I went from rock, to revolution; from revolution, to showcase, from showcase, to mockery, and from mockery, to parody. What am I?
Many of us get to Christ and call it a day, thinking “that’s it! I’m saved!” and never go any farther. Yes, Jesus is the doorway, through which we all must pass in order to see God, know God, and have relationship with God, but there is a pathway beyond the Door. This pathway (if walked) takes you into deeper knowledge and understanding of the very Word that saved you, but could not save you without the drawing in of the very Spirit, belonging to the One who breathed that Word. Depth of knowledge of the Holy One is severely lacked in our world today. It is deficient in many of our churches.
Now, some of what I am going to say may be offensive to some, but my concern is not for feelings right now. So, draw back your toes. Get them out of the aisles and walkways. There are many pastors and preachers who have great depths of knowledge, who pick and choose bits and pieces of truths to share, but never preach anything they feel may drive their congregations away or into questioning. See, Jesus did not run after the young rich man in Matthew 19:16-22. The young man likely could not fathom how he could possibly live without his things, his money, or his notoriety. Jesus simply told him the Truth and let the man decide for himself. Now step back, and take a long, hard, and honest look around you. Can you see it? If not, take time to read the Gospels, paying close to Jesus’ ministry, teachings, and instructions to His disciples. Then, take another long, honest, and hard look around you.
There are those out there in ministry, striving daily to help others see Christ, so that they may be saved. They do it without expectation of anything from anyone. They do it simply by loving God with their entire minds, bodies, hearts and souls, while loving their neighbor as themselves (Matthew 22:35-39). Unfortunately, there are those who run ministry too much like a business, customizing packages of God’s Word, trimming here and fluffing there, in order to maintain membership and attract more. I remember hearing a pastor shouting at her congregation, “Y’all are SUPPOSED to be taking care of me! Y’all are SUPPOSED to be treating me to nice things!” This same pastor would chastise her people for not bringing in more visitors that she hoped to turn into members, increasing the income or tithing she’d call it.
If Jesus Christ is our prime and ONLY true example of the Way, the Truth, and the Life, how and why do we allow what we see every day in many of our local churches. If our Bible is TRULY the WORD of God, then why do we mistreat Him so, mis-teach Him so, abuse Him so, try corrupting Him so, and do so much of what the Word Himself warns us against?? There is a Church in my heart with a big “C” and our communities and cities are literally littered with little “c” churches. The only thing that turns the little one into a big one is absolute, honest, unadulterated Truth, whole Truth, and nothing but Truth. So, please help us, God!!
Now, humor me a bit. Set aside your religion for a moment. Set aside your denomination for a moment. Set aside pastor, apostle, or prophet whoever for a moment. If you can, of course.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers (Matthew 7:21-23)!’
"What is this 'will' of which you speak, sweet Jesus?", you ask??
"And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day (John 6:39-40).”
Can you say that the Savior truly KNOWS you? Can He distinguish your single “Lord, Lord” from the millions shouting it to the heavens? See, your denomination can’t speak for you. Your pastor, prophet, or apostle whoever can’t speak for you. Your religion can’t speak for you. Would you send your best friend to marry the woman/man of YOUR dreams whom you desire to have as husband or wife?? Think about it this way. Back in high school, a friend of mine was afraid to speak to a young lady he liked and asked me to “go hook it up.” So, I spoke to this person on his behalf. After a good bit of conversation, she expressed that although she liked my friend, she’d rather it be me that she talks to and gets to know. Now, Imagine Jesus, surrounded by multitudes of pastors speaking on behalf of their congregations. Jesus looks up and says, “I know only seven hundred seventy-seven of the six hundred sixty-six million of which you speak. Did you not instruct the others properly?"
All I am saying is that YOU, as an individual, should be taking measures to confirm your place in the mind and heart of Jesus, and such work takes place BEYOND the Door, on that path from salvation’s start to eternity with God. Just as the make-up of our society begins in our individual households with what we are taught and teach, the strength of the true Church begins with our individual relationships with Jesus Christ. What's the use of building a brand new car with rusted out nuts and bolts. It will only fall apart. Yet many of the churches that thrive the most are packed with folks content with spiritual blindness and deafness, and having plausible deniability (see the P.S.).
Deeper knowledge of the Holy One leads to a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Him (“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”). Learning NEVER stops. The minute you feel and believe you know all you need to know, is the minute you become stagnant, mentally and even spiritually. We were made in the image and likeness of GOD!! We are meant for so much more, BEYOND the Door!
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash (Matthew 7:24-27).”
Those who have ears, let them hear…….
P.S. Plausible deniability is the ability of people (typically senior officials in a formal or informal chain of command) to deny knowledge of or responsibility for any damnable actions committed by others in an organizational hierarchy because of a lack of evidence that can confirm their participation, even if they were personally involved in or at least willfully ignorant of the actions.
Mankind will never treat you as the treasure you are, in God’s eyes. Looking at this coin while pondering what I could possibly pass along today, that would be motivating and uplifting, I see the word “Liberty” resting above the head of a beautiful Native American woman. For her and her people, “Liberty” died, once the Europeans arrived, laying claim to what was not theirs. But that’s not what this post is about, though it does play into the message. The Native Americans were NOT treated as the Treasures they were, and are, in God’s eyes. They were treated as filth and savages, by a certain sect of mankind. Now, let me not go too far down that road, but History has not lied to us. Neither has the Truth.
The Truth I’d really like for you all to hear today is that God LOVES you! God treasures you MORE than ANY man or woman can! You are worth FAR MORE than gold! Let’s just say that our souls are diamonds, the greatest of jewels and treasures. In God’s hands, you are regularly cleaned and maintained. He places you in high places of marvelous light, so that you sparkle with pupil-shrinking radiance. By you, His illumination is cast out into the darkness, drawing others in, to Him. Blinded by His Glory, they are found. When God is all you can see, His will is all you ever truly want to be.
Now, there is another, whom many choose to serve and believe. Many of God’s diamonds, he’s be able to retrieve. Instead of placing them high in areas where they can glow, He pours them into a pit; dark and low. Then, he downs a box of Ex-Lax and squats over the hole, contaminated and blotting out the lights of every soul. He convinces them that the only way one can escape is by stepping and crapping on his fellow man. They are blinded by the mess and choked by the funk, under which none of them can stand.
Yes, I know this may be a bit extreme, but extreme is my love and respect for God, for Love, and for Truth. YOU ARE WORTH FAR MORE THAN GOLD, PLATINUM, AND DIAMONDS TO GOD!! NO TREASURE IS GREATER THAN YOUR SOUL. Think about it! If gold, platinum, and diamonds were greater than your souls, why would Satan be so concerned about them? Why would he go through centuries of drama and evil for such an unworthy thing? Let your soul be like the Time Stone, under Dr. Strange’s spell, burning every hand, other than God’s, that tries to take it!! Your soul is the ultimate infinity stone!
Those who have ears, let them hear…….
Like Elijah, my Anger hides in a cool, calm place; a place of thought, of insight, and of meditation. At times, it can be heard from the mouth of the cave, as I monitor earthquakes of injustice and inequality, causing rifts in the valleys of our society. My eyes squint, wanting to close but not, at watching chaotic winds of challenge, disruption, and division come against our moral integrity and standards, set forth long ago by our Creator. I stand firm, bending not, as the furious fires of ignorance, hatred, and flat out evil scorch and singe all things near and dear to my cave.
Given all that has gone on and goes on, TODAY, in our country and throughout the world, I pray that my anger NEVER hears the still, small voice…….
Those who have ears, let them hear, let them heed…….
"My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." -John 10:29-
In the light of my morning post, this thought appears. Where are you with God right now? What is that relationship like? Is Church every Sunday what you've settled on? Is that enough? How deep have you dove into the Ocean of God? Or, are you farting around in the tide pools, surrounded by the rocks or Sunday morning four walls? God is SO IMMENSE!! You will suffocate in greater knowledge of Him, but it's all good. For He strangles the world out of you, only to resuscitate You with His pure, clean, and eternal breath. God is so much more than our human traditions.
Looking at the above Scripture, I am reminded of a Christian Hip Hop Artist, called "Church Boy." I have to admit, I was NOT a fan of Christian Rap and honestly I'm kind of not, still. Yet, Church Boy, I love!! I bought his CD back in 2009 or so, and still listen to it from time to time when I'm feeling a special spiritual fire burning in my chest. There is one song, titled "Showdown with the Devil." "Snatch me if you can!", is what it ends with, in terms of the devil'd attempt to get at him. The song is attached to this post. No, I do not own the rights to the music, but I did buy the cd.
Now, let's take a look at God's hand. I, myself, and trying to be embedded deeply into His palm creases! There are many of you who have that same desire. There are also more of you, relaxing and kicking back in enos and hammocks, tied to His fingers. So, what's your level of pluckability? Are you in a position of stability, not easily fooled and led astray? Are you grounded so heavily that a Category Five Hurricane has no effect on you while wearing an open parachute? Only you know your relationship with Father God. I pray that it's good enough that you're in the actual palm and not hanging from it, deceiving yourselves into believing that you're safe.
We need to ignite fires in one another to burn through deeper knowledge of our God, creating unquenchable thirsts for proficiency in all things God! I encourage everyone to go beyond the walls of Sunday meeting and be accountable for your own soul, knowledge, learning, and wisdom. Be accountable for your own relationship with the Most High! People can only do so much for you! That day, you confessed your life to Christ, you accepted God's Word as THE WAY! Enough said!
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
When all you ever invest in are appearances, you become a fool for the devil's manipulations. When what's most important, to you, is the look of something or some things, shallow is what you are. Do you think it's easier to catch a fish, with your bare hands, in a shallow tide pool or miles off shore, in depths unfathomable? Well, you become a prize catch, surrounded by rocks, at low tide when all you are is show, a lived-up-to stereotype, or copycat of some other human's image; the devil's favorite meal. Vanity is rampant in our society and we are losing youth to it every day, maybe because the supposed-to-be adults in their lives are too busy trying to be their friends rather than parents. No one desires to KNOW anything, yet want to LOOK everything.
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
God advised, “There is treasure in the Earth, but you must dig to obtain it.” So, I went out into my backyard and started digging. My neighbor noticed and inquired of my doing. I told Him about my conversation with God. He responded, “Don’t even bother! God told me the same thing, and I dug, and found nothing!”
Old me: I dropped my shovel and went back inside. God spoke again, asking why I had not continued digging. I responded, “Why would You lie to me, sending me out to search for something that’s not there?! The man next door says you told him the same thing and he found NOTHING!” God chastised me harshly, reminding me Who HE is, and how I needed to check my tone…….
New me: “Well, neighbor, where did you dig? How deep did you dig? How many holes did you dig? Did you use a shovel or a trowel? What kind of shovel? What did you find? What’s your definition of treasure? If God, says it’s there, it’s there!”
Don’t let untested traditions, social norms and acceptances, hearsay, and misguided men and women steer you wrong. Don’t let such foolishness get you all kinds of twisted up with God the Father. If God has placed it in you, act on it, move on it, and live on it! My kids used to come home all the time, telling me what Mr. So and So said or what Mrs. So and So said. My response would always be, “Who am I, and what did I say?!” It’s no different with God, and He wants NONE of us to live as fools. Intelligence is a choice! Wisdom is a choice! So is everything contradictory to God, His Word, & His Way.
Those who have ears, let them hear.......
Bryan Hollomon Williams