It’s Not About You

1a7ee85fea82dbf1eb51007dfd871ab8Here recently I was pondering some things the Lord has been preparing me to do. In my mind I was having a conversation with myself about financial obligations that come with what I believe the Lord spoke to me. In the midst of my thought process the Lord interrupted me and asked me, “Do you think this is about you? It’s not about you! This isn’t your ministry, it’s mine and I provide for what is mine!”

This of course was a great awakening and humbling experience for me at the same time.  This one encounter taught me that the work of God does not need our input, however, it does need our obedience.

This has shown me that many countless times over we as God’s servants begin to take ownership on things that do not belong to us. I have heard things like:

  • This is my church/ministry.
  • These are my members.
  • This is what we have to do to have a better church.
  • These are my musicians.
  • This is what I want to do.

1 Timothy 6:7 says, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

Psalms 24:1 says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. “

Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

These are reasons why so many ministries, and churches close everyday because god-will-ensure-my-success-in-accordance-with-his-plan-not-mine“we” have placed ourselves in the stead of God like Satan did right before he got kicked out of heaven. Anytime we take the approach as if something is ours when we have nothing to start out with, we stand the chance of failing tremendously.

God’s word says, in Isaiah 55:11, “o shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

All of these scriptures let me know that what God establishes will prosper when He has an obedient servant who is courageous and willing enough to build God’s Kingdom the way He wants it built. We see failure and loss in what we are doing when we begin to orchestrate our ways, thoughts, plans, and intellect into the work of Christ. 

Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Proverbs 3:5-8, “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.

I can give many more scripture to prove this point, but in the end we have to learn how to take our hands off the wheel and allow the Holy Spirit to show us how to drive in the direction the Lord Jesus has paved for us.

I encourage you this day to begin to pray and seek the face of the Lord concerning what He want to do in His ministry/church that He has allowed you to be the overseer of.

If you cannot take the time to seek Him for the direction of His church, then the work is about you and you alone.

If your services are the same week after week, and you have yet to see anything new, then there need to be some deep evaluation concerning the direction you are taking your ministry/church and begin to allow the Lord to truly be the leader of His church, and not just a figure head of the church.

slide_1Everything about the Lord has success tied into it. The church is not a business it is a living, and breathing work in which the Lord desires to see operating according to HIS plans and purpose. If you can begin to seek the Lord with all of you heart and obey all of His commandments, then your way will be prosperous and you will have great success.

 

Apostles and Prophets

As I was driving to work this morning, a thought came to mind. The thought was this:

In the old testament Prophets were the key focus of the move of God, His operations, His plans, His structure, and so on. In the new testament the Apostles paved the way and established what Christ placed in them by laying a foundation.

Ephesians 2:20 say, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;”

What happened in the body of Christ to where we have removed the foundation layers, and began to build upon the foundation differently?

1 Corinthians 3:11 says, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

We glorify all others in the 5 fold ministry, and I am not taking away from any of them because I cant, but how can we build anything when we have discontinued the ones whom the Lord use to declare the pathway for the next move and how to build upon it.

Amos 3:7 (KJV)  Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
Ephesians 3:5 (KJV)  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Maybe this explains why we do not have any direction in the body of Christ, and have become a business instead of a ministry. We really should consider embracing the TRUE PROPHETS AND TRUE APOSTLES, so we can learn how to shift into the true anointing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I leave you with this, Philippians 2:13 (KJV)  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Be Real or Sit Down

As a minister/preacher/leader of the gospel we must spend time in the presence of the Lord.  We can not give people accurate directions and instructions without seeking the Lord concerning what we should do and say to His people. Moses always went up on the mountain to hear from the Lord and what he should tell God’s people, and how he should instruct them (read the book of Exodus). Solomon sought the Lord concerning what he should do (1 Kings 3), and God gave him great wisdom. Jesus always sought the Lord and stayed in the presence of His Father, this is why He was so affective.

When we do not spend time in God’s presence we become a generation of selfish preachers who are not concerned about the soul of the people who are under our care. The word we bring should encourage, strengthen, enlighten, give hope, and break bands of unbelief. Jeremiah 23:4 says,  “And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.” It also says in verse 29, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”

When we deliver our messages, who is the focal point? Is it us? Is it our own accomplishments? Or is it a word to gain control or financial gain? My brothers and sisters the gospel is not a get rich scheme, neither is it a career opportunity we use to exert our weak minded, insecure ideas upon the hearts and minds of those who are sincere in their walk with Christ. God has called us to be servants, and if we cannot serve enough to give people the truth, then we need to get out of the way, because failing to give people the truth by lining up with the word we speak, and allowing it to deliver us, we have placed ourselves in a position of self, and we know that self cannot reign in the presence of the King.

Why Leaders Get Weary

pastorsleepWhen we think of the leaders who are in our lives, we tend to believe they are Superman or Wonder Woman. They have such strength, knowledge, wisdom, and the get up and go like a lion, in which we are all amazed to see. Though we believe our leaders are always ready and available at our beckon call, they do get weary.

Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” As much as we may know this scripture, God’s leaders do get weary. To be weary means to feel tired, especially as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep.

Our leaders are up all night praying and covering us while we are asleep. They are there to council us when we are in a crisis. They run to and fro from the hospital when we request their presence. They pour their heart into their sermons and teaching sessions making sure we receive ALL the Lord has for us to receive. And after all of this is done, the leader is exhausted and tired, and weak.

I know you may say leaders do not get weak, but I have an example to give you to show you they do get weak and we need to do all we can to keep them strengthened in the work of the Lord. In Exodus 17 there was a battle between Amalek and Israel in Rephidim. Rephidim’s meaning is a place of Rest, but the enemy began to attack in this place. God’s leader (Moses, under God’s direction) led the people to a place where their souls could rest from their journey.

Moses instructed Joshua to choose men who would fight, and he told him he would stand on the top of the hill for them to see him. The scripture goes on to say that while Moses hands were lifted Israel prevailed, but when he let his hands down, Amalek prevailed. Now we can dissect this in many ways, but the truth is this…Moses was tired! When our leaders are tired the enemy will come in and prevail over us, but if we learn to hold their hands up, we all will get the victory over the enemy.

Our leaders get weary because we are not keeping them lifted up in prayer. Our leaders get weary because we do not encourage them in the work of the Lord. Our leaders get weary because we do not labor in the vineyard God has assigned us to labor in. Our leaders get weary because we do not support the ministry financially. The list can go on and on concerning our leaders being weary. Galatians 6:6 GNT says, “If you are being taught the Christian message, you should share all the good things you have with your teacher.” In order for our leaders to not fall in the weary category we must share what our leaders have given us by the way we communicate back to them their lessons. We do this by allowing them to see change in our lives. We communicate to our leaders by keeping them lifted in prayer. We communicate to our leaders by submitting to their authority according to Hebrews 13:17.

We must begin to take on the attitude of Hur and Aaron when they held up Moses hands to help the people succeed. The scripture says we must bear one another’s burdens because this is how we are fulfilling the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:2). Our Pastors/Leaders do get tired, and they miss a lot of peace and rest while attempting to make sure we do not lose our place in God. Let’s help our leaders stay in a place of a spiritual Rephidim by keeping them lifted up before the Lord.

Don’t Touch Your Commander!

Psalm 105:13-15 “When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.Dot_not_touch

When I was in the military we had a rank structure that was necessary for order, and a particular level of responsibility. Each person had to understand their rank and position because anytime someone thought they were above what their actual pay grade was, you stood a chance at being locked up (meaning put at the position of attention and not being able to say anything because the hammer is getting ready to be laid on you). This rank structure (for example purposes) went from an E-1 to an E-4. Individuals that carried this rank were fresh in basic training. Though some people came in with a little rank like E-2, E-3, or E-4, you still had to go through basic training. That rank in basic only meant you received some formal training (like higher education or JROTC), but you still needed to be broken.

The same thing goes for the body of Christ. There is a structure that takes place in the body. We all have a commander in chief, and He is Jesus Christ. Now, in the military we have generals that are close to the commander in chief, and they receive information about things that most soldiers would never know about. But, I will take this to a different level in the military.

Each unit has a company, and that company has a company commander. For explanatory purposes I will say the company commander is the pastor. The company commander is responsible for all tasks and missions assigned to that particular unit. Each pastor has been given a small piece of the Heavenly Kingdom’s vision, and it is that commander’s (pastor’s) responsibility to do all that he/she can to see that the mission is complete.

Whenever we conducted DNC (or drill and ceremony) as a company, the company commander would give us a command which is normally in two parts. The first part is the preparatory command which informs us of the movement that is to be carried out, and prepares us mentally for the action that we are getting ready to take.

The command of execution lets us know when to do it, and what it is we are doing. For instance, if the commander says “FORWARD!” that word is repeated all the way down to the platoon leader which states that all of those in leadership have heard what the commander (pastor) is preparing us for, and that they repeat it to their members. The command “MARCH!” is what the commander wants us to do, and no one repeats that because the commander is the only one that can execute anything in this formation unless he/she has delegated another authority head to do so in their absence.

The same thing goes for the body of Christ. We have commanders (pastors as I stated earlier) that have the authority to prepare and execute their particular assignment, as their orders are given to them. As platoon leaders and squad leaders, our jurisdiction is limited to the area that we have been assigned to. Platoon leaders are like ministers in the body that help assist the commander in the menial things that go on in a soldier’s life. The platoon leader (minister) helps with making sure the vision of the company is well understood by those who are growing in their knowledge of the mission, and the purpose of being a soldier.

The thing that hurt so many churches (companies) is that the young soldier (private) wants to challenge what the commander is doing when the commander has the authority to strip an individual of his/her rank, give them punishment for challenging the commander’s authority, or can even be recommended to be released from the military with a dishonorable discharge.

Sometimes in Drill and Ceremony procedures, the commander may give the wrong order. Now if the commander does not correct the preparatory command with “AS YOU WERE!” you have to follow that particular command of execution, and fix it the best way you can after that order is released. It is not our job to holler out in formation that the commander has given the incorrect order because that is making the commander look bad. Our job is to follow orders and trust that our commander is going to get us out of that jam.Feb27Story18mc

All of these things happen on a regular basis in the body of Christ. So many members in the body are always challenging authority and think that they are not supposed to be punished. In the beginning of this text, I opened up with Psalm 105:13-15. This scripture is letting us know that it is wrong to speak against and challenge those whom the Lord has appointed and anointed to do His Will (Hebrews 13:7,17).

When a soldier fought against everything that went on in the military, you were looked over for promotions, schooling, and special assignments. The commander did not care how great you were in your knowledge of your job, or how you excelled in your physical activities. You were a hard head that was non submissive, couldn’t follow orders, and a rebel. These types of soldiers were poisonous to the mission of the unit, and had to be dealt with.ucmj

Blessings flow down from the one that has the executive authority to point our lives in the direction of the mission for our life, and for the mission of the unit we are in. Soldiers come from all walks of life, and it is the commander’s job to make sure that his/her leaders are echoing the preparatory commands that he/she is getting ready to execute for the company. The commander doesn’t always have the choice on who is assigned to the unit. The department of defense makes that call according to the need of that unit’s mission. The same goes for the body of Christ. The pastor does not always have a say in who is assigned to their unit because the Lord adds to the church, not man. But the pastor can recommend a soldier get removed if his/her behavior is detrimental to the mission of that unit.

  • People like Korah, Dathan and Abiram in Numbers 16 challenged God’s authority and was dealt with.
  • Aaron and Miriam in Numbers 12 challenged God, and Miriam was dealt with.

Quotes concerning those who challenged or mocked God

The man who built the Titanic

After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be.

With an ironic tone he said: “Not even God can sink it”

The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic.

 

Marilyn Monroe (Actress)

She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show.

He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her.

After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said:

“I don’t need your Jesus”.

A week later, she was found dead in her apartment .

 

John Lennon (Singer):

Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said:

“Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not have to argue about that. I am certain. Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, Today we are more famous than Him” (1966).

Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times. 

 

Campinas (IN 2005)

In Campinas, Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend,

The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car: 

“My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You, “

She responded: “Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here, It’s Already Full.”

Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died, the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact.

The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken .

 

So the next time a person thinks that he/she can walk into the governor’s office and set him/her straight and not go to jail; you have another thing coming.

If you think that you can walk into the president’s office, and not get dealt with; think again.

Now these are just mortal men and women, so what more do you think will happen to a person that challenges the hand of God on a person’s life, and think nothing will happen? 

 prayingSoldier

The Love of Correction

The Love of Correction

Read Hebrews 12:5-11, John 15:1-2, and Revelation 3:19

images1X3D46V0   The Golden Pathos are some of the easiest plants to take care of, so I heard. I was never born with a green thumb, so taking care of a plant, no matter how easy the maintenance, was never my strong suite. One night while teaching a Bible Study lesson about correction, the Lord gave me an example about a plant.

I had a plant that looked sadder than the eyes of a Basset Hound. The leaves were brown and dried out. The stems were yellow, and the dirt was dry. I didn’t water the plant properly, and when I would give it a little sun light, I would leave it outside too long, and the leaves would burn. I wasted time and money killing plants because I wouldn’t take the time to care for them properly.dead plant with dry leaves closeup isolated on white

Our lives are like a plant. We have to be tended to properly by receiving the proper amount of sunlight (Jesus), water (the word of God), and tilling of the dirt from time to time (repentance). Tending to a plant properly is a form of correction or chastening which is a process of tilling the ground. Our ground has to be tilled so the water can enter into our heart, instead of sitting on the topsoil, and drying up.

Once the ground of our heart is broken up, the Lord can drop seeds into us that will bring forth fruits of righteousness. One of the definitions for chasten is to purify. This means to clear from material defilement or imperfection. I learned in Agriculture, that in order for a plant to grow properly, it has to be pruned because the pruning process removes damaged or old foliage from a plant in order to strengthen it. Like a plant, we also have to allow the Lord to remove areas from our lives that have been damaged by sin, shame, hurt, embarrassment, abuse, neglect, rejection, and many other situations that has caused us to be wounded.5810375351_7b69594107_z

The Lord has to do away with the old things in our lives in order for us to receive the new wine. Now the pruning (chastening) seems like it take place in our lives when everything is working like a dried up axle (nothing is working for us at all), but I learned that the best time to prune a plant is in the winter season when the plant is dormant.

Dormant is a good stage of the plants life because it is not active but is able to become active. It seems like the Lord has forgotten you during this time, and everything has hit you, even the kitchen sink, but the Lord is preparing you for kingdom activity. The trials that help us to be pruned is the manure (fertilizer) that is being planted in your soil to help you grow.

planting

The fertilizer is part of the repotting process. A plant has to be fertilized after pruning. Once the plant is fertilized, it has to be placed in a different position out of direct sunlight until it is able to recover from the pruning process. Once the plant has recovered from pruning and fertilization (and you identify this process by seeing more foliage beginning to grow in a rapid pace) you place the plant back in its original position.

Now the plant is strong enough to bring forth fruit. Each trial is strategically placed by our Heavenly Father because He desires to see much fruit in our lives. We cannot stay dry, dead, damaged, or diseased because plants that stay this way attract insects that will help destroy the plant even the more. Embrace the chastening of the Lord because, “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.” Hebrews 12:11 Prayer: Lord, help me to receive your correction, so that you can bring forth more fruit in my life. I desire to abide in you because I am a branch that cannot bear fruit by my own strength. It may hurt my flesh to be chastened by you Lord, but I yield my spirit to the hand of my potter, and the Bishop of my soul. I receive your correction Lord for my life In Jesus Name, Amen.

attached link on the best time to prune a tree http://www.preservationtreecare.net/pdf/Winter%20is%20the%20best%20time%20of%20year%20to%20prune%20trees.pdf