From “Feast of Tabernacles,” Chapter 13- Tabernacles – The Feast of Restoration, continued
THE PEOPLE IN THEIR PLACE
“And the people stood in their place,” (Neh. 8:7). God is setting His ministries in the Body according as it pleases Him, and the time has come when every man must know his place in the Body and serve the Lord accordingly. Ministries have been raised up for the express purpose of administering gifts of the Spirit through prophecy and the laying on of hands–and the saints are exhorted to “war a good warfare” accordingly. (1 Tim. 1:18). We realize, of course, that much harm has been done by those who are attempting to administer gifts to others through prophecy and the laying on of hands–when God has not authorized them to engage in this ministry. But the tares must always grow together with the wheat until the time of harvest. If the child of God is walking in close communion with his Lord, then the Spirit will witness as to the truth of the prophecy which goes forth concerning him. And if he is not walking in close communion with God, then the prophecy will mean nothing to him anyway–except perhaps to harden his heart or fill him with pride. This will serve as a good test. If pride rises up in the heart, the prophecy–whether true or false, cannot be relied upon. For even a true prophecy must submit to the test of faith and obedience in one’s life and ministry. Furthermore, the purpose of prophecy is to establish, edify, comfort and exhort; and if the candidate is left in a state of confusion or turmoil and doubt-he might as well reject what has been said concerning him. “For God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace.” (1 Cor. 14:33). We merely mention these things, because we know that many are trying to engage in this ministry of prophecy, with the laying on of hands–and God has never commissioned them to do so. The ministry is real and genuine, as all can testify who have really entered in to the realities of this move of the Spirit. But as surely as the Sower plants good seed, the enemy is there to sow tares–and both must grow together until the harvest.
However, if the child of God who hungers to know God’s will, and do it–has not had the opportunity of being set aside by prophecy and the laying on of hands, he need not be in the least discouraged. Let him continue in the things which God has placed in his hand to do. Choose the humble and lowly position, and you cannot go wrong. Pray, fast, intercede, shew mercy, give, help and assist God’s people–do whatever the Lord enables you to do, in humility and meekness, and God will honour your efforts. And regardless of any prophecy that has been given to any man, utter consecration unto God is God’s will for you, first and foremost. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” (Rom. 12:1, 2). That is the will of God for you! Take the lowly position, therefore, and God will exalt you in due course when you are able to receive it. Much better that you should be found doing some humble task, and the Lord promote you unto honour, than that he should be forced to say: “Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.” (Lk. 14:9). If this plan is followed, God will certainly give guidance and direction. And in His own good time, when He chooses to reveal your ministry in greater fulness through prophecy and the laying on of hands, His servants will be directed your way, and led of the Spirit to set you apart unto the work for which God has called you. GHW
There have been more than a few times when I have not allowed someone to lay hands on me. My hesitance is always accompanied by a check in my spirit either as to the motive of the person or the spiritual condition of the person. There have also been times when I was ministering in a prayer line after preaching when I have by-passed a person in the line for the same reasons. Their motives were not pure, or their spiritual condition was questionable. But I have also been in that position and the Lord told me to lay hands on them anyway, as He wanted to deal with something in their life. So, one must have the mind of the Lord in these matters.
And yes, praying for God to keep us humble is one of the most effective prayers there is. He needs to do this, not because we are great and mighty, but because we are not, but think we are!