David asked the Lord in Psalm 19 to “Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me, then I shall be blameless and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” What if Christian ministers, prophets, and teachers said that today? What if David’s son, Absalom, had prayed the same prayer as his father? But he didn’t, and a tragic story unfolds in 2 Samuel chapters 13-18.

Absalom was filled with pride and self-promotion. He was high minded and filled with rebellion. He had characteristics that would be seen as narcissistic and manipulative. He had a callous disregard for the resulting chaos, pain and even death that resulted from his actions. He was vengeful, a liar, and deceitful. The Lord says in Proverbs 8:13 that “He hates pride and arrogance. He calls it evil.” In Proverbs 16:5, the Lord also says “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces none will go unpunished.” That should cause so many to be more circumspect in their conduct.

Absalom incited rebellion and tore the kingdom of Israel apart. He went to war with his father, King David. He used lies and deceit to gain power. He had a critical spirit. He could judge and malign others, yet not see the plank in his own eye. Absalom viewed openness and Godly character as weakness to be exploited. So, he used deceptive means to undermine trust in him and plan insurrection. He was able to gather people to himself with false promises and flattery. In 2 Samuel 15:4-6, Absalom told people of the land that if he was judge over them, he would always give them justice. He would put out his hand to whomever came to him and he would embrace and kiss them. He stole the hearts of the men of Israel. They fell for these delusions of grandeur just like people do today.

Yet in the midst of this betrayal and intrigue displayed by Absalom, we see examples of both good and bad character displayed by men of Israel. We see a man like Hushai the Archite who put himself in a position of danger by going into the enemies’ camp to confuse the counsel of evil. He was faithful to King David. We see loyalty displayed from a man like Ittai who, though new to allegiance to King David, pledges fealty to him. Much like new Christians today who display greater belief in God’s ways than many longtime Christians who have fallen away. And we see a man like Ahithophel, a longtime counselor of King David, who chose to fall away and follow a lie. Ahithophel’s betrayal of King David led him to eventually realize his folly and kill himself. He died a traitor’s death much like Judas Iscariot. Sadly, I see Ahithophel as representative of so many Christian leaders described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians, where he speaks to those who have fallen away from the truth. They have become enamored by lying signs and wonders from the works of Satan. And they have become subject to strong delusion sent by the Lord Himself because they did not believe the truth, but followed after lies and unrighteousness.  Jeremiah 9 speaks to those who are of a lying spirit and commit iniquity. In verse 6 it says, “Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit; Through deceit they refuse to know Me, says the Lord.”

People speak of an Absalom spirit. I don’t know if that is 100% correct as this spirit has been around since the time of Cain which pre-dated Absalom. But the same spirit that dwelled in the unrighteousness exhibited in Absalom is still alive and well today. From local churches to the highest levels of government, it is evident and breathing new lies, deception, chaos, rebellion and even death in our country and this world. This desire to gain that which is not authorized or ordained by God is witchcraft. Using any power to get what one wants, no matter how evil or destructive, is accepted and condoned. People rally around that, which at one time, would have been called out for its wickedness. Now, it’s business as usual and whatever is necessary to bring about a desired result. I am amazed at how many follow Christian leaders that operate in this spirit. I know so many who were once worthy of taking time to read what they wrote or go listen to them in person. Now, I’m saddened by the transformation I see in them. They follow that which has no part in what Christ taught. They prophesy from a lying spirit and lose no sleep after speaking false words or for doing their best to extort vast amounts of money from gullible followers. On a smaller level, we see that spirit cause church splits. People have no shame in falsely gaining alliances by false flattery, gossip and operating behind the scenes to gain leverage. They feed on the immaturity of those they seek to mislead and gather people around them by unscrupulous means and un-Godly ways. I’ve been part of church splits and have prophesied to church leaders that if certain things were not corrected, there would be a split, or in another case, just come to an end. But at no point did I ever go behind a leader’s back and speak ill of them. That’s gossip and divisive words that end in destruction. People like that are full of cursing and deceit and under their tongue is trouble and iniquity. (Psalm 10:7)

We must realize the source of all this that comes to rob, kill and destroy, and instead embrace that which is Christ, which brings abundant life. There is a price to pay for the deceit, lying and rebellion exhibited by Absalom and so many today. No matter what height you may attain using illicit means, the Lord says in Obadiah 1, “That though you ascend as high as an eagle, or nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down.” What a sobering thought. The Lord searches our hearts and tests our minds and will give to everyone according to their ways. We must take every thought that is contrary to God’s ways and cast it down. Demolish it. And remove our fascination with deceptive words and teachings from our minds just as we would a cancer from our body. Every stronghold of man, every high and lofty thing lifted up in our rebellious defiance, will be brought low. Loftiness and haughtiness of man, and every idol worshipped and followed, will come to an end. Our meager plans and even governments and kingdoms will be brought low. Now is the time to seek His face as never before. It is as Malachi said, that our errors and words have wearied God in that we think these evil ways are acceptable in His sight. They are not. Yet we continue to go on as if judgement will not touch us. You see, there are those who walk as Absalom did, who continue in their sin and yet pray to God as if all was in right order. They act as if speaking words of scripture will cover their sins. But God says their prayers are an abomination to Him. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. We need to examine our own works and see if we are walking in the way of Christ. Embrace Him. Hold fast to that which is good and abstain from every form of evil. Be kind and of the same mind toward one another. Overcome evil with good. Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Humble yourselves before Him. I pray the peace of God guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Blessings.

Presumption ~ Part 2

Webster’s defines presumption as assuming something to be true. Taking for granted some piece of evidence not fully established. Based on inference, which is the process of arriving at a conclusion not logically derived from the assumed premise, yet possesses some degree of probability to the premise. Often the conclusion we arrive at is wrong. In the Old Testament, presumption is not just presuming something as we see it, but it is often sin against God. Outright rebellion.

The worst part of the sin of rebellion is that you often feel you’re going forth in God’s word and power, when in actuality the whole premise is off, as you have not truly sought Him for direction. You go forth as if you have directions from the God you know, yet you’ve not sought His face or come to a place where you have attempted to empty yourself first that He would fill you. You’re filled with your own idea of this God you’ve read about or at one time followed, but have lost your way and still seek to lead.

A perfect example of going forth in what you presume to be right, but in actuality follows none of God’s innumerable laws, is David going to reclaim the Ark of the Covenant in 2 Samuel 6. He was to bring the ark to the City of David, but there were specific rules. His assumption led to the death of Uzzah who touched the ark which could only be moved by the Kohathites using poles to carry the ark on their shoulders. But David, though fearful, finally sought the proper way to transport the ark.

Balaam is one who presumed to speak for God in Numbers chapters 22-24. Balak, a Moabite, hired Balaam to curse Israel, believing this would rid the land of Israel. God spoke to Balaam and told him he could not curse Israel for they are blessed. Balaam should have left right away, but his vanity was easily manipulated by Balak and by the lure of money he knew he shouldn’t take to curse Israel. So, he followed the princes of Moab sent by Balak, and God’s anger was aroused against Balaam. Were it not for Balaam’s donkey stopping and then speaking to Balaam in his own language, the Angel of the Lord would have killed Balaam. The Angel of the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes to see him and he told him were it not for the donkey recognizing God’s authority and stopping, he would have killed Balaam and allowed the donkey to live. Balaam eventually gave a prophetic word favorable to Israel that he saw in an open-eyed vision. He should have stopped there and repented for not walking away right from the start. His sorcery and lust for money eventually brought him into league with other enemies of Israel. In Numbers 31:8, we see Balaam died for presuming he could maintain his sinful ways without reprisal. I feel Balaam was called as a prophet, but the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life were too alluring to him. Spiritual insight, based on seeking God’s face, was myopic at best, and vision was clouded by self.

One of the hardest lessons seen as punishment for the sin of presumption occurs in Numbers 20 with Moses. He has been given a task in bringing Israel out of Egypt and into the promised land that seems impossible, but for God. Mighty miracles and the presence of God in a cloud by day and fire by night constantly before you. Yet Israel complains constantly. Moses is always standing before the living and the dead. Always interceding for the tribes of Israel and constantly being faulted for the trials they had to encounter. In Numbers 20, Moses appears fed up. The people again complain for lack of water and the Lord tells Moses to take his rod, and with Aaron, gather the people of Israel together. God tells Moses to speak to the rock before their eyes and it will yield water for them. Moses speaks to Israel in anger and says “Hear now you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” Moses then struck the rock. He presumed he was following the command of the Lord but did so in his own strength and in anger. Earlier in Exodus 17, he was told to strike the rock to bring forth water. But here it was different. His assuming that his anger would not be seen as usurping authority from God, and acting as if his strength from an angered state would be overlooked, was a sin of assumption. This represented more than just obedience to the act of producing water for Israel, but to what God would do in always supplying their needs. This rock represented redemption. Christ. Yet Moses assumed his actions would be without consequences. They were not. Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. God allowed Moses to view the promised land from Mt. Nebo where he was buried by God. At his death, his eyes were not dim nor his natural vigor diminished.

This penalty for the sin of presumption – rebellion, by Moses, should cause anyone to take stock of their walk. I find this one of the saddest stories in the Old Testament. Yet even in this, all God’s judgements are true and righteous. Every word of God is true – He is a shield to those who trust in Him. I find that too many have an unrealistic grasp on the judgements of God. Yes, we are under grace, but the laws of the Lord are too often taken for granted. So many presume to speak for the Lord, not fully dissecting their own motives, and believing that His favor will somehow override the penalty for our disobedience. The gospels and the apostles speak of the penalties for disobedience. People that presume to speak for God and lead by their own compass must read what Peter said in 2 Peter 2. Corrupt people leading others on a wrong path. They have forsaken the right path and followed the way of Balaam who loved the wages of unrighteousness. People like these are like wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. This is new testament. If we listened before we spoke, if we weighed our intentions against what His word says, we could avoid so much trouble. For ourselves, and those we might lead astray. As I have spoken before, if someone speaks a doctrine that does not line up with Christ, reject it. We are responsible for knowing what is acceptable in His eyes. We all sin and fall short of His glory, but it is up to each one of us to be in right standing with Him. Come before Him and repent. Learn of Him. Seek Him in all things. And be like David who said in Psalm 19: 12-13, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression.” Trust in Him and He will direct your path.  Blessings.

Presumption ~ Part 1

We, as a people from the beginning of time, seem to feel that what we presume to be right will be received by God as worthy as the intention was honorable. Adam and Eve had access to the Garden of Eden and all that was in it except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They took for granted the law God had set before them. And they paid the price of their disobedience. The children of Israel saw the miraculous powers of God to free them from captivity, yet somehow presumed their allegiance to Him was only when needed. At every time of trouble, God delivered for the Israelites, yet their memories were short and they complained to Moses when tested by even the slightest hardship. They presumed that it would be a short walk out of Egypt into the promised land. This thinking led to a most circuitous journey, eventually into a judgement of never entering the promised land.

In Numbers 16, we see Korah, a Levite, questioning the authority of Moses, and thereby questioning the authority of God. Korah had just recently witnessed the judgement of the Lord for Israel rebelling by crying and saying they had remained in Egypt, rather than face giants in the promised land and die there. They heard the judgement that “All the earth will be filled with God’s glory” (Numbers 14:21), but those of unbelief will not see it nor enter into the promised land. Korah saw the 10 spies, who went with Joshua and Caleb to spy out the land, die by plague for their unbelief and causing others to fear. He saw what happened to the Israelites who “presumed” they could win over the Lord and cause Him to change His mind by going up to fight the Canaanites and Amalekites and somehow erase their rebellion and unbelief. The Israelites who went to fight were driven back and were defeated, as the Lord was not with them. Their “sin of presumption” proved to be their undoing. Yet Korah and those who followed him still stood against Moses and Aaron. Korah knew the penalty for intentional sins. He and his followers, and all their families, and all their goods, were swallowed up by the earth opened by the Lord. Korah, and the Levites who followed him, had their censers (bronze vessels to carry incense) which were saved and made into hammered plates to be used as a covering for the altar. The censers were holy. They represent the office of the Levite. Korah and the Levites, who presumed an authority that was not theirs, were out of order. These censers were now before the eyes of all Israel, yet the very next day the congregation gathered against Moses and Aaron for killing Korah and his followers. The Lord told Moses to step away, as He would consume them. Moses told Aaron to take a censer and put fire from the altar and incense in it and take it before the congregation and make atonement for them, for “wrath has gone out from the Lord and the plague has begun.” (Numbers 16:46) Moses and Aaron ran into the midst of the assembly of people that the plague was touching and stood in the midst of them praying for them. They stood between the dead and the living, and the plague stopped. In addition to those of Korah and his followers who the earth swallowed up, 14,700 died from the plague.

These are tough verses and stories to comprehend at times. Can God’s wrath be so severe as to cause one to step back in horror? Is this the same God who David refers to in Psalm 27 saying, “When You said Seek My face, My heart said to You, Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Or is this the God who said in Exodus 33 that no man shall see My face and live. No animal or person could touch God’s holy mountain in Exodus, yet Joshua always remained and you just felt he leaned against it in his quest to be close to God. All Israel was to have this close relationship with the Lord, yet they feared even the glory that shone on Moses’ face. I have been meditating on these chapters in Numbers for a while now. How many realize we must be standing between those who are in sins of presumption and the judgement of the Lord? I cannot stress how serious this is and how necessary it is for intercessors to be on their face before the Lord. How many, if they saw His face, would be making images of what they saw and worshipping them? It would be contrary to His law. We are at a place where we must embrace both the Lord’s love and grace and His judgements. Romans 11:33 says, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out.” The Passion translation says of this verse, “Who could ever explain the wonder of His decisions or search out the mysterious way He carries out His plans?” I have stated before that I pray daily that the Lord cover this land with His truth and His mercy. We, in our obstinate and presumptuous ways, hinder His truth and mercy from covering our land. We follow a God of our own making. The words of Christ are just that….words. The Sermon on the Mount is just a nice story rather than words to live by. We cannot remain this way and not expect to see things coming undone. Too many leaders teach a gospel that will lead you onto a path of destruction. Yet people wonder why it seems the Lord has covered Himself with a cloud that our prayers will not pass through. (Lamentations 3:44) Seek Him for yourself and pray without ceasing. We should daily pray, “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” (Psalm 86:11) Do not walk in presumption. Walk in the fear of the Lord. His mercies are new each morning. He is good and a stronghold to them that trust in Him. Blessings.

Strange Fires

I’ve always been intrigued with the story of Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10. Reading through all the provisions for the Aaronic priesthood to do things in an orderly and holy fashion often seemed laborious, and I, at times, read through these rules not seeing the weight of their significance. Lately, the Lord has me paying greater attention to the holiness of these rules in ministering before Him in the Holy of Holies. I believe the grace of Jesus Christ and the Holiness before him has been taken for granted, and we need to see the parallels between the Old and New Testaments.

Nadab and Abihu are sons of Aaron, the brother of Moses. They were made aware of the importance of their responsibilities as priests before the Lord. So many of these rules were reiterated, so they should have taken notice of how to follow them. In Leviticus 10:1-3, Nadab and Abihu took it upon themselves to offer up to the Lord that which was considered profane. They offered up “strange fire.” They were immediately struck dead by the Lord. The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “Those who come before Me must regard the Lord as holy and before all people the Lord must be glorified.” Normal mourning for Abihu and Nadab was not allowed. Further instructions for entering the tabernacle of meeting were given that “You may distinguish between holy and unholy and between clean and unclean and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.” (Leviticus 10:10-11)

There is still discussion and disagreement as to what the exact sin of Abihu and Nadab was. It could have even been for getting the material to start a fire from a place not designated as holy. Exodus 30:9 speaks to this. Their actions might not have been unauthorized. They may have been prideful, as they were seen as part of a special priesthood and took lightly the obedience to God’s very specific laws. I spoke with a Rabbi on his interpretation of what happened to Abihu and Nadab and he said there were so many opinions. He likened it to a “midrash” where Jewish scholars get together and discuss the Torah and come up with an opinion. He even suggested it speaks to the capriciousness of God. I reject that statement.

People will say that the severity of these judgments were specific to the Old Testament. But there are significant parallels that can cause one to take special heed to. In Acts 5 of the New Testament, Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold their possessions to give to the apostles for the work of the Lord. They could have kept the proceeds. No one forced them to give the money away. But they were duplicitous. They put only a portion of what they said they were giving at the feet of the apostles. They held back a portion and lied in doing so. The apostle Peter said to Ananias, “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?” Ananias, hearing those words, breathed his last and fell dead. The same fate befell his wife Sapphira when she was given the chance to speak. Great fear then came upon the camp when they heard of what happened. The Old Testament has many more examples of the Lord meting out harsh judgment.  But the similarities of the holiness and seriousness of God cannot be minimized just because we are under grace and not the law. He is still God. In Acts 13, Herod had the apostle James killed and was trying to do the same with Peter. He later spoke before the people of Tyre and Sidon near Galilee and was receiving adulation from the people saying that his was the voice of a god and not a man. Immediately, an angel of the Lord struck him because Herod did not give glory to the Lord and he was filled with and eaten by worms and died.

All these examples of rejecting God’s law has led to what I see as “strange fire” being offered up by so many who have set up their own kingdoms in the body of Christ and pay no heed to how careful one must be as a teacher or leader of His word. We have been given access into the Holy of Holies by what Jesus did for us. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil that separated us from entering into direct access to our Father was rent in two. When we accept Christ as our savior, the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us. Paul asks in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? Anyone that defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple are you.” In all this, I am so thankful for the gift that is given to us in 1 John 1:9 which says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” I might be a charcoal briquette were it not for this grace! Yet so many take His love and grace for granted. Teachings abound that lift up the speaker and not the Lord. Money is a prime motivator. Pride is rampant. Love of His sheep is lacking. These leaders are clouds without water carried about by every wind of doctrine. They offer up great swelling words, but deliver nothing. We are warned by the apostle Paul in Colossians 2:8, “Beware that no one distracts you or intimidates you in their attempt to lead you away from Christ’s fullness by pretending to be full of wisdom when they’re filled with endless arguments of human logic. They operate with humanistic and clouded judgments based on the mindset of the world system, and not the anointed truth of the Anointed One.” (Passion Translation) Wrong doctrine, based on nationalism and a distorted gospel of Christ, is growing. Strange fire is offered up without regard to how it affects the body of Christ. If what you hear doesn’t line up with the teachings of Christ, reject it. For those who have been part of the prophetic and evangelical teachings who have followed idols, especially for the last 5 years, walk from them. For those who have offered strange fire in what they taught, and have not fully repented from ALL their sins, walk from them. Pray for them, but come out from among them and be separate. These are perilous times. We are responsible for knowing right from wrong. Holy fire from strange, profane fire. Judgment comes and is coming. I urge you to read “Seek My Face” by Jonathan Boegl, as he explains so much more. We must be aware that as 1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of the Lord; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God.” Get before the Lord. Seek Him in all things. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks and praise always. Let the love of God be seen in our hearts. Love your brother, for you cannot love God and hate your brother. Be attentive and cast off all strange fire. I pray the peace of God that surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Blessings.

Shadow of Yourself

I’ve not written since Easter of this year. I’ve been listening intently and writing notes. My prayer time has been more intense, while at the same time leaving me with a feeling of despondency. It’s easy to allow the things of the world to have more of an effect on you than they should when you take your eyes off of Him. He did say that we would have to deal with many unpleasant things, but to be of good cheer, as He has overcome the world.

I watched a western awhile back and an Indian man told a sheriff who he befriended that he had lost his shadow. There is a Navajo concept that our shadow is a sacred part of yourself. This sheriff was losing his vision. This caused him to be less self-assured. Indecisive. When the sun was shining on him there was no shadow. This sheriff finally became focused and remembered his call. And before standing his ground, he looked and saw his shadow. I’m not even sure he looked to see before the words of the sage Indian came to mind. He remembered the words and his call and did what was right, even though he might lose his life. Much like Psalm 74:20 in the Passion Translation says, “Remember your promises to us, for darkness covers the land, giving the violent ones a hiding place.” Our bodies block the rays of the sun and a shadow appears. We can position ourselves to direct the light source differently and thereby change the shadow. There are some taking positions to intentionally alter the light source, but in essence are just positioning themselves to be seen as the light when they are so far from the true source. Those looking to direct the source of light for their own benefit need to be avoided. Christ alone is our source.

Sometimes we look at people and they seem to just be a shadow of what they once were. So many prophetic ministers I have followed for years seemed to have taken a wrong turn. And in doing so, they have led many people on a wrong path that is still being followed. They put their hope in an idol or idols and have lost their way. Some are hellbent on maintaining their destructive course regardless of where it leads them or others.  Something within them has yet to be crucified and it will always come up. The closer we say we want to get to Him, the more these flaws will be evident. Many have lost a sense of who they were called to be, as well as their prophetic insight. In Numbers 22, Balaam sought to see from his own high vantage point and receive his reward from Balak for cursing Israel. But when confronted by God, he could only speak blessings. Today, so many have been speaking from their own high places contrary to the words of Christ. They either do not repent or do so only in part. Their idols have taken up residence in their heart. And they continue to speak from the voices they hear from the shadows. They’ve walked away from the light.

In Acts 5, those in need of healing were positioned so that even the shadow of Peter might touch them when he walked by and they would be healed. There is a Jewish saying that a person’s anointing extends as far as their shadow. There may be some validity in that, but I’ve seen someone healed by a phone call from miles away. Or from prayers with no contact, even by voice. What if you’re walking contrary to His ways? What if you believe you’ve heard correctly even though it doesn’t line up with His word? We should then be on our face asking Him, as David did in Psalm 139, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” But some refuse. They hold onto their idols. They have not filled their lamps with new oil. The warning Christ gave in Luke 11 should cause one to seek His face for all we’re worth. “Take heed that the light that is in you is not darkness.” A sobering warning. His word is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts. And none are hidden from His sight.

I can see my shadow. Yet at times, I feel but a shadow of myself. That’s on me. I’ve read so many times that “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” I sat in prayer a week ago asking for even one word. He spoke one word ever so softly: “Trust.” And nothing else. I want His sun to shine on me and His Son to be seen in me. My shadow to be visible. My compilation of James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift comes down from above from the Father of lights in whom there is no variation or shifting shadows.” His light shines upon us and the shadow is constant. It does not waver or fade. He is not a man that He would lie. His word and His promise are always Yes and Amen. He will keep you as the apple of His eye and hide you under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 17:8). Cast a giant shadow propelled forth by His spirit in you. Light will flicker and shadows will fade or waver, but that is not from Him. False teachers and prophets will continue. Their shadows will be shifting and will offer no sense of hope. But our hope is in the truth. Only He is the way. Discord, division, hate, lies, false teaching, idol worship, conceit, backbiting, and selfish ambitions will continue, and in some cases, get worse. Do not lose hope. His Sun will shine on you. Your shadow will be visible to speak of Him. Rest in Him. The Passion Translation of Psalm 57:1 says, “Open Your grace fountain for me, for You are my soul’s true shelter. I will hide beneath the shadow of Your embrace, under the wings of Your cherubim, until this terrible trouble is past.” Blessings.

This I Do For You

I read about an artist in 1998 who had gained some renown for her artistic depictions of biblical people during the time of Christ and of His disciples. What attracted my attention though was one of Christ on the cross called, “This I Do For You.” The artist’s name was Helen Terry. She came to my house and showed me pictures of many of her paintings and brought a large signed and numbered print of “This I Do For You” and gave it to me. What I found out upon her entering my home was she was on crutches. The metal kind that wrap around the forearm for extra stability. She had polio as a child. She entered my home looking as if she was laboring. My 90 lb. Doberman carefully walked by her side to give support to her and then sat beside her for the next couple of hours. He made sure her hand was on his head all the time she sat there, as if to say, “If you just keep petting me, you’ll feel better.” They made an immediate bond. She was also badly hurt in the only F3 tornado to hit Ft. Pierce, Fl. In all this, she did not complain. Looking at the print of her painting, it was easy to see she had been given a special insight by Him, which she then drew. Billy Graham has a print of her drawing, as does the Vatican. She died in 2013. Her print of “This I Do For You” is the first thing you see when you enter my home. It’s overpowering. The eyes of Jesus in this print convey the message, “You pick up your cross and follow Me.”

The cross Jesus was crucified on was rough, heavy, and filled with splinters. Imagine your body rubbing against it and then having its weight push down on your back and shoulders. Then try to imagine the same thing happening after you have been scourged, so that muscle and tissue are ripped and shredded and visible through flayed flesh along with sinew and bone. Jesus was weakened. Most would have died from the beatings He received and now this heavy instrument of death was placed on Him. So, the soldiers compelled a certain man, Simon of Cyrene, to carry Jesus’ cross the rest of the way. Simon was a visitor from what is now Libya. It was not believed he was a follower of Christ at that time. But He became one after this experience. What went through Simon’s mind as his eyes locked with Jesus? Did he even try to reconcile why this man was so severely beaten so near to the point of death, yet death still awaited Him? He heard Jesus’ groaning and Simon himself groaned at the weight of the cross.  Its rough wood scraped against him and large splinters entered his skin.  Did Simon later realize that the blood of Christ on those splinters now intermingled with his own blood? Simon would become a follower as would his son, Rufus.  I wonder what Simon’s thoughts were when he took communion? How did the words of Christ resonate that said, “Take. Drink. This is my blood shed for you.” I imagine Simon never forgot that. I’m sure he had a special insight. Did he feel like the apostle Paul who said in in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” I feel Simon of Cyrene knew better than most. That image and experience was etched indelibly in his mind. Simon would become a missionary to France and it was said he was a bishop in Avignon. He was martyred in 100 A.D. Crucified.

It is imperative that we do our best to come before Him and ask for special understanding and insight in how to take up our cross. I’ll go into this further at another time but in the meantime, I would recommend looking into teachings on this by Jonathan Boegl. Google him. Know that He has a plan for each of us. It’s in our everyday walk. We take up our cross in our job, our church, our very existence. We make it a conscious act of our will to surrender the right to ourselves to Him. In all we do. Wherever we are. Every day. Every thought. Paul said in Philippians 3:8, “I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.” Sometimes the closest I get to that is just trying to fathom what Paul actually felt. For now, maybe we can embrace what Jesus did for us and delve into the depths of His love. Maybe we can realize that if we take up our cross, certain things might fall away such as anger, pride, unforgiveness, bitterness, inability to share and give, hard heartedness, slander, wicked thoughts, racist thoughts, back biting and inability to show His love to others. Nail all of these terrible things to the cross. Remember that love covers a multitude of sins.

Take up your cross in standing up for others. Do so in love. Pursue peace with all men, but do not give way to evil. Hunger and thirst after righteousness, but remember do not be one who will hear the words, “I was thirsty and you gave me no drink.” Turmoil and thoughts contrary to Christ are so prevalent. Let His word abide in you. Then the love of God will be perfected in you. Do not let the pervasive darkness blind your eyes and cloud your thought. As John said in 1 John 2:28, “Abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” He died that we would have life and the forgiveness of sins. “This I do for you.” Take up your cross. I pray the love of God guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Blessings.

Righting A Cast Sheep

We, like sheep, can so easily go astray. I wrote in December 2016 of the perils that face sheep in Shaken Sheep Syndrome Part 2. *I’ve included a link where this can be accessed at the bottom of this post. What I heard then has become much more dire. The Lord woke me at 6:15 A.M. Friday, 2/12/21 with the words, “Woe to the shepherds and prophets who destroy and scatter my sheep.” I wrote it down as it’s so easy to go back to sleep and then forget. Chapter 23 of Jeremiah speaks to this. These shepherds scatter the sheep of His pasture. They cause the people to be in error. They speak visions of their own heart and say things are good when they completely contradict what the Lord said. God said He did not send these shepherds and prophets who caused His people to hear words and listen to false dreams that led them down a wrong path. Because of these false words, visions, and dreams, the Lord said He is against these shepherds and prophets. And this is exactly what has been coming forth from the mouths of so many shepherds and prophets today. The words of these leaders can cause a sheep to be in danger.

A cast sheep is one that has gone astray and has gotten stuck in something that will eventually kill it. Rescuing the sheep is called “Righting It” and setting it back on its feet. They can become weighed down from the weight of their own wool. When wet, it becomes quite heavy and they can fall because they are off balance and then are unable to right themselves. A good shepherd makes sure the sheep are healthy and the wool shaved. Some today are only concerned with fleecing the sheep. Take the money but don’t look after the flock. Some sheep are just like people in that they have an appetite for things that will cause distress when ingested. This can cause bloating and sickness, leading to death. A sheep’s stomach is similar to a cow’s and has four chambers. If it is stuck on its back, gasses build up and their air supply can be cut off and they can die. We can ingest things in our spirit that lead to all sorts of noxious ailments causing destruction. Wrong ideas. False doctrines. Following those who we know we should walk away from as we’ll end up in a ditch like the wayward sheep. Sticks and all sorts of debris can get stuck in a sheep’s wool, further weighing them down. Much like the lies that are fed to us as a steady diet which many believe. Hate, racism, elitism, unforgiveness, Christian nationalism are all like the sticks and debris in the sheep’s wool that weigh us down. We eventually will wander off on a path of destruction, or like a sheep purposely rolling over on its back on a hollow in the ground, only to get stuck in a rut. They thought it was soft grass, but didn’t see what was underneath, and the weight of their wool and things stuck to them now has them trapped. We too can think something isn’t harmful. We know the person or have read or followed them for years and now something is off. Do we still follow or pay attention when what they speak doesn’t line up with what Christ spoke?

Following wrong doctrine or bad advice and leadings can cause us to be cast down just like a cast sheep. Psalm 42 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you so disquieted? Hope in God, the help of my countenance.” In Chapter 9 of Matthew, Jesus saw the people and had compassion for them, for they were like sheep that were weary and cast down and were scattered as those having no shepherd. When we’re like this, we feel as if there is no direction. Turmoil and chaos are evidenced wherever we go. It fills the air. We can become depressed and lose hope. Feel we’ll be stuck in a rut forever. But a good shepherd listens for the voice of their sheep. They can hear distress in the sound of their bleating. And the good shepherd has a sheepdog that alerts him to the lost sheep or when they are in danger or lost. Right now, both the shepherd and the prophet are too interested in the sounds of their own voice. They are consumed with how many sheep they have or how many follow them. And they are too interested in the value of the wool once fleeced. A good shepherd will lift the sheep from the hole it’s stuck in and then massage them until the circulation returns and they regain their equilibrium. Right about now, how many sheep do you feel have lost their equilibrium? They’re out of balance. So, what can we do to address this properly?

What we listen to can be either nutritious or cause indigestion. It is incumbent upon us to make sure what is presented lines up with what Jesus spoke. If not, reject it. If a shepherd does not put his sheep first, or is too concerned with their own standing, it may be time to address it or move on. If a shepherd speaks things that add to hate and discord and prophesies things that are not true, they must be confronted. Right now, apologies for the 2020 election only speak to that one issue. The last five years are not addressed. What led them to come under this wrong spirit in the first place? Are they going ahead with more new ministerial programs and classes they want you to follow or are they stopping to listen and ask Him for correction? Today, shepherds and prophets are still speaking to the same problem. Rather than defending the past administration, they’re attacking the new one. They are stuck like the cast sheep and they have not asked for help with contrition. Yet, they still attempt to lead. I fear many of these shepherds will not change from their nationalistic fervor. Some may have to die off to be quieted, living out their lives espousing a doctrine contrary to what Jesus taught. Instead, I pray they truly embrace the work of the Cross or just fade away. They do great damage to His Kingdom. The division in our country is growing. Jesus has an answer. Love your fellow man. Teach only what He taught, not your own concoction. Jesus laid His life down for His sheep. Following that mindset is a good place to start. Rather than trying to speak things that just rile people up and create more disagreement, look to see the condition your sheep are in. Care for them. Love them. The Lord says in Psalm 107 that He will pour contempt on those who arrogantly abuse power, but those who are diminished and brought low, He will raise up, show them His favor, and put them in a safe place where no one can touch them. We need to get on the right page. There are so many pages we can turn to in His book.

Jesus said My sheep know My voice and the voice of another they will not follow. We must know His voice. Listen for it. Right now, sheep are hurting.  They are lost, angry and confused. We must look to “right those cast sheep.” So, ask directions. He will say this is the way, walk in it. Believe He will make you to lie in green pastures. That He will restore your soul. He will feed you and anoint you and provide a dwelling for you. Embrace that. Rest in it. Do not allow anything to cause you to be cast down. He is your provision. Blessings.


Speaking Truth to Prophetic Chaos ~ Part 2

I recently wrote about speaking truth to prophetic chaos. The discord seems to have worsened since then. More prophetic ministers and pastors have apologized, but again with opt out clauses. Many of these people are still only focused on not being accurate with their word that Trump would win the 2020 election. I wrote four years ago that God spoke to me regarding the 2016 election saying of Trump, “He will win but he will not serve.” Another prophetic minister heard those same 8 words but now feels they mean Trump would not serve the system. I disagree vehemently. Growing up in a military family, I learned what it means to serve. Giving one’s all for God and country. Often putting yourself at risk, but not complaining. Always ready to serve. Never one that would abandon your post or creed. In my walk with God, service is a part of my life with God. Trusting Him and always trying to draw closer. No matter what certain evangelicals professed, I never witnessed this with the one elected President in 2016.

So, if one says they heard God tell them that Trump would win in 2020, who then did they hear? What did they sense, feel, witness, or dream? Something was quite off. Were they caught up in the fervor of other prophetic people who stood by what they said they heard even up to and on January 20, 2021? Are they with those who believe it still might be changed, or maybe they missed it and it was win one term, then a break, and then win another term? Some feel they had to stay with this prophecy because they could pray it in. Trump would help them fight against abortion. But during the 2016 primary, you had decent Republican candidates like Kasich or Bush that would have also appointed judges to their liking and could also be upright men at the same time. Even Cruz would have not fully maligned the office of President and given judges that evangelicals wanted. I voted for Kasich even though I knew who would win. The fact that people bought into the platform and seductive drawing proffered by Trump seems to be left out. Much like when the King of Babylon sent men and letters to Hezekiah, King of Judah, and Hezekiah showed them all the treasures of his house. They would later take them all. Much like what many religious leaders today did with Trump. He saw all they had, wanted, and were willing to do for a seat at the table. Grifted by one who had done that for decades. But no prophetic voice today was heeded when warnings were given like there was in the prophet Isaiah when Hezekiah reigned.

Many now speak of an increased fear in government, yet had a sense of protection under President Trump. They listened to what so many prophetic voices declared, when in essence they prophesied lies. This spirit that works from the enemy has brought strong delusion that is still entrenched in the thoughts of many. How else could one explain the excitement of following after that man coming down that New York City escalator? Believing what he proposed? Ignoring cases brought against him for tenant abuse, especially people of color, in properties he owned. Using illegal immigrants and treating them poorly in constructing places he owned, Anti-trust violations, race baiting in doing all he could to work to put the Central Park Five in jail forever and never apologizing even after they were found not guilty. Swindling and cheating those who had contracts to work for him was common practice. And if things didn’t work out, just go bankrupt. Treating women shamefully, often against their will. Paying hush money to keep them quiet. Birtherism he started with President Obama. And of course, saying “good people on both sides” in Charlottesville. This is a fraction of things that could be listed to ask why in God’s name did people become ensnared by this which would have been rejected outright if Trump had remained a democrat. He knew years ago what he needed to do to be successful. And an idol was erected that so many still bow to. And that evil spirit of fear is still at work so that many still follow him.

Many still believe the lies and find reasons to fault the enemy for what they did wrong in embracing that which was contrary to the teachings of Christ. Contrary to His Way! They look for counsel from those who still lead them astray like any monthly prognosticator. Only you can deliver yourself from where you are and walk in truth. If you continue to look to man for your answer you will walk in continued darkness. Look to Him. Embrace the Cross! That is the only true path. His Word is truth and life. If you continue to embrace that which doesn’t line up with His heart you will be in a constant state of doubt and anxiety. But He will give you good counsel. He will instruct you in the midst of storms and even as you sleep. Just set Him ever before you. His justice will always prevail.

So where do we go from here? How do we repair the division in our country and in our Church? How do we repair our status in the world? How do we turn down the rhetoric and the anger that is so prevalent? We start by repenting. Everyone. There is no one that hasn’t harbored something in their heart that adds to the division. Thoughts alone, even not voiced, can cause terrible harm. To others and to you. So that you do not misunderstand what I’m saying in this post, I’ve prayed for all in leadership. Yes, even Trump. If he had changed, all of us would have profited. Some repentance will need to go deeper. There are some people so inextricably stuck in this chaos they will need to be prayed for like one being de-programmed. The daily lies, acceptance of evil evidenced by conspiracy theories and things like QAnon, have taken a toll. People have left churches in anger. That must be rectified. Friendships and even relationships in families have been torn and fractured. Some seemingly irreversible. And what of those who defended lies that stated the virus was a hoax or that masks infringe on your first amendment rights. Masks are not just about you.  They protect your fellowman.  Will you apologize to those thousands who have lost loved ones? What of those in ministry that still lead their sheep astray by claiming the election was lost because of fraud? Is your God so small He can’t stop that from happening? Time for many of you to step down or take a sabbatical.  The enemy comes to rob, kill and destroy. And too many have let him. We need to stand firm but always speak truth in love. And sometimes we just have to be quiet and bring it to the Lord in prayer. For a long time now, I’ve asked His truth and mercy to blanket our land. I’ve also asked for discordant voices, Trump among them, to be quieted. Not killed or hurt. Quieted. We are to represent Christ in everything we do. Those that walk contrary to that are of the world and those that embrace the world walk in error. Speak and walk in His love.

Proverbs 28:4 in the Passion Translation states, “Those who turn their backs on what they know is right will no longer be able to tell right from wrong.” I so fear many now walk this way. I am speaking from a heart that breaks from what I see. And I identify with Paul in 2 Corinthians 11 in that I too burn with indignation when I see so many fall from being led astray and into a path of sin and hate. We are to be imitators of Him. Cast off darkness and those who walk in it. We are to shine as His light. Examine yourself to make sure you walk as one of His. I pray the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guards your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Blessings.

Speaking Truth to “Prophetic Chaos” ~ Part 1

It seems that every year prophets of every shape and size start sending out notices of their upcoming word for the next year. Many of these words have been quite generic or based on the political climate or whatever seems to be the aggregate they’ve agreed on. As I recently wrote, I see many of these people actually not deviating much from those prophets of Baal who yelled and ran about cutting themselves in order to hear an answer. They’ve doubled and tripled down on their belief that the Lord told them Trump would win again. At least the false prophet, Balaam, who often would speak at the behest of those who hired him, could only speak God’s word of truth when His spirit was on him. That seems to have by-passed many “prophets” today. So, what could have caused such an auditory mishap from so many who proclaim to be God’s mouthpiece? Is it the Lord they are hearing, or has something else caught their attention? Everyone can miss it, but it is incumbent on those who believe God has spoken through them to immediately confess when they are wrong.

Speaking prophetically has become so commonplace and prolific that a word in season becomes lost amongst the continual onslaught and barrage of never ending “words of the day, week, and year.” So many have surpassed in totality of words that which was spoken by ALL the prophets of the Old Testament. And then you add in speaking tours, prophetic courses, books and lesson plans, all for the low, low price of whatever. And these same people have been promising to apologize for what they missed, re: Trump and the November, 2020 election. But wait. We need to hear about another court case, and another fraud allegation, and maybe congress will overturn the election or maybe V.P. Pence will. Nope. Guess God got it wrong. Seriously? At what point do you just stop this nonsense and realize you got it wrong and that which was the purveyor of this madness and misdirection also had you under his spell. The prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) has been at work, but so much of this evil has been too easily followed. Prophecies given by so many speaking of Trump and his ascendancy to power in 2015-2016, I feel were misunderstood. But why?

I had been on my face in prayer and intercession a week before the 2016 election when God spoke to me audibly regarding Trump. The Lord said, “He will win but he will not serve.” Eight words. I wrote on this before. I knew what was coming. Yes, Trump would be a wrecking ball, but not in the way so many gleefully awaited this to be made manifest. This would come through our nation and uncover that which was simmering below the surface. Hatred, chaos, racism, rise of autocracy, and to reveal what was really in the hearts of so many. Especially those in the church. Those who once purported to stand against racism, misogyny, speaking evil of others, bullying, cheating, lying and so many other things once considered sin, were now O.K. And what was there was indeed uncovered for all to see. To those who were given charge of His sheep, yet embraced this wrong, I heard the Lord say, “You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.” At no time in our history has a person with no political clout, a proven track record of misdeeds, lies, bankruptcies and other fiascos, been spoken of as a terrible person by his opponents and then suddenly embraced and kowtowed to. This was the enemy. His spirit of fear permeated our land and we allowed it. The Lord did not order it, nor was it from Him. And now we have seen our U.S. capitol assaulted by misguided people under the influence of evil for the first time since 1812. Shameful. I was praying in the Spirit and in tears for hours before that happened knowing full well something horrible was to happen. And already the trolls are out trying to misdirect fault for this heinous act. But I pray out of this evil will come repentance and a new awareness.

I’ve discussed before the different ways the Lord speaks to me. He often will speak in the middle of what I’m doing and use that. Reading a book, the Bible, a movie or past things He brings to remembrance. In October and November of 2019, He spoke a line from a play to me. When He does something like that, I know I’m to look into every part of what He presented to me. He spoke, “Something wicked this way comes.” That’s from Macbeth. I had not read that since around 1970. I knew what He was saying and how it was pertinent to today. These were witches that spoke this of Macbeth. They had also prophesied his ascendancy to king. These witches also spoke in this same Act 4, “Double, double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” Macbeth was hellbent on power to the point of destroying his rivals. He would remove any obstacles to his road to power no matter what it took. Eventually things catch up with him and those close to him that help him stay in power turn from him. Eventually, a person of worth, Macduff, kills him and removes his head. I’m not speaking death to anyone. This is analogous to headship changing and those who once propped up an unscrupulous leader now were turning against him. We see things like this with today’s Lincoln Project of disgruntled Republicans and past party members walking away and speaking out. The Lord also showed me what was just the beginning of a serious disease would become so horrible, and much of the problem would be exacerbated by those refusing to do the basic things needed to stay safe in this pandemic. What should have been a total effort to attack this pandemic would be politicized, and many in the church would be part of the problem. He also showed me the great chasm in the church that would become worse. Lies and conspiracy theories would be accepted and spread by millions. I pray daily that His truth and His mercy would blanket this land.

I have shared these words from the onset of my hearing them with just four people. My sister Beth who edits all I write and one I trust with anything. My ministry partner and best friend, Joe. My sister-in-law Mil and one who hears form the Lord. And Carl Thomas, the pastor of the church I attend, Revival Life Church. I always discuss with him what I receive and I value his input. I need to say that one important thing the Lord has impressed upon me is there is wisdom in fewer words. Playing to people’s fears through your own inability to be comfortable with God being quiet by increased verbosity may get you a response from like- minded people or those spiritually lost, but you do damage to the Kingdom. This is a darkness that Oswald Chambers referred to as only following your own point of view, prejudices, and preconceived determinations. Rather than react to every event going on in our country and claim it to be a prophetic word, the Lord has instructed me write that which warns, but uplifts. Identifies wrong, but encourages you to be closer to God. Encourage church community, but warn to reject all that does not line up with the teachings of Christ. I’ve tried to do that. We are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. We are to be separate from that which works to pull us from His presence. When you walk with those who operate in unrighteous deception, know you will be susceptible to strong delusion that God allows.

Colossians 2:8 states, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” We are to be complete in Him, but this word tells us to beware. The onus is on us. As it says in 2 Corinthians 10, WE must take captive thoughts that do not line up with Him. Every thought must be in obedience with Him. As Jeremiah said in chapter 7:28, “We are a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord nor receive correction.” We are faltering and yet His mercy prevails. It is new every morning. But know this, the Lord speaks to those who lead His people astray in Psalm 50:16 and says, “What right do you have to speak for me and claim My covenant promises as your own?” (Passion Translation) Love one another, be hospitable, minister to one another. Walk in truth. Cast all your cares and anxieties upon Him, but be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, goes about seeking whom he may devour. In all things rejoice. He is still on the throne. He alone is God. Rest your hope in him. Remove that veil you put on that causes you to have clouded vision. This hope we have is a sure and steadfast anchor for our soul. Blessings.

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

We seem to be caught in a snare from which we cannot free ourselves. Part of the reason is we too often work to strengthen the very snare that holds us. We do that through our own arrogance. We feel our wisdom will lead us into truth as we trample on the very foundations of all that truth is built upon. We boast in all our self-made ideologies not realizing we have strayed off course by a degree, which then turns out to be so much further from our original heading. We seek things that glitter and offer false promises. We listen to words and promises that touch the visceral part of our nature, when we should know that it’s but a part of our fallen nature, still quite alive in the midst of us. Something is wrong.

One of my favorite and yet sadly funny stories in the Bible is in Chapters 32-34 of Exodus. The Lord had been giving detailed instructions in all things having to do with standing before Him. From consecration of Priests, to the Anointing oil, to instructions for building the Tabernacle. Moses is called by the Lord to go up Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. I often think back to the movie “History of the World Pt 1” with Mel Brooks playing Moses. In the movie, he drops one of the tablets and therefore there are now 10 commandments and not 15. Wonder what those other 5 commandments might have said? I’m sure they would have been applicable to today. Doesn’t matter, we have enough trouble giving heed to the 10 we have and doing quite well ignoring the teachings of Jesus. The funny part though is, that while Moses was gone for an extended time, the people grew restless. All the miracles they had seen were no longer relevant. They were forgotten. They needed to see and hold what they chose to worship and have something they could give voice and appearance to. Moses had been up Mount Sinai many times. This time was too long. Yet, God had never failed the Israelites. He was always on time. So, the people’s anger led Aaron the High Priest, brother of Moses, to tell the Israelites to give him the gold earrings from their ears and the gold from their hands, and he fashioned a golden calf. And Aaron said “This is your God O Israel.” The next day they proclaimed a feast day to this idol and rose up early and offered burnt offerings to their new god. This golden calf. Symbolic that the gold which came from their ears where they were to hear God and the hands which were to be used to build a new land and offer praise up to God, now crafted an idol. “And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play” to an idol. (Exodus 32:6)

The Lord told Moses to go down to the people, as they had corrupted themselves. Moses was so angry he cast down the 2 tablets God had given him and they shattered at the foot of the mountain. Moses then confronted Aaron and accused him of bringing sin upon the people. And herein lies the funny part: Aaron said the people were set on evil. They caused him to mold the golden calf. He said “the people gave me the gold and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out!” Something a little kid might say when reprimanded by a parent. The calf just magically appeared! Moses burned the calf and ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the people drink it. Sort of like when someone says I hope you choke on it! Moses told the people to consecrate themselves, as this day every man has opposed his brother. Our sin of following after that which is not God harms more than just ourselves.

The Israelites did just as people have continued to do all these years. They know what the Word says, but they become futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts are darkened. We take His glory and mold it into an image acceptable to our reprobate minds. It is one we follow as often as it is an object we covet. And we are often led down a primrose path with visions of grandeur and promises that are not worth the breath it takes to utter them. Yet, they continue to be spoken and people continue to listen and blindly follow. Half of our country now follows one way and the other half another. I do know that even 20 years ago much of what is being said today would have been dismissed outright. But now the most absurd and even ungodly things have become words to follow. Personal traits once seen as reprehensible and totally divorced from the teachings of Christ are now accepted, especially if it gets you what you want. The end justifies the means. No matter what. And prophets and ministers have doubled down on their bets. They are akin to those who cut themselves and cried out to Baal, knowing full well that the God of Elijah would prevail. The prince of the power of the air only has to whisper now. His work is being done for him. When we take all the attributes listed that a Christian should walk in and decide they are no longer necessary, how would you answer if the Lord asked you why? Would you be like the Israelites and just say I wanted certain things and suddenly one appeared to me offering a solution? Just magically appeared? As I’ve written before, people need to be quiet. Confusion reigns. These so-called leaders change their minds based on what others say or whatever source they receive their news from. They run to and fro seeking the word of the Lord and do not find it. When things are in turmoil as they are now, one must sit and be quiet before Him. And if He gives a word regarding the current situation, then you stand on it. You do not vacillate. The Passion Translation of Proverbs 29:18 says, “When there is no prophetic vision people quickly wander astray. But when you follow the revelation of the Word, heaven’s bliss fills your soul.” What are you feeling right now? Is it Him?

Turn away from anything offering a path that doesn’t line up with the teachings of Christ. No matter how much it glitters. No matter what the promises offered. His word is true. Yes and amen. We must be aware that there is so much faulty information from those trying to get our attention off of Him and onto another path with false offerings. But the Lord is faithful and will establish and strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. Trust in Him and no other. “I pray the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5) Blessings.