I've been thinking a lot about co-dependency lately. I see couples who go beyond complementing each other, to the point of needing each other to find fulfillment, function or purpose. This is not a safe place to be, because guess what? When we are codependent, we become insecure...If Shaina and I are stuck in codependency, then we will always live with a potential for distrust. The more I need her and need to be needed by her, the more she becomes an idol. Then, when my lofty expectations (we tend to exalt our idols) of her go unfulfilled, our relationship operates out of control, manipulation and distrust.
The same thing happens for preachers. I cannot find my fulfillment in how the people receive me after a sermon. As soon as that becomes my focus, I will inevitably be consumed by ensuring that this reception happens continually. When I don't get it, I will question whether I am good enough, anointed enough...etc...and more and more I will seek to accomodate and entertain the people and what they want rather than the Lord and what He wants. Preachers who succumb to co-dependency will often lose their prophetic edge in order to appease the people and a preacher who has lost his/her prophetic edge is not much of a preacher.
Likewise, I can't depend on my pastor to be my spiritual refueler, recalibrater or reenergizer. Because if my faith is dependent on the Sunday morning message, what happens when its a bust? What happens when my ears aren't opened to hear? What happens when my calloused heart isn't soft enough to receive the Word of the Lord? What happens if the preacher is caught up in moral failure and my faith is dependent on him/her?
We cannot depend on fulfillment coming from spouses, friends or pastors. It must be found solely in the sustaining Presence of the With-Us God.
So...as we remember that Ahaz and the Judahites put their hope and trust in the Assyrians, we need to go there...Who or what is your Assyria? Where are your affections, your hopes, your time and your trust going other than on the cross and resurrection of Christ?