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THE PRIDE OF LIFE
The other day I was listening to a ministry program and the leader was talking about how they were going to take the city and take the land! It all sounded real good, in the Name of Jesus of course, but in my spirit I heard the Lord say, "WHO is going to do that?"
At that instant I knew the Lord was saying that many of us are riding off on the mission or into the sunset without Him. We see it as what "we" or "our group" is going to do. Then we wonder when we do all of our exploits why He doesn't come through, and many have blamed God for that.
Many have accused Americans of having that cowboy mentality, but you have to know the good and the bad side of the "cowboy" life. Even though I am a mostly city girl, I have lived in the Texas country long enough to know many real cowboys first hand. (I was raised in Houston.) We need to appreciate the farmer as much as the soldier and the other walks of life!
Country living is a more rugged life in many respects. There is a lot more to day to day living than just fighting the traffic. There are real bugs and varmits that will get you and your stuff! The flip side of that is that you get to see the beauty of nature and creation (and procreation) in ways that you don't often get to experience with city life. You see the sights, the changes in nature, and experience even the smells, first hand.
Jesus often used agricultural examples in His parables that sometimes can get lost on city people, where shuffling papers and answering phones and going to the store for all the produce we need is the way of life. In the city, sports are the big deal for the athletic side of life, not saddling horses, producing and tending crops and carrying animal feed and tractor parts that go out on you. If the fence goes down and the cows get out, you have to fix it!
In the country, you have to be much more sensitive to the weather, because you have to make hay while the sun shines! They really don't just wear their hats for show, they do it to protect their face and then it turned into a style - because that is what we do with our everyday necessities. We make styles out of them.
If God does not bless the land with rain, the food does not come up. And all of us eat what the land produces. The environmentalists became aware of the real needs but even some of those have carried it to extremes, as we all know. Man is not in charge! God is. And cowboys miss it too by being too harsh sometimes. God in us expects a more gentle nature.
Whether we see the moral ills or the physical ones, and both exist, we aren't doing anything without God. We can develop technology and thank God for the ones who do it, but without God, we don't have blessings or power.
God has been giving us wake up call after wake up call. We moan about the problems of lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh (and some may not get this article because of the needed spam filters today) but how many of us recognize the pride of life?
We get "an atmosphere" and then think we are good to go. Maybe we are, and maybe we aren't. We really need to look at where we are going once we get that atmosphere! LIFE is a big thing!
The Body has been in a deperate need for unity. We have many splinters and divisions, and as the article on "Removing Wedges" by Hollie Moody pointed out, the enemy gets into our heads just as much as he will get into our material life. I was very encouraged by the response I got from people recognizing what they had not seen before where the enemy was ripping them off!
Because if the enemy can divide us and isolate us, then we will not have the agreement power we need when a crisis or need occurs. If we just take for granted that God will be there, it may be the pride of life. When pioneers or station holders need assistance, if the Body is not there, we all lose.
We have many frustrated ministers and business people today who do not understand why God is not blessing them, even when they have given and done all the work they felt they were supposed to. Many have been willing to offer real sweat, they weren't just sitting around waiting for someone to hand it to them.
Many have sown into ministries, looking for the blessing, but not found it there either. Is the problem what "we" think we are doing? I think so, prophetically speaking.
We have heard it said, "Don't touch the gold or the girls or the glory, the three G's" when giving advice on ministry success. The gold is the excess of material things for self indulgence, the girls would mean the lust of the flesh relationship outside of marriage; but the glory is the pride of life, when we fail and say we did it instead of God. God withheld Moses from going into the promised land in this life because he took the glory when he said:
And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, "Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?" Numbers 20:10
And Moses was described as the meekest (or most humble) man on earth! When we decide that we are going to do things for God, we need to be sure we have been given the comission and even then, we must be careful to give God the glory. There is much in the way of prophetic presumption today.
If God tells us to take the land, we really need to make sure that we are hearing all the details. And because we as humans are so prone to miss it, we really need to make sure that we have grace for one another since we will be forgiven as we forgive others.
If God chooses a ministry person or a ministry entity to "take the land", it will be because they have heard His Heart on it. We need to know how the wind of what we have heard or felt applies to us.
Many hear the wind of God's judgment coming and have been quick to prophesy. Many have heard the wind of the promised blessings and have been quick to prophesy. Many have heard God say, "I will overcome", but have we fully heard God's heart on these things?
If our enemies are people more than they are rebel spirits, we probably have missed it! If we go on for God without true respect for other ministry works or individuals, we certainly could have missed it. The Apostle Paul admonishes us not to build (or take away) from another man's foundation because God did that work through man there. We are admonished not to remove the ancient landmarks. That means we are to respect the orders of God. And are we refusing to move when He says "Go"?
We are building a Kingdom, His Kingdom, and we need to follow His directions. Might makes right it seems until God is faced. These are the days of the apostolic ministry where God does put things in order, but He has respect for many details, including the little sheep and ewes heavy laden bearing their young. The apostolic move is not about apostles, but the Kingdom of God.
The Lord had regard for the women and young girls who were being molested at the temple gates when Eli the prophet was in charge and ignoring it. Naboth may have had a small vineyard by the king's palace but it was not for sale. The Lord brought down Jezebel and Ahab for abusing such things.
Today there is news is about a large oil company who allegedly took advantage of many poor people during electric power shortage times. God saw then and saw the suffering, but if there is wrong doing, they will not get away with it, even if it is many years later. We need to be right before God and proving it by our activities.
When God's presence comes near for judgment, we don't want to be riding off telling Him what He will do. His way of laughing may be at us and not be so pleasant!
And on the other side, I have seen people in the Presence of God yelling for Him to come near when He was already in the room, and they could see it not. When He is there, it is time to petition Him, but not with commands telling Him how to build our kingdoms!
His Kingdom includes everyone, and He wants a good crop of souls. He wants liberty and justice and healing and blessings for all. I hope we don't lose sight of that. When souls are right, the earth is right. We aren't just a small family, we are a big one! We need to thank Him for what we do have and then as the Psalmist says, humbly ask Him for more. (Psalm 116:12-13 paraphrase)
When we pray, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done," He wants us to mean it! Let us not miss the fear of God by the pride of life. Lord, help us all to be pleasing unto You, in Jesus' Name, Amen. For then in Your Name we WILL do exploits! Yes!
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