Inner Struggle of Pastor: Lost on the Road of Ministry

A grass maze
A grass maze (photo: CCD File Photo)
By CCD contributor:PilgrimMay 17th, 2017

I was inspired by God's love to devote my lifetime to Him, eager to study theology and work for the Lord. Then I went to a seminary, where I developed an intimate relationship with the Lord like a couple in love and swore an oath of enduring faithfulness to the Lord. Many wishes were made each time the Lord's word captured me.

My seminary days were like a sweet dream, in which I was bathed in God's word every day coupled with the cheering and laughing with my schoolmates. However, I never imagined some experiences in real life. You can't tell one's personality unless he encounters difficulties and obstacles.

We all love the Lord and fear nothing when there is no persecution. But you will find yourself so weak and powerless under a harsh environment.

Every age has its troubles and sufferings, as well as happiness and joy. The world has a large impact on us today. Christians also face a big test and conflict: we, who are the people of God and don't belong to the world, live in the world that is against Him. There is a great contradiction between our inner world and life and the world --- we have to live and struggle to show ourselves in a world we are not of, especially taking the initiative to please the world at times.

Many stumble at money. Therefore, the crazy suppression from the world makes Christians feel their faith is so insignificant before the reality, pushing them to give up their faith. On the other hand, the world tempts them like mad. When we are under life stress and it is far beyond our ability to endure, it shakes our hearts to shift our eyes from God to the splendor of the world. Our hearts will be led by the world and money if the trick succeeds.

Both believers and preachers are confronted with great challenges. Particularly, preachers, the Levites without inheritance, find it pretty hard to do ministry, plus that they are unpaid if they are in some areas. Consequently, many preachers are forced to leave the holy temple and make money in the world to live.

In the past, I looked down upon such preachers who claimed the ministry too hard or leave the ministry. It was until I experienced such difficulty in the ministry that I knew my ignorance. After I married, the family has been the worst impediment to my ministry. Regarding the living expense, I need to feed my children every day. When it comes to services, their crying keeps me from hearing the sermons. In the Bible study, they affect other participants. I would rather choose not to attend it because it is troublesome to look after young children. The busy family life leaves me little time to prepare for the service. Obsessed with my family and daily necessities, I have no time to be with God, read the Bible and pray. My heart is filled with bitterness. Feeling tired and away from God, impatience and anxiety occupy me.

Christians struggle to live in the world, putting their hope in God at times while turning to the world from time to time. Nobody can be intimate with the Lord all his life and be free from weakness and estrangement from the Lord. So do preachers: their hearts grow cold and they see their ministry as dull work due to the unstable income and pressures of life. So a large percentage of full-time preachers engage in sidelines to increase their earnings. Actually, their hearts may be gradually taken by the world. As a result, they will lose their way on the road of ministry.

We're under the same circumstance today. We're so easy to be defeated by difficulties because we don't rely on God. Neither do we believe in the Almighty God or have faith to experience the word in the Bible. Not a match for the world, we can do nothing without God. Our tough life and ineffective ministry are a result of our alienation from God.

We should appeal to God in the face of the pressures of life, family, work and study, as well as from society because God is able to help us. We shall, by no means, succumb to the environment. Instead, it should encourage us and help each other to see through the current hardship, which is dangerous.

We will be beaten by the world without having a firm faith in God. We seem to be spiritual and have love for the Lord on the outside, while we are plundered on the inside. Underneath our service and ministry, a desire for money may stir inside us.

The most urgent need for this age is to return to the Lord in my eyes. As the Scripture says, "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength." (Isaiah 30:15). We can only find rest and have transformed hearts in the Lord as long as we return to him rather than focus on tough things in life. Then, we will see more of His presence and grace.

Translated by Karen Luo

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