A couple of months ago, there was a news story that made national headlines. You may have heard about it. A woman who was the pastor of a church in Anadarko, Oklahoma was found murdered. It was a Sunday morning. Pastor Carol Daniels was in her study preparing for church when an intruder came in and killed her. Authorities are not giving details but they tell us that her body had been repositioned. There are many things within our society I thought I would not live to see (a black president for one) but someone killing a pastor…at church, on a Sunday morning?! Unbelievable.
Here is my question…what happened to the sanctity and respect of the church in our society? There was a time, not long ago, when there were certain organizational structures, professions and people groups we dared not touch. The church was one such entity. The man or woman of God was another. But that has changed. Maybe I should have had a hint of this about 10years ago when I was an associate pastor at a church. I was visiting a relative when a friend of my relative stopped by. She introduced me to the young man and informed him that I was a pastor. Before I could even respond to say, ‘hello’ or ‘nice to meet you’, the young man began yelling at me. He ranted on and on about how I thought I was better than him or something crazy like that. Can you imagine? You never met someone. You don’t know them. They don’t know you. But for some reason, they feel the need to ‘go off’ on you. We have all probably experienced that at one time or another. I had not said anything to this young man. I had only been introduced to him. I could only surmise that when he heard ‘pastor’, it set something off within him. Obviously, the man had been hurt and needed deliverance.
His ranting only lasted a couple of minutes. Once he stopped and looked around the room, he realized that everyone was staring at him. Even through his coco colored skin, I could see the redness of embarrassment flush his skin. Here is what I wonder…was this how Pastor Daniels’ killer acted at some early point in his early life? Like the young man I encountered, when did this killer lose respect for God’s house and His people?
I decided to ask God my questions. “Lord, why is there such a lack of respect with the church these days?”
He responded, “My Church is too busy trying to impress the secular world. When the world looks at My Church and sees no difference between them and the rest of the world, there is a loss of respect. My Word says that ‘But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.’(John 12:32)
Folks, here is the bottom line…we have to be what God has called us to be, in the way He has called us to be it. We will not win souls by conforming but by transforming. We will only push them away. We have to ‘lift’ up the name of the Lord. When our focus is exclusively to lift Him up (and not ourselves), we will see great changes within our cities and around the world.
Please keep the Daniels’ family lifted up in prayer. I can’t imagine the horror and shock they have suffered. I honor this woman because she made sacrifices to preach the Gospel. She lived 60 miles away from the church and drove to the church weekly to feed God’s sheep. Only God knows the other sacrifices she made to take care of God’s people. But I have hope. Like Jesus, who died on the cross so many would be saved, I am asking God to use Pastor Daniels death as a seed to see many come to Christ. I believe what the devil intended for evil, God will turn it around for good. Anadarko will see revival like never before!
*Intimate Warriors Broadcast – Mondays at 12 pm CST http://www.blogtalkradio.com/shamarministries
*Weekly Word from the Lord - http://www.youtube.com/user/shamarministries
*The 2009 Apostolic Prophetic Intercessor’s Prayer Summit – Oct. 23 & 24 in Oklahoma City, OK. For more information, visit http://shamaronline.weebly.com.
*Read an excerpt from my new book: ‘You’re Not Crazy…You’re Just Prophetic!’ http://lakitasmith.weebly.com/
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