Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

I preached a message the other Sunday evening about learning to judge from God’s perspective and not as the world judges (Isaiah 11:3-4) “He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears, but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.”

So many of us judge by our ‘natural’ eyes, we judge by what we see and hear and not judge according to what we see and hear ‘in the spirit’, or out of a ‘pure’ heart.  Our judgement is often coloured by the lens that we are wearing of our life experiences, our life hurts etc instead of seeing and judging as God sees.  
But something that struck me as I preached and was like a ‘bomb’ in the spirit was out of 1 Corinthians 6:7-8 and it reverberated the following day with the power of the revelation that came with it.  Take the time to read from the beginning of 1 Cor 6 as it will bring context, but verses 7-8 are these;
“The very fact that you have lawsuits alongs you means you have been completely defeated already.  Why not rather be wronged?  Why not rather be cheated?  Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong and you do this to your brothers.”

What struck me was the fact that if we have right and wrong between each other, if we have disputes, if we are seeking justification or justice for being wronged etc. we have been defeated already, we have missed the whole point of the gospel already and stepped back into law.  We have missed what Christ did on the cross as he lay on a cross that he deserved not to be there, that he was innocent of and yet allowed himself to be put on a cross and judged.  We have missed what he did for us on that cross setting us free from the law of sin and death.  When we have lawsuits or fights among one another, we are setting in motion ‘law’ again, right and wrong, and it it continues in verses 7&8  “Why not rather be wronged?  Why not rather be cheated?  Instead we are justifying ourselves, or perhaps wanting justice for being accused or treated wrongly and yet that is what Jesus did on the cross.  We are picking up ‘law’ again instead of allowing the Lord to speak to that person, or trusting in Jesus to bring justice to a situation, instead of trusting that God sees everything and he is more than able to speak to someone, to right the wrong that has been done if we were to wait and trust in Him.  It is so easy to pick up law and it was a challenge for me the next day as I bought some food and it was cold - do I say something, or do I leave it - Why not rather be wronged?  Why not rather be cheated?  And the next day when someone didn’t do what they said they would do - Why not rather be wronged?  Why not rather be cheated?  And the next day when someone comes with the pointing of finger at my faults - Why not rather be wronged?  Why not rather be cheated? 

Obviously this is a continuing work in each one of us as we learn and grow in the Lord but boy was it like a bomb as the Lord brought revelation on how easily we enter into things that take us from the cross.  How easily we pick up things that the Lord is not asking us to pick up and in so doing we enter a battle we didn’t need to enter in.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

You think you don't, but I bet you do, even if only in some small way....

Something the Lord talked about recently was about 'coveting' and the definition of this is:

 "to feel strong or immoderate desire for"
"to wish for something longingly"
"yearn to possess something especially something belonging to another”.

In my vision that led me to thinking about coveting, I saw someone coveting their future but someone else was living in that place already and they had to wait.  Often we may find ourselves coveting those people who have where we believe we are 'going to be' in the Lord.  The promise the Lord has given us. Perhaps that might be the future promise of children that we don't yet have, the future promise of a house, the future promise of those spiritual leaders we admire but perhaps we are longing to be now.

This is not a topic often preached about and I find in my thinking what a powerful topic that needs to be talked about as I believe if we became a satisfied people, like Paul writes where he learned to be 'content' in whatever circumstances, how differently our worlds around us would look.

Exodus 20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbour’s house.  You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”

It’s a powerful scripture because often we ‘covet’, we ‘desire’ what we do not have and our lives are often lived in a state of dissatisfaction because of what we may have had once that we no longer have now, or we are wanting something we have yet to have.  All of this comes from a place of not understanding the fullness of who and whose we are in Christ and our identity found in him, but that is a whole another topic but when addressing something like coveting, needs to be understood.

James 4:1-3  “What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but don’t get it.  You kill and covet, but you cannot have want you want.  You quarrel and fight.  You do not have, because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend when you get on your pleasures.”

This is a really hard scripture to digest because within all of us, when we take a look at our lives, all of us in some way I am sure fight and quarrel about things.  I remember as a parent when my daughter didn’t do what she was asked, by the third or fourth time of asking, my voice was raised and a full on argument was occurring.  But the reality is one or both of us was not getting our own way, hence the argument.  And so I had to examine this journey in my parenting and also in my relationship with my husband and look at why I was arguing or fighting and was it worth what I was fighting for or could I do this another way which would be more productive and less harmful for all concerned?

Recently I was chatting with some one about the ‘new move’ of God and how it looked and this person seemed to think it looked a certain way and I think it looks a certain way and yet who is right and who is wrong?   Actually we have to be careful that we are not holding on to ‘old’ wineskins of what we think it looks because we think we have seen it.  When  we do this we make an 'idol' of something instead of continually living a day by day walk a walk of faith with the Lord and he will lead us into the 'new thing' which is actually 'new' every morning.  If something like this is breaking relationships with people because of different thinking, then I am fighting with my neighbour and so it needs to be assessed in the light of God’s word rather than our own desires that well up within us.

It’s a huge topic but I believe the Lord wants us to repent from ‘coveting’ those things that we ‘desire’ and don’t yet possess, those things that cause arguments in our lives, those things that we are continually pursuing whether it be financial success, a body that looks stunning, a new car, the ‘new move of God,’ whatever it may look like, that says the place I am in I am not satisfied in.  Let's be a people that are learning to give thanks in all circumstances, whether well feed or hungry, whether possessing everything or possessing nothing, whether liked by others or not, whether having the latest gadgets or having no gadgets.  When we give thanks and we look at the good in our lives, we no longer look at the 'lack'.  Bless you all.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

A word of warning.

Last night in a vision I saw several small individual planes trying to fly but as they took off they ended up crashing and burning.

I believe there are believers in the Lord who are moving in the gifts of the spirit and think that because they are moving in the gifts of the spirit that they have it sorted and they don’t need anybody else and they can just take off. I  believe in that ‘takeoff’ it will be short lived.  There are things you still need to learn.

We can have all the gifts and those gifts build us up in God and it is easy to become prideful when working in the ‘gifts of the spirit’.  But the gifts and the anointings that the Lord gives us are freely given, but we need to learn how to love, because as it says in 1 Cor 13, we can have all the gifts, but if we have not love, it profit us nothing.
And to love is to lay your life down for another, to love is to serve others needs above your own, to love is to lay down your rights and your expectations in order to see others flourish.  And in humbling yourself one to another, in the right time the Lord will lift you up.

Romans 5:1-5 talks about the building up of our character and although we can move in the gifts, unless our character develops and the relationships around us develop, the gifts and callings on our lives will come to a crashing short lived end.  Unless we are willing to humble ourselves and learn from others more experienced in the Lord, instead of thinking ‘we have it all’, our times of ‘flying’ could come to an undesired end.

God’s desire for you is to see you fly and to fly a long distance, not to crash and burn as I saw some planes doing.  So I encourage you to be willing to learn from others, to humble yourself to those who have walked the journey in the Lord and are still on fire and be willing to serve them and allow the Lord to lift you up.  It's so easy to fall into pride because we start moving in the gifts and seeing things happen around about us, but please I encourage you, not to be an individual plane doing your own thing.   Put yourself into a body and allow others to speak into your life, to allow God to develop the character in you that will not see you come to an end that is not his desire or best for you.  We are to be part of a family and it is a safeguard for you, not a burden.