“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Jesus goes on to reveal the meaning of 4 Parables of the 4 Soils
The seed is the word of God.
Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so they may not believe and be saved.
Those on the rock receive the word with joy, but they have no root. They believe for a while but in the time of testing, they fall away.
The seed among the thorns stands for those who hearbut go on their way, choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures. They do not mature.
The seed on the good soil are those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and produce a crop because they understand.
Jesus goes on to issue a warning: “consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.
Applying the word of God to our lives is what causes us to grow. How can you grow in Christ if you don’t know the word of God? The Bible warns against having a form of godliness. There are a lot of people who think they’re good soil, but their fruit or complete lack thereof speaks otherwise.
I hope this parable reminds you as it did me to evaluate the condition of your heart, and your faithfulness to reading and receiving God’s word. I urge you to take an offensive/proactive approach to learning God’s word. Refuse to let it fall away. Refuse to let the cares of life drag you away from what God wants you to know about Him. He wants to make known to you the path of life and fill you with joy in his presence. Let God’s word get down on the inside of you. Meditate on it. Put it up in places so you’ll see it every day as you’re living life. Make God’s word the center of your life. Believe it. Declare it. Remember it.
God’s got crops that need to be raised up and harvested through you, IF you’ll put him and his words first in your life.
This morning, the Lord took me to Nehemiah Chapter 1. But before I go into that, I need to share a dream I had the night before. Typically, on the nights that God is giving me a prophetic dream, he’ll give it to me right before I wake up.
This particular dream was a bright day. The sky was crisp and blue. The clouds were perfect, white, cotton candy clouds. I was in the dream and I saw white everywhere, and I heard the voice of the Lord say, “Surely I am coming soon.” Then, I watched as the white panned back out to reveal a white robe. As I was following the shape of the robe up and down with my eyes, I noticed the man was barefoot. He was walking up white marble stairs into the clouds. I watched as he went back up into the clouds and disappeared. It was then that I awoke, and there was this overwhelming sense of peace and calm. I thought to myself, “Thank God, it won’t be much longer now.” and then my heart dropped to the thoughts of those who are unaware. They have no knowledge of the signs of the times. They have no knowledge of Jesus. They are lost, hurting, maybe some are hanging on to hope by a thread. And I started to weep.
The Lord took me to Nehemiah, chapter 1: I’m including the passage here:
“The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,
2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”
4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.
5 Then I said: “LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.
7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.
8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,
9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’
10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.
11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.”
Nehemiah went to the king who he served. His sad countenance caused the king to take notice, and Nehemiah bravely asked for permission to be sent back to Jerusalem to rebuild it. He also asked for official letters to deliver to the surrounding areas and to the king’s forest for supplies to rebuild, and military assistance for safe passage. I just want to pause for a moment and say how impressed I was with Nehemiah’s reverence yet boldness to ask for what he needed. The requests indicated that he had given careful thought to what it would take for him to be the one to execute this task. He didn’t sit down and wallow and pray and ask God to “send someone.” He knew that if it was going to be done, if the city he loved, if the promises of God would be restored to the people of Israel, that it would take his buy in and his leadership.
He was serving the king as the cupbearer. In many ways that seems like a very ordinary job, granted, it was cupbearer to the king of Persia, but Nehemiah wasn’t a builder. He was essentially a bodyguard, in that he would test all food and drink before it was given to the king to ensure the king wasn’t being poisoned. He was born in exile. He was not part of the original group of Israelites. He was not part of the group that Daniel, Shadrach, and the others were a part of. While it is obvious that Nehemiah was strong in his faith of God, he was not one who returned with the group of jews who Darius allowed to go back to the promised land. So what does that tell us? That he was content where he was- until. Until he heard that his people were in trouble and that the city’s walls were destroyed.
Significance of the Jerusalem Walls
I found this text from bibletools.org that I wanted to include regarding the significance of walls:
“Sometimes God Himself tears down our walls because of our sins (Isaiah 5:4-5). As Paul puts it, He delivers us to Satan for the destruction of our flesh in the hope we will repent (I Corinthians 5:5). The surest way to restore the wall is through sincere and complete repentance. Playing at the repair job, daubing bits of untempered mortar here and there, will only increase God’s wrath (Ezekiel 13:8-16). Such a wall, lacking God, gives the impression of security but crumbles at the smallest enemy strike. We must be totally committed to restoring.”
So the walls being down equated with God’s hand of judgment that was still over Israel. It was only until Nehemiah came to God in genuine humility and repentance, that God released forgiveness, the plans, and favor to begin and complete the rebuilding of the walls through Nehemiah.
Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem without telling anyone his plans and made a tour of the gates during the night, where he would go unnoticed.
Nehemiah’s nighttime tour of Jerusalem included the following areas:
The Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well: Valleys in the bible are low places. They can be a place of humble service to God, and it’s fitting for Nehemiah, in his humble service to begin at the valley. We have to go through valleys to have mountain tops.
The Dung Gate: Located in the southern part of Jerusalem’s walls, and it was the gate where trash and waste were removed from the city.
The Fountain Gate: Near the pool of Siloam, or the King’s Pool. It is the water from a spring called the Gihon spring or the spring that “bursts forth and gushing”. The Gihon spring was the main source of water for the city of Jerusalem.
There is a lesson in the significance of the gates he visited in the order that he visited them. The pattern is this: enter into service, cleanse or purify yourself from worldliness, and put on Jesus, the holy spirit (living water), the garments of righteousness in Christ. (That’s a word for today’s church right there!)
Faith-filled and Obedient Families Are Critical To Rebuilding
Nehemiah was a planner. Of the remnant that returned, he assigned people, namely families, to work on rebuilding sections of the wall and gates near their homes. Why? Because it cut down on travel time to far parts of the walls and it enabled families to stay in their immediate areas to protect their work, should they be attacked. But what’s the next level interpretation of this? It takes the people of God to repair the breaches and the fallen things in the kingdom of God. Restored walls signify the safety and hand of God over the people, over the church today.
Nehemiah commissioned the priests to rebuild the gates where sacrifices would enter into the temple. It was a work of God, by the people and through the people, so that eventually, the Lamb of God would later enter in.
The Walls of The Church Have Fallen
To be honest, I don’t know when it officially happened. It crept in. We forgot to appreciate the hand and the favor of God over this country. We took our liberties, and our freedom to worship for granted. Many of us became about the thing (church) rather than about the who.
False doctrine with whispers of universalism and secular humanism has crept in while a biblical worldview has diminished. We’ve tolerated things that God calls an abomination in the name of inclusivity. We’ve turned our backs on those in need. We send thoughts and prayers instead of showing up. We’ve stopped with tithes and offerings because our cashflow allocations have priority over advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ. We’re bathing in lukewarm water to get our “word from the Lord” every week, expecting to be “fed.” Come to church and get your weekly dose of milk from the Lord. We drop our kids off for “free daycare” so we can have brunch with friends. While we might be an adult in the eyes of the state but we’re disabled infants in the eyes of God. We don’t see with his vision. We don’t perceive what he’s doing in this hour. We don’t know his voice or his word. It’s the “all about you” gospel instead of the “all about Jesus” gospel.
Our walls have fallen. Since quiet-quitting is a thing, the same applies to believers who quiet-quit their faith and relationship with God. And then covid… now, according to statistics from 2022, church attendance is down 45% nationwide.
So how do we repair?
Let’s take some cues from Nehemiah.
We confess our sins as the body of Christ and repent for the church and our nation. God’s word says in 2 Chronicles 7:13, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. His word also says in 1 Peter 4:17, “For it is time for judgment to begin in the house of the Lord; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
We remind God (and ourselves) that blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen as His own inheritance. We ask God for grace and mercy to begin again. And we live a life worthy of our calling.
We DO something about it. We become disciples and we make disciples. We read the word of God, individually, within our family, and collectively as the body of Christ. We talk about it with our children, in our going out and coming in. We fellowship with other disciples. We stand as ambassadors, as intercessors, with a hammer in one hand and a sword in the other, and we REBUILD in every facet of culture today. We represent the kingdom of God in our spheres of influence. We live uncompromised lives- no more lukewarm. No more dead disciple living. Live different. Alive. Brightly lit. Not of this world.
Today I pray that if you’re not at a living church, with other living disciples, or if you’ve strayed from the path that leads to life, that you would return. Ask God to show you your part in rebuilding the fallen walls of our church’s generation. I encourage you to remember the person who led you to Jesus. The person who loved you so much that they invested in telling you about Jesus’ sacrifice for you. What if they didn’t speak up that day? What if they ignored the nudge from God? What if they thought, “She’ll come around when she’s older,”? Where might you be today if it wasn’t for your parents who followed the Lord and made sure you got to church? It’s time we be those people for this generation. SPEAK UP. Don’t ignore the nudge. Live the truth in Spirit and in Truth so that others may find life in Jesus too because surely He is coming soon.
“Beware of the 2 adulteress sisters: divination and witchcraft. It looks like me, but it’s not me. It weaves its way into my people and takes control of weak-willed women who are not spiritually discerning. It’s vital that you stay close to me. As days approach, the evil will counterfeit the holy in attempts to deceive many. You can only know the way, the truth, and the life through me. Not through who someone professes to be, or no matter how special they think they are. I the Lord test the mind and hearts of men. I reveal, uncover, and expose the truth. Test all spirits, for then you will know who are mine and who are workers of iniquity. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
I’m going to include some scriptures that explain this word as it relates to this word.
The 2 Adulteresses in Ezekiel 23
I had never read this passage before, but before giving me this word, the Lord took me to Ezekiel 23, which in high-level context refers to the the northern and southern kingdom of Israel using a metaphor for 2 adulteress sisters. The bible calls them “daughters of the same mother, engaging in prostitution. The Lord says, “since you have forgotten me and thrust me behind your back, you must bear the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution.” The word also says, “But righteous men will sentence them to the punishment of women who commit adultery and shed blood, because they are are adulteresses and blood is on their hands!” Chapter 24 says, “‘I the Lord have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and actions,’ declares the Sovereign Lord.”
Divination and witchcraft operate together, and in the instance of this word, God is calling them adulteress sisters in relation to those in the church who are operating under these spirits but calling them the gifts of the holy spirit, or the gifts of God. Just as Judah and Samaria rebelled against and committed adultery with other nations, idols, and their gods, so have these people, or perhaps even actual women in the church committed adultery against the One True God and are operating in false signs and wonders by demonic powers.
The women in Ezekiel were called prostitutes. To prostitute something means to devote to corrupt or unworthy purposes. Intercourse can mean communication or dealings between individuals or groups. In regards to this word, these people and entities are professing believers who are breaking covenant with God for works of darkness through divination and witchcraft. God warns that it can look like him, but it’s not him. Please be very careful and discerning of what you believe of others and what they profess. His word today states that he is going to reveal, uncover, and expose them. But you are responsible for working out your own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord.
The Meaning of Divination and Witchcraft in the Bible
Divination: a foretelling future events, or discovering things secret or obscure, by the aid of superior beings, or by other than human means. A diviner is someone who professes divination; one who pretends to predict events, or to reveal occult things, by the aid of superior beings, or of supernatural means.
Witchcraft: The bible says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
The word of the Lord says that divination and witchcraft weave (I’m visualizing a slithering as I type this) their way into his people, and he references 2 Timothy 3:5-9: “…having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind that worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. […] But they will not get very far because as in the case of those men, (Jannes and Jambres), their folly will be clear to everyone.” The Lord is saying that weak-willed women who are not holy spirit- discerning become controlled by those who operate in witchcraft and divination. Be on your guard.
Testing the Spirits& Guard Against Deception
The bible talks about testing the spirits in 1 John 4. It has this to say,
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood.
I went on a search for witchcraft and divination in the bible: I found 18 verses and this website called Acts7:11.com that explains witchcraft and Satan’s attempt to work it into the church. I encourage you to review it because it dives into specific ways this plays out in the church.
Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life
We live in a day where prophecies abound, and perhaps it’s even more evident because of the advance of digital media and technology. But it’s also because Satan knows his time is short, and as he is the father of lies, he will attempt to counterfeit everything holy that God is doing in the earth right now.
The bible says in Matthew 24:24, ” For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect- if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.” I am reminded of this passage in Matthew 8:2 where Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in our name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”
Do You Really Know Jesus, Or Do You Just Know About Him?
Hear me out, and hear the word of the Lord above: THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL KNOW THE FATHER IS THROUGH RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. I have people who call me wanting a word like I’m 1-800-dial-a-word, and I tell them, I don’t have a word for you, but God has endless words. IN HIS WORD. READ THE BIBLE AND GOD WILL SPEAK TO YOU. Don’t look for a man or woman to be your holy spirit, that’s God’s job. I just can’t say this enough.
Stay close to him. Don’t be deceived. Hold fast to the truth and test everything against the word of God.
I was on a call with a friend this morning and she confided in me the fear that she was feeling about life, her work, and the landscape of society in general. We were speaking in context of our business relationship, and when I got off the call, I went into my quiet time and begin to pray for her. During worship, the Lord began to speak this to me and released me to share it today. He says,
” My people are afraid. They have allowed the circumstances and the environment around them cause them to lose focus on the things I am doing in this hour. I AM the GREAT I AM. I am making a way where there seems no way. I am aligning people, places, events for my purposes, says the Lord. Do not allow the enemy to steal your focus on who is in control- IT’S ME! Do not look for me in the fire or in the earthquake, or in the wind. You will find me in the secret place. You will hear my still, small voice. I whisper thoughts of love, hope, a future to you. I tell you of great things to come. You are living in a time where miracles abound. Pray for the eyes to see them. I speak peace to your heart today. Nothing is taking place that I have not ordained, and as I sit on my throne I invite you to sit beside me. You will find me when you seek me with your whole heart. Remove the distractions and come and be with me. Activate your faith to believe I AM and that YOU CAN find me. I am not a far off God. I am as close as your breath. Come!”
I want to add to that, don’t give God pieces of you. God desires ALL of you. He created you for His delight and for His glory! And for those of you who feel as though your life is in pieces, or maybe you feel like you’re missing pieces you need before you can come wholly to God, I say just come! Bring whatever you’ve got and come to Jesus. He specializes in turning pieces into masterpieces. He’s the God of restoration and he will restore you. Just come to him! I was reminded of this song I sang in church as a child. I hope that as you listen to it, it’ll settle your anxious heart and that you’ll sense the deep love Jesus has for you. The link is here: Softly and Tenderly
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” 2nd Timothy 3: 1-5
You might be thinking, “I’m not any of those horrible things!” And while we are seeing evidence of terrible times in present-day culture, for the church, I believe God wants us to really hone in on the latter part of the text. Having a form of godliness indicates that, in the last days, people would look like Christians. What does a form of godliness look like? Perhaps they go to church…maybe they can quote what are non-scriptural cliches within the spheres of Christianity like, “God never gives you more than you can handle”, or “When God closes a door he opens a window.” They celebrate Easter and Christmas (for some they only attend church at Easter and Christmas), and they might even be able to quote a scripture or two. They probably own a bible, but they don’t read it.
In Matthew 7:15 the Bible talks about knowing prophets by their fruit, and we can also use this scripture to apply to the fruit we either see or don’t see in a believer’s life. Trees are known by the types of fruit they bear. As the holy spirit begins to work in the heart of a new believer, God’s character is made manifest through the transformation and refinement of a believer, from the inside out. A person who lives life at the well of Jesus begins to exhibit the fruit of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. It’s antithetical to the scripture in 2 Timothy that we just reviewed. Those with a form of godliness make an outward display of the “being a christian” on the surface, but there is no depth, no real relationship with Jesus underneath the surface.
We should examine our own fruit, as well as the fruit of those around us. Are we bearing any? Do our day-to-day life, conversations, and associations prove that we are pursuing Jesus rather than adding a dose of Christianity to our worldly lifestyle? It’s important to understand your sphere and the culture of your environment because it is shaping YOU. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Bad company corrupts good character.” Jim Rohn says it this way: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Your friendships and associations influence who you are and who you will eventually become. They determine what you value and prioritize. God’s word also says “Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart”, and “They honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” (Matt. 5:18). We should be the kind of people who live a lifestyle of honoring God first in all things and choosing to align ourselves with other believers aspire to the same kind of righteous living.
This passage from 2nd Timothy invites a pause to self-reflect on who we really are, and the trajectory of our life based on our focus, decisions, and associations. It takes giving the Holy Spirit permission to convict us by showing us where we’ve been getting it wrong so that we can repent and pursue God the way he desires. AND BEAR FRUIT.
Some of God’s people have compromised. They are not quite in the world, not quite in the kingdom of heaven. They look upon and give commentary on the state of the world yet they fail to look inward and examine their own hearts. They have a form of godliness but they stifle the transforming power of the work of the cross, the power to change the world by becoming a living vessel of the message of Jesus Christ. They have made the holy mundane, slowly exchanging the truth of God for a lie. They have a form of godliness but but they are compromising like Ephesus. Paul warns true believers to have nothing to do with such kinds of people.
Verse 16 in 2nd Timothy 3 says, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Chapter 4 states, “In the presence of God of Christ Jesus who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from truth and turn aside to myths. But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”
Today, I pray that you will ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truths he wishes to teach you about your walk with God, your lifestyle, your relationships, and your fruit. May you become closer and closer to God as you pursue a life of true godliness in Him.
Early this morning around 3am I heard these words: “Wake up, your bridegroom is coming!” I laid in my bed, trying to wake up but finding myself so drowsy from sleep that I continued to lay there.
This morning in my quiet time, as I talked with the Lord about the urgency of the hour and the words that I woke to, He spoke this word to me:
“I am purifying my bride for such a time as this. I call out their detestable practices. They say they love me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. I must pull back the veil to show them their errors and sin while there’s still time to repent and return to me. Not everyone will listen, but some hearts will be convicted. That’s me- touching their heart because I love them. I want them to be right with me. Made righteous. Pure. I am not coming for a broken bride. I am not coming for a bride that loves me with half of her heart or even just a fraction. I am coming for a bride who has made herself ready to receive me. I died for my bride. She is my beloved, and I am hers. She knows me intimately and understands what I mean when I say this. This is a call to my bride to purify herself. Come out from among them and be separate and touch no unclean thing. Put away the deeds of darkness. It’s almost daylight. Wake up! Behold! Your bridegroom is coming soon!” says the Lord.
He took me to 2 Kings 17: 34 which states,
“To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the Lord who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” They would not listen however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshipping the Lord, they were serving idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.
When you asked Jesus into your heart, you made a covenant with him, similar to the covenant of marriage. When you enter into a covenant with God it means you agree to keep certain terms and promises. In this instance, the Israelites, the church, and we as individual believers in covenant with Jesus agreed not to worship any other gods, to serve or place anything at a higher value than we place our relationship with Jesus. We agreed to live life according to the Word of God, not according to the world’s standards, worldly aspirations, etc. And His word says in this passage that when we worship the Lord, He delivers us from the hand of all of our enemies. (He promises so much more than that to us, too!) But the bible states that the people of God wouldn’t listen, and they “persisted” in their other practices. To persist means to firmly or obstinately continue in a course of action despite difficulty or opposition. In other words, they continued to gritfully pursue their own desires, lusts, and serve themselves and other “gods”. A little god (with a lowercase g) is anything in your life that you place of greater value above big God (with a big G). A little god is defined as anything you adore, admire, or anything that has influence over you. Little gods or false gods could be money, intimate relationships, work, gambling, alcohol, sleeping in on Sundays..r-rated or x-rated movies…the list is really endless. And alot of Christians profess Jesus but they continue on with the worship and even sometimes secret worship of all of these little gods. Well, the Bible is clear. When you make Jesus Lord over your life- you are saying, “Jesus, I am making you authority over my life. I am making you the influencer of my life. I am making you the master over my life. Rule over me. How then, do you justify the little gods in your life? His word this morning was clear. We are to purify ourselves, turn from our evil ways and our little gods, know Him more intimately. That means tearing down the idols. His word says, you shall have no other gods before me. And maybe you think you’re living life ok in the eyes of Jesus. I encourage you to pray to him and ask him to reveal the idols you’ve set before him. He is so kind and faithful to show us. He doesn’t condemn you. He wants to make you right so you’re awake and ready for his return. For more, please read the text below when Jesus spoke about the parable of the 10 virgins.
Matthew 25: 1-13. “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take along any extra oil. 4But the wise ones took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9‘No,’ said the wise ones, ‘or there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10But while they were on their way to buy it, the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut.
11Later the other virgins arrived and said, ‘Lord, lord, open the door for us!’
12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’
13Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
This morning in my quiet time, the Lord took me to 1 Corinthians 7:21. Before I go into the scripture, I need to say that God has been speaking to me about the remnant of believers. I am called by Him to write to them to encourage and correct them. To help them rekindle their relationship and pursue God on a more intimate level. To hear His voice, receive His instruction, and fulfill their assignments on earth. I’ve been thinking about the name of this blog, The Gritfull Life, asking God if I should change it to something else. But the truth is, it takes a measure of faith and grit to live in this day and age. It takes GRIT to be a part of the remnant. I think of the book A Tale of Two Cities when I say this because it truly is the best of times and the worst of times. The darkest hours before the Lord’s return, but the generation that will welcome His return! Before the foundation of the world, God purposed that we would be alive NOW. I don’t know about you but that realization has caused me to ask God every day, “Lord, what do you want me to do???” “How can I be your agent of change? How can I bring you to others and show them that you are living and active, that your plans prevail, and that, even though the darkness is closing in, you are COMING SOON?” “People need you Lord, whether they know it or not yet!” “I’ll go wherever you want me to go. I’ll say whatever you want me to say, if you’ll be with me and make me brave to do it.”
The Lord replied, “I am putting new things in your hands. You have everything you need already. Go where I tell you to go, and say what I tell you to say.”
It’s why I’m writing this blog. Like he instructed me through his word in Habakkuk, “I will stand my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me. I will write the revelation down and make it plain so that a herald (one who makes public proclamation) may run with it. For the revelation waits for an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay.” Habakkuk 2: 1-3
Reader, I want you to know that everything up till now has been God preparing me for becoming comfortable putting things in writing, believing God for who He is and what He says about me, what He wants me to do, etc. I literally have journals filled with the path and signs he’s been pointing me to. Like the Mandolorian says, “This is the way.” He had to heal my heart first, and bring me to a place where I could receive and release what He wants for His people. I’ve been tiptoeing into the pool of this ministry that I’ve known He’s called me to my whole life. Now I believe and know that it’s not me, it’s HIM. And the gifts he has given me are for you, for his glory, through Jesus Christ. For such a time as this.
Ok, now to the scripture:
“What I mean brothers, is that time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed by them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” 1 Corinthians 7:21
I asked the Lord, why He would show this to me now? Beyond what I’ve just said to you about being a voice for Him to His remnant, I grew up in church environments where I saw leaders in the church use scripture like this to justify leaving their wives, walking away from ministry, etc. Of course, being a pre-teen at the time, I wasn’t wise in the scriptures, and thus formed a very biased view of how “Christians” interpreted the Bible to give themselves permission to do whatever they wanted, thanks to “grace.” And while that’s a whole other lesson that needs to be unpacked, corrected, and re-aligned to the TRUTH of the Bible, it bears mentioning here because God is not giving us permission as women to exit our marriages. Basically, He’s saying, that we as believers should make the most of our time before Christ’s return. Every person in every generation should have a sense of urgency about telling others about Jesus because life is short. We don’t know the day or the hour of Christ’s return. We should be focused on what really matters. HIM, and making Him known.
The Lord spoke to me to share with you today:
“There are people who are still focused on fixing others rather than themselves. My word says there is no one righteous, no, not one. I want my people to seek me for healing, wholeness, fullness, and peace. But they are searching everywhere else for anything else that could possibly satisfy. ‘Well’, I ask, ‘Are they satisfied?’ Before I ask the question, I already know the answer. I am calling- you who are hungry, come and eat. You who have bread, come and find me and be satisfied. I will give freely.”
Time is running out. It sounds as though you’re still searching elsewhere for satisfaction. I want to encourage you to seek God while he may be found. If you’ve wandered away from reading your bible, going to church, and fellowshipping with other believers, it’s time to return. Build yourself up in the most holy faith, and pray in the holy spirit. Stay awake, he is coming soon.