Article by Michael A. Danforth
Edited by Theodore Wright
For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
– 2 Corinthians 10:12 (NKJV)
The word “commend” means to strengthen, to join, to establish in the sense of approval. This type of “Approval” συγκρινω (sunkrino) are those that have promoted themselves through their own strength and manipulative devices. Networking can be a great thing, as long as the net you are working is within the sphere of God’s timing and season for your life. However, in the last years, many in the church have conferred themselves into a sphere of ministry that did not go through the process of being proven by God and are now being tested and tried. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken and the final results will be a kingdom that is destined to remain.
In the ancient world there was no banking system, as we know it today, and no paper money. All money was made from metal, heated until it was liquid, poured into moulds and allowed to cool. When the coins were cooled, it was necessary to smooth off the uneven edges. The coins were comparatively soft and of course many people shaved them closely. In one century, more than eighty laws were passed in Athens, to stop the practice of shaving down the coins then in circulation. But some moneychangers were men of integrity, who would accept no counterfeit money. They were men of honor who put only genuine full-weighted money into circulation. Such men were called δοκιμος (dokimos) or “approved”.
Get ready for the “dokimos” or “approved ones.” They are men and women of integrity who refuse to allow themselves to be counterfeited into a ministerial machine that tries to reduce their passion for God into a mere spirit of performance. They’re the genuine coin that was once considered lost and forgotten but now have been found, waiting, serving, trusting God, knowing their time is at hand.
They have refused to allow the desperation of ministry to shape them into something that is less than what God intended for them to be. They know the difference between being called and commissioned. They are men and women of patience and endurance. They carry the marks in their body of resisting the praises of men and premature successes.
They have a hunger for the fullness of God’s kingdom to be established in the earth just as it is in heaven. Their very presence will judge those who have promoted themselves into the caravan of political Christendom. They are men and women of wisdom and understanding, fearless, bold and passionate, faithfully determined to finish the race that has been set before them!
Some of the primary vessels that are presently being sifted in the church right now are those that have classed themselves outside the proving or testing of God. In other words they made all the right people connections and promoted themselves into a particular field of business or ministry before their approval date.
This particular class of activity carries a seasonal appearance of success, which becomes an on going deceptive illusion toward others that are looking to serve God with all their hearts, in accordance with the direction He has purposed for their lives. Due to the lack of discernment, this luring cycle has continued to bring many others into this class of thinking, all because they started comparing themselves with those who commended themselves.
Much of the success of the church has been measured by the same thinking that measures success in the world. The success of the world is largely defined within a numerical frame. More people, more money, more business, more opportunities, equal more success. So much of the growth of the church has been classed within this same numerical perception, many people, much success.
The grave difference is, many people do not equal maturity. The plan of God is not just a bunch of people making heaven but a bunch of people revealing heaven.
A lot of the pressure that has been felt within the body of Christ is largely the result of many that have overextended themselves, into areas of ministry, exceeding their relational level of authority in God. Paul declared in his writings to the church of Corinth, that he and other apostles did not overextend themselves beyond their sphere of authority. He also made it clear that they were not interested in boasting in other men’s labors.
For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere,
– 2 Corinthians 10:14-15 (NKJV)
One of the most common things that I have observed over the years, are those that have received revelatory teachings by the spirit of Jesus Christ, only to find others boasting, as if they were the ones that sought God and received this insight face to face for themselves.
Is it wrong to speak what you have heard other people preach or teach? I think not. However before you can really speak that truth with authority it must first become illuminated in your being which can only happen through the process of walking with God.
We have blown the horns of salvation for so long that sweeping people pass hell into heaven has become our primary focus. But the call is not just to enter through the veil but we are to go beyond the veil. We must get beyond the entrance of the door and move further into the hope of our highest calling which is to become like Him. We are standing at the threshold of entering into a new sign and wonder, which is a knowledge and revelation of Jesus Christ unlike this world has ever known.
Oh, how we long for that day when we have grown up into that place where we no longer seek for an outward sign but an inward transformation. Yes, tremendous signs and wonders are coming but they are mere road signs pointing the way into the most centered realm of the father’s heart.
So get ready to hear, to see, to know what is real, what is true, what is right. Not according to the standard of what we thought was true but according to what we know to be true, now. Because we are listening for ourselves now! No longer will we depend upon others to hear for us, to seek God on our behalf, as wonderful and dangerous as all that can be. No, we will hear the truth face to face heart to heart and we will discover greater still, who God is, in us, today. Then we will know that we have been approved.
Our lives are not on hold, but rather on trial. It’s a refiner’s fire that is purposed to reveal the sons and daughters of God. It’s a trial that is testing the deepest intentions of our hearts. Seeing if we were sincere when we cried out, “Lord! Whatever it takes! Ever how long! To be who or what you have destined me to be! I am willing. Are you? Has the issue been settled? It’s not going quite the way you planned, I know. But do you also know, you are not going down! You will not fail! This is your appointed time! You’re destined to succeed. So get ready!
But “he who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.
– 2 Corinthians 10:17-18 (NKJV)