Every time a preacher stands behind a pulpit there ought to be a burden that brought him there. The preacher who lacks a burden in their heart during the moment of preaching is void of a compelling reason for their proclamation. Without a divine sense of urgency in the spirit of a preacher the spoken word will lack the fire of divine conviction and will fall short of penetrating the hearts of people. Have you ever entered the pulpit with fire on your heart, and with the singe marks of God’s red-hot coals that touched your lips at His holy altar? Have you ever felt the fire of God’s passion coursing through your soul, finding words through which you can share this burden with God’s people? There is nothing like this in the whole world! To every preacher who feels “stuck” in their preaching I encourage you to spend time with God till a burden emerges that will compel you to preach beyond your limitations. To every preacher who is wondering why the sermon time lacks the life of God in it and why people are not hungry to come every week to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to His word, I implore you to get a burden from God and see how things will begin to change!
First and foremost, before we even get into the wisdom principles, I want to establish the fact that it is definitely God’s will for Christians to prosper. This does not mean that saints automatically prosper, or that every Christian should become a multimillionaire. But Scripture does teach that we should aim to be in a position financially in which we have more than enough to meet our needs so that we can be generous and aid other people (read Deuteronomy 28:12-13 and the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10).
There have been many articles and books written regarding spiritual fathering and parenting. This article is different in that I am writing from the perspective of leaders who need fathers.
I have been involved in empowering leaders of leaders for several decades now, and I have been challenged in two areas in particular that relate to this piece.
First, I want to say that many high-level leaders are craving spiritual fathers, but usually they go to other, more experienced high-level leaders who are just as busy as they are! The resulting problem: often it is difficult to regularly connect with a spiritual father who is traveling the globe overseeing huge projects and has very little time and emotional bandwidth to devote to fathering leaders. Note: I am not speaking about teaching other leaders; there is a huge difference between being a teacher and a father. It is very easy to do conferences and inspire people in ways that doesn’t include one-on-one mentoring and fathering.
There is a dearth of fatherlessness in the world and in the church today. The emotional and spiritual effects of this have been nothing less than catastrophic! The following are some of the symptoms of fatherlessness. (This can be applied to both natural and spiritual fathers.)
When most people think of how to choose their friends they have more of a worldly, casual concept rather than a biblical one. In John 15:15 Jesus told his disciples He called them friends and not servants. Since the Kingdom of God is based upon relationship and not ministry, it is important we know how to choose our friends wisely.
As a believer with a Pentecostal experience since 1978 I have seen manygenuine moves of God as well as many counterfeit works of the flesh.
Unfortunately, many believers lack the discernment to tell the
difference between what is of God and what originates with man.
It is evident there are many in the Body of Christ who attempt to integrate their Christian faith with the pursuit of happiness. Some have even gone so far as to have a theology of happiness, in which they obey or disobey Scripture based on what gives them the most happiness. Several years ago a prominent pastor in New York City divorced his wife and married someone else in his church because, he said, “God wants me happy!”
The Bible teaches us to “resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7) and in another place it tells us to flee lusts (1 Timothy 6).
Many great people in God have fallen into various fleshly temptations, potentially ruining their lives and ministries! One person has said “it takes a lifetime to build integrity and a minute to lose it!” This is a true saying!
I believe this is because many have never intentionally set up mental and emotional firewalls. By “firewall” I mean something that acts as a barrier so the temptation does not easily penetrate the heart. Proverbs 4:23 instructs us to “guard our hearts because out of it flow the issues of life.”
A couple of years ago I had a private dinner with a prominent African bishop who was involved in a mighty national awakening in Uganda. This dinner, and the fact that a week prior to this dinner there was the National Day of Prayer in my nation, the United States, made me think of the subject of revival, awakening and how it could happen again in my nation.