Thursday, September 30, 2010

Did God Say You Would Have Trouble?

Its just that when I hear a man or woman of God teach something that doesn't line up with the Word of God, I cringe. The cringe is a reminder of how long I believed lies that kept me from pursuing the true blessing. Truth delivers. Deceit deprives. What may sound good isn't, unless you can find it in the Word and know how to rightly divide it.

Let's take some lies that have been compounded (spoken again and again) in ministry where many heard and believed to be the truth (2 Peter 3:16-18 AMP). This list is small; however, it should get you started in studying and having your own reference materials to use when the lies try to contend with you:

The Lies
1. God didn't say that you wouldn't have trouble.
2. God may not come when you want Him but He is always right on time.
3. Marriage is hard and an eye opener.
4. The many things you can't do because you are a Christian.
5. Seeking God's perfect will in your life.
6. The list of foods a believer cannot eat.
7. Docile and introverted is the same as meek and humble.
8. The devil targets the righteous because he already has the sinner.
9. God never says no but always yes and amen.
10.It is good to use your imagination... what do you think God gave it to you for?

Alright, there you have it. There are some current ones in there that you probably just heard this week. I know there are some in there I just heard and had to correct my fellow sister in the Lord. She wasn't too happy about it in fact when a third party showed her the scripture that I was referring to and neither one of us could find, she changed her tune and acted as if it was what she was saying all along. There is no need to quarrel over it (James 1:20 AMP). If that mind is changed for the better, that is the goal. Not who said what first. Remember that, and also to pray before going over this or saying it to someone else. People are set in their ways for a reason and the allowance of that thought and feeding it, it isn't trying to be moved anytime soon. So get ready for the opposition - if you pray, it will be momentary.

Here is the truth:
1.  God didn't say that you wouldn't have trouble. God did say that if we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness all these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33 KJV). We first then find out what the Kingdom of God is and go from there. The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but joy and peace in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17 KJV). Peace is not trouble. Even if there is some trouble in our lives, don't we have the where withal to know the effect of righteousness ? Do we not have weapons for the battle? If trouble arises we have to question ourselves with what we thought, said, or did for this to come upon us. Joy comes in the morning - right?

2.  God may not come when you want Him but He is always right on time.That particular phrase frustrated me for years. I know of a woman who liked a certain type of house. She bought a starter home and was believing that God would give to her what she desired. She waited for years for God to move and give her what she asked for. It was getting to be 30 years at her wait and when asked why she never moved into her home, the tone in her voice would change and she would express anger at how she waited on God and He didn't do what she asked of Him. She wasn't ready to hear anything consoling from me, but I know that when we wait longer than we ever thought it necessary to do, it is because we practiced impatience in other areas of our lives. Patience is a necessary ingredient for the fruit of the Spirit. God is good. If He tells for fathers not to provoke your children to anger (Ephesians 6:4 KJV), do you think He would do this to His children? So then, why else would we wait an inordinate period of time? Had we done this to someone else? Why then do we expect for God to move so quickly when we have made people wait unnecessarily for us (Galatians 6:7 KJV)? It sounds like seed was sown but you don't like the harvest.The Word tells us that we have not because we ask not but when we ask we ask amiss. Judge yourselves. What have you missed in the sight of God? Now that with your asking, this time of waiting is really getting your attention - isn't it?

3. Marriage is hard and an eye opener. I have written about this before. If marriage is hard why would God have us do it? Jesus said to follow Me, My burden is easy and yoke is light. Did He add on, but unless you are married you are on your own? Of course not, so if marriage is hard, could it be because we did not do what God had planned for us? When Paul wrote that if you marry you would have trouble, was he just making it up as he went along? Man says marriage is hard. The word says to enjoy your own husband and husbands love your wives. Is the Word asking for us to do the impossible when man says one thing and Paul in as much agrees? No, none of which are in disagreement with the other. You would have trouble and it is hard if you marry for the purposes of having legal sex. If you did not practice walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16 KJV) in all that you do and love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and strength, then you will have to learn that with another person that you will be accountable for. Doesn't that sound hard to do? To keep peace in a house when you discover the person you married is a natural nagger, would be troublesome. How can you concentrate on the things God had destined for you when you did not seek these matters first (The Kingdom of God)?

4.  The many things you can't do because you are a Christian. There are many things you can do as a Christian. You can do all things through Christ which strengthens you (Philippians 4:13 KJV). If your heart is devising to do mischief and/or evil, then there are things you will have to put away until you are more mature to handle the matter. For instance, if you are a recovering alcoholic and still can easily be tempted, don't go into the bar under the guise of witnessing to people. Another example is, you can go into the casinos because they have a great breakfast bar there, but why tarnish your credibility with others who thought you were one way and considered being a Christian too until they saw you go into the casino. It can all be innocent, but would it be best for you to do that which is becoming of the Lord rather than yourself?

5.  Seeking God's perfect will in your life. To seek God's perfect will in your life would imply that there is a will that is imperfect. The imperfection is what you do because of outside influence (Ephesians 4:14 KJV). God has put in you what makes you happy. It gives you joy to do such and such. Others may scoff because they don't understand and even say out loud like, "you can't make any real money doing that." But God said that He will make room for you and place you before great men (Proverbs 18:16 KJV). His will is already destined and laid out for you. He is here and there. Whether or not you adhere to what He says. He said to choose life. Once you do, it will be perfect.

6. The list of foods a believer cannot eat. There are a list of foods that is mentioned in the Word (Leviticus 11 KJV). It clearly states that you cannot eat them in order to remain clean. In the New Testament Peter had a dream where he saw a blanket filled with different sorts of animals and the Lord told Peter that he could eat those foods (Acts 10:9-16 KJV). Right then Peter could have said, "I can, great! I was wondering what snake tastes like." But what Peter said was that he would not defile his body like that. He had a decision to make and made it. Now for anyone else who eats these foods, it is not a sin. For it is written, God would not tempt a man to evil (James 1:13 KJV). After all, lobster bisque sounds delicious and clam chowder is. Yet if we look at this matter scientifically, we can see why the list was made. There are certain animals that only consume dead things. Their job is the maintenance of the earth. They have special enzymes that our bodies don't have to break down decomposed matter. If we are to eat these animals in large quantities, much like having a lobster everyday or a crab cake for lunch 5 days a week, what would those enzymes do to our bodies? In not consuming those foods at all, would our health improve as well? God permits us to do as we choose to do. Is it the best in what we choose to do? Is it good for us? Yet we made a decision to do it or not? He said for us to choose life. When we do, then it is the decision for every aspect of it - life.

7.  Docile and introverted is the same as meek and humble. God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). The word fear, in this scripture is defined as timidity which is synonymous to being shy. To be docile is passive and allowing to let whatever happen whether you could do something about it or not. A woman said to me what is the purpose of praying for things to change when God said that these things would happen in the last days? I thought it was a stupid thing to say. It is as if your child falls ill to something. Does it mean you won't care for or pray for your child? Of course not. The last and evil days becomes more prominent when the spirit filled Christian doesn't do what he/she is called to do. The prophetic Word tells of the last days to motivate the children of God to stay strong. In that strength of and not to be moved, it is that humility and meekness that will have its reward.

8. The devil targets the righteous because he already has the sinner.  I have heard, the devil is vigilante after the righteous, for years. I am so tired of hearing all the wrong that a believer has to tolerate because of the devil. He didn't do it!!! The believer made a decision and apparently it was a bad one. Read the first chapter of Job and be delivered. The devil has to obtain permission in order to come after the righteous. Even he knew that there was a hedge of protection around Job. Stop talking about the devil. Who cares what he does. Just keep him out of your life by doing God's will and not your own (Ephesians 4:27 KJV).

9. God never says no but always yes and amen.  Actually, God will not give you the go ahead to do wrong. It is in His Word what you should and should not do. If you decide to do what you will without a plan and prayer to do it, you get what you get. The only time God will answer yes and amen is when you state your case before Him and remind Him of His Word when you do. He is not interested in hearing all of the noise of what you went through. He was there. He saw it all!  He isn't interested in your personal drama, your pity party, or all of the ways used to manipulate others (unless you are repenting and turning from those ways). It just doesn't work on Him. In order for you to get the response you are looking for, you have to know His Word. When you study it, you get to find out more about Him. When this happens, little did you know that your questions are answered and your supply was already met.

10. It is good to use your imagination... what do you think God gave it to you for?  This was the recent issue I had to contend with this week. I heard another minister use it in a message before and I was disappointed with the end of the sermon. I figured he just said those things to get our attention and then recall what the Word tells us about imagination, but he didn't. Instead he said that imagination is good and God wouldn't have given it to us if He didn't expect us to use it. Well, where is that written. I read that we should cast down imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. The minister said in the message, if we can see it then we can have it. It was the reason to use imagination, according to him. I thought that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17 KJV). I thought that faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.

There you have it. Just because the speaker is dynamic doesn't mean he has the dunamis power that God has given to us. We have to make sure that what we hear is the Word of God so that we can stay delivered and help others out of their dilemma. Honestly saints, be alert (Ephesians 6:18 AMP).

Monday, September 27, 2010

What Is Your Whale?

I was the moderator for a situation that happened on my job. I work as a resident emergency coordinator for an independent senior community. There were two men, one spoke Russian the other claimed to have Parkinson's disease. They both live on separate floors. One decides to go to his apartment and became disoriented. We found that they each have a key that fits the other's door. It was difficult to understand what the other was saying. Though I have tried to study Russian to make my job easier I get distracted, yet I was able to make out that he was ready to call the police believing that one elderly man in shorts and a cane stole from the other. It wasn't until the wife of the man with the Parkinson's disease came and explained what has happened and that it wasn't intentional. Her husband was disoriented. I understood this, but even with an interpreter there, it didn't deescalate a thing until the wife said the same thing I did only in Russian.

I suppose this is a convoluted way to make my point but bare with me. I had a discussion in a bible group where I got tired of the person leading the class referring to the devil as if he had some sort of credence on the lives of the righteous. She was making all of these warning signs and to make sure to have the whole armor of God on or else - dum-da-dumdum- da! I just got tired of it and had to say something. Enough is enough. If you have the faith that God said for us all to have then we can walk through trouble like Jesus did and nothing is able to touch us. We have the Holy Spirit guiding us, God never leaving us, mercy and grace behind us, and we are following Jesus - why are you thinking about the devil and what he can and will do? Jesus is our defense and the judge in any trial - what? I guess I spoke too fast or too long because there was quiet for a little while. The following bible study people had studied for hours and had scriptures to refute what I said. It was the coolest thing for me and sort of sad at the same time.

Jonah had this calling on his life where he was suppose to speak to a group of people. God specifically told him to go there. Jonah didn't want to go. He said the people weren't going to believe him anyway so why should he waste his time. In some respects I could relate (people can be irritating) to what he was saying but still - God told him directly. This is irrefutable. So no matter the warnings Jonah received, he still got on a boat to go where he chose to go. The storms that came the fishermen knew something was wrong (Jonah 1:5 KJV). How did they know this, not being believers themselves? They were all going to die because of the disobedience of one man and they knew it. Jonah agreed to be thrown out of the boat for their salvation. The whale that came to swallow Jonah was a direct result of his disobedience. He was there alive in the belly of a whale slowly being digested. Jonah was going to die unless he changed his mind to do as God told him to do. He did and when he did, Jonah moved with a quickness (Jonah 3:3-4 KJV).

Why does it have to get to that point to be obedient? Do people have to go through some sort of storm, illness, ailment, trouble, issue, problem, financial, or family loss to realize that if they had done what was on their mind and heart to do, all of that could have been avoided? The Word tells us that when sin matures it looks for its wage - death.

What about people with these incurable diseases? Where do they come from? Doctors say that they are genetic - its in the blood - a generational thing. What if it was just a change of behavior? What if we got all of the stroke patients together and found the common thread in all of them? What if the common thread was pretending to be ill when there is absolutely nothing wrong with you or seeking unnecessary attention because of low self esteem? In this senior community, I am finding common threads in people (aside from them being elderly). There are personality traits that seem familiar even when the two people aren't related.

The Parkinson's diseased residents have wives of whom I initially felt sorry for. But in watching them, they move so quickly as if they are pleased that they are needed. In that bible study group one woman is disabled from a stroke. She sits in a wheelchair. Her legs move but she assists one arm with the other. Another woman claims that she must go to dialysis treatments. She also says she is diabetic and according to the doctors, she can eat what I know would not be good for her condition. I tried to tell her about nutrition and she became annoyed with me. Her deciding not to listen was annoying to me as well. I look at them and pray knowing that God is good and His mercy endures forever (Psalm 136:1 AMP).

What would be your whale? Where is it that you decided your way is better then what God said to do? He is there and here and knows the better path. What is in your prayer closet that you confessed to Him and keep picking it back up to worry over? Is it as simple as studying a language to make a job or living environment easier or getting some counseling to improve on your self esteem? Could it be not embellishing on facts or falsifying documents that you think no one else will know or see? Sin does mature just like a seed in rich soil. Without confession and repentance, the harvest will manifest. Why should digestive juices begin to decompose your body before you do what is right?