Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Why Do We Do That?

Does it ever bother you when people put all their hope in a person? Instead of where it ought to be? Even more perplexing is the tendancy to turn on same said person, as soon as anything looks questionable, shaky or Heaven forbid like difficulty or failure. It's part of our fallen nature to do this. But, it's also a part of our humanity that I will never, ever make peace with.

What am I speaking of
exactly? Well, in my Bible reading sometime at the beginning of April, I got thinking on it again. Deuteronomy 34 (which btw has SOOOO much good stuff in it) is where God lets Moses see the promised land, though he will not be making the trip there. He wanted him to be able to see it. Then he was calling him home to paradise. Here's the verse that I have been mulling over "And He buried him in the valley of the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor, but no man knows where his tomb is to this day."

Why did God see to it that Moses' body was buried where no people knew? Because He knows us SO well. He knew that people would get tripped up over the relics of Moses' body. He knew that our tendancy to want something tangible, would cause some of us to take our spiritual eyes off of Him, and start looking at the physical world around us for security. In further illustration that satan knows our weaknesses, we see in Jude that satan disputed with Michael the archangle for the body of Moses right here, "But when [even] the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, judicially argued (disputed) about the body of Moses, he dared not [presume to] bring an abusive condemnation against him, but [simply] said, The Lord rebuke you!" .

I've been thinking about this problem that is in all of us a whole lot since I read this in April. Then along came the healing revivals in Lakeland. Now, this is tricky, because I do not begrudge the wonderful reports of what the power of God is doing there. I am always glad ANYTIME that God is glorified and people are blessed and that certainly seems to be happening.

What is bothering me, is I believe every day we all have the same opportunity to seek God with GREAT expectancy, in our own prayer time or in our own congregations. Don't get me wrong, I know that God does certain special things at certain designated times. I hope I do not give the impression otherwise. I am not limiting Him. Rather on the contrary, I believe WE ARE LIMITING Him. In general, we (either people of faith or people who think about the possibility - seekers I'd say) seem to look for that "special person" who can reach God for us. It is an unfair burden on our spiritual leaders. One which they are not meant to bear. We have to seek God for ourselves. While pastors have a role (as shepherds), it is not the spiritual "superstar" role our humanity keeps trying to put them in. Love, affection, respect, and financial support for our shepherds - these things are all right and good. Looking to that person to do what we can believe God for ourselves, this is what is seems not good or healthy.

******I have had a couple of questions about Lakeland. Sorry! It was such a big deal where I live (because I live within driving distance to it), that I didn't take into account you might not know. So here goes. A youngish man with quite an extraordinary testimony, who travels around the world and ministers somewhat prophetically, often in healing, and encouraging people to seek God visited a church in Lakeland, I am guessing sometime in April. Anyway, it was one of those weekend services/meetings that the Holy Spirit is said to have really impacted everyone mightily, and by Sunday night families were hearing of it and watching it on TV, and loading up and driving to it (it's a town in central Florida). People came from all over the world.They had to get bigger and bigger facilities to house all the people. I have known of good that came from it, and have also heard of the typical things that make something like this questionable and disturbing. I haven't been myself. I am very careful not to sit in judgement of what is there. That is not my place and when the Holy Spirit does get moving things can be very uncomfortable to us in the natural. I just know that my concern was the over the top fascination with it. It seems to have died down as far as people's interest now. But all during May and June you could go to a couple of churches that I know of and watch it on TV. ??? It was like all these many people forgot that we ARE the church and this is not what God made us for. He didn't make us to sit in chairs and watch Him move on TV. We are to be LIVING lives that testify. God is in the everyday, longing for us to make room for Him to work in and through us, to love, to serve, to be bold and courageous. Where is the passion for THAT?****** END OF ADDITION

I know people are going to Lakeland for different reasons. I am sure many go with healthy, faith-filled hearts. I also believe that many go because they want to be where the action is, they want someone to help them make contact with God, where they are not sure how to. And in the midst of it all God knows it all, and its no surprise to Him, and He is able to meet all right there, in all different states of faith and motives. He's so merciful to us.

I am just so hungry for us to all expect more from Him right here in our towns, in our homes, and in our congregations. It takes an effort, a self discipline, (one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit - because we don't have much of this on our own). But, I am determined to expect great things from Him, daily and weekly. Why? Because He is a Great and Good, and Tender God, and to expect anything less is insulting to Him.

"Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, Teacher, we desire to see a sign or miracle from You [proving that You are what You claim to be]. But He replied to them, An evil and adulterous generation (a generation morally unfaithful to God) seeks and demands a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah." Matthew 12:38

I can't escape this disturbing sensation when I hear everyone talking about Lakeland, and I feel like He (God) is saddened that we just don't get it. Jesus could only be one place when He was here before. But now, He resides in all who believe and abide in Him. Why are we seeking for a man's ministry in Lakeland? Why do we DO that?

I hope this is not upsetting to anyone. I mean NO disrespect to God or the wonderful work He has chosen to do. Feel free to comment. It's cool if you are seeing it different. I am totally open to the fact that I may be seeing it all wrong. I'm sure He will get my heart straightened in this regard and all others before my time here is done! :)
Well, duty calls! Take care! And remember - expectancy!


Regina said...

I don't know why people do that...
But you already know my feelings on Lakeland. beware of False prophets and false teachings! People need to stop chasing the signs and wonders. If you are in Christ, a believer, than WE should be the signs and wonders! People should be able to look at us and see God working in our lives!
Our very lives should be a testimony!

grey like snuffie said...

Having been part of church leadership overseeing the prayer ministry---I saw WAY TOO MANY pedestals---I always cringed when I heard someone referred to as a "great man of God". I always thought it should be "man of a great God". It always seemed so easy for people to get caught up in certain people having "the power". God has the power and tiny tim could sit at His feet and ask for anything and get it. I just wanted to wear a sign---"It's all about Him".

luvmy4sons said...

Our God cannot be put in a box expected to do things the way we expect, when we expect, how we expect, and through whom we expect! I know that I am often gulity of putting Him in a box myself...limiting Him by my lack of faith to pray the way I should...forming small prayers or failing to ask for soemthing I think He wouldn't answer or even COULDN'T if you can believe that! I have faith...like the man said, "I believe...help my unbelief!" I think there are those who pray on those woith weaker faith...attempting ot put god in a box and steal away some ofhte glory meant only for Him. I am so glad that even in THIS God works. Hugs to you dear sister!

Denise said...

I am so with you on this post. Quit going to Lakeland, look in your heart. God is right there with you. I love you my friend.

Tiffany said...

Ok, I'm out of the loop here. Way out apparently. Who or what is Lakeland?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I need to ask the same question. What/who is Lakeland?

Mel's World said...

Hum....there you go again, you stretch me and challenge me to grow.

I actually live in the SAME state as you and just recently heard about this whole "Lakeland" thing. I really don't know too much about it, but I can tell you this...if we ever put our trust in anything or anyone other than the ONE true God then we will always be disappointed and confused.

I worked in a large church where there were too many pedestals and not enough of Him, it is so completely out of balance and so completely opposite of Him.

Well said, not offensive, just informative and thoughtful...


freetofly said...

Reg - I completely agree on all accounts. I am very cautious about Lakeland, and I DO beleive people's hunger to have someone ELSE seek God, is setting them up to be taken in by the numerous false prophets there are and will be. That book you mentioned, The Visitation is AWESOME! Good stuff!

Snuffie - I SO heart your comments! So just a great big AMEN! to your comment!

Leslie - Yes! AMEN! Let Him Out of the Box! He doesn't fit in there!The world is missing out because of our small mindedness! I am SOOO glad you are home!

Denise - :) You too! I agree!

Tiff- Sorry about that! I added a paragraph to try to explain. Hope it helps!

Edge - same goes, my apologies! :)

Melissa - That is very kind of you. Thank you. That was my intent is for us to be thoughtful about such occurrences.

To All - Thank you for hearing my heart and knowing I mean to harm, but only the glory of God, the joy of His people, and ultimately the winning of a great many untouched and unsaved lost!

God bless!

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!