1. A Spirit led faith has the capacity to help everyone overcome the tendency to grow too dependent on priestism. Priestism is a faulty notion that only certain people are qualified to act as mediators between God and man. Some ministers become so proud of their positions that they use them as leverage to manipulate, control and subjugate people for their own advantages. In this passage we see that Luke happily writes that many priests were obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7) This miraculous occurrence demonstrates the power of faith to transform many arrogant men. All of these individuals knew that they were apart of a specially appointed class that enjoyed secure employment for their entire lives. Sadly, many professional clergy subtly use their titles to consciously or unconsciously turn themselves into a controller, manipulator or a religious politician. Faith directs the professional clergy to put their trust in the authority of Christ rather than in their office, their title or human traditions. Ask the Lord to help you to learn how to trust Him more and your office less.
2. Faith has the ability to help shape a personâs character more than oneâs title, role or ranking position. Many of the priests in the first century got their security from their title as a priest. When so many priests turned their faith toward Jesus Christ and His truth, they were in effect turning their trust away from the security of their title, rank and the traditional powers of a priest. So many professional ministers fall into the temptation of thinking that "As Godâs Man" they are entitled to special respect, power or privilege. Ask the Lord to help you to form your character by looking at the characteristics of Jesus Christ instead of oneâs human expectations of being a professional clergy.
3. Faith has the capacity to free people from dependence on a priest for special prayers, intercession or absolution. It is sad to see how many Catholics have grown to depend on a priest for prayer, intercession and absolution of their sins. Paul wrote, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." (I Tim. 2:5) Ask the Lord to help you learn how to foster greater reliance on Jesus as the one you go to for teaching, confession, intercession, encouragement, comfort and forgiveness.
4. Faith has the ability to overcome the natural opposition that priests tend to have toward anything that upsets their traditions. Jesus came to bring change. The priests were so blind and insensitive to Christâs truth that they opposed Him even till death on a cross. The natural tendency of priests is to rely on what they can see from their past history or religious leaders. Christâs faith leads us to bring about change through what is unseen. Ask the Lord to help you overcome any opposition posed to you by professional clergy who resist Godâs changes.
5. Faith overcomes the pride of priestism. Many professional clergy are proud of their years of training, their special calling, or their particular gifts and abilities. Faith helps us humble ourselves in the sight of God so that we are not limited by a prideful sense of superiority, exaggerated self-esteem or a phony arrogance that is based on oneâs sense of achievement ö both ascribed or obtained. Ask the Lord to help you overcome any sense pride so as not to hinder the Lord from working great wonders in you or your church.
6. Faith frees a person to go anywhere and do anything through Jesus Christ. Priests were often limited by the traditions of their job description. By faith a person is given the freedom to go anywhere, attempt anything and work with anyone to see that Godâs greater purposes, plans and processes are completed. Do allow yourself to be limited by a narrow view of the responsibilities of priest. Peter said it best about the priesthood of all believers, "You are royal priesthood, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His glorious light." (I Pet. 2:9) Ask God to help you to avoid using the priesthood for selfish purposes, but as an opportunity to serve people and to help fulfill Christâs great commission. Trust the Lord to help you to avoid the abuses of the office of the priesthood by coming not to be served, but to serve and to give yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. (Mark 10:45)