The Ballestero Blog

"That's what I'm talking about!"

Archive for March 2010

How Do You Know If That Was God?

with 10 comments

How Do You Know If That Was God?

The father of a three year old was hard at work when he said the Lord spoke to him and told him that his little boy was choking to death.  The Lord told him that a small toy was stuck in his little boy’s throat.

He said he rushed out of the shop door, jumped into his truck and raced the mile or so to his mobile home. He opened the door and saw his baby boy sitting there playing contentedly with his toys.

“Boy!” the father exclaimed, “I’d rather you be dead than have God lie to me like that!”

That night at church, the pastor, where I was preaching, caught my eye as the father testified. Neither of us allowed our faces to register emotion.  The man still thinks God lied. It has never dawned on him that he might be the one at fault.

The question soon arises then:

  • Are some people misled? Yes.
  • Do sincere people make honest mistakes? Yes.
  • Are there kooks in the Kingdom of God? Yes.

Even sincere people often get mixed up. Did their will, their feelings, or their wants get confused with Will of God? If it did, we may never hear them admit that. Are they more spiritual? God will have to judge. I know of a man who is mad at God. He thought he was in God’s Will and things did not turn out well. So he blamed God and has been staying home from church because he is offended at God.

The frightening thing is when we attach the name of the Lord to a thing, and God never actually spoke concerning that.

  • Ezek. 22:28 And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.
  • Ezek. 13:6 They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.
  • Jer. 23:21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

I do not wish to be in trouble with Him.

I would rather say, ‘It was LIKE the Lord spoke to me and said…”

But that is just me trying to be careful.

Did they mean well? Yes, I want to believe so.

Did they:

  • Go by a Feeling?
    • Hear a Voice?
    • Dream a Dream?
    • I don’t know!

Why does the Will of God, to some, always mean; MOVE? Escape? Run? Change Churches?

Some are not careful in Biblical obedience and conduct and yet they can get very spiritual concerning the Will of God. They know assuredly they have heard from God.

In my limited studies in Algebra, it didn’t take long to discover that to find the “unknown”, a student had to use the “known”. It does make everyone marvel how some seek the “unknown” Will of God” while yet ignoring the “known” Will of God as it is written in His Word.

A young preacher in my church approached me after service years ago and said, “Pastor, my wife and I are moving to Wheatland, WY to start a church.” I was surprised. He offered the information that his wife had dreamed that they had moved to a place called Wheatland.

She had shared the dream with him and they both had scoured a big US Atlas until they had found a state with a town by that name. They were sure it was God’s will. They also were very defensive that I had not quickly recognized that dream as God’s will.

The next service, I spoke briefly about Abraham. I said, “And God spake unto Sarah in a dream. Speak unto thy husband Abraham and tell him to get thee up unto a land that I have shown thee, Sarah.”

My message was not readily received by them. THEY were in the Will of God, in their minds, so they refused to listen to me.

I had, prior to that occasion, warned our church of the dangers of coming to me and saying something like, “I feel like it’s the Lord spoke to me and told me to move. What do you think?

It often seems they are trying to pit the pastor against God. In their mind, God has already told them personally, so now it’s the pastor that can’t hear from the Lord.

First of all, when you tell the pastor you are moving, (never asking him ahead of time if you should,) you are taking your soul in your own hands, You are leaving the man of God out of the decision-making process. Even Old Testament Kings included the man of God in their important decisions.

Danger!!

Once the seal is broken between you and God’s man. Once you take life decisions in your own hands, you will never get a Biblical relationship restored between you and a pastor. If you do, you will amaze the law of averages.

This family moved to Wheatland, WY. Nothing ever got established there. In fact, today the whole family belongs to the Church of the Brethren. They’ve backslid. They’ve lost their children too. Yet they’ve never felt better. They are in delusion and don’t know it. They left Wheatland years ago, but I am still the bad guy to them. They seem to hate me and the church.

Headship

The will of God will always include Headship. We can’t be saved without a pastor. I have a pastor!

God’s will never:

  • Go around or bypass ministry
  • Contradict the Word
  • Remove you from your headship/pastor
  • Put you in a spiritual position like Hosea talked about. Israel was like a wild ass – snuffing up the wind. Meaning they lived a life without controls or guidance.
  • Jude called them “wandering stars.”

I would be afraid to seek after the Will of God and my pastor not be the central ingredient in my search. I would feel safest by saying, “Pastor, I’ve been thinking about changing jobs. (Or whatever the subject.) I would appreciate it if you would pray about that with me. If the Lord tells you what I should do, let me know!

I thank God for every sincere person who desires to please the Lord by being in His Will. I pray that none of us ever confuse our wishes and dreams for His Will.

Attitude is everything. The safest approach with any pastor is to ask, not tell. Let him help you. Then you can comfortably feel and know you are in the Will of the Lord. Like the Apostles said, ‘It felt good to us and to the Holy Ghost.”

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 2, 2010 at 11:20 pm

You’ve Committed At Least Seven Sins…

with 3 comments

You’ve Committed At Least Seven Sins When You Fail To Win Souls

I inherited the library of my father Carl Ballestero and many books from my father-in-law, William R. Starr. I purchased several thousand on my own, bringing the total to well over 7,000.

Books are very special to me. I miss them now that my life is completely mobile and I have given them all away. But I still have in my memory some books that even the very titles nag at me after nearly 50 years.

I had most, if not all of John R. Rice’s books. He was an Independent Baptist that didn’t water his sermons down much. Like him or not, he had guts. As a matter of fact, some of his sermons may make a few Pentecostals uncomfortable today.

It’s hard to recall everything word for word, but he wrote one about the importance of soul winning that impacted me as a teenage preacher. Here is my condensed version from memory with apologies to the author.

Sevenfold Sin of Not Winning Souls

I. Sin of Disobedience to Christ’s Command

  • Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

2. The Sin of Lack of Love for Christ

  • John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

3. The Sin of Not Following Jesus

  • Matt. 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

4. The Sin of Not Abiding in Christ

  • John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
  • John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

5. The Sin Of Being A Slothful Servant

  • Matt. 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
  • Matt. 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
  • Matt. 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
  • Matt. 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
  • Matt. 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
  • Matt. 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
  • Matt. 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

6. The Sin of a Being A Fool

  • Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.”
  • Daniel 12:3, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

7. The Sin of Spiritual Manslaughter

  • Ezek. 3:17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
  • Ezek. 3:18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
  • Ezek. 3:19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

(And then he closed with a statement like this…)

May God convict us of our sin in not winning the souls who are dying all around us!

**(This writer feels that we may not be able to win all those we witness to, but we sure ought to try!)

Written by Martyn Ballestero

March 2, 2010 at 4:36 am