Friday, March 09, 2007

Singing you shall not be able to silence

Martyr, John Huss, 1415: "It is thus, that you silence the goose, but a hundred years hence there will arise a swan whose singing you shall not be able to silence." Which Martin Luther considered to have been fulfilled in his ministry, about a century later - as he enabled the church to rediscover the glorious truth of our gospel, namely justification by grace through faith.

Prophesy is a gift from God to strengthen the church and the rediscovery of the gospel certainly fits into that bracket. In fact it's exactly what the Holy Spirit loves to do for the church - to enable us to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord! And so it seems beneficial that we listen to what God says in his word - Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy (1 Corinthians 14v1) and obey the command. Let the church be strengthened through prophecy and every other gift that God would give, so we become a church that more honours his name.

Let all prophecy be tested, and submitted to what the Holy Spirit has said in scripture - so that false words are dismissed quickly. Prophecy it seems has no authority in itself, only when the scriptures grant a word to be fitting. A desire for prophecy today stands within a desire to hear God speak to his church - what are we without God's voice to us? Thus a church that wants prophecy must be utterly devoted to the opening of scripture, to it's teaching. Convinced that change only happens as the word is taught, that the kind of universe-creating change that is needed in our hearts cannot be achieved by fanciful ideas and gimmickry only by the double-edged sword of his word.

It's a mockery of God for us to desire prophecy if we wont take the Scriptures seriously. It's foolish if we sit with closed Bibles begging God to speak - he is already speaking to us. I have no doubt we need whispers of prophecy to spur us on, but only in the context of serious study of scripture. I hear some say that we should have less scripture taught to appease the charismatics who do not like Bible teaching... as one, let me say that's appalling. Let us have more of scripture among us for all our sakes and for the sake of our God.

Let us make no concession to those who want less of God's word, rather let us respond with more of it - let the word do the changing of hearts - electrifying the darkness of foolish minds, and setting hearts on fire. Without God's word we become slow and spiritually obese. Lacklustre and lukewarm. But when the word of God strikes our hearts, humility follows, repentance comes, character changes, God gets glorified by his people.

This post by Adrian Warnock got me thinking about the above itself from Challies on CJ Mahaney on Humility helping "us to apply His Word to our lives and experience the sweet, transforming effect of His Word"

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