“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? I the LORD search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32)
I want to relate to you a personal testimony of something that happened to me several years ago. One day, I was sitting in church listening to the sermon, and, all of a sudden, I was no longer able to capture even one word of what the preacher was saying. All of his words became as “jarble” to me. I was completely dumbfounded. Everyone else continued to listen and seemed to be enjoying the sermon. I, however, could not even understand one word. I immediately asked God, “Why cannot I understand even one word of what the preacher is now saying? His words are as a foreign language to me.” When I said that, immediately I had the sense or desire to go to see my new born son, who was about 2 to 4 weeks old, and who was in the nursery. For some reason, I sensed impending danger looming over him, so I acted fast. I went as quickly as I could, and, when I got there to see him, I noticed that he was in what I thought was some type of “demonic trance,” so I immediately did what I thought was best and commanded the enemy to “let him go” (something like Moses did when he commanded Pharaoh to let God’s people go!). Soon, my son came out of that spell, and I sensed that the danger was now gone. My son was safe. I had assured that through prayer. Unfortunately, in the midst of that situation, I think I overstepped my bounds by letting an unfair judgment come into my heart.
My main concern, upon seeing my son afflicted by the enemy as he was, was that “there must be something wrong with the authority stucture of this church.” That was my theological belief. Let me state that another way. That was my belief, period, whether theological or not! If my son could be attacked by the enemy while at church, then surely was I not right in assuming that there was something wrong with the “covering” of the church? Unfortunately, “theologically-minded” as I was at that time, I did not stop to consider that, in the midst of that whole ordeal, God may very well have been “testing my heart” to see how I would respond (see Jeremiah 17:9-10). And, unfortunately, I failed the test by responding in a very judgmental manner towards the church authorities!
At the end of that service, believe it or not, the pastor of the church decided to do something rather “unusual” and “out of the norm” for his congregation. He decided to hand out pieces of paper to whomever wanted one, so that that person could write down his or her suggestions (yes, even complaints!) on how to make the church better. “Please give us your suggestions,” he said, not expecting, of course, what I was going to write (looking back, I believe that was surely a turning point for that church, for, when a leader is ready to hear another person’s opinions, yes, even complaints, he will surely be blessed by God. Unfortunately, however — or fortunately, perhaps — the complaint which I issued that day was never answered!).
Having experienced what I did in the nursery, and with those judgmental feelings stirring inside of me, I quickly jotted down on that piece of paper that I felt that there must be “something wrong” with the authority structure of the church! “That was that, and I am right!” was my attitude. After all, did I not receive divine revelation that “something was wrong” with my son when I was sitting trying to listen to the pastor’s message that day? If God spoke to me, which I know he did, then did not that mean that I was “right”? Ah! That was a tragic mistake. I can now say looking back, and with plenty of support from Scripture, too, that just because God does speak to his children in no way justifies them! (Plenty of examples could be cited).
The Bible says that God is the one that “tests the hears and minds of his people, to see if their conduct is right” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). God gave me divine revelation all right, but I truly believe that it served more of a test of my own heat motives than anything else. Instead of repenting for my own sin, and finding out where I was “wrong” — perhaps that was the reason why the enemy was able to afflict my son that day (no one else’s son was afflicted!) — I decided to quickly “blame the pastor” (and old trick of the enemy).
Friend, don’t let it happen to you. If you have been caught playing the “blame game,” like I was that day, may I strongly urge you to “drop your case” — no matter what the situation — and learn to look inward at your own problems and your own sins, rather than being caught looking outward at everyone else’s — or even just one person’s problems, for that matter (hey, why not look to Jesus and let him SOLVE your problems, rather than looking at another person and becoming LIKE that person in every way?).