“Before we started looking for a new pastor, I went to a friend who pastors a church in a nearby town and I asked him what we needed to do to find the right man. He told me the first thing we should do is get our problems straightened out – before we begin to seek a suitable candidate.”
Okay…y’all have heard more than enough about our recent travels, trials and tribulations when it comes to the “pastor search.” I completely understand! I’m tired of it too!
But… I’m reading “Destined To Reign” by Joseph Prince¹ for the second time and last night I came to this – and it so clearly says what we would tell these dear people if it were appropriate to do so.
“That’s man’s tradition!”
“The woman in Luke chapter 7, who came to Jesus with an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, simply fell at His feet and worshiped Him. She washed His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair before anointing them with the oil. The Bible clearly records that the woman was a sinner, but it says nothing about her searching her heart or confessing her sins before she worshiped Jesus. She worshiped Him just as she was, and after that Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
“I think that the devil has tried to rob us of this tremendous truth. Whatever your need is…come to Jesus. He is your Savior. He is your healer. He is your provider. He is your peace. He is your forgiveness. He is your “I AM”, which means that He is the great “I AM” for whatever situation you are facing in your life.” (Or in your church!)
Pastor Prince goes on: “Whatever lack you may be facing right now, He is your solution. Come and worship Him just as you are, and He will meet you at your point of need. You don’t have to worry about your sin because you are worshiping your forgiver. You don’t have to worry about your sickness because you are worshiping your healer. If believers really knew this truth, even wild horses would not be able to stop them from coming to worship God!
“Do you know anyone who cleans himself before he takes a bath? Sounds ridiculous, right? Yet, there are people who avoid going to Jesus because they feel that they should “straighten things out” in their lives first. Can’t they see that what they’re really saying is that they need to clean themselves up before they can take a bath? Come on, Jesus is the “bath” that makes us clean! He is the solution and He will help us straighten out what we will never be able to straighten out on our own.
“The lie that you have to clean yourself first is so entrenched in the church that many believers say, “Pastor, I don’t want to come to Jesus until I make my life right.” If that is your refrain, then the sad truth is that you will never come to Jesus because you will never come to a place where you can make your life “right”. Come to the bath and the bath will make you clean. Come just as you are with all your sins (faults, problems) and Jesus will wash you clean of all guilt and condemnation.
“The world needs to hear this truth, and not be given a bunch of do’s and don’ts. “
We completely and totally agree with this next statement:
“Preach the truth and the world will come flocking to churches for their answers. They are searching for the real thing and that’s what we can offer them. But the real thing is not found in…”man’s tradition, powerless religion, a social gospel, works oriented dogma or the Word full of holes. Only Jesus Christ and the Whole Word of God offers a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior…He is warm, loving and full of grace. People will flock to a place where the true gospel of Jesus is being preached– the gospel that God commissioned Paul to preach, the gospel of grace, forgiveness and no condemnation!
It is our prayer that these dear folks will recognize who is the answer to their problems and give Him permission to “straighten it all out” rather than implementing their Do-It-Yourself plan. Down that road lies floundering, frustration, and ultimately failure.
And that, sweet readers, is my final word on the subject!
¹Destined To Reign
© 2007 by Joseph Prince
Published by Harrison House Publishers