“Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and His disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, “Where did this Man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by His hands! Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” And they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.” Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief….” Mark 6:1 – 6
October is Clergy Appreciation month so I decided to dedicate this post to all the pastors who are fighting the good fight.
One of the greatest gifts God has given to the church is a pastor.
A pastor is a shepherd who seeks after God’s heart and feeds the people with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15). This person is empowered by God to release the power of God in our lives. One of the biggest hindrances to him fulfilling his role is familiarity.
Familiarity is a mindset that when in full swing it robs the man of God of honor. The result is the power of God is hindered from flowing through him to you. It literally stops the anointing.
In the above passage of scripture we see that Jesus was not honored at His hometown because they felt they knew him. After all He was just Jesus. The danger with familiarity is it reduces the person to being common. Things that are common to us we take for granted, we reduce their importance, and we even disregard their input until we need them.
When a pastor becomes common, there is a tendency to lose respect. This creates a barrier between you and the anointing on that gift. The result is unbelief is fostered, faith is diminished and miracles are hindered.
Familiarity also breeds contention. As a result of seeing the man of God as common, you feel authorized to question his authority, criticize his decisions, and negate the vision that God gives him. This attitude drains the life out of a body of believers and eventually leads to strife and division.
The root of familiarity is pride. Pride causes you to see pastors as equals or even subservient. You exalt yourself by negating the supernatural mantle on the office of the Pastor and identify only with his natural humanity. Accordingly the Pastor’s flaws get magnified, his preferences get scrutinized and his preaching of the Word gets reduced to opinions.
Moses experienced this same phenomenon this with his siblings Miriam and Aaron. The two did not see their little brother as the deliverer, but as Moses. They also saw themselves on equal status with him. They negated the fact that Moses occupied the office of the Shepherd so they criticized Moses’ decisions and highly esteemed themselves. God dealt with this spirit personally as He brought immediate judgment. Today we are under this dispensation of grace so the harvest from the spirit of familiarity is not as swift, but it is just as sure.
Familiarity is a heart matter, but it can be identified through the use of titles. Titles define relationships and the power to define is the power to fulfill. What you call your pastor empowers him to fulfill that role in your life.
In the above passage of scripture the people reduced Jesus to being a carpenter and the son of Mary. They attacked His social status by referring to Him as an uneducated laborer and His patriarchal lineage by insinuating He was an illegitimate child. Subsequently there was no power for Jesus the Christ to be fulfilled in their lives. The issue wasn’t a question of Jesus being anointed, it was they couldn’t see it because they were looking through the eyes of familiarity.
Inventory your heart. Have you lost some respect and reverence for the gift that God has given you in your Pastor? Have you been critical of his decisions? If so repent and ask the Holy Spirit to help restore it. If you do, you will be on your way to uprooting the Spirit of Familiarity.
I am Andrew Freed and you are an Overcomer in Christ.