the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Raise the Standard!
January 6, 2009, 9:24 pm
Filed under: Ministry

When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.” – Isaiah 59:19b (NKJV)

Picture the standard being a wall, a levy. When the flood comes towards the levy, the higher and stronger the levy, the higher the water must rise to breach it. If there is one area of the levy that may be lower than the others, the water will instantly flood that area first and alleviate the pressure on the remaining areas. In other words, the more we are intentional about not giving the devil a foothold in our lives and living with integrity, and above reproach in all that we do, the harder he has to try to take us down.

A ‘standard’ is defined as “a rule or principle that is used as a basis for judgment” So I wonder, what is the rule or principle(s) that I use as a basis of judgement for my life. Obviously, it is the Word of God, but that applies to all believers and not just myself. There must be something that I use to make decisions that applies only to me and no one else.Enter the importance of a personal vision statement.

There are certain things that God has called me to do that He may not have called you to do. That’s fine because the opposite is also true. I can never stress enough how important it is for you to know your purpose. It make your decisions much easier because you have something to base them from, a guideline. If you know God has called you to go here, but this choice would take you elsewhere, well then, it’s probably not for you!

I have known my calling for the past 7 years, but it wasn’t until last month that I actually sat down and wrote it out. At this point, that is a very living document, but knowing that I at least have something that I can go back to is incredibly helpful when making choices.

In thinking about God’s standards, I was reading an article today entitled “Attention Pastors: Keep Your Penis In Your Pants!!!” It may seem a little brash at first glance, but the author keeps it real real and hits the nail on the head when it come to Pastors (and for that matter leaders in general) and sexual purity and integrity.  There was one sentence that I just couldn’t get away from because it sounded just like something my Pastor would have said: “It’s SO SAD when pastors will talk about how bad it was that Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup and then they will turn around and sell their ministry for an orgasm!” If ever it was a little foggy, if you weren’t sure of what we were talking about, that pretty much cut to the core of the issue.

I know it may seem a little extreme, to sell your ministry for an orgasm. The fact is that’s exactly what has happened before and will no doubt happen again. Granted, when we talk about raising the standard it’s not only in the area of sexual integrity. That is just an area that’s more visible if we slip. We have to raise the standard in all areas. If we forget to in one area, that’s the area the enemy would attack because he knows his flood would more easily get over that wall.

We HAVE to raise the standards in our lives and in our ministries if we are to safeguard from attacks. We are in a life-and-death game and it is NOT a joke. People’s lives are literally hanging in the balance and all we can think about is 20 seconds of pleasure! ARE YOU SERIOUS!?! We must hold ourselves to a higher standard. Period.


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