Monday, July 21, 2014

There Is This Tidal Wave

What is the difference between a tidal wave and a tsunami? Answer: the language that each of those words
come from. Both are large waves from the ocean caused by a sea quake or a hurricane that comes toward the land causing destruction in its path.

I recall the tsunami in Haiti. What I didn't understand was when the people saw the animals moving toward higher ground, why didn't they move too? Why was it more important to still do what it was on their minds to do, then to see what was going on or to pay any attention to that gut feeling to get out of harm's way? Was death speaking louder then life? How? Why didn't more hear the warning signs? How could the animals hear more then the people?

For this year, I pray that we can be the hearers that God calls for us to be (John 10:27 AMP). For those who are young in the faith, we can reach and grab onto them for redirection, correction, and exhortation in Jesus' name (Hebrews 12:1-8 AMP). You see there is this natural occurrence that we can see. We know that the outcome of this natural occurrence isn't favorable especially if we did not have the ears to hear His voice. But then there is the tidal wave that we cannot see. Something that comes over believers whether it be for a test, trial, or tribulation, we must be ready and equipped to weather the wave. We have to be deeply rooted in His Word so that when the destruction passes, we still stand (Luke 6:47-49 AMP).

Why would such a thing come over believers and where is this written in the Word?

Its lengthy to explain. You will have to study the passages closely to see the truth. You will also have to act on the truth to be truly set free (John 8:32 KJV). I will take this issue, that I have never heard taught in any church, slowly and step by step. I invite you to email me if you note anything in error or have any concerns.

One of the first passages that come to mind is Job. He was afraid that his children would sin. Having no proof, he decided to sacrifice to atone for their sin that was never confessed (Job 1:5 AMP). Not only was his fear distasteful to God for we know we cannot please Him without faith, but that Job being a priest knew what was expected of him. Because of these acts, he had a wave come over his house. One that destroyed his family, his home, his wealth, his health, and his faith (Job 1:13-22 AMP).

With Job being the foundation of this entry, look at the responsibility of the pastor. God uses him to be the shepherd of the sheep. He is a servant of the Lord to feed the flock. He hears the message from the Lord, prays about what he has heard, then he studies. Once getting these aspects into place, he readies himself for service. His tongue is used as God's mouth piece to do as God says for him to do for the good of the bride (the church) readying herself for the coming of the groom (Jesus, our Lord). If the pastor deviates from what the Lord has given for the flock to eat, its as if the pastor has led the sheep down a wrong path. He taught them in error and what can happen is the flock can be scattered, the children of God can be offended, and the Word of God will do what God says it will do. For it is written, it is better that he have a millstone put around his neck and thrown into the sea then to offend one of the little ones (Matthew 18:6 AMP). Jesus said this when he was surrounded with children so we assume and treat this verse with how we behave when speaking or teaching children. Nevertheless, we walk in the Spirit and children can be full grown adults with child like faith. If a Christian new in the faith is willing to listen and heed to whatever his/her pastor says without question, then the pastor must realize this and adhere to the Word of the Lord or the tsunami that hits will be devastating.  

It is for this reason that we pray for our pastors. He has many means to be tempted if he is not mature in the Lord himself. The purpose for this portion of the entry is because there are too many men that think that he can pastor a church without proper training and doesn't spend the time being under authority to prove himself to be a good leader. Whether it is because of ego, pride, or just being a zealot, none of these things are good qualities in being a good pastor. All of the warning signs are there. If this sort of pastor does not hear, then the wave that comes across him will also affect his family and the ministry (Ephesians 4:1-3 AMP).

As congregants, our prayers are necessary. We are like the men holding up the arms of the pastor while the battle continues. We pray that the flesh is crucified daily not only in our own lives but the lives of the pastor, his family and our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17 AMP). 

With this knowledge, you cannot neglect your own relationship with the Lord. Have you ever asked yourself, about the peace or lack thereof after a message. The Lord does speak to us and with Him being the definition of peace, when we sense anything but peace in our lives and having no answers as to why, it is not the time to ignore that warning sign. Prayer not only will give you answers but will change matters. I use to attend a small ministry for years. One day I noticed upon entering the building that I felt queasy. I had no idea what it was and disregarded the feeling as a bug going around. By the time service ended, I had a headache and a need to lie down. Once I got home, all of the nauseated feelings dissipated. The following service, it happened again. I prayed but also found much later that my overall health returned once I left that ministry altogether. Later it was discovered scandal was laced throughout the clergy. Having been a baby in the Lord back then, this would have affected my faith greatly. God saw it all and protected me.

Over the years, many of the ministries have changed. We all go through changes when we grow; however, we aren't unrecognizable to each other. Ministries shouldn't have such a radical change that the congregants have to get use to their surroundings, unless the ministry was way out in left field instead of the Word in the first place. There are certain things that must be removed from the ministry and its the pastor's job to make sure this is done when it is found. There is a procedure when a believer becomes oppositional. Even when the offender goes through the process, there is a time of rest to see if the understanding of the truth has taken place (Matthew 18:15-17 AMP). We are not set free unless there is an understanding (Proverbs 4:7 KJV). This is true in every aspect of the ministry and again the pastor's job to make sure this is done. A job that is not difficult for him because he has already done this and has maintained this order in his own home. If a man cannot maintain order in his home, he has no business trying to manage a ministry (1 Timothy 3:1-5 AMP). As a congregant, we have the responsibility to see these things for ourselves to guard our own hearts. Is the pastor's wife loving or does she scowl and is angry? Are the pastor's children respectful of their parents or do they act differently towards adults when away from authority? These are all warning signs telling what is being taught in the ministry. Take heed (1 Timothy 3:6-13 AMP).

There is a passage in Psalms that describes the direction of the anointing (Psalm 133:1-2 AMP). The analogy shows that the oil comes down the head, to the beard, and the rest of the skirts. It has been taught that this is the flow of blessings as received in the ministry. Would that also be true for punishment? Again I refer to Job. Though him being a priest, it was his action that caused the punishment. His children's death was because of Job's action. The grief his wife endured for the loss of her family was because of Job's actions. His friends were trying to make sense of Job's bad fortune was because of the acts of Job. This is also reminiscent of the act of Adam. Because of his actions, man was cursed. It took the action of Jesus to redeem us all for past, present, and future stupid actions that have nothing to do with righteousness (Hebrews 5:1-14 AMP). This passage of Psalms also shows that the anointing flows. Therefore, in ministry, there is nothing that is stagnant. When ministry isn't doing anything, its because God has not been accepted there or has been disregarded. Waves of destruction are destined for such a ministry as that.

How are you living? It seems like a standard question and maybe something that would be obvious to those that profess Christianity; however, there are some that have incorporated worldly practices and have minimized the importance of living a holy life . For it is written, be thou holy for I am holy (1 Peter 1-16 AMP). It is God that is doing the talking in that passage. If He is the greater one living on the inside of each everyone one of us that believes, why would it be such a difficult thing to do to live a holy life? Have you not been taught to live holy? You cannot do what you have never been taught. Who is it that is doing the teaching? Your pastor. Does he live a holy life? This does not mean for you to stalk the man or his family. It calls for you to watch and pray (Ephesians 6:18 AMP). Many men speak profound truths and when  they incorporate testimony, they give a wealth of information about themselves. I have written many excerpts in this blog about such testimonials I have heard and wondered if the minister knew what he/she just said. From confessions of being a control freak to being verbally abusive to their spouse, I find it amazing how God will show you where you need to be and why.

You might be the very reason why the tidal wave didn't hit that ministry. Remember what Abram asked when God told him to leave Sodom and Gomorrah? He would saved the city if there were 10 righteous people in it (Genesis 18:23-33 AMP). Are you one of the people that should be there for the ministry to be saved? You are created for a time such as this. Know exactly what it is you are created for. Selah.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Are You A Lightweight?

Back in the day, it was said lightweights couldn't handle their liquor. By the middle of the second drink, that person was already slurring and looking kind of crazy. Laughing about nothing and venturing forth to start something violent was the mode of operation. It didn't take long before the lightweight's reputation was out there and no one was rushing back to go anywhere with that person again (Proverbs 20:1 AMP).

In boxing, lightweights are paired with each other. While the on lookers or casual enthusiasts don't think a few extra pounds wouldn't make that much of a difference, the professionals know otherwise. It takes an experienced coach to make the opponent not think of those extra pounds in order to win the fight. Did the tactics work? It would depend on how the fighters were thinking.

With David and Goliath, who was the lightweight there? The baby Christian would more then likely say what a sinner would because he/she doesn't know any better. They walk by sight until they are taught a better way to walk. If they are around more Christians rather then sinners, the ability to walk in the faith would be quicker. Nevertheless, back to the question. If we look as the children of Israel, were they afraid for David? Being smaller, having no weapons that could be seen, and a mere child - by sight, David seemed as if he didn't have a chance. Goliath's reputation proceeded him. He didn't have to do anything. The Philistines used their human billboard to market their fierceness. They conquered what they planned to obtained by allowing their human advertisement to speak for itself. They dressed him in the armor, hired someone to carry his shield and someone else to carry his sword (1 Samuel 17: 4-7 AMP). His face was contorted and the script he memorized was chilling to all that could hear. The Philistines had nothing to do but to wait for the opposing army to admit defeat and allow themselves up to be slaves. Its what has happened and what they have been used to. Everyone has heard about it and believed. Everyone but David. Recall David was out in the field caring for the sheep. The news didn't travel where he was and no one ever thought he would be interested. Remember, David asked who Goliath was and why was he speaking to the children of Israel like that (1 Samuel 17: 26 AMP)?

Understand babies have an identity crisis. They need to be told what to do and when to do it. Babies don't know who they are until someone gives them the knowledge for them to retain and reiterate for it to be a habit for them. It used to be that adults would cover the ears of the younger so they would not incorporate wrong information. Why? Because they are lightweights...babies are lightweights. They could not be in a storm or they would be killed. They aren't seen in a battle because it would be ridiculous. Babies don't know enough to make a quality decision. Choose life? A baby's question would be, what are my other choices or what's death? It is why babies are protected, guided, and shown specific passages in the bible to begin the new (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV).

David wasn't a lightweight. He is described as a man after God's heart (Acts 13:22 KJV). He was left alone in the field with the sheep and studied. He praised God. He wrote songs and poetry. He was a blessed man and had no problem coming against anyone who opposed the righteousness of God. The king, Saul, hid with the rest of the people (1 Samuel 17:11 KJV). They bought the advertisement. They were chronologically older then David but lightweights in God.

When a fighter gets into the ring, he does so after he has trained. After he has the right equipment and has tested what is a good fit for him with his gloves, shoes, and trunks. He doesn't just put on anything, or decides to get in the ring and fight on a whim. He has trained physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically to win. If any one of those categories had not been touched upon in his training sessions, he has already lost the battle. God expects for us to be trained as well. It is why when David was offered the king's armor, he turned it down. He never wore that garment before. He had what God gave him that assisted him in killing a lion and a bear. He had skills and was already prepared to do battle. No one else was.

When you have all that God has given you, you are more then a conqueror (Romans 8:37 AMP). Who is stronger then you (Luke 11:21-26 AMP)? Could there be anyone who could come against you and win? Only you can answer that...well, God knows too. It is why there are tests. Can you withstand the test or will you be fighting temptation? Answering that will also let you know if there is anyone stronger then you. You must consider your ways. You must know what is your weakness, find the verse in the scriptures and say it everyday. Its a apart of your weaponry. Neglect in using your whole armor, expect defeat - for it is written.

In the news last night, there was a homicide. It was reported that the victim was struck once at the hand of an assailant, fell over and died. The speculation was that he must have been hit in the throat or on the temple of his head. I wondered had he been hit for awhile and the lethal blow was all he could stand. For instance, cheating on your spouse was a means that made him a little weaker. Then using rumors against the righteousness of God took something else from him (1 Chronicles 16:22, Psalm 105:15 KJV) . Refusing to support his children was another hard hit that he barely recovered from (1 Timothy 5:8 AMP). Stealing office supplies from his job where people usually find it the norm but God sees it as stealing was another sock in the gut. In all of that time throughout his life he might have attended church services a handful of times and asked for the Lord's help when he could SEE things were getting bad. But what about the things he couldn't see? Job didn't see his acts of fear  as the reason for the demise of his family, his wife's crazy talk, or the destruction of his property. That doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Have you prepared? Did you ever go to training? Do you have the right equipment? Does it fit? Have you come against opposition? Can you? We cannot be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:12-15 AMP). We cannot listen to one sermon, run around the church thinking because we did what someone else did, we would be blessed as well only to be tested on the outside and curse like a drunken sailor. We no longer ask why bad things happen to good people and then cheat on our taxes thinking it isn't hurting anyone. We no longer dress up lies as little and white for self preservation. Because of faith, mercy, and grace we are heavy weights. Because of the salvation Jesus has freely given to us, we can fight with conviction. Because of that whole armor, we stand on the throat of the enemy and he better not budge (Ephesians 6:11-18 AMP)! Because of the Greater One living on the inside of those that believe, we know who we are in Christ! Now, who is it that DARES to come against you?!!!