WHEN PASTORS TRADE FLEETING GLORY FOR TRUE RICHES
By Mario Murillo
“For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. And a slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.” -Epilogue from the movie Patton.
If only we could hire that slave to stand in the pulpits beside celebrity pastors and whisper, “The glory of a big, powerless church is fleeting. It is vanity to win first prize for fastest growing church and lose a nation in the process.”
While churches tickle the ears of the crowd, our government grinds away at freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Talk about fleeting glory…what will you do with your mega ministry when it is banned?
The miracle in Yuba City happened because two churches, realizing the utter urgency of a moral awakening in this hour, joined forces. That is the simple truth!
The Bridge of Yuba City led by Jim and Kristine Carpenter and Church of Glad Tidings led by Dave and Cheryl Bryan rejected conventional wisdom and acted according to the Kingdom of God.
Have you ever heard of two churches cancelling their Sunday Morning services in order to make a public stand for Christ? That kind of unselfish love breaks the power of Satan over a region. However, today, it is roundly rejected as foolishness.
When Pastors Dave and Cheryl Bryan chose to do this, it was a major sacrifice. It takes every last drop of faith to keep a church strong in the Yuba City/Marysville area. They did not make this decision because it was convenient or even practical. It was a sacrifice based on a passion for God to heal our land.
When Jim and Kristine Carpenter turned their church into an army of workers for Living Proof, there was not a thought toward gaining new members. They wanted to take new ground for the Kingdom of God.
Let me open my heart wide on the subject of true pastors. A true pastor pours blood, sweat and tears into a work for God. Today an honest work for the Lord is often battered, broken and diminished.
Local government diminishes them. The community leaders tell them that schools are off limits. They want to know your stand on gay marriage. They hint that you will be penalized for your stand. Suddenly use permits are hard to get and neighborhoods want you to stay away.
Then, like adding salt to a wound, it stings a true man and woman of God to see large crowds and big money pour effortlessly into religious businesses that hide the Gospel.
It breaks the heart of a true pastor to watch sheep drawn away into a spiritual country club that dumbs down believers and condones immorality.
A vessel of God can feel punished for keeping their integrity. King David said, “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, And washed my hands in innocence. For all day long I have been plagued, and chastened every morning.” Psalm 73:13, 14.
The crowds and the signs and wonders appearing in Yuba City are Living Proof that you get true riches when you hold on to your integrity.
There is one amazing thing that is about to happen. Pastors will soon see that by seeking to please God rather than man they will gain a massive army that is low maintenance and high impact.
One day God asked Solomon what he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom instead of wealth and power. 1 Kings 1:10, “The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 Then God said to him: ‘Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, 12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. 13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. 14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.’”
Pastors Dave and Cheryl Bryan and Jim and Kristine Carpenter have asked for true riches, not fleeting glory. And God is going to give them everything else besides.