I am sure many of you have heard of ‘the rat race.’
For those of you who haven’t, allow me to enlighten you. The rat race is a phrase coined for very ambitious people who want to attain to a level of status in life, in pursuit of ‘the American Dream.’
They go to college, they get married, have 2.5 kids, buy the 4.5 bedroom house with the white picket fence. They bust their tails to climb the corporate ladder, to become a success.
Many sacrifice their relationships-even their relationship with God-to ‘successfully’ climb the corporate ladder and run that rat race to the TOP of corporate success.
Many work tirelessly and endlessly-burning the midnight oil-to trump their co-workers’ three-figure salary, or their neighbor’s newly constructed 6 bedroom home and Cadillac.
Then when they get there…they are making that BLING! They are ‘ballin,’ and ‘high callin’. They have reached the top of the corporate ladder. They ran their race…and made it! Frazzled as they may be, littered relationships all along the track where they ran the rat race…but it’s all been worth it, right????
No. Sadly enough, once they reach the top, many realize that it was NOT worth it. And feel hopelessly empty and unfulfilled once they have reached the top of the corporate ladder.
I want to let you know that there IS a rat race that goes on IN THE CHURCH as well.
Do you see that priest running that race up above in the picture?
That is how it really is in the church today.
The sad thing is that many who start going to church do not start going to enter into a rat race, but are attempting to get OUT of the rat race that they were in, in the world.
New converts blindly and trustingly start going to church after they realize that they ‘need Jesus.’ So culture and tradition has taught most that Jesus Christ of Nazareth can only be found within the confines of a church building. So that’s where they go. After being there for a period of time, it is expected of these converts to become apt enough in the Word and the things of God to go and witness and teach others. Pretty soon, the ‘ministry bug’ hits them. They hear a sermon, a false prophecy, or get a false confirmation from somewhere that they are called to ‘preach the gospel.’
It is the next step in the order of the church. First, you join the church, become a member. Then you sit and learn for a few years. Then the pastor gives you a work to do. It may be preaching behind a pulpit. It may not. It might be working in children’s ministry. Or on the praise team. Or teaching new convert’s class. Or nursing home or prison ministry. Pretty soon, it becomes a unspoken rule that ‘la creme de la creme’ of any work done in the church is to get behind a pulpit and ‘preach the gospel.’
If the pastor calls you out and says before the congregation ‘you are called to preach,’ or ‘prophesy…’ then that person is automatically revered above someone who just may work with children. And because of the lack of TRUE identity that lies within the walls of the church-due by the very nature of its structure-breeds insecurity, competition, envy and jealousy amongst its ranks.
There is something about the almighty pulpit that spiritually and physically -in the eyes of the people-put ministers on pedestals.
Soon, these ministers-to-be find themselves thrust into a church rat race, towards the pulpit!
They climb the ministerial ladder that has been set up among the errant religious church system, that pits people against each other…who are supposed to be part of the same body.
They do this believing that this is the will of God for their lives…because a preacher said so. The reason so many in the church lack identity is intentional. It is a plot of the enemy to make ALL of the people JUST ALIKE. To get the masses to come to one organization, and be ‘faithful’ to that organization. To give their all to that organization. To be loyal to a man or a woman of God…even moreso than to GOD Himself.
Its a rat race I believe most are thrust into ignorantly, sucked into the church ministerial system, because a leader saw their natural gifts and talents and are trying to benefit from them. Most leaders raise up leaders so that when that church system is up and running, THEY will get the tithes and offerings from the church they helped raise up.
Some people intentionally enter the church rat race because it is their nature to be competitive and they seek power and control within the religious system. They need a following, someone to cheer them on as they pursue their ‘careers’ in ministry, as well as needing the financial backing of the church. Especially in the uncertain economic times we are living in, where else can one with virtually no education or viable work experience can gain a following and a sure income but within the ministry?
There are people that will literally kill folks to get to the pulpit. Their ambitious natures are so strong that they will sacrifice their very relationships with God to enter into-and stay-in ministry. In ‘The Makings of a False Prophet,” I go into detail as to why this is the case.
No matter the reason why people enter the church rat race, they do. And sad to say, once they reach the pulpit, once they reach the heights of ministerial success, they realize that the price they paid to get there was NOT worth it. They look back at all the littered, wasted relationships, the sacrifices made, the tears shed, the money spent, the time wasted….and get there and still are very much unfulfilled, still very much miserable, not feeling like they still are not doing what God would have them to do.
I personally know many people who have reached the heights of ministerial success, and yet are VERY miserable on the inside. I get calls all the time from them. They have more than one church, happily married, 5 bedroom house with the white picket fence, get invited to preach at this conference and the next….yet they are on the verge of suicide.
We all witnessed someone climbing the ministerial success ladder and his very public and shameful demise…that of Zachary Tims. I mean if anyone had ‘made it’ ministerially, Tims was it. He looked like Will Smith, was hosting TBN almost every day, pastored a mega church in Florida, beautiful wife and kids, the bling, the endorsement of Benny Hinn…yet in the end, his life was ramsackled with adultery, scandal and drug abuse. And it literally cost him his life…
I am convinced most people who enter the church rat race do so blindly, not knowing what to expect. Not knowing what demons can be picked up along the way of running this rat race…They enter in only desiring to do what God says…they just mistakenly hear a religious demon that is interested in trapping them and destroying them.
If you have entered the church rat race and can’t get off the wheel alone, there IS help for you.
Just call (518) 477–5759.