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Sermon 111 – the Blame Game

Blame can be defined as … making some else responsible for my hassles.

Blame originated in the garden of Eden. Humanity can’t stop the thought of blame. It’s inherent in everyone’s spirit. We often practice it subconsciously with the voices we hear against others and the hassles of our circumstances.

The first thing a human does when they think they’re in trouble is look for an escape route of blame.

Blame is of Satan

Blame is a quality of Satan. It is not a characteristic of the Holy Spirit. The voice of the temptation to blame comes directly from Satan, not from God. Satan won this right when he tricked Eve with the carrot of elevation. He sold her the lie that God was holding something back from her and that she could be her own god and know good and evil. She took the bait and became Satan’s slave to sin. The good and evil she now knew was only seen from her selfish perspective. What she thought was good was only what felt good to her own thinking, and everything else was bad to her as far as she could see.

Feelings, not faith

Humanity makes its judgments on how it feels. A Christian talks to God to get His perspective; he doesn’t rely on his feelings; they more often trick you into Satan’s web. Once you’re in a web the more you try and fight it the more entangled you become. There’s only one way out of a web… you need someone greater than yourself to break off the web. Through acknowledgement of your sin, Jesus can free you from Satan’s web. There’s no other way.

Self-protection

When you protect your selfishness, blame will follow. Blame flows from selfishness and selfishness is simply me first. So when you practice blame you are practicing Satanism. You are simply worshipping yourself without even knowing it. The carrot of elevation has blinded your eyes to the truth and your feelings become your justice system. You’ve ignorantly become the judge and set yourself up as your own god. It’s anti-christ behaviour; it’s elevation and it’s selfish. It’s opposite to dying to yourself by trusting God and waiting on Him for his justice.

You can only blame others for your circumstances when you are selfish. It doesn’t feel selfish, it feels fair and just. But that’s the point; you’re analysing the truth based on your feelings, and when you practice that you confirm you’re not in the kingdom of heaven, because Jesus doesn’t practice that, only Satan does.

Cop the cross

When Jesus allowed Himself to be sacrificed on the cross He was allowing humanity to throw their blame on Him. It was totally unjust and unfair, but He did it because the Father willed it, and because he did it, humanity can be saved from its sin. The problem is, humanity can’t see its sin that it needs to be saved from. It prefers to live in the injustice of its hurts and cast blame. Whilst it does this it can never be free; it will always be under the power of Satan, no matter how much it tries or pretends otherwise; no matter how much good it thinks it does. You can be as good as you like, but eventually you will be exposed as selfish through the sin of blame.

Blasphemy

Collins dictionary defines blame as casting fault and even blaspheming. Blaspheming and blame come from the same French root. So often we automatically blame God for not coming through for us the way we want. It’s telling God how He’s supposed to behave towards us. It’s casting dispersions on the Spirit that dwells in us and if we’re not careful, it’s blasphemy. Blasphemy is the degrading of the Spirit of God by putting the blame on God instead of Satan. It’s calling the Holy Spirit, unholy.

Climate change

We look at the world’s chaos and blame God for not fixing the problems. We’re good so He should be good to us. We fail to stop and remind ourselves that the sickness of the world is the fruit of sin. Climate change is not due to climate, it’s due to sin. The Bible tells us that we come from dust and return to dust. That is, our spirit and body are directly connected to the earth we dwell on. Consequently, when we sin we pollute the land we live on. If our country endorses homosexuality, free sex, and abortion, don’t blame God for the decay of the earth; stop sinning and obey His ten commandments.

Money

Our country loves money. Our economy is the people’s prime concern. We trade with China and ignore its human rights record against fellow Christians because we love money more. We’re more interested in money than the poor, and money gives you position over people, and we falsely believe that money is a measurement of how much God loves you. Don’t blame God for the mess when He taught that the love of money is the root of all evil.

You hurt my feelings

King Saul is a prime example of how when you forget where you’ve come from and allow elevated position to rise up in you, you start envying your neighbour. You get hurt by what people say and do and hold grievances against them. From there you do what you’re told your way, and when you’re confronted that it isn’t God’s way you defend your position with blame (1 Samuel 15). The consequences of these actions results in rebellion, can’t be told, superstition and witchcraft, and eventually demonic possession.

David

On the other hand, a David cops the unjust blame and turns to the Lord for His justice and protection. A genuine Christian behaves like David and thus, Christ; he cops the blame and never blames. He ducks the javelins and He turns to the Lord and waits on His justice, not expecting any justice for himself. He’s only interest is serving Jesus Christ. A fake Christian acts good like King Saul, but their heart has elevated itself with its own importance. It thinks it’s the king and won’t listen to the prophet. It’s caught in the web of Satan.

Faith or family-blame

King Saul was David’s father-in-law. If anyone should have understood him, you would think that his wife’s family would be there to support him. But that’s not how it was and David had to run and trust God at the same time, and that’s the walk of a faithful Christian. If you waste your life blaming your parents or sister for your hurts, then you are not in Christ. A faithful Christian takes responsibility for blaming and repents and trusts the Lord’s plan with the hurts.

Suffer to reign

If you want to reign with Christ you have to suffer with Christ (2 Timothy 2:11,12); it’s not a free ride like the modern church teaches. Jesus is not Santa Claus, but most people join the church so they can get the goodies for being good and then blame God for not delivering, or get trapped into the fake worship God because they do get what they prayed for.

The Bible teaches that all that live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12), and blame is part of that package. If you’re not interested in copping it then you’re not really interested in Christ; you’re only using Him and telling Him how He is to behave for you.

If you truly want to walk with Christ, then like Christ and David, expect to be blamed and when it hurts turn to the Lord and not to yourself. If you don’t do this, you will end up like King Saul and miss the kingdom.

 

Pastor Clive Fadden

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Posted by on April 10, 2017 in Blame

 

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Sermon 107 – The Art of Christianity

Several years ago, a seemingly nice young man joined our fellowship. From all appearances he had everything … a well-paid job, a girlfriend, a nice car, plus our supportive fellowship. He attached himself to my family and we befriended him as a son. On the outside he appeared generous and helpful and appreciative, but there came a point where he didn’t like my judgment over a particular issue and a different spirit was revealed.

Over the years we had seen an old nature side to this young man that I often had to challenge. He often displayed envy towards my son. He regarded anyone who didn’t agree with his thinking as an idiot, and he was often casual and flippant with my instructions and ended up doing it his own way in his own time. On top of this, he had deduced that when I preached about bearing your cross, to him it meant having to tolerate the people God had put around him. These were the deductions of his youth and unfortunately, when they were exposed to him as sin, instead of repenting, he simply re-packaged them, and referred to them whenever he selected to. He had simply learnt the art of smoothness and coupled it together with the art of Christianity, and convinced himself that his generosity and helps proved he was a Christian.

In the course of time, his envy of my son, and his pompous intolerance of people, resulted in his heart lusting after the relationship I had with my son and family. From his position he didn’t think it was fair that I should love my son more than him. Eventually, he deduced that if he couldn’t have what my son had then he would copy my love and impose his control through his generosity onto another well-like family in our fellowship. Ultimately, God removed him and separated him from our fellowship.

As a pastor, I’ve seen this pattern of behaviour in so-called Christians far too often. I’m reminded of Ezekiel 33:31,32 … they come unto you as the people come and they sit before you as my people and they hear your words, but they will not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness. And lo, you are unto them a very lovely song of one that has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument, for they hear your words but they do them not.

Warning

As I often warn my fellowship, the envy that’s inherent in the heart of man must be killed by your unconditional surrender to the will of God. Otherwise, this envy in your heart will fester and then everything you build your thinking on, everything you think is good and right, will really be false and sinking sand. Envy turns your thinking against the righteous, and like Simon the sorcerer, it ends up trying to buy or copy what’s in the heart of a righteous man. On the foundation of envy, sorry is never repentance, but just a quick way to escape embarrassment.

Tolerate

Unrighteous tolerance towards people is bearing people’s nonsense with spite and belittlement in your heart. It’s evidence that your heart is evil. Unrighteous tolerance is really a pompous snub towards God’s human creation and the selfish opposite of willing to serve God wherever and with whoever. The Holy Spirit doesn’t tolerate people with spite in His heart; He serves the will of God. When you allow yourself the privilege of feeling untolerated by someone, you’re simply living in the lie of your own imagination built on the foundation of your spiteful intolerance towards everyone else, but cleverly camouflaged by your coolness or niceness which is really the symptom of your own intolerance.

The evil vineyard keeper

In Matthew 21:33, we read the story of the evil vineyard keeper. Instead of the vineyard keeper being ever grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord of the vineyard, he resented the fact that the Lord owned the vineyard and he had to work it. It wasn’t fair. When the son came to oversee the operation of the vineyard, instead of showing respect, they killed him with the stupid expectation of taking possession of the vineyard. But God isn’t gentle, meek and mild when it comes to justice and righteous vengeance. He kills the evil.

Biblical warnings

Of course, this is a parable of Satan’s grievance with God for not recognising him equal to or above Jesus His son. But it’s more than that. Anyone who wants what the Son has, is born of Satan, not God. Anyone who wants what the Son can give him is of the spirit of anti-christ. Anyone who wants what anyone else has, is an anti-christ. John warns us about such spirits. Jude seriously warns us about such spirits. James warns us about such spirits. Peter warns us about such spirits, and Paul warns us about such spirits. In fact, most of the bible, both old and new testaments are actually warnings about falling into league with Satan’s spies in the church. The warnings are real and even more pertinent for the remnant today.

Too many so-called Christians are working the Lord’s vineyard with resentment in their spirits and for the purpose of being recognised and acknowledged and valued. They’re instruments of Satan, not Christ. Too many Christians are practicing the art of Christianity without the heart of Christ. They’re not converted and they’re not saved. They’re enemies of Christ and their purpose is to divide, conquer and ultimately destroy and take over what you have. It’s tricky because they’re in sheep’s clothing.

Do you honestly think that Satan wouldn’t strike the heart of God’s people just as effectively within the church as outside it? Guerrilla warfare is far more effective than a direct frontal assault.

The two characters of a demonic spirit

One side of a demonic spirit can be generous, helpful and cooperative. That’s just a smoke screen. The true side of a spirit is seen when it eventually gets puffed up, expects to be valued, then unexpectantly gets corrected or put in its place for its inappropriate attitude. Like Samuel vs King Saul, you’ll know when you’re up against a spirit when it resists your correction, starts telling you how you are supposed to behave towards it, and wants to retain its position in the eyes of the people. Eventually, if you hold a righteous position in Christ, the scam is exposed and the true spirit gets revealed.

The battleground

Ephesians 6 teaches us that we are not fighting flesh and blood but demonic principalities and evil powers. The church teaches that these forces are external, but that’s the secondary battleground. The primary battleground is within us. It’s the battle between the forces of righteousness and the forces of unrighteousness. Once we concede to the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh or the pride of life, then the force of righteousness is choked (Mark 4:19) and is only restored through sincere repentance.

The fight has intensified. Not a day goes by without hearing of some disaster or an increase in moral decay, suggesting that the end is nearer than we imagine, Matthew 24:7.

Hold firm your position in Christ and don’t worry about the world, nor lean on the world.

 

May God strengthen His remnant for His plan and purposes.

 

Pastor Norm Wakefield

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2016 in Deception

 

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Sermon 104 – The Rain Falls on the Just and the Unjust

ABC news radio recently announced the past discovery in the National Gallery of Australia of a stolen statue known as the dancing Shiva idol belonging to the Sripuranthan tribe in southern India.  Two years ago the Australian government had returned the idol to the Indian authorities but it was being held in police custody as evidence of the crime. The tribes people were now expressing their frustrations to the authorities. They wanted the idol returned to their temple because they believed that the idol brought them good luck. To their thinking, when the idol was with them the rains came and their crops prospered and life was happy.

It reminds me of the Jews burning incense to the queen of heaven, Jeremiah 44:16-19. They worshipped the Lord God and at the same time made cakes to the queen of heaven. They adopted whatever technique gave them the most apparent prosperity. Life was based on getting the best deal; it wasn’t based on trusting God. Consequently, their thinking was the fruit of their contaminated spirits and their behaviour was irrational, but not to them.

What’s idol worship?

Obviously, bowing to a statue is clearly idol worship, but does western society practice idol worship without recognising their contradictory behaviour?  ISIS thinks so.

There’s a difference between thinking that you’re good because things are going good and being thankful when things are going well. One is the love of self and the other is the love of God. If you say you’re a Christian, then one is using God as your idol for your own well-being and the other is serving God whatever the circumstances. They’re miles apart. Sadly, most Christians have been indoctrinated by our humanistic society to believe that they are worshiping God when in fact they’re just using Him for their own self-value.

David was thankful for things working out well, but if you read the Psalms & the Book of Samuel you’ll quickly recognise that most of his life was surviving the satanic hassles fired against him. Think about Saul’s hatred, Absalom’s rebellion, and the loss of Ziglag. Despite the conflicts, he retained a God confidence attitude, and fought his own selfishness. Everything was based on trusting God’s plan, not chasing the best for himself.

If you give self an inch, it will take a mile

The current motto supporting homosexuality is … Love is Love.

In other words, their argument is that any type of good feelings is love. As if sin is going to feel bad! Everyone knows that sin is not love, whether it feels good or not. Once you give sin licence, of course it won’t be able to stop itself, so evil just calls the sin ‘love’ so it can justify it. What rubbish! Humanism can talk itself into anything, because self is its idol. Homosexuality is just an excuse for more self-idol worship and anti-christ resistance to the will of God.

Christians are losing the war

Everyone is born under satanic influence with the desire to worship themselves.  It’s the pride of thinking that we are of importance. It’s heavily promoted by our humanistic society. In fact, in modern society no one’s allowed to fail; no one’s allowed to feel bad. But the truth is, our children are being manipulated into thinking of themselves first; to protect their rights; to love themselves first before their neighbour. The whole process of modern society is to devalue Christianity and negate God and His rules from inhibiting our selfish passions.

We’re all subjected to the temptation of thinking we’re pretty good when something goes our way, but it’s temptation, and if you’re saved you have to wake up to the trick and resist Satan, not by telling Satan to rack-off, but rather by not giving ground to your pride.

Whatever is not of faith, is sin, Romans 14:23

It’s this inherent satanic inspired self-love that has to die daily, by surrendering in faith to the will of God. You can camouflage this pride with good works or happy attitudes, but if it’s not of faith then the good works are just a smoke screen to get into the good books of others, to protect your self-value to be liked and not dis-liked.

Why does the rain fall on the just and the unjust? Matthew 5:45

So why does the rain fall on the unjust too? Because, if it just fell on the just, everyone would swap sides so they could get the deal, so how would you know who was fair-dinkum? Plus, the just would be full of their own importance over the unjust, and thus get lost in their selfishness.

The rain falls on the just and the unjust. So, if you think you’re just because it rains on your life, how does that prove that you are just? Thinking that you’re just actually suggests that you are full of your own importance, like the Pharisee vs the Publican in Luke 18:10, and therefore you’ve either fallen into the pit of self-elevation, or you are actually one of the unjust.

The just walk by faith, Galatians 3:11

The unjust think they deserve God’s goodness on them, but the just don’t think they deserve anything, they’re just grateful when it rains on them; they don’t bemoan when it rains on the unjust more; and they trust God when it doesn’t rain on them. Any other pattern in your behaviour and attitude is contrary to faith, and therefore is evidence of using God for your idol worship. We all face the temptation to have a mood when it doesn’t work to our advantage, but that’s the tempter’s strategy to trick us into our pride. Love doesn’t fall to pride, and if it does it repents.

Think of it this way … the unjust have 70 or so years; the just have eternity. There’s no need for envy.

Why resist the temptation to think we’re something?

That’s simple … we’re all born in sin and therefore fully susceptible to demonic influence. Our pride opens the door to these familiar spirits (Isaiah 8:19) that will work against you and against the will of God.

I’ve lost count of the character changes I’ve observed when people open their heart to their pride. Recently, I was counselling a Christian man who felt the pride of his daughter’s achievements. I could sense there was pride in his picture because the outward manner of his children, including the daughter, began to show signs of superior self-value and say and do things that were out of character. I drew his attention to the fact that his children were showing the same unhealthy characteristics of their self-centered grandfather.  I pointed out to this man that his pride had opened the door to the spirits operating behind his family chain. When he looked he thankfully could see what I was pointing out to him. He recognised his healthy joy had turned to unhealthy pride. Instead of being thankful for the Lord’s rain, he had succumbed to the pride that he was the one who had done it for his daughter. He repented and his children’s attitude reverted back to normal behaviour.

We’re not fighting flesh and blood but principalities and powers, Ephesians 6

Demons attack and tempt in order to activate your pride. Don’t worry about the demons, rather, keep a check on your pride. It’s the thing that will kill you.

God doesn’t stop your pride; you’re responsible to do it.

 

Pastor Greg Saunders

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2016 in Pride, Thankfulness

 

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Sermon 103 – He must increase, I must decrease

John the Baptist had to face the loss of his disciples to a man that he testified to as the Christ. To promote Jesus, cost John his position. John was older than Jesus, his cousin. He was the one that started the discipleship program. He could have easily got jealous that Jesus was more popular, but instead he testified that ‘He must increase, I must decrease’, John 3:30.

I’ve met so many Christians that say that Christ must increase, but I’ve discovered that they’re just pretending. What they really mean is … Christ must increase and I must increase with Him. That’s not what John said. When it comes to popularity and self-value, the temptation for position repetitively wins the day, and a fake Christian’s inherent envy simply will justify their decision.

So how does this teach us what love is?

We have many definitions of love, but underneath it all, it’s pretty much … ‘you be nice to me, I’ll be nice to you.’

Both the church and the world are into this model of love. Both spread the same message of love because both of them are on the same path. For example, if you agree with the right to divorce and re-marry (contrary to the Word of God in Matthew 19:9), you’re the same as the world. If you are supportive of the right to be a homosexual (contrary to the Word of God in Romans 1), then you’re the same as the world. If you support the right for women to be equal with men (contrary to the Word of God in 1 Timothy 2:12), you’re the same as the world. If you say sorry and expect that person to say sorry back to you (contrary to the Word of God in Matthew 5:40), you’re the same as the world. If you practice retail shopping on God’s Sabbath (contrary to the Word of God in Nehemiah 10:31), you’re the same as the world.

If you think the Ten Commandments are now irrelevant Old Testament rules because we’re in the age of grace (contrary to the Word of God in Matthew 5:17-19), then you’ve been conned by the world in the church. [Note: ‘fulfil’ means to fully satisfy; it doesn’t mean ‘to cancel’ as verified by v.18].

But, if you’re fair dinkum for Christ, your path will diverge from the world and the church. Why? Because if you follow the same pattern as the world, you’re really an enemy of Christ (James 4:4).

Ultimately, love is a relationship with God, the Father, through the unconditional surrender of one’s will and wants to the will of Christ, and displayed by one’s attitude to the instructions of Christ through His Word, the Bible. Persecution by the world and the church simply because you stand on the Word of God, will verify your love, because the world and the church don’t want to be told they’re wrong.

The love of Christ is contrary to the world and will suffer the contempt of the world.

The measurement of love

1 Corinthians 13 clearly defines what real love is, and without it we are just a noise. Love is not measured by your good deeds, your warm attitude, your hard work or skills, or your courteous behaviour.

The real measurement of love is envy (v.4), and the real measurement of love is not vaunting itself or seeking its own. You see, love is not measured by what you do to your neighbour, it’s measured by your inner attitude towards your neighbour. You can give away all your money and even die for your neighbour, but if it isn’t love then it’s all a waste of time. You can be as nice to your neighbour as you like but if your heart envies your neighbour’s good fortune then your goodness is just a pretence for your own selfishness.

I’ve discovered that most Christians are just nice so you’ll be nice to them so they enjoy the pleasures of life without the hassles of life. Their real inner heart secretly envies their neighbour’s good fortune, believes that it’s special, and hates being below one’s neighbour. It’s not the love of God; it’s satanic.

So now we’ve mentioned Satan, let’s talk about angels for a second.

What’s the purpose of angels?

Most people seem to think angels are there to protect them, but, because people are basically selfish, what they really mean is … angels are there to keep my life happy. It’s one of the reasons why people become Christians.

Perhaps it’s better to ask what’s the purpose of demons?

Well, if everything is made by Christ for Christ (Colossians 1:16), then demons are there to save you or to destroy you. If you’re a genuine Christian, then you’ll be attacked by demons regularly and consistently, as outlined in Ephesians 6:12, just like Paul’s thorn (2 Corinthians 12:7). Under this constant barrage you’ll be forced to turn to yourself or turn to Christ. God’s taken a risk, but that’s what freedom of choice is, and once you learn to accept your weakness instead of trying to prove your greatness, then you will find His strength and His rest (2 Cor.12:10).

I think the purpose of an angel is, under God’s direction, to inhibit the power of a demon against you, and thus it is for protection, but not for your happiness, but for His glory.

So, in the light of this, let’s talk about truth.

What’s the measurement of truth?

Most people measure truth by how they feel. If you make me feel good, you’re nice, but if you make me feel bad, you’re not nice. On this basis of evaluation, my truth is my feelings. But, they’re deceiving themselves. Feelings will always deceive you when you live to protect your feelings, but, on the other hand, feelings always expose the truth when I live for His increase and my decrease.

I was counselling a young woman who, like most women, was heavy into feelings. If someone hurt her feelings or she observed someone else‘s feelings being hurt, she would immediately make a judgment against the offender, rather than turn to the Lord by faith and seek His wisdom over what she had observed. When I asked her how she felt about a certain offence she gave me a description of what the offender had done and why it was bad. She actually hadn’t answered what I asked; I asked her for a feeling, yet even though she was a feeling person, she wasn’t able to give me her feelings. Instead of feeling, I got logic.

I’ve learnt that when a person clearly misinterprets the question, you’re talking to someone under the influence of a demon.

What was happening?

This woman was circumventing her feelings because in her heart she knew her feelings were leading her to her own sin of judgment and thus would expose her selfishness. She lived in the fear of feeling stupid, so she automatically judged people for making her or others feel stupid. Because of the pain of feeling stupid, she subconsciously but also deliberately ignored her feelings, and unwittingly, she had succumbed to demonic influence. When she eventually shared with me her feeling of ‘anger’, she quickly admitted that she was in sin and the Spirit of God set her free from the demonic.

When you use logic to hide your feelings, you’re blocking the truth that’s being exposed by your feelings, and unwittingly reinforcing the demonic power over you.

John the Baptist could easily have allowed himself to be sad that Jesus was absconding with his disciples, but instead, he chose to be faithful. He used his logic to over-rule his feelings so that he would be faithful. Faith works by love (Galatians 5:6) and love is … ‘He must increase, I must decrease’. Consequently, he was attacked by demons to get him to relinquish his commitment to Christ, but yet, by faith, he was free from their power over his spirit and saved to eternity with Christ.

The goal of every genuine believer

What things were gain to me, I count loss for Christ. I count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them dung that I might win Christ. Found in him not having my own righteousness by trying to keep the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. Philippians 3:7-10

Everybody says they want Christ to increase, but what they really want is to protect themselves from their own decrease. Like the seed sown among thorns, these will never know the resurrection to eternal life.

 

May God strengthen your heart’s purpose to decrease for Christ by His Spirit.

 

Pastor Jim Stratton

 

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2016 in Love

 

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Sermon 90 – What Demons don’t want you to Know

Recently, a young man asked my opinion regarding the set-out of an accounting spreadsheet that he had done. As I was making several suggestions that he needed to fix, I began to sense that I had offended him. After I had finished with my suggestions, I decided to face the uncomfortable atmosphere and ask him what the issue was. Both he and I knew that something wasn’t right. Even though nothing was being said with our mouths, it was certainly being said with his spirit. I could feel the blame and guilt. When I feel that, I go to God and ask Him what just went down, check my spirit that I haven’t been proud myself, and from that position I realise that I’m up against a demonic spirit.

On the outside, this young man presents as courteous, helpful, respectful, sporty and well-balanced in his character. However, I discovered in the course of the conversation that he has developed these qualities for the specific purpose of being liked and well thought of by his fellow humans. These outside characteristics are learned behaviour for selfish reasons. His true inner character is hidden until you bring a correction or an opinion that opposes his, and all of a sudden he feels inferior or stupid, and starts blaming the other person for upsetting his feelings.

Value and favour

Over the years I’ve learnt that behind everyone’s façade is a striving for personal value and favour so that they feel worthwhile amongst their peers and other humans around them. Value is defined as worth and importance, and favour means ‘luck falling my way’. From favour we get the word favourite and favouritism. In our human makeup, everyone wants to be the favourite and feel valued, and everyone dislikes and envies anyone who is more favoured than themselves. This is the pride of our inner hearts that was inherited from the Garden of Eden, and along with that inheritance is the automatic blame we shift onto anyone that hurts our feelings or makes us feel bad.

We strive for this value and favour by being more educated, more successful, more sporty and whatever we can do that will put us higher up the totem pole than our competitors. Sadly, what pride doesn’t realise is that personal value is actually valueless, and what pride doesn’t realise is that pride is a serious fracture of the heart; it just regards it as a minor issue that everyone suffers and it’s not that significant if you’re good.

In reality, this young man had really come to me to present his spreadsheet for the purpose of being accoladed for his work. He had presented it expecting to be told he was clever and when it became clear that his work had several flaws, his spirit began to argue with me and declare that “you don’t understand”. Instead of being able to appreciate my suggestions, he became defensive with explanations as to why he had done it a certain way.

His defensiveness was really just bossing and telling me how I was supposed to behave in order to make him feel valued, and that’s also what everyone will ignorantly and blindly do to God if they approach His throne of Grace without their pride exposed.

Coupled with this defensiveness will be their argument for fairness (‘you’re not being fair to me’) followed by reactionary moodiness, and thus will be exposed the real motive of a person’s spirit.

What was really happening?

The real spiritual thing that was taking place was that God was giving this young man an opportunity to see his pride and the demon that was occupying him because of it. When you’re super good and defensive of your feelings, and you’re too proud to feel silly, you can’t find God until you see your pride, and what you fail to appreciate is that pride is the channel that gives demons licence over you. Be as good as you like, it won’t solve the demonic occupation.

That’s why God instructs us to forgive and repent. It’s o so we feel better with ourselves; it to break the stronghold of demons over us, Matthew 18:21-35.

Dumped on

I asked him how was he dealing with the bad feelings he was having? He said he put them under the carpet and pretended they weren’t there, but I informed him that what he was really doing was dumping his emotions on me. If you let your feelings get hurt you’ll always blame the person who hurt you, and you’ll dump these feelings on the person you’re blaming, so you don’t feel bad.

God calls this bearing your cross. If you genuinely follow Christ, you’ll suffer like Christ; obviously not to the same extent but certainly in the same manner. Jesus was crucified and everybody dumped all their guff on Him. He was totally innocent and by God’s will and plan, got the sin of everyone dumped on Him. This is what Paul means when he says, I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me, Galatians 2:20. Importantly, it’s not faith in; it’s faith “of“.

The favour chase

I find it no coincidence that the modern church is also chasing and promoting God’s favour; it’s made up of people who believe in value and favour. The modern church system has decided to call this period in history the age of grace. Grace means unmerited and unearned favour from God. The modern Christian expects God to pour out His blessings on me because I’m special and He loves me and will give me what I need and want.

No one’s calling out for His mercy; everyone simply believes they’re good and deserving of His favour. The problem is you can’t get His favour without first getting His mercy and you can’t get His mercy without first seeing your pride.

The Pharisee and the tax-collector

In Luke 18:9, Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the tax-collector. The Pharisee is just like this young man. Doing everything right and thinks he’s a Christian, but can’t see that he’s full of himself and actually just praying to himself and desperately in need of God’s mercy. On the other hand, the publican can see it and cries out for it and consequently, comes under God’s grace.

What’s the difference between Mercy and Grace?

Mercy is different to grace. Mercy means diminished punishment. It means God won’t punish me as much as I deserve. Mercy refers to punishment, grace refers to blessings. This young man couldn’t see that he deserved any punishment; he could only see that his goodness warranted God’s blessings. So many Christians today are in the same boat. Adam and Eve didn’t cry out to God for His mercy, they’d got used to His favour, were too afraid to expose their pride; in fact, too proud to say they were wrong, and consequently, missed the boat.

The bottom line

This young man secretly lived to be his brother. From his selfish point of view, his brother was more favoured, more liked and had it all. The foundation for his whole life was covetousness and until he comes face-to-face with his pride of covetousness and his fracture of the 10th commandment and sees his real inner sin like the tax-collector, he’ll continue to use his goodness to protect his pride. I suggested to him that God can’t find you if you are your brother; He’s looking for you.

This man desperately needs God’s mercy, but he’s solely focussed on chasing His grace. He wants the favour to prove he’s better than his brother. This is the Cain syndrome.

The Cain syndrome

Cain hated his brother, Abel, because God favoured him more. I suspect he felt that Adam favoured Abel more, too. He didn’t seek mercy for his sin; rather, he told God that he needed more protection and favour. His pride caused him to miss the boat even though he talked with God. He was focussed on favour and missed the mercy, because the underlying reason was covetousness.

The two thieves on the cross are clear examples of mercy and grace. One thief challenged Christ and told Him what He should do to solve his problem. He was demanding Jesus’ favour and missed the boat even though he was face-to-face with Christ. The other thief simply said ‘remember me when you come into Your kingdom’. He saw his sin and sought God’s mercy and thus accessed the heavenly kingdom.

If you’re serious above God then He will remove anything that is propping up your pride so you get every chance to find Him. If you really want to find God eventually you’ll have to sacrifice anything that props up your pride; whether that be your career, money, or worldly position. There’s a price for salvation, and although it’s free because you can’t earn it or deserve it, it’s not free.


 Pastor Greg Hayworth

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2015 in Pride

 

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Sermon 81 – COLLECTABLES – the simple truth about the secret heart of man

What do you like collecting and why do you collect them?

Your collectables are measured by the purpose for them

The heart of man likes to collect things. Why? So he can be better/ look better than his neighbour. It’s really just a competition over who’s the Queen and who are the slaves and servants. It’s not the collecting that’s the problem; it’s the purpose of the collection.

The Lord tells us in Jeremiah17:9 that the heart of man is deceitful above everything and desperately wicked … no one can know how much.

Like collectable cards, or stamps or coins, man likes to collect … friends, husbands, knowledge, skills, love, good feelings, God, good works. The real truth is, that a non-genuine Christian is really promoting their husband/wife/God as an accessory … a bag or wristwatch or bracelet to parade to their friends and enemies, so that they are better than them; all without nothing being said.

Man doesn’t like to collect bad feelings, so he swaps this card for a better feeling. How does he do that? Simply by deducing that you’re not nice, so you’re not a friend, so I’m better than you, so I don’t have to listen to your hurt. He talks himself into not feeling the hurt, but it’s just a pretence.

The simple reality is that to most of us, our feelings are our truth, even to the point that when God presents the truth about us to ourselves we reject the truth because it doesn’t equate with our feelings. Plus, our friends are the measurement of our value … high-ranked friends means I am higher than you, so you can’t tell me what to do, and you can’t tell me I’m wrong, and you can’t make me feel inferior.

The bottom line

In their envy hurt, this heart deduces … I think I’m special, so if somebody has a problem with me then they’re the problem, and if I have a problem with somebody, then they’re also the problem.

This is the heart of selfishness because your neighbour has no right of opinion. This is not loving your neighbour, it’s loving you above your neighbour. Therefore, all the commandments are effectively fractured and you’re the true sinner even if you’ve been sinned against.

This selfish heart deduces … How could you do this to ME, I’m the Queen/King? How could you think that of ME; I’m the Queen? How could you reject ME, I’m the Queen? Everyone really believes they are something. Everyone likes to boss and everyone hates being bossed. That’s because I AM the Queen/ I am fantastic … I’m the boss, not you, and if you hurt ME then that proves that you are the one that’s wrong and I am right.

The real human heart boils down to the selfishness of not being the chosen one, plus the selfishness of being rejected, coupled with the desire to get back at the one who has hurt me, and the stubborn will to never be hurt by anyone.

This is the true heart of the human spirit but we all camouflage it with good works and niceness. Why? So no one can tell us we are no good, and so I won’t get into trouble, and no one can correct us and make us feel bad, and so I can collect friends to put myself up above my enemy.

This is the thinking of Satan because your neighbour can never be right; God can never address you; and the pastor can never correct you because you’re always right and never wrong. This is the heart of love ME first, not God first nor my neighbour. This is the heart of Satan, not Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 28:6,17).

You’ll never find God whilst YOU sit on your throne and hold onto your rejection pains and, in your pride, refuse to forgive someone for hurting your feelings. You’ll never find repentance because you’re too proud to forgive someone who’s hurt your feelings; you’ll only ever live in blame and be blind to your own pride.

The testimony of Paul …. Galatians 2:20

Paul’s testimony was … I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. If that’s not your testimony then you’re into yourself and your goodness is fake and your Christianity is counterfeit.

The Lord searches the heart by testing the kidneys (reins) Jeremiah 17:10

What does that mean? It means that the kidneys are the filtration system of the blood and if you want your heart to be healthy, you have to excrete from your spirit anything that you selfishly want to hold onto in your mind, will and emotions that will put you above your neighbour. If you won’t let go the bitterness, envy and pride that circulates through your emotions then it will eventually kill your spirit.

The pride of rejection pain

Recently I was ministering to a young 12 year old girl in our fellowship. On the surface, this girl has been perfect in her attitude and helpfulness, but something was troubling her. On digging deeper it became clear that she was upset with her friend because they were angry. I spoke with the friend and asked what was going on and learnt that the girl was TELLING this person that they weren’t a friend because they were angry, but the reason they were angry was that they were being TOLD that they had to be her friend. The girl felt hurt and wouldn’t forgive her friend for the hurt. Underneath it all was a competition between who could collect the most friends because they both believed that they were the most important person in the whole fellowship, even above their parents. I was dumbfounded and I began to awaken to the reality that most people really do believe that they are the most important person on the planet. Jeremiah was right.

Contrary to what the world says, the Word of God says that the heart of man is born evil. He needs a transplant; he needs the heart of God. His selfish heart has to be diagnosed and then cut out and replaced with a new heart. This is what God calls being born again. The reality is that no one wants to see their own heart; their feelings always blame someone else. If that’s your case, then you’ll never find my God! You’ll never get a new heart.

In Luke 14:26, God says that unless you’re really serious about giving up the selfish benefits you want from your parents, children, spouse, siblings and friends (the things that promote you as your own god) then you cannot be My disciple. Unless you abdicate your throne you’ll never find God no matter how much of Him you collect.

I’m better than you

Whenever you say in your heart, I’m better than you or you’re better than me, then you are into position and envy. God’s not into that; only Satan is, Ezekiel 28:6,17. Whether you feel like it or not, the word better implicates and exposes your heart with the self-love of positional envy … envy that you’re higher than me, have more friends than me, and can do things better than me; and arrogance that you are inferior to me and I’m superior to you.

Q. what’s it mean to love your neighbour as yourself?

The church and the world teach that you can’t love properly until you love yourself first. The Word of God teaches that you can’t love properly until you love God first, and that simply means that you die to every want that puts you above your neighbour. If this is your genuine self-less desire, then God will give you a new heart.

Too proud to forgive someone who has hurt my feelings

In the 1st World War, Ernest Hemmingway volunteered as an ambulance driver. He was wounded whilst attempting to save the life of an Italian soldier. Whilst in hospital he fell in love with his nurse who had saved his leg from amputation due to gangrene, and from there he lived in the expectation that they would marry. He returned to America and she to the war. Whilst she was nursing, a doctor asked her to marry him and eventually she consented. Hemmingway was devastated. However, her love for Hemmingway prevailed and she didn’t proceed with the marriage and returned to America to tell Hemmingway that she really loved him. Sadly, Hemmingway shunned her because his pride wouldn’t let him forgive the woman who had shunned him for someone else. His unchristian heart’s philosophy was … if you hurt me then I’ll hurt you back.

Hemmingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954, married 4 times and eventually suicided in 1961. Despite his bravery and awards, the real issue in his heart was that he was too proud to forgive someone who had hurt his feelings, and he died a sad figure of a man, the fruit of unforgiven rejection vengeance.

Most people are just like Hemmingway.They ignorantly live in the pride of their hurt feelings and never truly forgive those who have hurt them. They say they do, but their pride never really lets it go.

Here are some diagnostic questions to search out your true heart condition …

  1. Do you think you’re better than your neighbour?
  2. Do you think your neighbour is better than you?
  3. Do you wish you had what your neighbour has?
  4. Are you happy when your neighbour falls?
  5. Do you think you’re better than your neighbour when your neighbour gets corrected?
  6. Do you think you are of significant importance for God?
  7. Do you love to boss?
  8. Do you hate being bossed?
  9. Do you dislike your neighbour when he’s not nice to you?
  10. Do you think you’re pretty?
  11. Do you think you’re handsome?
  12. Do you think you’re ugly?
  13. Do you think you’re brainy or clever?
  14. Do you think you’re skilful?
  15. Do you think you are good?
  16. Do you think you are bad?
  17. What do you do when you get corrected?
  18. What’s your mood when you can’t have what you want?

Answer yes to any of these and you had better give up your selfish heart (it’s lifted up with its own importance) and let God put His heart in you. It’s not hard, so if you can’t do it, it just means that you are too important to yourself.

May God challenge the heart of each remnant to be replaced with God’s heart, through repentance of our selfish pride.

Pastor John Isaac

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2015 in Elevation

 

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Sermon 65 – I FEEL SAD

Some time ago I was confronted by a relative who blamed me for making her sad. I began to observe and learn from that and many other experiences that most people don’t take responsibility for their feelings, but rather automatically blame someone else for making them feel bad. This means that these people live their whole life based on how someone else makes them feel and they live for happy feelings. If your mummy made you feel good when you were moody, then as an adult you’ll expect Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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