Today I just have a couple things I want to share. They are not on the same subject but very relevant for this time and season. On Saturday, March 20, the Governor of Colorado made a holiday called "Meatout" Day. This was created to help Coloradoans to ditch animal products. Well, it backfired on the Governor pretty much and the meat producers and meat eaters got up in arms and made it a "Meat In" Day. This whole idea can sound innocent and the Governor says he never meant to make a big deal but it is a big deal when he is creating a holiday! It's also a HUGE deal when you read about it in the Word. Carefully read the verses below
"The Holy Spirit has explicitly revealed: At the end of this age, many will depart from the true faith one after another, devoting themselves to spirits of deception and following demon-inspired revelations and theories. Hypocritical liars will deceive many, and their consciences won't bother them at all! They will require celibacy and dietary restrictions that God doesn't expect, for he created all foods to be received with the celebration of faith by those who fully know the truth." 1 Timothy 4: 1-3
Does this sound like today?! Let me break it down a bit
** many will depart from the true faith one after another
** devoting themselves to spirits of deception
** following demon-inspired revelations and theories
** hypocritical liars will deceive many
** their consciences won't bother them at all
** They will require dietary restrictions
The verses go on to say "for he created all foods to be received with the celebration of faith by those who fully know the truth". Amen!! There are so many deceptions the enemy is throwing at us that can seem innocent and understandable but we cannot not get caught in the web! We must keep our focus on Him and His Word. Just something for you to think on:)
Another thing I wanted to share is about our Thursday night study on Romans 12:4-8. We feel this is a vital study for this season and time as we believe an outpouring and revival is happening! In this time of ministering to those coming in it is important that each of us know what part of the body we are and how to function and work together.
"In the human body there are many parts and organs, each with a unique
function. And so it is in the body of Christ. For though we are many, we've all been mingled into one body in Christ. This means that we are all vitally joined to one another, with each contributing to the others. God's marvelous grace imparts to each one of us varying gifts. So if God has given you the grace-gift of prophecy, activate your gift by using the proportion of faith you have to prophesy. If your grace-gift is serving, then thrive in serving others well. If you have the grace-gift of teaching, then be actively teaching and training others. If you have the grace-gift of encouragement, then use it often to encourage others. If you have the grace-gift of giving to meet the needs of others, then may you prosper in your generosity without any fanfare. If you have the gift of leadership, be passionate about your leadership. And if you have the gift of showing compassion, then flourish in your cheerful display of compassion." Romans 12:4-8
I want to share my experiences with these ministry gifts. I believe the Lord has shown me some things about using and misusing our gifts. I've taken many different tests that help me find out what my gifts are. I usually test very high on giving and organization. So many times, the ministry gifts will follow in line with our behavior style. The strong, dominant people many times have the prophetic gift. Others are your happy, friendly, encouraging type of folks and they so enjoy exhorting others. The detail minded person is usually a teacher or organizer and the person who likes to stay out of the limelight and not be focused on has the gift of serving. There are always exceptions and there are combinations of gifts that we each have.
My natural tendencies are to give and organize. I can do either of these gifts without even thinking about it or asking the Lord for help! Some things we do in life and in ministry we can easily do in our own will and strength. That's where we get into trouble. When we do anything outside the power of the Holy Spirit it is just hay, wood and stubble. We each can do some of our gifts blindfolded. It is so natural but none of these gifts in the body of Christ are to be done without Him.
"If I were to speak with eloquence in earth's many languages, and in the heavenly tongues of angels, yet I didn't express myself with love, my words would be reduced to the hollow sound of nothing more than a clanging cymbal. And if I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God's hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing. And if I were to be so generous as to give away everything I owned to feed the poor, and to offer my body to be burned as a martyr, without the pure motive of love, I would gain nothing of value." 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3
ANYTHING we do in our own strength without HIS love isn't walking in our ministry gifts. That's hard to say but that is what the Lord is showing me. I can organize and give without even thinking twice or asking Him. My motive may be fine especially in my eyes but it is done without Him.
There are 2 gifts that I didn't want to be. Sounds bad but the truth. Of course, that's me in the flesh. The 2 gifts are the gifts of mercy and serving. I actually have both of these gifts but in my flesh I fought them because they seemed abused in my eyes. I was taken advantage of when I flowed in these gifts. When I was younger there were times others saw my gifts as menial and lowly and let me know that I wasn't on the same level they were. This time around these 2 gifts were very strong for me. I tell you what, compassion doesn't seem like a part of me but I see it very strong when I am walking in the Spirit. As I read the Word and the Gospel's I see His mercy over and over and I feel chills all over when I know that same mercy He gives I can give to others. I now long for Him to flow through me with the gift of mercy to others that are disillusioned and hurting.
The gift of serving. I don't like being taken advantage of and having an expectation that if no one does it I will. In this ministry I usually do what others won't but it's also about our leadership and accountability to the Lord with the ministry. But if I am doing things around here without joy then I might as well not do it. You've all seen me serving with the wrong attitude and the Lord has dealt with my heart on that. I long to serve others in Him but I can only do it with Him.
Let me try to pull the ends together. Giving and organizing come easy and I love to do them in the natural. Mercy and serving do not come easy and I don't love to do either one if left to myself. We will all have gifts that will just flow but the gifts are only effective and powerful when we let the Holy Spirit work through us. There may be other gifts you try to avoid and they are even more powerful and effective when you surrender your heart and let Him work! Don't know if this is making sense. It's like this, nothing, including your gifts, is impossible with Him and everything, including our gifts, is impossible without Him.