And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory, glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception). John 1:14 AMP
The Lord has a way with me, when He want to bring something to my attention. Usually it starts with a little irritation, then it turns into a bit of frustration and more often than not ends with me being very bothered. Right now I am bothered.
I am bothered by our (the Bride of Christ, the Church) infatuation with men and women of God who have received a specific grace, for a specific task. Don’t get me wrong. I love to listen to sermons and podcasts, I too read the books, I buy study material and I appreciate the anointing and gifts the Father released to the body through anointed teachers and preachers. What I cannot agree and partner with is the sad reality that too many Christians are more able to quote prominent Christian leaders than the Word of God.
What would it look like if we were more able to quote Jesus than the voice of another human, who, gifted as they may be, are still merely human and fallible? What would it look like if we invested more resources in our local church, the place where we go to meet with Him in fellowship with others, rather than buying the latest book or paying for yet another seminar? What would it look like if Jesus Christ is not only the Head of the church, but also the Hero? What would it look like if we made more sacrifices and pulled more strings to get into the presence of the Lord, than into the presence of a faith hero?
I am not advocating for reading just the Word, and nothing else. The Lord spoke through prophets and teachers then and He does it now. What I am saying is that we should be more infatuated (love-sick, obsessed) with the person of Jesus than the personality on the stage. The same person, professing to love Jesus would travel for hours to attend a meeting held by a faith hero, but will not travel 30 minutes to a prayer meeting. We don’t think twice about buying the latest resources but all over the place pastors are struggling to keep local churches afloat.
Often times, when I am feeling a little bored with idle chatter, I will ask Christians what Jesus has been speaking to them about. More often than not, they will respond by telling me of a sermon they recently heard, a book they are reading or what pastor So-and-So said on Sunday. I will reiterate that I have nothing but awe for the revelation that the Lord gives to His servants, but I don’t want to be fed on a steady diet of hearsay…it is bound to make me fat and lazy. How I long for fresh bread…manna for me alone. What is more exciting than having a rhema word straight from the Lord’s mouth to our own ears? What is more healing and refreshing than hearing Him speak to you directly?
In John 6:63 Jesus says “The words I speak to you are Spirit and life.” This is true and they are wonderful when spoken through a consecrated, tested-in-fire vessel but they are priceless when spoken directly to my heart by the Lord Himself.
If this sounds critical and condescending, I beg forgiveness. I am not trying to bring judgment and condemnation, but to stir up a hunger in your heart for more of Jesus…His presence, His touch, His voice, His wisdom, His revelation, His healing…just Jesus Himself.
After Father God had a little one-on-one with Job he looks at himself and says: “I admit I once lived by rumours of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumour.” Job 42: 6 MSG
May our walk with the Lord be so much more and so much deeper than a vicarious walk, lived out of someone else’s revelation and insight. May the gifted ministers of the Word put language around our own experiences and confirm what the Lord is already speaking to our own hearts, may their revelation stir up a desire in us to also hear and see like that and may every person and personality pale in comparison with the sheer and utter beauty of our Lord.