Being Content in Faith

Today I read 2 Peter, John 1, and half of chapter 9 in Integrity. Todays theme is one of judgement and redemption. It is kind of fitting today as I write this it is pouring outside. The thing that struck me most was how easy it can be for people to go astray and have their faith weakened and then return to sin or see their faith as a means to an end instead of an end in itself and then use their faith to make money or to get people to follow them so they feel like they have worth and power. Peter points these issues out and talks about how serious it is not to play around with our faith like that. He refers to it as a dog returning to his vomit. It is so easy for me to get lazy in my faith or to allow my mood or circumstances to dictate how close I feel to God. In those times I am very vulnerable to temptation or to checking out when it comes to my faith not realizing as Peter says in other places that testing is what builds my faith and should not be something that destroys it. With my responsibilities as a pastor I have to be even more conscious of the ways in which I can make ministry my God and people’s responses to what I do in ministry my slave master. With my tendency at times to want people to like me and feel good in my presence I can tend to avoid the hard topics or see ministry as successful or a failure based on how people respond. If I do that then I am not holding to my integrity and my view on the world and ministry gets skewed. The best I can do is create the potential for maturity to happen. The Holy Spirit is the one who does the work. I always have to remember that. Who I am is not determined by what I do, I am who God created me to be and what I do should flow from who I am. People’s responses are up to them and the impact is up to God. It is so freeing when I really embrace that fact!

Lord, help me to be a man who bases his faith on you not my circumstances. I pray that I never lead anyone astray and that I don’t bank who I am into what I do. Please make me as effective as you need me to be. I am your servant and I want to use the gifts you have given me in the way you need them used. Give me patience when things don’t go my way. Give me strength to resist turning back to sin. Give me character to be who I am not matter what others think. Lord I want to be your man. Amen.
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