While attending a ministry training, and short term missions opportunity some years back in Florida, someone spoke an interesting prophecy to me.
The person who spoke it did not know me well, we had only just met recently, but she hit something (albeit somewhat vague) about me right on the head. She said something simply along the lines of: “I saw you as Gandalf (from the Lord of the Rings) with glasses on the end of your nose, searching documents, diligently studying, finding the truth.”
Those aren’t the exact words, but it was the essence of the word. The group I was with was essentially the signs and wonders crowd, and there was a good deal of practical, and legitimate ministry – and ministry training – happening. Sometimes the prophetic was forced, there was a fixation on ‘drunkenness in the Spirit,’ and there were a number of highly questionable doctrines being touted. (At this point, the signs and wonders people have adopted a rewrite of scripture called the Passion translation, and – I believe – in so doing have turned a serious corner into full fledge, ‘ought to be avoided’ error (for greater clarity on what I mean see also post: ‘Signs, Wonders, the Roots of Holiness and the Last Days Deception‘ – I also recommend Mike Winger’s videos on the Passion Translation, as well as his video assessment of Bill Johnson (which is the best on that topic that I have seen – and handled without malice or vitriol).
Of any words which were spoken to me while participating with he group, that simple word was perhaps the most accurate, profound and… guiding to me.
Sometimes I wonder, at the seeming lack of opportunity for ministry that I find in my day to day life. From the time I turned to Christ… no actually from before, I always believed I would be a minister of the Gospel. “Follow me,” He said, “and I will make you to become fishers of men.” So on with Him I follow. I lose family, and I follow; I am betrayed, and I follow; if I lose everything I value and am forsaken of all, I will pick up my cross and follow Jesus. I press on toward the goal for which Christ Jesus has called me. I pray you do he same, for though we often blame God for our difficulties, it is man and not Him who is at the root of them. Men will betray you, fail you, hurt you, reject you, but the Lord Jesus Christ will NEVER fail you, nor forsake you, and will ALWAYS carry you through anything that man and this world will throw at you.
When I find myself with a lack of vision, I am often reminded of this word I was given. That is what a True Word from the Lord is for. And believe it or not, YOU have been given the same word:
2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
First and foremost, the word I was given applies to scripture. We must make ourselves students [disciples] of God’s word. We need to have a love of Truth, and forsake all deceptions for it. My, this is a hard cross to bear. What if the whole church, and everyong you know believes something that is contrary to the Truth? (Which is the case, by the way.) Who will you believe? The Word as the Lord reveals it, or an interpretation taught by man?
Every Christian is eternally obligated by his verse above to seek out the Truth (by diligent study of GOD’S WORD) for themselves.
Beyond that, we live in a world with its own reality; with its own practicum. I am a citizen of no earthly nation, but of the Kingdom of God – I dwell there now, seated with Christ in he heavenly sphere (Ephesians 2:6), yet I am also bound while in the body to this world below. Down here, there are practical realities to be adhered to (and God made it that way); I need to exercise my body (yes, I also believe in miracle healing, and divine-life (Rom 8:11), but God can’t be responsible to keep in health a body that we, ourselves don’t steward properly); I need to work and pay bills, etc.
In the practicum of this world, and in the lack I find of opportunity, I often find myself reading. Reading mainly history; why history? Because in it the hand of God can be seen. What is He doing hrough the ages? What can i learn from this, or that church group, denomination, organization or minister? What has happened… actually? ‘Study to shew thyself approved…’
One thing I’ve learned is that no earthly group, or human enterprise can be trusted. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is corruption everywhere, and even in the most righteous there are failures. We cannot put our trust in man at any level; even the best wisdom of man can be deception. and how many – as I mentioned the Passion translation I’ll let it be an example – who seek to be led by the Spirit of God are ready to throw out the undefiled Truth and recieve an ‘enhanced’ version of scripture?
But Jesus declared: ‘Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more; BUT YE SEE ME. …’ (John 14:19)
Sometimes when I am discouraged, I think back on the fact that through studying scripture, and heeding the Holy Ghost, the Lord has used me to write two Gospel books. I think: ‘I want to minister the Gospel!’ And the Holy Ghost reminds me… praise God, may it be used for Your glory.
If we would be fruitful in Christ, the only thing required is to abide in Him (and Him, alone – not man’s philosophy, nor some church service, but abide in Christ):
‘…he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forh much fruit…’ (John 15:5b)