Thursday, 5 August 2010

How we receive a person God sends affects what we receive from God

If you're a regular follower of this blog, my apologies for the lack of posts for a month or so now. Work and holidays and not having anything "fresh" to say have kept me silent.

On reflecting on the last few weeks, however, I've a few things to share that I think are worthwhile. The posts might not be as long as the last few, but hopefully they'll help to give you a flavour of how the Holy Spirit has been leading me.

John Bevere's ministry isn't one I've followed closely in years gone by, though he is very highly spoken of in charismatic circles.

I happened to turn on God TV just recently, and John Bevere was speaking at the Audacious conference in Manchester. He was speaking about honour and the four main areas where we are to extend honour - church, family, government and work. It was a thorough Bible study. He pointed out that Jesus' ministry was restricted in His home town because people saw Him as "just the carpenter's boy". He then went on to explain that how we receive the people that God sends or sets over us in authority in any of the four areas mentioned above, effectively determines what we receive from God.

This is, as he pointed out, a hard saying for people brought up in a democracy. And it is a hard saying for me. However it is something I have been cheweing over for a long time. My difficulty is not so much to do with the authority figures in my life; it's to do with me being an authority figure.

Let me explain. My personality make-up is such that I don't like too much structure and, if truth be told, have a bit of an aversion to a "top down" style of leadership. I like discussion. I want you to feel I am your friend. However, if Bevere is right - and I think he is -people are going to receive more from me if they receive me as someone sent by God than if they manage to become my friend. Why? Because the spiritual dynamic at work in honouring the gifting and anointing of God is more powerful and produces more godly results than becoming more intimately acquainted with and connected to me as a person.

For me, that doesn't mean that I cease to be personable! Nor does it give me the right to demand blind obedience from my congregation. But it does deliver me from any illusions about where the real spiritual connection takes place with people.


Anonymous said...

do you think its possible to leave the drawbridge down far too often, or far too wide open?

By nature, I make myself vulnerable but that means in certain places/with certain people - it hurts!

James said...

Hi - Thanks for your comment.

I think that the analogy of a castle with a drawbridge is quite helpful.

In the old days you only lowered the drawbridge for people who would pose no threat or do no harm to the inhabitants. However, if an enemy tried to attack the drawbridge was drawn up.

I think we have to "allow people in" who have our interests at heart, but close the door when we are uncertain of people's intentions. Sometimes we can't be sure and have to proceed with a measure of caution. Proverbs 12.26 says "A righteous man is cautious in friendship"

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James said...

Hi - Thank you for your encouraging comments. I really felt this teaching touched an important aspect of Biblical revelation that Westerners struggle with, and consequently rob themselves of God's blessing. Thanks for being faithful in declaring what you did. James