The Importance of Confidence

The King James Version reads:

(Hebrews 10:35 ) Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great
recompense of reward.

The word “recompense” there means “a reward, as in wages.”

The New International Version reads:

(Hebrews 10:35) So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly
rewarded.

Most people who read ministry articles like mine, usually have a ministry at
work within them and this is the way it should be. Once the Word of God
becomes activated in a person, a desire to minister also comes up. It can
manifest in a number of different ways, but there is a life giving spring
(called the anointing) that has a force that wants to come up and out of
God’s Christian believers in expressions.

We know that is the power of the Holy Spirit. But some feel like they are to
squash it for the sake of the religious organization they may be around and
some feel they have to “fight” the organization to let it come out, and some
are in organizations that actually help them launch into their ministries.
If one is exceptionally blessed, there are those who encourage them to find
a way to do their ministry.

All of this is so important for Christian ministry fulfillment – personally
and practically. On some causes, there are still not enough volunteers, do
you know what I mean? I want to speak to anyone who has any kind of a
ministry, no matter how small or large it seems to be to them.

The five fold ministry is to equip others for the work of the ministry, and
that really comes out of learning how to do it and then just passing it on
to others. The older (or more mature ones) have to teach the younger (less
mature) in their giftings. It’s just how it works in every area of life.

We really don’t need exalted positions because you may be good at something
I am not and at the same time, vice versa! I may have a ministry meeting
somewhere, but I might need a mechanic to help me get to that meeting! We
all need respect, what ever our gift and calling is.

And it is true that we will not find true happiness and fulfillment until we
DO the calling that God has for us to do. It does not mean we will enjoy
every day of it because a lot of ministry is a SACRIFICE for Love. But there
will be a God pleasured satisfaction in serving Him and knowing it.

So I want to speak to ministers of any kind and encourage them to impart
confidence to others. And sometimes it might even get to someone’s head
temporarily, but God will pick them up from their fall to pride as they seek
Him. So really, not only do we need to impart confidence, but we also need
to do it the right way!

Everyone benefits from encouragement and some are more gifted at imparting
it than others, but it really is not something that is all that challenging
to do. It is AMAZING at what even a little bit of encouragement can do for a
person! Even if they are highly skeptical at first.

And some are skeptical because they have been burned in the past by people
taking advantage of them, or they have been approached by “salesmen” making
grand promises of an impractical non-reality. Disappointments can cause
people to walk with a limp and Jesus came to heal the lame – in whatever
capacity that is!

God exhorts us to have faith and even says that is what pleases Him, but for
some it is hard to have faith in some areas. The littlest things can make
the biggest difference and you may have a powerful ministry and not even
know it! Just by doing the little things that you do, being you!!!

God does not have to please our moods all the time, but He will work with
those who honestly want to work with Him. He is always looking for laborers
in the Harvest field and even tells us that we need to pray to the Lord of
the Harvest (Him) for the laborers, which is you and me.

Think about it like this. Every town needs a doctor for situations that come
up, but what if all the doctors were only in one place and not spread
around? As you know, we have to travel sometimes as it is to get the help we
need that way. But God needs ministers for the people who pray to Him the
same way! How many in these different areas of life are crying out and have
no sufficient answers? But the knowledge and resources for them are in the
earth, but are just not fully available in every area!

And when you think about it, the more needy a location is, there are
probably less resources. God needs qualified Christians to answer their
prayers. We have to realize that God truly does have need of us, and we just
need to connect to our callings! It may be a full time missions work or it
may be a ministry to someone that you meet out in the marketplace somewhere.
We need to be on “on.”

But to be on “on,” we need to be equipped. That is what the Church and
Christian ministries and conferences and schools are all about! We need the
head knowledge and we need the Spiritual experience knowledge with that
proper interpretation, and we need confidence in what we do.

Faithfulness has a lot of power, even when we are not “feeling it.”
Faithfulness encourages in a mighty way. I think all of us know how
important inner security is to just living life. That confidence that things
will work and be there means as much to us as the sun coming up every
morning for a new day.

Not only do we need confidence in the things around us, but we also need
confidence in ourselves. It may come more natural to some, but to some
others, it can literally mean the difference between life and death. God is
good and after creating us, He declared it was very good! But we also find
there is an enemy who wants to take away our confidence in the goodnesses of
God within and about us.

As ministers we need to realize that when we impart Spiritually, we need to
pass on confidence. It really generates a lot of love and it really builds
the Kingdom of God and the people in it. Not only does it do a good work but
that good work also will come back to us in due season. Like any seed, you
have to plant it, and water it and tend it, but there is great reward, the
Scriptures say, for this one.

Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of
reward. Do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. Be a
blessing and get blessed!

GOD says Call For The Women!

Understand the atmosphere of the context of this…   See the conditions that were going on in Israel that God and the prophet Jeremiah were dealing with.  The prophet was interceding passionately in a backslidden era. He was seeking the heart of God to find remedy…

Jeremiah 9:

15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

16 “I will scatter them also among the Gentiles [nations], whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.”

17 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider and call for the mourning women, That they may come; And send for skillful wailing women, That they may come.

18 Let them make haste And take up a wailing for us, That our eyes may run with tears, And our eyelids gush with water.

19 For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion: ‘How we are plundered! We are greatly ashamed, Because we have forsaken the land, Because we have been cast out of our dwellings.'”

20 Yet hear the word of the Lord, O women, And let your ear receive the word of His mouth; Teach your daughters wailing, And everyone her neighbor a lamentation.

21 For death has come through our windows, Has entered our palaces, To kill off the children; no longer to be outside! And the young men; no longer on the streets!

22 Speak, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Even the carcasses of men shall fall as refuse on the open field, Like cuttings after the harvester, And no one shall gather them.'”

23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;

24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.

25 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that I will punish all who are circumcised with the uncircumcised;

26 “Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab, and all who are in the farthest corners, who dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.”

God was responding to a man who was crying to Him over the conditions of the land. War was going on, the land was plundered. Hearts had turned away from the Lord.

Children were dying and the nation’s strength of the young men was dissipating. He was standing “between the porch and the altar” (the place of intercession in God’s courts) crying out.

God was angry because people had turned away from Him, so judgment was coming now for the believer and unbeliever alike. But God has mercy and God has answers because God has a Plan. And God will speak.

With all that deterioration and hopelessness, the prophet cried out in tears. And what did God answer?

Call for the women. If you read the whole passage there, the women were also under attacks and suffering. It was not like they were the stronger of the two at that point.

This was God’s answer and this was part of God’s Plan. Call for the women and give respect to the women. Was there another option? Not here, there wasn’t.

Women are not better than men, nor are men better than women. This was not God’s statement of “Women rule.” In fact we know that God names men as the head of their families. But I believe there comes a time when God thinks we have missed it and when we ask Him for help, He will respond with what HE wants.

The Lord has always wanted balance and respect for all His people. He never denied anyone from any nation who wanted to join the Company of believers if they were really believers. Women don’t have any special graces or charms that touch God more than men do. God wants respect for His grand Creation, in the manner and order that He designed it.

I think it is very interesting at this time in America that the news is full of the story about our country’s loans defaulting having the potential to dramatically the wreck the country even more, and the LDS trial of Warren Jeff facing child/girl/women abuse charges. I think there is something to it. (I have preached this Jeremian 9 message years before, so this did not just come to me.)

God wants honor for the men as well as the women. He wants them to have their respect. This is not about ego, but dignity. But I am making a point beyond that, too. When you look at the Church, the Body of Christ believers, who are crying out long and hard for revival and revolution in our lives, you will start to notice something – the women pray-ers.

The women intercessors are rising up. They are gaining a Godly recognition for their roles in seeking God. This is a sign that revival is coming! God has a fashion and order in the way He does things. We are not self designers in this call on our lives to live before Him and then receive His blessings. There is an order and a plan! And our fullfillments will be found in that.

As God is preparing us for a Visitation, you will find more and more anointing on the prayer groups of the women interceding. They will not be just women only, because God is no respector of persons. Men who are sensitive are not despised by God. He is not blessing hanky-panky (wrong actions) by either gender, but He will address the issues of what means something to Him and the way He wants to see things done.

We have much today going on in the way of social engineering, attempting to reorder the ways of God and it is just not going to work. He can shut it down. He has done it before and He can do it again – dramatically. He will let things go way beyond what most decent people think He will. But that does not mean He is not going to act. His ways are higher and grander than our ways are.

When He talks about us entering into His Life and Blessings, and what it takes, He is sincere. The reality that He is even willing to communicate with us on any level is mind blowing. But He knows what He is looking for. And He gave Scriptures to assist us.

Christians who have been around prayers know that they can change things. Prayers have the potential to do amazing things, but they are not “our” design tools. We are not the Designers. We are co-laborers with a great work in redeeming the earth.

God knows what He wants and He wants both men and women and children respected in the right spirit. We do need to search that out and we do need to follow His order, not in legalisms but in honoring the Life that He has designed.

Look for those weeping, wailing women intercessors and join them and bless them. According to God’s Word, it is going to make the difference.

Pursuing God As Friend

“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'” (Matthew 25:40 NKJV)

I have a friend who was raised in a somewhat well to do family and they were all raised to know the Lord. They were active in a mainline denomination and were not negative towards the more pentecostal ways. The sons went on to do well in business like their father and the daughter did well but encountered some challenges in life, not of her own making.

As one of my accountability friends in the Lord, she told me about her personal financial struggles, which seems to be in a similar pattern as mine right now, and I know she aggressively pursues the Lord with her heart. She works hard to be righteous and she works hard to love people and is of a generous spirit socially and tangibly.

Being somewhat prophetic too, we talk about the times with a shared understanding and we believe that God is proving people to Himself in people in this season. People are being tested in ways that don’t seem logical or fair except that God is testing them and is proving their character in Him.

We talk about what it means to be a Christian and to be in ministry and about who is real and who is not, and what is real and what is not, even in our own lives. When she told me about her struggles – and believe me, I know she has been a big giver – and that her relatives own several houses for themselves while she struggles to make ends meet, I know something is wrong with that picture.

God has blessed her family and they are ignoring her in her time of need, especially when you look at it according to their means versus hers right now. We also talked about people who were serving the Lord and those we knew who were wavering and what it meant to be a friend to them, even fellow ministers. People go through stuff!

In this day and time everyone is encouraged to minister and all hands on deck are needed. But the times are hard for many people, even many more than in months past. Finances and/or the lack of them are a strong testing area of the Lord.

My friend is one who would rather not see a dime and have the love of family and friends. Of course you need money to pay your bills but money does not drive her, and she knows what a better life is because she has lived it in her childhood and adult life. She is not bitter, but in sharing we do question people who have a way to make for others and don’t do it. When you look at it from the bigger picture of our world and national events, it speaks.

We have another friend we know who has struggled and is backsliding some. We talked about the role of love in that situation. That friend has even been in the ministry and there have been times because of the backsliding that we have had to cut that friend off of some socializing because of the wayward ways that were destructive.

When we began that conversation about our friend I was encouraging her to be strong in the Lord about what was right because I know her tender heart. We both care and want to see the best and not the worst for our friend. But that is the friend she told me who called and asked her if she was in need and if she could help and she did!

It’s really strange when the friends of the world are better than the friends of the Church! She brought up the Scriptures in Matthew 25 about those who were needy and who responded and how Jesus said to those who did not that He never knew them – and the word “knew” there means to intimately know Him.

We were talking about the fine line of righteousness and benevolence. This seems to be a proving season, especially when the economy is as tough as it is for so many more people, and how we need to not lose heart.

As someone like her who has seen better days financially, I shared how I have seen some do their benevolence as a token work and brownie point rather than it being real love. You may need the help but you feel slimed by the charitable act because it was not done with real love. With some you feel like they have done you a favor because they are in a better position at that moment and they expect something in return for it later.

The Church is more than a social network! It should be that, but it also should be more than that. If it operates on love, then you want to feel that love when it is given. Many have talked about the Spiritual abortion that they have experienced or seen when it was the “right thing to do” to get souls saved.

They got them to the altar, counted their brownie points for their merit badges, and then totally forgot the souls there. They left them without help or assistance and for all practical purposes abandoned them and thus they floundered and went back to the world. Some just expected them to be a financial resource for them!

Well, if you read the Word of God and think God won’t judge that, think again! God must be anchored in your own soul before you can do any kind of effective ministry and the Church (which includes the local church and all its conferences) is the place where that is supposed to happen!

How is it that we go from acquaintance to friendship? As Christians we can only do that in the Spirit of the Lord. Good works do not always equate with Christian ministry and some people in the world can give with more love than the church people do!

God alone knows the heart, and the fear of the LORD is wisdom. Many live by the fear and approval of man, but do not regard the struggles of their fellow man. If they help, it is only to gain an advantage. Prophetically speaking, it seems that God is dealing with some of this!

I appreciate my friend’s accountability in making me to see love. Our backslidden friend still had love at work in her while we know people active in the ministry who do not have so much. It’s important to know what real friendship is. We have been through a season of betrayals that I had hoped was mostly over, but as yet I don’t see that season as over in the basic sense.

I was flabbergasted to see my friend’s struggles while she has as wealthy of a family that she does. She is not a big backslidden sinner. If anything, it seems to me the reverse! Some people who are efficient in finances will label people “sinners” when those others are less efficient than they are, but their “label” is really about the discipline of the flesh more than the Spirit.

My friend would give up everything she had to see her family saved and in the love of God. And while I want to be mad at them, she is an intercessor for them, because she really loves them. But the point is, for all their appearances, do they really KNOW Him?

To know Him is to really love Him and those He cares about. It’s not about the brownie points. It’s not about how efficient we really can be. God will use the wealth of the wicked to minister to the righteous. The wicked may save it up only to die and leave it to those who will spread it around. But there are some who are sad for the loss of their souls. They will mourn for them!

The Kingdom of God works by love. Friendship with God has fruit and evidence. My friend was even quick to point out to me when I said that discerning of spirits was important that that was a gift and not a fruit of the Holy Spirit. How grateful I am for a friend like that!

Yes, they come from the same Holy Spirit but the nature of God is more important than the gifts of God. Even though hard times may be here for many, it’s important to know the nature, character and ways of God more than His acts and gifts.

In the “big world view” of things right now, we may not be on the radar, but in Heaven I hear a reading. We must pursue love.

Don’t Fall For Idiot Prophets

Idiot prophets are either false prophets or they missed it, big time. And it’s not that we can’t each make mistakes, if we are honest, we know we can. But the difference is in what we do with our mistakes. Do we apply the Romans 8:28 principle and let God turn those mistakes for good, or do we deny their existence and declare what is wrong to be right? I guess it depends on who is on the throne of your life!

Prophets are called to confront sin. It’s really not the favorite part of their job description for the obvious reasons, but it’s something they must learn how to get good at, no matter what the outcome. And we all should have a little bit of the prophetic in us, even if it is just in raising our kids to know right from wrong!

There is no easy way for them to learn everything they need to know, but it is something they can prepare for. As God told Jeremiah, if you can’t run with the footman (the children), what are you going to do when the horsemen (or experts) come?

Oh yes, it’s hard, and there is pain, but we must toughen up! We have to know how God is judging us. When we get skilled at it, people will fear you. Some people live for that fear in others, but that is another example of the idiot prophet. It is what makes real prophets lonely people.

People might think I am harsh to call people idiot prophets, but my point is the truth that tough skin must identify with the obvious. Tough skin can travel. People respect the wise who are on to them. And many prophets have been given the gift of discerning motives which is not always a fun gift to have.

It’s great when you are doing deliverance and people can get set free, but when you encounter evil, you have to learn how to call on God because He does things a certain way. And some things He lets play out before He judges harshly. I like it better when He nips it in the bud (Isaiah 18:5). Correction is often better than punishment if you get what I mean there.

God is not into condemning people but He does condemn sin. And some don’t want to accept that, especially in this day and time we live in. Believe me, prophets are active, seeking His Face, because so much in this nation is not right. But we are not dealing with just the rebellious but also the totally ignorant. There is a difference. And there is also the “Big Picture” plan of God which means some things are just going to happen.

When you see God being misrepresented, especially when it seems to be for evil purposes, you know some have taken on God for a battle and He will answer back – in His timing! You just don’t want to be in the wrong place when He comes swinging, even while doing intercession, because you don’t want in on the wallop!

Some need training and some have wrong training and clean up is hard work. And anybody knows that no one human has all the answers. But some try to come across that way and when you test them, it bothers you when they come up lacking for all their proud words.

God really does speak. And when He speaks, yes, there is the still small Voice, but that Voice can also be pretty loud. You know when there is a dry place, that eventually water will come to fill that place. It’s just the nature of God to take dominion. But some flash floods work destruction too.

We have all missed it and come short of the GLORY of God and to see it, we must be humble in His Presence. Like the V-8 commercial on television, “Bonk! I should have seen and done that!” Because what we see and experience IS so amazing in God, our current circumstances pale in comparison!

Prophets can seem like a set apart breed, but they are very human. And when the human side is seen and respected, it is very appreciated. But there is also a heavenly burden on the prophet that cannot be denied. Many are into drama more than they are into sales. And Scripture says, “He who wins souls is wise.” Let’s win them.

It’s not really an option for those who are in the Kingdom of God. You are either on His side or you are not! Our lives should reflect our faith. We should see some activating good in everyone who calls themself a Christian. There are too many impostors!

The ones who are into drama aren’t really into people having freedom as much as they are wanting a following who will follow them for their collective power. Ministers who lead people into self discovery with God, are the ones who are truly powerful. They can multiply exponentially. They become enemies for those who want to control other people and gain their power the wrong way. And to control other people, they will usually use the tactics of fear (fearing the future) or shame (manipulating others by guilt) or false promise.

We all want the wonderful promises but if people are not taught well how to walk with God, the promise becomes hope deferred which makes the heart bitter and angry. Patience is a virtue and a fruit, but there is a false side of it too that has a negative result. The best thing to know about patience is that God is patient with us! More than we could ever dream, but passiveness is not the same thing as patience!

Jesus took our shame but people have to learn how to process that. And we have to know and believe the Word and be around positive believers to overcome fear. But they can’t do all the work for you, because we all carry our own load in working out our salvation. We can’t have idols or be idols for others.

It is very tempting to idolize prophets. Especially those who are gifted at forecasting. Selfish people want words for themselves and that selfishness can be a strong drive. But our true Christian power comes when we can break the selfishness in our own souls and take on His burden for life and others and create positive life (no sin but clean) zones while winning those souls. It is really the essence of the Christian life. It’s the fruit of self control in the Spirit.

Obviously today many want in on that blessing of power without paying or praying the price. And this is why prophets are important. They are human and can seem bizarre at times but you have to learn how to read them in the Christian context. True prophets want you to encounter your world with faith. Then life doesn’t just happen to you but you happen to life in cooperation with God!

One reason prophets are hidden at times is because they are battling life out on their own turf. Their words have to prove true! We all know there are a lot of cheap talk prophets out there. And it’s about much more than finding gimmick ways to produce funds.

The Bible says in I Chronicles 20:20: “… Believe in His prophets and you will prosper.” There is a burden on the prophet and every other true minister that the people prosper – spirit, soul and body. Sometimes that does mean that we take on abuse, sometimes it means we take on principles we either forgot or didn’t know, or needed to be corrected in a way where we didn’t realize we were going off track.

Being a prophet can sound exciting but they don’t get to choose the path. The path is laid before them, even if they are pioneers and are clearing the trails for others to discover. There are forces that oppose the Christian life until we come to the completion or literal fulfillment of it. Hindering prophets out of jealousy or even experimentation can be counter-productive. Some experimentation will happen in discovery but those who persist in “playing” with it will go into the area of sin.

Some call themselves “judgment prophets” and in its worst context, they declare false or skewed judgments outside of the Love and declared Word of God. We aren’t in Old Testament times, but New Testament or New Covenant times, our Covenant in the Body now being with and through Jesus. The job description of prophet and the other five fold is listed in Ephesians 4: 11-16. It is a work of ministry, not just declaration.

It does not mean that prophets don’t discern and learn and hear of things to come anymore, there is just an accountablity that MUST accompany it! They should be able to work with the other five fold and vice versa, but not in idolotry or dishonesty. The prophetic gift causes a balance for the other ministry. They don’t work apart!

Many are fascinated with the foretelling more than the forth telling. Sometimes people want the power of knowing the future but they really and truly don’t want that without balance. And if they fake it, there is a price they will pay, as the lie will be exposed. God doesn’t just play around. When non-pastors try to pastor, it’s a dangerous place for them.

But if you will hear the prophetic voice in all its different forms that it can manifest in, and if you see and discern that they want these words and messages for your good, you will also discern what the angels were saying when Jesus was born, that God sent Jesus for His peace on earth and His good will toward men, not their destruction.

When you realize that you can gain what the prophets who go ahead have learned, and minister reciprocally with your gifts – however that way works in your obedience to God – then you will realize that attaining where the prophet is now ENABLES them to go ahead even further for you! And today there is a company of prophets, not just one or two.

Many times prophets do suffer pain in their journey, but when the Body ministers to them – like I said, not to idolize them or condemn them – but to allow them to move forward in God for themselves – and there will be those quiet seasons for them too, just like when you or your pastor needs a vacation – then we all progress. We need the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s patience as well as our own diligence to work on our world that affects our daily Christian life with all the big picture in mind of God’s Plan.

We need to realize winning souls is winning the “whole” person, meaning not just fire insurance but a full life. When we put God first, then working out our salvation (our wholeness) will find God’s help and blessing on it! And that’s a good life!