1 Corinthians 1:18-31
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written:“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
TMK and Havok, you are onto something. Prayer is more than an ingredient of spreading the good news. I don't know how we can hope to live at all without deeply committing ourselves to Him in our meditations and thoughts. Real intercession seems to be a long term matter.So, how? Pray, pray, pray. And obey. Obey what? Well, street preaching is one method I guess, and I was last year ready to prepare to do it. I had gone out of my way to find a man who does it and be mentored in it. He wouldn't do it. Seriously. He would not. He is on YouTube and he lives less than an hour from me and when I found him, contacted him and practically yelped like a chihuahua at his feet (via email and phone) for two months, he finally just invited me to leave him alone. I decided, "okay Lord....I will pause." The idea of friendship evangelism is also out there, but I'm just uncomfortable with anything that is not deliberate and intentional. I don't believe in the just let it happen school of thought. If I just let anything, it ain't gonna happen. :). But, I do believe relationship building is more than a means to getting a salvation badge for my Jesus Troop uniform. Jesus apparently viewed disciple making in a large sweep of relational life. I don't know that we can directly model Him in this, nor that we should, but I don't see an invitation to be saved when He chose them. I see an invitation to join Him in the kingdom and that relationship was long term, involved and full of fits and starts.But, then we do see the more confrontational and crisis moment approach. Pentecost. Apollos. Paul at Mars Hill. Synagogue confrontations by Paul on his journeys. So, there seems to be flexibility.Anointing and prayer trump method, apparently. Well, that and being prepared to give an answer for our hope. This goes back to my question a couple of weeks ago on getting unbelievers to the house gatherings. I sat down today and put together a really short and probably corny flyer that I will discuss with my wife. It says "What do you think of Jesus? Or, do you even really think of Him? If you do NOT claim to be a Christian, if you do NOT go to church or have a lot of church in your background, if you live in this county where churches are everywhere but they may as well be Russian tap dances to you (you weren't planning on going and if anyone invited you, you probably wouldn't go), THEN WE NEED TO DRINK SOME COFFEE AND EAT SOME PIE AT MY HOUSE! We are looking for 6-10 people who would be happy to sit in our living room and talk about this question." And it would give some contact information, etc.Now, will that work? If the Holy Spirit draws people it will. Because He is the one working, not our methods. Do I feel silly doing something like that? Yes, I do. Would I? Yes I would. I hope to follow the Holy Spirit in meeting people and building relationships with them and inviting them to join Him in the kingdom and to stay with them in that for the long haul, training them to turn around and do it he selves. Maturing them. Loving them. Equipping and releasing them.I've never done anything like it, but there is nothing like it to do. He is uniquely worthy of it, uniquely able to do it. I covet your ideas and feedback...and mostly your prayers.
Our brother, havok kindly and privately pointed out an error in the text of the message as I typed it and posted it. I had stated incorrectly that Johanon killed Ishmael. Ishmael and 8 of his men made it to Ammon from Johanon's interception of Ishmael. It is clearly stated in Jer. 41. and I did state it correctly live last night. But, it is an error. That bears correcting and I did edit the post so no one else may be wrongly informed. I love this forum because of the Spirit in the fellowship here.
Anointing. That is the key. If iam anointed to street preach and i obey it will work. If not it will crash and burn. The Lord requires preaching the gospel but he does not necessarily demand street preaching; nonetheless we must preach. Dolfan if your flier is anointed they will come. Personally I like it.Anointing comes through prayer. if we are in tune with the HS he will inspire us as to method. It might be something very odd. Several years back my wife worked with a lady who was having some struggles. My wife heard clearly from the HS: "go out at lunch and buy her some shoes." She obeyed then came back and quietly gave the lady the shoes. The lady started crying and showed my wife the bottom of her shoes that had huge holes and they were working outside in cold weather. This led to sharing the gospel.Not the end of the story. That night I was wakened by my wife having an obvious nightmare. It was her dream but her distress about scared me to death. She says that it was the most horrid awful evil dream she ever had and that as i was shaking her and waking her up she heard a jeering snickering voice saying "thats what you get for buying those f*****g shoes." She was so distraught that the only way she could return to sleep was by singing Christmas carols to herself.The moral of the story: the HS will lead us but when we obey the enemy hates it. It is a battle no doubt.
I am not challenging you, TMK.Can you show me this concept in Scripture?Really I am looking for where do we see the concept that if a flyer is anointed (not really sure what that means), that it will work.
Anointed to me at least means that God is behind it. A Bible teacher I listen to says that when he was in HS in late 60s early 70s he would preach Billy Graham sermons in speech class (you could do that back then!). He had them memorized from record albums he had of him preaching. He was saved of course but he said he never saw any results from his classmates. Then the Jesus Movement revival started rolling across CA where he lived. He went to Chuck Smiths church which was a center point for this revival and he got powerfully baptized in the Spirit. When he returned to HS and began preaching his billy graham sermons in speech class all of a sudden kids were repenting and getting saved. He was in a Christian band and all of a sudden they were seeing kids responding like crazy when they never had before. Some if the old time preachers would call this "unction." Jesus said he was anointed to bring good news to the poor. Lk 4:18. I think far too often we come up with a plan and ask God to bless it. Being anointed means waiting for God to speak and then doing what He says.
I found this piece by Spurgeon describing unction:"One bright benison which private prayer brings down upon the ministry is an indescribable and inimitable something, better understood than named; it is a dew form the Lord, a divine presence which you will recognize at once when I say it is 'an unction from the Holy One." What is it? I wonder how long we might beat our brains before we could plainly put into words what is meant by preaching with unction; yet he who preaches knows its presence, and he who hears soon detects its absence; Samaria in famine, typifies a discourse without it; Jerusalem, with her feasts of fat things full of marrow, may represent a sermon enriched with it. Everyone one knows what the freshness of the morning is when orient pearls abound on every blade of grass, but who describe it, must less produce if of itself? Such is the mystery of spiritual anointing; we know, but we cannot tell to others what it is. It is as easy as it is foolish to counterfeit it, as some do who use expressions which are meant to betoken fervent love, but oftener indicate sickly sentimentalism or mere cant. "Dear Lord!" "Sweet Jesus!" "Precious Christ" are by them poured out wholesale, till one is nauseated, if not profane. Some have tried to imitate unction by unnatural tones and whines; by turning up their eyes, and lifting their hands in a most ridiculous manner. . . Certain brethren aim at inspiration through exertion and loud shouting, but it does not come. . . 'To affect feeling,' says Richard Cecil, 'is nauseous and soon detected, but to feel is the is the readiest way to the hearts of others.' Unction is a thing which you cannot manufacture, and its counterfeits are worse than worthless; yet it is in itself priceless, and beyond measure needful if you would edify believers and bring sinners to Jesus. To the secret pleader with God this secret is committed; upon him rests the dew of the Lord, about him is the perfume which makes glad the heart. If the anointing we bear come not from the Lord of hosts we are deceivers, and since only in prayer can we obtain it, let us continue instant, constant, fervent in supplication. Let the fleece lie on the threshing-floor of supplication till it is wet with the dew of heaven. Go not to minister in the temple till you have washed in the laver. Think not to be a messenger of grace to others till you have seen the God of grace for yourselves, and had the word from his mouth."
I got your meaning now.I hear people say things like, "Oh that song has an anointing on it." or "I can feel the anointing on you" or something to that effect. And it really bothers me because what they are saying is not what I am reading in Scripture. There is this song called, "Mama's Teaching Angels How to Sing." And it's lyrics are good sounding, but they are by no means Christian. And people say there is an anointing on that song. As if we could call down the Spirit of God just by doing this or that thing. It just doesn't work that way.More often than not, I believe the bible terms what you are talking about as being "with" so and so.
Yes-- sometimes when someone says that a song or something had an anointing on it it means that they like it or it has an impact on them emotionally. That being said it is a somewhat fuzzy concept and even Spurgeon said it was somewhat difficult to define. Paul talked about his preaching was not about wise and persuasive words but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, which is a way of saying his preaching was anointed. The implication is that if his preaching was ONLY wise and persuasive words they would fall flat. That is why Osteen gags me. He might be a great speaker but its saccharine blechh. And Tozer kind of had a flat delivery but man was he anointed.