The Christian pastor holds the greatest office of human responsibility in all creation. He is called to preach the Word, to teach the truth to God’s people, to lead God’s people in worship, to tend the flock as a caring shepherd, and to mobilize the church for Christian witness and service. The pastor’s role also includes an entire complex of administrative and leadership tasks. Souls are entrusted to his care, the trust is entrusted to his stewardship, and eternal realities hand in the balance. Who can fulfill this job description?
Of course, the answer is that no man can fulfill this calling. The Christian pastor much continue acknowledge his absolute dependence upon the grace and mercy of God. As the apostle Paul instructs us, we are but earthen vessels employed for God’s glory. On his own, no man is up to this task. (Albert Mohler in On Being A Pastor)
In the woods of New Hampshire, near the beautiful Kancamagus River, I once had a picnic with some friends. We were talking about the transforming power of the word of God on the mind. I dug out a small rock from the forest floor and took it to the river, where I fished out another rock of similar size. I asked them to look at the two rocks and compare them. Someone said, “One of the rocks is covered with dirt, but the other one is clean.” So I crouched down and swished the dirty rock in the river for ten seconds of so. It came out wet and clean of all dirt. Again, I asked them to compare the two rocks. They took them and looked at them carefully. Another of the guys said, “The river rock is smooth and shiny, but the forest rock has all kinds of sharp edges.” New Hampshire is the Granite State, and this rock had crystalline peaks all over, hard as granite. I asked, “How do we transform the forest rock into a river rock?” The answer was simple: put it in the river. But for how long? Well, perhaps a century or so! A hundred years of river water gently flowing over the surface of the forest rock, carrying small granules of sand as a mild abrasive, would transform that jagged rock, and make it as smooth and shiny as the other. The patient activity of the Kancamagus River would do the work.
So it is with the transformation of a Christian from immaturity to maturity. Some dirt particles (sin habits) get washed off immediately after conversion, but the rest of the change is more difficult. Transformation only comes by immersing the mind in the word of God, allowing it to wash over our thoughts, until gradually we have learned to think as Christ does. And this is precisely what Paul is commanding us to do in Romans 12:1-2. (Andy Davis in An Infinite Journey)
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see an amazing move of God in your life, the life of your church and in your city? I have been thinking about this very thing lately. After all, his Word says that he is “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). I will be honest; I can imagine some pretty amazing things that God could do. So why doesn’t he move in such a powerful way?
I think part of the answer can be found in looking at a scene that plays out in Jesus’ ministry. He is in his hometown ready to teach and heal but Mark records these words, “And he could do not mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:5-6). Jesus’ ministry was hindered because of the people’s lack of faith.
Now don’t misunderstand what the text is communicating. Jesus was not powerless in this moment (after all he did heal some people) but he did not unleash his miraculous power because he knew they did not believe he was the Messiah. He knew that no amount of miracles would rouse them from their spiritual apathy.
I readily confess that sometimes we don’t see a mighty move of God because it is not in his timing. But, I am also convinced that there are times we don’t see a mighty move of God because of our lack of faith. We have become so complacent in our Christian lives and in our churches that we are comfortable with the status quo. We don’t see God do great things because we don’t expect him to do great things. We don’t believe.
Will you join me in believing that God can move in a mighty way in your life, your church and your city? Will you ask God to do what only he can do, believing that he can? If it doesn’t happen I want it to be because it is not in God’s timing not because of our lack of faith!