Wednesday is for Prayer
The Lord is my shepherd;
. I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down
. in green pastures;
He leads my beside the still waters.
He restores my soul…. –Psalm 23:1-3
“Human nature being what it is, the man of God may soon adopt an air of constant piety and try to appear what the public thinks he is. The fixed smile and hollow tones of the professional cleric are too well known to require further mention [and too well caricatured in literature and film].
All this show of godliness, by the squeeze of circumstances and through no fault of the man himself, may become a front behind which the man hides, a plaintive, secretly discouraged and lonely soul. Here is no hypocrisy, no intentional double living, no actual desire to deceive. The man has been mastered by the circumstances. He has been made the keeper of other people’s vineyards but his own vineyard has not been kept. So many demands have been made upon him that they have long ago exhausted his supply. He has been compelled to minister to others while he himself is in desperate need of a physician.”
—-A.W. Tozer, God Tells the Man Who Cares, 115. [bracketed comments added]
I have met too many church planters, pastors and leaders who have succumbed. It is a dangerous and destructive thing to minister to others from behind a mask hiding hollowness. Don’t do it.
For church planters: “Lord protect me from becoming so consumed with the work that I cease to worship You. Make me soft and supple to Your Spirit so that Your reign in my life is obvious and magnetic for Your glory. In the name of the Risen One, Amen.”
For other leaders: “Lord, keep me from the hypocrisy that can creep into a life because my fear of men is great and my fear of you is shallow. Don’t let me shrink back from the demands of my call, but don’t let me do them without You. For the glory of the Son I ask it, Amen.”