Who Gets The Glory?

God has set an order for man that we are still struggling to get right, even from the Fall of Man. In all honesty, we must realize that we cannot do or be anything within ourselves alone. We are created beings, as are all the cosmos, by a Divine Hand and Spirit greater than we ourselves are.

When Jesus came, He not only brought a Divine Example for us, He also revealed the incredible Grace of God by laying down His Life for us, paying the price that we might know our sins can be forgiven through faith in Him. Many signs and wonders accompanied this revelation to us.

Not only was Love revealed through His Life but Power also was. Not only was the portal of Compassion brought to us through what Jesus did, but what He did also made the way for the working of the Gifts of Potency and Enablement in our lives in many forms, through the Holy Spirit. No longer were we waiting for a Messiah to come and rescue us, we were brought into a greater relationship of Family co-laboring in a Work together with Him. This is a high honor!

No longer was it just “the few” who had the words of Life, but now through Him, we all could be the kings and priests that related to Him in many levels. Just as a child must be nurtured to a place where it can stand on its own, so must we be raised up to walking and even running in our strengths in God.

The Divine Nature of the God Personality interacting with the human one is indeed an incredible mystery and phenomenon. It has many layers and dimensions. There is no question that God is Sovereign. One can look at Nature and determine that our reasoning alone is not what rules the planet, but yet we co-labor.

Even more obvious is that we make many mistakes, therefore the Divine Corrector is greatly needed! In our child-like mentality, we need to be teachable. But we must go beyond “knowing” into “living and doing.” One might call that a “living understanding.” A true Living Understanding understands the goals of Life and its Proper Order.

The Goals of Life are Divine Relationship in Unity and Purity. A river may flow in one direction toward the sea but some create tributaries that branch off and never reach it. So much of our rain depends on the water evaporation at the sea, that is then filtered through the clouds and directed by the winds to their appropriate places. While we may find interest in exceptions to the order, in truth, there is really an order in that.

Even as Scriptures say, some things were done “out” of order that we might notice and observe and learn from that. When Moses saw a bush that caught fire and was not consumed, he noticed something “out of order” with that. But in that was a revelation from a greater God than nature. Thus began an entreaty for God to work with Mankind as a group.

When God speaks or acts, He really wants us to give Him the Glory for it. There are many obvious reasons for this! And the biggest one is the human limitations that we humans have. While different abilities, acquired legitimately or illegitimately, can impress other people, when the focus is on Something or Some One greater than we are, we are still able to maintain a teachable spirit and release (let go of) the destructive warrior one.

While God knows how to enforce His Order and Will, and will even call on us to do likewise in certain situations, He really did not design us solely for war and self anihilation. War is only truly meant meant for Order!

With the foundation of compassion and humility, God invites us into power. With that He gives us the Spiritual gifts, and some are pretty impressive! So often we rally around these demonstrations and stories of the Spiritual Gifts because we want to learn and grow from them. But the day we start giving man the glory instead of giving God the glory, we begin a descent of firm correction to Divine Order.

Simon the Magician had learned how to use “natural” powers to impress the people. But when he encountered the demonstrative revelations of the Holy Spirit, his spirit quickly submitted. He saw the disciples laying hands on people and then wrongly discerned a different power at work and he wanted to purchase that technique. He was strongly rebuked for it and learned that his very salvation was threatened by his wrong discernment.

Simon had wanted the glory. He knew if he could “impress” others with his “powers” and “abilities” that he could sway people’s minds and hearts towards his will. But, a Greater Power was present that day, and it firmly corrected him!

Today we have many gatherings around the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some are “to learn” and some are “to see” and some are “to experience,” but in too many of them we have the human honored more than the Lord. When that happens, we incur a Divine Wrath, that in all reality we probably would prefer to avoid.

Even if man’s ways seem to be presented, if they are really God’s ways, we have stolen “the glory.” When our spiritual direction becomes “led” by men and not from God, both man and leader could be set up for trouble. When men (or women) become “the way,” they can be cut off from the promised blessing as Moses was when he struck the rock rather than speaking to it, and said “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” (Numbers 20:10) In this Moses stole the glory.

Moses had nothing to do with the water coming from the rock. God wanted to use Moses to reveal Himself. When Moses in his flesh altered the revelation of God, it cost him. God still provided for the people but there was a setback that went down in history and could have cost much time. It is very important to our spiritual walk that we repent for these things!

You can be sure that the Body is going no further than its pride. The flesh of man is often tempted to do it wrong and “own” the power, but the mature ones lead by example. If we are “demonstration” only, we can miss the vital communications that come offering greater life. But if we persist in having or stealing the glory for ourselves, we set ourselves at war with God and we will surely lose, and probably also damage those around us.

We have many wonderful leaders today and some that bring controversy. Some controversy is meant so that attention will be brought to the lesson or revelation God is trying to impart to us. But we obviously want to grow in grace on these things rather than setting ourselves at odds with God.

Just because we don’t “see” Him does not mean that His Spirit is not at work in our midst. He very much wants to show us the greater things and we do learn from the past, but we must honor Him over man and man’s words and ways. This is a healthy “fear of the Lord” that is more about respect than “the spirit of fear.” Cowardice is condemned, but so also is presumption. No wonder His grief over the idols of men, especially when they had no breath!

PRAYER:

Lord, we ask for your grace and mercy and for a teachable spirit that can learn how to impart your signs and wonders for our growth and for Your Name’s Sake, and for the love and compassions to give to others that so need it. Help us to come into Your Divine Order that we may not only represent You well and properly, but that we might also live in your awesome holy life too. Forgive us for where we have missed it and help us to hear clearly and correctly in Your Spirit. Give us the ability to repent properly and glorify Your Name. For this we thank You. Amen.

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Knowing “Our Times”

If you are not hurting financially for money, well, God bless you, but many people are.  Some people truly have financial wisdom and I thank God they do.  But many in the Body are feeling lack and compared to times prior, I can relate to that too.

Many preachers talk about the wrath of God and getting right with God and there are very few that are not preaching “Give” with all their hearts and souls, it seems.  Sometimes you just need a break from it!

But then you go to the world and everywhere you go there is a “Sale!”  and a “Deal”.  Some expenses for things that you must have are going up, and there are news reports “predicting” prices going up, too.  Many are getting evicted from their homes, and people who should have handled our money in the financial institutions, well, they have not.

Prophetically, like many others, I have gone to God over this.  Not just once, but  a number of times.  There are pressures not just on me but on many in the Body.  Now it’s one thing to miss our ice cream after a meal and other little perks like a new car every 2-7 years that we are probably used to, but some of it seems to be hitting closer to home in our lifestyles than that.

The other night watching GodTV, I heard Mike Jacobs interview a man who understood a lot of things about where our society is, especially as it relates to the global market, and I was impressed to hear LOGICAL REASONS for some of this.  One is the fact that the spending years of the baby boom generation has passed.

On a graph, the line went up, then suddenly dropped down because the numbers of people in that age range of those buying homes and other things that relate to that time in their life, sharply declined.  Today, those who are in the age range to buy homes are called the Baby Bust generation, and their demographics are in much smaller numbers.  This is expected to last until 2012-2015.

Then, the Baby Boomer grandchildren will see the bar on the graph go up again for spending, because, as he said, when the population is on an increase, more prosperity is seen.  He also mentioned it will not be as great as the Baby Boomer generation saw it because 54 million children were aborted and so the numbers are down.  Try to avoid the spirit of condemnation on that reality, but understand it.  God is on the side of life.

He went on further to say that the economy surge we saw from the Baby Boomers is like a balloon that inflated and then suddenly burst.  It is not something you can blow up again, the dynamics are just not there for it.  So people who before could count on resources in certain areas to come rolling in, can no longer do that because the dynamics for business with a generation that is retiring and not spending is not as strong now because of the numbers.

Now that is not to mention the people who have not done things right and added corruption into the mix, causing pain and theft for others.  Certainly that is felt more now, too.  As a Body, corruption has always been something that we have had to fight and stand against.  In this fallen world still, not everyone does it right!

But discovering this information, and I am no financial genius by a long shot, really came as a word from God to me.  Ministries who have been used to the extra income are also not finding it, and so the logical response when it gets cut off too, is to scream loud, put pressures on because their bills are behind, and some will even condemn the Body in places when it is not their fault!  I feel led to write about this!

Of course we as Christians want to belike those who lived as the Jews did in the land of Goshen, the ones dramatically different and full of prosperity.  And some businesses will do better in certain “times” than in other “times.”   Hospitals and graveyards do more business when there is a plague, or are there for in those retirement ages.

At least the good news from these actuary tables is that there will be a logical rebound in 2012 -2015, not taking into consideration any other social and spiritual factors.  Some want to define those factors sometimes in ways that are not true reality.  But I think if we take this information for what it is, it can be a key in how we plan the future days.

There is something about prosperity and luxuries that is so comfortable.  It seems so easy to move into, and so hard to come out of.  I think one reason for that is that we were created to prosper.  But we must learn the ways to do it correctly or we get hurt by what is not right. 

But we also must be practical and understand that the “times” are what they are right now.  If you were counting on a great increase because of “the numbers” from the past, it just may not be there logically speaking.  If you go preach in a poor country, you are probably not going to get wealthy from the offerings, unless God does a miracle for those people financially and the people congenially understand the concept of giving and receiving in the correct Spiritual context.

We Baby Boomers can thank God for the blessed and prosperous times that we have had.  Every mark is a part of the look of the sculpture God is designing.  He has not left, and it’s not that He doesn’t care, these are just the factors of our society and world.  There will be exceptions with different ones, but if you are coal mining and the coal on the land runs out, you are going to have to look for other resources or new land with more coal in it.

There is something to be said for the Spiritual aspects of this too.  Under the prophet Samuel and King Saul, Israel was struggling for Godly leadership.  Then King David came on the scene and his life and ministry was about taking out the giants and wicked rulers that surrounded and persecuted them.  He turned the hearts of the people to worship and the nation began to prosper in many ways.

By the time his son King Solomon took the throne of Israel, there was a lot more prosperity, safety and population.  What many would call expensive in other times, like gold and silver and special spices, was more commonplace.  But after King Solomon’s days, corruption came in again and prosperity left and the people were scattered.  I think our generation can understand this concept of the times better than most.

The good news is that God still has a people.  And those who know their God will be blessed!  They may go through trials but they have promises, potential and grace and favor.  God always has a remnant.  Sometimes they have to find each other to work together, sometimes they have to fight devils together to get things accomplished.  And the enemies of the Lord are just still here, but we have an overcoming God with rewards to give for doing it His way.

Prophetically I know God is going to do gatherings and outpourings.  I know He is especially going to do that in Israel.  But He will do it according to His precepts and prophesied plans.  I don’t want the Body to be discouraged or feel condemned when some of this is not their fault.

Let’s also not be duped by false realities given.  We are in an economic downturn for a short season.  Let’s be practical and not burdensome to others.  We have as many Christians as we have evangelized and raised up properly.  How well have we done on that?

We have to get it right, the wrong will not be blessed by Him.  BUT, the promises are great, and the plans are glorious!  Let’s be practical while we are seeking and doing His will.  The power of His Love is upon it.

Without A Wedding Garment

So many people are noticing and commenting on the shift God has just taken the Church. Things are changing, things are being re-aligned, and the recent does not fit like it did before.

In some areas, it is troubling and in other areas it is refreshing. But those who are prophetically “tuned” see it and observe and consider the changes, knowing that even more change has been prophesied and will come.

For years people have become disillusioned and even disappointed in the Church as we have known it. Sin has been exposed, betrayers seemed to win, thefts occured and offenses have been many.

It has disturbed a lot of people, and many have dropped out of church life altogether. Some have stood back at a distance, working to avoid the bitterness they were feeling in their hearts. They didn’t want to lose God; they wanted to find, seek, see and feel what is REAL. They wanted to reject the false.

But it seemed everywhere they looked for the real leadership left them more and more disappointed. People pulled back on their giving. They wanted to believe these mega promises were coming in, but some of the “pulls” were coming off a little too Madison Avenue rather than the Highway of Holiness.

Sacrifice in the right way is good. The Lord says, “Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” (Psalm 50:5 NKJV) It’s a mark on the heart that God sees with Spirit eyes.

But many through disappointment and discouragement have stopped giving their “love gifts” to God. The reason was that they did not want to be yoked to the wrong spirits. Some were even angry at God and hurt and wounded.

It has not been easy, it has not been pretty and honestly, there is more to come. But don’t present yourself to God without a wedding garment!

Matthew 22:
1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:
2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,
3 “and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.
4 “Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.”‘
5 “But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.
6 “And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.
7 “But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.
9 ‘Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’
10 “So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.
12 “So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
13 “Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

God still has need of you, even if He is tearing down the walls of the structured and rebellious church! Are you seeing Him or seeing a man? Will man be your excuse to turn away from God?

Or have you heard His Voice enough to use your heart, mind, soul, and strength to obey His will? Because people have pulled back, our country is in a financial crisis. It started because of sowing wrongly, and we can be deceived, but much of that is now being exposed and will continue to be exposed.

As it says in Joel 2: 13-14, “So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him; A grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God?”

If we don’t give an offering to what is right and good, we have not honored Him in a way that He can bless. We must be like Job who even in crisis said, “Blessed be the Name of the Lord.” Job, even in his trial, had to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and pray for things to turn around for him.

We may not be able to control the timing, but we can control the outcome if we still look to Him. If you allow bitterness to swallow you up, you will not be able to praise Him and encounter His Presence. “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3 KJV)

At this critical time, if you give to truth, you will receive and be established in truth. But if you give in to lies and disillusionment, you will be established in that and it is no comfortable place to be!

The enemy of our soul has been on a campaign to make you believe that wrong is right and right is wrong. Did you fall for the lie? If you just give in to it, it is to your hurt.

There is a wedding going on and you must have the right garment on to be accepted.

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!