The second level of familiarity that I want to talk about in this teaching is FAMILIARITY WITH THE SERVANT OF GOD.
This is very common in every generation, and it is as old as the events of the Old Testament.
In our generation, we need to be very careful and discerning. We need to pay attention to matters that touch heavily on the culture of the Kingdom.
We belong to a Kingdom that is not ruled by SENTIMENTS but by PRINCIPLES.
And it’s important to realize that in a generation, at a certain season, when the Holy Spirit is emphasizing something over and over again especially through different channels, we need to pay attention.
The more we grow in the things of the Spirit, the more we come to grips with the intent of God in projecting certain thoughts repeatedly at a certain season on the landscape of the Body of Christ.
For instance, in recent times, the subject of HONOUR was brought to the front burner and we saw the fallouts of it before our very eyes.
Now I believe that gross misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the subject of HONOUR is partly an offshoot of the tendency of familiarity.
Now familiarity is VERY DANGEROUS, and commonest among the types that we have is familiarity with the anointed.
This is not about heroworshipping any man or woman of God. The Scripture is very clear on how to relate with a man of God.
That some people are always hellbent on twisting what we say will not stop us from teaching the full counsel of God, as enshrined in His Word.
Speaking on this matter of familiarity, our Lord Jesus noted very clearly:
But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without HONOUR, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
I didn’t say this, and no man of God said this; JESUS SAID SO. You see, it’s been like that from time immemorial – outsiders more often honour the anointed than insiders.
This is with exception to a situation where the “insiders” are taught and trained thoroughly in that respect and they’re willing to open up to learn.
By God’s Grace, I have been around for a short while and I can say authoritatively that more often, the man of God is honoured outside more than he is honoured inside – don’t forget that I already put a class of exception to that.
Check it out friends, in the Old Testament, the New Testament, classical and contemporary times – people who are closer to the anointed exhibit a higher tendency and propensity to walk in familiarity.
Ministry experience has taught me that not everyone has the maturity to manage closeness with a man of God.
Some are not just prepared for such. So at best it is better for them not to get close untill they can work on their hearts.
As anointed as Jesus was, his kinsfolks and country men and women still saw Him as a carpenter – Mk.6:3, and that affected the flow of the anointing to them – Mk.6:5.
It therefore goes to show that THE ANOINTING FLOWS ON THE CHANNEL OF ESTIMATION.
Also, we learn that in the things of the Spirit, CONNECTIVITY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROXIMITY.
Familiarity makes a man to die of thirst beside an ocean. Familiarity makes you to take the man of God for granted – his words, instructions, pronouncements, etc. – they mean nothing to you.
Familiarity makes you to underrate the capacity of the anointing in the life of God’s servant.
Imagine seeing Jesus as a carpenter. I believe that familiarity is caused by two factors:
(2) Perverted Knowledge
On the first level, people do things because they don’t know better and they’re not ready to know any better.
Every kind of misbehavior is traceable to “ignorance” somewhere – whether intentional ignorance, imposed ignorance or circumstancial ignorance.
On the second level, familiarity is a product of perverted knowledge. Here, people know TOO MUCH than they should know and they take unfair advantage of that privilege.
That’s why people didn’t see the Son of God, the Second Member of the Divine Godhead and the Creator of the Heavens and the earth Himself for Who He was but as a capenter.
A more dangerous dimension is that some people have studied their man of God so much (for the wrong reason though) and they know when he flows in certain ways and at certain times and when he “appears” not to flow at all.
I know what I’m saying friends. Why do you think Jehazi had the effrontery to go behind his master, Elisha to collect gifts from Namaan – 2 Kgs.5:20?
He must have thought that the man of God would not know.
He must have been around the prophetic for some time to the point of foolishly second-guessing how the Holy Spirit would move but he was wrong eventually because Elisha picked it in the Spirit and leprosy landed on him and his generation – 2 Kgs.5:25-27 .
If you’re privileged of God to be close to the anointed somewhere, you have a whole lot of work to do because familiarity is a major temptation that the devil will tempt you with.
Miriam, Moses’ elder sister got into familiarity with his younger brother and she began to run her mouth like water. Leprosy was the result of her action – Num.12:10.
Reuben got familiar with his father Jacob and he had a carnal knowledge of his father’s wife. “Prophetic dagger” landed on him as a result of his act of indiscretion – Gen.49:3-4.
Judas Iscariot became familiar with the Master to the point of selling Him. Divine replacement was his experience – Acts 1:20.
Many other examples abound in Scriptures. You will also notice that outsiders get more than insiders because of this familiarity issue.
Jesus healed ten lepers but only one of them (a stranger) came back to give glory to God and he received additional blessing – WHOLENESS – Lk.17:17-19.
The remaining nine who were “insiders” felt there was no big deal since it was their “right”.
You remember the syrophenician woman too, who came from outside of the shores of the Jewish world to receive the blessing?
The woman didn’t take offence at what Jesus said, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread 🍞 🍞 🍞, and cast it to dogs” – Matt.15:26 .Mehn!!!
The woman rather responded in faith, not in offence, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs 🐕 🐕 🐕 eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” – Matt.15:27.
Wow!!! See the level of brokenness and death to ego. The rest is history!!!
You also remember how the Apostle Paul dissipated SO MUCH TIME AND ENERGY to convince the Conrinthian brethren to honour his apostleship – 1 Cor. 9?
Why all that? Familiarity!!! Conversely, see how the Philippians received his ministry and also ministered material substance to him.
I mean he was moved to the point of telling them that they were ALL PARTAKERS OF HIS GRACE – Phil.1:7 and he also pronounced that landmark blessing in Philippians 4:19 on them.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
What’s the difference? HONOUR!!! Never get into familiarity beloved. It is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!
The danger is that NO MATTER HOW CLOSE YOU ARE TO A MAN OF GOD, THE GRACE ON HIS LIFE WILL NEVER FLOW TO YOU.
Somebody can be sleeping on the same bed with an globally-acclaimed healing evangelist and still die of headache yet the man of God has been used of God to “heal” all manner of terminal diseases.
Never get familiar with the words of your Pastor – his instructions, counsels, prophetic declarations, teachings, etc.
Never you get into familiarity of any kind. It is deadly. Honour a genuine man of God who has blessed you in your heart and sow into his life.
That’s why we talk about “Seed Of Honour”. Let your giving to any man of God communicate HONOUR, not to give the impression that you’re doing him a favour.
This is life lesson beloved. Walk in HONOUR, not FAMILIARITY, and that doesn’t mean you’re heroworshipping any man of God.
Bishop David Oyedepo once met a man in the United States of America many years ago and the man said he was very close to Dad Hagin.
Papa said, “And you’re like this?”. Friends, there are SO MANY LESSONS to learn in ministry.
I believe that God is fair to all and He’s not a Respecter of persons.
If we walk by PRINCIPLES, not SENTIMENTS, there are too many blessings that we’ll walk in and the proof will be visible to all.
I trust this is a blessing Sirs and Mas?