Waiting On Perfection

“Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial. Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.” – Hosea 12:5-6

If you want the greater things that only God Himself can do to be the legacy (or memorial) of your life, you’re going to have to learn to wait on Him. God’s ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. He is so much wiser, higher, more powerful, more able that we cannot truly understand the scope of His plans. Therefore, do we have to take only the small snippets that He is willing to show us by faith and wait for Him to piece them all together in impossible ways.

“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.” – Proverbs 3:5-7

This requires much waiting on the Lord. Patient faithful enduring waiting. What we can do is far too limited to bare the mark of the divine, but when we seek, pray, trust, obey, and wait for God to do what only He can in a way that only He can does it go down in history as a memorial to the Lord. To His power, to His glory, to His faithfulness to the fervent prayers of a righteous faithful servant who is willing to seek, pray, trust, obey, and not least of all… wait on the Lord.

“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” – Psalms 18:30

God is perfect, His plan is perfect, and His timing is perfect. Therefor waiting on God is waiting for perfection and perfection cannot be contemplated, counterfeited, or competed with. It can only be memorialized in the awestruck hearts of men as that which only the Lord God Almighty could have done! But it only comes to and through those who are willing to prove their faith by obeying and not straying in the waiting.

“Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes.” – 1 Samuel 12:16

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Prayer Changes Everything

Through scripture every time the narrative of the story changed, every time the flow of events took a sharp turn, it was marked by prayer. Truly nothing of significance ever happened in scripture but by prayer and nothing significant will ever happen in the church or the life of a believer but by prayer.

It is by prayer that Abraham commune with God and became his friend. It was by prayer that Moses gained instruction to free a people. It was by prayer that Hanna birthed Samual and revived a nation. It was by prayer that Christ was strengthened in the garden to bare the cup of crucifixion. It was by prayer but 120 people in an upper room received the infilling of Holy Ghost. It was by prayer that the early church lived, breathed, endured persecution and still prospered and persevered in great power. It was by prayer that every great revival and move of God in history was birthed, and it will be by prayer, brought back into fashion by the desperation of tribulation, that the true church is reestablished in the earth.

Prayer changes everything, if nothing seems to be changing it’s because the church is not praying. The devil is not scared of your plans, his are more cunning. He is not scared of your programs, his or more stunning. He is not scared of your promotions, his are more dynamic. He is not scared of your personality, his is more magnetic. What he is scared of is your prayers because his are powerless and yours unlocks the resources of heaven to do what no man on earth or demon in hell can.

Oh if God’s people would pray. If they would stop trusting in the arm of the flesh and the tools of Egypt and pray, everything would change. It always does, when God’s people are willing to humble themselves, admit that they can’t and start crying out so that God will!

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

“And it came to pass, that, as he (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1

The Cost of Discipleship

“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” – Philippians 3:4-8

Paul, (once called Saul) a well educated Pharisee of high regard and degree, had an encounter with Jesus that challenged everything he had been taught to believe. If anyone had a right to trust in his flesh, in his logic, in his upbringing, in his education, in his religion, in his own strength, in his own knowledge, it was Paul. He not only had reason to trust and cling to it all, but also a vested interest in doing so as he had so zealously believed these things in which he had been taught that it had cost people’s very lives at his hands in defense of his beliefs.

Yet now he had more then words on paper or someone else’s teaching, he had an experience and a choice. Do I cling to what I thought I knew, or do I humble myself before the mighty hand of God and submit to what He Himself is revealing to me, not just in words, but in power and in demonstration?

“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:19-20

Paul chose to abandon all, to count everything that he thought he knew as dung, everything he thought he was, everything he had hoped to attain, everything. He humbled himself, laid it all down at the feet of Jesus and said, “I count it all as dung that I might attain You.” Not to know about Jesus, but to know Jesus, personally. Paul was willing to give up everything he thought he knew and sit humbly in prayer and be taught how to follow Jesus, by Jesus Himself. A privilege that Christ died to make available to all of us through the Holy Ghost whom he sent to lead us into all truth. However, we cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit, nor His divine truth if we are already full of ourselves. We have to be willing to be emptied first. We have to humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God and count all that we think we know, are, and want as dung that we might attain Christ.

If pride comes before a fall then humility comes before true exaltation. Don’t assume to know anything but that God is smarter, humble yourself, repent, and seek His face and He Himself will fill you up and raise you up in the demonstration and power of the Holy Ghost in due time. All it will cost you is everything, but when everything becomes equated to dung to you in comparison to Christ, then everything becomes a very small price to pay.

“If any man come to me, and hate not (count of no regard in comparison to your love for Christ) his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. (Compromise) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” – Luke 14:26-35

The Fruit Proves The Root

“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” – James 3:10-13

James makes a very clear point in this passage echoing the words of his older brother Jesus, of whom I’m sure this topic came up for discussion often. In Matthew Jesus tells us that a good tree cannot produce bad fruit. Here we see James using the same illustration in reference to our conversation implying that what is planted in your heart will eventually bare fruit on your lips for good or for bad.

“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

“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” – Matthew 12:32-37

Jesus is the root of David, He is a Holy root and if you be grafted into a Holy root you will produce Holy fruit (the fruits Spirit). However, James was disturbed by what he saw to be a “mixture” which he rightly perceived to be evidence of a heart divided.

“For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” – James 1:7-8

Blessings and cursing, olives and figs, the holy and the profane, professing Christ with their lips but then agreeing with and participating in unsanctified conversations and communications showing that their hearts were actually far from Him or else it would grieve the Holy Spirit (root) in them. It doesn’t matter if your friends, your family, your church, or even your pastor tells you that you are saved by a onetime profession, Jesus never said that and if your life, your actions, and most importantly your daily conversation and communications don’t prove your profession, then it was in vain. The fruit will prove the root so examine your own fruit now in private and repent that God not have to judge it later before all the saints and angels on the day of judgement and find you damned. Choose this day whom you will serve.

“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” – Matthew 15:8-9

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged (by God).” – 1 Corinthians 11:28-31

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” – Revelation 20:12-13

Change Your Desires, Change Your Life!

img_7086The course of your life is set by the desires of your heart. As my father used to say, ”You will do what’s important to you.” In other words, what you most value and treasure will determine your lifestyle, and the way you live is a direct reflection of the desires of your heart.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭‬‬

As Jesus has warned us:

“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” -Matthew‬ ‭12:35-36‬ ‭‬‬

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:” – ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭15:18-19‬‬‬

The human heart is deceitful and wicked and out of it flow evil things, there is nothing good from us.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” – Jeremiah‬ ‭17:9‬‬‬

This is why it is absolutely necessary for us to be born again with a new heart, new mind, new Spirit, new life! Once we come to Jesus Christ and acknowledge ourselves as wicked sinners deserving God’s just judgement and wrath, and by faith grasp hold on JESUS, the Son of GOD, then by HIS RESURRECTION POWER HE CAN CHANGE US! But it doesn’t come easy, it’s all done by the cross, HIS DEATH WAS FOR OUR LIVES. It’s a complete exchange of ALL of ourselves, for all of HIM! It’s all done through FAITH IN HIM AND HIS POWER TO SAVE, AND BY OUR TOTAL SURRENDER TO ALLOW HIM TO CHANGE US INTO A NEW CREATION!

For those of us who love our sins it’s impossible to be saved, until we come to the place of hating our sins and desire to be HOLY AS JESUS IS, we will not truly surrender to HIM: the place where we lay down our sins and take up our cross to follow in the steps of JESUS CHRIST in obedience to the FATHER.

This is why the GOSPEL must be preached, when we tell of JESUS CHRIST and HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION, we show to the world the Holiness of GOD, the exceeding sinfulness of man, and the power of GOD to bring the dead to life. And also the great love and mercy of GOD in making a way of escape taking the punishment for sin that we deserve! If we truly come to know and love HIM, we will come to fully surrender to HIM by LOVE! What an awesome GOD HE IS!

The key to this LOVE COVENANT IS: ALL YOUR HEART!

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭22:37-38‬

It’s also important to understand that this surrender is not a one time thing, but a CONTINUAL submission to HIM, it’s a life of the posture of pure worship and whole heart surrender! As we grow to know HIM, we grow to love HIM MORE AND MORE! And out of that HEART OF LOVE will flow obedience to GOD through JESUS and the Holy Spirit that fills us!

Out of the overflow of this growing love for GOD will come the life of Christ being lived in us. And all the things that JESUS did will come forth in our life. This is the NEW CREATION one that obeys GOD in everything, because if HE truly has our hearts, then from it will flow obedience and holiness (being set apart unto GOD and severed from this world and fleshly desires)!

“Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” – ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭25:8-14‬

“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭27:4‬

“When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” -Psalms‬ ‭27:8‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

Are You Praying For The Lost?

“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 ‭

John chapter 17 is a beautiful, inspiring, and touching piece of biblical history. This is Jesus’s actual prayer to the Father for His followers, both then and to come. When we think of Jesus praying we often think of the “Our Father”, but it’s important to remember that the our Father was not actually Jesus praying. The disciples had asked Jesus how we should pray and Jesus gave the Our Father as an illustration or instruction in how we ought to pattern our prayers.

For example, in the Our Father He shows that we need to express thanks and worship, pray for forgiveness of our sins (trespasses), acknowledge our forgiveness of others, submit to His will, and cry out for His return. These are all principles that our prayer life should readily consist of, but are not things that He Himself needed to pray.

Jesus prayed to the Father for Himself in the garden of Gethsemane crying out for mercy, then submitting to the Father’s will, then for strength and was strengthened for the trial to come. However in John 17 we see Jesus praying not in a teaching mode, or in a petition for help and strength, not seeking for wisdom, (which we should all do daily) but in intercession. We see Jesus praying a genuine prayer to the Father, for us!

“But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” – Hebrews‬ ‭7:24-25‬ ‭

Those who have believed in Jesus’s Words and have come to salvation and restoration of the Father through his atoning blood now have Jesus as their High Priest! This means that Jesus Himself intercedes on their behalf and this chapter is a glimpse into that eternal intercession! But hold on! The scriptures tell us that Jesus is our High Priest (the head of all the priest) but it doesn’t stop there, it also says that we (who are redeemed) are all priest under His order also.

“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 ‭

So then if we are priest also then what is our job? A portion of that answer can be found in our opening passage from within Jesus’s own prayer. Jesus says something very strange in verse 9. He tells God the Father that He is praying for His followers, but not for the world. You see, as High Priest, Jesus ever liveth to make intercession “for us” (His Priest), and then as His priest we (the redeemed) live to make intercession for the lost!

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” – 1 Timothy‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭

While we do help to bare the burden of Christ in praying for the saints, we also exclusively carry the mandate to pray without ceasing for the lost. The Bible is very clear that except for the prayer of repentance, God does not hear the prayers of a sinner. However, if you are a saved, sanctified, blood bought, Holy Ghost filled child of God, then He does here yours. Therefor, you can “intercede” on their behalf. In other words, they cannot stand boldly before the thrown of God and make petitions or plead for mercy, but you can. So do it for them! The fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much!

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” – John‬ ‭9:31‬ ‭

So redeemed mothers, pray for your unsaved children, the Lord hears you! Godly father’s, pray for your ungodly leaders, the Lord hears you! Sanctified Church, pray for the apostate church, the Lord hears you! Christian families, pray for your community, the Lord hears you! Saints of the living God, pray for the lost, the Lord hears you! Pray and keep praying for them, even as Christ keeps praying for you!

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil of it.” – John‬ ‭17:15‬ ‭

“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people.” – Joel‬ ‭2:17-18‬ ‭

For The Love Of God!

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” – Romans‬ ‭13:8-9‬ ‭

Jesus often expounded that He left use with the same law that was given to use from the beginning, only with more power to fulfill it. By showing us His great love for us, if we then truly believe it, (who He is, what He did, and why) then we will love Him for it!

“We love him, because he first loved us.” – 1 John‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭

Once we gain, embrace, and grow this love for God, we will then keep his commandments out of love, desire, and appreciation, rather then out of bitter obligation. In this are His commandments not grievous to us, but joyous. Even as a bride joys in laboring to adorn herself for her groom!

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” – 1 John‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭

Furthermore, if you truly love your spouse then because of your love for them you will also love their family (no matter how unworthy or dysfunctional they are). Your love for your spouse (if it’s truly a selfless love = biblical love) will cause you to care about what and who they care about .

Likewise, when you come to truly love God, you will care about what He cares about. You will hurt for what hurts Him and you will labor in love for those that He loves. In other words, if you love God as a bride loves her groom, then you must also love His family, no matter how unworthy or dysfunctional they are. When they stray you must labor to restore, when they fall you must labor to pick them up, when they hurt you or Him you must lovingly forgive and instruct, because the greatest desire of God’s Heart is to restore His lost loved one to the family and if you love Him, you will be driven by love to help. Not for attention, not for notoriety, not for reward, not for prestige or vainglory, but simply because you know this will ease the hurting heart of the one you love and in doing so will automatically fulfill all of the law, commandments, and instructions from God through the prophets.

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew‬ ‭22:36-40‬ ‭

“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 ‭4:20-21‬ ‭

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” – Romans‬ ‭13:10‬ ‭

“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.” – 1 John‬ ‭2:4-7‬ ‭

Let Me Make It Plain

“And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord:” – Genesis‬ ‭19:17-18‬ ‭

Lot and his family had chosen to live in the wicked cities that dotted the plain round about the Dead Sea. Abraham, his uncle had interceded on Lot’s behalf after being told by God that He was going to destroy these cities. God obliged the request of His faithful friend Abraham and sent angels to save Lot and his family.

Upon receiving word from the angels of the eminent destruction of these cities because of their detestable sins against the Lord, Lot gathered those of his house who would believe and were through great mercy delivered from the city.

Now let me make this clear, Lot did not deserve to be saved nor did his household. It was only because of the loving intercession of his uncle that he was even given the chance to be saved. In this we can see Sodom as a type of the sinful world, Lot as the undeserving sinner living in it, and Abraham as an archetype of Christ, our great intercessor.

However, as soon as Lot is delivered from the city (sinful world), being told to come out from among it because it will soon all burn…. something happens. The first mistake we see Lot make is that he thinks that his salvation is because of God’s favor on him, that he somehow deserves this. When in reality it was because of God’s favor on Abraham. This mind set that he was not just as worthy of destruction as every other vial person in Sodom led him to not appreciate his deliverance as much as he ought.

This then leads to him thinking that he has grounds to bargain with the Lord, that the Lord would harken to his compromise rather then trusting in the wisdom of the God who had just saved him. The word of the Lord to Lot was, leave the cities, don’t look back, get out of the plain altogether, and keep climbing unto you reach the top of the mountain.

Now Lot has been saved from the city (obvious sinful whirl fitted for destruction), but he is told “don’t stop there!”. Get as far away from it as possible, don’t go near it, avoid even the appearance of evil, don’t stop reaching for higher, keep climbing, get so far away that you can’t even see it or be reminded or tempted to go back or even look back!

At that point Lot says, “no”. Yes Lot wanted to be saved from burning (hell) but he didn’t want to give up the ease, comforts, and pleasures of the plain. He didn’t want the hardship and sacrifice of the wilderness, the labor of the climb, the separation from the things of the world, and the dependency on God alone that the path God was telling him to take would bring. So he chose to reject God’s word to leave the plain and though he left the city, he stayed just close enough to it to enjoy the fringe benefits of it’s pleasures and the since of (false) man made security that it provided.

God had just saved him from the city but he did not have faith that God could sustain him better then the things of man, so he opted to go to an other city on the same plain.

“And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.” – Genesis‬ ‭19:17-20‬ ‭

Oh Lord, I’ll give up this big sin because I don’t want to burn in Hell but surely I can get away with keeping this little one? It’s just a little thing on the same plain. I’ll give up the big sins of the world but I’ll stay as close to them as possible and indulge in these little things that don’t seem that bad. I can handle it, I won’t be tempted to go back to the big ones, I won’t look back to Sodom.

Here’s the problem. Lot was almost destroyed with Sodom because he stayed so close to it, but because he refused to get away from it completely he caused it to destroy those closest to him, his own family. Lot managed to not look back but his wife did not and was destroyed with the same fate as Sodom. It never would have happened had he obeyed God’s word and gotten himself and those who loved him completely away from it. Understand that his decision caused his wife to stumble with grave effects.

I have seen it all too often. Someone gets saved for fear of hell’s fire, but when God tells them to not just get out of Sodom but to get away from even the plain they refuse and others pay the price for it and eventually they themselves also. God says to get as far away from sin as possible, don’t even participate in things that might appear to be close to sin or worldliness. Don’t do anything that might cause someone else to take sin lightly or desire to look back to the things of the world or the temptations of sin. I assure you that those you love most will suffer for it.

I’ve seen to often a parent that says, “I can handle a little wine with dinner, it’s not whiskey, I’m not getting drunk, it’s not Sodom, it’s just a little city on the same plain.” Then watch as their children look back to Sodom and become alcoholics because they were not willing to leave the plain.

I make a clear example of this principal with alcohol but it applies all the same to every other sin. Lot’s entire family was eventually destroyed because of his faithless and selfish decisions. Further more, He birthed a lineage (the Moabites) that would generation after generation tend more and more toward worldliness and wickedness and would forever hinder, pollute, and persecute God’s Holy people (those who were willing to be obedient to God’s voice and be set apart from sin and worldliness), those who desired to climb higher.

So let me make this plain, as plain as the plain of Sodom and Gomorrah. You’re life and your decisions will either create the floor that your children will stand on as they start their climb where yours finished or else it will create the pit that they fall in, that you dug yourself. Choose to give them the best possible example. Choose to give them the best possible ground to stand on. Choose the mountain, not the plain.

Good leadership in ministry, in life, or in your family is the product of absolute selflessness. This is why Jesus said that the greatest among His people will be a servant to others. Living for yourself will keep you and those who love you on the plain in the path of destruction. Living selflessly will send you and those who love you climbing the mountain. So choose, but know that you don’t only choose for you. Everyone effects someone else. Let it be for good and not for bad.

“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to stumble.” – Proverbs‬ ‭4:14-16‬ ‭

“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 ‭

“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” – 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:22‬ ‭

“… be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter‬ ‭1:14-16‬ ‭

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:17‬ ‭

“Remember Lot’s wife.” – Luke‬ ‭17:32‬ ‭

A Sacrifice of Love

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” – Revelation‬ ‭6:9-11‬ ‭

Many Christians, talking about tribulation and the end times, say that they will be willing to give up their very lives for Jesus, yet when halloween roles around they aren’t even willing to give up candy for Him. Jesus said that to be friends with the world makes you the enemy of God. Likewise to be holy set apart from the world unto God (as God has clearly commanded us to do (1 Peter 1:16) will make you a friend of God and an enemy of the world. This is why Jesus said that if the world hated Him, then it will hate you also if you choose to be among the few who truly follow Him, His instructions, and His example.

Today as I see so many churches and Christians buddying up to the world my heart and mind goes back to those who suffered and died taking a stand against it. Jesus first of all, countless martyrs through history, the persecuted church of today, and those who will one day stand against the full force of the antichrist system now being set in place. When I see the very things they died to free others from (like death, hell, and the grave) being celebrated by the church, it grieves my heart as I feel it grieving the Holy Spirit of God.

“Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Holy day, and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.” – Ezekiel‬ ‭22:26-27‬

When I see halloween and all it’s demons, death, witchcraft, fear, and everything anti-Christ brought into the church, I’m taken back 2000 years to when Jesus flipped tables and cracked whips for far less. What a sad state the church is in today when those who claim the Name of God, do not know the word or God, nor care for the heart of God; and worse yet, attack those who do calling them legalistic when in reality their obedience is based on love. After all, only true love for an other can overpower love of self and drive a man to willingly sacrifice without contempt, of which Jesus Himself is our example.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John‬ ‭14:15‬ ‭

Truly I tell you that in all things it’s comes down to love. You will either choose to sacrifice your love for God on the alter of the world or you will choose to sacrifice your love for the world on the alter of God. Let us love not our lives, will, lust, and world but let us through falling in love with Christ, overcome it in anticipation of a better one to come! This world is not my home and I won’t die for it, I’ll die to it. Jesus is my home, because home is where my heart is and that, I will die for. Money, notoriety, reveling, parties, ungodly friends, lust, candy (in relation to halloween), it doesn’t even register in comparison to my love for Christ, therefor I do not even count it a sacrifice but my reasonable duty as a faithful and loving bride. (Romans 12:1-2)

Relationships are harder to hold together when things are difficult then when they are good. Any relationship not based on selfless love will crumble under pressure. So it’s time to open the Word, get on your knees, get to know the real Jesus, and fall in love with Him. If you won’t stand for Him now when it’s easy, it’s because you don’t really love Him, and you if don’t really love Him, you surely won’t stand for Him later when it’s hard. If you truly believe His words, then it’s time to deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Him.

“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 ‭

“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.” – Revelation‬ ‭3:21‬ ‭

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible….And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:“ Hebrews‬ ‭11:24-27, 32-36

Set Apart

I think that the disciples had a hard time wrapping their heads around God’s plan because they thought that Jesus had come to overtake the world system when really He came to overturn it.

I think many believers still have the same problem today. They want to be kings of the earth instead of kings in the earth. Paul said that we are in this world, but not of this world. We are kings and priest of an whole other Kingdom. The sooner we stop trying to over take the world system the sooner we can start overturning it by the power of a better one.

“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” – Colossians‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭

God did not let Moses become pharaoh to save His people in Egypt (which he could have, being the next in line to do so), he called Moses to both forsake Egypt and be an example that would lead His people out of Egypt as they did the same. By calling for separation from the Egyptian world system God was then able to pour out His power two fold, in favor toward Those who had put their trust in Him and in wrath toward those who had put their trust in the things of Egypt (the world system).

“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” – Leviticus‬ ‭20:26‬ ‭

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter‬ ‭1:15-16‬ ‭

The Kingdom of Heaven it so far removed and superior to what is, that it does not come to take over what is, it comes to disprove and dispose what is. It’s time to stop trying to build a better pyramid, come completely out of Egypt, go out into the wilderness, and let God teach you how to build something that His presence can inhabit.

Yes Egypt is comfortable, yes Egypt is grand, yes Egypt brings glory to the works of your hand. Yes the wilderness is humble, yes it is plain, yes it forces dependence on God, often through pain. Yes it’s a sacrifice, yes it takes faith, but on the other side of the wilderness a promise awaits.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:17‬ ‭

“And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” – Exodus‬ ‭14:17-21‬ ‭