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According to God’s Heart

“And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
(Jer. 3:15 NKJV)

When God spoke through the Prophet Jeremiah to Israel (the Northern Kingdom), He was speaking of a day when all of the 12 Tribes (the House of Israel and the House of Judah) would return to Him and be restored.  The reference of shepherds (pastors) during that particular time was “king” (leader) and the king was going to lead with knowledge and understanding (after God’s heart) and not with falsehood and deceit. 

Generally, we hear this text preached during an installation of or an appreciation type service for the pastor of a church and many times, the “heart of God” is spoken in ways other than “knowledge and understanding.”  Personally, when referring to the pastor, I have heard the “heart” of God defined as love or as kindness or even as being friendly.  I have had members proclaim the reason I am their pastor is because they like to have an occasional sandwich or other access.  But, they will not attend Bible study or Sunday services on a consistent basis to hear, “Thus says the Lord.”  There have been some who relegate the comfort of the pastor’s home as their gathering place after service or they want a more social relationship such as going to the mall.  But what is interesting is that for most other jobs (occupations), an individual is not necessarily tasked to do their job with love, kindness, or possess friendship.  Of course, I feel individuals should be respectful in the performance of their jobs but keep in mind, the pastor is not necessarily going to be your “buddy”.

The police officer is not expected to be a friend with anyone when he is doing his job.  Vigilant, respectful, and perhaps concerned regarding the citizens he or she may come in contact with, but certainly not to be their friend.  The football coach is not expected to be kind when he is teaching his players how to execute plays.  The boot camp officer is not going to “love” anyone when he is training recruits for war.  In fact, he may curse you out and talk about your mother.  But the pastor – they are expected and supposed to be everyone’s door mat even though they are tasked to proclaim what God has instructed which, at times, is hard to swallow. 

The pastor (with the heart of God) is not your friend; he or she is not obligated to “like” anyone.  In fact, if you want to be liked, perhaps you should join Face Book or some other social media.  Now, because the pastor is chosen and sent by God, they may, over time, come to like you, they may come to be your friend, or they may be kind to you but the primary purpose of the pastor is to feed you with knowledge and understanding in order that your soul is not eternally lost and that you can live victoriously here on earth.  Keep in mind that pastors chosen by God generally have experienced the highs and lows of life.  They generally are “family” oriented, therefore; they “understand” the challenges and pitfalls their members may experience.  Most of the time, pastors have first hand knowledge when it comes to the many trials of life.

The Prophet Jeremiah was speaking of a future time when a remnant would return back to Jerusalem from captivity.  This concurs with the Prophet Isaiah who said,

“Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads.”

(Isaiah 51:11, KJV).  The House of Israel had already been taken into captivity by the Assyrians and the House of Judah would soon be taken captive by the Babylonians and God wanted His children to know that the day would come in which they would be restored and fed by leaders He had chosen.

God’s desire is that His children are fed with knowledge and understanding and He chooses pastors who are to feed and lead the people as He would.  And God never leads with falsehood or deceit.

So the next time you think about the job God has given to your pastor, remember that they are to lead you with the heart of God and not the heart of man.  They are not placed in your life to be your friend or to like you, therefore; pray for your pastor, support your pastor, and adhere to the words of your pastor because they are specifically chosen and are leading after the heart of God.