Archive | 2:29 pm

The Dangers of Not Being THANKFUL

10 Mar

When we were all little kids, (hopefully) our parents taught us to say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you.’

It was taught to us as a part of being mannerable.  It’s just good social etiquette to say ‘Thank you’ after someone has done soemething for you or given something to you.

But being thankful doesn’t just stop there…at good manners.  Being thankful is a biblical principle that protects us from spiritual deceit, corruption and error.

Being thankful to God does…

I want you to read Romans 1.  Study it.  Read it again.  As I read it again this morning, the scriptures seemed to jump out from the page at me…

Romans 1:17

The Just shall live by FAITH….

If the just lives by faith, this means that they do NOT worry or fret over how their bills are going to get paid.  They do NOT covet after the riches of another.  They don’t work 8 jobs to keep up with the Joneses.  They may have a job, or they may not…but one thing IS for sure…they live BY FAITH.

If more people understood that biblical principle, then the error of the prosperity doctrine would spread no further.  Replete among the followers and purveyors of the prosperity message are people who simply LACK FAITH IN GOD.  They covet after the riches and possessions of another.  And they are NOT thankful FOR WHAT THEY HAVE!

They are greedy.  Never satisfied…and certainly not thankful.  Not to God…and probably not to their fellow man, either.

There is a danger in not being thankful.  It’s not just it offends God.  But being unthankful is breeding ground for covetousness and seducing spirits to come in and cause one to err ‘from the faith.’

When we begin to trust in the arm of flesh-ours or anyone else’s-to provide for our needs, instead trusting God implicitly, then we start placing debt, lack, poverty and our not having certain things (even if those things are necessities) on a pedestal, of sorts.  The debt, the lack, the poverty…they all become IDOLS in our lives…that replace the POWER and PROVISION OF GOD.  We place pre-eminence on our lack instead of faith in our God to provide EVERY NEED that we have…

Once this happens, a domino effect takes place.  What starts out as idolatry and lack of faith starts to grow into not SEEING GOD as God in our lives.

Romans 1:21-23

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were THANKFUL; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

When we place our lack, debt, poverty and the such above God in our lives, that thing has become an idol in our lives.  God is taken off the throne and our lack, debt, poverty takes its place.  And how do we worship the gods of lack, debt, and poverty?

By trusting in the arm of FLESH to provide.  By making up doctrines and teachings that will help us feel ‘empowered’ to prosper.  Admit it: there is a certain helplessness that comes with lack.  Most people HATE it.  And will do ANYTHING to avoid feeling helpless.

The downfall of many a man has been that the enemy KNOWS that it is in the innate nature of a man to provide for his family.  When this ability is hindered or taken away, this emasculates the man…and many men will do just about anything to provide for their families.

Many of the mega preachers that are so heavily-revered sold out to the god of mammon…they began ‘ministry’ in lack, debt, poverty. Listen to their testimonies of being in poverty.  Shaking roaches out of their clothes.  Living in houses with the utilities cut off.  Wearing the same clothes to church over and over again.  Being homeless.

And now they are flying in private jets and living in homes that most would only dream of!

But there was a price that was paid for that fortune, and it wasn’t merely the check they signed over to the realtor when they bought the homes.

The very gospel that they now preach and teach is tainted with error.  It makes gods out of temporary circumstances and gets people to trust in formulas and methods and NOT in God.

Look what happens when we do that:

Romans 1:24-25

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

When we start trusting in the arm of flesh and NOT in God, then we start worshipping just that….FLESH.

When you finish reading the first chapter of Romans, you will see that the rise in sexual (and spiritual) perversion has its roots in not recognizing God as God, and NOT BEING THANKFUL.

This is the chapter that goes into the rampant homosexuality and lesbianism that is promised in these times.

And to imagine—it all began with just not being thankful!

The old song used to go like this:

“Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessings, see what the Lord has done!  Count your blessings, name them one by one….Count your many blessings!  See what the Lord has done!”

There IS a danger in NOT being thankful.

The enemy knows in these uncertain (economic) times that many will be vulnerable to fall prey to error, particularly in this area.  Falling for the prosperity message keeps one in a constant state of covetousness, all in the guise of appearing to walk in faith for the things that you don’t have…all the while you are missing the blessing of enjoying what you DO have.

God has been really, really good to America.  We need not forget that….what does the Word say?

Psalm 9:17
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

A Sign of False (Or Ineffective) Ministry….

10 Mar

We all have come in contact with a ministry that we later on deemed as ‘ineffective.’  For those who still attend church…It may have been a church we visited once or a few times.  Or a church where we had ‘membership.’

We may have encountered ineffective ministry at a conference we paid big bucks to attend, had planned on it for about a year.

Or we ran across a prayer partner whose prayer just ‘hit the ceiling above us’ and seemed to have NOT reached the ears of God.

Wherever we were, whenever we came across ‘ineffective’ ministry, we walked away from it feeling worse than what we had when we walked TO it!

I have had this experience on SEVERAL occasions. I would go to ‘church’ feeling fine, just going because I had made a habit of ‘going to church.’  There was no crisis going on in my life that compelled me to ‘come into the house of the Lord.’  All was well…

Then after I left the service, I (or one of my children), would take ill, have headaches or bodyaches and a spirit of confusion and strife would hit my house.

I was ALWAYS baffled by this.  I would say to myself ‘HOLD UP!  I’m supposed to feel better AFTER I leave church, right?’

I would sing ‘The Presence of the Lord is Here’ by Byron Cage at church, but it would be quite obvious that the presence of the Lord HAD NOT been there!  If in HIS PRESENCE is FULLNESS of joy, then why was I filled with so much dread and confusion-even pain-after leaving that house?

God reveals things to me as I write.  As I was writing something else this morning, He began to speak and tell me a sure-fire way of knowing you have come in contact with ineffective ministry…i.e. a false prophet, or apostle, etc.

One of the ways we can KNOW that we are part of an ineffective ministry is by watching, carefully observing, WHAT THAT MINISTRY FOCUSES ON THE MOST.

We are living in a day and time where there are more what I call ‘fragmented’ ministry. What I mean by fragmented ministry is a ministry whose whole agenda is to minister to you ONE aspect of truth.  They key in on one thing in the Word, one promise, etc., and they run and build a WHOLE ministry off that ONE revelation, that ONE truth.

For example, deliverance ministries are on the rise.  Deliverance ministries focus in on getting folks ‘delivered.’ There are several ministries that exist today where the word ‘deliverance’ is actually in the name of the ministry.  Their ENTIRE focus is to get folks delivered.  Not salvation.  Not healing.  Not teaching.  I imagine when you walk into these ‘ministries,’ there are nothing but buckets and sheets all over the place….ready just in case someone has to puke up a demon right during offering!

There are ministries that focus only on prosperity.  Some only on healing.  Some boast of being strictly a ‘word’ church, or ‘teaching’ church.

When you come across ministries that key in on one aspect of a thing, I can almost GUARANTEE that they are ineffective.

You see, the reason is because the enemy does NOT need to be 100% false to be false.  You can have someone with 4% truth and 96% error have a ministry.  They can operate in all kinds of sensational, flesh-pleasing gifts.  The crowds come in, in awe of it all.

Yet, the question is not how sensational or flesh-pleasing the gifts are…or even if one operates in those gifts.  The proof isn’t in how many attend a ministry.  The proof isn’t even in how well the leaders operate in those gifts, neither who endorses their gifts or ministry.

The question at the end of the day is WHO IS EFFECTIVE?  ARE PEOPLE GETTING SAVED…AND DELIVERED?  AND HEALED?  AND PROSPERING (THE RIGHT WAY?)

When you come across a ministry that pushes (or markets) one gift, one teaching, one aspect of truth, more than others in their ministry, it is because that is where their strength lies, so they have to ‘push it.’ To cover up the error that is there, too.

About five years ago, I wrote in another blog an article entitled ‘Why Stop At Deliverance?’ Here is an excerpt:

“… there are so many churches that are opened up just based upon deliverance alone. People stop at deliverance. They get so caught up in deliverance, in healing, in prosperity. They don’t realize that it doesn’t end there.

When the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, it is safe to say they were not in the will of God. For many, many years, they cried out to God for deliverance. He finally got tired of hearing His children being caught up in bondage that He sent a deliverer, Moses.

Now we all know what a mighty deliverance God wrought for the Israelites!

The signs and wonders that God manifested in that period of the Israelites was awesome!

The ten plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, His provision in the wilderness….

But how many of you know that the Red sea, the wilderness, the provision was not the end of what God intended for the Israelites!

But they got satisfied with the deliverance. With the signs and wonders. With lifting people up instead of the Promise.

Why did God deliver them? To get them to the Promise!!!!

To SAVE THEM!

But because they got satisfied with the signs and wonders and seeing God provide. With seeing Gods glory shine on Moses’ face instead of getting in the glory for themselves so that THEIR faces can shine…”

“..No matter what a great deliverance God has wrought in your life, if you just stop there, you may be missing salvation. You may miss out on what God wants to do in you.

There was an end to why God delivered the Israelites. Not just so they can be comfortable, or they could go around strutting and bragging on the deliverance. Yes, glorify God for it. 

He didn’t deliver them so they can go out and start a ministry in the wilderness!!!!! 

Moses had a ministry in the wilderness. God’s glory fell. His face shone with it. 

God used Moses to do many things. 

But as mightily as Moses was used, that wasn’t then end of it. That wasn’t the intention of God…just so a man could be lifted up.

That is part of the reason I believe God allowed Moses to die in the wilderness. Because folks started lifting him up and not lifting up God. 

As many wonderful works God wrought in the wilderness, the Israelites still did what they wanted to do. They still whored after other gods. They still were rebellious and disobedient. 

Even those in leadership were knuckle heads! Remember Aaron and Miriam? Aaron made other gods and Miriam had leprosy.

Many died in the wilderness. Why?

No, not because of what we think. But because they all lost focus on what the whole thing was about which is God getting His people to the Promise.”

Pamela Sheppard writes more about the danger of ineffective‘deliverance ministries’ in “Be Delivered From Delivered From Deliverance Ministry.”

Do know that there IS a danger in being a part of an ineffective ministry, or one that only deals with one aspect of truth (more so than other aspects).

How do you EVER expect to be made WHOLE if you keep dealing withFRAGMENTED ministries?

It is time for you to be made WHOLE.  Call (518) 4775759.