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The Worst Place to be in Ministry

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. II Samuel 11:1

David is one of many examples from Scripture to demonstrate the worst place to be in life. When all of David’s mighty men and leaders headed out to the battlefield along with the whole Israelite army, David remained in Jerusalem. The next verse describes David all alone in the evening as he looked down from the roof of his palace to see a beautiful woman bathing. David was in the place of isolation. The worst place to be in ministry is isolated, alone and unaccountable.

Evil desires and temptations thrive in the place of isolation. In this place of isolation, David was restless and could not sleep. David was not only alone but bored at this time in his life. He had been powerful and successful in leading Israel to victory over the enemy. David was a mighty man of God who thrived in the place of warfare. This is odd that when everyone else was fighting the battle against the Ammonites, David was alone and isolated.

David was ripe for temptation and defeat. He knew what he was doing as he looked for and saw Bathsheba bathing. Why did he look? He wanted her for himself even though she belonged to his good friend Uriah the Hittite. David sought her out and before the night was over, he slept with her. He fulfilled his wicked desire. In his place of isolation, he thought about her, looked for her and sinned with her. This was a one-night stand that would lead David to do the unthinkable in planning for Uriah the Hittite to die in battle.

The place of isolation leads to the great lies of isolation. “No one knows.” “No one will ever find out.” “I can do this and get away with it.” Ministry provides opportunity to be alone and isolated. We tend to have a lot of freedom when it comes to our time and what we do with it. It takes a lot of self-discipline to lead a godly life in the ministry. The temptations can be strong because of the easier access to the place of isolation.

How do we avoid the place of isolation? We invite significant others into our world. We were never meant to be isolated in ministry. This can be someone inside and/or outside the church. Our spouse plays a key role in our avoidance of being isolate and unaccountable. We need others. We cannot fight our battles on our own. We need one another. At Still Waters Renewal, we want to come alongside to help you identify significant others you can reach out to and invite into your life.

One of the tragedies of this past year has been the isolation so many have been forced to endure. We have seen this with my mother-in-law Ruth. She has lived a very isolated life over the past year. We have visited with her on a regular basis, but through the window of this facility and with a phone. We get to see her through the window, but we haven’t been able to be with her in her own room. She is dealing with dementia as his typical of one in their late 90’s. Last week, Ruth was able to have family over to her apartment for the first time in over a year.

We were very concerned for Ruth as she displayed a greater problem with her dementia. She could not identify pictures of her husband, to whom she was married for 73 years. She could not spell my wife’s name correctly. However, after one visit, she revived and the next day she was so much better. Why? She had connection with family that made all the difference in the world. She was no longer in the place of isolation.

It’s amazing how others can make such a difference in our life. Seek out connections to others who will be instruments of God’s grace in your life. Sign up of our upcoming retreats.

Jim Daniel

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