Bert Farias

Have you ever looked with holy eyes at some of today’s most popular Christian conference ads? It’s all about Apostle so and so and Prophet so and so, and for those who are not content with just one title there is Apostle/Prophet Dr. so and so—posters advertising special people and special programs, and how much they are all doing for the Lord.

I realize some of these things have their place, but in all of it, where is His face? Don’t you want to see Jesus? Doesn’t it disturb you when some mere mortal stands in the way?

The real truth about most men is this: They don’t really know their own hearts as well as they think. We are never as humble and submissive to God as we think we are. Even Paul near the end of his earthly life and ministry had to be broken so that he wouldn’t be puffed up with pride because of his many visions and revelations (2 Cor. 12:7-9). Who do you think you are?

Your only safeguard against pride is to keep on truly humbling yourself and not be self-seeking. Paul said of Timothy, “I have no one else like him” (Phil. 2:20, NIV) because he was not self-serving or self-seeking (v. 21).

The origin of every word and action determines its glory and purity. Holy roots mean holy fruits. A desire for gain outside of God’s will or even timing means you are worshipping a form of increase and success instead of God. It is evidence again that you are seeking your own glory and honor, and not the glory and honor of God. I call it unsanctified gain, which manifests in discontentment. Notice what true gain is: “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Tim. 6:6-8, NKJV).

In the above context Paul is warning Timothy of men who imagine godliness to be a source of monetary profit. He is referring to men who enter ministry with wrong motives (v. 5). How many men do you really know in ministry who are content with having food and clothing?

It seems that there is so much striving for bigger and better positions, bigger and better possessions, bigger and better places, more and more power, influence, money, recognition, honor, success, etc. Will this merry-go-round ever stop? And when will its riders get off?

Is it wrong to have bigger and better or more and more? If it’s outside of the will and timing of God, yes. It’s idolatry and lust. I’ve heard well-known ministers preach that God’s will for us is just as much to be rich as it is to be saved. From where comes such a persuasion?

Paul spoke strongly against the desire to be rich (1 Tim. 6:9). Riches are certainly not evil, but the desire to be rich is. What if the desire to be rich is for the sake of the gospel and for establishing God’s kingdom on the earth? Well then, you would be rich toward God.

But doesn’t God give us all things richly to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17)? You’re missing the whole point. Are the riches a result of gift or greed? Are you pursuing gain or godliness?

There is a difference between God truly blessing us even with riches, and you getting them by your own self efforts. Be mindful that covetousness can also bring monetary gain, but it is ungodly gain.

Paul had learned the great secret of Christian maturity: “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Phil. 4:11-12, NKJV).

When you’re not content with what you have (not just in possessions, but in position, power, popularity, honor, recognition, influence, acceptance, approval, etc.) you’ll be covetous in both your conduct and conversation. Then, what you say and do will be from self-servitude and a seeking of your own glory (John 7:18). In both your words and actions you will be seeking gain for yourself. It does not matter what the pretense is. God sees your heart.

The motive of the heart reveals the rightness or the wrongness of every thought, word and deed. Are your thoughts true or are they false? Are your words true or are they false? Are your deeds true or are they false? Whose glory and honor are you really seeking?

Bert M. Farias, revivalist and founder of Holy Fire Ministries, is the author of several books, including the newly released My Son, My Sonwhich he co-wrote with his son Daniel for the purpose of training up a holy generation. He is also co-host of the New England Holy Ghost Forum, a school of the Spirit. Follow him at Bert Farias on Facebook or at @Bertfarias1 on Twitter.

 

 


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