Thursday, June 01, 2006

I’ve Got the Power

…thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased…
(Acts 8:20)

This passage in Acts 8 points out a danger of seeking signs and wonders. Simon wanted this new power so as to reclaim the prestige he had with the people before, not to further the kingdom. Perhaps in his mind he probably felt justified, as if to say “I will do what is right, I will further the kingdom”, being deceived with regards to his motives.

Not only was Simon wrong for trying to offer money, he also was not called by God to do that thing which was the apostles’ duty; otherwise, why didn’t Philip (not one of the twelve, but still an apostle, of sorts) get to do the laying on of hands. He presumed a place of leadership based upon his previous status.

This may hurt, but doesn’t this remind you of many famous former hellions who, upon conversion, presume to immediately know the power and plan of God so well as to be able to “start a ministry.” Perhaps some are called to this, for it is true that if someone has been through a certain trial, say drug abuse, they can often help others who have similar problems (2 Corinthians 1:4-6), and those hurting are more apt to listen, being able to identify easier than with someone not involved in the experience.

That being said, it is presumptuous to think that just because you were a famous, visible personality who became “religious”, that now you are to assume a place of visible prominence in the body of Christ. And just because you are or were a prominent businessman doesn’t mean you should sit on the church board. Power and influence in the world doesn’t give you instant clout in the kingdom of God. Just because you have a platform doesn’t mean anyone should listen. Why are so many of these ministries of the para-church variety? Who are these people’s pastors, and where is their spiritual covering?

Knowing the character of God, one would understand that this would RARELY be the case, for those former children of disobedience would have to lose their lives, not keep them! Think about the parallel with today’s cult of personality, and how we cater to movie and television stars who pontificate about political matters, as if they know better than anyone else, even the professional politicians!

This demonstrates the fact that there are roles within the body of Christ, and we are not to presume which are our own. Today it seems that many put the title “prophet” before their name instead of letting the evidence speak for itself. We may know more Bible, or even have a closer relationship with God than anyone around, but that doesn’t mean that we merit certain gifts. They are grace gifts, after all, and undeserved. The “village idiot” may be allowed by God to be the prophet; we are to know our role and to perform it in humility. Pride is an all too often side effect of seeking after signs and wonders, or of trying to gain Christ while keeping our fame.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Even So! God has truly gifted you.....not as condemner but of convictor.....keep on, keepin' on pastor.......we're listening!