You have lamented over your vineyard.
Your heart is for your vineyard.
I created it soft and tender. It must be kept with all diligence.
You have wrestled with coming out from the vain and profane, and from the societies of the wicked people. You wrestle with coming out from among them and being separate.
You have come from under the dominance of your own lust which are lions and leopards in wait.
To you, I say. It is over. You are free.
You are humble, and you are modest.
You blush at the remembrance of sin and your sense of unworthiness of the honor placed on you beautifies you in My eyes.
Your heart is pure and holy. There is nothing amiss in you. You have all the beauties in you. You are sanctified wholly in every part.
I tell you.
Preach the Word to all the nations.
Be a wise preacher and choose your words wisely. Teach the people knowledge, words of truth. Chew the meat for the babes of Christ. Wash all your works and words in the blood of Christ. Provide for them the sincere milk of the Word that they may grow and feed among the lilies where Christ feeds.
The Lord will compass you about with Himself as a shield.
His favor will guard you.
Oh, My people, that you would hear My call.
That you would hear My prophets
That you would hear My voice
That you would be taught and separate yourselves to Me.
That you would learn of Me the great things I have for you.
But, the ones I long to reach are the ones who have stopped their ears and covered their mouths in shame.
I have saved for Myself a few who have kept themselves pure.
These are the ones I share My heart with.
You busy yourselves with a life that ends in a blur.
Holding nothing in your hand.
With hearts lonely and desolate or puffed up in pride at what you think you have done.
Lay up for yourselves treasure here with Me where they will be safe.
My children of the world suffer and die.
They are taken captive and My army stops to paint their houses and fences they would build taller to keep the strangers out.
A dark cloud lies on the horizon.
My anger rises against Mine.
Your churches are pretty, warm, and soft.
Purify yourselves before Me.
Confess your sins.
Can you promise them Me?
Take off your shoes, walk as they walk. Strip the clothes off your back.
Walk as they walk.
Suffer as they suffer.
Leave your security and expose yourself.
This training by Me.. separate from man
Is Necessary for clear focus in sight
For the Ones I call.. I will Train and Empower
To do THAT which is their purpose in life
Don't fight Me.. don't fear Me.. just do what I ask
And be willing to seek Me in solitude
Your eyes will see Me far off and a'beckoning
Your ears will come Alive to My Truth
You flew as an eagle, when you were a rock.
You sore high in your pride, looking down when you should have looked up.
You charted your own path when you should have, on bended knee, Sought your path from Me.
You swooped down upon what you eyed as prey ...
When you should have been providing the prey a home of safety and refuge.
In My Name, you avenged yourself.
Raised your sword to strike
A righteous blow in the Name of God
Onto a hovering child seeking refuge in the arms and heart of God
Oh, when will you return.
Will the dirt rise into your nostrils before you understand you own breath is a stench?
I reach out My hand and you see it not.
Oh man of man, will you not see?
You are going nowhere on your own.
You were created to walk by My side in the cool of the day.
Your hands were created to be My reach.
Your eyes were formed to see the hearts I see that are precious to Me.
Your feet were fashioned to walk in the footprints of My Son.
Return to your oaths you made before Me.
Be a day, be a year, be more ... time holds no binds on Me
Your whisper of sorrow will bend My ear
Oh Rock, My Rock, return to Me and be the rock I build on
The rock that will not wash away
A rock of refuge, like your Father in Heaven
A place of peace and safety.
Oh ye faithless one, I command ye, be ye faithful.
Did the Mt. Dew - do you in?
Did it deny you
Your eternal friend?
And now - so far - you have left the path.
Even the Dew is not your friend.
It holds no allegiance - nor remembers your name.
You traded your call for the Mt. Dew game.
Oh return to Me - you wayward son.
You who were show with you very own gun
Cast aside your weights that binds
Call to Me - I heal the blind.
Be warned My children. Heed My Voice.
For often will I offer you choice
To test you allegiance and hearts to see
If you prefer the Mt Dew or Me.
This site shows HOW TO repent by training your heart to joyfully trade earthly dependencies for receiving God's presence intensely by His grace. The principles you find here are effective for idolatry of the heart and unwanted behaviors!
Repentance is more than just what you do after you do something wrong. Repentance is a biblical practice€”an activity that describes something you can do for great personal growth and change.
In biblical terms, repentance is about changing your mind about anything that keeps you from drawing closer to God.
I use the word "repentance" in a broader sense than the strict definition. I do that because repentance is the word that most accurately describes what you get when you try to fit everything together that the Bible says about growth toward God. It is in that sense that I am saying we should repent.
Deep level change isn't going to happen just because you know something in your head. Being effective at "changing your mind" requires taking steps to train your heart that it is right, good, and safe to turn and draw near to God. You have to take steps to calm your fears and build your faith. You have to become a teacher and your own heart has to become your student. By this, you can change from the inside out.
Mostly, this site is for Christians who want to experience God's presence more fully and intensely. But it is not just for Christians because the information here is practical for those who want freedom from unwanted behaviors. These principles are effective and work well.
Repentance should be as important a practice to your Christian life as prayer or reading the Bible. It can help you just as much.
The Benefits of Repentance
The benefits of repentance are many. The Bible says, "...repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19).
The benefits of repentance are that you find freedom from unwanted and sinful behaviors, damaging pursuits, harmful reactions, long term addictions, co-dependence. You even find freedom from subtle sins of the heart. But that isn't all.
You also experience a "refreshing" from the "presence of the Lord." By repenting so as to experience God's presence, your single-hearted love and devotion toward God will increase greatly. This site shows you how.
Why You Can Change
We keep doing what we don't want to do because of the "benefits" we gain from the behavior. Even though the behavior may hurt us greatly, it reassures us, makes us feel strong, or secure in some way.
Repentance lets you trade earthly dependencies for God's presence! The reason you can change is because of God's abundant grace to draw near to you!
When God's presence pours through you, your longings are filled more deeply and more pleasurably than anything this life has to offer.
Do you have a behavior you want to change? Repenting by turning to God as what reassures you and soothes you when you hurt. Doing so can help you grow even in areas that have been difficult for you to change!
Are you a Christian who doesn't have any major or obvious sins? This site can help you experience God's presence more fully. It will help you understand and repent of the hidden idolatry of your heart. It is just that the benefits of deep level repentance are so great, that it corrects more obvious sins too.
Why You Need this Information
You need the information on this site because it isn't obvious how to direct your heart away from earthly sources and toward God€”our fears and disbelief are too great.
Most Christians today are not even conscious of when they are working to fill their longing for God apart from Him. If you were aware, it is also likely that you would try to repent in ways that would be ineffective and damaging. I will show how you can be effective at removing the obstacles preventing you from turning and drawing near to God.
It is time for radical change! You need instruction on how to repent because the areas that need to be addressed are deep and well hidden. This site will show you how to turn to God in ways that are more complete than what you may have ever thought was even possible.
Why You Can Repent With Joy!
Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him (Heb. 12:2). We should follow His example.
Repent with joy because of God's grace to draw near to you without His holding back! Rejoice your heart to believing that when you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (James 4:8)!
More is realistic and possible! The practical reasons you can repent and turn more fully to God are because of His grace. The earthly substitutions we make for God are always close to us. You can repent because God wants to be God to you. He wants to be close to you, intensely!
The Bible tells us, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Heb. 11:6). The faith that pleases God believes that when you come near to God, He rewards you with His presence by also drawing near to you!
Earthly substitutions for God's presence are totally unnecessary. You just need to learn how to work with your heart until you find freedom to act because of greater faith trust toward God.
By applying the principles and using the tools given here, you can experience God's presence flowing around and through you 24 hours-a-day!
It will take effort on your part to direct your heart toward God, but you can do it! I will show you how.
Click here: Repentance with Joy Helps You Receive God's Presence!
Logic Vs Faith
So they took the money and did as they were instructed;
and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews
until this day. Matthew 28:15
Do you know the story? Where Jesus was crucified and they placed Roman soldiers at the tomb to guard it in order to prevent the disciples from stealing Jesus' body and creating a larger following?
No matter the guard, the best in the west, nothing could keep Jesus in that tomb. He was up and out of there, brand new and on the go. So, what did this elite Roman guard team do? They rushed to the religious authorities and told them the story of how this Jesus man whom they had been assigned to guard just burst out from the tomb and walked right past them. And what did the religious authorities do? They told the soldiers to lie about it. Scriptures tells us they told a good lie, "and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day."
Serving Jesus means walking by faith. Jesus resides in the "hard to believe" zone of life. Imagine, He could have shaken all of Jerusalem, had His angels sound the trumpet call to the tomb where multitudes could have witnessed His resurrection, but He didn't. He just up and walked out. The only witnesses lied about it. He did visit with the women and tell them to tell His brethren to meet Him later at a special place, but when the women delivered the message, they did not believe either. Later, Jesus rebuked them for their unbelief.
In just a little bit of time, the whole city of Jerusalem was being divided. Some reported that the man who used to walk around healing the sick and preaching about a Kingdom of God has risen and been seen by witnesses. Others reported that the disciples had stolen the body of the man and were just telling tales to keep themselves an issue and keep a following. Who do you believe? What do you believe? What would you believe now?
Wouldn't it be hard to believe that a man, as special as he seemed to be, to come up from the dead and walk around without everyone knowing it? Remember the Nazareth guy? There were many witnesses to his resurrection. Jesus lives in the "hard to believe" zone.
And with all these so called "disciples," aren't they wanted by the authorities for questioning?
And did our Rabbi tell us that they do the miracles by the help of the devil? Simple logic tells us to steer clear of them.
But, on the other hand, remember Brutus who lived down the street until a few weeks ago? Wasn't he a brute until something happened to change him, and his poor wife, blind from child birth ... wasn't she seen walking around singing to Jehovah Jireh about the birds and the trees and His beauty and majesty? That is before they had to move because the officials were seeking them. Isn't that hard to believe? We knew nothing could change Brutus... not even the lash on his tough back.
This group ... they ask us to believe what we can not see. They ask us to believe what we do not know. They speak of the blood and the Lamb, and a covenant brand new. Don't they know we already have an age old system of sacrifice? Isn't it hard to believe that some would turn their backs on what we know is real for something so hard to believe?
And the Temple... they say it is going to fall, not one stone will be left on the wall. Don't they see how we are fine. We have a good governmental relationship with the best of the best working side by side with the Romans. We should have our liberty at any day. Isn't hard to believe they could say such a thing about such a strong and wonderful Temple?
And so you see, it is really hard to believe what you can not see. It indeed takes the eyes of faith to believe. "If this is of God, come prove it to me." Jesus did not give us the example of making proof. The natural eyes still do not accept the truth, only the heart and spirit can recieve.
Slowly now, walk light and inquire. What the Lord is doing today is found mostly behind the scenes. He moves His hand and circumstances change. But do not try to see things with the natural eyes or mind. You must rely on faith. If it is written in the Word and hard to believe, you probably found the truth He is speaking to you... His promise to intervene on your behalf.
It might be hard to believe that He will protect you, but if you abide in Him, it is as true as it is true that He rose from the dead.
It might be hard to believe that He will heal you, but if you abide in Him, it is as true as it is true that He healed them yesterday.
So if you hear of something that just does not make sense, and if you hear the impossible being done ... inquire, inquire ... He may set you free of the logic that seeks to bind thee.
The House Built with Faith
The man sat shivering in the cold winter wind covered with the only thing he owned. A small wool blanket given to him by the local shelter.
Here he was, a man of 50 years and he had lost everything. He once lived in a nice apartment and worked in a very prominent company. He had worked his way up the ladder and in a split second lost it all. One wrong move and everything crumbled. His home, job -- everything. He had long since walked away from the ones he loved. They were off in another state somewhere. He hadn't bothered with contacting for years now. No way to find then now anyway and too hard to even if he wanted to.
As the man stared blankly across the busy street. He watched a man dressed in a stylish business suit walk up and stand in front of him. He listened as the man quickly and simply offered him a hod. He didn't have much time to decide. If he wanted it he had to show up the next day. The strange men walked away just as quickly as he had come after handing him a piece of paper with an address on it.
The man knew there wasn't much of a decision to make. I mean what did he have to loose? He just simply folded the piece of paper and stick it in his pocket.
When he showed up the next day, he walked into the construction site trailer and sat down in a chair. No on was there. He once again checked the address. Yea, right place. He eyes glanced across the room. Hanging in the corner was a row of what appeared to be work uniform in various colors and sizes. He only sighed as he looked down at his own filthy clothes.
His thought were interrupted.
"Would you like to have a set of those?" The voice said motioning to the rack of uniforms.
"Oh, man, I couldn't wear them, I would only tear them up or something." He replied looking up at the large man wearing a simple polo shirt and kaki pants. He watched the man walk behind a large wooden desk and sit down.
"You can have those if you begin to work here."
"How much do you pay?"
The man behind the desk smiled. "You will be well taken care of. I'll put you up, make sure you are fed and give you these clothes."
"That sounds too good to be true. I mean nobody just does that type of thing. What's the catch? What do I have to do?"
"You just have to say that you'll do it. There is a lot of great benefits and hey we even have a great retirement plan."
"You've got to be kidding. It can't be that east. I have to get cleaned up and get some kind of learnin' before I could work here."
The man behind the desk just shook his head, "Nope. We'll take care of all that."
The man leaned back in the chair not quite sure what to think about the whole thing. But hey, what else would he do? How many other people would hire him? A few minutes passed and he looked at the man behind the desk and agreed to take the job.
"Okay Great! Let's get you job history." He said as he reached across the desk and grabbed a clipboard and a pen.
"Well, when I was a teenager, I worked at a fat food place for a while, but I got fired, some guy come walking and started telling me off and I decided to tell him a thing or two and well, they told me to leave."
He watched the man scribble noted as he talked.
"After that I worked at a mechanic garage. I did a pretty good job there until I uh ..."
"Until what?" The man questioned
"Well I accidentally burned the lace down when I left a welding torch turned on and some oil rags count on fire. I then spent a little time in jail for that cause I didn't pay the fines that I got tagged with."
"What did you do then?"
"After that it was hard finding a job for a long time but I did manage to get a hob with a guy who worked in the stock market. I learned a lot from him. Had a chance to get me and my family a house, buy a car and lots of stuff. I learned a lot from that guy. Moved up in the ranks pretty quickly too. I worked hard and did good by my boss."
"So he was please with you work?"
The man cleared his throat. He sat up stiffer in the char. His thought raced trying to find a way to make something sound good. He voice lowered. "Until I got messed up with another guy who said he was going to help me and I took his idea. I lost everything then."
"What happened next?"
Knowing that it was pointless to carry things on, he said, "Look, I am sorry. I can't give you anything that would make you want to hire me."
"That's it!" The man bellowed as he threw down the pen and clipboard.
The man only shook his head and wondered why he ever thought that this guy would hire him. He was crazy to think that it might be real, but he look at the other man surprisingly when he eyes fell in the clipboard, and saw nothing recorded or written under job history
"I'll tell you what, that is what I needed to hear. From now on I don't want you to think of your past failures. I don't have any record of them and you shouldn't either. It is time that you leave all that and start over here."
The man only sat there stunned and unable to say a word.
"There is a pretty cool guy that I know and he is more than willing to let you come and stay with him. He will help you learn what yo are supposed to do here. Your job... Build a house, and here is you instruction manual. He reached across the desk and handed him a thick book. "In there is everything you will need to know. Take it home, read and learn. I expect to see you here tomorrow morning bright and early. Oh. Glad to have you aboard." The man smiled and reached out his hand.
"Thank you." That was all that would escape his lips and he reached across the desk and hook hi hand, and after a few minutes, the meeting ended and he headed to the door and went the find his new home.
Once he got there, he quickly began to fell at ease with his new roommate who just stood back and let him get comfortable. The man quickly got cleaned up and ate a good supper and crawled into bed, falling into a deep sleep. He had a dream, but by morning all he could remember of the dream was a huge house, with people coming and going continuously. Curios about what the day would hold, he quickly got dressed and headed to his new job.
Once on the site, the first thing he saw was a large concrete foundation and a large pile of lumber. His boss, met his with a smile and pointed to the foundation.
"That foundation was laid many years ago, by a man who even died before finishing it, but because of his death he was able to finish it."
The man didn't understand.
"Don't worry. It's in the manual." You'll get it. Here is the blueprints of the house."
The man almost burst with excitement as his eyes scanned across the paged. It was the same house he had seen in his dream! His boss left him to tackle the task before him, but not without first warning him to guard the lumber pile. It id didn't, it would get stolen.
Quickly the man ran to the wood pile and began to pull out various boards from the pile and began to hammer them together. He worked hard each day and after a few weeks, he showed up to work one day and the whole structure had fallen down.
Confused, he took a walk down the street where it appeared that the same company had other buildings being built too. He look carefully and quickly returned back to the site and took the same boards that he had seen the others use and began to put them together. This too failed, it did not begin to fit the blueprints. Frustrated he sat down on the curb. A little while later, his roommate walked up and sat down next to him.
"Seem to be having a lot of trouble."
"Yea, you could say that again. What an I supposed to do? This is not working!"
Well I will give you some advise. Ask the boss about each one of the board. Which one to use and where it is supposed to go, and stay in the manual. The boss will always tell you something that can be found in that manual. Trust me, he knows that thing inside and out."
"I guess. He does seem like he has been in this business for a while. "
With that, his roommate left him sitting there and he began to look through the manual. As he was, a certain section just seemed to jump out of the book.
His eyes widened. "That's it!" He yelled as he jumped up with a renew vigor and excitement. He quickly grabbed the certain board and placed it on the foundation. It fit perfectly.
Time passed. Continually the man continued to seek the manual and ask the boss about each board and it's placement and one could see that the main frame was almost finished when a violent storm arose and whipped through the area. The violent winds shook the frame and loosened many of the boards.
The storm deeply despaired the man and he even considered telling the boss that he just was not cut out for the job and that he could surely find another more qualified. During the roughest part of the storm, he waited under a large tent that was set up on the property. About ready to give up, he looked over on a table and saw the manual.
He had learned quite a bit since he had first begun, He had learned a lot actually. He had grown to really get to know his roommate and his boss. Their relationship was great. He had learned what the boos like and what he didn't like. Things hadn't been so bad. He reached over and picked up the manual. He noticed that in a certain section about every few pages or so was marked with a screw that was sticking out of the top of the book.
Flipping to the first marker, his eye fell on the section titled troubleshooting. He didn't know why he hadn't seen this part before. But as he flipped through the pages he pulled out certain pieces of information and he read them to himself and as he did, each one began to strengthen him. Hours passed until he finally looked up and noticed that the storm had stopped. With renewed energy he then realized that he could take those screws and secure the boards that had come loose in the storm.
As more time passed, finally the job was completed. Standing in front of the house with his boss and roommate, he felt overwhelmed at the sight of it. It looked great and inside it felt good to know that the boss was pleased.
"You know, I never thought about it much but who is this house for?"
"Oh, I thought you would like to have it." The boss replied smiling. "There is just one thing I want you to do. Share it. Many will come and see and you can help them build their own houses. But remember, always know that it is I who gives the supplies."
The man smiled and stood in awe and amazement. It was his. He knew that not one thing could have been done without the Master Carpenter to guide his every step and to Him would he be forever grateful.
When a problem arises, or you are believing God for something in your life, you need a word or a promise that you can hold on to.
The first step is TAKING THE JOB, and letting Jesus remove your sins and failures. When we can no longer to justify or make excuses and realize that we can't do things on our own, we can tell Him that we are sorry and then we are given the greatest offer ever known. The opportunity to work with JESUS, THE ONE WHO DIED TO PUT A STRONG FOUNDATION IN OUR LIVES
The manual is a "WOODPILE" full of various promises and scriptures that cover every area of our lives. We must seek the "Master Carpenter" who is the Lord as to which "board will fit your situation.
First we must have a hope and have an expectation that what you desire, whether healing deliverance, protection or a certain thing desired is possible. Once you have the "Blueprint" your outcome begins to come more of a reality.
Going to the Bible and just pulling any scripture or BOARD FROM THE WOODPILE at random because it worked before or looking at other people and using their scripture, and just expecting them to work for you will often only result in a structure that will not work, hold or be founded strong enough in your heart. It has to be strong enough and real enough to you to when "you know that you know: that no matter how strong the storms are that come in your life, the structure will hold. These storms are times when the adversary seeks to come in and destroy your faith.
Discouragment and wanting to give up comes in, but if you hide under the shelter of the Lord, in prayer and spend time in the manual, He will speak to you heart directly and specifically for you situation, giving you a strength and a renewing of you faith which are "SCREWS THAT FASTEN" the boards previously placed there.
God wants all of us to structure our lives according to His Word and we must diligently SEEK TO HEAR HIS VOICE where He speaks to you in scriptures, that seem to leap off the page, a spoken Word spoken in your heart or through the mouth of another of your fellow laborers. The Holy Spirit will always be there to guide you in truth and always makes a good ROOMMATE.
When we have received the outcome and the result of our situation is seen the HOUSE that has been built in you heart will bring a strong knowing that the Lord is faithful to provide all that you need in you life. We are to share our profession with others who will notice the confidence you have when problems arise. We mist tell them that they too can have the same and that God is definitely a EOE Equal Opportunity Employer.
They Murmured That it Was a Waste of Money
She poured an ointment of very precious oil on the head of the King of Kings and they murmured against her. (Mark 14:3-5) Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? And yet, they murmured. We know by reading the same story in Matthew chapter 26 that those who were murmuring were His very own disciples. They became indignant about it. A waste of money they said.
Can you imagine being in the same room with Jesus, overwhelmed by His presence, His love, and His compassion for you. You have never felt this way before, totally loved and received. You can do nothing but pour out your best oil for Him, and if you could do more, you would do that. All the while, there in the same room, sits his very own people. They are criticizing you for wasting your precious oil. They are upset because you could serve Him better if you sold the oil and gave it to the poor. This sounds rational, does it not? Yet, Jesus responds by telling them to leave her alone. He honors her by making sure that we would know throughout history of what she had done for Him.
In a single moment of time, in an hour framed by eternity, the passion of one person panting for her Lord is at the same time judged as inappropriate. I fear we must be careful with our views of the simpletons. We, who are so discipled. Those who exhibit actions that do not measure up to our mature understandings of what Jesus really wants may stumble us. We would be wise to stutter our opinions when we see the actions of adoration to our Lord by those we consider to be simple minded and unlearned; lest we find ourselves chastened by the Lord telling us to leave them alone because they are panting for Him. We, even ourselves, have felt the judging opinions that have risen up against us as we have obeyed our Lord. Let us therefore, tender our hearts and seek that our eyes be opened to the soft and gentle crying of His helpless lambs calling for their shepherd.
Profit in Betrayal
What did Judas seek to profit in his betrayal of Jesus? His motive? Was it to gain his own agenda? Some teach us that he wanted to force Jesus into power by forcing His hand. Maybe Judas was thinking that if he forced Jesus defend himself that Jesus would have to call on the host of Heaven to act on His behalf, thus ushering in the Kingdom where Judas could be a royal treasurer of the nation. Maybe Jesus offended him once too many times. Maybe he considered having the favor of the Pharisees seemed a little more steadfast then following a miracle worker who kept saying He would be killed. Nonetheless, while Judas profited silver in betraying Jesus, we profited eternal life.
In studying scriptures, we can see a trend or pattern. The immediate profit of one often acts as the long term profit of another. We should take heed. Notice in the story of Abraham and his nephew Lot, Lot took the immediate profit of the good ground, yet it was Abraham that had to bail him out of trouble. In the story of Joseph, his brothers profited peace from what they considered their egotistic younger brother by selling him to the Egyptians. Yet, in the long run, it was Joseph who saved them from the famine. The wife of Potiphar profited a "saved face" by accusing Joseph of rape putting him in prison which in turn, our Lord used to exalt Joseph into the Pharaoh's palace as second in command of Egypt. Yet the biggest betrayal in history was Judas betraying Jesus. We wonder what was going on with Judas.
It was one man and the aggregate of all evil suggestions by the devil consummating into one final decision that activated the painful steps toward the eternal salvation for all mankind. An appointed time in history where the Creator of all mankind would offer His own Son as a sacrifice for our redemption. The devil whispering a small and subtle temptation into Judas' ears, over and over, until the bait was taken by the man with his own agenda.
When God has His plans, and when man has his own agenda, God wins. Man is left in a destitute position, often with the trailing words from God saying, "Woe to the man...." Jesus told us that it would have been better if Judas had never been born. Regretful words for Judas from the heart of our savior who displayed great love and kindness to Judas while knowing that he was betraying Jesus even at that moment. We as Christians walk side by side with people, both saved and unsaved, in our jobs, at the supermarket, paying bills, driving on the highways to get to our destination... on and on. We can be guilty of having our own agenda. Our plans begin in our hearts. If our heart is set on seeing every man, woman, and child saved and brought into the Kingdom of God, then our actions are different than if our heart is set on getting to grandma's on time. With the first, you make sure your every move brings honor to the Lord, praying for each person you drive by. With the second, you speed by, cut corners, and do not even see the people in the cars, much less the homeless on the street.
There is even a more serious danger to the heart we must watch out for. We are not here to be the iron that sharpens our brother's iron. Judas was not good for Jesus. We do not owe our salvation to Judas who "played an instrumental role" in the direction of Jesus' life. Our Father used Babylon to chasten Israel, yet He also destroyed Babylon for going to far with their oppression of His beloved Israel. When Proverbs 27:17 tells us, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend," it is telling us how we can be a blessing to our friends. A sharpening of wits with each other. One cannot hit a brother over the head and say they are blessing them with the ability to turn the other cheek. It does not work that way, and such actions will bring the corrective hand of our Father.
So, in essence, it boils down to this, our own personal agendas will not hold. Maybe some of our agendas will not cross the Lord's specific plans, maybe they will only hurt us in the long run, but when they do cross the Lord's plans ... there is but one end to it ... destruction. We must keep our hearts soft before the Lord, always willing to take a step back when we think we may be heading across His tracks. A heart like this will always find the Lord kind and willing to help make the adjustments needed to get on the right path. Just ask Him.
Everyone is Fasting for Forty Days ... But Me
If you walk up to the Red Sea today, with all the faith in the world, with a hundred miracles under your belt, and you strike that sea without the Lord telling you to strike that sea.. it will just stand there. You do not have the power, God does.
If you lay your life down and almost starve yourself by going on a forty day fast when the Lord has not told you to, you will just starve.. nothing more. (Maybe lose some weight, change a few habits.. for the good or the better?) We have to be led to fast. Now, if you have been told to fast and you do not fast, then you are quenching the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. This will affect you in all areas. And, if you are continuing to seek Him daily, you will hear Him whisper about a fast each time you come to Him.
Fasting is not a method to obtain something. It is a relationship with our Lord, much like a married couple who are so busy that they vaguely acknowledge each other until the drop into bed, say goodnight, and go to sleep. Both of them may be doing what they are suppose to do, but they are missing a relationship in the process. There must be a communication between them, just as our communication must be clear with the Lord.
Before I started fully walking with the Lord, I tried to fast. Over and over I would try to go without a dinner. The best I could do was to eat only once a day. That became a habit. Looking back, I can see that it was the Lord working in my life behind the scenes. He would let me cut down on my eating, but never gave me grace to fast. I was in the wrong place with my relationship with Him. I had not fully let go of my own life yet. Then, after I surrendered the last of my own will to Him, He fasted me. I was in the middle of my donut and all of a sudden, I did not want it. I knew it was a fast. I was fasted, under the grace and power of the Holy Spirit, for 18 days. It was strange. I never grew tired, and was never hindered in anything I did. After that, within the next week, I fasted again for eleven days, but this time I ate one piece of French bread a day.
The result of these two fasts was incredible. I was much more aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit, very sensitive to His being in the room with me. This awareness began a relationship with Him. I could ask Him to come and be near me and He would cover me immediately. It is like asking your Mom for a hug and she covers you with her arms and holds you tight. It is real, a relationship, and interaction between the two of you. It takes you from the academia of reading the Bible to understanding the desired fellowship the Lord wants to have with you.
From that point, He told me to live a fasted life. I have fasted on and off, more on than off. It has become a life style. There are various styles of fasting He has led me through. He outlined one fast to consist of eating day one, and then not eat for three days, then eat again, then not eat again for three. This was about the toughest fast. The body gets used to having no food after about three days, and then to eat one day ... on and on for 21 days. It was hard because I could never settle in to "going without," nor did my body settle into the rhythm of going without. I grumbled a lot. That was the point. To pull out of my: "I fast often, I hear God often" attitude and show me my heart ... a grumbler. Even when it was over, even though I had learned to keep my attitude under subjection, I whispered a celebration in my heart for it being over. In that fast, I gained a greater appreciation for the Israelites having to eat manna day after day. They grumbled. I grumbled. I knew what happened to them ... I hushed my grumbling. I know that was His whole point.
But, the bottom line is that you should only fast when you are led to fast, and only as you are told by the Lord to fast. The Lord may tell you to fast through your pastor's voice if he or she is a person who hears and obeys God. Then, the pastor will speak the Words the Lord has spoken to proclaim a fast. You will be graced and blessed for obeying.
The bottom line is that you must have the grace of God to fast. He will grace you, give you the ability to fast, if He is the one telling you to fast. Even now, after four years of living a fasted life, if He does not give me the grace then I am unable to fast. All my strength comes through Him. If He is telling you to fast, have confidence you will be able to do what He desires.
The Healing Question for Those Who Do Not Believe In It
It is hard for me to accept that all physical healing is the work of the devil when the Name of Jesus is adorned and glorified. I do believe that some of the "reported" healings are the devil's work and they are meant to deceive and draw people away from Jesus Christ. You can tell the difference by the fruit. The healings by the Holy Spirit changes lives and gives us a greater understanding of our Father in Heaven.
I want to place before you some questions. I want to state them as "what if" questions. What if Jesus heals today? What if Jesus uses His ministers to lay hands on the sick and they recover ... today? What if Jesus desires to use your hands to heal the sick? What if, in our traditional understanding of what we are taught scriptures say, we are being denied the beauty and joy of someone's healing? What if those healing ministers are right?
How many of you are taught by your pastor to search the scriptures on your own? Heard him ever say that? Something like, "Don't leave all to me, go home, study them for yourselves." I ask you, have you left the topic of healing to him also? Have you heard someone say something about Benny Hinn, or Oral Roberts and just nod your head without ever checking into it yourself? What are you nodding you head about? Is the conversation you are partaking in comparing scripture with scripture or just someone's opinion? What if you are nodding your head and in reality, healing is for real? And better yet, what if when you meet the Lord, He asks you why you did not lay hands on the sick so they could recover? The first thing you have to do is check it out for yourself. Anyone can write an article for or against healing and even support it with scripture. But what is the truth?
I want to address just a few interesting subjects dealing with physical healing. These are things I learned in my walk with the Lord. I know they are true. I just find it hard to believe that the Lord has had a bigger skeptic than myself, but I started out with a desire to really know the answer, even if He had to take a two-by-four to my head to help me see. He never did, but He was patient and faithful. He wants us to know the truth. He promises that those who diligently seek Him shall find Him.
I want you to know also that I am not talking just "book talk." I am living what I am sharing with you. If I can, so can you. We are all special to Jesus. There are four of us in this home, my sister-in-law, my two nephews ages 7 and 9, and myself. We have walked daily in His divine health, all glory to Jesus, for the past three years. I personally have been injured twice this past year with work related incidents, but have been totally restored within 48 hours. The boys' friends all get the flu and have to stay in from playing, not these boys.
I was first introduced to the topic of healing when I was young, so I never built up a solid wall against it. Even when I was hiding from the charismatic movement by staying involved a "fundamentalist" denomination, I always had ears to hear someone who would speak about the topic of healing. I stayed in the fundamentalist denomination long enough to pick up the lingo and speak against "healing ministers" such as Benny Hinn. I would say, "turn that off, he is too showy." But, somehow, the Lord got through to me and now here I am writing and teaching on the subject. When Jesus said, "...you shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover...," He was not kidding. He also said that we shall do greater things than He did because He has left to go to the Father. All of this is going on out in the world. Many are being save, and many are being healed. My point is this, if this is real, if this is of God, then don't we want a part of it?
The gift of Healing is an anointing of the Holy Spirit. Ever hear of anyone going down to the movie theater and being healed? How about a high school football game? The Holy Spirit is there isn't He? Yes, but people don't report they are healed ... sacked maybe, even rushed to the hospital if the football injury is serious. The thing is, the anointing of the Holy Spirit is not there in that place...
Let me explain "anointing."
It took me a lot of work to find out what they meant by the word "anointing." I read scripture, I picked up every book I could find, and finally got desperate and started e-mailing churches on the web that talked about it in their literature. One of the ministers at the Brownsville revival in Pensacola, Florida wrote me back (bless him). He said, "The anointing of the Holy Spirit is the manifest Presence of God in a tangible way." I read Benny Hinn's book, "Good Morning, Holy Spirit" and picked up a few more things from him. Still, all this was strange to me. I did find there seems to be one common denominator between those who are anointed. Each, at one point in time, stopped and asked the Holy Spirit to make Himself real in their lives. Oh, I know in my heart that He loves that request. Anyway, healing comes in His anointing, or as you would, in His presence. His Presence is a relationship with Him.
"But," you might be saying, "the Holy Spirit is in every Christian everywhere. "Yes, this is true. Let me ask you this. Was the Holy Spirit with Jesus when Jesus was a child? He wasn't healing anyone then. Read Acts 10:38. It says that our Father anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power. Healing comes through the power of God to do His will. Jesus was baptized before the trip into the wilderness, and then He was empowered when He came out. Then He began His ministry. Later, our Lord said to His disciples to go and do the same thing He did.
Are you sure that the miracles stopped with the Twelve? Or even with the 120 that were in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost? Acts chapter three tells how the promise of Jesus is for them and for us. I wish I could sit you down and persuade you to change your mind about healing. But, I can't do that. I am more than willing to help, but, understanding healing is something that is going to have to be between you and the Lord.
I understand the hesitancy of many people to investigate the topic. Do you know that many who do investigate and decide it is for real and for today are kicked out of their churches? For real! It does not matter their age, their faithfulness to the church over the years, or the position they hold ... many churches just will not even hear the topic nor tolerate it.
It's not so bad "proving things." That is where it all began with me.
I asked Him to make Himself real to me. If I had known Him like I do now, I would have known that His face lit up like a light when I ask Him that. But, I did not know Him very well then. There are a lot of questions out there in the world about healing. Believe it or not, most of the questions are from outside of the Body of Christ. Too many Christians are already settled in their own understanding. There are also answers outside of the Body, and they do not come from our Lord.
I hope you will pursue the topic of healing further. I can tell you this, when you face the Lord, you will have to answer for your actions. If you do not believe healing is for today, and you are correct ... then He will say "Well Done." If the Lord is healing people today, telling Him you missed it because someone said "such and such" will not bring His pleasure.
If I could give you anything, I would want to give you the eyes of a person whom our Lord Jesus has just healed. I would want to give you the joy of that person's heart. I would want to give you the ears of their friends burning with the testimony. I plead to you, check it out. Start with Heaven. His ear waits to hear you ask Him.
The Lord has blessed some prophets by assigning them to a "Team" calling.
There are steps involved before this type of team will come to maturity:
Our Father has to call the team
Just deciding a team would be great is not enough. We are to work side by side with all our brothers and sister, but this is not the Team that I am addressing.
- Our Father must do the choosing of our Team partner.
We may want our best friend, or maybe our spouse, but this is not always God's choice. Our spouses are a ministry team in themselves. There is plenty of articles written on this topic. I am addressing a different team. Sometimes it might be the Lord has chosen our spouse, our best friend, or even someone we may not know yet.
- You must identify the call.
Our Father is going to tell you. You may not understand the whole picture, but He will tell you. When the Lord told me I was going to be a part of the Team's Ministries, I had no concept of what He meant. He merely told me to stand solid behind my "team" member. Seemed simple enough, but over time I began to get a deeper understanding about the call.
- Gentle beginnings.
The Lord will use anything near you to test you and build character into you. He will use the dishes, or the engine of that old car that has been sitting there for years. Every single rusted on bolt will test your character and endurance. Likewise, when His plans for you consist of a Team Ministry, you are going to have to have a completely workable character. One of the first things that the Lord did between my Team partner and I was to tell me I had to eat the same thing as my partner. Try it ... eat the same thing as your spouse, or the best friend, or even roommate. After the first couple of times, it gets old. Our personal will begins to manifest very quickly. And when our will manifests, the voice of the Holy Spirit begins to say nice little things like.. "you yield." I would argue... "but I want that second pork chop.. I wanted it more than I wanted the mash potatoes." Then He would just smile and say, "no one is forcing you."
Sure, right. But, how could you argue? Then, of course, the Lord would say, "Have you an attitude problem as well?" That is where you had better stop and repent. You can't win against Him. The Lord just does not play fair ... not with those blue eyes, (I haven't seen them, but they must be deep and blue to move me in such a way).
- Deeper Teachings.
The training does not stop there. You have got to go through testing and persecution to be honed down and strengthened.
The team member I am assigned to was married. One night the Holy Spirit revealed everything that was going on with my partner while she was talking with her husband. I was in a completely different area and knew each thing that was happening. I covered my head with my jacket, sang out loud, went out on a deck and prayed for the whole city just to not know. I never said anything for two days. About all I could do was shake.
Over time, I sort of got over it and went on. I know the experience was not appreciated by my team member's husband and it made him begin to question whether or not I was dealing with the wrong spirits. About a year later, I was reading a post sent out by Pam Clark of Trumpet Winds. It was written by Meri Bulingame on May 27, 2002. A year and three months later. Meri told about how the Lord was organizing Team Ministries. My eyes zoomed through the post. Meri taught about a different type of Team Ministry than in the past:
Team ministry in the past often didn't get even to this place. I was often just people who felt led to minister together, who had learned to let God do in their midst at a given time and given place what God wanted.
Sometimes it was just tow or three people doing what they did within the same time frame or location. But often there was no melding of relationships between these teams. What one or the other did at the breakfast table with his wife was "off limits" to the team. There were specific lines where there was ministry and lines where there were private lives and the two didn't mix.
Today God is calling for another type of ministry. It is team ministry, which involves the melding of lives in accountability and covenant. The third day church is one in which God is interested in conforming people to the measure of the stature of Jesus Christ which was determined for them before the foundation of the earth.
The article had more to say that caught my interest:
Recently Robert Holmes with his team of Australian ministers was in our area again. In 99 when they were here their relationship as a team was still relatively new, as they had bound themselves together in "covenant" as brothers before the Lord. All that God gave them access to they were accountable to each other for in terms of being open to each other's assessment, input, ect.
Mario Liu told of how one night Robert was coming to their house. When he arrived, he looked at Mario and told him everything that had been said between Mario and his wife for the last ½ hour while Robert was on his way to visit them. Things like angry words that had been said and dishes, which had been cast to the floor. The Purpose? Was to bring humiliation and shame? NO, it was to let them as a team know that God is working to confirm them all to His image and that He is personally willing and desiring to speak into EVERY aspect of our lives.
And it continues:
IT isn't just one or two ministries working together. It becomes a "ministry" with a whole separate identity of Christ in itself.
If you are wrestling with the concept of Team Ministries, let me assure you, they do exist. They are not something you just sign up for. Our Father has to carefully choose the Team members and the trials and testings can go on for however long He deems fit.
I still haven't eaten a meal on my own since He began this venture. I still raise my voice in a cry of independence, sort of, but it always catches His watchful eye. But even so, there is a great comfort that I am held so close in check by the Holy Spirit into such a tight accountability. It is what I asked for. I never want to sin against Him. I never want to have my own way in opposition against His wonderful will.. in anything in my life ... ever.
And, it is great to know that He is still preparing us for a work to be done.
Are You really Building an Army?
"Sir, are you really building an army?"
"Yes. I am really building an army. I've spoken of it for centuries -- and I have with Me here the many who qualify for the job."
"What does it take to qualify?" I asked.
"It takes obedience. Radical obedience. Do you remember the rich man who rode up on a horse back?
"Yes Sir. You told him about obeying the Commandments. Then he said that he had done all those things."
"Then what did I tell him?"
"You told him to sell everything and give it to the poor and then to follow you."
"He couldn't do it could he?"
"Because he was to attached to his worldly goods."
"Yes, but he also lacked vision, the proper vision. He saw himself as one without a home, sleeping on the ground, hungry -- but worse -- he saw himself like those he despised ... those without. He had often judged himself "acceptable" in comparison to them. If he became as one of then-he would be "unacceptable" or less than a man. That was his vision."
"Tell Me - My child - what is the difference between you and him?"
"Well, I have sold all my good, tried to stay free of material hindrances and such - and I have come and I follow you."
"Yes, remember what I told My disciples about how it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God?"
"They were "astonished" it says in the NIV - "
"Yes, but it reads on that with God all things are possible. See what I told them next? I showed them vision! I showed them on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Think about that vision for a minute -- they were fisherman, tax collectors, common folk -- not religious authorities, not great lineage from the seed of David - common men -- sons of Israel. Do you think they had to reach for that vision?"
"If I was able to keep their visions for them through the worst of times -- do you think Ii would lose My army due to a lack of vision among the people?"
"My army is real. If ever a people, a time, a generation, or a denomination doesn't believe it. I have with Me here now, those who have qualified and joined. My children. Get yourselves in shape. We don't want you to come face to face with My powerful army and be turned away because you don't qualify.
Bow your head. Take My Word in your hand and ask Me for understanding and truth - We have a lot of wonderful things to discover"
Would you want to Come?
I asked the Lord if His Church was as ill as so many say it is. He answered me "Yes."
I told Him that there were many who did not agree and thought that their church was fine. He said to me, "Have them go out and invite some people to church." Then He paused and said one more thing, "and if they do not come, do not call them Heathen, call them lost."
Well, I am asking around. Some don't like the rules. Some would rather live in pain until the doctors can get around to cutting them open. Some don't even know that with a simple prayer, they can be healed. Some homeless would rather sleep in their car rather than go to the church for help.
The Lord told me to carry a Bible wherever I went. I always have a small Bible tucked under my arm. No one has yet to rush over to me and mull over me because I have the Living Word with me. I am sure I seem a bit strange, but I do it for HIM, not them. It is interesting to see how people react ... mostly when I am not looking.
Christians don't seem to be the most popular people around. They seem middle class, exclusive, better than anyone else, and full of charity. I have caught myself being so busy with my life that I did not take the time to really care about someone who came to my door. I missed that opportunity.
I've met pastors whom I would love to ask a few simple questions .. most learned men or women, but they don't have time because of a family BBQ. I have even heard members of the church slandered by unethical members and the listeners just lend their ears to the gossip and the join in the accusations without inquiring. Excuse me, who would want to join our churches if this is the way the members are treated?
Seems rather simple doesn't it? If the world does not want to join our church, then the church probably has too much of us and not enough of the Lord God Almighty who parted the Red Sea and made a Name for Himself among the heathens so much that they feared transgressing against His people. Many more people would want to join if they could see our God in our eyes and in our lives.
I Won't vs. I'm not allowed to
Today, the Lord spoke early about changing our attitudes towards persecution. Say "Thank you" and know our reward is great, also rejoice. Know that the times of persecution were hard, but even Paul had his statements regarding his sufferings, but he also acknowledged they were persecutions and rejoiced that he could share in the suffering cup of Jesus.
Jesus said that all those who follow Him would suffer, so it isn't really an option. Paul said, if you suffer for the wrong you've done, you suffer for naught and receive no reward and is only a result of your wrong actions. However, when you suffer for practicing righteousness in the eyes of God, and suffer persecutions, great is your reward.
The heart is the issue. To say it is "too hard" actually sets you up for receiving a seed of turning away from the Lord. The Lord promises to be our protection and knowing He will protect us gives us a forward push -- accepting and attitude of sometime being "not good" pushed us up into a mind set of being less than zealous to do what the Lord tell us. This small to large 'lack of zeal' can lead to I Kings 13 syndrome or the death of a prophet at the hands of a prophet.
Prophet's reply to King. Even if you gave me half ...
Prophets reply to old prophet -- I cannot ... I'm not allowed.
This mindset opened the door to hear words of the demonic realm through the old prophet.
Before you enter into "active?" these things that seek to destroy you -- you must understand. This is what training periods are for.
The prophet was strong toward the king to whom the message was intended -- but became -- "cannot -- not allowed". to one who represented his own ranks.
So what was in the heart of the man of God? Where did he go wrong? We can know for sure that if he had "it" then we do too.
First consider -- he did not wake up one day and just decide to be a man of God, and deliver a message to the King. This prophet had to have been schooled by the Holy Spirit in some great way, for his message was to the king of Israel. The message to the king also carried proof that it was from God by the miracles: the withered hand and ashes coming out of the altar. Normally these assignments are not given to the "un-established."
The Word tells us the prophet was found under an oak tree. Sitting. We first reason that he was just taking a rest from his long, without food, without drink, journey. Seems natural. Anyone might be able to see themselves taking a brief rest under the shade of a large tree. But, by looking just a few chapters ahead to Elijah - we see him on a journey without food and drink. 40 days. Fed at the beginning of the journey by the angels of God. Consider what this might mean. God must have provided supernatural strength for this prophet too, as long as he obeyed.
Next, consider how he was found. As the word about what had happened and whom the prophet had talked to, the prophet was not so hard to find. The Lord has said he should go home another way. not the way he went to the King. In the Bible, this type of warning means "in order to avoid danger." Remember magi visiting Jesus? They too were warned to take another path, not a known path, not a predictable path. This prophet was on a different path, but it was a predictable path. Consider the old prophet's question, "Which was did he go?" so they told the old prophet. He saddled his donkey and headed out, finding the your prophet under a tree.
Step back and look at this for a minute. The old prophet carried a message of death for the younger prophet -- it would have been good if he'd never found him. Right? Since there was a message of death coming to him -- and since he could be found by someone easy enough -- and since he had been warned by the Lord concerning his path back-- because of all of this -- thereby we can see the man of God had a problem.
Well, didn't we already know that? Yes. But this also rules out the problem of the old prophet. Yes, the old prophet had a problem, but just because someone else has a problem does not mean they should be able to destroy us.
Somewhere, the man of God left something inside and let his guard down. In the conversation with the old prophet, 3 shots and he was dead. 1. He was found. 2. His first answer gave room for more conversation, (I am not allowed) is to say that the man of God no longer "owned" the Words of God as his own. He had lost the integrity of this situation. Children don't steal candy because the will be punished. But as adults, we don't steal because we own the integrity not to steal. We are no longer controlled by "I am not allowed."
The Lord has given us His Word, the Bible, so that we can learn and grow. As we increase in understanding of our lives and how out lives relate to out Heavenly Father, we can be better warned as to who or what our enemies are and how they work.
Our down falls comes from within us. We let things slip up on us and knock us clear off the path. In come cases, our slip-ups can cost us our lives, or the loves we are entrusted with.
Let us examine ourselves closely with the help of the Holy Spirit and remove from ourselves anything that would separate us from our Father in Heaven and also anything in us that would prevent us from doing His will to it fullest.
Let us be these He can trust to get the job done.
Jesus has not come to add to your life
Jesus has not come to add to your life. Jesus has come to take you life and replace it with the life He has planned for you. John 12:24 says in the Amplified Bible, "Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hated his life in this world will keep it to eternal life …"And then in verse 26 it reads, "If anyone sever Me, he most continue to follow Me, [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying,] …"
We must get a grasp on what is at stake here. Our live must be under the total control of our Lord and Master. If they are not, and we are trying to hold on to parts of our loves - then we are just trying to "add" the goodness of God to our lives as an added benefit.
This won't cut it. Actually, we are trying to hold on to our lives and Jesus said that we would lose them.
Besides, we make ourselves miserable! We end up trying to put on a bit of religion to our own disorganized, unsatisfied lives just enough to ruin both the plans - God's plan for us and our plans for ourselves.
I've seen loves destroyed because they thought they could add to call of God into their loves, thinking they could achieve their own goals in the process.
I have had to deal with this type of issue in my own life. In an area of my wilderness training when the Lord revealed he Name of this ministry, I began to see the ministry as an answer to all my problems. For example, I reasoned, once this ministry was up and running, support was coming in, then I would be able to put propane gas located outside of our house. At the time of reasoning the tank was reading about 10% in November of 1999. I was concerned about Thanksgiving dinner, but went on to cook the turkey figuring there would be enough money before Christmas that year.
The Lord spoke to me about this. He told me not to mix the ministry with the concept of paying my bills or providing my necessities. I understood what He was saying to me. I could fall into the trap of seeing the ministry as a means to the end. By having this perspective, the circumstances could begin to dictate to me my level of devotion to His work. For example, the more bills, the more drive to see His ministry rise, or the less bills, the less the drive and zeal. So I dropped my thoughts of, "once the ministry gets in full swing, we can have a full tank of gas outside."
As it turned out, my wilderness training was not complete, was not complete. What I had received was only the name of the ministry. There was much more to be done by God before He would be ready to launch us out.. I would like to add, that since that time, we never put propane in the tank and the propane tank never emptied. It continued to give full service for 15 more months. Yes, That's Right! Fifteen full months of never missing a meal due to running out of propane.
The point I am trying to make is this. None of us can answer His call on our lives in effort to better our lives. Indeed, His will for us is "abundant life," but our hearts must filter, censor, and remove our own agendas, goals and plans and we must surrender to His will. If you have heard the Lord tell you that He has called you to write His Words to the world, don't think of needing the best computer, the writer's cabin in a beautiful and isolated place of tranquility for inspiration, but rather first - be determined to obey His desire first, even if it means writing His words with a broken pencil on the back of a cereal box.
He has not come to add to your existing life, but to take over and replace. In this life, everything you need will be added to you.
"God's Waiting Room"
They are handing out commissions
Get in line quick
Get yourself in shape
God's coming to town.
Good Job. You're accepted
Step in here
Have a seat
God's waiting room.
A room full of eager zealots
full of spiritual vigor
ready for battle
Ready to go.
The seats are full and excitement fills the air
How longs before He comes?
And sends us "out there"
We've read every magazine
heard everyone's story
even talked about the weather
still -- we wait.
It is like being hired by the largest corporation on the coast. It has the best benefits, offers the best salary, and provides the best job security available.
The corporation hires you and processes you into it's ranks and then places you on standby, telling you to be available at any four hour call. They send you home and you sit by the phone. A day goes by, but that doesn't matter. Two or three more -- but that's okay. A week and then two -- and then a month.
Your friend who was hired could wait no more. He went and found another job. There are others you hear about -- they too have left-had to leave-had others things that needed tended to.
You begin to question yourself. Shouldn't you have heard by now? You double and triple-check the corporations credentials. They're valid, it's true-but you begin to wonder-what good is that going to do you?
A few more have dropped out and secured other jobs. You can see them move into homes, and driving their cars. You have nothing to show for your wait -- Just a phone in your hand, and you are worn in your "wait."
Life is passing you by
even others can see
Your hopes are futile
Your dreams are vain.
You're losing sleep now,
Maybe they're right,
The joy of your commission
is long out of sight.
No! You declare
The commision is true.
You brush off the dusty papers
and read them brand new.
If it takes a year or two -- maybe
three or four -- or even more
I'll be right here
When He walks in the door.
All that I might have gained
I count it lost
I am waiting for Him
At all costs.
I was exited to be able to help dad work on the car for the first time. I helped him carry the tools. I felt so grown up. Dad sat me on the edge of the car so I could see better and I began to watch. I watched Dad's face as he looked over the engine. I could tell he was thinking as to how to get the car to run. I knew he would. Dad knew everything. As he began, I watched him grab different tools. Lets see, that round thing attaches to that …I think he called it a ratchet. He placed it on a screw and began to loosen the bolt. Wow. It sure makes a neat clicking sound.
After getting a lot of bolts out, he laid down the ratchet. I quickly reached over and picked it up. This thing was neat. If you hold this and turn it a certain way, it clicks. Hmmm. Click Click Click Click….Click Click Click Click….Click Click Click…After as bit I put it down and began to watch again. Dad's hands were getting really dirty by now. After dad would lay down a tool I would pick it up then my hands would get greasy too. This was great. I loved it all, the grease, the dirt, the tools, and the smell.
After about four hours, which to me seemed like eternity, I watched dad pick up an old rag and wipe his hands. He looked over me and smiled and handed me the rag.
"Well son, you want to see if it works?"
After he took me off of the edge of the hood, I ran to the front of the car and watched the engine as dad got in the car and turned the key. This was really neat. That round thing turns this and the engine shook but it started. It seemed much louder with the hood up than when you are in the car. But it worked! Dad just knew everything.
Years have passed now, and I have watched and learned many things as I watched Dad work on those old cars every weekend. I still loved the smells, the dirt, the grease. But Mom still fussed at us both now, she was the one trying to get all the grease out of our clothes.
I was going to be getting my first driver's license soon. I could hardly wait. My friend just got his yesterday and found an old car and we decided that we would fix it up. Today, I wait as he backed the car into the yard. The both of us are so excited about the whole thing. I could see that my friend was about to bust with idea of driving his own car. I had told him that I knew a lot about engines, but would I be able to fix it? Would I be able to get the car to run? I knew that it was very important for my friend. Would I let him down?
I lifted the hood to the old car and began to look around. I reached over and grabbed the correct socket that would fit the engine bolts. Hmmm had to replace the head gasket….Let see, dad would always take these out…. And then get these bolts out…. and then…
The day flew by as we worked on the car. By the time we put everything back in, he was about to explode. He ran to the side of the car and turned the key. I think both of us were holding our breath. It felt like the whole world depended on that car starting. Our future, I mean I would surely get to ride with him and go cruising around, so it was a "our future" I wouldn't want to have to sit at home on the weekends…would it work???
Yes! It turned over, and over, and over….uh oh, will it start? Did I do it right? Finally the engine roared to life. Yes! I slapped my friend on the back as he walked to the front of the car.
"Well, you've got your ride!" I yelled to him.
"Thanks, man. You did good. I wasn't sure this thing would ever run. You really knew what you were doing!"
"Well, I have to thank Dad; I learned everything by watching him."
"Cool!" my friend said as he got reached over and began to help me put up all the tools.
Later after he had gone, I sat at the kitchen counter, watching mom fix dinner.
"You know son, she said as she stood over the stove stirring something in a pot, " I would glance out at you through the window here. I noticed one thing the most each time I looked out."
"What was that?" I asked.
"You looked just like your dad. You had the same look on your face as he does when he is looking over the engine. You meticulously placed each tool back in the toolbox when you were finished, you wiped your hands on that filthy rag when you were done, and you even managed to get just as much grease on your clothes and he always does."
I just smiled. I had learned a lot from watching dad all these years.
Just that moment dad walked through the back door.
"Hello there!" Dad called as he reached over and took off his work boots.
"What did ya'll do today?"
"Oh not much," I commented. "Just followed some footsteps."
I saw the look of wonderment on his face as I walked past him.
I am not sure that he will ever know just how much he has taught me. I looked into heaven sighed and said, Thanks Lord."
You see as the young boy grew up watching his dad accomplish a task, he learned about the tools, and engines, and how things worked.
The same goes with our Heavenly Father. As we read the word, we watch Jesus, the very expression of the Father. At first we may just notice, that he went here, prayed this way, and talked to these people…
But as we continue to study and mediate on the word, the more details we will learn. We will learn his facial expression, his compassion that he felt for the people and began to feel what he felt as He looked across the mass of people.
One day when someone comes to us, with their life messed up and not sure if things would ever work out, will we do it right, will we speak as Jesus spoke to the people. Will we give them the life that Jesus died to give them?
To be just like our "Dad" and walk in the footsteps of Jesus. That is our purpose. Each moment of time we spend in His word, looking watching and learning with an eager heart to "help" we become as little more like Him every day. And as we mature and grow, and people look at us and notice the things we've done, we can from out hearts say, "I can only do what I do because I watched my Father. I only do it because that is the way He does it."
He stands at the front, stout, and strong, waiting for her to come through the door.
He has waited for this moment for a long time. He has planned and made sure everything was ready. They both have thoughts racing through their minds of the future that is ahead of them.
The music begins ... The voices rise ... a chorus that reaches to the heavens.
All else is silent.
Her dress trails softly behind her as she makes her way to the front.
She too has longed for this day. She knows that this day will change the outcome of her whole life.
She is oblivious to the others watching her. Her eyes are fixed on her beloved
Finally they gather hands and turn toward the One that stands in front of them.
She glances at her beloved who smiles at her and turns to look at Him.
In a tone strong and clear he begins to speak.
"Father the time has come. Glorify you Son, that you Son may glorify You. You have given Me authority over all the earth so that I may give her eternal life, so that she may know You Father, and Me whom you have given to her. I have brought you glory here Father by completing all that you have asked Me to do, and now Father, glorify Me with the Glory that I had before the world began."
He turns once again to face her but still continues speaking to His Father.
"I have revealed You to her, who you chose out of the world. She was Yours and you gave her to Me and she has obeyed Your word. She knows that everything that you have given Me comes from You. I gave her the words You gave Me and she accepted them. She knows certainly that I came from You and believed that you sent Me to her. I pray for her. Not for those outside but her that You have given Me for she is Yours. All I have is Yours and all that is Yours is Mine, and glory has come to Me through her."
"I will remain in the world no longer but she must stay here in this world and I am coming to You Holy Father. Protect her by the Power of Your Name - the Name You have given Me - so that she may be one as We are one. While I was with her I protected her and kept her safe by that Name you gave Me. None of the others were lost except one only so that you Word may come true.
I am coming to You and say these things while I am here so that she may have the full measure of My joy within her, for she is not of this world. I have given her Your Word and the world has hated her, for she is not of this world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take her out of the world but that you protect her from the evil one. She is not of the world even as I am not of it. Sanctify her by the truth. You Word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent her into the world. For her, I sanctify myself that she too may truly sanctified."
He stops, and everything remains silent. The Father gently smiles and looks her way.
"His prayer is not for me alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Him through my message that they may be one Father, just as You are in me and I am in you. May they also be in You so that the world may believe that you have sent Him. I will give them the glory that you have given me, that they may be one as we are one; Him in them and You in Him. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Him and You have loved them even as you have loved us.
Father, I want those You have given to Him to be with You where I am and to see Your glory. The glory You have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You and they know that You have sent Him. I have made Him known to them and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for us may be in them and that He may be in them."
Once again they turn to each other.
The words that he speaks next she knows will be the truth that will she will hang onto while they are separated for a season. But this does not burden her. She knows that He is never but a prayer away. She will continue on her mission preparing for His return.
There is much to be done.
He looks at her, in a way that she had never seen before and one that she will never forget. Just as she was honored to stand next to Him, for the first time she is realizing that He is just as honored to be standing next to her.
The words echo loudly in her ears
"I am giving Myself to you. That includes everything I have and everything I ever will have. Everything that is Mine is yours. You have My Name, My Word, and My nature. Anyone who comes against you comes against Me. Anybody that curses you curses Me, any enemy of your is My enemy as well. When you are assailed, just call upon Me and I will do whatever I must to guard, protect and rescue you."
As she continues to prepare for His return, she longs to see Him again, but always knows that He has her heart, that she has His and that He hears every whisper of His Name ... Jesus.
As the armor bears finished the final touches of securing their gear, each making sure the other was properly fashioned and prepared, the Voice of the Lord warned of the dangers that lay ahead. "See what the Spirit is teaching you. You have to trust Him and know that He will protect you." Each warrior knelt at the sound of His Words. A wave of seriousness and soberness swept over each of them. Turning to face the city, an angel approached and stood in front of them. Overcome, they knelt again. After being told to rise, the angel handed them a piece of paper with writing on it. It was written on a fine blue page and contained the Words of the Master's directions and a promise. The promise read: "Look at what is before you, ... I will give you free reign to do My will.." Blessed and encouraged, the small group began their first steps, careful not to step out of the light of the torch. Occasionally, a stone would land in their path, coming from the darkness. Unaffected, the group continued.
As the climb grew steeper, a couple of the warriors stumbled. The others, still footed, reached over and pulled them to their feet. As they became accustomed to climb and their legs grew stronger, the pace quickened and the spirits were lifted. Soon though, a dark wind began to draw down against them. Step by step, they faced the wind with determination. The closer they came to the finish of the accent, the stronger the incline and the stronger the dark wind. As they neared the top, one by one they seemed to take turns stumbling under the weight. Pushing harder, praying harder and longer so the light would not be blown out, the warriors continued. In attempt to stop all progress, the dark wind whipped around the peak of the cliffs viciously, seeking to kill the warriors attempting to climb into the heights. At once, they were knocked off balance and facing a sudden and terrible fall. Just as it looked the roughest for the warriors, a Hand from Heaven reached down and grasped the group, lifting them to their feet. "Step, step, step." whispered the torchbearer. They stepped. The light from the torch grew brighter.
As they crested the hill and the light broke the darkness over onto the other side, the warriors gasped. There before them they saw multitudes standing, facing the very mountain they were standing on. The faces of the multitude were still and quiet. No emotion moved them.
Their dark eyes peered up into the light. No one spoke. All of Heaven was silent as the scene sunk in. Tears rolled down the faces of the warriors