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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Ministerial Crushing

  PLEASE, READ THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE.

A lot of ministry involves trying to pull people up that are trying to pull you down. Some people can't be helped because they don't want help and no matter how much you want to help them, it's a waste of your time. IT'S CRUSHING.

From a pastoral point of view, I sometimes find myself thinking of how much damage people have done to me. How much of myself I have given that was never reciprocated. How much of my life I've sacrificed for people that don't care. How many wounds I have within that have never healed. How many people have walked out on me when I had to stay. How tiresome it is trying to fulfill a vision that requires the participation of people who don't care about that vision. How I'm often drowning in the pain these things have caused and cannot swim out of it. IT'S CRUSHING.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the first to feel these things and I won't be the last. I do know this, when I start feeling that way, thinking about these things, I'VE LOST FOCUS.

Christian Leaders, if you're there now, I want to share 3 things with you.

1. FOCUS ON CHRIST.  You work for Him. He sacrificed far more for you than you have for Him. If you are hurting because of rejection, He's been rejected more. If people have hurt you, He's been hurt more. If you've had people walk out on you, He's had more. If you've been lied on, He's been lied on more. You work for Him. He gave up everything for you and those that we are trying to reach. He deserves your loyalty and He will reward your sacrifice.

2. PRAY. Ministry is hard-a humanly impossible task. It requires the power of the Spirit. You must stay strong in Christ. You must be filled with God and continuously feel His love and grace. You must stay connected to Him or else the pain will be all you see and feel. Stay close to Jesus. People's cruelty will pale in comparison to His life flowing through you.

3. NEVER FORGET THE VALUE OF ONE SOUL. If you're like me you have the vision, the desire, to see thousands of people saved, but that's not the reality. When you don't see everything you desire happening, you feel worthless. You feel like a failure because the church isn't full, because the people are so unfaithful. You study, pray and prepare so you can feed people that are too busy to even attend the services when you should be studying, praying and preparing for the few that do show up. Dear friend, one person is worth the fight. Jesus would have died for only one person. We, too, must be willing to sacrifice for just one, but we can't do that if we don't remember the value of one soul.

Peace. Love. Hope.
David Lamb

Saturday, June 3, 2017

STUCK IN A MATRIX


I can't help but think the Wachowski Brothers were on to something very real when they wrote the script for the Matrix. No, I don't believe we are all asleep in a pod somewhere in a scientific laboratory, hooked to a high tech computer system, living a simulated life. That's not what I mean.

What I mean is people have been programmed to think and behave in a very systematic manner. We have been taught that certain actions are safe and reasonable and anything other than that accepted system is suspect, even dangerous, and should be avoided like the Black Death. We are so indoctrinated to accept this matrix inspired reality that any person that chooses to go another route other than it is looked upon as stupid and deranged.

We hear the young progressive regurgitating what they've been taught by our government run educational system, shake our heads, and say, "Liberal indoctrination". We hear the twenty-something  quoting the latest verse from a "super intelligent" Hip Hop star or mega-rich, mega-stupid actor like Cathy Griffin or Matt Damon and say, "Hollywood indoctrination". We can see the matrix being played out in everyone's life but our own.

It is because of this that false doctrine prevails so readily. I was raised up around a segment of the Holiness movement that is tongues or nothing. They taught you were an out right, hell bound, sinner until you spoke in tongues. When making my way out of that movement, it wasn't the doctrine itself that made it difficult to get free. In fact, the doctrinal side was the easiest to see my way through. The most difficult hurdle was the cultish teaching that, not only were they the only ones Biblically correct, everyone else were evil deceivers teaching false doctrine, seducing the souls of vulnerable men and women. Once I began seeing the truth of God's Word, I had no where to go. I was afraid of everyone, including those that could've helped me. Thank God for the Holy Spirit.

I see churches choked down by tradition. They won't move or change because no one they know has ever done it any other way. Grandpa did it a certain way and it worked for him (in 1950)! It doesn't matter that their church is dying. It doesn't matter that they are surrounded by dead churches and dying ministries. They just keep doing the same things over and over expecting a different outcome. It's insanity.


I see this every day in the business world. People have been taught the only way to earn a "decent and honest" living is to work for someone else. The accepted approach to life is to work 40 hours a week for 40 years, retire and then try to live on 40% of what you made-if you're successful. Everyone else will be dependent on the government, trying to live on $500 a month in Social Security and Medicare. 

We become like worker drone ants. We punch a clock, do what the boss man says, when he says it, earn what he says we can, celebrate a 3% annual raise, get paid like an automaton every Friday. We live inside the "box", buy from within that box, and then die. It feels kind of like institutional slavery to me. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. If that's the life you want, it's safe and acceptable. It's honorable and you will get everything your factory or boss allows you to have. You will live and die with a fair amount of security, but I wonder if you will die truly happy.

People fear change, they fear anything different. When they're approached with something that's outside the matrix, outside the box, they cower from it. They fear the unknown. They run from it. They fear failure, yet live a life they feel is a failure. So they stand still, trembling, waiting for this weird, large possibility to pass. They want to get back to the matrix as soon as possible.


The Bible says God hasn't given us a spirit of fear. He's given us a spirit of power, love, and a disciplined mind (2Tim 1:7). What is the purpose of this verse? Why do those that live within safe zones need such a powerful weapon? People snuggled up comfortably in their beds, inside the safety of their homes, talking about not having a spirit of fear, look kind of silly to me.

If you do nothing that requires courage, what is the purpose of praying against fear? You need to rise up. Expect those that have accepted the matrix to mock you. Expect peer pressure to come. Expect the fearful to try to keep you within "their" comfort zone.

You can do all things through Christ. You are more through Christ. You are made in the image of God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. The ship is safe in the harbor, but it wasn't made for the harbor. It was made to sail. You can stay docked for the rest of your life and never incur shipwreck. That's true. But you'll also never enjoy the high seas. You'll never really embrace your purpose. You'll never sail.

We told God we want to go to the next level, but we don't want to leave the one we're at. If you go to the next level you may have to go alone. You will have to leave behind those that won't go with you. They will laugh at you. They will mock you. Some will cry and say they're worried about you. Almost all of them will wish they were you.

We are stuck in a box. It's time to break out. It's time to stretch. It's time to become everything we were called to be!

Peace. Love. Hope.