“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces! But what did you go out to see? A prophet?”
~Matthew 11: 7-9
These were the words of Jesus for the crowds concerning those who went to see and hear John the Baptist. They went to hear a prophet. Sadly, I fear the crowds of Christianity today rather go to see a man dressed in soft clothing and the personalities like hollow reeds with hollow messages shaken in the wind. Their message is always shifting with the carnal whims of the crowds and has no edge like that of the double-edged sword.
We have succumbed to entertainment within the church, casually listening to our varied Christian artists, inspirational speakers, and writers with a constant need to have ears tickled. As scripture warns, “…always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7) No longer are the cushions the softest thing in our churches; any more it has become the messages, far softer and more comfortable than any pew. While the climate control is no longer an issue, the content of songs and messages alike have lowered the climate till most have felt so at ease they have fallen asleep.
Beloved, we need to pray for prophets to be raised up again–those who will preach the word of God because God has called them, laid His hand upon them, given them His heart, and equipped them with His anointing and message. Let us seek the Lord for a mighty revival and a reformation.
Rather than seeking to be entertained, let us seek the Lord and ask that we might receive His word from vessels He has chosen from the wilderness.
“He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” (Matthew 10:41)
Are the prophet or righteous man anything of themselves? Can they by their own authority bring you any reward? No. It is the one who sent them that is the difference. If the prophet be sent of God, if the righteous man be called by God, then their message is from the Lord. In receiving them you are receiving the Word of the Lord. So if you listen to the message, take it to heart, and apply it to your life, then you shall receive the blessing, the reward, for following God’s word in this day and in eternity.
What shall we go out to see then, beloved? Hollow reeds in soft clothing shaken in the wind or shall we hear the messengers of God? Do we want to be entertained or do we want to hear, “Thus saith the Lord?” One causes the soul to sleep and to slip into carnality while the other quickens and causes one to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Let us hear the Word of the Lord and never be the same again.
In Christ alone.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. www.lockman.org