Debie Misir: June 25, 2010

Ministering with the Wrong Motives

All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but his motives are weighed by the LORD (Proverbs 16:2). [The Lord] will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. (1 Corinthians 4:5).

During the past few months, I have been burdened with a great desire to appeal to the ministers of God’s word and gifts of the Spirit, to take the time to examine themselves and their motives for ministering before a Holy God. Who am I to make such an appeal to God’s elite? I would be honored to be considered of the same stature as Balaam’s donkey so that the purposes of the Lord can be accomplished. Beloved, I beg of you to come boldly to the throne of grace, as you read this appeal, with surrendered and contrite hearts and allow the Lord to reveal the intentions of your hearts to you - the deep hidden motives as well as the very intentional but misguided ones. There is a special grace being released in this hour and a Spirit of conviction in the body of Christ, specifically for the leaders of the Church.

Many of you have started out in Ministry with pure hearts and noble intentions, but somewhere along this often difficult path of godly service, the Refiner’s fire, and ungodly temptations, your hearts were contaminated and your motives have ultimately changed. Self rose up and the world crept in. The Lord wants to reveal these motives to you and to remove them swiftly and completely. Even though the “wrong” motives and lack of integrity in leaders in the Body of Christ do hinder the move of God in the Churches and destroy the faith of Believers, I am quite confident that our Savior is able to build, sustain, grow, and protect His Church which He has purchased with His most precious Blood. However, I am deeply and lovingly concerned for the souls of the leaders. There is great danger for severe judgments unless unholy motives are dealt with quickly. The Lord is looking for those who will acknowledge what He is going to reveal and to humbly repent. His Blood has not lost its power and His hand of grace is lovingly extended once again. Do not hesitate. Come quickly!

If you are a minister, I encourage you to read with a humble and open heart. The intention of the Lord as you know is never to condemn, but to restore the integrity of His ministers and to revive their spirits and set them back on a straight path; a path of truth, love, and power. "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isaiah 57:15)

In his book The Integrity Crisis, Warren Wiersbe writes, “The wrong kinds of preachers have created the wrong kinds of Christians by declaring the wrong kinds of message, compelled by the wrong motives.” For me, this is obviously referring to the false teachers, preachers, apostles, evangelists, and prophets, and I include all who claim to be a minister of the Gospel of any kind (healing, deliverance, prophetic, missionary work etc), but preach the wrong doctrine and minister with the wrong motives. These are the very same “savage wolves” Paul refers to in Acts 20:29; savage can be translated to: strong, ravenous, & dangerous. These false ministers are leading people to hell and Paul says let them be condemned for this. Galatians 1:8 says “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!”, and Paul repeats this in Galatians 1:9 “As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned.” In Philippians 3:2 Paul warns “Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.” These scriptures, and many more throughout the New Testament, identify, emphasize, judge, and seal the fate of false ministers. No minister can be deceived on whether they are truly serving the Lord or serving the devil given such clear indications from the word of God. Hence, I am not appealing to such ministers.

Then Paul speaks of the preachers who preach the right message but with the wrong motives. “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry.” Philippians 1:15-18…. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.” He goes on to say, “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” Paul is no wise condoning the motives of these ministers, but chooses rather to focus on the promise of God for His word. Paul’s emphasis here is on the message they are preaching. As long as the message is correct, Paul is saying that the Lord will bless it. As long as His word is going forth, it will accomplish what it was sent out to do. Paul is obviously vehemently opposed to the ministers themselves, since his stated biblical criteria for the appointed and ordained minister is that they must be “blameless” (1 Timothy 3:1, Titus 1:7) in character. He is fully trusting in the Lord to deal with all wrong motives, blatant or hidden.

One way God deals with His children is by exposing their hidden sins, giving them the opportunity to repent and be restored. When David sinned against God by practically murdering Uriah and then marrying his wife, the Lord sent His prophet Nathan to bring David’s sin into the light so he could repent. Similarly I will attempt to bring to light the “wrong motives” of God’s ministers in today’s Church as led by the Lord, so that all can humbly repent and be spared the severe judgments of the Lord. David was the King of Israel and under a different weaker covenant than us. Yet though he repented of His sin, he still lost his son. The New Testament Church minister is under a new and greater covenant. They are responsible for shepherding the Blood-bought precious flock of the Lord. Here the standards are much higher, and the judgments more severe. It is my deepest desire that the leadership of God’s church recognize the areas where they are compromising and repent so that God can cleanse and restore all…for His eternal glory.

I do not do this out of a heart of bitterness or anger even though I have experience with and observed many such ministers, but in love and compassion. For I know they all started out well, in love and faith, to labor in the Lord for His Kingdom purposes. But now many are falling into diverse temptations brought on by the enemy. Such temptations are to be expected as the word of God warns us, but those who are appointed to the office of the Minister of God’s word and gifts, according to the biblical criteria for ministers, should not be easily deceived and led astray by flesh. This is the area in which many Churches have neglected to adhere to the strict Biblical standards for appointing leaders. Leaders should not be appointed based on personality, preaching talents, gifts of the Spirit anointing, administrative abilities, or academic accomplishments, according to the New Testament, but based on a “blameless” character morally and spiritually. Character supercedes gifts and talents in God’s value system. Leaders must be “above reproach”; role models of honesty, humility, faithfulness, truth, & purity; able to teach, exhort, and discipline in love and with all long-suffering and correct doctrine.

Some ministers are catapulted into ministry too early and as such, the un-renewed soul comes into Kingdom of God bringing all its worldly, selfish ambitions, need for man’s approval and praise, and using worldly wisdom and knowledge to establish God’s ministries. Paul warns against this. “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.” (1 Timothy 3:6). Such a one has not been “emptied” of self and the world as yet, and left only with total dependence on the Holy Spirit. Such a one is still relying on their own might and power. Others have been in ministry for a long time and have grown weary and complacent. They get comfortable and instead of waiting on the Lord and enduring in wilderness times, they seek natural means to maintain their comfort zone; steady funds, regular membership, and ministry as usual, often compromising to achieve and maintain this status quo. Still others lead “highly successful ministries” and self, deceitfully dormant for a while, rises up when God has done all the work to take God’s glory. This is because they have not been careful to watch (discern their own flesh and the wiles of the devil) and pray (submit to God). The established ministry has suddenly become their ministry - their success - their membership -, and their pulpit. They begin operating under the spirit of manipulation and control instead of their God given authority. All is done in the name of guarding the flock. Be careful. Know that the flock is guarded by the Truth you preach, the Love you demonstrate to everyone…especially to those who do wrong to you, the forgiveness you pour out, the humility, integrity, and honor of your walk in in the Lord and in the Church, the firmness with which you exhort and discipline your flock, and the transparency of your life before God and everyone else. This is what will destroy the schemes of the enemy against you and your flock regardless of whether these schemes are being worked through other ministers (wolves in sheep’s clothing), tares in the church, or simply through financial difficulties, personal temptations, or corporate trials the Lord allows to perfect you and your ministry.

Having a “blameless” character is the most essential criteria of a minister as this is the only thing which will enable a minister to remain steadfast and rooted in the Lord and His purposes throughout all the storms of ministerial life. If a minister does not possess this character trait, it will be very easy for him/her to fall into the deadly snares set by the enemy. Here is why. The Lord has blessed His ministers with many talents and gifts for His purposes. However, every blessing of the Lord can lead one into great temptation, if they are not diligent to guard their hearts and maintain their integrity. For example the power that you minister in when you operate in the gifts of the Spirit and the wisdom of God can lead to pride. The beauty that comes with the anointing of the Lord can lead to lust, and the zeal for serving the Lord can lead to greed, envy, bitterness, and jealousy. The enemy will use the very gifts, talents, and anointing that God has blessed you with, to serve and fulfill your destiny in Him - to draw you away from the Lord. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself was tempted this very same way….how much more His servants? Three times the devil tempted Him with His anointing and the awesome destiny that was already His. “Tell this stone to become bread"(Luke 4:3). – Here He was tempted to use His anointing to perform a miracle for His own benefit, thereby manifesting greed and lust. “All authority and dominion over the world is yours if you worship me.”(Luke 4:5-7). – Here He was tempted to rebel against God; to go the easy way of compromise in order to get all the power in the world (power and pride). “Throw yourself from here…the angels share bare you up” (Luke 4:9). – Yet again He was tempted to demonstrate His anointing just because He could….to impress (pride). Miracles, greater than the above, were a part of the Lord’s destiny already if He obeyed God and resisted all temptations, which He did. He would later turn water to wine, feed thousands with bread and fish supernaturally, raise the dead, heal the sick, cast out demons, and be crucified and resurrected - the greatest miracle of all. He took back dominion and authority over the world and would one day rule the world. This was His destiny.

It is no different today. The enemy has no new tricks. He is again using the anointing given to God’s ministers to tempt them. We need to maintain a “blameless” character by exercising unshakable integrity in our daily walk, always watching and praying lest we be tempted. The Lord has promised that sin cannot be master over us and there is no temptation that can overtake us. If we seek Him, He will always provide a way out. Many today however, are not as diligent as they need to be. They have given in to the temptation of the enemy and are using the anointing with wrong motives. Unless we repent, there is going to be severe consequences. The Lord warned us of these consequences 2000 years ago. “Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast our demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you: depart from Me, you workers of iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22-23). I do not believe the Lord is referring to false ministers here, but to the ministers who preached the correct Gospel, healed and delivered many, did many wonders, but did it all with the wrong motives. Note the word “Many” - many ministers in the body of Christ, not a few, are operating with evil motives. This is a terrifying truth. I once read the account of one who had a visitation to heaven and hell and saw a preacher in Hell. The Lord revealed to her that this was His anointed one who while he was alive, preached for monetary gain. It was so sad she maintained, as his call was so very clear - he was in hell and still preaching.

Allow me to expose some of the evil motives that contaminate many leaders’ hearts in the Church today with the most holy intentions…to see all come to back to a place of holiness, serving the Lord in love, humility and truth; to see the Lord’s beloved Bride cleansed, restored, blessed, and touching multitudes because the glory of the Lord shines in our faces, not just in what we preach.

Money (Greed): Many ministers are today preaching and ministering the gifts of the Spirit for material gain. They hide this evil motive behind the noble and divine cause of “building their God-given ministry” or “furthering Kingdom work.” They forget the word of the Lord as recorded in the book of Zechariah, that it is “Not by might, not by Power but by my Spirit says the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6). They forget that it is not their planning, hard work, get-rich quick schemes, fund raisings etc. which will build a ministry and God’s kingdom, but the Spirit of the Lord. Now I am not saying that hard work and planning is not involved, but it is doing it God’s way and in God’s perfect timing. They choose where to minister based on the size of the church, attendance and the size of offering; for they have carefully researched the demographics of the church and the offering that can be expected. It is all about “what is in it for me?” Then they claim to be Holy Ghost led when they do accept an invitation that is clearly expected to be “beneficial” to them and turn down others that would not be. If they accept an invitation and it turns out not to be “beneficial” to them (either in finance or fame), you can be sure they will never return. God have mercy on us all! Oftentimes, I would collect the offering and reading the hearts of the ministers and knowing they would be disappointed, I try to “make up” by adding to the offering personally to ensure they are satisfied. I have repented before a Holy God in trying to please man. Beloved, you need to understand that many times God will have you labor to build someone else’s seemingly struggling ministry before he will build the one assigned for you, just to test your faith and prove your love. Then there are others who blatantly ask for offerings for personal gain and despise the offering if it is not what they expect. They freely quote the scripture that those who preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel. They do not know that it is the Lord who will bless them if their hearts are pure and it is not for them to ascertain the means by which He will do so. Then there are those who expect to be paid to preach, worship, and minister. When did serving God become a job? How can we say we are worshipping God, if we are expecting to be paid to do so? “Paid to worship” is a paradox as worship must be a “free will” offering unto the Lord. Furthermore, if you are accepting your reward now for serving God, what are you storing up in Heaven? Beloved, the entire purpose of God is to produce a child of obedience who will “die daily” to self in order to self-sacrificially serve Him and others unto death. Self-centered deeds will never please God, even if it is in the name of establishing ministry. God is well able to establish His Kingdom without us. He chose to do it through us simply to perfect us in “His image and likeness.” If we are trying to do it with “wrong motives”, it will neither glorify God, nor will it stand; and we are destroying our souls in the process.

I have seen many churches take up several offerings during a single service; exhorting Believers, young and mature alike, to give. They fail to realize that the faith of the young Converts are fragile, and in their zeal (selfish or otherwise) to expand their ministries or bless the Pastors, they are destroying the faith, not to mention the finances and well-being of the young Christians. Yes we are to exhort on giving, but we must allow the Holy Spirit to move the hearts of the children of God to open up and give as He leads them (when, how, and what to give). This is the only type of giving the Lord will bless. With what is happening today via the local churches, TV ministries, and even the Christian books and music industry as it pertains to giving, it has become glaringly obvious that greed and the love of money motivate many. The cause is always noble; expanding God’s Kingdom. However, we cannot destroy the faith of Christians by extorting money from them and giving them the excuse that we need funds to build ministries and to win more souls. Clearly this is the case of one good deed destroying another. We are essentially trying to win more souls who will replace the ones we are destroying and the vicious cycle continues. Whatever happened to the Biblical example of the widow with the two mites who was clearly moved by the Lord to give her all, which she did in secret. No one had to ask her to give. No one saw her give - and no one knew what it cost her, except the Lord. Her offering was blessed and recorded as an example for all generations because she gave of her own free will, with her whole heart, all she had. In today’s Church, it would have been an offering that was despised. Can you imagine a visiting Pastor coming from a long distance to preach in a Church expecting a large offering not knowing that everyone in the Church was struggling financially, and all he got was a handful of “mites”? It would be an insult and a disappointment to him, but to the Lord it was everything. This is the true Kingdom God is trying to build – His temple in the hearts of men. Not in huge church buildings and great big ministries with large memberships and money overflowing, but the remnant few hearts that will surrender all and allow Him to work in and through them. Sure the finances will help in church building, missions, and evangelism, but if it is costing us souls to win souls, we are defeating the purpose.

Many are discouraged in the Churches today because of the collections and money making schemes of the churches. Purchasing a Christian book, CD, or painting is much more expensive than similar items in the secular world. Sermons are being sold on TV, the internet, and via CDs & DVDs at a very high price (not just the price of the recording and material). Is this tantamount to selling the anointing and the word of God? You decide. I have seen preachers use the name of the Lord to ask for specific large sums of money in exchange for special prayers or impartations, names on church walls etc; and the amount of monies asked correspond to the level of “rewards” offered. I have heard of prophets who will prophesy for money and are causing many Christians of weak faith to be led astray. There is a term for this which strikes terror in my heart just to hear it. I hope it does the same to yours. This is called “prostituting the anointing” - a very dangerous practice. Many times the reason is personal gain. At other times the stated reason is that the money is to be used to expand the Kingdom of God. I do not think the twelve Disciples of Jesus and the Apostle Paul did anything but labor continuously to pour out the anointing freely with unshakeable integrity to grow the kingdom…and these ordinary men did an extraordinary job simply because they emptied themselves and allowed the Lord to do it through them, His way. Yes they received offerings, but they did not seek it. In fact Paul says, “What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it.”( 1 Corinthians 9:18). Paul was very careful in ensuring He always preached the word of God with the right motives as he knew that if He did not, He was in grave danger of being judged and disqualified. Paul knows, more than anyone, that the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. While it cuts through the soul and spirit of the one being preached to, it also cuts through the soul and spirit of the preacher at the same time. He made sure that he did whatever it took to bring all into the faith and not to destroy anyone’s faith, even to giving up his rights to live by the gospel. “No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”(1 Cor. 9:27). Paul does not preach and minister for gain of any kind -'Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit' (2 Corinthians 2:17). Paul also knows that it could be a stumbling block to the sheep. The only gain He was after was winning true Converts and maturing them to glorify God. Anything that jeopardized this goal was evil in Paul’s eyes. Paul was extremely concerned with the faith of His flock, and guarded their hearts jealously. “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” (2 Corinthians 11, 12)

Sincere new Christians today often feel pressured, ashamed, and guilty when they do not have to give and they are beginning to believe that God just wants to take from them before He will bless them. The biblical principle of giving according to what you have, in joy, in secret, and because you love the Lord and desire to walk in His ways is lost in this most unholy way of collecting tithes and offering and many lose faith. The Lord warns against this when He castigated the Pharisees - "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.” (Matthew 23:15)

The Bible encourages you to “Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve.” (1 Peter 5,2)

Power (Pride): Many who minister in great wisdom and power take God’s glory without fear. They forget that everything they have comes from God. “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). Even though they might not boast openly, it is in their very demeanor, the way they walk, speak, and do ministry. I know many ministers who will not minister in churches of humble beginnings, and I know others who will do so for a very great offering (I call it a fee to be real) plus hotel, meals and travel expenses. I am not against expenses being paid, but above and beyond expenses is beyond my understanding. Ministry today is being operated no different than any secular business, for a profit. Allow me to gently remind you that the word of the Lord clearly states “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8).

Some want to open a ministry to display their ministry gifts and talents. Who has a bigger church? Who has more membership? Regardless of whether the membership is made up of new Converts or they are migrating from another minister’s church. Who operates more mightily in the gifts of the Spirit? Who preaches better? Whose anointing is greater? They want to make a name for themselves quickly as the “big time” minister who everyone wants to invite to their churches to minister. The ambition in today’s Church parallels “climbing the corporate ladder” in the world. Some will not invite a minister of “lesser anointing” if there is such a thing, to minister in their “big, successful” ministry (and I am not speaking of wise, discerning ministries who correctly discern the wolves in sheep’s clothing). They are trying to uphold a fleshly standard not realizing that God can use anyone, anywhere, anytime. His ways are not our ways. We judge by the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.

Pride, the word of God says, is the mother of all sin. It is the most vile, most destructive of all sins. It incurs God’s wrath and brings His judgment quickly. The Bible clearly states that pride goes before destruction. Many were destroyed swiftly because of this deadly sin in the Bible, the chief among them being Lucifer. Eve wanted to be “like God” and fell, and with her and her husband, the entire human race, and many more. Many today have fallen because of pride. Be alert. God’s ministers must be humble and always operate under the principle of "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30).

Envy & Jealousy: Many look to others; their ministries, gifts, and talents and surmising that another’s blessings, faith, and works are better than theirs, they allow bitterness, envy, and jealousy to rise up until it contaminates them, their ministry, and the body of Christ. There is such spirit of competition in the Churches and ministries today among Pastors and ministers that you cannot help but acknowledge that many ministers are still carnal Christians. Pastors are actually jealous and envious of one another.

Let’s talk about jealousy first. Many Pastors will not invite someone who is generally more admired than he or she is to share their pulpit. They are afraid of losing membership, love, respect and admiration. John L. Ng of PaLM wrote “Jealousy erects walls around our ministry to preserve what we have worked for. These walls may keep what we want to protect inside, but they also keep those we are jealous of outside.” However, the motive behind guarding what they have built up is the very thing that will cause it to be destroyed. Pastors and ministers though outwardly courteous and respectful, cannot have fellowship, be friends, share knowledge and experiences, receive encouragement and prayers, or help each other because of jealousy. This unity amongst leaders is so vital in the leadership, not only for their own edification, but to set an example to their flock. Pastors and ministers are supposed to be God’s elite; shining examples of wisdom, love, knowledge, strength, faith, endurance, selflessness, humility & courage. And yes, they are human and oftentimes the main target for the devils arrows, but this is precisely why they to need unite together in the Holy Spirit, building each other up selflessly, both physically and spiritually.

Then there is envy. Envy of another’s success brings great discouragement to leaders in the body of Christ and eats away at their faith. They begin to wonder why God is blessing another minister who is no more than they are in submission, obedience, and love. They look with their physical eyes and access success with their carnal minds. Instead of being joyful at what the other minister is accomplishing for the Lord and concentrating on what God has them doing at the moment, putting all their hearts into it, they become envious. They forget that the true meaning of success in God’s kingdom is not outward success, but being in the center of God’s perfect will. Whether He has you ministering to millions or preaching to one; flying to foreign countries for missionary work, or kneeling by your bed crying out for your neighbor to be saved; cleaning the church toilets or conducting large crusades; in the wilderness being tried and tempted, or winning souls by the thousands. God is in control…every moment. The minute you take your eyes off Him and look at another, there begins your decline. We must have the same heart and relationship with each other as John demonstrated to the Lord. He was never envious of the Lord and when told of how much more “successful” than himself Jesus was becoming.. “To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven...The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.” (John 3: 27-29)

I know other Pastors and Ministers who are ministering the word of God and the gifts of the Spirit, but they have un-forgiveness, hatred, contention, strife etc in their hearts for other ministers and Pastors. The word of God clearly states, "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24). Pastors if this is you, please repent and obey the command of God. The Body of Christ looks on, for these situations are public knowledge, and they are confused at best. The Pastors continue to preach the word of God to a congregation who no longer respects them or believes them, for it is now obvious that they do not practice what they preach. I know others who are operating under a spirit of rebellion where they do not submit to any authority, claiming the only authority they need to submit to is the Holy Ghost. Paul says of submission to authority (this is true for worldly, and more so for Godly authority) “He who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.” (Romans 13:2). They oftentimes do not belong to a local church but go about ministering in various churches simply because they can minister in the gifts of the Spirit and preach the Word. They claim this to be “their call”. Beloved, this is seriously delusional and clearly contrary to the word of God. Being in a local Church might not always be a pleasant thing (to the flesh), but it is not meant to be. The Church is where the parts of His Body must come together for sanctification, encouragement, protection, and blessings. This is where God wants us. This is where he teaches us submission, humility, and obedience. This is where he sanctifies and matures us. This is the “Refiner’s fire” for God’s children. This is where flesh must die. This is also the place where we are covered, protected, nurtured, healed, strengthened, and matured. And this is the place out of which we are sent forth to serve. Anything else beloved is a lie of the enemy, sent to keep you from coming in to the fullness of what God has for you; to forfeit your own spiritual growth, protection and blessings.

I have always known since I was first touched by the Lord, that if God is not in a thing, I want no part of it, regardless of what it costs me, even to my life. Beloved, realize that where there is competition in the Body of Christ, God is not in it. Where there is fear of losing membership, tithes and offering, God is not in it. Where there is pride, ambition, rebellion, lust, greed, hatred, animosity, envy, or jealousy however veiled, God is not in it. Where there is human strength and wisdom operating, God is not in it. Our only goal in all that we do is to glorify God. If God is not in a thing, we are only glorifying ourselves.

Selfish motives are grievous sins and they must be repented of quickly lest we fall. I humbly entreat the Pastors and Leaders of the Lord’s Body to acknowledge every area of their lives where such motives have crept in, and to bring it to the threshing floor so that the Lord can deal with it. Yes, the Word will go forth and it will perform what it was sent out for, but you will be destroyed, and those of weak faith will fall along with you….their blood will be on your hands. There are still babes in Christ who look to the Pastors and ministers as role models of Godly character until they are built up in Christ themselves, and when they lose faith in their leaders, they lose faith in God. We need to be able to say like Paul, “Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.” (Acts 20:26)

I do know a few ministers who are sincerely serving the Lord out of love. They are truly humble, self-sacrificing, and loving preachers who hold fast to the Lord and His Word. They live their lives totally dependent on the Lord, trusting in Him each and every day to lead and guide them. They accept whatever the Lord provides and endures whatever trails He deems necessary for their sanctification without complaint. They are faithful and gentle with an inner strength and purpose that can only come through their great faith in the Lord. If you are one of these isolated one, and your motives are pure, then I bless the Lord for you, and I encourage you to press on in God and to continue to do all things in love, maintaining your integrity to the end. “Let all that you do be done from motives of love.” (1 Corinthians. 16:14), so that you can say with confidence, “For our preaching was not grounded on a delusion, nor prompted by mingled motives, nor was there fraud in it.” (1 Thessalonians 2:3) for “as God tested and approved us before entrusting us with His Good News, so in what we say we are seeking not to please men but to please God, who tests and approves our motives. (1 Thessalonians 2:4). The Lord will surely bring your reward when He comes.

My prayer today is that all be granted the Spirit of repentance as they read and honestly examine themselves, allowing the Lord to cleanse and restore the character of all of His beloved ministers to His very own character…”blameless” until His coming.