Walking In Obedience and Holiness
It might be strange to some but true success, in one sense, is growing in obedience to God and holiness. Holiness is belonging to God and being devoted and obedient to Him for life.
Whether you are an executive in a big corporation, a pastor of a church, a teacher in a prestigious school, a government lawyer or a private practitioner, you are called to be holy as a Christian. You are not exempted from this high calling of obedience and holiness if you are a call center agent, a freelancer, a web developer, or a businessman. Even if you are a minimum wage earner in a small company or a street sweeper in a big city, God's calling for you and for me as His people is to be holy as He is holy.
The world, the flesh, and the devil always entice us to excessive earthly pleasures and gains which hinder our growth in holiness. Uncontrolled desire for money, power, sex, and fame are always the downfall of many believers, even of pastors, missionaries, and church officers.
By the Spirit's power, humbly praying for the Lord's grace in every situation, we ought to grow in overcoming these things also, even as we grow more in holiness and obedience. Apart from Christ and the saving benefits He has achieved for us, we can do nothing against the power of sin and Satan. But as we fix our eyes on our Lord Jesus Christ, trusting Him and following His lead, we are enabled to say yes to righteousness and to resist every sin that so easily entangles us.
The battle against sin or temptation is every Christian's battle. No one is exempted from it. The new believer in Christ will start fighting against it just as a mature Christian will continue to wage war against it. Members of the congregation or officers of the church shall wrestle against all kinds of evil or sin within and without all their lives.
A few years ago members of the Roman Catholic clergy in the United States and Ireland were in the news for various sexual assaults and abuses committed even against their parishioners.
Let us not be naïve. This reality does not only exist in the Roman Catholic churches. It also exists even among evangelical and Protestant congregations. The latest news about Matt Chandler of The Village Church having an inappropriate online conversation with a woman is an example that church leaders and officers can and may fall into it. Sexual sin or abuse exists in Christian schools and colleges. Don't be surprised. Even among separatist and cultic groups clergy abuse is not unheard of.
None of us, pastors, are completely shielded from moral or sexual sins. Only a fool would say that he has thoroughly mastered sin in his life. One may not also boast of his successes in the ministry when his moral and ethical life is a failure. Big buildings, thousands of members, network of churches are nothing if one has succumbed to compromises, worldliness, and moral laxity.
However, there is hope for the Christians, even for us, Christian ministers. Christ has provided us everything, not the least of which is the Holy Spirit living in us, in order to overcome sin and to pursue holiness in this life.
Our Lord and Savior is able to keep us from falling and to present us blameless in God's sight. Jesus Christ is our Great Shepherd who rescues us from many dangers and defeat in life. He is our high priest who continues to intercede for us at the right hand of the Father so we will not grow tired and weary in doing good and in practicing godliness.