Conviction For Spiritual Leaders
And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. — Malachi 2:1-2
So it's stuff like this in the bible that scares the crap out of me as a man of the cloth. And you will see what I mean by the phrase "scare the crap out of me" when you hear tomorrow's devotional.
But these verses should frighten spiritual leaders. They are intended to do so. This is because their role demands high integrity. Their boss is God. And he demands the utmost integrity from the men who steward his name. It's no ordinary job, even though some see it this way. It's not just leading a church. It's the role of stewarding God's honor. And the process of stewarding his honor is found right in the verses we just read.
Here is what these spiritual leaders were supposed to be doing to steward God's honor:
- First, actively listening to God.
- Second, embracing his truth and letting it change their motivation.
- Third, acting on these truths personally and then persuading believers to do the same.
It's a simple process. But the whole process gets hijacked when spiritual leaders do not listen and take God's Word to heart. Instead, in this instance, these leaders are listening to the culture, concerns, and community opinion and taking them to heart instead of listening to God and taking him to heart. Therefore they have honored powers, politicians, presidents, and people rather than honoring the name of the Lord. Thus have turned their spiritual blessing into a curse, which is a bad thing.
But if you read between the lines, there is hope in these verses too. All these spiritual leaders need to do is return to listening to God and take it to heart. They must stop listening to everyone and everything else and listen to him. They need to get back into his Word, read it, take it to heart, and obey it. But this truth has to first convict them on a personal level, then they need to make changes, and finally, they must teach this to others. That's it. But what has happened in this instance is that these leaders have become so concerned about the world that they have become fixated on social concerns, social issues, and a social truth that has led to a socialized gospel that honors people and not God.
Fellas, we must pray for our spiritual leaders and how they listen and respond to God. You could pray this for me today. I would appreciate it. And if you are a spiritual leader listening today. How are you listening and responding to God? Has God convicted you about something today? If not, maybe you need to listen a little more carefully.
ASK THIS: Are you listening to God? Is he convicting you about something?
DO THIS: Confess this conviction.
PRAY THIS: God, I want to listen more carefully today. Convict me and help me to respond.
PLAY THIS: Obedience.
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