Several years ago I started developing a strong relationship with the Lord
Jesus Christ. The relationship has grown stronger and
stronger, and He has changed me in many ways.
The following is a collection of daily lessons I've learned through my relationship with
Jesus. Unfortunately, I've learned many of these through mistakes,
hopefully on your climb you'll avoid these pitfalls and traps. (p.s. forgive my
horrible spelling!) (if you're not
born-again, much of this won't make sense to you.)
2 Perspectives of God
Make No Mistake about It!
I used to make fun of End Time prophets, thinking they were all kooks, with all their slogans like "beware the mark of the beast 666!" I'm a little more mature now. Now I know the truth of this scripture prophesy. So please don't forget this one promise in scripture, from Rev: 14:9-11
I don't know how this will all turn out, but I do know that ANYONE who gets this mark of the beast 666 is DOOMED! There is no turning back. There is no hoping that, "God will understand, He'll forgive me for taking the mark, He's merciful and He doesn't want me to lose my life, does He? I don't have to worry, I'm saved." If you get this mark of the beast 666 on your forehead or your hand, you're finished! You will NOT be saved! You have claimed loyalty to the beast. At the time the mark is given out, it will probably seem like the wisest thing to do. Solving many problems. And great pressure will be upon you to get it, like lose of life, lose of job, lose of children, lose of possessions, reputation, house, freedoms, etc. At that point in time, you MUST be ready to die rather than get the mark. You must be ready to face execution rather than take the mark of the beast. Don't compromise, and make no mistake about it, those who get the mark, even believers, will be CONDEMNED forever!
The Banquet is ready, the Bride is
This parable is as true today as it was when Jesus walked the earth. (Luke 14: 16-24)
Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.' "But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' "Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.' "The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.' " 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' "
Much of the Church is tied down to the cares and riches of this world, making them unready for the Lord's return. Make no mistake, the Lord is coming back for a bride without Spot or Wrinkle, not for a bride caught up in sin, those people will not make it. [raptureprophecy.com]
The Bottom Line
As Christians we must never lose site of the BOTTOM LINE. Take this example from the Business world.
A man starts a business TO MAKE MONEY.
The business man never lost site of the BOTTOM LINE. This must also be true with the Christian Church.
Jesus came to SAVE THE LOST.
Unfortunately the BOTTOM LINE in the Christian Church has changed somewhat. After hearing many sermons, I've seen that the BOTTOM LINE is often "How to live a blessed, joyful, prosperous, abundant life." Which is a good message, but NOT THE BOTTOM LINE!
How dare we copyright the Word of God!
Did you know that if I wanted to print NIV bibles and send them out, I can't, without paying a huge royalty fee, it's copyrighted. Did you know that if I wanted to record the worship music at my Church and give that out, I can't, it's copyrighted. My church had to pay a sum of money to be able to use many of the songs we sing. Also, there are divinely inspired ministry tapes that could greatly benefit the Church, but they cost you $39.95 if you want to send them to a friend. A copyright means that unless credit and royalty fees are given, you cannot legally use THEIR material. If we can't make a song for Lord, or a message to His church, unless we get credit and money, how much better are we than the rest of the world? And who are we serving? I know secular people that do more than that.
Do we believe that we can't stay in business unless we always charge a profit, and restrict copying? If we distributed the Word of God to 5 or 10 times the audience, would the Lord make it easier or harder for us to stay afloat?
Can you imaging the embarrassment it would cause if a Christian, who was given the divine gift of healing, said "I would love to pray for you, for your healing, for the low price of only $19.95 (check or Credit Card)." We would be outraged! But we do this same thing with the Word of God.
The Church is tied up with the systems of this world, and it hinders the Word from going out. (Books, Movies, Videos, Tapes, Articles, etc.) I'm glad the 1st century apostles didn't copyright their letters.
Get the Accountant out of the Pulpit
There were once 2 pastors preparing for a Sunday Sermon. One
said to himself. I love my congregation, I want them to grow and mature, to
learn to be obedient to the Lord and receive His blessing. I will teach them
about tithes and offerings.
Stuck at the border, leaving Human
Much of the Church is stuck at the Border of the Supernatural, and is afraid to cross over. Mostly because some other people that crossed over got into all kinds of trouble. And because "Human Wisdom" falls apart in this realm. Human wisdom does not know if a person is really speaking in tongues, or if he's just babbling. Human wisdom can NOT tell if a dream is from the Lord or if it was from yesterday's pizza. Human wisdom can NOT tell the difference between a prophesy and a strong opinion. Human wisdom can NOT distinguish whether a person fell under the glory of God or by his own accord. Human wisdom can easily understand how biblical study can spiritually mature a person, so it is wisely encouraged, but human wisdom can NOT see how the laying on of hands, or the presences of God can also mature a person. Human wisdom would NEVER try to cast out an unclean spirit, or do spiritual warfare, or multiply loafs, or go to a prayer closet, or discern spirits, or do anything that might offend the congregation and lose your supporters, or lose your respectability.
If your church is
rich with human wisdom, then you might see 2 parking lot attendants, 1 door greeter,
1 latte stand attendant, 2 Bookstore cashiers,
5 Audio/Video technical workers, 8 ushers, 5 band members, 1 deaf section
interpreter, all working during
the sermon, all while NOBODY is in the prayer room. Human wisdom will get you to the 3rd
grade spiritually, but you'll never walk in all that the Lord called you to if
you're afraid to use the gifts He gave us.
It's all about the Cross!
As Christians, we are called to live by the cross. But what does that mean? Jesus said those who do not pick up their cross daily and follow Him are not worthy of Him. How do we do that? My understanding of the cross has change recently. I used to think that it meant, celebrating the Lord's victory over death. And that is important, but picking up your cross is not a celebration. I used to think that picking up your cross had to do with appreciating the Lord's gift of eternal life. And that is important, but picking up your cross is not the act of being thankful. I used to think that it meant, knowing we have forgiveness from sin through his blood. And that is important, but picking up your cross is not a concept that we grasp or principle that we agree with. I used to think that picking up your cross meant following Christian teachings. And that is very important, but picking up your cross is not the adherence to principles or a following of godly rules.
You can celebrate the Lord's victory over death, be thankful for your salvation, know about the grace and forgiveness you have, and follow Christian principles and STILL NOT HAVE PICKED UP YOUR CROSS.
So what did He mean 'pick up your cross?' How do we do that? What is the purpose? Why should we need to pick up our cross if He has already won the victory?
I gained a new understanding of the Power of the Cross form the movie The PASSION. You must understand that one of the biggest obstacles to your obedience to the Lord is your flesh. The flesh always wars against the Spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. Those obeying the flesh are more susceptible to the devil's influences, than those who walk in the spirit. Trying to be a Christian while you're in the flesh is like trying to run a marathon with a 50 lbs. backpack. It's much harder, slower, tiresome, defeating and grueling.
I noticed a strange phenomenon after watching the
This left me in a state where I was spiritually strong as ever.
I realized that there is power in the Cross, it can change a person.
What's the priority for an Intercessor? Here's a short story to help explain it.
Imagine that your car broke down in the middle of a hot
desert, being lost, you haven't eaten or drank for 3 days, and the sun in scorching
you. Being over exhausted and starving you accidentally step on a
poisonous snake which bites you. Because of the sharp pain of the
bite, you fall and smash your head on a
sharp rock in a cactus patch. Then while bleeding, limping, poisoned,
staving and exhausted, you start to hear a pack of ferocious
wolfs in the distance pursuing you. In your attempt to run from the
wolves, you accidentally step onto a rusty bear trap, which clamps down very
tightly on your ankle.
As Christian's we often miss a critical part of worship. We enjoy singing songs, praising the Lord, lifting our hands up to heaven, humbling ourselves and worshiping God, etc, but we often miss the Miserable Worship. What is the miserable worship?
In Numbers 21:8, the Lord had Moses make a pole with a snake on
it, and anyone who looked at it would live.
The Fear of Man
After reading [this message on the Fear of Man] I was very convicted that I fall short here. I would suggest all people who are in the ministry to read this, and see how fearing man will greatly hinder us from serving the Lord.
A damaged airplane
When a plane is damaged and needs repairs, the last thing it should be doing is flying. It should be in the hanger, being worked on by mechanics. And in the same way, when a man of God falls, the last place he should be is behind a pulpit, telling other how to live. No, it is the time for restoration and healing. And when restored, he will then be able to rejoin his calling. The Lord understands this needed time of restoration. But if a man of God is focusing on his image and reputation before men, or the pressure to perform, then he will often skip this time, and be like a sick man running a marathon.
There are 2 pyramids that work in this world. (2 kingdoms) In one kingdom, everyone is striving for the top of the pyramid, so that they may have power and control over others. And there is fierce competition for this. In order to be promoted you must exploit or manipulate your way above everyone else. Once you do, you are given prestige and influence over your subordinates. On the next level or authority, it is the same situation, you must fight tooth and nail to outwit others in order to advance. People always have their eye on how they can advance. In this pyramid, the strongest and most cleaver rise to the top. Power, prestige, and authority are highly respected here. Sometimes, favoritism, or the promise to be absolutely submissive can get you advancement in this pyramid. But one must keep their subordinates in fear in order to maintain control over them. This pyramid is inherently not stable because there is little unity. This pyramid is always working against itself. One level exploits the level beneath them, which exploits the level beneath them, forming a pyramid of authority.
In the other Pyramid (Kingdom) everyone is NOT striving for the top, but the bottom. To be humble, loving, godly servants is what is respected here. Promotion is not sought after, but given from the Lord. Therefore those who are most mature in the Lord advance in this pyramid. People always have their eye on how they can serve others. The high levels are those who are willing to sacrifice the most for others. Christ is the top of this pyramid, and the pyramid is inherently stable, working as one. Though not all levels of the pyramid are perfect, it's foundation is. But the other pyramid's foundation is utterly corrupt.
People from the first pyramid always try to maintain the noble image they they work for the second pyramid. When people from the first pyramid try to join organizations of the second pyramid (man made organizations) , they find little competition. They quickly rise to the top in title and positions appointed by man, but not in true authority. These people make the 2nd pyramid less stable. When there is pressure put on the 2nd pyramid, if these people haven't changed, they fall away.
Meat and Manna
We must learn to eat both meat and manna. Meat builds up the body, but manna gives us energy. We must have both. We know where to find meat, it's in the scriptures. But manna must be gathered everyday. As scripture has shown, you cannot eat yesterday's manna. It is gentle and easily trampled. What good is it if you're a strong 400lb soldier who's always sleeping, or if you're a 75lb soldier, full of energy, but can't lift a weapon. Both have what the other one needs.
Careful, those who have not eaten meat can take a move of God and turn it into a sect or an offshoot and split the body, for they do not know the God of the past. And those who have not eaten manna, can take a move of God and vigorously oppose it, for they do not know the God of the present. Beware of those who say, "All the manna has been collected, there is no more."
Climbing the Mountain
What the Lord has shown me, is just one path up the mountain. Others have taken different paths; paths of sacrifice, mercy, service, that are different than mine. No one has been to all the ledges of this Mountain. Some paths are faster than others. Some paths are more steep and difficult than others. The immature usually take the easiest paths, which are the slowest. Though some paths all must take, i.e. repentance, salvation. Never assume that your way is the only way of walking with Christ. And remember the quickest way to the top is the cross.
Watch out for the "Doctrine of Comfort", It comes from those on the lower ledges. Though it is made of Biblical Truths, it is usually the slowest way to the top. Find those who are on the high ledges, and watch them.
One of the books that has given me great insight is the VISION from Rick Joyner. You can read parts of it at "THE VISION" Those who know the voice of the Lord will discern whether this is was a real vision or a phony.
Man's wisdom vs. God's Wisdom?
When is it easier to move 1 million gallons of water, than to
move just 3 gallons? When is it easier to move 1000 boulders than to move
just one rock? When is it easier to set 1000 trees ablaze than it is
to burn just one log? The man who works at a Water Tower can move 1
million gallons of water by simply releasing a valve. But it would take me
more effort to move just 3 gallons of water by carrying them. The man atop
a mountain, with one kick, can set 1000 boulders in motion, easier than I can
carry just one rock. Then man in a forest, with one match can set a 1000
trees ablaze, easier than I can light one log. So when it easier to do
mighty things? It's not when you push, but when you RELEASE.
The bride is not as mature as she
One hard truth that we have to come to grips with, is how often the enemy use Christians for evil intent. I've have seen this in my own life. I have been in places where a little innocent comment from my own lips, cause much destruction. And only later realizing how strategic it was. This is one reason I put no confidence in my flesh, and you shouldn't either. As we saw with Simon Peter in Mathew 16, just a moment after Jesus said, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven" Jesus then said, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me" How easily we are used. So the proverb is true, "If a man who does not guard his front door, anyone can walk in."
When you're empty
When you are out of water, where do you go? (The Well) When you're hungry where do you go? (The Refrigerator) When your car is empty, where do you go? (the Gas Station) Nobody says, "I can't go to the station, I'm low on gas" or "I'm too hungry to eat". No, that is the right time. We know what to do when our stuff is empty, but not our souls. Why is it that when we are spiritually empty, the last place we go to is the throne of God. That should be the first place.
When you fall into a snake pit, don't walk around. Surly that is the time to look up and cry for help. When depressed and discouraged, that is not the time to figure everything out. We can't see clearly in that pit, just look up and cry for help.
A 90% Victory?
I was shown in a dream an adversary pursuing me, and I could see 2 ways of escaping him. One way was to backtrack, it was slow and over rocky ground, and the other way was smooth and easy. My friends nearby kept telling me to take the hard way, but it was obvious that the smooth way was an easy escape. I chose the smooth way, and quickly outran the adversary. He didn't seem to be able to catch up with me, and offered little resistance. I ran and ran far past him, only to realize that after all this time, the trail was a dead end. Now I was left with the daunting task of backtracking all that way, against my original adversary, and his other partners that didn't chase me after me at first. The enemy gave me easy success, a false sense of security. But he offered me little resistance in order to lead me into a trap, and frustrate my plans. He allowed me to have a 90% victory, which in the end was worthless. If I sought wisdom at first, I would have known when to backtrack. Job 42:2, "I know that you can do all things, no plan of yours can be thwarted"
Over the years of my Christian walk, I've seen many different Christians at various stages of maturity. And I began to see the difference between the normal
Christians and mature ones. Here are some of the big separators. Unfortunately I've learned that I can't trust someone too deeply unless they've reached these stages.
1. The mature Christians has been broken and humbled before the Lord. Not the kind of humility we learn from society, but a "smashed on the rocks" type of humility. When a person comes into the presence of the Lord, it is very humbling, and pride just melts away, but that's just fine with a mature Christian.
2. The mature have battle scares, and experience. When people step into the ring with the Devil, and suffer a few hard hits, they realize how determined, crafty, and destructive their enemy is. But before that, Christians have the "Hey don't sweat it, He's been defeated, relax, no worries" type of attitude. And this causes them to lower their guard. I've fallen hard, and I've seen many men more mature than I, fall hard. I've spent 10+ years in bondage, until I realized that the enemy is no one to be taken lightly. Mature Christians have the...."I'm Never Going Back to Egypt" mentality.
3. The mature Christians can handle spiritual gifts. Whether it is prophecy, healings, visions, tongues, being filled with the spirit, words of knowledge, etc, he can handle the supernatural. But the immature often limit God to only the occasional healing, and a prompting of the Holy Spirit. Anything beyond that is no longer needed, and a thing for heretics.
4. The mature Christians recognize the Body, and seek fellowship. A mature Christian is attracted to other members of the body of Christ. He does not try to separate himself from the body. Therefore the Lord can speak to him, through other Christians.
5. The mature Christians are constantly praying. I remember a few years back I would go out evangelizing, but before I did I would always spend roughly 5 minutes in prayer. What was the result? No Fruit! When I finally had the faith to pray the entire week before I went out evangelizing, that is when I had the most success. A mature Christian prays often, and can pray for extended periods of time when necessary, even when no other person is listening.
6. The mature Christians are very careful with their sword. They don't presumptuously attack other members of the body, but are careful with their words. They don't go to battle, until they have their orders.
7. Mature Christians don't hide or wear masks. They can freely admit their many faults before others, even though it might humiliate them. They don't strive to maintain the perfect image before others. You will see them crying because they put little value in maintaining a dignified composure.
8. Mature Christians Worship the lord. Not just for 1 hour on Sunday, but often. They press into the Lord, and seek Him.
9. Mature Christians have crucified their flesh and have picked up their cross. They are not ruled by the impulses of their sinful nature.
In examining my motives, I found that I have been missing the main point in a lot of what I have been doing. In asking myself why I am doing things, I find that my motives are good, but they have been off. For example...
1. Why do I worship the Lord?
2. Why do I obey the Lord?
These are all good motives, but never forget the main one,
It's a War, not a Game!
One of the biggest mistakes I see Christians make is treating Christianity like a Game, and not like a War. IT'S A WAR; there is a very real enemy. The Devil's Kingdom is organized, determined, and relentless for the souls of people. And when you treat it like a War, you'll start winning. But we make dumb mistakes that no first year soldier would make.
If you want to be a strong Christian, and not a Casualty of War, then sober up, and start acting like a soldier!
Scripture teaches us to eagerly desire spiritual gifts. (1 Cor 14:1) I have recently asked the Lord for a certain spiritual gift. The gift I sought after was to be given specific names of people to pray for. So that my prayers were more effective, and not just blindly shot out. After praying for this gift a few times, it stated happening. I have been given 1 to 3 names a day, and have interceded for them. If you're an intercessor, consider asking the Lord for the same gift.
What should bring you stress?
What should bring you stress? There are many things that bring us stress in this world: money, career, food, reputation. But there is only one thing that should bring you stress, and that is when you or others are outside the will of God. You might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. But say to yourself, "I only have to do what the Lord tells me to do, and be where He wants me to be." It's better to be a homeless man who obeys the Lord, than a rich King who is disobedient.
Kingdom Prayers vs. Personal Prayers
The focus of our prayers as Christians, should be Kingdom oriented prayers not just personal payers. Kingdom oriented prayers are eternal, i.e. salvation for a friend, spiritual growth, wisdom, guidance, praying for ministries, praying against the devil's strong holds. Personal prayers are often temporary, i.e. help me sell my car, my foot aches, I lost my keys, give me a raise, etc. Use your prayers to advance God's purposes, not just your own. Don't use the angels of God to just run your errands!
The word of God & the WORD of God
As Christian's, we need to be able to distinguish between the word of God and the WORD of God. The word of God is scripture, and the WORD of God, is when the Lord's speaks directly to you. For example, you might read 3 chapters of the bible, but in one chapter the Lord speaks directly to you. You need to know the difference. Sometimes the WORD of God comes though other believers, even non-believers, so you'll always need to be listening. Those who CAN'T distinguish between the word and the WORD will be fooled when scripture is misapplied. The Devil will often quote scripture to us, just as he did when tempting Jesus. So Listen Carefully!
Don't Grab the Levers
Here is a lesson the Lord is teaching me. I have the habit of grabbing levers. Here is what I mean...In any situation, there are levers that control things. In conversation, the one who is speaking has the lever. In the car, the one who is driving has the level. In a business it is the boss who has the levers. It is bad to try to grab the levers in order to be in control. You begin to manipulate everything. A humble man does not need to always be in control, but can come under another's authority when necessary.
A Balanced Meal
We all know that a body needs balanced meals in order to be healthy. And one can't just eat one type of food and stay strong. In the same way, your spiritual body also needs a balanced meal. And you won't be spiritually healthy if you just consume one part of the scripture, and ignore others. I say this because I've noticed certain teachers, over emphasize certain scriptures, to the point that there is an unbalance in the Gospel message. The message of "Sow your seed, Reap your Harvest" is a great truth, but has been over taught. And the message of "God wants you to get your blessing" is another truth, but way out of balance. We are fat on this scripture, and thin on others.
I try to be careful when criticizing the Church, because so often we fall into the plan of the evil one when we criticize. But these critiques are needed. If the only reason you're giving to the Lord is to get something back, then your motives are off. Even an evil man would do something nice, if you rewarded him.
God doesn't exist for the pleasure and purposes of His people, we exist for the pleasure and purposes of God! And if you think the Christian life is all about blessing, it's not, and that shouldn't be your focus. Remember the 12 disciples; all of them went through great struggles and tribulation in their service to the Lord.
I remember hearing a story about an African church, that was
meeting at night. They were doing prayer and worship, when one of the
members got up to use the restroom. Not having a restroom at the church,
the man went outside. Unfortunately, it was very dark and he could not see
where he was going. He walked right into a pit, fell head first. The
pit had a narrow hole, that stuck around his waste. So the top of his body
was suspended underground, while his legs were sticking up into the air.
He started screaming for help, but since he was underground, nobody could hear
him. After more than an hour of hanging upside-down struggling, he prayed
desperately for help.
So guess what the members of the church did after they heard the story? They started to pray upside-down.
That's how foolish men can be, instead of seeking after God, we look for formulas. DON'T PRAY UPSIDE-DOWN, don't follow blind techniques for getting to God. If everything you're doing is just ritual, you won't find the Lord. The only way to know the Lord is to walk with Him. Don't seek the gift but the giver, don't search for the pool but the river, don't look at the reflection but the light, DON'T TREAT THE LORD LIKE AN OBJECT, but as a person. Don't focus on His body, His power, His wisdom, or any part of Him, focus on Him.
Human Cell vs. a Moss Cell
Which is wiser a spider or a snake?
Which is wiser, a spider or a snake? They both have fangs, they both have deadly venom, and they both kill their prey. When a snake tries to bites its victim, the victim either fights back or runs away. The victim often dies later and is devoured, occasionally getting away. But a spider is much wiser, when it bites its victim, they never put up resistance. and they never get away. Because the spider's prey is all wrapped up and helpless in a web.
When the evil one attacks, he attacks like a spider, wrapping his victims up in a sticky web of sin. Unfortunately people think they can stay in a web of sin, and resist the devil when he finally comes. But at that time, they won't even put up a fight. GET OUT OF THE WEB, NOW !
When Lost, Don't Run
When walking a path in the forest, if you are familiar with the area, it is ok to go fast. But if you are lost, or in the dark, then it is not wise to proceed fast. For there is one correct direction and 359 incorrect ones and when people are in the Dark, they make foolish decisions. Spiritually, when you're under attack from the enemy, in confusion, and in darkness, that is the worst time to plan strategy, make goals, or discuss issues.
In a dream I was shown a source of great spiritual treasure that I have often overlooked. I call them Hidden Obediences. In this Dream, an angel stood before a piece of garbage laid on the road. And as people walked by, the angel called out for them to pick it up and throw it away. But few people could hear him, and those who could often ignored the angel's prompting. Finally one person went over to pick it up, and the minute he did, the angel spoke to him and revealed great wisdom to him. It was wisdom on how he could more effectively serve the Lord.
In discussing the dream in my quiet time, the Lord showed me that these Hidden Obediences are everywhere, in many different forms, for all people. But those who are not humble, those who are not walking in the spirit, those who are fleshly, will miss these great treasures.
Imagine a battlefield, were 2 armies were at war; firing back and forth at each other. But one army used an ineffective method of fighting. They would take their best shooter, and only allow him to fire at the enemy. All other soldiers had to keep their firearms at their side. He would successfully strike down many enemy soldiers, but by himself he could not win the battle.
Unfortunately, the modern church uses this technique. In every congregation the Lord is working in all the member's lives. Every member has a testimony of the trials, struggles, visions, victories and lessons from the Lord. But unfortunately when we go to Church we only hear one testimony, of whoever is speaking. Each one of us needs to be sharing and hearing the testimonies of others. In Revelation 12:11 it says "They overcame him (the evil one) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;" So Share it!
Unfortunately we also use the same ineffective method with Prayer in Church, 1 person prays and everyone else listens. Whose idea was this? Pick up your prayer guns, and start shooting. Intercede for the poor, the hungry, and the oppressed; we are at war! And the Lord and equipped each of us.
As Christian's we often miss a critical part of worship. We enjoy singing songs, praising the Lord, lifting our hands up to heaven, humbling ourselves and worshiping God, etc, but we often miss the Miserable Worship. What is the miserable worship?
In Numbers 21:8, the Lord had Moses make a pole with a snake on
it, and anyone who looked at it would live.
Where are the prophets?
Where are the prophets? In recent years, we have seen 2
major events happen, 9/11 and the giant Tsunami. Now ask yourself, did God
reveal to anyone on earth these things were going to happen? It would be
hard to believe that God didn't warn anybody. In scripture he warned
people many times before disasters came, is He any different now? I have
heard mention of a man who claimed that angels visited him, and they revealed 4
upcoming events 5 years before 9/11 happened. He was told about 9/11, the
Tsunami, a large earthquake in NYC and one in Europe. He even wrote these
things down in a pamphlet and distributed 1000s out. Now I'm not sure
whether this was a divine revelation from the Lord, or not. But my point is
this, there are 1000s of Christian Media outlets; Radio, TV, Newspapers,
Magazines, etc. To my knowledge no one published this man's testimony.
Why not? How come the first we hear of this is after the second of his
revelations comes true? I have concluded it is become of one reason.
Too much clutter, everybody is talking. (including myself) And this often downs
out the people the Lord chooses to speak thru. Some people are given
greater witness than others. For example both John the Baptist and Jesus
were prophets, but in John 5:36, Jesus said "I have greater witness than that
of John:" Therefore, when I [Robert Brownell] find someone with
greater witness than myself, I'll try to put sections and links to them on the
RESOURCE page. I can't put everyone there, but those whom I believe have
the greatest revelation.
Why do we need prophets?
As Christians we lack vision, most of our prayers are "Dear Lord, more Fire Engines" and that will be a losing battle against our enemy. In Joel 2:28 it says I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. The Lord gives us the resources we need to see and defeat the enemy. But as of today, if I asked 10 Christians to name some of the living prophets, they would have a hard time naming one. If I asked 10 Christians to tell me of some of the visions that the Lord is giving His people, they would also have a hard time naming any. Why is this? Does no one have vision, is no one prophesying? There was prophesy in the Old Testament, Jesus Prophesied, and there was prophesy in the Book of Acts Church. Whose idea was it that prophesy was obsolete?
If you're given a prophesy or vision, share it. And don't be afraid if someone else shares theirs with you. As we learn in scripture, Matthew 10:41 Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward." So if we don't receive a prophet, then we don't receive their reward, and we'll be the worse off for it.
Give credit when credit is due
When viewing a servant of God, be sure to see it as a reflection of Jesus. Then you will give credit where credit is due. But when looking at a reflection of Jesus do NOT see the person behind it, then you might miss the savior. And it might be a stumbling block to that person.
I have seen this when I witness to people, after a sermon or a worship service. I get many praise and accolades from the crowd, that puffs me up. I hope they don't put their faith in me. Because truthfully, they are really attracted to Christ, who is speaking through me. The cloths I'm wearing are not my own. And most of the times I don't even know when He is speaking through me. And He only speaks through a person, to that degree that they have surrendered to Him.
May it never be that when Jesus shines-the speaker gets credit, and when the speaker falls-Jesus gets the blame.
The Cloak and Compass
The 2 most critical things a Christian needs are Love and Humility. Without them we can easily be used by the enemy. Humility is a thick cloak, and a very heavy armor. We don't like wearing it because it slows us down, and it looks so plain and unbeautiful. But few of the enemy's weapons can penetrate it. Pride, rage, selfishness, lust, self righteousness, they all have a hard time piercing a humble person's armor. But without humility, it will be much easier for the enemy to pierce and influence you.
Love on the other hand works as a compass. Because most Christian's seldom get daily directions from the Lord, saying "today you should do this...." Therefore, on a daily basis, we generally don't know what specifically the Lord wants us to do. But with Love as a compass, we'll be heading in generally the right direction. But without Love, even a matured Christian can be marching in the wrong direction. Consider the Apostle Paul before his conversion, he was thoroughly disciplined and matured in the Law. He studied scripture, and eagerly followed and obeyed it. But even with that, he was working in direct conflict to the Lord. That's why we need our compass.
The last thing you want, when you don't have Humility or Love, is the anointing. Because the anointing, like a cannon, is a powerful weapon against the enemy. But if that cannon is not faced in the right direction, it will wreck havoc, missing the enemy and hitting our own troops. And then your anointing will be a liability to the Lord, and not an asset. You'll sow division in the body, and make inroads into the Church that the enemy can attack. This is why so few of Christians have the anointing, and we seldom see things happen the way they did in the book of Acts.
Put on you Cloak and Compass!
Faith and the LIE
What is Faith?
The Paper World and the Real World
Here is a test for you.
Well there are many reasons not to do it, but one small reason
is this. The paper world must reflect the real world, since the paper
world is just a model of the real world. The truth is
that the business is bankrupt, and no amount of paper shuffling is going to
change that. When a company is doing well, it should look good on paper,
and when it is failing, it should look bad on paper. In the same way, this Physical World is the Paper World, but the
Spiritual Realm is the Real World. And it is good to keep these two worlds
consistent. For example, when we see a person who claims to be a man of
God, and he lives no differently than the rest of the world, there's an
inconsistency, he's fudging the numbers. And many people just blindly
accept what they see in the paper world. We need to live by what we see in
the Spiritual realm, not by what we see in this world. Here are some more
The Privilege of Suffering
When we suffer for the Lord, He uses it for His glory. And He gives those who suffer the ability to help others who are struggling with the same issues. For example, Isaiah 53:5 shows us that "By his stripes we are healed." By the suffering of Christ, we have benefited, and He heals us. So when you're suffering for the Lord, don't look at the present situation, but see how it will benefit many others after you.
The Glory of the Lord
The Lord's glory is all around us, but we miss so much of it. We are like spoiled children that grew up in a wealthy family, never realizing all the wonderful things that we take for granted. God gives blessing for those who walk in His ways. But when we don't walk in His ways, we pass right by His glorious gifts, never picking them up. To the meek, they inherit the earth, to the merciful, they receive mercy, to the pure in heart, they see God, to the peacemakers, they are named sons of God. This list goes on and on, and only on Judgment day do we find out how rich we really are.
I would like to consider myself a mature Christian, and for good reason I have very little faith in myself. In my best estimate, for every ten things the Lord tells me, I perceive one, and for every ten situations the Lord sets up for me, I take advantage of one. But as I mature more, I will learn to take advantage of more.
The Glory of Heaven
Who deserves to go to heaven? Who has earned the right to go
If you imagine the Glory of Heaven to be like going to 2nd grade, then it makes sense that every good person should go to Heaven, just like every good 1st grader should go to 2nd grade.
But the Glory of Heaven is not like the 2nd grade, it's more like a PHD at a prestigious college. How many 1st graders are smart enough to get a PHD? None. So then I ask you again. Who deserves to go to heaven? Who has earned the right to go there? Nobody, not even the best of us, it is only by God's grace.
Here is another analogy to illustrate this concept.
I the same way the kid's medical experience did not qualify him for the operating room; our righteousness doesn't qualify us to server the Lord of for heaven, but only by the Lord's grace.
Song of the Day?
The Lord wakes many people up with a song in their heart. When this happens to you, get on the internet, find all the lyrics of that song and print them out. In the lyrics will be a message to you, that is pertinent that day.
I believe that feelings and emotions are not just chemical
reactions in your body, but are actually thoughts in your heart.
These are the kinds of thoughts going through an impatient man's hear. When you see feelings and emotions exposed like this, then you'll understand that A BAD EMOTION (like rage, selfishness, impatience, etc) IS THE RESULT OF EVIL THOUGHTS IN ONE'S HEART. These are all self centered thoughts, and thoughts that a good person would never say with his lips, but he might allow them in their heart.
How do get rid of bad emotions in my life? I personally asked the LORD to expose my heart, and when He did, I was just amazed at how evil my heart was. Even though I was a mature Christian, my heart was full of prideful & self-centered thoughts. Soon I was be able to look at my heart, and see what was going though it. Then I was able to fight those thoughts with the Word of God.
Natural Thought: "Why can't this person
just do his job, then I wouldn't have to go though this."
Natural Thought: "Why did my boss give me this stupid assignment?"
Natural Thought: "I
hope I don't have to clean up this mess?"
When a person continues on this process, of exposing their feelings and replacing them with the Word of God, their emotions soon come into line.
What doesn't work?
Many people loose their faith in Christianity because they take the wrong approach to it, and they have misconceptions about God. Here is what doesn't work...
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective, but the prayer of a carnal man is weak and useless. If a Christian is not walking in the ways of the Lord, not obeying the Holy Spirit, but living just the way he was living before, don't expect mountains to move when he prays.
What you sow is what you reap. Those who sow sparingly; will reap sparingly, those who sow generously will reap generously. If a Christian puts one seed in the ground, he shouldn't expect to find a lush garden the next day. Principles of the bible have a blessing and a curse. When you obey them, you generally get a blessing. When you disobey them, you generally get in trouble. Don't expect God to nullify the rule of cause and effect.
The Righteous shall live by faith. When the Lord wants to tell me something, I don't have angels appear right before me with explicit instructions on what to do. But when I humble myself, pray, worship and seek the Lord, I notice that He directs my footsteps in paths of righteousness, He guides my thoughts, and He directs the people around me. My ability to hear and do the will of God is based on how available I make myself, and how much I am seeking Him. (and like most people, I am far from perfect.) The Lord's voice is often called "still small voice" 1 Kings 19:12, If you're not paying attention, you'll miss it.
He restores my soul. Enter His gates with
thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. When you praise and worship
the Lord, it is your most intimate time with Him. The scripture says
that God inhabits the praises of His people. Therefore, if your Christian life
only consists of bible studies and church activities then you're going to get
burned out. You need intimate time with the Lord.
We live in a fallen world, which is the result of sinful man. There is a battle of Good vs. Evil, and the devil is a powerful adversary. Christian's suffer victories and defeats. Therefore don't blame every bad thing that happens on the Lord. When a tragedy happens, like a child dies in a fire, don't assume the Lord has ordered it. That is insulting to who He is.
The Lord works though His children. When there is a need in the body of Christ, and none of the Christians bother to help, pray or do anything, and nobody is listening to the Lord, then there is a good chance that we are going to suffer a defeat.
In our relationship with the Lord, many things are dependent on Him. But our
closeness to Him, is up to us. In Jeremiah 29:13 it says, "You will
seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." So each
Christian is called to seek the Lord wholeheartedly. Just like in a
relationship, what you get out of it, is based on what you put into it.
In an interesting book that I'm reading,
The Vision: The Final Quest
Rick Joyner. (I highly recommend it) He is given a fantastic vision of how
a Christian matures. In one vision, Christ was represented by a Mountain.
And the higher you climbed the mountain, the more you would mature in Christ.
For example, there would be a level called "Patience", and once you
struggled to climbed to that level, you would mature in that area, and become a
patient person. The mountain was huge, and you could spend your entire
life climbing it.
The Enemy and his tactics
Many Levels of Deception: For every one truth there are a thousand lies. And the main power of the devil is deception, different lies for different people. Lies that trap some people don't work on others, so he uses many levels of deception.
But some people don't even believe that they are being lied to. Well, the fool says "there is no God," and the deceived say "there is no enemy." Yes, there is an enemy, and a motive behind each lie. His main goal is that people never get to know the Lord, never grow closer to Him, never mature, never become fruitful, and therefore stay under the devil's control. These people pose no threat to him.
So any lie that keeps a person from the Lord is a success. He tells people that "there is no God, but only mankind, and we will determine our own future." Many people fall for this lie, but many others believe in God. So he tells those, "Yes there is a God, and all paths lead to God." He then muddies the water so people chase after anything but God. But some people don't believe that lie, they believe in Jesus. So he tells those, "Jesus might have been a good person, but because the bible has been re-written so many times, no one really knows who he was, and you can't trust organized religion anyway." So many people never peruse Jesus, which is a victory for the devil.
But still others peruse Jesus, so the devil uses a very powerful weapon against them, counterfeits. He gives them churches that have a form of godliness, but never bring people into a maturing relationship with the Lord. He gives them mentors that have an intellectual knowledge of God, but not a heart after God. And he tries to get people bogged down with every cares of this world.
Whether a person falls for the first lie, or the last,
they're still deceived, and on the wrong track.
The power of counterfeits: The devil dresses people up in fake jewelry, so that when they see true riches they say "I already have that, don't need anymore." And they pass it by. Fake jewelry is beautiful, sparkly, but worthless. No one can tell the difference until they see the real thing. Learn to identify fake jewelry, get rid of it, and stay away from people who sell it.
All sin stems from self-centeredness. Thinking more about yourself than about God and others. This is what the devil preys upon.
Boast in your weaknesses not in your
There are many stumbling blocks that the devil has put in this world. And Christian's fall for them all the time. Usually falling for them is so embarrassing that we don't share our experience with anybody else. And this is very foolish, because by not sharing with others, we leave the people behind us to fall on the same rocks. What a responsible Christian should do after he falls on a stumbling block is to warn others. Have the humility to boast in your weaknesses and not in your strengths. Scripture is full of examples of people who have learned hard lessons, and by reading these; we are better able to avoid those issues. When a person is too embarrassed to share their lessons with others, they are putting more focus on their own reputation than other's spiritual growth.
The desire to see dirty laundry
I was given a dream the other day. And in the dream I was given a chance to
see a person in their most humiliating circumstance, with all their dirty
laundry out. I jumped at the chance... and failed the test.
Water or Serum
Suppose a man is bitten by a snake in the desert. In his desperation he quickly tries to get back to civilization. After hours of walking, he is tired, dried up, thirsty, and the venom is slowly killing him. Soon he arrives at the store. Now here is a question for you: If you were the store owner, which would you give him first, water or snake serum?
A man was struggling at his job. He was barley able to finish the work
assigned to him. One manager, came to him and told him, "you're
slaking, you're work is mediocre at best, I don't think you can make it at this
job." But another manager, came to him and said "I know you're struggling
right now, and that its hard work, but you've done great work in the past, and I
know you can improve." Now neither manager lied to this employee, but
did they both tell him the truth? Well that depends on how you define truth.
If your definition of truth is "Factually correct information,"
then they both told the truth. But that's using a poor definition of "truth."
True wisdom has 2 parts, a mind and a heart. And just because something is
factually correct (the mind) does not mean it has the correct motives and
intentions (the heart). Take the example of when Eve was talking to the
devil in the Garden of Eden. The devil said that by eating the fruit of the tree
her eyes would be opened, and her eyes were opened. The devil said the she would
not die, and after eating the fruit she live many more years. So was the
devil truthful? If you don't have a good understanding of what TRUTH
is, then you won't be able to distinguish between what the Devil tells you and
what God tells you.
the fit and the fat angels
I believe that when a person puts their faith in Christ, he is given certain
heavenly resources. For example, angels to minister to you. And as a person is
shown to be more faithful, then more resources are given. But if a person
does not pray or seek the Lord, then many times these resources stand idly by. In James 4:2
it says "You do not have, because you do not ask God."
Use the resources that the Lord gives you.
In my study of scripture and experience in life, if find the concepts of
Light and Darkness parallel the way magnets work.
Don't make a straw man
When a person tells you something, don't assume that they explained it the best way. Strive to see it in the best light. Give the statement the benefit of the doubt, then make a judgment call. But so often I see that we interpret what other people tell us as though a 5th grader told us, and then we shoot it to pieces.
Don't give the Devil any ammunition
The word of God is a powerful weapon against the enemy, but one must be careful not to give any ammunition to the devil. While I was singing hymns in front of a homeless shelter, I asked the group of men to stand up. To encourage more people to stand I jokingly said, "Ok, now let's have all the real Christian stand up". A few more did, but later that night one of the men told me that my statement really offended him. He thought to himself, "does this guy think I'm not saved unless I stand up, how dare he say that" He went on to say that he realized this thought was just temptation from the devil, and he wasn't offended anymore. But it made me realize that just by off the cuff remarks I can be giving the Devil ammunition.
Put down the sling shot and come into the Tank
When we are doing the Lord's will by our own strength, it is very weak; like
going into battle with a sling shot. The best we can do is bruise the
enemy. But when the Lord is with us, it's
like going into battle with a fully armored tank.
The difference between the least in
the Kingdom of God,
There is a difference between the least in the Kingdom of God, and the
Greatest. The least are those who were stuck on milk, they never progressed.
They were the ones who were prepared to meet a merciful God, but they were not
prepared to meet a God of Righteous Judgment. They had a love for the Lord, but
not a fear of Him. They took whatever they were given, and walked with it.
If the Lord ever asked them to sacrifice their lives for Him, they would be
totally unprepared. They said, "I am saved by Grace, and
therefore there is nothing I need to do." Salvation was sufficient for
them, and they were blessed beyond their wildest imagination with salvation.
The Two Sides of God
When God made man, He made him in His own image. Contrary to popular belief, God did not take a rib out of Adam to make Eve. What the Bible states is the God took one of Adam's "sides" to create Eve. In other words, half of what Adam was went into Adam the first man, and half of what he was went in to Eve. Adam was split into masculine part along with a feminine part; an aggressive part along with a submissive part, a competitive part along with a compassionate part. This is way men and women often think in totally different way. But God, is not limited like we are, He can be compassionate and loving, and He can be fierce and angry. He can show mercy, and He can show Justice. But we can't tie Him down to only one way. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, He does not change. The God of the New Testament is also the God of the Old Testament. Sometimes when I read about God judgment in the Old Testament I say to myself, "No way, My God would never do something like that." Because in most of my Christian education we only studied one side of God, the Loving Compassionate side. Very little attention was given to the other side. But when I talk with Muslims, they often have a distorted impression of God. Their impression of God is a mighty and just God, but little is mentioned about His compassionate side. If you want a complete picture of what God looks like try to understand this picture. He is to be Feared and Loved.
Build your house from the bottom up, not the top down
When building a house, your first build the Foundation, not the Roof. Though
it is easier to finish the roof first, is becomes progressively harder to build
the next stage, the walls. Because the finished roof becomes a heavy burden to
building walls that are not complete. Which then are burdensome to making a
foundation. You must make your house, bottom up. In real world examples
The 3 Stages of Sin
There are three stages of sin. Here is how to prevent them.
Disciple of Christ
A short lesson but its true:
A dime in the Kingdom of God
When Jesus returns, He said that her will reward everyone for what they have done. When you start disobeying the Lord, you lose your inheritance. Not all of it, but some. You think that it is such a small sin that it does even matter. But I tell you, if you only loose a dime of your inheritance, it is a great treasure, more than you can imagine. So live a Godly life, and strive not to lose your inheritance.
Re-Do you Marriage Vows
Sometimes in our marriage, things get stale, where the love that
was once present, in no longer growing. To address this, people
occasionally re-do their marriage vows. This helps keep relationships
When Jesus came to earth, he came not as a King but as a servant. And anyone who takes on the name of Christ should also be a servant. Here are some aspects of being a servant, which you should recognize when you answer these questions. Don't read the answers until you have your own.
What is the difference between a waiter that serves you and
What is the difference between serving someone in Public and
serving someone in Private?
Should you ever remind a person of how you have served them.
What is the difference between donating blood for a friend in
dire need, and donating a Kidney for a friend in dire need.
What is the difference between helping your brother, and helping
[a Spiritual story]
The Living and Dead Word of God!
The Word of God is living and active, it is spiritually
discerned. But the Word can also be Dead. When the Pharisees threw
down the prostitute in front of Jesus, and stated that the Law required her to
be punished, they were using a Dead Word of God. Though it was from
scripture, the Holy Spirit did not prompt them to say that, and the Holy Spirit
did not confirm to Jesus that she should be punished.
What is Your Covenant with the Lord?
Everyone should make a covenant with the Lord. A covenant
is the prayer of your Life. It is not focused on the Day to Day needs, but
sums up what you want to happen in your life. The Prayer should have everything
that you need to live a full Christian Life.
The Boy, the Man, and the Angel.
There is a boy, a man and an Angel standing before your desk. You
say to them, "Show me your money"
No matter how bad we think we have it, or how smart we think we are, this life is but a taste of the life to come. You ain't seen nothin yet.
A 3rd grader's painting
How many 3rd grade students have ever made painting that made were put in an art museum, or invented things that helped advance mankind. In the same way, a man's righteousness, in God's sight, is like 3rd grade junk. Never measuring up to His standard. As Jesus said (John 15:5), "apart from me you can do nothing." You absolutely need him if you ever want to live a meaningful and godly life.
Heaven & the Whitehouse
Which do you think is easier? To get into Heaven and see God, or to get into the White House and see the president? Surly God's standard is much greater than man's. Yet nobody just walks into the White House and says, "Hey, get me the president, I want to see him, I'm an American citizen, I paid my taxes." Do not think of Heaven as the default, whereby when people die they just go there, unless they did some deadly sin. Heaven is not the default, Jesus said in Matthew 7:14 "small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Do not take it for granite. But stick close to the Lord and live a Godly life.
The Smile of God
A father has 2 children. When the father comes home from work he finds one child sitting on the couch watching TV and one child cleaning the house and helping his mom. Now the father loves both children equally, but which child do you think will get the biggest smile from the father? The one who is helping. Do likewise with your heavenly father. For His smile is precious, and to be sought after.
What to invest in
What do you invest in? Do not invest in those things that will perish, but invest in those things that will last. Nobody will say, on Judgment day, "if I only would have exercised more" or "if I only spent more time at work." No they will wish they spent their time on the eternal things.
How to Remember
When we stand before God, do we want Him to remember us at are ugliest moment? Do we want Him to know us by our dumbest opinion? No.
And so we should not remember a person by their worst action, or remember them by their weakest opinion.
Don't base your faith on your feelings
I used to be under the opinion that whenever you serve the Lord it should be very joyful and pleasing. I.e., A good servant will want to do his masters work. But what kind of faith is that, when you only do what brings you joy? Anyone can do that. The real test is when you obey the Lord, even when you desperately don't want to. I no longer have any confidence in my flesh, and what I desire.
When I should be reading the word of God, my flesh will want to sleep.
When I should be praying to the Lord, my flesh will want to eat, or do something else.
When I should be volunteering my time, my flesh will want to work on some other project.
A mature Christian should have no confidence in his flesh, he must constantly say, "I don't care what I want, I will do what my spirit know is right." For you are no longer a creature of flesh, but have been born again.
The Legitimate Purpose for the Blood of Christ
The blood of Christ is for the legitimate forgiveness of sins, for a person who is repentful and seeking the Lord, it is not for the wicked man who does not care about righteousness but is only looking for a get out of jail free card.
Spend now, pay later
One difference between the fool and the wise man is that the
fool will often spend now and pay later, and the wise man will save now and
spend later. Learning to avoid the need for instant satisfaction, and being
willing to sacrifice is a sign of maturity.
When the devil temps a person, it is for instant pleasure at the cost of long term pain. But when the Lord speaks to a person, it is often for initial sacrifice, for a long term benefit. This is why it is always easier and pleasurable to listen to the devil, but in the end you'll always wish you listened to the Lord.