I’m pleased at the traction this new series is getting. Thanks for joining the journey and inviting others along.
I’m amazed at how many ex-pastors are still wandering in the wilderness, wondering what happened to them and how to get their lives back. I hope I can offer some help in that. I also want to help the pastor still in ministry who has experienced a major setback or two.
Someone has said that only 10% of pastors finish their career in ministry. Somewhere along the way most of them drop out, burn out, or get kicked out. I’m hoping to increase the number of pastors that finish strong.
Exile is a metaphor for what God wants to do in his people. He uses exile to expose our true heart. He lays us bare.
If you are in exile today, I want to help you find your way out. But to find the way out requires letting exile do its full work in you first. Let me explain what I mean.
When God sent his people to Babylon in exile he spoke to the prophet Ezekiel:
…son of man, pack your bags to prepare yourself for exile and go into exile (galah) … Ezekiel 12:3
The Hebrew word for “go into exile” is “galah”. It also means to “expose, lay bare, uncover, reveal, be stripped.” Here’s another verse using “galah” but the word is translated “laid bare:”
I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare (galah). Ezekiel 13:14
So exile isn’t just a physical experience. Exile is a metaphor for what God wants to do in his people. He uses exile to expose our true heart. He lays us bare, very much like this verse relates: he tears down everything false in us to expose our foundation. God allows hard times to reveal who we really are. He’s not out to shame us. He wants to purify us by bringing the impurities to the surface and removing them.
Exile reveals our dark side. (It can also reveal our good side). It has the unique ability to reveal things hidden deep within us that can’t be found in good times. In order to move on from exile we need to embrace the experience and let it do its full work. The more we resist it the longer we stay in exile.
Think of it as spiritual surgery. The best thing you can do is lie still and let the surgeon do her work. Only then can the surgery be completed and you are allowed to move to the recovery room.
Let me ask you this: what has exile revealed in your heart?
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