“For this was the very end and purpose of His Incarnation, that our human nature might in His Person obtain and receive whatever it could not otherwise have obtained, and that we might be partakers both of the same nature and of the same blessings within Him… It was necessary, therefore, that God and man should be personally united, in order that human nature might be invested with power and exalted to glory” The Orations of St. Athanasius Against the Arians
An Honest answer is like a Kiss on the lips – Kiss of friendship
I am amazed and shocked how much influence a man can wield… our TV has been dominated in recent years with talent shows and competitions for all types of people and animals. Dog trainers, singers, puppeteer, acrobats, martial arts, dancers, individuals and groups alike, all trying their best, programs such as “….got talent”, “X factor”, “The Voice”, “Idol”, the population that view seem to be oblivious to the program’s design, its aim to be exposing of the unfortunate through flattery, its staging what will be done to get viewing figures, the ridicules along with the talented in a world where we have no failures where we are not to allow any one to fail at anything.
The voice of one man, one judge is sought on the UK and USA programs, the opinion of the daddy of talent programs Simon Cowell, a judge, it is what all take interest in receiving. Yet he has acquired a reputation for his severe criticism of the pop-star hopefuls, talent displays. “My attitude has always been, ‘Don’t lie to people,’” Simon says. “Kids turn up unrehearsed, wearing the wrong clothes, singing out of tune, and you can either say, ‘Good job,’ and patronize them or tell them the truth, and sometimes the truth is perceived as mean.”
The real question is, why do people even show up?
Even the untrained ear can discern that many of them can’t sing. Yet they believe with miraculous sincerity that they can make it big. What has happened here?
Someone lied. In an attempt to encourage, a parent or friend or significant other told the hopeful singer that he had the right stuff. In the name of love, someone told him that he should make a CD. Out of a desire to protect the self-image of a young person, someone lied.
Cowell acknowledges that part of his job is to close that gap: “For a lot of contestants, it’s a suspension of belief. Your family and friends say you’re pretty good—and we’re here to stop you.”
Before you made a fool of yourself, wouldn’t you want to be stopped? As hard as it may be to hear the truth, as difficult as it may be to accept it, wouldn’t it be more loving and kind if someone said, gently and firmly, “Don’t do this. It’s not good. I like you. I love you. But you’re not a pop star”?
Of course it would. But we’ve lost the ability to tell the truth when the truth is hard.
Proverbs 24:26 says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips,” it’s not an honest answer is like a slap on the face. A kiss is something to look forward to…but honesty?
How can these two be similar?
How is a kiss comparable to an honest answer?
A kiss honours relationship.
A kiss brings us close to another and builds relationship.
Risking this type of kiss, we honour one another and our relationships.
Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, took a big risk when he told Moses that he was taking on too much responsibility by acting as arbiter of all disputes for the people of Israel: “What you are doing is not good!” (Ex. 18:17 ). Moses, who was not known for his patience when confronted with the truth, could easily have rejected this advice—and the advisor. However, “Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said” (v. 24 ).
How many times has your wife or husband come to you honestly “I’m upset…” your children turn and say “I don’t like that…” Often we are not excited to be told the truth about ourselves, especially when it’s contrary to our perception
We could save ourselves much hassle by letting things go. But some times we bravely take on the task of truth telling for my sake and for the sake of better relationships in our family. Proverbs 24:3-4 says, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”
Telling the truth is interior decoration for another’s character. The risk—and the relationship—is worth it.
More thoughts on these kisses next time
Positioning means us saying ‘Let’s get where the action cannot be missed’. Let’s position ourselves to get involved with this generation. Position ourselves to be the incarnate body of Christ in our street, work place, education world and homes.
We redeem men by the proclamation of the Christ and his gospel: we influence society by being salt in the street, world. Both are essential, and often our ‘salt’ is the necessary forerunner to our proclamation.
I recently visited a township in South Africa where the conditions were so dire, the filth and squalor, the heartache, pain, poverty and hunger were indescribable. This seen is repeated world-wide, its experienced on very continent, in the back streets of Brazil, on the roads of India, in the aftermath of every war, even in areas of the so-called developed world, some time son our doorsteps. You can’t simple preach, ‘repent of your sins and you’ll be saved for heaven’ and walk away from a place like that with no sense of further responsibility. God is concerned with people’s social conditions as well as with their souls’ destiny. True, eternal destiny is paramount, but this doesn’t mean God has no concern for our social conditions.
We are to be ‘Restorers of streets to live in’ (Isaiah 58) and we must not divide our world into social and salvation, our theology into liberal or evangelical, one after the soul and the other after the transformation of society. One view looking through one eye and saying ‘don’t get side tracked into a social gospel it’s the souls that need saving and the other looking through the other eye ‘but what about saving them?’
It is right to bring God’s saving grace and correct to transform society.
We must position ourselves to do both.
No longer ignoring the deepening plight and worsening social conditions of our world, while protesting we are concentrating on saving their souls, continents and countries need more than a soul-gospel. We cannot close our eyes to the growing number of homeless building their cardboard cities on our own doorsteps as well as in distant lands, which is our responsibility, let me explain.
One of the early characteristics of the community of the King, in the words of Jesus that an apostolic community, the church as it should be apostolic, was to be focused in being established where they where local ‘…wait in Jerusalem until the Spirit comes…’, then to have a four focus at one time beyond the local. This focus I suggest was a command to work on four areas at any time, being the living life church of Christ, ‘…God into all the earth…Jerusalem…Judea…Samaria… and utter most past of the earth…’, we are to be local, regional, national and international in focus, in our actions, message, pray and work of faith. We cannot close our eyes to our world and end up local minded only or even the a fool with our eyes in the ends of the earth, holding these four focuses will prevent foolish eyes for us.
We have a voice, a gospel to restore our world to the Fathers first thought in creation, beginning with the restoration of the soul to the image and likeness of God. Therefore where am I, where are we hitting the streets of our world to create a ‘….street to live in…’ and a people who are able to live in a street with a Godlikeness pursuit?
As you drive in the rural areas of UK the road signs are some times different to urban driving. You come across signs that tell you to pay attention of, “Beware of…”. Generally they are small signs, not mass-produced or government signs but little hand-made, painted on cardboard to wooden board and some times even marked stones.
Signs of “beware lambing season”, “beware heavy plant in road”, “beware ducks crossing”, they communicate one thing in all their ways BEWARE, pay attention, take a second look, make sure you’re paying attention, avoid an accident or an incident. All these tells us we don’t want you to harm yourself or any one else.
While recently writing blogs on the prophetic a few have come to mind, things written on hearts, hands, eyes, life really. I would like to knock a few hand-made posts in regarding the prophetic, to hold up some beware’s for us all. All prophetic ministry, using it in a broad sense if you prophecy or are in ministry call, even if you are an elder, pastor, vicar or teacher you should have a prophetic fervour in you.
All prophetic ministry should Beware of Weariness. When the scriptures says don’t grow weary, weariness. Think of the prophets that got tired. Elijah running from Jezebel, oh the grace of God that he didn’t just wake him up and give him a meal but sent him back to sleep. Let’s get rid of the weariness.
Beware of a weariness that is deeper than just physical. beware of the weariness that insidiously creeps into your soul, the tiredness of not wanting to get up and do it again. Or so much flack that you don’t want to get up and say it again. weariness. beware of that weariness.
When Jesus pressed himself on in the garden of Gethsemane and had come back and asked them to wait the hour and watch the hour in pray with him, he says “…can’t you even watch the one hour?” Their weariness. But he couldn’t afford to let that weariness press his soul. For if he had allowed that weariness to engulf he soul the cup would never had been drunk and you and I would not have been here.
Beware flattery. All the apt on the back to the prophet. Beware those who come flattering you on your delivery, your content. your powerful word and yet don’t change by it. Flattery comes from the heart that is committed to no change. It just wants you to feel good about accepting them in their unchanged state. Beware flattery.
Beware compromise that when you have the word of God, when you have the vision of God, then you don’t indulge in well may be, well perhaps you are right, maybe I will have to tone it down a wee bit and yes perhaps I am asking too much too soon, and by the time they will have finished helping you adjust your vision will be so small you will need a microscope to find it. Don’t compromise.
Beware of ridding your gift. Most prophets, not all but most, are articulate. But when in the unction of the Holy Spirit they bring the word of God it is powerful and articulate, even when they are preaching the prophetic word, it can be very easy to lose your dependence on God and ride your gift.
Beware hypocrisy. It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t shout out to the crowds there beware of hypocrisy, he accepted the fact that the Pharisees had hypocrisy, but he said to his own, beware of the leaven. Hypocrisy of demanding in your words what you are not willing to walk and are not walking in, of calling on people to walk by principles that your are not a model for living in.
I have found myself being in situations where people are generous they give, share of their life and give as well as tithe while some men and women live on this generosity yet did not personally tithe, the church required the people to be generous in this manner other wise it would not meet its responsibilities. I could not believe it, what right did they have to expect what they did not do. What right do we have to know the depth of their actions and not walk ourselves in it? Beware hypocrisy.
Beware the influence of wrong companions to you as God servant. Imagine how many people in the hour of crises or time to strain forward to stand for what is to come from God found themselves in companionship that keep undercutting, undermining, with nice words and suggestions.
Beware trying to prove your ministry. if you are a prophet you don’t need to prove your ministry. there is nothing for you to prove. Listen to what its says in 1 Samuel 3:19-20 ‘Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail. And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-Sheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet. Who confined him? God, by not letting his words fail. By brining it about. You have nothing to prove. You are either bringing the word, if you are bridging the word, let God do the proving. It will happen. You don’t fight anything.
Just be who you are meant to be, enjoy the adventure as you expand and follow Godlikeness, as those who are part of a prophetic movement, a church called to be the voice of God, to enable, to inspire all to hear God, to enable people to hear the Father where ever they find themselves to be far from God or where God has made us near.
“smoke appeared on the horizon”
synonyms: become visible, come into view, come into sight, materialize, take shape;
“The Lord appeared again” (1 Samuel 3:21), never try to live your life on a once given word, and then try to establish your life, once given vision. If what you see has been birthed in the courtrooms of heaven and has been spoken forth by the voice of God you will find God affirming it, and surely adding more detail to it, God will reveal his word from different angles and speak to you about it again and again. You are to be sustained by fresh encounters, fresh revelation, affirming, affirming, affirming whenever it is needed. Consider how many times God came face-to-face with Abraham’s life to talk to him about his seed and the promise. Clearly this man of faith needed an encouragement of affirmation, affirmation, affirmation of what he has heard and seen.
The word that came to Abraham was that the seed of Abraham would be a blessing to all the families of the Earth, through his seed the earth would be blessed. Why again, the Father had told him once. God knows that in the advance, the progress, the process of living, this adventure of life with God will have seasons of pressure that require the ‘ again I say to you’. Abraham had to see that God was as much involved in Sarah’s inability to conceive, through their long years as well as when the cry of the 1st child happened. What Abraham had heard needed to be stated again and again. You do not need a new vision, but we certainly need to a word again frequently. I need a burning fire on the inside. If I who have been commissioned, entrusted with or been given a direction, a word to carry I do need the Lord to appear again. This is how the prophets of old in the face of a declining moral condition kept the flame of their prophetic conviction alive, by the continuous revelation of the Father.
Lord help us to receive your ministries and enable their hearing, if the word of God had not some to prophets such as Samuel personally Samuel would not of have had a word for Israel. Far too frequently we are trying to sustain people by preaching, don’t get me wrong preaching to inspire and impart is part of life for us. Like it or not there is a difference between a prophet prophesying Gods word into a situation and a person preaching the word to a congregation, these are two very different things.
Let me give you a picture, have you ever driven down a clear road and coming to overtake a car, you put your foot on the pedal but there is nothing there, no power, nor force that pushes you back on the seat. It is so different overtaking when there is great power in the pedal, as you press down you are surged for the kick down and away you go. Every revelation from God does that to you, you have been challenged, you felt held back and then you see it, you hear it again and…… you’re away one of God’s surges.
When the prophetic word comes it gives you what you need, both power and wisdom to continue.
The prophetic is about securing and advancing God’s purpose in creation, it establishes the house, abode, the dwelling place of God this is the prophetic heart. God will always establish a word, a goal then press on to add to what has been gained. Prophets are so convinced of the word they carry, the efficacy of the word, the creativity of the word, the power of the breath of God in the word, the circumstances around them are not their lead, they often prophesy in contradiction to what is seen around.
We are living in an incredible moment with the Gospel progressing in the realms of the spirit at every hand, with demonstration and manifestation, you could say the wave of experiential Christianity has come alongside revealing truth, we have revivals reported from all around the world, great gatherings of people groups in China, South America, Africa, India its exciting.
Here is our challenge, with all that God is doing we can get so quickly frustrated and disappointed, I am quite challenged and often unimpressed with the caliber of Christianity inside our very communities inside the very communities that are experiencing this blessing. We could say that the disappointment is that with such a blowing of the wind of God, with the Spirit moving so strongly yet this has not been met with the corresponding depth of response from us. The longing is that with hearts being changed we all become ready kindling for the fire of the Word.
Will we discover that our cooperation with the Spirit is of the depth of the same givenness God is to us, our experience of the power of God is balanced by our perception, our knowledge of the Will of God, that we who are to disciple the nations, we preach, teach, pray and are faithful to this end
“eyes of the peoples’ understanding the open that they may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance of God in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power to us all believe”.Ephesians 1:18.
Paul said my work is that he would “…proclaim him, admonishing everyman, teaching everyman, with oral wisdom, that we may present everyman complete in Christ…” Colossians 1:28. Catch the passionate heart of this apostle offloading his prophetic mantle “…for this purpose I also Labour, striving according to his power that mightily works within me, for I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf, but their hearts maybe encouraged having been knit together in love and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is Christ himself…” Colossians 2:2.
Here is the goal for every teacher or budding preacher, not to have the most creative and colourful delivery, but all that we do, is to result “in actual knowledge of God’s mystery, that is Christ”.
If we do not sustain a prophetic passion we will end up with the Gospel of trivia, Christianity that splashes around in the trivial. Little and troubled leaders occupied with the busyness of barrenness, we will become occupied with peripheral activities, becoming students and ultimately controlled by statistics, bottoms on seats and budget lines rather a people with the knowledge of God mystery.
I have a passion, I have a cry to see an effective dynamic testimony of the life of Christ in every major city, town and Street and house-to-house, then let our cry be to see apostles and prophets with passion would only build to Gods purpose. Become those who are sons of the prophets, of the covenant and be aflame!
“…Lord appear again…” refresh your word, your will and purpose to the nations.