Tuesday, July 18, 2017
A child may walk along the edge of the beach allowing the dying surf to wash across his or her feet and call it going into the water, but only those who have gone out further really know the pulling power of the water surging all around them. Too many preachers and spiritual leaders are like the child with wet toes when it comes to spiritual disciplines. Wet toes are enough. Wet toes are the equivalent of the soul being lightly sprinkled by spiritual power. Wet toes are about being satisfied with less when there is more.
Instead of walking on the edge, the preacher or spiritual leader needs to be immersed in the surging overwhelming power of spiritual disciplines. If the person who looks to the pulpit for spiritual leadership is spending a half hour a day with spiritual disciplines, how much more is required of those who are vested with the authority of leadership and the well being of the souls of the congregation. The excuses we use are simply nothing more than cop outs that God surely wearies of hearing. When we read the biographies of those regarded as spiritual giants, we usually read about people who begin each day being immersed in big chunks of time devoted to their relationship with God.
Reading books may give new ideas. Listening to the stories of others may inspire. But, there is nothing which can take the place of being with the One who calls the leaders of the church to stand as faithful servants. In those moments our broken and beaten spirits can be renewed, our hope in what God is about in the world can be restored, and a misdirected life can be set once again on the track where the feet of Jesus can be seen clearly ahead. Is it not true that the quality and the integrity of the spiritual leadership being offered is determined by the way that leader has been soaked and immersed in the power of the Holy Spirit? It is always a shame to be satisfied with less when there is more.