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Feb 02

The Pastor: Not Yet Perfect, Still Under Attack

An excerpt from notes at a second pastor's seminar taught by Paull Tripp:

You don't live life in big moments. You live life in the utterly mundane. If God doesn't rule your mundane, then he doesn't rule your life. The character of a life is set in 10,000 little moments, not big moments. We begin in those little moments to let down our guard. A little lust, jealousy, or anger in ministry because I haven't gotten the appreciation that's due to me. If you're a believer and do something wrong, your conscience bothers you..that's the work of the Holy Spirit.

You have two options for your unbelief, either go to Jesus and ask for forgiveness or you erect your own justification for what you've done wrong. You say things like: I wasn't lusting, I was appreciating beauty. I yell at my kids like a prophet, 'Thus says the Lord…' I exerted my power because I have leadership gifts.

You are the most influential person in your own life. you talk to yourself more than anyone does. What are you saying to you about you?

I love how Paul talks about self-swindling. Pretense that set themselves up against the sovereignty of God. The danger of self-swindling is that you never tell yourself a bad lie. You live in a fallen world and you have plenty of material. The purpose of these arguments is to make you feel good about that which is not good.

The 3rd word of Hebrew 3:12-13 is about turning away, falling away. This will always lead to further drifts in your life. You lose my anchor. And the final position you find yourself in is hardened by deceitfulness of sin. Those things that used to bother you don't anymore.

There's a theology here: the theology of sinful blindness. Sin blinds. I always see my wife and children's sin. There's a difference between physical blindness and spiritual blindness: the physically blind know that they are blind; they can't see anything. But the spiritually blind are blind to their blindness. And because we buy that we don't think we need a rescuing community.

The writer of Hebrews addresses that. As long as sin still lives inside of you, there will be spiritual blindness and you will need help. The only solution is daily intervention. Not just occasional, but daily, intentionally intrusive, Christ-centered, grace-filled people surrounding me. People that step into my life because I'm scared to death of my blindness.

Christ-centered, because we don't believe in a system, we believe in a Redeemer. Grace-driven, because it's only in grace that I have the courage to step out of myself to say I need help. Quit thinking about losing your job, about what your elders will think. Step into grace, and let it transform you. I think every pastor needs to hold on to this reality: we are a people constantly in need of redemption.

Personal spiritual insight is the product of community. So get help. Step into the community so that you may see yourself with accuracy and receive the continual resources of grace that your Savior died to give you. Don't live in denial, hiding, or fear. Live in hope and courage. Get help.

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