My wife Kathy spent several years working in a large kitchen for a ministry. Starting at the bottom cooking for the daycare she eventually moved up to assistant chief. Managing the entire kitchen, the team fed groups sometimes as large as 500+. It was amazing to her that in time several chiefs who had graduated from serious cooking schools had no problem calling her “Chief.” Because too them, she was one of them.
Before this, her only real experience was being a housewife. But her skills over the last thirty years of marriage, of thick and thin ﬁnely honed her skills of understanding the basic ﬂavor foundations of the foods she was working with. That grounded understanding gave her a platform to take foods many diﬀerent directions.
Case in point, how many diﬀerent directions can you take Chicken? How many diﬀerent ways are there just to use baked Chicken? Hopefully, you get my point. (PS, the above picture is from one of those events she managed.)
From a good foundational understanding, you can build a quality dish for people to enjoy.
I am ﬁnding the same is true of spiritual things. Over the years to many people have haphazardly launched into all sorts of ministry not really understanding the basics. As a result, they have become burnt out, wounded and scarred. Or they have created a long line of burnt out, wounded and scarred people.
One of the best modern day examples is found in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law, I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law, I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
This is often referred to as “being all things to all people.” As a result, many pastors and evangelists have often used this scripture to young believers as a way of saying, “Hey, get out there and win some souls.”
But there is a serious ﬂip side to this that is often overlooked. Paul (the writer of this) had already by the time of this writing spent a serious amount of time before he became a Christian and then after (at least 14 years in the desert by some guesses) learning who he was.
Because of this, I have a simple guideline I would like to toss out to everyone is; “You can’t be all things to all people if you don’t know who you are!” Or to say it another way, “A ship can’t transport the shipment if it ain’t got no rudder.”
Too many people in an eﬀort to comply with being “all things to all people” have “adapted” to the crowd only to become evangelized by it. Remember what is also written: “Bad company corrupts good character” 1 Cor 15:33
For Paul, who spent a serious amount of time in the Lord presence after the Damascus incident, he had a full understanding of his foundation. I have known people who have totally changed who they were just to reach a certain group of people. Only after many years not only did they never convert anyone to the Lord but they became so deep into that culture it resulted in a set of very bad, long-term eﬀects on their family that have the potential of lasting generations.
Paul’s foundational understanding of himself in Christ was well established when he wrote the book of Corinthians. This was the understanding he needed to be strong in any group. Otherwise, he would have become double-minded and “tossed about by every wave.”
If you are a new Christian and your reading this. Don’t give into the pressure around you, learn who you are in him before you rush out like Don Quixote. The best way I can recommend doing this is to start learning to rest in His presence. And to cut out of your life “the stuﬀ of earth that competes for the allegiance, I owe only to the giver of all good things.”… A quote from, “If I stand”, a song by Rich Mullins
Not understanding this basic fact of who God made you be is like a man pretending to be a chef, haphazardly putting together recipes in the hope of it turning out and not delivering food poisoning along the way.
A long time ago I had a conversation with some people who were discussing various prophetic people out in the world and their prophetic words. A lot did not “seem” to happen with there words, but several people rose to there defense stating that some of the prophetic words did come to happen. I once again opened my mouth without realizing what I was about to say.
Me: “Well you know any blind squirrel can ﬁnd a nut under a tree from time to time.”
Got a lot of shocked looks over that comment.
I, like many young people in the early 80’s who experienced the rising prophetic movement wanted to “be” a prophet just like the ones we were watching. It wasn’t until later in life I realized you can have a touch of the prophetic in your life and still not be called to the oﬃce of a prophet.
As a result, too many have rushed forward to “assume” a position they were either not called to or had not been prepared for. I fear in our rush as a church to see the prophetic movement become a strong presence. We may have laid our hands on to many in conﬁrmation, creating Saul’s before they could mature into Davids.
Nowadays I have seen a few, very few who I would really call a Prophet. But I have seems many who think they are.
In this coming age, we are going to need two major things. One is real mentors or as some call them “Fathers”. People of wisdom with real rudders attached to their ships who can carry the next generation to destiny with Faith, Hope, and Love. By example, these Fathers will help people become free of the slavery of the mind and others expectations to discover what the Lord put in them. No classroom, Bible class or preaching will do this. If it did, it would have done it already.
The second is the collapse of the old system. As long as the Spirit of Pharaoh still holds Gods people under the aging promises of fading banners. Then the next Generation will never leave to worship in the wilderness for the birth of life they long to see.
There is more than just Preaching and Teaching to be done.
Many men have been called to be true warriors, but they have been feed a pacifist diet of weak nutrition. Remember it took a David to open the door for Solomon to build the Temple. Likewise, we need the warriors to open the doors for others to build. To do that we need people who can see and own there place the Lord has for them.
Too many ministries point to the Harvest and say: “Hey get out there and win some souls for the Lord.” Without realizing the army of ogres who now protect the ﬁeld in Satans name. There is a war to fight just to unleash the harvest that wants to come.
The enemy really is scared to see what this next generation has. If his defense is breached by the Lord’s warriors (Joel’s Army) that next harvest, mentored by the Fathers will shake the world.
A recent comment from a well known revivalist said it well, “Revival was never brought about by the professional but by the hands and hearts of the Laity.”
Scripture makes it very clear, Revelation 1:6 “and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father….” Did you know Kings in the old days were expected to ﬁght? Not sit and get fat like the rams in Ezekiel’s prophesy.
In the ﬁrst 30 years of being a Christian “I thought” I was many diﬀerent things. It was not until I turned 50 that the Lord changed all that and within a short time he changed all my understandings.
Isn’t time for the Lord to change yours?