Calvary Church of the Nazarene Huntsville, Alabama
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Have you ever been to the most dangerous place in the world? OTWOG -- It is located wherever you are, whenever you are -- Outside The Will Of GOD.
God calls men to preach & pastor or shepherd His flock in the ways that God Himself directs in His Word -- not by the dictates of human speculation but down the driveway of divine revelation.
God, for example, did not call the people to lead Moses, but Moses to lead the people. When all the whining, complaining, & murmuring of the people started and continued about God=s leadership through Moses, it led to disastrous results.
When following God=s directions in His Divine Manual does not occur, then we have a case of spiritual dyslexia, religious hop-scotch, and outright defiance of God Himself.
God does not approve of deceit or conceit.
Yet, some preachers, church leaders, and members practice both with alarming regularity.
When what is said behind closed doors in private is different from what is said with no doors in public, there is a problem which must be exposed, eradicated, excised, and expunged.
Have you ever heard about the legendary meeting several Biblical characters were having to discuss God=s call to the others? The following is some excerpts from that meeting:
Jeremiah said that God could not possibly have called Moses because Moses was not eloquent, slow of speech and of a slow tongue (Ex. 4:10), and the people were complaining of his leadership (Ex. 17) - plus he was too old for the job. Silly man -- doesn=t he realize that God is not interested in using old people to fulfill His will? Yet He did, Jeremiah!
David said that Hosea could not possibly have been called by God because God would not direct someone to marry a harlot/prostitute (as Hosea claimed in 1:3) and then actually use Hosea=s problem w/ Gomer to portray God=s problem with the spiritual harlotry of His people. Yet He did, David.
Matthew said that God could not have called Paul because Paul was always traveling around the country and not settling down very long anywhere (unstable?), was under constant criticism, & even being physically & mentally abused (Acts 9-28). Yet He did Matthew!
Isaiah disputed God=s call to Joel on the basis that he had visions and claimed that others would have both dreams and visions (Joel 2:28-32). Yet He did, Isaiah!
Daniel & Ezekiel both agreed that God had not called Amos because he was a herdsman (Amos 1:1), threatened the people with punishment (1:3, 9, 11, 13) & fire (1:4, 7, 10, 12, 14), & talked about God=s eyes being upon the sinful kingdom which would be destroyed (9:8-10) - he just was not filled with God=s love or he would not have spoken along these lines.
Both of you were wrong!
Micah maintained that Jonah was too rebellious to be called and used by God - after all, who would listen to someone=s claim about being in a whale=s belly for 3 days? Yet He did, Micah!
Habakkuk insisted that Jeremiah was not called because he cried a lot (Jer. 13:17), and spoke of a>new= covenant (Jer. 31:31). God never changes, so who does he think he is to talk about God doing something >new=? Was Habakkuk wrong, also?
Malachi claimed that Ezekiel=s call was very questionable because he said that God told him to speak in riddles (Ez. 17:2). He just did what God said to do, Malachi!
Luke said that Paul could not possibly have been filled with love and doing God=s will because, as he himself admitted in Gal. 2:11, AI withstood Peter to the face, because he was to be blamed.@ You don=t understand, Luke!
Barnabas argued that Paul was too sophisticated or intelligent and could not possibly be doing God=s will because as Peter himself wrote in 2 Peter 3:16, Ain all his epistles, he wrote some things which are hard to understand.@ Watch out, Barnabus!
Timothy said that Paul had become senile or demented and based his conclusion on Paul=s statement in Romans 9:3 - Afor I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.@ Who in his right mind, Timothy reasoned, would be willing for himself to be separated from Christ if it would accomplish or fulfill God=s will for someone else? A little too radical, Timothy concluded.
Paul spoke negatively of the last letter John wrote and said that John is the one who must be insane. After all, he used to write about love. But now he is using all those weird expressions, creating too much confusion, and referring to God=s vials of wrath, plagues, beasts, locusts, trumpets, etc. Paul concluded that John had forgotten or had not read what he himself had written about love in I Corinthians 13.
Their conclusion: God only uses people in the exact same way, with the exact same personality, and the exact same method or style of doing God=s will. Those people who did not conform to a particular way of doing God=s will [>their= own way] were simply imposters and needed to go somewhere and find out how to do God=s will the right way.
As they were leaving the building, they all concurred that Elijah was a Drama Queen, too theatrical, way too dramatic when he did that>showdown at sundown= thing on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:36-39).
Let us all beware of OTWOG!
Dr. Morris Murray, Jr.
Content copyright July 2010 jmhall. All rights reserved.