One of the greatest dangers facing anyone in ministry for the Lord, be it a worship leader, a pastor, a missionary, a Sunday school teacher, is that an unconscious affectation can creep in unnoticed. It is where a person takes on a style or role that they have adopted for themselves over a course of time. Speech becomes effected and manipulative to get results from otherwise mundane sermons or religious activity. It ends up prohibiting the actual calling in its authenticity, but it is difficult for us to see or relinquish because our ‘spirituality’ and identity are so much at issue!
Consider Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest for November 10. There he says, “If you seek great things for yourself-“God has called me for this or that; you are putting a barrier to God’s use of you. As long as you have a personal interest in your own character [identity, calling—italics mine] or any set ambition, you cannot get through into identification with God’s interests. You can only get there by losing forever any idea of yourself…” Unhappily, multitudes of ministries encourage our own inflated sense of ‘special mission’ that few can resist.
Chambers cautions us in his November 14th selection to “Beware of making a fetish of consistency to your convictions…the one consistency of the saint is not to a principle, but to the Divine life. It is the Divine life which continually makes more and more discoveries about the Divine mind. It is easier to be a fanatic [enthusiastic visionary] than a faithful soul, because there is something amazingly humbling particularly to our religious conceit, in [just] being loyal to God.”