Recently I watched some old videos of the late John Wimber preaching and ministering. One of the things that was so refreshing to me was his authenticity. Rather than pushing people so that they would fall to the floor, he would encourage people to stay standing as much as possible. He would tell people that if they did not feel any positive change after prayer for healing, to simply be honest about it instead of trying to make the one praying feel good by claiming to be healed. He gave words of knowledge in a very simple and natural way. The overall feel he gave was “you can do this stuff too” not “I am a great man of God.”
I believe that there is a great need to recover authenticity in ministry today. If we are going to walk in the true power of God, we need to get real. The Bible indicates very clearly that a “love of the truth” is a safeguard against deception (see 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11). Part of loving the truth is being authentic.
The presence of hype is evidence of the lack of the presence of God. If God were with us to the degree that we claim, we would not need to employ soulish methods that mimic the anointing. It is not difficult to create an atmosphere of “anointing” through manipulating emotions with music, grandiose statements, and exaggerated claims; especially when people are hungry for the supernatural (To be clear, I am not against music in church; we just need to be careful not to use it the wrong way).
Although “falling under the power of God” can be a genuine manifestation, how many times are people actually falling under the power of the flesh or under the power of suggestion? Although prophecy is absolutely real and alive today, how many times are we putting a “thus saith the Lord” on something that really came from our soul and not the Spirit of God? Things like this matter!
The fact that we are willing to push people to the floor to appear anointed, make exaggerated claims, and flippantly use the name of the Lord, is evidence that we do not truly value the presence and anointing of God and that we do not fear the Lord. God’s presence, gifts, and anointing are way too precious for us to be so careless. Not to mention that His people are way too valuable to be manipulated and abused in this way.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit.” -Hebrews 4:12
More than ever, we need the sharp Word of God to discern between soul and spirit. We need the true power of God to be demonstrated without us trying to “make things happen.” If the power of God is lacking, we need to pray and wait on the Lord until it returns, instead of trying to make up for it with other means. I hope that we can put away hype and move more towards authenticity in ministry; may the presence and power of God increase in His church!
The LAST thing this world needs is a bunch of fluff with no stuff; we are far too inundated with falsehoods and the lack of reality, the person of Christ.
Thanks for sharing your insights!
“Fluff with no stuff” – I like that Joey!
There are many cessationists that do not receive the true manifestations of God because they have, on occasion, discerned soulish ones. Those who fake it, impede the truth.
That is a great point Karen…
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