Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20, 2014 - Daily Proverbs

The Authority of Our Message

1 Kings 17:1 “A prophet named Elijah, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to King Ahab, ‘In the name of the Lord, the living God of Israel, whom I serve, I tell you that there will be no dew or rain for the next two or three years until I say so.’ Then the Lord said to Elijah, ‘Leave this place and go east and hide yourself near Cherith Brook, east of the Jordan. The brook will supply you with water to drink, and I have commanded ravens to bring you food there.’”

See Elijah didn’t start out battling the prophets of Baal and showing out with God. You have to remember that everyone starts somewhere. I don’t doubt that it’s quite possible that King Ahab's first thought after encountering the prophet Elijah may well have been, “??? Srsly? Who’s this guy? Doesn’t he know I’m a conservative? Doesn’t he know I’m a 4th Generation? Doesn’t he know that I will do what I think is right?” or, quite possibly something along those lines. He kind of just stepped on the prophecy scene out of nowhere… an unknown that challenged a king, asked for direct help, challenged local false doctrines and prophets and generally shook up a kingdom. But, it was his confrontation of evil and his message that mattered, regardless of the disruption.

See, here’s the raw and real deal: The validity of Elijah wasn’t that he could talk to God and make cool stuff happen. It wasn’t in the fact that he could call down fire or that the supernatural was exercised in his life on an hourly basis. The validity of those revelation(s) rested with the Source, not the mouthpiece. Elijah was a man of great faith who believed what God told him; he could boldly speak with authority because he knew and trusted the One God who gave the message. He spent time alone with the Lord and listened as he stood before Him.

Now, that is a downer for some – the work involved in getting to the miraculous, the time and relationship that has to be built with God. Some chase the supernatural. If it’s not tongues and Holy Ghost chills… they don’t seem to want to hear it without the “feeling” that comes with the message. They will chase after evangelists and traipse from conference to conference; living in God’s house, and gorging on God’s bounty. But where are the reapers to the Harvest? (Matt. 9:37) When you leave that latest conference and that flood that God gives you, what do you do with it? Do you hoard it, like a cistern just so you can “make it another week without letting go” or do you use that to share with others that are dying and thirsty? Lanny Wolfe could not have written a more prophetic song than when he penned “My house is full, but my fields are empty…” Generally, the lost don’t make their way into a church house… it’s your job to live, talk, walk and share the gospel AS YOU GO ON YOUR WAY (Matt. 28:19).

Society devolves, not evolves… regardless of what humanistic logic tells you. It will continue to get worse, and be harder to live a holy and separated life – whatever that means for you and in your walk with God. People are leaving the church every day. People that are STAYING in “church” are bastardizing the message, watering down the call, and using social pressure to keep numbers because the bills have to be paid. I mean, you’re not successful if you don’t have 2000+ members and prosperity, right? 37 people, having to work two jobs to pay the church rent, and making sure your flock has truth and makes it to Heaven isn’t really what people look at as success, is it? Make sure you KNOW who you are following and what you think of as successful. The very ELECT are starting to get weary and move landmarks… to be deceived (Matt 24:24). Don’t give in this close. And don’t let signs and wonders and promises of relief and rest cloud your judgment. You can use signs and wonders to show the lost what God can do, and you can use them to get by in life because we NEED God’s daily help. But if you require signs and wonders to stay in church, then you don’t have the right Holy Ghost, and whatever you DO have is taking you down the wrong path. Don’t ever get it twisted in your head: Salvation is the greatest miracle. The miracle of being touched, dealt with, cleaned up, filled, and loved by God, having mercy extended by God, walking in the daily grace shown by God… NOW THAT’S a miracle! Listen closely… WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT (2 Cor. 5:7)

 It appears to many that God doesn't speak to us in exactly the same manner that He spoke to the Old Testament prophets, but the process of receiving His message hasn't changed. It never has, society has changed and people’s patience has changed. But the formula is simple. It begins with being alone in His presence and involves listening as He speaks through His Word. When you get that, and when you practice that… then GREATER things than these shall you do (John 14:12) – but don’t make that the goal. The goal is Christ. The message is Christ crucified, resurrected, and ascended; comforter in His place; Spirit poured out; Gospel of good news spread. It’s that simple; it’s that direct.

The Old Testament Prophets had the responsibility of telling the people what the Lord revealed to them. Similarly, we are to share with others what we learn from God's Word. God can and will talk to people. But the message NEVER contradicts the scripture and if it does, it’s not God you are dealing with, Shug. It’s just not. That’s why it’s tantamount to your personal relationship, your personal walk and you PUBLIC ministry that devotional time with the Lord is not just about our own interests and needs. God reveals His treasures to us so that we can share them with others. Begin each day alone with God in His Word and in prayer, listening as He speaks to your heart. Do it early – see what God will do.

The last days are here. The harvest is here. The Spirit is here. It’s being poured out NOW (Acts 2:17) and hon… you need to believe what He says in Scripture, apply it to your life, and then share with someone else what He has revealed.

Be bold.
Be confident.
Be assured.

You are not just representing you. Your signs, your wonders… they don’t matter.  You’re a mouthpiece, an opening act, and a useful and helpful vessel… but you are not the main event. You are not the attraction, and you are not the “reason” for any of it.

Remember that the authority of your message comes from Him.

#JustBeingMichael ツ

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