There are different ministry gifts given to us
for our edification. When we encounter these ministry gifts we must not
refuse them - for God sends them - even though they may not fit our
ideas or preferences. Ministers are just mere men and mere servants -
nothing more. Many are waiting for Gods perfect ministers to arise
but God has a different plan. There will be more perfect ministers
but Gods emphasis in this day is a more perfect listener. It
is these more mature listeners that will become more mature ministers.
When you go to church meetings, picture yourself at a table with Jesus at the "head seat" and the minister as the server, the waiter. As Gods servants, we who minister to the saints are GIFTS that are used to set up a table for you to eat at. In actuality it is God Who sets before you this table to eat at, He chooses the food set before you that is good for you. The menu is Jesus choice, it is not the ministers choice, and it is not your choice. The place settings are Jesus arrangement not any of ours. That is part of what it means to make Jesus Lord over your life, it includes every part of your life - including your spiritual food! If you say to the Lord, I do not like this particular meat and bread or I do not like how the table is set then what you have actually done is come to God in relationship, in covenant ON YOUR OWN TERMS. This will cause your bags to have holes you will sow much and reap little.
There are a lot of bad manners at God's table and we must deal with them. We must deal with any improper attitudes at Jesus' table. The table is God's place of covenant. We have our service communion and we become reverent, and yet God wants the same attitude at His table during the message. One thing that we can be sure of, God is not mocked, what we sow we shall reap. If you do not pay attention, if you do not mind your manners and if you do not eat what is set in front of you that is of the Lord - then others will not eat of your words either. Do not be deceived in this matter of eating.
Let God pick your diet, it is not always easy
to swallow, some pride usually has to die, but it produces life eternal.
For example, a minister might preach like John the Baptist. He instills
doctrine to the body in regards to the need that the church needs to
"wake up" and not be a sleeping church. He may have little
tolerance for the fence walking Christian. Even though he is not
the perfect minister we desire - God uses him to set a table before
us. Let us say that there is something on the table, something that God
has used this "John the Baptist" type of minister to set before
us. We need to eat of it for our growth. Maybe it is an issue that deals
with attitudes of laziness. If you simply refuse to eat because he is
rough around the edges or you think he lacks compassion you are
coming to God on your own terms. It is Gods desire that you hear
and eat what the Spirit is saying to you concerning the matter at hand.
The John the Baptist may not clothe his message the way you think it
should be clothed, but they are ordained to serve you Gods food at
HIS table, not yours. That is the point, it is not your
table - it is His. Remember that we gave up our rights when we started
following Him. This is just one example of a type of ministry that
Christians will ignore because they pick their diet. This is a prejudice
that God has to put to death. This is a pre-judging because of the
physical vessel that God has chosen.
God will many times set His table in a way that defies your human wisdom; if your response is a refusal to eat then your walk will lack Gods wisdom and Gods life. God will use some unlikely vessels for His greatest truth in these last days this is a test of responses for His people. For instance, if you are prejudice against women ministers then God will select a woman prophet to set your table. The word concerning YOUR ANSWER is found in her message. Because of twisting of scriptures, men and women have excluded these servants from serving at Gods table. Sometimes the package will come in a vessel of youth. Sometimes the youth of the individual causes a prejudice to reject wisdom because we think wisdom can only come through much experience and age. Wisdom is a Person, Jesus Christ and knowing Him is learning Wisdom. The young person preaches the Person that he knows.
Sometimes the table set before you may only include one God ordained dish set in the MIDST of many dishes that are not set by God. When this happens the other dishes will many times OFFEND us and we never seek out the dish in the midst. If we respond to these other dishes by getting offended then we will miss that which changes our life forever. We must bear with that which is on the table that is not God to eat of that which is God. I am not telling you to endure unsound doctrine; you simply must look past it at times to see if there is life in the midst of the "lifeless words" that may be spoken. If you are easily offended by the few "lifeless words" you will miss what God has prepared for you.
Concerning COMPLETELY FALSE TEACHERS there are times when God will excuse us from the table early. Once I witnessed a "so called prophet" that taught that every Christian had an "aura", you might have a bigger aura than I might have, he taught, and yours may have a different color then mine (of course he claimed he was not "new age"). You can categorically reject this type of prophet and remove yourself from the table. Sort of like when my parents served me liver as a child. The liver sort of ruined my side dishes as well. God does not force you to sit at tables where the foundational doctrines of Christ are destroyed. Jesus did not set up these types of tables, but make sure that you are discerning this by the Holy Spirit. The sad part is that most of the Christians at this particular meeting - received the message because signs and wonders followed. If this table is frequently seen, you should pray about leaving or pray that the minister will leave. It is not scriptural to associate with false teachers.
Let me give you an example of when NOT to leave the table. A minister may receive a God-given message but it has to pass through their pride that has not been dealt with. We see the pride and therefore reason that we can categorically reject the rest. If you are placed before a table like this, it is natural to reject all. God wants us to grow up and look past the pride with mercy and find the dish within. The minister of pride might have a specific word for you concerning your present affliction. Since the mouth of the minister is available God will use it. If you become offended by the pride you will miss your answer. The key word here is God has placed you at this type of table, it is not your placement.
In the natural realm we have many hang-ups
about what we eat, and in the spirit we have even more hang-ups about what
we eat. Sometimes we might have to save a certain dish for last, such as
our dessert or maybe a certain dish might be from heaven but God does not
permit you to eat at this dinner meal. The thing we must
learn is to humble ourselves to the point that Jesus is LORD OF THE TABLE!
We must always be discriminating of this spiritual diet, but if we receive
the Wisdom that comes from above, our diet will be as easy as rising up
early in the morning to collect the manna that has fallen on the ground
for todays growth. I have seen brethren who are hungry for God but when
they are fed the truth they become picky eaters. The ministers
mannerism offends them, they get offended at the ministers personality,
phrases, terminology, or the ministers emphasis on a matter offends
them. Unless we grow up concerning our attitude at Gods table, we will
remain carnal - we will remain immature. If
you are waiting for Gods perfect ministers to rise up to feed you, it
will be too late for your finishing of the race that God has called
you to run.
We should never use the term "nobody is perfect" to justify our fleshly activities. However it is necessary to show mercy in our hearing towards the imperfect server. We who are ministers are at best clumsy with our service. We will have a revelation of the Lord (the meal), but sometimes we will drop some of the food making our meat loaf look like dog food. We then ask the Lord "are you sure that you want to use me?" He always replies, "Yes, I have chosen the foolish things." Some ministers are prideful in their service and are simply blinded to how clumsy their service really is. Crowd response does not determine quality of service nor how good the meal is.
The person sitting at the table must show mercy. The person sitting at the table must eat the Nature of what was served though it was packaged in an imperfect way. The leper in the Book of Kings was told to dip seven times in the Jordan River and he would be healed. I see the leper sitting at the table, looking at the meatloaf in a "package" that looks more like dog food. In the Old Testament the leper replied, "Are there not much cleaner rivers to dip in?" The leper almost rejected the word from the prophet because of the package, and we do the same with our meatloaf because of the package. But the leper obeyed the word and looked past the package and he was healed.
No doubt I will say it in an insufficient manner, but many times the nature is the Son of God. When you bite into it, when you taste it - it tastes like Jesus! If you misunderstand, you cannot taste. But if you taste, you will see - that the Lord is Good. The Apostle Paul was misunderstood in this manner. He taught grace but they heard "licentiousness", a license to not obey any laws. But through wisdom, Paul would later on have to qualify in more detail what he taught. He would qualify what he said, but only after they had misunderstood. If the people had listened with their spiritual ears and looked with their spiritual eyes, it would have been unnecessary. If they had just tasted the Nature of what he spoke, they would have tasted of Jesus. Instead he was falsely accused.
Lastly, when we hear messages of the Lord, many times they are pieces of a puzzle. We first form the outer edges of the puzzle with all the available pieces, those pieces with flat edges; this represents the foundational & basic truths of our walk in God. Sometimes we prematurely see a piece of the puzzle and because we compare it to the image on the box, we know about where it goes. Therefore we place it in the general vicinity, sort of out there in limbo. Many times we will see a truth of the Lord and though we know it fits into Gods plan we are able to receive it, however we lack the understanding of how it relates to the other pieces or the other pieces simply have not been placed yet.
We pick up another piece that looks obscure to the image, we know that it fits but maybe it does not fit, certainly we cannot place it within the foundation that would be presumptuous, therefore we set it off to the side. Many times our insides know that a truth is of the Lord but our mind is not fruitful, we must not reject the piece, we must simply remember the teaching and allow God to cause us to see the fitting at a later time. Remember the most important part is the foundation, the outer edges, if we mess up here - our whole picture will be a total mess. We always fit to the frame, to the foundation that is none other than Jesus and knowing Him.
Concerning doctrines we have a list of foundational doctrines in Hebrews, they are elementary doctrines that form the frame. Teachings of milk are foundational, but lack the building, they are the puzzles frame but they lack the picture inside. Gods more excellent way will erect the building and fill in the picture.
As Christians we come to God with different levels of commitments. Many times we will submit to what He has chosen for our life and many times we decide to choose for ourselves what is good and what is evil or what is acceptable to eat and what is forbidden to eat or what puzzle piece to include or to reject. Many times we draw closer to Him in a more intimate relationship in Gods garden and many times we run away from God, hiding from His presence. God offers us truth in this life and we accept the confusion of the ungodly. God will bring you to a crossroads in your journey and it is in this valley of decision, in this desert place, we must commit to follow the more excellent way that is shown. If we will commit to Gods way, the nature that acts more like Adam instead of Jesus will no longer reign in our life.
In all of these matters concerning the food, concerning the puzzle pieces that we receive from Gods servants, there are important principles to hold fast to.
2 Cor 5:16
Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to
the flesh. (NAS)
As we continue in the teachings of Jesus through God's servants, we can be assured that we shall see about every type of server imaginable. There will be outright - false teachers & prophets. There will be the mixture folks, they are bitter and sweet water and you have to sort it all out. There will be others that teach without pride, with fear of God yet still lacking in "skillful handling" of God's revelation. There are others that have learned the true ways of God but have not learned to walk in it, and have not had their pride dealt with. Finally God will grow us up in the last days by sending ministers that are equipped "skillfully", speaking maturely - the ways and counsels of God. They will speak and impart Gods food from what they have habitually walked in instead of just possessing a hope of what they desire to walk in. The bottom line is, for us to not get bent out of shape when we are exposed to the servers. Simply do your part. Eat what God sets before you - a table prepared in the presence of your enemy. Do not come to Him in covenant, ever again, on YOUR terms. There is one at Jesus table who got up and left early Judas! Jesus knows His own and He knows also who will get up early from the table, fear God in this matter and it shall be well with you all the days of your life. Deal with what has been set before you and you shall eat of Him.
The bottom line is to eat what God sets before us; maturity in us has the ability to see that the message of God is perfect even though the messenger is not perfect. We can receive the perfect gift apart from the imperfect soul of man. Indeed if God has called you to a particular table, He has not given you a stone to eat but instead He has given His Own Son to eat. Eat the Lamb, even the immature know this; and yet we must proceed further to eat the whole Lamb of God, this takes the spiritually mature to digest. This is a change in diet and change in diet is opposed by the immature and it is attacked by dead religion. In these last days the scripture will be preached in a way that Jesus and His ways will be portrayed in a way we have never seen or heard. God will call us to the table; and yet because of immaturity and dead religion many will excuse themselves from that same table.
Though one might find spiritual salvation in spite of such ignorance and deception, we will find God excusing Himself from our tables as well. What does that mean? Because we have removed ourselves from our part of the covenant, God will not fulfill His part of the covenant in the Earth for covenant breakers. It is a serious thing with God to be wooed by His Love and to be rejected by His Own. You can certainly accept the Lord Jesus as Savior and reject Him as your Husband YOU MUST EAT THE WHOLE LAMB. Jesus is our covenant God, not some friend that we can tell I will do your will and receive everything that you have for me and when He says PARTAKE OF MY SUFFERINGS through His table server our response is I cannot receive from that minister because he does not fit in my favorite minister list. God will use some unlikely candidates to reveal Himself to you instead of the popular and accepted prophet.
The outcome, the result of excusing ourselves from the table is DENOMINATIONS and other sects. It is a division that came to the church long ago and it gave the church different versions of Jesus and His covenant. They came to the table with their opinions about scripture; they all came to Him with covenant that was set on their own terms. Though God will allow that for a season, God is sending a day when the one not eating properly will be the one not seen at the Masters table because they simply are not invited anymore. That is hard, would God exclude His Own? No, He would not, but we are not His Own if we will not make Him Lord of our table. We are not talking about spending eternity with Jesus; we are talking about the will of God being accomplished on the Earth, through His people.
The marriage supper of the Lamb is Gods
final feast yet it is a feast for today as well. That final feast is a
culmination, a fulfillment of those who have been invited to eat the whole
Lamb and received that Lamb, and ate that Lamb. There will come a day, a
time, in the near future when Gods eaters will be gathered together to
the feast of a Husband and bride. It is a feast for those that are
presently eating Him NOW! It is a feast for those that keep covenant NOW!
It is a people that Jesus calls FRIEND, one who Jesus takes pleasure
in. There may be those who are born again who did not enter into that
covenant of obedience, attending that feast, but only sharing in the
rewards of those who were obedient. Many want the rewards of heaven;
I want you to know that the food of the table (Jesus) at that
feast is - THE REWARD.
The reason I have emphasized these things are to persuade some away from a life of receiving the things of God as they deem fit. We want signs and wonders to be demonstrated as we have envisioned, we want a great harvest as we have imagined and we evaluate spirituality in others with an improper measure. Our standard of measure that we have used to compare the things of God - is defective! The proof of what I am saying is demonstrated in the lack of maturity in doctrine and practice. A defective standard produced defective doctrines that are then used as a foundation to build a defective house on. This is a manifestation of an immature people that grow up to a certain degree in their walk but have never demonstrated the maturity of the early apostles, elders and deacons. And the reason why we have never come to this place of maturity is because, though we started off in covenant with Him, God always calls us to a table where the covenant is a little harder to swallow, we sadly refused the meat. The Jesus of the scriptures is Fire and Ice and if you know Him as Ice, He will reveal Himself soon to you - as Fire. If we know Jesus as Fire, it is the will of God that you be presented Jesus Who is Ice.
Here is a truth of Gods mercy; Gods primary way to deal with you is through scripture and many times through one of His servants. This method of God contains the utmost in His mercy no matter what the content of the message. If you reject the message, if you reject the sender and if you reject the covenant He sends affliction to deal with it. Affliction here is not judgment, affliction is a method God uses to deal with you. There is a suffering because of righteousness, which we endure for His Name sake; this is NOT what we are talking about. We are talking about a God Who loves you so much and that is so merciful that when we refuse to eat something on His table, His mercy continues. Affliction is Gods mercy in action. God does not give up on us when we refuse to eat the whole Lamb. Instead God sends affliction to deal with us, to break our stubbornness so that we may see that what God set on the table was good to eat, and if you will eat it in faith it will bring life. See, the life is in that piece of the Lamb we have yet to eat. If we want to impart life to others, it comes through those inward parts of the Lamb that we have cast aside.
Let me give you a case and point. In the previous paragraph I wrote that God would send affliction to you as a believer. That He ordains it and He will be the One taking you out of joint. Not only is God permitting Satan to afflict you, I mean God is the One Who INITIATES IT - not the enemy! Now in saying that I am speaking a truth found in Gods covenant through scripture. This is a dish I just set on the table for you to eat. This is a part of the Lamb that maybe you have eaten before and it is no big deal or maybe it is a big deal because you were taught that ALL afflictions come from the enemy and Satan initiates all of it. There is a whole camp of believers that have refused to eat the Lamb of this Truth and have eaten instead of this - another doctrine. Others will say that it is an arguable point and we will know when we get to heaven. Jesus is only pleased when we share in His opinion, in His mind, NOW. Opinions that we hold apart from Jesus opinion are a result of improper eating.
We fail to eat properly whenever Jesus has an opinion or thought and we think contrary. We fail to eat properly whenever Jesus our Husband has a mind to do something and we think it is an arguable point or an unimportant matter. If Jesus thinks it is important, if Jesus operates a certain way we must receive and respond accordingly. In the Kingdom of God there are no arguable points; arguable points are found only in the kingdom of man. When Jesus has a thought, He has the Holy Spirit entrust it to those that share His thoughts. Those that have received these thoughts and have eaten have received the life of God in their belly and now impart the life of God to others.
At Gods table we do not sit as one
possessing human rights. We belong to Him. That means you do not have the
right to choose your diet or prophet. If you do select your
own prophets then God will use affliction to teach you. Does this mean
that we can escape affliction by proper eating? You must partake of the
sufferings of Jesus; they wait for you no matter what lessons you have
learned. The affliction we speak of can be avoided by being mature. The
problem is tomorrow we will do what we want to do,
go where we want to go and spend
our money where we want to spend it. In other words, for
most Christians expect affliction but with every sitting that you have
at His table, do your utmost to eat and obey. I hold the opinion that in
the last days the people of God will keep covenant having put away the
leaven of false breads and they will choose the unleavened bread of God
Jesus our Christ. They will be a people that Jesus takes pleasure with
and they will be a people that share in His sufferings as often as He
wills. The majority of affliction that they will suffer will be the
suffering of Christ in martyrdom.
Last update of this menu was 07/17/04 07:22:11 PM