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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

You are NOT important. You are NOT capable: Re-doing self-affirmations

    Everyone says that we should love ourselves. We should believe in ourselves. "You are greater than you think," they say. "You have the power to change the world," they muse. But I'm here to tell you that all of that is a lie. You are not greater than you think. You are severely and utterly LESS.
     You are not powerful, you are not capable, and you are not able to accomplish anything beyond what God allows. None of us are.
    We wouldn't even be alive if He hadn't ordained it to be so. Back to the dirt, back to the ashes we will go in just a few short years on earth. So frail, so fragile. Bad news today at the doctor's, and dead tomorrow. Wrong place at the wrong time and you are gone forever. We are POWERLESS without GOD!
     And quite frankly I'm EXHAUSTED by the arrogance of today's society! It's very much self-central. Photos of ourselves in all our best angles. Self-glorification at it's highest degree! All the rappers want to be 'mini gods'. All the preachers have removed the crosses from the sanctuary, and put up life size posters of themselves. The churches have changed their names from "Christ Temple"
or "Mount Zion" to "Celebration" or "Relevant". You may as well name your church "Important Church". Or better yet "The people's church": because WHERE is GOD?
      Is he in our services anymore? Do you feel him there? Can you look around and see EVIDENCE? Or just a bunch of HYPE? God leaves evidence everywhere HE goes. When He comes in the room there is an immediate shift. In His presence, change occurs. Miracles, Signs, and Wonders. When was the last time you experienced it? Or were you too busy checking your facebook and instagram during church to know if He was there? Or worse yet: Did you even come to church to encounter and worship God?
     It seems as though we have become content being "motivated" by our favorite "preachers". The quotations are there because there has been an increase in folks taking the mic and talking about a whole lot of other things in the pulpit, and not enough Jesus. Jesus MUST be preached. His death, His burial, His resurrection MUST be preached. That is the only hope and power that we can ever hold- through and by the blood of JESUS. If they are not forming their sermon around that sacred text, that source of hope, then they are not preachers of truth, but rather preachers of darkness sent to distract and mislead.
    We must take a long look in the mirror and say to ourselves,
                                         "You are not a god. you are nothing without God."
      Sounds harsh doesn't it? But a good dose of humility is what our world needs right now! From the white house all the way through hollywood, everyone is on a power-high. All these sexual misconduct accusations are flowing from people's abuse of a false sense of power. The bible says that rebellion is as the spirit of witchcraft. Rebelling against the rules, rebelling against morality, rebelling against GOD has created the dark world we now inhabit. This demonic spirit has caused people to pick up a gun and feel as though they have the power to take another man's life. They have taken on the role of God- deciding to punish innocent people for their own selfish reasons. But OHHHHHHHH they have NOT gotten away with it. There will come a day when the Lord will judge every man according to his works. There will come a day when every knee will bow and every tongue WILL confess that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD. 
     Look in the mirror and say
                                       "I am not a god. Lord I am worthless without you."
     This is where the true power lies. Because the truth is, God is the source of all
power- he is the potentate. Right now you could not go outside and create a river, cause it to rain, create a new color, make a new animal...we are powerless. We create and we live with the tools that He has given us. Period. So what arrogance can be found in that?
     God has been gracious toward us. He has actually given us access to His power. Through Christ, you can do all things. When you are weak, He is strong for you. HE has given all things into our hands freely. HE gives grace to the humble, and power to the Sons of God. HE upholds the righteous with His right hand of Strength. SO bottom line is- you are not powerful on your own, but when you tap into HIS spirit- then and only then the game changes. We must find our purpose, our worth, our beauty, our gifts, our destiny in HIM. Change your affirmations from "You can DO it" to "HE can do it". From "I am flawless" to " I am flawed but His grace is sufficient." From "I got this" to "HE's got this!"  Here's to God having a church that is secure in their place in HIM- aware that they are in need of Grace, grateful that HE loves them in spite of, and humbly standing in awe of His Glory.
Noisy For God
Thursday, February 22, 2018

To Be A Millenial Part 2: Dormant Spiritual Gifts

          The Spirit placed a question in my heart: Who gets a very special gift- but doesn't open the box and see what it is?
      Unfortunately, many in the body of Christ do! Our talents that can be of secular use are often identified early in life by our teachers and parents: athletic ability, musical adeptness, charisma, science and mathmatical ability, etc. But WHO is helping our young people to develop their SPIRITUAL gifts?
      We encourage our children to build their houses on the foundation of their secular gifts and talents, while their spiritual gifts remain unused and under- developed. As a result we face a generation of confused and spiritually disconnected people who have set their eyes on material things. This should not be so in the body of Christ. The time has come for us to Stir up the gifts that God has placed in us!
     There are special gifts and SUPERNATURAL abilities that God has given each of us to build up and edify the body of Christ (1 Pet. 4:10).

 The Bible speaks of 20+ Spiritual gifts that God has given to the church:
Romans 12:
 Exhortation: The gift that encourages, comforts, and uplifts others
 Giving: The gift that shares with cheerfulness and liberality
 Leadership: The gift that stands before others and directs, motivates, and encourages to accomplish goals
 Mercy: The gift that has compassion, sensitivity, and sympathy toward others and takes action
 Prophecy: The gift that speaks forth the message of God to His people; Forth-telling the will of God
 Service: The gift that identifies undone tasks in God's body and gets the job done
Teaching: The gift that instructs others in the Word in a way that brings true understanding and growth
1 Corinthians 12:
 AdministrationThe gift that steers the church through planning, organizing, and supervising toward accomplishing God-ordained goals
Apostle: The gift that was given to the eye-witnesses of Jesus, and original leaders of the establishment of the church
 Discernment: The gift that can distinguish truth from falsehood by judging whether the source of the behavior is from God, Satan, human power, or human error
Faith: The gift that is firmly persuaded of God's power with a conviction that cannot be shaken
Healing: The gift that can make people whole either spiritually, mentally, emotionally, or physically
 Helps: The gift that supports, assists, and desires to meet needs in the body
 Knowledge: The gift that naturally seeks and desires to gather and learn as much about the Word of God as possible and use said data to the building of the church
Miracles: The gift that is enabled by God to do the naturally impossible to His Glory
 Tongues: The gift that speaks in a new and unlearned language that allows the body to be edified and unbelievers to be persuaded by hearing their own language
 Interpretation of Tongues: The gift that translates the message spoken in tongues
Wisdom: The gift that applies knowledge and understanding to practical and daily decision making, and reveals spiritual truths
Ephesians 4:
 Evangelism: The gift that spreads the message of the good news of the gospel
 Pastor: The gift that is responsible for the shepherding, protecting, guiding, and feeding of God's children
(There are some repetitions of gifts in each passage, as well as the gifts of celibacy, martyrdom, hospitality, missionary, and voluntary poverty mentioned in other passages of scripture)
     I believe that we have prophets, preachers, and great leaders that are simply sitting in the pews. I believe that there are young people with the gift of healing in their hands lying dormant. I believe that we have tongue-talking and tongue-interpreting evangelists who are currently teen moms. There are inactive young people sitting at home who have a vision for the homeless, for youth centers, for community shelters that God has placed in their bellies. God has given EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US gifts! He has not put that gift in you to rot, or for you to just bury it. He has placed it there for such a time as THIS.
       Right now, we need people with the true gift of exhortation to come forward and encourage the body! Does God speak to you through dreams and visions? Our generation is thirsty for a TRUE prophetic word and encouragement from heaven. Where there is no vision, the people perish. Do you have a burden for the sick? Do you have a seed of faith in you that you know is special? The church needs you. The world needs to see you, God needs to use you. The time has come for us to stir up the gift that God has put in us!
     There is no need to be ashamed of the gift that God has given you, or to feel that your gift is any less than anyone elses. God gave you that gift for a reason, and once you begin to use it, God will add to it! The enemy wants you to sit on your one gift, because he knows that one person using their spiritual gift can chase a THOUSAND demons to flight! Don't you misjudge the POWER of a GOD GIVEN gift!
    ASIDE: Gifts need exercise. But your spiritual gift cannot flourish without a spiritual foundation. Our God is a GOD of order. It will always please the Lord for you to be fatihful to ministry, faithful to scripture and prayer, faithful at home FIRST. (See qualifications of leadership, 1 Tim 3)
     People will be intimidated by your spirtual gifts, and may even allow the enemy to work through them to keep you from using them. But you must remember the world needs you. You have to push beyond the haters, push beyond your fears, and use your gift( 2 Tim 1:6-9). We are in a battle, and we need gifted and trained soldiers to win this battle. I don't know about you, but I wish to have talented and skilled fighters fighting alongside me in battle, not people unqualified or operating in their area of weakness. We must crucify the spirit of Pride that keeps us from working in unity and investing in
other gifted Saints. God knew what He was doing when he distributed those gifts, and we fight against our own body when we tear down or refuse to use other gifted saints.
          It's clear we are living in the last days, as we see the spirit of pride running loose and taking many of the saints captive. We are self absorbed, more concerned about building an empire instead of building the church. We have gone astray in this area and the church has paid for it. This spirit of pride, arrogance, and jealousy effectively tears down the church.
         You can always tell when someone is operating in the spirit of Pride, because the body will not thrive. The body lacks what it needs to grow and go to the next SPIRITUAL level because that spirit causes the leader to abuse their seat of power. Instead of using the qualified person, the leader will do what the prideful and jealous King Saul did- try to misuse and kill off the qualified servants because they are intimidated. But if you are a David and you know you are called- just stay faithful to God with a good spirit. God will move Saul out the way and put you right where you belong. Continue to build, continue to exercise and perfect your gifts, and continue to stay faithful. Don't acquire a bitter attitude, don't quit, and certainly don't let them intimidate you. God has already spoken: your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men!

Stay Noisy For God!