admonition, church, discerning the spirits, divine inspiration, doctrine, encouragement, exhortation, false spirits, Flesh vs. Spirit, God's voice, good works, inspiration, knowing God, prophecy, prophetic function, prophets, revelation, Revival, T.A. Sparks, teaching, The Bride of Christ, The Burden of the Valley of Vision, the cross, true faith, warning
A misty morning, sitting at the hairdresser. Looking out the window, I see people hurrying to and fro around the main station area in Fürth. As I had asked the Lord whether I should begin to write a new blog article here or not, He answered, “If you like.” I responded, “Only if YOU like!” since I have had no clue, until now, what to write about. 🤔
However, that’s IT, indeed! 😊 I do not want to write about the BIG things God might be inclined to do through us because that would not be the truth. How many Christians still tend to believe that God’s main interests were in revival, in teaching proper doctrine, in healing the sick and helping the needy, or in evangelism aka preaching the gospel to save the lost? “Hey, wait a moment…” I hear someone say, “The Bible tells us that some of these things you mentioned will follow those who believe.” Yeah, that is right. But do we really believe just as Jesus believed His Father? Do we think that our Lord cared and worried about these issues as we do today? Or did He not, rather, care about what His tender loving Daddy in heaven had on His mind at any given moment?
Sooo… what is on His mind right now? I don’t know, and you don’t, either, unless He gives one of us, or both, or three or more of us something to share. Divine inspiration is a gift that comes down from heaven whenever God wants to reveal something, either to encourage or to warn against spiritual dangers which are so common today. Nowadays, it might be more necessary to share exhortations than any other kind of writing. Although, reflecting briefly on the way the apostle Paul wrote his letters, I wonder how often he would pamper his readers. Didn’t he frequently rather admonish carnal-minded Christians to NOT listen to false spirits that presented themselves as pleasing to their flesh? Whenever Paul did so, he fulfilled the prophetic function which was a personal thing in the Old Testament. A prophet was someone who would be called by God to be His mouthpiece for lifetime, which meant often until he was killed for having obeyed the Lord, since God’s chosen people rarely (or even never?) wanted to hear what God had to say. Today God might use anyone to speak prophetic words to the Church, to the Bride of Christ. However, He will not use someone who keeps living after the flesh, still. Instead, God takes us through a severe purifying process where our spirit (fed by God) and our soul (fed by our flesh) are separated completely. Let me insert a warning here.
Beware of Christians who do not know the cross of Christ in their life personally!
Beware of Christians who think that suffering would be over since Gethsemane!
Beware of Christians who confuse their bouncing soulish emotions with the heart of God!
Beware of Christians who begin to work for God without knowing Him on a very personal level!
‘Beware’ here means we should be careful to not heed what such people have to say about God. These people I have been thinking of are not necessarily strangers, preachers on TV, or evangelists on the radio. It can also happen that close friends, or even spouses represent those to whom we should only cautiously listen, weighing every word by asking God about the proper discernment. If we allow them, i.e. these people, to influence our thinking anyway, we need to suffer the consequences that consist of both confusion and a progressive drowning out of the voice of the Holy Spirit in our life. If you want to dig deeper into this issue, I offer you a link to an older article of mine where I expounded with Michael Clark’s scriptural support on why NOT to allow demons to speak, at all. You can read the blog here if you like. Today I would even say that we should be careful about what to think and mull over. Sudden worries and unreasonable fears that attack us out of the blue usually spring from the dark spiritual realm in order to weaken our trust in God’s providence for our life.
Furthermore, I submit a whole (but not so long) article by T. Austin Sparks where he described the features of someone who is used by God as a prophet and the problems one must face in such a case. To be honest, no human being would choose the prophetic function on their own since regarding earthly standards, it is anything but fun. But there is always a spiritual reward for obeying God to do HIS will. It is His peace that follows our obedience immediately. Peace that does not care about circumstances at all as we, most evidently, can see as we look at Stephen who was stoned by those who thought they were doing God a favor. Did he care for his body or severe pains as he was at the same time enabled to see the Living God and Jesus Christ right before him in heaven? I guess no…
Since TAS article below refers to a Scripture that mentions a BURDEN to be a seer of divine revelations, here are the verses to which reference was made.
“The burden of the valley of vision. What aileth thee now, that thou art wholly gone up to the housetops?” (Is 22:1 KJV)
“The Burden of the Valley of Vision”
by T. Austin-Sparks (May, 1945) or another contributor to the magazine
Reading: Isaiah 22:1
The word “burden” here just does mean a load or weight, as much as a man can carry. Thus the Prophets felt what the Lord had shown them to be something that weighed heavily upon them and often overwhelmed them.
The prophetic function is brought into operation at a time when things are not well with the people and work of God, when declension has set in; when things have lost their distinctive Divine character; when there is a falling short or an accretion of features which were never intended by God. The Prophet in principle is one who represents – in himself and his vision – God’s reaction to either a dangerous tendency or a positive deviation. He stands on God’s full ground and the trend breaks on him. That which constitutes this prophetic function is spiritual perception, discernment, and insight. The Prophet sees, and he sees what others are not seeing. It is vision, and this vision is not just of an enterprise, a “work”, a venture; it is a state, a condition. It is not for the work as such that he is concerned, but for the spiritual state that dishonors and grieves the Lord.
This faculty of spiritual discernment makes the Prophet a very lonely man, and brings upon him all the charges of being singular, extreme, idealistic, unbalanced, spiritually proud, and even schismatic. He makes many enemies for himself. Sometimes he is not vindicated until after he has left the earthly scene of his testimony. Nevertheless, the Prophet is the instrument of keeping the Lord’s full thought alive, and of maintaining vision without which the people are doomed to disintegration.
While it has so often been an individual with whom the Lord has deposited His fuller thought and made His prophetic vessel, it has also very frequently been a company of His people in which He has been more utterly represented. Such companies are seen scattered down the ages. They were the Lord’s reactionary vessels. Such, surely, are the “Overcomers” of every “end-time”. The mass of Christians may be too taken up with the externals and accepted ways of Christianity; too spiritually satisfied with the lesser; too bound by tradition and fettered by the established order. The Lord cannot do His full thing with them because He does not put His new wine into old wineskins; the skins would burst and the life be wasted – not conserved to definite purpose. He finds Himself limited by an order which – while it may have been right at a certain time and for a certain period to carry His testimony up to a certain point – yet now remains as the fixed bound, and for want of an essential adjustableness His fuller purposes are impossible of realization. So it was with Judaism, so it has become with Christianity, and so it is with many an instrumentality which has been greatly used by Him. There is no finality with us here, and it is dangerous to the Lord’s interest to conclude that, because the Lord led and gave a pattern at a certain time, that was full and final and must remain. Every bit of new revelation will call for adjustment, but revelation waits for such a sense of need as to – at least – make for willingness to adjust.
The Lord needs that which really does represent His fullest possible thought, and not those who are just doing a good work. But it costs; and this is the “burden of the valley of vision”.