Who Cares What Your Pastor Said…What Did GOD Say?!
by Malika Sanders
“Whoa! That’s kinda harsh,” you may be wondering as you read the title of this post. Sure it is. When I heard the voice of the Lord regarding this, I even had an “uh-oh,” “ouch” and “yikes” in my spirit. It was not only the words I heard that caused my own reaction but what I felt emotionally coming from our Father. Bottom line? He’s ticked and tired!
You may say, “God took all His frustrations out at Calvary.” Yes, He did… toward sin. However, I’m certain He still feels “some kinda way” about the blatant manipulation of His sheep by called and chosen (or not-so called and chosen) men and women of God. I’ve seen pastors twist the word of God to manipulate the people under their watch for their own agenda and gain. See, He wants a healthy body, not one that is dysfunctional due to internal issues.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some WONDERFUL pastors and leaders that hear and obey the voice of the Lord and who don’t have their foot on the neck of the people they are to serve. I commend them greatly. However, in my home state of Kentucky, I continue to see and have experienced a far different scenario. This is a region that is strongly marked with oppression, manipulation and control (i.e., witchcraft), fear, complacency, religion and deception. These spirits are very active in local churches and tend to flow directly from the pastor and other church leaders.
I know this well because I’ve lived it. I served a local church and pastor for a period of time and became close to the pastor. I hung onto almost every word the pastor said because I wanted so desperately to be in order with God and felt that my pastor knew best. Not to mention the fact that we experienced such powerful moves of the spirit during every service. But after a while, things changed. I began to feel orchestrated and stale. Little did I know that I was being drawn into something that was full of lies, deceit, fear and full on witchcraft. Yes, I said it again. WITCHCRAFT! I don’t mean someone walking in error and unaware of what they are doing but I’m talking black cauldron, eye of newt and essence of toad stool witchcraft. But God, in His love, taught me and exposed some things to me; things that were hidden intentionally. Once exposed, I had to leave and did so peacefully with the leading of the Lord.
So let’s deal with this. John 10:4 – 5 (AMP) says, “When He has brought His own sheep outside, He walks before them, and the sheep follow Him because they know His voice. They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call.”
As God’s own sheep, we come equipped with the ability to hear His voice. It may take a little time to develop the ear to hear Him once we get saved but, we can hear Him. If this scripture is true (and it is), then what has happened to some of the sheep? Well, in my experience, the manner in which a person is indoctrinated to a local church body has MUCH to do with this. Sure, believers are taught to listen for the voice of God. However, in the midst of that, we are also taught obedience to our pastors and church leaders because “they know best.” Quite frankly, they SHOULD know more than any new believer or immature Christian. Yet, many times it gets to the point where there is a tug of war between what God has said versus what the pastor has said. And that’s a problem.
My experience has revealed to me that a major source of deception and manipulation is the misuse and abuse of prophetic gifts. I love the prophetic and all it entails, but I’ve learned to check the “word of the Lord” immediately with the Lord. Yes, the prophetic is for edification and comfort, but no one should be prophe-lying…ahem…prophesying to you all the time. Those of us who operate heavily in the prophetic must walk carefully as to not manipulate those to whom we minister; moving them closer to us as a source of revelation and away from God, THE source of ALL revelation. There’s one thing I’ve learned. God does not tell anyone more about you than you. The reason for that is He does not want you more dependent upon any person more than you depend on Him. Not even the prophet.
God has laid out in His word many principles that assist us in our daily living as well as the operation of the church. However, it was never meant for these principles to be perverted in the minds of God’s people so that they end of serving a man, woman or congregation in a way that hinders their progress in the Lord. There is no apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher, bishop, elder, first lady, church mother, presiding prelate (whatever the h— that is) or Grand Poobah of the First International Church of Jesus Christ that has a right to deter our walk with the Lord in any way, shape, form or fashion.
Stay tuned for PART 2 of this post next week on “WHAT?! Wednesday”
Malika Sanders is an ordained minister of the Gospel. Under the direction of Pastors Darnell and Therese Dialls, she is currently launching her own ministry of deliverance, healing, and restoration named UnScripted. She loves God and wants to see His people living completely free. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org