Sunday, November 25, 2012

Far From Ordinary

You are not ordinary. You are far from ordinary. You may have been ordinary but you are not ordinary any more. It is done; you are finished with being ordinary. Whatever you were, forget about it. Whatever limitations you had, forget about it. Whatever people think about you, forget about it.

This is what struck me as I read through Amos the other day. He was one of the prophets of the Old Testament. As a prophet he was given a message from God for the king and the kingdom and it wasn't always pleasant. However, prophets didn't get to choose what to say as they were simply messengers. It is because of the message that most prophets were seldom respected or treated well. No one wants to be told that what they are doing is wrong.

The king of Israel did not like what Amos was saying so he ordered him out of the kingdom. This was Amos' response:

I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now then, hear the word of the Lord. (Amos 7:14-16)

Notice his credentials? He only had one: "The Lord took me". He did not come from a line of prophets. He had no education or training. He was a farmer. A farmer! What business do farmers have in being God's prophets? The same business as fishermen and tax collectors. The same business as miners and construction workers. The same business as a hamburger flipper and newspaper sellers. The same business as students and stay at home moms.

There is only one credential anyone needs to preach the word or do anything in the Kingdom of Jesus: Be anointed by God.

I can`t say this enough. Professionalism has taken over the church. Credentials are all that matters. When I identify myself as a pastor most people look for my credibility by asking where I trained or studied. My credentials are found in the anointing of God and if you cannot sense that anointing then walk away. The well educated, the "trained", businessmen and teachers should not be heading up the Church as they do today. Jesus is the head and the Holy Spirit is the power. We have too many thinkers and not enough doers. Too much self-direction and not enough anointing.

When you are sure of your calling and know the anointing of God, not even kings can scare you. No authority on this earth can turn you aside from you purpose. No discouragement or fear can turn you back. Amos heard what the king said and responded with "God sent me to prophesy to Israel, now hear the word of the Lord." I really appreciate that. He says "I was nothing but God chose me and I am obeying". You have to appreciate the obedience.

My friend, know your calling. Accept the anointing. Obey what the Lord says. Ignore the haters. The only one you are ever going to answer to is Jesus and all he is looking for is obedience. So forget what anyone else tells you and respond to the Spirit who is revealing the calling, anointing you for the task and is directing you what to do. If there are true elders in your church, they will know the calling that is there and they will confirm what the Lord has put on you. Unfortunately there are many who call themselves elders who have never been anointed for the responsibility. So, you may have to accept and trust that God has called and anointed you. Listen to the Spirit. That is the only voice to which you should be listening

Thank you Amos.

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