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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Real Generals in the Church

Image from Saatchi Art.
Often, when we say "great church leaders" today, we refer to people's visible leadership achievements---ministry size, money, building structure, titles and degrees, possessions---things the flesh appreciates. I very seldom see people refer to deep spiritual qualities. Thus we see "spiritual generals" today. They are leaders who produce what the physical eyes respect.

Once upon a time I also saw things in that light. Physical size and quantity determined what I thought pleased God and merited his commendation, "Good and faithful servant." Because that was what we were taught in church. God had nothing to do whatsoever with anything small and simple. It had to be grand and glamorous.


But then the Lord started showing me the truth. God's value system is the exact opposite of what the world commends. The least is the greatest. It's there in the Gospel but somehow we always fail to see it for what it really is. We just read about it, perhaps preach it now and then, and then go on with real life as usual. We forget what we looked like in the mirror. We still go after anything catchy, gross and spectacular.

In the end times, a particular scroll in God's right hand that has seven seals will need to be opened but no one in heaven, on earth or under the earth will be found WORTHY of doing it---or even look into it. That is, no one except the lamb that was slain. A very lowly animal, not well cared for or good-looking, but slain. Bloodied. Rejected. Belittled. Beaten and kicked out. Not applauded or celebrated. We've got to get a lot of revelation from this.

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A lamb that was slain. This lamb was the only worthy individual in God's eyes in all creation. Not even the great men in the bible and in the church were worthy. Do we see people and things also in this way? Or do we use the eyes of the world to weigh them?

Physically, the Lamb looked like a failure. Defeated. Small-time. A nobody. But in spirit, God saw him as the Lion of Judah, the Root of David. Well, when he came to earth, no one saw him like that. They saw him as a nobody. In fact, he was an ugly thing to them. Isaiah said:
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Today, the church uses the same eyes of the world to appreciate people and things. We applaud people with big achievements, big ministries, big bank accounts, big membership, big titles, big everything. Oh, and often that includes bigheads---people who take pride in themselves and their trophies. The elite. The church is mesmerized by them. If you're lowly and meek, you're nothing.

Thus, everybody is after fame and glory, even marginalized ones. Or sometimes, especially them. Having started poor, they strive to make it big in life someday. Unknowingly, they were given grace by God to start right---to start lowly and simple like David did---but they scorned that chance and pursued after the world. They want to be like the rich and famous. They doggedly went after anything that would give them what their flesh craved for, what tickled their egos. They pursued what would give them artificial promotion. Remember King Jeroboam?

King Jeroboam was given grace to start right. He was promised 10 tribes of Israel---if he waited for the right time for God to promote him. We're all given that grace from the start. Question is, would we have the faith and patience to wait on God? Or would we grab that chance and make it work ourselves by making things happen? Jesus once decried: "But will the Son of Man find faith on the earth?" 

As the end times draw nearer, the church will grow more impatient and will try to hasten God's will through their own efforts. Instead of producing Israel, it will produce Ishmael and call it "Israel." But in the end, they'd see God reject it. God is after the genuine glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish.

But God will allow such impatience in church because in the process the real spiritual generals in church will be revealed. Like Jesus, they will not "shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets," said Isaiah. They don't need to prove anything or attract attention to themselves. By just living the LIFE of JESUS, they will cause God's awesome powers to be manifested. 

And these are not great pastors or church leaders. They are simple, quiet and lowly members of the church who just do what God wants them to do in their quiet corners. They're spiritually accurate. They're not popular, though. They're seldom recognized. They're even sometimes numbered among the "inactive" in church, or so-called bench warmers. People think they just sit in pews doing nothing.

But in God's eyes, they're like the Lion of Judah and the Root of David. They are quiet but they have awesome spiritual lives. They're holy like their God. They have faith that can move mountains, or even re-align planets and heavenly bodies to affect the seasons. They actually have great stature in the spirit realms. Angels are alert to their gestures and devils cringe at their every word. In heaven, they are known as "highly esteemed," as Daniel was.

They say short, simple prayers (unlike Pharisees who love to be seen praying and uttering sublime, poetic words), but when they pray God listens and commands all angelic hosts to pay attention. God moves heaven and earth to answer their prayers. They sing simple songs with average voices. But when they do, the choirs of angels join them.

These are the real generals in the church. Eyes of flesh cannot appreciate them. They're like mustard seeds which are the smallest in God's garden but in spirit grow abnormally big. In fact, the biggest and tallest tree of all. The birds, who think they call the shots in church, really rely on them to get God's mercy. So they perch on their branches. 

As long as these generals are in church, the church is favored with mercy. So make sure you don't make these little ones stumble. It's better that you tie a rope with a millstone around your neck and throw yourself into the sea than cause these little ones of God to stumble.

Continued here.

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