I’ve been going through books of the Bible right now I’m in 1Timothy. As I go through these books I am not using any other materials to study along with them. No study notes in my Bible, no sermons, no commentaries etc…. just me and the Holy Spirit – most of the things I’m reading apply to my life from the perspective of who I was and who I really am in Christ. His vision for my life, what he created me to be as a man, husband, father, grandfather and minister. At this point I’m going through the list Paul gives for Elders…….I’m looking at them from what I was………and how it’s meant to be. It is VERY PAINFUL to do this for me but it’s worth it. (I think) in the last few post I’ve hit a few, here are a couple more.
5. He must enjoy having guest in his home – At first glance I read this and thought ahhhhh now here is an easy one. I loved having people over, having a house full of guest. But I felt the Lord check me and ask me to really ponder on this, allow Him to show me some things about this. So I’ve waited a few days to get to this one.
It is true, I love having people over, we both loved to entertain and have dinner parties, pool parties etc….that is very true! But in this the Lord showed me how I abused this and how I grew cold in this. The last 3 years of ministry I was very selective of who would come over and who would not. Again in this I was pulled to have people over that adored me, thought I was a “great” man of God, a great dad, husband blah blah blah — and even closer to the end of my time it would depend on if “she” was involved or not. It all became very selfish and self-centered in all I did when it came to this area of my life as an Elder.
So I asked the Lord to reveal and show me the true reason this is in the Word of God and why it was important for an Elder/Pastor to have this trait that he would be tested on to even be considered as an Elder.
1. A man or woman of God’s home should be an open place to all of the lives they cross with. I am to be of the belief that God puts certain people in our paths for a reason, IF we are truly called by the Father our life is not our own. We are hand picked by God to represent HIM in ALL we do, it’s a LIFE not a JOB!
There are pastors/elders that set themselves up as men and women of “honor” the chosen ones….they demand respect, they demand privacy, they demand to be taken care of and well the list can become quite long. It’s like “I’ve got it coming to me” attitude. The home they live in is untouchable just as their lives are. I was like this in some ways and a part of me desired to have that status, looking back now it makes me want to PUKE so I can only imagine how it makes the Father feel. 😦
2. Our homes should be a place of peace, salvation, restoration, rest for the people that the Lord brings into our lives. A place that is safe where a man or a woman can bring their burdens to and unload. A place where the Spirit of the living God dwells and touches lives, using the very men and women he calls to serve Him, be his hands and feet. I believe that an elder/pastor should have an open door. I don’t know where any other way came from…. how it became to different.
3. Our homes should be a place of an example when it comes to living life, family, marriage, children, how we keep our homes etc etc etc…. The lives we live as husband and wife should be EXACTLY the same behind the closed doors of our homes as it is in the church in front of everyone and in public. We should not have to clean up our homes and lives to have guest.
When it comes to this one for me……….. well man it was all WRONG!! Paul put this in his letter and Holy Spirit has placed it in the Bible for us to understand and to put into practice. I find it interesting that there is a list here that says we should be tested on and after we are tested and pass the test then we can become an elder/pastor. I know men that have set themselves up as a “pastor” and use the terms,….”I do not need man to approve my ministry I only need the Holy Spirit, if God calls me who is man to tell me if I can or cannot” I finally get this entire section of scripture and why we have it. WE DO NEED men to test us, Godly men who the Lord has called and have been tested themselves. We need to TRUST GOD in these things not man, but trust that GOD CALLED THEM. IF they are NOT right with the Lord and testing you, SO BE IT!!! God will deal with that man……….if you don’t believe me just ask me. I was a man that sat in the seat testing men and women for 5 years and my life was NOT RIGHT with Him……I believe God used me in this role, but he sure didn’t allow me to get away with it. WE need to have authority over our lives, BE AWARE of any man or woman who is a “pastor or elder or evangelist” with no credentials!! I am very convinced of this or it would NOT be in the Word of God.
Well it turns out I’m just going to do this one today…… that’s enough for me right now. It is very difficult writing these things as I reflect and see my life in the past. I must admit it gives me hope for the future though. Right now I sit here and the word in my head is “Joy comes in the morning” — I’m still waiting for morning to come into my life……I can see it coming.