| Re: |
KingJimmy: Thanks for the input. The idea that the standard under grace is greater than the standard under law, I guess, is like comparing apples to oranges in my mind. Grace teaches us that denying lust we live a holy and Godly life. Under grace, we live out of a totally different motivation and source of strength and power than under law. Under law, men tried to please God by their own efforts, under grace we walk in the Spirit, having died to our own effort and have the power of the Holy Spirit.
I have heard a pretty common sentiment on SI that the traditional hierarchical system of church leadership is not Biblical. I agree 100% with this viewpoint. There are no great ones in the Kingdom except the King, and I am not Him. This essentially levels the playing field. We are all to be in submission to one another and to Christ. Obviously God has ordained leadership in the body. The body of Christ not some kind of odd "spiritual anarchy". I do believe that the 5-fold forms the foundation of leadership in the church. That leadership is servant leadership, and is Biblically held to a higher standard by God than those He has not called to these positions of responsibility. "Be not many teachers..."
This being the case, the prophet should be as "normal" a part of the body as the teacher, the pastor, the evangelist, and the apostle. I am not talking about a numerical equality. I am just saying that a prophet is a typical and expected person in the body who fills a vital role in the growth and maturing of the body as a whole. Prophets are people, and in that regard can miss God just as anyone else in the body can. Granted, a person called to this ministry and functioning in maturity should be a person sanctified unto God, separated from worldliness, live a life of abiding in the presence of the master, ... (you get what I am saying). In this respect, this person will obviously miss it very infrequently. However, when the prophet does miss it, the sin is no greater than any other sin. God's grace covers that sin, God deals with the prophet, he or she repents, and continues to function in the office without being labeled as a "false" prophet.
I totally agree, there is no room for a flippant attitude toward the calling of God on our lives. Anyone in leadership should approach the responsibility with gravity and fear, lest they lead others astray.
I do, however, believe that a person grows in their knowledge of how to walk in the gift and calling of God on their life. The Holy Spirit does not change, but we do. I think that is what you mean by having more and more grace on their life to be used by God.
| 2009/9/30 17:56||Profile|
| Re: |
Thanks for sharing! I appreciated the input contained within this message.
By the way, it was nice to hear your voice too! In addition, I enjoyed looking through your personal website. I came very close to attending Lee University. One of my pastors from my high school days recommended the school.
*EDIT - I wholeheartedly agree with what you said about the "weight" of the "words" given by men of God. The Word says that none of Samuel's words fell to the ground (I Samuel 3:19). They had a real and lasting spiritual impact...cutting straight to the heart. There is certainly a famine in the land for hearing "the words of the Lord" (Amos 8:11).
I remember "feeling" the difference in "weight" when I first heard an old David Wilkerson message as a young teenage boy. It was entitled HOLY GROUND (and is found here on SermonIndex). I feel that same spiritual "weight" when I hear many of the messages here on SermonIndex. I felt that same "weight" when I met brother Ravenhill in his home (having never heard him before that meeting). I can hear some of these same "weighty" messages over and over again -- and still feel that same heaviness upon my heart.
These sort of "words" always end in the same thing -- a unquenchable desire to spend real intimate time alone with the Lord.
There are so many men who claim to speak the "words" of the Lord in this dark world. Yet, their words are often convoluted with controversy, sectarian dogma or even personal opinion. This certainly doesn't mean that their word is without merit. However, it is interesting to note that many of those who are the quickest to share such "words" are often the ones who are caught up in controversy or unhealthy spiritual division amongst those who truly belong to the Body of Christ.
There are men whose words aren't really worth the weight in paper. I still listen to them and prayerfully consider them and test them with the light of God's Word. Yet, there are also those whose words bear much more witness in my spirit. Of course, I still "test" their words in the same manner as the others. In fact, this is the most important thing that Leonard Ravenhill "drove home" to me -- to "test everything" -- including his words. Yet, there is a difference between such men and those who are much more quick to say something. I don't know what Leonard Ravenhill believed in regard to many things. Yet, there was a pure passion in his words that is undeniable.
There was a dentist who attended the congregation that I fellowshipped with during the 10th grade. He told me that he once attended an evangelism conference where David Wilkerson was one of the keynote speakers during the 1980s. If any of you are aware of David Wilkerson's testimony, this was the time in which Dave Wilkerson went through a personal transformation. This dentist told me that David Wilkerson looked very troubled during the first day of the conference. That night, he continued to look troubled during the praise and worship before he was scheduled to speak. When it was finally time for him to stand up and speak, he flat out said that he really didn't have anything to say. He just stood up and poured out his heart in regard to what he felt that God was dealing with him personally. He said that he was tired of speaking because he was scheduled to speak...or because he was invited to speak...or because he was expected to speak. He lamented the ease at which preachers too quickly speak when they don't really have anything to say. He wept and said that he didn't want to speak anymore unless he actually had something that he felt the Lord wanted him to say.
Wow! Wouldn't it be a blessing if men in the Body of Christ could catch on to this? We need men who almost explode from that "fire in their bones" to say something, instead of those who are much too quick to open their mouths with each and every "opportunity." How many recycled sermons and "words" of man will be shared this Sunday? I remember thinking as a young man that I received more heart-pounding conviction from that one David Wilkerson message that I heard as a teenager than nearly every other sermon that I had heard that year...combined. Sadly, this is still true. I often feel that I "receive" more from a Leonard Ravenhill message (even though he has been dead for over a decade) than from many would-be prophets in the Church today.
May God raise up those whose words are straight from God and of which do not fall to the ground!
**EDIT 2 - My first Edit was much longer than I anticipated. I apologize for that.
| 2009/9/30 20:20||Profile|
| 2009/10/2 20:02|
| Re: |
Amen ccchhhrrriiisss. As the apostle Peter said, if any man speaks, let him speak as the oracle of God. Sadly, as a result of going through Bible college and having the opportunity to talk to hundreds of pastors over the years, I've discovered many are happy to preach a sermon, or "warm one up," even if they haven't had any direction from the Holy Spirit on a message. My former pastor (an Assemblies of God minister!) once confessed to me in private that he didn't hear from God before he preached most of his sermons. Why? Most simply feel a sense of duty to preach. Part of it is driven by the fact that they believe since God has called them to pastor, that they should preach every Sunday regardless if they have heard from God. Another part of it is driven out of self-serving purposes. That is, they have to preach, because people expect them to, as they are paid to do such by the people.
Such just makes me sad. I've had the chance to preach/teach dozens of times in my life. There have only been one or two times out of that where I preached because I felt I had too, even though I hadn't heard from God. God forgive me for ever doing such. I'm determined to never do that again. In fact, there has been a time or two where I showed up to teach and confessed the Lord didn't give me anything to speak on. So, I simply confessed to that, and simply tried to steer folks in the right direction for the rest of the evening.
| 2009/10/2 23:44||Profile|