W.O.M.E.N. of Ministry

 

*Shared from sister site Alabaster Breaking*

“And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By WHAT AUTHORITY DOEST THOU THESE THINGS? and WHO GAVE THEE THIS AUTHORITY?

And Jesus answered and said unto them,  I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. the baptism of John, whence (where) was it? from heaven or of men? 

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say from heaven; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell (do not know). And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” Matthew 21:23-27
This is one of those extremely comforting Bible stories that remind us that Jesus Christ IS our High Priest who DOES understand every single thing we go through.
I really detest the fact that I have to use this blog to address this issue that I am growing quite tired of addressing and we will deal with that at the end of this post.
I am one of those “lucky” ladies who have to privilege of removing my own followers. Satan does like to send some “live “ones my way.
And occasionally the OTHER “live” ones are sent this way also.

So between the freak-show Casanova wannabe’s who seem to NOT notice the title REVEREND and think I might be up for some..something and dealing with the “Good ol’ boy’s ministerial club” THIS sure can be a whole lotta fun!
I tried unsuccessfully last night to leave about a fifteen hundred word comment on a followers post, but unfortunately when I hit “post comment” I was met with “invalid security entry” and eventually just removed them for the second time, because they are very anti-female and I know if they are reading it is for the wrong reason.

So rather than write all of it again, “explaining” “FEMALES” in ministry, I decided to just “once and for all it here and just send this out to anyone else who wants to argue the point.

A point I am NOT going to argue. I WILL say my peace because I am sick to my death of it and THIS IS MY BLOG, I didn’t go looking for their churches, so if they want to come here, and read my posts in some sort of hope of finding “heretical” proof as fodder to kindle the fire as they tie all of us “female folk” to the stake for “preaching without a Paulinist license” well, they may just have another thing coming.

This is NOT just for me, I WANTED to do this for ALL the women whom Christ HAS CALLED, who are going through or have been through this gauntlet of the “brotherhood” and for those whose wounds running that gauntlet has left them laying in ashes, I want to encourage you, my sisters, GET BACK UP!
Women in ministry… stands for THIS… Wounded, Ostracized, Maligned, Estranged, Negated.

I will share the “high-lights” of my ministerial journey and I am sure many of you have been there and many more I hope it will encourage that it IS not just you, it is par for running the course set before us.

Of course NO ONE tells us this upfront, because after others discover that we have been called, the “wounding” starts.
When I was first saved, I was so scared and shy that when they called on me to testify I would actually shake and dreaded being called on the read a scripture because I was absolutely terrified and quite content to sit there and listen.

But soon I started being awoken in the dead of night with an overwhelming need to read, as I try to be so clear about my past, I had been an absolute heathen and knew only what I had studied with my Dad growing up.
And soon this became more of an obsession and I took my study Bible to work and studied every possible chance I had, I could not put it down.
After I became a mother, I would take care of my baby, and at that time my husband was gone about twelve hours a day and of course my family visited us a lot, but my point is this, I would take care of my baby, who soon became a toddler, on onward, clean my house, take of my pets, do ALL that life requires and then after my family had fallen asleep, I would spend the rest of the night studying the Bible until four or five am and get up the next day and do it ALL over again.
So it does irk me pretty badly when these guys who have had the PRIVILEGE of mothers and wives “taking care of them” and had the PRIVILEGE of seminary school and classes to learn what I, and many other ladies had to absolutely sacrifice to learn and I am NOT complaining and I am NOT begrudging and I thank Jesus EVERY DAY for the precious gift that HE has given me to be a MESSENGER of HIS Word.

And I know MANY other WOMEN who have been through this same “course of training” and what really bothers me the most is when CERTAIN guys and ESPECIALLY certain denominations teach that somehow WOMEN would do all this to somehow gain power to USURP some magical authority over them.
Look dudes, DON’T even kid yourselves! I have no desire to be anything OVER a man, I want to minister to the ones God has sent me to and as far as the old “men pray for men, women for women go” that kind of thinking does not even belong in a church! If anyone is thinking this way.. instead of worrying about who is laying hands on who, they really need to hit the altars and get their mind right.

My first Pastor was an absolute awesome man of God and was the first to invite a “lady” to minister at that particular church, which was one time and after he passed away the new pastor also “ALLOWED” (wow, what a term..) another lady to minister, as soon as she stepped foot behind the podium, one entire pew of the congregation got up and left.

She happens to be a dear friend and just having SEEN this was such an encouragement to me in my later years, because at this time, I had NOT been technically called.
But in such grace and beauty she APPEARED unscathed, she ministered a beautiful candle-light sermon (A candle which I STILL have to this day, and I am also sure she also financed all the candles, holders, and tiny flashlights for the children, because that is another aspect to being female, YOU pay for your own ministry) But she did not show one tear, but I KNOW how deep that cut had to have been and how deep that scar has to go this day.

BUT she STOOD, she stood just as Steven stood as they stoned him, she STOOD just Paul stood when he took lash after lash, repeatedly and on more than one occasion. She stood just as Mary stood when they laughed in her face when she announced Jesus’ resurrection, to which I have never read one APOLOGY given to Mary for outright accusing her of being a mentally deranged liar.

And we have NEVER discussed how she was wounded, ostracized, maligned, estranged, and negated. My favorite one is negated, it means “rendered worthless as a truth” and she probably never had a clue what her stand would mean for the rest of us BUT God did.

And others who have been ostracized by their own fathers, maligned and estranged for BEING a vessel of God and choosing to OBEY God at the price of having their own father’s DESPISE them and think they are heretics on their way to hell.

I have listened to them tell their stories as ENCOURAGEMENT to those of us who would SOON travel that road, stories told their tears and heartache, bearing evidence that those wounds and those tears would only cease existence once wiped away by the Saviors hand in New Jerusalem.

But I was blessed on that count, I have a very supportive father, who has had his fair share of discussion on the subject with those not so inclined. And my late uncle, whose influence is why I choose to carry my maiden name into ministry.

He was who encouraged me to be bold and to tackle the really difficult subjects that I usually work with and his encouragement to NEVER see myself as a WOMAN but as what GOD called me to be.

And when God opened the door for me to start writing a blog, he had actually prayed with me the day BEFORE I wrote my very first post. Because I was so excited and also TERRIFIED, because the particular church had an impeccable reputation and I was scared to death to even try to articulate the word of God under their name after having spent a lot of television time listening to the sermons of the Pastor years earlier, it was hard to stand in that group.

But I tried and I did my best and I pulled back a lot, things that now under my own ministry, I am “free” to say without the fear of “bringing reproach” on another ministry.

And it is my uncle’s sweet face and gentle voice calling me “little girl” and encouraging me EVERY single time I feel the anointing fire rise up in me to tackle a subject that I KNOW is just going to garner a little fuel to the destructive fire of hatred and misogyny that burns against me.

As I go a little farther, I could really use that encouragement as I go through my own story, so I’ll probably add his beautiful face in this post.
But on with it when I personally was called there were only THREE people in the entire church that knew, including myself. By this time things had changed and there was still ONE preacher whose family had always been part of the church and somehow one night the subject of female ministers was brought up at which he was quick to pull out the scriptural big guns of SILENCE.

To which I asked from my pew, in a new-found boldness, “What if God ANOINTS a woman?” to which my question was met with a glare and when his appointment time rolled around again it was a tied to the whipping post extravaganza.

This actually had answered a prayer for me, I had technically received my “hands on and prophecy” calling through another minister, who mainly ministered in another state and came by appointment, and this entire time, he felt that I was being disobedient to that calling by not doing anything to proceed forward.
And I was always thinking, “You just do not have a clue what I am up against” and he didn’t, he had never seen this, because the majority of the congregation all held the same belief, we just WANTED to enjoy God and the gender of the messengers was of no importance ONLY the anointing of that messenger.
And I had prayed and prayed and asked the Lord to please tell him that I was not being disobedient, I just did not know what on earth I was supposed to do in the situation that I was in.

And he sat there that night, every ounce of color completely drained out of his face, not to mention mine, as we ALL were thoroughly beaten with the “twisted” classic verses from the Books of Timothy and Titus, and left with the resounding voice from the pulpit that WOMEN ARE TO BE SILENT IN CHURCH and ANY woman who preaches is NOT of God.

What really broke my heart about this was that one night (when Sir Silence WAS NOT there) a tiny little girl had asked for prayer because she wanted “to be a preacher like her late Papaw when she grew up” and we had all prayed and asked the Lord’s anointing on her life and then three weeks later, that same child is hearing this.
But for me, those scriptures WERE NOTHING NEW, I had spent many nights crying and praying, asking the Lord, HOW, how on earth could I possibly do this? HOW when Paul’s teaching said ABSOLUTELY NOT?
Does anyone think, really BELIEVE that women in ministry DO NOT KNOW THESE SCRIPTURES?
We probably know them much better because we have had to tearfully WEIGH them against the SPIRIT OF GOD calling and prayerfully consider HOW THEY ARE BOTH ACCURATE.

To understand this, you HAVE to understand that the Bible is made up of WRITTEN accounts and Paul’s teachings are MAINLY LETTERS to individuals and churches AT THAT TIME.

Of course it IS the inspired WORD OF GOD, but as Paul said in the infamous 1 Timothy 2:12: ” But I suffer not (do not permit) a woman to teach, nor to usurp (have) authority over a man, but to be in silence.”

Now we have a couple of things going on here. Paul WAS persecuted, just like the persecutions WE are suffering. He wrote quite a bit about it. ALL the disciples went through it because what they were called of God to do did not line up in the elders and leaders EYES of what scripture taught.
They were not allowing for the supreme authority of God over human action.

Remember when Mary questioned “How can THIS be?” and Gabriel replied that “With God NOTHING shall be impossible.”

Paul also used the word I, he DID NOT say that “The LORD suffers not”…. the history on this is that he was under such persecution from a group of Jewish women, who were basically coming in and teaching AGAINST the Gospel, that HE forbade women to speak and that they had to ask their husbands whatever they needed to know AT HOME, because they were TO BE SILENT during his teachings.

So since that time you have this scripture being ran wild with and used a power tool against wives and women when PAUL also SAID this:

Galatians 3:28: ” There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, THERE IS NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE; FOR YE ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST.”
And what I find most HYPOCRITICAL about guys who carry this doctrine is the fact that say that it is perfectly “okay” for women to teach OTHER women and children… and it is “okay” for them to sing, answer phones at church… all sorts of activities INVOLVING THE USE OF ONE’S VOICE… and YET they argue the SILENCE scriptures.

That is a complete contradiction.
Using THAT same scripture.. at NO time did he make allowance for these activities!
Did he boys? SILENCE MEANS SILENCE.
And this really tells the tale.. it is not about being scriptural pure and right.
It IS about good ol’ time honored male dominance.

Of course we are “permitted” (WOW, again what a word) to speak when we are making your phone calls, having church sales, teaching those women and children that you don’t want to have to deal with… rather convenient.

It is also the fear of their own shortcomings. It is their own need for church house superiority when we know that in the true body of Christ, HUMAN SUPERIORITY does NOT exist!

So I want to ask those who seem to think we would subject ourselves to this torment and hatred if our callings were NOT from God just for the purpose of somehow having “authority over a man” a few questions.
I want to ask WHAT was receiving your calling like?
Did you have the privilege to have your Pastor proudly announce to the entire church that “Brother—– has been called to preach”?
Did everyone shake your hand and congratulate you?
Did your Mom and Grandmother cry tears of joy?
Did you receive calls of congratulations of fellow clergymen and invites to discuss thoughts on scripture? I am SURE you did!

Let me tell you what it is like for US.

Our callings are kept on the down low and often we are under such pressure from those who say they are unbiased but secretly are, that we have to check and recheck every single word, scripture, and reference or face the “correction” by our peers which only “proves’ we shouldn’t be “doing a man’s job” anyway.

I have been under a couple of Pastor’s and the one that shocked me the most was this little slip, I HAD the appointment and so he opens service and went rather long and brought me up with these UNFORGETTABLE words, “Well, I BAKED the cake, now Sister Nina is going to FROST it.”
Yeah, it was nice to know my sermon was PREJUDGED TO BE FLUFF.

And that is just about how seriously we usually get taken.
I did get some good feed back and a cute comment from one person who had noticed the remark.

And let those congratulatory hand shakes turn to looks of disgust and the reproach by fathers, coupled with the fear of people you GENUINELY like, turning on you because they now think your “of the devil” and no longer want anything to do with you.

And if you complain about the inequality, somehow it becomes YOUR job to go talk to Sir Silence and CONVINCE him of your argument because the church is NOT going to tangle with him, but if YOU can get HIM to CHANGE HIS MIND, that will be groovy.

It took FOUR years to finally get my ordination, a paper that means nothing to many but meant everything to me, for me it was PROOF that this is God’s will and I had asked God that.

And YES, My mother cried and my sister cried BUT they were crying because they KNEW what I had endured for that piece of paper. A paper that must be renewed yearly and a certification from my state to perform legal marriages that does not even HAVE a female option, it is pre-printed with the word HIS and HE before the name space that is filled out.

Now this is a state that has LEGAL homosexual marriage BUT not a form with a he/her for ministers names.
It gets better, this will be a bit graphic, but I’m not going to hide the attacks of the enemy due to my own discomfort, congratulatory calls.. yeah.. the very night after I received my calling, my telephone rang, I answered it and was promptly met with a man’s voice which said ” Will you———, to translate a little differently from his actual words… “perform certain oral services on a certain appendage”, now that one I could not even bring myself to even try to relay to my husband.

I have also received very select pm messages asking sexual questions (I would have been happy to discuss the Word and discuss SERIOUS concerns but as a servant of God, I KNEW the motivation behind it was NOT for the Gospel.)
And my latest, shortly after starting this new blog, a follower whose profile held nothing back as far as intent nor very graphic descriptions of what he felt were his “attributes”, that one I did let my husband read because I have finally reached the point that I am no longer shocked, I understand that satan feels the need remind me of his feelings about my worth, and all I could truly say to this one was “Seriously?”
TELL ME, male ministers have to deal with this!?

I do realize we ALL are fought but you guys do not have a clue as to the weapons used against us. And unfortunately certain of our brothers of the cloth ARE the biggest weapon used against us!
And those discussions of scripture, well, the most memorable of mine were with a guy who is absolutely as hard-core as it gets, his wife did not wear pants, drive, nor was she allowed to have ANY money whatsoever, and any contact with him became a ” sword fight” of scripture to try to “test” my knowledge of the Bible.
It also consists of the age-old “make-up wearing JEZEBEL” that tempts men to lust, to which I finally shut him up with, “Jesus knows I wear make-up, I wear it for me, and I’ll wear it like a clown if I want to.” And Jesus taught that the responsibility for lust fell upon the one feeling it.
But my most favorite questions he asked as he was “agreeing with women “preachers” is this gem… “Do you know WHY God called women?” .. I couldn’t WAIT to hear this one.. so I asked “Why?” to which he replied “Because MEN wouldn’t do THEIR job’s.”

Hmmm. is that it? Considering the scriptures stating that we “are pre-ordained, predestined, and CALLED BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD”

I would truly think that HE already knew what gender that He would create us to be.
But who am I to argue the WISDOM OF MAN?!!!

When I feared truly falling into disobedience I reached out to another Pastor who is of the same belief system, and he had just announced one members call, and so after church, I BOLDLY (it took every ounce of courage I had) asked him, what was his thoughts on female ministers, he was QUICK to inform that “he was NOT recruiting” so I told him that was no big deal, I was asking for that, I just wanted to know if he thought it was acceptable with God.
He goes on to tell me that he grew up with women and personally had no problem with it BUT that his congregation would never go for it.
The irony in this was that this particular pastor is black with an all white (or at that time) congregation and my being a white woman asking a black man to advise me with my calling our chat was truly the equivalent of something that might have been said between our ancestors …You know, like “I am okay with you… I actually HAVE black friends.. but I can’t let my other friends know that.”

That was another time I was so hurt and embarrassed that I had even asked that I told no one for YEARS.
I truly DID NOT even want him to “take me in”, I honestly, at the time was seeking spiritual guidance, someone to help me understand what I was called to do and how to go about that and be in the will of God.

But God is so good and soon reconfirmed many things to me and sent me to a church where I was viewed as a PERSON, not male or female and opened up a path for me.
But I did have to leave everything I knew and walk by faith, not knowing if those doors would be slammed and the constant voices back and forth of “your going to hell because women are to be silent” versus “You must obey the Lord.. REGARDLESS.”

I know this has been long, but it has been necessary, because as I said GOD GAVE ME MY MINISTRY and I will not allow those who would read my work as fuel to further reproach and tear apart women ministers to continue to do so without a little warning, “TOUCH NOT MINE ANOINTED AND DO MY PROPHETS NO HARM”

This ministry is for ANYONE who wishes to stop by and hopefully study the Word of God with me and know that GOD DOES LOVE THEM!
And I would also take a moment to THANK all my TRUE brothers in the Lord, there is a world full of awesome, God-fearing men out there who do not hold these misogynistic beliefs toward us.

So I think it suffices to say, I have taken my stripes and if you are a woman going through this, please KEEP praying, keep STUDYING, and be ATTENTIVE to every door the Lord opens and don’t be afraid to move on when he allows one to close

At the height of my struggle with it, I had a dream, in this dream I was walking in this building that had all these little side rooms, and they looked like little hospital chapel rooms, they all had wood-paneled walls, and I kept walking and saw one room with an older man standing and praying, and it was like I knew I was SUPPOSED to go in there, and I said “I can’t go in there, it’s all older men” and it was just like “GO”, so I went in and the gentleman just looked at me for a moment and not saying a word went back to praying, so I started praying too and woke up.

I took that as comfort but I assure you it has not been easy.

And I want to give YOU the verse that the Lord allowed me to stand on and STILL stand on today.
REMEMBER those who were persecuted and falsely called evil BEFORE you.
REMEMBER what Jesus said when they were CONSTANTLY ACCUSING HIM.

Matthew 10:24-27: ” The disciple is not above his master, nor servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple to be as his master (teacher) and the servant as his lord,

If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub (a devil)  how much more shall they call them of his house?

Fear them not therefore; for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in the light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye from the housetops.”

I will admit this was one I was stuck on for a while… the Lord kept taking me to it very early on and I was not even getting it and then one day……
It means this IF and they DID call Him a devil FOR doing right, as His servants, we will ALSO be treated badly.
But He tells us NOT to be afraid, but to PREACH what He gives us from the “housetops” meaning LOUDLY, BOLDLY, and FOR ALL THE WORLD TO HEAR!
When they try to shut you up and discourage you, REMEMBER this verse, from when they also tried to shut up Peter and FORBADE the apostle to preach Jesus:
Acts 5:29:” Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God RATHER than men.”
This is one God had a person give me BEFORE I even understood the true ramifications of it:
2 Timothy 2:3,4: “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
No man that warreth (battle) entangleth himself with the affairs of THIS life; that HE MAY PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A SOLDIER.”
That one I actually have written on my Bible case.
And this one I have written on apiece of paper in the front cover of my Bible, MEMORIZE it and quote it over yourself.
It is ALSO written by Paul, whom they love to argue, read some of the things Paul went through and how often he was persecuted for ALSO carrying the Gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:10: ” But BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM; AND HIS GRACE WHICH WAS BESTOWED UPON ME WAS NOT IN VAIN…..”
I apologize again for the length of this but there is no way to highlight a seventeen year journey using five hundred words or less 🙂 and I truly pray this helps even one you to stand your ground and stay your path, because I for one would rather men hate me than to stand before God and know that I failed Him in what He sent me here to do.
I love all of you and God bless you for reading and I appreciate it truly!
And I promise no matter how tough it looks, TRUST HIM and He will show you the doors that He opened BEFORE you were even created!

Dedicated to my beautiful uncle… till we meet again on those golden streets…

 

Φλογιζω, Σαλπιζω, Εξυπνιζω, NBJ 2018

This beautiful song got me through many nights of tears: Shared from YouTube:

For a little more about women and the Word, please check out: AWAKENING / THE FORGOTTEN CHILD

BELIEVE

“And not long after there AROSE against it a tempestuous wind, called Eurocyldon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear (head) up into the wind, we let her drive ( BE DRIVEN).

And running under (under the shelter of) a certain island which is called Claudia, we had much work to come by the boats ( to secure the ship’s skiff); Which when they had taken up (taken it on board), they used helps (cables) undergirding the ship; and fearing lest they should fall (run aground) into the quick sands, strake sail, and SO WERE DRIVEN.

And being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when NEITHER sun nor stars in MANY days appeared, and no small tempest lay (beat) on us, ALL HOPE THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED WAS TAKEN AWAY.

But after a long abstinence (from food) Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm (disaster) and loss.

And NOW I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.  For there stood by me this night, the angel of God, WHOSE I AM, and WHOM I SERVE, saying, FEAR NOT, Paul; THOU MUST BE BROUGHT BEFORE CEASAR: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer (take heart): For I BELIEVE GOD, that it SHALL BE even as IT WAS TOLD ME.” Acts 27:14-25

Now, Paul was a prisoner on this ship that was caught in this massive storm a storm who had a name, Eurocyldon, which pretty much means wind stirring up waves. Many are in the midst of storms, the storm in your life that IS stirring those waves up against you as they try to blow you completely off course. I am also quite sure your storm also has a name, as they always do.

The storm of despair, the storm of sickness, the storm of recurring circumstances, the storm of financial woes, whatever the storm you are going through, it is the name of your worst enemy at the moment.

But here is where we are going to take a turn in this storm business. I know so many of God’s children who just keep getting hit, over and over. I write quite a bit about it and I truly hope this will be of encouragement.

First off, they did not try to control the ship during the storm, there are just things in life that no matter how much we wish we could, we simply have no control over some things and in the grand realm of all things, we really have no control over anything, so they let the ship BE driven and just simply tried to hold on.

Secondly, they lightened the ship, tossing off every thing that was not vital to survival, often, that is what storms do in our lives, they have a way of making us realize what is truly important and what we can and can not live without.

Finally, as the storm STILL beat down in the darkness, ALL hope SEEMED lost and they really thought they were all going to die. Paul had seen this coming and warned all that they should not go but go they did, after reminding them of fact so that they WOULD now take his next statements with seriousness, he tells them to cheer up, because even though the ship will be lost, they would live.

An angel had appeared to him to comfort him with a VERY POWERFUL fact, Paul WOULD go to Caesar, so NO storm, NO action on earth COULD PREVENT WHAT GOD HAD SPOKEN, and you know what? IT STILL CAN’T!

So I want to stir up your thinking a little, get you concentrating on the blue skies and smooth sailing that are just beyond this latest barrage of woe.  As children of God, we have the promises of God on our lives and I want to you to think about the word God has given to you FOR your life, a word of knowledge or a word of prophecy of His plans for your future and your work and if at all possible make a list of the things that God has spoken over you and KNOW that as long as you have “unfinished” business for the Kingdom, or a direct promise from God concerning something yet to take place, you are under “NO WEAPON THAT IS FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER” umbrella, if you will. 

Just as in another scripture Apostle Paul wrote of a great and effectual “door” the Lord had for him, but that there were MANY adversaries to try to prevent him from entering that door. The battle you have faced could very well be the same set-up. I am not saying that it always is, but when you read God’s word, you clearly see it is not always easy to stand against the “wiles of the devil” but we are encouraged to STAND. 

Let me give you a few more examples of Paul being encouraged through the dark nights by being reassured that he still had work to be accomplished.

“Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be NOT afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; For I AM WITH THEE, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” Acts 18:9,10

Jesus gave Paul comfort that he would not let anyone hurt him because Paul would preach to many and he stayed there for a year and six months after the Lord gave him this reassurance.

And again as his life was being threatened, the Lord appeared, as this was reference to the work he would do.

“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so MUST thou bear witness also in Rome.” Acts 23:11

God always encouraged Paul by assuring him that he would be okay because he had a job to do and just as our starting verses, PAUL SAID ALL THAT NEEDS SAID when he said “I BELIEVE GOD”

He believed because he believed what had been told him on behalf of God.

Believe, Believe, Believe… “While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter IS dead; trouble NOT the MASTER. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, FEAR NOT: BELEIVE ONLY, and she SHALL be made whole.” Luke 8:49,50

Just as death had no right to Jairus’ daughter when Jesus said she could not be taken, nothing has any right over you unless the Lord allows that right and as long as you have a word, a hope, and a confidence of His promises you can rest assured, it is not over until He says it is over.

May God Bless and encourage you! Love and Peace until next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

“Vexing Vineyard Variances”

“Now will I sing to my well beloved a song touching (concerning) his vineyard, My beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes and it brought forth wild grapes. 

And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray (ask) you, betwixt (between) me and my vineyard. WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN MORE DONE TO MY VINEYARD? THAT I HAVE NOT DONE IN IT? wherefore, when I looked that is should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? ISAIAH 5:1-4

As God describes the planting of his vineyard, he chose a spot with rich, fertile soil, He cleared out all the weeds, briers, and all that could hinder and choke the new plantings.

He then removed all the rocks and debris that could hold back the tender shoots and He then planted the absolute best of vine, He himself being the tower in the midst of it. Watching and protecting the young vines, as they could grow without disturbance as beasts would try to trample and destroy them.

The winepress ready and waiting the harvest of grapes that was to come and produce magnificent. new wine, the Father’s own personal signature selection. But instead of producing the grapes needed for this particular vintage, wild, bitter, strong, unpleasant, nasty grapes grew instead. He tells us to judge this matter for ourselves…  Is the problem with the planting or is it a problem with the vineyard itself?

HE THEN ASKS THE QUESTION…that should terrify us all, What more could MORE COULD HAVE BEEN DONE THAT HE HAS NOT ALREADY DONE?

Kinda what is going on with the “falling away” we are now under, like the breaks and wounds body of Christ that are allowed to continue without remedy and without even caring to heal them, and churches of the modern-day that are seemingly unaware that when one member hurts, we ALL hurt, and continue to allow the Gospel to be falsely advertised and outright sold and not only do they not speak out against these things, they often help promote the very ones who perpetrate these “crimes” committed against the cause, verse 7:…. and he looked for judgement (justice), but beheld oppression; for righteousness but beheld a cry.”

To not speak out on behalf of the truth, makes us all guilty of these things, and too easily we forget that we,  ALL the members,ALL the churches, ARE ALL ONE BODY and “in that day His name shall be one” and we’d better start getting in that ONE mindset here or we just not make it to even be there.

What more could He do for us? And as we know, and I will not get repetitive, even though I really want to.. but we all know the major problems of today. There is often not enough love, caring, and general goodwill  between members of the vine, which cause essential growth nutrients to be siphoned away from the small grapes and over ripening the mature ones and too much money-grubbing, self promoting, ulterior motive impeding the vine’s overall general growth.

He will absolutely not lose His harvest because of a bunch of bad grapes! I really believe  major change is coming soon and the vineyard will be pruned, all the vines, as He says, that do not produce fruits will be cut away and all the bad grapes, all those who have held the positions and the ministry that have further alienated people AWAY from the Gospel through their false representations of the heart of Christ, will allowed to fall to the ground, just as when a grape withers and rots away on the vine, finally falling useless to the ground.

Whatever places they held will be given to the “new grapes” that are growing up into the vine as we speak, and that new wine will be wine for all, not just a select few and they will have a heart for God and for His people, they will see to the widows, and the fatherless, and they will care for those who are outcast, sick, and spiritually wounded.

They will be the leaders and ministers for the church and know that they ARE for the church, and not fall for the power tripping trap that the CHURCH IS FOR THEM. They will go forth in faith knowing that God will supply all their needs in unfolding ministries and that He is quite capable of furnishing the house and they will be those who “instead of thy fathers shall be thy children”… these will be the true fruits of God’s vineyard.

Time to check what’s growing and do some pruning and purging, better to tend what we can than to be cut down, cast out, and burned up, never, ever to grow again.

When we know it is ABOUT HIM and not us!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

“RESULTS NOT TYPICAL”

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof is death.

Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the END of THAT mirth is heaviness (grief).” PROVERBS 14: 12,13

I just love the infomercials and TV ads that have someone giving a glowing product review, they are so happy, so confident, and persuasive that THIS product will be just great for YOU!

Crow’s feet? They gotcha covered, wrinkle cream guaranteed to take off at least TWENTY YEARS! Back pain? they have a miracle cure, so secret, that even the medical field doesn’t know about it yet!  In debt? Well, now you too can be debt free and own three homes, a beach house and your own jet, IF you call RIGHT NOW and order their secret guide to making money!

The best part, that I love, is that at the very, very bottom in tiny little letters, usually in a color designed to fade into the background, are these words “RESULTS NOT TYPICAL” Your results may vary”.

So you got someone, glowing, staring the camera dead in the eye and confessing to you that the ware they are touting WILL FOREVER CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Yes, it will, you will be poorer for the product price and the varied results could end in nasty, little side effects you’d never bargained for or noticed in that same fine print.

Same deal in the world that we live in, the world that serves two purposes, natural world and the unseen spirit world that surrounds us at all times and never was a painter as talented in painting us those beautiful picture as the devil himself.

Our walks can be quite grueling, and our crosses can grow sometimes heavy and the swaying of those voices that whisper, “Come, this way is easier” can sometimes overshadow the voice of the Lord, as He encourages us that is just a little farther up that hill, have faith, have courage, and press on.  But those opposing voices will say, “No, We KNOW a secret path, an EASY way, a BETTER way to success, happiness, and the fulfilment of ALL your dreams and desires.” That voice, just as the ad voices comes with its own disclaimer. Because the results they promise will not be typical, only you will not find that out, until it is just a little too late.

Notice, with our verse, The WAY seems right, seems genuine, that “friend” or even self-proclaimed “mentor” that has your best interest in mind, as they control every aspect of your life, where you go, who you can be friends with, what you wear, what you eat and make decisions for you, they are only looking out for what’s best for YOU, right?

And when their thoughts and desires for your life overtake your own, well that is just part of the process, right? Wrong and wrong! That road may seem like a clear path with least resistance to get you to the happy Neverland waiting at the end but it is just a fairytale and you should not expect the results that you have been lulled into believing!

Nothing worth anything in this life will ever come easy and the Kingdom of God is the most precious of all will NEVER, EVER come to you without hades to fight! They can promise you the world but the world you will be left with after having lost all those you care for and lost everything that ever meant anything to you, will be a world full of tears and sorrow, and bridges so burned that you will never be able to cross those in hopes of going back where you belong!

The problem is with us and who can be blamed for wanting things a little easier? But again, nothing worth having is going to come easy and the greatest test of faith is endurance. No one can argue the endurance Jesus possessed, no home, not much rest, not a moment’s peace from the mouths of his enemies and in his darkness night, not one friend to stand by Him.

But He made it, He made it because He knew that He fought for something bigger than Himself, He fought for the salvation of us all. He could have quit at any moment, He could have called heaven to earth and destroyed all His enemies, He could have completely annihilated earth and created Himself a new one, but He chose to save what He had already created and He knew the path He took was the absolute of hardest and He knew that death, a terrible death was waiting at the end of that road, He never shed one tear for Himself, His tears were for the broken hearts of His friends and tears of unrepentant Jerusalem, who could not even see at the time that they were visited by the very one they awaited.

What right do we have to complain again? What do we have to complain about in comparison to His struggles? Seeing as the servants can never be above the master, why do feel that we must have it all and have it given on, as it were, a silver charger? (dig that?) We may fly very high and grasp that fabled brass ring but our laughter in that moment will be only a miserable smile to hide a heart-broken. As our verse also states, EVEN with the laughter the heart is BROKEN. Why? Because we have sold out ourselves, our friends, our families and most of all, OUR SELF RESPECT and DIGNITY  by not reading that fine print. Forgetting the path “less trod” and running headlong into that wide open field of destruction.

Matthew 7:13,14 “Enter ye in at (narrow) the strait  gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and MANY there be which go in thereat:

Because STRAIT IS the gate, and narrow (difficult, confined) IS the way which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it.” 

Jesus Himself, who suffered all that any human could possibly endure and passing each and every test of being human and of temptation by the devil during His time in the wilderness, and He is telling us, CHOOSE the difficult path!

Because in doing so you will laugh real laughter and even through the pain your heart will be filled with REAL joy, the joy of the Lord THAT IS your strength. In our verse the “end of THAT mirth (happiness) IS GRIEF, because it is not real happiness, it is a life purchased without reading the fine print but with Jesus, our path is Blessed of God and He leads us in the paths of righteous, where GOODNESS AND MERCY shall follow us ALL the days of our lives here on this earth but also we are given the promise to DWELL in the house of the Lord FOR EVER!

So if you are feeling this and as our year once again comes to a close and you are regretting the paths you have chosen, talk to the Lord, get back on that path that He had for you and it may get rough, you may be persecuted and have to fight against those who wish to keep you under their thumb of control, but you will not fight alone, the Shepherd ALWAYS protects His flock and He will lead to that good ground, trust and follow, be strong, and be brave. God DOES not call cowards. He calls soldiers and the greatest reward of a solider is a job well done and pleasing to the Captain and He has no fine print, no disclaimers, His word is faithful and true and easy enough for us all to understand.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

 

 

 

 

“Now I lay me down….”

Very familiar children’s prayer there, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen”

Classic, many versions of it but still the same meaning. Even as children we are often painfully aware of the frailty of this life. And we seek that assurance from God, really more like NEED that assurance that even, heaven forbid death should come to call unbeknownst to us that even then we are covered by Jesus love and care.

As I always say, I was not raised in church, but God made sure I knew that prayer and knowing Jesus as I do now, I can never think back to those nights of laying there reciting that prayer, without a warmness in my heart and an awe of how sweet Jesus is toward us. We go through the same thing every night, I’d say it and then I’d start to list all my family, in order, and my pets, and then I’d get all hung up naming everyone else, and finally reach the conclusion of “could He please just Bless everybody, ALL the people and ALL the animals all over the WHOLE world.

This memory, along with many others, which unknown to me at the time of occurrences had actually been “divine appointments” along my path, came flooding back to mind after I was saved and I thought what an awesome God, to listen.. and listen.. and listen… as I was on and on, ever adding to my list of “and Bless.”

If anyone ever needs a character reveal concerning God and His willingness to listen and care about what we care about, just backtrack through the conversation between Him and Abraham, GENESIS 18:20-32 When God came and spoke to Abraham about the judgment coming upon Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham picked a number that if God could find such and such number would he spare them. Abraham kept lowering the numbers in hopes hat God would not destroy Sodom, his nephew Lot lived there and Abraham knew how bad it was but he still had to plead for Lot’s life, so God KNOWING the real question Abraham had, still patiently let Lot ask Him until he had the assurance he needed.

As with our prayer and the pleas of Abraham, we ALL need that assurance that somehow, no matter what our eyes see, or our ears hear, no matter the terror of the report and even if we are slain in the night, our reassurance rests in the eternal hands of a sovereign King, who still reigns and has victory over all we face or all we will ever face. 

And it is funny for me, not in the funny ha ha way, but funny in the oh how ironic way, that I could still have that same prayer and yet have the call to forewarn to repentance or face the unquestionably horrific judgment from that SAME God, that will one day cover the earth. How do you shine light in pitch darkness, how do you speak judgment tempered with unmerited, unwavering mercy? How do you proclaim that this way is rough but it will lead you home, because there is ONLY one way, out of the shadow of death in this life. There it is, our fear, our cause to stumble, the one thing, we as humans, get so hung up on, death. It is assured, as you are born, certainly you shall die, unless of course you are in the number who will be raptured, but to be effective and to be in those places of peace God wants us to walk in we must be willing to just embrace the walk on that path and know it really will be well in the end.

So I wanted to do this to maybe get you thinking about some of these things, as the “divine appointments” times I believe God steps in peoples lives, into their paths when they are lost, circumstances that once you are saved you will look back and KNOW that He was always there, always waiting and watching over your soul until the day that realization comes and you give your life to Him.

Tearing down the fear of death, breaking down the strongholds of the what-ifs, and the terror of the unknown is needed now more than ever because we live in a scary, scary world and I am so sorry to say, it is only going to get scarier and the only, ONLY peace we truly have is the peace of the Lord and it is imperative for this generation to find that peace, to embrace that peace.

We are praying and waiting for that last great harvest, but the reality is this, with much wisdom comes great sorrow, out of severe persecution comes signs, wonders, miracles and that great revival.

As we seek the last great harvest spoken of by the Prophet Joel, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, we may need to also consider under what circumstances this will come and I’ll leave it at that for a moment.

Jesus said we must come to Him as a “little child”, I believe this means in the FAITH and ASSURANCE we have as childlike in Him, KNOWING as that little bedtime prayer states “if” we die before we “awake”, so our peace is knowing that either through the grave or through the rapture, we are covered. 

The world is scary but Jesus said that we are His, we are not of the world, He has kept us. So here is some food for thought. God has kept us; LAMENTATIONS 3:21-23: “THIS I recall to my mind, therefore have I HOPE, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Facing real or perceived dangers, sickness, or persecutions, take comfort from the words of our “go to” guys Peter and Paul, who are examples of Christians sufferings and faith that moved mountains and the thoughts they left us with as their times approached, thoughts to persuade to fight for our calling in the Lord and run after those things God set before us in the knowledge that this life is temporal, just a vapor, to fight for our life eternal but to not fear and to have confidence in God through all things, even when that requires the laying down of this life.

2 PETER 10-16: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail (stumble):

For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you in remembrance of THESE THINGS, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet (fitting) as long as I am in this tabernacle (his body) to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I put off this my tabernacle ( that he would soon be executed) even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shewed me. Moreover I will endeavor that  ye may be able AFTER my decease to have these things ALWAYS in remembrance.

For we have NOT followed cunningly devised fables, when we made know unto you the POWER and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses to his majesty.” 

His last desire was that we all remain in remembrance and go forth for the kingdom, even in his writing, that us, AFTER his death, centuries later, WOULD be stirred by his words. We ARE stirred by his words.

Apostle Paul when his time drew near left us with astounding words for OUR day, 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8 :

I CHARGE thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.

PREACH THE WORD, BE INSTANT (ready) IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WTH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE.

For the TIME WILL COME WHEN THE WILL NO LONGER ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE (Gospel truth): but after their own lusts will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ( chase after those who will tell them whatever they want to hear); And shall TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, and shall be turned unto fables (follow after lies and false doctrine).

But WATCH thou in all things, ENDURE AFFLICTIONS, do the work of an evangelist, MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY. For I AM NOW READY TO BE OFFERED, (his execution drew nigh) and THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE (death) IS AT HAND.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH. Henceforth there IS laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: AND NOT TO ME ONLY, BUT UNTO ALL THEM THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING.

As they took courage and boldness in laying themselves down, it is time for us to lay ourselves down, lay down the fear, lay down the rejections, and take that courage and childlike faith and lay down everything that hinders us in these last days.

 ISAIAH 33:15-20: ” UNTIL the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment (justice) shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.

And the WORK of righteousness SHALL BE PEACE; and THE EFFECT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS QUIETNESS AND ASSURANCE FOR EVER. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure (safe) dwellings, and in quite resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; nd the city shall be low (brought low in humiliation) in a low place.

BLESSED ARE YE THAT SOW BESIDE ALL WATERS, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass” 

That is our hope, even though the world will fall by judgment God gives us reassurance that all will be well, and our commission to sow His seed and sow every opportunity we have, in all areas, beside all waters and send those feet forward. 

So today, rest in that reassurance, lay down in His peace, knowing the ultimate promise of His reassurance, come what may, death, grave, or caught away, that trumpet will surely sound and these words throughout eternity WILL resound: 

REVELATION 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.”       AMEN

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“Bought & Sold” Riches Untold

Buying and selling, we are all so different when it comes to how we will spend our money and at what price we are willingly to sell what is ours. Some really don’t care what the price is, if they want and can afford it,then they will have it. While others tend to be more practical, and count up the cost and necessity before they make that purchase.

And what has this post to do with impulse buying? Absolutely nothing!!! It is actually about impulse selling!

Don’t hear that one every day. I had been thinking about someone and they have been on the heart of many others and to be honest when I wrote Prodigals, Prophets & Puttin’ it off, I could see the persons face in my mind the entire time I was working on the prodigal.

God started putting a thought in my heart about inheritance and I wondered. We all know that Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, so why did Satan just not kill Jesus BEFORE he fulfilled his destiny to die on the cross? Why did he try to BUY him by offering him FOOD, and POWER, and ALL the kingdoms of earth, and finally trying to make him question who he even was?

The answer is this, he could NOT kill him, and take his inheritance, his only option was to attempt to BUY it from him.

Let’s see where it started. GENESIS 25 details the story of Esau and Jacob, the sons of Issac, the were twins but not anything alike and Issac loved Esau and Rebekah loved Jacob, Jacob was very cunning and thinking things through would have served Esau well, but..

GENESIS 29-34: ” And Jacob sod pottage (cooked stew): and Esau came in from the field, and he was faint (very hungry): And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom (red).

And Jacob said, SELL ME THIS DAY THY BIRTHRIGHT. And Esau said, Behold I am at the point to die: and WHAT PROFIT SHALL THIS BIRTHRIGHT DO TO ME? 

And  Jacob said, Sware to me this day; and he sware unto him: and HE SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT UNTO JACOB.  Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage (stew) of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: THUS ESAU DESPISED HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

Now part of the deal was done, GENESIS 27 Rebekah and Jacob tricked Issac, who was old and could not see well, into giving his verbal blessing of inheritance to Jacob who was PRETENDING to be Esau. When Esau came to be blessed he was met with the terrible truth of his actions:

GENESIS 27:30-35: ” And it came to pass, as SOON as Issac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone from the presence of Isaac his father (had just left), that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.

And he also had made savory meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison , that thy soul MAY BLESS ME. And Isaac his father said unto him, WHO ART THOU? And he said, I am thy son, THY FIRSTBORN Esau. 

And Isaac TREMBLED very exceedingly, and said, Who? Where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it to me, and I have eaten of all BEFORE thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed. 

And when Esau HEARD THE WORDS OF HIS FATHER, HE CRIED WITH A GREAT AND EXCEEDING BITTER CRY, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father.

And he  (Isaac) said, THY BROTHER CAME WITH SUBTILITY ( DECEIT) AND HATH TAKEN AWAY THY BLESSING.”  Now that is scary!Just think of what Jacob inherited, remember his name would soon be changed to ISRAEL, the father of THE tribes of the nation of GOD, that will also set as tribes in New Jerusalem. An INHERITANCE of worth that is STILL ACCUMULATING thousands, and thousands of years LATER!!!

Now back to Jesus, so why didn’t the enemy just kill him? HE COULDN’T! HE DOES NOT HAVE THE SOVEREIGN AUTHORITY OF GOD TO DO SO! 

Remember God gave Satan reign over the circumstances in Job’s life, with the exception that HE COULD NOT KILL HIM. Only God has power over life and death, and there are many scriptures attesting to that fact. This is the SAME reason that Satan has bought off so many who were predestined to the kingdom of God.

The very chosen, elect of God who are selling their birthright FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! As the scripture goes “they have sold themselves for nought” like Esau, not even taking time to think about what they are doing, SELLING IT FOR THE SATISFACTION OF THEIR FLESH FOR THE PRESENT DAY, QUESTIONING WHAT GOOD IS IT DOING THEM ANYWAY, never thinking about the fact that it takes time for accounts to mature and interest to grow! 

ROMANS 8:29-30,33: ”   For WHOM HE did FOREKNOW, HE also DID PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among MANY brethren.

Morever, whom HE did PREDESTINATE, THEM HE ALSO CALLED: and who HE CALLED, them he also JUSTIFIED, them he also glorified.

WHO shall lay anything to the charge of God’s ELECT? IT IS  GOD that justifieth.

Just as God told Jeremiah “BEFORE I FORMED THEE IN THE BELLY I KNEW THEE: AND BEFORE THOU CAMEST FORTH OUT OF THE WOMB I SANCTIFIED THEE, AND I ORDAINED THEE A PROPHET UNTO THE NATIONS.”  JEREMIAH 1:5

He was not a special case, as Romans tells us, we WERE with God and the gifts He has placed in us WERE given BEFORE we were even born! The CALLING was placed on our life BEFORE we ever existed in the earthy realm! This is why scripture also states in ROMANS 12:29: “FOR the GIFTS and CALLING of God are without repentance (ARE IRREVOCABLE).”

Whatever gift God has given you, whether it is to lay hands on the sick and they shall recover, if it is the gift of miracles to pray blinded eyes open, deaf ears to hear, or even the prayer of faith to raise the dead. The gift of tongues and prophecy, the gift of words of wisdom or knowledge.

The callings as pastors, preachers, teachers, helpers, givers. Whatever those are ARE FOREVER. And you can choose to sell them out to the highest bidder but you will never escape the knowledge and the hurt when you discover the true price of what he had given you! Run, go right on, run,run as fast as you can,  YOU WILL NEVER OUTRUN GOD. 

PSALM 139:7,8: “Whither (where) shall I go FROM thy spirit? or whither (where) shall I FLEE from thy presence?  If I ascend UP into heaven, THOU ART THERE: If I MAKE MY BED IN HELL, BEHOLD, THOU ART THERE.”

No matter where you go, what you do, HE CREATED YOU FOR A PURPOSE and you will not escape either fulfilling that purpose or being held accountable for your failure to do so.  Satan can not just take your birthright, However God did say that His spirit will not always strive with man and I do believe that there does come times of reprobation and we will not get into that here. God places that hedge of protection around you, He protects what is His and as it is written “touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm” the enemy can not just take over you life, you have to sell out your life and your birthright as a child of the King to him.

And you will never have any idea what that is or what that is truly worth until you live for the Lord and maybe even then, just like what came to pass with Jacob and Esau, the full value will go on accumulating AFTER your work on earth is finished.

So please think of what you are selling and don’t sell your eternal destiny for any thing the enemy can offer, he is ONLY TRYING TO BUY YOU BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT WITH GOD’S HAND ON YOU, HE CAN NOT DEFEAT YOU and HE KNOW WHAT YOUR WORK BLESSED OF GOD WILL COST HIS KINGDOM!

The regret Esau had was endless, HEBREWS 12:16,17: “Lest there be any fornicator or profane (godless) person, as Esau, WHO FOR ONE MORSEL OF MEAT (FOOD) SOLD HIS BIRTHRIGHT.

FOR YE KNOW THAT AFTERWARD, when he WOULD HAVE INHERITED THE BLESSING, he was REJECTED: for he found NO PLACE OF REPENTANCE, though HE SOUGHT IT CAREFULLY WITH TEARS.”  

Even though he had regret upon regret, and he tried and he cried, and he tried some more but there was no way he could go back and change what had been done, there was “no place” he could find in this situation to change what had already been done and what he lost was the headship over all Israel and I am sure the bad aftertaste of that stew lingered for a lifetime! Think about it! Love and peace till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 2016

Watching your two-step……

“Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for WIDE IS THE GATE, AND BROAD IS THE WAY THAT LEADETH TO DESTRUCTION, and many there be which go in thereat (through it): Because strait is the gate, and narrow (difficult or confined) is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” MATTHEW 7:13,14 

 The spiritual dance of stepping into the will of God and His call upon the life of every believer. The true test in this is trying to always move two steps forward while being careful to not slide the three steps back. During times of testing, crisis, and uncertainty we can quickly give up on trying to learn the new step and be easily swayed into sashaying back to that same old waltz with the world that we have grown accustomed to. We are creatures of habit and sometimes slow learners.

 But we never dance alone and often we don’t realize that there are others who watch us and our moves, and sometimes our faulty footwork can not only harm them, it can ultimately destroy them.

Pressure from the world, Pressure from the enemy (constantly reminding us that we may fail) and the most dreadful one, pressure from our self. Pressure that tells us we must get this right, that we have one shot and it is over. This “performance” pressure does not come from the Lord. HE IS merciful and HE IS patient, even if we are quite challenged with the tempo and have two left feet. 

 I want to give a few examples of why it is imperative to wait on the Lord, go forward but be careful to not let our flesh and need to excel “outrun” Him and His desires to teach us those steps himself. Because if we do, we will run head on into disobedience and that carries a hefty price that no one can afford.

Lesson #1 TRUST NO OTHER INSTRUCTOR:  

1 KINGS 13 tells, what to me is one of the scariest stories in the entire book, and of course, I’ll have to highlight, but if you have a moment please read it. God had called forth a Prophet, who is just referred to as “The man of God”  He had sent him by His word and with signs to “cry” against a pagan altar at Bethel. After Jeroboam had asked him to pray to the Lord on his behalf he invited him to dinner, and that is where we will pick it up:

1 KINGS 13:7-9: “And the King said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward. And the man of God said unto the King, if thou wilt give me half thine house, I WILL NOT go I with thee, NEITHER will I eat bread nor drink water IN THIS PLACE; FOR so WAS IT CHARGED ME (COMMANDED TO ME) BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, SAYING, EAT NO BREAD, NOR DRINK WATER, NOR TURN AGAIN BY THE SAME WAY THAT THOU CAMEST.”

So the story goes on and the man did as he had been commanded and went another way. Meanwhile, there dwelt “an old Prophet” whose sons had came and relayed the entire story to him. The old man asked the sons which direction the prophet travelled in and pursued after him.

Now, this is what I really want to point out in this story: verses 14-17: “And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under and oak { not going forward}: and said unto him, Art thou (are you) the man of God that camest from Bethel? { if he were legit he should have KNOWN} and he said, I am. Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.

And he said, I MAY NOT RETURN WITH THEE, NOR GO IN WITH THEE; NEITHER WILL I EAT BREAD NOR DRINK WATER WITH THEE IN THIS PLACE: for it was said to me BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, THOU SHALT EAT NO BREAD NOR DRINK WATER THERE, NOR TURN AGAIN TO GO BY THE WAT THOU CAMEST { NO GOING BACKWARD}.

Now for the deception, the “old” prophet speaking, verse 18-26:” He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an ANGEL spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water: BUT HE LIED UNTO HIM.”  

So  he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water. And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the Lord  came unto the prophet that brought him back:  And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, THUS SAYETH THE LORD, FORASMUCH AS THOU HAST DISOBEYED THE MOUTH OF THE LORD, AND HAST NOT KEPT THE COMMANDEMENT WHICH THE LORD GOD COMMANDED THEE. But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of which the Lord did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcase  shall not come unto the sepulchre of thy fathers ( your corpse will not come to the tomb).

And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, (so you will know) for the prophet whom he had brought back. And when he was gone, A LION MET HIM BY THE WAY (ON THE ROAD), AND SLEW (KILLED) HIM, AND HIS CARCASE WAS CAST IN THE WAY, AND THE ASS STOOD BY IT, THE LION ALSO STOOD BY THE CARCASE.    

AND behold men passed by, and saw the carcase cast (laying) in the way, and the Lion standing by the carcase: and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet dwelt (lived). And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It IS THE MAN OF GOD, WHO WAS DISOBEDIENT UNTO THE WORD OF THE LORD: therefore the Lord hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake unto him.”

#2 DANCING A LITTLE TOO FAST….

JUDGES 11:29-31: ” Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.

And Jephthah VOWED A VOW unto the lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, THEN IT SHALL BE THAT WHATSOEVER COMETH FORTH OF THE DOORS OF MY HOUSE TO MEET ME WHEN I RETURN IN PEACE FROM THE CHILDREN OF AMMON, SHALL SURELY BE THE LORD’S, AND I WILL OFFER IT UP FOR A BURNT OFFERING.”

As our story continues he has an awesome victory but as we pick it up with verses 34,35 we will see that his OWN words ensnared him to a terrible price:

” And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and behold, HIS DAUGHTER came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: she was his ONLY child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent (tore) his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter!  Thou hast brought me very low, and art one of them that trouble me: FOR I HAVE OPENED MY MOUTH (GIVEN MY WORD) UNTO THE LORD, AND I CANNOT GO BACK. (go back on it).”        

Now, by that scripture, God WAS already with him and God did not ask him to make this vow. But sometimes people can fall into the trap of questioning their relationship with God and feel that they must “bargain” with him to gain victory. God only asks that we trust him to lead us and guide us. He NEVER asks for us to bargain anything with him for his goodness toward us. The Bible states God “maketh rich and addeth no sorrow with it” of course that means fruitful in many things and he does not hurt us in doing so.

#3 NEVER TRY TO OUTDANCE THE MASTER:

Saul, Saul, Saul, an endless volume of books could be written dealing with King Saul. One of whom, yet again, Israel was warned about. They wanted a King because everyone else had a king, God was like, I AM your King and they were like no, we want a king like they have. So even after being warned by Samuel the prophet about just how bad this guy was gonna be, they still wanted him, he was tall, striking and looked like a king to them, what if had a few undesirable personality traits?

So we know that he was a bad king and very disobedient to God in always doing it his way and doing his own thing and so the time comes when God had commanded that all who practiced witchcraft be destroyed out of the land and of course, Saul being Saul did not live up to this command. God grew tired of all of it and took his spirit away from Saul and had David anointed as his successor. As Saul’s sanity vanished farther and farther away as he was filled with hatred and jealousy, he would commit one final act that would also hurt those who were innocent and cost the lives of his sons.

  1 SAMUEL 28, to break it down, the Lord was no longer with Saul and Samuel had died, so instead of accepting his state, Saul full of self will took one more shot at trying to out maneuver the master, with yet again more disobedience.

1 SAMUEL 28:7 ” Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit (psychic, medium) that I may go and enquire of her. And his servants said unto him, Behold there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.”

So here he is, disguising himself, as if he can really sneak this one by an all seeing God, and he goes to this witch, who points out that KING SAUL has called for the death of them all, and realizes that he IS Saul. He reassures that no harm will come to her, but little does he know the harm that is coming to him and his entire house. He calls for Samuel, God ALLOWS one final message: verse 16-19 :

Then said Samuel, WHEREFORE THEN DOST THOU (WHY DO YOU) ASK OF ME, SEEING THE LORD IS DEPARTED FROM THEE, AND IS BECOME THINE ENEMY? 

Because thou OBEYEDST NOT the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.

MOREVER the Lord will deliver Israel  with thee INTO THE hand of the Philistines:  and TO MORROW SHALT THOU AND THY SONS BE WITH ME { Saul and his sons would be dead by the next day}…..”

1 SAMUEL 11  recounts the battle, verse 6: “ So Saul DIED, and HIS THREE SONS, and HIS ARMOURBEARER, and ALL HIS MEN, THAT SAME DAY TOGETHER.”

All of this tells us some simple truths that we need to always keep hold of, God is faithful. God calls us, and you do not have to beg Him your job. He equips us as we need equipping, with whatever we need to do our work for the Kingdom and to follow Him and do His will we need only to TRUST. He opens doors in HIS TIME and when he opens them no one can shut those doors.

So be patient and walk as He has called you and wait on those answers, don’t be tempted to run ahead or go sliding back, you will miss the entire dance and all the wonderful moves he wants to teach you! 

PROVERBS 3: 5, 6: “ TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL THINE HEART: AND LEAN NOT UNTO THINE OWN UNDERSTANDING. IN ALL THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS.”

Φλογίζω Εαλπιζω NB 2016