“I'm going to send you food from heaven like rain. Each day the people should go out and gather only what they need for that day. In this way I will test them to see whether or not they will follow my instructions. ...” (Ex 16:4-5 GW)
Throughout church history there have been certain pioneers who have helped mark their generation for the Lord; leaving a legacy for others to follow. Commendable - but not many of those same pioneers were able to “transition” from one move of God to the next. The transition can be crucial and just as important as the pioneering efforts to begin with.
It is not my intention here to try and cover church history in this one short blog, but I do however encourage you to go look for yourself and see what notable figures you can find of recent and not-so-recent within church history, who “moved-on” when the Spirit of God began to blow a new wind of Devin direction, and made the transition into the “new move of God.” You will find those who made the transition and those who got “lost” because somehow the past had become their logos!
It is wonderful to be used of God, in any generation. But we must not get stuck. So that when God wants to do a new thing, we are not stubbornly “attached” to what He did in the past. Not many have been able to “move on” throughout church history, and notoriously prefer to stay with the “familiar.” Consider the Israelites who were thinking of something as small-minded as “onions and garlic” when they were in the wilderness! Especially after experiencing all the adventure and enormity of God’s deliverance, with the years of torment and suffering still fresh in their minds. Nonetheless they soon began to “pine” for the familiar. Listen to their murmuring and contempt, “If only we had meat to eat! Remember all the free fish we ate in Egypt and the cucumbers, watermelons, leeks, onions, and garlic we had? But now we've lost our appetite! Everywhere we look there's nothing but manna!” (Num 11:4-6 GW).
Sadly this is a common human weakness; that we begin to crave the very thing that we were set free of! We become so familiar with the “bondage” that had us captive for so long, that we actually prefer it; a re-occurrence for us all; especially if we stay in the wilderness.
It is true to say that not many people are able to “experience” God in their generation; (pioneer, be in the “forefront”) and then move on with Him and keep the impact on the next generation alive! Instead they get stuck in the “last” move... and don’t know how to “stay” with what God is doing today. We can call this the “now move of God” (which is relevant to any current generation...) Most folks can only relate to their “own” experiences – so when something new happens – they can’t flow with it. They miss it... lots of folks - even well intentioned folks “miss” God. (It’s easy to be “sincere” but “sincerely-wrong” at the same time!)
By way of a short example I want to make mention of a few names that we are all so familiar with, those of recent church history; pioneers such as Leister Sumrall, Morris Cerullo and Oral Roberts... (of course the list could go on...) Leister for instance had the likes of Howard Carter and Smith Wigglesworth as his mentors and received their “anointing” for his generation. He was ordained way back in 1932 and was considered the "father" of Christian Television because he helped “secure” the “first” license for 24 hour Christian television; amongst many other achievements.
But with all of his accolades Leister was one of those men (of his calibre) who did not get stuck in yesteryear... he moved on... and was one of the few who was able to do so... Right up until the end, he kept “current” with his finger on the pulse of what God was doing and saying in the “now” (remember Hebrews 11:1 calls it “now-faith!”) There is no retirement for genuine men and woman of God! They walk with God like Enoch did and then they are not...! They are too “black n white” to enjoy the “grey!” (see Gen 5:24).
Leister kept hearing God, keeping relevant to the day that he was “in” rather than aligning himself with the “experiences” of the past (regardless of how successful they might have been) he kept himself aligned to God. In fact the more successful a move may have been, can prevent folks from moving on to the next wave... somehow they imagine that God could only be successful in “their” generation – no matter how long ago that was – and don’t ever move on because of that premise...
To qualify this, let me say that there is always a balance to everything... we are not talking about being “politically correct” or “relevant” in that context but in regards to what “God is doing and saying today.”
Dr. Sumrall was a good example for us to follow; not to get stuck in yesterday... but stay hooked up with what God is saying and doing today. If that means moving on from what we have known all our lives... moving away from the familiar - then yes... we must move on and not miss God. We must not get stuck in a generational or denominational rut!
If we refuse to move on with God, then what might have been “successful” in the past has now become a “deception” especially if it prevents us from hearing and moving on with God today. Reading books and studying “history” can be of great value and is great in its place. BUT... if we are so caught up in the past, that we fail to hear God for today, then we been caught in deception. It takes a very “brave” man or woman – to move on with God. Especially if they helped pioneer the old!
Of course when we talk about “what God is saying today” this does not in any way change His “Logos-Word” (written)... of course this always remains the same “yesterday, today and forever.” However His “Rhema-Word” - that which he “speaks” today - is fresh and is NOW manna. It never contradicts His written Word. But it is for today. Otherwise we would all still be wearing sackcloth and ashes!!!
Let’s make sure that we move with the tide; God’s tide. Not with the “popular opinion” or “political correctness” of our day; but with God. What is He saying right now? What is on His heart for our world right now? If we know more about previous centuries and what God said to them, than we do today, then we have “missed” God for today.
Let’s not make that same mistake that so many others have made and MOVE ON “with” God into the 21st Century. Nothing is holding us back. We must make the “transition” which is only possible when we hear God’s voice. “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine... they shall hear my voice...” (John 10:14-16 KJV).
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you that I have ears to hear. I am meant to hear your voice on a regular basis. To have that “living-connection” with You. I am not meant to “guess” my way through life, but to “know” my way through life! Thank you that you have made the “knowledge” of Your perfect will accessible to me today. Help me to be attentive to your voice. I believe that you have set me up for “success” and not for failure. Amen.
CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I can and I will hear God’s voice. He has promised me that! I am not dull of hearing and I am not spiritually numb. Jesus is my Sheppard and I hear His voice. I will not only “hear” but also “obey” and therefore will have good success. Hallelujah!
THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!
Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’
Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries