Trust but Verify . . .

When I first started this blog, my intent was not to delve into politics but issues facing the church. But due to current events, I have come to see how much overlap there has been. But I want to point out my recent blogs are not about who you voted for, but how treat others who do not think as you do. The people of God are notorious at times for throwing fellow believers under the bus when they disagree instead of learning to live in peace.

When President Reagan signed a nuclear weapons treaty with the then Soviet Union, he insisted on provisions to verify what was agreed upon. He had a saying “Trust but verify.” While that in itself is not a Biblical statement, I do find it a very Biblical concept when it comes to dealing with other people.

I make no apologies for my faith or believing that God still is actively involved with the church. I beleive that prophets and prophecy are relevant to building one up in the faith. But I find the most recent trend of hiding behind prophecy to demand your political views disturbing to say the least.

  • Romans 3:23 NASB – 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

This would include first and foremost myself, and all political parties, Church organizations, and individuals with giftings and callings. But there is an unspoken theology that certain callings have a automatic stamp of approval from God, and one does not need to weigh each time what is being said. There is a line from financial investing that I like to apply to all people, again myself included, “Past performance is not an indication of future results.” I have learned to not blindly support people as eventually we all disappoint and despite our best efforts act contrary to what one may believe.

So instead of naming names, I will simply review Old Testament Biblical prophets, who despite having the ultimate stamp of God’s approval as being listed in Scripture, still managed to lie and manipulate others as they attempted to fulfill their calling:

  • Abraham is listed as the first prophet but still lied about being married (Gen 20.7)
  • Moses had an anger problem that kept him from the promised land (Numbers 20.12)
  • Aaron is appointed as a prophet to Moses (Exodus 7.1) but led Israel astray with the Golden Calf (Exodus 32.2-5)
  • Samuel, despite being a prophet, had issues when it came to his own kids following in the faith, as they were taking bribes and perverting justice (1st Samuel 8.3)
  • Only listed as an “old prophet” he lied to the man of God about coming back to eat and drink at his place (1 Kings 13.17) that resulted in his death. This was done to kill the man of God so when the old man died, his bones would be placed into the man of God’s grave and not be disturbed as the prophecy was not about the man of God’s grave being disturbed (1 Kings 13.31).
  • The man of God despite knowing the prophetic command of God, listened to someone who was manipulating him to disobey, for which he did (1 Kings 3.21)
  • The prophet Elijah threw the ultimate pity party of “I am the only one” (1 Kings 18.22). But God rebuked him (1 Kings 19.18) as Elijah already knew there were other prophets still in a cave (1 Kings 18.13) who had there lives threatened. And Elijah did the exact same thing by literally running for his life to a cave (1 Kings 19.3).
  • Gehazi is listed as a “man of God,” servant to Elisha (Elijah’s successor) ran after profit from ministry (2nd Kings 5.20)
  • Jonah’s whole story is about him being angry with God “for I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity” ran the other way (Jonah 4.2)

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. If Old Testament Biblical prophets, who are recorded as to having heard the audible voice of God, could still lie and manipulate, no one is exempt from lying and manipulating, either in the New Testament, or today. That is why we are instructed to:

  • 1 Corinthians 14:29-33 NASB – 29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment. 30 But if a revelation is made to another who is seated, the first one must keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all may be exhorted; 32 and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets; 33 for God is not [a God] of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

It is OK with God to pass judgment on what has been said, and again, myself included. But there is a reason that what we call the love chapter (1 Cor 13) shows up smack dab in the middle of how to properly exercise the gifts of the Spirit. For it is way to easy to demand something, than to build trust through being loving. As previously stated, love that is not returned can not be demanded or commanded, it must be given. Like salvation, it is a free gift. Once a demand is made to receive love in return, it is no longer love. Too many times prophesy is not spoken as an act of love, but a demand that the speaker be followed.

So I exhort you to earnestly desire to prophesy (1 Cor 14.39) and as always, love much my friends . . .

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