Obstacle to the Outpouring (Part 2)
Robert Wurtz II
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:16)
This entry is a follow-up to Obstacle to the outpouring (Part 1) and is intended to be applied on an ‘as fits’ basis. It is intended to serve as a devotional piece that we might prayerfully and openly search our hearts as God seeks to pour out His Spirit in these desperate and difficult times.
At the risk of being redundant I wish to speak to this matter of unity a second time. In our previous entry we examined how God refuses the offering of those that knowingly harbor ill-feelings towards their neighbor. God has shown repeatedly that His primary concern is that we love one another with a pure heart- fervently. This means that we cannot isolate individuals from our love and expect God to pour out His Spirit upon us. It is not OK, it has never been OK and will never be OK. It is sin, has always been sin and will always be sin. It is folly to try and excuse the behavior.
Refusing to be reconciled
Spiritual people seek reconciliation. Carnal folks just go on living like sinners harboring grudges and all manor of evil bitterness. Those two sentences are as simple of thing that a person can say along these lines. A person cannot please God when they do not love. In fact, they are not even saved no matter what they attempt to do for God- practical or supernatural. One of the more troubling things in our times is that many things are passed off as ‘spiritual’ and most of them a demon possessed person can do. Consider what our Lord said;
Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works? And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness! (Matthew 7:22-23 MKJV)
A person can prophesy, cast out devils, work miracles and still end up in Hell in the end- having never known Christ. The sad thing is, the people in this passage act as if they never saw it coming. Keep in mind that Jesus is prophesying here about what will happen at the White Throne Judgment. He states emphatically that many are going to say this to Him, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works? They mistakenly believed that the evidence of their right standing with God was that they moved in the supernatural in spite of how strongly He told them otherwise. Nothing could possibly be more false than to equate the supernatural with spirituality. In fact, this passage renders moving in the gifts as almost meaningless when it comes to a person’s spiritual state. A person can do all of this and not even be known of Christ. In fact, many people throughout the ages have believed that they are known of Christ because they move in the supernatural. That is truly sobering. Based on our passage, many people are therefore seriously deceived and are going to continue to be deceived in spite of teachings that alerted them even to this passage. Somehow folks look at it and say, “It’s not talking about me.” Well, the only way we can know that for sure is if we are moving in the Fruit of the Spirit.
By THIS shall all men know
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:35)
When was the last time a crowd was drawn to a person because they loved everyone and exhibited the fruit of the Spirit? You’re right, probably never. The reason is that men and women are drawn to the sensational. When was the last time you heard someone say, “We really believe this person is the ‘real deal’ because we have witnessed how they love the brethren?” We don;t hear it. It even sounds strange for me to infer that spirituality is determined in this way. It’s as if for the last 50 years man and God are working from different playbooks. Many are not even on the same page with God. It seems that while God is looking for men and women with evidence of love, joy and peace- men are looking for people that prophecy, cast out devils and are miracle workers. Amazing. This is why they are ripe for deception. Sadly, many are looking for the supernatural and don’t bother to discern what spirit a thing is of. For example, we need to know certain things to listen for when a word of knowledge goes forward or a sermon is preached. Does it cause a shrill in your spirit or does it draw you to God? What did James say? But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. (James 3:17-18) Notice that James says categorically that Heaven speaks with words bathed in the fruit of the Spirit. Yet a person can angrily make comments and get more ‘amen’s’ than when another person is speaking the truth in love. This is because folk are entertained by bitter envy and strife. What spirit is the thing of? That’s what we need to know. What is the energy source backing the comments? Anger is not the same thing as anointing and it does not work the righteousness of God.
In our mini series we have examined in part 1 how God does not accept the prayer, worship and praise of those that regard the iniquity of non-love in their hearts. If I have ought against my brother or sister the Lord will not hear no matter how dramatic I get. In this entry we have explored the importance of ministering from the Spirit of God and the fruit of the Spirit rather than some other spirit. The devil can counterfeit many of the things that we see go on in Charismatic circles, so we need to know the source of inspiration. As one writer has stated it, “Anybody who shrugs off that warning or treats it lightly does so at the risk of his own soul. The greatest single danger in this end time is not sickness, nor poverty, nor persecution. It is deception. If anybody says, “It could never happen to me,” it has already happened to that person, because that person is saying something could never happen that Jesus said would happen. That is a sufficient indication that such a person is deceived. “ If there is bitter envy and strife in the house, everything becomes suspect no matter how radical or supernatural. Many will spend eternity in Hell after doing ‘many wonderful works’. They overlooked the teaching of Jesus as if it did not apply to them preferring to be deceived by the works of their own hands and the words of their own mouth.
This is akin to Zedekiah the prophet of Ahab, But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee? And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. (1 Kings 22:24-25) We must guard against the spirit of Zedekiah that says that God only speaks through me and my friends. Paul sought to thwart this very attitude when he told the Corinthians that though he moved in the spuernatural in a host of ways- if he did not have love it profited nothing. (1 Cor. 13). Why? It is the main thing God is concerned about. If there be bitter envy and strife in the house the ‘gifts’ of the Spirit are at risk to become weapons in the hands of the enemy spilling the very blood of the saints in the midst of the congregation. We cannot allow the wrath of man to try to work the righteousness of God. If the people do not react to your ministry- give it to God. Don’t get upset and take it out on people or get a bad spirit and want to quit. It is not about me- it is about the glory of God. We need to truly walk out that reality.
Before we endeavor to do anything for the Lord we ought to ask ourselves some probing questions:
1. Am I angry at someone?
2. Do I hold bitterness in my heart towards __________?
3. Am I wanting to strive with __________?
4. Am I motivated by God’s love at this moment?
5. Am I sowing the fruit of righteousness in peace?
6. Am I behaving peaceably and gently?
7. Are my motivations pure?
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