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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Preventing God's Work

As I go about my job of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, I sometimes come across people who don't like the way that I handle my ministry.  They don't agree with the administration of my gifts; sometimes they are offended by the working of the holy spirit within me and feel like I'm misusing my gifts.  They don't see the beam in their eye, they know what my path should be better than I do.  Let's see what Jesus concluded when he came across this phenomena.

Jesus gave his disciples power over all the works of the devil and sent them out preaching the Kingdom of God [Luke9].  Jesus asked them for a report of what they accomplished when they returned.  The disciples returned saying:

(And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us) [Luke 9:49].  Don't miss this point; the apostle John, the disciple that Jesus loved told Jesus that he found a man that was casting out devils in the name  of Jesus and prevented him from doing so, because the man didn't conduct himself the way he felt like he should have.  He didn't follow the guidelines, in the manner that fit John's approval.  Let me state this several ways to bring the point home.  Let me paraphrase John...

-Jesus we found a man loosing people from demonic possession in your name and we told him not to do that, only a disciple of Jesus Christ can do such a thing.  (You are correct John!)
-We found a man calling on your name Jesus, and recognizing you as the Son of God with authority over every power of the enemy but we told him not to call upon your name; we told him not to help people.
-We found a man using the gift that God gave him and we told him to sit down and shut up.
-We found a man lifting up your name Jesus, and we prevented him from doing so in Jesus name; we rebuked him from doing good in Jesus name.
-We missed your sermon Jesus about your Kingdom not being divided, so we tried to divide your kingdom Jesus; we caused a scene and argued with a good Christian man in front of sinners, to show them the way of Christ.

How hard hearted can you be John?  Didn't you see first hand how the religious leader's nit-picked Jesus for healing on the sabbath?  Don't we all know people like that; people that say my way is the right way, but Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the father but by me [John 14:6]."  It's not John's way, or Rev. Thomas's way, or Michael's way!  Let the holy spirit work in that man as it pleases.  Paul said that there are different administrations of the spirit but they all work through the will of God in Christ to benefit the church [1 Corinthians 12:4-7].  If the church is being benefited, let the man of God work!

But you don't have to take my word for it, let's see what Jesus said:
(And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us) [Luke 9:50].  In other words:

-If the man is rebuking the devil in my name, only the devil should be offended.
-If a woman wants to preach, let her preach.
-If a visitor wants to speak in tongues in your church, don't ask them not to comeback.
-If the young people want to form a praise dancing team, it doesn't have to be the focus of Sunday service, let them dance at Wednesday night prayer service; you might get more people to come out.
-If I want to write articles and books that seem to stray from your accepted beliefs, don't call me names, don't try to prevent me from doing what God sent me to earth to do, just because you don't understand it.  And if I am wrong, I pray that God reveals to me my true path, but in the meanwhile I will do the best I can.  If my ideas seem to be out there, I'm out there for Christ.  I don't understand French, but if I hear a man speaking in French at the Mall I'm not going to demand that they speak English.

This is last point I wish to make in this discussion: Jesus asked the disciples to tell him what they accomplished, but John tells Jesus what he prevented!  Do you know anyone that doesn't feel like they have accomplished anything until they have prevented you from doing your job!!  Jesus gave John power over all the works of the devil and his proudest accomplishment at the time, was preventing a man of God from doing his job.  Wow!

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