Friday, April 20, 2012

Lord, Teach Us To Pray! Part 51

Prayers of Intercession continued...

The fourth thing we can intercede and pray for on behalf of the shepherds and overseers of God’s house is integrity. Much shame, and scorn, and mockery has been heaped upon the household of faith throughout the years because those who ought to have been men of utmost integrity were found to be severely lacking in it.

Pray for the leaders, overseers, and shepherds of God’s house to be men of integrity, men of character, men of veracity and of reliability.

In recent years, rarely does a month go by without a new church scandal making the headlines, and a new leader being proven not to possess the requisite integrity that should be standard in every man of God.

Although it might be painful for a season, we must pray God thoroughly clean house, and expose the sin, and the corruption, and the hypocrisy of one and all, so what remains might be pure and blameless in His sight.

We have long known judgment begins in the house of God, and seeing as the dominoes are beginning to topple with greater and greater frequency, it is certain that God’s judgment is already at work in the midst of His people.

I’m sorry if I seem unsympathetic, but I’m fresh out of sympathy for anyone who knowingly and willfully lives a life of hypocrisy, and brings shame to the entire household of faith by their actions and conduct. Yes, they deserve to be shamed, they deserve to be exposed, and it’s not the devil attacking them as some continue to claim, it is God exposing them.

Be certain, while God is cleaning house, new servants are already being prepared, away from the limelight, away from the accolades, away from the life of leisure and excess many of these who are currently being exposed have enjoyed for so long.

Yes, God is preparing servants, who are men of integrity, who are men of character, who will not dilute, butcher, or interpret the word of God to suit their own greed, and covetousness, and whose desire is to serve God with all their heart and might.

Pray for these men, intercede on their behalf, so God would keep them close to His heart, and walking in His will, so they might be strong in resisting the temptations others have succumbed to, and tireless in their preaching of the word of truth, and the risen Christ.

The times are changing. This is as self-evident as the sun in the midday sky, and though the change itself will inevitably shake all that can be shaken, it is a good thing, a God appointed thing, and something that will cause the true Bride, the true children of God to shine bright and true.

For too long we have discounted the word of God, even when it came to issues of great import such as choosing deacons and bishops and elders. We thought the word of God too strict, we thought it too constrictive, and so decided to widen the narrow path of faith without bothering to ask God if He approved.

It is because we chose to ignore the Bible, and the directions and parameters it sets for those in leadership that there is no resemblance between our modern leaders, and those in leadership during biblical times. The men of those days were just as human as those of today, but they submitted to the authority of scripture, and did as God commanded in all things.

This is why they lived victorious lives, this is why they saw the power of God, this is why they witnessed miracles and this is why when they prayed, and preached, and sang the enemy shook from fright.

Acts 6:3, “Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.”

So what was this business over which the apostles would appoint these seven men? What could have possibly been so important as to require these men to be of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit, and full of wisdom?

Were they to be sent out as ambassadors of Christendom to the four corners of the globe? Were they to go before kings and princes and preach Christ?

Seven men were required to be of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom so they might be appointed over the task of serving food to widow women.

Acts 6:1, “Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.”

Do you get the feeling that standards have slipped over the centuries? Do you get the impression that men’s character was more thoroughly analyzed and evaluated than it is today?

These seven men were going to be what amounts to glorified waiters. Their duties would be to daily distribute food to the Hellenist widow women, or Greek speaking Jewish widows.

Even though most men desiring to serve God would scoff at such duties today, these men went through a rigorous inspection just to be able to serve food.

Their reputation was investigated, since others were asked about them, about their character, and about their integrity, their spiritual maturity was scrutinized, since they had to be full of the Holy Spirit, and their wisdom was likewise evaluated.

If these seven men had to go through all that just to be able to serve meals to widows, how much more scrutiny should one who is chosen to lead God’s people, and oversee their spiritual wellbeing be subjected to?

What we are seeing today is what you get when you lower the standard God set in place, and when you stop interceding on behalf of those who are called to lead.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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