Gearing Up for Battle, Together
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire, he breaks out against all sound judgment.’ Proverbs 18:1
As I continue to ask God how He wants me to apply the things I’ve learned at the Watermark Leaders Conference last week, I continue to feel very convicted and very moved. As I wrote a couple of days ago, Living Authentically in Christ is a biblical concept that I’ve largely failed in accomplishing. Whatever it was that I needed to have from my upbringing to live authentically and in a state of some vulnerability with others, I missed that class.
As I start this new journey, living more open with my family and friends and church, I want to live more authentically and more vulnerably. But how do I start? Here’s two objections I have had to living this way and the Biblical truths that will help me, and you, if you want to join me on this journey.
- I want to show that as a ministry leader, I have my life in order
I have no idea where I got this idea because I don’t have my life all in order, and in fact, some pretty big parts of my life are a struggle. As I realize this, I have two choices: Continue pretending that everything is great, while I struggle internally and nothing improves in my areas of struggle, or build up a body of people who also realize they are sinners saved by the good grace of Jesus, and walk in life with them, seeing them used in my life and me used in theirs and together us seeing James 5:16 lived out in real life, ‘Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.’ Three quick notes: First there is confession, then praying for one another and finally healing. I want healing from generational sin that I continue to stumble over and fail to fix on my own.
- But Lord, if I ‘confess my sin’ people won’t want to be around me or want to follow as a Leader
Actually, this may be true, but it’s only because they too don’t want to expose the ‘trash in their trunk.’ Here’s my running theory that I’d love your comments on: Because I’m a sinner, I’m going to sin. I can either admit that and deal with it, or pretend that the Bible is wrong (Rom. 3:23) on that issue. In addition to make the matter worse, there is an enemy that wants to throw everything He can at me to keep me sinning and defeated by that sin. So actually, I’m in a battle zone with bombs and bullets zinging by me constantly. Again, there’s a decision to be made: Do I pretend the battle is not there, or do I arm up (Ephesians 6) and take a battleship station with other brothers and sisters in Christ? And do we together then, fight the battle we see in this world at every turn together, fighting marital failure, emotional and sexual abuse scars in this world and believing that Jesus is the answer to all of it. And finally, as we confess, as we pray, as we see healing through Jesus, we make Him famous and we proclaim until our dying day that our hope is in Him, our strength comes through Him and what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:10 is true, ‘For when I am weak, then I am strong.’ I think leading from this position is an advantage because it shows others my whole hearted dependence on Him, and it makes that not a thing to be avoided, but I think to run to because Jesus has our backs and is strong enough to deal with whatever we are going through.
I can’t continue to pretend everything is OK, either with me or in the world, because it’s not OK. It only becomes OK when our dependence on Him grows as we realize how useless we are without Him.
Thoughts? Ideas? I’d love to hear from you even as I wrestle through these things…..