Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Love and Sacrifice
I awoke this morning with a fragment of a dream in my head. I got up and went into our den. It was around 3:30 a.m. or so.
I knelt down in front of our sofa and started to pray about what I had seen and it began to unfold for me.
Whether it was a dream, or a vision, or just an idea that was playing itself out in my head visually, I'm not sure, but this is what I saw:
I walked into a convenience store. It was night time. There was a man standing in the middle of the store with a mask over his head. He was holding a gun and pointing it at the store clerk.
When the man with the gun saw me walk in, he turned and pointed the gun at my head. He pressed the barrel to my forehead. I heard him cock the hammer on the weapon with his thumb. It made a loud "click".
Then the man spoke to me these words: "Give me the password to your blog our I'll kill you."
My reaction was about the same as yours: Huh?
But the more I meditated on this the more I understood what it was all about.
I have seen it happen more than once in my lifetime. There are some who get a taste of fame and develop a large following on their blog, or through their podcast, and they start to neglect their family - their wife, their children - in favor of nurturing that "ministry."
It can be very difficult to realize that you're sacrificing your family for your own selfish ego, especially if you couple all of that with a "brand new revelation from God" that you - and you alone - seem to have a finger on.
Honestly, I have known many people who are willing to sacrifice their marriage for their fanbase.
Oh, trust me, they would never put it in those words. Never.
But they would say that their wife just doesn't see the vision, or that the Enemy is attacking them because they alone can see the Truth, or something along those lines.
Let me say, here and now: My wife is more important to me than my blog. I would never allow my podcast, or my pursuit of more "likes" and "shares" and "comments" to overshadow my family, or my marriage.
At least, I sincerely hope I wouldn't.
Honestly, I can understand how this happens. Last year I wrote a blog post about the "Blood Moon Hoax". On a normal blog post I may get a few hundred hits in a week or two. But in that case I got about 10,000 hits - in a single week.
So, what did I do? I wrote another post about the End Times. Why? Because, obviously, this was a topic that a LOT of people were interested in.
Then, I did a podcast about it. And then I did another blog post about the book of Revelation.
Why did I do all of that? Because I got addicted to all those crazy hits, and "likes" and "follows".
But then I realized that writing about those topics isn't what God had called me to do. It had become all about pleasing an audience rather than writing what was really at the core of my own personal calling and convictions.
So, I can understand how sometimes people can get blinded by all of that and lose perspective.
If people were sending me thousands of dollars to support my ministry, and flying me around the country to speak at their conferences or church events, and cheering me on via social media and singing my praises, that would be pretty intoxicating.
And then if Wendy didn't "get it" or wanted me to stay home and spend more time with the family, I could understand how it might be easy to write her reaction off as "the Enemy's tactics" or just dismiss her lack of enthusiasm as a lack of faith.
Of course, none of that is happening to me right now. And I pray that if it ever does I am wise enough, and humble enough, to lay it all down and walk away.
I have also seen Pastors, and Evangelists, and Prophets, and Teachers neglect their children, and their marriages, for the sake of the Ministry. They see it as some great sacrifice that God requires of them because of their special calling. They consider it to be some sort of Abraham and Isaac scenario where God is testing their love and commitment to Himself by requiring them to place their family and their marriage on the back burner.
It's a lie.
God does not require us to neglect our family in order to serve Him. He does not expect us to spend hours with total strangers while we starve our own children of love and our own wives of our affection.
Our families are not a distraction from our ministry. They are a huge part of our ministry. This is why Paul says that those who cannot take care of their own households should not be considered for ministry within the Body.
Our ministry starts at home. If I can't love my wife and my children as Jesus loves the Church (and gave Himself up for it), then how can I love anyone else?
So, for the record:
This blog is not more important to me than my wife.
My podcast is not more important to me than my family.
My internet fame (such as it is) is not worth more to me than my own sons.
I would lay it all down, give it all up, in a heartbeat, to save my marriage and salvage my family.
A wise man once told me, "If the ministry won't survive without you, then it's not God's ministry, it's yours."
God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. I chose grace over pride.
Anyone willing to sacrifice their wife, or their family, for their ministry is choosing pride.
Can their fall from grace be very far behind?