I Love You But I Just Don’t Want To Talk To You!
I Love You But I Just Don’t Want To Talk To You!
I really do love you though.
I wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings in anyway.
I absolutely cherish you.
I’m fearful that I am hurting you by saying this.
I know what you’re going to say.
You’re going to remind me of all the nice things you’ve done for me.
You’ll probably ignore me and go talk to other people.
I enjoy listening to you talk to me, but it’s hard for me to talk to you.
I know it sounds crazy.
I love everything about you.
I never want to leave you.
I would never leave you for anyone else.
You are my world.
I enjoy being with you.
I want to be wherever you are.
I want you to love me.
I love you.
I tell my friends how wonderful you are.
I’m indebted to you I know.
I will never forget the first day we met.
My life has changed because of you.
I don’t want to live in this world without by my side.
I want you to know I love you.
I’m coming over to your house tonight at 7:30pm.
I won’t make it in time for pre-service prayer tonight.
You know I love you, but I really don’t want to talk to you.
“Who Are You To Judge Me?”
How many times have we heard someone say that, whether it was directed to us or to someone else? It’s easy for most of us to get offended when others express disapproval of our actions.
By nature, most of us are very private. We resent outsiders intruding uninvited into our personal lives. We automatically throw up a defensive barrier. Somewhere in all of us there is a storage room that houses cryptic phrases designed for rebuttal and justification. We quickly grab one and use it with the hopes of silencing our accuser. Sometimes, it works.
Most church members and ex-church member alike consider the act of judging a grievous fault. So, since most of us have been judged at one time or another, let us look at the subject of judging others.
As citizens, we are used to being judged every day on our skills, behavior, and performance.
Judgment Is Common In Every Day Society
- Television shows, such as American Idol, judge contestants on their ability to sing and perform.
- At the County Fair, someone will judge which pie is the best.
- There are judges at dog shows, and the dollar value of someone’s beloved pet may be at their mercy.
- When a prospective new driver turns 16 years old, his or her driving ability is judged. Someone must determine if they should be issued a driver’s license.
- To be promoted to the next grade and even graduate, a teacher must determine the student’s academic ability.
- To become a licensed minister in an organization. An applicant’s worthiness is determined when he appears before a licensing board.
- Every new pastor that is voted on by the church has his qualifications judged by the congregation’s yes or no vote. The same holds true for politicians.
- The Bank Officer judges the applicants credit rating and payment history before loaning any money.
- The Miss America beauty pageant uses Judges to determine who should represent the U.S.A.
- There are multitudes of judges for every Olympic event.
- The gardener judges whether or not the tree’s branches need pruned, or if the tomatoes need watered.
- Someone will be a judge over who gets custody of the child, and who gets what, in the divorce settlement.
- The Traffic Cop judges whether or not you should be pulled over and cited.
- Every employee knows the meaning of a “Performance Review.” Someone must sit on the other side of the desk and judge the employees worthiness.
- Actually, everyone that wants the bragging rights of being the best, the fastest, or the most gifted, must first meet the judge.
We seem to be comfortable with the idea of being judged according to our fleshly activities. We understand that no one receives approval without a judgment of some kind. However, it’s man’s judgment of our spiritual pursuits, or lack thereof, that brings the fire into our reactions.
1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises.
You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? I Understand. Let’s Look At The Subject Of Judging In The Bible.
Is it true that Christians are told not to judge? The surprise answer is no. In fact, according to Scripture those who do not judge are more likely to be led astray by false doctrines and are less than effective witnesses for Jesus Christ.
Most People Who Cite The Lord’s “Command” Not To Judge, Use Following Quotation:
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Matthew 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
To Whom Were These Words Spoken?
This whole passage is addressed to the religious hypocrites of the day. Jesus warned these self-righteous people who criticized others, but were guilty of the same things… or worse.
You’re Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You? As Much As Our Flesh Doesn’t Like It, Church Members Must Make Judgments.
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
- False prophets are to be recognized (judged) by their fruits.
Should Christians Judge Each Other? Absolutely!
The Lord is pleased with those that judge righteously.
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Some Lukewarm Church Members Feel That A Preacher Should Not Be Their Judge.
I would point them the Lord’s instruction to the Priest Joshua.
Zechariah 3:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
Remember John The Baptist saying:
Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her.
Mark 6:18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.
- John had guts enough to tell King Herod that he was wrong, that he was living with his brother’s wife. Herod had John thrown in prison and finally beheaded. John was not afraid to make a righteous judgment.
The Prophet Nathan Looked King David In The Eye And Judged Him.
2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
There Has Always Been Resentment In The Congregation Against Messages That Judge.
Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
- Even in the days of Isaiah, men wanted to be left alone by the man of God. They only were willing to hear smooth preaching. Not much has changed. They wanted to do what ever their conscience allowed them to do.
Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
- Without accountability, even the people of God sink to this level. The shocking news for our flesh is that what is right in our eyes may not be right in God’s eyes. We all need help. We just need it in different areas.
What About Discernment Of Spirits?
1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
- This is a gift that God provided for His body, whereby Holy Ghost filled people may be able to determine what spirit another is manifesting. In a way, it’s like being able to see what’s on the inside of another person.
Try The Spirits. (Judge Them)
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
The Prophet learned about judging spirits the hard way. He found out quickly that God looked not only on the outside, like humans, but He looked especially at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
(Note: They that are spiritually wayward love to justify their carnal and maybe even sinful outward appearance by saying that God looks on the heart. (As if that were the only place He looks.) This passage strongly makes the point that God did not even like what he saw on the inside. Maybe the self-righteous should not use this verse as their defense.)
If You Don’t Want Anyone Judging You, Be Glad You Weren’t There When The Apostle Paul Preached.
Paul Judged Situations Publically Without Being Present.
- Case 1. Immorality
1 Corinthians 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
1 Corinthians 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
- That person’s lifestyle resulted in the church judging them guilty and calling them by the name of their sin.
1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
1 Corinthians 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
- Case 2. Church Factions During The Lord’s Supper
1 Corinthians 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
1 Corinthians 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
- Paul Openly Judged Sensitive Situations.
Judgment Is Required Of All Spiritual People.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
(The Message) 1 Corinthians 2:15 Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics.
Spirit Filled Saints Are To Judge All Things.
Godly Spirit-filled saints are required to judge all things. Judge spirits? Yes! Judge things as well? Absolutely!
We Are To Judge All Things By God’s Standard Of Judgment. Things Such As:
- Life Situations
- Internet Activities
- Hollywood Presentations
- False Doctrines
- Styles of Dress
Just To Name A Few
(Note: EVERYONE that I have seen who re-evaluated their Holiness Standards or Convictions has not grown closer to God or resembled the Old-time Pentecostal lifestyle, but rather moved closer to looking and acting like the present world.)
The Apostles Judged A Situation Correctly And The Holy Ghost Confirmed It.
Acts 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Paul Wasn’t Afraid To Have His Brethren Weigh His Words.
1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
You Dislike Being Judged? I Understand, But Even Prophets Are Subject To Being Judged.
Prophets Judge Other Prophets.
A Prophet’s reward is not money or fame. It is simply that his prophecy comes true. If the prophecy does not come true he is, by all standards of measurement, a false prophet.
1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
The Pastor Must Make Judgment Calls.
Some situations a Pastor has to deal with are not mentioned specifically by name in the Bible. So, he must make a judgment call, or a ruling. Hence, they that make good rulings are worthy of double honor.
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
There’s No Doubt A Good Reason Why Some Make A Loud Noise About Not Wanting Anyone To Judge Them.
Maybe They Are In Rebellion And Don’t Want To Change.
- Because they are not doing right, and they do not want anyone reminding them.
- They know what they have been taught.
- They remember how they used to live.
- They chose to ignore the Word of God and the Pastor.
Maybe God Has Turned Them Over To A Delusion.
- They feel they are right and will debate you tirelessly in their attempt to justify themselves.
- They feel saved and content even though they have never been farther away from Truth.
- They wouldn’t love Truth, so God handpicked their delusion and gave them something they would love. Error.
A Humble Heart Will Repent When Judged And Correct The Error.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
Preacher… Preach The Word. It Is God’s Plumb Line.
- Preach Without Fear or Favor.
- Be Not Afraid Of Their Faces.
- You Must Answer To God For What You Preached And Didn’t Preach.
- Preach It Even if It Affects Your Friends Or Family.
- Preach it Because It Is Truth.
Correction Must Be Given When The Actions Of A Saint Are Judged To Be Wrong.
1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.
If We Willingly Receive Correction and Instruction, We Show Evidence Of Being God’s Son.
Hebrews 12:5 … My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
If You’re Still Sick And Tired Of Others Judging You…
- How Then Can Anyone Help You?
- You Don’t Want A Pastor.
- You Don’t Even Want A True Friend.
- You Choose To Do What You Want.
- No One Can Be Helped Without First Being Judged To Be In Need Of Help.
- Please Don’t Put Up A Wall Of Defense Any More When Your Life Is Judged To Be Not Pleasing Unto God.
Who Are You To Judge Me?
- A Tender Hearted Person Would Never Speak Those Words.
- Have You Become Unteachable?
- Are You Past Help?
- Have You Become Hard Hearted?
- Do You Want A Tender Heart?
- Do You Want To Be Saved?
- Then Start By Humbling Yourself And Submitting To God’s Word.
They Built A Monument To Their Problem.
The official website of Enterprise, AL ( http://www.enterpriseal.gov/#!history-of-enterprise/c6gw ) explains why there is a monument erected to what once was a problem.
Enterprise “was threatened in 1915 as the Mexican boll Weevil found its way into Alabama from Texas and wreaked havoc on the cotton crop. In Coffee County, almost 60 percent of the cotton production was destroyed. Farmers faced bankruptcy and the area economy was at stake. Farmers turned to peanuts and other crops to overcome the damage brought by the boll weevil.
“By 1917, Coffee County produced and harvested more peanuts than any other county in the nation. (In 1993, Coffee County ranked 4th in the state of Alabama with 128,000 acres planted in peanuts.) In gratitude for the lessons taught, residents erected the world’s only monument to an agricultural pest, the Boll Weevil.
“The monument, dedicated on December 11, 1919, stands in the center of the downtown district at the intersection of Main Street and College Street. The Boll Weevil Monument is a symbol of man’s willingness and ability to adjust to adversity. Citizens continue to remind visitors and newcomers to the city the lesson of the boll weevil. The base of the monument is inscribed:
“In profound appreciation of the boll weevil and what it has done as the herald of prosperity this monument was erected by the citizens of Enterprise, Coffee County, Alabama.”
Today the City of Enterprise is a beautiful and still growing town of over 27,750. Stores seem to be everywhere. The restaurants are wonderful. The people are friendly. Business is booming where once it was failing.
(And most important of all, they have a wonderful Apostolic Church at the corner of Hwy 84E and Coffee County Road, called New Life Pentecostal Church. My friend, Brother John Padgett, is the pastor.)
The first time I drove through the downtown area I was amazed to see the Boll Weevil Monument. The woman in the sculpture is holding the problem pest above her head with both of her arms fully extended. It is as if she is showing it off to the world. She appears to be saying, this once was the problem here, but it’s not anymore.
The South was horribly devastated by the little boll weevil. Cotton crops failed, farmers went bankrupt, and their farms were foreclosed on when the economy flat lined.
The people in Enterprise turned their lives and their city around when they changed from growing cotton to growing peanuts. Peanuts became a great blessing to the whole area and to America as well. They had to be pushed into their miracle recovery. They later erected a monument to the thing that made them change.
- The monument did not showcase the boll weevil as the reason why the people of Enterprise couldn’t succeed.
- It wasn’t erected because they were displaying their excuse for failure for the world to see.
- It was simple saying, “Here is what once was our problem. Here is the pest that pushed us to think different, to live different and as a result, to be successful.”
Building A Monument To A Problem Is Nothing New.
It Could Be Said The Lord Was The First One To Display A Such Monument.
He Put A Rainbow In The Sky
Gen 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
Gen 9:14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
Gen 9:15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Gen 9:16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
Gen 9:17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
After the flood God made a monument to remind them of their storm. A reminder that from now on, things would be different.
God Instructed Israel To Build A Monument To Their Problem.
They needed to cross over Jordan, into the Promised Land to inherit their promise, but there was a river in the way. No bridge, or any ferryboats were there to help them. This was a problem in need of a miracle. God always makes a way where there seems to be no way,
Joshua 4:2 Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
Joshua 4:3 And command ye them, saying, Take you hence out of the midst of Jordan, out of the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, twelve stones, and ye shall carry them over with you, and leave them in the lodging place, where ye shall lodge this night.
- Make your monument out of the middle of your problem.
- Take the makings of the monument home with you.
- Place it near where you sleep tonight.
Joshua 4:4 Then Joshua called the twelve men, whom he had prepared of the children of Israel, out of every tribe a man:
Joshua 4:5 And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:
Your Children Are Going To Ask You Later About Your Monument.
Joshua 4:6 That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
Joshua 4:7 Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
These stones declared, “There once was an obstacle in front of us that we couldn’t get over. But God made a way. We never want to forget.”
What About Your Problem?
- Are you still living with it, never changing?
- Are you still suffering because of it?
There Is A Lesson To Be Learned From The Humble People Of Enterprise.
- That they had a problem, they well knew.
- To quit and give up was not acceptable.
- To move away was not the solution.
- To change was their only answer.
- They changed and then they flourished
- What will you do with your problem?
- Will you let it make you fail?
- Will you let it make you change?
There Is A Lesson To Be Learned From Israel’s Twelve Stones
As long as there is life, there will be problems.
Before Israel went through the Jordan River into their New Life, God charged them ahead of time to gather twelve stones out of the riverbed to build their monument. He knew they would need their own monument as a reminder.
You Will Always Have To Face:
But while in the middle of your passing through the problem, don’t forget to gather the materials you’ll need to build your monument when it’s all over.
The Storm Painter
The painter of the storm had a mission. He had painted many a dark sky with thunderclouds before, but from a distance. He had painted the storms from the shore in the shelter of his studio where he was safe from all the elements of destruction. Today would be different. Artist Joseph Turner chose to view this storm outside his comfort zone.
He wished to paint what a storm looked like to him from the inside. This wasn’t to be just any April Showers moment. This storm would be a major blizzard, a rogue storm. Yet not just a bad snowstorm, but a snowstorm at sea. He wanted to view the storm from a boat while the waves threatened to sink his ship.
The seas were tumultuous, the waves high and rolling hard. There was no way he could stand on the deck and not slide off. He had to make a choice. He chose to be lashed to the mast of the ship for hours in the blinding freezing snowstorm. He wanted to paint it so real that on the canvass it would be hard to tell the sea from the sky.
‘Modern Painter’ website paid a huge compliment to Turner’s painting which he simply called Snowstorm.
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851
Modern Painters described the Snowstorm, as “…one of the very grandest statements of sea-motion, mist, and light, that has ever been put on canvas.“
Maybe We All Are Painters
While almost none of us make our living as a professional painter, we still know a bit about the storms of life. Many know what it’s like to be tied to the mast and feel the snow, the sea spray, to be slapped in the face with freezing winds and have no defense from the storm. Imagine what it’s like to tied:
- For hours with the snow beating your face.
- For hours in the howling wind.
- For hours with the ship struggling to survive the storm-tossed waves.
- For hours seeing life-threatening skies and seas.
- For hours in the bitter cold.
- For hours of being wet and miserable.
Maybe We’ll Never Paint A Portrait Of Surviving The Storm…
Until We Too Have Been Tied To:
- A Heart Attack
- A Bad Marriage
- Spousal Unfaithfulness
- Financial Devastation
- Lifelong Illness
Maybe We’ll Never Be Able To Paint A Portrait Of Bearing One Another’s Burdens…
Until We Too Been Lashed To The Deck Of:
- Stormy Seas
- Overwhelming Disappointment
- Shattered dreams
- The Death Of A Child
- A Backslidden Spouse
- An Addicted Love One
We cannot accurately paint the storm for others to see until we have lived through one our self. Naysayers may try to find fault with our story. But we have been there. We somehow survived. We felt the mast rub on our back. The rope burns will be there for a while. We suffered hypothermia. Our body shivered with the freezing snowstorm.
We thought of those we knew sitting at home in their warm little world. They could not help us now. It was no longer just a storm. It had become our storm. We chose not to waste our storm but share it with others in the hopes they would be helped or blessed.
Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of Revival…
Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:
- A Burden for souls
- A Prayer Room
Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of A Father’s Love…
Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:
- A Wayward Child
- Tearful Forgiveness
- Showing Mercy
- A Special Needs Child
- Unconditional Love
Maybe We Will Never Truly Paint A Portrait Of Deliverance From False Doctrine…
Until We Have Been Lashed To The Deck Of:
- False Doctrine
- Family Pressure
The Storms we survive should make us stronger.
The Storms we survive should be used to help others see.
The Storms we survive can later turn into a thing of beauty for us.
The Storms we survive are a gift from God.
(When we hear a testimony from someone who has survived a storm, it gives us all great hope!)
What Portrait Is Our Life Painting For Others To See?
The Saddest Sight Of All Is The Pacing Of The Caged Lion.
The Lion The King Of The Jungle!
Lions, they are no doubt one of the most magnificent of creatures. Even the Lord referred to Himself as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. The lion is an animal so powerfully built, so capable, so beautiful, and awe-inspiring that it was chosen to be a type of the Messiah.
Some even travel on safari trips into the African jungle or veld to view this monarch of all animals in its natural environment. The photos such travelers bring home capture the heart of its viewers.
One of the saddest things to see is this noble creature pacing the floor inside of a steel cage. Back and forth, back and forth it goes looking for a way out. Occasionally it may stop to bite the bars and roar out of frustration.
- It sees others free outside the cage and wants to be free too.
- It wasn’t born to live on concrete.
- It wasn’t created to live in a steel showcase.
- It’s potential and strengths are forever confined.
- Its power will never really be known.
- It’s only a shadow of what could have been.
- It’s a caged lion.
- It’s a pacing caged lion wanting to be free.
- It’s a pacing caged lion looking for a way out.
- It’s a pacing caged lion.
The Caged Lion
No one has to go to the City Zoo to see the pacing of caged lions. They can be seen in many of our homes and most of our churches!
They are beautiful creatures of God with amazing potentials and abilities. Yet they live a life of meager existence. They watch others enjoy freedoms in God that they cannot. They are limited to what lengths they can even go because of their steel bars.
- People come by and look at them.
- Some point and make comments to their friends.
- Some take pictures of what they see.
- The similarities to the caged lion are there for all to see.
- The spirit of unrest.
- The pacing of the caged creature back and forth, back and forth.
- The frustration.
- The caged look.
- The biting at the bars.
- The occasional roars from the soul.
Every one is handicapped to help. Multitudes read the warning signs and keep their distance. They look and then they move on.
What Put The Lion In This Cage? Who Put The Lion In This Cage?
Were they captured in a snare or trap? Were they injured, found and then brought here? Did the lion walk inside willingly and let himself be lock in the cage? Is this cage real or imagined? What happened? No one really knows the whole story. All that is known is that something happened.
- Was it Condemnation?
- Was it a Personal Failure?
- Was it an Addiction?
- Was it an Attitude?
- Was it Rebellion?
- Was it a Rumor?
- Was it an Indiscretion?
- Was it Disobedience?
- Was it Bitterness?
- Was it a Past Injury?
Did Sin Make The Bars Or Were The Bars Man Made?
How Did This Happen?
Every day, everywhere, caged lions are seen. I watch them in churches. The potential for better things is obvious to all who see them. But their actions aren’t much different from the caged king of the jungle.
I watch them pace and hear them roar. They are still caged and confined by the events of the present and the past. They are held captive by things real and things imagined. They barely exist.
I watch them try to worship and they cannot. They try to pray and it sounds empty and hollow, but mostly just quiet. Occasionally they will roar out loud, but their roar does not threaten Hell.
They smile but they are not happy. They raise their hands, but never seem to touch Heaven. They keep their head down in despair while praying. They never feel worthy.
If they are called on to testify. It is a quick, low-voiced attempt that may last only ten seconds or so.
- They watch others worship and shout, but they don’t.
- They watch others sing from the soul, but they are still in a cage.
- They watch others pray with liberty and freedom, but their prayers are caged.
- They see their friends be used of God, while they pace back and forth.
- The bars keep them from doing what they really want to do.
- The bars keep them from being what they really want to be.
If I Could Talk To The Spiritually Caged And Pacing Lion…
I Would Share Four Passages Of Scripture To Give Them Hope.
God NEVER meant for His children to live a cage. He never meant for us to exist just pacing behind bars, a spectacle for all to see. A could-have-been. No matter who made the bars, or how the lion got inside, there is a way out for all.
1. Every One Has A Past. Understand That God Doesn’t Want Your Past To Be Your Future Or Hold You Captive. No Matter What You Have Done Or What You Have Been, There Is Hope.
1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
2. Paul Even Felt Caged By His Past.
(Roman law allowed the dead victim to be tied to the back of the murderer. In it’s decaying state, the worms slowly ate into and killed the killer. Paul felt his past tied to his back, eating away at him. Condemnation is a killer. So he wrote:
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
But Something Happened To Paul Between Chapter Seven And Chapter Eight. When He Broke Free He Wrote Anew…
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
3. Jesus Came Down To Earth To Unlock Your Cage
Isa 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Dear Child Of God!
Do not allow your self, your sin, or your past to keep you in a cage. Believe in God’s Mercy, His Grace, and His Forgiveness. Accept It.
- The Door Is Unlocked And Open.
- The Cage No Longer Can Hold You Unless You Let It.
- Freedom Is God’s Gift To You.
4. The Door Is Open. God Didn’t Save You To Keep You In A Cage.
Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it:
When I was a small lad of ten or so, my father, Evangelist Carl Ballestero preached a revival in Texas City, Texas for a Pastor Titus McDonald. My memories of those days are faded somewhat with time. But I remember being there.
I remember also meeting Brother Titus McDonald’s son, Rodney. He was about my age. I never dreamed that someday we both would find ourselves in the ministry and that I would preach for him like my father preached for his father, and later preach revivals for his son.
In the early sixties, I attended Western Apostolic Bible College in Stockton, CA. That is where I met Bishop Rodney McDonald’s lovely future bride. Her name then was Sister Karen Hedger.
Imagine my surprise years later to find out that my old acquaintance was married to someone I had met out in California years ago.
Over the last decade or so our paths have crossed with the McDonald family quite frequently. It has been my great honor to preach several revivals for Pastor Nathan McDonald, their son. The church is in great hands with his leadership and is experiencing a wonderful move of the Lord.
Last month, I preached a revival at their church and one afternoon was honored to go out to eat lunch with the Bishop and his wife in downtown Oklahoma City. No one knew that it was to be one of my last moments to be with them together.
I was awaken with the news today of his impending passing. He was given “minutes or maybe hours” to live. My heart hurt with the news. I became overwhelmed with emotion.
This morning Bishop Rodney McDonald went from this life into the Glory World. He had struggled with health issues for several years now, and it hurt to even watch him try to breathe on his bad days.
I Salute Him and Honor Him.
- The Godliest of men.
- Pristine in his principles and motives.
- A man of honorable ethics.
- Accurate in doctrine.
- Devoted to his wife.
- Devoted to God.
- He gave his life to the Work of God
- A Preacher’s Preacher
- He held fast to the Old Paths.
- He lived what he preached.
- He was given to hospitality.
- Everyone that knew him loved him.
Goodbye My Dear Friend. I Love You!
I will always treasure our moments, meals, and the memories we made. We were just together a few short weeks ago. It doesn’t seem possible!
Join with me in prayers and support for the whole family, especially Sister Karen McDonald, their son Pastor Nathan McDonald and church, Apostolic Faith Tabernacle, Oklahoma City, OK.
Forty Years Of What’s This?
Imagine living with “I don’t know what this is” situation for nearly a lifetime. Israel did in the wilderness. They woke up one morning and were presented with something they had never seen or ever heard about. It didn’t go away. It perplexed them.
Manna – What Is This?
Exo. 16:15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.
Jubilee Bible 2000
Exo. 16:15 And when the sons of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna (What is it?): for they did not know what it was. Then Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.
New International Version
Exo. 16:14 When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.
Living With Things We Don’t Understand May Be What God Gave Us To Eat For Now.
- Some of us live a lifetime with I Don’t Know.
- We all have lived with things we don’t understand.
- We all are asked to partake of things that don’t make sense.
- We live a life surrounded by perplexing things.
The Very Thing They Didn’t Understand And Got Tired Of… Was The Thing That Preserved And Sustained Them In The Wilderness.
- Complainers are everywhere.
- Some would rather have the leeks and garlic diet of Egypt.
- They wanted things like it used to be.
- All of them wanted meat and not more of What’s This?
How Long Have You Gone Through Something And Didn’t Know When Or If It Would Ever End?
- You couldn’t see the purpose or benefit?
- Health issues.
- Financial problems.
- Marriage problems.
- And besides, you would have rather have any thing else but this.
Once Israel Reached The Place God Promised Them, The Manna Ceased
Joshua 5:12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna any more; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.
- There was a day when it ended for them. There will be a day when yours ends too.
What Israel Didn’t Know.
- The thing they complained about.
- The thing some even refused to eat.
- The thing they felt forced to live with for forty years…
…Was Angel Food
Psa 78:25 Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.
- Be careful about your complaints to God.
- Be careful of your attitude when you live with things you don’t understand.
It Could Just Be That God Is Giving You Angel Food.