Over the years I've heard many a preacher and teacher say from their platforms "you need the favor of man to distinguish whether God has really called you into His service". Another thing these people focus on is, how many things are you involved in, how busy are you in your church, or community (how far can you stretch yourself).
Really? This is what Jesus has to say on this subject:
Luk 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Much of what's done today in church, and communities is for a show, to impress, and gain attention, and adulation. Of course there's those who are sincere, and do it to serve-but there's always a mingling of those who have an agenda.
Those who seek to be universally popular have these characteristics:
(1) Those who worship wealth;
(2) those satisfied with their present life;
(3) those who live for present enjoyment;
(4) those whose aim is human praise and adulation.
If anyone wants to spend some quality time on this, should study these verses, Mic_2:11; Joh_7:7, Joh_15:19; Rom_16:18; 2Th_2:8-12; Jas_4:4; 2Pe_2:18-19; 1Jn_4:5-6; Rev_13:3-4
Whoever does his duty will meet those who oppose him. Christ was reviled and slandered, anyone who truly follows Him will be also.
When I watch those who pat one another on the back, smile and praise each other, it speaks volumes to me.
God is looking for people who have this kind of heart today:
1Ki 22:13 And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good.
1Ki 22:14 And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, what the LORD saith unto me, that will I speak.
Micaiah prophesied what God gave him, which enraged the King, and he said:
1Ki 22:18 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?
This got the prophet put in prison, but everything he spoke, came to pass. I suggest doing a study on the rest of this chapter in 1kings to verse 40, here you see the results of someone truly called of God, sold out to God, and willing to take the ridicule and punishment and speak the truth. God was with Micaiah, and he knew it, and didn't need the praise of men. But, he was sent to prison for his courage, and God allowed it. God was also with John the Baptist-but he was sent to prison, and beheaded for speaking the truth. They wouldn't conform, bend, or compromise.
People in the pews, and most preachers, won't focus on this, it doesn't tickle the ears, or fill the pocketbooks. Someone with strong faith is not guaranteed popularity, lots of money, or being blessed with ability to influence people-you may influence them, but not the way the prosperity preachers do. You may find your only real friend-is God himself. Is God enough, when everybody else walks away?
If you really want to find out what it's like to be called of God, and stand for Him-take the time, get into the bible, talk to the Lord yourself, and you will come away with insights you will not hear in most churches. If you do this, you'll also find yourself torn-a battle will go on inside you-"do I go on and follow the Lord-or go back to the world". Many choose this world-as Judas did.
But, if you choose God-and once you've tuned your ears and spirit to the voice of Him, your discernment will be keen, and quick to pick up the difference between the fake, and the truth. It's priceless.
WHAT JEHOVAH SAITH… THAT WILL I SPEAK
I've received feedback on this, and one statement I've gotten often- "If you want to be a leader, you have to learn to serve". I'll challenge anyone to go to the blog page of this site, and purchase an E-book of my book The NightWatchman; not because I need or want the money, an E-book is only $3.99- it will answer this issue fully. In the book I give accounts of numerous churches, and ministries I served under over the years, from my early days as a Christian, up to the present. I tell of the incidents I found myself entangled in, and situations that I had no control over-but I found myself confronted with making a choice-either follow what the bible said and taught on the situation, or do what the church/ministry wanted me to do. I made the choice to follow what the bible teaches in each case-and it has cost me much each time, including relationships with family members. I do not regret it, and would do the same thing again.
God knows what I've lived through, and the choices I made, and praying every time, before I made those choices, I'd do the same thing again.
I was saved alone in my house in 1978, and was delivered from alcoholism, and many demonic forces due to my involvement with the Occult and witchcraft-I studied and prayed many long hours alone in my house, and learned God's ways, and His power to deliver, and answer prayer in this manner. When I've found myself in the middle of situations where sin and deceit are evident-I've had to make up my mind to follow man-or God. I chose God, and payed the prices for it. I don't regret it.
I follow Jesus Christ, and am willing to listen to, or sit under someone's authority, if God directs me to, who proves they are walking with the Lord, and staying in His word. I will not sit under anyone who is teaching their own philosophies and doctrines; that's where I draw the line.
In my book-I tell how I found myself in a situation very much like Ravi Zacharias- and his misconduct, and blew the whistle. I was evicted from the church for it. I've no doubt there are many in Ravi's ministry-who wish they had done the same, but kept their mouths' shut, to keep their paychecks. I didn't care what happened, I wasn't going to sit under that corruption-and payed the price. There's much more in the book, of other situations, just as bad. And, like I said, I'd do the same thing again.
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The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: