PERMISSION TO PROCEED

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So, He said, “Come.” Mt. 14:28-29

What is the call of God? Don’t we hear that phrase a lot.  “God called me to do this or that” or I don’t feel called of God. Be careful what you chase because you might catch it … it might catch you!  Pursuit of a “dream” is not necessarily the call of God. I know some people personally that are simply fulfilling a fleshly desire to be “important”… to be recognized as spiritually significant but their doctrine and lifestyle are contrary to scripture. Their voice and vision are drowned out by their actions and attitudes.

Many are called but few are chosen. Many are called but many are not … Some people are chasing after the supernatural experience. May I say that many people have caught a supernatural experience only to find that it is not of God. Not everything “supernatural” is the Spirit of God.  Many are saying they hear what the Spirit of God is “saying”, there are some who say they “see” what the Spirit is showing…and they will tell you. May I say to you as gently as I know how, as kindly as I can…much of it is phony baloney. I’m sorry, I know that seems harsh. But I have seen too much of it to dismiss it lightly.

It is a serious thing to claim to be the voice and eyes of God. Being spiritually accurate is confirmed by scriptural accountability. If you have a more sure word of prophecy than we already have, you might be a prophet.  If you don’t, you might be a fortune teller.

Do you really know what you are looking for? What do you expect to receive in your next worship service? In the seminar, workshop, or weekend retreat, what are you looking for?  I find that in many of our sessions that people have been seeking “something”, but they are not sure what it is. Don’t we all want peace? Fulfillment? Purpose? I mean, isn’t that really the longing of our hearts?  Genuineness is our goal!

I find some things to be pretty much applicable in all situations. People do the best they can, I believe that. I also believe that our perspective of things often determines how we react in situations. If we see the task as overwhelming, it probably will be. If we see victory, if we see defeat…well, you see where I am going.

When David was asked by his father to take food to his brothers that were fighting against the Philistine army, his older brother accused him of coming only to “see the battle”. David’s response after hearing the Philistine insults to God and God’s people was pretty much, “I didn’t come to see the battle, I came to BE the battle!” Quite a difference. Seeing something and being something…two different things.

Personally, I like being rather than just seeing.  What you see is what you get. You can see an enemy too big to conquer or an enemy too big to miss.  You can assess a situation by fear or by faith. You can base your decision on what others see or what God says.

Permission to proceed is the CALL of God.   God’s call is often simple and subtle. Look at God’s call extended to Peter. In the storm, from the boat of normalcy, Peter requested permission to come to where Jesus was…the call, or permission to proceed was simply, “Come”. That is all, just “Come”.

If your desire is to be where Jesus is, you have permission to proceed. Notice that when Jesus got in the boat, so did Peter. It is better to be in the boat with Jesus than to be on the water with Jesus. 

If Jesus calls you to be where He is He will also make it possible for you to stay on top of things that would normally drown you. The Call of God is an invitation to invest. Many times, Jesus cautioned us to count the cost. His invitation requires an investment from us.

Don’t venture outside of your calling. I get “prophetic words” in my e-mail box almost daily, the only problem is they are not prophetic at all…not only are they seldom correct, they are never correct. I wonder, why are people so attracted to this?  Why do we seek after more signs from God when we don’t even honor the sign that has already been given and will be the only sign given! These people have to have special titles to enhance their deception. They call themselves “Prophet”, “Apostle” or maybe some other lofty title and claim to hear directly from God. The Church has got to do better!  Where are the genuine preachers who will proclaim the Blood of Jesus and the power of His resurrection?

Some of you reading this fall into this category. Generally, when this happens it is because the message has gone from focus on Jesus to focus on the Holy Spirit. I believe this so grieves the Holy Spirit that permission is gained by demons to deceive and to give false gifts and to deceive even as a “false” Holy Spirit.  Jesus must be the focus. Genuine Holy Spirit filling will cause you to lift up Jesus.  The Holy Spirit desires no attention, He is honored when Jesus is magnified. While every gift of God’s Holy Spirit is legitimate and valid, virtually all of them have been mimicked, mocked and “adulterated”!   Do you see why Jesus called sign seekers an “adulterous” people. They have polluted the simple, powerful message of the resurrection. Don’t chase signs! I know folks who go to every seminar and meeting held, all of the conferences and have all of the tapes and materials and can’t seem to find peace, they constantly seek, I guess, thinking someday somehow, thru some speaker they will hear the “magic” words.  There are no such words.  God’s Word has already been spoken and the sign has already been given.  The resurrection of Jesus was and is the sign.

I know of churches that have been virtually destroyed by venturing out of the realm of God’s Word, particularly by engaging in spiritual warfare beyond our realm of authority. If you want to damage your church, maybe destroy it, try going beyond what God’s Word teaches. 

We have not been given authority in the heavenlies…you cannot take back what never was yours, principalities and powers have authority because it has been given to them by the sin and disobedience of people. Get the people saved, leave the principalities alone.  They have rights by the people and until the people submit, we have no rights to banish these spiritual kingdoms or “take back cities or communities” … we tread on very dangerous ground when we do this.

Listen, that’s not a casual observation, it is the voice of many years of experience with this! Don’t chase signs. Don’t engage in territorial warfare. It’s not wise and it’s not scriptural. It’s not wise because it’s not scriptural.  Why not seek Jesus? If you want to be pure in your seeking and chasing. Chase Him, seek Him. The signs will follow you. Those who seek “signs and wonders” … I wonder about the wonders you seek. What sign has importance other than the death, burial, and resurrection of God’s Son?  May I just say in Love, don’t be seduced, don’t compromise the simple truth of God’s Word. Evil and adulterous people seek after signs…these are the Words of Jesus, and they are for our admonition and spiritual safety.

Just for Jesus,

Don

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