Thursday, January 7, 2016
2016 & BEYOND: TRUST, LEADERSHIP & DIRECTION BY THE INNER-WITNESS
Greetings, dear warrior!
Well, 2016 has arrived and we’re already a week into January. My hopes were to have the important letter on stewardship I’ve been working on ready around the first of the month, but it is not yet completed. I expect it to be both enlightening, as well as controversial. Much of the reason for that will be the “religious sacred-cow barbecue” we will have, if you will, in addressing some important verses of scripture which are often incorrectly taught out of context or in error. The result being that many believers grow up understanding, and/or applying or interpreting them improperly.
Along with some well-known and quoted scriptures on money and stewardship, we will also look at some of the lesser-known and quoted scriptures which the Holy Spirit utilizes to help shed light and truth on the proper, doctrinal understanding and context of the others. I pray that the letter will be a major eye-opener regarding our understanding of stewardship and finances, and will help to properly redirect and realign our thinking processes as we move into this new year.
So I just wanted to take a few moments to say hello and to inform you that I do not have any great “thus saith the Lord” “prophecy” or “word” for 2016. I have no great revelation about what’s going to happen this year economically or otherwise, or who the next president is going be. I do not know exactly what the future holds, but I do know the One who holds our future! Amen?!
To be honest, we’ve had more than enough of those “intellectual play-on-words prediction charades” over the years with so many pseudo false prophets, pastors, and self-proclaimed leaders to last a lifetime. Some of the supposed “words” and “prophecies” which have already gone public for 2016 are shameful and laughable at best, and clearly do not represent or denote our heavenly Father’s heart or will for the future, neither do they accurately align with scriptural context.
I adjure you to stay away from such pathetic predictions, and to steer clear of such ‘flakes’ who esteem themselves and their ministries “as somewhat among them”; or who portray themselves to be God’s ‘prophetic voice’ to our generation and/or “the church” for 2016 and the future.
The fact that any believer could take some of these ridiculous ‘words’ or ‘predictions’ as a serious ‘prophecy’ or ‘word from the Lord’ shows just how very far we’ve strayed from the true gospel foundation of scripture; as well as how little Holy Spirit discernment the body of Christ is really walking in these days…
I will say this and inform you that I do have “a more sure word of prophecy” for you regarding 2016 and beyond:
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
There you have it. 2016 is a year that we need to learn to trust our heavenly Father more than we ever have before; even with all of our hearts! We’re not going to be able to lean on the intellect of others, let alone our own. We need to continually acknowledge that He alone is Lord and Leader of our lives, and that He alone can and will direct our paths; as He leads and guides us into all truth, even the truth of His word.
We need to learn to hear and obey Him for ourselves, and NOT in and through other people; whether pastors or leaders we hold in regard or esteem. It begins with our “more sure word of prophecy” (the scriptures) and then onto hearing and obeying the intimate voice of the Holy Spirit, and following the leadership of our born-again spirit through the inner-witness.
Let me briefly pause here and state, once again, that the primary way or channel through which the Holy Spirit communicates to us as God’s children is through the inner-witness. Or, to clarify, He leads and guides us as we are led by His peace within our spirits. Romans chapter 8 tells us that through the spirit of adoption, we are the sons of God, whereby we can cry, “Abba, you are the Father of my born-again spirit!” Verse 16 states that “The [Holly] Spirit itself beareth witness with our [born-again] spirit, that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:14-17)
As children of our Father, and as joint-heirs with Christ, we are to be led by the Holy Spirit through the moral compass of our born-again nature. This enables us to make wise and righteous decisions in our everyday walk of life. From the little things, to the big, important things which can drastically impact our lives and futures. If we are not hearing an audible witness, we must look to the scriptures. If we are hearing audibly, we still need to look to the scriptures to make sure the audible words lines up with the written word! If we are not hearing anything, then as we look to the scriptures we can know that our Father will lead us by His Holy Spirit as we are led and directed through the inner-witness of peace within our born-again nature (spirit). Amen.
Learning to know and to hear the Holy Spirit’s still, small voice audibly doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and commitment to cultivate any type of intimate relationship; typically many years. We need to know, be assured, and remind ourselves that as His children, He does desire to speak to and commune with us, as well as to direct and guide us as we submit to His leadership and counsel. The more willing we are to trust Him to do that, not leaning upon our own understanding or intellect, the more He will trust us with His counsel, guidance, leadership and direction for our lives. Believe me when I say that He both wants and desires this for His children!
So I hope that this has been a short, but direct, and simple faith-building training exercise and encouragement for you as we enter into this new year. I would also like to pause and say “thank you” to each individual or family who has prayed for us, and especially those who have DEMONSTRATED their love for our family in DEED (action) and in TRUTH over this past year. Lord knows it’s been an incredibly challenging past 15 months or so for us; some of the most challenging of our entire lives.
Sharing our immediate needs with others is not something we normally do, as early on in ministry the Lord taught us to trust and rely upon HIM alone to meet our needs and desires, and that He would speak to and use others along the way. It’s remarkable to see how He has done just that, and in eternity the sensitivity, obedience, miracles, and acts of kindness will be revealed!
In the midst of all the pain, trials, and tribulations, we have continued to witness His unconditional love, kindness, compassion, provision, and faithfulness to our family as His children. Amen and Amen.
I don’t know about you, but I plan on looking at 2016 and the future with a positive light in anticipation for what my Father holds in store for me and my family; regardless of what unfolds or takes place in this chaotic world around us! We know that His perfected agape love alone can drive out all the fear and worry in our lives. Let us pursue that above all else. As for me and my house, we’re going to choose to fear and serve the Lord only! I hope that you will do the same… (Joshua 24:15)
“Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24)
“Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.” (Psalm 126:2)
In the deepest compassion and sincerity,