“And He said, “Go, and tell this people: Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, And their ears heavy, And shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart[s], And return and be healed.”” – Isaiah 6:9-10
Scripture reading: Isaiah 6:1-13
In October 2021, a Barna poll among U.S. pastors asked, “Have you given real, serious consideration to quitting full-time ministry within the last year?” Thirty-eight percent of those polled responded that they had! These past few years have not been easy times for anyone in ministry. The unity of churches has been severely tested by recent political and public health controversies. Sadly it’s pretty clear that as Christians we have not all come through “smelling like roses.”
Those who consider quitting may be thinking, “This is not what I signed up for!” If so, it’s good to pause and think of the kind of ministry Isaiah was called to. He was called to ‘pastor’ a people whose hearts were dull, their ears heavy and their eyes shut! Yet he obeyed God’s call.
On the other hand, as Christians, we need to ask whether we are really taking to heart the words of Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
Thankfully chapter 1 ends with this hope: As a terebinth tree or as an oak, Whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump. From the stump of Jesse, Christ would come! This means that in Him you are a holy seed who can not only survive, but also thrive even in tough times!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray much for your pastor(s). Pray for your elders. Pray that their ministry to you may not be with grief, but with joy.
Pastor Maurice Luimes serves as the pastor of the Immanuel Reformed Church (recently relocated to Bolton, ON). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.