Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Right Relationships & The Restoration Of Marriage Pt. 3


I have enclosed 2 thoughts in this particular admonishment, and since both are centered around the same concepts I thought that we should look at both ideas on one page. The issues center around personal/family growth and development and accountability. The key here is that there is no reward or benefit in allowing yourself and your loved ones to suffer unnecessarily at the hands of the "whims" of people. Remember, there is a difference between God promises and people promises.  

In this life we will have tribulation. That is certainly a fact and each individual shall all run into their fair share...however, there is a difference between suffering due to a move of God and suffering due to the need or requirement to be associated with and tied to people. I hope I can outline the difference in the following narrative. 


Please follow this short dialogue:

The minister came home one day and said: "Honey, the Lord told me to quit the job today, because he said he's getting ready to send me around the world preaching and I gotta have time to dedicate to the ministry"

The spouse asked, "When is the Lord sending you?"

The husband responded, "In a couple of years or so"

The spouse responded, "But he told you to quit today right?"

The husband said, "Yes."

The wife replied, "Well since I have no job, we have no savings, and the kids are hungry, by what method did the Lord tell you that we are to eat TODAY and pay rent TOMORROW?"  

This one may be tough for some, because most people believe that they are "called" to do something or that God "told" them to go to such and such church and either sit down or help get them straight. I have seen too many people who claim to be "called" to do one thing or another, and in the process, sit and stand around waiting for their opportunity to serve the church or the people of the church, while they simultaneously forsaking and sometimes rejecting opportunities that will allow them to pay the bills, take care of family and be more of a productive and contributing part of their environments.

Let Me Provide Some Perspective

Some may criticize my commentary as speaking against those who have great faith in God. Well, you can save that for someone who doesn't know what great faith is. As far back as 1997 I started my own church, started my own business which is a commission only business, and, on top of that, had the first of my 2 children at the same time, with no savings and my wife did not have a job. There is NO ONE that can tell me about faith, the promise of God and stepping out on it!

So with that said, I must begin with my experience regarding the entity that most people associate themselves with that causes them to enter into territory that is often difficult to navigate. I have witnessed all too many put their trust in a place that has killed the hopes and dreams of so many when they have held it too close or thought their mission was to be some sort of spiritual superman or superwoman...That entity is the church. 

Listen...The church does not belong to you or any man. It belongs to GOD and it is HIS! God will take care of HIS church and HIS people. Both (the church-corporately, and the individuals that make up the corporate church) are HIS, not yours. A person's being called to do something within that entity may be true. God needs SERVANTS. He needs labourers because the harvest is ripe. We are to 'occupy" until HE comes, however God will also provide and open doors for you and your family in his due time and failure to prepare for those times is a great and big mistake made over and over by far too many. 

I have seen folk forgo job opportunities, run away from opportunities to educate their children and other things, while they are sitting around waiting for the church or people in the church to give them something or approve them in some way or fashion. It's a sort of spiritual "on call" notion that, even though they are not the leader of the church, that causes many to believe that their lives must be arranged to make themselves immediately available and accessible to all them that "need" them. This desire to be accessible can be out of order and always is when the needs of the family and spouse are placed on the back-burner. 

The person that says that God has called him/her to the "ministry" and that they cannot even apply for or take a job offer because they have got to be "ready to minister at any time" should be aware that God has no interest in starving their family (1 Tim. 5:8), especially when resources are readily available. Why would God despise and deprive your children and family, while feeding everyone else around you? What's more, what pleasure would God have using you to make others prosper in every way while your are in abject poverty, ignorant, and mentally unprepared? Yet, this is a condition that I continue to witness over and over within the confines of the church and church service. 

Church Transitions...Be Careful About Pursuing And Waiting For The Takeover

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From my personal experience, a church wanted me to become their pastor. I was already engaged in the ministry of New Bethel. This other church knew this, but wanted me to leave New Bethel, the church which I established under the direction of the Lord. Upon considering this, the Lord challenged my spirit by asking what type of sense would it make for me to leave what was sure, steadfast and understood as his mission for me, for what was unknown and ambiguous? In other words, though God was not prohibiting me from taking on another church, he certainly wasn't telling me to leave what he told me to establish and work out. Needless to say, the people at the other church, didn't want to hear what the Lord told me and became very nasty towards me the same person whom they were so sweet and kind to and pursuing so strongly only weeks prior. People change, are temperamental and will trap you if you allow them to. 

Never follow the crowd...ALWAYS follow the CLOUD. Here I am using "cloud" figuratively as to mean the glory, will and anointing of the Lord for you. 

I have noticed another danger. Those waiting for the church to "transfer" to them. People in this condition are on equally as dangerous and shaky ground. You have no right to sit around waiting for the demise of the leader while you operate or work your ministry in the vision or ministry of the same leader unless you have been asked to do so and unless there is a specific succession plan at work. To try to ease your way into church leadership is not in accord with scripture and not beneficial to you or your family which is your first priority.

You Must Be Prepared For Ministry & Life

Finally, many of the problems we have within the church stem from a lack of knowledge. Don't believe me? Read this:
Hosea 4:6 ~ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Certainly the 'knowledge" referred to here is centered around the knowledge of God, his ways, righteousness and purpose, however, those things must be pursued and are only sought out by diligent minds and spirits. In other words, understanding more about God involves embracing an atmosphere of higher aspirations. Education is one of those aspirations that cannot be minimized. Pursue education and opportunities to advance in spite of what the church or group endorses. In fact, I would venture to say that if your church is not encouraging the pursuit of knowledge and higher aspirations at all levels, both naturally and spiritually, you need to look for another church. 

"Failure to plan is a plan to fail"
~ Benjamin Franklin
How many educations have gone unfulfilled simply because the revival was the week of the final exam or a difficult learning period? Or because there was a church trip that was "first" or above what was written in the syllabus? Don't get me wrong. God should be and certainly is first, however, Ecclesiastes says that there is a TIME and SEASON for all things and ALL things are made beautiful in its time. (Eccl. 3:1, 11)...when there is not direction in the pursuit of knowledge and personal fulfillment, then there is the potential for abuse and underachievement. In addition, one can also prepare and plan for church related events which sometimes occur regularly so that those events won;t conflict with personal or family related issues. 

It is incumbent upon you to lead your family into an atmosphere of learning and pursuing excellence in and for God. God's people are always in the school of learning and bettering themselves. Those opportunities could help you be ready for better things for your souse, son, and daughter. You owe them that and owe them the best that you have always and under every circumstance.


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