Saturday, December 8, 2018

Storehouse Tithe



Where did the Lord say to bring the tithe? Into His house? Actually, into the storehouse. Why? So there would be food in His house. So what is brought into the storehouse provided food in the house of God.
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.
9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you!
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
11 Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts.
12 “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:8-12
The people brought their tithes so there would be food in the house of God. What was the food used for? The meat was used for the sacrifice required for the atonement of sin, as well as offerings of dedication or thanksgiving to the Lord. Meal offerings were offered as gifts too. The nation of Israel had their sins atoned for through the blood sacrifices offered by the priests so they would continue to be a pure and holy nation--a people set apart for God.

Keeping the nation of Israel set apart was necessary so God could open His salvation to the whole world. The nation of Israel had to survive through generations, remaining holy through atonement for their sin. Jesus was born into this nation. As the Israelites followed the Law, including the tithe, it contributed to their survival as a nation of God, but not just a nation--a holy nation, set apart for Him.

We often hear people say that we tithe to the church so ministers can receive a salary and not have to work outside the church. But it may be more accurate to say that we bring our tithes so God's holy bloodline can remain. We bring our tithe into a place where the sin of the people can be atoned for. Today its a place where people can receive the power of the blood of Jesus through His finished work by His sacrifice on the cross, and live a sanctified, holy life for Him.

The place we bring our tithes to, should be a place where people come to know that God is no longer imputing their sins against them. Jesus Christ paid the price and through faith in Him their sin is washed away. Our tithe is providing for the sins of the people to be washed away so a holy people of God can remain.

So what is the storehouse? Is it just a "church"? It may be, but really its any place which helps perpetuate the bloodline of Jesus--through both Christians and Jews--in the earth. Physically and spiritually. A place which keeps the people of God alive, keeping them from dying out or going extinct. As well as a place where they remain a people set apart for God.

This is a place where people:

1. Can hear the gospel--receive atonement for their sin--be born again through faith in Jesus Christ.
2. Can remain holy, not mingled with the world. In the world but not of it.
3. Can remain alive physically. The perpetuation of God's people. A place where physical needs of the people can be met so they can stay alive, so the Gospel of  Jesus Christ and His kingdom can be carried to next generation.

Its not just about performing a duty of giving 10% to your church. It's about people coming to Jesus, hearing and responding to His Word, His draw and His call. It's about living a holy life, set apart as a spotless bride for Him. It's about giving Him worship, dedication, and thanksgiving. It's about feeding the poor, the widow, and the orphans. It's about teaching our children the ways of the Lord.

Even the "sacrifice" of paying the tithe may be a purifying process. At times or for some people, it may be a real financial, emotional, or intellectual challenge to pay the tithe. But whatever we sow to is what we will reap from. Are we sowing to the flesh or to the Spirit?
6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:6-10
This isn't typically considered a "tithing" verse, but the principal remains that what we give into we will reap from. That doesn't just mean giving to the church, it means what you spend your money on and why.

I think there may be an indication here that it wouldn't be wrong to give a part to the Jewish people. To support salvation, holiness and perpetuation of the Jewish people as well. God is grafting together the Jew and Gentile to the same tree--Jesus Christ.




The 5 Levitical Offerings




Friday, December 7, 2018

The Two Ditches


I've seen there are two ditches on the sides of the path of our Christian walk. I'm sure there are other ditches on this path, but this blog is about two ditches on a particular stretch of this road.

The Two Sides
On the one side, we have a sincere desire to do something for God. We tell Him all the time,
"I want to do something for You, I want to please You" etc. When its extreme, it's almost like a state of panic because we never feel we're "doing" enough for the Lord. We may work ourselves almost to our death doing things for Him, but never feeling like we got it right. We repent for all of our sin and failures again and again.

On the other side, we start out in love with the Lord and also have a strong desire to please Him. We begin our walk with Him and have "successes." We pray for people and our prayers our answered. We tell people about the Lord and they listen. Things go well and we grow, bearing fruit for His kingdom. We feel good about it, but after a while we feel too good about it. We begin to take pride in all that we are accomplishing for Him. We feel special. We think that because we are holy enough, pure enough, dedicated enough, etc all these good things are happening. We secretly (or maybe openly) think we are somehow responsible for our success and therefore better than our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Both of these attitudes are honorable things to a certain degree. On the one hand, we need to be the Lord's bondservant and work to build His kingdom. Its not wrong to get excited about that and rejoice over the good things that happen. There are times of sacrifice involved in our work for Him and as we prove ourselves faithful to the Lord He honors that. But if we begin to take credit away from the Lord and become prideful, then we have fallen into the ditch. On the other hand, we also need to repent when we sin and fail Him in any way. This repentance needs to be sincere and heartfelt and not taken lightly. However, if we get too hung up on our failures it can paralyze us and we fall in the ditch on the other side. Both of these ditches are ruts we need His grace to get us out of. Both reveal that we fall short in our faith in Him and how well we know Him.

Lack of Faith? Don't Know Him?
On the one side, if I'm always repenting, I lack faith in the blood of Jesus to forgive sin. Especially if I'm repenting for the same thing over and over again. What do I think--that the blood of Jesus isn't powerful enough, isn't pure enough, to forgive my sin? That's a slap in the face to Him. His blood is holy enough to forgive the sin of the entire world. All people of all times in all places. Do I think that I can't be forgiven? That I'm somehow that special? That my sin is too "strong" for the blood of Jesus? That is a lack of faith in the purity and power of His blood.

If I always feel like I have to be doing something for Him, and that I shouldn't really enjoy it all that much or have time to relax with my family--then I don't really know Him. Maybe I'm doing so much because I don't know what He's gifted me to do. I don't know how to focus on what I need to. I don't know how to prioritize. I don't know how to say no. I don't know that He wants me to rest and enjoy sometimes--take a Sabbath. I am a part of His family and I need "family time" with Him. Jesus said if I believe in Him, then His Father would become my Father. Do I not believe Him? Do I think He lied? Do I think God is a Father who ignores His children?

On the other side, if I'm patting myself on the back because I've "figured out" how to have a successful ministry and I think I've come to the place where I can't fall or fail, then I've fallen into the ditch. Both of these attitudes trip us up and get us stuck in a rut--a ditch on either side of our walk with the Lord.

Focus on Self
I've fallen into the failure ditch even after having a vision once of being before the throne of God with Jesus washing my sin away. I could feel His pain at having to turn His back to the Father in order to wash my sin away. But He did it anyway, with love. I felt full of shame at having made Him do this, and yet He kept washing. I wanted to say stop for I could feel His pain and felt so guilty. But then He washed my guilt and shame away too, and brought me into the love that He and the Father shared. It was beautiful. It was liberating. Yet at times, the self-centered feelings of my inadequacies and failures have driven me to that ditch. And my stubbornness at thinking that if I just did more or worked harder that I would be in the right place with Him drove me to the ditch too. In both cases, the focus is on me.

The enemy doesn't care if you're wrapped up in repentance or hard work for God. Both can be equally useful for his purposes. He doesn't just try to get you to sin. He knows he will paralyze you if he can keep your focus on yourself. It's when you start knowing who you are in Christ, what His promises are, and the power of His blood, that you become dangerous to him. If you're always failing or always achieving then your focus will be on you rather than the Lord.

What to do?
Get still before your heavenly Father and meditate on how much He loves you. You are his child. He has forgiven you of your sin. If you believe in Jesus and have asked Him to forgive you of your sin, He has.
but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
You don't need to keep trying to work for it, trust in the blood of Jesus. Meditate on the finished work of Jesus Christ. Your heavenly Father loves you! You may have had an imperfect earthly father (who hasn't?) which has made it hard for you to imagine a loving heavenly Father, but your heavenly Father loves you with a perfect love. You are His child. You don't need to earn or work your way into the family. Your place has been made through your faith in Jesus Christ. It was there since the foundation of the earth, but your faith has activated it. And if you sin, then repent. If you've become arrogant and self-centered, repent, but move on from there and get back on the path of His grace.

You can walk confidently through your day knowing your heavenly Father loves you and you are His child without becoming arrogant about it. When you do, then your life will reflect His glory, His life, and His love. Now you can be joyfully about His business while productive for the kingdom, truly bearing fruit and helping other people to come to the same place!



Monday, December 3, 2018

Accessibility, Roads, and Destinations



Years ago, pioneers explored wild regions of the earth and began to provide access to more desirable locations first through foot trails. These well traveled paths became roads which allowed for quicker and easier travel, as well as allowing people to carry more stuff on horses, wagons and so on. Of course rivers also became pathways that provided travel, and just like roads, provided opportunity for commerce allowing people to settle and build homes and businesses. Pioneers made destinations accessible, as well as travel to and from those destinations. Eventually, more means of travel developed--trains, cars, airplanes and even rockets. All of these means of travel allowed for people to move from place to place more easily and quickly.

Sometimes, people didn’t need to go to another place themselves, but still wanted to communicate with others who were in another place. Messengers would be sent--runners on foot, horseback, and eventually postal systems were developed. Technology kicked in again and the telegraph and telephone were invented. The telephone was a big deal because it allowed for two-way communication. It was more than just a message being sent from one person to another, it allowed for both parties to talk, ask questions, share news, laugh, and so on.

Eventually, radio, television, cable, internet, wireless, and satellite technologies also allowed for communication between people who were in different places. Some of it being one way communication and some of it, like the telephone, was two way communication--ham radios and of course social media like facebook and skype. Recent technology has allowed for more than voice to be transmitted. Now we can have video chat's, webinars and so on.

What are we to think about this advancement in technology? Many people don’t like this kind of “remote” communication and feel that being physically present is by far the best. They think of it as a necessary evil. Yet, God gave the knowledge for people to develop these technologies. He designed the earth so these types of communication would be possible.

One thing to consider, is that these avenues of accessibility open the door to both the good and the bad. Just as the pioneers built roads so people could travel to, from, and within their communities, it also made it easier for thieves to come and steal, or for those with “opposing” opinion to come influence the young. The internet and social media do the same thing. They open doors for good, healthy communication and business, but also for criminals who will try to steal, entice, or influence our children with views contrary to what we know to be good and right. With different methods of accessibility, comes the need for increased discernment and different methods of protection.

Accessibility to a place gives us the capability to do stuff there--build and live our lives. As we’ve already said, roads make life quicker. You can carry more. You can travel back and forth easier so you can make purchases to help build your home and your life. You can gather and interact with other people. You can enjoy life. Accessibility through remote communication does the same thing. It makes banking and shopping quicker. It makes all kind of practical knowledge more readily available. It makes photos, videos, and typed communication with family and friends available when you can’t see them in person.

But with remote communication you can’t lay on hands to pray or impart, touch, hug, or share meals. Can you? Does remote communication allow for impartation? It might. There have been those who report having been healed or touched by the Lord in some way after watching a television broadcast. But let’s face it, physical touch is necessary and enjoyable sometimes. Think of comforting a child, getting a massage, having children… Families should definitely be together physically when possible.

How does the church fit into all of this? Jesus, of course, traveled with His disciples throughout His ministry. He sometimes set went to a certain city or place, but we see Him having encounters with people along the way. Think of Jairus, and the woman with the issue of blood. (Mark 5). Because Jesus was physically present, she was able to touch His clothes and be healed. But did she need that physical touch? According to her faith, she did. Other did not. The centurion who said that Jesus didn’t even need to come to his house said, “Just speak the word only and my servant shall be healed.” He did and he was healed. (Matthew 8).

Where the church is going in the future may not be to a destination in itself, but what occurs along the "roads" may be what we need to pay attention to. When you walk, you are up close and personal with the land. A road is more than a means to an end. Lines of accessibility, whether they are roads, wires, or airwaves, are the spaces between the places. A lot goes on there. Sometimes we need to leave the 99 and go get the one that is out there between the places. I think the key word is go, or as Jesus also said, “leave.” (Matthew 18:12, Genesis 12:1).

However, God placed Adam and Eve in a garden and told them to fill the earth, He sent Abram to Canaan, Jesus to the earth, Jonah to Nineveh, and many other prophets and preachers to physical locations. We see Paul saying that he longed to see them so he could impart a spiritual gift. We see God supernaturally transporting Phillip from one city to the next. It seems that a physical presence in these locations were desirable. Yet we also see messages being sent through angels, or dreams and visions. We read about the apostles who communicated “remotely” through letters, the times Jesus just spoke a word from a distance and things happened, the things that happened along the way like blind Bartimaeus or Zacchaeus, or even the wounded man that the Good Samaritan brought to the innkeeper for healing. Both roads and destinations have their purpose.

What really are the “desirable” destinations of God’s people? The places were we will settle, build, and enjoy life? Many are trying to get to a desirable place so they can feel like they’ve “arrived.” Is the goal to find that “perfect” church? The one where everything always goes smooth and the services are always polished? Where every prayer is answered to your liking and where the pastor never offends you? Or is the “desirable destination” out there on the road somewhere? The road where you can find one who has been beat up, ignored, and left for dead, pick him up and carry him to a place of healing? The place where you meet someone and invite them to dinner? The place where you pray for someone right then and there and he is healed? The place where you guide a child on his journey through childhood?

The destination is the transformation of our own lives to become conformed to the image of Jesus, which is our predestination. Whether that happens out on the road or in a settled place will depend on God's call for you, and your own faith.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Recharging America's Battery


Early this morning, on election day, I had a dream. It was a very brief dream, but very clear. I saw a man who was trying to hook up jumper cables to a battery. He was very unsure of himself and therefore hesitant to connect them. Then I heard these words, "You can't recharge, if you don't know how to properly hook up to the power." And then, "If you want to restart the country, you have to know how to recharge the battery." Then I woke up.

Knowing that God is the power source, my question was, What is the battery and how do we charge it?

A battery holds and maintains a charge--a charge which came from a source of power. There is a play on words here. Charge is not only an electrical current, but also an instruction or command from a higher authority to do something specific (I charge you to do this). It authorizes the person to perform that task. It can also give a person a management type of authority over something. (You are in charge of this office). So the battery of America holds God's "charge" to the country. It contains the power and authority to fulfill His charge. Who is this? The church. God's people. The Ekklesia. We should be holding and maintaining the charge of God to this country.

How do you hold a charge in a car battery? Two ways. By staying connected to the power source, and by driving the car. It loses its charge when it just sits there, unless its connected to an active power source. We need both times of being active and times of being quietly connected to the power source in order to remain fully charged.

So the church was commissioned to receive and hold the charge of God for America, so she could fulfill her purpose (which is His purpose). Once that charge was lost, the country stalled out and couldn't complete her purpose. The battery must be re-connected to the power source and be re-charged. He wants to recharge and recommission His people so we can restart America!

In recent years America has "lost her charge" which has caused her to weaken and decline. It’s the responsibility--the charge-- of the church to maintain the commission of God to America. The country as a whole has stalled in her purpose. To restart America, we must reconnect to the One who holds the power and recharge our charge. The church has not remained active in America so the power has drained out of her. It's not just about connecting to Him so our family can be blessed. It's about charging America with the power of God. Releasing His power flow into the country. The church--God's people--are the only ones who can do this!

The battery contains a "current" so the battery has a "current charge." To maintain our current charge, we must keep the charge current. As those who hold the charge die, there must be new ones take their place that also hold the charge. This means we must charge the newcomers to America--our children, but also the immigrants. We must pass the charge on to them. They must learn how to connect to the Lord themselves in order to hold and maintain His charge to America, and keep America functioning according to her purpose.

Father, please forgive us and our nation for allowing our charge from You to die out in America. Show us how to recharge properly and confidently with You and Your power, commissioning, and authority. Show us how to keep the charge going by fulfilling that purpose. Show us how to keep it from dying out by connecting the newcomers to this country--our children and the immigrants--with You. So they can also be charged by You. Help us to recognize that our power, our commissioning, and our charge, comes from You and You alone. We want no other source of power. You are the only true source of power. You alone can empower us to be a living, functioning country, that fulfills our purpose--which is Your purpose. Your charge is our charge.

American church---it's time to reconnect! We put on the jumper cables. We connect America, and the church of America, currently, without hesitation, properly, and confidently to our Heavenly Father--the Most High--so His power and commissioning can flow into His people and this country. We allow His charge to charge us and empower us to fulfill America's purpose, and we pass this charge on to the newcomers of this country so it will not die out again!



Saturday, October 27, 2018

America in The Valley of Decision




On October 18, 2018 as I woke up, I saw in the spirit a great number of people coming over a mountain and into a valley. The people were the people of America and they were coming into a valley of decision. 

There were four mountain peaks surrounding the valley. Straight ahead was the mountain of God. The ones on either side were "opposing" mountains that opposed the ways of God. As the people entered the valley they were questioning which way they should go. This was the valley of decision, so each person had to make a decision which mountain they would climb. It seemed chaotic with people moving around all over trying to decide which way to go. Some went up a mountain to the left and others began to follow them. In fact, many people just followed the crowd that was around them. The people at the top of the left mountain looked down over the people in the valley and thought they all belonged to them. They were yelling, "Ours for the taking! Ours for the taking!"

There were a few people on the mountain of God already and they saw the crowd begin to follow the others up the opposing mountain. They realized they had to come down into the valley in order to reach the people so they wouldn't follow others up the opposing mountain. The people of God came down and mingled in with the people in the valley. Some people were cold and stiff and when the people of God touched them they warmed up and could move freely. Some had something wrong in their mind and when the people of God blew on them their minds became clear. Some needed their hands touched and life would flow through them when their hands were touched by the people of God.

There was a danger though. Since the people of God came down into the valley of decision, they could leave the valley and go up the wrong mountain themselves. Everyone in the valley, people of God or not, needed to look up over the heads of the people at the mountain of God in order to go in the right direction. If they just followed other people, they might not end up on the mountain of God. So there was a danger of those who were once God's people to get disoriented, make wrong decisions, and end up lost on the wrong mountain---opposing God instead of being with Him.

Some of the people of God knowingly went up after those on the opposing mountain in hopes of bringing them back down. But once they went up onto that mountain they began opposing God themselves. They didn't realize it. They didn't think that they were opposing God because they were only there to go after the people! But being on the opposing mountain brought them into opposition to God, no matter what their original reason was for being there. This was pride and a deception that they thought they could remain free from opposition to God themselves while in this place.  The only ones to be reached were the ones still in the valley of decision, and the people of God had to stay in the valley and keep their eyes on the mountain of God in order to remain safe themselves.

In the end, I saw many people go up to the mountain of God. As the valley cleared out, it became evident that not everyone in the valley belonged to the opposing mountain. It had appeared that way for a time, that those in the valley belonged to the opposing mountain, but as the people made their decision and moved up the mountain of God, it was not so. However, the thought remained that some of God's people could be (or may have been) lost because of disorientation (not keeping their eyes on the God's mountain) or arrogance (going after others thinking they could bring them down into the valley).



Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Pretenders and False Prophets



You may have heard it said that what goes on in the church affects what goes on in the world, or our culture. This is true, because God has given His Spirit and power to the church. So how we use, or misuse, what He's given us is going to affect, not just the church, but the world around us. What we see going on in the world today has its spiritual roots in the church.

The church sows seed. This seed grows up to produce fruit, whether good or bad. The sin or false beliefs of the church result in a manifestation of sin and false beliefs in the world. What's going on in the culture reflects what is going on in the church. One area we are seeing this manifest is the idea that people can believe whatever they want and it will become truth for them.

We see this in the area of common core math, gender choice, sexual preference, or any thought or belief people have where they are under the false assumption that they can choose what they want to believe, live according to it, and it becomes truth. This is not truth, this is pretending.

Pretending, for example, is when a girl thinks she can be a boy just because she wants to be. She dresses up and plays the part of a boy, striving to be more and more masculine. She never really becomes a boy but will try to act like one and may think that she really is one, or will eventually become one, if she truly believes it. That's pretending, not truth.

Unfortunately, I think this pretending that is going on in the culture is a result of pretending that has gone on in the church. There may be times God's people have gone after things that they want to be true, but are not. We might even be "believing God" for a thing to happen, but if it's not in alignment with the heart of God it's not His truth for us.
"...“Have faith in God. Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Mark 11:22-24
The idea that we as Christians can have whatever we want by believing and speaking it, it may be "true" in the sense that we will get what we want when we apply this principle--sometimes. (God's grace keeps it from happening every time!) We spend a lot of time trying to get this to work for us on a consistent basis. We buy books, study, mediate on the Word, confess it, and are careful not to speak anything contrary to what we are "believing" God for. But the real question is, are we going to submit to God's plans for us? Will we accept His truth for us? Because truth is what He has planned for us--who He has made and called us to be.
"For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
God has plans. He has plans for us. Do we know what they are? Do we care what they are, or do we just seek after the things we want? Are His plans our desires? Are we pursuing His plans to become our desires? 

God has foreordained things for us--to be conformed to the image of Jesus for example (Romans 8:29). He wrote in our book the days ordained for us before we were born (Psalm 139:16). So if we don't seek His plans for us, it's like we're trying to create our own truth--pretending to be something we're not. We're living according to our desires, will and plan, building our own kingdom.

As a result of the church sowing the seeds of trying to create our own truth, we have a culture in the world where people think they can believe whatever they want and it will be true. The church has power. We have planted these seeds. We have people believing whatever they want to believe, because they've been told that they can believe whatever they want to and it will be true. In reality, truth is what God says it is. The church needs to repent of this attitude if we are gong to see change in the culture.

If we are willing to align ourselves with His truth, and use the principles of faith to bring about His will in the earth, then we are following Jesus' example of what it means to be a true child of God. Jesus said He only did what He saw the Father doing, He only said what the Father told Him to say, and He always pleased the Father (John 5:19, John 12:49, John 8:29). As followers of Jesus, we too are to align ourselves with the Father in all we do and say. In all of our pursuits.

This applies not only to what we say about our own lives, but it applies to what we are prophesying to others. Whether we are prophesying or "believing God" we need to seek His heart, His Word, His truth and His plans. Jesus said to pray, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10). This is how Jesus said we should pray--for the Father's will to be done, for His kingdom to come to the earth.
“I did not send these prophets,
But they ran.
I did not speak to them,
But they prophesied.
“But if they had stood in My council,
Then they would have announced My words to My people,
And would have turned them back from their evil way
And from the evil of their deeds. Jeremiah 23:21-22
If we don't get His heart and seek after it then we are just pretenders and false prophets, trying to make truth out of something that is contrary to what God is saying.

Our pursuit should be to bring about the Father's will in the earth. If we just want what we want--the desires of our own heart--we are not seeking truth. God is looking for those who will make His desires their desires. He's looking for those whose heart's desires match His. He might say, sure you can have what you say, but He is looking out for those who will use their faith to build His kingdom because they have aligned their heart to His. Are we going to prophesy out of His heart, or out of our heart? Will we use the tools He gives us to build His kingdom, or our own?

Just like people need to embrace their birth gender, there are innate gifts, qualities, aspects of our personality and placement in life that God has given to each one of us that we need to embrace. We need to accept who we are called to be--God's truth and plans for us--and live according to that. We might be believing God, using our faith, confessing the Word, trying to arrange our lives a certain way, but we won't fully flourish until we surrender to His truth for us.

Just because you can have what you say, doesn't mean you should say what you want. It means you should pursue God's heart--to want what He wants. Seek Him, find out what His desires are, what His heart is, and then speak out those things. Stay with Him until His desires become your desires. When our heart is out of alignment with God's, and we hear that we can have what we say, we will try to use the principles of faith to get stuff  or positions we want. This takes us out of truth.

We will be tested so our heart's desires will be revealed. When we are faced with this power--the power of faith and this ability to have what we say if we believe in our heart--the true motives and intents of our heart will be exposed. What are we going to pursue? What are our desires? What are we going to go after? Will it be God's will, plans, and purposes or something contrary?

This doesn't mean we don't ever have fun, enjoy ourselves, or ask God for things for the family. It means that we submit to His will within the boundaries He defines. We have freedom within boundaries. Are we going to submit to His will within those boundaries or try and move past them?

Go after His heart. Pursue His desires. Find out what they are and make it your goal. Become His bondservant. We get the heart of God, His plans, and His wisdom by becoming a bondservant. We need to do that before we can become His friend. As a friend, we have the freedom and maturity to make more choices for ourselves. But first, we need to have His heart. When we submit to His way of doing things, like a bondservant does, we see how He does things and we have the right kind of attitude so we can see the wisdom of it.

Father God, I repent of trying to make my own truth. I repent of not seeking Your will, of not finding out what is on Your heart and what Your desires are for me. I want to know Your plans for me. I want to pursue those plans and make them my heart's desire. I don't want to be a pretender or a false prophet. I want to speak what is on Your heart. I want to align my faith with Your heart and speak truth. I repent on behalf of Your church, my family, myself, and my community. I'm asking for a turnaround in our society. That the hearts of the people begin to turn towards You and seek Your truth. Once again realizing there is a standard of truth outside of themselves. Raise up a people who will seek Your truth, and pay the price for it. 



Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Faithfulness: Proven by Time



This is part III of my "Faithfulness" blogs. So far we've seen that:

  • Being faithful is being consistent--consistently loyal to the Father. 
  • Satan is the accuser of the brethren, and of God Himself.
  • God does not ignore the enemy's accusations, but addresses them.
  • He addresses them by providing evidence--The blood of the lamb and our testimony, which is recorded in a written record.
  • Through the blood of Jesus our sins are blotted out and we are made righteous.
  • Through the testimony of our faithfulness our loyalty to God is evident, proving that our faith in Jesus Christ really has changed our hearts making us righteous.
  • God has both the desire and the means to express His goodness towards us.
  • We are protected by His power and the strength of His kingdom.
  • Faithfulness is remaining true to Him until the end.
  • Through faithfulness we have access into His eternal kingdom and promises.
  • Satan's accusation of Job tested his faithfulness.
  • When our faithfulness is proven, we have gained access to spiritual power to carry out His desires in our lives and in the earth.
  • Being consistent to remain filled with His Spirit, cultivating the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, will cause us to be aligned with the Father in our heart, and release His Word with power.

Understanding the above points will help in understanding that faithfulness really is the proof of our faith. I think we've done a disservice to the body of Christ with some of the teaching that has gone on about faith. I did the same thing when I first heard the "faith" message. I was so excited to hear that I could "have what I say" that I ran with it as hard and fast as I could. I drove myself into the ground, ended up bankrupt, divorced, and eventually backslid for a period of time. It wasn't pretty.

If not presented properly, the "faith" message may give the idea that because we are "believing God" for something to happen, He is required to give us what we ask, and while it doesn't happen we begin to accuse Him. Anytime we find ourselves accusing God during our difficulties, we need to realize we are aligning ourselves with His enemy and ours--the accuser himself. Is "faith" wrong? No, of course not, but we may need to adjust our definition of faith a bit. If we realize that faith is expressed in faithfulness then we will clear up a lot of misunderstanding.

We see this more clearly in the following Scriptures.

Faith and Patience
"...so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:12
Patience requires a period of time. Being patient for five seconds isn't really patience. Someone needs to remain patient for a period of time before you can call them patient. So we will need to remain in faith and patience for a period of time in order to inherit the promises of God. This means that we remain faithful for a period of time. We keep our trust in the Lord for a period of time--until the end. We remain faithful, consistently loyal, to Him. We don't begin to accuse Him, whine, lose courage, lose hope etc.

Just as we can't prove patience without time, we can't prove faith, or faithfulness, without time either. Being faithful for five seconds doesn't prove a person is faithful. Making a profession of faith once with no life change doesn't prove a person's faith either. A period of time is required in order for faith, or faithfulness to be proven. How much time? Until the end. When is the end? Well, that's up to God to decide. So when we say through faith and patience we inherit the promises, we could really say, through faithfulness we inherit the promises of God.

Endurance and Faithfulness
"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4
Endurance is the ability to hold up under tough times. This is similar to faithfulness. Faithfulness means you hold true in your allegiance to someone consistently and at all times--good or bad. Once again, this involves a time period. The testing of our faith goes on over a period of time and it produces the ability for us to hold true to the Lord during tough times. We remain faithful to the Lord until the end, in good times and bad. We remain loyal Him no matter what. We don't begin to accuse Him or question His judgement. This is a test of our faithfulness, and the outward evidence of our faith.

The Substance of our Faith

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval." Hebrews 11:1-2
You could say that faithfulness is the assurance and conviction that you will continue your trust in the Lord, remaining true to His heart, His Word, and His Spirit, even when what you hope for is not seen. Faithfulness is the part that you see. Not only does it become a character trait inside your heart, it is the substance--the tangible part--of your faith. It is seen as loyalty and courage in the face of whatever might challenge the goodness and power of God. It is as fiercely loyal as Job who said, "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him." Job 13:15.

Can you see how helpful it is to look at your faith as faithfulness, a character trait, rather than as something you possess like money used to purchase something? It's important to understand this so you don't become discouraged over time, you will endure to the end, and your faith will be proven genuine. Time is necessary to prove the existence of your faith. Faith that endures over a period of time is faithfulness.

Time is a gift from God. He placed us in this realm of time to prove our faithfulness to Him. When we have faith in God, we don't just make an occasional statement that we believe in Him, we prove it by our heart and our choices. We have an opportunity to choose Him and His ways, faithfully, over the course of our lives. Are we perfect? No. But that doesn't mean we don't endeavor to live faithful lives to Him. Our faithfulness to Him proves our faith in Him. Our faithfulness over the days, months, and years of our lives, is evidence of our faith in Him.

Don't give up! He has faith in you. He has faith that the finished work of Jesus was enough to change your heart enabling you to receive His Spirit and live a faithful, overcoming life. Nothing the enemy throws at you can shake your faithfulness to the Lord. Let your faithfulness rise to meet His faith and bring the eternal realm of His glory and power into your life today!