Will you be disqualified from the next move of God?

Marko Joensuu         No comments
There will be a new move of God coming to earth, but many Christians, and especially Christian leaders, are in danger of disqualifying themselves from being part of it. And the most tragic thing is that many leaders who have prophesied about this coming move of God will be excluded from it.

Jesus once said to His disciples: “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?” (Matthew 17:18)

In many ways, we have been a faithless and perverse generation. Over the last twenty years, God has sent us many revivals, but we have done a pretty bad job in guarding them. Because of that, I believe that God is getting ready for a generational shift as He will begin to shift His favour from former Davids who have become Sauls, and will be giving it to a new (spiritual) generation, hopefully able to carry His blessings.

Don’t be disqualified

The apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27,

“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

I believe that these verses refer both to our eternal reward and our reward on earth. And the apostle Paul seems to have been aware of a particular danger in the lives of those who have served the Lord for a long time.

It is hard to maintain discipline over decades, but that’s what is necessary for Christian leaders to finish well. Often, we begin our Christian journey with zeal, believing that, over time, our battle will become easier. But in fact, the battle will only become harder.

No matter how hard it is to come to Jesus for the first time, to ask for the forgiveness of sins, it is more demoralising to come to Jesus to ask for the forgiveness of sins for the thousandth time! It seems accectable to fail without Jesus—but to fail with Jesus—that feels bad.

No matter what you call it—it is still sin

As we walk with God, gradually, we begin to realise that we will be fighting against our sinful nature for the rest of our life. Psychologically, because of that, many leaders begin to ignore behaviour in their lives that they wouldn’t have found acceptable only a few years earlier, and the sense of devastation they felt before after they had sinned begins to recede. Whereas earlier they struggled with understanding that God’s love and mercy can cover the multitude of their sins, now they begin to forget the severity of sin—that sin is such a serious matter that Jesus had to die for it.

Also, this is often combined with a sense of entitlement that begins to creep in.  We can see that this sense of entitlement and elitism had crept in before David slept with Bathsheba.

2 Samuel 11:1 says,

“It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.”

Whereas in the past King David would have led the troops, now he stayed at home. And what was worse, he had created the perfect environment for himself to fall. Because the men of Israel were at war—including Bathsheba’s husband—Bathsheba undoubtedly felt safe enough to bathe in a way she might have not done had all the men of Jerusalem been in the city. I suspect that she felt safe in the city of women—when in fact King David was watching her  every move.

I don’t think that many Bible readers understand that David’s adultery was 100% his fault and not Bathsheba’s. The closest we get to the situation she faced today is after an adult is accused of sleeping with an underage girl or boy—the court never accepts the argument that any relationship would have been ‘consensual’ due to power imbalance and our sense of the adult's responsibility.  Here David was the King who could have chopped off her or her husband's head, had she wanted to.

That’s how so many ministers fall. Surely you are entitled to relax a little, because you have given so much to others, they think. Surely being God’s 'anointed one' gives you special privileges, they think, as delusion sets in.

For example, a leader might suffer from an impulsive temperament, but in the past he or she has managed to keep anger under control. But now he or she feels ok after outbursts of anger. In fact, because of the way God has used him, he begins to feel that he must be angry because God is angry—that these outbursts are justified. Another minister feels justified watching porn in his hotel room after a successful conference because he feels his wife has denied him sexually.

But the demands of discipleship don’t change or get lowered just because your status increases in the Church. In fact, they should increase. And the Sermon on the Mount and Jesus’ instructions apply to all his disciples—even the Pope! There is no 'wear and tear' exclusion clause in the Sermon on the Mount. No matter how tired and weary we feel, God's Word doesn't change.

Talking about it isn’t doing it

The worst delusion many Christian leaders suffer from is to think that because they spend most of their time talking about discipleship they are in fact disciples.

And because these leaders spend their time telling other people what to do, no one is left around them with courage or discernment to tell them that they might themselves not be doing what they tell other people to do. Without realising it, they have become Pharisees and hypocrites.

But talking about it doesn't mean you are doing it. Paul was aware of the danger of the delusions that come from talking about something without doing it. That’s why he disciplined himself to ensure that he wouldn’t be disqualified.

In 2 Timothy 2:20-21 Paul instructs Timothy,

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”

There is a good work of God coming, but I fear that many of will be excluded from being used as a vessel for honour.

There is a common misconception about the origin of revivals. As they seem out of our control and often start from places we have never heard about, many think that it is pointless to prepare for them.  But just because we don’t know someone, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t know that person—or those people—and He has in fact been looking around the earth to find anyone whose heart is ready to carry a revival.

Paul says that there is a work of cleansing that we need to do—in partnership with the Holy Spirit. It takes resilience and faith to begin that work for the thousandth time, but that’s exactly what we all must do.

A cleaner’s job is one of the hardest. You tidy up the place yet another time and the next week when you get back it is messy again. But we need to let the blood of Christ and waters of the Holy Spirit keep on cleaning our hearts again and again. 

In recent months, I have found myself wrestling with these questions regarding preparation for the coming move of God. I fully understand the complacency that so easily sets in after many years of ministry, after you realise that many issues in our life aren’t black and white but grey, and whether they are right or wrong depends on our motivation and attitude of heart.

But also, I am fully intent on not being disqualified from being part of the next move of God on earth.

Christian life is a marathon not a sprint and if you are hitting the halfway mark, don’t let that halfway fatigue set in but press on.  Decide that no matter what happens around you, you won’t be disqualified from being part of the next move of God.
Published by Marko Joensuu

Marko Joensuu has worked for over sixteen years in the publishing and media ministries of Kensington Temple. He is an author, publisher and screenwriter.
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