Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Read It for Yourself!

To not know things in this day and age can prove to be detrimental for your health. We simply don't put our trust in anyone and everyone anymore. We should know better than that, not only because of what we have been taught but simply because of what we have said and done ourselves. For instance, I would have loved to take my children to Disneyland when they were little. We were saving every nickle and dime we could find. But as a young mother some years ago, I had to weigh purchasing diapers for the baby or fulfilling the idea I planted into the minds of my children. My now ex-husband and their father wasn't working and the pressure was on. Diapers, of course, won.

What sort of pressure would pastors be under when stepping to the pulpit to teach a lesson that hearers need to act upon? Have the bills been paid? Did someone sue the church and win the case? Are there any marital problems that might weaken the ministry? Are the staff that was hired by the pastor above reproach? Is scandal looming anywhere in the ministry? You wouldn't know and most ministers don't divulge that sort of information to their congregation.

Over the years I have heard thousands of sermons, messages, and prophecies. And while most of them I believed were anointed, coming straight from God, in those tender years of salvation I stumbled a few times believing all that I heard and not being a hearer only (James 1:22 AMP). Because of any number of things that could go on in a speaker's life, fear could cause the speaker to make mistakes; what the bible refers to as err (Isaiah 9:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:3 AMP). When this err is heard, the listener goes and acts upon it and then is in err as well (2 Timothy 4:3 AMP). This ripple effect can cause the very thing the pastor feared - the congregants leaving.

A prime example is a message I heard, "If You Take Care of God's House, He'll take Care of Yours." It sounds like a good deal seeing God is not a man that He should lie. So the listeners to this message gives financially believing their debt, burdens, and worry will be miraculously relieved. You know, believe to receive and you shall have. Well, it worked - for the pastor anyway. His bill can be paid. You, on the other hand, must stand on faith to receive. One, two, three, four, months had past and the pressure for your bills to be paid is insurmountable. You can't sleep because of it. Can you go to the pastor and preach his message back to him and get your bill paid? No? Why? What is he going to say? Put your faith to work? You did by giving, why won't he, now that you need? And there is the err that was initiated by fear the pastor or minister acted on.

What is your recourse? If you succumbed to a message laced in guilt or made you feel obligated or ashamed, ask God for forgiveness and repent. When the test comes again and that feeling isn't cheerful as God requires, speak the Word (2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV). There is no fear in God (1 John 4:18 KJV). Jesus already paid the price (Romans 6:23 AMP); you are not obligated to no man. You are to owe no man anything but to love him (Romans 13:8 AMP). Understand this doesn't mean you should pilfer or negate your responsibilities with giving your tithes and offering; that money is holy and is actually not yours (Leviticus 27:30 AMP). Just know that as you must walk by faith so does that man or woman of God teaching the message. Let them also believe to receive without burdening the people with fears that should have been cast over on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7 AMP).

That, being one example, because money seems to be a problem at times. Nevertheless, with any topic taught in church, you cannot put your trust in the one speaking. Yes, love him, pray for him, bless him, and by all means take notes so you can go and read the verses for yourself. There has been too many times where scripture was taken out of context, wording switched around to mean something else, or other folk tales are used instead of the Word (1 Timothy 4:7; Titus 1:14 AMP). When phrases used that sound familiar to a group of people, they are more than likely to respond. That is why song lyrics are a common favorite to some speakers. Though praise and worship is made for the Lord's delight be watchful when you hear lyrics to make a message rhema (2 Peter 3:17; 2 Timothy 4:3-5 AMP).

With that message of God taking care of your house because you took care of His, you must remember that those kinds of deals God doesn't make. He provided first. He loved us first. He tells us to draw nigh to Him because He doesn't bombard us. Why would He change that for a message that seems to sound good? God changes not; for He is good. Man still has to get there (Ephesians 4:13 AMP). Can you now see why we put all of our trust in Him? When we do this, there is no trust left for man and Peace rules and reigns for the righteous (Isaiah 26:3 AMP).

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