In 1Kings 17, we were introduced to Elijah the Tishbite, from Gilead, a prophet. This was all we were told before he started to speak. We were not told anything about his lineage, his background, his credentials, his family, his friends. None of these things were as important as the words he was given to proclaim to Ahab the king of Israel.
Elijah opened his mouth and these words poured out from his spirit. ‘As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be no dew nor rain these years but according to my word.’
When Elijah uttered those words the nation of Israel was backslidden. Idol worship was rampant in the land. Ahab and Jezebel his wife sponsored 850 false prophets who were evangelists for baal. At that time all other known prophets of God were hiding in caves because Jezebel the wicked queen had declared war on the prophets of God. She haunted them like animals and murdered them. Therefore Elijah stood alone to declare the will of God for the nation of Israel. No one supported him. No one stood with him. No one encouraged him to declare the counsel of the Lord.
Elijah stood alone and carried out his kingdom assignment.
The pervasive use of social media in our days has affected the way in which we think, the way we respond to and handle the word of the Lord. If Elijah shared what he had received from the Lord on his social media pages and waited for the likes of his fellow prophets before speaking out against the wickedness of Ahab and Jezebel, he would never have fulfilled his assignment. What the Lord told him to do was spoken in his ears alone. The Lord gave him an assignment and he was not required to seek the permission, consent or approval of his fellow prophets before launching out in obedience.
When God gives you an assignment, when he tells you to do something, start something, begin something, declare a word in the public domain, etc, he doesn’t expect you to seek the likes, approval or consent of people before you obey him. He expects your complete, unequivocal and total obedience to his instruction.
Seeking the approval of people before you pursue your assignment will lead you to frustration, dejection, depression and finally failure. We are called to follow scriptural instructions and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit as we pursue our assignments to establish the kingdom and effect the will of God in and through our lives. Living our lives by a culture of ‘likes’ will put us at the mercy of the opinions of men. Judging ourselves by how many comments, shares, re-tweets and ‘likes’ we have on social media will turn us into the slaves of men.
In order to garner more likes, more comments, more shares on social media you will begin to please men, you will begin to slightly adjust your views and opinions to please the crowd, you will begin to compromise on your beliefs to become accepted by the multitude, you will begin to become economical with the truth so that you do not cause offense to the very people you were assigned to help and deliver from darkness. As you seek more likes you will become more politically correct in your views so that you will be seen and accepted as a neutral voice.
This desire for likes within you gradually grows into a ferocious beast pulsating with insatiable lust for likes, for the approval of men. It will turn you into a prostitute seeking likes at every opportunity, at every turn, in dark places, on every social media corner, on posts that you have no business with.
You will throw caution and your values to the wind and get in bed with the largest group of people who give you the affirmation, approval and the likes that you so dangerously seek.
The desire for likes will make you ignore, disobey and rebel against every instruction the Lord gives you to speak the truth into the lives of the people you are connected with. The desire for likes will make you stay silent when you ought to raise your voice and confront evil. It will make you turn the other way and hide your face when the people you look up to are merchandising the gospel, teaching error, misrepresenting the Lord Jesus by their lifestyle and their utterances.
The desire for likes will turn you into a spineless, despicable coward who stands by and watches as evil ravages your community, your nation and the body of Christ.
In John 2:23-25, we read: When Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name [identifying themselves with him] after seeing his signs (attesting miracles) which he was doing. But Jesus did not entrust himself to them because he knew all people [and understood the superficiality and fickleness of human nature], and he did not need anyone to testify concerning man [and human nature], for he himself knew what was in man [in their hearts- in the very core of their beings.]
Jesus entered Jerusalem and multitudes came after him but Jesus did not entrust himself to them. He refused to be moved by their adulation, by their ovation and by their accolades. He knew that at the very core, man was evil and could not be trusted. At the very core man was unstable and could not be relied on.
Jeremiah 17 says the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. There is an inexplicable wickedness in man that only God can fathom. It is such wickedness that cannot be seen on the faces of men. It is hidden in the core recesses of their hearts.
Jesus knew that to entrust himself to men was to set himself on a path of self destruction. He knew that because of his wickedness, because of his duplicitous nature, man could not be trusted not by any stretch of the imagination. Man could not be trusted with his life, with his assignment and with his calling. He loved people but he did not live his life according to their dictates, neither did he assess the effectiveness and impact of his ministry by the opinions of men, by the ‘likes’, ‘comments’, ‘shares’ and re-tweets of his followers. To do that would have been to put himself at the mercy of men. Jesus knew that people are fickle creatures: today someone likes you and tomorrow that same person dislikes you. Jesus put his trust in God, where it ought to be. He entrusted his ministry, his calling and his assignment to God. To have done otherwise would have been a disaster waiting to happen.
When the Lord gives you an assignment to pursue you should not seek the permission or the approval of men before you pursue it. You should not seek a consensus of opinion before embarking on your kingdom journey. When the Lord tells you to move, you should obey without seeking confirmation from men because you will be disappointed. You should seek the Lord in prayer and receive a blueprint on how to pursue and carry out your assignment.
Let the Holy Spirit guide you on the path he has chosen for you. Let the Holy Spirit bring you into the very centre of God’s will for your life. Do not allow the likes of men determine the course of your life and ministry.
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