They Are All Men, Just Like You.
A spiritual gift or ability is a call to serve in the Body of Christ. It should be accompanied with a great sense of responsibility and humility. Having a gift does not make you special or different from any other believer. It doesn’t give you special rights or special privileges to act and live the way you like. Your gift does not give you the audacity to enslave the people you were called to serve. It is an error to think that your calling gives you special rights, advantages and privileges over other believers. It doesn’t. Such erroneous thinking is alien and abhorrent to the saints.
Paul and Barnabas were preaching the gospel at Lystra. Sitting among the crowd was a man who was lame. Paul saw that the man had faith to be healed, so he told him to stand up on his feet. The man did so and was instantly healed. Read the story in Acts 14:8-18.
The Lyconians witnessing this miracle said that these were not ordinary men. They said “the gods have come down to us in the likeness of men.” The pagan priest of zeus was about to offer sacrifices to them. Paul and Barnabas heard it, tore their clothes, ran down to them and stopped them from committing such an abomination.
But wait a minute.
Paul had just performed a miracle. He had just demonstrated the power of God in the most extra-ordinary manner. A man was miraculously healed and Paul was the vessel The Lord chose to deliver this healing. There was no doubt that he had a supernatural ability working in his life. Didn’t this make him a powerful minister entitled to special treatment? Didn’t this confer on him demi-god status, for people to cower before him, make him ‘lord and master’, become mindless automatons, slaves who would believe and do absolutely ANY insane thing he tells them to do because he was such a powerful man of God? Didn’t this entitle him to hypnotise and manipulate them with his powerful gift and demand for their financial and material resources, so that he could build a kingdom for himself?
Apparently, it didn’t.
Paul said, “Why are you doing these things? We also are men like you.”
Paul never claimed to be someone special because The Lord used him to heal a man who had been cripple. He never claimed special privileges and rights because he was so gifted. He never asked for super star status because he possessed so much power in his life. He cried out at the sacrilege and abomination that was about to take place at Lystra. The pagans were about to treat them like gods, but Paul resisted them, he restrained them, and stopped them from what they were about to do. He declared openly and plainly that he was a man, just like any other man and he didn’t deserve to be worshipped, bowed to or feared.
But these days, believers bow down to other believers like themselves, they hang their pictures in their homes and worship men just like the pagans wanted to do at Lystra.
Let’s take a look at another occurrence in the book of Acts.
An angel appeared to Cornelius, a roman centurion and told him to send for Peter who would tell him what he must do. Cornelius was shaken by this supernatural experience. He had never seen an angel before. He knew that whoever he was asked to send for must be someone powerful. The angel gave him the precise location where Peter could be found. He immediately sent his servants to go and look for Peter and invite him to his home. When the servants arrived they found Peter ready to go with them because he also had a supernatural experience, a trance, in which The Lord told him what to do. So, Peter went with them. Please read the story in Acts chapter 10.
As soon as Peter entered his house, Cornelius fell down before him and worshipped him, but Peter lifted him up and said, “Stand up. I myself am also a man.” He refused to be worshipped by man. He publicly refused it. He resisted the very thought that a man, just like himself would cower before him, fall down before him, worship him and make him something that he wasn’t.
Peter was a man, just like any other man. Ministering the gospel was his calling. With that calling came some supernatural gifts to enable him minister effectively in the office of an apostle. The abilities he possessed did not make him different from any other man. It didn’t confer on him super star status. It didn’t make him so special that people would bow down before him any time he walked by. It didn’t give him the right to manipulate the people he was called to serve with the powers The Lord had given him for the ministry. He acknowledged the fact that he was a man, just like ANY other man and what Cornelius saw in him was the working of The Lord Jesus Christ and only him deserved to be worshipped, honoured and adored. Not man. No matter how powerful, gifted and successful he may be.
In the book of James, Elijah the prophet was referred to as ‘A man with like passions.’ That meant he was a man just like you and I, yet The Lord used him to accomplish remarkable things in his time because he consecrated himself in the place of prayer.
God uses people to accomplish His Will; men and women,ordinary people. He doesn’t use gods, super stars or special people. Yes. He uses people just like YOU. It is therefore an error to arrogate to any man honour that belongs to God ALONE. It is good to respect your pastor and minister for the work they do but don’t turn it into the pagan worship of man. It is an abomination to kowtow before ministers of the gospel and become mindless slaves because you think they have the power to bless or curse you, to make or unmake you, to promote or demote you, to accelerate or decelerate your progress in life, to open doors before you or ensure that the doors are slammed in your face. Sorry to disappoint you, but they don’t. Only God has that kind of power over your life. Pastors, prophets and ministers are all instruments in God’s divine hands to do His will. They are all men, just like you.