I sit here listening to sound bytes of the men who have gone before me. Trail blazers for God that lived and died for Christ. Many died martyrs. Some did not. I sit here asking God for a message at the next meeting I need to speak at and I have had an overwhelming revelation come over me. I do not need another message from God. I need to be a message. How many of us ask God for a word or a message when we need one? I do not want to make an extreme statement that we never seek God for a message for a particular engagement, so do not take this wrongly and make it something that it is not, but hear what I am saying.
I think God is calling us to no longer have a message, but to be a message. I can obtain and carry a message for the King, but am I the message? If I carry a message for God only then I am no better than the angels. The word angel really means “messenger.” An angel carries a message. He is a messenger. God has called a human being to be something entirely different and of a different nature. God is looking for a man that will not just carry a message for Him, but will become the message; A man that will own the message.
Do you want to live a prophetic life? Do you want a prophetic anointing? This is what it comes down to. Any man can carry a message. Any man can give a word. There is not inherent greatness in that. Jesus warned of men that even did miracles, but in the end did not know Him and so would ultimately be turned away. Such men carried a message and apparently even carried the power of the message but the message did not consume them. They did not become the message.
A prophet is a picture to his people. A prophet is God’s illustration to the world. A prophet that delivers God’s message but does not live it is not a Biblical prophet. If we are to be a prophetic voice to our generation, we must become the message that we are to carry. We must be a message to the world, not just decree one. No longer are skills of oratory or delivery enough to deliver a message to the world. This generation does not respect the gospel for the gospel’s sake. The powers of human ability and oratory are not enough any more.
In this generation, there is only one power that will accomplish anything. There is only one power which must be behind any word delivered for God or any appeal to bring souls to Christ. That power if the life of the one delivering it. The days of showmanship are over. The days of the professional are over. This generation is demanding authenticity from the church. This generation is God’s tool to reshape His church. Their rejection is the tool in God’s hand to expose His church. He is showing us what He sees.
To deliver a message is one thing. To be the message is another thing. To be instant in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2) is the call of God. Listen to Jesus’ words in Luke 21:14-15 (AMP) “Resolve and settle it in your minds not to meditate and prepare beforehand how you are to make your defense and how you will answer. For I [Myself] will give you a mouth and such utterance and wisdom that all of your foes combined will be unable to stand against or refute.” You do not have to prepare your message ahead of time. If we are in communion with God, we are a message that can be delivered at any moment.
It is not enough anymore to preach repentance, you have to be repentance. It is not enough to preach salvation, a new birth, and a new life, you have to be that thing. You must be the flesh and blood illustration of what you are preaching. You cannot effectively preach the love of God unless the love of God has overwhelmed your heart. Likewise, the judgment of God cannot be preached until you have cleansed your own hands before the Lord.
Let me ask you an honest question. If, while going about your daily duties, you run into someone that needs something from God do you have it? Do you sweat and wring your hands and beg God for something? Or are you the message that person needs? We have to think beyond “lifestyle” evangelism that says we just live Christian lives and people are drawn to the gospel. This goes beyond living “like a Christian.” The damned can do that. Generations of Americans have lived very “good” lives and were eternally lost. You cannot equate high religion and moral living like we have seen in most of American history with a man that is living from another realm and not out of his own discipline.
We have to be the message we declare. Every word that comes from our lips must be backed by our private times in God. The message we proclaim to the world must be the same message that has broken down our hearts and reshaped our lives. If what you are speaking has never touched you; if your words have never broken you down before God and led you into an intimate place with God that how do you think they are going to touch anybody else?
Two men are going recounting the story of World War II. One was alive but was not drafted. He tells you of the events and listening over the radio and can detail every battle and the casualties and the general’s strategies. Another man rises to speak. He does not have the same breadth of technical knowledge as the man before. He does not know how to detail all of the general’s strategies or all of the different campaigns. He however landed and Normandy and went on to fight the battle of the bulge. He walks with a limp because shrapnel ripped up his leg. He tells you what it was like to march ashore with bullets zipping by and ripping up the sand. He recounts soldiers next to him dropping dead. He can still smell the exhaust of the tanks in Belgium. Whose story is more captivating? Who moves you to tears? Is it that man who has studied and can tell you all about the war in great detail or is it the man that lived and war and cannot share every fact but can deliver his life?
We can no longer depend on what we know or the mental training we have. We must deliver what is in us. We have to share with the world what God has shown us. Training is good and learning is excellent, but we must learn by the Spirit. We can no longer learn facts and beliefs and arguments. We have to go to the world with a life. The message of God’s work in us is going to be the message of our effectiveness in the world.
Has this message of Christianity consumed you or is it another thing added to you life? Is it a facet of your being or is it your entire being? What do you think about when you get up in the morning? What drives you? Do you ever weep over the “messages” you share? Life is so very short and we have a choice whether or not we drive deep for what is authentic. We can learn much and obtain much. We can become well respected and “do things for God” or we can be authentic. I would rather be authentic and never get beyond the elementary doctrines of the faith than to write “deep theology,” whatever that is, or conduct massive crusades with thousands of “decisions,” whatever those are.
Ezekiel 3:1-2 (AMP) says, “he said to me, Son of man, eat what you find [in this book]; eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat the scroll.” Again this same event appears in Revelation 10:10-11 (AMP) where it says, “So I took the little book from the angel’s hand and ate and swallowed it; it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but once I had swallowed it, my stomach was embittered. Then they said to me, You are to make a fresh prophecy concerning many peoples and races and nations and languages and kings.”
Ezekiel and John both had to eat the scroll. It was not enough to have the scroll, read it, and deliver the message. The scroll had to become part of them if they were going to deliver the word. Note that in John’s case the scroll became bitter in his stomach. How sweet a word or revelation from God may be, but once it becomes a part of us the requirements of that word can be bitter.
It is one thing to receive a word or a revelation from heaven, and it is a sweet thing to receive something from the Lord. It is one thing to have a word and to deliver it. It is altogether a different thing for that word to become part of you. To suffer the reproach of a word that is not popular. To preach a balanced message of mercy mixed with judgment. To have to live a life up to the requirement of the word. We cannot just deliver the word and go on, we have a requirement to live a life up to the words that we give. We must meet the requirement of the word, not just the end recipient.
Authenticity must found among us. No man is a prophet unless his life lines up with his message. A man may well deliver a message that is beyond him while he is growing in God, but a man has not reached a prophetic maturity until his message is his life and his life is his message. A message is not words only. Words are a just a part of the message. The prophet taken as a whole is the message. The life and everything surrounding the prophet is the message.
So this leads us to decision time. Are we a message or do we deliver a message? Are we ready anytime, any place to speak for God as His Spirit leads? Are we a message that can be declared at any moment or do we need to know when a message is required and then seek God for it? Now this does not preclude the requirement of seeking God and at times seeking God for a word to a specific people. But, God cannot give the word He wants to give unless our life is an incubator that the word can grow in and be delivered from. A life that is already a breeding ground for the Word of God because it is the Word of God.
Jesus is the Word and He is also the elder brother among the Sons of God. We are to live as the elder brother and as the firstborn of the resurrection. We should then be the Word of God as well. Our lives should be a word to the world. Jesus did not live “lifestyle” evangelism only where He simply lived a life that was so good people came up to him and wanted to be a Christian. One of the primary characteristics of Jesus ministry was that you never knew what He was going to do next. You never knew what may come out of His mouth from moment to moment. He was the Word of God and the Word of God then could verbalize His message at any moment.
When anyone approached Him in need He did not have to seek God for an answer because He was the answer. He could train and teach the disciples at any moment, even going down the road. He lessons were not premeditated. This does not invalidate some preparation and methods of training, but Jesus was the Word and spoke and demonstrated the Word at any time. He did what He saw His Father doing. Any time the Father wanted to do something, it could be done through Jesus, not because Jesus knew how to do what the Father wanted to do, but because Jesus was what the Father wanted to do.
This is what God has called us up to. Jesus called us friends, not slaves. God wants us to be fashioned like Jesus, to be fashioned like Him so that we are what He wants to do on the earth not merely a mouth piece speaking what He wants to do.
We do not realize the privilege that we have been called to. God’s pleasure is in us taking on His own nature and being like Him. He desires us to be filled with His Spirit and living off of His life. He has called us into a relationship that He describes as bride and bridegroom. He drops our maiden name of fallen humanity and we take on a divine name. We come into a unity with the Divine where we can enjoy His character and His attributes and become like Him.
We are not called to be some sort of marketer and promoter of God’s agenda. We are God’s agenda. We can only effectively call the lost into the Kingdom when we are a living example of the agenda of God rather than some sort of Divine secretary delivering a memo from the boss. The angels were created as His messengers, we were created for something altogether different. He are to share in God’s life and become one with Him.
There is something very dangerous that can happen in ministry. It is easy to get caught up in the requirements of ministry. Ministering keeps us in activities that revolve around God and requires that we are prepared to minister. The requirement of ministry can drive us a devotion and spirituality, but it is a spirituality that is based on the needs of the ministry, not our inner man. We can begin obtaining a message from God to deliver, but no longer becoming the message ourselves.
It is a dangerous place to be. It could well lead to Jesus’ terrifying comment, “I never knew you” to those that even did miracles. I remember Mario Murillo saying once that God told him to pray twice a day. Once for the ministry and once just for himself. We absolutely cannot let the demands of ministry drive our relationship with God. Our relationship must be driven because of our personal desire to be transformed into His image.
What would happen if all the ministry were removed? How much time would you be spending with God? How important would your time with God be? Is it the demand of ministry that keeps you close to Him? If so, you’re not as close as you seem. It is time to be real and honest about our spirituality and whether it is real or not and whether or not it is based on a proper foundation. I have experienced this pattern in my own life, so I know it is real and deadly. We have to live in a place where we seek God just for Him and, even if there is no ministry, we still love Him just as must and get as close to Him as we can.
Perhaps it might do us all well to sit before God and not ask Him for a message for the church or that lost loved one, but to ask Him to make us a message to the world. If we are to be a prophetic people, we must be God’s illustration of Himself to the world. We must expect hurt and rejection because that is what rises up to God second by second from His creation. We must also live in perfect love because that is God’s response second by second to His creation.
Let’s put aside the time we might spend trying to get a message to “do something for God” or perhaps advance our own ministry and use that time to allow God to form a message in us. Let’s spend time to allow Him fashion us into a message that can be delivered anytime and any place. This kind of believer is the only kind that will be able to survive in what will shortly be upon the earth. Do not forget. Earthquakes, famines, and I think I could add hurricanes, are just the beginning of sorrows. Let’s set of faces like flint to the wind to be part of God’s glorious demonstration on the earth amidst all the disaster that must come.