When we first arrived in America, life was difficult. My mother would work cleaning homes, my father got a job in a factory, but even two paychecks don't go far when there are seven mouths to feed, rent to pay, and clothes to buy. Besides the five of us, my two brothers, my mother and my father, my grandparents had also taken what in hindsight was a fateful journey to America.
Needless to say my mother tried to find new and inventive ways to save a dollar here, a few cents there, and one way she discovered she could save some money, was to make our clothes rather than buy them. (FYI going to school wearing home made clothes didn't make me the most popular guy in my class.)
One day a Romanian neighbor who had been in country a few months longer than ourselves told my mother of a place in downtown Los Angeles where she could find cheap fabric, and so every other week we would take the bus, three transfers later arriving at our destination.
Since I spoke better English than my mother, she always dragged me along, and since I enjoyed seeing something other than what amounted two the two bedroom cardboard box we were living in at the time, I went without complaint. (Even after starting the hand of help ministries, publishing my grandfather's books, and being what in the eyes of the world would be considered successful, we lived in that apartment for thirteen years.)
On one of our trips, I know i was in late January, because my father's birthday was a few days away we came across a street merchant who was selling 'designer men's cologne' at fire sale prices.
After haggling for a few minutes we finally agreed on $10 for a bottle of Polo cologne. my mother paid the man, never thinking to look inside that green box to see if the bottle was in there. She didn't take the time to check the contents, and see if she was really getting what she had paid for, or if she'd just dropped ten dollars on an empty box. If you can't trust a guy selling cologne out of a cardboard box on a street corner, who can you trust?
A few days later, my mother gave my father his birthday present, a smile on her face knowing she'd saved a bundle on his gift. He opened the box enthusiastically, only to find an empty glass bottle, with a 'tester' sticker on it.
Ever since that experience, I have learned to check the contents. Truth in advertising notwithstanding, I want to know that I'm getting what I paid for.
The same lesson can be applied to men and the titles they assign themselves. There are many street merchants roaming about, trying to sell you an empty box at a discounted rate.
This is why every time I hear a man's office before I hear his first name, when shaking his hand, my warning bells start jingling, and I become very weary. For instance, if I hear the words, 'I am prophet, or apostle', before I hear Bob or Larry, my thoughts instantly go back to that street merchant. When someone is trying just a little too hard to sell you, you should resist buying all the more.
When my grandfather passed away, there was a line of men and women, salivating at the thought of receiving his mantle, claiming it, or otherwise planning to take it by force.
When God called me to continue the work, to be honest I did not see it as a reason to rejoice, but rather felt the crushing weight of accountability and responsibility upon my shoulders.
This is why I have never claimed either a mantle or a title, and consider myself nothing more than a fellow soldier in God's army, a servant of Christ, who like the rest of you wakes up every morning, picks up his cross, and continues his journey. I know from whence I came, I know where I grew up, and I realize that there is anything noteworthy, or special in me, it is God, and I have no right to take upon myself the glory due Him.
I have had the humbling privilege of working with true men of God, men whose gifting eclipsed mine on my best day, and to the last they walked in humility and brokenness before God.
Since I've gotten some comments as to whom we should trust in these uncertain times, I've found an article on another site that gives an original description of a man of God. Though it should be established policy that we trust no man, it is sometimes beneficial to our spiritual growth to heed their advice, and their warnings as long as they are Biblical.
I urge you to cut and paste, I thin that's the right term, the following web address, and read the article if you are still in a quandary as to which of the many prophetic voices you should lend your ear to in this season of confusion: http://watchman.net/articles/savant.html
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.