Do Your Part

“But now are they many members, yet but one body.” – 1 Corinthians 12:20

We have all heard the expression that no man is an island unto himself. Everyone needs help. The Bible is clear about this principle that two or better then one, because they can get more done for the kingdom, and a threefold cord is not easily broken. There is strength and accountability in the body and family of Christ.

Now that body is not a building but the members of God’s great congregation. The sheepfold is bigger then our small picture of it. Our preacher and congregation have their place in it rather they realize it or not for Paul tells us that a foot is still a foot even if it thinks that it’s not.

Further more, we have a part to play in praying for the greater body even if we are rejected by it, like Paul did from prison. He was despised and rejected by most, saying that only one or two still stood with him. Yet did he still intercede for them as the Apostle who had planted them. He was still a part of the body even if they didn’t think he was and he still had a roll to play as such. If you say to the eye that it is not the eye, does that make it not they eye?

We see this same mind in Christ who was despised and rejected even though He was chosen of God to be the head of all of it. Yet He still interceded for the whole of it and gave His life a ransom for those who rejected and abandoned Him. In His hour of greatest service, no man stood with Him. Even His disciples all fled and left Him. Yet still did He fight for them. Though he seemed to stand alone in that moment, like Paul in His prison, was he still a part of the body and he stood in His role in it.

These men loved and fought for those who had tried to separate themselves from them, those who had rejected and abandoned them. Those who had slandered and hated them. They sacrificed, suffered, loved, and interceded for them. Because the hand is still the hand and if it ceases to preform its function then is it dead and has become a hindrance and a serious problem to the body and is in danger of amputation. But the good news is this, that we serve a God of resurrection! So that that dead member does not need to stay that way. What does hinder you from being raised?! Simply ask, believe, receive, be revived, come alive, and step back into your function in the body of Christ. Your true function. The one that He (as the head) assigned to you. Not the one you wanted to do (because everyone wants to pick their part), but the one that the Lord equipped you for.

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” – 1 Corinthians 12:21-25

Pulled Back

In my garden yesterday I noticed that my cucumbers had finally grown enough to start reaching and climbing the trellis that I had provided for them. So I picked them up off the ground and positioned them on the lowest level of the trellis.

Today after some time in prayer, I went back out into my garden. The first row of cucumbers had grown upward, climbing the trellis. Yet the second row, under the shadow of the first who had already begun climbing, had left the position that I had put them in and began making their own way to the right toward the other row to climb the other rows trellis as it reached for the sun the fastest way it could tell how.

However, from my view point from above, as the husbandmen of the garden with greater vision and experience, out of care and understanding, after it had fought so hard through the night to get itself over to the right side, I pulled it back to where I had placed it before and again reconnected it to its own trellis.

I know that it might seem like it’s getting more light by going to the right for the moment, crawling along the ground. It might see those other plants climbing high, but if I leave it there, it will die. Cucumbers need to climb. They need to reach for something, left on the ground they will be stunted, overshadowed, get diseased and eventually die. I needed to pull it back and put it back into the right position to grow the fastest, so it could climb higher!

The plant was trying, doing what it thought best by it’s nature, but from my larger prospective I knew that it needed to do something contrary to it’s nature and it just needed to surrender to what I was doing for it. It was for it’s good. It was to help it grow faster! To reach the light and heights that it needed in order to become fruitful and productive the quickest!

It needed something to reach for and that something was in the opposite direction from where it thought it needed to go. My friend, sometimes to elevate faster you have to allow God to bring you back to where you were before you started trying to achieve your goals on your own.

Sometimes the fastest way to go forward is to go backwards. Reaching for the light was beneficial for the Cucumber for a short season while it was growing and developing the arms it needed to reach the wire, but once it had grown enough to start climbing, it needed to go back in order to go up.

“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. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” – Proverbs 3:5-8

Keep Praying

“Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” – 1 Timothy 2:7-8

There is great power in the unified prayer of the saints. No great move of God ever came without it. All the ingredients of the power of Paul’s ministry or summed up in these two passages. Speak the truth of God’s word by preaching the message, testimony, and teachings of Jesus. And call for unified prayer without fightings among the brethren or doubt in your heart.

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” – 1 Corinthians 1:10

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” – Matthew 5:9

Heal the heart of a church and you will plug them into the power source of the Holy Ghost. Pray for unity and you pray for revival. Pray for purity and you pray for the survival of the ones who will follow you. You are the example that they will look too. Make sure that what you show them is humility, holiness, and unity among the brethren. A solid and selfless family. To stand apart from sin is to be in Union with God, yet must it always be done in love, rightly reflecting His character and Spirit.

Men be humble before the women and children. Woman be respectful before the men and the children. Children be reverent before the elders. Elders be patient and holy before the children. Function as a unit, each supporting and fighting for the other while being led by the head which is Christ Jesus. Even as a body does for all its members and you will move in the fullness of God’s power made available to us who believe and trust Him and are willing to walk humbly to demonstrate His teachings.

You gain these things in prayer. You maintain these things in prayer. You fight for others to obtain these things in prayer. All the power of the kingdom comes to us through prayer. So no wonder the devil fights it so much and seeks to bring distraction and devision among us. Know the tactic and don’t let it happen. Not on our watch, Satan… we will keep praying!

“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Honor the King

“And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines’ garrison was then at Beth–lehem. And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Beth–lehem, that is at the gate! And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Beth–lehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord, And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.” – 1 Chronicles 11:16-19

These three men risked their lives to provide a drink offering for the one they saw as their king, but David would not take it. Instead he poured it out as a drink offering to the true King, God.

It is good to honor and reverence your leaders, blessed is the man who has leaders that he can reverence. However, when it turns to praises that leader is obligated to reject it and turn those praises back toward Jesus. David dare not receive this gift, less he encourage others to do it also. May this story remain in our hearts (who are of the faith) the next time someone comes to flatter us, or to shower us with praises. We have nothing to glory of, but the Lord. Therefore let the praises we receive always be deflected upward.

David knew that his victories were not of his doing, but of the Lord. God had promised him kingship and it was by God’s grace that it was being accomplished. Therefore did he have no reason to think himself mighty, but only to give God all of the glory. The drink offering needed to be given to the one who really deserved it.

Oh, how often do we fail at this? Do we take credit for what God actually did? Do we allow the praises of men to penetrate our defenses? I assure you of this, that when flattery gets in, so will the enemy follow after it. So reject it quickly! Boast only in your infirmities, and in the power of God to achieve His promises regardless of them.

I can truly say with all honesty that I have no revelation but what God Himself has given me. I have no gift but what He gives when He sees fit. I have no strength but what He lends when I need it. I have no understanding but what He reveals when He gives me eyes to see it. I have no possession but what He has gifted me. I have no victory but what He has afforded and granted to me. I have nothing, and yet He turns my nothing into something amazing daily! That’s the power of my King. All glory, honor, and praise belongs to Him.

“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.” – 1 Samuel 2:8-9

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are nothing, to bring to nothing things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:25-31

“For though I (Paul) would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:6-10T

“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 answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” – Luke 4:8

The War : Soldier Up

“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.” – 2 Timothy 2:3-4

A soldier looses all his rights when war starts. When he is called he must answer and do as he is told. You signed the papers and then went back to life as usual, but when war starts you have to leave it all.

We are soldiers of the cross of Jesus Christ. We are called the fight the good fight. We can’t just do as we please. We might get an occasional leave but if we don’t quickly get back to our position then we will be counted among the defectors. Lord help us to be courageous. Help us to be contenders. Help to be selfless. Help us to be soldiers.

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” – Jude 1:3

“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 also that love his appearing.” – 2 Timothy 4:7-8

The Desires of Your Heart

“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” – Psalm 37:4-5

Our God is a good father who delights in giving good gifts to His children; as the scriptures say. Now not everything we ask for is good for us, and as any good and loving parent, He does look out for us and gives what is best. Yet if there is something that your heart truly intently desires, something that you want enough to have a vision for it in your heart, He will bring it to pass.

I had a vision and desire for revival and eventually God made it happen. He Himself did it, He brought the people and the finances, and put me in the vision manifested. He brought it to pass. This was a desire that He placed in my heart so it was far grander then anything I could have hoped for and I know that there is yet still more to come. The vision isn’t done!

When we moved to our new home there was an overgrown field of thistles and briers. I had a desire and a vision of turning it into a beautiful garden. I put the Lord first, giving my time to Him and not trying to make it happen in my own timing. I prioritized His desires and eventually He gave me mine! Again He sent people, family and friends who came in the proper season and made it happen. He even (yet again) provided the finances. In quick work the wasted land was transformed into exactly what I had imagined. It was in this that I realized and began to see the fulfillment of this passage manifested in my life.

How powerful a revelation, how good a God and Father, how great a weight and gift. What we truly desire, He will give… So make it big, make it selfless, make it impactful, better yet make it His! Because our vision is limited but His is infinite. When I desired what I could imagine, I got a garden. When I desired what He could imagine, I got revival that birthed prayer meetings that shifted seasons and altered everything.

Now having said all of this I do have to give a warning. Because sometimes the desires of our heart can be selfish, or cruel and hurtful toward God. Yet if you desire them enough sometimes He will still allow you to have it. The Israelites in the wilderness desired the foods of Egypt and hated the manna that God had so gracious and miraculously given them. So God gave them what they wanted and it killed them.

The scriptures also tell us that when people don’t want to hear the truth but desire to be lied to because it makes them feel good and keeps them comfortable in their sin and rebellion toward Him, that he will give them what they desire in the form of teachers that or liars.

Worse yet of all this is that those who don’t want God to bother them and desire to be left alone by Him will be given the desire of their hearts also. They will go to the only place where God truly does not exists. In hell there is no presence of God or anything that is “Him”. No love, no mercy, no compassion, no justice, no peace, no gentleness, no kindness, no temperance, no hope, and no escape from it. For those who don’t want God, they will get the desire of their heart, and it will be horrible.

So set a vision in your heart for good and believe for it. Or better yet, seek God for “His” vision of what is good and trust for it. His is so much bigger, better, and grander then anything we could ever hope to muster up or imagine. So grab hold of His vision and run with it! He truly will give us the desires of our heart, though we have to wait for it. And anything that we can imagine we can have it! So ask Him to show you something, knowing that His wisdom is greater then ours and His vision goes farther then our imagining. Then no matter how big, trust Him to make it happen and praise Him for the greater things that are coming!

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9-12

“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.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

“And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” – Habakkuk 2:2-4

“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.” – Mark 11:22-24

Nineveh Destroyed

We’ve all heard the story of how Nineveh repented and was saved from judgment. Jonah, the reluctant prophet, swallowed by a well and brought to their shores with a word of desolation for the godless nation. This enemy of Israel receives the warning and offering of God’s mercy upon them. They fast in sackcloth and ashes, and the judgment passes! They are saved! Glory be to God in the highest! Unmatchable and merciful are His ways!

This is not unlike when Jesus came and offered salvation from sure judgment to the gentile romans that occupies and oppressed Israel at the time. Jonah ran because he did not want Nineveh saved. The many of the Jews resisted Jesus’s message because they did not want the Romans saved. Yet God is abundant in mercy. It is not His will that any should perish, but that all should have the chance to come to repentance!

However, to whom much is given, much is required. When mercy comes and stays a judgment, how much greater a punishment lays on the other end of it if that mercy is disregarded.

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:29-31

We rarely consider Nineveh’s story past the point of Jonah’s warning. The sad truth is that many of them wasted the great gift that God had given them and forsook their own mercy by returning to their sin and selfishness. They oppressed the innocent, they broke God’s covenants, they suppressed and oppressed His people and His priest. They controlled and manipulated everyone underneath them. Their merchants and military, their politics, their oppressive government overtook and ruled over all the nations around them. The blood of the innocent cried out from the ground against them until eventually God had to step in and judge them.

God delights in mercy but mercy upon the wicked can become unjust to the innocent and when their cry becomes desperate enough, God will defend them. Therefore did the prophet Nahum record the final judgment and decree from the Lord against Nineveh, and the second outpouring of wrath was far worse then the first that was averted. Because great or God’s mercies but great also is the penalty for taking them lightly. For they come at a great cost and He will recompense.

Likewise will a final judgment come upon this word for the same reason. Such great undeserved mercy has been given at the cost of the blood of Jesus. Yet has the world still fought to suppress and oppress God’s people and the blood of the innocent still cry out to Him for deliverance. So will the judgment that He came to save them from still come, and greater will be the reckoning of it on the other side of that unappreciated mercy. In the end the wrath of God will be poured out upon the wicked. So is the fate of every ungodly nation in history. But praise God for saving the humble and repented out of them for paying the price of redemption, for sending the warnings, for speaking the truth to us, and showing us the pattern of things to come.

This world will burn because the wrath of God always comes in fire ever since the day that He promised Noah that it would no longer come by flood. So did it also for Sodam and Gamorah, Nineveh, and many others who have refused to live by His example of selflessness. Yet the more mercy He shows us the greater the judgment that is building up. So don’t take God’s mercy lightly, eventually it does run out. Just like the door of the ark in the days of Noah, the window of repentance will one day shut for all of us, and then the judgment.

Nahum’s warning of Ninivahs destruction

Justice on the wicked in defense of the innocent :

“God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.” – Nahum 1:2

God‘s eyes are on the righteous in the midst if it:

“The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.” – Nahum 5-8

God fights aginst Ninivah by allowing her enemies to attack and overtake her :

“But Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back…

She is empty, and void, and waste: and the heart melteth, and the knees smite together, and much pain is in all loins, and the faces of them all gather blackness…

Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword shall devour thy young lions: and I will cut off thy prey from the earth, and the voice of thy messengers shall no more be heard.” – Nahum 2:8, 10, 13

Their destruction is beyond comprehension, their leaders run and hide, and other nations cheer their downfall because they have oppressed and occupied others for so long. Because of their sin, selfishness, wickedness, and indifference, most outside of their walls are glad to see them fall.

“The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses: Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the wellfavoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts. Behold, I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame….

And it shall come to pass, that all they that look upon thee shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for thee?…

Behold, thy people in the midst of thee are women: the gates of thy land shall be set wide open unto thine enemies: the fire shall devour thy bars. Draw thee waters for the siege, fortify thy strong holds: go into clay, and tread the mortar, make strong the brickkiln. There shall the fire devour thee; the sword shall cut thee off, it shall eat thee up like the cankerworm: make thyself many as the cankerworm, make thyself many as the locusts. Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven: the cankerworm spoileth, and flieth away….

Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria: thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people is scattered upon the mountains, and no man gathereth them. There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy wickedness passed continually?” – Nahum 3:3-5, 7, 13-16, 18-19

Neglected Mercy

“Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant. For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the Lord is not turned back from us.” – Jeremiah 4:6-8

In Jeremiah chapter 3, God warns continually that judgment for sin, wickedness, idolatry, and abominations or coming. Yet does He also continually offer mercy, telling them that if they will but repent, that he will be able to stay the judgment.

Scripture is clear that God takes no pleasure in suffering or in the death of the wicked. It is also made abundantly clear that He rather delights in mercy. Yet again, however do we read in scripture that because He is patient with us because that it is not His will that any should perish so that He gives us much space for repentance; that because of this delay between sin and the judgment for it is man’s heart often made more lax toward, and determine to, sin and wickedness. They loose their fear of consequences and gain more confidence in their foolishness.

“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” – Ecclesiastes 8:11

Therefore, does there come a point at which God is forced to step back and let men learn their lesson. Lest He be unjust in His judgments; which He cannot be. Therefore, though He warned so clearly in chapter 3, was His mercy’s not heeded causing chapter 4 to bring a decree of sure judgment.

Sadly, I feel that this is where we are as a nation and a people. God has been so merciful. He has warned so clearly. He has offered extensions and space for return and repentance, but just like ancient Israel, the church as a whole has not changed their direction. They have put their trust in everything but Him. Therefore is the window closing.

He said in quietness and rest (in other words, in the prayer closet) would we find salvation (Isaiah 30:15). He said if we humbled, prayed, and repented (2 Chronicles 7:14) we would be saved from the judgment that is coming, but we wouldn’t. We trusted more in politicians than in evangelism. We trusted more in courts than in His words. We stopped feeding the lambs to organize movements of man built on sweat, ideas, ambitions, and good intentions that will amount to nothing and cannot save us! We traded agonizing in prayer And intercession for organizing in committee meetings. We traded the anointing (which comes from time spent with Jesus being stripped of self) for appointments with men and ministries who agree with us and our agendas. We trade prayer and fasting for Conferences and performances. Many have danced before the masses, but how many have danced alone at home with Jesus? Many have called for conferences before men to petition heaven to change it’s position, but how many have cried out in repentance unseen in their prayer closet that they might change theirs and get into alignment with heaven? Many have praise God in front of cameras with their lips, but where is their heart when no one is looking? What does their life and agreements say about where their faith is? The sad truth is this, that the many want God to change everything…. but them.

Only repentance can change a nation and save it from judgment. Stop all the organizing, plotting, and planning! Your window has been wasted! Why weren’t you preaching? Why weren’t you praying? Why weren’t you fasting and gather men to do that which God commanded? Why were you chasing distractions? Now will it come and not be undone.

Chapter 4 tells of war, invasion, starvations, destruction, a nation facing the judgment that it chose by refusing to trust the only one who could save them from it. Because that they trusted in themselves, in men, in the tools of Egypt, and in the false prophets of it. It’s not what God wanted, it’s what the people chose. The things they put their faith in was given to them as their covering, and it failed them severely in what was coming. Yet in this, did a remnant among them learn with clarity and reverence that only God can save, and that it can only be done His way.

Preach the gospel and trust in Jesus. Everything else that men trust in will be shaken and taken away from them but the word of God is a sure foundation. It will stand when everything else is falling. It will not return void. It will accomplish it’s mission. Safe, wise, blessed, sure, stable, secure, covered, and firmly planted is the one who puts their trust in it.  For all else, they will weep and wail when they see how frail the things they have trusted in for strength real are.

“Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities. Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant. For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the Lord is not turned back from us.” – Jeremiah 4:5-8

“Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” – Jeremiah 4:13-14

“Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart. My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.” – Jeremiah 4:18-19

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” – 2 Peter 3:9-10

The Word

“The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.” – Acts 10:36-45

This is a beautiful passage, simple gospel full of power and revelation. It is instruction in ministry and a demonstration of revival. It is what most in ministry seek, but miss. They try to obtain it in every other way except the one given.

The power of God was with Jesus, anointed by the Holy Ghost to save the lost, heal the sick, and cast out demons because “God was with Him.” And why was God with Him? Because He was the Word!

As Peter began to tell Jesus’s story and to validate it with his own witness of the miraculous things he had seen of Him, the Holy Ghost began to move with anointing and power again and many more were filled with Him as they heard it!

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, therefore it is the foolishness of preaching that God has chosen to save the lost! The miracles, signs, and wonders will follow after when men have believed in Him because that He has been preached! Remember that the Holy Spirit was given to help us to be a witness of Jesus! Not of ourselves, not of politics, or performances, or money, or personalities, or fancy buildings; but of Jesus and of Him only!

Preach the gospel, and Jesus who is the anointing will be with you! Not just any gospel, “this” gospel that Jesus gives us. Have you spent time with Him to get it? To be taught it? To learn the lessons of it and be corrected by it like Peter did? Have you tarried with Him until the Holy Ghost came and spoke to you of Him, like Jesus said He would? Not of himself, or yourself, or of other men, but of Jesus?

Sit with the Holy Spirit and be instructed of Jesus like Peter, Paul, and the Apostles did. Sit and learn His teachings and doctrine. Sit and hear His message and then when given permission, go out and speak it by the power of the Holy Spirit and God will be with you and in you and flowing out of you in an outpouring of grace, power, and anointing! As the word goes forth so will the glory of the Kingdom of heaven sent to validate the truth that God gave us. Jesus is the manifestation of the word of God proven you us in flesh and blood, preach that, bring that, release that, and revival will come. Because He is is revival, is He who is the Word!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God….And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” – John 1:1-2, 14-16

“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

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

One or the Other

“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” – John 17:9

This is one of the most beautiful chapters in all of scripture. Jesus’s prayer to the Father for all of us who would believe and follow Him. A chapter full of grace, promise, blessing, and hope. Yet amongst it all, this one verse stands out. The reality that the blessings, previsions, and protections of the intercession of Christ does not fall on everyone, but only on those who are His; for the word of God is clear that if we are of the world then we are counted among the enemies of God.

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” – John 17:15-16

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” – James 4:4

Oh to remember that this world is not our home, that we or here in it as missionaries, or perhaps more accurately, as insurgence. We are in it but not of it. We are here only to pull others out of it. To free them from its bondages. To tell them that they do not have to be slaves to it, there is freedom, there is Jesus!

We are here to tell them that this world, it’s leaders, and systems have been judged and found to be God’s enemies and He is coming to defeat them in a fiery judgement. Yet is that good news for those who choose to love and serve Him, to leave the world system and become part of God’s Kingdom! Because for them there is redemption from the judgement that is coming, because Jesus prayed for them. The intercession of Christ covers those that are become His!

So step out of the world of men and into the Kingdom of God and you will step into the protection of Christ from the wrath to come. Cling to Him, become His bride, be adopted into the family of God, and step under His covering, his marriage hoopa. Or be married to the world, trust in man, fight in the flesh, be part of the system, cling to the things of Egypt, money, mammon, armies, politicians, entertainment, self ambition, accolade, vain glory, a desire for attention, pride, pomp, the lust of the flesh and what you want, and you will regret it. Or trust Jesus’s example and do what He did, pick up your cross and follow Him!

Lay your will down and you’ll pick up a crown. Lay hold of your will (what you think, what you want, and what you feel), and you’ll put your crown down. In God’s Kingdom we must serve under Him. He must be our King and not we ourselves. That is why Lucifer fell.

So make your decision today. Because God calls us to separate. We can’t serve two masters. We will obey one and reject the other. Christ or the world, to be the friend of one will make us the enemy of the other. I tell you to choose Christ and choose life because all else in the end, will be destroyed. Not because He is a cruel or controlling God but because He is just and merciful and answers the cries of the innocent who are suffering at the hands of the wicked. All self will leads to sin and sin leads to suffering for someone or something.

Sin is selfish, prideful, and rebellious and is the results of agreeing with the influence of the enemy of God. No good can come of it, no matter how good the devil sells it. It may be pleasing to the eye or seem right, or easier, or more pleasurable in the moment, but the end of it is dead and others always suffer because of it. But God’s ways are perfect, they are not always easy but they are always worth it, and they always help others in the process. So choose life, choose selflessness, choose protection, choose Jesus.

“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” – Matthew 12:30

“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.” – 1 John 3:7-13

“(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” – Philippians 3:18-21

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” – Deuteronomy 30:19-20

“When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” – John 6:61-69