Pastors, God will take you through seasons that will battle-harden you. This is not a sign of His abandoning you, but a special dose of grace to help you walk through the valleys with your people. No wonder the Spirit calls us ‘soldiers.’ Our allegiance is with Christ and His church, as He works to present His bride as spotless and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-33). Keep the faith and stay the course!
In 2 Timothy 2:4, we read, “ No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” Timothy needed this reminder. He was a young pastor, likely in his mid 30’s, who was called to lead men and women who were older than he–some were old enough to be his grandparents. How difficult this is!
But our aim is to please someone much ‘older’ that us–Christ Jesus! Our focus, our determination, our urgency is fueled by remembering Christ Jesus (2:8). Sermons may take away our focus. Counseling may take away our focus. Finances, outreach, networking–all can take away our focus. How?
Should we give up preaching, counseling, financial matters, outreach, and networking? No! But if we’re doing this simply because it’s on our job description and it’s expected of us, and we do them so we won’t be terminated–that’s taking away our focus from Christ and putting it on men.
God battle-hardens pastors for the long, marathon fight. The arrows will come, the miles will accumulate on your heart, mind, and soul. But He readies us for the warfare. God provides the good grace of battle-hardening for the good of ourselves, our people, and the Kingdom. Without it, we would fall! With it, even in failure God will use this for His glory to teach us lessons we wouldn’t learn otherwise.
Praise God for this good grace He provides.