- Joseph, Ruth, Amos, Elijah, Esther, Joseph, Mary, Luke and Mary Magdalene.
God used their faith to change history.
What else do they have in common?
- Not one was a priest or pastor.
In the Bible, we see two kinds of faith heroes.
- On one hand there were leaders, priests and kings, elders, apostles and pastors.
Aaron was the first High Priest; Ezekiel was a prophet but also an officially ordained priest. Paul was a trained Pharisee before God made him an apostle.
- On the other hand there were people who changed history through prayer and bold faith but they were never in charge of anything.
- Noah built an ark with the help of his three sons. He did not have a network of followers to gather the animals. The Holy Spirit brought the animals into the ark.
- Amos was a farmer and land owner before God sent him to prophesy to Israel.
- Ruth was a pagan widow before she married a Jew and became the grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus the Messiah.
- Mary Magdalene was a woman possessed by seven demons until Jesus delivered her from the power of darkness. After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene.
When she and some other women were the first to announce the resurrection to the apostles, they did not believe but then Jesus Himself appeared to them and rebuked them for not believing the women.
Does that mean Mary Magdalene was prophet or a pastor? No it does not.
- It means that so called ordinary believers outside of the five fold ministry are called to play strategic roles in God’s plan to shape history.
- That was in the Bible. What about later times?
- Copernicus and Galileo both believed in Jesus and the Bible but they made scientific discoveries that changed our understanding of God’s creation. They showed that the earth was not the centre of creation but rather that the earth orbited around the sun.
These great scientists were persecuted by the Roman Catholic church.
But why is that relevant to us as Protestants? We believe in the Bible but reject the authority of the Vatican.
- Martin Luther also rejected these scientific discoveries because they SEEMED to contradict the Bible.
These scientists used their faith and their God given intelligence to challenge all of the church, not only the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
In every generation the official ordained leadership of God’s people are right about some things but ignorant or mistaken about other things.
- Again and again God raises up believers who are not official leaders and uses them to change the thinking of generations to come.
- Sometimes the new ideas are quickly accepted by church leaders but not always.
If God has given you an unusual gift or unique vision, it may not be appreciated by your local church or your pastor but if you believe your calling and gifting is from God, don’t be put off or intimidated.
James 1:16-17 (ESV) Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
If your gift is from God, God will bless HIS gift in your life if YOU step out in faith. All pioneers have been misunderstood by other believers. Every man or woman of God has been criticised by leaders who followed conventional thinking.
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD.
James 2:26 (ESV) For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.
There are parts of the Body of Christ which are almost as good as dead because the leaders follow conventional wisdom and the people follow the leaders rather than listening to the Holy Spirit.
If God shows you a way to go which your church will not accept, don’t talk about it, just do it. Don’t start a fight in your church. Just go and do what God shows you to do.
When I started blogging, my pastor at the time did not appreciate it but it was a calling from God. As I kept going, I saw lives changed and ministries released.