Words, Words, Words or Will We be One?

 

Words, Words, Words

In the musical “My Fair Lady,” Eliza Doolittle (a woman taken off the streets of London by Professor Henry Higgins, a linguist who has been teaching her proper English), says to her would be suitor, “Words, words, words. I’m so sick of words! I get words all day through, first from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do?” Good question, Eliza. In this day of desktop publishing the problem of an abundance of words with little Holy Spirit content has become epidemic. T. Austin-Sparks, another Englishman, observed the same problem among Christian ministries where words are cheap and plentiful.

 A striking feature of our time is that so few of the voices have a distinctive message. There is a painful lack of a clear word of authority for the times…. Why is it so? May it not be that so many who might have this ministry have become so much a part of a system? A system which puts preachers so much upon a professional basis, the effect of which is to make preaching a matter of demand and supply; of providing for the established religious order and program? Not only in the matter of preaching, but in the whole organization and activity of “Christianity” as we have it in the systematized form today. There is not the freedom and detachment for speaking ONLY when “the burden of the word of the Lord” is upon the prophet, or when he could say, “The hand of the Lord was upon me.” The present order requires a man [or woman] to speak every so often; hence he must get something, and this necessity means either that God must be offered our program and asked to meet it (which He will not do) or the preacher must make something for the constantly recurring occasion. This is a pernicious system and it opens the door to any number of dangerous and baneful intrusions of what is of man and not of God. The most serious aspect of this way of things is that it results in voices, voices, voices, a confusion of voices, but not the specific voice with the specific utterance of God for the time…. (1)

Frankly, I also am tired of all the “words, words, words” with so little or no anointing behind them. I have had to whittle down my “Following” list to a handful of bloggers. I, also, have grown suspicious of the spiritual content of the ones that put out a periodical posting on a regular basis, whether it is daily or even weekly. Sometimes I go for weeks without Him giving me any inspiration to write and then, “Bang!” I might get three messages in a row only a day or two apart. Can you see Isaiah, Peter or John saying to themselves, “Oops, it is Sunday morning at 10AM and I need to get down to the temple and prophesy a chapter or two. The faithful are counting on me. I need to keep up my presence before the people or I will lose them”?

Amos prophesied this exact problem would be coming upon us saying, “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD” (Amos 8:11, ESV2011). Today there are thousands of Christian websites, blogs, podcasts, books, sermons, YouTube videos, Sunday services, and conferences where would-be authors and “ministers for Christ” spew out their cacophony of words, even laced with Bible verses, but how many of these messages have come out from the heart of God? When He finally does manage to get a word in edgewise, who in the land of Christendom has an ear to hear and distinguish it from the rest? Yes, Amos, there is a famine of hearing the words of the Lord, either because our minds are numb from all the words we bombard them with or we have never had spiritual hearing in the first place.

In 1980, God heard my cry to hear what He wanted me to do while the church we were members of went through a very destructive split. He answered my prayers by unplugging me from going to regular church meetings and reading almost all things by Christian authors so that I would learn to distinguish His voice from the all the other voices speaking in His name. The hardest to distinguish form His were the ones that preached with a lot of Bible verses to back up their points. Satan knows the Bible better than any of us and he knows how to use it to his advantage. It took years for me to get to the place where I could tell the difference and recognize when God was speaking to me and the further I go, the more quietly He whispers forcing me to draw ever closer to Him with greater attentiveness.

Austin-Sparks continues,

Here we have the necessity for an awakening to what God has to say. In the Revelation, this is “He that hath an ear, let him hear,” and in the case of Laodicea – which represents the end – it is “I counsel thee to buy of Me eye salve that thou mayest see.” “And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me,” said John. God is speaking, He has something to say, but there must be “a Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your heart being enlightened.” (1)

Jesus is the Word of God! He speaks to those who are His sheep. They know His voice and will not follow the voices of strangers (read John Ch. 10). Yet, so many Christians have said to me, “How can I know when Jesus is speaking to me?” To many of them the answer is, “Unplug! You are listening to and reading too many teachers. Break this habit of heaping to yourself teachers who tickle your ears. Get alone with God for a few months until you start hearing His whispered voice. Talk with Him and let Him be your friend above all friends.”

I find that few follow my advice. We go to church and read to be entertained and are information addicts. The more He gives me a word that puts the finger on where the spiritual problems are in Christendom, the smaller the audience becomes. Only a few have ears to hear what the Spirit IS saying to the church. If I want to see the stat counter on my blog jump up, all I have to do is speak words of comfort that do not challenge the status quo in Christendom. I completely understand the problem that Isaiah had with the people of Israel when God told him,

Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come, forever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Who say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. (Isa 30:8-11, KJ2000)

The moment Christianity became acceptable, popular and condoned by the Roman Empire in the fourth century, it started to die. The Christian faith is not a popularity contest, but rather a threat to this world and the prince that controls it. Didn’t Jesus say that few would find the straight path and narrow gate to eternal life? I think that the following quotation points out why.

For “the crowd” is untruth. Eternally, godly, christian-ly what Paul says is valid: “only one receives the prize,” [I Corinthians. 9:24] not by way of comparison, for in the comparison “the others” are still present. That is to say, everyone can be that one, with God’s help – but only one receives the prize; again, that is to say, everyone should cautiously have dealings with “the others,” and essentially only talk with God and with himself – for only one receives the prize; again, that is to say, the human being [singular] is in kinship with… the divinity. (2)

This is exactly what Jesus prayed just before He went to the cross,

Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth… That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me. (John 17:17 & 21, AMP)

This gives me a whole new light on what Jesus was praying, “Sanctify and set them apart to yourself, Father, that they might be ONE even as we are one…” God desires of us a singleness of eye, not focused on the world or even our fellow Christians, but on our heavenly Father. “Only ONE receives the prize.”

(1) http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/001541.html

(2) The Single Individual, by Søren Kierkegaard

Advertisements

35 comments on “Words, Words, Words or Will We be One?

  1. It is striking how similar this post and it’s point are to the last two I’ve written. Striking in a powerful way, for you and I Michael, do not communicate privately. And, a huge amen to the need to step away in order to know His voice, His heart.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Becky, Thanks for the confirmation, dear sister. It all comes down to, “Let he who has spiritual ears hear what the Spirit is saying to His called-out ones.” When we have ears to hear, we really do not need human teachers just like John said, for the unction who abides in us will lead us into all truth. You are a blessing! ❤
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lynette says:

    YES!!! Thank you Michael!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael, this is a beautiful post! I really love it!!! 🙂 ❤ 🙂

    As for unplugging in order to hear Him better, I was reminded of God's advice when He said,

    “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Ps 46:10 ESV)

    When God speaks to me, He sometimes uses Bible verses, too, but often only for confirming something to me. Normally God speaks through what I see and hear in my everyday life. For instance, He makes animals, trees, numbers, signs, and other ‘dead’ objects alive to my spirit so that I sense, “It is our God who wants to share something with me.” Even if I am not doing well, I perceive He is very concerned and tries to comfort me by speaking pretty often, let’s say, clearly about two or three times per hour, including the nights and in my dreams. Or God speaks directly to my heart by surprising me with funny jokes that make me smile again when I am hurting. God’s voice is so subtle, so small, and so tender. And it is easy to ignore Him. Therefore, let us be still…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, Your relationship with our Father has been such an inspiration to me! I have never known anyone like you to whom He speaks in so many diverse ways, yet who has spiritual understanding and alertness to perceive Him in them all. He has used you to get me to be more spiritually alert and prayerful before I act or speak, as well. You have been a real blessing in my life over the last three years. It is fun for me to listen to Him and share with you different scripture verses that I hear Him speak to me that fit with what you are hearing and writing as well. We truly have a God given fellowship in the Spirit. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • WOWEEEEEEEEE!!! 😄

        I am blown away by your words, Michael!!! Thank you so very much for this particular encouragement! 🙂

        Our fellowship is truly God given and I am grateful to Him and to you every day when I see how complementary the Body of Christ works with only two members. Since, what can one accomplish all by himself?

        Two saints, simple, humble and unimportant in this world, but really meeting together in the Spirit, can be a functioning instrument of Him to whom has been committed all authority in heaven and on earth. With them all these old limitations can be dismissed and they can at one moment touch all the ends of the earth. Do you believe that? (T. Austin Sparks)

        I still believe it since these sentences were God’s prophesy for us back then in 2013.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Michael says:

        Yes, dear sister, That was amazing how God gave us the clip from Austin-Sparks right from the very beginning and has continued to prove to us its prophetic meaning for our lives.
        http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/openwindows/003503.html

        He also wrote,

        “It is the Church, and His irreducible nucleus of the Church is two [but not limited to two]. It is a corporate thing, the bringing of the significance of the Body into view. When there is a functioning in the Spirit, it is nothing less than Christ risen, ascended and exalted, going on with His work through His Body, with all those limitations dismissed.”

        What limitations? How about time and distance to start with? Paul dismissed many other limitations when he wrote,

        “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:27-28, ESV2011)

        All things are possible as we abide together IN Christ, putting off the first Adam and putting on the Last Adam, no longer clothed with the fig leaves of religion, but with the very Son of God. Exploring these possibilities in the Spirit with you has been a great joy for me. ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes I go for weeks without Him giving me any inspiration to write and then, “Bang!” I might get three messages in a row only a day or two apart. Can you see Isaiah, Peter or John saying to themselves, “Oops, it is Sunday morning at 10AM and I need to get down to the temple and prophesy a chapter or two. The faithful are counting on me. I need to keep up my presence before the people or I will lose them”?

    That was sooo humorous! You made my day, Michael! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so true. We can hear the voice of the Spirit within us. So many say God only speaks through the bible but I believe he speaks many ways. We just need to learn to know his voice. Good article Michael.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Ken Burgess says:

    Michael, the following narrative in Matt. 11:16-30 came to me while reading this post. Jesus was constantly having to deal with the professional clergy types immaturity and selfishness. HiS ministry was ALL about, “hearing the voice of HiS Father” and ministering accordingly. No more and no less. (vs. 27) He had no interest in hearing any other voice. I truly believe HE was incapable of hearing other voices or a lesser voice due to HiS close proximity to the Father, even though HE was around many distractions. The major one being the religious leaders and their ridiculous questions. Even then HE only answered them with what HE heard from Father. 16 “But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17 and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.”

    20 “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.”

    25 “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.”

    28 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks Ken. Yes, the more things change by the hands of the flesh, the more they remain the same. The church has gone full circle in 2000 years. Sometimes we just have to step away from it all before we can hear what the Spirit is saying to the ecclesia, His called out ones. Remember that Jesus did not hang around long knocking on the locked door of the Laodicean church. John’s attention was drawn away from all that church stuff in chapters two and three when He heard Jesus’s voice and he turned and followed that voice which said, “Come up here and I will show you things…” Or in other words, “Seek first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness and all these other things will be added unto you.”
      Good to hear from you, my brother.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Michael,
    That one last statement, “Only ONE receives the prize.” gives a whole new understanding to “running to receive the prize” – it will take me a while for that to sink in. I can only thank God for The Holy Spirit ministry of revealing Christ through your writting.
    Blessings to you brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Patrick. How important it is that we hear Jesus final prayer for in it He encapsulates why the Father sent Him to walk among us… to restore all men and women into perfect unity (ONE) and fellowship with the Father and the Son. Only when two people walk in this same unity can we have fellowship in the Spirit with one another. It is no wonder that Jesus made this a priority for there to be a witness to the world that the Father sent Him that they might believe.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Pat Orr says:

    Your title is most challenging. “Words, Words, Words or Will We be One”? With a type of fear and trembling, I say, ” Father, I want to be a word”. Jesus was the Word of God, that is why I want to be a word.

    Thank you for the diligence that you put into the blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. […] My friend Michael Clark wrote about this also and said in his article: “Jesus is the Word of God! He speaks to those who are His sheep. They know His voice and will not follow the voices of strangers (read John Ch. 10). Yet, so many Christians have said to me, “How can I know when Jesus is speaking to me?” To many of them the answer is, “Unplug! You are listening to and reading too many teachers. Break this habit of heaping to yourself teachers who tickle your ears. Get alone with God for a few months until you start hearing His whispered voice. Talk with Him and let Him be your friend above all friends.” (https://awildernessvoice.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/words-words-words-or-will-we-be-one/) […]

    Liked by 1 person

  10. […] It seems sometimes I want to bombard my readers with almost one blog post every day. 😉 Actually, it was only about two or three weeks ago as I started to listen more closely to several talks and to observe my immediate inner reaction to what was being said, as I saw that there is a big difference between ‘words’ and ‘Words’. Before I begin to expound on this deeper, I want to point you to Michael Clark’s excellent article about the confusing deluge of words of any kind, even in the Christian world on the internet and elsewhere. Please, read his article here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Loretta says:

    Thanks for this!

    love, Loretta

    Liked by 1 person

  12. rockley says:

    This a reminder of what He has been laboring to show me for quite a while now centered on His words – “where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there”. To justify “meetings” the word “more” has been substituted for “three”. He’s leading me away from the trap that He’s there in the crowd and towards being more attentive when I’m with one or two other believers. He’s told us He’s there when there are two or three gathered unto His name, so my ears should perk up and be willing to hear – He just might have something to say to me. And while what He says may not be “life changing” it will certainly be “life giving”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks Rockley, Jesus literally said, “Where two or three are gathered INTO my authority and character, there I am in the middle of them.” This speaks of an intimate connection between us and Him. First we are to gather together into His very personage and it is there that He promises to be in the middle of our beings as well. He spoke of the same thing happening with Him and the Father and desiring us to be part of it. “That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21, KJ2000). Can you see how mere religious gatherings miss the whole point of why Christ came? If we have no intimacy with and in the Father and the Son, we will have not spiritual intimacy with one another either.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Alan Haungs says:

    According to Col. the body grows from holding the head. Generally Christian one-ness is rather commonly practiced by Christians by attempting to “hold” each other. Holding the body, not the head. This is because we don’t believe that Christ is capable of building his church. Constantine’s kind of church oneness only serves those who seek to rule. 1000s of Constantine’s have come and gone to both unite and divide the believers under their rule. Once Christ alone is ones interest, it works very easy to join with another person whose only interest is in Christ also.

    Like

    • Michael says:

      Well said, Allan.

      “…holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.” (Col 2:19, ESV2011)

      We can only be one, nourished and grow together with each other if we are first one IN Christ as our Head and our supply. Each member of His body must first hold fast to Jesus, not some human counterfeit.

      Like

  14. Alan Haungs says:

    I just read the story of Balaam (Numbers), who is mentioned repeatedly in the New Testament text also. I mention this only because it really has me thinking. Maybe Balaam will come up in one of the conversations at some point? Mike, I would love to hear at some point what others may of discovered during our present age of Balaam. I am wonder if Narcissistic supply paid to Leaders is the same sin as paying them money for their “divinations”?

    Like

  15. Barton Jahn says:

    Brilliant post…won’t find one like it in a thousand on the internet.

    I post daily…but I tell the visitor upfront in my Home page that I am taking excerpts from my Christian books…and inserting new articles/posts from time-to-time. I could not produce at this point in my Christian walk a fresh and insightful post on a daily basis. My inspiration comes directly from my personal experiences following Christ…and they tend to come as a bunch…often starting with an idea coming to me at 2 a.m.

    If we want to know where real inspiration comes from I think we can look at Paul in the book of Acts…he was getting hammered and attacked by the world…yet this is what divided truth from error for Paul…already a highly educated Pharisee…into the John 16:13 and 1 Cor. 2:6-12 truth that has the power to reach people…but we must pay the price of the cross of Christ in our lives if we want to purchase a similar grasp of the issues…seminary degree or not.

    Loved your essay…really excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thank you, Barton, for the encouraging comment. George Davis and I have also written many books from which I could draw, but even that would be “old manna” to me so I wait to hear His voice. Like you, I often hear a portion of a verse or get an inspiration in my quiet moments or even something comes to the surface while in fellowship with another saint. Lately, I have been enduring more dying and going through another long dry spell. Funny thing, though, now that I have turned my blog over to the Lord, I even get more “followers” on it even without posting anything.

      May the Lord continue to be your inspiration,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  16. DevBlog says:

    My inspiration comes directly from my personal experiences following Christ…and they tend to come as a bunch…often starting with an idea coming to me at 2 a.m.
    If we want to know where real inspiration comes from I think we can look at Paul in the book of Acts…he was getting hammered and attacked by the world…yet this is what divided truth from error for Paul…already a highly educated Pharisee…into the John 16:13 and 1 Cor. 2:6-12 truth that has the power to reach people…but we must pay the price of the cross of Christ in our lives if we want to purchase a similar grasp of the issues…seminary degree or not. You are welcome, Pat. Yes, that we might be so One with Christ the words we speak are from Him alone, in Spirit and in truth.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s