“Have you heard the latest prophetic word?” “Have you heard the latest revelatory teaching?” “The move of God at (fill in the blank) has to be the beginning of the final move of God in the earth!” “There’s no need for the local fellowship anymore, your business can be your ‘church’ and missions organization!”
“The ‘Bridal Paradigm’ has fulfilled all my longings and questions! The ‘Seven Mountains’ teaching has finally set my heart to rest because now I know my destiny! Praise the Lord, we can now all come to rest because all our questions, desires and destinies have now been answered!”
I have literally heard with my own ears statements like these. Such is my personal observation of how many in the “charismatic” wing of the body of Christ have acted and reacted for many years. Everyone is looking for “IT” – the one thing that will bring revival, rest, healing, fulfillment…again, fill in the blank. The enemy continues to keep hungry, but deceived Christians from coming to rest on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ by the excitement that many leaders continue to foment. I know this, because I have done “IT” in the past.
This is NOT to say that these revelations, teachings and experiences are not true. It is a case where what is true replaces The Truth…the True and Living God. I believe they are all scriptural and need to be prayed over, received and embraced. But they are still “ITS” and not Him! Christians continue to live in the deception that there’s going to be a McDonald’s-drive-through “IT” happen, and every problem will be solved, the demonic power over cities will be broken, and everything will be okay. If it’s not a prophetic word or teaching, then it usually begins to revolve around the latest anointed personality that God has chosen to use. We remain much like the Corinthians – worshipping personalities, anointings or teachings rather than letting the anointing, person, teaching, etc, lead us to a deeper, intimate relationship with the only One who can only fulfill our desires. We subtly continue to substitute the “IT” for Him. Unfortunately, when the emotions settle down, and the newness of the revelation or experience wanes, the same boredom, disillusionment and feeling of incompleteness returns.
One of the main things that keeps us from union with Him (fullness and fulfillment) is: everything – teaching, revelation, giftings, etc, – is taken as being related to me and not to the Lord. Anything the Lord does or imparts has at its core the purpose of drawing us to Him and not to the “IT”. The enemy has continually kept the body of Christ from fullness by keeping us focused on the “IT”. Instead of keeping us in a constant search for the next revelation, experience, conference, warm-fuzzy or the like, we should be growing in maturity, endurance, character and steadfastness with a desire to share, serve and give. It should not always be me at the center of “getting”, but taking a servant’s role of giving out!
The Lord recently told me that much of what is happening in the world is an exaggerated reflection of what is happening in the church. There is monumental shaking taking place all over the earth, but the scripture is clear in 1 Pet. 4:17 that His remedial judgment will take place in His own house first. The Lord told me that He has never had “members” (as it relates to contemporary church “membership”) as a part of His eternal body/church. There is a great difference between someone who joins as a member and the planting of the Lord.
In Matt. 15:1-13 we have the incident of Jesus rebuking the religious crowd of His day for honoring God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. They were using scripture and tradition as a means to control people and manipulate the culture for their own advantage. God’s people could never truly find what they so desperately needed – HIM – because of all the trappings, hype and deception (the “ITS”). They were not whole because they were continually given “ITS” to follow and pursue instead of training and instruction to lead them into Abba’s presence and Abba’s ways. After rebuking the religious leaders, His own disciples admonished Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” (Matt. 15:12). His reply was, “But He answered and said, ‘Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch’” (Matt. 15:13-14). The planting of the Lord have settled down. They cannot be moved by fads, storms or fears, and will begin to produce a harvest of righteousness, a harvest of souls and a harvest of many other kinds of fruit.
The Lord told me sometime back, If you are not committed to the process, you are not committed to Me. In our culture, we are always looking for a quick fix, a shortcut, or some other advantage (an “IT”) that does not cut into our comfort/convenience-lifestyle. Proverbs 10:4 says, “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Abba is a seasonal Entity (Acts 1:7). He does things in seasons, or cycles, until the work is complete. The word “path” in the Hebrew in Psalm 23:3 (“He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”) literally means cycles, not our western concept of going from point A to point B on a path. We stay on this “path” (the cycle we’re currently in), until we are fully trained and fully matured in that cycle. We do not go on to the cycle of God’s plan and destiny until that work is complete in our character and equipping in our present cycle. The closest example we have to this nowadays is in the military and organized sports. Those who have participated in organized, competitive sports or the military know that you do not move onto the next phase until you have successfully been trained in the current season. To do so would mean to lose in the sport in which you are participating, and possibly dying in military conflict.
Now is the time to forsake the cult of ‘IT’ and become rooted and grounded in the Lord, His will and His process. The storms that are coming are going to need the “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:3) to be restorers, suppliers and a covering of protection in the ensuing years.