I had a strange thought this morning as I was perusing FB and observing various posts with all the prophetic words given, such as warning to avoid sin, or one stating God wants you to know He has called you to do this or that. Why is it necessary that the One Who loves us the most and knows us the best has to have a middle man to get such a crucial message to us?
How many of us would drive somewhere to hear someone else give us a message from our spouse, child or other loved one when we could speak directly to them ourselves? I cannot imagine my husband having one of his staff members call me to encourage me to have a good day or telling me what his dinner preference is when he has direct access to me himself. Sound ludicrous?
Yet how many believers will let someone else speak for God to them when they have available a direct line (Holy Spirit) and a direct love letter ( Bible) from Him? Should someone else really have to tell us not to sin?? Do we not have that unction from the lover of our soul that we are off track? What if that person speaking to us is off track? What if they are telling us God now overlooks immorality, perversion, and the murder of children…these same sins that just a few decades ago were considered reprehensible by the church leaders? Suddenly they are now ok? Really! Hundreds flock to hear these types of people today because their line to God Himself has somehow gotten disconnected.
Or, hundreds might flock to hear a very valid word of encouragement or an instruction that is good, but these hundreds needed to be reminded by a “middle man” when they have access to God Himself. Do we really want a friend to be the one who tells us how much our spouse or family loves us when we can hear them say it to us personally?
Am I saying that we no longer need teachers or others to speak into our lives? Of course not! However we should know His voice and His word so well that we do not need for someone else to guide our lives. It is our own personal knowledge of God’s Word and our personal relationship with Him that allows us to know when someone is speaking or leading us in the wrong direction. Many that believe and teach error draw people by the hundreds and thousands. And people flock to hear because they have no spiritual compass to redirect them. Why?
It is because many have lost personal connection with God and are now depending on another to speak for Him. They do not recognize His voice nor understand His will that is clearly revealed by His written Word. Many, like a badly tuned radio, are off frequency and neither God nor His message is coming through clearly. So we depend on another to tune us in, just hoping they find the correct frequency in the process.
The purpose of the five fold gift of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher is not to amass an endless following of “groupies” who follow speakers from conference to conference. The purpose is to mature the saints to do the work of ministry. (Ephesians 4:11-13). Meetings and conferences can be good if the Biblical end goal is kept in view and if these meetings do not turn into a bunch of robots following blindly and who end up eventually drinking the kool aid. How do we recognize these groupies? They will quote their leader more than they quote God’s Word. They begin to talk the same, dress the same and even pray the same. They only have the opinion of their leader concerning God’s will in today’s world.
I encourage us to spend time with Jesus, developing our own personal relationship so that we quickly recognize when He is speaking, either directly to us or through another. We can know His voice!
I encourage us to spend time in His written Word that reveals the unchangeable will and character of God. He did not sacrifice His life so we could have a middle-man in His relationship with us. We need others but not as “Jesus substitutes” in our life. We need all of the Ephesians 4:11 gifts Jesus placed in the church, but never as a replacement for Him. Their purpose is to mature and never replace.
Let’s remember Ephesians 4:5–6 (NLT): There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.
Denominations, streams, tribes, etc were never God’s idea. There is only one group. It is His church. His Ekklesia. His Kingdom. All are created for One purpose…His Glory! We are called to follow others only as they follow Christ. We are His body and not splintered groupies following others aimlessly. We must discern! We are His body!