Inquire Of God

1 Kings 22:7-8
“And Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there not still a prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of Him?’So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.’ And Jehoshaphat said, ‘Let not the king say such things!’”

Syrian forces occupied land that belonged to Israel and Ahab was determined to get it back. When Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, arrived for a visit, Ahab seized the opportunity to enlist Judah as an ally in his campaign against Syria. Not wanting to bring his people into an unnecessary war, Jehoshaphat wanted to take a moment to hear from the Lord, so he asked to hear from a prophet. Ahab paraded a host of prophets before the king who all declared victory in battle. The problem was, they were not prophets of God, but were a variety of fetish priests who worshiped idols. Jehoshaphat objected to their counsel and sought to hear the Word of God. It is here where the true heart of Ahab is revealed. He declares,

“There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the Lord; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.”

The king of Israel had no interest in hearing the truth. In fact, as the story unfolds, we find that Micaiah will be thrown in prison for speaking the word of God. Ahab’s desire was to silence anyone who did not declare the truth as he saw it.

What a sad parallel to much of what we see happening in our world today. We have accepted a worldview where tolerance is the highest form of morality. We are required to accept the choices people make as though every choice was equal, and those who would dare speak out against certain behaviors as immoral, are immediately silenced. The approach of silencing the word of God was not good for Ahab and Israel, and it will not turn out positively for us either.

Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”

Pastor Jim

 

Testing Testing 123

Jeremiah 27:14
“Therefore do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, ‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon,’ for they prophesy a lie to you”

Not everyone who speaks is telling the truth. A salesman may tell you what he thinks you want to hear, rather that what is factual. A friend may tell you what they think is kind, so as not to hurt your feelings or damage the relationship. This principle is important to grasp, especially as it relates to those who claim to have the answer to spiritual questions. Just because a person showed up in Judah wearing a white robe, carrying a staff and speaking loudly, did not mean he was a prophet. In the same way, just because a person has an opinion about eternal life, godliness or spirituality, does not mean their opinion is valid. The litmus test used in Scripture to determine if a person was truly a prophet was the Word of God. Paul wrote,

1 Thessalonians 5:21 “Test all things; hold fast what is good.”

During my years as a high school teacher I wrote, administered, and graded a lot of tests. One common form of testing was to use a “scan-tron.” Before grading the test I would make an answer key, all other tests would be compared to this one. It was the standard by which all answers were compared. When it comes to determining the validity of someone’s claims about Christ, life, death, eternity, godliness, sin tolerance, righteousness, etc. we need to use the Word of God as the answer key. It is not what I think that is the highest standard, but rather what God has revealed in the pages of His Word.

Pastor Jim

 

Church Life

2 Kings 5:3
“Then she said to her mistress, ‘If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.’”

Namaan was a Syrian general and a man of prominence within that nation. He was a courageous, well-spoken individual, who seemed to be both well liked and morally sound, by the standard of the day. With all Namaan had going for him, he was struck with a blow that would undo the strongest of men. A quick visit to his local doctor had revealed he had contracted the deadly and painful disease of leprosy. No doubt, he gathered with his family and closest friends to share the news. That meeting would have been filled with weeping and despair. No amount of money, power, or position could undo the deadly effects of this disease. He was destined for a long, painful struggle that would definitely end badly.

It is in this setting we are introduced to an unnamed young woman. When she heard of Naaman’s condition, her heart leaped; for she knew there was a solution. Not just for this problem, but for every problem. Her solution was to go see the prophet. Something about the ministry of Elisha had convinced her that a man whose life was devastated, could be restored by simply showing up. Her counsel was simple, “if only my master were with the prophet…”

What was it about the ministry of Elisha that caused her to believe the prophet could resolve Naaman’s problem? I believe it was the double portion of the Spirit of God that was upon Elisha. A ministry governed by the Spirit of God is a ministry that will transform even the most devastated lives. What we need in our churches, more than anything else, is a greater portion of the Spirit of God.
We meet people everyday whose lives have been turned upside down by illness, death, divorce, and much more. Would to God they would see the solution is found in coming to Christ. Pray for your church, pray that it would be a place where people would encounter Christ, and their lives would be repaired. If you have a friend who is in pain, get them to a church where they can hear of the wonderful workings of Christ, and become another in the long line of individuals that have been healed, transformed, and saved by the powerful work of God.

Pray for Calvary Chapel and pray for me.

Pastor Jim