When I think of a pastor’s life, I think of a fasted life. We are not ordinary people, and do not have ordinary problems. I have already accepted the call on my life. I have done so years ago, but I am careful to move into areas that God has called me to until I believe that the timing is right.
I lived a fasted life for years, locking myself in the bedroom of my apartment content with entering into the presence of God. Although I was connected, I did not feel entirely whole. I struggled deeply with singleness and celibacy, and realized during my spiritual growth spurts that much of my actions were dictated by the unresolved abuses that I experienced in my childhood.
However, because of my relationship with God I am familiar with intimate worship, and with fasting on my own without the prompting of a corporate fast. When I became homeless I was disappointed, and without a personal place, a closet space, to pursue God. And while I maintained a strong relationship with him, it was people who grieved me.
I was faced with a battle that was unfamiliar to me; open judgment. People who only knew me during my time of personal crisis (homelessness) assumed that they knew God’s vision for my life. Many of them treated me according to my circumstances, instead of the reputation of my personhood and the indwelling presence of God that possesses me.
Today, I am healed and whole. Before being homeless, I knew what my calling and purpose in this life was, however I did not know who I was called to exactly, and I know that now. In fact, I work with the people whom I am called to serve.
Some of the people who find me openly share that they are Christian and invite me to have a different kind of conversation than I would have with someone who did not disclose their beliefs.
I still have reservations about the position of pastor. I take it very serious and I believe it is a sacred place. I am literally afraid of going to hell for making mistakes as a pastor, as I’ve learned that the penalties are different for pastors than sheep. As I overcome this anxiety, there are still a few things that I question.
I know that I am called to be wealthy. This is without question. The world looks at pastors who have money and treat them without any honor, but they celebrate the wealth of athletes.
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They even speak negatively about entrepreneurs which I was born to be, citing that all business people are crooked. Not that any of this thinking is rational or worthy of contemplation, I just have reservations associated with this kind of energy.
My other biggie is that as an entrepreneur, I meet all kinds of beautiful people who may not know my Jesus. I do not push God on them. This is not my approach, personally. When Jesus performed healing and miracles, he showed up and presented himself.
I believe that if we live a life that replicates who we want recognized, people will ask questions. The problem though is that I do not like to be compartmentalized. When people who are not christian are around pastors, they may steer clear of me because of position. I want to always be perceived as approachable without stereotypes surrounding all the things that make me peculiar. The same judgment is true with race, my hair, my weight, how I dress, etc…
I can not change my complexion, and I definitely will not change how I look for someone else (for example – cutting my locks). I realize that I do need to improve my image and I am working to do that now because I believe that this is something God is asking me to do. For me personally, people must learn how to be open to people regardless of what they look like.
Homeless people who sit in a library reading all day are usually smarter than the average person in specific areas, I’ve found. But people shy away from what they perceive as uneducated, unkept and unfamiliar.
While I sort through all the details of my Journey to Love (Journey to God), I wanted to pour my heart out a bit, to be transparent. Becoming a pastor is not something that anyone will take lightly, your boss is God. You can not be fired. If he called you, he’s expecting you to live for him in order to bring him to his people in a way that will improve their lives and their own pursuit of holiness and intimacy with him. While you cannot be fired, you can be ineffective and unable to operate in your gifts with freedom because of your imperfect character.
A pastor’s life, is a fasted life. There should be a difference between the shepherd and the sheep. You should walk in the room, and because of your energy – your anointing, and your ability to enter the atmosphere of God people should know that the pastor has arrived.
I am not saying that mistakes are not made (ever), however I should not be making the same type of mistakes that I did before I was saved, or even before I accepted the position of pastor.
In closing, last year I did a 100 day fast of chocolate. Chocolate is my addiction and I chose to do this as a way to bring my body into subjection. I really was not sure that I could do it, but I figured that I was able to conquer celibacy (before marriage) and that I was developed in the area of self-control to challenge myself. It was also a secret submission to God that I would not let anything get in the way of total access to wholeness in our relationship.
I did it! I went 100 days without chocolate. And, on the very next day, I went back to my addiction as if I hadn’t just fasted. So, January came and it was an annual fast for my church. My house has done the fast (which ends today). I am in such admiration of my husband.
I fasted chocolate, no problem. Years ago, chocolate was the reason that I would never get through a 30 day corporate fast. I usually would get to day 18 or 19, and could not do it anymore.
So, I am able to fast chocolate but I lack self-control to balance my consumption of it, and I will not stop until I am able to do so. Similarly I gave up chicken for 3.5 years because I felt it was an addiction. After marrying my husband, I went back to eating chicken.
In order to go to the next level, to fully accept myself as developed in this area I have to do the work. So starting tomorrow (February 1, 2013) I will not touch food – any food. I am going on a liquid fast for the next sixty days. I am hoping to have an encounter with God that I will be unable to put into words.
Is there anything that you would like to gain self-control over?
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