Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tell The Younger

We all have favorite scriptures. Whether it is because the verse has given us comfort in our time of need or it was the epiphany that we were looking for in answering a question - the verse is a favorite and something to remember in our quest with Him.

Then there are those verses that keeps a furrow in our brow wondering why it was in the bible at all or why doesn't anyone preach a message on such and such verse. Without an answer at the moment of asking, we leave it alone believing that it must not be for us to know right now (Proverbs 3:5 KJV). But what about the verses that aren't adhered to. I mean the ones that are so obvious to a 5 year old and still it is put on the back burner until....when? How long will it sit there? Doesn't it nag you? Aren't you concerned with how you will explain to God why it wasn't used? Do you not remember the parable of talents (Matthew 25:14-30 KJV)?

The scripture that I have meditated on over the years and have continued to come back to me only when I think about this teacher in high school. I have written about her before. She was the chemistry teacher that when asked a question that she didn't have the answer to, she would humiliate the student so that the child would not ask anymore questions. I did whatever I needed to do to avoid getting her class because I was such the student that asked questions until I understood the matter. As an adult, it bothered me because she was teaching the next generation to be as intimidating as she tried to be. How will the next generation know unless they ask? Here is the pertinent question, wouldn't you want them to have it better then you? Would you have them endure pitfalls if they didn't have to?

The chemistry teacher answered the question when it wasn't asked of her. What was asked of her pertained to chemistry and her reply was, "aw, honey child, you should have learned that in elementary school." She continued with (I am paraphrasing as it was said to me), I got mines, you have to get yours the best way you know how. She was referring to a college education. The grammar speaks for itself; nevertheless, she refused to make the class easier to understand for the students. If they passed then they were exceptional. If not, returning to that same woman to be berated in front of everyone was inevitable. Who willingly wants to get a beating? Would this encourage or discourage students to return to school much less her chemistry class?

The point is, there is a scripture that instructs for the elder woman to tell the younger (Titus 2:3-4 KJV). The purpose for this is so that the mistakes won't be repeated. This chemistry teacher will have much to answer to if she hasn't already got it straight before the Lord (James 5:16 KJV). Teachers are held at a higher standard then any other office in the sight of God (James 3:1 AMP). Would that you could be off the hook. Its the reason I meditated on the verse about teachers. There were several members in my family that pronounced over and over again that I am supposed to be a teacher. It wasn't something that I was willing to go into. I did not want to be in charge of a group of 30 (or so) children and keep them interested in material when they had so many other things that served as a distraction especially in these days and times. If it wasn't the dysfunctional family life, it was the opposite sex. If they weren't looking for something to fill the void of having a fatherless life, it was some new electronic gadget the parent bought to keep them from being bothered. Never mind the crack babies growing up, the children coming to school in their pajamas looking for something to eat, the 10 year old girls looking 16, and administration overwhelmed by the absenteeism calling the parent that couldn't care less. All of that still does not alleviate the responsibility of being a teacher. This took time before I could really understand it and why God continued to have me face that scripture over and over again to the point of tears.

There are people that are just jealous in his world. There is no getting around that until they accept Jesus Christ in their lives and walk in the principles that are mapped out in the Word of God. There are those that finally get certain concepts that have been drilled in their lives for years and now that they have it, they noticed how much time has passed and believe that it is too late for them. Well, if that's you, it still doesn't take away from giving someone else those lessons so they can have what you believe is too late for you. Why wouldn't you want to do for someone else and make sure that whatever you didn't understand due to you being distracted or not interested or the person just didn't connect with you in such a way that you could have caught on all the more sooner, it doesn't give you a reason to hold out what you have for someone else. My family members may have wanted me to be a teacher because of the way I express myself, but aside from the excuses I gave, I still didn't want to conform to someone else's rules that would have me stifled from what God intended in my life. I do teach and have accepted that responsibility. I understand that the words that I speak and my reaction to any action is influencing someone whether it be directly or indirectly. I understand whether I decided to take on the label as teacher or not, there is still an expectation in the eyes of the Lord for me to do what I know to do (James 4:17 AMP).

If you have accepted your role - congratulations. If you haven't, what are you waiting on? Are you the jealous one seeing the cliff at the end of the road, knowing where the children headed and aren't going to do a thing because of the scrapes the fall caused you so many years ago? How dare you! How dare you keep all of those talents and gifts to yourself when God gave them so freely. How dare you not use them for the benefit of others. How dare you try to blame anyone but yourself for being in the predicament that you are in. Selah.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Doing It Afraid

Doing what? Anything. Its just not an option in Christ.

You have to see this in its simplest form so not to have to do something in this matter. But first, I must preface why I am writing this post. This entry is for all of those that have heard the instruction to do it afraid, taught this lesson, or contemplated in this direction and are adhering to it. This entry is for all of us to have the same understanding. If you have Word that teaches different from this, I am more then willing to make a retraction and delete this entry.

First, God did not give us a spirit of fear, which is what being afraid is (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). So if He did not give it and He is the greater one living on the inside of those that believe, how can fear have residence where it does not belong? If the Word tells us not to give the devil place and fear is having residence in your heart (mind or body), have you disregarded God's instruction?

Knowing that you would rather do anything else then be disobedient to God, we must dissect why this feeling of being afraid has come about. The Word tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33 KJV). We know that the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17 KJV). Therefore, if we walk in the Spirit then we must live in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25 KJV). This means that God will lead us in the direction that we must go. Jesus, being the Prince of Peace and is the Word of God also is considered in all that we do. With this understanding, where would being afraid fit in? Peace is the opposite of fear. If there is a decision to be made and your peace is troubled with fear, then it wasn't of God. It was a suggestion created in your mind from the flesh (Romans 5:-3 KJV). If it also stirs up fear (being afraid), you must immediately rebuke it. Whether that means praying, praising, or thanking God for the Wisdom He gave you to make all decisions, it shows resistance (James 4:7 KJV). For the suggestion of fear, your reaction is resistance. Because of this reaction, you have conquered and defeated the enemy  - again (Romans 8:37 AMP)!

Here is another way to make things easier when the feeling of fear comes about. God created man and all things (John 1:10 KJV). He and only He is God. If He is directing you to do something, then He has given you the strength to do it (Philippians 4:13 KJV). If there is opposition that comes against the thing He has told you to do, you have a decision to make. Is He greater or the thing He created that is coming against you greater? If you walk in the fear that has come against you then you have chosen for that thing to be your god. If that is your god, then you have the answer as to why there is turmoil in your life. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. You cannot have peace any other way. It is why we acknowledge Him in all our ways, for Him to direct our path (Proverbs 3:6 KJV).

I received a testimonial from a man who was promoted from directing traffic in a church parking lot to a deacon. He's married, without children, and was caring for his elderly mother. In so doing, there was a change in staff in the ministry and he was needed to train new people in the position that he was in. The ministers of this rather large church were a little intimidating to say the least to anyone who has no understanding of the aforementioned principle. Because the ministry had grown through out the country, this man's expertise for training was needed much more then ever before. The ministers decided to have a meeting with him and request for this man to travel to these various churches to teach the necessary training for the ministry to be successful. The man knew how important it was for the ministry to thrive but the decision was not troubling to him. He had a wife going to school with a career. He had a mother that he needed to care for and now there is this added responsibility. The ministers made the proposal attractive with an added salary and bonus. But it wasn't something that was attractive to him. He said to the ministers what his responsibilities are. The ministers solution was for the man to pack his family up and have them travel right along with him. He asked the assistant pastor, "would you do that to your wife?" The assistant pastor was quiet. The man got up and left with the job and responsibilities God had originally given to him.

When the man told me this, I was thinking that he had taken the job and was going through all sorts of mess. I thought he had taken the job because of what the Word tells us to hold the ministry in high esteem. This man had the confidence and assurance of righteousness on his side. It was like David and Goliath. A huge promotion along with the money was looming over him. So many other people would see the money as a sign from God that it was the right thing to do to accept the job.  Some would see it as a test. In taking the test, the question asked is, which decision is going to keep me on the path of life? In life there is peace and joy. If you cannot see  the trouble and aren't sure there will be trouble, then prayer, praise, and thanksgiving has to be at work for the clarity to be in place (not fear) when the final decision is made. Others would have also taken the job because of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-15 KJV). Their premise being, why would men of God lead anyone astray (John 10:12-14 KJV)? The answer to that is, men and women of God have their own tests, temptations, and trials to go through. They are messengers to deliver a message God has given to them. If they aren't obedient to God, they also have consequences as well and even more so because they are in ministry (James 3:1 AMP). You as an individual must see the vision God has given to you. No one else knows what God has given to you. Even if you describe it, the listener will not have the motivation, drive, or enthusiasm to complete the task that you have because they are not anointed to do the same task that has been given to you (Romans 12:4 AMP). Because of this understanding you can be confident in Him much like David (Isaiah 32:17 AMP). You have no need to fear.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Keep Your Guard Up

Here it is the New Year and there are still new things to learn to keep you in preparation for the coming of the Lord. One of those major things that I know I have fallen short of over the years is to keep a constant trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3 AMP). The falling short is when we put our trust in man for any reason. Now there are many of you that seem to have this understanding; however, if there was a circumstance that came about, would you be tempted to go with what seems to be right rather then what is actually right? What seems to be right is bandwagon thinking. What the world would encourage you to do. What actually is right is what the Word of God tells us to believe in waiting for that substance hoped for. That evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 KJV).

Its during those times when you think you have it altogether and can finally smile when getting up in the morning. The chirp of the birds don't make you wish for a shot gun but the chirp is actually like music to you. Its when the sigh is not of anguish but relief. You have your answer and now you can continue on your journey as planned. Its happened to me right at that point, God places a test to see if you will use all that's been learned. Why? because He is a good God and would not have you destitute (keep reading it will make sense).

In pain, who do you trust? The dentist?
In labor, who do you trust? The Doctor?
About to lose your house, who do you trust? The banker?
Arrested falsely and conviction is about to stick, who do you trust? The lawyer?
Pipes burst, water is everywhere on a weekend, who do you trust? The plumber?

In boxing, the trainer tells his client to keep his guard up. It is excellent instruction if the boxer has a glass jaw or if the opponent has a favorite jab. The trainer sees what the boxer doesn't. He gives him this instruction so he can win. It would be the same for you. This is the same old enemy that has been using the same tricks for centuries. It might be different to you because you have never reached this level of maturity before, but it isn't for those that have been there. It is one of my pet peeves that Christian giants don't say anything allowing for others to go through just as they did when life could have been so much simpler. It is the same peeve when I hear a sermon that could have been more detailed for the seasoned believer. Nonetheless, I curtail that peeve by reading how Jesus spoke in parables to all that came to hear and for the disciples He spoke plainly (John16:25-31AMP). Therefore, I write this entry of this blog to those who who have been diligently reading it. Those who have stopped will miss this crucial information that can help them get from point A to point B in the faith.

Let's tackle the doctor situation. If you have an ailment, we pray. If the pain causes some anguish, you haven't prayed. If you have, you believe what God says He will do. If the pain persists, there is nothing wrong in going to the doctor. He/she will pinpoint what the pain is and will give you the information to concentrate on the prayer specifically. For instance, what scripture are you standing on for the healing process to continue to work? Believing that the prayer of a righteous man avails much, I had such an ailment. I went to the doctor and he told me the very symptoms I said to him. I had a conclusion and I was waiting for his diagnosis. He kept scribbling on his chart but would not tell me anything - not anything conclusive. He danced around of the possibility of what it could be, but never gave it a label. Most people would find it perplexing yet I gave God the glory. You see, it had just been taught in the church I was attending that everything that has a name must bow to the name that was given above every name. The name of Jesus. Depression must bow. Anxiety must bow. Diabetes must bow and so forth and so on (Philippians 2:9-11 KJV). Therefore, I was waiting for this doctor to give it a name so I can get specific and make it submit to the power of the anointing in Christ Jesus. Knowing that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, I almost laughed. I still win. If the doctor doesn't name it and his findings are inconclusive, its because God is not a man that He should lie, nor son of man that He should repent (Numbers 23:19 KJV). The Word tells me that in righteousness, no evil shall befall me, no plague come nigh my dwelling (Psalm 91:10 KJV). I could have succumb to the symptoms and spoke what I believed it could have been. That would have given the enemy place and by the time I got to the doctor, he would have found something. Nothing was there! God is good.

My first born are twins. Grown now, one of them was slightly stressed with an ailment that he could actually see. He came to me and asked what it could be. If I prayed for myself, you know I had already prayed for my children. I prayed for them as they were being formed in the womb. I don't expect for evil to be around them at all either. Nevertheless, they have their own spiritual walk and own lives to live. I spoke words of encouragement and asked if he had seen a doctor. He said he had. I asked what were his findings. Believe it or not, he said that the doctor didn't know. Again, I tried not to laugh because I saw the reaction of my son. I explained to him how the spiritual tests work. This seemed to have calmed him. The next day, after prayer and praise, I went to do some research on what the symptoms appeared to look like. I didn't know my son did the same thing. I called to tell him what he could do. He listened and said, he had found the same thing and for me not to concern myself because all of the symptoms has disappeared. The next day! God is good.

If it wasn't for the book of James, the scripture of the strong man would be one of my favorite verses. The question asks who could be stronger then the strong man (Luke 11:21-23 KJV)? The obvious answer is someone who is stronger then the strong man. Who could this be? If God tells us to put the whole armor of God on and to have our minds renewed daily, who could then overtake us? He is there with us all of the time. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Who would then ever be stupid enough to come near in opposition? Its much like the rich young ruler. If you trust in the materials more so then the One who created the material, then you can easily be overtaken. The young ruler went away grieved. Yet before he asked Jesus anything, he was a rich young ruler lacking one thing. How much more did he lack when he walked away? Something stronger had come an overtaken him (Mark 10:17-23 KJV).

The Word tells us to guard our heart for out of it comes the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23 KJV). I meditated on this scripture recently finding the word, issue to be perplexing. Issues would imply that life has its problems. Problems? When choosing life over death, I expected to have chosen the better of the two. God tells us to do so. When believing that my Lord and Savior has come to add more life to what I already have and more abundantly, we can rejoice for the mercy and grace bestowed upon us. So how then would He come to also give us issues with this gift? Does it make sense?

It is what I referred to at the beginning of this blog. The devices that the devil has to war against you are not new. He has been doing the same things over and over again. They are new to you because you have not been taught or you have not heard or you were not listening. The elders are supposed to tell the younger and there are some that have fallen short of doing this in the past. They have their own crosses to bare with the Lord; nevertheless, the Lord tells us, He has overcome the world. Those issues in life have been conquered. All we need to do is be steadfast in Him and life is as easy as He told us it would be (John 16:33 AMP).