"Truly God is good to Israel . . . " (Psalm 73:1).
I don't think we have categories that get at what these words are saying. Pastor, these words can roll off your tongue so easily your mind barely has time to consider their content. The danger is that these words have become so familiar and mundane that they barely draw interest out of us, let alone awe. At breakfast you'll say something like, "Wow, this cereal is good!" Or, "We had a good time at the park." Or, "Let me tell you where to get a good cup of coffee." Or, "Sam is really a good intern." So maybe when we read that God is good, the worship transaction that's supposed to happen inside us doesn't happen anymore.
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When you read the words "God is good," your heart should be filled with wonder, gratitude, humility, and love and this amazement should fuel your ministry. Or to capture what our response should be in one word: AWE. Now, this is where the problem lies: I'm convinced that many of us live and do ministry day after day without any awe whatsoever. We live days, maybe even weeks, without wonder and amazement even in gospel ministry. What should stun us doesn't stun us anymore. What should leave us in silent, amazed worship has become so familiar it barely gets our attention in the clutter of all the other things in ministry that command our attention. We walk through our daily ministries without an overwhelming sense of gratitude. We don't notice the glory displayed all around us that points us to the one glory that is truly glorious: the glory of God. No, we see:
• the worship leader who thinks he's the senior pastor
• the mission conference details to be planned
• competitive ministry leaders who are fighting once again
• the intern who's messed up
• the hard elder
• too much traffic
• another long meeting to attend
• the car that needs repair
• the movie we have to see
• the blogs we can't live without
• the cool restaurant we can't wait to visit
• the sabbatical around the corner
• the deacon who is mad once again
• the busy holiday season that quickly approaches
• the garage that is too full to house the car anymore
• the perennial financial problems at church
• the weight we didn't mean to gain
• the ministry dreams that are slipping through our fingers.
For sinners, the road between awe and complaining is very short. You and I were created to live our lives in the shadow of awe. Every word we speak, every action we take, every decision we make, and every desire we entertain was meant to be colored by awe. We were meant to live and minister with eyes gazing upward and outward. We were meant to live with hearts that are searching, hungry, seeking satisfaction, and being satisfied. Bad things happen when pastors lose their sense of awe. Bad things happen in ministry when we've no wonder inside us. Bad things happen in local church leadership when we're no longer amazed. Bad things happen when we look around and nothing impresses us anymore.
Source: Christian Post
Paul David Tripp is the president of Paul Tripp Ministries, a nonprofit organization that is "connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life." Paul is also a professor of pastoral life and care at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas (TX) and the executive director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care in Fort Worth (TX). Paul has written many books on Christian living that are read and distributed internationally. His newest book, "Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry" will be released in the fall. For more information about Paul and his ministry, visit www.paultripp.com.