IF I BE A MAN OF GOD
IF I BE A MAN OF GOD
Bro. Emma Okorie
The background to the topic stems from Ahaziah the king of Israel at Samaria who fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber and was sick unto death. He sent messengers to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether he shall survive. Sent by an angel of the Lord, Elijah the Tishbite, accosted the messengers on the way asking, “Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that you go to inquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.” When the messengers turned back and reported their encounter to King Ahaziah, he quickly dispatched a captain of fifty with his fifty to arrest Elijah and bring him bound to himself. They found Elijah sitting on top of a hill and said to him “Thou man of God, the king hath said, come down.” (2 Kings 1:1-9)” 2 Kings 1:10-17 report “And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly. And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight. And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king. And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.”
This was not the first time Elijah was calling down fire from heaven. God identifies with the man of God in operation. We have not come to worship ordinarily; we have come to worship in the pool of supernaturality where things happen. If your heart is not yet there and you have just settled for ordinary fellowship, there is no evidence that you are a man of God. The devil never tires; he continues to try until completely overwhelmed. This is why the Lord allows him to continue to fight as he did in the land of Egypt when the plagues discomfited them until the power of Egypt was completely dismantled. It was in the hand of Elijah to decide what happened to these lives. The man of God called the shots supernaturally because he was a representative of the living God, God’s spokesman, anointed and called of Him. This demonstration was the evidence that he was called of God. When one claims that God called him, the evidence in power and character must be made manifest.
A man of God is not by mere words. Elijah called down fire from heaven. God honours those who honour Him. Every time Elijah called, something extraordinary happened. His boast was always in the Lord. In Him he lived, moved and had his being. God was with him always and answered his prayers on a regular basis. When people of such ilk call upon God in the day of trouble, He answers speedily. A man of God brings solutions to situations with the supernatural power God has given him. Wherever he appears, people look up to him as a medium to connect them to God. Whatever appears impossible is not with the man or woman of God. If I be a man of God is not a life of leisure or flamboyance for the man of God is a direct ambassador of the living God. God takes the word of such a man as His. Whenever he speaks, God has spoken through His servant. In all your aspiration as a man of God the Lord has called, does it go on in your mind this way? Is this how you answer to situations of your own people or do you keep yourself in a bogus office and have people come and worship you while there is no sign of progress, prosperity or good life among those you are leading? If I be a man of God is a confident utterance of a representative of the living God, an embodiment of God’s supernatural power who orders down fire from heaven and it comes.
In another circumstance, Elijah called down fire from heaven in a contest with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. Four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal had slaughtered a bull, put it on an altar and fruitlessly called on their god, Baal, to send down fire from morning till evening. 1 Kings 18:31-39 report “And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.”
Elijah, a man of like passion, flesh and blood as we are, held up the rain for three and half years and called down fire from heaven, a confirmation of his affirmation by God as His representative. Do not limit yourself; this is evidence that follows a man of God and you should desire it. Aspire for it, don’t be an ordinary Christian only looking to go to heaven. As long as we are in this world, we have a battle to do with principalities, powers and demonic forces, spirits without bodies. Let the church be the church. How many are true men of God now that we know the qualification of men and women of God? Now that you know the qualifications, this should be your concern not just the things we crave for in the flesh. The ministry cannot move forward unless we be men of God. Obstacles would be broken, excuses should give way and the spirit of God will take over
Whoever the Lord calls He equips. The Lord cannot call any without supernaturally equipping him. A farmer cannot be sent to work without hoes, knives and all. God equips those He calls and sends out. He equips His servants to weather circumstances and situations. This is why He stated, “Ye shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” The man of God is called and equipped with power to make his job easy in order to remove those things that hinder the gospel. He is given power which makes his job easy and helps him not to suffer very much. We should all pray for this supernatural enablement. 2 Kings 4:8-17 (TLB) “One day Elisha went to Shunem. A prominent woman of the city invited him in to eat, and afterwards, whenever he passed that way, he stopped for dinner. She said to her husband, "I'm sure this man who stops in from time to time is a holy prophet. Let's make a little room for him on the roof; we can put in a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, and he will have a place to stay whenever he comes by." Once when he was resting in the room he said to his servant Gehazi, "Tell the woman I want to speak to her."When she came, he said to Gehazi, "Tell her that we appreciate her kindness to us. Now ask her what we can do for her. Does she want me to put in a good word for her to the king or to the general of the army?""No," she replied, "I am perfectly content." "What can we do for her?" he asked Gehaziafterwards.He suggested, "She doesn't have a son, and her husband is an old man." "Call her back again," Elisha told him.When she returned, he talked to her as she stood in the doorway. "Next year at about this time you shall have a son!""O man of God," she exclaimed, "don't lie to me like that!" But it was true; the woman soon conceived and had a baby boy the following year, just as Elisha had predicted.”
That which seems impossible to achieve God makes possible for His servants. He heals the sick, raises the dead, opens doors and makes impossible situations turn around. A man of God ought not be lazy. He should not manage and conduct church as usual. There must be extraordinary evidence of industry and breakthroughs. We need to answer confidently when called men of God because there is evidence and qualification. Man of God is beyond ordinary name-calling. After the name, is there evidence? The evidence is in spiritual demonstration. We have much to accomplish. The word of God must be made perfect in our lives and this ought to be our evidence and demonstration on daily basis. Today, people are asking, “Why do you hold these daily Booster prayers? Are you not old? Where is the strength? As far as I know, it is better to fall down and die while undertaking it than to keep quiet and let the devil continue messing up my people. If I be a man of God there must be a demonstration of power in the house of God. There must be change. None of us can claim to have worked too much. We ought to always remember that our lives are hid in Christ and Christ’s in God. Let the ancient thoughts and ideas of ministry come back to our heads. Let us no longer interject worldly concepts and ideas into the things we do in ministry. Let us stop adjusting the work of God to suit our convenience. Let us stop looking for excuses and seek to move forward. The man of God said, “Next year at about this time you shall have a son,” and she replied, “Man of God, don’t lie to me.” The man of God reaffirmed his statement. This is the character of men of God I see in the bible. Is that yours?
Moses said, “If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unsual happens, then the Lord has not sent me.” God instructed that they should go to Canaan and these men insisted they must go back to Egypt where God had done many miracles to bring them out. They were turning the hand of the clock backward, riding against God. Be careful in your doctrines and in your teachings. Think how it would have looked for Moses to return with korah and his team to Egypt to tell Pharoah that they were back voluntarily to be his slaves. Imagine that! This is happening in many ways and many areas. When some stand in the way of the vision of God and fight it, all these little attacks because of selfishness is not different. Are such not looking for what will happen to them? It happened so in Numbers 15:29-33 (MSG) “If these men die a natural death like all the rest of us, you'll know that it wasn't God who sent me. But ifGod does something unprecedented — if the ground opens up and swallows the lot of them and they are pitched alive into Sheol — then you'll know that these men have been insolent with God." The words were hardly out of his mouth when the Earth split open. Earth opened its mouth and in one gulp swallowed them down, the men and their families, all the human beings connected with Korah, along with everything they owned. And that was the end of them, pitched alive into Sheol. The Earth closed up over them and that was the last the community heard of them.” The work of God ought not be done with carnality. Apostolic work is not done with carnality. This is why one may be sincerely right in the natural but very wrong in the supernatural. Let us be careful the things we do.
There came a point when Pharoah’s magicians exclaimed, “This is the finger of God.” This was a contest between men of God and men of the devil. Incidentally, the devil has never won in such contests. What is the power of witches, wizards, all those things you are afraid of in the sight of the man of God? God has given the house of God power to contend with those who contend with them. We have been victorious in Living Word Ministries, starting from nothing to something. We have prevailed through the power of the grace of our Lord. The wonders seen by all is as a result of the fact that God is with us, this is the finger of God. I appreciate the fact that unbelievers, magicians and sorcerers can tell your level. What worries me is that the modern day unbeliever cannot see or appreciate the wonders that God is doing in a place. Exodus 8:18-19 (NLT) “Pharaoh's magicians tried to do the same thing with their secret arts, but this time they failed. And the gnats covered everyone, people and animals alike. "This is the finger of God!" the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh.” When we pray, the finger of God is pointed. When we have faith, the finger of God is pointed. No wicked man in this world should stand and say, “What can God do?” What did God do to Herod? In one second, maggots covered him and ate him up. What did God do to Jeroboam? His hand withered and hung in mid-air.
Pharaoh got convinced that Moses was a man of God by the numerous plagues he witnessed. (Exodus 7 & 8) The king of Egypt acknowledged Joseph as a man of God. Portiphar became convinced because everything in his house prospered (Genesis 37-40). Whether by distinction or by prosperity or blessing, whenever a man of God is in a place, there is a change. How much change have you brought where you are? Imagine a slave; a slave that was a man of God, everything Portiphar had in his house began to prosper. When everything committed to your care prospers, what other evidence is required that you are a man of God? It is really a shame when one is in a place and everything is backward. Take stock, are you managing life or death? What is happening around your region? Is there prosperity or failure? Every entertainment must stop and let us go for the real thing. Arise and command the supernatural and stop consoling yourself in your weaknesses. If I be a man of God means signs and wonders are following. Joseph prospered in prison and brought forth revelation which catapulted him to the limelight as prime minister. Since you took office, can you measure the difference? A man of God attracts prosperity; He brings change and turns things around. The God who he serves prospers him.
There must be an evidence, indication that one is sent from heaven. When questioned, Jesus Himself said, “There must be evidence that I am from heaven.” Luke 7:18-23 (TLB) “The disciples of John the Baptist soon heard of all that Jesus was doing. When they told John about it, he sent two of his disciples to Jesus to ask him, "Are you really the Messiah? Or shall we keep on looking for him?" The two disciples found Jesus while he was curing many sick people of their various diseases-healing the lame and the blind and casting out evil spirits. When they asked him John's question, this was his reply: "Go back to John and tell him all you have seen and heard here today: how those who were blind can see. The lame are walking without a limp. The lepers are completely healed. The deaf can hear again. The dead come back to life. And the poor are hearing the Good News. And tell him, 'Blessed is the one who does not lose his faith in me.” God back and evaluate your church and family. The evidence shall be made manifest in what you are doing. Prove your call. Find somewhere and prove it. Paul said, “The seal of my apostleship are ye in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 9:2)
You cannot fake that you are man of God because there must be a proof for it. Luke 6:43-44 (NLT) “A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs never grow on thornbushes, nor grapes on bramble bushes.” You cannot fake a man of God for even cover it with title. You cannot turn around and wear the garb of man of God because there is no other employment available. A tree is identified by its fruit. By credible fruits you know a man of God. You cannot go too far before you identify him. Whenever he comes around, whatever he does, whatever action, you will see it in his character, behaviour or integrity. If you have a strong perception, you will know that this is a man of God sent from heaven. John 4:11-19 (KJV) “The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.” A man of God sent from heaven speaks the word. John 3:34-35 (NLT)“For he is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit.” A man of God provides solutions; ministry is about solutions. Acts 10:38 (KJV) “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
A man of God is a proof producer. In Lystra people gathered to worship and give them names, the evidence was there. Acts 14:8-15 (MSG) “There was a man in Lystra who couldn't walk. He sat there, crippled since the day of his birth. He heard Paul talking, and Paul, looking him in the eye, saw that he was ripe for God's work, ready to believe. So he said, loud enough for everyone to hear, "Up on your feet!" The man was up in a flash — jumped up and walked around as if he'd been walking all his life. When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they went wild, calling out in their Lyconian dialect, "The gods have come down! These men are gods!" They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes" (since Paul did most of the speaking). The priest of the local Zeus shrine got up a parade — bulls and banners and people lined right up to the gates, ready for the ritual of sacrifice. When Barnabas and Paul finally realized what was going on, they stopped them. Waving their arms, they interrupted the parade, calling out, "What do you think you're doing! We're not gods! We are men just like you, andwe're here to bring you the Message, to persuade you to abandon these silly god-superstitions and embrace God himself, the living God. We don't make God; he makes us, and all of this — sky, earth, sea, and everything in them.” Right from the inception of my ministry, I always asked God not to allow my work to be ordinary. He that is from heaven must be above all. He that is from the earth is earthly. In Mark 2:8-12, Jesus did something remarkable that affirmed Him as a man of God,“Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, "Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man 'Your sins are forgiven,' or 'Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk'? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man* has the authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!" And the man jumped up, grabbed his mat, and walked out through the stunned onlookers. They were all amazed and praised God, exclaiming, "We've never seen anything like this before!”
By their fruits, their character, their temperance, the nature of God in them, you know that they are men of God. You cannot be deceived because of anyone’s outlook. There is evidence. Their character justifies it for if power goes without character, he is not a man of God. Where lies the power if there is no character, holiness, purity and love? When character which is power is not there, the power of God is not there also. Every attire of the prophet shows what is going on inside him. The essence of wearing a girdle is holiness. Elijah did not wear it merely as makeup.
God Bless You.