Mat:18: 6 niv If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!
The letters that I will be sending you is to (prayerfully) help us stay focused. God has prepared each of us for tasks that we are called to do. We must be able to listen to Him so we know what those task are. It has been impressed upon my heart to communicate with you on what the Spirit is inspiring me to convey. The message is to be shared with as many as who will receive it.
Please apply this prayer to yourself before reading any further…
“Heavenly Father, we praise you; we give honor and glory to you oh Lord; help me understand your message the way you intended and may it be received with gladness in my heart. God open my mind and my heart Father and fill me with your love; let me know to fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Forgive me Lord my transgressions and thank you for the grace we live under made by the sacrifice our Savior; in Jesus name, Amen”.
Over the past few years I’ve made several trips to Panama City to visit my family and to hopefully run into some old friends and sometimes I have the opportunity to see someone that I have missed dearly. The visits are fantastic but there seemed to always be something missing while there. I couldn’t quite put my thoughts around it until my last visit which opened my eyes to a clear message of how God was to use me. Though the truth is sometimes very hard to hear it’s even more so to tell, I think it does more harm than good when not truthful. Being led to “tell it like it is”, is a taunting mission God has put me on but I trust Him to lead me in the right direction.
Eph. 4:15 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Check your heart, did you read the whole verse? Understanding this verse shows us that we have a responsibility for truth to be spoken as long as it is done with love and for the building of the body of Christ. Let me be very clear about what the Holy Spirit has spoken to me and has burdened my heart even though I am compelled to dissect Eph. 4:15-16 because the meaning of just this verse alone is so profound and everyone needs to have a clear understanding of Gods message. There are things keeping the body of Christ from being fulfilled and blessed and these letters are for the edifying of our Savior firstly and secondly to help us recognize the battles the church and its principles (all concerned) are facing. If your arm was broken the body would not function as it could if it were whole and in order to function adequately healing must take place.
When I visited Panama City last year, I was compelled to find the church where I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, (Mark 1:8 “I baptized you with water; but He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”). I almost missed the service looking for it for not remembering how to get there being it was so long ago. Please understand, my battles are as real as anyone else’s and my spirit was enraged with the enemy for how “my special place” was affected when I visited them. Even under tremendous heaviness from my mother’s passing, God found a conduit for which to speak through and told me that His plan is perfect beyond my understanding. Although the storm rages all around me with the loss of my mother and all the emotions that still run through me, He is in control. The days after, He gave me the mission I now carry in His name. Thank you Lord for trusting me with this mission.
After returning home I received a special phone call by a Pastor that I respect and love dearly for his heart and his dedication to do Gods will. While we were reminiscing I began to feel the Spirit to stir within me and as the Pastor spoke of the church, the church community and the community in general as to where it was and where it is now, suddenly without notice and in a flash, the Truth spoke to me;
Zech. 8 niv. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you…
I felt my heart swell and my spirit became excited and anxious at the same time. I wasn’t sure to what the Holy Spirit was referring to until later that week, God’s timing is not my own. The Pastor and I continued talking over the days that followed and during one of our conversations he told me of a lost soul that came into the church to work on the sound system. This young man previously visited another church in the community, he asked the Pastor of that church what his vision was for his church, a simple but valid question and he (the Pastor) replied with, “I don’t have a vision for this church”. There it was, the answer I was waiting for from the Holy Spirit. This answer flooded my spirit with indescribable clarity of the tasks that are undone not just in that community but everywhere. It was as clear as if it were instructions on how to build a swing set. I now have the answer that I needed in order to wrap my thoughts around what was missing, this was the burden that God impressed upon my heart. The Spirit led me to these two scriptures first and told me the church and its body has lost their way.
Eph. 4: 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.
God and His ultimate wisdom had made this very simple for me (which I need it to be) and it was all making sense how the church and the community have become defeated, a church community that is scattered, lost and dying.
Jer. 50:6 My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.
A shepherd can not lead a flock when he is not there to lead, without vision how can he find nourishment that feeds the herd. Without vision the shepherd walks aimlessly and allows the flock to drink from waters that he would not drink of himself. No vision or leadership will direct the flock to wander off and find nourishment where ever they can get it whether it be good for them or not.
God clearly instructs us to guard ourselves and to guard each other and He put leaders in place to assure the safety of the flock. Notice wolves hunt in packs and usually in the cover of darkness where there is no light. They circle the flock looking for the weakened, displaced sheep and make their way in for the feast.
Acts 20:28-29. 28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
The shepherd’s staff was not designed to strike the sheep but rather ward off the wolves with it from devouring them. The sheep, if gathered together in view of the shepherd and staying in the light of the camp are safe and free of danger. The Holy Spirit has commanded, “Hear Me, for all of you, the leaders of the church and the body of Christ, to pick up your staff, find and guide My children back into the arms of the Lord our God”.
Mat 18:12 If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
These are not my words, but clearly our Father in Heaven who is saddened over His children that are being devoured daily and watching a lethargic attempt to bring them home. He is instructing us to do what we as Christians are called to do, (Christian: noun; a person who exemplifies in his or her life with the teachings of Christ Jesus). He is saddened by His children being lost and attacked by the enemy while they are looking for a light to guide them back. You are that light, we are that light! If it were your child out there, losing battles with the enemy what would you do? If it were your baby girl fighting addiction or immoralities would you be motivated to do something about it? These are our brothers and sisters, and more importantly they are God’s kids just like we are.
I think it’s time to really check our hearts. Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior means our hearts have changed, a complete change deep within. Filled with love and compassion for the lost and our church. Don’t let the enemy steal your blessings. Strike him down with your staff and claim victory in the name of Jesus. It’s not too late for the church or the community but it has to start somewhere. You are instruments of the Most High and He will bless you beyond your needs. He will take your burdens, your heartaches and worries and give you rest, joy and peace within your heart. You know this, we as believers have witnessed the power of the Spirit of God and how He can manifest His Glory in our lives. What is holding you back? What keeps you from walking closer to Him than you have ever done before? Check the depths of your heart and if it’s time for a recommitment of your life He says He will never turn His back on us. I turned mine away but He was there with His light to show me the way back. I found His mercy is as great as His love.
Bend your knees in the shadow of the cross and tell Him you miss Him and you love Him. I promise you, He will fill you with all that you need.
More to come…