| I Don’t Want To Follow A Man |
I Don’t Want To Follow A Man
“I just want to hear from God. I don’t want to listen to any man.” Noble sounding words, but a spiritual death sentence for those who utter them. For God often, if not most of the time, chooses to speak to us through men. Proof positive to this is even the Bible was written by men. If the Ethiopian eunuch had uttered such words he would be burning in hell at this moment. For he would have refused Philip and travelled on his way without ever being taught by God.
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. (Acts 8:30-31)
The Ethiopian eunuch’s humble heart and actions proved his humility. He invited Philip to ride in the chariot with him. He listened quietly and contemplated Philip’s words and therefore was born again by the mercy of God. So many in haughty pride will not even listen to another man instruct them about the Word of God, let alone invite them into their homes to sit down and study. Yet, at the same time, the same people pat themselves on the back and boast that they seek only God. Their pride blinds them to how God works and so they miss His mercy.
In reality, they are fool of fools, for they still listen to a man, but the “man” is themselves. Short of some miraculous visitation by God, such as John experienced on the Island of Patmos or Paul caught up to the third heaven, the “man” they listen to is indeed their own selves. To a fool, it seems so right and noble but the wise listen to advice.
The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. (Proverbs 12:15)
You will never find God by sitting on a mountain by yourself or by staying quiet and refusing to discuss Scriptures because you only want to hear from God. Not only will God not talk to you, but Satan will ?ll the void by whispering in your ears unholy things. Every conclusion you come to about the Bible will be wrong and deadly because your wisdom comes from the self-righteousness of pride.
God has chosen to enlighten men through the preaching of other men. Even the teaching that we don’t need man to teach us anything comes through a man. John, a man, taught us that we don’t need anyone to teach us.
As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-just as it has taught you, remain in him. (1 John 2:27)
As true as this is, John furthermore taught that he could tell who was from God and who was of Satan by the reaction to his teaching. If they did not really listen to John when he taught, then they were not of God. Each person claiming to be a Christian must joyously accept what John taught before he would accept them as true believers. It is easy to see why such godly
men are labeled cult leaders. For very few understand the powerful humility only the cross can produce.
We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. (1 John 4:6)
So how do these two scripture go together? Pay attention, for this man will tell you by the pow- er of the Holy Spirit. I teach by the leading of the Holy Spirit, and if you have a good heart, God will give you enlightenment as to the message preached. If you will not listen or cannot understand it, then you will perish in your sins. The next scripture gives us a perfect example of this. Paul preached the gospel by the leading of the Holy Spirit and God “opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.” To whose message? To a man named Paul. Lydia had to be taught by a man and if she chose some other method she would have perished in her self-righteousness.
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. (Acts 16:13-14)
If you want salvation, if you want to grow in Christ then you must listen to those people God sends your way. You will have to listen to a man in order to be in Jesus Christ
Satan seeks to humiliate us in order to cool our love and to shut us up so we will only listen to ourselves. For Satan knows that no man listens to himself. We weren’t created that way.
We were made to be taught by God through men, just as Eve learned from Adam how to fellowship with God. In the Garden of Eden, however, Satan basically said, “You don’t need anyone for you can become like God.” Of course Adam and Eve were blind to the fact that Satan taught them that they didn’t need to learn from others.
Those really sent by God have only one goal- to mature their listeners to the point that they do not need them as teachers. Like any loving parent who matures their children so that they grow into full grown adults, a godly teacher does the same. As a preacher of God, I have this goal always before me. I desire that those God has given me will some day not need me to teach them. The goal is to teach men so that they can teach others to hear God’s voice in all the different ways that God speaks, (Hebrews 5:12)
Notice in the passage below it is only as “we all” men teaching men reach the “whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” You will never reach the whole measure of God all by yourself. Nev- er-because we are a body and just as my big toe will never grow into a whole body can we in- dividually become all of Christ. In other words, when God conveys to you that you represent the whole Body of Christ, then you can tell me you don’t have to listen to a man.
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Incidentally, if you find yourself taken in by different men, “tossed back and forth,” “blown here and there by every wind” of new teaching, it’s only because you refuse to listen to the correct men.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. (Ephesians 4:14)
The “cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming,” including your own, snare you because you refuse to listen to those who preach the full offensive message of the cross. Stop listening to those who tell you what you want to hear and who are too powerless to lead you to the cross of Christ to die to self. And certainly, stop listening to yourself. Humbly let God give you teachers you do not understand and that make you feel uncomfortable because they teach you by the grace of God. Find teachers that can boast they have sincerity from God and who present teachings contrary to worldly wisdom.
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God’s grace. (2 Corinthians 1:12)
Pray for teachers that don’t proclaim something so high you can’t understand it but whose actions of love demonstrate that the Holy Spirit guides them even though they are not fully understood at first.
For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus. (2 Corinthians 1:13-14)
If you want to overcome your own sins, short- comings, and ignorance then you must listen to those God sends your way. As has been stated, you will have to listen to a man-just be sure it is the correct man of God.
There will come a time when we will see the face of Jesus and thus will not need a man to teach us how to know the Lord, (1 Corinthians 13:12). And it is with this promise we look at knowing full, for now, God uses men to reveal Himself to us.
No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. (Hebrews 8:11)
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