Too Much Free Time
Bishop Akron mulled over Prophet Malcolm’s words as he waited.
“Okay, my brother, I’m back. Let’s see. Here is what I want to get to: Proverbs 23:29-35. I won’t read all of it. It says, ‘Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of the eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.’ It goes on to say, ‘Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.’ Then what happens? ‘Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.’ Is that not what happens to the drunkard? And the sad thing about being a drunkard as Solomon tells us in the last verse is once its effect has worn off, here’s what the drunkard says, ‘I will seek it yet again.’”
“We never learn, do we?” Bishop Akron said.
“No, we never do,” Prophet Malcolm said. “We are a stiffnecked people just like the Israelites. I also believe another reason some pastors are falling into sin and are living in sin is because they are not keeping themselves busy. They have too much free time on their hands. Back in Bible days they had church everyday. Peter and Paul and the other disciples preached everyday. They were so busy they had no time for evil. Oh, what a worldwide revival we would have if pastors stayed in the Word, prayed without ceasing, and had church every day!”
“You are so right. Why have this large building and only use it on Wednesday nights and half a day on Sundays? I don’t know if I shared this with you or not, but in addition to the Kindergarten and first grade that we started last year, this year we’ll be expanding and we’ll be adding second to sixth grades, so we’ll have a full-fledged elementary school,” Bishop Akron said. “All thanks goes to you for encouraging me to make use of all that space that God has blessed us with.”
“Amen and praise the Lord,” Prophet Malcolm said.
“Now the last time we spoke, you mentioned that pastors must stop playing and preying, that is, stop p-r-e-y-i-n-g, and start p-r-a-y-i-n-g.”
“That’s right,” Prophet Malcolm said.
“But you know, pastors are so busy visiting the church family, counseling members, taking care of this and that, going to and preaching at this conference and that conference, and a host of other things. I know for me, and I know this is the case for other pastors, I can hardly find time to pray as I should,” Bishop Akron said.
“Brother, you cannot not find time to pray. In fact, you must make time to pray. Prayer is the backbone, the foundation of everything a Christian does. As much as that old devil is attacking, you cannot help but to pray. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. One of the faults with pastors is we are so busy doing, doing, doing we are neglecting the most important thing and that is prayer. Most pastors have a Martha mentality. Martha was so busy cooking, cleaning, washing, making sure this was done and that was done; she was cumbered about with much serving as the Bible tells us. Mary, on the other hand, was sitting in the living room with Jesus, fellowshipping with Him. Then Martha came complaining to Jesus: ‘Tell Mary to come and help me.’ What did Jesus say? ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and getting all flustered about many things, but Mary is doing what needs to be done—that is, she is spending time with me—and I won’t deny her that.’ If our pastors would get a hold of that, how different our churches would be! But our pastors are too busy doing ice cream socials. We are busy dunking the pastor during spring festival. We have lost our focus. We’re letting the world come within our four walls and set up tent and we’re doing nothing about it.”
“What are pastors to do then?” Bishop Akron said.
“They have to first change their mentality about sin in their lives and hate it with a passion. Second, they need to get back on praying ground. Third, they have to preach against sin as this is no time for evil. God hated sin back then, He hates it now, and He’ll hate it in the future,” Prophet Malcolm said. “He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
“Amen,” Bishop Akron said. “Well, as always, it’s been enlightening, uplifting, and encouraging talking with you. I’m going to get me some rest before heading on out to the church for evening services. By the way, we have a revival coming up and I would love for you to come preach for us especially since you were unable to come preach for us last year.”
“Do you think your people can take my kind of preaching in light of what happened the last time I preached for you?” Prophet Malcolm said with a chuckle.
Bishop Akron laughed. “They have forgotten your message. That’s why I want you to come this year, you know, to stir the dying embers and get the fire blazing again. I’ll be sending you the details. Give our love to Sadie.”
“I’ll pray about it, my brother, what with this coronavirus thing going around. You really should consider going fully online.”