Learning to say, No!
One of the most difficult things for many followers of Jesus is to know when to say no. It is especially hard should some minister or leader ask them to do something. Not every word from a leader or prophet is always true for you. Many people become bogged down at church simple because they cannot say no when leaders keep calling for a person to do this job then another job and on and on it goes until the person does nothing but church work and has no time to worship or witness or pray.
Over and over again the Bible warns us of false prophets, teachers and leaders. Even Jesus called the religious leaders of His day 'Blind leaders of the Blind'.
Of course there are 'words' from God spoken through others. These can be true and powerful but there is a great danger in living your life on the word of some other person and not from Jesus.
Sometimes people use these words to control others and put them in bondage. Even this is often used to exalt the prophet or leader.
Please read carefully now the following passages from the Bible.
“But the man of God said to the king, 'If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place.
For so it was commanded me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.'
So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.
Now an old prophet dwelt in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel; they also told their father the words, which he had spoken to the king. And their father said to them, "Which way did he go?" For his sons had seen which way the man of God went who came from Judah. Then he said to his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." So they saddled the donkey for him; and he rode on it, and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak. Then he said to him, "Are you the man of God who came from Judah?"
And he said, "I am."
Then he said to him, "Come home with me and eat bread."
And he said,"I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place. For I have been told by the word of the LORD, 'you shall not eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by going the way you came.'"
He said to him, "I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.'" (He was lying to him.)
So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.
Now it happened, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back; and he cried out to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'Because you have disobeyed the word of the LORD, and have not kept the commandment which the LORD your God commanded you, but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which the LORD said to you, "Eat no bread and drink no water," your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.'"
So it was, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, the prophet whom he had brought back. When he was gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him. And his corpse was thrown on the road, and the donkey stood by it. The lion also stood by the corpse. And there, men passed by and saw the corpse thrown on the road, and the lion standing by the corpse. Then they went and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt.
Now when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard it, he said, "It is the man of God who was disobedient to the word of the LORD. Therefore the LORD has delivered him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke to him." And he spoke to his sons, saying,
"Saddle the donkey for me." So they saddled it. Then he went and found his corpse thrown on the road, and the donkey and the lion standing by the corpse. The lion had not eaten the corpse nor torn the donkey. And the prophet took up the corpse of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back. So the old prophet came to the city to mourn, and to bury him. Then he laid the corpse in his own tomb; and they mourned over him, saying, "Alas, my brother!" So it was, after he had buried him that he spoke to his sons saying, "When I am dead, then bury me in the tomb where the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.
1 Kings 13:1-32
What did the man of God do that was so wrong? He disobeyed the clear command of God “Eat no bread and drink no water nor return by the same way you came'. Of course eating bread and drinking water is a natural normal activity but it was the fact that on this particular occasion God told him specifically NOT to do it.
The prophet lied to the man of God and the man of God obeyed the prophet rather than the message God gave him.
There is grave danger in laying aside the call of God for the voice of man even should that person be a minister or prophet.
Often on my journey of carrying the cross around the world I have had to stay focused on the voice of the Holy Spirit and the call of Jesus rather than the voices of those who would have me obey them rather than God.
Now don't get me wrong. I have a mighty man and woman of God as my pastor. Rev. Gwin and Norma Turner and anything they might say would have a profound effect on me and I would consider it of utmost importance. But our relationship goes back to the 1960's and we know and trust each other. I have a close relationship with perhaps a dozen more people that feel free to be open and truthful with me and this is a great blessing from God.
However each of these would be very careful to speak for the Lord in the matters concerning my call and mission. They lead me to carefully consider something when they feel it is possibly not the right direction. Then we talk and pray.
Many times I have people try to get me to walk a different highway or go in another direction. People almost every week are telling me God has called me to go to their city or nation or to do a certain thing or deliver their message. Often in one meeting I get conflicting messages from several people all telling me what to do. All say the message is from God.
The true shepherd leads the sheep and does not drive them.
There are times when I have to say 'Well, I am open and Jesus can speak to me anytime'. At other times I might say 'You seem to have the message, perhaps it's you that should do the job'.
Just consider well the subject of the man of God and the prophet of God in the story above. Should you have a message from God then Do it and let no one change your mind.
God bless you,
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt