Coming Under Attack

“The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed” (Psalm 143:3-4). Have you felt this way?

Over the course of time all Christian leaders and ministries will come under attack, especially when the gospel is making significant advances in this world. It is difficult and it is painful. Often these attacks can derail us or move us into a “defensive posture” severely limiting our effectiveness. I have come across many such hurting people over the last number of years. Sometimes the victim is a mature and seasoned leader in an established ministry, and other times it is a young church planter just getting off the ground.

We must not think it strange when we come under attack. We can see this all throughout the past, not only in the biblical accounts, but in church history. Sure, it’s not easy, but it’s the common reality. We can also see how people responded—good and bad. Somehow we tend to think that if we love God, obey Him, and follow Him, life will be easier for us than it has been for others. Not so!

Most often the attacks are aimed at the things we value most; our family, integrity, motives, work for the Lord, or our reputation. Satan knows what will cut the deepest and that is how he crafts his plan against us. He is also cruel in the way he uses people to carry out his work, using those who have been close to us, should be close to us, or those we have poured our lives into. If we understand this it will make it easier to respond properly.

Remember, we can’t control what people say about us or what they do to us, but we can control how we respond. The best way to expend our energy is not by fighting back but by praying for our antagonists and then looking for ways God is working. Even though an attacker may be carnally motivated, dishonest, and hurtful, God is still sovereign over all and is working in our lives and all around us. Don’t miss that!

Here are a few things I try to keep before me:

  1. See a sovereign God as He is, surrender your burden to Him, and ask for His help.
  2. Keep your focus on what you are called to do.
  3. Assume the best motive and give the benefit of doubt to those attacking you.
  4. Pray for them.
  5. Leave justice with God. He knows all the facts, we don’t.
  6. Do your best to reconcile, but also realize it may not be possible.
  7. Don’t speak negatively about anyone, speak directly to them in a spirit of humility.
  8. Look for ways that God is at work and join Him in it.
  9. Don’t lose your joy and peace. No one should have the power to take these from you.

You have probably heard the expression, “hurt people hurt people.” The next time an attack comes your way remember these words: “Remind the people…to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone” (Titus 3:1-2).

I would love to connect with you! If you have any questions or would like to connect please use the contact page.

Around the Web (July 1-6)

Sally Lloyd-Jones | Teach Children the Bible is Not About Them

Here are some good thoughts about teaching children the Bible.

Christianity Today | Should Churches Display the American Flag in Their Sanctuaries?

This is an interesting opinion piece with three contributors. It has also generated some other discussion on some other websites.

Kevin DeYoung | Where and How Do We Draw the Line

This is an article I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. It is now available in full text from Ligonier’s website.

Ron Edmondson | 8 Most Dangerous Leadership Traits

“There are no perfect leaders…except for Jesus. For the rest of us, we each have room for improvement. Most of us live with flaws in our leadership. Good leaders learn to surround themselves with people who can supplement their weaknesses.”

I would love to connect with you! If you have any questions or would like to connect please use the contact page.

Ministry or Business?

Is this a ministry or a business?

I’m sure you’ve been asked this question before—or at least thought about it. When we think about “ministry” we think about God’s work that is eternal in its end and supernatural in its means. When we think about “business” we think about managing our possessions and work effectively and successfully. For the Christian minister it must be both. It is a ministry and it is a business—God’s business. We do everything in life for Him, through Him, and to Him (Rom 11:36). More

Around the Web (May 27 – June 1)

Desiring God | A Cure for Lame Table Prayers

This post was from last week but we just found it this week. An interesting post on prayer at the dinner table. Take a look at how Tony Reinke at Desiring God discuss this.

Theologically Driven | Churches Should Adopt a Modern Version of the Bible

A little bit of a heated discussion over on the DBTS blog about Bible versions. This is one of those debates that is likely not going to die in our lifetime.

Crossway Blog | 10 Helpful Books for Pastors

“While this list is by no means exhaustive, we think the following 10 books would be valuable for every pastor to read and have in their library. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know which books you would add to the list—we’d love to hear your recommendations.”

Also check out Crossway’s post on “What Does Paul Mean by be ‘Able to Teach?'”

Paul Tautges | No Hot Dogs Allowed

Paul looks at the Scriptural basis and mandate for team ministry. This is a good and practical post for those considering church planting and other ministries.

I would love to connect with you! If you have any questions or would like to connect please use the contact page.

The Dangers of Fundamentalism in Leadership

Though I would not define the purest part of fundamentalism as “keeping rules” or “being a rule follower,” I do understand how this authors perception of fundamentalism comes across as “keeping rules.” He has an interesting perspective on the current state of fundamentalism while addressing the issue of leadership.

Check out this article over at Resurgence, “The Danger of Fundamentalism in Leadership,” by Jeremy Pace.

*Image credit goes to Resurgence