Thursday, June 9, 2016

Just because some one says they speak for God doesn't mean they do!

In 1 Kings 13 we have one of the most confusing text in the Bible. A young prophet of God came from Judah and spoke a word of judgment to King Jeroboam. The word is accurate and powerful with signs and wonders shown. 

As this young prophet is leaving, the narrative tells us that an older prophet comes to him and invited him to dinner, stating he Lord had commanded him to feed him. The problem is that the younger prophet was instructed by God to not eat or drink anything while in Israel, He was not to join with the people of Israel in anyway because of their great sin.


1) Why would one prophet ask another prophet to do something that God directly told the young prophet not to do?

2) Were both prophets, prophets of the same God?

3) How does something like this happen and is it happening today?

When Jeroboam became King of Israel he established an anti-God kingdom, setting up idols promoting idolatry, human sacrifice, homosexuality, lesbianism, and all types of sin. We find later under the reign of King Asa of Judah, that many from the north in Israel could not stand the sin and moved to Judah. The old prophet was one who stayed, he became comfortable under all of the sin of Jeroboam, rather than become more like the Lord, where he should have been the one to call Jeroboam on the carpet. He was comfortable with the sin in the land. 

If he was comfortable with the sin in the land how can he still be a prophet? Paul's letter to the Roman church answers that in 11:29 "For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn." When God distributes his gifts and anointing He does not taking them back (this explains Satan's power). This older prophet still had the gift of God of prophecy but was so comfortable in his sin and compromise that he could not really live the character of a godly man even though he had the gift. Character counts! Jesus warned us that people will have the power to perform certain signs and wonders, to speak prophetically, heal, cast out demons but that they would not be part of the Kingdom (Matthew 7:21-23). Just prior to that Jesus cautions us not to be amazed by people's action but by their character, their fruit (Matthew 7:15-20).

Both men were prophets of God. Both had the gift of prophesy, however one man had the flesh ruling in his heart (perhaps jealousy was his motive), but the Spirit of God was not ruling his life and his character, despite the gift was compromised.

Does this happen today? Absolutely, the church today needs to be made much more aware of character than power. Character counts, how does a person treat their family? How does the non-Christian world view them? How do their neighbors see them? No one is perfect but the overall view of their actions, attitude, and representation, should be that of the character of Christ.

However it is not just individuals but the overall life of the church should be challenged. Many things even good things can compromise us as a church. Things like worship, Jewish heritage and traditions, entertainment, buildings, even the way we "feel" and projects are all good things in themselves. If the focus is on them rather than Christ and His call to the church then we are just like the old prophet, getting caught up in what is happening rather than the focus on the Lord.

We have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to reach the world for Christ.This is the Father's mandate to us, yet so few Christians have lead anyone to Christ. The leadership of faith is to equip the saints for the work of service but are we equipping the saints for the work of service or to sit in one, watch one on tv or read their book? Don't get me wrong we need to attend church, worship, fellowship these are all vital parts of our growth as Christians. BUT....if we do not have a drive to introduce people to the God who sent His Son to die on a cross for us, because of His great love for us, what fruit are we really bearing? Love requires us to not allow people to go to hell. There is no peace for a Christ follower if there are people who don't know Him yet! How can we have real joy when we are not seeing lives affected by the life changing message of the cross.

Not every person who claims to follow Christ today is a real follower of Christ. Some are deceived and know it and some are deceived and don't know it. The difference is the fruit, pointing you to Jesus or to them? Challenging you to be like Jesus or codling you.

Ask yourself is the message of Jesus I am sharing with others through both actions and words or am I like the Old prophet, burdened under the sin of this age. Believing I am serving God when in truth, I am gifted but far from the one who gifted me?