Hey fam! It was a busy weekend but I'm back :-) I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable weekend. As for myself I had an amazing day yesterday! Just thinking about it fills me afresh. So I told you guys that we had houseguests this weekend (thankfully Auburn won :-) ), and we took a couple of our guests to church with us yesterday. Now usually when I take people to church with me, I am so caught up in hoping that they are comfortable and receive a message that I miss out on my blessing. Well this time I caught myself before I started worrying and committed them to God. Besides, the way I figured, it would do more harm than good if I looked just as uncomfortable and nervous as they did. I decided that the Lord would do what he would with them and in the mean time, I was going to get my worship on! Well we went to Sunday school first. The lesson was awesome. We learned about the power of God and how we don't have to fight our own battles. My pastor in Philadelphia used to say, "Remember when you were little and you used to tell people, 'You betta not mess with me or Imma get my big brother'? Well now we have a big brother named Jesus, who rose with all the power of heaven and earth in His hands!" We don't have to cower before satan or the evil of the world. The bible warns those that intend to do us harm, "Touch not my anointed ones...!" (1 Chron 16:22). Let me tell you, if there is one bad side you do not want to be on, it's God's. People often think of the forgiving, gracious, merciful God; and forget that God is also just and righteous. The same God that gave His only begotten son for us; also destroyed whole cities, turned a lady into a pillar of salt, and opened up the ground to swallow whole families! God is not playing! I have actually started to feel bad for my enemies. I feel like I need to wear a t-shirt and warn them. You know, a plain whit tee with a cross on the front and a warning on the back, "Anointed by God: Do not touch!" I'm just trying to help them out. And I'm not cocky, I'm just confident in God. I know that I have accepted His gift of righteousness, He has a purpose for me, and I'm trying my best to walk in obedience and submissiveness. If God has a purpose for me that means I am anointed to do SOMETHING*, and the word says God permitted no man to do them (His anointed) wrong and even rebuked kings for their sake. Now if for some reason you feel like the Lord is allowing someone to treat you wrong, the first thing you need to do is search yourself and see if maybe you did not get yourself in that position. Second, you need to repent of anything you did knowingly or unknowingly to offend God, and third you need to remember that the Word says everything works for the good of those who love God and are called according to His will. Many times the things and situations that are intended to tear us down are exactly what God uses to build us up. Use these opportunities to get closer to God, pray that he increases your faith and your trust in Him. Remember the story of Joseph, whose brothers hated him, threw him into a pit, and sold him into slavery where he was beaten, threatened, lied on, and thrown into the dungeon before he was given a miraculous promotion and made the second most powerful man in Egypt. When Joseph finally saw his brothers again, he harbored no bitterness in his heart but informed them that what they had meant for evil, God meant for good. My husband confirmed this for me last weekend when he said, and I paraphrase, "When you're living for God and it still feels like you're running into obstacles on every side, and nothing you're trying is working, just put your faith and hope in God because He is getting ready to work a miracle in your life!" Hallelujah, we don't have to depend on our own strength!
Ok, I've gotten waaaayyyyy off track. I guess the Holy Spirit wanted someone to hear that. But back to church. After Sunday school we went down to the main sanctuary for service where we were blessed by an awesome praise and worship. Then after praise and worship something amazing happened. I know the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) are a divisive issue among Christians, but we believe in them whole-heartedly in my church and I pray that the idea of the Holy Spirit working in us to perform wondrous works does not divide the fellowship that we have here on this site. Anyway, after praise and worship and before the pastor could start speaking a woman walked on stage with a message for the pastor. She began to whisper in his ear, but half way through the message the pastor turned and pointed to the crowd and said, "You tell them." The lady looked at us and it was as if her whole body was aching. She took the microphone and she started quietly and she said (paraphrase), "The Holy Spirit gave me a message for His people," she hesitated and then her voice got stronger, "Awake! Awake my people! Awake! Turn back toward me. I want you hearts. Give me your hearts again. Your hearts my people. Your heart." And she repeated this mantra for 5 or 10 minutes alternating between speaking in tongues and interpretating in English. It was amazing. It was like you could see the anointing on her, she was not only getting a message from God, He was showing her His heart. You could feel His heart breaking as He pleaded through her for His people to turn back toward Him. I have been at this church for 3 months now and that was my first time witnessing such a thing, but I believe that it has so far been the best example of how the gifts of the spirit are supposed to be used. 1 Corinthians 14 says that the gifts of the spirit are for the edification of the entire church and that in public, tongues are really only to be used along with the gift of interpretation so that the entire church gets the message. But I do not want our focus to be drawn to the debate of tongues, but rather stay focused on the message that was delivered. God is calling us to awaken! One of the biggest problems in Christianity is passivity. We just don't care about much. We say we believe in Jesus because we are afraid of going to Hell, but then we go out and live any kind of way we want. We have no self control, few morals, no power, and we look just like the rest of the world. The world has road rage and we have road rage. The world cries over the recession and we cry over the recession. The world hates their boss and ignores the poor and guess what we do? We are getting beated down by death and disease like the Lord has no power over our bodies. We have no confidence in our Christianity and we have no confidence because we confess one thing with our mouths but believe something completely different in our hearts. Or maybe it's just that we don't know what we are confessing. We say, "I confess that Jesus is Lord", but do we really believe that? The definition of Lord is: one having power and authority over others or a ruler by hereditary right or preeminence to whom service and obedience are due. So do we really believe that Jesus is Lord? The bible says, "Why do you call me lord, lord and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)" So if we really want to confess and believe that Jesus is Lord we must first know what it is He tells us to do, meaning we must read our Word, and second we have to realize that Jesus knows we don't have this kind of obedience inside of us, but all things are possible through Christ and the Holy Spirit. Quit saying you can't stop drinking, partying, and having sex; because if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior you are no longer just talking about your weaknesses, you are insulting the Spirit that lives inside you AND you are outright calling the God who said all things are possible, a liar! As I have submitted more and more to the Word of God I have seen a great change in my own life and trust me it is sooooo much better. You get the joy of living in expectancy, not because you deserve it and not because you trust in the works of your own hands, but because God is faithful to His promises and His Word says He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb.11:6).
We cannot be enslaved by sin and have the confidence to speak boldly for Christ. Now I know some of you don't consider yourself evangelicals so maybe speaking boldly for Christ isn't really your goal. So let me make this a little more personal. You cannot be controlled by sin and boldly appeal to God for wisdom on your tests, or boldly forbid diseases to enter into your body, or boldly declare prosperity in your life. The longer we submit to sin instead of God, the longer we block our own blessings. But more importantly, the longer we kill our own testimony. I have heard many times that the reason people don't give Christianity a chance is because they see so many people who call themselves Christians but live exactly like the rest of the world, sometimes worse! I used to be one of these hypocrites, but I can tell you since I've been on both sides, that not only are you killing your testimony, you are also making it increasingly difficult for others to win lost souls. In Revelation 3, God speaks of His disgust toward the lukewarm believer. That is really not the attitude we want the Father to have towards us. Let's get it together. One pastor describes it like this instead of trying to see how much sin we can have and still keep our salvation, we should be trying to see how much Spirit (power, purity, and authority) we can have while we are still here on earth!
I love you guys. My posts are never intended to disrespect or offend anybody, but it is my hearts desire for us to really understand not only what God wants from us, but also what's in store for us if we surrender to His will. I also realize that we are never going to turn the world to Christ if we walk around confused, depressed, sinful, and powerless. We need a revival. We need to be inspired to really chase after God so we can learn how to bless and not curse, how to have faith during trials, how to help and not hurt, and how to wield our God given power and authority.
*Many of us don't know what our anointing is, but trust me, if you are a child of God you are anointed to do something, and shame on you if you KNOW what your anointing is and you are not using it for the advancement of the kingdom.