Updated: Jan 15
Jesus LOVES his bride. As my young niece would say expressing her love for me…He loooooooooooooooooves his bride. Imagine the groom standing at the front of the church awaiting for her entrance. He has only one thing in focus, one thing that consumes him. Her beauty captivates him. He cares for all in attendance, only that they would rise and honor her. His demand is that they would put everything aside, for the moment, to recognize the most beautiful woman God ever created, his bride.
“Tell your friends that the pastor is a wicked man”. I felt the Lord was nagging at me to tell this to the two friends I was presently having lunch with. The three of us were meeting for lunch after visiting a church. Personally I felt the pastor was a godly man who appeared to have a happy marriage, was well known to be a great teacher, fostered and oversaw one of the most successful and largest church in the city, and was well respected in the community.
If there was every a time I felt like God was beginning to lose his mind, it was now. However, I obeyed, opened my mouth and told my two friends that I felt like the Lord wanted me to tell them that the pastor of the church we had just visited that day was a wicked man. They stared and me with blank expressions on their face, said absolutely nothing in response, and carried on with their conversations. I had no doubt in my mind they thought I was hearing from the devil or possibly I was delusional. My comment was so outlandish that they simply ignored me and carried on with their own conversation.
Of course, you too have to discern whether God really said this to me. I totally understand if you think I am crazy claiming God spoke to me. I spent almost 30 years growing up as a Christian being taught that God only speaks through the Bible. Anyone who claimed God spoke to them apart from scripture (even if the word was in line with scripture) was a bit flaky to say the least. Even to this day, when someone tells me the Lord said such and such to them I need to accurately discern the source of that word before I will believe or embrace it. Even then I want it confirmed at least a few times. Scripture calls us not to despise the word, but to discern whether it was of God or not.
However in my religious upbringing the very title of this blog would have been rejected by my church. Out goes the baby with the bath water. To say that worship dance was God’s “prophetic” voice to the our local church would of been deeply frowned on. Big, powerfully, people would of kindly taken me aside and explained to me where I was wrong. Mind you, back then I was taught and believed that the only “prophetic” thing to know about Christianity was end time prophecy. One was either “post” or “pre trip”. In other words, did you believe you were going to heaven before the tribulation or after the tribulation? Churches vehemently split over this doctrinal issue.
It is amazing how doctrinally correct one can me, how well they might know their Bible, how often they go to church, they might even be a pastor, or elder, and yet have absolutely no intimacy with God. They are well learned in the prophecies of scripture. They know the voice of God to the church as a whole, but have never heard the voice of God for themselves. You don’t have a intimate relationship with anyone, even God, if there is not personal communication involved.
“Tell your friends the pastor is a wicked man”, I hear the Lord tell me. There is an illusion here. Either God is delusional or I am. Someone has been deceived. Now God can’t be delusional for He is the truth. So either I am deluded in thinking God is speaking to me, or God is speaking truth to me and I am deceived about what I believe about the pastor. I leave my friends feeling stupid and go home wondering what in the world was God talking about. I can’t begin to comprehend how a pastor with such an amazing reputation could be wicked.
“What is wicked to God?” That was my question when I got home. Maybe I am misunderstanding what really is wicked to God. Murder, rape, stealing, and a host of other things are on my list of being wicked. Being a leader, senior pastor, and teacher in one of the fastest growing churches in the city was not on that list.
I remembered that King David, on his death bed, had asked his son Solomon to make sure a certain “wicked” man was put to death. I was not sure where that story was, so I picked up my Bible, randomly parted the pages and happened to open it to the very passage where King David is telling Solomon to have a certain wicked man killed.
In my experience, it appeared I had heard the Lord correctly for the passage backed up what I felt God has said.
“Now you yourself know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—what he did to the two commanders of Israel’s armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. He killed them, shedding their blood in peacetime as if in battle, and with that blood he stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet”. (2 Kings 2:5)
To understand why David calls Joab wicked and what he meant when he said that “he stained the belt around his waist and the sandals on his feet” it helps to read the details of what happened in 2 Samuel chapters 3 and 20.
“Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into an inner chamber, as if to speak with him privately. And there, to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel, Joab stabbed him in the stomach, and he died.” (2 Samuel 3:26)
“Joab said to Amasa, “How are you, my brother?” Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab’s hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground”. (2 Samuel 20:9.10)
Without even going into the details about each story, we learn the reason why his waists and sandals were stained with blood was because he had killed each man at close range. Each had trusted Joab’s intentions were good. He gave the illusion that he cared for, even loved them, but his real intent was to murder them. It wasn’t a hand shake. It was a kiss. The next time we read about such a kiss as Joab’s was when Judas betrayed Jesus in the garden. Such a act of deception God calls wicked.
The wickedness the Lord was speaking to me about was that this pastor gave the illusion that he deeply cared for the Bride of Christ. Yet his real intent is to build her trust, bring her close, kiss her, and ultimately stab her in the stomach. The great deception is she believes he loves her, but he only wants to use her. He controls her for his own gain, and in the process robs her of the freedom she has in Christ, the expression of her gifts, her intimacy with God and the fullness that Jesus wants his bride to grow into. In no way is this to be taking as a sweeping judgement about all leaders in the church. It is merely speaking what the Lord spoke to me.
What is the solution? I don’t have the answer. However, I believe that worship dance, performed in the right spirit, is a prophetic sign and cry by the Bride of Christ for freedom. I believe passionate heartfelt worship dance is offensive to the spirit that strives to silence, and kill her, anyway it can.
Keep on dancing!