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Protecting the Call God has Placed on You

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The Stumbo family: Andy and Ellen
Courtesy of the Stumbo family
The Christian pastor is in a real battle with one who seeks the destruction of everything God has built in the local church. Today, marriages are in crisis, discouragement abounds and it seems like the enemy is gaining ground. We have to protect the calling which God has given us with everything we have.

There is no question that Satan has his favorite tactics and has areas where he commonly attacks God’s servants and God’s church. Paul was cautious so as not to be outwitted by the enemy of his soul. He knew the devil’s schemes and was aware when Satan was planting seeds of destruction or was attacking outright to bring great injury to a person or a church. 

Biblical Loyalties

As servants, we can experience our God ordained place, our unique calling, our assignment(s), and our destiny. We are fathers, mothers, employers, employees, pastors, private citizens, etc. These various roles require different things from us, and we can operate in God’s will as we serve in these areas.

In the same way, God has other unique spiritual assignments and servant leadership roles for us. He is constantly preparing us and giving us experiences and spiritual gifts in order that we may be ready to serve in His kingdom. Knowing who we are in Christ and understanding where God has placed us is part of knowing the will of God. I’m often asked how to practically determine God’s will – what should be our priorities when walking in His will?  My thinking goes this way . . . I try to understand my role as a pastor, Christian leader, husband, father, grandfather, employer or employee. Along with this I prepare myself for the unseen battle from the enemy to attack and endeavor to deceive me.

In his instruction on how to wear the armor of God, Paul reminds us, “stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to standStand firm . . .” (Ephesians 6:13b-14a).  Peter tells us to, Resist him [the devil] standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9).  James instructs us to, “Submit yourselves therefore to God, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7) (emphasis mine).   

  • Stand – hold our ground; understand our role and stick to it. Knowing who we are and knowing God’s assignment for us is critical as we fight the enemy who is constantly watching. 
  • Resist – not budging on the truth; relying on Jesus and trusting God who has called you to a unique role in His kingdom.

This includes our understanding of the particular place where God has assigned us. For instance: the pastor understands the importance of the Bible study leaders; Bible study leaders understand that they are not the pastor of the church. Along with our understanding, we have duties. Working outside of the area God has for us, opens us up to the enemy’s tactics.

Pastors (and others) can suffer because of unjust criticism, antagonistic “Christians,” and divisive people who attack them in any number of ways. These attackers often think they know more than the pastor or that they could do the pastor’s job better than him or her. Pastors have a unique calling and sacred trust to be servant leaders to their congregations. The Bible is full of verses that tell us how the Lord protects His leaders, such as, “Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand” (Psalm 20:6), “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14), “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17), “Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand” (Psalm 20:6).

It is dangerous, however, when Christian leaders get “puffed up” and see themselves as kings and queens over a kingdom

In a moment of time, Saul realized he was not Samuel and had no right trying to do what God had called only Samuel to do. Saul’s rebellion to do what Samuel had asked him to do caused a downward spiral in Saul’s life.  

Many ignore and neglect their own walk as God has revealed it to them and focus instead on another person’s mission. In doing this, they often distract, confuse, and even injure the unique calling of others. Our primary focus and loyalty should be to fulfill our personal calling. Are we a reliable husband, father, wife, mother, pastor, citizen, etc.?  We are responsible to God for how we fulfill the role He assigns us. Others are responsible to God for themselves.

Satan’s clever tactics

The enemy loves to distract and divide us through the methods of judging others and fault finding. When we become involved in meddling or gossip and have a critical spirit toward someone with another assignment from Heaven, we are opening ourselves to an attack from the enemy. Our spirit has become critical, judgmental, and arrogant. The enemy loves to divide and to bring pride into our lives. The person spreading strife gets a rush of excitement, but that thrill is not from the Lord.

Solomon was considered wise because he sought God for wisdom to fulfill his specific calling (2 Chronicles 1:10). Peter was rebuked because he wanted to know what John would be doing (see John 21:21).

When we get out of our role (the assignment God has given us) we let danger into our lives and our spirit. We must walk in the path that our call prescribes to us.

It’s a tremendous advantage when we live our lives in order, and in our calling (our assignment) whether it is Pastor or layperson, husband or wife, private citizen, etc. Paul equates this discipline to our faith; “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ” (Col.2:5) (emphasis mine). In other words . . . I’m happy for you because you are living in order (your role) and you are steady in your faith.Goodall, W. (2005);The Battle: Defeating the Enemies of Your SoulLake Mary, Fl.: Creation House.

Protect the calling that God has given you. You are a unique, gifted, and capable leader. 

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There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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