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About Georgia 
Up Way Publications 34th Anniversary

Message of the Month
That's The Pastor's Job!
Volume 04   No. 02                                                                                                             September 7, 2003
This sermon by Rev. Samuel M. Smith one dates to 1973 and was written for Up Way for Christians Magazine but not published. 
September 7, 2003   ©2003 Up Way Publications.
 "THAT'S thePastor's job." Ever heard that? Of course!  Especially in some church circles. The pastor is expected to visit all the sick people in the hospital, in their homes and wherever else they may be. When a couple in the church is having marital problems, it is the pastor who is expected to go to them and give them the sure cure for their problems and woe be to him if it doesn't work. If somebody's husband is a drunkard or a ladies man, the pastor is expected to somehow win him to the Lord.

If there is to be a wedding or a funeral or a dedication or just about any other form of celebration or mourning, the pastor is expected
to be present and officiate.

All this is fine. The pastor can rightly be expected to do all these things within limits, but, where do the people of the church come in?

When is the last time that you, dear churchmember, prayed and travailed in prayer for someone until you felt completely exhausted in body? When have you prayed over a line of sick folk who have come forward for prayer for healing until you felt the healing virtue that was flowing through you to those who really trusted God to do the work was exhausted and you felt almost as if the sicknesses of all those you had prayed for had been placed on your body -- and you were still expected to make the appeal for the offering and tithes and then get up again and preach an "anointed" message at the top of your voice and as fiery as a machinegun?1.

As a minister, former pastor, missionary and travelling evangelist, I know full well how this feels. The minister goes home exhausted, but rejoicing in, what the Lord has done day after day, but there comes a time when the days of continual going and pushing wear the minister down physically.

One thing that often happens is that because of the press of other "duties," the pastor finds his time for prayer and personal devotion severely
curtailed and his own spiritual stamina drained. Who then helps him?

Who encourages him when the cares of his flock begin to weigh him down?

Of course, some hold that the only person the pastor can turn to besides the Lord at times like these is to a "pastor's pastor" -- the State Superintendent of his denomination or group, and this is fine -- if the superintendent is
available and is being actively led by the Holy Spirit. But what if the Superintendent is away from his accustomed place and the pastor cannot get ahold of him, or if the Superintendent is too busy with his responsibilities to spend time in prayer so that he is actively led by the Holy Spirit?

A couple of years ago, in, a church where the Lord placed me temporarily, there was a sister who was already being criticized and accused
of being a troublemaker because she believed in, prayer and fasting and when the church chose parties and games to attract people instead of falling on their knees and getting a revival in their souls, she pointed out the errors of their ways. In fact, she was openly condemned from the pulpit by name and people were warned not to have anything to do with her. As an
"outside" minister who was respected by the people,  yet remained aloof from the factions within, that particular church, this sister began calling me on the phone and asking for counsel and advice.

Now there is no question that her ways of pointing out the errors in that church were blunt and tactless and yet she was completely right in
what she said. Of this I told her, but also to pray and seek the Lord in everything. To believe the Bible in total context rather than by single verses as many are wont to do. To really learn and know the Bible.

As time passed and both of us left that church, I all but lost touch entirely with this sister for more than a year. I was busy editing and publishing gospel tracts and a Christian magazine and visiting churches to both encourage them in the Lord and to raise funds for literature and ultimately attempt to establish a church in a neighboring town. Then financial troubles came crushing in on me. The church I was starting had to be closed before it got established. There was no more money to print literature for missions and home evangelization efforts or the magazine, no more credit from the printers,
then personal lonliness and defeat began to grip me. Why wasn't the Lord paying His bills? Why was I called an to sacrifice and sacrifice and do and work and pray and why had the Lord given me unique talents in writing,  music, graphic art and then cut me off financially to the point that in order to pay His bills I had to work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week ... especially when I looked and saw gospel singers that could not carry a tune earning their livelihood by singing and I both sang on key with unction and played two instruments well. 

Preachers with half the message of truth I was provlaiming were prospering and religious publications that had "...a form of Godliness...denying the power thereof" had plenty of income to pay their editors a big salary for half the work I was doing for nothing. Why had God deserted His faithful servant? Why was I denied the love of a faithful wife and children while others who were not doing nearly what I was for the Lord being blessed with the desires of my heart?

(Continued on Page 2)
FOOTNOTES: 1. Acts 16:31a; 2. John 3:16 3. 1 John 1:9 4. Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12

That's the Pastor's Job
(Continued from Page 1)



Consider the following senario. Could this be you? 

The man whispered, "God, speak to me," And a meadowlark sang a beautiful song. But the man did not hear.  He was waiting to hear from God.

So the man yelled "God, speak to me," And the thunder and lightning rolled across the sky.  But the man did not listen.  He was listening for the voice of God to speak to him.

The man looked around and said,  "God, let me see you." And a star many light-years distant shined brightly down on him.  But the man did not see it. He was looking for God on His majestic throne. 

And, the man shouted, "God, show me a miracle" And a new little baby was born in his family. But the man did not notice. Babies are born all the time.

So, the man cried out in despair,  "Touch me, God, and let me know you are here," whereupon, God did reach down and touch the man.  But the man brushed the baby's hand away and walked on. 

Sometimes we are so sure God will do things one way we cannot see how He has already answered oour prayer in another way. 

Another story is told in which a man is caught in a flood. "Oh, God, spare my life and the lives of my family," he cries. As the waters begin to rise into his yard, a rescue team comes by in a big-wheeled four-wheel drive vehicle to take him out, but he is expecting some miracle from God and declines to leave. 

Then, as the water is getting up to his bottom step, he cries out, "Oh, God! What has happened?  The water is getting deeper and is already up to my steps. Why haven't you rescued me and my family?" So a Sheriff's Deputy comes by in a boat and offers to take the family to safety, but the man is expecting God to perform a miracle and declines. 

Before long the water has reached the level of his house floor and started to rise into the furniture. In a panic, they go to the roof and again cry out to God for help. Before long, a Coast Guard helicopter swoops low over them and a voice booms down, "Please let us help you. The flood is rising fast," but the man waves them away when he yells up to them and asks "Did God send you?" But they could not hear his voice. 

Finally, as the water rises above his youngest daughter's knees as they stand on the highest point of the roof, an airboat approaches and cuts its motor. 
"Here,  Let us help you," cries the boat operator. "Did God send you? " the stranded householder yells back. "Because if He didn't, we still have to wait for Him to save us." 

"God must have sent us, because we're the last rescue boat in this area and if you don't come on and climb aboard, you will all drown." 

Because he loved his family, the man helped his daughter, son, wife, dog and cat into the boat, then finally, reluctantly climbed aboard himself as the swift floodwaters began to rock the house off its foundations.  Thankful that his family was finally safe, he prayed again, "Oh God, I wish You had saved us, but bless these people who rescued us, anyway. I just wonder why You didn't save us sooner?"

(Continued on Page 3)

Hearing from God in Your Time of Personal Need
(Continued from Page 2)
Having overheard the prayer, the boat operator answered.  "I believe God sent the rescue team to you with the mud buggy, but you refused their aid. I believe the Sheriff's Deputy who came to rescue you was also sent by God and the Emergency Services people.  I am sure the Coast Guard helicopter which was especially dispatched to rescue just you folks was also sent by God.  You are fortunate that I am a praying person, because if God hadn't spoken to me in my heart, I would not have come for you after you turned everyone else away!"

So how can you, each one of you, know the voice of God? How do you know your spouse's voice? Would you have recognized it the second time you heard it, or would you have thought, that sort of sounds

like his or her voice, but I'm not sure if it is or not.  No, it was the repeated times that you spoke to your beloved and he or she spoke to you that taught you to know his or her voice and even if he or she was scared or excited or yelling from a distance, you got to know that one voice apart from all others. 

So how do you get to know God's voice? How do you recognize when He is the one speaking and not Satan trying to mimic His voice?  By practice! The more you pray and He responds, the better you come to know His voice, whether in the still small voice or in the earthquake, the touch of a baby's finger or the rod of correction.  Whether He answers "Yes," "No," "Maybe someday but not now," or "Wait, be patient, the time is not yet." 

"Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

--  S. M. S.
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