Believe it or not, I am a failure. I know, it’s really, really hard to believe. But, it’s true. I fail…a lot. (And, it’s not just me) Every pastor, evangelist, youth leader, and every other church leader, member, or officer has failed many, many times as well. Though the failures are all different (ranging from lying and lust, to theft and murder), we all fall short of perfection. You heard it hear, first! You church leaders are not perfect! Gasp!
Of course, this is the primary reason we aren’t supposed to put anyone up on a pedestal. We are to focus our sights on Jesus, the only human to ever live a perfect life. In fact, Colossians 3:1 says:
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.
Why should we look so high up to find inspiration? Why can’t we just look at others and follow their lead? Let me clarify.
Yes, we do have people that God puts in our lives to be teachers – but they do not replace a committed, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. They are there to help guide us, not be the conduit between us and God. When we spend more time with them (watching their latest video series, using their Bible studies, listening to their radio programs, reading their books, etc.) than Jesus, our sights are out of whack. We become more and more like them, instead of more and more like Christ.
Now, don’t get me wrong. All of these things can be helpful and inspirational. But, they exist solely to encourage and guide us. They are not the same as reading the Scriptures, having a powerful prayer life, or fellowshipping with other Christians.
Additionally, we tend to forget that Satan is more powerful than any human. He can outsmart any of us; and he does so on a regular basis. So, if you are putting all of your trust in someone who is imperfect, and who can be outsmarted by Satan, then they will disappoint you. They will shake your faith. They will fail.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “But, I don’t understand a lot of the stuff in the Bible. How can I learn this stuff without looking to someone smarter than me? Maybe someone with a Doctorate degree.” It’s simple – look to someone that is smarter than everyone!
This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:25
So, our wisdom must not come from a human understanding. It doesn’t matter how many advanced degrees the person has; their intelligence does not even remotely compare to that of God. So, where then do we need to turn to learn about life, God, faith, and Jesus? Check out how John sums it up:
He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. ~ John 14:17
The “He” that John is referring to is Jesus Christ. Jesus’ Spirit lives in those who have accepted Him as their Savior; and He is the smartest being in the universe. Additionally, Jesus wants us to understand all of the truths found in the Scriptures. Check out how His brother, James, put it:
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. ~ James 1:5-8
There it is. Wisdom has to either come from God, or from the world. It can’t be both. And, trust me, you don’t want it to come from the world.
Look at it this way…God used some fishermen, tax collectors, and other ‘scum’ to write the New Testament Scriptures and share the Gospel with the world. The Spirit that guided them is the same Spirit that is available to you and me. He will never fail.
Today, refocus your sights on Him. Focus on the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Seek His wisdom above all else. He will enlighten you. He will transform you. He will save you.