Monday, October 21, 2013

Ego and Prayer

John the Baptist said of Jesus and his influence, "He must increase and I must decrease." Those words from a very strong man, like he lived in the desert and ate bugs, encapsulate the biggest struggle in Christ following. John was bold and full of courage, he never minced words. His influence in the region was so powerful the religious ruling class took notice because throngs of people were coming to hear him and give allegiance to his message of prayer and repentance.

John knew that the message and influence of Christ was to be greater than his. He knew that Christ was the ordained and anointed one and that he would have to get out of the way. It is not so much that he would, have to, get out of the way, like he was forced. He knew that it was the way of God, that the Christ would come and fulfill what he, John, had talked about.

The ego is such a very important part of our humanity. It is what drives us on. It is the power in the spirit that compels mankind to excel, to explore, to invent. The ego is God's gift to the spirit of mankind. The determination needed to accomplish great things takes a great ego.

Ego has a dark side as well. The drive for power and prestige has destroyed thousands of people and those around them. The last forty years has witnessed the rise and fall of very powerful voices in the community of Christ Followers. Men, and women, have raise millions of dollars and become super-powerful, only to fall. Their empires, built on the money of innocent and loving people, seemed to be nothing more than monuments to their gargantuan ego.

When millions of people praise you and your vision, and your ego has not been crucified, your fall is assured. Leaders, in and out of the church, must have their own personal agenda, their ego, on the sacrificial alter. That is tough medicine, it is a hard thing to relinquish, my ideas, my desires, my plans, to God.

So often, we ask God to bless our plans and ideas. That seems perfectly normal, doesn't it? It is a bit backwards, when we should be seeking the mind, heart and spirit of God before we set forth with plans and ideas.

I would have faced less heart ache and disappointment had I practiced that last piece of advice.

Tedd Galloway is the pastor of West Adrian Community Church and the author of the soon to be released book, A Mother's Heart Moved the Hand of God. Morgan James Publishing is setting the release date. He is also working on a novel that will follow the first, The Crossing. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter

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