I have held the material for this post for a couple of weeks, but I think now is the time for it, as it is saying something very similar to what I felt the Lord gave me yesterday about the mountain bike. I believe that the Holy Spirit is emphasising to the Church that we need to be equipped for an exhilarating, but rough ride. The first part refers to something I read in an online daily devotional; the second part is a word that Jake was given at the end of July. He hadn’t seen the material referred to above, but it follows on seamlessly:
Are we ready to be led off-road?
A daily devotional I subscribe to recently told how church leadership has become a high-risk career for insurers, as an increasing number of pastors are suffering from stress-related health problems at an early age. (This is in the USA: I don’t know how much it applies to other nations, but I have a feeling it probably does.) The writer, an internationally known leader himself, compared some ministries to motor racing, where the emphasis is on always building and driving a better and faster car – but it’s a car that keeps going round the same track without actually going anywhere. The word was a warning to church leaders to concentrate on building a ministry that would take God’s people where He wants them to go; not one that looks flashy and successful in the eyes of the world, burning out the driver as he fights to keep up in the race.
“I believe the lord is saying as individuals and as a church we have built the wrong car: we have built a car that has instant power for smooth track racing, but although it’s exhilarating as soon as we hit bump we tend to lose control and break apart. I believe God wants to build a jeep or land cruiser type of vehicle that is designed for a rough ride with obstacles in the way. It has higher seating for better vision and power that is built up over time, and although it’s built for off road we know it will be comfortable inside. (The comfort is the peace and rest that we have in His presence – Bob) This doesn’t mean it’ll be smooth or easy, but it will help to enjoy the challenges of off road driving and the obstacles we will encounter. The tyres have immense grip even in the most slippery of conditions. God has given us the traction we need to stay on the right course.”