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Messengers Live Out The Message

He has made My mouth like a sharp sword, In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; And He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver. (Isaiah 49:2)

Significant messages from God develop over time. He gives us more than one message on a particular topic that He is speaking to us about. We may hear a message from someone else or read something in the bible and it strikes our heart with truth. We encounter Him in His word and or we may hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us when others are sharing a message. The Holy Spirit will draw our hearts to certain areas of our life or experiences when we saw the same truth or when He shared truth with us before.

 

Then, through continual discipleship, He forms us in an area where we live out the word and become a witness of the truth in our own life. We cannot take someone where we ourselves have not gone or have not lived out. The message from God continues to develop in us. He gives us more insight and revelation and it becomes wisdom.

 

The message starts as a revelation of truth, understanding a doctrine, a scripture that we get more and more revelation on until we can see it functioning in us. We are living out that truth in our lives and it is bearing fruit, which means others can see it.  At this point, the life of that message can function out in the world around us where it can influence unbelievers. The purpose is to lead them to the Lord who gives all men truth.

 

When the word of God is living and active in us it will lead men to God not to us. If men want us to be the source for them, then we must be wise, we must draw back and lead them to God. When men are looking to us as their source, instead of the giver of that truth, Jesus Christ, it is idolatry. Lifting up men, exalting them instead of God, instead of Jesus is idolatry.

 

Many people, many leaders given authority to lead make this mistake. Saul did, he lifted himself up before the people. He let the people admire his leadership, he spoke to the people like he was representing God to them. He boasted in his ability to drive out the enemy and led the people to believe they didn’t need to listen to another one of God’s servants that he knew what God’s plan was, he knew what to do but he had not followed God’s instructions. He put himself in God’s place before the people. He wanted the leadership of the people instead leading the people to God, he believed the people should listen to him and follow him.

 

Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.” (1 Samuel 15:24–25)

 

If we are not connected to Jesus and leading others to Him we will think we were the one who formed that truth, we will mistake our living out the word for the actual truth. It is not our lives that have the power it is the truth of God that has the life-giving power. What we have is authority to rule over darkness and it is that authority that we want men to have. We don’t seek to influence other than to draw men to Christ. We exalt Christ not men.

 

If the word never takes on faith we can’t act on it. Faith has to be in God not in our living it out. Faith is in the One who gives us the truth and the power to live it out. There is no power to live out God’s word from men’s mouths. The power to live out God’s word is connection to God.

 

Eve had no power over the deception of the serpent who was accusing God. It could be because she followed Adam not God. She looked to Adam for confirmation of her sin, his weakness confirmed her. His weakness was not leading her back to God, he covered her sin and his sin. The result of hiding our sin really causes us to run from God, not to Him. Adam left his place of authority and reasoned that he could agree with Eve and the deception. He lost his discernment and the power to confront the accusation against God. Perhaps Adam had faith in himself, his labor in the garden more than his relationship with the Father.

 

We have to believe God’s word above what men say and above the deception of the serpent who preaches from the unbelievers a life that looks powerful but if full of sin.

 

Power and authority to live in freedom is from God. We believe what God says in His word and we add to it works, obey it and actually be a doer of the word for it to form us.  We can’t influence the world if we aren’t willing to live God’s way and His word in our own lives first. We can’t influence God by our words it is by our words in agreement with our actions, that God is moved. Deeds of an obedient heart surrendered to Him. It is not just works but our faith is in Him not our works.

 

For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. (Romans 10:10) NLT

 

We need to see the word of God in our world, just like Jesus came from heaven and entered into the earth put on flesh so we could see Him then also the word of God takes on our life and reveals the kingdom of God to those who don’t believe or know God. The difference is the Holy Spirit confirms our word with signs that lead people to the Lord not to us. If the signs are leading people to us we need to examine our message. Are we trying to get people to obey us or God? We step over the line when we demand people to obey us instead of leading them to obey God. We step into the place of God’s authority over their lives when we demand they respond to us with action. We want to lead people to respond to God with action.

 

I have seen this happen in offerings and I have seen it happen in the healing ministry. Let us take a step back and see if we have crossed over into the place of God’s authority. We demand people to serve in church with guilt messages of condemnation, we want to build our ministry and expect people to give to it with their money and time but we aren’t supporting the people in what God has called them to do.

 

We are drawing men to us not to God, to hear our vision for our ministry not God’s vision and plan for their lives. The church is way too big and in need of too much money while the government takes our place caring for the poor and needy. We take offerings to build TV studios so we can become more famous and our streaming services more powerful instead of building the kingdom. We take up offerings to pay for our trips instead of spending the funds on what is most important to God’s heart.

 

The message of God is line upon line, precept upon precept. This is how we know that He is using us as a witness. The witness of heaven is not a TV show or big building that looks like wealth. I am reminded of Haiti, I flew into Port Au Prince and as we traveled to reach the poor and needy with medical supplies we drove past the rich and wealthy. Right next to them were the card board shanties with people going to the bathroom in the street. The filth and waste all over the ground contaminating the water supply. The wealthy were full and satisfied and cared little for those suffering. It was a visual picture of a third world country we had to go and help because they refused to help their own. They had the money and means to do it but they kept it for themselves.

 

We have the means to pay down our national debt but we keep the riches for ourselves because four cars aren’t enough and three homes doesn’t satisfy, we need more and more. I wonder what the Lord thinks about the rich and wealthy who refuse to give it away?

 

True revelation will go from hearing to seeing. Many believers get a revelation but they can’t reproduce life or disciple anyone because they don’t live it out. They can’t help someone else with what they have been given. God gives us supply but is it for us or for someone else. Have we hoarded up our wealth while the city and world around us is being destroyed. Will we answer to the Lord for what we did with what He gave us?

 

Revelation from the Lord, if lived out, can build up walls inside us and seal our heart against the enemy. We actually become that authority of God on the earth that overcomes by our testimony. The word of God keeps us from the evil one and he can’t harm us. Yet being safe is not enough, we should want others safe. When we are full of God’s love and His Spirit we will be consumed with our neighbor and our city receiving that safety and blessing.

 

I believe, in the end-times evil powers and principalities will be given more authority by God, and the battle will wage war against us and our neighbors. Cities will be like a war zone and we will be the soldiers God sends out to dispel the darkness, drive out evil and create a habitation for the Lord to dwell and bring safety to the land.

 

If we don’t have authority to resist the evil powers and drive them out we will come under evil authority. God will give evil authority and the only way to survive evil is to have God’s authority active. We will have to give over the authority to the enemy if we haven’t already taken authority over that enemy. You either come under it or overcome it. When evil gets stronger our authority over evil becomes stronger. We overcome evil because we already fought that darkness and overcame it. We can testify, share the truth of how to overcome so that others can see our witness and believe God will lead them too.

 

We are seated with Christ but we may not have His authority in the earth if we are not living out a life in obedience to that authority, His word. We must be continually driving out the enemy with that authority by living out our faith. If we fear man we don’t have faith. If we give man God ‘s place in our life as our authority, obeying men and never submitting our life to God then we won’t have faith we will be filled with fear. Obedience to live out the word of God will anchor us not to be tempted, wondering if what God said was true. We won’t be tossed to and fro we will have faith because we took God at His word and acted.

 

The bible is full of stories of great men and women of God who He cautioned not to go after other gods and not to worship idols. Notice that the people didn’t wait on God, the way of God, His plan. At that time, the Lord issued His instructions through Moses. The people couldn’t wait for God’s way, they grew restless just like the people did under Saul.

 

Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” (Exodus 32:1)

 

When we seek the Lord for direction or we are praying about something He will give us instruction but many times that instruction is an act of obedience. We are praying about a specific need in our city, in the church, in our family and God in answer to our prayer often gives us instruction to connect us to His heart. The people were not connected to God but Moses was, in their waiting the Father wanted them to hear Him, to hear His conversation with Moses but they were restless, they weren’t listening and therefore they couldn’t hear God and they took His place of leadership in their lives. They came up with a ‘better plan’. Let us make our own god….

 

This is idolatry. They took their wealth and created something that gave them pleasure and they danced and drank and removed all restraint that comes with waiting on God. They sought their own pleasure rather than pleasing God with obedience.

 

Moses responded in anger. He saw their rebellion as being against him not against God. Moses was making the same mistake. He thought they didn’t obey him so he got angry but it was God they didn’t obey. Anger is usually a result of our exalting ourselves into God’s place of leadership. We are not responsible for how people respond, we must simply keep obeying God.

 

Another significant story in scripture that shows us how God rejected someone he had given authority to is Saul. Saul looked to men and their affections to reveal if his leadership was good or not. He gauged his success from the people. He put people into the place of authority. He feared what the people would say because they became his authority.

 

Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin, and return with me, that I may worship the Lord.” (1 Samuel 15:24–25)

 

I like what Eerdmans Bible Dictionary says about idolatry.

 

(Gk. eidōlolatría). In the Old Testament, the worship of gods other than Yahweh, especially through images representing them. The New Testament extends the concept to include any ultimate confidence in something other than God, e.g., covetousness, surrender to appetites (Eph. 5:5; Phil. 3:19; Col. 3:5; cf. 1 Sam. 15:23; Matt. 6:24)

 Myers, A. C. (1987). In The Eerdmans Bible dictionary (p. 512). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

 

I want to highlight that Eerdmans points out that the worship happens through images representing them. This is something that I believe is so important to point out for our culture. We are driven more by what we see then by what we know.

 

“The lust of the eyes” or “desire of the eyes”.

 

For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. (1 John 2:16) NLT

 

Remember it was what Eve “saw” in the garden that it was “a delight to the eyes”  and this is the way idolatry is formed. We must put our eyes on Christ. It starts out in the natural but it develops in our mind and souls which engages our emotions and our will.

 

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6)

 

As spiritual beings, our faith and knowledge in God is built by what we hear and by what we meditate on in the scripture as being what God said to us. The power of that word as a witness in the world is where authority is measured. If we can’t produce the fruit of that word to be seen by the world then our authority is not active.

 

All that we do and say should lead people to Christ not to us. We live in a world where man is exalted to lead us instead  of God. If I do what that person says then I can have what they have. Men preach about wealth and they tell the testimonies of how they got their wealth and then they demand worship from the people who want the same thing they are preaching. They say give to me your sustenance and you can have what I have, sow a seed and you can have this too. This is the core of idolatry. It leads us to look to man as our source and put man in a place in our heart where God alone belongs. Man is God’s creation and we look to the Creator to worship Him, not man.

 

We give to God as a form of worship. Our tithes are a form of worship to God. To give our tithes to man is idolatry. The tithe is for the storehouse to keep the laborer in a place to continue to receive from God. We know God places the local church in a place of authority for us and we pay our tithes at the local church God calls our storehouse. When men in the church require and demand that we give to them and their ministry they have stepped into God’s place and that is idolatry.

 

When we give money to man to get something from him that God gives us, we are entering into idolatry. It is one thing to take our resources and offer them to God and then obey His instruction as to where it should go; it is entirely another thing to sow money into someone’s life in expectation that that person would do for us what God is supposed to be giving us. Men do not give us an anointing when we give them money. Men do not heal us when we give them money. Men do not give us the gifts of God when we sow money into their ministry. We give our money to God in worship signifying He is the center of our world and He is our source. We give offerings and not to get something but because we love Him and He moves our heart to support what He is supporting. He directs us where to give because we truly give it to Him. Men should not be directing us. Men can tell us of opportunities to put our funds into but they can’t demand we give and then treat us with disrespect and anger when we don’t obey them, we obey God.

 

The world plasters through imagery what we should give our money to so that we can look like success. They preach to us what man should look like, how he should act, what he should do. That image of man that the world promotes is not the reflection of God, that image of man that the world produces is an image that exalts man as god. Money and wealth is not success in God’s eyes.

 

Success in God’s eyes is a heart that is surrendered to love Him, a life poured out and giving all like His Son did.

 

The image of God does not murder for pleasure, does not rape for pleasure, does not destroy for fun, does not seek immorality and wanton sexual pleasure outside of marriage. The image of man that the world creates is not the image of God, it is the image of a destroyer, satan.

 

We are either reflecting God or the world. Our image is either God’s image or the world’s image of man. The image of God begins in our heart where we are surrendered and where we are seated before God to worship Him. We give Him the throne of our hearts and we surrender our bodies, our lives, what we do and who we serve to God or we surrender to man in God’s place. We want to be like God or we want to be like man. It is dangerous to put man in God’s place in our heart.

 

Saul looked to men to give him direction and to satisfy a need.

And Samuel said, “What have you done?”

Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, 12 then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.”

13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:11–14).

 

There is a point in our lives where we look for men to give us permission rather than God. I can mark in my own life when I wanted something so much that when God didn’t speak I went ahead and did what I wanted and it was a life altering decision. The desire I had was so powerful it over rode my desire to please God. That is the place where I didn’t die to my flesh, where I let my desire rule over my surrender to God.

 

I wanted to be married, I wanted a family and a man was asking me to marry him. I didn’t wait for God’s decision, I decided to say yes and I paid dearly for that decision. God is faithful, He has restored me completely. I lost seven years. I will forever be marked by a life decision I made because of my own desires. I allowed my desire to overrule my emotions and will to please and serve God with my life.

 

That isn’t to say God couldn’t have met my desire but I will never know. He might have had another plan for my life at that season and I missed it. The strange thing is He knew that I would miss it. He knew my weakness and He gave me a dream that should have kept me from that mistake but instead it didn’t, I couldn’t interpret the dream. I lost my authority because I had given it to man.

 

Let me explain. It is so important that the church understands spiritual authority. We can get that out of alignment and allow man to become our authority and not God. I have many messages on Spiritual Authority and you can go here for more on that. I was in a season of growth in a local church that taught submission to man in a way that put man where God belonged. I know now after years of study and walking in obedience that we can faithfully submit to spiritual authority but not give man God’s place in our heart. This understanding came to me when I was properly aligned  under true spiritual authority. God wants us to understand authority and what He has given to us as born again believers. When you encounter true authority, you will know it. True authority doesn’t cross boundaries, true authority in Christ doesn’t try to take God’s authority in your life. It seems like the ultimate freedom to be under true authority but the truth is the stakes are higher and the requirement is even more stringent. True authority goes to the heart of man, to the intent of the heart. The best scripture to describe the true authority is in Hebrews chapter 4.

 

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

 

We see Jesus coming on a horse with a sword gird upon His thigh. Jesus is the authority of God. He is the word of God. He is the expression of God’s authority. He obeyed the Father and never sinned. He took authority over death, hell and the grave. He was obedient to the point of death. He is the picture of authority coming from heaven to destroy the enemies of God. That sword is power and His mouth releases authority through His words.
“Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One, In Your splendor and Your majesty!” (Psalms 45:3)

 

How much more should we be able to release His authority through our lives and our words.

 

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand (Psalms 149:6)

 

He has made My mouth like a sharp sword, In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; And He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver. (Isaiah 49:2)

 

“Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock? (Jeremiah 23:29)

 

I really believe that the local church is God’s plan for placing and expressing His authority in a city. Somehow though we have taken that plan and put man at the head of it instead of Jesus Christ. We have crossed over from Paul’s exhortation to present a spotless bride to building our ministry and exalting man and his gifts. The platforms, the TV cameras, the lights and fog machines and the charging money like a concert or conference looks more like idolatry then a reflection of Christ. I am not sure we are leading people to Jesus. I think we are leading people to ministry. It seems the New Testament church may have become an entertainment center.

 

The reason I say that is because I am not sure we are walking in the authority in our cities that God intended. We should be able to drive out the evil and create a habitation for the Lord to dwell. We should see the fullness of God manifesting in our homes, on our jobs and in our schools and government. I know there is more than what we have and I believe it is because we are not walking out what we believe. There is more than enough truth for believers to be manifesting God’s authority in every area of cultural influence. I think we may have given away our authority to an image of man and entered into idolatry. We may have marketed our gifts and decided instead of trusting God we would look for money and wealth to sustain us.

 

Something happens when we start charging for ministry, when we add money to the equation. Something changes when our ministry to the Lord becomes “our ministry” that needs to be financed. There is a shift when we set up tables and charge people to worship. I understand that there is a cost to supply and a workman is worthy of his hire, not to muzzle the ox in the field but what we have today is just plain idolatry. We lift of man like he is the source of all wisdom and we pay him for it. We want more of God but we are going to man to get it.

 

The wilderness is a real place and there is not television or computer streaming there, it is just us and God, one on one. Jesus went to the wilderness and he defeated the lies of satan who tried to entice him. This encounter is so important. Jesus was communing with the Father, it was His relationship with the Father that sustained Him on earth and enabled Him to walk out the plan of the Father with authority.

 

The serpent went to Eve because Eve was under Adam’s authority not God’s. She had access to God but she must not have been in communion with Him or she would not have doubted His words.

 

At the point where she had a decision to make she didn’t go to God, she went with her own desire and consulted herself. Being led by our own desire without submitting those desires to God is very dangerous. We have to be willing to walk away. We don’t want to put ourselves in God’s place, we don’t want to live our lives for our self. We don’t want to live for pleasure.

 

Then she went to Adam. And she led him to trust in her and trust in his own desires. He didn’t check in with God either. He had been given so much authority it went to his head and he was puffed up. He thought he could override God’s authority. All authority, even delegated authority is still submitted to God and what He says. We don’t ever want to change God’s instructions with something better. Have you ever had a “better idea” then those in authority? We can make suggestions for change, give input, but ultimately the one in authority makes the decision.

 

The church has done a poor job of teaching authority. They teach that a woman is submitted to a man but it is Jesus she is submitted to first and if that man takes Jesus’ place as her authority then she will be deceived. Women all over the world have been deceived. Deception clouds discernment and leads her astray. We can partner with one another, we can work together and we can submit to man’s authority as long as none of this overrides God’s authority. Ultimately He can come in and shut it down anytime He wants to and we are certainly not going to tell Him what to do.

 

We look to movies instead of the bible to preach our messages, it is a clear sign that we are looking to the world not God. We talk to angels instead of the Holy Spirit and we listen to prophets instead studying the bible ourselves. The pulpit is full of psychology instead of doctrine and we want fellowship with men instead of intimacy with God. We worship our music instead of the Lord, we want to feel good instead of fast. We want revival instead of repentance we want to be exalted instead of being purified and pruned. We take selfies and go live on Facebook instead of getting in prayer closet and letting God speak to us about us. Instead of being hidden and serving we want to lead and have an intenerate ministry. Instead of caring for the children we want to pastor our own church. Instead of serving the city we go on mission trips overseas. Instead of serving in the marketplace, we fundraise. Instead of studying and researching, praying and fasting we take someone else’s message and rewrite it putting our name on it. Instead of discipling we write books and have a conference. Instead of the welcoming the ministry of the Holy Spirit to minister we condemn and yell.

 

 

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