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Sunday, May 4, 2008

DARKEN COUNSEL

A great fear of mine is to speak of spiritual issues or passing a personal opinion to others that are, as the saying goes, "called of God..."



Giving an opinion of the things of God is not a matter to be taken lightly as I do in general conversation regarding issues that arise in the workplace or when examining the best way to accomplish a job. The things of God are, and should be different.



I am reminded of a verse in Job 38:1,2 - Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, " Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words with out knowledge? "



Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has a method that has worked for them. In Western society large ministries are to be emulated and copied. If a work is drawing great crowds it must be of God. Anything that does not draw large numbers of people must be a failure. One of the largest Pentecostal churches in my area just completed meetings where they held wrestling matches; throwing chairs, fighting in the ring, the music and spirit that goes with that kind of event. The reason for such foolishness in a house that is to be used for God was that it would "draw the youth..."



No talk of prayer and fasting. No talk of a walk of holiness, of drawing close to God. This is legalism. A "drive through" gospel where you can pick and chose what you want from God for any given day. I have no inhibition about speaking of such foolishness. This is not the issue I am speaking of right now. How does a Believer who recognizes the pitiful state of the American church fit in and where do we go? The Bible says to draw near to God and He will draw near to us. How can I draw near to God in the middle of a wrestling match? What darkened counsel came up with this plan to draw people to Christ?



In my reading of great moves of God in the past, in horse and buggy days in the 18th Century, bars and places of ill repute would go out of business when a man full of the Spirit would sit up a tent in someones field, after much prayer and fasting, and start preaching. Horses pulling families going to town would ignore the guidance of the driver of the buggy and go another way, for no reason at all, and travel to the tent where the Spirit of God was and the family would be saved. The moves of God during the George Whitfield revivals are worth a study. His biography is available if one would wish to read it.



The counsel of man is opposite the counsel of God. Isaiah 50:11 speaks of a people who have their own ideas. God says, " Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire and the sparks you have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow."



I do not have to attend the largest church in town. I can talk to God in my study and as I work in the yard or at my place of employment. I do not have to follow the latest "movement" or start a work of my own in His name. There are different callings of God. Everyone has a part. Some fast and pray. Some work and give of their monies to ministries that have been called to the fartherest parts of the planet. Some talk quietly to their neighbors and are a silent Witness to everyone they meet. We are coming into days when having the peace of God on our beings will be the greatest witness of all! Those filled with His Spirit of peace will stick out like a "sore thumb" and people will want to know what makes us different; why are we not panicked or worried. I believe this may be the greatest witness in these last days.



I am not looking for a church. I am not looking for the "man of the hour" or the "latest move of God". I am looking for God. I could spend my entire life here on earth picking apart ministries or what I feel are errors in ministries; and there are so many that volumes could be written in that regard. And in my opinion, the voulmes could be burned because on a personal level, this is God's business, not mine. My job is to know God for myself. He has already said those who kindle their own fire and walk in the light they have created for themselves will lay down in sorrow. Why would I want to be a part of something like that. I want to stay as far away from this as I possibly can! The draw to get involved is great; this is of the evil one. No thanks!



The word of God says in Ec: 12:13 " Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man."



Here is something that is available to every Believer. God is no respector of persons so this has to be true. Acts 5:15 says "...So that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats in order that Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he came by."



Peter did not have a crystal cathedral. He would not have had a television ministry if it were available. He spent real time with God. Peter and God, that's it. This is where the peace of God comes. He was confident not in himself, but in the God that he served. He was so full of the Spirit of God that even his shadow passing over a sick or lame person would bring healing. This is a move of God! One person, Peter, who paid the price of knowing God. Peter did not just know about God or have a general knowledge of Him, HE KNEW GOD.



In my 54 years of searching, many have said, "where did you go to Bible School" or "where is your degree" or "who do you think you are, you are not a preacher or minister...". We must ignore these Western, modern concepts. Knowing God does not take a degree, or a church, or being a minister ordained by other mere men. Knowing God takes spending real time in His presence. Where He is ALL IN ALL. He is all that matters. This is my goal.



I have read that this may be a painful process. Only He knows how to sit me aside to where I may be isolated. There were no groups when the Apostle Paul was sent into the Wilderness to learn of God. No one followed Christ into the Wilderness where He was tempted and tried by satan. Moses spent 40 lonely years tending sheep before he was ready to enter into his calling. The Prophets were lonely, forsaken people. It was them, individually, and God. That's it.



Here is one thing I am confident of and I do not mind giving an opinion; My old concept of God, influenced by the society in which I live, has been corrupted and has become a part of my psychic. This concept has to be done away with once and for all. It is not easy. In His kingdom there are many functions. God instucts us to learn from His creation of His ways. There are ants and bees that serve different functions. There is one queen, one ruler, one to whom all others serve in different capacities. He is represented as the Ruler. Most are workers serving the master. In His Kingdom we are to serve Him, not ourselves. One of the greatest services, I believe, is to work a mostly mundane job, 5 or 6 days a week, and take of the substance and give cheerfully to works that He has laid on my heart. Works such as Messianic ministries in Israel. Spreading the gospel and the Bible into Islamic nations. Ministries such as VOICE OF THE MARTYR'S who give comfort and aid to Believers who are imprisoned and suffering in areas where the Gospel of Christ is forbidden.



This is a calling. This is a mission. This is a ministry. Those of us who feel anxious or as if we have failed and missed our "calling" can take comfort that for the most part, we are more blessed than we realize that we have not gotten caught up into the foolishness in churches that exist today. It is a blessing that God has prevented us from falling into this condition. Spend time in His Presence on a daily, hourly basis. This is our comfort. This is our ministry. This is our calling.



There are ministries that are of God. Men and women who have given all and are totally given over to Him. He will lead each of us to these areas that need support and prayer.



As we yeild to Him, as we get to know Him, as we draw closer to Him; He will draw closer to us. In His time, we, like Peter, will be so full of His Spirit that even our shadow passing over someone will have great influence and draw the lost, dying and lame into His Kingdom. He is not willing that any should perish; but that ALL should come into eternal life. Believers live in eternity right now; it is not something we are waiting for. We are of the heavenly kingdom right here on earth. We are not of this world but have been transformed into His kingdom, now. People we interact with on a daily basis may have no other Witness of His love, His power, or His mercies, other than through us.



My goal be to be like Father Abraham. To be known as the friend of God. My goal is not to attend or to be minister of the largest church in town, but to be someone that KNOWS GOD! The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. He will minister in His way to all who cross our paths as we yeild to Him.



Not by might, not by power, but by His Spirit. Christ IN US, the hope of glory.



Have a blessed week, meditating upon Him.

jrpeacher
mtzion@hughes.net

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