1 Kings 21:20
“And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.”
The man of God is nothing of himself, but the God of the man is what makes the man of God’s position important. The treatment of men of God in our present-day has come to a low. However, when you study the Scriptures, you will see that people have often mistreated God’s man to their own detriment. There used to be a day in America when men of God were revered and honored. It wasn’t that those men were sinless, but it was the position they held that demanded the respect of every person, and was expected from every person. When studying the Scriptures, you find several ways you should not treat the man of God, and a couple of ways you should treat him. Let me share these with you.
First, never treat the man of God with disdain. In the verse above, Ahab treated Elijah with contempt. Ahab thought that Elijah was his problem instead of looking to his sins to see his problems. Just because the man of God preaches against your sins doesn’t make him a bad man. The disrespect of men of God on social media is atrocious. People feel like they can say hateful and disrespectful things to the man of God because they feel that they have the forum and the “right” to criticize him. Always remember that how you treat men of God is a revelation of your respect of God.
Second, never demand of the man of God. In 2 Kings 1:9, two groups of men came and demanded that Elijah go with them. You have no right to demand of the man of God. It is not that he is someone special, but he is God’s man. To demand of the man of God is to put yourself in God’s place because it is God’s position to deal with the man of God. Sometimes it is not what you are saying that is wrong, but it is how you are saying it to the man of God that is wrong. Your tone towards God’s man does matter to God; you should always be respectful instead of demanding.
Third, never distance yourself from the man of God. The sons of the prophets followed Elijah “afar off.” People who distance themselves from God’s man find themselves missing the heart of the man of God, and they also miss seeing the miracles of God up close. One of the biggest reasons I have found that people follow the man of God from afar is because they don’t want him to find out what they are doing. You will often misjudge the motives and the heart of the man of God when you follow him at a distance.
Fourth, never treat the man of God irreverently. In 2 Kings 2:23-25, some boys thought it was funny to call Elisha a bald man, but God showed that He would not tolerate irreverence towards His servant. Always treat the man of God with respect. Never call him by his first name, but always address him according to his position. Never talk bad about the man of God, because you place yourself against God when you choose to speak irreverently about His servant.
The proper way to treat God’s man is to have a reverential fear of him and follow him closely as he follows God. You should have a fear of God’s man, and you should treat him with dignity and respect; he is God’s man. Elisha and Joshua followed imperfect men of God closely without criticism, and God blessed them for it by using them mightily. Stay close to your man of God and learn as much as you can from him so that God can use you in your area of ministry mightily.