Posted by: William | March 27, 2008

Three: Greater Temptations

Richard Baxter’s third point of introspection for ministers follows:


“(You) have greater temptations than most men.”


The first two of Baxter’s points had a pretty good application for every Christian, being that on some level all are called to minister. However, the third point and most of the points from here on out apply mostly to those who’s calling is to make it their primary business to minister the Gospel. Nevertheless, they are more than worthy of our attention.


As a minister, as someone called to preach, teach and lead, the enemy’s sights are aimed squarely on you. When seeking victory over one of the children of God he hates, he will target you. Baxter uses the analogy of two warring nations. When a general wishes to destroy his adversary, he would wish most to destroy his opposing general, more so than he would like to destroy an infantry man. The same is true of us; our enemy will prefer to set his sights on God’s captains, rather than his troops. Of course we know that all Christians will come under the fire of the enemy, so all Christians have need to put on the full armor of God. However, in that dichotomy, the enemy’s most fervent efforts are against the minister.


The enemy knows full well that a success in deceiving you surely means a success in deceiving many who will follow you; it is certainly his hope that they will follow you into destruction.


Jesus, I pray that you would protect your ministers of your Gospel. Defend them from the deceptions and attacks of the enemy. Defend them from the traps into sin that are laid for them. Jesus, I pray that you would give grace and mercy in the places where the enemy has found some victory; restore those minsters to strong standing in you—allow them to confidently refute the enemy, and faithfully lead your people. Jesus, sanctify your church and defend us all as we come under the attack.


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