Jesus Christ was beaten to a bloody pulp and hanged on a tree (a cross, made from a tree). Not a glamorous sight! But anything other than that is a wrong foundation, because sin put Him there and Love caused Him to rise again.
Another ministry will lay another foundation of works or revelation or exclusivity of some kind. But the Blood of Jesus will suffer even the little ones to come on in because they can understand that.
Sometimes we may know (or think we know) a special day, a special event, a special code or happening going on and become very proud. We may know secrets of governments or corporations or ministry planners and have "the fresh wave" of what is coming down the pike. Pride can fill our minds and souls because we have "the inside track" or "hidden word" or "work."
But even if we do, is our foundation right? I remember some people one time telling me that God was working on my foundation. They said I had "little flaws." I thought, "Maybe, it's possible," but I felt pretty sure on what I stood. But as I tried to receive that word that seemed loving, I only got confused because it could not really be defined specifically. Later I even got rejected and wondered "Was it me?" but it wasn't. It was a spirit of secret conspiracy and exclusivity.
It can be very subtle. In the name of truth it takes you to a secret place that needs certain men (or women) who will allow you in. Is that the way God works? No.
In fact, this is one of the things Jesus railed against - the scribes, Pharisees and lawyers who kept people from knowing the truth and who put up hindrances and roadblocks to not allow people in. He said strong judgment was coming to them.
Jesus said a little child could enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He said unless we repent and humble ourselves like a little child (become teachable and open in heart), we could not enter the Kingdom.
Exclusivity is a big problem in many ministries. Some find "a way" that is not purely the Way of Jesus. It could take on many forms - ritual, cost, secret codes or passwords (buzzwords), dress, activity, illicit or illegal activity. That is not Jesus' way. He proclaimed "Who so ever will, come and drink of the water of life freely."
Some misunderstand order for exclusivity, but true exclusivity says some can come in and others must stay out and the focus is usually on a human leader with a human test or litmus. This often can become what is called cults.
Jesus says, "It's Me on a Tree. I died for you. I suffered for you. I took shame for you, so you would not." It is value on an act of God, that points to God and not to man. A roadblock or hindrance says that you must go through a man (or woman) before you can enter the Kingdom of God.
This morning the friend I am staying with shared a dream she had at the same time this message was birthing in my spirit inspiring me to write about it. She said, "I dreamed there were all these spiders and I kept trying to kill them. They began crawling on me and I was beating them off. I was in a place where people were welcoming these spiders, though, and as they did, the spiders would crawl on people's arms up their back into the back of their heads and go inside their heads and when they did, all the people began to act the same." (This is creepy, I know!) She said, "I did not want these spiders!"
As we talked about it we realized the enemy was challenging her on her work on the web. He said she was going to get herself in a web she could not get out of and be bound. The enemy will always accuse you of what HE is doing!!!
After a while, you will see that when you are really giving your best efforts, you will get accused of exactly the opposite of what you are doing in an attempt to make you doubt yourself and your work and your heart for it. It is false accusation.
Most sincere people will question themselves, "Is it so? Am I really guilty of that? Oh God, forgive me!" and they often will leave the good work. Some of these accusations can even come through trusted family members or leaders. They will make you feel impure about your NEED for a Savior who had to pray and pay a price, and cause you to doubt yourself and the availability of the grace of God, especially for you!
So the master deceiver has again, through just thoughts or by people, hindered the freedom of the work and grace of God. Oh how Satan would love to stop your ministry! He especially targets the Spiritual gifts and miracles manifestations because they are such effective tools against him! He will lift up a man or warn you against a man who is doing the work!
The warfare of it all is not easy! When we stumble or get bruised or hurt, if have not become skilled in putting on our armour before going out to battle and know how to run to Him for help when we need it, we can fall down and someone will come along and say, "See, you should have done it this way or my way..." But deep in your heart you will know that something is not right and you will have to make the decision to try again.
Many people do not try again. They got hurt (offended) and they say, "Enough of that!" Rather than seeing they did not have the protection of Christ on, they take the suffering as the message of the Gospel, when in fact the opposite is true of what is going on - Jesus came to set the captive free, deliver the oppressed, heal the broken and bruised and sick, restore the lame and dying, and even raise that which is dead, whether it be a Godly dream or an unjust and untimely death.
Many people learn to have faith in God despite all the evil in the world and it's a real tribute. But if we are willing, we can learn that through God's ways, we can overcome much evil in our lifetime!
Knowing proper sanitation keeps many of us alive today. I am from the United States and we even have portions of our government dedicated to that, the Food and Drug Administration and Health Departments, and because of that, our country has better health than many third world countries.
Are the others worse people (as sinners) because of what they don't know, as people? No, of course not! We just know more than they do, and it is to our advantage and it brings life against the evils of improper sanitation.
Spiritually, if we do not know what works, we fall victim. If we do not know how to guard what is precious (our lives!) we can fall victim to the evils and abuse of the enemy.
Is it legalism because someone says "Wash your hands before you eat" especially if your hands are dirty? No, that is an order that is going to bless you. Not all order is evil. Jesus used this analogy to show legalists that the purposes had to be right.
His disciples did not wash their hands before they ate one time and the legalists made it a doctrine and a hindrance. Jesus called them on it and said His disciples (the "unlearned men") were better off than they who had unclean hearts! He said His disciples were okay, but they were not! Of course that didn't go over real well, but He was trying to bring the Light and truth to them. Who survived?
Love has to be the bottom line in our hearts. Our foundation must be the Blood of Jesus. We must not preach anything other than Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
"Oh that is a bloody thought! Oh, we don't like that!" No, but we must also know that we don't have the fullness of God in our lives without Him. Jesus is the Door. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and it took that - Him crucified to a bloody pulp - to bring us that salvation.
Do we like it? No. We can hurt just thinking about someone else being hurt! Do we get spanked? All of us do one way or another, but with God, it should bring about correction and a teachable spirit. Because when we have that, the mysteries and wonders and awesome revelations of Heaven's Life can be ours, just as fresh and clean water.
But if we put up roadblocks and hindrances and offer "another way," we ourselves will be put into confusion and claiming to be right, we will look like fools, having no rest in our spirits. God can guard His work, we don't have to do it "for Him." He offers us a place in HIS labors if we choose to take that course, and we will hurt and suffer for others, but it brings about a good work because it is based on Love that has resurrection power.
As we allow God to be God, and become teachable and touchable and approachable, as we let His life and tenderness coarse through our spirits, we will see His beautiful divine design and have an awe-filled life of His Glory and Love and never regret a day of it. He will fill our lives with good things!
We must learn to discern and we must get able in our armour, putting it on correctly so that we may go out and do the exploits that we were called to do for Him. It works.