Do you know one way that satan tries to stop people from following after God? He has lots of tricks, we know that, but there’s one that trips so many of us up because it is so easy to do. He gets us to start following a man instead of God.
When we follow a man instead of following God we put ourselves into a dangerous spot of becoming a “used-to- be-Christian”.
You know the ones.
“I used to go to church.”
“I used to teach Sunday school.”
“I used to run VBS.”
“I used to _______.”
Here’s mine, I used to follow a man instead of God.
And God changed that around for the better, for my good, for my husband’s good, for my children’s good. Because God knew that I was on a path that would put me in the other category.
I know I’m not alone because growing up in church, I have seen first hand how many serving Christians quit the race because their pastor retires, or takes a new church in a new state, or commits a grave sin and is removed from the pulpit. Some have even quit because they simply didn’t like the decisions the man they were following were making and they got angry and left the church. Only to become a used-to-be-Chsitian.
I thank God for showing me the light before it was too late for me and during that time I learned some valuable lessons.
1. Men WILL fail you.
Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
Your pastor will fail you at some point. He will make decisions you won’t like. He may quit the ministry unexpectedly. And he isn’t above sinning just because he’s a pastor.
The moment we begin to think we aren’t broken is the day God will begin to show us just how broken we really are.
When your eyes are on that man, you risk letting his sin or actions turn you from following God. That is not how God intended the church to be. He doesn’t want us going to church only to impress the pastor. Keep your eyes on the only true person who won’t fail you, Jesus.
Keep your eyes on the only true person who won’t fail you, Jesus.
2. Your faith is shaken when you trust in a man and not in God.
Have you ever felt that sucker punch to the gut after learning about another pastor or church leader whose fallen into gross sin? It knocks the wind right out of you!
When you’re following a man, it makes you question your faith. It makes you wonder if serving God is even worth the effort. It makes you feel like you have no chance at withstanding temptation if these pastors couldn’t even do it.
Keep your eyes on Jesus, follow Him alone and you can avoid those thoughts.
3. Life still goes on.
It will and it does. Will it be easy? No. Will it be one of the hardest things you’ll have to go through? Quite possibly.
If you readjust your sights, if you decide to follow Jesus and not a man then life does go on.
Don’t drag the past into the present or it will destroy your future. You have to let it go and carry on.
There isn’t a church service that goes by that I’m not reminded of the man God removed from sights, when the extreme disappointment washes over me and threatens to discourage me I remember to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith- the reason I don’t want to be a used-to-be-Christian. The moment we stop looking towards Christ, when we begin to do things to impress others, or when we start thinking we are somebody in the ministry is the day that God is going to do something drastic to get your attention. When we forget our brokenness, when we forget that men in leadership are just as broken, the Lord shows us just how broken we are and just how much we need Him. If you’re like me, learn from my mistakes. Take your eyes off the man behind the pulpit and start following after Jesus because only He can satisfy your soul.
Your turn! Have you made the mistake of following after a man instead of God? What have you learned from that experience? Let’s chat in the comments below!
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