15 June 2012

What Pastors Aren't Telling You


Much of what we've been taught in church or from Christian books is either wrong or the Truth is simply being omitted. It's time we not lean on what church leaders say, but on Jesus. God has all the answers and he's given you all his wisdom and knowledge. Wisdom's name is the Holy Spirit (Pro 1:21-23).
Praying on your knees really doesn't mean much.

Let me give you a good example. We've been taught for far too long that in order to get God's attention, and get real answers to prayer, that we have to do something. For decades we've been told that we have to pray an hour a day, bow low before our King, fast, read our Bible, distance ourselves from the world, tithe, give additional offerings, go on a mission trip, serve the church, worship for 3 hours straight, and have next to no sin. And, then (and only then) God may "show up". This is what most of our faithful Christian leaders are teaching...and it's wrong. Honestly, this burns me up. They're still looking for a structured process or formula to get God to answer their prayers which is not how God operates. I think most pastors have good intentions, but good intentions mean nothing. They're still trying to get you closer to God by doing something from the outside-in. As if anything on the outside (like reading, singing, tithing, following commands etc) has anything to do with it (Rom 4).

Seriously, I dare to say that most pastors don't have a real relationship with Jesus and don't hear his voice on a regular basis. Sure, they know of him and I'm also positive they're some of Jesus' biggest fans, but a fan will never know the heart of the Star. They can only read facts and statistics, hoot and holler, and wear their team's colors.

Most Christian leaders can only repeat what they read in the Bible or what they memorized Peter or James doing thousands of years ago. Honestly, if anyone memorized lines in my book, I'd tell them, "you missed the point." What does memorizing Scripture have to do with anything? We act like memorizing Scripture is so vital to our Christian walk. However, the entire Word is planted in our hearts (Jam 1:19-25). All of the Word is, already, in you. Once you believe this, God's Word will start flowing out of you naturally (from the inside-out) (Mark 4:1-20).

I'm not saying don't read your Bible. I'm saying read between the lines. It's what's not in black and white that's true wisdom. Only his Spirit can reveal his secrets (1 Cor 2).

Here's another way to see it. Look at the limitations Paul had on the written Word. He only had the Law and the Old Testament scrolls to read from. If all he had were these words of the old covenant, then how did he know so much about God's new promise and love (Col 1:25-29)? He didn't have a Bible app or a book to carry with him like we do. We have all these study guides, devotions, translations, concordances, but Paul had none of these. You see, Paul had to rely completely on God for every bit of wisdom and knowledge (John 16:12-15). And, he wrote two-thirds of the New Testament because of that relationship. And, that same Spirit is in you.

The Bible is simply a map to a relationship with Jesus. We live in different times, cultures, and speak different languages than those in the Bible. Therefore, we must rely on him completely for our daily wisdom. There really is no other way to look at it. Once this connection with him is made, the Spirit alone will guide you in every way possible (1 John 2:27). I'm not discounting the Bible at all. It is the Word of God! I'm just saying it's the first door you walk through to get to him (not your church's door). The Spirit has so much MORE that he wants to show you (John 16:12-15).

Yes, the Spirit is all you need to follow Christ. We are promised that God will teach us everything we need to know (1 John 2:27). Who taught Paul, Solomon, David, Moses, Joseph, and even Jesus what they knew? That's right, the Spirit taught them everything. Did Jesus come out of the womb knowing it all on day two? No, he had to listen and be guided by the Father just like you and me. He experienced everything like we do (Phi 2:5-8). He had a real relationship with his Dad to show us we can have the same.

Let's look at the disciples as another example. The disciples hung out with Jesus for 3 years, however, Paul taught the disciples more about God's new plan than the disciples were ever aware of. Paul even publicly corrected some of the disciples because of their actions. Have you ever thought about how crazy this is? How is it that the disciples were by Jesus' side every minute for 3 years and saw everything he did, but were less aware of God's new plan (Col 1:11-29)? Instead, they should have taught Paul a thing or two, right? Also, before Mark and Luke ever wrote their books about Jesus, they spent time with Paul learning from him. So, was Paul just some crazy-awesome man of God? Yes, but only because he was willing to have a real relationship with the Spirit. The Bible is God's Word, but the Spirit tells us the rest of what God is saying (Mat 16:13-20).


It's time we trusted this Jesus stuff and started weighing what our Christian leaders are preaching. From my point of view, they don't seem to know him very well. If they claim they really know his voice, then there's only one explanation - they are deliberately disregarding the call to teach God's people how to have a genuine relationship with him (John 10:25-30). They are refusing to teach God's precious bride to hear his voice. Honestly, if this is the case, I'd hate to be in their shoes. I'd hate to see how Jesus feels about someone who treats his bride with such little trust and investment. It's time to listen to the Spirit and watch what he's doing, instead. Don't follow your pastor's vision. Follow God's unique vision for you. Each of our plans will be different (Jer 29:11-14).
Roll Tide!!!

A few years ago, God revealed his voice to me while I was watching a University of Alabama football game. I'm definitely a Bama fan, but after that moment, the team and sport had so much more meaning. He will also reveal himself to you in your own unique way. What works for me won't work for you. You and the Spirit have to build that relationship, but it's easier than you think. Trust him to do it. Ask to hear his voice. It will sound much like your own, but with much more peace, authority, and confidence.

Weigh carefully every word that comes from your pastor and get to know the Spirit's voice intimately. Only Jesus' sheep know his voice and it's vital you know him in a personal way (John 10:25-30).

You are a son or daughter of God! Once you believe you're an heir to the King, you'll start acting like a king. Singing in the choir, being a greeter at the door, or working the parking lot of someone's church is too small for you. Pastor's don't trust you to do much more than this, but God trusts you completely with everything. He sees greatness in you (Jam 1:17-18). That's why he gave you the world, the moon, and all the stars (Deu 4:19).

22 comments :

Jan Hennings said...

Yes yes and yes again! "What Pastors aren't telling you" and CAN'T TELL YOU - because it is called a personal relationship with YOUR FATHER - through Jesus Christ!!

Reminds me of Peter. When Peter was asked by Jesus what he says that Jesus is • Peter answered : "You're the son of God." How could have Peter known that? 
 
>>> He said to them, But who do you say that I am?  Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 16:15-17 NKJV)

Peter had understood that from his heart through the love of Christ • him (Peter) being in the presence of Christ • the truth simply came forth out of his heart! 

Truth is : HOW CAN WE YOU EVEN CLOSELY BELIEVE THAT WE CAN LOVE OTHERS IF WE HAVE NOT SIMPLY RECEIVED THE LOVE OF CHRIST FOR US PERSONALLY AND INDIVIDUALLY FIRST!! 

>>> And the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF. There is no other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31 NKJV)

Jan Hennings said...

Dathan - my reply there is actually my "$.01" to your "$.02" - hah!

Dathan Ellis said...

Very nice shiny penny you have there! ~;-D And, I completely agree! Yes, when the Spirit revealed to Peter what he knew about who Jesus was, this was a real connection with God (a solid foundation). God intentionally did not reveal all of his secrets while Jesus was here. He wanted to do that one-on-one with each of his children.

TheYellowHouse said...

Here is something to chew on...I believe the bride IS hearing him...the church is not! You are right...it's all about relationship! The bible uses marriage as an example right? Well...good marriages that last, that are complete, that fulfill the each other are FULL of communion back and forth...not just one person always talking and being the center....one person always having their way. Good marriage takes talking and listening, responding, unconditionally! Can you imagine telling God something you "felt" and HIM saying OMGoodness...I just cannot believe you said that!!! Well, relationship should be the same...unconditional in ALL ways, love, listening, sharing, responding, forgiving...etc...
It is sad the lack of respect that some ministers have invited into society!!

And Dathan...so what on the negative you might get by your posts...let Aunt E tell you...AT LEAST YOU HAVE PASSION...that's MUCH more than the negative speakers STANDING there going absolutely NOWHERE!!

Keep it up!

Dathan Ellis said...

Thanks Aunt E! I'm definitely not going to stop sowing real seed. And, as for it being just like marriage, you couldn't be more right. It doesn't get much more intimate than a marriage relationship, but he's even closer than that. There are no words to explain how close he is.

Allison said...

Very insightful Dathan! Still reading! :)

Anonymous said...

faith without works is dead

Dathan Ellis said...

~;-)

Dathan Ellis said...

Works without faith is hell on earth.

Anonymous said...

you grace people dont no what the true message is

Dathan Ellis said...

Then, maybe you should share what the true message is?

Phil Bevilacqua said...

Love and grace isn't a message or a part of theology ... It's a person, His name is Jesus! Our name isn't anonymous hiding anything... Just real people !

Anonymous said...

the true message is Jesus gave he life for the law it says in Matthew 5 17 Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. so law is the true message

Dathan Ellis said...

Jesus came to fulfill the Law (complete it). It no longer has any reign over us. However, you keep following that Law mentality. I surely hope it works for you. However, you must do even better than the Pharisees.

Dathan Ellis said...

Amen! Unfailing love = grace!

Lauren said...

It's curious how he quotes scripture and you respond with something that's not scripture. I don't think he ever said to have works without faith or vice versa either.

Dathan Ellis said...

Oh, I certainly used Scripture. I just didn't give an address. Faith is the key. I used to be a Pharisee and worked hard for my salvation, but now I'm a Christian and do even greater things then I did before.

Anonymous said...

We suffer because of our own foolishness Gal 6:7-9

Jane Gary said...

Love, love, love! I've been hearing the Holy Spirit talking to me about the same stuff. It's like an awakening inside me! Thanks for the affirmation :-)

Dathan Ellis said...

You certainly hear his voice because that's exactly what he sounds like. ~:-)

Anonymous said...

I love how you shared with us that hearing His voice sounds much like our own. I never thought of it this way and therefore have always been confused as to whether what I hear is God or me. But with the peace and all knowing I am coming to understand it is God's voice speaking to me. Instead of questioning I am now embracing it and moving forward knowing that acting on what He is telling me to do is giving me a life I always dreamed of and hoped for and actually is even more than that. What a blessing and miracle!!! Thank you Jesus!!!

Dathan Ellis said...

Praise Jesus!! Yes, you're definitely well on your way to a real and truly abundant life. Be prepared to have your mind blown away!

Now, I'll never tell you or anyone else this, but I'll give you another helpful hint about hearing his voice since you're really trying to seek him. If you ever hear something that makes you say, "Ok, is that me talking or is that you, God?" When this happens it's not you - it's him. When you have to ask yourself this question, you know it's not you. You can't come up with the stuff he tells you because your nature doesn't think on that level. Trust his voice and take a step of faith. Then, watch what happens. Church leaders try to tell you not to listen to your heart, but Solomon (the wisest man of all time) says quite differently (Prov 3:5-6). When it doesn't make sense is when it's him. He never makes any sense...until you look back.