Before our men and women in the military head to the Middle East war zones, they spend weeks and months preparing. They study their enemy and the best tactics with which to battle that enemy. When they enter the battle zones, they are not only prepared with their training but they are armed with the protection and weaponry necessary to confront and defeat the enemy.
The last thing you would want to do is dress up our military personnel in a clown suit, put on a big red nose and floppy shoes and give them a squirt gun with which to confront the enemy. Yet that’s exactly what many of today’s pastors are doing. They are the head clowns training you to be a clown, just like them.
Far too many Christians today have fallen into the trap of wanting to be entertained more than they are hungry to learn about God’s Word and what it means to our lives. Mega churches are filling their pews by appealing to your emotions, more than to your eternal salvation.
Just think about all of the pastors today that spend more time entertaining their congregations than they spend teaching them God’s Word. We hear about pastors wearing Cincinnati Bengals outfits and doing the Icky Shuffle, or dancing or making their sermons appear more like a comedy routine on Saturday Night Live than a serious teaching of the Bible.
The sad realization is that they are failing to equip you to take on the most important enemy of your life – Satan. Yes, he is real and he is the most vile and insidious foe there is and his intention is to steal your eternal soul and prevent you from spending eternity with your Lord and Savior.
Scripture is pretty clear that our battle against Satan is the most important battle we will ever face and yet so many pastors and Christians ignore this battle for the sake of filling the pews and their coffers. They would rather tickle your ears and turn you over to Satan’s temptations than to teach you how to prepare and arm yourself to meet Satan head on.
Fortunately, some of us do have a pastor who is more concerned with our eternal salvation than their own pulpit showbiz acts. I’m thankful that I have one of those pastors. Instead of filling my mind with false teachings like all of my problems are due to a lack of faith, he turned to God’s Word to show me how to protect my immortal soul.
Ephesians 6:10-20 tells us:
“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
It starts with the strength that can only come from God. We don’t have the strength on our own to stand up against the many different weapons in Satan’s arsenal. Without God’s strength, we are nothing but clowns with squirt guns in the battle of cosmic powers and spiritual forces.
With God’s strength, we are then to put on the WHOLE armor of God: belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and most importantly – the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Far different than the clown suit so many pastors are dressing people in. It’s not an entertaining topic that tickles our ears, rather it’s the harsh reality of truth, a truth that determines if we spend eternity with our Lord and Savior or eternally separated from Him and the God who loved us so much that He made the sacrifice for our sins even though we are so unworthy.
What’s more important to you – sitting under a pastor who’s a clown and doesn’t care about your eternal soul or a pastor who is a warrior who wants nothing more than to help equip us for the most important battles of our spiritual lives? Depending on your answer, you may need to find a new pastor and new church, one that really cares about you and your eternal soul.