“There is no substitution for the oil (of the Holy Ghost) ‘If a man makes a substitute oil’ it says, ‘put him to death.'(Exodus 30) That’s pretty serious. Making an imitation. Imitation preaching, imitation anointing, zeal, what seems like authority, strong words, gesticulations raising your voice. But, there are no substitutes!” –Leonard Ravenhill
Folks perhaps the greatest tragedy in the church today is the “substitute oil” that the church has settled for instead of the true power and ministry of the Spirit of God, the true oil. Over and over my heart goes back to Paul’s word’s in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. Listen to this:
“When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on Gods’ power.”
Does it sound like Paul had a big plan? Does it sound like he was a great preacher? Does it sound like he swept people off their feet with his magnetic personality? He had nothing! Yet this man, full of the Holy Ghost was used in his weakness as the greatest missionary in history.
I sat across the table from an anointed one a couple weeks ago. His speech was heavily slurred and he had partial facial paralysis. Yet his words pierced with the authority and power of God. He was sharing his testimony. He had been a Bible school student, yet completely lost and going to hell. On his way back home on school break he was critically injured with massive brain injuries in a car crash. Miraculously, he survived. Through this he was spiritually transformed and now he preaches! Cognitively he is entirely there. His body simply does not cooperate in some regards. He speaks slowly and you have to listen very closely to every word. Some that do not know him may assume about his mental capacity. This must be humbling for him. You know, for me, it wasn’t his miraculous story that struck me. It was the power of the Holy Spirit exuding from him. Perhaps you have met men or women like these? They are rare. But they exude the the fullness of the Holy Spirit like a perfume filling the air. They barely need to speak anything! When they do, it is like they draw a sword and cut you to the heart. No theatrics, no plans, no emotions. There is no way to explain it except this: It is the power of God. Does that mean that a man like this does not slip into the flesh? Of course not.
As I sat talking with him, my heart raced back to 1 Corinthians 1:26-29:
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards,; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things…despised things..and the things that are not to nullify the things that are so that no one can boast before him.”
Folks, one person full of the Holy Spirit is more effective than 100 ministries born in the flesh(which to our shame is the majority case.) We want to do things for God(which is good), but we forget…we have no power! We think we do. Worse still, we assume that what we are doing is in step with the Spirit. “Strange fire, or Cain offerings”..they are acts of worship that are unacceptable to God. Imitation anointing dishonours God. We do not insist on the fullness of the Spirit first before serving God. Neither do we let the Spirit interrupt our plans! I have been in the church all my life. I’m in “full time ministry” too. The form of godliness I had(and still struggle with), and the lack of power grieves me still. The waste is enormous. All the fancy impressive ministries? All the well organized programs? Very nice! But, Oh God, that we would be constantly filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. It would be better to cancel a ministry than to do any of it the flesh. Almost all the powerful moments of Holy Spirit empowered ministry I have been used of God in, were not in a formal church program. They were in casual moments and conversations. They were divinely appointed moments on sidewalks and grocery store checkouts.
By the way his name is Darrick Lareva. Invite him to your church. God uses him to blindside and shame the wise and the strong. Visit his Web Page. Here is a short youtube of his testimony. I was even more blessed just chatting with him. God is being glorified in this guy.