Tag: Prophet

Lord of the Flies

20131007-210521.jpgIsn’t it funny how some thoughts seem to hang around for days without you knowing why? Well, here’s something that’s been buzzing around my head for a bit.

When’s the last time you thought about flies? You know, those pesky little critters with wings and big eyes. The ones that always have to fly in front of your face, instead of staying on the far side of the room. The nasty things that are attracted to stink and rot! Yuck!

Have you thought any lately about The Lord of the Flies? Remember that old movie? When I was in seventh grade our class had to watch the 1963 version of the film.

It definitely was a strange movie!

Its storyline went something like this: during WWII, a group of young British boys were shipwrecked on an uninhabited island, without any surviving adults. They had to figure out how to survive until they could be rescued. Some of the boys felt they should establish laws to govern their new civilization, build homes, and work for the betterment of all. Others, however, decided that playing, hunting, and living without rules was what they wanted to do. So there became a split in leadership, and opposing factions were formed. Eventually, and before they could be rescued, the lawless became the hunters and hunted the other group; even to the point of murder.

The “lord of the flies” was symbolized by a wild boar’s head, placed on top of a bloody pole, with swarms of flies covering it completely, inside and out. Nice mental image, eh?

Basically, the author of the book, William Golding, was trying to say that people, left to themselves, will not get better; only worse.

I believe I see his point.

But let’s look at a different “lord of the flies” story; one from the Bible.

“One day Israel’s new king, Ahaziah, fell through the latticework of an upper room at his palace in Samaria and was seriously injured. So he sent messengers to the temple of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether he would recover. But the angel of the Lord told Elijah, who was from Tishbe, “Go and confront the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is there no God in Israel? Why are you going to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether the king will recover? Now, therefore, this is what the Lord says: You will never leave the bed you are lying on; you will surely die.’” So Elijah went to deliver the message.” (2 Kings 1:2-4 NLT)

The city of Ekron, located about 20 miles west of Jerusalem, had their own special “god” to worship: baal-zebub, which means “lord of the fly”. Seems kind of stupid, doesn’t it? I mean, worship the god of flies? Maybe their god WAS a fly. I’m not sure, but either way, it sure doesn’t make sense.

The king of Israel was in a very bad condition. He felt as though he was dying, and he was right. So he sent his messengers to the “Fly God” to find out if he’d recover or not. (The king was trying to get the latest “buzz” on the matter-ha!) Sounds wild!

The prophet Elijah was sent by Jehovah God (the fly’s Creator) to the king’s messengers with a special word; in question form. Again, wild!

Imagine the knuckleheads who would actually seek wisdom from a Fly God! Of course, that happened somewhere around 2500 – 2800 years ago. People were a lot more stupid, more gullible, then anyone today! We’d NEVER try and talk with a fly (unless we missed a few times), or worship a Fly God!

No, we’d rather try and seek wisdom and direction from more reliable sources. Today, our society prefers to listen to whoever Oprah touts as great. Or, we may rather read the section of paper which carries the syndicated horoscope column. You know, find out what you need to know from some “nearby” planet or star!

Fortune cookies “work” for some, while others are beholden to whatever “cosmic revelation” they receive while flitting around the universe in their “mind capsule”. I’ll say it again; WILD!

The Lord’s question to the king is relevant to us today. “Why are you going to everyone and everything else for the answer you need? Why not come to Me?”

I may be wrong, but I believe the reason the king DIDN’T ask the God of Israel for an answer is because he knew he would have to change his evil, selfish, rebellious ways.

You see, flies really don’t care what you believe, what you say, what you look at on the internet, who you “sleep” with, or what you put into your body or spend your money on. Flies just don’t care about anything but food, stink, and other flies.

And that goes for OUR “replacement god’s”, as well.

If you’ve been having more conversations with flies, the television, or the horoscope columnist than with God, maybe it’s time someone asked you the question Elijah had for the king.

“Why the Fly God?”

Jonah

20130719-171438.jpgHello. My name is Jonah, son of Amittai. I come from a little town called Gath-hepher. Maybe you’ve heard of it, but probably not.

I am a prophet of God. Yes, I have heard the voice of God, for through the years He gave me different messages to speak to my generation. At times His word was so compassionate and full of mercy; like He was slow to anger and didn’t want to punish the people. You know, it’s as though His love was unfailing and He’d rather turn away from destroying anything or anyone.

But I’ve seen a side of Him most will never witness. I’ve experienced His words of displeasure. I’ve felt His intense anger, even hatred, towards evil doers and the rebellious. I’ve declared His word to ungodly kings and have sensed the spiritual forces at work in their lives. God has, at times, even shaken me right to the core of my being as I’ve heard the word I have been given to share.

A prophet’s ministry is not a glamorous one, that’s for sure. Allow me to give all you momma’s a tip; don’t let your babies grow up to be prophets. But then, maybe I’m biased. Yeah, just a little.

One day I got “the call” to go to the metropolis of Nineveh. What a huge, nasty city! A city given to worshipping the goddess Ishtar. Sexual perversion and an obsession for combat and war, were characteristic of her followers. A city so steeped in pride and arrogance, it was as though Lucifer had saturated the area with his presence. Pure evil!

Now, mind you, I wasn’t afraid of hard work. I wasn’t a coward when it came to speaking a Word from God, even if it was to the devil himself! Of course, you all know that I initially ran from my Nineveh call. But it wasn’t because I was afraid of what the people would do to me. Not at all. Rather, I had a uneasy feeling of what God might do. I’d heard that voice before, remember? That “I’m going to judge you if you don’t repent, and I really hope you’ll repent” kind of voice. I could see it coming!

So I picked up and started going; just as fast and far as I could go! In the opposite direction.

Do you know what it’s like to love God so much, and have such a desire to obey His every desire, and yet hate a group of people so intensely you can’t think straight? Do you have any idea what it does to a guy?

I figured I’d get out of town without letting anyone know where I went. No forwarding address, cell phone shut off, completely off the grid. Didn’t work, though. God never lost track of me. He followed me to the travel agency, watched me purchase the one way ticket to Tarshish, stood back while I boarded the liner, then, when we were out to sea, caused such a commotion among the crew and passengers they ended up throwing me overboard. Great! At least I would be able to be relieved of the battle of love and hatred raging in my heart and mind.

Wrong again! I’d heard of submarines before, but had never seen one, let alone been inside one. But there I was, sinking into the ocean one minute, then, from out of nowhere, I was swallowed by a big, ol’ fish. I tell you what; I remembered one time skimming through some of those fishing magazines at the local convenience store, and looking at pictures of some pretty big fish. But I had never seen a fish the size of the one I was now a resident of. Never!

It looked to me like I was right where God wanted me. Well, sort of. Where He really wanted me was in Nineveh. Then it dawned on me that He loved them, actually cared for that evil city, more than He cared for me and my feelings. By the way, where does a guy go to resign?

Yes, I realized God would go to the greatest measure, using whatever means available, to get His message of love and restoration to the ones I could only hate. I wouldn’t have been surprised, that if necessary, He’d even send His own Son to such an awful place, just for the sake of people who only practiced evil and cared nothing for their Creator.

As I said, being a prophet is not all it’s cracked up to be.

So, from the belly of the fish I prayed, searched my soul, contemplated the purpose of my life and God’s prophetic claim on my life. And though I did not want to go to Nineveh, I still wanted to be faithful to the Lord. So I cried out in repentance and He heard my cry. The next thing I knew, I was sailing through the air, heading for a beach with a road sign on it which read, “Nineveh – 102 miles”.

Isn’t that just like God! He had arranged for me to get stuck in a fish that was more obedient to His voice than I had been!

So, I cleaned myself up a bit, making myself a little more presentable for hitch hiking. Kind of hard to get a ride when you smell like a fish, with seaweed hanging out your pockets, sticking out your ears, and wrapped around your neck.

I arrived at the outskirts of the city a few days later. Feelings of hatred began to rage within me, and the urge to run from the assignment almost caused me to try and flee from God’s presence a second time. But I stayed, trying to focus on the message He’d given me to share.

“Forty days from now, Nineveh will be destroyed! Forty days from now, Nineveh will be destroyed!” For 3 days I said nothing else. I walked and talked, talked and walked. 3 whole days of,”Forty days from now, Nineveh will be destroyed.” There, I’d done my part. All I had to do was wait for 37 days, then watch the show. Sweet!

Except it wasn’t sweet! The king of Nineveh somehow got this bright idea to call everyone together for fasting and repentance. When I heard that, I just cringed. God could be such a pushover. I’ve always thought it would be best if God would allow me to take care of some of His less than desirables. It’s obvious to me, He doesn’t think straight at times. But that’s just my opinion.

Did I tell you it’s not easy being a prophet?

So there I sat, from my ringside seat, watching a mighty revival take place. I could see and hear people crying out to God, asking for mercy and forgiveness. I saw the city take on a new personality, a new character, as the old perverse ways gave way to the righteousness and holiness of God. Pride and arrogance yielded to humility as people submitted themselves to God and each other. What a sight!

I only wish I had been more receptive to the revival spirit. Maybe I would have been changed, and the hatred in me would have yielded to the love and forgiveness of God.

See, it’s possible to be someone God uses, and yet miss out on the most important part of the process! The part where one experiences the very thing they preach. When one understands the love that is beyond comprehension.

Great days are ahead for you, my friend. But tough days are coming, as well. Take a tip or two from me, will you? Don’t be satisfied with only being used by God. Don’t be content with your spiritual status. Everyone needs to change; to grow more and more into the likeness of the One Who is called God!

Your cities need revival, just as Nineveh did. And God calls people like you to speak His Word, declare His Righteousness and Holiness, and call for repentance. It may seem like an impossible feat. The cities are full of people obsessed with sexual perversion, pride, greed, and seeking after their own pleasure. And, remember, “no one really wants to seek God”. But don’t listen to that thought. It could just be your prejudices and hatred showing through.

“Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7 NLT)

Could Jesus Be An American Preacher In 2013?

American Church

What if Jesus was a Preacher in the American Church in 2013?

What would that look like? Would He know how to grow a church? Would He have a “staff” and what would that look like?

Could the Apostle Jesus plant a church in today’s society, economy, and denominational organizations?

How would He go about doing it? Who would He ask, what forms would He need to fill out, what extra training would He need before He would be given permission. Would He need to have a core group before beginning the work and what if He wasn’t the right age to connect with what the demographic researchers determined was necessary? Would He wear the title of “Apostle” like a badge that demanded recognition and obedience? Would He demand the tithe from His “children in the faith”? Would He serve others or expect everyone to serve Him?

Suppose Jesus came to church this year as a Prophet of God?

Who would listen? Would He even be invited to speak “a Word from God”? Who would give Him permission to speak? If He revealed too much of our hearts and lives, would someone shut down the meeting? Would He advertise in Christian publications, using full page, full color ads, describing Himself in such a way so He could get more meetings and publicity? Could He hold citywide crusades? Would He go to small venues, or would there need to be enough people to “support the ministry”? Would He “sell His services and prayers” for a nominal offering to help support the ministry? Would He promise a hundred-fold return for every nickel given? Would He be a person of integrity – and actually pray over each letter received, like He said He would – or would His staff collect the money from the envelopes and toss the letters?

Maybe Jesus would arrive as an Evangelist!

Healing, casting out devils, preaching the word of deliverance to those who come to the meetings. But, who would come? In fact, who would even schedule Jesus to have a meeting? The American church doesn’t need evangelistic meetings anymore, do they? After all, the local pastor can give “his” congregation everything they need. So really, no need for an evangelist. Just forget it.

Do you really think Jesus could last as a Pastor/Shepherd in 2013?

For how long? Could He make it 7 years? Could He handle loud music or old hymns? Would it make any difference to His church if He was bivocational? Would He sit in His office before “service”, not speaking to anyone so He didn’t “lose His anointing” or would He greet and hug, receiving all who came to Him? What organization would He have His preaching papers with? Would He go to “ministers meetings” for fellowship or would He stay in His own little world, complaining of how busy He always is? Would the congregation have to wait for months to schedule an appointment with Him? Would He return calls to missionaries or another minister, or would the calls be ignored? Would He allow His tee time to be interrupted by a telephone call from another minister, who just needs some encouragement? Would He realize Who is supposed to lead the local church, or would He maintain His “called right”?

Possibly, Jesus would show up as a Teacher.

Would He arrive with certain demands regarding His accommodations and meals? Would He speak at the people or to them? Would He have well staged theatrics and cute sayings, or would His teaching go beyond the use of clever and persuasive words designed solely for crowd pleasing. Would the message taught change lives or only sell books and build publicity? Would He speak to a waitress in a restaurant with the same “sincerity” He uses to teach the masses? Could He work hand in hand with the other ministries in the church? Would He yield the platform to someone less “gifted” if Father God had a different plan that day? And, how many houses would He need to demonstrate just how prosperous God had made Him?

We’re going to find out!

Jesus is wanting to minister as an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher – through you and I! I recall Jesus’ ministry throughout the Gospels, ministering as those gifts mentioned above, and I see the need for a lot of change. In me.

Maybe in you.

You and Jesus will determine that.

 

 

 

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