Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "There Is A Green Hill Far Away"1 (Lyrics)
Deuteronomy 7:6 – For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. (NIV)
Sin had ensnared another victim.
I listened as the newscaster gave a piecemeal report. The leaders of a noted megachurch were meeting behind closed doors. The pastor had planted the church sixteen years previously on a college campus. From a small start, it grew into a megachurch with numerous satellite campuses, and thousands flocked to them each week. The following morning, I listened to the newscaster again. This time the news was grimmer. The pastor had been accused of alcohol abuse and was asked to step down.
Had church leaders polled church members for advice on how to handle the situation, they would have been given a wide variety of opinions. Some would want him to stay; some would want him to leave; and some would have given intermediary actions between the two extremes. What will happen to his ministry is also up for grabs. Opinions of those in leadership positions will determine whether he ever ministers again.
Though God proclaimed His Old Testament people to be holy, they were often anything but. They dabbled in the pagan worship rites of their neighbours while simultaneously trying to worship God. Their repeated pattern was faithfulness followed by rebellion. God designated them as holy — and expected them to be — but they rarely were. Flaws decorated their lifestyles — just as they did the pastor of this megachurch.
Flaws are inevitable. I was born with a flawed nature. Christ gives me a new one at salvation, but He doesn't perfect me immediately. I'll have to wait for heaven to experience that. In the meantime, I'm flawed like the Israelites and the pastor — and all people. I journey toward experiential holiness, but flaws keep me from reaching it in this life.
But the news isn't all bad. I may be flawed, but I'm still functional. Though this pastor abused alcohol and was asked to step down, God can give him power over his addiction and use him again. God used the Israelites in spite of their rebellion. King David committed adultery, murdered, schemed, and lied, but God still found room in His service for him. He has continued to use me even though I've made many missteps into areas that I should have avoided.
You may be flawed, but you are still functional in God's service.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for using us even when we fail to be all that You want us to be. Amen.