I recently heard a preacher say three conflicting things in the space of five minutes. He said, "you have to lay down your ministry or vision in order to go to the next level", but he did not explain what that meant. Did he mean, the pastor who is pressing in to build the Church, needs to quit so as to go the the next level???
Then he said " If your ministry is not working, you need to go back to the point it was working and do what you were doing then." But what if you had a ministry like Philip. Having had successfull meetings in Jerusalem with signs and wonders etc, then being instructed to go into the desert to minister to ONE person. If he had not obeyed, the Eunuch would not have received salvation and been baptised, and returned to Ethiopia to make an impact on many lives. No sometimes God has us doing things that make it look like we are going backward. But He is in charge and must have the final say.
Not two minutes later, he said, " ... if the finances are not coming in to support your ministry then you have sin in your life" I was stunned. I know a lot of Godly men who are in very economically depressed areas and are feeling financial pressure. Then I know of men who have large ministries and have millions of dollars coming into their ministries, but later we find they have been living in sin. There are millions of stinking rich sinners all over the world.
The above three statements are clichés and not divine truth. I know a dear pastor and his wife who have poured out their lives and savings into their church, which is in an economically challenged area, who heard these three statements, and were very confused.
There are a lot of what I call "manipulation phrases" designed to put a guilt trip on people, as a form of control, and sometimes to solicit a bigger offering. It is wrong for anyone to to taint the good news with a thought that contains a half truth in order to twist someone's arm to do something. We must make sure our preaching is the pure Word of God and not some nice sounding phrasiology in an attempt to make our sermons sound great.
I once repeated a phrase I had heard a preacher say often. But when I said it, I blushed and felt greatly convicted by the Holy Spirit. I guess no one saw the blush, but I felt it like a rebuke and immediately apologized to the Lord and made a promise never to use it again.
The reason was that whilst it sounded plausible, it was not biblical. We have to guard our tongue and make sure we are speaking truth and not a fable. Of course none of us is perfect and there is no one who has not uttered some unbiblical statement. But we have to allow the teacher on the inside, the Holy Spirit to correct us.
"Father help us to be faithful to your Word and to be led by the Holy Spirit in all that we say and do. Amen"
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