I have it on good authority that someone very competent already occupies the position of “Comforter” in your life (John 14:26). Holy Spirit is a remarkably competent comforter, and he is capable of doing a magnificent job of it.
Now, if you try to bring someone else in to fill that position in your life, there’ll be trouble. You will have invoked the threat of Exodus 20:3: “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
If I go to a prophet, or to a pastor, or to a friend with the intent of getting from them what I should have received from “The Comforter,” then I’ve caused a real problem. I have endangered that prophet, that pastor, that friend. I have set them up “before God” in my life, and God himself promises that he will not permit that.
If you look at how God handled “other gods” in scripture, you’ll see it wasn’t pretty, not ever. You might review the story of Dagon in 1 Samuel 5. Men set gods up; God knocks them down.
I do not wish to ever be put in that place, where I am “before God” in someone’s life. Frankly, I’ve had to learn this the hard way.
If you come to me asking for comfort, I may pat your hand, and say, “There, there!” or if you ask for advice, I may offer some (typically, too much, but that’s a guy thing). I'm figuring out how to mourn with those who mourn.
But if I feel that I’m being asked to provide for you what Holy Spirit should be providing, to speak into your life instead of your listening for Holy Spirit to speak, then I will probably point you back to him.
(It’s ironic that people are so often offended at me for pointing them to God. I haven’t figured that one out.)
And if you come to me and say, “God’s not talking to me. Would you give me a word?” you may see me run screaming.
You might be thinking, “If I can’t get it from God, I’ll go somewhere that I can get the word I want.” But I hear it as, “The God I’ve had isn’t living up to my expectations; I’m going to replace him with you.”
Nuh-uh! No you’re not. I’m sorry (on multiple levels) if this offends you, but I will not take the place of God in your life. I've seen what happens to other gods in the lives of God's people. No thank you!
The job of the pastor, and the prophet (and the rest of the ascension gifts!) is to equip the saints! If you’re a saint, then pastors should be equipping you for works of ministry, teachers should be equipping you or works of ministry, prophets should be equipping you for works of ministry, etc.
If ever we ask them to do for us what God should be doing for us, we have seriously erred, and we have tempted them towards something that (in my opinion) should scare the daylights out of them.
Let’s not go there, m’kay?
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