I WILL KEEP YOU…
“To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His Glorious Presence without fault and with great joy…”
The statements afforded in this message in Isaiah 49:8 give us a rich panorama of revelation about God and His Character toward us. If we needed a refresher it is now, as we sometimes let our Christianity become a routine by which we make acknowledgment but we hardly delve into the riches that lie beneath the surface.
God keeps us, keeps us from perdition, keeps us from stumbling.
1. Offence: we are over sensitive to others, and expect the world of others yet if we were to use the same yardstick ourselves we would and could never fulfil. We become easily offended, become easily divided. The worst stumbling block I feel is that of offence. The offence comes when we react against a person for what they say and what they do. We must get our attention from being so self centred, so focussed on ourselves being the centre of the universe, when Jesus made God the Father the centre of our universe. Jesus is the motive of offence, and we too will be offensive to others, by our association with Jesus. But so often our offence is not with the world, but with our brothers and sisters.
2. Deception: the deception of which I speak is not that which is preached, nor the truth of what is taught. It is rather the motivation which drives all ministry. For many and for all of us at some point, our priesthood becomes a means of receiving bread. 1 Samuel cites to us the degradation that the priesthood had become. The priesthood was a means to eat. Yet the central function, to be in the Presence of God was no more the motivating factor. Rather, earthly provision was. I think all of us in this modern day know how it is important to sustain a home, a family, and to God is also important. But if our motivation to plant ministry, to be ministry, to lead Churches is a means to a salary we are in contempt of the ministry that we are called to. This is the deception. It is not the so called “prosperity gospel,” because what is preached is God’s word essentially, but we must look behind the words, and ask God to give us discernment to what MOTIVATION IS BEHIND THE WORDS. Because if we don’t, we may RECEIVE CORRUPTED SEED, and if we look to these same teachers with admiration we may take on their same motivation for ourselves, deceiving ourselves, that we are moving in the Lord when in actual fact what we are building is SELF PRESERVATION.
3. STUMBLING BLOCK THAT MINISTRY IS TO BE SERVE THAN TO SERVE: This is a gross error and stumbling block to every minister. Our position is LOWER than the congregation we serve, or teach. We rise up to speak, we actually, in Kingdom perspective, go lower. It is better to bow low, as we MINISTER, so that who is seen is Jesus, Glorified, and Exalted. That way men and women, and children will receive what they need to fulfil their priesthood. I am sure many will be presented to the Lord and will be questioned on this point. Did we teach the full counsel? What was our objective in our teaching? What was our attitude? I am not saying we have to walk in perfection, I am however, saying that in our walk, we must be PROGRESSING, TRANSFORMING into the SERVANT image of the Lord Himself. I am saying that in the sense of Jude’s statement above, that the KEEPING OF GOD must bring us into PERFECTING ATTITUDES AND MOTIVATIONS, so that when we are PRESENTED BEFORE HIM WITH JOY, we are presented WITHOUT fault and mark, because the faults and marks were left behind in each day of our earthly existence. We as ministers must remember as we step into that anointing we are NOT ARISING IN THE EARTHLY, we are in earthly humiliation, so that in the heavenly, as we fulfil heavenly objectives we are accruing to OUR HEAVENLY ACCOUNT!!! That means how we pastor: did we care for a soul like Christ does? When as a teacher, did we teach the Word as Christ does? As a prophet did we prophesy and edify as Christ does? As an apostle did we enable the saints to reach their full potential and enabling as Christ does? As an evangelist do we reach out to the lost as Christ does?
Let Him keep you FROM STUMBLING…so that you may be PRESENTED…