Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Sound of the Kingdom

Each nation has its own unique qualities that make it stand out from others. The laws, the way people speak, their social etiquette, even their money distinguishes them and sets them apart. So does a country's music. The music that is indigenous to Jamaica, for example, is reggae, and to Trinidad it is calypso, soca and chutney. Rap, r & b and country music are distinctly American.

So too, the Kingdom of God has its own distinguishing features. Hence the reason why the citizens of the Kingdom are called 'a peculiar people', 'set apart' and a 'holy nation'.

It is vitally important that we, the sons of God, embrace fully every aspect of the culture of God's Kingdom. Some features are easily distinguishable. The law of the Kingdom of God for example, is love, and we can look to Scripture to guide us in this law. But there are other features of the Kingdom that are not as easily discerned. One particular area is music, and I believe that it is vitally important that we learn and adopt the sound that is unique to the Kingdom of God.

The music of the Kingdom originates in the heavenly realm – not on earth – and serves only one purpose - to glorify God. It does not have an American sound, or a Caribbean, Hispanic, Asian, African or European vibe. No, the sound of worship that fills the Kingdom is as unique and distinct as each of its other characteristics. It's a sound that sets it apart as reserved for the King of Kings Himself.

I believe that in this season when the manifestation of the Kingdom of God is imminent, we must re-examine what has until now been accepted as worship music. The pure music of the Kingdom is not a sound of a mixture of the secular and the sacred. Sacred words joined to an originally secular sound are a mixture. Even if the melody of a song is original it, and the beat, often reflect the national culture of the composer, and as such it is subtly influenced by the magnetic pull of the earth realm.

God requires that we worship Him "in spirit and in truth". This means that true worship should not be a reflection of the soulish or earthly realm. In other words, what may appeal to our natural senses (consciously or unconsciously) does not appeal to the Father. A good beat or a catchy tune may be wonderfully inspirational or entertaining, but the Father is not moved because He cannot accept a mixture. As a result, many of our most popular Christian songs minister to the people instead of ministering to the Lord.

Is it any wonder that despite the abundance of Christian music being played on the airwaves and in Christian gatherings the presence of God is sadly lacking? God inhabits and manifests Himself in true worship, and it is in His presence that souls are saved, hearts and bodies are healed and people are delivered from all kinds of oppression.

I have personally witnessed the impact that pure worship, played through a cd player, can have on a demon possessed person. This person was manifesting demonic activity, wild-eyed and spewing curses for hours. However, as soon as that pure worship was released into the atmosphere the demon left and the person regained his composure.

The presence and miraculous power of God is the only factor that draws unbelievers to Him. We need to reject the idea that the only way to entice them is with inspirational songs that have a familiar cultural sound.

Inspirational music has its place, but it is time now to diligently seek and tap in to the Kingdom of God, and let the sound of the Father's music come on earth as it is in heaven.


Friday, June 12, 2009

God Healed My Marriage

The following article is a powerful testimony that was written by my dear friend, Allison.

One must agree that relationships are under attack in the church. The great ploy of the enemy is to divide, while the Lord Jesus came to reconcile and unite us with each other and with God – Luke 9:56. In His final prayer before leaving the earth, Jesus prayed in John 17:21 concerning His disciples that we may all be one just as the Father and Jesus are one. I see that particular Word being attacked daily in the church and by extension even outside of the church. The Word of God has advised that offenses must come. See Matthew 18:7. However, we are mandated to walk in love. See John 13:34.

Marriage is a great institution by the Lord. It is the greatest union that a man and a woman could enter into. It is not just a physical joining but a spiritual one. This joining is the seed or nucleus of family life. God has instituted this joining when He was creating the world. He saw that it was not good that man should be alone so he gave the man a wife. This was sacred. He showed the importance of this union by taking a rib from the man in order to form woman and then He breathed HIS breath into them and blessed them saying unto them that they should reproduce after their own kind. In other words, that was the license given to populate the earth – to bring forth duplicates of God’s creation.

However, I see time and time again a dis-jointing in marriages with many divorces occurring as well as tragic endings to other marriages. Some claim “irreconcilable differences” to be the reason for their separation. The majority of times marriages end because of infidelity. The latter being the only excuse that God would accept in permitting a divorce. See Matthew 19:9.

My own life attests to the extreme attacks from the enemy even from the inception of my marriage. For seventeen years I was miserable beyond words. Communication problems together with gross infidelity on both sides occurred. Arguments and just downright friction and unhappiness prevailed. In the midst of the negativity and un-pleasantries the Words that caused me to remain married were “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” Whenever I reached to the point of utter frustration, those Words came to me as a reminder. After seventeen years of wedded un-bliss, life began to change, only because I saw God lifting me to another level in Him. He caused me to view this union with different eyes – in other words, the Lord showed me my marriage from HIS perspective.

Do you know that Adam never had a choice in having Eve for his wife and vice versa Eve never had a choice in choosing her own mate? Adam did not have the freedom to say that he’s looking for a 34-26-38 figured woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. Nor did Eve have the freedom to choose specifics for a husband. Do you know that God chose the two to be united? In this world system, we have a false sense of what marriage really is and how we are to determine who is to be your spouse. We use all sorts of criteria that are irrelevant to God when choosing a mate. The mandate to man from his Creator, was to leave his mother’s house and go find a wife See Matthew 19:5.

I have realized that we must first love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, and subsequently we should allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God – see Romans 8:14. It stands to reason that we ought to be led by the Spirit of God in choosing our spouses.

We are born with purpose by God. Therefore, the person who God will give us to wed will be the person who will help us to fulfill our purpose and destiny in God. Have you thought of what will happen if we go about choosing a mate ourselves instead of waiting on the leadership of the Holy Ghost? Our destiny would be at stake?

I had lived for years looking to satisfy my fleshly desires in marriage, but God has shown me that His purpose for bringing me into this world has nothing to do with my unruly flesh. I was created to complete the husband that God has given to me and also for my husband to complete me, and together we are to fulfill our purpose on the earth, as God has already ordained in Eternity. We all have to grow up and out of operating in our flesh and learn to walk according to the Spirit of God’s direction. Walking to fulfill this flesh will cause us to lose our souls in hell. See Romans 8:5-8 and Galatians 5:16-17

Marriage is something that we work at. It entails a lot of dying to the flesh – in other words, the marriage must include the activation of agape- the God kind of love, in order to live this life victoriously for God. Couples would never agree on all issues because they are individuals, with different likes and dislikes who have come together to form one unit. However, God still expects the couple to live victoriously as husband and wife. The keys to living the victorious life in marriage is as follows –

• To live by the Word of God
• To live in agape by denying your own flesh in order to cater to the needs of your spouse – not by being a maid or a bell boy, but by seeking to be pleasing to him or her while keeping in mind that God is the One who orchestrated the union
• Listen and follow after the leading of the Holy Spirit

It has been proven by my own life that as we all follow these simple guidelines in marriage, God will intervene and cause each marriage to be successful to His Glory and Honour and so serve to be a beacon to the saved as well as the unsaved. It is indeed possible readers, to live together as man and wife, even in these dark days, and have a successful marriage. God did it for me! He has truly fixed my mess and made it into this message.




For an expanded version of this post please click here: God Healed My Marriage - Her Story
To read his story please click here: God Healed My Marriage - His Story


Everything Has A Currency

Currency – money, legal tender, frequency, popularity, circulation, commonness

The currency of the world system is money. It flows from hand to hand; from business to business; from nation to nation. It is said that money makes the world go around. When men and women create giant storehouses to compile their own personal wealth, ignoring the plight of their fellow man, the system itself begins to implode with all kinds of maladies.

The currency of the human body is blood. It circulates throughout each of the body’s cells, supplying the needed nutrients at the right time and in the right amount. In a healthy human body each cell takes only the amount of blood it needs and passes on the rest to the other cells. If a cell hoards blood it becomes engorged, mutates and causes the body to manifest illness of some kind.

The currency of the Kingdom of God is love. We are to receive the love of God who is our Source and pass that love on to others. When we hoard what we consider to be the symbols of ‘love’ to ourselves – things like material possessions, relationships, jobs etc – it causes us to become ‘inflated’ while others in the body are ‘bankrupt’. This imbalance in the distribution of love creates a crisis in the Body of Christ.

What are you doing to ensure that the currency of the Kingdom of God remains solvent?



The Kingdom of God - Upside Down and Inside Out, But Right

What distinguishes the Kingdom of God from the kingdoms of this world is that God’s Kingdom is, for the most part, totally opposite of what the world is. We have been so indoctrinated into the culture of this world that it requires a conscious and constant re-training of our minds to think according to the culture of the Kingdom of God.


• The world says that you must be qualified by its standards in order to be accepted for one of its positions.
o The Kingdom of God qualifies you not by what you know, but what condition your heart is in. Then you receive on-the-job training.

• While the world says that you must fight to get what you want…
o the Kingdom says, “Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will men give into your bosom.”


• The world says that the key to staying healthy is keeping physically fit, eating the right foods and maintaining a weight that is ‘normal’ for your height.
o The Kingdom says that those things alone won’t do it. You will be in health as your soul (your mind, will and emotions) prospers.

• The world says if someone does you wrong you have the right to hold a grudge, sue, get even, tell your therapist, tell your friends, tell Dr. Phil, tell……………
o The Kingdom says if someone does you wrong, forgive them, bless them and pray for them. When you sling mud the first person to get dirty is you – as soon as you pick it up.

• The world says that in order to be secure in the future you must have a retirement plan.
o The Kingdom has no retirement plan. You’re in this for eternity.

• The world thinks that as people age they become less and less valuable to society. So they create “age-defying” creams and lotions, chemicals to cover grey hair, machines to zap away wrinkles and injections to puff out sagging skin.
o Advancing age is an indication of increasing wisdom and maturity, and therefore is more and more valuable to the Kingdom.

• When someone is found in a fault the world broadcasts it on prime time news, in chat rooms, in cell phone text messages, via e-mail, in “private” conversations and in thinly veiled messages delivered from the pulpit.
o The Kingdom dictates that fallen men and women be restored and protected because we all fall at one point or another – some more publicly than others.

• The world says that to be considered successful you must be able to buy the latest trends. If you have to work 2 or 3 jobs to accomplish this at the expense of your health, your family and your relationships they will readily help you. They will recommend sleep aids when you have insomnia from too much worrying; pills to help you stay awake; microwavable foods packed with chemicals since you have no time to cook; interest delayed payments on the latest big ticket item, and the list goes on and on.
o The Kingdom sets the standard, so there are no fickle trends to keep up with.
o In the Kingdom we are content in whatever state we find ourselves. We are confident in the reality that our Father owns everything and that it is available to us, His sons and daughters. But we are more focused on laying up treasures in heaven than on laying them up here on the earth where decay will eventually take over.
o Because our focus is on the Kingdom of God all things are eventually added to us, without pressures that the world places on men. It’s called sweatless victory.

• The world says “Have it your way……..now!”
o In the Kingdom of God there is a time and a purpose for everything and in the fullness of time those things that are for us come to us effortlessly.


• The world says, “Insist on getting what you want, when you want it and how you want it.”
o In the Kingdom we listen to what the Father is releasing to us at the time. We simply do what we see Him doing and say what we hear Him saying.

• When the world says, “It’s over.”……
o in the Kingdom it’s just beginning, and God is about to do His best work.

• The world looks at calamities, chaos, shortages and other kinds of trouble with a sense of dread.
o God often ushers in His greatest blessings in the midst of calamities, chaos, shortages and other kinds of trouble, so in the Kingdom while the world is panicking we have an increasing sense of eager anticipation.




MIND YOUR MANNAs

“This again?!” Joseph growled as he looked down at the plate in front of him with utter disgust. “I’m tired of eating the same thing over and over again! Can’t we have something different for a change? How about some meat, some fish………anything but this plain old ….whatever-you-call-it! What is it anyway?” Angrily shoving the plate aside he stormed out, leaving his wife Abby to clean up the mess he left in his wake.

Abby sighed as she picked up the portions of the meal that had fallen on the floor, her eyes filling with tears. Joseph had been hanging around that crowd recently. She had overheard them complaining about the living conditions and how they wanted things to be like they were before. Now Joseph was speaking and acting just like them. She had never seen him behave like this before. He had always been so easy going, but now………



In the above excerpt Joseph and Abby could have been among the Israelites who had left Egypt and were traveling through the wilderness toward the Promised Land. It was a long and sometimes arduous trip, but all of their needs had been met. Their clothes had not worn out, and their shoes were still as sound as when they first had left Egypt. Yet as they drew nearer and nearer to the precious Promised Land, detractors among them began to complain about the manna that they had been eating every day, and they incited the Israelites to long for choicer and more delectable things.

The Body of Christ is in the same position as the Israelites were back then. We have been taken out of our “Egypt” and are on our way to the glory of the manifested promises of God. But until we arrive we must be willing to accept the “manna” that He provides in whatever form it comes, and creatively make the best use of it.

The manna of that time came suddenly and secretly during the night, just as the dew did. The Israelites only had to gather it in the morning and prepare their meals with it. As plain as it looked and maybe even tasted, it provided them with all the nutritional sustenance that they needed. There was not one sick among them. However, when they ate the meat that they had lusted after many of them died.

You and I have to make a choice. Will we see the miracle of God’s provision even in these tough economic times, or will we lust for things that we think will make us more comfortable? Will we be thankful or will we join the complainers and criticizers of today?

What form does your “manna” come in? Is it a job that provides you with a regular salary? Is it provision and support from family and friends? Is it a roof over your head? Is it the trustworthy clothing and shoes that have lasted for quite a while, even though they may not be “the latest” fashion statement?

If, like me, you realize that you have had a lustful or complaining attitude, no matter how temporary, please join me in asking for God’s forgiveness. He has been so faithful in providing for us. We are on our way to experiencing His promises to us. He is God and He does not lie! In the meantime, we may very well have to wear “this again”, eat “this again”, live in “this again”, ride in “this again” or do “this again”, but we must look at His provision with renewed gratitude and make sure that we mind our mannas.



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