1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
I believe that we’ve entered an era in which the body of Christ needs to be individually led by the Spirit of God.
There is a story in the bible which is terribly frightening to me, the story is found in 1 Kings 13 (or 3 Kings 13, if you have an old version Doauy Rheims), in which a man of God from Judah is directed by the Lord to go and prophesy to the king in Israel. The man had been told to fast through the duration of his journey to the Northern kingdom, and to return in a different way than which he came.
It happened that a prophet from the Northern kingdom lied to the man of God, stating that he’d been told of an angel to have this man as a guest to eat and drink in his house (1 Kings 13:18).
Now, the man had recieved express instructions from the Lord not to eat, or drink in Israel but to wait until he returned home. Yet here was a prophet – a spiritual leader, who had the right words and forms to be recognized by the man of God as a genuine minister – who spoke a word which contradicted that of the travelling minister.
Did the man of God believe the Holy Spirit, or man? Because he saw that the man who spoke to him was a prophet of God, he believed him. In believing the lie of the prophet, he disobeyed the word that he had heard from the Lord, Himself, and ate and drank at the prophet’s house.
The man was therefore slain by a lion as he journeyed to return home (v. 20-24).
If there is a terrifying warning in scripture, to me this is immense. I notice that nowhere is the man of God named in this story, nor is he called a prophet, himself. I have to wonder, considering the immensity of the single task he had accomplished in prophesying to the king of Israel if he may have become one the great prophets in scripture had he obeyed the Spirit of the Lord.
But the immensely frightening thing here is: the man who lied to him was, indeed, a prophet of God.
Who do you look to when you seek to hear from the Lord? Do you look to a minister? Perhaps someone yoh esteem as a genuine prophet?
Do you follow the theological system of some church institution as God’s revelation?
As you consider those questions in the context of this story, consider more specifically this one: Do you have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ?
If you know Christ, are you familiar with His voice (‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.’ (John 10:27))?
I am thankful that the Lord sent His Apostles, and still sends ministers of the Gospel today. I am thankful that there are trustworthy, and faithful ministers from whom we can learn. Yet at the end of the day, our obedience must be to the Lord, Himself, and not man.
Jesus declared that He would send the Holy Spirit to be our Teacher and Comforter (John 14:26). Are we taught of the Holy Spirit? Or are we taught of man? Do we rely on God when we need help, or do we rely on man? ‘If only so-and-so would pray for me… if only this man of God would give me a word…’
Man is capable of error. Man is capable of sin; man can tell a lie. It is impossible for God to tell a lie.
When Christ came – Jesus Christ, Himself: God manifest in the flesh – He did not judge according to His own assessment of things, but according to the direction of the Holy Ghost. He did not do according to social norms and customs, nor according to man’s traditions, nor even did He do according to strict adherance of the Law, but was led of the Spirit of God in all things.
‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’ (Rom 8:1,2,4 & 5)
We are in a time – and I pray, and trust the Lord for the best results and for temporal help – in which I believe individual believers need to be hearing the Lord, and obeying Him for themselves. We need to learn to heed the Spirit of the Lord when He speaks to us. The necessity of this intimacy will be a blessing not ourselves only, but to the entire body of Christ.
As the day approaches, the world needs a body of Christ who is abiding in Him, not striving to conform to the ways of man.
The Lord can direct us (and will) so that we know, and walk in Him. Rather than going with every trend and flow of culture, and social nicety we can abide in Christ and recieve momment by momment direction from Him, as standing in the river of God.
I think we easily lose track of the fact that Christ died to have a personal, and intimate relationship with us, so that we can Abide in his Person, and He in us. Rather than relying on Him who is invisible, we look to earthly counsellors who we can see visibly, and hear audibly. It is easier to rely trust in man’s advice than to heed the Word; it is easier to trust that someone else can hear from, and be directed by the Lord than to trust that we can.
Yet Christ’s will is for YOU to abide in Him (John 15:4).
‘If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.‘ (Gal. 5:25)
Woukd that we learned to! I share this thought with you in hopes to bless you to percieve and achieve a new level of intimacy with the Lord, recieving direction from Him. Please pray it for me, for I hope to give the Holy Ghost my full and constant attention and obedience that I may be directed by Him. Why? Among other things because our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour.
Let us heed the Spirit of Truth. Amen.