Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Freedom From Evil Shepherds Not Enough To Stop Hatred Of A Good Shepherd

The Minor Prophets Speak To Today

Your Security May Not Be As Secure

 As You Think - Part 3

"I've had enough humans for one day!"

Zechariah 11:8-9 NLT


I got rid of their three evil shepherds in a single month.
But I became impatient with these sheep, and they hated me, too. 
So I told them, “I won’t be your shepherd any longer. If you die, you die. If you are killed, you are killed. And let those who remain devour each other!”

Getting Rid of Evil Does Not Stop Hatred of A Godly Leader

We were two adults standing in the rain stomping in puddles of mud and water. What a ridiculous sight!

No, we were not having fun. In fact, just the opposite.

We were nervous. We felt skeptical. We felt like failures. But, we felt like God had instructed us to perform this crazy little ritual.

No less than Jesus had first given this command to his disciples. You can read it in the difficult passage Matthew 10. And now he was asking the same from us:

"If any household or place refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave. 15 I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a place on the judgment day."

God had given me authority to cast our demons though that had not been a mark of my ministry before. I fact one of those demons continues to try to retake that church but God shows me this trickery every time and continues to give me the authority to remind this evil being that he is not allowed to return to that place but must stay in the watery grave to which he fled.

And God had warned me before I accepted that call that if his message was not received, if it was not turned into the new reality of their lives, but resisted, then I would be severely hurt and cast away.

On that day that we were shaking the muddy dust of that place from our feet, I did not have that warning in mind. However, a year later, when moving once again, I found the letter (composed but not sent before sending my acceptance letter to the church) and it had prophetically outlined what happened and even named some of the persons that Satan would use plus their specific actions. It was shocking but reassuring since I was still recovering from the trauma meted out.

When God calls his man or woman to shepherd a flock marked for destruction, the minister often suffers greatly from the trauma of being the mirror God places before the people. God places this mirror for the purpose of reflecting his own feelings and thoughts toward that people. That minister receives in the human mind, body, and heart the anger they would commit upon the Christ if he were there.

Not that the people have their eyes open enough to see and understand the dynamic Satan is being allowed to play out in them.

The Consequences of Hating A Godly Leader

For the godly leader, the consequence of the church flock's hatred is emotional unrest and weariness. Notice Zechariah calls it impatience. 

That cross weighs down the minister. It feels like an attack from Satan rather than a mirroring of the heart of God. How could the minister be a success in God's eyes if he feels this way? Our inculturation in the church has caused us to reject such feelings as legitimate. Even we ministers have trouble believing that God is the author of the mysterious way being taught to us in Zechariah.

But the consequence to God's flock, to the church, exceeds any trauma put upon the minister.

“I won’t be your shepherd any longer. If you die, you die. If you are killed, you are killed. And let those who remain devour each other!”

It may not happen immediately. But God's will will play out its destruction, it's slaughter of that flock, over time.

The first consequence does not catch their interest in a negative way. God's called shepherd will not be their shepherd anymore. This, in their hatred, probably seems like an answer to prayer.

The death of individual members of the flock, spiritually, relationally, or physically, probably does not catch much attention either. Such flocks ususally have the attitude, "It happens," and do not see the reallity that this is part of the slaughter God has marked them to experience.

However, when it comes to the words, 'if you are killed, you are killed', they do not like such negative talk. That makes them feel judged and devalued. They may even bristle at such a curse and seek out a false prophet or teacher who will give them a human antidote to curses.

Still, when it comes to the killing (slaughter), because it happens one at a time, the act itself remains unacknowledged. Even if a group such as a family gets destroyed, it is still 'these things happen, tsk, tsk' and the slaughter's roots in God are ignored.

And, of course, that last of the curse laid on them by God, is nothing new. They have been devouring each other for years, even generations, and have learned to live as if it does not bother them. In fact, they resist shepherds who address the issue. They get rid of those shepherds. "After all," they say, "you need to keep out of it. Shepherds come and go but we have to live here."

In other words, even the few godly among them don't rock the boat. Such negativity only reaps increased trouble being heaped on members of the flock who fail to keep quiet. It is the way the flock has lived forever, or so it seems.

Don't Forget Where This Started!

This started as a flock already intended for slaughter:

“Go and care for the flock that is intended for slaughter. The buyers slaughter their sheep without remorse. The sellers say, ‘Praise the Lord! Now I’m rich!’ Even the shepherds have no compassion for them. Likewise, I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” says the Lord. “I will let them fall into each other’s hands and into the hands of their government. They will turn the land into a wilderness, and I will not rescue them.”

Do You Know This Church?

Is It Yours?

Photo Credits: 
I've had enough humans for one day! by Stavros Markopoulos, some rights reserved

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