Do you have that one person or that one teacher? You know what I mean. It’s that one person that unintentionally had such an impact on your life. That person, that one class, that one sermon that makes you say, “Where would I be without it?”
As I wrestle with my faith and some members of my church this week, I think back to that one man, that one sermon that affected me so much.
Sadly, I never got to meet him. I only listened to him on old recording of his preaching. I find myself disagreeing on some of his sermons, but, man, he could light a fire in a rainstorm with his passion. How empty is the pulpit these days in comparison?
We are so busy trying to get people into the church, but how important are we in getting people into the Kingdom? The great hymn Amazing Grace says, “I once was lost, but now I’m found…” If people don’t know they’re lost, how can they be “found”? People have no issues being lost as long as no one disturbs them.
How Empty Is The Pulpit?
How many times have I heard a call on an “experience”?
“Lord, may we have a new experience today.”
How many marriages fall apart because we have such a high expectation? A need for a new experience? We expect our marriages to be some romantic comedy movie. But the fact is, what we should expect, we should expect weekly wages not getting you to the end of the week. Expect illnesses that really hinders the “romance”. There’s nothing more romantic than helping your spouse go to the bathroom (sarcasm intended). Sometimes there are bad days and the good days seem like they are few and far between. And we say, “I quit”.
Do we expect our faith to stand when the “experience” is less? Plenty of churches these days are great places to get an experience, but we aren’t prepared for those “unromantic” days. Those days, like the Israelites in the desert were unsatisfied with their ‘daily bread’ (Manna) and they were unsatisfied with God.
We’ve Become Unsatisfied
We are unsatisfied with God. We read every verse of the Bible looking for God to speak to us. Am I wrong in being overjoyed at reading the Bible and wanting God?
We fill the church with promises that if you turn to Jesus Christ you’ll get a better job, a bigger house, a faster car. If I was given nothing other than the cross and the Bible, that would be more than enough.
I am already unsatisfied. I am unsatisfied with a church telling me that as evidence of a true believer I should have bigger and better things. They say that I should have all of these “spiritual” gifts and doing speaking tours, prophesying over everything.
Where Would I Be If I Had The Spirit Of A Prophet
The sermon (or sermon jam= sermon with music) was by Leonard Ravenhill and he spoke on The Spirit Of A Prophet. He didn’t speak about me (or put me into the text), he spoke about John the Baptist.
“Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.” (Matthew 11:11a)
John the Baptist didn’t preach in the church (or temple), he preached in the wilderness. And he didn’t preach prosperity, he preached repentance.Tweet
This sermon offered so much hope for me.
Don’t get me wrong, in no way do I claim to be a prophet, but I question my faith when I’m not prospering. I hear, “God wants you happy and healthy, prosperous, successful,” and on and on. But if you look at those in the Bible, Elijah, Jonah, Paul and so on, did they prosper in this worldly way?
Elijah was afraid… “I’ve had enough, LORD. Take my life.” (1 Kings 19:3 & 4)
Jonah prayed… “Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” (Jonah 4:2 & 3)
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
Sometimes I just love listening to this man pray. And other times, I love listening to this man speak with such passion on people of prayer. And I can just agree with him, by saying, “Amen”.
In 1 Corinthians 14, Apostle Paul is teaching about the importance of unity in Church. While he encourages speaking in tongues, he says that he’d much rather people prophesy for the betterment of the Church.
For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say… Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else… say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified. (1 Corinthians 14: 13 & 16-17)
Check out Leonard Ravenhill’s Spirit Of A Prophet
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