Addicted to Jesus!

Addicted to Jesus!

 

Addicted

 

James 4:3 3  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

How do we ask amiss?

Guess you cannot get around this verse, so I’m going to preach it. God’s desires are people to get saved, instructed and grown up in the word of God, ministry to the poor, healing, prosperity, missions, caring for orphans, building Bible schools, churches, and just about every other good thing.

God and money

When we come to the place that we honestly want what He wants, He will give it to us, but so many of us say we will do great things with our money when we get some, but how well we discover that we fail miserably, when we actually have some in our pockets.

God is determined to prosper us, and His prosperity includes much more than money. A life full of purpose, love, joy, selfless giving, abundance, evangelism, and serving in the myriad ministries in His kingdom, will include money, but is not defined by it.

Want to ask for something worth giving every ounce of your life for? Ask Him for the purpose He created you, and press into that. You will then stop having to ask for His blessings and discover that His plan is already blessed.

Movies, expensive vacations, video games, the newest tacky gadget, fancy homes and gardens are all good things, but cannot define us.

1Ti 6:17  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

God loves us, and gives us richly, wonderful things to enjoy, just because He loves us!

Yet, unless those things are received in union with Him, for His plan and purposes for your life, they become a waste of your time.

How much stuff is enough?

Solomon, the richest king that ever lived, thought through some of the typical worldly pursuits, we all find ourselves entertaining in our minds from time to time:

Ecc 2:4  I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:

5  I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:

6  I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:

7  I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:

8  I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

9  So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.

10  And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

11  Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

12 ¶  And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.

13  Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

14  The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

15  Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.

The whole book is about the search of a once wise king, that had been radically blessed by God, to discover something that I can tell you right now, for a fact.

Without Jesus, it is empty, hollow, and vain, and of no eternal consequence.

Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The old king James word ‘quickeneth’ used here, means ‘to make alive’.

Those of us who have been around the movings of God for awhile, are worse in some respects, than the worst case hard core drug addict on the face of the planet.

We’ve found a drug that truly satisfies, and we want MORE! Holy Spirit is a life giving spirit, and one of the incredible privileges is to have Him flow through you, like now, bringing His Word, or delivering a miracle, or in any of the other myriad ways His rivers flow up out of us, to meet the needs of those around us.

hunger

I’m an addict, and a pusher!

I pray you get addicted to this life flow like I am.

Solomon eventually figured it out, that nothing here on this earth can truly satisfy, apart from Him.

With Him though, all the vacations, toys, money, buildings, projects, and pursuits, can be a wonderfully fulfilling journey, full of love, life, and joy.

Solomon figured it out, at the end of His life, after trying about everything he could pursue to try to find satisfaction.

So if Jesus is the author of all life, and the sole purpose of passionate pursuit, what should we ask Him for?

Wisdom?

wisdom

Obviously, as great as wisdom is, it is not enough to keep a man holy.

Solomon was the wisest man that ever walked the earth apart from Jesus, and he found that all the riches, wealth, projects, and women produced, did not satisfy his deepest hungers.

God has designed us, that only He can do that.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding..
There is knowledge of holiness, a hunger for purity, for we recognize it is only the pure in heart that can see God…
He Himself becomes the object of our desire, to be found in the beauty of His holiness, and we desire to become vessals of honor, people of holiness, renown, purity, truth, walking in true love and power with God.
Then, we stumble upon this verse:
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
We see it! The pearl of great price! Every earthly accolade of men, treasure, pursuit, finds true purpose and meaning only in light of eternity, and we embark, even as ‘Christian’ did in the epic tale entitled ‘Pilgrims Progress’, on a journey with Jesus, on a straight and narrow walk called the highway of holiness.
Suddenly, the end of Solomon’s wisdom, becomes our beginning:

Ec 12:13  Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

To know Him, and to see Him, afresh an anew, in the beauty of His holiness…Like a moth to a flame, and addict seeking his next fix, we run, our lives encircling His throne, moving from strength to strength and glory to glory, and the nations come to see the brightness of our rising!

All of this is in Jesus, our wonderful Lord!

gospel reigns

Let’s pray:

‘Father, bring your fire to my heart again, the fire of your holiness, and purity, the passion of Your love! Burn away my games, my lies, my sin, and teach me Your ways of holiness, love, truth, and power towards the people of this generation. Use me Lord Jesus for your glory, as I remain hungry for what only You can truly give. Amen!

I like watching this video with my children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eB6ydNSI6Sw

The Friendly Counsel of God – We have friends in High Places!

Jesus over earth

 

The Friendly Counsel of God!

You know, in business you meet some really great people sometimes, people of honor, integrity, excellence, and great wisdom from life experience. Along the way, I made decisions to try and include these folks in my life as mentors, respecting their time, yet enjoying the privilege of being able to simply pick up the cell phone and call them for counsel, when I had a decision to make. We are friends, and because they care about me, and want me to succeed, they give me friendly, wise counsel, so I can prosper.

Well, there is One, wiser, richer, more seasoned and powerful than all of them combined, that is God, Creator of Heaven and earth, seated upon the throne, with Jesus at His right hand. Truly, if we know Jesus, we have influential friends in high places, and we are called to walk with them, seated with Christ in heavenly places, as royalty in the courts of our heavenly King!

Today, as I read Job 29:4

‘Just as I was in the days of my youth, when ‘THE FRIENDLY COUNSEL OF GOD WAS OVER MY TENT.’

I am grateful for my wealthy friends, but they are never the source of my wealth. Nope, I endeavour to live a life of holiness and obedience that ever places a smile on the face of Jesus. Living in such a way, that He might see comfort and reward for His great sufferings, doing what I can to encourage Him, as He too sees the horror, tragedy, and mess of this pain wracked earth.

He knows, He loves, He weeps, then He acts, sometimes with brutal intensity in His government, to stop evil, punish predatory people, and to protect and bless His family in the earth.

If I take the time to get to know Him, He gives me wonderful, friendly counsel…

He did it again tonight, at a moment when my emotions threatened to cause me to make some brutal decisions, decisions that would have been wrong for my life. He came, He spoke, He brought comfort, He again revealed His glory, and showed me that I was placing a smile upon His face.

I don’t know what you are going through today, but if you love Jesus, He will go through it with you, and will never leave you in the fight, and if you ask Him, He will always make a way, even where there appears to be no way.

Is it not written?

1 Corinthians 10:13Amplified Bible (AMP)

13 No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].

Listen, as He speaks to your heart today

John 10:27(NIV)

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

I am totally committed to fully obeying Him alone, no matter what people do, or don’t do to me or for me.

voice

Let’s pray:

‘Father, I come into Your courts today, with thanksgiving, praise, and worship determined to honor You and who You are to me. Thank you for the privilege of Your counsel, comfort, wealth, provision, and direction today. May I live today, to put a smile on Your face Lord Jesus. Amen’

Discussing Cussing!

Discussing Cussing!

Is Cussing Wrong?

Mt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Well, God is love, and God is holy. God loves us, and has called us to walk in honor before Him, as His children, with royal dignity and privilege. We are children of the most high God, created for His pleasure and purpose in the earth!

royal

So, as His ambassadors, we should be speaking His words, words of love, life, truth, honesty, and kingdom law.

Pr 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Yet, we live far below our rights and privileges, allowing our hearts to be filled with profanity, and whatever is inside of us, will come out.

Mt 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Mt 12:35 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.

Taking the Lord’s name in vain is clearly sin:

Ex 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

De 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Kinda puts an end to the OMG you see all over Social Media.

It’s not cute in the courts of heaven; you need to find another way to express yourself!

Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

tongue fire

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

tame tongue

Eph 5:4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

Ro 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Mt 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Pr 19:1 ¶ Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

We are not to cuss, or utter unholy words!

Listen to the Psalmist’s prayer:
Ps 39: 1 ¶ «To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.» I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

Notice here ‘while the wicked is before me’.

It is easy refrain from cussing and profanity, while we are in church, but what about out on the job site, in our places of work?

What about when others are cussing, discussing and fussing?

Are we strong enough, do we fear God enough, do we love Jesus enough, to refrain from entering into their filth?

The first two commandments are to love God, THEN love people.

Loving God means we obey Him.

Obeying Him means watching over our words.

Thinking deliberately what heaven thinks about every word we speak, as His representatives in the earth.

Would Jesus cuss?

Never!

He is without sin, and we are called to be like Him in this:

Romans 8:29 ¶ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Will God forgive you?

forgive them for they know not

Yes, remember Peter?

Mark 14: 70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.
71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.

Matt 26: 74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Jesus forgave Jesus for cussing and denying Him, and Peter definitely knew better.

He will surely forgive you!

I grew up with a praying mom. Although she did not know the Word of God, she was a devout Catholic, and a moral woman. I remember when my dad was stationed in Digby, Nova Scotia, and was away at sea. I was about five years old, and my mom was raising the three of us. I had gone out the play structure behind the house, and was playing with some other kids, and another little boy taught me some words I had never heard before, that he made me recite a couple of times to get down. So, proud as punch I went home and proclaimed to my mom: F*** you mom! Her eyes got big, and she said: ‘WHAT DID YOU SAY?’.

Thinking I was cool like my new friends, I smiled and said: ‘F*** you mom!’

Suddenly, she grabbed me, and dragged me by the scruff of the neck into the bathroom, and grabbed a bar of Dove soap, and jammed it in my mouth! Then she grabbed our rinse cup from the toothbrush rack, and filled it with water, and despite my kicking and screaming, made me gargle with it!

wash mouth

Let’s just say that she made an impression!

Even though I was not yet saved, God was pleased that I honored my mom:
Ro 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Now, I cannot say that I never cussed again, just not in the presence of my mom!

Why did I keep cussing? Simple, I did not know Jesus, my heart was dark, unredeemed, I was dead spiritually.

Ps 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Christianity is not a religion, but a radical personal relationship with the Creator of the universe, by new birth, Christ in us, the hope of glory.

Dogs bark, birds chirp, cats meow, horses whinney, and sinners sin.

Except a man be born again, he cannot even see the kingdom of God.

God did not come to make bad people good or good people better:

Jesus came to make dead people alive!

When we truly receive Jesus,

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Ga 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

When we truly receive Jesus, He comes into our heart, and changes us on the inside. Our very desires change. We literally become a new creation, a new species of being.

Joy1

Can someone be born again and still cuss?

Unfortunately, yes, but you won’t like it any more.

Kinda like smoking. Can a Christian still smoke cigarettes? Yes, cigarette smoking will not send you to hell, but you may sure smell like you been there. God promises that with long life will He satisfy you, but your body has now become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Smoking may not send you to hell, but you may get to heaven a lot quicker.

1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Both my mom and dad died of lung cancer, and spending the years at their bedside watching them gasp for breath as the cancer wasted them away, was ugly, horrible, and still vivid in my mind.

I cannot claim to love you, and not warn you of the consequences of your actions.

Why? Because your heart hates it: It is no longer your nature.

I like the way a man said in service some years ago, after he accepted Jesus:
‘You have no idea the things I have done. My heart is dark, yet after I received Jesus, I feel F***king great!”

My wife explained to him that when our clothes get dirty, we wash them. We put them in the machine, with soap and bleach if they are really dirty, and they agitate, and the soap and water cleans them. That the blood of Jesus is like the soap that causes our clothes to become clean, the water is the Word of God.

God will take the darkness right out of our hearts, his blood will wash us, and clean us up.

listen blood
This man, just coming out of the bar, a marine just back from Afghanistan, exclaimed: ‘That’s f***king awesome! Oops, I shouldn’t say that anymore right?’

Right!
Okay, maybe I’ve grown up on military bases, and worked with some rough men most of my life, and I’m not as holy as I need to be, but I break out laughing thinking about this guy.
So relax. God loves you.
Receive Jesus, and ask Him to forgive you for cussing, and to cleanse your heart from it.
He’s holy, and He cannot lie. He loves you and He will forgive!
Ps 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
God loves you, and so do I, so let’s pray

:God loves You

Father, I need You. Lord Jesus, come into my heart, and cleanse it, and cleanse my tongue from my profanity. Fill me with Holy Spirit, and show me what You want me to do. Help me to understand Your Word, and to care for and love my fellow man. In Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

Balaam – Prophet for Hire!

Balaam - Prophet for Hire!

Balaam

Okay, let’s look at this Bible character named Balaam, who is probably in hell today, to see if we can learn what not to do as leaders.

The Word of God is wonderful, in that it tells the truth, and we can learn from even bad examples, what not to do.

Ps 19: 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes….

11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

Here we see the end of the story, Balaam the prophet, being killed by the people of God:

Numbers 31:8 And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.

Joshua 13:22 Balaam also the son of Beor, the soothsayer, did the children of Israel slay with the sword among them that were slain by them.

Question is, why did God have Balaam killed?

Num 13:
15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

Numbers 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

What was the counsel of Balaam?

Balaam doctrine

Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

Here we see the error of Balaam, and his motive. He was greedy, and sold out the gift of God for reward.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

Yet, here, we see what he did, he counseled the enemy of God to tempt the people of God, to eat food sacrificed to idols, and to have sexual relationships out of marriage.

Numbers 25:1 ¶ And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Deuteronomy 23:4 Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee.

Deuteronomy 23:5 Nevertheless the LORD thy God would not hearken unto Balaam; but the LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee.

Joshua 24:9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and warred against Israel, and sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you:
Joshua 24:10 But I would not hearken unto Balaam; therefore he blessed you still: so I delivered you out of his hand.

Nehemiah 13:2 Because they met not the children of Israel with bread and with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them: howbeit our God turned the curse into a blessing.

Micah 6:5 O my people, remember now what Balak king of Moab consulted, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim unto Gilgal; that ye may know the righteousness of the LORD.

2 Peter 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

sow wallow

Jude 1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

So, we see it. Balaam, the prophet, the one who heard and knew the voice of God, sold out his gift for money and position. It cost him his life, and he is eternally in hell today.

What he did is amazingly wicked!

Three times Balak hired him to curse the children of Israel, and 3 times, God flowed through him pronouncing a blessing instead of his intended curse. Had he been smart and righteous, he should have left Balak, and joined the people of God, and won every battle, and lived for God.

Yet, he got greedy. Obviously, the Midianites and Moabites had material wealth, and he wanted him some of it.

He was once a broke prophet, living peacefully in his hut, now he has kings knocking at his door.

So what does he do?

He knows that God is holy, and cannot lie. In fact, he had even prophesied it: Nu 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

no lie
20 Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!

Do you see it?

God was with Israel! His manifest presence, His glory, His power, His blessing, His anointing, and surely the host of heaven, angel armies protecting His people.

angell armies

Yet, in this verse we see why.

The children of Israel are living according to the law of God. They are fully separated unto Him, so that the prophet, by the Spirit of God proclaimed: ‘He beheld no iniquity in Jacob, nor has he seen perverseness in Israel’

Holiness produced power!

Fully obedient people, were met, blessed, protected, delivered and prospered by the person and presence of the living God, Creator of heaven and earth!

Here is where amazing wickedness occurred:

Balaam knew God, and knew His word. He saw this by the Holy Spirit, and knew that the people of God, with God, were unstoppable.

So what does he do? He counsels Balak, to throw a party for the men of Israel. Get your best delicacies cooking, and the prime cuts of meat that you have sacrificed to your gods, demon spirits. Then, get your women dressed seductively, and have them seduce the men of God, and have sex with them.

When you do, God Himself will withdraw from His people, and will destroy them Himself.

This he did, and Scripture records:

Number 23: 16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.

Now, what are we to learn from this today?

We, that bear the holy offices of God, five-fold ministry gifts, set into the earth to train, equip, and edify the people of God, the Body, the Bride of Christ.

Well, we are to prepare a holy bride for Jesus: one without spot or wrinkle.

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

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

and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

God is still holy, and again I find myself stuck on this theme.

I am convinced that a holy, obedient people, in the hands of our God is unstoppable.

Strong, healthy, wealthy, blessed, joyful, loving, victorious in the trials of life!

Yet, how many of us fail the money test?

We get an extra couple of dollars, and we spend it watching a worldly movie, or attending a worldly event.

We say: ‘Father, if You give me an extra $50 this week, I will spend it on (missions, orphans, our ministry building program, or whatever financial need is before us in the kingdom), yet we flunk the prosperity test.

God gives the money, and instead of using it for the work of God, we go out whoring with the world.

Does God give prosperity?

Yes!

Deut 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

provides1

Money with a mission, wealth given to establish His covenant in the earth, or in this dispensation, the gospel.

Mr 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Ro 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Ga 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

Do I preach prosperity?

Yes!

I cannot see in the word of God, anywhere that people of God, fully serving God, were not prospered.

Yet, beware the sin of Balaam.

That is compromising the Word of God, in any area, for financial gain.

To whom much is given, much is required.

In my life, I have withdrawn for many great business opportunities, simply because I do not feel strong enough in my office and calling, to take the chance of mixing ministry and business. I fear God, and seek purity of heart and holiness, and I am coming out of the business world, having stepped again into full time ministry.

My message will always be, holiness unto the Lord, be pure, and ALL IN, 100% sold out to Jesus, without compromise. I will use all of my position,, influence, words, wealth, and teaching to promote only the cause of Christ, for I feel that the time is short, and there is no time to do anything else in these last days.

reckless-abandon-prayer

Yet, I have seen the sin of Balaam at work, yea even here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, bless the holy city.

I drove a friend home from Friday night prayer one night, and he lives in an apartment complex, known for weekend partying and gang activity. This man is sold out for Jesus, and is doing great things in reaching people with the gospel. As we drove, he shared his vision of raising up a strong ministry in the North side of Tulsa, to reach youth for Christ.

When we pulled into his parking lot, full of the Holy Ghost and fire, I rolled down my window as four youth with a case of beer on one guys shoulder, were approaching the truck, obviously on their way to party somewhere. So, I called out to them: ‘Hey, my friend and I were talking about getting some sort of ministry going around here, that would be relevant to your lives, to reach you for Jesus, what do you think would work?’

Now I wouldn’t try this approach in an area other than Tulsa, where there are 1400 or so churches, and many Christian television and radio stations. You would think that everyone here, has at least heard the gospel, once.

Well, one of the guys, kind of gave me a dirty look, and kept walking, but the two girls with them approached the truck. One of them sat cross legged on the ground beside my driver’s window, and we began to talk.

She said: ‘Are you serious? Do you really want to know what it would take?”

I said, ‘Yes, tell me sister!”

She said, ‘I am 19 years old, pregnant with my third child. The first two children are from youth pastors who I slept with, who will not admit we had sex. I’m not saying that what I did was right, but if you want a ministry to reach youth here, in this community, you gotta solve the zipper problem with most of the ministers.’

Ah, the old fashioned Billy Graham statement comes alive:

‘As a man of God, don’t touch the girls, the gold, or the glory!’

whole world

Charisma does not equal character.

Balaam had charisma. Imagine if you will, the great pomp and ceremony, by which he built the alters of God, and ceremonially sacrificed before the Lord, the animals required. He had anointing. He had the gifts of the spirit. He had reputation as a prophet of God. He had a heavenly office.

Yet, he did not develop the character to carry the call.

Here is where I live: fighting daily, to watch over my words to fulfill them. Fighting to avoid any appearance of evil with women, money, or pride. To allow Holy Spirit to go deep inside my heart, searching my deepest motives, and transforming me, so that even my motives are right before the Lord.

I am not content to only do the right thing, but seek to do the right thing, for the right reason: that is for the glory and love of Jesus.

I shared my heart for a reason, man of God.

holy ground

You are right there with me. The pressure, the subtle flirtatious innuendo’s of seductive women (yes, they are real, it’s not personal, it’s just demons working through carnal women, to destroy you and your ministry), the business deals and multi-level ‘opportunities’ that flood your inbox, the praise of flatterers testing you, are common to every leader, and you must not fail!

Proverbs 27:21 KJ21

As the refining pot for silver and the furnace for gold, so is a man tried by praise

Whether you are called in ministry, business, government, education, or media, whatever your vocation, holiness is the standard: a clean, pure life, free from sin.

pure blessed

Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.

 

Jesus spoke of the differences between hirelings and true shepherds who lovingly lay down their lives to protect God’s people:

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
Be strong, courageous, pure, holy, and fulfill your heavenly office and calling, without compromise.
This is not a job, or any mere earthly vocation, but a heavenly office and calling.
Be the true shepherd you are created to be.
If you are compromised, let God forgive, purge, prune, and deliver you from your unhealthy relationships and business deals that make merchandise of the flock in your care.

I am not sure who this is for, my ramblings…but let’s pray:

‘Father, I pray for the brother or sister reading this today. May they fully consecrate to holiness, obedience, purity, and excellence of conduct, in whatever you have called them to do. Bring Your power, and truth, to extricate them from situations, relationships, business dealings, and distractions, that are contrary to Your will for their lives, that they might live, led by You, in purpose, passion, joy, and victory. I ask this, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen.’

100 Watts in a 60 Watt World

100 Watts in a 60 Watt World

100 Watts in a 60 Watt World
I was at a conference one day, and I heard a minister named Jill Austin, make the following statement, that really helped me at the time.
She said that the anointing upon a persons life, can be compared to light. That when God promotes a person, in a local congregation or community, they are like a 100 watt light bulb, burning bright for Jesus.
If the Christian community where they serve, is moving in a corporate anointing that is equivalent, to say, 60 Watts, then the new light on a person, exposes the darkeness of others in the organization, and usually, these very ones, who should perhaps embrace the new level of power, glory, and revelation manifest, become its prime persecutors…
This really spoke to me at the time, and still does today.
Hebrews 10:32
New International Version (NIV)
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.
Hebrews 10:32
King James Version (KJV)
32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
As I have thought about this today, I have something I need to say about it.
In my life, this has been my experience, and it is indeed Scriptural. When God authentically speaks to me, and I have, in my zeal and passion, shared what I saw or heard, often, the very people I thought would become my closest encouragers and supporters, often became my most brutal wet blankets, trying to put out my fire, or in directly opposing and persecuting me!
Ouch! Touch any nerves for anyone yet?
OK, rather than bash some great people, let’s look and see if perhaps, I have learned a few things, that may prevent you some similar pain.
First of all, let me say, that Jesus Himself, was crucified, and He did not promise you and I an easy life,
Matthew 10:24
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall havetribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

In this life, there are hard things we must walk though, no compromise.
Yet, John Wayne made this statement:
‘Life is hard, It’s even harder if you are stupid!’
What I want to share, is some of my own stupidity, that I pray, may save you some of the pain I have endured.
First of all, let me make some statements:
1. When you authentically hear God, ask HIM if you are to share what He showed you. Sometimes stuff is just for you, to be walked out in faith. Joseph got thrown in a pit and sold into slavery by His brothers, for sharing when perhaps he should of shut up! Yet, there times that God speaks, and let the chips fall where they may, PREACH IT!
Luke 12:3
Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.

2. Write it Down! If it was important enough for God, Creator of the Universe to speak to you, surely you can write it down. Habakkuk 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Sometimes what God showed you is immediate, but often, it may be for some years down the line. Sometimes, what He says, is sovereign, and will surely come to pass, as in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, that are ‘as He wills’, other times, things must be believed, received, and walked out in faith. These words must be guarded in our hearts, for satan would love to steal. Matt 13: 18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

Rather than go on this whole topic, let me share a couple of practical thoughts on relationally dealing with people in love on both sides of this fence.
History is full of examples of people that learned the world was round, when critics claimed it to be flat, learned to fly, and did what had never been done before.
First of all I think of the words of Kenneth E. Hagin, ‘My light does not burn any brighter, by snuffing out the light of another.’
What seems to happen, often, is when God speaks to someone, whose life appears to be chaos, something amazing, that He alone can do, and if you have breath in your body, your natural cynicism immediately says (at least mentally), (Yeah, right!).
Yet, God loves to oppose the proud and exalt the humble, and change the world through broken people, for is it not written:
1 Corinthians 1:27
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Wisdom is this, DO NOT OPPOSE THE PERSON, ENCOURAGE THEM!
God may have actually spoken to them, and He can do anything!
Luke 1:37
For with God nothing shall be impossible.

If the person has a call to do something great, give them these verses, and counsel them to qualify the call, according to the Word of God.
1 Timothy 3:1-7
Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work).
2 Now a bishop (superintendent, overseer) must give no grounds for accusation but must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, circumspect and temperate and self-controlled; [he must be] sensible and well behaved and dignified and lead an orderly (disciplined) life; [he must be] hospitable [showing love for and being a friend to the believers, especially strangers or foreigners, and be] a capable and qualified teacher,
3 Not given to wine, not combative but gentle and considerate, not quarrelsome but forbearing andpeaceable, and not a lover of money [insatiable for wealth and ready to obtain it by questionable means].
4 He must rule his own household well, keeping his children under control, with true dignity, commanding their respect in every way and keeping them respectful.
5 For if a man does not know how to rule his own household, how is he to take care of the church of God?
6 He must not be a new convert, or he may [develop a beclouded and stupid state of mind] as the result of pride [be blinded by conceit, and] fall into the condemnation that the devil [once] did.
7 Furthermore, he must have a good reputation and be well thought of by those outside [the church], lest he become involved in slander and incur reproach and fall into the devil’s trap.

These verses must be the battle cry, for any of us authentically called into Christian leadership, whether in the church, or business world.
God may give a visionary directive, but the vision must be qualified through character.
This is not some secret formula, rather, is the application of these verses, to our personal lives, and for those of us honestly seeking the power of God to change this generation, we discover we NEED God’s power to walk in this, faithfully, diligently, daily.
So, whether you are the soul on fire, filled with passion, zeal, and clear revelation, or the one who sees them burning, while it seems like their personal life is flakey, let’s walk in love, and help each other get to where we need to go in the kingdom of God.
We might need their revelation (if THEY are the 100 Watt bulb) or we might need their character and stability (If WE are the 100 watt bulb).
On both sides of the fence, the love of Jesus must prevail. God hates rebellion, and he who sows discord among the brethren….
Much can be said here, but this is all I need to share today, to get this out there. God would have love, and unity in His Body, His church, this precious Bride.
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, grant me illumination, power, light, miracles, creativity to change this generation, and to bless this earth! May I ever seek you for holiness and purity of heart and conduct, as you develop your love and character in me. May I never be a wet blanket to another person’s fire and zeal, but in humility, gentleness, and love, may I be quick to pray, as I see glaring needs in them, and their ministries. Help me to bring others, into what you have shown me, free from spiritual pride, haughtiness, and arrogance of way. Show me what and where to share, with whom, when to pray, and when to say, what I know to be true, that I might be the vessel of honor you need me to be, in this generation, for the sake of the harvest, and Your great name Lord Jesus, I pray, Amen!”

Unmasking the spirit of pride

Unmasking the spirit of pride

Unmasking the spirit of pride….

Being as God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble, and that the sin of pride, is what got satan thrown out of heaven, pride is something that we all must understand, and overcome, in order to live victorious lives of servant hood in Christ.

More and more, I am convinced that pride is simply, having a better idea than God on any particular subject.

As I look at contentions, and world wars, each of them are rooted in pride.

Pr 13:10 ONLY by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

No two people, walking in the love of God, listening to His voice, should ever need to be fighting each other.

Every divorce, war, business separation, heartbreak, is rooted in pride, or ignorance.

Last Sunday, at Sunday school, (We are taking the Growing Kids God’s Way course, http://www.gfi.org/ where Robert and Rebecca Shaeffer are leading here at Victory Christian center) I heard a lesson on parenting, describing the perils of giving our children too many choices.

That, if we were not careful, children would use choice, as an excuse for disobedience. The truth is, so do we.

The Ezzo’s gave an example, that really sticks with me.
A child was over at a friend’s house, and while they were playing, got wet. So, without asking she went in to the guests home, took a shower, and borrowed some dry clothes from her girlfriend, then marched into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator and proceeded to help herself to something to eat.

Now, all of that might have been okay in her house, but to do all of that in a friend’s house, without permission, is a stretch, don’t you think?

Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Let’s take the friend example apart a bit.

I believe that God has created good works for us to do: Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

I also believe that the earth is the Lords, and the fulness therof.

Can we become content with that portion that God gives us of the earth, or do we constantly covet more, and more?

Do we take things that legitimately belong to others, ‘assuming’ that it is okay with God?

When we do, we become ‘wise in our own eyes’.
Pr 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
One version says, ‘becomes wise in his own eyes.’

The earth is full of selfish, grasping people, whose decision making is often contrary to the Word and will of God.

Jas 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

God is a good God, who loves us dearly, and who wants only good things for us.

Yet, He wants to give them to us, His way, in His timing.

He will never be moved by desperation, or a screaming fit before Him, but when we ask Him in faith, then ask Him how to accomplish what we have asked for, He will do it!

I read this quote by David Wilkerson, and it struck me: To understand this message, I want to give you new definitions of pride and humility. Pride is independence – humility is dependence. Pride is an unwillingness to wait for God to act in His own time and in His own way. Pride rushes in to take matters into its own hands. One of the greatest temptations true Christians face is getting ahead of God. It is acting without a clear mandate from God. It is taking things into our own hands when it appears that God is not working fast enough. It is impatience..

Saul couldn’t wait to offer up the sacrifice. It cost him the kingdom.

David did wait, and little by little, God prepared and established him in his anointing and office, to become a man after God’s own heart.

Our promotion is not about us, anyway, but the people we are called to reach, to serve.

David Wilkerson goes on to give this definition of humility: Humility is total dependency on God. It is trusting God to do the right thing at the right time in the right way. It is trusting Him to use you in the right way at the right time. Humility is patiently waiting on the Lord in a spirit of expectant faith. Pride has no patience. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him, fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass… fret not thyself in any wise to do evil” (Psalm 37:7,8). This tells us, “Don’t get uptight by the apparent success of those who look like they are passing you up. They take shortcuts. They are blessed and prospered while here you sit, trusting God, praying.” God says “Just wait. They are on slippery ground. You won’t be sorry, if you do it My way. Patience is doing a work in you. You are becoming strong by waiting in faith. Let patience do its perfect work in you!”

I read a leadership article, written by an honest pastor that I liked:

Godly leaders will recognize pride.
Usually this third point is worded like this, “Godly leaders are humble”. For me this is just another slogan that doesn’t deal with one of the most pervasive problems in ministry, pride.

Pride left unchecked or unnoticed will destroy leadership and influence, not to mention dishonoring the transforming work of the Gospel.

The dictionary defines pride as: the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself or one’s importance.

Here are 5 quick way’s to know if your prideful:

1. Your sentences start with “I” or are surrounded around you.

2. You get convicted/mad when someone tries to correct/instruct you.

3. You have a critical and judgmental spirit.

4. Your closed to accountability.

5. Your getting mad right now as you read this.

I believe the hardest thing for a pastor to do, is to be self aware of pride. From my own testimony to others I know, we are most oblivious to the sin of pride. So how do we demonstrate the transforming power of the Gospel and cultivate the characteristic of humility in our lives and leadership?

So what is the answer?

Here is my solution, in my current state of limited understanding:

1. Establish a morning prayer and Bible reading time, first thing in the morning, before everything.

2. As you pray, and read the Word, keep a pen and paper with you. God will speak, and as He does, He expects you to do what He says. I write it down, because, in the business of the day, I have been known to forget. Going back to my journal throughout the day, helps keep me on track.

3. After I think I have the mind of God on a matter, I go do it. If I don’t know how, then it is back to prayer, “If you have so much business to attend to that you have no time to pray, depend upon it that you have more business on hand than God ever intended you should have.”
– Dwight L. Moody

4. I constantly monitor what words I am speaking. If at any point, what I am speaking, is not coming to pass, or I am not doing what I say, then I have moved ahead of God, and am moving in my own strength, not His. I am determined to be wholly Spirit led… I have always been sincere, in my pursuit of God and His calling upon my life, but as I have made decisions that proved to be wrong, I have also been sincerely wrong sometimes. When I am wrong, I fess up, where I mess up, laugh at myself, fix whatever is fixable, and then roll the care of the rest upon the Lord, and move on.

Like the famous Will Rogers quote; ‘You may be on the right road in life, but you will still get run over if you just sit there.’

5. Love is the goal, the requirement. How am I treating my wife, my children, street people, sales people, and abrasive folks? Am I good news, and an ambassador of Jesus, or equally as abrasive? How am I treating people?

The wonderful thing about the kingdom of God, is that we are part of the Body of Christ, and we are loved. This teaching is not designed to be complete, simply a reality check. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, what is Holy Spirit showing You?

Let’s Pray:
‘Father, we honestly want to do Your will, for the right reasons. Convict us of our pride, deception, and error of our own poor choices, and show us what to do, to fix the messes we have made. Teach us, lead us, deliver us, and show us Your perfect will for our lives, in Your name I pray Lord Jesus, Amen’

Why Should I Start a Bible School?

Why Should I Start a Bible School?.

Recreate Me – A Prayer for Deep Sleeps – Make Me Holy!

Recreate Me - A Prayer for Deep Sleeps

A Prayer for Deep Sleep, and Divine Surgery!
Ps 4-8 sleep

Recreate Me!

Ps 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

A prayer:
‘Father, I see deep inside myself, raging passions, and deep insecurities, even after all of these years of walking with You. I know, that quietly soaking in your presence Holy Spirit, and meditating upon Your Word, will eliminate these, but the harvest is great, and the time is short. I am asking You, that even as you caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam, that You might perform surgery upon Him, that You would do this in me. Cause deep sleeps to come upon me, and perform Your works. Remove from my soul, my fears, my pain, my motives, that are contrary to You and Your Word, that I might fully become the instrument of redemption I am created to be. Where I have been damaged by my sin, and the sin of others, deep within my soul, reach in and recreate me, every whit whole….’ I ask, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen’

Leader, You will make it!

Leader, You will make it!

A Business Owners Cry
Job 7:1
New International Version (NIV)
“Do not mortals have hard service on earth?
Are not their days like those of hired laborers?
Like a slave longing for the evening shadows,
or a hired laborer waiting to be paid.

Ever owned a business, or created something out of nothing?

Whether a business, a farm, a ministry, or any organization, you step out from the comfort, the security of a steady paycheck, and a job, unto the great aching void of nothingness, with the future as bright as the promises of God, but with nothing but Jesus, and your dream to move you forward.
Remember this old Indiana Jones video:

These verses will come alive to you, at that point, because the idea of time clocks, and another man’s schedule are now gone. You will work for your dream, harder than for any other things you have ever worked for, and you will walk it out by faith, and discover that God really is with you, and has made a way for you.

How well, we understand the ‘paycheck to paycheck’ mentality. The comfort of payday, when that check comes into your hands, and you run to the bank, to rest from your period of toil…temporary satisfaction.

Even a slave finds darkness a place to rest, eat, huddle down for the night, perhaps around a warm fire…

Yet, to those of us movers, shakers, dreamers and visionaries, there is still territory to be conquered, and we are at the other end of the stick, fighting sometimes, long into the night, to make sure that there is money in the bank so that our employees get paid. Fighting for contracts, aggressively building, planting, managing scarce resources, in order to keep the machine running, a responsibility and weariness, our employees never see, or in many cases, understand.

I remember one day, in speaking with another contractor, the particular pain, of not being paid for a job completed. He made the comment: ‘It’s worse than slavery, because at least a slave didn’t have to buy his own tools, pay his own gas, buy his own materials, and pay for his house, to work long, long hours, to not get paid…’

Wicked people, with fancy attorneys, that deliberately steal from hard working people, not nickels and dimes, but, in the stroke of a pen, obtain unrighteous judgments, carefully, with predatory zeal, manipulating the legal system, causing truth to fall in the streets, as they prey upon those unable to defend themselves, often hard working business people….

Yet, you must see that there is more going on here, than mere business, betrayal, and hard work.

There is a God, a very living, loving, heavenly Father, who knows, who cares, who sees…

1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

Sometimes, the suffering goes on for some time. Job’s particular trial lasted nine months, Bible scholars teach us.

So what do we do in our place of pain?

Isa 12:6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

CRY OUT TO GOD!

Job did:
Job 7:11 “Therefore I will not keep silent;
I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit,
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul

To you, you forgive, and He heals, and He works eternal character into our hearts, the longsuffering love of Jesus, making us holy…

Rom 8:29 ¶ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

To those who appear to be getting away with theft, embezzlement, fraud, He also sees, He loves, and He judges….

Ro 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

In the meantime, stand upon His promises, and know that your particular stand of faith is working in you, Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

As His process works in you, Holy Spirit is working through you, as your stand of faith makes headlines in heaven, and He writes the eternal testimony upon the parchment of time…

Crying out to God for understanding, pressing into Him in prayer and His Word, are your only options…because like Job, at the end of any particular stand of faith, the object of your faith will appear, Jesus, the fourth man in the fire.

It may seem like you are overwhelmed, and perhaps you are, but God is growing you, and your capacity for responsibility, and trust in Him…

1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

There is a way out, you are going to make it through…
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, I cry out to you, asking You for understanding, strength, healing, provision, direction, the way of escape you promise in Your word. I ask, knowing that I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your precious name Lord Jesus, Amen.’

Internet Adultery

adulteryadultery_2adultery1Internet Adultery

Internet Adultery
Over the years, I have endeavored to walk in not only practical holiness, but purity of heart.
With respect to women, I have endeavored to keep ministerial boundaries, never ministering to someone of the opposite sex, unless my wife was present.
Yet, this new venue of ministry, Social Media, is exciting in that it allows us to reach many more people with the truth of the Word of God, quickly, and to develop on-line gospel relationships that have had tremendous impact for the kingdom of God!
Billy Graham used to instruct young ministers, regarding personal integrity, simply: Don’t touch the girls, (or guys, for you ladies) the gold, or the glory.
I remember, back in the days when I was single, running a ‘big-brothers’ club in a subsidized housing project. As a single young man, employed, who was obviously a role model for children, it was almost as natural as breathing, to get hit on by single mom’s, who were desperate for adult companionship, and a husband. Rather, that become brutal with them, and join the ‘He man women haters club’, I cried out to God for help, wisdom, and purity of heart.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
This is the verse, we would use to get us out into the streets, to practically help, wherever possible. Notice, if you will, how this reads:
1. Want to be pure and undefiled before God our Father? (Emphatically, YES!)
2. Here’s what you need to do, go visit the fatherless and widow.
3. Where do you go visit them? Right in the middle of their mess, ‘in their distress’. It is implied here that we would become part of their solution, that we would do something to alleviate their suffering. This might be simply in taking the children fishing, swimming, or bike riding, while the mom gets a well needed rest, or simply goes out with the girls.
4. Here is the trick: remain unspotted from the world. That means: no flirting with the girls, staying clear of the alcohol/drug and often criminal culture that exists in some of these communities. Holiness of conduct and purity of heart, are the only thing that kept us, as people did everything in their power to try and get us in involved in some of their schemes. Many nights of anguished prayer, and countless hours listening to the audio Bible, to remain cleansed, renewed, and washed by the water of the Word, to stay mentally, emotionally, and spiritually clean from some very challenging ministry sessions.
During this time, God graciously delivered me from my traditional, flirtatious ways with women, granting me the ability to see all women as sisters, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers, treating them with honor, with no games.
Back in the days of youth ministry, we used to instruct singles, regarding purity of heart, that not only was sex outside of marriage sin, but that Jesus said: Mt 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
This meant nor pornography, or sexual innuendos, or flirtatious behavior.
I remember making the statement: If you, in your conduct and conversations, awaken desires in a member of the opposite sex, that can only be legitimately fulfilled in a marriage relationship, it is sin to you, and you need to take it to the cross.
Yet, on Social Media, we see this type of conduct, all the time. People without shame, or boundaries, openly making provocative comments, that definitely incite romantic passions, publically, or in private messages, over the internet.
A good friend of mine, is fighting for his marriage.
In marriage counseling, he heard an alarming statistic: That 8 or 9, or every 10 divorces, brought Facebook posts, or copies of their unfaithful spouses Tweets, to court as evidence. Seems that folks had been having affairs, and keeping them going, using Social Media.
Seems this new rise in Social Media adultery, is not new to my world. Here are a couple of articles on it, that are well written:
Online Affairs Are Emotional Adultery

Finding a Lost Lover on the Internet: Easy to do, but Dangerous if You’re Married

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/healing_library/confrontation/internet.asp
I too, have been guilty, of this. In allowing women, other than my wife, access to my heart, at a level that should have only been available to my wife. To me, it is sin.
I think of the scene in the movie, ‘Fireproof’, where the guy smashes his computer because of his pornography addiction.
I am not into porn, I hate it. If you are, get out of it, it’s destroying you.
Yet, like my good friend, rather than deal with brutally difficult issues in my own marriage, I have carried on ‘spiritual’ conversations on Facebook and Twitter, at a level of intimacy, that should have been reserved only for my wife.
My good friend, deleted all of his Facebook and Twitter accounts, and blocked certain people from his phone and texts.
So, there is only one way of freedom for me, and that is to include my wife, on all of my accounts, and conversations on Social Media. Joint accounts, that keep me accountable for every word I post, or comment I make.
You know, many have said, that ‘Wisdom is the principal thing, and in all your getting get wisdom’. That is Biblical, but not totally accurate. The actual verse reads:Pr 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Pr 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
In all of your wisdom, get understanding.
Apart from Jesus, Solomon is recorded as being the wisest king that ever lived.
Yet, he blew it, in having many wives:1Ki 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
1Ki 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
Here is understanding. Wisdom did not keep his leadership pure, nor on track with God. Purity of heart, and faithfulness to one wife, would have.
Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Mal 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
My ministry to folks over Social Media will continue, but my wife will be reading every prayer request, post, and comment, that comes back from the teachings posted.
My marriage may not be perfect, but I will remain faithful to it, in the brutally hard times, as well as the good ones.
I pray you do the same:
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, I raise up a cry for marriages, families, husbands, wives and children. I ask Sir, that you deliver us from our lusts, the seductions that would creep in, and destroy our homes. Forgive us, where we have erred in this, and purify our hearts, minds, and relationships, from ungodly entanglements, and adulterous affairs, whether physical, or merely emotional. I ask this, knowing I am heard, for I ask in Your name Lord Jesus, AMEN!’