This week I have been reading through the book of Micah. Micah was a prophet that came to tell the world of the fall of Samaria and soon to be Judah. During this time he professes that there are so many that are ignorant of God. Falling to sin, the world seems hopeless, but Micah still offers hope.
It begs the question – how do we tell if someone is really a speaker of God’s Word? How do we know if the leaders’ of our faith are truly speaking God’s wisdom and not just their own?
When I was at a conference this summer, there were fabulous speakers. Most were well prepared, well spoken and instinctively knew how to untangled stories of the bible to make them applicable. It was a great weekend. When you have that many speakers at an event (there were probably around 50 different speakers), then you know things cannot go perfectly. I have to say there were a couple that I really struggled with. I don’t know if they were nervous or unprepared, but their talks came across as insincere. Almost like they hadn’t quite lived it yet, but were trying to teach you about it.
You know what I am talking about. When you start having children, your friends – who have no children – start giving you advice. I used to have this friend who would come over and offer up her two cents about everything. It drove me crazy! I knew she meant well. I knew some of the things were true. I knew that she was just trying to be helpful. BUT it was hard to hear it from someone who had never lived it. It seemed insincere.
It is the same with speaking God’s Words. My best talks are the ones that I have prepared for, prayed about and really utilized my past experiences to enrich other people’s lives. God takes my life, molds it, chisels it, and uses it for His good. When I am open to allowing Him to do this – my sincerity shines through. God gives me the perfect timing to share those experiences so they come across with strength and sincerity.
In Micah 3:3-7 (The Message) Here is God’s Message to the prophets, the preachers who lie to my people; “For as long as they’re well paid and well fed, the prophets preach, ‘Isn’t life wonderful Peace to all!’ But if you don’t pay up and jump on their bandwagon their God bless you turns into God damn you.”
I don’t take this as being just our clergy – this is for all that teach the Good News. If you are teaching the good news because it pays the bills, then you are in this for the wrong reasons. If you are teaching God’s Word because people respect you more, then you are in it for the wrong reasons.
Talking to people about God is exactly what He wants us to do. God wants us to evangelize His Message – in our own unique way. Evangelizing God’s Message for any reason other than to help people get to Heaven is wrong. Plain and simple – it is wrong. When you allow money and pride to drive you, then your idols become money and pride. They interfere with your message. They distract you from your goal. Your goal is to share God’s love, to help people open the bible, to offer hope to those who are hopeless.
We are all called to speak God’s Words, so we need to pray for help. We need to prepare to speak. We need to allow God to utilize our past in order to come to that person with a direct message from God. It is amazing how God works when we just allow Him into our hearts. Micah did it. He went with some harsh words that were said to some tough critics. He followed God’s lead. He said what needed to be said with strength and sincerity. And in the end, he offered hope to a nation in despair.