With the rise and ease and popularity of the internet, never before has communication been so widespread! People all over the world can advertise themselves, their dreams and giftings worldwide.
Do we see this with the men of God revealed in scripture?
Moses was a forgotten man. 40 years away from the limelight. Living in the desert…a nobody, unheard of and unknown.
David was the youngest son, forgotten by his father when Samuel came to anoint the next king of Israel. Yet God chose them and propelled them forward into their calling and destiny without any helping hand from themselves.
Do we see them sending letters, resumes about themselves, promoting themselves so that they will get invited to preach at mega churches? No.
They did the opposite! Beware of the fleshes desire to promote itself! Beware when men speak well of you, who promise to spread your name around to other pastors and preachers. Follow Jesus’ example – he fled when they wanted to take him and make him king. It must only be the Spirit that leads us, not the flesh, not self seeking men!
Why do you send your website links to all of these ministries? Why do you email people your teachings? Why do you join Face-Book and Yahoo and every other platform to put your name and ministry up in the spot light? I have answered that question for myself….you need to do that as well.
1Co 4:12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;
1Co 4:13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.
1Co 4:14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. 1Co 4:15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
1Co 4:16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
1Co 4:17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
The Corinthians had 10,000 instructors…but few fathers! Fathers in the faith are men of God who have suffered and come through it…they are men of faith who have endured hardness and overcome….they have fallen and gotten up, they have been mistreated and forgotten about but have remained true to Jesus….imitate them!! I do not count myself as a father…I am one who has promoted myself over and over. The flesh runs away from the cost that Paul talks about here. The flesh will endeavor to find a short cut to the call of God without having to pay the price...That is why there are thousands of teachers but few fathers…..Paul was warning the Corinthians of the false teachers and flesh teachers, the ones who shun the cross walk and try to find the short cut. Timothy was a faithful son who served Paul in the gospel.
Phi 2:19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state.
Phi 2:20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.
Phi 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.
Phi 2:22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.
We who think we are ready to go out to the nations and preach the gospel…should judge ourselves strictly!
Do I have proven character?
Have I served under another man?
Have I been faithful?
Or am I self promoting, self serving, seeking
my own reputation, my own ministry and fame?
Paul is talking about having no one who will sincerely care for the state of the flock in Philippi. In other words…if we are self promoted into our own preaching ministry, we will not care for the sheep of God! No we are hirelings who flee when they see the wolf coming….or worse, we are the wolves who will tear the sheep and take their money leaving them like they have just been used!
Truly sent men of God sincerely care for the sheep, laying down their life for the sheep. Truly sent men of God are not thinking about where the next preaching engagement will be, where the next invitation will come from!! No. They care for the sheep, not their own things.
I ask myself these questions and I know I fail! I know by the Spirit within me that this message is for me most of all. Please read it prayerfully yourself…and pray for me please!!
2Sa 18:19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run now and take the news to the king, how the LORD has avenged him of his enemies.”
2Sa 18:20 And Joab said to him, “You shall not take the news this day, for you shall take the news another day. But today you shall take no news, because the king’s son is dead.”
2Sa 18:21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” So the Cushite bowed himself to Joab and ran.
Perhaps you have a burning desire in your heart to preach the Gospel , to tell the good news abroad. There is always the danger that we will go out ahead of the Lord in our strength, sending ourselves in our timing not God’s timing. Ahimaaz whose name means “Brother of Anger” or “Brother of Closure” begged Joab to let him go and run with the “good” news of Absolom’s demise.
Have you ever heard people who have lost loved ones in a mysterious way say…”We just do not have any closure on this…” Or perhaps the murderer of their child has finally been caught, convicted and sentenced. You will often hear them saying afterward…” Now we finally have closure on this, we are satisfied.” And being a Brother of Anger will also cloud your reasoning, causing you to act in haste..to rush , which is the meaning of run here. Anger may also be a sign that you are still immature spiritually. If that is the case then it is not time for you to go out to the mission field. Yes you have been called to go out with the wonderful gospel of grace….but is God sending you at this time or is it the powerful desire in you to have closure. You know that you will never be satisfied until you fulfill the calling on your life and yet you also know that unless the Lord sends you what effect will you have? Or worse, will you be a help or a hindrance to those you go to?
This desire we all have to see the thing God has called us to do must be put down on the altar of God’s will. Satan would have us go out in our own strength and zeal…When the fullness of time came God sent forth His Son….
Joab represents spiritual oversight in your life. His name means Jehovah Fathered. He is like a spiritual father. The young man obviously wanted to run for some inner reason which clouded his reasoning. Joab, cool and detached from that saw clearly that Ahimaaz was not to run today but another day.
There is a right and a wrong time to run. Perhaps instead of running off to some overseas place, you are meant to be Fathered by those who are where you are now?
By contrast, Joab the spiritual father, turns to the Cushite and tells him to run and tell what he has seen…testify, preach. Ahimaaz was pushing and putting himself forward to be be sent…whereas Cushi was told to go.
Joab turned to Cushi and asked him to run…He turned away from Ahimaaz who was nagging and pleading to run. What was Cushi’s response…he bowed low before Joab. There was no self promotion with this man, just humility. I am not trying to deter anyone from going for the Lord…but ask the Lord to search your heart and show you your motives. When you are sent out and go forth, it will be in the power of the gospel because it will be in the timing of God!!
2Sa 18:22 And Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “But whatever happens, please let me also run after the Cushite.” So Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, since you have no news ready?”
2Sa 18:23 “But whatever happens,” he said, “let me run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain, and outran the Cushite.
The scriptures leave nothing out!
Ahimaaz is the son of Zadok which means: righteous or just or righteousness. Ahimaaz was like you and I if you are born again, he was righteous because his Father made him righteous. You could say he had the revelation that he is righteous by faith alone, through another persons work not his own. Yet that was not reason enough for him to run out with any news. Joab asks the most apt question…as Father’s do!
“Why will you run, my son,since you have no news ready?”
What is your motive for wanting to run? You are not yet ready! It is not just a matter of having a message to preach…it is whether that you are able to bring it forth from your spirit. The flesh profits nothing. Apostle Paul was able to bring forth the message powerfully because his outer man, the soul life, was always delivered to death by the Holy Spirit, so that the life of Jesus was made manifest in and through him.
The Hebrew words in the passage bring it out. The word used in the KJV “overran” or outran in the NKJV is made of 2 Hebrew words: “entity”; properly self …. even or appearing); a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.: – mark, miracle, (en-) sign, token.
The reason Ahimaaz wanted to rush off without having any news ready was that he might make a name for himself! Reputation, fame, to be spoken of highly by the King , to be a prodigy. A bit like Absolom who set up a monument for himself!!
Joab said seeing you have “no news ready”
The word “no”, here literally means: “to be nothing or not exist; a non-entity;”
Be careful that your soul, which feels that it is nothing, unless it does something for God, is not the one pushing you to rush off to the mission field. Wait till he sends you, till he has completed in you what he wants to teach you. Others may run today, you can run another day. So the two messengers set off.
Cushi had left first, but Ahimaaz outran him by taking a shorter route over the plain.
Again we see him in his desire to be pre-eminent, first, number one! Quite often when a ministry is begun it is through many difficulties at the beginning….for God builds wisely causing strong roots of trust to be established.
But when a self promoted , self appointed ministry begins…it is with ease and speed…yet in the end what does it profit a man to gain the whole world…..?
When the watchmen saw two separate men running towards the king’s position the king said that they both have news to bring. But notice that only the Cushite had the effective message for the king. The message of Ahimaaz did not satisfy the king. It was incomplete. The Cushite had the whole message, it was effective and complete.
2Sa 18:28 So Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “All is well!” Then he bowed down with his face to the earth before the king, and said, “Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king!”
2Sa 18:29 The king said, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.” 2
Sa 18:30 And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.
2Sa 18:31 Just then the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “There is good news, my lord the king! For the LORD has avenged you this day of all those who rose against you.”
2Sa 18:32 And the king said to the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” So the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise against you to do harm, be like that young man!”
2Sa 18:33 Then the king was deeply moved, ….
When you allow the Lord to teach you by His Spirit, so that you are fully equipped with the message of the Gospel, then when you do go out, hearts will be deeply moved!!
Gal 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, Gal 1:16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles,…. Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. Rom 9:17 For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I HAVE RAISED YOU UP, THAT I MAY SHOW MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MAY BE DECLARED IN ALL THE EARTH.”