“For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.” John 3:34
There was no limit of the measure of the Holy Spirit given to the Son of God. His moral perfection warranted this just and fitting endowment of His Father’s approval and empowerment.
Out of the man comes the message and the measure of the man determines the divine presence in the message. God wants to do a work! God has to do a work for us to be “meet (fit) for the master’s use” that is, made a new wineskin or renovated to facilitate the greater measure of His Spirit and glory of the LORD!
Do You Wish to be Used of the LORD? In the divine economy, God will not use His saint beyond the measure of the LORD’s work in that person. This is the biblical pattern. God wants to do a work in us. Be exhorted to be prepared of Him who is our blessed and holy Potter.
God doesn’t anoint men by way of Bible college, seminary, or any other modern, artificial method of preparation. That man who will be used of God must first and for long season be tried, tested, purged, and forged in the fiery trials of preparation for reigning. There are no shortcuts. No man escapes the divinely-prescribed season of preparation except the rebellious who forfeit their place of usefulness in God’s kingdom. Joseph went through many years of preparation. He was tried and found true before the LORD, prepared for a season of great fruitfulness. That season would never have been possible except by way of the divine providence of the long season of testing. David faithfully tended to the sheep as he was being prepared to be used of the LORD. His manhood was being enlarged while his brothers’ were puny as they stayed among the people, seeking accolades and self-serving comforts.
The measure by which the LORD, the Potter, can utilize a man, is the measure of maturity that man has allowed the LORD to produce in his manhood as He would conform that man to the holy image of the Messiah (Romans 8:29). E.M. Bounds captures the essence of this truth when he wrote:
“We are continually striving to create new methods, plans, and organizations to advance the church. We are ever working to provide and stimulate growth and effectiveness for the Gospel.
This trend of the day has a tendency to lose sight of the man. Or else he is lost in the workings of the plan or organization. God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than anything else. Men are God’s method.
The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. ‘There was a man sent from God, whose name was John’ (John 1:6). The dispensation that heralded and prepared the way for Christ was bound up in that man John. ‘Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given’ (Isa. 9:6). The world’s salvation comes out of that cradled Son.
When Paul appealed to the personal character of the men who rooted the Gospel in the world, he solved the mystery of their success. The glory and effectiveness of the Gospel depend on the men who proclaim it. When God declares that ‘the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him’ (2 Chron. 16:9). He declares the necessity of men. The acknowledges the dependence on them as a channel through which He can exert His power on the world.
This vital, urgent truth is one that this age of machinery is apt to forget. The forgetting of it is as detrimental to the Word of God as removing the sun from its sphere would be. Darkness, confusion, and death would ensue.
What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men– men of prayer! …
The character as well as the fortunes of the Gospel are committed to the preacher. He either makes or mars the message from God to man. The preacher is the golden pipe through which the divine oil flows. The pipe must not only be golden, but open and flawless. This way the oil may have a full, unhindered, and un-wasted flow.
The man makes the preacher. God must make the man. The messenger is, if possible, more than the message. The preacher is more than the sermon. The preacher makes the sermon. As life-giving milk from the mother’s bosom is no more than the mother’s life, so all the preacher says is tinctured, impregnated, by what the preacher is. The treasure is in earthen vessels, and the taste of the vessel may permeate and discolor the treasure.
The man–the whole man–lied behind the sermon. Preaching is not the performance of an hour. It is the outflow of a life. It takes twenty years to make a sermon, because it takes twenty years to make the man. The true sermon is a thing of life. The sermon grows because the man grows. The sermon is forceful because the man is forceful. The sermon is holy because the man is holy. The sermon is full of divine anointing because the man is full of the divine anointing.” E.M. Bounds, E.M. Bounds on Prayer, p. 467-469
God must make my manhood before He can use me in ministry. The man who stages a ministry with no deep work of Christ in his personal life, will soon be incapacitated. He’s still a novice and will be lifted up with pride and fall into the condemnation of the devil (1 Timothy 3:6). Such a man has no anointing or approval of God. God cannot use a man above that maturity level of that man.
“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet (fit) for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” 2 Timothy 2:21
All the various machinery and electronic media we have today is never the answer to divinely-powered ministry. Having that technology at our disposal means nothing except that it will transmit who we are and who we are is what the true state of our spirituality is with the LORD in our private lives.
Want to be prepared to be used of the LORD? Do you desire to be “sanctified, and meet (fit) for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work”? Cry out daily to the LORD in this prayer declaration given us by John the Baptist with everything that is within you – “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Make yourself servant of all (Matthew 23:10-12).
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