1 Jan 2001

Lording over your faith

Submitted by theshovel
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Hello my new found friend, Connie!! :)

I am so glad you wrote, and I am excited that you have received something of Christ's grace and freedom in what I have shared. :)

You ask my thoughts regarding the situation with this so-called apostle and his warnings. I'll be blunt, for it sounds as if he has set himself up as lord over your faith. I sense that you are suspicious of this. Is the work of God in you so faulty that you need a man to teach you? An apostle (which means, one sent by God) would be speaking truth to you that would be setting you free in the CONFIDENCE that you are FULLY QUALIFIED in Christ. An apostle would make sure you knew that you were just as connected to God as he is, for our common faith has made us all righteous in Christ, and has given us everything needed pertaining to life and godliness. An apostle would tell you that you are already totally adequate as a minister of Christ because you have the Spirit of God within you.

The apostolic warnings of Paul were not written to stifle the receiving of life from others, but was the cautioning against those who preach THEMSELVES. Basically, they were warnings to pay attention to those who have to talk about their own importance or their own spirituality.

Consider something with me. Why do people usually demand that you trust them? And why do we feel obligated to trust people simply because they say so? I'm not referring specifically to preachers or teachers, I'm talking in a general sense. You see, my own experiences of what motivates me to demand that someone believe me has mostly been while I'm trying to hide the fact that I should NOT be trusted!! My experiences of trusting people who claimed such reliability has caused me to kick myself for being so naive. Watch out for those who are trying to sell you on something, especially when they have a vested interest in you buying it.

It sounds as if this person is trying to sell you on his own importance, so that you will come to him for your spiritual well-being. All I can hear him telling you is that you will not be spiritually adequate or mature if you listen to anyone else but him. Is he really telling you about Christ and the freedom you already have in Him ... or does he hold it out as a carrot on a string? Does he want you to know that you can hear from God for yourself, and that no one else can hear from Him better than you ... or does he tell you that God speaks to him on your behalf? Does he create a tension between dependence upon God vs. dependence upon himself?

You know what I think? I think you ask me because you already know but are afraid you might be hearing it wrong. That's what I think. :) Connie, you have the life of Christ within you. I wrote what I did as a witness to what you already know, but may not have been able to put words to. You hear from God very well and I hope to encourage you to trust what He speaks to your heart!!

Please feel free to write back soon, for I hope to hear from you, and to know that your confidence in HIS working within you is strengthened.

Love,
Jim :)

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