The Call of a Minister: Confrontation Rather than Comfort

02. January 2012 1 Timothy 0

Text: 1 Timothy 1:3-7
Theme: Sometimes our main purpose in ministry is to confront and correct.
Key Verses: “…stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to reach false doctrines any longer nor devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies…” (v. 3-4a) “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (v. 5). “They want to be teachers of the law, but they don’t know what they are talking about…” (v. 7a)
What God said to me: First of all Dwayne, repent. Do you seriously think I will speak to you with sin in your heart? I know your secret thoughts and deeds–even if you hide them from everyone else. Confess and forsake them now. Then we will talk… Now, Paul told Timothy to “stay” in Ephesus. And the one and only reason Paul immediately gave was so he could “command” false teachers not to teach. Timothy’s main purpose and mission to remain in Ephesus was to confront strong-willed, highly opinionated and influencial people. Do you see the difficulty of this assignment? Can you imagine the struggle it must have been for Timothy to have to stay and do such uncomfortable and potentially explosive ministry tasks rather than going to be with Paul, his father in the ministry? Dwayne, sometimes we are called on to do inconvenient things in the name of ministry. “Church-work” is not always fun and fruitful. At times, you must get in the trenches on the front lines of battle and confront what is evil and false. A shepherd must protect his flock at all cost to himself. Timothy no doubt would rather have taken himself out of that volatile situation. But he had no choice but stay and be faithful to his calling–the calling of a true minister to my people.
What I said to God: Holy Lord, thank You for convicting and cleansing me first of all. And then thank You for still speaking to me in such a simple but profound way. May I be faithful not to run away from confrontation but to deal with falsehood and deception and confusion head on. May I not seek my own comforts and conveniences but instead seek what is best for Your people and for Your glory.