I love going to meet with other Christian groups, I learn so much!
It's great to be around like-minded people of faith. It also gives me hope to be so well-connected. But sometimes, it can magnify our differences. This may open new talking points or close off communication altogether.
The mature Christian will not see it as a threat, but an opportunity. There was a time in my life where I was not what you would call a “mature” Christian. What I didn't know at the time was that God had gifted me with the art of "the Question.”
Unfortunately for some, a well-placed question will have the unseen effect of exposing them.
A great example is Matthew 16:13-20 when Jesus asked the apostles, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" Then followed it up with, "Who do you say that I am?” With those two questions He found the source of the information they were using as truth, then confronted them with the actual truth - that after all the time they spent with Jesus they were still blind to who He really was!
In our journey as practicing Christians, we are bound to run into groups of people that have taken things, for lack of a better term, too far…
Enter what most people call the "Name It and Claim It Crowd.”
Now bear with me. I know some will say, "Is it not our duty as mature Christians to call out things in the name of Jesus?” and I could not agree with you more. But to do it without wisdom brings separation. Not good!
I think two things need to be considered before one would "pull the trigger" on doing things in Jesus' name:
1. (God) "Did I send you?” 2. (Man) "Did I ask you?”
If the answer to one or both of those questions is “no,” then are we not moving under our own power and wisdom?
The group I had been talking to were very excited to tell me what they did the night before. They said they spent the evening in a local hospital with a friend who had cancer, calling on that cancer to leave in Jesus' name until they were told by the hospital staff that it was time to leave. So, I prayed with them for a quick recovery for this person, but something deep inside me was troubled by what I heard.
As you might remember from previous blogs, when God talks to me, the revelation is so powerful that it feels like He just dropped a building on me, and that night was no different!
As I fumbled around in the wee hours of the morning, trying my best to get what God was telling me down on paper, I felt a calm that I have never experienced before and immediately thanked Him for it.
This is what He said to me:
“If someone had cancer and God, in His wisdom, wanted to use it for the good, and change the life of 25 people, then I come along and, in my own wisdom, see it as evil and call on the name of Jesus for this cancer to leave, have I not then eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and have myself become Judge?”
I have at that point told God to stop something that He was about to use for the good, and in the process, denied 25 people the kingdom of heaven.
It says in Matthew 12:25 (and I am paraphrasing here)
"A kingdom divided against itself will fall.”
God cannot cast Himself out because we want Him to, and knowledge without wisdom equals death.
Could it be that is the reason why He told them not to eat from that tree!