Coming out of Deception
I am coming away from revival with something I didn’t expect. Like many honest, God-fearing believers who love Him, I came expecting to find and come away with "more" of Him. What I have come away with is the realization that perhaps much of what I have built my Christian walk on is deception.
This kind of deception cannot solely be laid at the feet of the Todd Bentleys, or even the Bob Jones of the world. It is much too insidious to be attributed to mere mortals. I see myself in each one of these individuals. They are me! I believe these are all men and women who love God and have honestly desired to follow after Him. But somehow, somewhere along the way, we began to listen to another gospel and follow another Jesus. I don’t believe for a moment that my journey out of deception is complete, but praise God, it’s a start.
I have spent a better part of the last 30 years in Charismatic/Pentecostal churches looking for "more" - more power, more anointing, more glory, more revelation, prosperity, divine health, and everything else I believed was mine in Christ. Those of us from the "more Lord" camp have come to the foot of the cross looking to get all that we can from Christ in order to live a life that is "more than abundant". We have earnestly believed that with this abundant life, we would be able to expand the Kingdom of God and reach the world for Christ with our "kingdom power and kingdom wealth". Therein lies the delusion! Is not this the same theology Satan tempted Jesus with in the wilderness?
Luke 4: 5-6 "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, ‘All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will give it. If thou wilt worship me, all thine shall be thine."
Sounds eerily familiar, doesn’t it?
I have said, as well as the many others who are attending revival, we are hungry for God. But is that really what we are hungry for? Are we hungry for a life that is holy, that denies the desires of our flesh, to glory in our weakness rather than in our visions and revelations of Christ (as Paul says in II Corinthians 12:1-5)? Or is it something else we’ve been hungry for? I can tell you, after 30 years of all the preaching, teaching, conferences, healing schools, prophetic schools, etc., we have been after more than just God. We’ve been after His power. We are after His glory... which He will not share. ("I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another..." Isaiah 42:8.)
It's our seeking of the power and glory of God that leads to deception; it is to pursue another Jesus and preach another gospel!
We say that we are hungry for God, but if we are honest with ourselves, we are really looking to benefit from His power. The power of God has been something to be pursued with all of our heart, time and resources. Let’s be honest; spiritual power is tantalizing. "God’s power" represents, whether we realize it or not, a quick fix to put in order those areas of our life that we will not through repentance, self-control, and the taking up our own cross to follow Him. Oh, if we only desired to have Christ’s character operating in our lives as much we desire the operation of spiritual gifts and annointings!
To truly be a follower of Christ we must not only come to the foot of the cross, but we must be willing to get on the cross. How many of us would really follow Christ if there were no healings to be had, no outpourings to revel in? Would we rush to get to Florida to embracing lack, to know hunger, to suffer need, to be stoned, or beaten? How many of our present day "apostles" truly bear the marks of the gospel upon their bodies as did the Apostle Paul? (And I don’t mean tattoos either!)
Let’s face it, we’ve been running to Lakeland in hopes of getting something more... something more for ourselves, something more for our churches, and something more for the world. We have been preoccupied with the thinking that God has somehow withheld something we must still pursue. It was exactly this kind of thinking that lead Eve into taking that first bite.
Thanks to Phil, and thanks to all those of you out there who have put so much effort into many of your blogs and websites on the subject of the danger associated with this revival in Lakeland. Continue to speak the truth. Continue to walk in love towards those you know to be deceived. Without the love, the message cannot be heard.
I covet your prayers. Please remember also to pray for those coming out of this deception. Safe places of worship and fellowship will be key if we would ever truly follow after Christ.