"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
1 Peter 1:8-9 (KJV)
The Battle Isn’t Over!
Exodus 17:11-13 (KJV)
11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.
12 But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.
How Does This Word Apply To Us Today?
We are in a time of change in our lives and in this country. Even though victory is in our sights and in our grasp, we must not lose our focus. We must continue to praise the Lord!
I see saints giving up their praises daily and worshiping the idol of technology. Children are being raised, not by parents, but by technology.
Our homes are caught up in the distraction of busyness. Our children are distracted by their programs and their parents distracted by their children’s programs, but we must not be distracted says the Lord, for we must remember to keep our hands up in praises to His glorious name!
We have been blessed with His greatness and we are beginning to see healing in our lands. The economy is being awaken like a giant who has been angered. The enemies of our land now shake with trembling, but our hands are becoming weary.
We must continue to praise Him, even if it means Aaron and Hur shall hold them up!
We must not allow the enemy to overcome us, we must continually and forcefully praise the Lord!
The men and women of God must stand firm. His people must lead with prayer, obedience, and holiness! Do not allow yourselves to drop your praise! Do not allow your praise to be ceased in order that you may see your blessings continually rain down upon your families.
Do not allow the Amalek’s of this world prevail against your house says the Lord, but fight for the victory through the praises of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In my dreams, God often gives me visions for the near future or current events. The last vision was a couple of months ago, but now there is a new vision and it feels “like a burning fire, shut up in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9).
God has shown me the Southern parts of America where we call the “Bible Belt. We are living in the most secular time known as the Post-Christendom world. This is because the place of the church is no longer one of respect and authority. ” I am recognizing that Christianity is no longer a dominant thought in many places once known as this “Bible belt.” The enemy has stolen the place of authority because the church has prostituted its power over to the un-Godly pleasures of lust, greed, and selfishness. God has shown me that this is because He has loosed this belt. The belt has been slipping for a long time, many decades now, but we try to tighten the belt every time we get a chance because we feel threatned. When attendance falls, we tighten. When churches close, we tighten. When fewer services are held, we tighten. We have tightened so much that we can’t allow any more people in because they don’t know if they can be as righteous as us. They see us and they say, we can’t replicate that, we can’t do what they do. They don’t see change or the love of Christ, they see a private building, made for protecting its flock. They see a country club, they see a members-only organization with tax-free status.
Our churches have hoarded their wealth and resources, kept the blessings of the Word to itself. We citizens of the “Bible belt” have become fattened off the Word of the Lord, increasing knowledge and self-righteousness, without bearing the fruit of multiplication. We hide in our four walls and we tighten our belts with our hung over stomachs, with guts full of the Word hanging over our “Bible belt” from our lack of obedience. Did He not tell Noah to multiply? Did He not tell the disciples to multiply in number? Then, why do we not multiply?
The Lord has shown me that the gospel is being spread all around this earth as it never has before and many of His followers are no longer centered in this Bible belt. As this “Bible belt” continues to be tightened in many places, it will burst forth new life! Instead, He will burst this belt and his word shall come forth like an explosion. This will be a big bang, but not like the scientist talk about with the universe. This bang will blast the Word of the Lord forth through the technologies of the air, screens, mobile devices of this age and the next. It has already begun, even as I speak, but an abundance of more is soon to come. Those same children and parents who are distracted by the technologies of this world, will soon have the gospel being brought to them at a much higher rate via the same technology that now distracts them. His outpouring does not end with technology, but shall be brought to the streets, the meeting places, the places of work, and yes the Church. Our God is not done with this age. His Word is yet to be brought forth in such a way as to bring a new awakening to this world.
Sing praises to the Lord of lord’s and the King of kings!
The battle isn’t over, the battle isn’t over, the battle isn’t over, for the fighting has just begun!
Now is the time to take up arms, wear the armor of the Lord, and carry the sword of the Word to His people across the world!
Hear the Lord speak and pick up your praises!
Don’t drop your hands, but remain in a continual state of praise and prayer!
God will bless His people, bless His Church, and surely bless the outpouring of His Spirit upon all the people of the Earth!
Moses: The Lesson of Disobedience
Numbers 13 (KJV)
13 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.
3 And Moses by the commandment of the Lord sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel.
17 And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this way southward, and go up into the mountain:
18 And see the land, what it is, and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many;
19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds;
20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.
21 So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath.
26 And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.
27 And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
28 Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.
29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.
30 And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
31 But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.
32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.
33 And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
14 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.
2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
3 And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
4 And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
6 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes:
7 And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land.
8 If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.
9 Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not.
10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
11 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?
12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.
13 And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them;)
14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that thou Lord art among this people, that thou Lord art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.
15 Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying,
16 Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.
17 And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying,
18 The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.
20 And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word:
21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.
22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;
23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
Numbers 20 (KJV)
20 Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.
2 And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
3 And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!
4 And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?
5 And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.
6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.
7 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
9 And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him.
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.
Deuteronomy 32:51-52 (KJV)
51 Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of MeribahKadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel.
52 Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.
A. Moses Was Disobedient
It is clear by both incidents that we just read about that Moses had a problem fully trusting God and His plan to prosper them.
Moses' disobedience caused the older Israelites and himself to miss the Promised Land
I have heard countless times when ministers would preach on Numbers 20 and say that Moses did not get to go to the Promised Land due to his actions with the staff and rock, but they are missing the main point here. Moses didn’t miss the miracle of the Promised Land, the covenant God had with his people due to a rock, but rather due to his down-right lack of trust in God and His ways.
Moses disobeyed God in the presence of all His people by striking the rock not once, but twice as if somehow signifying that his action was what would cause the rock to bring forth water rather than the authority of the Word of God which was just spoken to Moses. He is even recorded saying in the Scripture, “Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?” “Must we,” surely isn’t saying anything about God or His blessing of water from the rock. God is so merciful and good despite our wicked ways that He gave them water despite their leadership mistakes. How many times has God been good to us even when we were disobedient?
This action directly disrespected God in the eyes of His own people. The KJV says that Moses did not “sanctify me”, another version says “uphold me as holy,” and another version states “honor me as holy.” However, every version starts with Moses not trusting in the Lord. The Word tells us in one version of Deuternonomy 32:52 that Moses would only, “see the land from a distance.” This means it was close enough to see, but he wasn’t allowed to touch it. Now what if someone dangled a new car, even a chicken leg in front of your face, would you not want it?
B. God’s Reaction Was After Years of Disobedience and Mistakes
God did not take actions to such an extreme the first time Moses disobeyed Him, actually Moses had a long history of disobedience and behavior that showed his lack of trust in God.
In Exodus 2, we see where Moses murders an Egyptian due to his abuse of the Hebrews
In Exodus 3, Moses doubts God about who he was created to be, the leader of the Hebrews that would help God deliver His people. He says, “Who Am I that I should go to Pharaoh?”
In Exodus 4, throughout the whole conversation continued, Moses tries to avoid his calling.
In Exodus 6, we see God has to allow Aaron to speak for Moses
Even after everything the Lord had done for the Israelites, Moses still disobeyed God
We must ask ourselves, have we also disobeyed God numerous times? Would we have been worthy of walking into the Promised Land? What about all the sins that we continue to act out? Do we follow every step and plan that God has laid out before us?
It was only after many years of disobedience, groaning, and mistakes that God took that privilege away from Moses.
C. God’s Perfect Will: The Master Plan of Our Lives
We must strive daily for God’s will in our lives. Moses failed to do this when he summoned the spies to check out the Promised Land.
He ordered the spies to tell collect intelligience on basically everything.
Moses says, “And see the land, what it is, and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many;
19 And what the land is that they dwell in, whether it be good or bad; and what cities they be that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds;
20 And what the land is, whether it be fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the time of the firstripe grapes.”
God did not ask him to request all of this information to devise his own plan, but rather to simply “search” the land so that they might see how awesome the land they would soon possess was.
God was already acting on the request of the Hebrews to even allow the search party when we look at Deuteronomy 1:22 saying, “Then all of you came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to.”
Perhaps God allowed this misstep to take place as punishment for their disbelief, or possibly as a way to encourage them, however the people of God had their own plans.
Whatever your plans are, ensure they are obedient unto the Word of the Lord by being in His perfect will today!
A. Doing the Lord’s Work in the Work Place
Ask any Christian in today’s church how you bring people into the church or grow it, you will get very mixed responses. However, the summary of those responses will center around programs, music type, preaching, traditional vs. contemporary, etc.
What's holding us back from doing the Lord's Work? Out of 52 parables, 43 were work related. Jesus appeared in ministry 122 out in the public workplace. The same is true format of Jesus' recorded miracles.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with doing occupational, full-time ministry, not all of us were called to this type of ministry. Some of us could be called to vocational ministry, some to bi-vocational, others to what I call tent-makers ministry, and others only minister as domestic missionaries along the way in their life while being engaged in both a job and a church.
So what exactly is a tent-maker minister and what does it mean to be a domestic missionary?
I can tell you that most of the church fits into these two categories.
B. The Church Has Been Commissioned
We have developed a mindset within the church in the West that only “ministers”, those paid by the church are the ones responsible for evangelism and witnessing to others. Many pastors are hired on a regular basis. When the pastor arrives, he realizes the church has been dying and the members look to him to save the church. The pastor doesn’t save the church, Jesus does. We are the “hands” and “feet” of Jesus Christ. Therefore, in order to see converts come into the fellowship of Christ, we have to do the work. This means we have to get out, beat the pavement, and help people hear the gospel. Just because it is not what we get “paid” to do doesn’t make us any less responsible than the pastor. The same judgement he will be brought through will be the same for you as well. We are all “ministers” of the gospel and all responsible for carrying out the Great Commission.
Matthew 28:16-20 (KJV) The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
C. Paul Ministered and Worked, Why Can’t We Do the Same?
One of the biggest reasons people will tell you that evangelism is the job of the pastor is that they feel that they do not have time for such activity. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Paul both worked and ministered. He often did both at the same time. Jesus was also seen in many stories going into the work place to witness to people. That is why we know most of the disciple’s occupation, Jesus found them on the job! We should do the same with our witness of faith!
Paul was what we call a tent-maker minister. He was a self-funded missionary from the labor of his own hands. At times, he may have had assistance from various churches and groups of believers, but for the most part he made his way by the work of his own hands. He was a blessing to God’s people, so God blessed him with the means and ability to make a living making tents.
Acts 18:1-4 (KJV)
18 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth;
2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers.
4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
D. You Don’t Have to be a Paid Staff Member to Serve God
Paul didn’t seek to gain or grow wealth from the church, but he saw his ministry as a way to be a blessing on the church without being a burden. This is why Paul continuously worked to support himself and his missions. He took care of not only himself, but also did his best to be a blessing to others. Not only did Paul not envy an occupational minister, he embraced his ministerial independence as to be free from the sway and lure of money. If your main salary for your household isn’t paid by a church, members of that church can’t pressure you into preaching a certain way or tolerating their sin.
Acts 20:33-35 (KJV)
33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
E. Don’t Have Extra Time for Evangelism? Honor God in All You Do!
Not having extra time or energy isn’t an excuse, especially when the best witnessing you could ever do is honoring God in all you do. It isn’t always what we do, but how we do it! A great bus driver can honor God by doing his job well and being Christ like to the students on that bus. A great teacher, lawyer, police officer, nurse, car salesman, anyone can honor God! Obviously how we conduct ourselves during our work, our integrity, and holiness all play a role in our effective witness. However, if people see that something about you is different from the world, they will be interested in what it is that makes you different. As ordinary citizens, working or not, we come into contact with more people than the average minister daily, therefore we should accomplish even more for the Kingdom of God daily. We may not always be the one who gets to say the Lord’s prayer with a new believer, but we can sure help shape their view of God’s people by honoring God daily in all we do!
Matthew 5:16 (KJV)
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.