出エジプト記 33:13 「今、もしも、私があなたのお心にかなっているでしたら、どうか、あなたの道を教えてください。そうすれば、私はあなたを知ることができ、あなたのお心にかなうようになれるでしょう。この国民があなたの民であることをお心に留めてください。」

This is certainly the prayer of every true Christian leader. As Moses starts out by saying in verse 12, it is God who calls people and sets them into leadership. Some desire leadership positions out of personal ambition, but in the kingdom of God, that is a sure recipe for disaster. As I was saying to a young man just yesterday, to great agreement, no one should even attempt to be a pastor without the call of God to do so. Even given such a call, though, we are helpless without God's guidance and direction. It is the task of every Christian leader to seek to be led by God. The good new is, as Joy Dawson has said, God wants to lead us even more than we want to be led. It is never the problem that God doesn't care! Problems come because we ignore God and fail to seek Him. It is highly ironic that Christian leaders would ignore God, but it happens all too often. As the Lord said through me on the 14th, obedience to God starts with character, and only then moves to activity. A heart that is pleasing to God is one that recognizes our dependence on Him, not in abject fear but in joy and gratitude for His mercy, grace and love. Such a heart will indeed seek God fully, and as God said through Jeremiah (Jeremiah 29:13), when we do that, we will certainly find Him.

これは確かにどの本当のクリスチャンリーダーの祈りです。モーセは12節で言っているように、人々を呼んでリーダとされるのは神様です。幾人かは個人的な野望からリーダーシップのポジションを望みますが、神様の三国ではそれは崩壊の確実なる要素です。昨日私が青年に言ったように、お互いとても同意したのですが、だれも神様が牧師になるようにいわない限り牧師になるよう試みることさえすべきではありません。そのようなしるしがあったとしても、私たちは神様の導きや指示なしでは役に立ちません。神様によって導かれることを求めることはどのクリスチャンリーダーの役割です。良いことに、Joy Dawsonが言ったように、私たちが導かれたいと思う以上に神様は私たちを導きたがっています。神様が心を留めないという問題は決してありません。私たちが神様を無視したり求めなかったりすると問題が起きます。クリスチャンリーダーは神様を無視することはとても反していることです。しかしそれは頻繁すぎるほど起こっています。14日に主が私を通して言われたように、神様への従順はその人がどのような性格であるかということから始まり、それがあってから初めて行動へと移るのです。神様を喜ばせる心は、救いがたいほどの恐れではなく、彼の慈悲、恵みそして愛に対する喜びと感謝の中で私たちが彼に依存しているということを理解する心です。そのような心は神様を完全に求めるでしょう。そして神様がエレミヤを通して言ったように(エレミヤ書29:13)、私たちがそのことをすると私たちは神様を確実に見つけるでしょう。

I am something of a case study in this. I did not desire to be a pastor, because, again as I was saying to the young man yesterday, I didn't want the responsibility. I wanted to exercise the teaching gifts I had been given, without the messy, day-to-day dealing with interpersonal relationships and problems. God had other ideas! I have complained for most of my pastoral career that I wasn't given administrative gifts. My lack of gifting remains, but that's beside the point; I've got to seek God and depend fully on Him. He has indeed grown and changed me a great deal over the years, and I need to trust Him to keep doing that. I commented yesterday that I'm not good at praising people. That too got great agreement! I need to be active in seeking to encourage people where they are, and not just place some lofty goal ahead of them. I need to praise progress, and not withhold praise until completion and/or perfection. I've got to remember, as Moses said to God, that these are His people, before and far more than they are mine. Saying “they are God's and not mine” is trying to evade responsibility, but I certainly have no right of possession, and the wisdom and power necessary to shepherd them lies with God and not with me. I need to remember, as I often tell others, that God will never ask of me anything He hasn't enabled me to do.


Father, thank You for yesterday. It was filled with “pastoral ministry.” I don't know that I did it perfectly, but You did some good things through me. Thank You. Help me not complain about anything, but rather trust You to guide me as I need it, seeking to be Your obedient child in every area of my life. This season of the year can be overwhelming for a pastor. Help me let You handle the emotional pressure, and rest and rejoice in You each moment, delighting in You so that You may delight in me, for the sake of the Body of Christ and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


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