Who’s first?

Isaiah 22:15-25

Have you ever wondered if a politician only wanted more power? Has it ever occurred to you political parties don’t have your best interest in mind? How easy is it to criticize them for taking advantage of the position “we the people” afforded them?

Very easy! And, in many cases, for good reason.

It sure seems like most of our elected officials in Washington love the power and prestige of their office more than anything. That’s what they fight to keep. Behind all their promises and rhetoric stands their true desire.

But, again, that’s too comfortable a target.

Let’s bring it closer to home.

What about religious leaders? Think of pastors you know and love. What about the ones who have abused and hurt people they should have cared for? Would it surprise you to know some pastors love the unchecked privilege and control they have? How many more stories of the disastrous results of that do we need before we decide enough? Yes, there are pastors who pastor for all the wrong reasons.

But let’s keep digging.

How many “church folk” stories are there in ministry? You know, the kind where good Christians put up good fights for the most obnoxious things. Of course, all for the glory of God. Ironically, all for the glory of God gets lost in all the talk about “my church.”

So, what does God notice about how we lead God’s people today? What would God say about our spiritual leaders abusing their roles? Our churches acting so selfishly?

That is a lesson from Shebna and Eliakim. Shebna was a ruler we could’ve written about in today’s devotional. He loved his political power and all that meant for him. That focus robbed the people of a faithful leader.

And God noticed!

Because he only sought to make the most for himself, God took his authority and gave it to Eliakim.

The harsh reality is we all have selfish tendencies. Not only do we have them, we lead with them. We even let selfishness infiltrate our walk with God and our church’s ministry. There’s a reason we confess our sin together! We need to acknowledge how we stifle the work of God because we’re too preoccupied with what matters most to us.

The good news is, in Jesus’ name, there is freedom to live, truly, for the glory of God. It begins by reordering our priorities. Looking to the example of Jesus, who gave up everything, we get ourselves out of the way of God’s work by immersing ourselves in the way of Christ.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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