15 April 2013 by Rev Dr Steven Kau –
Years ago, someone had produced a video of the late John Wimber preaching and ministering. One of the things that was so refreshing to me was his authenticity. Rather than pushing people so that they would fall to the floor, he would encourage people to stay standing as much as possible. He would tell people that if they did not feel any positive change after prayer for healing, to simply be honest about it instead of trying to make the one praying feel good by claiming to be healed. He gave words of knowledge in a very simple and natural way. The overall feel was “you can do this stuff too,” not “I am a great man of God.”
I believe that there is a great need to recover authenticity in ministry today. If we are going to walk in the true power of God, we need to get real. The Bible indicates very clearly that a “love of truth” is a safeguard against deception. (2 Thess. 2:9-11) Part of loving the truth is being authentic.
The presence of hype is evidence of the lack of the presence of God. If God were with us to the degree that we claim, we would not need to employ soulish methods that mimic the anointing. It is not difficult to create an atmosphere of “anointing” through manipulating emotions with music, grandiose statements and exaggerated claims; especially when people are hungry for the supernatural. Every preacher knows that in a highly charged atmosphere, you can “make things happen,” disguised as a powerful move of God.
Although falling under the power of God” can be a genuine manifestation, how many times are people actually falling under the power of the flesh or under the power of suggestion? Although prophecy is absolutely real and alive today, how many times are we putting a “Thus saith the Lord” on something that really came from our soul and not the Spirit of God? Things like this matter.
The fact that we are willing to push people to the floor to appear anointed, make exaggerated claims and flippantly using the name of the Lord, is evidence that we do not truly value the presence and anointing of God and that we do not fear the Lord. When a particular preacher, especially a foreign “celebrity preacher” is elevated to a very high status as a “great man of God,” it is obvious he has to prove we are right about him anyway he can. It would be terribly embarrassing if during ministry time, there was no massive number of people on the floor or some sort of “supernatural manifestations” to justify him as being a “great man of God.” Perhaps the real culprit is not the preacher but us. He really came to bless us with the Word of God but we want to see him “perform miracles” to show he’s got the anointing or power.
During Jesus’ ministry, how many times were massive numbers of people slain on the floor or ground? Jesus laid hands on the sick, blessed people, healed the woman with an issue of blood and even embraced children; none of them were slain on the ground. Jesus was the most anointed person alive but that was never the hallmark of His ministry. He focused on the Word and God and love for God.
This is terribly unfair to the preacher but we are so used to “entertainment” in churches these days, that while we appreciate the Word of God, we are more interested to see God perform signs and wonders before us.
This is not new. During Jesus’ day, the Scribes and Pharisees also wanted to see supernatural signs performed by Jesus, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You. But He answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign and no signs will be given, except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” (Matthew 12:38-39)
God’s presence, gifts and anointing are way too precious for us to be so careless. Not to mention that His people are way too valuable to be manipulated and abused in this way.
“For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit.” (Hebrews 4:12)
More than ever, we need the sharp Word of God to discern between soul and spirit. We need the true power of God to be demonstrated without us trying “make things happen.” If the power of God is lacking, we need to pray and wait on the Lord until it returns. Instead of trying to make up for it with other means. I hope that we can put away hype and move more towards authenticity in ministry. May the presence and power of God increase in His church?
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