The other day, just before getting in the pulpit, while enjoying worship on the front row of the church I was in, I heard the Lord clearly say to me, “I’m looking for men of moral authority in the church. Are you one?”
“1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
The Lord describes “perilous times” as the above traits. To the Lord, perilous is the man who is haughty and prideful. Perilous are the times that see disobedient children, men who boast, people who love money, ministers who take more pleasure in the world rather than in God. This is what God sees as “perilous”.
Note that scriptures like the one listed above are spoken to the church. These are perilous times because the church is operating as such in these last days. We have a form of godliness (God-likeness) but deny, by our own behavior and lack of true biblical faith, the power of godliness which we should champion to the world. We deny this power which God is so eager to give, if only we would live the word, living like God lives.
In many cases today, you look at the worldly preacher and you cannot tell the difference in conduct, speech, and behavior, between them and their fallen celebrity counterparts in the world. The world rewards such people because the worldly system seeks to fuel people further into sin and godlessness, further away from the Lord, and these people aide in that agenda. The world rewards the worldly preacher and teacher because of the spirit they are operating in. But it’s the world that gives these rewards, not our holy God. In the kingdom, humility, meekness, holiness, purity, and godliness is rewarded. Not pride, boastfulness, disobedience, and being a lover oneself. How far have we fallen when we equate promotion from the world to favor from God?
But the Lord is presently looking for men and women whom He can put “moral authority” upon. Are you one that will qualify for such a lofty honor? Are you one that will steward the holy word of God in word and conduct, and be a vessel that God can use to call people out of the dregs of these perilous times?
To walk in moral authority you must resist everything mentioned above concerning perilous behavior in the last days. You must be a person that doesn’t just have the form of godliness, but one who walks in the power of it. When you live like God lives, you walk in the power of being like God. This is real power which much of the charismatic church is unfamiliar with.
Why is it that when speaking of the power of God we only talk about miracles? Why is it when speaking of the power of God we only talk about healing? Why is it when talking about the power of God we only talk about signs and wonders? Why don’t we talk about this power mentioned in the New Testament? Why don’t we talk about about the power of godliness? It’s because in our hearts, too often, we don’t desire this power. We don’t want this power. This power is not amongst our desires, because oftentimes this power is hidden. It does not boast, it does not express haughtiness, it takes no pleasure in self, it doesn’t need for everyone to see it. Power today in the charismatic church is built on gifting, visibility, and who can flash the most Benjamins. Power in the kingdom is hidden, humble, tender, and is godly.
HIDDENNESS & HUMILITY IS POWER IN THE KINGDOM
Consider the power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Hidden was his power until the time of his appearing. Surely with his gifting He could have made a name for himself long before the hour of his appearing. He could have used his gift to make untold fortunes. He could have been the greatest celebrity guru of his time, celebrated all throughout the Roman Empire. But such is not the power of godliness. Such is not the way of God, period. Hiddenness, humility, meekness… these are the ways of God. This is the power of God.
Even when Jesus started to be more known, he still took steps to try and hide his power, and curb his popularity. When He entered into the region of Tyre and Sidon, He entered a house and “wanted no one to know it” (Mark 7:1). Despite his efforts to conceal his movements in this story, the woman who had the daughter grievously vexed by demons discovered his whereabouts and sought him out. Jesus delivered the child so that she stood in her right mind before the people (Mark 7:29-30). This was done in secret while he was wanting no one to know.
Departing from that region Jesus was approached again, this time by a deaf mute, and the people begged him to lay his hands upon the impaired. Jesus “took him aside from the multitudes”, healed him, and then “commanded them that they should tell no one”. Despite Jesus’ commands, they widely proclaimed the deeds of the Lord (Mark 7:31-37). But you clearly see Jesus’ efforts at hiddenness and discretion, rather than pride and boastfulness. Jesus knew that his fame could ultimately not be put out. It was like a fire that grew to carry his good news. But in his heart, before the Father, godliness demanded that he become famous the right way. How few ministers understand this today.
These are the ways of God. By virtue of the power that a servant of God moves in, they cannot stay hidden. But it is godly to take every chance to make the attempt. The servant of the Lord should never be the source behind promotion and exaltation. This is the way of the Lord. The world is seeking to market, promote, and use the gifts of God for gain. God is seeking to promote and use gifts his way. His way is the way of godliness. This is real power in God’s eyes.
Am I saying that if you have a ministry you can’t promote your events or seek to use the resources that God has given you to “get your message” out more? No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that we should do all things, including those things involving influence, in the spirit of godliness as described in scripture; as described in the ministry of Jesus.
I believe that God wants to raise up sons and daughters in these days that walk in so much manifest power and glory, that marketing is not needed. That like the ministry of Jesus, the glory promotes and pushes the influence of a ministry. But as with everything there is a balance. Not all of us are walking in high levels of manifest glory presently upon the earth, and for many, doing the “practicals” of ministry is important if you hope to stay in the call of God and continue feeding your family while you do it! Let’s just do it in the right spirit. Let’s be a people that resist the need to boast, the need of the flesh to be a lover of one’s self more than a lover of God. Let’s be a people that embrace the power of godliness which involves learning in hiddenness before God!
We will continue this lesson on moral authority in the church in Part 2.
In His Service,
"You may be surprised at the maturity and revelatory gifting from such a young prophet as Stephen Powell."
- Steve Shultz
"Stephen Powell may be a relatively new voice within the prophetic movement, but it's clear God is using him in a very powerful way."
- Bob Eschliman