Friday, May 27, 2016

Messengers and Negotiators

For the most part things used to be simpler in the olden days. God would choose a man, equip that man for service, give him a message, and that man would faithfully deliver the message he was given even if it meant prison or death for having delivered it. More often than, not it did. Being called of God was neither a way to grow rich nor was it a way to grow famous. It was a calling, one that was to be carried out diligently by the individual who was chosen for the task at hand. Faithfulness, obedience, humility, and boldness were indispensable, and the men chosen to speak on behalf of the Almighty possessed these things to overflowing.

In some rare cases, individuals chose to attempt and skirt their duty. As I said it was rare, but it did happen. Even back then there were men who attempted to flee from their responsibility, but eventually, whether voluntary or compulsory, they carried out their mandate and delivered their messages dutifully.
It goes without saying that one does not try to run away from umbrella drinks and endless days in the sun. One does not attempt to flee prosperity and blessing, one does not attempt to bypass a life of ease and leisure. Whenever we see men within the Word of God attempting to skirt their duties, we must always keep in mind that their duty, whatever that duty might have entailed was always difficult, treacherous, and would likely cause personal distress of some kind or another.

All one need do is read the lives of the prophets and study what they went through to realize just how difficult a task and calling these men had on their lives. Rarely lauded, frequently derided, these men became the repository for the rebellious heart’s lashing out against the will of God, the physical manifestation of the cringing of the teeth and the shaking of the fist. If those rebuked and corrected by the mouthpieces of God could not lash out at God Himself, they would lash out at the next best thing; the messenger He had sent to speak on His behalf.

Nowadays men aspire to more than just being messengers. Nowadays the selfsame virtues that were indispensable to the servants of old are mocked, looked down upon, and wholly rejected as antiquated practices which can be interpreted as intolerant. Boldness is seen as aggression, faithfulness is seen as zealotry, obedience is seen as shortsightedness, and humility is seen as fear of success.

For many in the limelight today, being a simple messenger is construed as an offense. It is too lowly an office; it is too humble a calling. It is too insignificant as far as their egos are concerned.  As such, they take it upon themselves to become negotiators, assuming they know the mind of God, and feeling as though they are within their rights to negotiate on behalf of God. They give leeway where God gives no leeway, and they are overly gracious toward those whom God commands to repent and turn from their wicked ways. The messenger is still derided to this day. The negotiator is praised and embraced by the world, because given enough time they know they can whittle the negotiator down to agreeing to the proposition of men entering heaven laden down with sin.

What those praising the negotiators don’t seem to realize is that they are not negotiating on behalf of anyone other than themselves. They come neither in the authority or with the permission of God. Their promises are just as empty and hollow as their hearts, and though they promise heaven, they can do nothing in the way of making good on that promise.

Even so, many within the household of faith today prefer the career of the negotiator to the calling of the messenger.

A messenger is a lowly, thankless job, but a negotiator has the power to wheel and deal, to speak words that have profound impact on the lives of others, and those without understanding, those whose pride has blinded them to the need for humility, revel in the notion of possessing power, even if said power is an illusion.

It takes but a passing glance to realize that there are far more negotiators in the church today than there are messengers. Though some of them have not the temerity to outright say “Thus says the Lord”, they nevertheless insinuate it, and only backtrack when called out for their supposed message of open and unrepentant promiscuity being A-Okay with God.

Until the masses realize that the negotiators are negotiating without sanction or authority, they will gravitate to them, elevating them to prominence ever so joyfully because they offer them an easier path than that of the cross of Christ. Love for sin has compelled many to search for an alternative, while conveniently forgetting that no man can serve two masters. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.