February 2018

Good morning,

Just one look at this tall, dark and handsome leader of Israel and you'd swear King Saul was a man for the ages. He had CAN'T MISS written all over him. And what a resume—he was chosen by God, commissioned by Samuel, confirmed by a military victory, cheered by an adoring public, and reigned for forty years as the nation's first monarch.

But, in the end, scripture says, "He was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him."

Poor, pathetic, fearful Saul.

How did a promising young buck tumble so far so fast? Samuel knew: "You did not obey the Lord!"

Godly leadership has less to do with public opinion or giftedness, and everything to do with obedience. In the final analysis, obedience to God covers a multitude of leadership weaknesses.

Facing opposition was Saul's proving ground, and he melted in its presence. It's the same for leaders today.

Conflict brings testing which, in turn, showcases our belief system. We either wait upon the Lord or go forward in our own strength. Saul chose the latter. He saw the overwhelming odds against him, became impatient for God's answer, and took matters into his own hands.

And, he flopped.

Even today, conflict has a tendency to bear ugly step-children—intimidation, isolation, indecision and fear, all which have paralyzing effects. But, those who "stand firm" and "wait upon the Lord" will learn lessons taught in no other classroom.

For example:

  • Joseph spent 13 years between his brothers' betrayal and when God elevated him to Prime Minister. During that time he learned the Almighty's sufficiency.
  • For 40 years Moses sat under the finest teachers in the world. But, not until he was tutored in the backside of the desert did he learn how to lead effectively.
  • David was in exile for eleven years because a jealous king saw him as competition. But during those years David became the servant leader that revolutionized a nation.

Mark Twain said, "A man who carries a cat by the tail will learn something he can learn in no other way." Joseph, Moses and David all had success … and claw marks from the process.

It's no wonder why God was forever encouraging those whom He picked as leaders: "Be strong; be courageous, be careful." In fact, He specifically told His finest, "Do not be afraid!" Why? Because in leading—as in cat-carrying—claws leave their marks. It's a familiar theme in scripture:

  • God told Abraham, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Isaac, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Jacob, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Moses, Do not be afraid."
  • God told Joshua, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Gideon, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Elijah, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Hezekiah, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Jehoshaphat, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Ezekiel, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Jeremiah, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Daniel, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Zechariah, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Mary, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Joseph, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Peter, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Jairus, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Mary Magdalene, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told Paul, "Do not be afraid."
  • God told John, "Do not be afraid."

And the list goes on and on.

Pastoring, or shepherding, is a skilled occupation. It isn't for everyone because worrisome sheep can be exasperating. If the shepherd is afraid or runs, so will the sheep. The best of sheep-herders give the flock confidence. In fact, they wear a fleece jacket to—in the minds of the sheep—become a bigger-and-better one of them. And, during the long, cold nights the sheep will sleep because the faithful shepherd watches over them.

That's how the Good Shepherd does it for us and that's how we do it for His flock.


Ron Walters
Senior Vice President
Ministry Relations

© Copyright 2018 by Ron Walters

Ron Walters

You may freely share anything in this letter with your church or ministry. I ask only that you include this byline: "Provided by Ron Walters, Sr. VP Ministry Relations, Salem Media Group," and that you link back to this website (if you reprint online).

Station Message

Welcome to our first digital-only version of Ron Walters’ popular Pastors Letter! Now, if you WERE receiving the print version, take a moment and subscribe to this once-monthly email. Here's the Newsletter Signup link!

Much to discuss! First, I'm pleased to announce that WFIL has named Lorenzo Caldera as our new General Manager! One great place to meet Lorenzo will be our annual WFIL Pastors Appreciation Breakfast, coming up on April 12! Our keynote speaker is Dr. Robert Jeffress of Pathway to Victory, heard weekdays at 2 and 10:30pm on WFIL. New workshops, new prizes, and great worship and fellowship guaranteed! Check in the coming days for the official signup page.

On a personal note...I need your help. I’m looking for as many pastors as possible to share the Good News in 60 seconds or less. It's called A Minute for the Gospel, and my goal is to have dozens of Delaware Valley pastors on the air, sharing the Gospel with our many thousands of WFIL listeners! It's free, so if you’d like to take part, or want to learn more, email today!

We are so grateful for you, and your ministry. With every new Pew® and Barna® poll, I'm reminded that you are absolutely irreplaceable, in a lost and dying world. Our goal is to help you in any way we can, so reach out anytime! We're here for you.

Mark Daniels
(610) 729-1216

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