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In Whom is No Guile
11/29/2018 12:05:00 AM by: Dr. Paul D. Norcross

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!  (John 1:47)

One of the defining differences between the Kingdom of God and another person’s kingdom is their agenda.

The word “guile” means crafty, using deceit, a trick or bait that is (figuratively) wily with subtlety. Instead of having a pure heart that is tender and open to God, a person with guile is calculating toward accomplishing his or her own agenda, often to make a reputation and claim credit for it.

Where a pastor has such calculation, God’s favor is absent. As a result, the agenda advances without God’s blessing. Instead of doors opening with ease by God, the agenda-driven pastor becomes a lobbyist.  Consider someone who searches the worldwide Internet for new donors to their ministry or orphanage, church building project, or other Christian-sounding cause. How about those who add to themselves new titles (apostle, bishop, prophetess) and circulate impressive poster photos of themselves as leader of a new crusade.

These can be common examples of guile. The reason a person with guile has to self-promote is because the Holy Spirit isn’t. The Holy Spirit avoids promoting the one who seeks to advance his own kingdom.  

Let me share an experience I had several years ago in a remote part of the southern Kenyan bush country. I was asked to run our first pastors’ School of Ministry. During the planning phases, my host pastor pressed me several times to provide photos and finances to print advertising posters. The Lord told me to say no, that Jesus would never promote Himself. 

My host was extremely disappointed. He felt that without advertising, only about 12 pastors would show up. But I told him the Holy Spirit would send out the invitations.

The day came to start the school. Over 250 pastors came! My host pastor was astonished. Not only did pastors arrive from all across the country but they came from all denominations. He explained that this was unheard of, even with advertising using banners towed behind low flying airplanes, as is commonly done in the bush. 

My host wanted me to pay for renting a sound system. I said no. Jesus did not need to use one, and I had no money.

Now twelve years and 30,000+ pastor training school graduates later, I find the same principles apply. If we keep our hearts pure, and stop calculating our way into growing our ministry, if we instead learn to hear and obey the Lord’s voice only, then the Holy Spirit will partner with us.

In Nathan, Jesus found a man who did not rely on his own agenda. He had no guile. When we seek God’s wisdom alone, when we wait for His direction, we do so from a place of rest. And in that place, we cease from our works, and thus He can do His.

At Kingdom Faith Ministries International, we refuse to use guile. Instead, we teach pastors (nearly 10,000 this year alone) how to hear and obey God’s voice, how to operate all nine manifestations of Holy Spirit power, and how to overcome witchcraft and curses.  

We have never advertised. We let the Holy Spirit do that. He joyfully continues to do so as we keep our hearts pure and obedient without guile. 

Pastor, friend, are you like Nathan?

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