Idol-atry-ize-ing: Promised Results?

Been thinking a lot about how we pastors tend to make idols of our churches and of the results we’re supposed to achieve with them. And there’s no problem with that except that we’re not supposed to make idols of anything and I can’t find the place in the Bible where we’re promised results. (So why do we expect them?)

Recently I was reading Hebrews 11 and here’s a few thoughts I had:

Heb 11:35, “Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection.”

The results of “having God” are not consistent. Sometimes you get a resurrection, sometimes you get tortured and die and have to wait for resurrection (but it will be a better one!). So, if that’s true, why do we pastors expect consistent results. If I do what this other pastor did, the same thing will happen for me that did for him. And If our church acts like that church we’ll see the same results. Or even If we do what we did before we’ll see the same impact as last time. Where does God promise consistent results?

Heb 11:36, “Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38the world was not worthy of them.”

“Having God” and serving God does not guarantee that you’ll get your best life now, if anything it means the opposite. For most, the result of serving God is suffering.

Heb 11:39, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

What God smiles on is not “results.” Our pastor ancestors served hard, had no results but suffering, and God commended them for their faith. If I really want God’s commendation it won’t come through achieving big results but through serving even in the face of suffering.

For some of you (and maybe even for me) this should set you free!