Scattered & Faint
“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” Matthew 9:36 (NKJV)
The devil always attacks the plan of God. As we see so often in scripture, he always gets to God’s people by deceiving them. The thing about deception is that unless you watch carefully, it’s easy to be deceived. God’s elect, as the Bible warns, are by no means immune to deception. This is why we are warned to both watch carefully and to strictly follow the Word. This is the only way to keep from being deceived.
I have met many Christians deceived into false doctrine because of experience. No matter how spiritual you think your experience is, if it does not line up with the Word of God, then it is not true. We are instructed to test the spirits (1 John 4:1) because even the devil can appear good to people (2 Corinthians 11:14). In fact, often he will hide the poison in just enough truth to get you to swallow it. The Bible instructs us to watch vigilantly because there is an enemy seeking to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8).
A popular thing in churches today is to downplay the role and importance of pastor. I want to present you with the truth through scripture and I do this not just as a pastor, but as one who still has and needs a pastor. The word pastor literally means shepherd. As with all Biblical metaphors, there are natural truths presented in them. It wasn’t an accident that God picked the example of a shepherd to watch over us. We are sheep, and as shown in the first scripture above, sheep without a shepherd are scattered and weary.
People can get bold in their false doctrine. Before you get mad at me, consider the truth of the Word. Jesus was moved with compassion because people were scattered and weary without a shepherd. In Ephesians 4:7-16, we see the first two things Christ did after He ascended. He led captivity captive and He gave us the ministry gifts. When you have a task to accomplish, don’t you usually do the most important things first? Well, God knows better than anyone how to order His actions. Included in those gifts He gave is the office of pastor. It was the fulfillment of what was spoken through the prophet as found in Jeremiah 3:15. Although all the ministry gifts are important to us, only one by design is with us all the time and that is the shepherd. It was not even enough to just have God walk among us and Jesus dealt with this many times. He showed us this by establishing the ministry gifts in order to “perfect us” and also by sending the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, which He Himself said was even better.
The devil has deceived many Christians by two main things: 1) I don’t need a church, and 2) I don’t need a pastor. God does not give gifts haphazardly and without purpose. If we didn’t need it, it wouldn’t be given. So what is the purpose of a shepherd? I’m glad you asked! By the very nature of what shepherds do, they are sent to watch over us, protect us, and feed us with doctrine SO we will be equipped and we won’t be deceived. I urge you to read Ephesians 4:12-16, Jeremiah 3:14-16, and Matthew 9:35-38 carefully. Also read Romans 10:14-15. Another purpose of a pastor is to bring order and supply what is lacking as shown in Titus 1:5.
I am submitted to a pastor. My pastor is also submitted to a pastor. This is, as I have learned so many times, incredibly important to stability. People who are out of order are unstable and unstable people can never truly flourish and experience God’s best. It is so important to understand that God has designed things to work a certain way and that the devil ALWAYS exploits the place where people fail to follow God’s direction.
As a pastor now of just a few years, there are few truths I have come to know. People who aren’t taught well, perish (Hosea 4:6), people not connected to a sound Bible teaching church are unstable, and those not found in the plan of God are lost in their own. You cannot prosper in life apart from God’s plan. You cannot flourish apart from His will. His will is His Word and all the instruction therein. You can receive it or not but your decision will determine your outcome.
Join us for a service at Family Church Mayville or Family Church Corry. We’d love to share more of the Word of God with you!