Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hey Preacher, You Said If I Did This Then...!

This is an entry that took time for me not to write from emotion but from the Word of God. I figured if I felt like this at one time, there had to be more then just me feeling the same way. The purpose in writing this is not to pacify the flesh, which would be the only reason for thinking that you are owed something for being a Christian and doing what is right in the sight of God, but for you to see the truth and to be set free from the obstacles that is keeping you from obtaining all that God has for you.

In going to the altar, or at your bedside or in your living room after hearing a message on television or where ever you were in accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior you were immediately put into the family expecting to go to heaven in the day of His return (Romans 10:9 AMP). You then realize (some sooner then later), that you have to know more of this life you just chose to live. What is expected of you? What is it that you need to change to be a true believer (Matthew 6:33 AMP)? What is all of the joy that other believers are talking about (Romans 14:17 KJV)? How can you learn more about this Jesus that now is Lord over your life (Mark 8:34 KJV)?

Weren't these the questions you had when first coming into the knowledge of the truth? There had to be more after you thought you were doing all that you were supposed to be doing only to find out that there was even more and then some more and then just a little bit more until you can get to where everyone else seems to be. When did you get fed up? Are you fed up now? What are your options? Are you tempted to go back out into the world? Do they (sinners) have it better then where you are now (Proverbs 23:17 KJV)? What happened? Where is the peaceful life in abundance that was promised to you (Colossians 3:15 AMP)? Did the preacher mean that's what was going to happen when you get to heaven? Well, what about now? Do you have direction now (Isaiah 32:17 KJV)?

It is a frustrating state of affairs especially when the whole reason acceptance into salvation was agreed upon was through fear. You know, the fire and brimstone message (2 Timothy 1:7 AMP). It is why there are so many that start to have a wondering eye (Proverbs 6:24-26 AMP). The message preached wasn't preached from the foundation of who God is - Love (1 John 4:8 AMP). There has to be love radiating from each message that a minister preaches otherwise he/she is on their own personal agenda to manipulate those that will hear. If it is not to increase volunteers, then it is to increase what is given in offering or to guilt those to go and witness to increase attendance. Without knowing why you feel like going back into the world, read the following and be encouraged. God sees you and His love is still there watching over you. Don't turn your back on Him because of the foolishness of men. Keep reading and guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23 AMP).

Why ministers preach what they do.
The textbook answer is, ministers have the assignment to feed the sheep of the Lord. Seeing that the Lord prepared the table in Psalm 23, the only way for the minister then to feed the sheep is through the Lord. The minister then must spend time in prayer, studying he Word, and getting to know the community around him/her in order to do the job by which he/she was assigned (Luke 2:46-49 AMP). This assignment has to come from the very One that prepared the table. If not then the so-called minister isn't there to feed the sheep what is needed. The sustenance would be tainted, fluff, and not nourishing. Why? Because it did not come from the Lord. How would the congregant (the sheep) know this? More on that later.

Why the message affects you the way it does.
God is omniscient, omni-present, and omni-potent. He sees all. He knows all. He is all. Because of this, He sees what you need and when you need it. When the minister, a true believer, accepts his assignment to do as he is called to, he receives the message from the Lord because of his obedience (Romans 6:16 AMP). When he stands at the pulpit to administer the Word, it is because he took the time in prayer and heard from God through Christ Jesus. That Word was specifically created for you. Those that hear will hear what God is saying specifically. It is the administration of spiritual food that the Lord prepared in Psalm 23. God sees your heart and what you are ready to receive. You receive more because you are obedient. This obedience equips you to get more (Luke 16:10 AMP). Blessings are abound and continually come as you mature in Him and are willing to not be a hearer only (James 1:22 AMP).

What you must look for in order for you to obtain what God has for you in the messages spoken.
Many people will listen to a sermon and assume that the message was specifically for him/her and they have to act immediately. They have this sense within. No one knows what this person is going through but that person and God. Some went to the extreme when thinking to act upon a given message. It fared well for some and not so much for others. Because of those that didn't fare well, this is why I am writing. The message specifically spoken for you has to come from the Word. It is the only truth we can trust. God will not ask us to do anything that is not written. Even then, you must have a sense of peace in order to act upon whatever you believe the Lord is telling you. If there is a question, go to Him in prayer (Proverbs 3:6 AMP). It isn't a sin to ask. If you don't believe you have the answer that you seek, seek Christian Counseling. There is no sin in this either. If you still don't have assurance, wait and allow for patience to have her perfect work (James 1:4 AMP). God will still be pleased because you are operating by faith through the Word of God (Hebrews 11:6 AMP). You also must be one who studies the Word. If you don't know what a blessing is, it doesn't mean that it won't come. In order for you to know who you are in Christ, you must study. This will not only enable you to recognize the blessing but it will also assist you in hearing a message and know which part was specifically designed for you to make changes in your life.

How you are supposed to come away from the church service attended.
The Word tells us that it is there for our edification, exhortation and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3 KJV). To be edified is to realize that because of the message you know exactly where to make some improvements in your life. The instruction was clear and you have received direction.
To be exhorted is being corrected for wrong behavior. It may not have felt good but you know it was good for you and to your advantage to take heed and make those changes in your life.
Comfort would seem obvious; nevertheless, we already have the Comforter with us. It is who Jesus left us with in the form of the Holy Spirit. The comforting of the Holy Spirit continues when receiving messages from the Word of God. Its as if there was a cup that needed to be filled with water. Now that we have it, the message only makes the cup brim over (2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP).

Where the messages are coming from and how you can tell the difference.
People are people, as my children have told me. When led to a particular ministry to hear the Word of God, it is not unusual that the speaker may have had a trying day or night before preaching the message. It is not unheard of that there are those that have tests, temptations, and trials that have been passed or have failed. There are distractions and those calling themselves friends which have later proven to be an enemy. If this has happened in your life, why would we not think that the pastor, preacher, minister, evangelist, apostle, or bishop have not gone through the same things? Personally, I have believed that once entering into the clergy, I expected for these people to have overcome much more then I have to still go through. How else can they teach me to get out of it? Nevertheless, I have since taken people from the clergy off of the pedestal I hoisted them up on. We are called to be responsible to listen intently and not rush to do everything that is coming from the pulpit (James 1:19 AMP). We are to watch to see how often the scriptures are used and in what context. We are to ask questions and take the lesson in prayer to see how it applies and where to use it. If the sermon has no scripture reference, prayer is paramount because we know this minister is going through something or is about to receive a severe punishment (James 5:16 AMP).

When attending church services, be quick to listen. The singing of praise is intentional to wash all of that which was on your mind before entering the edifice. Once the praise service is complete, most ministries go into a worship service to enter the Holy Spirit in. By this time, most of us have our hearts and minds where they should be (Philippians 4:7 AMP). When coming to service late, this is what is missed. You would think that you could hear the Word and skip these vital portions of the service. The truth of the matter is, without worship and praise, it takes that much longer for you to get acclimated to receive what God has for you. Whether it is retained is another matter altogether. Worship and praise is a God idea in ministry (Psalm 111:10 AMP). To forgo it is like a small fox chewing at the sapling you are desperately trying to grow (Song of Solomon 2:15 AMP).

The message in of itself is the food by which all of us need in order to function in our day to day activities. It must begin, continue, and end with the truth in order for us to be truly set free. Testimonials solidify or make "real" the verses of scripture spoken for some of us and visual aids are a mark that the speaker really studied and considered who he/she would be speaking to. Interpretations of the Word can get sketchy and this is where prayer before coming to church is necessary. A woman expressed to me that the man or woman of God assigned to speak to the congregation has received revelation knowledge that the listeners or viewers aren't privy to. We must adhere to whatever is being said because of the gift they have in receiving this revelation knowledge. The problem with that sort of thinking is, that it sounds good and people pick that up and run with it believing it to be the truth. Yet in the Word, He tells us that the listeners are anointed too. We are led in the Spirit too. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth and tells us things to come too (John 16:13 AMP). So how is someone supposed to be getting something from God and it cannot be confirmed in His Word? I will tell you how - it is a lie, that's how. Revelation knowledge is knowledge that has been received from God and can be expounded upon through His Word. It is not confusing (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV). It is not anything to cause strife. It is not for the purposes of debate. It is soaked in where it has come from - the Prince of Peace. If you do not receive peace from it, it is not revelation knowledge to you. Let it go.

My youngest son called me yesterday because he was having a discussion with one of his co-workers about God and His Word. The co-worker asked a question that had my son in a quandary as how to answer it. It sounded good but was it? He didn't know what to say. He called me and asked me in such a way that I could hear how puzzled he was and I also heard why he didn't know the answer already. He could have been in a rush to get to work on time and skipped out on spending any time with the Creator of all (he knows better then that). I also heard in that question that his study time is lacking (he knew that as well). I answered his question in as few of sentences as I could. He had the answer, just needed reminding. My point being, once the message is received, we all have the responsibility to use that Word as a part of our daily lives. It is rhema. It is what removes the old for the new to exist. It is what we have when we turn from those wicked ways. We cannot keep coming to Sunday morning services expecting God to do what we won't do for ourselves. Make the effort to use the Word for everything and see the differences He will make in your life. God is good. Therefore the outcome has to be the sum total of who He is.

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