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"We are not creating vessels of God that matter." That is what I said when they asked what I thought was the greatest crisis in the Church.
When vessels operate outside the power of God, nothing they do matters. Drawing a crowd does not matter. Having a large social media platform is irrelevant. Emotionally moving an audience is meaningless. Why? Because those vessels are firing blanks.
Arthur Matthew said this over 50 years ago, "My burden relates to the flood of evil that the devil is pouring into the world and, at the same time, the passivity of many of God's saints as they view this state of affairs and their ignorance of the part God expects them to play in His warfare against Satan."
Imagine what he would say about the church today.
Is there a system at work in the church that prevents God from creating effective vessels? Is it possible that Satan helped to set this system in place? What if the world system is actually operating in some churches?
Might that explain why some preachers are silent about the world system? Are they soft-peddling the Truth because they are empowered or even funded by the global agenda?
But Satan does not stop here. The devil wants false vessels. He wants voices that claim to be from God to speak lies in order to distract the Army of God from even forming. These false vessels have caused many to fixate on predictions that never come to pass—yet, when they do not, the false prophets merely move on, unrepentant, to the next false prediction.
Some of them dare us to prove their silly descriptions of heaven are false. When in fact, the burden is on them to tell us why banal elements of American pop-culture will be in heaven, when the Bible clearly says this:
"The Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10, underlining, mine).
You may ask, "Is there still hope? Can we do anything about all of this? Can we yet create powerful weapons of God?"
The answer is a resounding, YES! But this is where those who have no heart for truth will turn away.
If you truly want the power that the devil dreads—if you would be willing to cast off every excuse and renounce even the hidden works of darkness—then you will find your place among those who are the dread of demons. You will find what the Christmas carol calls, "a voice as big as the sea." And your voice will be that which inflicts devastating damage on the works of the enemy.
Here then are the ways of true vessels of God:
1. Vessels of God are filled with the Holy Spirit. It all begins with a mighty baptism of the Holy Spirit. No purpose, plan or message will prevail against Satan, without the infusion of the Holy Spirit resting upon those who would be vessels of God.
Jesus gave the Holy Spirit the power to administer the work of God in the Earth. He would not let the disciples leave Jerusalem without being first filled with the Holy Spirit:
"You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
Jesus said in Luke 4:18-19, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
2. Vessels of God are created for a specific crisis. The operative word here is: Because! Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because...". Vessels of God are mighty—not just because the Holy Spirit is upon them—but because they know why He is upon them.
Because they are raised up to handle a specific threat, they are—at first—strange to the church. Even Billy Graham baffled church leaders when he began preaching. Without Barnabas, the Jerusalem church would not have known that Saul of Tarsus was truly converted, and called by the Lord to be Paul the apostle.
The constant challenge of a true vessel of God will be to protect their focus and their identity. They must resist the pull of church culture, politics and compromise—while at the same time, they must remain teachable and accountable to righteous leadership.
3. Vessels of God are soul winners. Any preacher without a deliberate plan to reach lost souls is in disobedience. Any minister who never calls sinners to Christ in their meetings may not even know Jesus. Paul the apostle said to Timothy, "But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Tim. 4:5).
4. Vessels of God will call out false ministers and false doctrine. They will even name names. There is a mistaken notion in the church that we are not to correct false doctrine. This lie has done serious harm and has left the people of God vulnerable to the enemy. Consider the fact that if you were to remove the parts of the New Testament that handled false teaching, you would be taking out nearly 60% of Paul's letters.
Can you imagine, if Paul were around right now, what kind of letter we would be getting!
For the rest of this article, visit mariomurillo.org.
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Mario Murillo rose from poverty in the Mission District of San Francisco. After being revolutionized by Christ, he felt a call to the University of California at Berkeley. His international ministry was launched after a four-day conference in San Jose, California, extended for six months with a total attendance of nearly 250,000 people. Since then, Mario's voice has been heard by millions around the world, bringing a message that zeroes in on the hurts of society. He presents Christ clearly and intelligently, and openly declares the power of Jesus to totally transform a life. His simple declaration: Come and see. Christ has the power to end addiction, racism, violence and disease.
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