Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Sign Without the Word Points Nowhere

I'm still thinking about the article by Matt Sorger -Just Show Me the Stuff - that I commented on yesterday in my post A Wise Warning to the Prophetic Movement. Here's another excerpt. I've highlighted a sentence in the second paragraph below that I think is of crucial importance.

The sign I am most after these days is the sign of a life transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to see people hungry to truly apply the Word of God to their lives—not desiring simply to hear something new but to put into practice what they already know.

I want to see people walking in love. I want to see people living righteously. I want to see people knowing who they are in Christ so the devil can't continually beat them up. I want to see people experience the abundant life Jesus came to give them. I want to see people preaching the gospel in power, laying hands on the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead. But we can never forget that the power of the gospel is revealed through the foolishness of preaching—not just preaching our good stories, but preaching the Word of God with power and authority. A sign without the Word points nowhere.

I want to encourage the body of Christ in these days to evaluate everything you have believed and be sure it is pure gospel. Go back and read the New Testament from cover to cover and ask the Holy Spirit to write upon your heart the full counsel of God's Word as revealed in the New Covenant. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth and to be sure your foundations are strong and solid.

Never neglect God's Word. It has the power to change your life. As you soak in God's Word and in His presence, you will live a truly Spirit-filled, Spirit-empowered life that will make a real difference in the world around you. Go and be the salt and light God has called you to be!

It is a very important point that signs follow the Word. I've known people who have experienced the power of God, but later turned away from Jesus to embrace this world. Their problem was that they got a sign without following its pointing to the Word of God. The Word (Living and Written) did not get deep in their heart, and they fell away.

The meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words translated in our English Bibles as Messiah and Christ is simply "Anointed One." The anointing of God's Spirit abides in fullness on Jesus, the Anointed One. We need good preaching of and about Jesus Christ before trying for signs, because signs follow the Word and the anointing abides on the Anointed One.

If you want an anointed message- accurately proclaim Jesus Christ in His fullness. If you want an anointed sermon - talk about Jesus and say what Jesus said. If you want an anointed life - abide in Jesus Christ. If you want an anointed ministry- represent Jesus Christ in action and character and give Him all the glory. Putting signs or experiences first is getting the cart before the horse, creates signs that point nowhere, and is leading in some circles to an idolatry of experience over truth.