From Fresh Fire;
“We wish to acknowledge, however, that since our last statement from the Fresh Fire Board of Directors, we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.
Well Todd, here’s what I’ve learned.
Despite all your concentration of miracles and revival; despite all your time on television; despite the fact that thousands look at you as “anointed;” despite your preaching and teaching; despite the offerings; despite all the attention and acclaim….
Despite all that, Jesus is pursuing another agenda in your life and my life, and the fact is that success in the ministry, on the small stage or on the large, isn’t what he’s working toward.
Jesus will not hesitate to allow into your life crushing pain and rejection to make you into his disciple. Not anyone else’s hero or anyone else’s “anointed prophet.” HIS DISCIPLE.
This is the one who said:
Mark 8:34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. 36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? 37 Is anything worth more than your soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
So if you belong to him, and he knows you want to be his follower, and you won’t take up HIS cross…..HIS gospel…..HIS supreme value…..then he may put you in a place in your life where HE is all you’ll have.
(Note: I’m not implying God ends marriages. Good grief. I am saying that God will allow events that have been “buffered” by his mercy to go to their normal consequences.)
He’s unafraid for you to be alone, rejected and in failure. He’s unafraid to let the consequences of our sins come back to us if that’s what it takes to make us HIS follower. The steps on the way to holiness don’t look like the advertisements we run for Your Best Life Now. Jesus hasn’t signed on to that scam.
I’m sure there are moments when you say “This is the devil” or “This is just a test.” Probably not. Wherever Satan or God’s secret plan are in the picture, you’ll never figure either out and it doesn’t matter.
II Corinthians 12: 5 That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. 6 If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.
Who gave him the thorn? With what purpose?
So why is Satan in the picture? That’s something we see in scripture, but what we don’t like to see is that God designed it to drive out pride in a proud man. A successful church planter. A great preacher. A man who performed miracles and had visions.
Sound familiar? (Of course, his were the real deal, but that’s another note.)
But none of what was going on in Paul’s life was driving out simple pride, so God allowed pain. Paul prayed with all his faith, and God said “No. I prefer the humility and the dependence in your weakness to the pride in your strength. Keep it.”
I’ve learned this at my house, Todd. I’ve learned it in my life and friendships. I’m not a very good Christian. All I can bring to Jesus most of the time is a very weak desire for God in my life. So Jesus does it his way. This year he took my wife into the Catholic Church and reduced me to a broken, bitter, angry, confused, useless man.
And in that state, God has done more in my heart than any time in my life. Jesus is a treasure he wasn’t before.
When Jesus is all you have, then Jesus will be all you need.
Praying for you. If you are a follower of Jesus, then this experience will make you more of a disciple than ever before. If you are a purveyor of miracles and a pursuer of fame, money and attention, then God is being merciful to you.
I believe God wants to rid YOU of the person we’ve all seen the past few months, and bring out of this brokenness a man quietly, deeply, genuinely devoted to Jesus. Not the show or the “revival,” but Jesus in your brokenness.