God uses the most basic building blocks to construct his kingdom. He primarily extends his Kingdom through the family. Second only to the family is the local church. It is no wonder then, that we see both family and church under constant attack from Satan.
We see all around us the level of success Satan has had in his battle against the family. Nearly half of all marriages now end in divorce, leaving families estranged and devastated. Divorce is even becoming common within Christian churches. At the same time we see him fighting to change the very definition of family through the government, further diluting the ability to extend the Kingdom through the most basic building block. The family metaphor is used so often through the Bible, but we see now a whole generation for whom a father will be a weekend visitor and a family will be a changing group of mothers, fathers and step-siblings. Truly Satan has had phenomenal success in this battle.
Satan also makes constant attacks upon the church. The state of devastation in so many churches and denominations in North America proves that the devil has had extraordinary success in this battle as well. If a local church is strong and growing and doing God's work we must expect it to come under attack from both within and without. When Satan attacks a church it stands to reason that he should prey upon the leadership. What more effective way could there be to destroy a church than by turning the people on their leaders and making the people doubt the abilities and motivations of those God has placed in positions of authority and leadership within the church? It is a rare church leader indeed who has not come under a concerted attack from the evil one.
We need to realize that our pastors are attacked on our behalf. As ones who provides spiritual leadership, spiritual guidance and as ones who teach how to resist the evil one, we know that they are despised above all. The more they love us, pray for us and hold us up before the throne of God and indeed the more they fulfill their responsibilities and callings as pastors, the more Satan will attack them because of the love and concern they have for us. And still we sit idly by without constantly and fervently praying for their protection.
We, as members of a congregation, have a duty to uphold our pastors before God and to pray for their protection. We know especially that if we are part of a vibrant, growing church the leadership is going to merit special attention from Satan. If one of our pastors falters, it speaks volumes about the congregation. It shows us that we may have failed in our responsibility of praying for our leaders.
Now this is not to excuse the sins committed by our spiritual leaders. They are still responsible for their actions. But as we are only too happy to share the responsibility for the church's growth and success, so we should be willing to share the responsibility when we have failed in our duties.
We need to be people of prayer! Attacks on our leaders will be inevitable. We all need to pray for those in positions of leadership, that they would be able to resist the attacks of Satan. Let us be a people who stand in the midst of the spiritual battle, surrounding our pastors and leaders, and fighting for their protection. A general is only as strong as his army, so as that army let us gird ourselves with the spiritual armor we will need to fight this battle and to hold the forces of evil at bay. And should the enemy win a victory over one of our pastors, let us look to ourselves first and examine our own hearts. Did we provide our pastors with the spiritual protection they so desperately need? Or were we as a watchman who slept while the enemy snuck and broke through the walls only to awaken and discover that it is too late for us to protect our city?