Whilst reading the UCB - Word for Today I was reminded again of this thing called 'Faith'. In fact as I just typed this I was reminded in my spirit of a message I hears preached some almost 10 years ago as a young Christian, by a the Lead Pastor of the Jesus House Church - You can follow the link, but be mindful that we are talking about a message of some 10 years ago, but they may still have it in their archives.
As we journey on in this walk of Christian faith, it is so easy to actually loose sight of what faith is really about. We have to be careful that we do not let Church life, programmes and activities become what we think faith is, as we will be mistaken. And just to be clear; Church life is as vital to a Christian as milk is to a baby, as this is where you fellowship and get much of the teaching and grounding that God wants to give to you. However, there is also much that God will teach and school you in that will have nothing to do with you being in the church. No this is the the place where character is built and usually takes place (despite our running from it) in the WILDERNESS. Ever been in church and felt as if you were on your own, even though you'd been coming to the church for many a year and fellowshipped with all these wonderful people, who now can't understand you and you have got to a point where you don't even want to tell another person how you are feeling inside, as all they give you seems to you (at this stage) to not be helping - Yes the wilderness.....No you don't have to take a plane to the Sahara desert, God can bring you into a wilderness when you are sitting in the company of thousands - The wilderness teaching:
Hosea 2:14-15 (Amplified Bible)
14Therefore, behold, I will allure her [Israel] and bring her into the wilderness, and I will speak tenderly and to her heart.
15There I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor [troubling] to be for her a door of hope and expectation. And she shall sing there and respond as in the days of her youth and as at the time when she came up out of the land of Egypt.(A)
Yes, God's words not Brother Dons. And just in case you think this wilderness that God refers to is a new cushy 1 star retreat instead of a 5 star then I recommend you read through Exodus chapter 14 onwards. No food - Bread from heaven, No water - Water from the rock, No direction - Cloud by day fire by night; this is the place of the learning of Faith in Father, and there are no shortcuts............ Often, when people are enrolled into this section of the Christian tutoring many others who are watching can mistake this and think that someone may be backsliding, moving away from the faith etc. It is important to seek God's wisdom in these times in order that we don't make someone an outcast.
So let us run this race of faith that is set out before us..........................
The Author of Hebrews (In the Bible), Chapter 12 verses 1 & 2 said this:
Hebrews 12:1-2 (Amplified Bible)
1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,
2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.(A)
As with my post yesterday, I feel that this is the decade that many will receive that which God had been
preparing us for (in the wilderness), if we have the Faith to receive it.
I want to add this as it is important - You can not buy your way to Gods blessings by Tithe or Offerings. God watches the Heart, the Motivation; so you cannot think that God will understand because this is how I have been taught, after all; we all have been given a measure of faith and with this it is up to us to discern what are the things of God and what is not. Tithing and Offerings are biblical and to be observed, but not as a means to an ends of obtaining God's best. After all, God is not an irresponsible Father, He will not give you the promotion, the house the car the wife, the husband, the kids and so forth if we have not had our characters moulded by him. It is alos important to note that if you are in lack of somethings, it is not necassarily because you have not quite passed the test, but could be to do with God's Seasons - Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, verses 1 to 8.
Please follow the link to todays Word for Today as I am sure it will be a blessing for those who Ears to Hear & Eyes to See - 31st Jan - 31st January 2010 - Word for Today
God bless you all
Love Brother Don
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (New Living Translation)
'but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.'