Wednesday, March 31, 2010
What does it all mean when prayers go unanswered? When hurts linger and God seems to be doing nothing in response to our faith? Often God is loving us more supremely at that time than ever before. The Word says, "Whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth." A chastening of love takes precedence over every act of faith, over every prayer, over every promise. What I see as hurting me could be his loving me. It could be his gentle hand spanking me out of my stubbornness and pride.
We have faith in our faith. We place more emphasis on the power of our prayers than we do on getting his power into us. We want to figure out God so we can read him like a book. We don't want to be surprised or bewildered and when things happen contrary to our concept of God, we say, "That can't be God; that's not the way he works."
We are so busy working on God, we forget he is trying to work on us. That is what this life is all about: God at work on us, trying to remake us into vessels of glory. We are so busy praying to change things, we have little time to allow prayer to change us. God has not put prayer and faith in our hands as if they were two secret tools by which a select group of "experts" learn to pry something out of him. God said he is more willing to give than we are to receive. Why are we using prayer and faith as "keys" or tools to unlock something that has never been locked up?
Prayer is not for God's benefit, but for ours. Faith is not for his benefit, but for ours. God is not some eternal, divine tease. He has not surrounded himself in riddles for men to unravel, as if to say, "The wise will get the prize."
We are so mixed up on this matter of prayer and faith; we have had the audacity to think of God as our personal "genie" who fulfills every wish. We think of faith as a way to corner God on his promises. We think God is pleased by our efforts to back him against the wall and shout, "Lord, you can't go back on your promise. I want what is coming to me. You are bound by your Word. You must do it or your Word is not true."
This is why we miss the true meaning of prayer and faith. We see God only as the giver and we are the receiver. But prayer and faith are the avenues by which we become the givers to God. They are to be used, not as ways to get things from God, but as a way to give him those things by which we can please him.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Embracing the Lean Times
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman
"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him." - Jeremiah 17:7
Have you ever considered at what point a test becomes so difficult that you decide you can no longer trust in God and you must take over to solve the problem? The prophet Jeremiah describes a situation in which the temptation to solve a financial problem can become so great that we trust in man's way to solve it.
This is what the Lord says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit" (Jeremiah 17:5-8).
Jeremiah drew a sharp comparison between the man who trusts in his own effort to solve his problem and the man who trusts in God when he cannot see the outcome. The man who trusts in God bears fruit despite the circumstances in his life. He does not shrivel when the heat comes; in fact, his roots go deeper into God's grace. He continues to bear fruit in spite of his circumstances.
Recently, a friend from South Africa explained to me that whenever a plant lives in an arid climate, the roots drive deeper and deeper into the soil to get the water they need. This forces the plant to develop a root system that is far beyond the normal plant because it is forced to go deeper to gain the water it needs. Sometimes God forces us to go deeper into the grace of His love in order to build a greater foundation in our own lives. These lean times are designed to accomplish this in us. If you find yourself in this condition, ask the Lord who provides the water for our soul for the grace you need today to continue to bear fruit in the desert.
The Spirit of God was heavy on our 11-year-old daughter, Destiny, when she came to us and said,"Mom and Dad, God just spoke to me and told me to come and tell you something." She really caught our attention because giving us words from the Lord is not something she normally does. She was trembling slightly, and we all felt the presence of God as she shared a vision she had had of a great harvest and told us what God had instructed her to say:
"Prepare your fields for rain, for I am coming!"
This was a very meaningful word to us not only because it was delivered through our precious daughter (fulfillment of Joel 2:28) but also because it reminded us of a prophecy we received two years ago that we titled "A Great Visitation."
We believe God wants us to share "A Great Visitation" once again. Our hearts are stirred today as never before with a sense of urgency for the church to prepare, to make itself ready for this Great Visitation and the coming of His glory (see Is. 40:5).
God instructed us at the beginning of the year to wake up His church, to shake up His people. It is time for the church to awaken from complacency and slumber! It is time to prepare, just as this word says.
Remember, this Great Visitation—His glory—is not coming to entertain us or to make us feel good, but to transform us. It will be a time of great change in the church—a time to set His house in order; a time of great cleansing, purifying, unifying and making ready the bride of Christ to rise up and be glorious in the earth. It will be a season of being prepared for His great end-time work—to bring in the harvest of souls—as well as for His return.
Below is the prophecy "A Great Visitation" God gave us during a time of deep intercession for the church. We pray it brings encouragement and also a sense of urgency about what is coming as this new decade unfolds.
Prophecy: A Great Visitation
"There is coming a Great Visitation to the earth.
A Great Visitation by My Spirit.
A visitation such as the earth has not seen or heard.
I will move in unprecedented ways!
I will visit My house
I will visit the White House
I will visit your house, oh man of God!
"So prepare, oh man of God, prepare! Prepare everywhere, prepare.
For I will come with great power, and I will cleanse and I will purify this hour.
"I will separate the precious from the vile,
I will remove all things from My house that defile!
I will, I will, I will says the Spirit of God,
I will fulfill all My will in the earth, and in My church, all My plans shall succeed.
I will have a glorious church, and she will rise up and do great wonders in the earth!
"Man has made his plans, but it is My purposes and plans that shall prevail for I cannot fail!
"Tell Me, who can stop or stay My hand when I decide to move throughout this land?
There is no power, no force, no government, no man that can stand against My Spirit or My plans!
"So I am calling you, oh man of God!
Rise up, rise up and take your place. Rise up and seek My face.
It is a day of visitation so prepare, rise up and come to the Holy Place!
It's time to cast aside every weight and sin that would hold you back and pen you in.
Remove every impure and unclean thing before your eyes;
The enemy has sent them for your destruction and demise.
"Arise, oh man of God, it is your day of visitation.
I am calling you to be holy as I, the Lord your God, am holy.
You must turn from and hate your sin,
Only then can I begin to commune with you again!
"Rise up out of your confusion and disgrace!
Rise up, oh man of God, and seek My face!
Rise up out of your slumber!
For the enemy of your souls, he knows, he knows, he knows his days are numbered.
"He has planted snares everywhere. With a violence and a vengeance he has unleashed
Strong spirits of seduction, delusion, and deception upon My church and My people—
Spirits to draw you away and to devour you as his prey.
"It is the day of visitation, so rise up, oh man of God, and draw your sword.
Wake up, it's time for war! It's time to fight for your life!
We are nearing the final round and now starts the countdown.
You must get up off the floor, you must get up and draw your sword!
"I am here, and there is a great cloud of witnesses cheering you on.
Don't give in, don't give up, we are so close to the end—so rise up, rise up, rise up!"
We encourage you personally and all the body of Christ to be ready and waiting, anticipating the great thing God is about to do! We close with a reminder of the word our daughter shared:
"Prepare your fields for rain, for I am coming!" Amen.
"The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken" (Is. 40:5 ).
About the author: Cindy deVille is the co-founder, with her husband, Darrel, of Shekinah Today Ministries (shekinahtoday.org). She is a prophetic minister and intercessor who "has a strong desire to see the church return to her first love." The deVilles publish an e-newsletter titled Today's Prophetic Perspective, in which they share with the body of Christ what they believe God is showing and saying to them. They are currently launching the "Pray, America! Pray!" campaign, which is a national call to repentance and a compassionate cry for our nation to turn back to God so that we can help usher in a great visitation. To learn more about it, visit their Web site.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
In an earlier Post I described the situation as it would appear when the wealth of the Wicked laid up for the Righteous would be transferred. I have heard about this for years. Now it's become clear how this will happen. It's good that we consider how this will take place. Many good Christians have come to the conclusion that somehow the wicked will just wake up one day and send us all a check. I mean they can afford it, they could just mail it in. Right?
I have bad news. It's not going to happen that way. It's going to be given to those who God can trust. He WILL withhold it from those who are not prepared to multiply it for good in the kingdom. Too many churches have gone into bankruptcy by trying to fleece the sheep to accomplish their goals...not God's goals. This wealth transfer doctrine has done damage because it's not understood.
So how will it happen? Let's first look at how it will NOT happen.
- Playing the Lottery. A lot of wicked people play the lottery, right. So it stands to reason that playing the lottery would be a way God might use to transfer wealth. Maybe. I don't see that in practice. It doesn't happen that way. I don't see any record of it. In fact most people who play the lottery and win end up backslidden or shipwrecked. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, but it doesn't appear as if it's the way it does or will.
- Taxing the rich so the government can send all those rich people's money to YOU. THIS is a delusion that many good Christians believe. What they don't understand is that government delivers so very little of the funds it collects to the people they purport to serve. In fact, Government never really net helps anyone. It's all smoke and mirrors. The government, Obama, can't help you and he isn't going to send you any money. If you believe that government is part of the wealth transfer, you are worshiping a false god.
- Multi-Level marketing. There is a place for a good business practice for believers, Multilevel marketing isn't among them. In my 6+ decades of existence on the earth I have never yet met anyone who really made a sustainable income or fortune in MLM. It's an illusion. I'm talking about someone who I knew who got into it and then became self supporting or wealthy. It has only served to impoverish people I have known, making them prisoners of Hope ending up leading to hopelessness and laying waste their powers of ability by illusion.
- Hoping someone will die and leave you a huge inheritance. It does happen, sometimes, but not often and unless you know of someone who is going to do this for you, it's not likely going to happen to or for you. Government taxes are more and more onerous to take the money away from heirs. It's become an illusion that somehow this will happen. I have seen many well meaning Christians live in hope that there would be money there someday. Hope deferred. And the heart becomes sick.
- Making money from suing someone. Lawsuits are won by lawyers and lost by the plaintiff and defendant. No one else.
- Shady or even illegal business deals. It's tempting to think that just one more "Deal" will set you for life, besides that's a wealth transfer from the wicked, isn't it? There is reward and punishment. Sowing and reaping. You will be discovered and it will all be taken from you. Shrewd crooked dealings become their own negative reward.
- Some big pay government job. Sure, people get them, but they last until the guy you work for is voted out, then you are too. The big Pensions that you hear about are about to become vapor as the economy contracts. False gods.
- Putting it all on RED. The legendary story of the man who walked into a Vegas Casino and placed all his life's possessions converted to money on RED at the roulette table. It came up red and he doubled his money. Cashed it in and walked out. DID HE receive the wealth of the wicked? For a bit...the rest of the story is that if he played again and again he lost it all anyway. There are Vegas gamblers that do well, but they are playing games of skill not gambling. The poker you see on TV is a high skill game. Not luck. Certainly not wealth transfer by fiat.
- God supernaturally just making money appear in your checking account, on your doorstep, as jewels manifested that you sell for great money. Long ago there were alchemists who promised they could turn lead into Gold. They are still among us, in the church. To be fair, I have SEEN gold teeth manifest in a person's mouth in a meeting in DeKalb IL a few years ago. It shook me up. It can happen, but to wait around passively for God to phone it in to you is deception. IF he chose to do so, it's up to Him. He will bless who He chooses to bless. If you are already operating in his blessing you will experience this. BUT: This is NOT the wealth transfer. This is something else.
Easy money, someones else's effort, other people's money schemes are useless fantasies. The idea that the wealth of the WICKED will transfer because of passive effect is demonic delusion sent to render you inert. I know many who believe that if they just pray and do nothing that somehow God will honor them and they will be recipients of the transfer. I wish it were true. If we look at the Parable of the Talents we do NOT see that happening. In fact, the one with FIVE seems to have hustled pretty good. So what kinds of wealth transfers can we look forward to? How can we cash in on the great wealth transfers coming?
The resetting economy and it's wreckage will produce new opportunities. It will take wisdom to see it. There is were we must pray. We must have wisdom to know that which is set aside, as wealth of the wicked, for US. We must have Godly Counsel. We must know the heart of the matter. If it's hard it may be God. He expects diligence from us to reap gain, not easy money. His goal for us is to ultimately be providers of Jobs, not job seekers. Let's be creators of wealth, not consumers of it.
IF God's purpose is to place you at a Job, then his purpose is to have you work hard at the job, to be the most diligent in the company such that when promotion and elevation comes you are the obvious choice. That is what happened with Daniel. It should happen with us. Spirit Filled Christians at any workplace should be the most wise, hard working, diligent, showing up on time, working overtime, dedicated, innovative, able, peace filled people on the job. Not all are. But that is God's will.
There is no question that over the centuries God has poured the wealth of the Wicked into his Chosen People's hands. The Jews. How did that happen? If you want a great doctor, does a Jewish name give you comfort? How about an effective Lawyer? If he has a Jewish name doesn't that make you feel better (if he's on your side)? And look at the Land of Israel. It was a mess 60 years ago. Rocks and Scrub brush. Now look at it. Blooms in the Desert.
How did the Jews of the world inherit the wealth of the wicked? Thru diligence, education, dedication and the belief that God was in their work and purposes (on their side). Now we as the grafted in should be part of this. To do so however means we much apply the same formula they did. Work. Diligence. Creativity.
It's time to stop the foolishness in the Body of Christ by empty wishing and hoping. To stop playing a games of divination regarding finance. We must become competent. Skilled. Able.
There are Wicked Financial Giants (Goliaths) in the world that need slaying. David slew his Goliath because he had developed excellent skills. He had killed a Lion and a Bear. He came up against the Giant with confidence in his ability and in his God who anointed that ability.
Many Christians see big money, great giants in the land and believe they should have some of that. BUT they have not developed the ability to slay even the little lions or bears in their lives yet. They blame all kinds of things that hold them back. Age, Health, Education, Race, Geography, Politics, bad marriage, poor job market and a hundred other things. The problem is the Church isn't much help. It doesn't support the idea that you must lean to kill the bears and lions in your life before you get into the "giant slaying" business. I know many good Christians who pray hard but don't work hard at anything. How can God prosper you or give you ability if you don't ever do anything? Even if the only job was washing dishes, bus boys come from dishwashers, waiters come from bus boys, shift supervisors come from waiters, managers come from shift supervisors, owners rise out of managers and titans of a huge chain of restaurants emerge from owners with vision and developed skill. Yet many are waiting to get that Owners place without slaying any bears or lions.
There is a philosophy among some in the church that they can bribe God. Give a hundred dollars and a thousand will show up in a week or two. I heard a Television Preacher say almost exactly that. That's pure and simple divination, Ouija board stuff. God HONORS giving. I believe and preach that. We just don't know how he does it. Many times by preservation, many times by miracles. God honors faithfulness in giving. Not bribery.
Most preachers who abuse their congregations to get money are poor, most are destitute in spite of their spiritual teaching bravado. Broke. They see their ministry as their source. Another false god.
I have known a few great Men of God who worked in the ministry their whole life and NEVER took a dime from the ministry. Never. Built great churches of Thousands. Could have taken a big salary. But since they were proficient in other ways such that they never needed it nor wanted to be chained to a big tither walking out the door. One pastor that I knew planted a little church in Naperville that blossomed into a Church of 2000 and he lived in the same house he did the day he started the church and drove a used Buick till the day he died. The pastor that followed him now earns $200,000 per year. The church is not better. Just different.
By the Spirit, I admonish you; Become what God designed you to be. Be the best you can possibly be. When you know by the Spirit what to do, start that business, buy that asset, work hard, kill your lions and bears, listen to the Spirit of God for his hidden treasures and witty inventions. He will provide. You will not go short. You will be graced in ways you never imagined. And as you do, you will prosper in ways greater than you can ask or think. Hear the Voice of the Prophet and prosper. You are already established, stable, on site, but you are not prospering. Hear from God. He will use the prophets to speak life to your destiny.
That is the true wealth of the wicked laid up for YOU.
Friday, March 26, 2010
"I came to set you free from fear. My people have been tormented by fear in all its forms. This is coming to an end. When I am done, all of my children will be entirely free from fear. Fear keeps My children from walking in the miraculous, fear keeps my children from walking in love. Fear keeps My Children from trusting in My Word. The person who is entirely free from fear will walk as Jesus walked and will talk as Jesus talked. I will display My Faithfulness as well as My Glory in this generation, in the days before I return. There is no fear in Heaven, and there will be NO FEAR in My People. You will see this, and rejoice."
Thursday, March 25, 2010
"The wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous". Proverbs 13:22B
Man, that'll preach. Except there is a flaw in our thinking. The question of who is wicked and who is righteous is misunderstood.
I saw this while pondering this verse in a situation the other day. It hit me. We assume that all saved Christians are "IN" on this great upcoming great wealth transfer. I sure would like to be. But, that's not how it is, if I understand at all the meaning of a parable that Jesus taught.
Here it is, you can look it up: Matthew 25:14-30
The kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.That's a wealth transfer. That's the measure. The diligent, fruitful, good and faithful will inherit the wealth of the wicked. Some of that inheritance will come from people who are in the kingdom but not able to use the resources commended to them by the master.
15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
19After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
20And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
So, it will be taken from them and given to those who can.
The great wealth transfer that is coming is NOT what you think.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Now I am contacted. Quietly. Privately. Don't quit telling the truth. Keep up the pressure. This man has quit the ministry association with him. He is no longer attached. Working for another large global ministry.
I believe that sometimes, even straws in the wind carry to the needed places. I hope he finds wisdom soon. I hope before he destroys too many he will back off for a while. He claims to be a heritor of Kathryn Kuhlman's mantle. There are parts of her Mantle that would have been best left on the ground.
I want the power of God to move in our midst. I don't want the power of God mixed with flesh that we seem to suffer from.
It is a hard day, but the bar is raised. God showed me that years ago. The bar is much higher. What Kathryn Kuhlman was able to do and still carry the anointing will no longer be tolerated in this new day.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I told him of my frustration with people, many of whom are prophetic, who are impulsive and quick to speak. I said that I don't understand how you can just line people up and prophecy over them without seeking God, inquiring of the Lord. O sure you can give them a "God Loves you a lot....NEXT" ---word. It would be good, but to really hear from God takes time in the Spirit.
Sometimes a lot of time.
When I am ministering in the prophetic I am careful and unless I have a word, I won't give it.
Instant BLINK prophecies are not of God. Can be, but seldom are.
Sure, sometimes in the rambling of many words a few can hit the mark, but most of the time it's just rambling.
Today David Wilkerson published a word on this which is powerful and needs to be reviewed. He calls out the BLINK mentality in the Church and particularly in Pentecost.
SURE, sometimes I get a download and it only takes a second. God's ISP is very very fast. Yet, I know that unless I have prayed and settled it in my Spirit it's just sound.
And it must be seasoned with love.
I hope you will read all of what David Wilkerson says:
THE BLINK GENERATION
Many Christians read the Bible regularly, believing it is God’s living, revealed Word for their lives. Over and over in the pages of Scripture, they read about generations who heard the voice of God. They read of God speaking to his people again and again, with this phrase repeated time after time: “And God said…” Yet many of these same Christians live as though God doesn’t speak to his people today.
An entire generation of believers has come to make decisions completely on their own, without praying or consulting God’s Word. Many simply decide what they want to do, and then ask God to validate it. They move ahead forcefully, their only prayer being, “Lord, if this is not your will, then stop me”
We are now living in a time referred to as the “blink generation.” People are making major decisions in the blink of an eye. A best-selling book has been written on this concept, titled Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. The theory is, “Trust your instincts. Blink-of-the-eye decisions prove to be the best.”
Think about all the hurried-up “blink language” we hear every day: “This is an offer of the century. You can make a bundle overnight. But you have only a short window of opportunity. Get on it now!” The driving spirit behind it all is, “Blink, blink, blink!”
Such thinking has begun to infect the church, affecting the decisions made not just by “blink Christians” but by “blink ministers.” Scores of bewildered parishioners have written to us telling the same story: “Our pastor came back from a church-growth conference and immediately announced, ‘As of today, everything changes.’ He decided we would become one of the popular trend churches overnight! He didn’t even ask us to pray about it...we’re all confused.”
Just a few years ago, the watchword among Christians was, “Did you pray about this matter? Have you sought the Lord concerning it? Are your brothers and sisters surrounding you in prayer? Have you received godly counsel?” I ask you, has this been your practice? In the past year, how many important decisions have you made where you honestly took the matter to God and prayed sincerely? Or, how many of those decisions did you make “in the blink of an eye”? The reason God wants full control of our lives is to save us from disasters—which is exactly where most of our “blink decisions” end up.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.
He dealt with the distraction directly. Many who are tormented of this spirit do not. They react. They manifest in the spirit of distraction.
Some of the manifestations of the Spirit of Detraction (Proverbs 6:19), according to Angela Greenig:
Hurtful, Fickle, Disagreeable, Discord, Opposition, Strife, Clashing, Disharmony, Division, Defamation, Slander, Blame, Censure, Sarcasm...
"This spirit never allows lives to continue in peace, but likes to disturb it. This one breaks down family relationships and will attempt to destroy all things that are good...every day I pray and bind up all lies, the Perverse spirit, and Detraction. The Lying spirit is bound so that truth will prevail in all situations. The Perverse (spirit) is bound so there will be no twisting of words or actions, or offenses to come in. The binding of Detracting is so that these three spirits don't railroad myself or my family, friends, or ministry."
If you are under stress and are in ministry, you must take authority over this. Stress will immobilize you or worse cause you to react to the stress by manifesting in the spirit of distraction according to the list above.
The counteraction to the spirit of Distraction is intentional calm and dealing with the tormentor directly.
Benny Hinn is being tormented by the spirit of distraction. He is hindered. I hope he gets well soon. We need his ilk among us. But not like he is right now.
Friday, March 19, 2010
What it really means is consider, measure, weigh what has been said, done or is happening. That is what I am going to do for a bit. I need to hear from God. I will. HE is always faithful even when I am NOT.
So, for now and for a time...SELAH
A good study on the Selah of the WORD.
What Does Selah Mean
-by Tony Warren
What does the word Selah mean? There has been much conjecture and speculation by some theologians, and due in no small part to this speculation, Christians are frequently confused as to the true meaning of this word. But having been told everything from "the original Hebrew has been lost," to, "Jewish scholars agree it means forever," it is very easy to understand their confusion. In addition, many are assured that because this word appears only in the psalms and a poetic section of Habakkuk (which is not true), they are justified in "assuming" that it is just a musical term indicating an interlude. I have even read that Selah is from an Aramaic word, and it really means worship. Still others claim it means to "lift up." All of which serves not to enlighten the Church, but to confuse the issue even more.
With all of these "experts" making such contradictory statements, one tends to wonder, "can we even really know what Selah means?" The answer to this question I believe is yes. And the answer really shouldn't be subjective or left to conjecture. Because there is much we can learn about this word from the original Hebrew in which it is written, from allowing the Bible to be its own dictionary, and from comparing scripture with scripture and allowing God to be His own interpreter. All of these things can give us a solid illustration of this word's true meaning.
Selah, [celah], is from the primary Hebrew root word [calah] which literally means 'to hang,' and by implication to measure (weigh). This is readily understood because in Biblical history, money, food and other valuables were 'weighed' by hanging or suspending them on a type of balance (the equivalent of our measuring scale) to determine their value. We find an example of this word [calah] as it is literally translated 'valued,' in the book of Job, indicating that which is measured.
* "It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
* It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire."
The word translated valued is the exact same Hebrew word [calah], and it quite obviously means "measured against." In this context, God is telling us that wisdom "cannot be measured against the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire." Here the translation 'valued' is to illustrate the measuring of something for an exchange. i.e. wisdom cannot be measured with the gold of Ophir. It is beyond that value. In verse nineteen we see this very same illustration again.
* "The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold."
Again, this word translated valued is the Hebrew word [calah] meaning measured. This passage is declaring of wisdom, "The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither can it be measured against pure gold." In other words, it is beyond comparison or measuring against. And by these type examples of comparing scripture with scripture, noting a word's context, and how it relates to other words, we can very easily begin to see the true meaning of words. And in this context, this means "measured" against something else, illustrating that the value of wisdom cannot be measured, not even with pure gold.
What does Selah Mean
So seeing that this Hebrew word [calah] means to 'measure,' as in weighing something in the balances, we better understand how the word Selah [celah], which is derived from it, is illustrating that we should measure or value what has been said. In other words, just as we might say today, "The diplomat should, weigh what he says carefully." Or if we were to say that, "The lawyer measured his words to the Jury." Or again, "We should consider the Professor's words circumspectly." All those sentences are speaking of the very same thing. And the word [celah] is used in this very same way. It is an illustration that we should 'measure' or value carefully what has just been said. As in the Psalms, which are often types, very prophetic or Messianic in nature. And you may not realize this (because it's so seldom brought to light), but it is not only in the Psalms and Habakkuk, it is also a word which is used in the lamentations of Jerusalem. And of course, it is 'hardly' illustrating a musical stop or poetic notation there.
* "The Lord hath trodden under foot all my mighty men in the midst of me: he hath called an assembly against me to crush my young men: the Lord hath trodden the virgin, the daughter of Judah, as in a winepress."
The four words translated 'hath trodden under foot' in the KJV is actually the very same Hebrew word Selah [celah]. Here in the lamentations or mourning of Jerusalem, God is illustrating that the Lord has "measured" or weighed all the mighty men in the midst of her. In other words, it is an illustration that they were weighed in the balances, and found wanting (Daniel 5:27), thus their judgement is required. So again we see the word is illustrating the act of measuring. And just so that there is no confusion, note carefully that the second part of that verse where it says the Lord hath "trodden [darak] the virgin," is an entirely different word, and indeed means to tred. No doubt in this context, this is why the translators thought the word [celah] should also be translated trodden.
What does Selah Mean
As we know, this word is extensively used in the Psalms. And the reason is because the psalms are a prayer book, divinely-inspired songs of the people of Israel, often Messianic, allegorical, and historically parabolic. That is to say, history, replete with spiritual meanings. The Selah is there to signal the believer to 'measure' carefully the meaning of what has been said. i.e., here is some deeper wisdom, reflect on it and understand its true meaning. Just as the Hebrew word Amen [amen] is an exclamation of confidence or truth and certainty of what has been said, so Selah [celah], is an exclamation that we should measure and reflect upon what has been said.
* "Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah."
* "Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah."
* "They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah."
* "Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah."
* "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
* Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah."
Whether of urging our meditation upon our sinfulness, declaring God is our refuge, or speaking in 'types' about Christ, this word is an exhortation for us to be wise and measure or weigh what has been said that we understand its true meaning. It is used in the Psalms seventy-three times, and is also used in Habakkuk three times. Each time it is illustrating that we should measure wisely or 'weigh' solemnly what is said.
* "Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah."
This is not a passage to pass over lightly as just a simple narrative. The passage is dripping with Soteriology and judgment (Psalms 110:6) to be gleaned only in wisdom and spiritual understanding. Whenever we see this word in scripture, we should understand that the Lord is exhorting us to 'weigh' these things thoughtfully, and to reflect and consider in good sense judgment, what is 'really' being said.
What does Selah Mean?
And despite claims to the contrary, there is no substantive Biblical evidence that Selah is an interrupter to pause the music while voices continue, nor is there sound evidence that it is for the pausing of voices while the music continues. These ideas are based upon the conjecture and theories of it being a music stop. It is a presupposition rather an well researched conclusion. But what we do know is that it is a word which means to weigh or measure. And in these contexts, to weigh the preceding words of God and wisely consider them. It is a signature exhortation from God for our thoughtful reflection and weighing of what we have just read.
..may the Lord who is gracious above all, give us wisdom and understanding, and guide us all into the truth of His Holy Word.
What does Selah Mean
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Now a video is making the rounds where Benny Hinn is railing against Joel Osteen's comment on Larry King. To be fair, he rails against Oprah too. I get that. His argument is so livid and it seems to be over the top. If you want to hear him go on about all this you can watch the video:
There is something about all this that sounds strange to my ears. If Jesus were standing in the place of Benny Hinn would he rail publicly against Joel Osteen like this? Or would he follow his own admonitions of Matthew 18:
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.If you are wondering if Benny Hinn privately went to Osteen about this first, don't wait for the answer. It is NO without any doubt. The day this video was posted was the same day Benny Hinn received legal notice of his wife filing for divorce. Feb 18, 2010.
His public outrage is driven by his private pain. His offended heart. She had been out of the house for a while. According to the news release, since the end of January.
This is why when this was all announced I posted that when this happens in a ministry, he or she must step aside to heal and resolve whatever the issues are. Time needs to be invoked for healing. I suggested that Benny Hinn should stop all campaigns now. He will become a negative 1 Corinthians 13 example.
Pain causes horrible reactions in people. Benny Hinn is people. He must stop until he heals.
The Hubris the devil uses is "Your ministry is too important for you to step back. People are dependent on you. There is too much to lose. You won't lose anyone of your followers. God is counting on you."
That is the voice of satan.
Benny Hinn must stop now. I wish I could get this message to him. It's essential before he wounds the whole body of Christ in The USA.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
We must be aware of the resultant physical manifestation in this action. God wants us divorced from dependence on the Baal system. He wants the Altars to Baal taken out of the Church. He wants the control that Baal has over His people to be broken. Of that I am certain.
Even though Father wants us free from the Baal system to live in the economy of God, most Christians do not comprehend what it will mean or How that will manifest. What will result? In fact I will go so far as to say that if they DID they would have second thoughts about signing the divorce papers.
When you divorce Baal, you set out to marry God...forsaking all others, cleaving only onto HIM.
That means you will be extracted from the world system supernaturally. It will be wrenching. Credit goes away. Debt chases you like Jezebel chased Elijah. She is trying to kill you. She wants to keep you under her control.
Suddenly, you are cut off. Finding that the old systems no longer work like they did. They dry up. Like the brook does. The ravens stop coming. That in between time is over. You have chosen to take one foot out of the realm of Baal and place it firmly in the Kingdom of Heaven.
When all that comes down you will need a word on what to do next. If you go back to Baal she will welcome you with open arms and then stab you in the back.
Her desire is to see you dead, in bondage, inert.
You can't go back. You can go to Zarephath. The most unlikely provision, upside down, a starving widow with a child will be the vehicle for your future. God will show himself mighty and you will live in provision direct from the Throne. No Baal. Supernatural.
That's God's plan for you. That's his desire. I speak by the Spirit of God to say, few will be able to walk in this. When the ravens stop coming, when the pressure is too great they will put one foot back into the Baal system. Cheating on their new Husband with the Ex as it were. Freedom from Baal is only for those with enough spiritual maturity to handle it.
Divorce in this case must be true divorce: it is painful, it is wrenching, it may even destroy you if you are not ready.
Be ready to flee to the brook for a time and then get ready to learn to live in supernatural multiplication when the brook dries up and the ravens stop coming.
It's the Father's will for those who are ready to bear it.
I got this poem written for the day from a good friend, Apostle Nancy Minor. I love when poets write. I love good Haiku. Iambic Pentameter is always great:
Today is your birthday. So I offer thanksgiving to God for your life, and this prayer of Blessings over you.
Prophet Of God and friend to me
May God Bless You to continue to "see"
May His Word rise up firm and strong
May you always know where you belong
May Grace flow and wisdom too
Helping you in all you do
May your life be long and troubles few
May God's Favor shine down on you
May new vista's open and horizons come into view
Shifts in the Heavenlies making room for you
Gifts like watercourses now flowing
Speak the Truth in love-no man owing
May you sense Heavenly descent
Hearing and speaking it's messages sent
May you have strength for the Spiritual climb
You've counted the cost as worth the time
May you taste of the Honey kept for you
Found in the carcass of the lion you slew
Prophetic Blessings I declare for you this day
Spiritual openings that blow you away!
Sometimes, however, a secular song can have a catch phrase in it that Father uses to speak a truth to me...and maybe you.
That happened to me in the past few days. I was driving with Peggy and a song came on the radio. An obscure song. But, the refrain grabbed me right away. It spoke to me. It said, "Hear what I'm Saying!"
At first I thought it was just me. THEN, I realized that there was a truth I failed to grasp. One Father was trying to convey.
The refrain says. "You can't put your arms around a memory, don't try".
As time goes on I have more memories. I can repose in the past easily. Many good things back there. People. Experiences. It's an easy place to go. Too easy.
Going there too much can cause me to forget to live in today. Forget to press on. Forget that the people around me right now need a word of encouragement. They need arms around them. I might be the only set of arms they have. Maybe I hugged them once. But, "You can't put your arms around a Memory".
I was with aged relatives. I hugged. I remember hugging them as we left. I remember hugging my uncle Alvin the last time.
You can't put your arms around a memory.
IF I see someone today who I care about, they are getting a hug, memory isn't as good.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sometimes God will do something to confirm his word that may have moved his hand.
Never is it more true than in Healing and being Healed. We speak to ourselves and to the Spirit Man in us. Our spirit man is bigger than we are. The Angels hear us when we speak in accord with the Word of God. The Holy Spirit releases creative power when we speak out in faith and by the anointing.
I have learned recently a secret in healing that I never knew.
First, prepare your heart if you want to receive healing. Faith may not heal you although it can, but doubt and unbelief can stop your healing. Sometimes God will override a person's negative words as a sign and a wonder. BUT, when we are a believer, the bar is raised. He expects us to speak faith. It opens the door to healing.
Second, do the scriptural things. Confess your sin. You can confess it to a brother or sister, but for certain confess them to the Father. He knows them anyway. But you need to be clear. Accusation can keep you from receiving.
Third, anointing with oil is a type of the Touch of God. The injunction to do so was not without purpose. Father want us to be connected. It's a point of contact.
Fourth, after those things, make these confessions, I believe you can Heal me Jesus, I want to be healed, I know you can heal me, I thank you for your healing power over my life. Confess those things, not begging, submission to the healing power of God. Don't pray and BEG God to heal you, He has already provided full propitiation for your sin and your healing. You are speaking into the the atmosphere.
Fifth, begin to confess the healing word of God. Find all the verses from the word, Psalm 103, Isaiah 53, etc. Speak them in faith over your own life. When you have spoken many of them, then, THANK GOD FOR THE HEALING YOU ARE RECEIVING. Keep thanking him. In faith. Constantly.
Now, with all that, here is the place where someone in Spiritual Authority speaks healing over your life. This can be a father, a mother, a pastor, really anyone you call on. Someone who can lend his or her faith to yours and speak healing.
For example, if you have a bad heart, they say something like - "Heart, I speak to you in the name of JESUS, be make whole, well, complete. Heart be healed". That kind of confession over you.
With that much word and power spoken, disease must go, sickness must flee.
Authority starts with us. I find myself laying hands on me more than most. And today I had a checkup at the doctor. I had a growth on my Body that has been a concern. She looked for it and said, "It's Gone" Surprised. Then she said, "You believe in the Power of God to heal don't you?" She is a Christian. YES, I said.
I had spoken to that lump many times.
It succumbed to the power of the spoken word of faith.
Don't give up. Speak to those mountains. THEY MUST MOVE!!
A word from the Throne.
Direct to you.
Spoken in Due Time.
Will change your life forever.
AND that's why I'm willing to take the call of the Prophet.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
1 Corinthians 12The same faith it takes to speak in Tongues is the same faith you need to prophesy, speak a word of wisdom or word of knowledge. Any of the gifts. You can’t fully enter into All the gifts without the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
8For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
9to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
11But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
Spirit Warfare…sometimes when there is a difficult situation that you are facing alone or even as a group, praying in a strong tongue will release the angelic warriors as the Spirit of God speaks a heavenly language thru you in warfare. This is when we are stirred to interceed for someone a long way off.... we do it in warfare. You may be wakened in the middle of the night, a person come to mind, and you pray in the Holy Ghost for that person.
Spirit Worship…. the Holy Spirit will release a new level of worship. Much of it will be manifested as revelation as you become more free… but the gift of Tongues will allow you to worship in Spirit and Truth in ways you couldn’t have before. Singing in the Spirit isn’t possible without the Gift of tongues. When it happens and you hear it you are hearing what heaven will sound like. I have had a vision of heaven and in it heard the voice of angels singing... it sounded much like when a congregation sings softly in the Spirit.
Prophetic Release …. the gift of tongues will sometimes manifest in a public meeting by a message in tongues spoken out loud to the assembled. IF it does, then it’s protocol for someone to interpret the utterance. Time must be given for the interpretation to come forth. It will. It always does unless someone steps in and quenches the Spirit of God by intereupting the flow. Not a good plan. The gift of interpretation is one of the gifts of the Spirit as is the gift of the tongues itself. If a Spirit inspired message comes forth in Tounges, that MEANS an interpreter is present. God does things in perfect order. Every Holy Ghost Baptized believer can and should develop this gift of interpretation. If it ever happens and you sense a message after a public tongue, go ahead. You will be in order. The prophetic is an essential gift, but as we move ahead in God we must understand that sometimes God will use a tongue and interpretation as an equivalent for the prophetic in a public meeting.
More instruction to follow
For me and many others Holy Ghost Baptism manifests a bigger change than when we were saved. Being saved moved me from Death to Life. The Baptism in the Holy Ghost made salvation and sanctification tangible.
The Baptism of the Holy Ghost brings hope. It’s a new dimension of life in God as new hope is manifested. That hope will change the level of Persistence for MORE of God. During the last move of God the words, More Lord were a manifestation of this persistent hunger.
There are many manifestations from the Baptism in the Holy Ghost that we must be aware of and partake in. They are a the Promise of the Father…. Jesus is the Baptizer but the Father is the one who Promised HIM to come.
There are a few most people will accept readily:
Faith…. As we pray in Tongues, as we pray in the Holy Ghost our faith will increase. When I am going into a tough circumstance in ministry, particularly regarding spiritual opposition, I will pray in Tongues.
Prayer….Praying in my prayer language the language of God and Heaven releases me to become more a man of prayer than I was before I was Baptized in the Spirit. I can pray as the Spirit leads. My mind is unprofitable. But my spirit prays. I am a conduit for Him. I don't have to come up with what to Pray about, I can just pray. The devil can't understand what I pray. I am able to pray in Spirit given Utterance. It confuses the enemy. Drives him away. He hates it when people pray in tongues. Whatever the Devil hates, I'm in favor of.
Fellowship… When I pray in tongues I am aware of the presence of God in my life by the presence of the Holy Spirit. I no longer feel alone. He is right there with me. In me. Beside me. Guiding me. Leading me. So close I can touch him..not physically. In the Spirit. I'm surrounded. I'm covered. I'm continually Baptized. How wonderful it all is.
Unity….When I pray with other Spirit Filled believers in the Spirit there is a unity that comes that may not happen if we prayed in English. I have had prayers that I have been part of where I didn’t agree with what was being prayed. Not wanting to be disruptive I stayed silent. But when many of us pray together in tongues there is a bond of unity as the Spirit prays thru us. I have had people say that the Gift of Tongues was the undoing of the curse from the Tower of Babel. It may be true. I have prayed with people from around the globe in four continents, couldn't speak a word with them, but as we prayed in the Spirit the language barrier fell. Unity ensued. I am convinced that any call for unity without the Baptism of the Holy Ghost is a counterfeit. We pray with out Spirit. Not with understanding.
I will explain more in the next section.
Friday, March 12, 2010
If it ain't broke don't fix it.
BUT...what of life's crossroads?
There are some. Marriage. Difficulty. Financial situations.
What of that?
Don't go without a roadmap.... you can't get there from here without one. The roadmap you need is a word from God. Sometimes it's a rhema word from Scripture. Sometimes it's a prophetic word from someone. Sometimes it's a knowing. Sometimes a word from God come by an impression of an event around you.
Here's the problem. If you use too many roadmaps from too many places it won't get you where you are supposed to go. I was in Michigan this week. I had a map of Iowa. Perfectly good map. I had been to Iowa. But now I was in Michigan. The Iowa map was great when I was in that place.
I needed a fresh map. An accurate map. A map of where I was at that time. A map of Michigan.
I stopped at a rest area and picked one up.
I got where I needed to go and without too many detours.
That's what a WORD OF THE LORD does. You need a fresh word when you are in a fresh place.
Stop at a spiritual rest area until you get it. Avoids dead ends.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
GOD STILL HEALS---I know Apostle Barbara Yoder and will Vouch for this... if she said it...it's true
I didn't want to say what I was seeing because I thought some poor soul might be visiting for the first time and, not knowing there were such things, be scared to death. So I altered it a bit and said, "I see ropes wrapped around someone's lungs. Because of that constriction they aren't able to breathe, and God wants to heal them."
I figured it was probably asthma or something. Suddenly a short woman with short red hair and glasses started walking down the middle aisle toting an oxygen tank behind her. From her nostrils was a tube connected to the oxygen. Being the great woman of faith I am, I was thinking, This wasn't what I meant. And I was exactly right. It wasn't what I meant, but it was what God meant.
I prayed for that woman, breaking the "ropes," and within a moment's time she was healed. The next thing I knew she was up on the platform without her oxygen tank, jumping and shouting. I mean shouting—loudly—about how grateful she was for what God had just done. She was not about to shut up. I was not about to shut her up. The power of the Holy Spirit had just created a disturbance in the midst of our service.
From there, healing broke out, all because a demon was present that had somehow—and don't ask me how because I have no idea—wrapped itself around a woman's lungs and caused physical disease. Demons are real. I don't always understand; I just obey. I did what God told me to do.
I never had a chance to ask her what the specific lung problem was. I just knew she was off the oxygen from that day, and the doctors said she had improved dramatically. About 2 months later she bolted into our offices on a weekday. She had to stop by and tell us what the doctors said because she was so excited.
She had been placed on a lung transplant list and that day found out she was no longer on the list. She didn't need a transplant because her lungs were healed! I think I would have been a little excited too.
This is just one experience. Sometimes the problem a person has is primarily physical; sometimes there are demonic powers behind sickness. The Bible tells the story of a woman in the synagogue with a spirit of infirmity that caused her back to be bent over. Jesus rebuked the spirit, and her physical problem left.
Whether it is physical or demonic in origin, God heals. He is still healing. In fact, we have entered a time when I believe we are going to see dramatic things occur again and again. The Azusa Street revival saw limbs grow and eyes that were nonexistent appear in eye sockets. All kinds of miraculous healings occurred.
I came into the charismatic experience during the Jesus People movement. Lots of amazing things happened in those days. But the amazing things haven't stopped happening, because it's Jesus' presence and power that bring about miraculous events.
Don't give up; don't stop short. We have to push all the way into the fullness of the manifestation of the gospel. It's the good news! God saves, heals, delivers, establishes, frees, matures, and on and on. He is the One who will work in us both to be and to become all we are intended to be.
We are on the brink of a new miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit. It has already begun to break out in a few isolated places, such as the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. This next move of God will be greater than any previous one—and it will be preparation for the greatest move of God yet to come, which will result in a massive ingathering into the kingdom.
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them" (Matt 4:23-24, NKJV).
Whatever it is that is ailing any of us, demonic or otherwise, Jesus is the bearer of the good news. And His gospel is to be preached again—with power—throughout the entire world, beginning in our own home towns.
About the author: Barbara J. Yoder is the founder and senior pastor of Shekinah Christian Church (shekinahchurch.org) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is known for her cutting-edge apostolic and prophetic breakthrough ministry. She travels nationally and internationally ministering in churches, conferences and seminars. Yoder is the author of several books, including Taking on Goliath (Charisma House). To order a copy of the book, click here. This article was adapted from an entry titled "Is That a Demon?" that appeared on her blog page at barbarayoderblog.com.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Winter has been long and cold. It looked clean, snow covered, even pretty sometimes but now in the intense light of day it has changed. The world looks brown and dirty. Under the snow was hidden a great deal of refuse, filth, decay and ugliness.
As the heat of the day proceeds, there comes a time when the snow is all gone. The world holds promise but it looks pretty bad. Cleaning, picking up, throwing away, spring cleaning.
Even after a good raking and cleaning it looks a little better but it's not enough to erase the scars left in the lawn by the snowplow. That takes even more work.
Yet the rains come. The warmth of the Sun. And new growth begins. Flowering. It becomes a new day. A different day. It's the NEW growth that covers and changes the face of the landscape around us all.
Yet, it came on the heels of a dark cold time.
This is the beginning of new. Old things are passing away. The remembrance of the cold and brown days are gone.
This is how our life is as well. We come from one season to another, the Heat and LIGHT of the SON burns away all the coldness. That exposes the refuse of sin, some left over, some not yet dealt with. It looks pretty tough for a while. But growth comes. Newness of life. The Rain of His Spirit falls on us. It prepares for growth that allows us to forget the former days and live in the light of HIM.
Springtime of the Soul... Needs, Heat, SONSHINE, and Rain.
Let it rain, Let it rain. Open the Floodgates of Heaven...Let it rain.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Not that I have anything myself to impart, but where I can, to offer the hope I have becomes a heart's cry. So if sometimes I seem to be too insistent, please excuse me.
It's a heart thing.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Ministry today is often viewed as a profession, a career and an occupation. We have been reminded quite often that “the laborer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7) and that we should not muzzle the ox when he is working (Deut 25:4). When I preach about the call of God into the ministry, the first thing that most people think of is a paid position and the first question that they have is about financial support. It seems that most people automatically connect ministry with a paying full-time job and I wonder sometimes how much interest there would be if there were no possibility of financial reward.
When Malachi was sent by God to Jerusalem shortly after the temple had been rebuilt, he was appalled by the apathy of the people and especially of the “clergy”. He made the observation that the priest seemed to be motivated by what they could get out of their service rather than by sincere love for God and a desire to build His Kingdom. “Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nothing?” he asks. “Neither do you kindle fire on my altar for nothing. I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts; neither will I accept an offering at your hand.” (Mal 1:10)
I have no problem with ministers who make a living from their work in the ministry…I am one of them in fact. But if financial remuneration is the incentive and motivation for ministry, there is a real problem.
I started preaching when I was 14-years-old and ever since then, in many different capacities I have always worked in “the ministry”. Most of the time I have been in ministry it has been totally volunteer and has even cost me dearly. I have had to work secular jobs to support my family. Even as a senior pastor I took no salary and never felt entitled to anything. If there were no money in ministry I would still be doing it today and for the rest of my life. Why? Because I love Jesus and because it is what He has called me to do. I cannot imagine not ministering. Ministry is not my job…it is my life. I AM a minister…it’s not just what I do. I am amazed sometimes to think that today I am able to make a living doing something that I love so much.
Jesus told his disciples, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me” (John 4:34). This is reward enough. It is remuneration enough. And then he gave this exhortation, “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life.” (John 6:27) As ministers we work not for money or for food, but we work for Jesus. Money will follow ministry and as you seek first the Kingdom of God all these things will be added to you.
There is a caution for all of us who frequently operate in those gifts. IF we do NOT operate out of Love and Compassion for the person for whom the gift is being poured out, we are dangerous and illegitimate gift carriers. Paul describes us as NOTHING. Empty. Noisy.
Too many in the Body of Christ who are anointed greatly believe the Gift is them, rather than they are carriers of the Gift. It's a danger. We are out of balance.
Once more, I want to encourage you to consider the Corinthian warning. Remember, it starts out by talking about this as a more EXCELLENT WAY. Let's do better.....OK? (highlights and notes in red are mine)
1 Corinthians 12If you have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit of God is saying thru The Apostle Paul. We need to have better ministry protocols.
27Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31But eagerly desire the greater gifts.
And now I will show you the most excellent way.
I Corinthians 13
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (in fact if I have not love I might be dangerous) 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast (your past glories are insignificant to the hurting soul), it is not proud (How could you be proud of something you didn't DO?). 5It is not rude (or crude), it is not self-seeking, (or desire to be the center of attention at all times) it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects (particularly the hearts of the hurting), always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away (when the day comes that the source of all knowledge and wisdom sits on the throne before us) . 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part (of course I want you to think that I have all the information but am keeping it from you, not really), 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (but it can be great fun to be foolish and childish, on the other hand sometimes it can demean the gift I carry) 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.