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October 14, 2013

Wounding Waters Part 2: Social Status 1/2

Welcome to Heartdwellers. This is our second video teaching in a series of five, which addresses ways that the Church is worldly, and this has to do with social status. Let's get right into it.

Social status and order are important, as it applies to the world and the way things are categorized and held together. That's very important. However, when it comes to His Church, the Lord abhors social status, and things being done the same way that they're done in the world.

We've grown up since childhood being taught the world's ways of measuring Man; these things go deep! From the earliest age we are taught: this is proper; this is improper. This is a person to look up to; this is a person not to look up to.

Most of the time, the standards are worldly, and they're not spiritual. Let's take a look at the differences that are there. We've all heard that expression that "Man's ways are not God's ways," so we know right away that God has one yardstick; Man has another yardstick. Usually, on Man's marker, it has to do with being beautiful or being ugly; rich or poor; intelligent or slow; talented or lackluster; high-born or lowborn.

On Earth, the most powerful and talented people are often the most ruthless in defending their title, and that is not necessarily what the Lord wants us to be like. But what are the markers on God's yardstick?

Let's go ahead and read Matthew: 18:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who, then, is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" He called a little child to him and placed the child among them, and He said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven."

That's pretty interesting. What are the characteristics of a child, versus the characteristics of an adult? Well, for instance, children tend to be innocent; adults tend to size up situations, be calculating and deliberate. Children are accepting, and they don't ask a lot of questions; adults are more judgmental and discriminating. Children are without guile; Man is more cautious and subtle in how he deals with other people, and in sizing them up. Children are transparent; men and women are guarded, and sometimes evasive. Children tend to be loving and accepting when they're young, unless they've been taught something different; adults look more at ulterior motives, and they are more opportunistic. We size situations up, and we decide whether this is something that is going to benefit us.

For instance, children tend to be candid. Sometimes, they say the rudest things - things that you wish that they had never said - but they say them completely out of candor and simplicity of heart. I'm reminded of a story that my husband told once, about a preacher man in the South being invited to dinner. At the dinner table, a large chicken had been cooked and everybody had eaten a piece of it, but there was a tiny bit left over. The woman putting on the dinner said, "Well, Preacher, we're always so glad when you come over to eat dinner with us! We are so happy when you do that!" And the little child pops up and says, "No, you ain't, Momma! You told me that all he's gonna do is come over here, and eat all our chicken!"

That is just so typical of a child! They are so innocent and without guile. They say the silliest things sometimes, and really embarrass their parents. You have to be careful about what you say around your children, because it's very likely to be repeated. Even more important than that, however, you should be careful what you say at all, because the Lord and His angels are always listening in.

I want to tell you another story about Rick Joyner's trip to Heaven. Rick had an experience where he was taken to Heaven, and there was a man in Heaven that he recognized. He was sitting on the throne, and Rick said, "I know you from somewhere." The man replied, "Yes, you do. Do you mean you remember me?" Rick says, "Yeah. I know you from somewhere." The man said, "Well, I'm the ragged street preacher who was on the street, homeless, that you passed by in the bus station once." And Rick was terribly, terribly embarrassed, because when he had passed by that street preacher, he said to his companion something on the order of, "Oh! There's another one! It's gonna turn people off. Cuz they're out there on the street corners preaching! It's another one of those!" And he kept on walking.

Well, I think that Rick had a vision about this person. Later, he thought that when he saw him, he kind of recognized him; but he brushed it aside, as we often do with visions. We don't always take them seriously. Well, now he's in Heaven, and the angels are waiting on this man. He's sitting on a throne, and the angels are busy, coming and going, and doing all kinds of things for him that he's directing them to do. Rick is amazed by this, because - well - he had judged him by society's standards, and now the Lord was showing him the Lord's standards!

He asked the Lord, "Why is this man so important in Heaven?" The Lord replied, "Well, this man - I only gave him one grace, but he used that grace to the maximum! This man saved the life of another man. He gave his life to keep a man who was drunk on the street, alive; to keep him warm. He laid on top of this man through the night to keep him warm - but, in the process of doing that he, himself, died."

We're going to take a deep look at the Lord's standards, because right now we're in a world where it's easy to get by with the world's standards in the world. But pretty soon that's going to be stripped away. For some of you, it may be today; for some of us, it might be today or tomorrow; or it may not be for another twenty years. But the point is, we're going to have to confront the social standards of Heaven and the Lord, and we're going to be comparing how we acted - and how the Holy Spirit wanted us to act. This could be a very distressing moment in our lives - a very, very distressing moment. So, this is something we want to look at now, before we get to that point where we're confronted with it, but we can't do anything about it, because we can't change.

Let's look at the choices that God the Father made in bringing Jesus into the world. The Lord came as an example of holiness and of what God was like. Before this, people had a vision of God the Father - YHWH - in Heaven, on a throne, filled with power and might! But God had a deep need not only to save mankind and to die on the Cross, but He had a deep need to communicate His personality to the people on Earth. So, God incarnates and Jesus comes and sets an example of holiness for all of Man.

Now this gets really interesting! This is something that we should really meditate on. For parents, He chose the working class. He wasn't guarded in a royal nursery. Rather, He was a fugitive on the run from a very early age, from when He was a baby. His crib was a trough for cattle feed. I don't know if you ever looked at one of those carefully, but we raised horses and it's full of slobber - not exactly neat and tidy and sanitary. It's pretty lowly, as far as furniture goes. His bedding was rough straw, and I don't know if you've ever laid on straw, but it's very scratchy and rough and it pokes you in different places - it's not comfortable at all! As far as education went, he was home-schooled.

Here's where reality really takes a dive, as far as 'out of reality.' For the Lord's PR team, He chose an uncultured, long-haired non-conformist, living-on-a-raw-food diet and crying-out-in-the-wilderness, "Repent!" I can think of some people who resemble this description right now, and someone like that is totally without credibility to the rest of the world. So, once again, He was living in the wilderness on a raw-food diet crying out, "Repent." There was no Rolls Royce, no armed guards, no formal parade with floats and dancers. Rather, His entrance was meek and submissive.

The ritual washing of baptism for repentance He had no need of - except to set an example for us. For His companions, He had men with calloused hands from drawing in nets. Their clothing reeked of fish entrails. Their faces were wind-burned and rough. A motley crew, to say the least, and eminently unqualified to govern God's Church.

They were not college-educated, except for the one who betrayed Him. They were not influential princes from royal families or fabulously wealthy merchants. They were basically 'blue collar' workers - just regular guys.

Here we are looking at the example that the Lord set. His clothing was rough and poor, not priestly. And so often people choose clothing as an expression of how they want to be seen. When I think about it, Jesus was singularly unimpressive in every single thing He did - except for the miracles, the healings. He was very unimpressive in His presentation to the world.

Now, for us who are called by His name and living by His example, how will we get mansions, Rolls Royces, chauffeurs, private jets, and clothes from Nieman Marcus? I don't know. How do we get that out of this example? This is a real contrast, and this kind of contrast is something that we're going to be looking at in Heaven when we stand before the Lord.

Isaiah even told the religious leaders what to be looking for. He said,

He grew like a tender shoot, like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was despised and rejected by mankind. Rejected like one from who people hide their faces. He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem. Isaiah 53:2

The Pharisees were forewarned by Isaiah what the Messiah would look like, and He fit every one of those descriptions so beautifully when He stood in front of Pilate and the High Priest. Only a very few - like Nicodemus and a few others, really, really recognized who He was and how perfectly He conformed to Isaiah's prophecy about Him.

Here's the big question: usually when we have an important mission, we think that we're going to start it off with a big bang. So, why in the world would He choose to look like a common man, whom most would consider a loser? He's certainly not any person of note, or any person of import. So, why? Why would He choose to look that way?

Let's look at some of the possible reasons. Could it be that He was setting an example of holiness that anyone - even the most common man - could easily attain? Is that possible? Could it be, that the class system that the Pharisees operated under was an empty pretense that consistently mislead the people and quenched the Spirit of God? That's a possibility, too! Or could it be that He was presenting the only necessary thing?

Let's take a look at Luke 10:

They were getting ready for dinner, and Mary was immersed in every word the Lord spoke, while Martha was a whirlwind in the kitchen. So, Martha came up to Him and said, "Lord, why do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Tell her to help me." But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha! You're worried about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. For Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

Could it be that the Pharisees were wholly taken up with so many things that they didn't have the discernment to recognize the Messiah? Obviously, they were very busy, and obviously there was a very strong political undercurrent in the temple. They lived and judged according to the flesh, so they couldn't recognize Him by the Spirit - that's a possibility. I believe that it's all of the above: Jesus set an example of holiness that anyone could follow, anyone could attain; He rejected a class system that reeked of the world and was at enmity with the Spirit.

These religious professionals were very busy weighing the cost of their mint and cumin. They didn't have time for God. They were strangers to Him. However, later on in the Scriptures, the Lord says,

"But you are not of my father. Your father is the devil." John 8:44

Well, the devil is the prince of this world, isn't he? It all fits together and makes a great deal of sense.

Wounding Waters, Part 2: Social Status 2/2

October 14, 2013

The Lord spelled out every mark on His yardstick for status. In other words, the qualities in Heaven that would qualify a person for high-standing. Let's look at Matthew 5:3-12:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Not the proud and the haughty, but those who honor others, better than they honor themselves. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Not those who are continually celebrating their worldly victories in sensual luxury, but those who ache for the needy and the poor, and the ones that are treated unjustly. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Not the greedy, the aggressive, but those, who look out for others. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Not hungry for prosperity and power, but hungry for right-standing with God. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Not the ruthless, who strip the poor in court, but those, who forgive debts. Blessed are the pure at heart, for they will see God. Not those who live a continually compromised lifestyle, but those whose eyes are on the hand of the Lord and eager to promote His agenda. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called "children of God." Not those who gossip and stir up strife and division, but those who stop the lips of slanderers and defend the innocent. Blessed are those who are persecuted, because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Not those who compromise to please men, but those who suffer loss, because they love the Lord, and they choose what's right for Him. And they suffer a lot of loss because of that. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you, because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.'

This is the yardstick of Jesus. This is how He measures the status of a man. He didn't come to fulfill corrupted political agendas. He came to seek out His own: the poor and the outcast. To heal, to teach, to deliver from bondage, and open the gates of Heaven to them.

He descended from perfection - absolute perfection - into this dark morass of a world, and He lived the perfect life that all could easily embrace. This ran against the religious community that was taught by the law: "Those that were pleasing to God, He prospers with many possessions - cattle, sheep, land, children, slaves, gold, silver. Prosperity, prosperity, prosperity! Those were the ones that had God's favor." This was the teaching that was prevalent at that time. Does that sound familiar?

What were the martyrs thinking when they were dragged out of their houses, which were taken by the State and pillaged? Were they thinking about prosperity and enjoying their retirement? I don't think so.

What were the on-lookers saying? I've heard this before, in contemporary churches; it's really sad. "God's not pleased with you. That's why you've got nothing now. If He were pleased with you, this Jesus you're following, He'd be blessing you and you'd be prosperous."

What a condemnation! What an unnecessary condemnation of innocent people who live a simple life. This is a travesty! This is an offense to the Lord! It's an offense to the example that He set, Himself, with His own life. He set an example, and there are people who follow that example...and they are ridiculed by Christian communities, because they're not wealthy and prosperous: driving nice cars, savings accounts, nice houses, sending their kids to college, and everything else. They're looked down on. That's the world's system of determining a man's worth.

We have much before us, and we really do need to take a look at where our hearts are at on this issue. And we need to take a stand, because too many people are into this way of thinking that is insulting to the Lord's incarnation and insulting to the pure, little ones that follow Him in a very simple way and are not constantly taken up with making money.

Jesus was not afraid to confront the status quo and call their pretentious lifestyle a sin, so that He could bring a righteous standard back to Godliness. I believe that we should stand up for Him. We should stand up for the example that He set. We should defend people who don't partake in a luxurious, expensive lifestyle - either because they are too simple, or maybe because they've made the quality decision in their lives that they don't want to do that with their time. That's not important to them.

They'd rather spend their time reading the Scriptures, serving at a food bank, being with their children, teaching their children, spending time with their families - they don't have the time for this "worldly business!" That's the way it is with a lot of people.

In Mark, Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God." The

disciples were amazed at His words, but Jesus said it again: "Children, how hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for someone who is rich, to enter the Kingdom of God."

I've heard it said that there is a gate called The Eye of the Needle, which requires camels to get down on their knees in order to scoot through.

The Eye of the Needle brings to mind the idea that, to be pleasing to God, we need to be stripped of family, security, possessions, recognition, status; if we don't go through that Eye, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Now, I'm not saying that we have to throw our families away! What I'm saying is that if our families are interfering with our walk, they have to be moved to the side, so that the Lord can have all of our attention. We cannot live for our families. We have to live for God. He'll take care of our families if we are living for Him. If security and possessions are holding us back from answering a call to the Lord, then those things have to go! If the Lord is calling us, it is one of the greatest honors that we can have. So, we have to be stripped down in order to respond.

The truth is, there are no U-Haul trailers behind a hearse. They are not going to go to Heaven with that stuff. These are things we need to consider, when we start holding up the wealthy lifestyle as the ideal model of a blessed Christian walk. That's just not accurate. It bears no resemblance whatsoever to the example that Jesus set with His life. I'm sorry. I don't mean to step on anyone's toes. But it doesn't! Look at it. Look at the hard facts of the Scriptures.

What is the Lord really saying here? I believe that He's saying, "If you love playing the stock market and making a killing in the business world; and if you love the rush of success, when you appear on the cover of Newsweek; if you love anything on this Earth, then you are tied to it. And you won't pass through that needle." These are things that I've had to confront over and over again in my life.

I'm certainly not innocent. One of the reasons the Lord is having me share this with you is because He has dealt so mercifully with me, and so patiently with me, teaching me how to wean myself off of these props in the world that have really no value whatsoever, and to give my full attention to Him. I'm not perfect at it yet, but I'm in a better place now than I was 20 years ago, or even one year ago. If you listened to the other teaching on money and the world, I share some of the things the Lord did in my life to help me wean myself off of those things, so that He could have more of me and there was more room and more time in me for Him.

Just to clarify, I'm not talking about those who rejoice over earnings because they've been chosen to finance the spread of the gospel. That's a whole different thing. They have something in mind, and they're rejoicing over the Lord's agenda, not over whether they can build more barns. There are people of high integrity who are chosen by the Lord to finance the Kingdom of God on Earth. These people are very honorable, beautiful people. We're not talking about that. We're talking about people who feather their own nest rather exclusively, and they live for these things.

God is jealous. He doesn't want to see us rejoicing - or worrying, for that matter - over the goods of the Earth. Didn't He say, "That's what the Heathen do?" He doesn't want anything of this Earth to mean anything to us, beyond its necessity to maintaining life or a tool to build His Kingdom.

Paul said in Philippians 3:17, Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have had us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.

Did he say "Keep your eyes on Herod and the Pharisees and live as they do?" With influence, power and wealth? Even Jesus warned against that, and Paul knew full well the corruption of that lifestyle. After all, he lived it! He called himself the Pharisee of Pharisees. He knew what he was talking about here.

Continuing, he said, "For as I have often told you before, and now tell you again, even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction; their god is their stomach; and their glory is in their shame." How sad. Their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in Heaven! We are new creations. We are "born-again," new creations.

You might ask yourselves, "How does this manifest regularly in a church?" Well, I've seen it happen before, where someone who is well-to-do and well-known (maybe even a minister) comes into a church service, and another person who is kind of unknown and lackluster (who may be a blue-collar worker) is also in the church service, but he happens to be a prophet, and the Lord sent him in with a message for that congregation. It's not a bad message, not an ugly message, but He sent him in with an important message.

The pastor says, "There is someone here who has a message for us!" Of course, his eyes go back and forth across the congregation, and he notices the man who he knows, who has somewhat of a prophetic calling. And he points him out, and he says, "Brother, you have a message for us." Well, the man is immediately put on the spot. He may think, "Oh, I've got to come up with a message!" or he may have enough integrity to say, "It's not me!"

In the meantime, the prophet in the back is raising his hand modestly, to indicate that he has a message, and the pastor recognizes this other man. He motions the other man to come up, and says best what he could say for encouragement or exhortation, but the prophecy that was meant for that congregation doesn't get heard. Now, I know this sounds extreme, but I've seen it happen before: I've seen people shut down who had a legitimate message. But because they weren't well-heeled in religious circles, with all kinds of "alphabet soup" after their names and well-known, they were not given a hearing; much to the sad result of the people they were sent to. There is, really, much to regret there.

If we surround ourselves with comfort-zone people - the ones who agree with us - and we avoid the new and the different, because they might disagree with us or challenge us in some way, that's no replacement for discernment. We can't judge who is fit to speak by social status. We need to have real, authentic discernment, which is not an easy thing to gain. It takes tremendous time and tremendous effort, and failure, and success, and trials. Discernment is a quality that is absolutely necessary, but most of us discern the way the world discerns. We don't discern the way God discerns, and that's where the problem lies. That's something that we need to look at now, before it's too late.

When we surround ourselves with 'comfort-zone' people, and people that are accredited, so to speak, and replace that for discernment rather than having a real spiritual sense of who has the right message, the Lord has something to say about that.

In the fifth chapter of John, He says, "I have come in My Father's name, and you did not receive me. If another comes in his own name, him you will receive." Why is our faith so weak? The Lord goes on to say, "How can you believe when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?"

How do we receive glory from one another? What are some concrete examples of that? Well, when we make others feel secure, even when the Holy Spirit is convicting us that something is not quite right. When we do that - make them feel secure, without addressing the feeling that something just isn't quite right - then we are receiving glory from one another. When we choose to placate and satisfy, instead of giving a timely instruction that addresses sticky issues - like pride, selfish ambition, dominance, quenching the Spirit - then, we're receiving glory from one another.

There was a church that we attended for a short while, and the Lord revealed that it had a situation which caused it to gain grace, only to immediately lose the grace, and slide back again into stagnation. I call these Wounded Waters, which is where the title for this teaching comes from. Not the fresh, Living waters which cause an abundance of new growth, but the Wounded Waters; they are wounded, because the Spirit is quenched and those who serve the Spirit are capped off, just like a well is capped off.

There was a prosperous and dynamic prophet who often visited this church. I thought to myself, "Surely the prophet knows what the problem is here, and why the prophecies that this prophet is making just aren't coming to pass?" They are potentialities. I like what Joyce Meyer says about it. They are potentialities, but you have to go with the Spirit in order for them to become eventualities. And something is missing there in that connection; those eventualities are not happening.

I asked the Lord, "Why doesn't that prophet address that situation? It's obvious that this is stagnating the church something awful, and it's rotting the foundation out from underneath the church." I had a dream about the church, where the water was falling from Heaven, but it wasn't being captured into the right containers and dispersed to the people, the way it should have been. As a result, it was going underneath the building and washing away the foundation, and the foundation was already half-washed away. The bedding in the house was mildewed. There were three beds and the bedding was wet, and the waters weren't being captured and dispersed properly. There's more to say about that situation, but I'll leave it there.

So, their Living Waters turned into Stagnant Waters, Wounded Waters. I'm sorry if this steps on someone's toes, but the Body of Christ is a worldly mess. I asked the Lord, "Why doesn't that prophet address this?" All I heard was, "Prophets like to get paid, too, you know." I thought to myself, "Oh, my God. You can't be serious?"

But then, look at the Old Testament, and how many times the king's prophets told the king what he wanted to hear. It was all a bunch of malarkey. Then, a real prophet would step forward, who had the integrity and the strength and didn't care about his life, because, in those days, if you made a prophecy that the king didn't like, you could lose your head. He'd come forward, and he'd tell it like it is.

The Body of Christ is a worldly mess, because prophets and pastors are afraid to loose ties. That's part of the problem. Why? Because there is this prosperous lifestyle, "approved by the Lord," "flowing in faith," "pleasing to God and the Holy Spirit," and if you're not living that prosperous lifestyle, then you're just not having enough faith. Something is wrong with you.

This puts pressure on pastors and leaders to show that they are living a credible, prosperous lifestyle. This is such a false standard! This is not the Lord's standard, and it's ruining the Church.

Really, I don't know what we're thinking? Why do we want to convince the world to become Christians, so that they can be prospered by God, too? Why are we trying to tell the world that? Is this a business deal? Did everyone in Constantine's court become a Christian because they were head-over-heels-in-love with Jesus? I don't think so. Along with the status quo, they wanted to be received and accepted and continue to stay in Constantine's court. When he made Christianity the State religion, they had to bow to that. Was it sincere? Perhaps in some cases it was, but I am sure there was posturing going on, and it wasn't.

It seems that things haven't changed much, have they? They really haven't. Well, my husband had a dream one night that I have to say is foundational to our mission, and why we struck out in this direction: for the Bride, and for getting the 'spots, wrinkles, and blemishes' out of the Bride. Because we're working on that ourselves, and the Lord is showing us these things, so we want to share them with you.

In this dream, he was in John Hagee's church, sitting in the very last row during the service - and John Hagee was preaching. Abruptly, he came down from the podium and began walking down the aisle, prophesying over people. He came to the last row, where my husband was sitting, and he looked down at him at the other end. And he walked over to him, behind the pew, and he put his hand on my husband's shoulders, and he prayed three different prayers.

Ezekiel remembering: "Each time he prayed, a mantle fell over my shoulders and I felt heavily burdened. He returned to the podium and began to preach again. In mid-sentence, he stopped, slammed his hands down, came down from the front and made a beeline for my husband. My husband knew that something important was happening, but really, he had no idea just what all of this was about!

"As John moved toward my husband, he felt the need to get out of his seat and into the aisle, but the burden on his shoulders was so great, he could not stand. He crawled, on hands and knees, into the aisle. Suddenly the floor of the church opened up, revealing a great chasm that was belching smoke and flames. Looking down into it, he saw many different, jagged rock ledges and tiers, layered randomly, descending down into this dark cavern with a multitude of fires burning on each one. The flames were shooting up, up through the sanctuary. He was then on his hands and knees, at the edge of the abyss, and began praying hard against it, to close. John came up behind him and once again put his hands on my husband's shoulders, and he began saying, in a loud voice, "Push! Push! Push!"

"We both stayed there, praying against the smoke and flames that leapt out of this horrible opening. Then John said, "The smoke and fires of Hell have opened up inside the Church! The world has come into the Church! And the Church is courting the world. You have to go! You have to go and tell them. You have to tell them that the world has entered the Church!"

And this is very much our ministry.

"Many in the sanctuary were horrified at the sight and began praying against it. Several went into the prayer rooms off to the side, to enter into warfare and to pray against what was being revealed. At that point, the dream ended."

This is the state of the Church today! And, as a whole, She's not ready for the Lord. Not ready at all. Folks, we need to fall on our knees and seek out our involvement with this scourge, before it's too late for us. Right now, the Lord is allowing circumstances in this country - the United States - that will flush to the surface the real contents of our hearts, and the real agendas - the things that really matter to us. To help us recognize it, and deal it a final blow. We are being tested in our faith and our purity as never before. This is the mercy of God and His preparation for His Bride.

Let's look at another way we compromise. Let's say that a worship leader is needed. First of all, we think of skill - who are the skilled musicians? Then we think -- who has the anointing? How do they work under authority? How will they appeal to this faction? How will they appeal to that faction? This family? That family? Will they approve? And when someone meets all those conditions, they're considered. But if there are those who oppose the person that the Holy Spirit would like to choose for the job, rather than honoring the Holy Spirit... who would we choose?

Worship leading is not a political position! Worship leading is purely spiritual: purity of life, purity of heart, purity of devotion - along with skill, yes. Worship leaders should not be picked for their political standing in the Church, considering who will approve and who will not approve. That's honoring Man over God. The repercussions? Choose by anointing and enter into Shekinah Glory, and see miracles happen! Choose by social status - and keep it lukewarm. That's our choice. It's our choice.

These are the way that the world has inserted its way of controlling things into the Church. Controlling the Holy Spirit. And who is the god of this world? That's Satan. This is his way of controlling the Church - using worldly standards of social status to call to question, to make the decisions.

We have to realize that, very often, people who are anointed are just a little bit different. There's just something about them that's just a little bit different. But if you have spiritual discernment, you're going to understand that this is just something that is just a little bit different about them...but they still have the Spirit.

When we choose Jesus over the world - like at my conversion; at my husband's conversion - we lost families. You can lose wives and husbands, children, mothers, fathers, employers, influential friends. We lost a lot! We are no longer "of the world." We are born again. After giving all of that up, are we going to go back to honoring Man above God? That's a lot to give up, just to turn back to the same old system! We have quite a stake in this, because of what we've left behind. So, we don't want it in our churches!

Jesus said, in John, third chapter,

Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God, unless they are born of water and to Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh; but the Spirit gives birth to Spirit. John 3:5

What does new birth mean? It means, Judge, as God judges; Order, as God orders; Think, as God thinks; and make the crooked ways of Man's shallow reasoning to be straight - an unobstructed path to heaven. There are no men standing in the way.

In Romans 6:4, We were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father we, too, may live a new life. Now, if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. And we are not under the law, but under grace.

What does that mean, "under grace?" If we live with Him, we are co-heirs with Christ, descendants of Abraham; we are neither slaves nor freemen. No longer do we make choices by social standing, by the way the world makes choices, or by the way the world thinks, because there are no slaves. There are only disciples and children of God. Neither slaves, nor freemen. We're all equal! Our citizenship is not on this Earth; it's in Heaven. So, if our citizenship is in Heaven, we must be thinking the way people think in Heaven. That's the goal - to think as the Lord thinks, to put on the mind of Christ.

Therefore, our net worth is not in stocks and bonds, our net worth is His blood! His blood is our net worth. The Lord declared,

Thy Kingdom come, they will be done, on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Matt. 6:10

That was not a hopeful sentiment - He was really serious about that! It was a statement of our purpose - bring Heaven to Earth! That's what we're here for, Christians! To bring Heaven to Earth.

In Galatians 3:28, it says,

There is neither Jew, nor Greek; there is neither slave, nor freeman; there is neither male, nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus!

Now, if that isn't a blanket statement abolishing the class system, I don't know what is!

Here is just one last thought: When I was in the world, I spoke like the world; I thought like the world; I reasoned with worldly reason. But when I was born again, into the Kingdom of God, I gave up all the Earth's ways. All the world's ways. I gave it all up, because now I'm a citizen of Heaven. A citizen of Heaven with the mind of Christ. That's our goal. We have to stand up for that. We have to stand up for that in our churches. We have to repent; we have to turn around and live by God's values - by spiritual values, and not by worldly values. It's killing the church! It's killing the anointing! It's stifling and grieving the Spirit, and we have to change it. We have to! We cannot go on letting this happen.

In conclusion, Paul exhorts us in Philippians 2:1

Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind. Maintaining the same love, united in Spirit, intent on one purpose: The Glory of God.'

Not your own glory, as you pull into the parking lot in your new Mercedes. No. That's not what it's about. Do nothing from selfish ambition or empty conceit. With humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourselves. That's a mighty work of grace! If you're not in that place, and I'm not in that place, we pray, "Lord, by your indwelling, make us to be in that place, where we honor everyone above ourselves. Where we see the reality of how little we really are!"

Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Worship leaders: Don't turn the mike down on the other person. Unless, of course, it's a song they're really not supposed to be singing...

A person, who thinks this way has the maturity to lead. They aren't protecting their turf. No, they're protecting the Lord's honor and interests. Sometimes that puts you in the position of being the underdog or of being quiet, because the other person needs to come forth. It's the person that has the anointing for that specific job that must come forth. And you need to honor that.

Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped at. But He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant. Philippians 2:5

Again, here is the example: from His birth to His death and burial, He took the example of a bondservant. And not prospering himself, taking the form of the rich young ruler. But He emptied Himself - EMP-TIED HIM-SELF - as an example to us.

In the end, many who were first will be last - the ones who use status to get positions. And many who were last will be first - those too childlike and simple to use tactics like that. We may not want to admit or face the control social status has over us in our churches, but when we stand before the Lord, we're going to see it plainly, and then it's going to be too late to fix. So, I think we'd better get on it. I think it's important for us to look at this, and to make a change. Repent and turn around. No one is worthy of our motives except God. No one's motives are going to survive the burning fires of purification unless they are pure, done for the love of God and neighbor. These are pure motives!

In order for Him to recognize us, we must first recognize Him: His anointing, His choices. And by putting Him first, throw the preferences of Men to the wind, where they belong. If we're looking at men, we're blind. We can't possibly see. Because if we did see, we would no longer look at men!

I believe all of us were attracted to the teachings of Christ by His purity; His detachment from the world, His refusal to modify His mission for the Pharisees, the rulers. He had something huge in mind that was going to spread over the whole world, and He didn't compromise it one iota for the rulers. It spread on its own virtue, in spite of the fact that He flew in the face of modern religious leaders. That's where the anointing is. That's how you know it's a "God-thing."

These were the rich waters of the first few centuries of Christianity. Waters of purity, holiness, devotion, selfless service. A people willing to die for what they believed. They were willing to die, and to lose all of their possessions. Prosperity meant nothing to them!

How many stories have we heard of an emperor's wife giving her life, because she believed in Jesus? She didn't care about all of the status that she had. She gave it up for the Lord.

Now we all swim in the Wounded Waters of a Church that is taken up with social status and worldly ways of operating. These ways actually wound the innocent and the pure. Those seeking healing from the world's turbulent and fickle standards don't find healing all the time. They find more turbulence in the Wounded Waters. Unfortunately, the world and all it applauds has entered center stage through the churches, and the waters have become polluted. It's now a place not safe from predatory influences, agendas, shadows of influence, preferential treatment and conflicting teachings.

Let's begin today by asking the Lord to reveal to us how we have grieved Him through compromise. Please, let's go before Him with contrite hearts and ask Him, "Lord, please reveal to us how we have compromised."

I want to pray this simple prayer: "Lord, save us from compromise. We are not strong enough. We are not strong enough to come against the standards of the world to stand up for You. Many times we're too little, we're too cowardly, we're just not strong enough. But you live in us, Lord, and you can do it through us. You can help us make that resolution to live strictly for you. We ask, Lord, that you will accompany the understanding with grace, and that we will have the will to change, that we may grieve you no more. And your Church can grow into the Body of the holy sanctuary you've ordained it to be for all ages, against every influence of Man, a triumph of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Thanks for staying with us. Come back and visit again. God bless you.