, I would like to make the following recommendations as to how each of us can be an effective accountability partner…

  1. An accountability partner must know Christ as their own personal Savior. The word “brethren” is used and it implies the brotherhood of believers. It is futile to ask someone to help hold you accountable in a particular area if they do not have the Spirit of God in them. Accountability requires more than just clever psychology from an unsaved individual, it demands insight from a Spirit-filled child of God.
  2. An accountability partner must be filled with the Holy Spirit (Compare with Ephesians 5:18). This nowhere implies that one must be or is perfectly mature, nor does it suggest that age has anything to do with being spiritual. It does carry the idea of an even-natured response where the accountability partner has his or her emotions under control. It suggests that there is not only a desire on the part of the accountability partner to live a holy life, but there is ample evidence in their own life that this desire is bearing fruit.
  3. An accountability partner must have a Biblical view of the sin in question. If someone is overtaken by a sin or by a false teaching, then the partner must have a proper understanding of the layout. This can be easily illustrated by a recovery vehicle attempting to winch an automobile from a muddy ditch. The tow truck driver has to have a keen grasp of the situation. So it is with spiritual matters. An accountability partner must not be a soul who is ignorant of Biblical teaching. Thus, it would be very unwise to seek accountability concerning the consumption of strong drink from a drunkard.
  4. An accountability partner must exercise “tough love”. The Scripture specifically uses the word “restore” as a job description of the accountability partner. It carries the idea of bringing something back to its original condition. The same word is used where the disciples were said to be “mending” their nets. (Matthew 4:21 & Mark 1:19) It has often been described that to restore is much like a doctor setting a broken limb. The doctor has to be firm, but gentle at the same time. If people are to be matured or perfected from a “fault”, then it will take an individual who will be both honest with Biblical truth and share it firmly in a loving spirit! (Ephesians 4:15)
  5. An accountability partner must have the right attitude. A Christian must not condemn nor criticize a fallen brother, but rather seek to bring them back into a proper position in the spirit of meekness. (Compare with II Timothy 2:25) The idea here is that one must control their speech, attitude/demeanor, and overall response while seeking to restore. If not, then the very sin in question could easily be found in the accountability partner.

God calls each of us into a loving relationship with Himself. When we respond in repentance towards God and faith in the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross we can be redeemed. From this New birth experience we are called to walk of life characterized by holiness and faith. At times people fail to live up to this and fall into the traps of sin. It is the responsibility of spiritually minded believers to act as accountability partners in an effort to restore those overtaken into proper fellowship with God and the brethren, as well as to lead them to such a place as they can enjoy their relationship with God. This cannot be done apart from the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit.

If these suggestions have helped you see the need of being a better accountability partner or if you have been shown by the Holy Spirit that you need to be one in order to help a brother or sister in Christ, then please feel free to let us know. It would be an encouragement to us. Also, if this helped you… it could help someone else. Share it on your favorite Social media site or email to a friend or colleague.

Carnality: The Terminal Cancer Of The Christian!

Pastor Andrew SchankFor decades now, many of us have been hearing more and more about people who have varying types of cancers. The conspiracy theorists would have us think this stems from the government spraying us with toxins in an effort to control the population, while others think this is due to the lack of nutrients in our food nowadays. The truth is that there are many contributing factors to the increase of those diagnosed with cancer. One of which is the intentional participation in things known to be carcinogenic.

Does not this sound familiar to the child of God? Does not this remind us of how carnality, with all of its tentacles, can sap the life from a child of God? The Apostle Paul stated in His Epistle to the Romans the following, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) Here we see a clear distinction between being fleshly motivated and Holy Spirit led. We see the immutable results of each. Yet, knowing this truth, many of God’s children behave as if this dynamic is only a fable and has nothing to do with reality.

This is no different than someone continuing to smoke cigarettes, all the while, knowing they will likely be stricken with some sort of cancer or illness related to this risky behavior. It has long been known that committing adultery and fornication can not only rob you of your Christian testimony, but it you can leave you with an STD (sexually transmitted disease). Some of which are worse than cancer!

Though many have known Christ for several years, they are eaten up with the cancer of carnality. Our old nature is our biggest enemy and will devour us if we do not allow the sweet Holy Spirit to lead us day by day.

If we allow our old, Adamic nature to have its way and if we don’t allow the Spirit of God to bridle our decision making, then we will live a life characterized by carnality. Sin will cease to make us blush. What was once wicked will soon be seen as tolerable. Things that used to be taboo, will be allowed under the so-called license of “Christian Liberty”.

Lest we think carnality is only a personal thing, we should remember that cancer is not. The patient is not the only one who suffers with cancer; families are ravaged as well. At a distance, the cosmetic effects of cancer can be understood. So it is with carnality. The sins of the flesh will hurt those around us in more ways than our selfish mind can contemplate. We should never think that our carnality is not brought into visibility by those who watch us.

(Psalms 119:9-11) “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (KJV)

What will it take for people to wake up and discard the reasoning that enables a carnal lifestyle? Much of life’s drama is simply the ramifications of self-induced carnality. Every child of God must be obedient to God’s Inerrant Word and submissive to His leadership through the Holy Spirit if they are to live the victorious Christian life that God desires for them.

 

 

Decision Making: It Says A Lot About You!

Pastor Andrew SchankSomeone once said, “Actions speak louder than words!” There is a lot of truth behind that axiom, isn’t it? Each of us can cite examples of poor decision making either in our own life or in someone’s life whom we love dearly. Many try to mask poor decisions with a lot of pretense, but the truth is we do just exactly what we want to do most of the time. There is nobody to blame for the things we say and do, but ourselves.

Poor Decisions Hurt People…

Many are accused of being judgmental when pointing out the errors that result from poor decision making, but that could simply be a misunderstanding. Think about it… people we care about the most will stir our emotions and passion. Voicing disagreement should not be construed as judgmental… necessarily.  Frankly, poor decisions hurt people!

Nothing will hurt and age pastor any more than bad decisions made by folks in the congregation. Parents and grandparents are often scarred by the decisions made by their offspring! Even when children leave the nest, parents don’t stop being parents. On the other hand, children are often hurt deeply by the bad decision making of hasty parents!

Decisions Have Consequences Both Good And Bad…

A friend of mine wrote, “Making the decision is not the hard part, but its living with the consequences.” That rings true, doesn’t it? One of the basic parts of life is making a decision and living with its consequences. From a little child we learn how to do this. The problem arises when we make bad decisions, knowing the possible consequences, and continue down the wrong path. We should make decisions in light of God’s Word! After all, it is the best way!

Our Decisions Have Something To Say…

Whether we choose to believe it or not, the decisions we make each day have something to say about our character. It is laughable how people get mad at others who form opinions about them from decisions which have been made. The Bible has a lot to say about the actions of the fool. Read the Book of Proverbs! When it comes to children, the Bible teaches us that they are known by the deeds; good or bad.

(Proverbs 20:11) “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” (KJV)

Conclusion

What have your decisions said about you lately? Do you feel that you have been misunderstood? Even when doing the right thing, people can misinterpret us. Our focus should be on being obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ and let God sort things out. According to Luke 7:35 “… wisdom is justified of all her children.” Decisions, both good and bad, can be learned from and both will be made by each of us. May we realize just how important it is to make the right ones so we can keep a clean testimony!!!

Resurrection Day: The Reminder!

Pastor Andrew SchankOf the holidays we celebrate, I like Resurrection Day the most! There are many reasons for this, but I suppose if I were to narrow it down to one it would have to be the fact that it REMINDS me of what my life as a believer is all about. The older I get the more I need to be reminded about things because life has a way of distracting you from what it truly important.

Jesus Rose Again!

Resurrection Day reminds me that God is still on the throne! He is Sovereign! He is Almighty! He has no equals! Our Lord Jesus came to the Earth for one purpose:the cross. After taking my sins and your sins upon Himself, paying our sin debt, suffering the wrath of God in our place, He was placed in a borrowed tomb. After three days, Jesus Christ was raised triumphantly! There are a plethora of details that we could highlight concerning the events leading up to and during the crucifixion. We could even write about the activity of Jesus during the entombment. The resurrection, however, is the culmination of it all! Jesus rose again! Because He did, I can LIVE!

(Matthew 28:5-6) “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (KJV)

Trouble Precedes A Resurrection!

This holiday season I am more keenly aware of the absolute hatred and vitriol people have for God, His Word and His People! In the weeks leading up to Resurrection Sunday, I , like many of you, read the Gospel accounts of how people treated our Lord from His agony in the garden to His expiration on Golgotha. It sickened me. What’s worse is that I see the same contempt unleashed upon people for simply standing up for what they believe concerning the Bible here in America! While folks are mocking us and slapping us around like they did to Jesus, they will soon have us bearing a cross on our bloodied backs! In other places around the world people are being murdered almost incessantly for simply professing that they are a Christian! Though this troubles you and I, we must remember that there would not have been a resurrection if there had not been the cross beforehand!

“God doesn’t always smooth the path, but sometimes he puts springs in the wagon.” – Lucas

(2 Timothy 3:12) “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (KJV)

We Can LIVE!

When you and I look back upon the historical Biblical record of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, you and I are reminded of the truth that we too can LIVE! Not only after we leave this world, but while we are in this world! Yes, the animosity and malicious behavior of wicked souls do, in fact, tend to intimidate us, but we can LIVE! We do not need to hide in a corner somewhere and live our lives as best we can. God wants the life of His Son to be lived through us.

(Galatians 2:20) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (KJV)

Conclusion…

As you continue your day, remember that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ reminds all of us that God is in control! Though troubles and trials may seem to sap our joy in life, we can LIVE as we allow Jesus to LIVE through us! Live in the reality of the Resurrection!

(Romans 8:35-39) “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (KJV)

Saying Goodbyes!

Pastor Andrew SchankRecently, I had the unpleasant task of having to say my “goodbyes” to a great team of school bus drivers and para professionals at Blair Community Schools of Blair, Nebraska. It was even harder to share the news of my leaving to the students I transported to and from school each day. Due to stressful demands of my time, I felt it necessary to free up my schedule somewhat and try to go one direction each day rather than two. Indeed, it has been a tremendous privilege to serve the Blair Community for almost four school years!

“Goodbyes” Are Difficult To Communicate!

Why is it so hard to say our “goodbyes”? Whether we are speaking of the arenas of the workplace and church or of moving across town or the State, saying, “Goodbye!” is very difficult for some people. You can know that someone is making a change in their employment, or in where they reside, but the finality of the word “Goodbye” reaches down into our stomach and ties it into knots.

We are quite comical sometimes, aren’t we? We can tell our spouse or children, “Goodbye!” then leave on a trip or go to work, and that seven letter word doesn’t seem to rattle us as much. However, if we convey that word to someone whom we will not see for quite a while or possibly not be able to work closely with again, then our emotions take a roller coaster ride of monumental proportions.

Coping With The “Goodbyes”…

I find it extremely difficult to say the word “goodbye”. In fact, I was not going to say much, if anything at all, about my leaving Blair Community Schools to my co-workers. Of course, the management needed to know. I did work a notice, but I tried to keep things quiet. However, I was reminded of something by a dear friend at the Bus Barn on my last day of work. She agreed with me that it was hard to say goodbye, but she also related to me that people would like an opportunity to say it! WOW! Call me a nut if you want to, but her statement was quite profound.

Saying our “goodbyes” is very liberating. It allows every human being an outlet for their emotional stress related to the severance or change of a relationship. That is not to say that every time we utilize the aforementioned seven letter word that we are not going to facilitate relationships when we invoke it. It does, however, give us an opportunity to express how we feel about the change in dynamic.

The Ramifications…

“Goodbyes” are not always final, but they can be. Funerals, for example, are very sad because of finality… depending upon what you believe about God’s Word. For a child of God, the “goodbye” at a funeral is not so tragic when the person who has passed away was also a child of God. The “goodbye” in that case is an, “until we meet again!” When a lost sinner takes their last breath and dies, it is very tasking for God’s children! The “goodbye” there is very final!

The ramifications of the word “goodbye” are quite complex sometimes. Conclusions are drawn, decisions are made, lifestyles are changed and a wide range of emotions are experienced. People can rejoice or they can be deeply hurt by using the word in question.

Jesus And “Goodbyes”…

(John 14:1-6) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (KJV)

Jesus dealt with “goodbyes” with His disciples in John chapters 14-16. Our Lord had conveyed the fact that He would be leaving them. His words resonated then and still echo with you and I today! “Let not your heart be troubled…” coming from the lips of the Savior seems to slow the winds of the stormy tempest that can rage when “goodbyes” are stated.

So What’s The Big Deal?

It is important to share our thoughts and feelings in a constructive way. When we do not say our “goodbyes”, for example, we can do ourselves and those around us an injustice. After my recent experience with my friends at Blair Community Schools, I want to encourage each of us to be sure that we use the word “goodbye” carefully and meaningfully. After all, it could be very final!!!

 

The Lonely Side Of Ministry: Undesirable, But Fruitful!

Pastor Andrew SchankMinistry, like South African diamonds, has many wonderful and unique facets to it. When an experienced jeweler holds a diamond up to the light and examines its core with a magnifying eyepiece, hard cold reality is unabridged. He or she sees the diamond for what it is. What may have seemed beautiful at a distance is sometimes not so pretty up close and personal.

In nearly 23 years of ministry, I have seen ministry from both perspectives. Volumes can be written about the glamor of some aspects of ministry… and rightly so. However, novelty wears away when one involves them-self deep into the service of the Lord Jesus Christ! Well meaning authors try to share in a few paragraphs or pages what took a lifetime for God’s servants to accomplish in ministry. Often, too much is said about so-called accomplishments, and too little is said about the staleness and loneliness that accompanies devoted service in the Lord’s work. We may do ourselves a grave injustice by promoting such picturesque snapshots of ministry.

Don’t misunderstand, ministry is absolutely rewarding in every facet! Nothing takes the place of going to sleep at night reminiscing of the opportunities God gave you that day. Even in the darkest of circumstances, ministry is fruitful! This precept must not be overlooked! The Law of the Harvest is immutable!

(Galatians 6:9) “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (KJV)

While there are many awesome parts of ministry which I would like to comment on, there is an often overlooked and misunderstood side of ministry that needs to be pondered. Of course, this intentionally bypassed aspect of ministry of which I write is that of loneliness. It can KILL you!

What Is Loneliness?

Loneliness is mostly a feeling that finds its way into our hearts like rising water creeping into the basement of a home along a flood prone area. As a servant of the Lord, you cannot always choose the best scenario in which to engage yourself. With that comes the possibility for the dampness of loneliness to seep into your soul. You basically feel that you are ALONE and nobody else is with you. In spite of the fact that a pastor can have a church full of people supporting him, he can FEEL alone.

Loneliness: A Double Agent!

Loneliness is a double agent of sorts. Used by both God and Satan, it will make its debut sooner or later in EVERY ministry and in EVERY minister’s life! Satan will certainly try and use this “negative” aspect of ministry to discourage and defeat the sincerest of God’s laborers. On the other hand, our Heavenly Father will use this same difficulty as an opportunity to refine His dedicated and devoted servants.

There Is Help?

Throughout the Scriptures a minister will find help, comfort, encouragement and renewed vigor in coping with loneliness in ministry! From Moses, to John on the isle of Patmos, and everywhere in between, you can learn how to continue to serve in the midst of loneliness. Whether the servant of the Lord is a missionary, evangelist, pastor/teacher, Sunday school teacher, Deacon, or just a devoted member of a local assembly trying to be faithful to share the gospel and live a clean life… loneliness can be overcome!

Consider the description of John the Baptist from the gospel accounts. He was a “voice” not “voices”, and he lived alone in desolation. Jesus was tempted in a desert… alone and away from family and friends. Over and over again, you find our Lord getting by Himself in a solitary place. In both John the Baptist’s life as well as that of Jesus Christ, it can be clearly understood that loneliness accompanies ministry. The absence of people, is both needful and necessary at times.

Conclusion

(Psalms 91:1) “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (KJV)

Whether loneliness is a result of demanding ministry or simply a result of the physical absence of people, there is one common denominator… our fellowship with the Holy Spirit of God! Loneliness will dim of the most zealous firebrand of God. If we do not resort to the promises of God, and the shelter of the prayer closet, then we will not know what it means to “abide under that shadow of the Almighty” amidst the trying North winds of loneliness!

Much more can be stated about loneliness, but it suffices to point out that if one is serving in the midst of loneliness, then he or she is NOT ALONE! The lonely individual is NOT the only person who has faced or is facing loneliness. You can be the only person in the room and the room can get crowded! One must allow God to refine them of the dross that can only be burnt off in the crucible of loneliness. God will NEVER leave us nor will He forsake us!

(Hebrews 13:5) “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (KJV)