“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the LORD. “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the LORD. “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the LORD. “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the LORD Jeremiah 23:1-4, 11,12. NIV
When I finally understood God’s calling upon my life, this passage of scripture took on a life of its own, rising up in me every time I opened my mouth to speak. It is a constant reminder that when I teach God’s Word, I teach what He says, rightly dividing, analyzing and explaining for the benefit of all who belong to Him. This keeps me honest before Him in all that I do because I am an ambassador of Truth, not seeking to make my name great, but to make His name great.
As an ambassador of Truth (God’s truth, not mine or man’s), I know I must hear Him speak to me before I speak to others. I also know that many will disagree with what I say, but God has reminded me time and time again, it is not me they are rejecting or disagreeing with, but Him. If I taught my opinion, then I would be in a position to receive the just punishment for ignoring God. “Woe” would be my destiny.
But since I do not teach my opinion (and I certainly have one) as it relates to living a righteous life, I have no fear of what destiny holds for me, for my destination is heaven and I will not allow anyone to become an obstacle in reaching my destination–either by believing a lie or teaching one.
Observing what other “leaders” in the Body of Christ are doing–I can only hang my head in shame–for them–for they will receive the just punishment for misleading God’s children. Whenever man (mankind) gets beyond himself and thinks that man is right and God is wrong, there is only thing we can expect–desolation in the land. And when we deliberately mislead others in order to gain favor or control of others–then “woe” is all we can expect.
I claim no greatness when it comes to teaching God’s Word, but I diligently study and seek understanding from Him and I know when He speaks to my heart. That is my claim to greatness–hearing Him speak and obeying. I am a watchman–and as such, I must sound the alarm when danger approaches and when I do–my job is done. Either people will heed the warning or they will not. Whatever they do–is not my responsibility–as long as I know–I’ve completed the task given to me. Therefore, I thank Him daily, that I do not have to worry about the end because He is my beginning, and I can do absolutely nothing worthwhile without Him.
It is to You O Lord, I give the glory! It is to You I give the praise. For You have done so much for me and I will bless Your Holy Name. It is to You, Holy Father, and no one else I give Honor, and all the days of my life–I will bless Your Name!