People who trust in men are doomed to disappointment. Sinful man is corrupt and unreliable. Those who seek to lead others are the most suspect.
Man strives with his neighbor to gain an advantage, ironically, that happens in a world of vanity and futility. Man robs, cheats, speeds, and lies to, "get ahead.” Man knows his end because he has seen the endless list of names on the local obituary registry. Cremation causes men to forget, but a graveyard serves its purpose well. Death is sure, but how should he live?
The life of man in the fallen world of sin is filled with trouble. People try myriads of coping mechanisms, while groping for meaning amidst the dark night. Coping has led most into some destructive pattern of addiction. Messianic gurus appear. They make promises they cannot keep. They sell remedies that are not cheap.
Sinful men often find some temporary panacea in man-made religion. Grasping for hope they become addicted to rites and rituals that satisfy their spiritual lust. Flesh loves religion.
People submit themselves to icons of politics and religion who swagger as if their mojo was legitimate. Political and spiritual leaders, each with grandiose claims of salvation, make a living as pseudo-messiahs. Weak men follow these blind guides because they themselves are blind. The Bible assures us of their destination: the pit.
The church also wrestles with the problem of charismatic personalities. These men, and sometimes women, will attract large numbers of people. They hold inordinate influence. They, too, have found their prosperous place of employment. With excellent food and designer clothing they are content. They claim it is God who is blessing them with luxury cars, homes, and a fourth Lear jet.
Prosperity pundits are not alone in the pulpits of churches. Philosophers, psychologists, story tellers, and hipster growth-model masters all find room in those places that have church in their name, or who recently discarded the term to get more of the world into the church.
The collective cry of lament by God’s people on the pages of Scripture is profound. God has made His people for Himself. Nothing can satisfy God’s people except Jesus Christ. He is Lord. He is our all in all.
The role of local church pastors, the greatest being servants of all, is to minister Christ to the people of God. The pastor is not to be a leader, or worse, a hero for the people. His sole purpose is to shepherd the flock of God with the rod and staff of God’s Word.
Pastors do not need degrees in organizational management or counseling. They do not need teams. They simply need to be present with God’s people to steward the mysteries of the Gospel of grace. The Spirit and the Word do all the necessary work in transforming the lives of members in the local church. A faithful minister will trust God’s Word alone to do the work because this is God’s ordained means.
The Lord is my pastor because He cares for me like no one else can care. It is one’s duty as a called minister and appointed elder to simply point people to Jesus, as Savior and Lord. He alone is faithful and true. He is the One who knows all things and works all things for good for those who love Him because He first loved them.
When the apostle Paul invites us to follow him, as he follows Christ, he is not suggesting he is the mediator between Christ and us. He is telling us who he trusts. David is saying the same thing in Psalm 23, “the Lord is my pastor.”
Dear brethren, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, who authors and perfects your walk of faith in Him. Submit yourself to the Spirit of Christ, who guides you into all truth. Draw near, not to man, but to God, and He will draw near to you. Cast all your cares on Him, for He alone cares for you.
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 19, 2021