John 5:3-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralysed waiting for the MOVING OF THE water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool AND STIRRED UP THE WATER; Then whoever stepped in first, after THE STIRRING of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
I reckon it’s a blessed company of believers where we can’t get a word in edgeways!
By that I mean – the group, company, body of believers we belong to, have all something to share for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the church.
I Corinthians 14/30-32 tells us
30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can ALL PROPHESY one by one, that ALL MAY learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of [i]confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
Notice the word ‘all’. All usually means all.
There’s a story of a man (see above) who lay by a pool – ill. Jesus arrived and the man communicated that he had no one to help him into the pool, where, at certain times special healings were allowed to happen.
The man didn’t realise at the beginning, that the source of all healing was standing in front of him.
But he spoke of a ‘stirring of the waters’. In a meeting of God’s people there is/should be – a stirring of God in the midst. As we sense this, the whole company of believers can respond individually.
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 5 that you were ENRICHED in everything by Him IN ALL UTTERANCE and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed [b]in you,
Notice in this company of believers, they were all enriched in ‘utterance’.
I am not a secessionist – I believe God still speaks prophetically in/to His church. All may prophesy, but not all have the office of a prophet.
There are two dangers with prophetic utterances:
1) In unbelief we can despise them by relegating them to the past, as though God couldn’t inspire us any longer. (I Thessalonians 5/20).
2) The other danger is to place too much importance on them and over-exaggerate their significance. Some have foolishly placed them on a par with the written revealed Scriptures of God.
We read in the incident I referred to (see John 5) that the man said: ‘while I am coming, another steps down before me.’ Someone sensing the stirring – was getting in first.
Different to this man’s situation of missing out – if someone senses God’s stirring in the assembly – getting in first should be a joy, as we give place to one another, and receive that exhortation, edification and comfort through the ‘joints’ we make, as the body of Christ.
It is a healthy church, that hears from each member periodically. How often can depend on the number of people we are talking about.
That’s why house churches lend themselves to each one responding to the stirring of God.
Falling away on the earth or no falling away. Let us not believe for anything less than God working in us, His church – building us up by the gifts and fruits of The Holy Spirit, as we open our hearts to Him.