In the Waiting

“I would have given up, except that I believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” – Psalms 27:13-14

Oh the dreaded season of waiting, how we hate it. Yet how we eventually grow to so deeply appreciate it. You see, God will often give you a promise, a destination, land to be taken, and an inheritance in His Kingdom. We thank Him, then immediately start trying to figure out ways to take it, or make it happen. All the while He is saying, “wait”.

Oh, if we could learn what David mastered, the art of “waiting on the Lord.” However, we often have to learn it the same way he did, in a cave or wilderness season. Where the promise seems to be taken and thrown a million miles away. He was promised kingship, but got a wilderness. Joseph was promised Lordship but got a prison. Abraham was promised fruitfulness but got barrenness. The faith for the promise is always tested in the waiting, but it’s more then that.

You see, there are three main things that can only be accomplished in the waiting, because it takes time for fruit to ripen.

These three things are:

1. Lessons

2. Maturing

3. Healing

It’s all about producing good fruit, because the fruit contains the seed, which is the reproduction of the tree. If you don’t produce good fruit (the fruit of the Spirit), you will end up reproducing trees (people) that produce bad fruit (the fruits of the flesh) who will continue to reproduce it in others. And we know that Jesus said that every tree which produces not, good fruit will be hewn down and cast into the fire (hell).

The waiting is where you patiently learn to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes through mistakes, and sometimes through victories. It’s were we learn the hard lessons that are best learned when no one is looking, rather then when we are trying to lead others ahead of our season. It’s where we are purged, and pruned, and learn in the seeking. It’s where we also see the damage caused when we fail to do so. It’s where we learn to follow His leading.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” – John 10:27

The Holy Spirit is the root and we are the tree. If we are connected to a Holy Root then we will produce Holy fruit (Character), which can then be fit to carry the seed (word) to be planted in new ground (people and places). This spiritually fulfills the first commission given to man in the garden to “be fruitful and multiply and subdue the land”. This is also why Jesus said that the only way to know what root (Spirit) a person is led by is to examine the fruit (character), because there are many wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Therefore if someone is led by a Holy root (the Holy Spirit), they will produce Holy fruit (selfless, righteous, Godly character; or the fruits of the Spirit). But if they are being led of an unholy root (an unholy / unclean spirit) they will produce unholy (or bad) fruit (the fruits of the flesh). There is no other evidence to determine that a man is led of the Holy Spirit, than Holiness.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” – Galatians 5:19-24

It is in this time of waiting that we learn how to get connected to Him and draw from that Holy root. We also learn the lesson and tactics of the enemy that will one day be used to lead others away from the fake and into the truth, because we took the time to get to know the truth by getting to know the one who is the truth and is the only way to attain truth, the very Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” – John 16:13

Oh how when we receive the seeds of truth we believe that we are ready to be used. But the fruits are not produced in the same season that the seed is planted. There is maturing that must come in the waiting. Yes there will be growth, but in the early years of a tree most of it’s growth is underground, in the unseen. It has to gain some reach and stability, it needs a steady access to the deep waters to sustain it in the season of fruitfulness that is coming.

Yes, there are things that He will call you to do in order to teach and to stretch you, but be more willing to dig your roots down deep (even if no one sees your growth) then to stand tall and reach high; or the first big storm that comes will knock you down. Or worse yet, your fruit will come, and not having deep roots, will be small, dry, and empty; unable to feed those who came to receive of it. I think that maturity comes when we finally grow to see ourselves as we really are, rather then the way we think we are; and that brings a humbling, a changing, a breaking, a mercy, a great-fullness, a compassion, and a selflessness. So grow deep, grow strong, grow humility, grow in the word and in obedience, grow in maturity.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11-12

Perhaps the most important reason for the season of waiting, is to heal you from the wounds of the enemy that would cause you to hurt those who have nothing to do with your wound. Like a wounded dog, when we have unhealed hurts, we tend to snap at those who touch it, even if they are only trying to help us mend it. I’ve heard it said that if you don’t heal from what hurt you, you’ll end up bleeding on people who never cut you. In other words, be willing to sit in the wilderness until God heals you of the wounds of Egypt or you’ll end up poisoning your promise.

God won’t go with those who carry bitterness, unbelief, disappointment, or offense. Those are fruits of the flesh, and not of the Spirit. They must be pruned, cut away, and healed. It’s like a blight on a tree that, if not cut off, can spread to poison the whole thing making its fruit toxic to those who eat it, and can even stead from it to other trees around it. Yikes! My friend, you cannot carry both, those things and His presence. He won’t share His glory with another. You only get to carry one, or the other.

“And Moses said unto the LORD, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence (to the Promise land).” – Exodus 33:15

Jesus can heal all wounds but often it takes some time to do it. So if He’s saying “wait”, obey and ask Him to show you what it is that you need to let go of, who do you need to forgive, what do you need to be healed from, is there any besetting sin? And when He shows you it, repent, and give it to Him. You have to let Him do this to you (the tree) so that He can then do it through you (your fruit and seed) to help set others free.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” – Luke 4:18

So now you get it. You can’t teach what you don’t understand, and to truly understand, you must experience it. You can’t pour out what hasn’t been poured in. No man can teach more then what he himself has experienced. This is why we overcome by the blood of the lamb AND the word of our testimony (what we have lived). Our experience proves the power of what Jesus spoke and did when we live by faith in it, being changed by it. Then telling others about it while making ourselves an example of it. A living sacrifice. When you finally understand this, you come to truly, deeply, cherish, and appreciate the time of waiting where He does all of it.

So now that you better understand, you won’t be so disappointed when you hear that word “wait”, but what are you suppose to do while you wait? In the time of learning, do what “waiters” do, “serve”! In the time of maturing, pray to be made more like Him. After all, the fruits of the Spirit that you are maturing to exhibit are actually the Character of Jesus. Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, meekness, kindness, faith, and self control.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” – 1 John 4:16-17

In the time of healing, learn the tactics of the enemy that they never get pass your defenses again. Grow in humility and compassion. Pray for those who are still bound by them. This is your season of overcoming, and those who overcome rule that which has been overcome. New authority is given as your deliverance will become other’s deliverance. So humble and let go of the hurt which we blame men for, that you might pick up your sword and dethrone the one who really caused it, and free others from the torment of satan. The accuser of the breathern. This is the last lesson to be learned in the season of waiting.

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation 3:21-22

All the greats of scripture “waited on the Lord”. Both daily in prayer, and over the long haul for their promise. Waiting is trust demonstrated. The waiting test and proves faith in a way that others can see and believe and have faith and patience themselves, to achieve the rewards of those who have endured before them. Like the Olympic runner, who though we only see him run for a few seconds then receive his reward, we know the reward does not actually reflect the value only of those few seconds of glorious running. But rather it reflects the years of tireless pressing, discipline, training, and sacrifice that it took to get them to the point of being ready to run that 30 second race.

We see this exemplified in John the Baptist who spent 30 years in the lowest wilderness on earth preparing for a ministry that only lasted 6 months, but made it into the eternal record books as the best race of faith ever run by man (by Jesus’s own admission). Therefore, He has a great reward laid up for him, yet we only see his final 30 second race, and think that’s all that the reward is for. No, the reward comes to those who endure. Not just the final push where everything in you is poured out, but the seasons that get you to it and prepare you for it, where all that will be poured out is first poured in. The mistakes, the lessons, the cleansing, the breaking, the humbling, the healing, the surrender, the changing, the preparing, the maturing, the consecration; it all happens in the season of waiting. Oh, how so many are robbed of so much, by the sin of impatience.

“Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” – Psalms 37:34

“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we quit not.” – Galatians 6:8-9

It’s Not OK

It’s kind of hard to preach the gospel to the poor when they can’t get through the door because they can’t afford the conference fee. Sorry, but charging money for the gospel is apsolulty unscriptural. No true move of God in history ever charged people to hear the gospel, it’s not ok. Church of America, who told you it was ok? Surely not the Bible. A free will love offering is one thing, but a fee is totally different. It excludes those who truly need to hear the message and misrepresents God’s Character to the world; who said to freely give what you have freely been given.

America has no idea what being a minister of the gospel even means anymore. The word minister means “servant”, not celebrity. Churches are suppose to be houses of prayer, not country clubs. There is a judgment coming and Jesus said the only ones who escape it or those who fed the poor who could not pay them back for it, who visited the sick, who clothed the naked, who tended to the bound. Not those who locked them out with an entrance fee, like a country club does.

Sorry, it’s not ok. I don’t agree with it. In 3 generations of ministry my family has never charged for the gospel or participation in any church event, even if we had to get an extra job or two to pay for the work of the ministry ourselves so that it would be free to all. It’s serious people, act like you believe it is and do what you must to reach those who need it most, no matter the cost.

I say it not to be harsh, but that some might be convicted, get back into alignment with scripture and not be robbed of their reward in eternity because they adopted the practices of the culture over the instructions of scripture.

“For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!…What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:16, 18-19‬ ‭

“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,” – Matthew‬ ‭10:7-9‬ ‭

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” – Luke‬ ‭4:18-19‬ ‭

“Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” – Luke‬ ‭14:12-14‬ ‭

“But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” – Mark‬ ‭10:42-45‬ ‭

A Faith for Blessings or A Faith That Blesses?

“Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.” – Luke 7:1-10

This miracle has to be one of the simplest and yet most powerful lessons in Jesus’s healing ministry. It is the only time Jesus actually “marveled” at a man’s faith. The word translated to “marvel” here, in the original Greek was “thaumazō”. It means “to wonder at, or to admire”. God actually “admired” this man’s faith. That is amazing to me. I want a faith like that, that God wonders at!

So what were the elements of this man’s story that caused Jesus to stop in His tracks in amazement, answer his petition for healing, then turn around and endorse the man’s faith to others as an example of the greatest faith He had encountered in all of Israel?

The first thing we see is the man’s heart for God’s people. Others joined in agreement to his plea saying that this man is worthy because he “loves our nation”. As believers we must always have a heart for God’s people, rather they be righteous or deceived, He still looks for those who will love them enough to fight for them that their hearts might be turned back to Him.

Lord, we desire to serve your people and not Lord over them. To fight for them and not against them.”

Next we see that he was selfless, having a servants heart. He built them a church, rather then driving them to build him a palace.

Lord, help us to remember that we are here to build your kingdom, not our own. To serve and not to be served. Even as You did, so let us do. Help us to be more like You.”

Then we see possibly the greatest factor! He was a man of great humility! This was a man having great physical authority over Jesus and any other Jews in the region. Yet he humbled himself publicly before Jesus and acknowledged that Jesus’s spiritual authority far surpassed not only his physical authority, but even the very angels of heaven! And that this was what really mattered!

Lord, remind us to humble our flesh, pride, intellect, and arrogance to your omnipotence! Help us to remember that our limited physical ability cannot do what Your limitless Spiritual Majesty can. So that we cease to take matters into our own hands and cry out to You to release the decrees of heaven that command angel armies to heal the sick, raise the dead, set captives free, and change whole nations for Your glory!”

Next, we see that he was fine with being “unseen”. Jesus was popular at this point, He had a following, He was somebody. Yet the man was not concerned with these things. He was concerned with the suffering of those under him. Nor did he see fit to slow, distract, or hinder Jesus’s work for his own gain.

“Lord, remind us daily that it’s not about us. Not to waste time with petty wining or self gratifying prayers. Help us to remember to cry out to you for the needs of others who are suffering. Not to seek You to gain a following. Not to burden Your mission with our own ambition or need for attention.”

In an astonishing statement he then expresses that, being a military man he understands that Jesus can simply say a word and those under Him in authority will fulfill it. Yet having stated that there was no need for any physical man to come to his residence, he was stating that He believed that Jesus had charge over the angels. To command them to carry out His bidding. He acknowledged Jesus’s deity and therefor His authority over the unseen so that he did not need to see to believe, only to ask Him to speak and it would be.

“Lord, we pray for a revelation of this today. That ALL power, authority, and dominion, have been given unto You. That there is NOTHING that You cannot do. Let that revelation drive us to cry out to You as this man did. Let us pray in faith, that You will dispatch the armies of heaven to accomplish our petitions when brought to You in the right spirit of humility and selflessness, for Your glory and not for attention.”

Finally, this nameless Centurion loved his servant and fellowman, but having done all that he could to help him chose to believed that Jesus loved His people even more then he did. That God is good, kind, powerful, and that He loves them enough to release the decree to heal them, or else he never would have sent the message to Him. At its core, this story is an example of the power of prayer. Jesus healing from a distance because a man had the faith to send a message and believe that His words commanded angel armies to see it accomplished.

“Lord, help us to have faith in Your love for us and for those we pray for. To believe that You are who You are. That You are good and are a rewarder of those who faithfully seek You. To have the faith to press through in prayer and wait humbly there for You to speak. Being fully persuaded that all You have to do is say the word and it is done. It will not return void.”

So in Conclusion, this centurion was a man commissioned by man to rule over and fight against God’s people, but chose instead to serve and fight for them. He believed more in the power of spiritual authority then in his own physical authority, and because of it he cried out to the only one who could truly save them. Then He asked Him to do it in the most supernatural way that would demonstrate the divinity of Christ, even though it meant that he himself would remain a faceless, nameless, unknown character in this story through the ages. Yet a man was saved, a lesson taught, faith stirred for generations, and God’s purposes manifested. For this, while so many were seeking Jesus for a blessing, the centurion became a blessing to God and he will surely receive his reward in heaven where he will by no means remain nameless.

Lord, may our faith bless You with amazement and please Your heart completely. May we learn to live for eternity and believe You now for what we cannot yet see.”

The Birthing of a New Outpouring

For most, it is not until things get out of control that they are willing to cry out for God to take control, but it does not have to be so. The greats of the faith are simply this, men and women who have determined to surrender control to the one who is able, in abundant ways, to do exceedingly above what they can. Knowing this, that grace begins where our strength ends.

Choose to trust Him, is anything to hard for Jesus? Has He not proven Himself worthy of our faith? Take your hands out of it or else it is your work, by your will, for your glory. Instead, cry out and watch Him pour out impossible victories by His hand, to achieve His will, for His glory, and it will be a story told for generations to come. Seek, praise, pray, speak the truth, and move only when He tells you too.

Until you’re sent, then be content to sit and pray and believe what He has to say. Let Him teach you and lead you and pour into you the mysteries of the faith so that in due time He might send you out to be poured out, bringing what has come down to you to all those around you, as He Himself moves to do what no man can do. This is a true outpouring.

When you pour out to Him, He pours out on you (like rain) until you’re so saturated with His presence that it overflows you (his temple) and flows out of you (like a river) to those around you (Ezekiel 47). This is a true Baptism of His Holy Spirit. An abiding saturation, a divine exchange, you in His presence and His presence in you.

“Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father…..If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you…..At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you….But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John 14:10-12, 14-17, 20, 26

Desperation often is the catalyst that drives men to this, but it does not have to be so. You can choose to pursue Him out of love and faith in who He is and what He said, rather then out of desperation for what you need from Him in a moment or season of brokenness. Simply believe that His strength is made perfect in our weakness and surrender to abiding time in His presence speaking to Him as often as you would if you were desperate. He prefers this and blesses those who do it with great favor, friendship, and the outpouring of His Spirit with wonders to preform.

Does not this generation desperately need this? Someone who will believe enough to be persistent in His presence, being filled up with His Spirit so that He can use them to pour out the very essence of heaven? His words, His power, His wisdom, His temple, carrying His Spirit into all the world unto life changing, chain breaking, generation taking, nation shaking victory against the enemy!

“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” – Zechariah 4:6-7

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any:..” – Mark 11:22-25

A Safe Love

One of Adams greatest failures was that he blamed his bride, while Christ’s greatest victory came when He took the blame for His bride. He covered for us. He covered us. He was a true husband, willing to die to cover our mistakes. What love. What selflessness. What a safe place He is for our love and trust to rest. With Him we can have this sure confidence, that our hearts are safe with Jesus.

“Love shall cover the multitude of sins.” – 1 Peter 4:8

Like Adam, we often get frustrated trying to change people and situations around us and begin to blame them for our lack of progression or backsliding, when we were never meant to change them through manipulation, but rather those people and situations were actually meant to change us as we draw closer to God in prayer for them. It was meant to give us the opportunity to choose and demonstrate righteousness, uncommon love and obedience, selflessness and holiness, faith and forgiveness. Just like Jesus did.

You see, the power of the kingdom is not in our wisdom but in our testimony, in the demonstration of the lives that we’re living. Therefore a life of faith demonstrated, is a life lived without manipulation. We can’t make those around us change, but we can tell and show them how we have been changed that they may choose to put their faith in the one who changed us.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – Revelation 12:11

No man can pluck us out of God’s hands yet scripture tells us that our sins do separate us from Him. Therefor, when we find ourselves growing distant or feeling separated, we can be assured that it was our own doing and no one else’s. This usually begins with a decision to take matters into our own hands on something and ends with us blaming someone else as to why it ended badly.

“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” – Romans 14:12-13

Everyman must walk out his own salvation with fear and trembling. On the day of judgment we will give an account for our own actions and reactions, and no one else’s. No, we will not be allowed to be the accuser of the brethren, that position is already taken.

On that day, as we stand before the One who was willing to suffer to love and take the blame for us in the face of all our unworthiness, we will not be allowed to give an account as to what everyone else did to us, only of how we reacted to it. Did we demonstrate love? Did we trust the teachings of Jesus Christ? Did we sacrifice to reach that life? Did we let the hardship humble us, or harden us? Were we selfless, or selfish? Did we bare the fruits of forgiveness, or of offense? Did we blame God or others and stop growing, or did we cling to God, pray for others, and keep going?

Jesus chose to pay the debt for our wickedness and replace it with forgiveness that we might come to believe in the safety of His love for us and receive redemption through it. Choose to do the same and cancel someone’s debt of pain to you today. Tear up the IOU in your heart and through it away. Demonstrate the love of Christ with your life and a sacrifice of your right to be offended. Choose to no longer try to force them to fix it. Don’t blame them like Adam did, forgive and cover them in prayer like Jesus did. Then, trust God to fix them and you be satisfied to sit with the Father in the thrown room until He does it. Our love is surely safe with Jesus, and if He lives within us, then others should trust that their love is also safe with us; and the only place that a person ever truly feels that their heart is safe, is in the arms of forgiveness.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:29-32

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:44-48

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” – 1 John 4:16-21

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” – Luke 23:33-34

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” – John 13:34-35

The Enemy’s Weapon of Recollection

The devil is a cunning foe, full of deception, knowledge, and the weapon of recollection. For the born again saint of God saved from sin, the devil often brings to their recollection their past failures and shortcomings. He brings guilt, condemnation, and a weight of shame and discouragement. He points out your unworthiness in an attempt to keep you out of God’s presence where you find the truth and forgiveness.

However, the devil is too cleaver to use only this one side of the weapon of recollection. There is an other edge to it, it cuts two ways and the second is a little more sneaky. It prays on the seasoned saint who has just come out of great victory and being weary, desires to rest and take it easy. In this state, the enemy comes in with the weapon of recollection and reminds the saint, not of their past sins, but their past wins! He encourages them to stop moving forward, to just sit and rest, to believe that they’ve already made it to the pinnacle of the destiny that God has for them! He reminds them of all they’ve done, tells them that it’s enough, no need to seek the King for more wearying instructions. The tactic is the opposite from the first but the outcome is the same. The saint stops coming boldly before the thrown of grace.

The most dangerous place for the seasoned battle warn believer is right after a great victory. You are weary, you are relieved, and you are arrogant and easy to deceive. God does reward His faithful servants, there is rest for the weary, strength for the weak, grace for the humble, provision for those in need, but those things are meant to equip you and get you to the next fight. As long as your alive, don’t ever let the devil make you think that you’ve arrived and should just coast on to glory or you’ll start to backslide and end up loosing your reward in eternity.

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

You’re still here, there is still work to be don’t for the kingdom, there are still lessons to be learned and blessings to be earned. There is still a mountain to climb, a destiny to be realized. If you stop growing you will start dying. So when things go wrong don’t be ever reminded of it and quit! Repent and get back into the fight. But likewise, even when things go right, don’t believe the lie that that’s it and stop pressing forward to greater glory. Yesterday’s revivals won’t save tomorrow’s sinners. If you’re not in heaven then your not finished, you haven’t arrived at your destination, get back in the fight and run this race to the finish if you really want to win it.

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” – Philippians 3:10-15

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” – Matthew 24:13

Keep Learning

Keep reaching deeper into God’s word and presence in the place of prayer and seeking like the roots of a mighty tree planted by the water. Don’t settle for yesterday’s Manna or easily polluted surface waters. Keep digging, keep drawing, keep growing.

The learner is ever equipped for what’s to come, while the learned is only equipped for a world that no longer exists. So don’t stop. Keep pursuing the teacher, keep going deeper. God’s looking for followers, not more self proclaimed leaders repeating yesteryears sermons. He wants the seekers, who by faith wait to hear what He has to say, then obey no matter what.

To know that God’s wisdom is greater then yours is the first step toward walking in a wisdom that is not of this world, that the logic of man or the grandeur of organizations cannot understand, and that the gates of Hell itself can’t stand against. So don’t be deceived by the pride of knowledge like Adam and Eve in the garden. Seek the one who is the truth, the way, and the life and in every ever-changing situation you will have all that you need, because all that you need will be right by your side. The sure truth, showing you the right way, to abundant and eternal life. So never stop praying, never stop seeking, never stop following His every leading, never stop digging, never stop learning, because when a tree stops growing, it starts dying.

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:5-8

The Many and the Few

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:18-20

I often hear church goers boasting with great pride that they are called by God, perhaps to preach, perhaps to lead, perhaps to the nations, or some other great thing? To which I must reply, “Do you think that makes you special? My friend, everyone is, it’s the great commission and we’ve all been given it.” However few ever truly fulfill it, because while many are called, few are chosen

You want the grandeur of being called to the nations but are you speaking to your Neighbor? You want to be given a mighty congregation but are you neglecting the Nineveh next door, the Ghetto down the street, the hospital, the orphan, the widow in need? Because the few who are doing these small, unseen, un-glorious things are the ones He’s going to trust to send in His Name. Why would He send you to the nations if you won’t be sent to the next city when He calls? He who is faithful in the small things, He will make ruler over much. Prove yourself faithful in Jerusalem, and then He will send you into all the world.

“And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew 22:11-14

In this parable that Jesus spoke, everyone was invite and had equal opportunity in accessing the marriage super. They where all called to come in and participate! Yet because this man did not put on the wedding garment, which the book of revelations tells us is “robes of righteousness” (Rev. 19:7-8), he was not chosen and was cast out. Jesus is coming, the marriage super of the Lamb is being prepared, seek the Lord while He May be found, not titles, stages, prestige, applause, or fame. Seek humility and obedience, seek the fruits of the spirit, seek righteousness.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33

“For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” – Hebrews 12:10-14

Most today seek physical blessings from God, but Paul said to seek the correction of God that it might produce the fruits of righteousness in you unto eternal blessing. For without it you will have no part in the Kingdom.

Paul also states in this passage, that seeking to please God through receiving His correction and Fatherly direction will cause your feet to stay to the straight path. Which brings us full circle back to the many and the few, the called vrs the chosen, the rejected and the righteous! For Jesus makes it very clear exactly who the many and the few are.

“Enter ye in at 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 is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” – Matthew 7:13-15

The many that were called are the same many that stayed on the wide and easy road, while the few that are chosen are the same few who decided to crucify the flesh with it’s selfish desires, pick up their cross and follow after Jesus down the straight and narrow path of righteousness. To be led by His Spirit is to be led by His righteousness, into righteousness. Laying aside foolish lust, vain babbling, and doing what He says is right. To pick up your cross and follow after Him is to do what He did and say, “Father not my will, but Your will be done.” The few that truly do this will follow Him into eternal life, while the many that don’t are only deceiving themselves into believing they are ok while all the while they are on the broadway, marching headlong toward hell.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” – James 1:22

As Jesus continues in His warning to the many on the wide and easy road, we see something that should shake us all. While the few chose to pick up their cross and follow Jesus down the straight and narrow, the many on the wide road have followed false teachers, false prophets, and false preachers; the wolves in sheep’s clothing. The ones that sold them a lie of ease and prosperity, that they could walk a road of unrighteousness and still be walking toward heaven. They flattered and fluffed their pride and their lust and led them to their church but not to Jesus. They did not help them by telling them to crucify their will so that God’s will, through them, might be fulfilled. They said, “just profess that He is Lord and do no more!” But they didn’t not correct them or exhort them to be subject to Him, as Lord! So that when they stand before Him at the end they will be astounded at what He will say to them.

They thought they were saved, but they were not, because that they had never given their life away that Christ might live through them. They did their own will, and not the will of the Jesus. They professed Him with their lips, but their hearts and their obedience was far from Him. They did not follow Him. They did not walk in righteousness. What a sad and dreadful place to find yourself in, at the end of this wide path walked by the masses.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” – Matthew 7:21-24

My friend, Jesus made a way of escape and it comes by faith, but true faith in who He is will cause you to seek Him for that way and not simply trust what your lust or what others have to say. Pray, ask Him today to show you the way. It won’t be the easy one, but it will be the right one. Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you and He will come in and commune with you and lead you into all truth, but then the real test begins, because true faith in what He says in the place of seeking will cause you to trust Him unto obedience and just like Abraham, it will be counted unto you for righteousness. Learn today to follow His leading even when it’s not flesh pleasing. So few truly do. The few among the many.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6

“…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” – Luke 18:8

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew 22:14

Speak

“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” – Acts 2:16-18

When the Holy Spirit of God was released through the shed blood of Jesus, it was made abundantly clear that it was for everyone. Male, female, young, old, rich, poor, God’s Spirit was released to all flesh to empower everyone to speak the good news of Jesus!

In fact Acts 1:8 tells us that the reason the Holy Spirit was given was to make us a witness. That we, being the new temple, might carry His words and His presence out to others, when before they had to come to it in the temple in Jerusalem.

When the Holy Spirit fell on the first 120 in the upper room, it fell upon men and women alike, of all ages and class and they all began to speak God’s words. Not of themselves, but by the power and leading of His Spirit!

That same Spirit is available to us today and the same commission for which it was given so that there is no excuse or exception, but all who truly have Him living in them, will freely tell others about Him. It’s the reason the Holy Spirit was given and He drives you to do so just as He did to Jeremiah who said,

“I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not endure it.” – Jeremiah 20:9

To the true God fearing, Holy Spirit filled, Jesus loving servant of God, there is no ceasing from preaching the gospel. No mater age, gender, or class in society. All may not be pastors, but all will preach for Jesus said,

“For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” – Luke 9:26

In fact, being willing to preach (which means to proclaim) the gospel of Jesus Christ is not only available to all believers, it is required of all believers!

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” – Romans 10:10-11

Whosoever, believes shall receive the promise of the Holy Ghost and shall not be ashamed of the gospel that it came to empower us all to proclaim! Let every person who believes, young and old, rich or poor, male or female, profess the Name of Jesus and go out speaking whatsoever He tells us! For He has promised to be with us and in us and manifest Himself through us to those around us. If we truly believe, we will follow His Spirit’s lead, being be His hands and feet, and also His mouth piece. So don’t neglect to speak.

“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” – Hebrews 13:16

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:18-20

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” – Acts 2:38-39

It’s a War, Be Sober

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” – 1 Peter 5:8

For several years now, we have had a very clever opossum stealing eggs from our hen house. He has avoided every snare and trap that we have set for him, until today. What was different about today? Today he got drunk under the pear tree on rotten fruit and in it’s lack of sobriety and vigilance, it’s enemy (my husband) was finally able to overcome him.

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” – Proverbs 20:1

Real Christians have a real foe. Real soldiers fight a real war. The devil is real and he is out to steal, kill, and destroy. Not being vigilant of this, and sober minded that you might make wise decisions, is the height of ignorance and will lead to your being over taken by him in a moment of weakness . It’s not worth the risk.

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” – 2 Timothy 2:3-5

Not being sober minded (which includes the use of any intoxicating substance. Alcohol, drugs, some medications, and I would dare even include the addicting mind numbing distractions of some forms of modern media which science now tells us effects the brain in the same way as many street drugs do, creating dependencies and apathies) does not only put you at risk of falling pray to the snares of the enemies, but it also allows the enemy to much more easily use you against those around you.

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” – Proverbs 31:4-5

“But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” – Isaiah 28:7

“And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;” – Leviticus 10:8-10

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” – Revelation 1:5-6

“It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” – Romans 14:21

For the real Christian fighting a real fight against a real foe, there is no room for childishness, for a lack of vigilance, for selfish indulgences that put you, your purpose, or those around you at risk. There comes a time when God ask all of us this, “are you willing to laid down your will and your wants, pick up your cross, and follow after Me?” Because despite popular belief and mistranslated words, Jesus never drank wine, nor condoned it. There was never a man who needed to be more vigilant then Him. He was a Rabbi and the consumption of Intoxicating substances such as Alcohol were strictly forbidden by both God and the culture and Jesus, being without sin abided by all the laws of God, being sure to fulfill them. So it’s time for the church to stop making excuses for their indulgences. It’s time to put down the bottle and pick up the sword, because if you try to wield both, someone will get hurt. And I assure you that it will be you and those nearest to you, while the enemy stands back and laughs at you as you do, then finally steps in to overtake you. It’s time to grow up and get in the fight, to lay down our life, to do what’s right. It’s time to really believe and leave the things of Egypt behind.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11

“Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:10

“Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:21

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” – 1 Peter 5:8