by Daniel Bramlett
I’ve written this article for your Pastor. It is meant to encourage him and allow you to see some of the burden he bears. I feel a tension in my soul. I’m convinced it comes from the battle we are facing. I know I’m not the Rescuer. I have no illusions of saving anyone. But I also know the role I’m to play in this battle … and it’s sometimes overwhelming. The Light will overcome the darkness, but not without a fight. Please pray for your Pastor! The invisible war is very felt by him. He sees the way the enemy manipulates, lies to and accuses you, and he is not about to leave you in the darkness! He understands the fear, the worry and the loneliness. His strong word is and should be “Not by power, nor by might, but by the Spirit, says the Lord!” Let’s talk.
I’m tired. I know you know what I’m talking about. It’s Sunday evening, and we’ve run out of everything we have to offer. Today followed a long weekend full of activities. We’ve worked to eliminate all kinds of obstacles in the services. We pray God would speak through us as we preach … and we really believe He did. And we are tired.
I have to pry myself out of the bed on Sunday mornings. I face the most warfare consistently on Sundays, more than any other day. I generally spend about 30 minutes trying to convince myself it’s time to get up and going. I have a weird sense of energy on Sunday night. I think it’s because that’s the furthest I’ll be from the next Sunday! I’m not saying I don’t love Sundays or love my job, because I do. I’m simply saying the struggle is real … and exhausting.
I know there are many of you who are in my shoes. We begin the week with vision and the greatest of intentions, and end the week worn out. That is part of the job we have been put together to do. However, hear these words: we have not been put together for defeat. We are no stranger to it. Many of us have experienced defeat, stood up again, dusted off our pants and, in grace, moved forward. Sometimes, because of the media, it seems that many more of us have experienced defeat, and it got the best of us. I am convinced that is not the case. As heartbreaking as it is to read of one more scandal involving ministers and, as devastating as it is for the church, we know another truth. Let me share another number with you. Today, there are somewhere near 600,000 pastors on the ground fighting in America. Take heart. We are human. While some of us have been knocked out of the game, WE have not been defeated.
The Pastor is the man God has put together for the very purpose of encouraging and equipping the church. Our job is nothing short of heroic. You and I both know that God chose us, not because of our great ability, but because of our lack of it! Humility is key for us, but so is the ability to stand as the visionary, rally the Church, and preach as if your life depended on it.
I know the men who have responded to this divine task are not few. Our lives follow a thousand different tracks, but the commonalities we share far outweigh our differences.
My word to you is the same word I speak to myself every day. Don’t allow the things that drain us to introduce debilitating defeat into your ministry or His Church. I pray for you that God will give you courage, renewed vision, and strength. I pray He will fill you with His Spirit and give you the grit to stand under the greatest amount of pressure and attack. Our ability to walk in obedience and grace lends strength and confidence to the Church and speaks humility and grace to the world.
I’m tired, but God is not. When we rest, He renews. When we pray, He is exalted. When we serve, He is seen. When we live in obedience, His glory is displayed for the world to see. So get up, get out there, and get to work! And take heart, dear brother, you are not alone.