trap…”I got you now) for his feet. ~ Proverbs 29:5 In the end, people appreciate honest criticism more than
Source: GASP: The “F” Word in Church!!!
trap…”I got you now) for his feet. ~ Proverbs 29:5 In the end, people appreciate honest criticism more than
Source: GASP: The “F” Word in Church!!!
Hold your peace…what in the world does that mean? In order to hold your peace, the assumption is that you HAVE peace, right? Hold your peace…
I have been a fighter my whole life. I have always been one to want the last word. I have battled pride. I have handed that character defect over to the Lord and I stand on Exodus 14:14 believing that the Lord WILL fight for me. This belief is centered on knowing that I am in His will, led by the Holy Spirit, and not in my flesh. These two verses that I’ve highlighted, committed to memory, written on my heart, serve to keep me from being offended.
I have been wounded in so many areas of my soul. I have bound myself to so many people in my past through dysfunctional familial, emotional and sexual relationships. I came to the cross of Christ a very broken, rejected, unloved, abandoned, angry, needy, addicted, abused, and wounded woman. I needed intensive care and Jesus gave me that through the person of the Holy Spirit. I have learned that when I needed deep healing and deliverance, that there are some things that will only come out through fasting and prayer. I pray in tongues more than I pray in English. Why? Because my mind is unfruitful when I pray in tongues. I am limited in my understanding and the Spirit is infinite and limitless. I gain peace that surpasses all understanding when I do this, just like the Word says that I will in Philippians 4!
So, maybe you don’t believe in praying in tongues. Maybe it freaks you out a little…I get it! The Word will work for you just like it works for me! In order to HOLD YOUR PEACE, you must have peace to hold. Scripture says that we will gain peace to guard our hearts and minds when we don’t worry but when we pray and have an attitude of gratitude. This is called CASTING YOUR CARES on the Lord, also known as a prayer of commitment. A prayer of commitment means that you COMMIT your worries, anxieties, doubts, fears, and cares to God…and don’t take them back. There is no need to pray about them after you give them to Him. He’s got it.
Imagine that you are 14 years old and you are out to eat with your parents. You order your food and sit down to eat. You finish your meal, the check comes. Are you worried about who will pay it? Are you concerned whether or not Dad has the money? Did you consider all of this before you sat down to eat? NO, because you know your father and that he works on your behalf to provide for you and has your best interest at heart. Your heavenly Father is even more concerned for your needs! Don’t worry!! Commit your needs, doubts, cares, etc to Him and leave it alone! If you tried to tell your dad how to pay the bills in the house, you would likely get yourself into trouble. Stop trying to tell God how to handle His business!
Now that we understand how to GAIN PEACE, let’s talk about how to HOLD YOUR PEACE. I minister to women and they can catch a feeling in a second. Many of them are on the road to healing, but not there yet. Sometimes they take one step forward and two steps back. I can say something with the best of intentions, but if the person I am speaking to is hurt or not healed, their filter is clogged and inevitably they will be offended.
I have decided to PICK MY BATTLES. There are moments when I choose not to respond because I would rather wisely HOLD MY PEACE than despise my neighbor. If a person gets hurt even when I have the best of intentions, what am I to do? If I have no idea what I did, or even that they are hurt by me? I will HOLD MY PEACE. I cannot validate or judge anyone’s feelings, just as they can’t judge my intentions. I can acknowledge what I see, but even that offends! So…it’s best to HOLD MY PEACE.
What does this mean? KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!
Here are FIVE statements I wish I had not ever made, in no particular order [however you’re welcome to rate them]
1. “YES” [when I wanted to say NO!]
We do not have to participate in EVERYTHING. It is so easy to say yes and be a people-pleaser. What happens? We over-extend ourselves and live a life of chaos. This is a distraction of the enemy. He wants to get you so focused on pleasing man that you don’t please God. He will get you so busy that you are not productive. You are always late, nothing gets finished, you are completely overwhelmed and then what happens? You just QUIT! Don’t let this be you. Be honest. If the answer is NO, then let it be NO. You do not want to have to go back on your word.
2. “God won’t give you more than you can handle. Suck it up.”
I have said this more than once in my immaturity. Here is what Scripture actually says in 1 Cor 10:13:
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
God’s grace is sufficient. He gives us MORE than we can handle so that we are dependent on Him and He is glorified in the victory. We allow Him to handle…we are to stand firm on His Word, His Promises. I love when Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Jesus had just been affirmed by The Father. He is about to begin His ministry. He has been fasting. He is weak…and temptation comes. The devil tempts Christ in trying to have Him do something that is contrary to the nature of God. The enemy played on His natural weakness, not accounting for His spiritual strength. What did Jesus do? He gave Him the Word…He fought with His Sword. In temptation, we must do the same. He shows us a way out…[wisdom]…so that we can endure. His grace is sufficient and His power works best in weakness [2 Cor 12:9].
3. “I would NEVER _____________”
No matter WHAT you fill in the blank, this is condemnation. Anytime I use the word ‘never’ or ‘always’ it should only be in reference to Jesus because He is the only perfect One. These words are drenched in finality and eternity. I lead a pro-life sidewalk advocacy ministry at Powerhouse Church in Katy, Texas. I have trained volunteers to counsel on the sidewalk. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone say to me “I just don’t understand how a woman could ever have an abortion.” OR “I don’t understand how anyone could EVER work in an abortion clinic.” I do not put these people on the sidewalk. If they would stand and tell me this [I have HAD an abortion and I work for And Then There Were None helping clinic workers leave the industry] I can’t gauge what will come out of their mouth in front of a fearful, abortion-minded woman. These words pierce past scar tissue directly to the heart and create new wounds. We must learn to be compassionate and loving, we don’t ever know the battle that someone is waging.
A better way: start with a testimony of a time when you did something really depraved. This evens the ground and breaks the silence. Many times the Holy Spirit places people in front of us because He wants us to testify to His goodness. It is His goodness that draws men [and women] to repentance. When we draw a line with ‘never’ and ‘always’ we exclude or isolate. We separate ourselves from a sinner when we act ‘self-righteous’. Don’t EVER forget where you came from.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
3 He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.
~ Psalm 40:1-3
4. ANYTHING…[sometimes I just wish I had said NOTHING]
Listening is a ministry. [NOT eavesdropping or gossiping] There are so many times when I wish I had just listened and not said a word. If you listen long enough, you will hear the need. I must submit and surrender my judgments, assumptions, prejudices and experiences and ‘get in their boat’. I have found that as the person confesses the hurt or transgression, the Holy Spirit begins to bring to their remembrance the Truth and they are set free without my “assistance”. Just being present and representing Christ is enough sometimes.
5. NOTHING…[other times I should have spoken up]
I have carried offense because I would not go to a person and tell them the truth. This root of bitterness harmed ME, not the other person. Time does not heal all wounds, JESUS DOES. Confession comes by way of the mouth, not osmosis. We must open our mouths and speak about the hurts we carry. Healing begins because of the exposure. The devil has no power over the transgression once the light shines on it.I have also watched someone fall deeper into depravity because I was more concerned about whether they would be angry with me than what the Holy Spirit was telling me. If we love our neighbor, we will be an example of Christ’s love. We may not have to SAY anything, but our actions proclaim boldly the Truth that binds us. IF the moment comes when you do need to speak up, don’t stifle the unction of the Spirit. Let Him guide you and get out of the way. He is a Wonder-Worker! Words as smooth as velvet have flowed from my lips and I had no idea where they came from because I allowed Him to use me and be a mouthpiece for God and He got ALL the glory…because I am just NOT THAT SWEET🙂
Some people choose to make life altering decisions based on the thoughtless remarks and actions of other people. They literally end marriages, jobs, friendships, cut familial ties, and change churches because of a comment or a snub. HOLD MY PEACE has become the STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE in guarding my heart.
HOLD – Pause before speaking, gauge your words.
YOUR – This is for YOU, not someone else.
PEACE – Protect yourself. Will this hurt you?
It’s difficult to just let things go sometimes, but it’s worse to live with bitterness built up in your heart through which everything is filtered. As you let go of each consecutive offense, you will intentionally heal. Yes, intentionally. It takes effort on your part. I will not tell you that it is easy. I also won’t tell you that people will understand.
I have had several instances where my peace policy is tried. The enemy has used several people in my life to try to incite a riot within my heart. I call these people “sandpaper”. They may rub me the wrong way and irritate me but in the end, they are refining me. Their goal may not be to smooth out my edges, but I have control over my response and I choose to be refined through the frustration.
Ultimately, LOVE covers a multitude of sin. If you have offended someone, apologize. If your apology isn’t enough, simply pray for them. If you have earnestly asked the Lord to search your heart and are right with Him, just pray for the other person. I have learned to not be led by feelings – mine or another person’s. My hope is to please the Lord and love people. I cannot control how that love is received.
I see many people offended over the slightest thing but not really offended over what hurts God’s heart. We have so much injustice in this world yet we are too busy crying over how Susie didn’t tag me in her post on Facebook or how Rachel did not invite me to her birthday bash to even care… The enemy has us distracted and we continue to buy more and more distraction. When you find yourself hurt or offended, check your own heart first. Seriously. Is your filter clogged? HOLD YOUR PEACE!
Yes, I am PRO-CHOICE. I am PRO-LOVE. I am PRO-UNITY. I am PRO-PEACE. I am PRO a lot of things!!!
In our society, there is not a lot of value placed on CONSISTENCY. We have been afforded a myriad of choices and we make our choices based on PREFERENCE and not PRINCIPLE; what I like rather than what is right. A principle is a foundational truth, but a foundation based on human reasoning is sure to crumble.
The Word of God is absolute Truth, irrefutable and unparalleled. I can’t convince you of that. You must have a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ and it is revealed to you by His Spirit. Sounds crazy? Trust me, your mind will explode when you grasp it! The Apostle Paul says:
“I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
~ Ephesians 3:16-19
This power to understand is NOT human reasoning. It is imparted from God through the Holy Spirit…”he will empower you with INNER STRENGTH through HIS SPIRIT…”
Relying on human strength and trusting in man is disobedience according to the Word. Eventually, it will cause our hearts to completely turn from Him. He says we are CURSED when we put our trust in humans. A curse is a consequence of disobedience. Read here:
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord.” ~ Jeremiah 17:5
There is HOPE and it comes from the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. ~ John 3:6
The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.~ John 6:63
God had a solution before there was even a problem. Why? Because He is omniscient. Even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from the Lord. How much more does he know the human heart! God made sure that we would not and could not know Him through human wisdom, so he has used the preaching of men and women who have been pulled from the pit of hell to save those who will believe. It is foolishness to those who are scholars of the Word, who ask for signs from heaven and will only “hear from God”. And it is foolish to those who doubt and only see naturally because they seek only human wisdom and reasonings. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
Paul said this to the church at Corinth:
When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness—timid and trembling. And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. 1 Cor 2:1-5
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Peter 1:3-11
The Scripture above tells us that He has given us EVERYTHING that we need to live a godly life. We received it when we became intimate with Jesus, we were impregnated with revelation, rhema. Here is what we are to do, in this order:
Look at that list!!! We do it BACKWARDS!!! We try it by WORKS…we think we must love everyone and then we are considered godly which enables us to endure and have self control giving us more knowledge which of course leads to moral excellence and fortitude and THEN and only THEN we will have faith because we have “proven” ourselves worthy. NO NO NO!!!! Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things HOPED for…we can ONLY HOPE that we would EVER fulfill this list. We can’t even have knowledge without moral excellence, that is knowledge that comes from God. Really? How many of us are “morally excellent”? Not me!!! His grace is sufficient! His power works in my weakness! He uses this foolish thing to confound the wisest of them all!!!
Back to our choices…because we have a critical choice to make that will determine whether or not we can even begin to have the attributes on that list.
“Choices determine conduct, character, and destiny.” ~ Dr. Edwin Louis Cole
15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. 17 “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.
19 “Today, I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! 20You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the Lord, you will live long in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)
Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.”
He commands us to love Him and keep all of His regulations by doing what is right. We know right and wrong, our heart will tell us. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that He has placed eternity in the human heart. If we do what is right and not what is wrong, we will live and be successful. He promises to bless us. He will bless our home. But it is obedience that brings this blessing.
In order to be successful, we must have good character. What I believe in my heart will always determine my conduct because my beliefs determine my choices. The choices that I make will lead to actions on my part. What I choose to act on is what I have faith in and it can either attract or repel.
If we choose to believe the Truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we have faith in that Word, then we will obey His commands, regulations, and decrees. We must reinforce this commitment daily. The choice to love Him and obey Him and commit ourselves to Him requires us to submit not only to the Lord but those He has called to lead us. Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit”. He tells us that this is the key to life: obedience, love, and commitment to Him. We receive the promises of God (our destiny) through obedience to His Word. Obedience is God’s method of protection for our lives.
When we make a choice, we are accepting responsibility for that choice. The same is true when we decide NOT to do something. That is a choice and we must accept responsibility for it. When we make choices based on the world’s standards and laws of what is acceptable, we are going to have consequences based on those choices (Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). When the pleasures of our sinful choices are gone, the consequences can last an eternity.
The world may determine that it is acceptable for two women to marry and live as a family with their adopted or surrogate born or implanted children, but God’s Word tells me that marriage is for a man and a woman. The law permits me to make a decision to murder the baby that grows in my womb for reasons that I determine based on my preferences despite the fact that murder is wrong. The law tells my daughter that she cannot pray in her school disregarding that prayer is our lifeline. The law of the land gives me permission to purchase as much alcohol as I choose and consume it in the privacy of my own home leaving me in a drunken stupor rendering me ineffective and abusive which corrupts my children and leaves me shamed. The law allows me to live with my boyfriend and continue a sexual relationship. This is even called common and lawful and marriage. The law of this world permits the teaching of evolution and the big bang theory in our schools neglecting to offer the Truth about the creation of the world. The law of the ‘land of the free’ permits and even encourages the worship of idols, fornication, pornography, and blasphemy.
The acid test of my character is my heart. Luke 6:45 says that “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Proverbs 4:23 tell us to “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
I can change my habits, adapt my personality, and foster my talents, but only Jesus Christ can change my nature,grow my character, and gift me with the Power to obtain true wealth and joy. I can choose to believe in the Life, death, and Resurrection of the Son of God and obey the Word, framing my conduct and character through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This will determine my destiny all brought about by the choice that I made to accept and open His gift because God gave me free will.
Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son.~ 1 John 5:9
I remember vaguely what happened to me. I don’t remember their names but I do remember their skin and their eyes and their laugh. It doesn’t haunt me anymore, however I sympathize with women who have not found peace and inner healing from the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) associated with MST (military sexual trauma).
PTSD is the most common mental health condition observed among Veterans who report MST. MST appears to be a significant source of traumatic stress among both men and women seeking VA disability for PTSD, where 4.2% of men and 71.0% of women report sexual assault during their military service (Murdoch, Polusny,Hodges, & O’Brien, 2004).
2 Chronicles 7:1-3 ~ When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!”
Oh to pray like Solomon! He prayed Heaven DOWN upon the Temple of God. This did not strike fear in the people, but FAITH. They proclaimed His goodness, faithfulness and love, falling on their face to worship and praise Him.
Humility is the foundation of prayer.
OUR PRAYER LIFE STARTS WITH THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT THAT WE NEED GOD FOR EVERYTHING!
The more humble we are, the more connected to God we are.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. ~ Ephesians 6:18
The Scripture says pray “in the Spirit at ALL TIMES and on EVERY occasion”. This is at every high and every low, in every positive and every negative. Aaron raised Moses’ arms (intercession; lifted him up) on the mountainside (high) for the battle to be won in the valley below.
Israel Defeats the Amalekites
8 While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. 9 Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”
10 So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. 11 As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage. 12 Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. 13 As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle. ~ Exodus 17:8-13
We must not be poor in spirit. Don’t only pray for yourself. Pride sets in when all of our needs are satisfied.
Requesting prayer shows a desire for God’s involvement in your life. If we are not praying, do we really desire God’s involvement in our lives? We should want God to be involved! WHY? Here’s a good answer:
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. ~ Ephesians 3:20
What I see is that many want God’s blessing… but do we want His involvement?
Luke 11:2-4 ~ The Lord’s Prayer
OUR BIGGEST PRAYER NEED: Lord, change me so that I can help others.
Preaching affects time; prayer affects eternity.
The secret of praying is praying in secret.
A sinning man will stop praying and a praying man will stop sinning.
He who kneels before God will stand in ANY situation.
~ Leonard Ravenhill
It requires NO FAITH on our part to do what is possible, and only a mustard seed of faith is required for God to work the impossible to miraculous. The thing that keeps us from being BOLD in our prayers is our heart ♥. Knowing that He shed His blood for us, what will He withhold? If we are not pure of heart in coming to Him (repentant), we will not ask boldly – for we know the response…
If, according to Oliver Wendall Holmes, a man’s mind, stretched with a new idea, can never go back to its original dimensions, then what shall we say of a soul that has heard the whisper of the Eternal Voice? ~ Leonard Ravenhill
Our battleaxe: THE WORD
Our strength: FAITH in that WORD
The Whole Armor of God
10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. ~ Ephesians 6:10-17
NOTE that this Scripture precedes the admonition to PRAY in the Spirit at ALL TIMES (Ephesians 6:18). In other words, we put on the armor for battle and the battle is won in PRAYER.
We battle FROM victory, not FOR victory. It is finished.
“The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” ~ JESUS (John 6:63)
“I cried out to you, O Lord. I begged the Lord for mercy…You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing…” ~Psalm 30:8,11
Are we praying that we might DANCE when we have yet to MOURN? There shall be great sorrow for our sins…godly sorrow that brings freedom, not human sorrow that brings bondage…
“For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.”
~ 2 Corinthians 7:10-11
Prayer is going into the presence of the Father and Jesus in an executive meeting, laying my needs before them and making my requests for the ability, grace, power, healing for someone, victory for someone, financial needs, or whatever. Whatever my need, I am requesting for a Promise to be fulfilled. I am making a demand on His ability. Let’s look at this in the Word.
43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”
When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
48 And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
~ Luke 8:43-48
The woman made a demand on his ability. She had to be CLOSE TO HIM to touch Him. Closeness is INTIMACY.
There are only two ways of getting acquainted with Jesus:
Through prayer, we can be co-laborers with our Lord. “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:1
We can be His spokesperson, His voice, His ambassador in Jesus’ Name through the Word in our lips! Jesus did not exercise ANY authority that is not operative in His Name today.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. ~ Matthew 28:18-20 [NKJV]
ALL authority was given to Him. He makes His home in us: “ By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”~ 1 John 4:13
So now, LOOSE that authority! He says “and lo, I am WITH YOU ALWAYS…”
To see a need is to have a call to prayer. If you have neglected to pray, it is no longer a privilege it has now become a strict order. He longs for companionship with us. He wants to co-labor with us so that it will be on earth as it is in heaven!
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. ~ John 14:23
Will you PRAY? Will you learn God’s will by reading His Word? The time to P.U.S.H. is now, for what He has conceived and we have labored for, He is ready to deliver! The Word is BIRTH! But we must P.U.S.H. that delivery through! Come on saints! Let me hear from YOU!
O, Lord let my actions speak loudly and let my words be few. I pray that others who don’t know Jesus can see His love and light in me and like a magnet be drawn to it. Help me to spread the Message. Help me to draw others to You. This salvation is not for me, Lord. I long to see the lost come to You, to love You, to praise You, to worship You longingly, fervently, and without ceasing. I pray for revival that draws out the roots and shakes off that filth, where repentance is to the point of death – fleshy deaths where we want to RISE only when the Spirit of the Lord is breathed into us. Help us, O God, to walk and speak and worship you in Spirit and in Truth. Help us to fight these principalities. Impart FAITH and courage to us, O God, that we can be soldiers in the fight and restore lives, reconciling Your people to You. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN
The idea of accountability and mentorship, or submitting yourself under the tutelage of another is foreign in America. We live in a democracy where our voice WILL be heard and our vote DOES count (LOL) and we WILL get our way and we MUST demand our freedom and independence, after all that is what our forefathers fought and died for. RIGHT???
As a Christian, I have decided that I don’t know what I need to know, so I have chosen to submit to those who know. This is called humbling yourself…reducing yourself…becoming less so you can be more. In my short journey, I have learned a few things from watching others. I want to share with you up-and-comers what NOT to do, as a leader. I hope you can laugh at some of these, but also take it to heart as well because while comical, there is much truth in these statements…
I know when I came into the church and began to get connected, people were always inviting me to go out to eat. As a new believer, my pockets were void of deniro. I wouldn’t be able to fellowship at times because I didn’t have the cash to go eat where they were eating. I had dollar menu bucks and their tastes and preferences were much more refined and pricy. Be mindful of those around you. Build one on one relationships and recognize where someone is financially. And remember, they haven’t gotten the Kingdom principle of tithing down yet. Teach them!
I will never forget the “shopping trips” that I was talked into. I despise shopping and I did not dress inappropriately, I just didn’t dress like the other ladies at our church. I don’t accessorize. I don’t own jewelry or a purse. Unless your disciple is showing more skin than clothing, give her some grace. And PLEASE don’t use her as an excuse to go on your own shopping excursion! (YES, this happened to me!) You don’t have to have keen spiritual discernment to recognize that someone is broke or they are not enjoying watching you try on clothes that neither of you should be buying.
A new believer (and a mature believer) cannot afford to drink coffee at a coffee shop almost every day. The “meet me for coffee” line is just as good when you are making coffee in YOUR coffee pot (Mr. Coffee is fine…he needs some love too) at YOUR house in YOUR dingy old cups. It’s much more personable.
4. Cleanliness is next to godliness, but pristine is pretentious and intimidating
If someone comes into your house and it looks as though it is staged for a sale, it can make others uncomfortable and they don’t want to sit or touch anything. Be real. Don’t try to run around for a whole day cleaning your house because you know that life group is happening over there today. Yes, you should keep your house tidy and it should smell nice, but no one should get a headache from the barrage of scents that flood their nose when they enter the door. I believe that anyone who wears too much perfume or sprays too much air freshener is definitely trying to cover something up.
5. A disciple wants to learn from you because they see JESUS in you, not because you are so great and wonderful.
Choosing to submit under someone does not mean that they will be your best friend. It’s not hang out time all the time. Be purposeful in your meetings. She wants to know about your relationship with Him. The relationship that you build with her should draw her closer to Him, not just closer to you. Actually, very clear boundaries should be drawn early. Be mindful of how much you share with those who are accountable to you. She doesn’t need to hear about your issues. YOU should be accountable to someone else, not her. Dump UP, not down.
6. Your integrity is your witness
If you struggle with being on time, don’t promise that you will meet at 7 AM to worship and pray, knowing that you don’t get out of bed until 9:30 on most days. Keep a calendar or set reminders so that you don’t over-commit yourself. And for the love of all that is holy, do NOT lie to get out of a commitment and don’t lie about your daily routine. If you don’t read the Word everyday, don’t say that you do. Trust me, it will be obvious when you begin to say, “Well, you know it says somewhere, I’m not sure where, something about how light and dark don’t go together…” It just doesn’t sound like you are a mouthpiece for God and you misrepresent Him.
7. Be mindful of touchy topics like homosexuality, abortion, abandoning children, drug addiction, alcoholism, etc.
We don’t know what others are dealing with currently or recently. People come to the Lord in a moment of brokenness and desperation, so when you are casually talking in mixed company, don’t say things like “I just don’t know how someone could give up their child…” or “Abortion is murder. Plain and simple. I just don’t see how any mother could do that…” or “All these waiters look like druggies…” or “Doesn’t he look gay?” or “OMGoodness! Look at all those tattoos…” All of these statements carry an undercurrent of judgement and simply distance you from someone who may have experienced any or all of these.
8. Remember the details.
If someone chooses to share the inner workings of their heart and their personal history, remember the details. Do not discount any of their feelings or experiences as insignificant or surmountable. We can find the similarities and not look at the differences. Someone’s worst is just as bad as my worst…the emotions are the same regardless.
9. Progress, not perfection
New believers don’t always want to hear how right you are or how perfect your life is. I will never forget listening over and over to what almost sounded like bragging from a couple of leaders when it came to their parenting. They made it seem like their child was perfect (a teenager, okay!!) and that they had just imparted all this mighty wisdom to her and she was completely obedient in every area. Talk about feeling inadequate and under-qualified for anything! Needless to say, I didn’t want to tell this person any of my struggles in parenting because I just knew they couldn’t relate (or so it seemed).
10. Don’t assume that people know the Bible, no matter how long they have been a believer.
“We all know the story of David and Goliath…” Well, no not really. I didn’t. However, this provoked me to learn it. Everyone doesn’t have that bone. Go easy. And some of those words like propitiation, sanctification, justification, regeneration…I felt “tion-ed” when I had no idea what people were talking about. Be patient to teach and never make anyone feel small.
Thankfully, God’s grace is sufficient. I am so grateful that I was looking at JESUS and though I saw a lot of flaws in people, it didn’t deter me from following Him. I just learned what NOT to do as I grew in grace and hopefully won’t make the same mistakes…I’ll just make different ones!!!
I would love to hear your stories of blunders and bloopers in this movie reel of a life we live! Share them, please!!! Thanks for reading!
Selfish ambition will bring a ministry to a dead end, but nothing is more destructive than believing flattery. Nothing will take you out like striving to live up to the image flattery has spoken about you. Flattery is a hindrance to corporate discernment.
Flattery is generally identified with false praise. Flattery aims at magnifying the virtues to the exclusion of the vices. Both flattery and appreciation relate to the praising of virtues of others. Flattery is however, largely stained with falsehood and mostly aimed at achieving some selfish motive.
Appreciation is based on truth and is without any selfish motive. In practical life, flattery and appreciation overlap each other. It is impossible to assess and measure the amount of praise deserved by a person. An opinion starting as appreciation may easily drift into flattery.
We all have our own sense of excellence. In short: every person feels pride over some distinctive possession. In this way, we have to praise and affirm each other. But we do so for the sake of appreciation, which means an unprejudiced opinion, reflecting both virtues and vices.
“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil.” (Proverbs 5:3)
“That they may keep you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words.” (Proverbs 7:5)
“He who speaks flattery to his friends, Even the eyes of his children will fail.” ~ Job 17:5 [This Scripture is speaking to the mental and spiritual faculties of a man’s children “the eyes” of his children…the eye is the lamp unto the soul.]
For he flatters himself in his own eyes, when he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. ~ Psalm 36:2
To those manipulated and under the spell of flattery:
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? (Galatians 3:1)
“My enemies cannot speak one truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their speech is filled with flattery.” ~ Psalm 5:9
He who goes about as a talebearer (gossiper) reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips. ~ Proverbs 20:19
What IS flattery?
There is a difference between encouragement and flattery. The Greek definition of flattery means “motives of self-interest”. If someone uses flattery on you, they want something. Statements like “You hold the audience captive with your music” or, “You have the greatest voice I have ever heard”. On the other hand, when a direct, clear statement is made like this: “I like the way you play the piano or guitar” they are implying that your practice and hard work in learning to play an instrument is becoming evident. That is encouragement…the kind of encouragement that will cause someone to continue the pursuit of their craft, free from the strife that comes from trying to live up to unrealistic expectations and overstatements.
The Hebrew explains the word flattery with a few more colorful illustrations. It’s a primitive root; “usually figuratively (in a mental or moral sense) to be (causatively, make) simple or (in a sinister way) delude: allure, deceive, enlarge, entice, persuade.”
The intent of flattery is to make a person simple, or just mislead and deceive them. To make someone simple is an attempt to strip them of their discernment and good judgment. There is great power in flattery and it is almost always used to control or manipulate in some way.
Psalm 78:35 tells of Israel flattering the Lord with their mouths for the purpose of deluding, alluring or trying to make simple the King of Kings: “And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant.”
How do I know when I have crossed the line?
Edification builds. Flattery destroys. Flattery is synthetic. Edification is authentic.
Discern the difference.
Flattery defined is: excessive and INSINCERE praise, especially that given to further one’s own interests. Flattery is only poured out to win favor. It is self-deceiving. It is also known as manipulation, which is akin to witchcraft.
Flattery starts with the tongue, appreciation starts with the heart. ~ John Paul Jackson
The definition of encouragement is to inspire with hope, courage or confidence. The Greek word for encouragement is “parakaleo” which means, “to call near, or invoke and comfort someone.” The Bible instructs us to encourage one another:
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” ~ Heb. 10:25
It also warns us about flattery:
“Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.” ~ Rom.16:18.
When someone is struggling through a trial, we are to encourage with hope, but there is a tendency for many of us to not want to see anyone suffering, and our encouragement can step over the line and into flattery. That is one of the ways our flattery has the mark of control and manipulation in it.
A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net (sets a trap…”I got you now) for his feet. ~ Proverbs 29:5
In the end, people appreciate honest criticism more than flattery. ~ Proverbs 28:23
My friend Tracie Mark has a great revelation:
Engaging in flattery is clear evidence of one’s lack of faith in God’s ability to give them favor. Favor is a benefit of being in right standing with our Father. God always gives His children favor with man. Just look at the lives of Esther, Daniel, and Joseph. It required no effort on their part to receive God’s favor. They never had to resort to any form of self-effort in order to ingratiate themselves for gain or survival. People, especially Christians, can discern between a genuine compliment and one given to gain favor, as well as, words spoken with ulterior motives. The paradox is they will tend to look with disfavor, instead of favor, on someone who compliments them in general for no apparent reason.
King Solomon known as the wisest man who lived has great words for us:
It is always better to listen to a wise man who reprimands and calls your attention than to follow the fools who sing your praises. ~ Ecc 7:5
Scripture is very clear on God’s plan for the flatterer.
“The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips…” ~ Psalm 12:3
“I will show partiality to no one, nor will I flatter any man; for if I were skilled in flattery, my Maker would soon take me away.” ~ Job 32:21-22 [Is flattery worth being cut off from the blessings of God]
Jealousy is vicious and flattery is disguised hostility. ~ Dr. Edwin Louis Cole
Be careful with those who flatter you with kinds words and songs because this flattery works ruin! ~ Proverbs 26:28
Think of the people in your life. Does someone have any control over you as a result of their compliments? Ask God to forgive you for receiving this to yourself without giving it to Him, and then pray to be free. Also, pray for the one who uses flattery as manipulation to control and gain favor.
Here’s a little prophesy from our Bible (Book of Daniel) to remind you to be alert, aware, and armored:
“The next to come to power will be a despicable man who is not in line for royal succession. He will slip in when least expected and take over the kingdom by flattery and intrigue…He will flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant. But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him…”
~ Daniel 11:21, 32
Fight like a girl? What does that mean anyway? When someone uses this statement, they are implying that you can’t fight…that you are weak…as ‘girls’ (not women) are viewed as weak…”little girl”resonates from the playground not like a pep rally chant but like a taunting from the audience at a boxing match.
I don’t “fight like a girl”. I wage war like a soldier. The battles that I face are not natural…they are spiritual. I have learned that if it is wrapped in flesh, it ain’t my enemy so I don’t even sweat it. My enemy is larger than life and he wants to kill me. But my Lord wants me to die also…
This sounds contradictory. Not so…
The weapons of MY warfare are not carnal but MIGHTY through God to the pulling down of strongholds, Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (reference 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
So what do I mean that both my Lord and my enemy want me to die? I can’t wage war with my enemy in this flesh, with my thoughts, with my opinions, with what I think…see I have to die to every vain ambition, every idea, every notion that I THINK is right and my filter must become the Word of God which has transforming Power.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
For metamorphoo to happen in our lives, we must be taken “up to the mount”. Notice in 2 Corinthians 10 that the “imaginations” and “high things” must be cast down and lead into captivity. Our minds must be “taken up to the mount” to be changed into another form. The Word demands change. It will transfigure you. This process is painful.
I want to show you something. I want to share with you the story of the life cycle of a butterfly. I want you to open your mind and think of your spiritual walk and put yourself in this message. Don’t just look at it “scientifically” and think, “Hey! That was pretty cool!”. Really open your spiritual eyes and ears and catch the revelation of what God wants us to see in His creation. He has given us a beautiful example of what our METAMORPHOO will be in this natural phenomenon. Watch this short video:
What did you notice? Please comment below and tell me what you saw and how it relates to YOUR metamorphoo.
If the attack of the enemy is wearing you down and you feel defeated, consider this: you have stepped out of the place of immunity. The place of immunity is where you don’t have to defend yourself because the Lord is your Vindicator. He is our Defender. You are not as close to JESUS as you were. Remember: the enemy prowls WAITING PATIENTLY for the saints of God to move out of the safety zone. Maintain what you have obtained. The anointing flows down and it is the anointing that breaks the yoke. That can only be found in His Presence. Draw nigh….
Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. ~ 1 Peter 5:8
Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: “O My people, who dwell in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrian. He shall strike you with a rod and lift up his staff against you, in the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their destruction.” 26 And the Lord of hosts will stir up a scourge for him like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; as His rod was on the sea, so will He lift it up in the manner of Egypt.
27 It shall come to pass in that day
That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder,
And his yoke from your neck,
And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.
~ Isaiah 10:23-27
Listen: the Lord has a place for us that seems scary and we think, in OUR MINDS, that He is not with us. We often think it is the enemy that is taking us back into the wilderness because the place is barren and in this moment, weary from battle, we feel isolated. The environment is a mirror of our soul. But it is the LORD bringing us here to RESTORE us, bringing us back to the essentials of our faith, reminding us that our purpose is to please Him. His purpose is to save the world. We think there is no way we can do what He is asking, and we are CORRECT. There is NO WAY but by HIS GRACE that we can accomplish the vision that the Lord has for our lives. But if we will just listen, and quiet ourselves, He will show Himself new to us. We will encounter Him and the anointing will come to destroy the works of the enemy.
Elijah is a beautiful example of what happens when God takes us to that place of desolation. Elijah had won a victory for the Lord and God had shown Himself to the false prophets of Baal by answering their demands with fire and then rain ending a drought because of Elijah’s prayers and relationship with the Lord. It was Elijah’s greatest victory. This seemingly would have aroused revival, but it did not. It aroused the enemy. Jezebel sought Elijah and vowed to kill him. So, this mighty man of God RAN…He hid and cried out to the Lord saying, “ENOUGH! I have done all I know to do!” And the Lord answered him.
Read this passage from 1 Kings 19 and hear from the Lord:
5 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.
9 And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 So he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 And he said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
15 Then the Lord said to him: “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. 16 Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. 17 It shall be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill.
~ 1 Kings 19:5-17
He takes us to Mount Horeb, (aka Mount Sinai) to bring us back to basics. What battles are you waging in your flesh? Are you saying “It is enough! I have done all I know to do!” Get up on the mountain, wrap your face in the mantle (Hebrew: adderath ~ glory, splendour, magnificence) and fulfill the call. Don’t back down because of the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. STAND. FIRM.