Monday, January 21, 2008

The Actions of Another NEVER Justify Your Disobedience

Luk 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Luk 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
Luk 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

The Father wants His children to be FREE. I must be transparent today, because God spoke a word to me through my own issue. Because of my own error, I received a word for the entire Body of Christ, and know that it will free and liberate many who are bound.

Now, I have a problem with people who refuse to live holy, but desire and claim all the benefits of Kingdom living. In other words, I am disturbed when I feel that someone is making a mockery of God. There are many in the church who sin openly, then rule the pulpit. There are those who lie, steal and cheat from the saints, yet they live prosperous as the humble barely survive from paycheck to paycheck. Then, there are some ministers who carry a great name and extravagant recognition, when they’re families are in shambles and neglected for their namesake. If I can be honest for just a moment, this angers me. Now, it begins by offended me, because it offends the God that I serve. However, if I’m honest with myself, over time it angers me, because I feel cheated. I find myself saying things like, “Now God, if I were to do that, I’d be exposed and lose everything you’ve given me. Father, I made that same mistake years ago, and I was completely sat down from ministry. Oh Jesus, how can you not allow me to rebuke them, when they know that they are wrong? Yet, I still have to respect them?”

I try to remind myself of something God told me long ago – “You are called to a higher level.” Okay, that’s all well and fine, HOWEVER… Yes, there are times when these words are not enough to console me. There are times when the “Jonah Complex” comes over me, and I want to see God’s judgment move. More often, however, I have those moments when I find myself compromising my own integrity, because I’ve lowered my standards based on the actions of man.

In Luke 18, Jesus teaches the disciples about a Pharisee and a Publican in prayer. The Pharisee recognizes the sins of others, and thereby justifies himself. So, he is haughty toward God, and feels “entitled” to an answered prayer. In contrast, there is a Publican who prays humbly, WITHOUT EVER MENTIONING THE SINS OF ANOTHER, and Jesus teaches that he is justified, according to his humility.

I must share what God is yet delivering me from. I just thank God that I am getting free!!! As a prophet, I am called to such a level of holiness, that many other saints seem not to even understand. In that, I am often frustrated when it seems that others are having an “easier” time in ministry than what I go through. Even more, it literally agitates me to see sin accepted between “leaders” in the church. THIS WEEK, God called me to the carpet on some things. Allow me to share a few examples:

1) There was a time when my husband did not work. There were circumstances that prevented him from doing so, and though I understood this, I was still resentful toward him. I didn’t want to admit it to myself, but God revealed it to me. I didn’t confront him about it. I wasn’t mean to him. There were no obvious signs, but this is where I missed it. Because he wasn’t working, I felt “entitled” to have the house cleaned. Whatever my husband didn’t do, I didn’t do either. I refused, because I felt that if he didn’t do the “husbandly” thing, I wouldn’t do the “wifely” thing either. Oh, my God. The Father showed me my dirty house and my error. No, this situation may not deal with outright black & white sin, however, God rebuked me for my response. The fact is that cleaning the house if MY responsibility as the mother and wife of the home. What my husband does or does not do does not change what God expects of ME. So, my integrity is compromised when I lower MY standards based on the actions of another, be they good or bad.

How often do we lower our standards of holiness because another person has sinned or missed the mark? How often do we blame our leaders for our mistakes, because we disobeyed God, and blamed their “bad leadership? Oh, it’s so important that we compare ourselves only to Christ – not man. Otherwise, we will not remain humble before God.

2) I used to be part of a dance ministry in a church where I served. Unlike most of my dance ministry experiences in the past, I was NOT the choreographer for this group. So, since the ministry was self-contained and the leader handled the choreography, I didn’t practice as much. Soon, my prayers concerning this area of ministry began to dwindle. Because all was “well”, I never expected the rebuke I received. God was disappointed in me because I lowered my standards. I let down my guard, rather than living up to the standard that was set on my life.

3) Like many of you, I’ve been in a church where the “lead” minister lived a life that was less exemplary than most. While she was never caught in what many consider to be blatant sin, she did not have a godly attitude or a holy demeanor. She wore “questionable” clothing. She didn’t know how to address people, and had a rude way of speaking. She was always late, and would take credit for things other people did. She would fail to give messages to the Pastor and had a habit of always making the other person look bad. Well, I began to get angry…then offended. It got to the point that I found myself talking about this minister. My tone with her grew short. Then God spoke to me about the situation. He allowed me to see her in the spirit realm. I realized how far she had come and much she had grown, though there were still some things to be worked out in her. Me, on the other hand – I had taken steps back. I felt “justified” in judging her, because I was supposedly more spiritually mature. My mistake was that I judged in the flesh. I moved based on observation rather than revelation.

Saints of God, the enemy is deceitful, sly and cunning. It is so easy to look on the shortcomings or successes of others, and become complacent with ourselves. Be careful. Watch diligently. The actions of others NEVER justify YOUR level of integrity and obedience to God.

Get free!!!

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