One crucial aspect of being a disciple is we are called to be a disciple of Christ, not men. This does not mean we do not learn from others as our teachers, pastors, and even mentors in various disciplines and knowledge. It is a high privilege to sit under the great teachers and leaders of our times, but we are called to much more than this. We are all called to be first generation disciples of Christ Jesus Himself.
Though I have heard it told a number of times by others, the following account really happened to me. When I was a new believer, a friend and I went to hear a man who gave a remarkable message. Afterwards we went to thank him. Trying to be humble, he responded, “It was not me, it was the Lord.” My friend, who was also a new believer, looked at him kind of funny and said, “It wasn’t that good!”
Surely, if the Lord Himself had been speaking that night, it would have been much better. However, this does not mean the man’s message did not have merit or was not from God. We are His body and the Lord teaches through His teachers, shepherds through His shepherds, speaks through His prophets, etc., yet we are called to follow the Lamb, not His messengers.
We must honor and listen to those He has sent to us. As He said when He entered Jerusalem, from that time we would not see Him until we blessed those who came in His name. However, as we see in The Song of Solomon, this prophetic metaphor of the relationship between the Lord and His bride, the Shulamite maid who represents the church, made a remarkable and important request of the Lord in The Song of Solomon 1:7,
“Tell me, O you whom I love, where you feed your flock, where you make it rest at noon. For why should I be as one who veils herself by the flocks of your companions?”
The bride will not be content in the flocks of others, even of the Lord’s companions. She must be in the Lord’s own flock. This does not mean we should not be in a congregation of one of His under-shepherds, but there is a way we can do this and also directly follow Jesus, be taught by Him, and thereby grow up into Him.
When I listen to teachers, I do not merely seek to hear the words of the Lord, I am seeking to hear the Word Himself. The Lord is my Shepherd, and He is my Teacher. In John 10 we are told His sheep know His voice, and they follow Him because they know His voice, not only the voice of His people, even His great ones.
To relate properly to the shepherds, teachers, and the other messengers He sends while developing a personal relationship with the Lord is something we find easier to understand as we mature in Him. Next week we will elaborate on this a bit more because it is crucial we understand this to walk in the fullness of what we are called to.
~ Pastor Rick Joyner
|Pastor Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church.|