What is the price for rising above entry level prophesying?
Fourteen or so years ago, I was invited to fellowship with some men at a breakfast meeting. I sat next to a youth leader and across from another one.
The two talked about the struggles they had with motivating young people to live for Jesus. Each inquired how the other’s youth meeting was handled. Both replied about having structured meetings, but still, they wondered aloud, what else could they do.
“Why don’t you teach them to love the presence of the Holy Spirit?” I said, barging into the conversation.
“Oh, I’ve tried that, but it’s a lot of work,” said the youth leader, sitting across from me.
“Did the kids enjoy the experience?” I asked.
“Oh, yes,” the man replied. “They loved it.” He paused, then added, “But it’s so iffy, you know? So, I’d rather have a more structured meeting.”
As soon as possible, I offered my apologies and left the breakfast table.
His answer caused me to become so distraught that tears flooded down my face. Passersby stared at me, wondering what my problem was. I didn’t care. Every part of me ached.
“Jesus, the church doesn’t care about Your presence or You. They only care about their programs,” I cried. “And to be honest, Lord, I don’t like Your church and would rather have nothing ever to do with it.”
Now, to be honest, my agony came out of wounds and hurts from bad experiences and rejections by other Christians and churches. It certainly wasn’t the fault of that youth leader; he was innocent. It’s just that his words lit the fuse on my inner powder keg.
From that day onward, the Lord worked on me. He used hammers and chisels welded by people and the Holy Spirit to break up the hardness in my heart. To Him, it was personal, not just another religious exercise. The process was lengthy and not pretty.
You see, Jesus absolutely loves His church. His church is His all-consuming passion. He loves the least and the greatest member of it. He sees the church as His Bride, and guess what? He is head over heels in love with her.
Today, I love the church, the Bride of Jesus. His work was painful, but effective in me.
Now, here’s some advice to you: if you have any problems with other Christians, such as Pentecostals or Charismatics or Fundamentalists or Evangelicals or Snake-handling sects or whatever, I suggest you ask the Lord to give you a deep, dying on the cross type of love for them.
This suggestion will save you time and pain.
By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)
(Continued in Part 9.)
*I have used the word prophesy in a general sense to denote prophecy, words of knowledge and words of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10).