I had seen him before, but did not take too much notice of him. Listening to him teach was promising. One night, after praying, the visions of the Lord that came to me included him. I saw this young man as a child who had taken oversized clothing and wore them. It was such a scene, as he run toward adults, father figures in the Christian faith who had appropriately sized clothes, wanting to parade before people as one. I wished somebody could tell him to take it easy and grow to fit into those clothes. It takes time to raise fathers.
This is the dilemma of many rising ministers of Christianity. Everybody wants to be popular. Everybody wants to be a “father” figure, everybody wants to be a “Papa” as we refer to those ministers who by their many years of service, continual pain, unforgettable sorrow, persistent labor, trials, and many afflictions, have attained. Yet God called nobody into popularity. It was never part of the deal. We are not celebrities. We birth the urge for fame and popularity out of selfish desire. It is the bane of our unbridled humanity and a trump card for the devil. Beware!
Again, he showed me in the visions of the night, another young prophet. I knew him and loved his ministry. He had also become a victim of wanting to be popular. Driven by the hysteria of social media likes and views, I watched as he met with his team after ministration, and checked views, likes, and discussed. They gave themselves hi-fives when views were high and were excited. While an effective tool for evangelism, our excitement should be because we shared the gospel. Our joy should be because a person came to Christ. Our hi-fives should be for the propagation of Jesus’s name and ideals among people. Not because we hit 10,000 likes or views. That is not conclusive as an act of God.
Many secular artists with no holy spirit’s intervention hit millions of views and likes. Attributing these as conclusive acts of God makes a mockery of the work of the holy spirit. There is no island in the work of God for pride. There is no landing ground for popularity. It matters not how anointed you feel, what mighty works you can do, or how perfect your hermeneutics are. If you ride with pride – be it concealed or not, swell in hubris because of your gifts, and are driven by the chants of fame, you may make a shipwreck of your ministry and faith.
Finally, sitting by the TV as I thought over these, I saw one minister online leading a prayer session, with his phone in his hands, smiling and reading comments and responding, and this continued throughout most of the session. There was nothing new, nothing challenging, nothing… except the old chants and monologues of the new style of speaking in tongues and flaring with emotions. I wondered why most Christians mistook emotional excitement for the authentic presence of God. Then I realized it is the same mindset that interprets everything, be it secularly attainable, or humanly driven, as God’s pristine move. Let us reconsider our service to God and not be carried away easily, interpreting everything as God’s affirmation.
With all humility in love and prayer.