And in the church.
No, I’m not referring to those instances where a deranged gunman walks into a Sunday church service and starts shooting people. The kind of violence I’m talking about won’t be seen but through spiritual eyes; spiritual discernment.
There’s a sniper on the loose! His plan is to pick off as many Godly leaders as possible. And he’s taken out far too many already.
How can he do such a thing? Where’s God at? Why doesn’t God stop the sniper?
In a way, He has. Through His Word, God has “given us all things that pertain to life and godliness…” (2 Peter 1). He has told us to be “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6). And He has instructed us the be “watchful, always on guard, because your adversary goes about…seeking to destroy…” (1 Peter 5).
How does the sniper take down the leaders, if God has made His protection possible? Like so:
Deception, greed, lust of the flesh, love of money, unaccountable to others, pride, isolation, etc.
None of those tactics will take down the Godly leader with the first shot. But the sniper is patient. He shoots and grazes a shoulder, a leg, an ear; and the target will know they’ve taken a hit. Like a temptation here, an innocent conversation there, an inappropriate website, a thought…their conscience will be bothered for a moment, but can eventually be ignored. The target will begin to rationalize and spiritualize their actions.
Another shot, a little closer to the head and the heart. The pain increases. But so does the target’s justification of their actions. They become numb to their conscience’s voice, deaf to the Spirit’s promptings, and irritated when a brother or sister in Christ confronts them.
The sniper fires again. Further isolation, deception, and increased pain and trauma. Loss of spiritual life causes family, friendships, and ministry to suffer. The leader is being set up for the final shot. Set up to be picked off, and taken out.
I’ve been there! I’ve also known a number of people who were called, gifted, and anointed by God to lead in the church, but don’t because they were taken out by the sniper.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NLT)
Scripture says to “examine yourselves”. Look in the mirror (James 1) and ask God to show you any “bleeding” area. Ask Him for spiritual discernment. Be quick to repent of those things that have separated you from Him.
And don’t be too proud to ask for “back up”!
It’s high time we quit losing Godly leaders to the sniper!
What do you think?