Guest Post: preach the gospel ... to yourself

>> May 2, 2011

As a pastor's wife, the message I often speak to myself is "Do more." You know: go earlier, stay later, give more, disciple more, sign up more, offer more.

I have to remind myself that this is a false gospel. This is not the message of God, nor is it what ministry is all about. But it's so tempting to listen to this idol of mine! Because when it comes down to it - doing something is easy and ministry is hard, and I want to believe that I'm following God's will and being sanctified more each day. Simply doing something convinces me that I'm on the correct path.

But what if that doing is really distracting? Satan would love that, wouldn't he? For us to believe the lie that says I can just work, work, work for God. This lie only calls us away from our true purpose - to glorify God. To spend time with Him. To talk to Him, and follow His truths.

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4, NIV, emphasis mine)

I trust God when he says
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. (John 6:63, NIV)
He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6, NIV)
Because I trust Him, I will trust that spending my time worshiping Him will lead me to the actions He desires from me, instead of trying to force my worship of Him by my work.
My husband calls this "preaching the gospel to yourself", and we all need to do it. Daily. Hourly. It is vital that we recognize these idols which are clogs in the arteries of our worship, our heartbeat.

I think it's obvious that spending time with God and studying His truths will bring these idols to light. But I also want to encourage you to find someone to be accountable to, for I often find my sin is rooted out and destroyed more quickly (and before destruction) when I am in an active accountability relationship.

I know this is hard when you're a pastor's wife. Who can you trust? Who will let you be... you? That person is out there. Pray for this person. Pray for someone who will be full of truth and grace. Someone to whom confidentiality is a big deal. Someone from whom you can learn. Someone you can also love.

How do you actively "preach the gospel to yourself" daily? How has accountability helped you do this?


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