Be Properly Equipped

The Church is only as good as the people in it – even globally. So we need to be practical as well as Spiritual.  Many think God is going to do a “poof” transformation for good and while He will give us a taste of what we can walk into, He still expects our spirit man to mature in it.

God will give us wisdom, and advances because of agreement, but if we do not have – as a Body of individuals – a foundation that will hold through stress – we will not hold our position or keep on advancing significantly – until we do have that.

We can look for a leader, we can look for a meeting, we can look for a “Revival” even, and the good ones will be there, but God provided Jesus, not man to be your constant Source. Men will disappear and some men (or women) will fail in your eyes. But the Spirit of God does not change, so are you equipped???

We are the wax of a candle, Jesus is the wick, and the Father through the Holy Spirit lights the fire. Some of us will be burned up in our ascension to Him, used up to His Glory. But we will not be lost! Let’s ask, what is the fragrance of our wax? But remember that some light is better than none! It is the light that dispels the darkness.

Do you appreciate structure? Without it, without respect for it, there is no sustaining strength. God is building a GLOBAL group and He knows the “rubix cube formula” so to speak for all the needs to be met and for all the Glory to be seen. And there is sufficient available to all of us, if we learn how to access it.

If God allows a revival, but there is no equipping for the new or delivered, it will wane fast and just be talked about meetings of the past. ALL revival is borne of prayer. You may have a charismatic leader, but he or she did not get there except through prayer. The equipped cannot function without the fuel of prayers.

God answers the prayers of hearts, not the wishes of the mind. You can have a great building, a great speaker or three, or even more, great advertising, even a great media ministry, but if the anointing is not there, then you are just a good idea. I used to want someone else to pray for me – and we all need prayers – but if I don’t pray, then I don’t have the enabling encounters.

Some even pay others to pray but you know, the chances for mess ups are stronger I believe. The anointing comes through encounters with God. You have to experience His Presence and learn how to call on Him in the day of trouble with His Word. Head knowledge and human experience is not the same thing as Spiritual knowledge and personal encounters with His Presence.

All things DO work together for the good of those who are the called (Romans 8:28), but you can’t have one without the other – if you want to have a real move, that is. You can hold your own and maintain for a season, but if there is not Spiritual HUNGER, then there will not be Spiritual encounters. You will only get indoctrinations without them, and if they are false, they are targets for truth by The Truth!

If you don’t know the Bible definitions of quality life, you won’t build accurately. You won’t know what to defend or what to let go of. If you do not have vision beyond where you are and where your natural mind is, then there is no prophetic revelation with you. And we need to discern these visions!

God wants us to be natural AND Spiritual. People who miss that, are probably up to something! Just saying  “Be warmed and filled” and even trained are nothing without substance. God wants wholeness – spirit, soul and body! And He is good for it!  But if we don’t understand that or know how to apprehend it and if your gift is not contributing and working with other gifts, then we are ALL missing out.

We have to do our part and respect others. It’s a BIG creation that God wants us to be a part of. If the Church doesn’t think as big as the world does, they will continue to mock us.

A drunk man lost his wallet one night and was looking for it under a street lamp. A cop came up and asked him what was going on. He said he lost it down the street but he was looking under the street lamp because there was more light there. How much is the Body like that?

Sometimes we have to take care of the “little things” before we can take on the big! Wisdom is knowing how to apply your attention and your focus to make these advances. It is God’s good pleasure to give us His Kingdom, but we must apply ourselves through personal prayers and application.

Pam Clark
Wings on the Wind
www.pamclark.wordpress.com

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.

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.

A Prophetic Word for America – 12/7/10

 This morning I had such a burden for America.  Of course it is the same burden I have been carrying but it seemed to intensify.

As I began to try to share it, people said, “Oh yes, we have heard that, we are in a shaking and a shaking is coming,” and even I have prophetically said that, but this had a different feel to it.  We have been praying back judgment and asking for mercy instead for a long time.  And God has honored those prayers.

But today I felt that a more sure word was coming forth, and to be honest, much of this I did not want to hear so I was resisting it.  But I felt the Lord was saying that there are many in a presumptive grace that He was going to deal with.  Many would even be dying.  Not a few, but many.

Even as I was sharing some of this that I was sensing earlier, someone wrote me and asked me what specifically was God showing me.  I replied that the burden I was carrying was for the hearts of the leaders because they are the ones that weep between the porch and the altar (Joel 2).  They are the ones that God goes through to execute His justice and His judgments.

Many today are not in a place to intercede before God.  In a time of crisis, they would have to work on themselves quite a bit before they could go before God for the people.  They would have to come in the right protocols before Him (with humility and contriteness being a major part of that), they would have to bring the right offering before Him and then when that was right, He would hear their prayers.

We don’t just lollygag and sashay ourselves into His Temple, saying “Pop, I need you to do this for me.”  That is presumption!  There is a such a thing as favor with God but there is also the respectful fear of the Lord!  He is a mighty King and He can act like it and will, just to remind us.  We really do not want to be on His wrath side.  It is a fearful thing to fall iinto the hands of the Living God.  We can have a friendship that is not a presumption.

Some people’s tribulations are because it is sometimes not as much what they did wrong as what other people have done wrong, and they have fallen victim to that.  There is an order of God that is not just a 1,2,3 list,  but is a multi-dimensional order of life that has vibrant effects.

When you let children play with knives or guns, tragic things may take place.  A child without training and a learner’s permit can be a disaster behind the wheel of a car, not only to himself but to innocent others also.   When we are frivolous in the Courts of God with His Words and with His imparted Spirit to us, we can get on dangerous ground.  When there is no fear of the Lord, only judgments can follow.

Do you realize that angels are messengers of His Word and ministry and when those things are  abused, those angels have a right to report to God?  I don’t say that to make you afraid but to impart to you the importance of the respect for the things and Household of God.

God is more long suffering than any man but when He makes a determination, the point He chooses to make can be quite dramatic!  It could be something that we will respect for a long time to come!  Remember when Uzzah tried to “help God out”  in carrying the Ark?  He got zapped to death and King David was greatly upset over that.  But God was demonstrating protocols – the right and wrongs of them.  Later when the blessing was seen at Obed Edom’s, David realized that he had to get over his offense and ignorance and cooperate with the program of the Lord.

I saw God’s judgments coming and many weeping, shaken.  And God was saying that “I Am going to get My House in order, because it is very out of order.”   And while I was weeping at the judgments, I was also relieved with the correction.  Some have been broken and discouraged over the disarray of His Church and Body, and many have lost heart.  There are many ministers who used to be in ministry who have dropped out, but the gift and the calling is still there for it is given without repentance on God’s part – we just need to come into order.

He gave me a vision of a family getting ready for dinner and the parents placing the portions on the table.  There were certain portions of potatoes, and vegetables, and meat, and gravy, and bread.  The Lord said “My true ministers know how to give proper portions to the family.  All the portions are important but the right variety and the right amount is very important for good health and proper nutrition.  The proper nutrients are needed for good health and right thinking.

We have been living too much on “dessert” and we have neglected if not rejected the other proper needed portions in the House of God in good balance.  Children only raised on dessert become sickly in their bodies, and they become skewed in their thinking.  It can cause the immune system to not function as it needs to for protecting the body.  When we minister to poverty, we give them portions that are good for them so their health will return and they can think through things for themselves and not just depend upon others for provision.

The Lord said the shaking that is to come is to realign the Church back to proper order.  Because we have prayed for it, it will come.  If we had not, we would just suffer the results.  I saw a thick layer of unhealthy fat coming off.  It was the result of all the “dessert” given to people promising them “the good life.”  In that “good life” there was no responsibility imposed, instead it was a licentious spirit of lustful self will.  That of course would result in the Body turning on each other.

It is time for the spirits of competition and greed and lust and vying for power to be exorcized out of the Church.  I also got a vision of the Church in its different smaller groups of members and there was the “elite” class.  When hungry and hurting people would come in, they would be told to “Go over there, your portion is over there.”  They were not included in the main group but made to feel set apart as those who did not “measure up.”

He also showed me weaker people like the elderly and homeless and abused and victimized people coming in looking for hope and their place in the Church but not being able to find it.  If they were lucky, they got a “designated” ministry “help” but if not, then they found more help and love outside of the Church, even though their hearts were aching to know Jesus andto  be assimilated into His true Body.  So they quit going and suffered alone in their silence.  The Lord said they were only seeking their place and He has one for them, where His Spirit can truly manifest in their portion.

The Lord said He was going to deal with that because people were after “the good life” and did not realize how much the world had infiltrated them as a deadly leaven.  He said He was going to judge it and it would be painful, but that it would be a mercy to those who really did want Him.

Then the Lord showed me Israel and the importance of our unity with them.  We are the two sticks to be joined as one!  Many nations look to America in respect and gratitude for what we have done for them over the years.  The Lord said that He took great pleasure in Abraham and He wanted that same pleasure from his seed today.  He said that America and Israel were to be cooperative spirits, having the same goals and visions – visions that He gave them!

We are not to worship the leaders but we are to pray for them and ask God to give them His Vision and goals and then cooperate with them in that.  Every person would have a part to play and a gift to bring – a gift that He had given them to bring and express.  The Vision that God gives is big – do not discard it or take it lightly!

As the Lord gets us lean again, He is looking to see the work of the ministry take place.  He is looking for the ministry to the WHOLE body in all of its dimensions.  Life has many dimensions and they all work with one another to make a greater multi-faced effect that carries a force with it.  People will either be drawn to it or repelled by it. 

Today the leeches and parasites are feeding off of the Body and it needs its immune system to repel the wasters.  There are warriors and there are tender nurturers and they all are important and must work together.  There are the laborers and the artists and all must rest and work and contribute in healthful ways.  They all must RESPECT each other and the gifts God has brought to the table and they must be in their right proper portion.  When we fail to respect one another and the gifts God brings, even though we partake of it, we disrespect God.

It’s easy to take things for granted, but an awakening is coming.  There is a remnant that is crying out and God has heard their cries.  They must not lose heart, they must get back in their place, they must work and be about their Father’s business.  It is a mandate.

We have seen many revivals but not all of the revivals have been built on the right foundation so some of it has gone off center and then toppled or played out.  The Lord says if we will build on the right foundation, then He will bring His Glory in and we can dwell in it.  We will be able to come in and out of His House and reach the lost and bring them in, if they are so willing.  We will be fulfilled in our callings and the world can be won for Him.  He is the King.  It is His Kingdom.

It’s a good thing.  It’s a good message, it is Good News!  It is the Word and Life of the Lord.

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.