Where there is expectation, there is a preparation. Encounters are prepared.
When a businessman wants a contract from the minister, he prepares. If it is Nigeria, you visit with hampers, to prepare the road, because whom a contract is given to, depends upon elements; there may be ten qualified people; so other elements must enter into play for them to give you the contract. And it may just be favour or it may be the eagerness to please or whatever it is. All encounters, where there are expectations, are prepared. If somebody doesn’t bother how he meets you, you mean nothing to him, and you should not believe that you mean anything to him. Treat him as he treats you—reciprocal treatment; if you mean nothing to him … One little girl told me, Didn’t you tell me that you are my father? I asked her, “Can you be a father to someone who is not your daughter? You want me to be a father, when did you become a daughter?” Can one be a father to someone who is not a daughter? Stupid girl! She wants me to carry responsibility and she wants to absolve her from responsibility. That’s stupidity! And she has added to stupidity manipulation and blackmail. Before the manipulation, you may even believe that this is just a stupid girl. When she starts being manipulative, you are no longer having just a stupid girl, you are having a prostitute. A girl who wants to twist your heart. And that’s arrogance and stupidity. When there are expectations, people prepare. If anybody hungers for God, he will prepare.
I told some brethren in Nigeria, they complained to me that one sister was very arrogant to them. So I asked them what is disturbing them? They said, “How can she be so rude? So I asked them, “What does she expect from God? What does she expect from God?” Those who expect money, from anybody, behave well. Those who want God will fear men who can give them God. Honour and respect, is not tied to the intrinsic value of the person you honour; it is tied to your expectation. If I am a spiritual leader, and I am running after God, those who want God, I will have importance for them; just like a businessman who wants a contract, even if he thinks that that minister is a buffoon, he will call him yes sir, yes sir, yes sir. And he will behave well, because, you represent something he wants. If somebody disobeys me as a leader, it doesn’t disturb me, unless I have backslidden. If I have backslidden, the rebellion, the spite, the carelessness is the chastisement of lost glory. But if I am labouring to follow God and you don’t respect me, it reveals you, not me; you don’t care for God. If you wanted God, you will reverence those who can bring you God. The students who want to pass their exams, they meet very stupid teachers who want to sleep with them; they may refuse, but they still talk to them politely, because their future is in his hands. Who has understood me?
Where there is expectation, there is preparation—preparation of dispositions, preparation of looks, appearance. So it doesn’t hurt me if somebody treats me carelessly! What does he expect from God? I represent what? If he doesn’t want anything from God, what does a servant of God mean to him? It reveals you; it doesn’t reveal me unless I have backslidden.
So when I get somebody who particularly despises me, let me tell you a secret: When my wife and my daughters go for about the whole day without remembering that they have not given me food, if I am a “graffi” man (someone from the Savana region of Cameroon), I will teach them a lesson. I raise my voice, and shout at them, “What is happening to you?” But if I am a spiritual leader, God is telling me, “Saltless salt, Saltless salt, Saltless salt” … I will just plan a retreat and go me back to the presence of God to go and get back salt. Say Amen!
If you are the one that your own house forgets you for 24hours; and you are shouting, you are a fool! Why are you shouting? If your voice meant something, they would not have forgotten to bring you food. They have already forgotten you, meaning that you are nothing; and then you are still repeating the mistake? And you are shouting as if you are somebody. Please preserve your energy.
If I want to be a holy man, the message I am hearing is, “Saltless salt – Ichabod, Ichabod, Ichabod, Ichabod, Ichabod Ichabod,” and there is only one thing for all Ichabod: go back to God, go back to God. We fight a lot over nothing. Ichabod!
Do you prepare to meet God? It depends on what you expect from God. Who has noticed that when people are sick, they confess their sins very quickly? Why? They want to get well. Who has understood? Ya! When people are sick, … immediately you tell them about a sin, they confess the sin very happily. But when there are no expectations, you can treat God carelessly.
When your child is sick, you search your heart. When everything is rosy, … your heart is full, your body is healthy and your pocket is full, you don’t care about God.
Where there are expectations, men prepare. They prepare their moods, they prepare their dispositions. There are some people that believe that they have a problem of anger; they get angry with their spiritual leaders. They have no problem with anger; it is a proclamation that they expect nothing. Their bosses in the office, are more stupid than their spiritual leaders; why don’t they get angry in the office? … Your salary depends …They can’t afford to lose the money. When they say that they are angry with their spiritual leader, they don’t expect anything from God. What is at stake? There have nothing at stake. If they wanted God, they would not offend God. If they believed you could bring them God, they would not offend you. That’s if they want God.
But those who have a comfortable life in the world, with a settled salary and insurance, who do they respect? Have you seen the rich respecting anybody? Why? Because they expect nothing! A rich man, who is hungry for God, will respect those who have God. Careless attitudes, careless behaviour, arrogance, is because of no hunger for God.
In the Bible, in order to meet God, people were told to prepare. Moses was told, “Remove your sandals, for where you are standing is holy ground.” Joshua was told, “Remove your sandals, because where you are standing, is holy ground.” The priests were told, “Before you enter the presence of God into the Tabernacle, there was a big basin called the sea, that had water; you washed your feet.” There were the ablutions, the cleansings, and the ritual cleansings, in order to enter God’s presence. The priests were told, “You shall not enter the Tabernacle after you have drunk wine. You shall not drink wine; and come into My presence.” Anybody who approached God was told to prepare.
For an encounter with God, there was to be cleansing; for an encounter with God, there had to be sobriety. You couldn’t drink and go into God’s presence. There was cleansing, there was sobriety; it is part of sanctifying God’s name. Hallowed be Thy name. Anybody who treats God carelessly—comes to the prayer meeting without taking time … When I was copying out my message, Henriette asked me, “So you meditate about all your messages?” I told her yes. I told her, “That is one domain I have been faithful in; I have never preached anything I did not receive.” I came back to a ministry, that had been led by a very godly man; I came back to a ministry, that had already lasted thirty-something years. I didn’t know the people; I didn’t know the people. I didn’t know those whom he had built over the years. If I don’t receive from God, I will tell them what? I have no history, with many of them. So what will I tell them? I told her, “At least in that one, I receive what I say, and how I am to say it.
To enter into God’s service, enter into God’s presence, without preparation, is the sin of profanation and God judges those who profane His presence. To
- touch the things of God,
- handle the people of God,
- use the money of God,
without fear, is profanation. And the profane are like Esau, and God hates the profane.
I would like five people first to pray, that God will banish the worldliness that has taken away any desire to – any real expectation from our relationship with God.
If all that you love is the world, and God has blessed you, then you want nothing else. If you wanted God, and you wanted to touch God, and you wanted a relationship with God, you would prepare; there would be reverence; you would fear God. The love of the world has taken away all desire and expectation from God. People don’t want Him, they don’t want revelation, they are satisfied with the world, and their hearts are fat with things. So there is no hunger for God. So why should they prepare? They have nothing at stake for which they are desperate: their children are doing well, their (salary) job is secure and their heart is satisfied. There is no room for God; so why would they be careful? Why would they labour to be holy? And labour for that holiness without which no man can see God?
They don’t want to see God, in their lives; they don’t want to see God, in their future. So why would they labour for the holiness? There is no hunger. And for many people, the love of the world, the pride of life, has taken away all expectation from God.
Let five people pray.
You may even look at your life and see that you have been dirtier, you have become more and more talkative, and you have become more and more harsh! Why? Nothing is at stake. Your salary will come at the end of the month, and you don’t want God. If you wanted a relationship with God, maybe the way you talk will matter to you. If you wanted God, maybe many things would matter to you. Why don’t they matter? Because your heart has been smeared over by a layer of worldliness.
In our chemistry laboratory in secondary school, when our teacher was introducing us to the elements, he brought out a bicker of pure silver, and I remember what he told us – that pure silver can exist only in inert conditions because immediately it is exposed, it oxidizes. So he told us, ”We cannot remove it from the pressure conditions in which it is stored; because if not, you people will not be seeing silver.
Our hearts are like silver. There may be a layer of worldliness, that blocks all exposure to God.
If you wanted God, maybe it would have mattered to you how you talk to your husband; if you wanted God, maybe the way you treat your disciples, you would have been careful. Why has it not matter? Because you don’t want anything from God; you don’t want a relation, you don’t want an encounter, you don’t want communion with God. Those who want something – it is in human psychology, that where there is expectation, there are predispositions.
Please pray for yourself