I’ve been listening to a podcast that is calling itself “long-form journalism.” It’s been running about 6 months and it’s almost through now. It’s about the rise and fall of a church that grew really fast and strong and then fell apart as the pastor began to think he was in charge and he was the show.
The phrase I heard this morning was originally posted on a blog (and I do not know the source), and there was an appeal for the pastor to get back to the basics and to “Show us Jesus. He’s become lost in your shadow.” (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-rise-and-fall-of-mars-hill/id1569401963?i=1000541655003) It’s quite telling and quite a sad statement.
How often do we lose Jesus in our shadow? How often do we try to take the lead and try to make things go our way, rather than living in submission to Him? As a pastor, who speaks most weeks out of the year it would be very easy to begin to look at our growth, at people’s comments as they leave church, and at myself and think I’m the show. I’m not though. I’m not even close to the show.
In today’s (2021-12-10) Prayer Call Reading, we see this:
How many years have we been in the Lord’s garden? And what profit have we brought to the Master? How are we meeting the inspecting eye of God? Are we increasing in reverence, love, humility, confidence in God? Do we cherish gratitude for all His mercies? Are we seeking to bless those around us? Do we manifest the spirit of Jesus in our families? Are we teaching His Word to our children, and making known to them the wonderful works of God? The Christian must represent Jesus by both being good and doing good. Then there will be a fragrance about the life, a loveliness of character, which will reveal the fact that he is a child of God, an heir of heaven.
… Every soul must battle against inclination…we must remember that sanctification is not the work of a moment, but of a lifetime. Said Paul, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31). Day by day the work of overcoming must go forward. Every day we are to resist temptation, and gain the victory over selfishness in all its forms.
Day by day we should cherish love and humility, and cultivate in ourselves all those excellencies of character which will please God and fit us for the blessed society of heaven. To all who are seeking to accomplish this work, the promise is very precious, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Revelation 3:5).—Historical Sketches, 181.
White, E. G. (1995). Ye Shall Receive Power (p. 353). Review and Herald Publishing Association.
“Every soul must battle against inclination.” Like water wants to run to the easiest direction, we are born wanting to run towards sin and selfishness. We have to fight against that. We have to fight against making us the main thing, when in fact Christ and Him crucified should be the main thing. I challenge you to turn off yourself, and turn on to Jesus. Point people to Jesus. He will never let people down. Don’t let Jesus get hid in your shadow…EVER….