by Clayton Knight
But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”
1 Kings 22:13-14
WARREN, MI – The older I get and the more seasoned I become in ministry, the more I am convinced that I have nothing to say to people. Now, what do I mean by that?
I mean that I don’t have the necessary insight, life experience, or wisdom to help people. Oh, did I mention that I’m a pastor? Does that seem counter-intuitive? If that does, let me break some news to you: the fact that I’m a pastor doesn’t mean that I have all the answers.
I’m not a professional Christian. I don’t claim to “hear from God” regarding our church’s 5-year plan. I’ve stood in my pulpit on a Sunday morning before and said, “I don’t know.” I’ve told people in counseling sessions, “I will do my best to help you, but there are certain times when I may say to you, ‘I don’t know what to do in this situation.’”
To make matters more complex, I’m a sinner. I live and work and worship around other people who are sinners. So not only do I lack necessary words and wisdom, sometimes my words, opinions, or beliefs on a matter that I do have are sinful.
Moreover, we’re all swimming in an ocean of ideas, opinions, and worldviews. Just try being dogmatic about “God,” “truth,” “morality,” “life,” “identity,” or “meaning” on a public online forum and see what happens. Any 10-year-old with access to Google is forming opinions about these massive realities as we speak.
So, what is my role as a pastor living in this kind of wikipedia-style, pluralistic, relativistic age? And what do I do as a pastor who recognizes his own need to peel away the bad ideas he has imbibed from a lifetime of living in this broken world? And what hope do I have for effectively shepherding people for whom I will one day give an account?
The short answer to that question is this: Go to the Word of God.
The current state of affairs in 2021 America is not reason to retreat from Scripture. It is motivation to embrace it even more. Saturate your mind with the Word. Don’t settle for a vague familiarity with it, but grapple with the phrases, the inspired logic, the therefores, and the thus-es. Don’t settle for simply knowing the stories, but wrestle with what the stories mean. Don’t herald the indicatives (who you are in Christ), without proclaiming the imperatives (who you must be now that you’re in Christ) with equal tenacity.
More than anything else, our churches need the Word of the Lord. We need to become churches filled with men and women and children who are growing in their knowledge, articulation of, and application of Scripture.
What other source of wisdom is greater? What other word offers better comfort? What else lasts in this life?
When people have been ripped apart by loss, they need to hear God.
When a kid has no idea who they even are anymore, they need to hear God.
When someone gets a dreadful diagnosis, they need to hear God.
When conflict invades the church, they need to hear God.
When life is good, we need to hear God.
When life is hard, we need to hear God.
The prophet Micaiah was resolved. “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”
May we likewise feel bound by the beautiful confines of the Word of the Lord, and may we model its relevance, power, effectiveness, timelessness, and sufficiency in our churches, homes, and workplaces.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Clayton Knight is husband to his best friend, Sarah, and daddy to their sweet daughter, Aubrey. The Knights recently moved to metro Detroit so Clayton could serve as the Senior Pastor at Warren Woods Baptist Church in Warren, Michigan.