One weak moment can cost you a lifetime of regret.
Jesus is a loving and kind man who forgives and forgets, but the rest of the people do not.
You slip and fall, whether intended or not and God in His mercy will restore you.
Don’t count on the same treatment from your peers, whether they be leadership or laity. This is part of Church reality today and it has been for a very long time now.
Other than the baptism of The Holy Ghost, your ministry is the greatest gift you have or will have.
Contrary to popular opinion, if you are once called of God, your are forever called of God.
The gifts and calling will reside in you until the day you leave this vale known as life.
Forget the gainsayers and book-thumpers and hear the truth from those who have been there.
There is a mark upon those who are called. That mark remains forever and can be seen by every spiritual entity.
This means that no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, even the devils recognize who you are and they tread lightly.
Nonetheless, you deal with people in this life who take the liberty of writing you off whether they have the power or ability to do so.
Society as a whole, also judges and likes to hold grudges and be unforgiving, even though they are even committing grave errors and excusing themselves and covering up their wickedness, by pointing at you.
King David said, “My sin is ever before me.” And I am here to tell you it is. The mistakes you make can follow you for the rest of your life.
God does forgive and forget, that is a fact, but there are consequences for what you do or do not do.
I don’t wish to just quote scripture, but here I must. This quote is a severe reality that we have attempted to ignore to our own folly.
“Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall,” Proverbs 16:18.
Reaping arrogance and self-righteousness is a journey most should wish to avoid. The rewards of these two things are lethal and often permanent.
The worst thing a minister can do is be arrogant. Hateful or haughty ministers are setting themselves up for a terrible fall.
You can be sure that Saints are included in this also because in truth, we are all ministers, we each have a special place and I especially include ministers of music as well as Sunday School teachers etc.
Some years ago one particular organization was beginning to teach classes to their ministers about how to avoid traps the enemy might set for them. I will list a few examples.
1. Never counsel the opposite sex without your wife or husband present.
If the person says they can only speak to the Pastor alone, deny that person the opportunity. If they cannot speak to the ministerial couple, let them find someone else to confide in.
2. When you go out into the community to evangelize or invite people to church, go in twos.
Jesus sent the disciples out in twos for a reason. (our good LDS and JW folks learned this early on) “In the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses…”
3. Do not try to run everything or make all the decisions yourself.
Don’t be afraid to use the talented you have in your group. There is wisdom in a multitude of counsel. Don’t be arrogant and think you know it all. You don’t.
I wish I could say that everyone listened to this advice.
Somehow it did not make it back to the local level in some places. Some beautiful men lost their families and ministries because someone did not teach them this.
I would hope to add some of my own personal insight. WATCH OUT when you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired.
The 12 step groups use the word “HALT.” Know when to shut down, take a breath or a time out.
Decisions made during such times can be costly and one thoughtless remark or action can jeopardize your outcome and success.
You need to be especially careful when you are under a lot of stress, either at home or in the church.
Satan and his gang are just waiting on the sideline to catch you off guard and take advantage of your needs or problems and hear me, they will use family and even so-called friends to do their dirty work.
Remember that you are often at your weakness point when you are being severely criticized and God forbid that someone has told an outright lie about you or misrepresented something you’ve said.
Be aware of Satan’s devices, that he is constantly accusing you falsely before God himself.
This point is often not highlighted. Be especially careful if you are very successful and things are going quite well.
Most minsters, saints or otherwise do not know that this is a perfect time for a slip.
Humans are boastful creatures and they have a tendency to revel in their own accomplishments.
When folks are bragging on you, guard your spirit. We all are aware of the expression “getting the big head.”
That’s because so many of us do. You’d never imagine that the enemy would have people singing your praises so he can lay a trap for you to fall in to.
If you’re not doing much for God, don’t worry about it. You’re no threat to the kingdom of darkness and you can probably just coast along without to much pain from the pit.
However, if God is using you in a special way, especially in this hour we live in now and you’re talking about restoration and healing wounded folk or hinting for the return to full Pentecostal power, you are an absolute a target for every foul and evil trick humans and demons can orchestrate.
I’ll throw this in for good measure. We often blame the devil for all the troubles we encounter when quite often it is simply the nasty, filthy spirit of a human being.
Many times, the enemy gets credit for all hell breaking loose and all manner of division and oppression when all he had to do was sit back and let wicked people do the dirty work for him.
I want to say this in the most sincere and honest way I can. I would do almost anything to save someone from making the same mistakes I have.
I lost my ministry by being off guard to what the enemy was trying to set me up for.
Satan laid a trap for me and I walked right into it. You know, I feel a spirit of smugness coming at me that says, “If you were prayed up and right before God, you would not have fallen or made those mistakes.”
I beg to differ with you spirit. Without being boastful, I kinda doubt that most of you were more spiritual or dedicated than I was.
I have been mightily used of God and the anointing of the Spirit has been on me since I was a child. In fact, I was called and gifted from my mother’s womb, long before I or anyone else knew it.
I’m not Paul but he was also, yet, he persecuted the church and was in on seeing many put in prison and beholding to the death of some also.
Let’s be a little more honest. I got hurt badly by my own brethren. I got rejected and thrown down, because I was just a little too spiritual for the powers that be and they felt threatened by what God had given me.
I sought God day and night with prayers and fastings for the things he revealed to me, it wasn’t just handed to me.
I payed dearly for it. You talk about having the Truth. We said we had the truth and wanted truth but many did not want that at all.
In fact, they could not stand to hear the truth, and they still can’t. I was a young minister. I thought the church wanted real apostolic ministry, and I thought elders could hear and wanted to hear actual spiritual teaching from the Bible.
I never dreamed you could get black-balled or black-listed for speaking what God told you to say. We were apostolic, right?
No, we were not apostolic. We had a lot of doctrine we called ‘apostolic’ but we had so little in practice we were a far cry from the early church.
I did not know politics could trump revelation. I dug in the Word. The camp evangelists told us we should desire Spiritual gifts, it was the right thing to do and God would endow us with them.
He did. But those few teachers who encouraged us to do it forgot to tell us that ordained, licensed elders would stomp on us if we did.
I want to close this, because it’s very heavy for me. Let me be a bit crude to all ministers and say this, because I don’t know any other way to say it. DON’T BE STUPID!
Don’t do things and take risks that might cost you your reputation or credibility. The Church as a whole won’t let you live it down if you do.
You know, I never heard much said during my years in the Church in reference to some strong words Christ used, like hypocrites, vipers, snakes if you please, serpents and scorpions, much less the Old Testament words about greedy dogs.
For some dumb reason I thought He was talking only to the world and truly didn’t realize he was flat out speaking to people in the Church of that day, and people in the Church who are not so different this day.
I have to say one last thing about jeopardizing your ministry. See and confess your jealousy and envy, repent of it and quit it.
If you think you don’t have these things you are very wrong, we all do and it is a huge sin.
Just because the same elders did not bother to tell us this does not make it any less of a reality.
Many of us are eat up with it. We can’t stand it if someone has gifts and we don’t. Envy is rotten to the bone. The Bible said, “DON’T LIE ABOUT IT.” That’s in the Book, read it for yourself.
You’re gonna get hurt in this Walk, like it or not. You will be pressed out of measure at times.
David said, “My foot almost slipped.” Get back up as soon as you can. Find some other minister you can be absolutely honest with.
If he or she puts you down and does not help you as they are ordered by God to do, they will get theirs.
They have just jeopardized their very existence as a minister. It may not come quickly, but it will surely come.
And don’t think you’re number one in the five-fold ministry. You’re not. You’re one small voice. Stay humble. You may never get over your loss.
First published: July 1, 2011.
~ Robert Blackburn