[b]Truly, Thou Art A God Who Hides Thyself[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
One characteristic of God's nature is that He hates all display and advertisement. It is written about God in the book of Isaiah 45:15, "Truly Thou art a God who hides Thyself, O God God wants to make us like Himself - partaking of His nature that loves to do things without being noticed and without wanting any credit for what has been done. God wants to do such a mighty work in us that we can learn how to bless the others and then disappear. He wants to free us totally from seeking honour and credit from men for what we have done. . We read in Hebrews 7:17 "Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek" . Melchizedek was an unknown man - but a man who knew God intimately - who met Abraham when Abraham was returning from a war, and blessed him with food, and with a word from God (Gen.14:14-20). Abraham was tired and was in great danger of being puffed up after being so victorious. He was also in danger of coveting the property of the king of Sodom that he had captured in the war. But God sent Melchizedek with food that refreshed his tired body, and with a word that saved his soul from being defiled by pride and covetousness.
Melchizedek told Abraham, "Blessed be God, the Possessor of heaven and earth Who gave you the victory over your enemies." He did not preach a long 7-point sermon to him. No. He just spoke one sentence - but that was a prophetic word that met Abraham's need exactly. Through that one sentence, he reminded Abraham that since it was God Who had given him the victory, he should not take the credit to himself. He also reminded Abraham that since his God owned the heaven and earth, there was no need for him to take any of the spoils of the battle, as victors normally do. A few minutes later, when Abraham met the king of Sodom, these words of Melchizedek helped him to do the right thing. He told the king of Sodom that since his God was the Possessor of heaven and earth, he would not take even a thread from the spoils (Gen.14:22-24). Jesus has now been appointed by God as a high-priest after the order of Melchizedek. And we are now to be priests according to the same order - and are to fulfil this ministry.
Consider how Melchizedek, without any show, or pomp, or publicity, or advertisement, appeared quietly and gave Abraham just what he needed - food for his bodily needs, and the right word to save Abraham from pride and covetousness. After meeting Abraham's need, he disappeared just as quietly as he came. This is the ministry that we must all covet - to quietly bless those in need and then to disappear without seeking any honour, appreciation, thanks or publicity for ourselves.
People come to the meetings of the church, tired and exhausted from their battles in the world in which they live and work. How wonderful it is to prophesy in the church like Melchizedek, so that the believers are provided with spiritual food and nourishment that can refresh them. How blessed also to be able to help them in practical, earthly ways, when they are in need of it, so that we can make life easier for them. It is sad when brothers have high thoughts about themselves, and speak for a long time in the meetings of the church with very little content in what they say. Such long, boring sermons bring death into the meeting. How wonderful, on the other hand, to be able to have the right word - a prophetic word - for the brothers and sisters in every meeting.
But if we are to prophesy like this, we must be priests who have offered sacrifices to God in secret, and who keep in touch with God at all times, with a clear conscience. There is no partiality with God. He desires that every brother and sister in the church be a priest after the order of Melchizedek, and prophesy (See Acts 2:17,18; 1 Cor.14:31). If you are willing to lay your all on the altar of sacrifice as a priest, if you long to prophesy, if you have a real care and concern for the welfare of your brothers and sisters, and if you have no desire for your own reputation or honour, then God will surely put a word in your mouth to meet the needs of the brothers and sisters, in every meeting - even if it be just one sentence.
In the priesthood of Melchizedek, no-one is a special brother. Do not seek then to be known because of the gifts you have. Seek to be a nobody. Be anonymous, if you really want a Melchizedek-ministry. Let there be no thoughts within you that you are the brother who brought certain souls to Christ, or that you are the brother who casts out demons, or prays for the sick, or that you are the brother who leads the meeting, or who does this or that. Be content to be an ordinary brother without any name, title, honour or reputation.
Bless the others and disappear. Seek to be unknown.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon