Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)
TITLE: Just a Man
By Stephen Paynter
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Just a man broken, broken by an impossible job.
Who can do it? Who is capable of being a faithful administrator, a diligent student of the Word, a gifted speaker, a careful teacher, a tireless evangelist, a wise chairman, a competent counsellor, an anointed visionary, and a motivating leader? What mortal combines such diverse gifts?
Who can remember all those names and faces? Who has wells of compassion that can be plumbed again and again, entering into the stories of so many broken people? Who can switch from joyful marriage to sorrowful funeral in the course of a few hours? Who can resist advising beyond his competence? Who can resist the temptation to foster dependence?
Whose heart never fails when having to confront the church, or individuals, with unwelcome messages? Who can energise God’s people to care about poverty and injustice? To care about their neighbours’ ignorance of the only way of salvation? Who can strive and overcome the lethargy of those in the church?
Who can soothe the ruffled feathers of the easily affronted? Who can deal with the shocking spite and petty squabbling that Christians sometimes exhibit?
Who can do all that … and pray?
Who would not be broken? Disillusioned. Disappointed. Dry. A failure in his own eyes. Humbled. Desperate. Driven to seek God, his only refuge and hope. The source of his strength, of his perseverance.
A man who knows he cannot function without coming and dwelling in the presence of the living God. A man who is daily overawed by the awesome God. A man profoundly aware of his own sin, and desperate to live by the power of the Spirit in a way that pleases the Holy Fire. A man who has been forgiven each and every one of his sins – and even his rebellious heart. A man washed clean. An unworthy chosen man. An unconditionally loved man.
A man inspired by another man – the perfect God-man – whose man he is. A man mastered by love.
A man who will stand in the gap and put a priority on intercession. A priority on private adoration and worship. A man who is mighty in prayer – mighty in his God.
Oh God, I may not be a Pastor, but make me such a man!
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