Weary of the Public Bragging, Rejoicing in God’s Unseen Work

I spent some time on the plane to North Carolina today reading Jared C. Wilson’s extremely helpful book for pastors entitled “The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry.” I cannot express to you how incredibly timely this book is. It has a no-nonsense approach to some of the hangups pastors have about the ministry to which God called them. I’m benefiting greatly.

I posted a quote he gave by my pastor, Charles Spurgeon:

Do not think that soulwinning is or can be secured by the multiplication of baptisms and the swelling size of your church.

What do dispatches from the battlefields such as the following mean? “Last night fourteen souls were under conviction, fifteen were justified, and eight received full sanctification.” I am weary of this public bragging, this counting of unhatched chickens, this exhibition of doubtful spoils. Lay aside such numberings of the people, such idle pretense of certifying in half a minute that which will need the testing of a lifetime.

We are called to make disciples. This is day-to-day, ordinary life of Christianity. It may take a lifetime to see what the end result will be, but obedience to Christ’s command must still move.

This followed up a fantastic blog post by my friend, Mark Combs, Lead Pastor of a new church plant in Hazard, Kentucky. Here’s an excerpt:

I want to give you one reason why you should not be discouraged when you don’t see what you hoped you would see on a Sunday. Here it is: Because God is doing a million things in your church that you don’t see!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked out of church feeling discouraged because I didn’t see what I hoped I would see and then THAT DAY someone sends me a text or a Facebook message, or in following up with first time guests someone talks about how they haven’t been to church in years but God worked in their life that morning. I didn’t see that! Or the person who takes their next step and then tells you God has been dealing with them about it for months. Again, you didn’t see that! But I’m starting to understand that I don’t have to.

Our subjective standards and subjective feelings are lousy, silly gauges to the work that God has truly called us to, and to the work that He is doing, unbeknownst to us.

I was encouraged again. God always provides what we need when we need it.

Check out Jared’s book at http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1433536641/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1380078216&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70.

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