For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV)
Every believer has a big problem to resolve—it is believing the people God uses to reach them. It is an old problem, demanding wisdom, humility, and discernment.
God relates with us either directly or indirectly. When He relates to us directly, He can speak and interacts with us without a third party. Such direct divine relationships depend on the status and health of the individual’s relationship with God. Whereas this privilege was almost exclusive to the prophets in the Old Testament, every believer in Christ has this direct access through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Despite this blessing of general access, God’s direct communication with us still depends on the health of our relationship with Him and the way He works through us.
The dilemma often lies in the indirect relationship, which is a crucial way He has always related with people. He chooses men and women and gives them the privilege of being used as vessels through which He speaks and interacts with others. Because of this indirect interaction, believing in God is not enough. We will have to believe in those God is using. Many of you reading this devotional might never hear the audible voice of God; I have never heard it! But you will hear to God’s voice from the pulpit every Sunday through your pastor. God’s words will come to you in and through your pastor’s words. Did you know that besides the rare instances God audibly spoke and gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, the Bible, which we call the Word of God, is, in reality, the words written by men! The Bible is God’s Words that came as men’s words! The Apostle Paul revealed this mystery and said:
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV)
God’s words will always be useless if we do not believe them. If you do not believe in a minister, the anointing or grace they have will be useless to us. When a minister loses credibility with the people, God has lost credibility with those people. Effective ministry mandates that we believe not only in the God working in that minister but in that minister.
Many people have heard God speak to them through a minister such as a prophet but failed to recognize that the words they heard were not the words of the man or woman but the words of God. The Israelites in the Old Testament probably understood this critical concept more than we do today. King Jehoshaphat told the people, “Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (2 Chronicles 20:20 KJV).
Since the flesh is always the flesh, the is plenty of room for errors, deception, or even manipulation. Therefore we also have plenty of divine wisdom, discernment, and humility! I can understand believers or unbelievers who say, “I do not believe in pastors, prophets, etc.”. I have heard some heart-wrenching stories of disgusting behaviors or attitudes by some ministers. However, this thought that “I do not believe in pastors” is ungodly, anti-God, and unchristian. It is against the ways of God revealed from Genesis to Revelation in the Bible.
No one holds you bound to a particular ministry or minister. If you do not believe in a minister, their ministers will be useless to you no matter how anointed it is. In such cases, ask the Spirit to take you to the ministry He has for you. And as for us ministers, we bear a heavy responsibility as God’s representatives. If the believers lose trust in us, they have lost trust in God.
May the Spirit of the Lord help us all be humble, wise, and sensitive to receive God’s words when they come as the words of His servants and discerning enough to know when it is the man or woman and not God!
Why do you have to believe in the people God uses?
Apply the Word
Be sensitive but also discerning when dealing with ministers!
Pray for the minister God uses in your life and those who see God through you!