|As with most topics the Lord gives to me to minister to the church, this one also deals with relationships, marriage and family. Many of us as Christians claim that Jesus delivers us from the curse of the fall and we recite that constantly but many of us do not understand the outworking of this deliverance in our lives. Many of us do not understand that God does not just declare us as righteous, but He also makes us righteous and He works in our lives and changes us. By the same token, God doesn't just declare us as delivered from the curse of the fall, he actually delivers us and it is a process of sanctifying, teaching, cleansing, healing, nourishing, etc. This is all a part of the finished work of the cross and this is what Jesus died to do. When God chastens or instructs us in the way of righteousness, we must apply it to our lives for it to produce the peaceable fruit of righteousness. If we ignore God's instruction or chastening (the words mean the same) then God will let us suffer the consequence of our behavior if we continue in our own ways against the will of God. Many times other innocent people are deeply hurt as well. Please keep this in mind as we teach on our topic. Under the curse, part of "the curse" of the fall was that:
Man or males would seek to "rule" over women. The Hebrew word "rule" means dominate, CRUSH, hold and keep down or underneath, or to HURT.
The consequence of men "ruling" over women is that a woman would "desire" the male. The Hebrew word for "desire" means to bring down, to cause to fall, to destroy, or to put an end to. This is why you have women after marriage who become angry and controlling or dominate. These types of males view women as property. They do not respect them. They manipulate the woman in the relationship. I have heard it said that if a man has sex with a woman before marriage, she ends up dominate and controlling. It is not that they had sex before marriage that makes her this way, but it is that a pushy male, lacking respect for women and seeking to "rule" over them will manipulate and push to have what he wants. This is not just in the sexual relationship before marriage, but in all aspects of the relationship.
|It is just an early warning sign before marriage. A male who treats a woman in this manner will have a woman "desire" him. The sexual relationship before marriage is just one aspect where men seek to push, rule and dominate, but it carries over into everything. It isn't the premarital sex that caused her to become dominant, but rather a "ruling" male. Eventually, you'll get a dominant female as a result of living with such a male that negates her. That is the fruit of living under the curse. Jesus came to deliver us from that.
This is how women's movements started and it originates with men ruling, dominating, crushing, holding or keeping down/underneath or hurting women and this is part of the curse of the fall of man. I have heard it said that women from the women's movement have sat in on the "Promise Keepers" revivals going on around the nation. They could not find anything wrong with it and they stated that this is how they have wanted to be treated all along. They went looking for something to protest. They were quite skeptical and can you blame them? The church has been quite oppressive toward women in the past and they have used scripture to justify and rationalize their oppression. You can use scripture to do that you know. I have had people use scripture to justify child abuse and many other things. In these situations, the rule is more important than the person (legalism) and controlling the other person was the issue. They miss the spirit of God. They rationalize and justify to take away their responsibility for their actions. My bible says that there is a way that seems right unto a man but leadeth to destruction. Anyway, if you have a problem listening to or receiving anything from a woman, then let me remind you that Jesus first revealed Himself to a woman after His resurrection. The resurrected Christ first revealed Himself and showed Himself to a former prostitute that had seven devils cast out of her. Not only that but Jesus told her to "Go tell His disciples........" They didn't believe her or receive from her and Jesus rebuked them for it. In the end times, Jesus said that He would pour His Spirit out upon all flesh and that your sons and daughters will prophesy. If you can't receive anything from a woman, you just might miss God when He prophesies or speaks through a woman. You are focused on the externals anyway and need to be delivered from a lying, religious spirit that counterfeits the Holy Spirit.
This is a result of the curse of the fall that Jesus died to deliver us from. Genesis states that from the beginning God made man and woman one flesh to both co-rule, dominate and subdue the earth. If man and woman are focused on dominating and subduing each other, then there is no way they will dominate and subdue the earth. Satan knows this, but man is ignorant of this device of the devil. Revival and restoration will have to first take place in our families and then our churches before we can go out into the world and subdue and dominate it. In order for revival to take place, we need to have a "one flesh" mentality in our homes and churches instead of man having a "one-up-manship" or "I'm a little better than you" attitude toward women. We are not going to subdue, dominate and conquer the earth until we come into "one flesh" relationships in our marriages and churches or body of Christ. Jesus is no respecter of persons. One is not better than the other and until we can receive this and walk in it, there will be no power and dominion of the church in the earth.
One flesh means co-equal as ruler, each submitting to the other and serving one another. A "one flesh" relationship states that decisions are made together, not by one male in the family who esteems himself higher and smarter than everyone else as he rules over the woman, convincing her to feel, do and think as he does about things because he knows what is best for everyone he rules. Jesus said that He hated the deeds of the Nicolatians. The deeds of the Nicolations were that they lorded their position and authority over others to have things done their way. They dominated, crushed, hurt and held down those under their authority. A man is to honor his wife. That word honor means to weigh as heavy what the wife thinks, feels, wants, needs, and perceives. He is not to disregard it but consider it heavily. The bible says to not be unequally yoked. If you have two animals yoked together in the field working and one animal is larger than the other, then the animals get sores on them. Usually, it is the smaller animal that has sores rubbed open from the constant friction of the yoke. Both animals are to be of the same size. If a man claims to be a Christian and chooses not to be delivered from the curse of the fall as Jesus comes into our marriages and lives with Truth, and he does not repent of his domineering, controlling ways, then this man is not a true Christian. Count him as a sinner and publican. He is someone who thinks he is a child of God but isn't because he has sided with the enemy. My bible says that Jesus will set the oppressed free with the Truth and those that are His will hear and obey. My bible says that where there is peace and unity, there the anointing and blessing will be!
Jesus is head of us all (the church) and husbands are head of the wife. This word "head" means: Source of life, edification, healing, serving, etc. Jesus gave himself first and as a result, we can do our part in His power and strength as long as we are dependent and submitted to His Lordship. Just as Jesus gave himself for us, the church, first, so must husbands give themselves to their families and love them as Christ loved the church. They are to be HEAD or SOURCE OF. As a result, the family will be without spot or wrinkle. Show me a controlling, feminist and I will show you a woman who has not been loved like Christ loved the church. A woman will have no trouble submitting to a man who loves her that way. A controlling feminist is a woman who has been "ruled" over by a man not delivered from "the curse" of the fall. Show me a controlling man who "rules" over his wife and family and I will show you a man who doesn't know the God of the word and the truth and reality of the gospel is not real in his heart. The husband cannot give out something that he does not have, so he, himself, must go to Christ and get his needs met from Christ. If he is getting his life, value and worth freely from the Lord, then he will love his family unconditionally, apart from their works or behavior and he will communicate love and acceptance to them. If the husband is getting his life, value and worth from something other than Christ, like a job, or from other people like his family members, then he will dishonor his family and suck the life out of them. If the family members "look bad" and don't measure up, then they make him look bad because they are basically an extension of him and they are not viewed as separate, individual people. This type of male will "rule" and beat down his family to make them as he needs them to be in order that he look good and all the while this man will think that he is helping and doing what is best for his family. He believes himself to be a loving, well intentioned father and husband. This also happens so much in churches. This type of man is getting his value and worth from his family and that is where he gets his "life" instead of from the Lord. This type of man will abuse his family and suck the life out of them like a weed or tare does from a stalk of wheat. Many in places of leadership in the church will do the same to their church members. They measure themselves by how good the church and its members look and they get their value, worth and life from how the church and its members look and they begin to abuse the people, just as the Pharisees did. John 1 says that in Jesus is life and the life is the light of men. If we get our life, value and worth from Jesus and not other sources, then we will be a light unto the world. When Jesus said that everything that can be shaken will be shaken, this is what he was referring to. If a woman looks to her husband to tell her she is lovable and valuable and she gets her value and worth from her husband or children then God will cause a shaking in her life to cause her to get her life from the Lord instead. Those relationships will be shaken.
Whatever someone gets his life, value or worth from (job, home, status, possession, title, degree, etc.) will be removed from his life in order that Christians will get their life from Jesus and be a light in the world and be ready when Jesus returns. Perhaps this will explain much of what is going on in the body of Christ right now and why so many of us are going through trials, tribulations and marriage problems or perhaps even financial problems. While we go through all this, we are not going to appear victorious and we won't even appear like very good Christians as Jesus shakes those idols that we serve and are in bondage to, out of our lives. When we get our life and value from something other than God, we will serve that thing and be enslaved to it. If we get it from the Lord, we will serve Him and be enslaved to Him forevermore. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken before Jesus returns and this is for our sakes and our good, although it does hurt. We must see this as necessary. That is why we are experiencing so many natural disasters in the world right now, particularly in the United States with all the fires, earth quakes and hurricanes. God is removing and shaking our materialistic society and the things we put our trust in. Corporate mergers remove jobs that we have always trusted in, etc. We shouldn't judge other Christians who are going through this either and think that they aren't very good or victorious as Christians "should be". When we think a person "should be" a certain way and they are not, and we look down upon them, we are judging. A person who is homosexual and looks to someone of the same sex for love, acceptance, value and worth has a heart condition that is no different than a pastor or Sunday school teacher who gets his love, acceptance, value and worth from his position, authority, congregation and notoriety. God judges the heart and looks at the heart and why we do things, not necessarily the behavior. The pastor's behavior is just considered "acceptable and good" in society where the homosexual's behavior is considered "unacceptable and bad" by society. Their heart condition is the same and this is why God told us not to judge others. We are all made the same way, with the same needs and voids, and we all seek to fill that void with something other than Jesus Christ. We are all guilty of the same sin and from drinking from wells that have no water and we are all in need of repentance or changing our minds about where we will turn to fill that void in our hearts that God created and only He can fill. The heart condition of a codependent and a sexual addict are the same. A codependent's behavior is just more acceptable. Codependent behavior even looks like true Christian, dying to self, behavior, but it is really motivated by fear, shame and unbelief. A codependent does things or serves to get people to love and accept them. Because of their fear and unbelief, they operate in the flesh to bring things about that are God's job and they rescue people from the consequence of their bad behavior. Sometimes the best way to repentance is to have a person suffer the consequence of their behavior. A codependent prevents this and they believe that they are helping others. A true Christian with a servant's heart is motivated out of true Christian love and they are led by the Holy Spirit to do things in obedience to Christ. They give out of their fullness and because they have already had their needs met. They don't give to get their needs met. Anything done to get your needs met originates from fear and unbelief. The codependent and the Christian, on the surface, look identical. It takes someone with a prophetic anointing to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart and use the two edged sword to expose this to the person. The Lord is kicking the flesh and the works of the flesh out of the church in this hour to mature the church for a mighty outpouring of God's spirit. The Samaritan woman at the well was a woman who looked to men to fill a void in her. God made us all incomplete and with a void that only He could fill. He will shake everything out of our lives that we use to fill that void, so that we will turn to him. This Samaritan woman was seeking to fulfill that void by turning to men to tell her she was lovable and worth something. Jesus' response to this woman was "What you are hungering and thirsting for is me. I will give you what you are hungering and thirsting for and you will never thirst again, because I am what you have been seeking all along. I will give you that love and acceptance." Jesus met her need and it turned a whole town upside down in revival. This Samaritan woman was what we call "male dependent".
Women or girls who grow up with parents who are controlling or critical and do not give out love, will marry men that cannot be pleased and who are NEVER loving or accepting. If a father is quiet or never at home and does not respond to the children's needs for love and acceptance, the daughters will marry abusive, critical men who cannot be pleased. The daughters will have a need inside of them to get a hard to please man to love them. Many daughters of alcoholics spend most of their lives marrying alcoholics because they have a deep need inside of them to get an alcoholic to love them, and this is why they go from one terrible relationship to another. Young men who turn out to be homosexual are really seeking in another male what they didn't get from their father. What they are really seeking is love and acceptance. If you want to minister to a male homosexual, the worst thing you could do is come across as judgmental, non- accepting, and unloving. That is what caused them to make the choices they did regarding their sexuality. I know this because the Lord showed me how to speak to one particular male homosexual and lead him to Christ. At the first mention from someone else that I was a Christian, the man folded his arms across his chest, slouched down a little and leaned against a door post. His body language said, "I am closed to you unloving, judgmental Christians and I am positioning myself for a fight. I am closed to anything you have to say." I mentioned to the man that I was a Christian, but I had a hard time with Christians who were sin focused and judgmental. I told him that I had written a book about this to the church and I said that sin is just a symptom of something that was in the heart of the person and if you take care of or meet the need that is in the heart, the sin will just go away, and you don't have to even mention the sin or behavior. I told him that many sins or "bad behavior" come from being hurt or wounded and if we bind up the wound, the sin or bad behavior will go away. The man's body language changed. He unfolded his arms and stood up straight. I told this man that Jesus only confronted the sin of the people who didn't think they had any. I told him that Jesus ministered or operated by caring about the heart of the person or what was going on inside of them and when Jesus met the need of that person, they repented. The Lord had already shown me that the way to minister to this man, who was a homosexual, was to tell him of the love of the Father. This is what he was seeking anyway, and he was meeting that need, so he thought, through sex and closeness with another man, because he never had that need of love, closeness and acceptance from his natural father as a child. When I told the man how Jesus operated and how he cared about the heart of people and he didn't focus on the "sin" then he started to ask questions and was open. I was able to tell him how much the Father God loved him and how this man was worth the life of Jesus.
Jeffrey Dahlmer is a good example. He was opened up to an evil spirit because of the sin and family dysfunction going on in his family. At the age of 17, his father left and Jeffrey experienced abandonment. He went through all the stages of abuse, abandonment being the last. (See Relationship and Communication chapter for more detail) As a result of not getting the love and acceptance from his father that Jeffrey needed as a child, he was opened up to an evil spirit that brought in more evil spirits. Jeffrey sought for and tried to meet the need for love and acceptance through homosexual relationships. He got involved in the occult because he felt the need to have control in his life. People who feel abandoned have a strong need to control and the occult is appealing because this is what it offers: control. The next thing you know, Jeffrey is practicing homosexuality, satanism and as a result, murder and cannibalism. Jeffrey's father later becomes a born again, spirit filled Christian. During Jeffrey's trial, his father never abandoned him and he stayed by his side. His father did this and claimed Jeffrey as his son even though he had committed the most shameful, atrocities in our society. Most of us would reject and shame our kids if they didn't look the way we wanted them to look or behave as we would want them to. The very thing that had wounded Jeffrey Dahlmer and opened him up to all those evil spirits is the very thing God used to bind up that wound and lead him to Christ. Jeffrey's father had abandoned him at a young age emotionally and physically. Now, when Jeffrey needed his dad the most, and when his dad had every justifiable reason to reject him and abandon him and renounce him as his son, the father stood by him, accepted him publicly and was there for him in the face of the world's ridicule and shame. This bound up Jeffrey Dahlmer's wounds and opened up his heart to hear the gospel of Christ. Many of you will be surprised to see Jeffrey Dahlmer in heaven and believe me it took real faith to believe. It was not based on works. It was a faith based on Jesus paying the price for Jeffrey's sin and Jesus receiving God's wrath and condemnation for it. Religious people have trouble with this. They place their faith in their works, not in the finished work of the cross. Let me tell you something else. Jeffrey Dahlmer's father could not have sat there and stood behind him if he had not been a true Christian. He was bearing fruit and as a result, his son entered into the kingdom of heaven at his death. Jeffrey's father will tell you that he knows that Jeffrey is in heaven. I know it too, because the Lord revealed to me how Jeffrey got the way he was and how the Lord was going to win him to Himself. This glorifies God. The religious, works oriented people who don't think they are "too bad" and "have led a good life" have trouble with this. They trust in themselves that they are righteous.
What sends homosexuals deeper into their sin is a church or Christians who are judgmental and condemning. Ask the Lord to show you why a person is doing what they are doing and minister to the need or cause behind the sin. Be loving and accepting just as Christ loved you when you were yet a sinner. Fathers and parents, never underestimate the power you have in your children's lives, even if your children and grown. If you are not there for them physically, emotionally or in any other way that they may need you, you can cause devastating things in their lives. By the same token, if you have caused devastating things in their lives because you have not been there, bind up that wound by starting to be there and minister healing to their wounds. Fathers are God's representative in the family. If the father does not listen to his children and accept them for who they are as people, how will they believe that God does. If the father has abandoned them physically, emotionally and every other way, how will the children believe that God hasn't. They won't. The same is true in a marriage. The wife will have trouble believing as well. So fathers, you have a tremendous influence in your family for harm or good, whether you realize it or not, and once God has given you the Truth, you must accept responsibility and act upon it. God judges people on the Truth He has given them. God is attempting to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and then the hearts of the children will turn toward the fathers, but it starts and must be initiate with the father. (See front cover again for reference)
As a result of the Lord showing me how to minister to homosexuals and by being loving and accepting of them, I was asked to write for a homosexual newspaper in San Francisco and I was able to minister the love of the Father to them and evangelize. They even offered to advertise the book the Lord had me write. We have got to stop being judgmental, unloving and unaccepting as Christians and we have got to stop focusing on the sin and learn to look for the cause or need behind the sin and minister to that. That does not mean that we condone sin or accept it. We are ministering LIFE to the cause behind the sin and that LIFE is the light of men. Jesus is that LIFE and we must minister from the TREE OF LIFE instead of the TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL which brought death. We are lukewarm because of judging and the word Laodecia means "the pointing of the finger" or "the judging by the people" which causes a lukewarmness and closed hearts in the church and in the world. We are scattering and not gathering.
I urge everyone to rent the movie "A Leap Of Faith". In this movie you have a phoney, bologna faith healer who rips people off. God moves and uses the situation for His glory anyway and brings the phoney faith healer to repentance by addressing the issue of abandonment. This faith healer was dealing with the hurt of abandonment by his parents and he was angry with God as a result. The Lord supernaturally acknowledged and affirmed this phoney faith healers feelings of abandonment and showed him that He knew how he felt and Jesus bound up that wound. This brought the phoney faith healer to repentance and he went on to a new life in Christ, giving up the whole phoney scene. I need to say here that what brings one person to repentance, does not apply to the next guy. Everyone is different and we must be led by the spirit in ministering. What causes one person to do something may not be what causes another person to do the same thing! When I watched this movie, I knew that the person who wrote it knew the same God I did.
Michael English is another example. A couple of years ago, Christian artist Michael English won so many Dove Awards that it was unreal. Several days later, Michael English announced that he was giving back the Dove Awards. He stated that he had been having an affair with another Christian artist and he felt that he didn't deserve the awards. In this case, it was the goodness of God that brought him to repentance. This does not work with everyone though. God knew what would bring Michael to repentance and back to Him. God was good to him and the Christian community boycotted, rejected, judged, gossiped and excluded him. Amazing isn't it! We should have been rejoicing that he came to repentance and confessed, but no, we were quick to throw stones. Reconciliation, repentance and confession of sin is the goal. How can we, as Christians, be so cruel when someone confesses his sin and turns from it and back toward God!
Anyway, back to marriage/family relationships and the husband being HEAD or SOURCE of building up, edifying, washing, nourishing and cherishing his family the way Christ does the church in order that they be without spot or wrinkle. The word "leadership" means that it starts with the husband and he is placed in the family to serve and meet needs. The family isn't placed there to meet his needs. This is what Christian leadership entails.
Divorce comes as a result of the curse or the man "ruling" over a woman and crushing her in dominance. If you want to kill love in your marriage real fast, then "rule" over your wife. The biggest love killer in marriage or any relationship is not listening or being open to the other person. If you are constantly negating or explaining away your wife's needs, wants, feelings, thoughts and contents of her heart as she reveals them to you, then you will kill the love and trust in your marriage. For a parent to do this to their children is to provoke them to wrath and emotionally abuse them. The contents of our heart is who we are. If you don't accept the person's needs, wants, feelings, thoughts and contents of her heart, you don't accept her and that is what you will communicate. To explain away these things is to fix and control. In doing so, you are being a pig with the pearls. Pearls should not be cast before swine and if you would do this with another person, you will do this with anything God reveals to you about Himself. If you want to know why you don't experience the God of the Word, this may be why. A person who negates or explains away another person's needs, wants, feelings, etc. may believe that he is resolving things. After he has explained things away, he doesn't think there is a problem anymore and the feelings no longer exists. He is deceived. This person doesn't hear what the other person is saying no matter how it is phrased and believe me, I have tried to phrase things just the way counselors have told me to. No matter how nice you say it, they don't hear or accept it because they have their explanation and you are as good as ignored. You don't get the attention of this type of person until you blast them and you are so angry you can't see straight. Then you may get their attention. A woman falls in love during courtship because the man "serves" her so to speak. A woman finds a man repulsive when he "rules" her. She will not want to have sexual relations with a man who rules over her. Maybe this is why your sexual relationship has cooled after marriage. Watch the flame ignite again when you treat her with respect, kindness and tenderness, serving her. Keep ruling over her and the woman will desire or bring down or destroy the man.
From the beginning, this was not God's intent or way. God intended for them to be one flesh or co-rulers in equality. Man is to honor or place a high value on his wife's opinions, feelings, wants, needs, etc. He will receive from the woman the same in return. What a man sows in his relationships, that will he reap and he is deceived if he thinks otherwise. If you sow weeds, you get weeds. If you sow wheat, you get wheat. If you listen, you will be listened to. If someone is talking to you and confronting you, feed back and acknowledge what they have said to you before you go on with what you have to say. If you do not, you will probably get a lecture or the other person will keep going on and on because they think that you don't get it. If you will communicate to them that you heard them and acknowledge them, they will be open to whatever it is you have to say. It doesn't matter if you were listening. What matters is that you have to communicate to them that you heard them. Being silent doesn't cut it. If you want to be listened to, then communicate to the other person that you heard what they said by feeding it back. Acknowledge what they said to you. Until you do this, their heart and spirit are closed to anything you have to say. If you honor, you will be honored. If you love and accept, you will be loved and accepted. If you judge, you will be judged. You can't sow weeds and get wheat. If you don't like what you are reaping and eating in your relationships, then take a good hard look at what you are sowing. If you are not reaping things yet, then you will. Your harvest time has not come yet. Remember also that weeds will always choke out any good seed that you sow, so the weeds must be eliminated. Sow wheat, not tares. Make sure you are wheat and not a tare.
Until we come under a one-flesh mentality, we will be under the curse in our marriages. A high value must be placed on the wife's views, and a husband must not esteem himself higher than he ought.
You cannot act independently of your spouse and not affect them in a harmful way and your marriage/family as well. Eve acted independently of God and Adam when eating the apple offered by satan from the Tree Of the Knowledge Of Good and Evil. She bought the lie that said we can be independent of God and be "as God". When one falls, we all fall or are affected. Even your life today is affected by the decision that Adam and Eve made while eating the apple. Others will be hurt in some way when we act independently of God and each other. We must first be submitted to God in obedience to Him and then to one another in the fear of the Lord.
If you get your value, love and worth from the Lord, unconditionally, and not by your works, other's approval won't matter because you are not looking to people to tell you you are loved and valued. It is real in your heart. There are people who call themselves believers, yet they tithe and get into works to be approved and blessed by God. This is motivated by unbelief or fear, not faith and these people strive to be good so the Lord will approve and bless them. They have not come to the realization that ONLY GOD IS GOOD and that they are a sinner and need a savior and they can never "be good". They are still believing the lie that satan told Eve in the garden and that was that you can be independent of God and BE AS GOD. As we strive to be AS GOD and ONLY GOD IS GOOD, we fail and are full of shame and we fall into denial and defending ourselves. We must repent and the word repent means to change our mind. If you defend or are in denial, you cannot repent or change your mind. People defend and are in denial because they have a perspective, viewpoint or image of themselves that is different from what God is saying about them, just as the Pharisees. They saw themselves differently than how Jesus painted them and that is why they didn't believe Jesus was sent by God. God is calling us to repent and change our minds and stop believing that WE CAN BE GOOD and WE CAN BE AS GOD. Only God is good and we need to believe that only Jesus' blood makes us acceptable in God's eyes, not our works. Only those who are deceived and can't see their sin, get confronted with it in order to bring them to repentance. The whole world is forgiven, but the whole world is not reconciled to God. In our relationships, we can forgive another, but that doesn't necessarily mean that we can be reconciled with them. If a person is in denial or defends their behavior or motives, then there is no reconciliation with them until acknowledgment, confession and repentance take place. Reconciliation with God happens the same way and this is true in our relationships. Defending and denial come from believing the lie of "I can be good, I can be independent of God and I can be as God." When we are confronted with our sin, shame and denial or defending take place because we are believing the lie. Some use defending to take away their shame and pain like alcoholics use alcohol. They may even believe that they are bringing about reconciliation by defending, explaining, justifying etc. You can get a false peace and silence or quench the conviction of the Holy Spirit through denial by defending, justifying, rationalizing, blaming, giving your intent, etc. Your heart can become hard or seared to what God is saying to you in your life with His convicting power as you explain it away. As a result, God will send someone to you to remove that cloak. I know that God has showed me things about people and their hearts and how they were in denial about something in their heart. The Lord told me not to say anything to them yet because He was trying to deal with them Himself on this matter. If they did not respond to the convicting and exposing of the Holy Spirit, then the Lord told me to go to them. If you do not want your heart exposed, then respond to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. When you are in denial and you defend yourself, you are accomplishing the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. In trying to resolve a matter and put out the fire of conflict, you are actually putting gasoline on the fire. By trying to make someone think better of you, you actually make them think less of you. We are to go to God with prayer, supplication and thanksgiving and He will give us the peace that passes all understanding (or rationalization). You can rationalize things in any way so that you have peace, but it is not God's peace. It is the peace of ignorance and denial which bring bliss. God's peace is the peace you have despite the fact that you do not have an explanation or rationalization to support it. It goes beyond rationalization and understanding!
Unbelievers are works oriented, trying to obtain acceptance and blessing from God based on their works or rituals. They acknowledge Jesus and what he did on the cross in their head and even verbally, but it is not real in their hearts. You can tell what a person believes in their heart by what they do. If you believe that God did something or will do something, then why do you strive to bring it about yourself. That is like Abraham sleeping with Hagar and producing Ishmael. It originates from unbelief.
I like to have people do a little exercise. Divide a piece of paper into three columns. Title the first column "God's Job". Title the next column "My Job" and title the last column "Other's Job". List the things that are God's responsibility. This would include things like "changing another person" and "vindicating yourself." List the things that are your responsibility like "my behavior, attitude, submitting, repenting or changing the way I think, etc." Under the other's responsibility, list what the other person in your relationship is responsible for. You will find that their behavior, attitude, etc. is their job. When we try to do what is God's job, then this is motivated by fear and unbelief. When we try to do the job of others, then we become controlling and this, too, is motivated by fear and unbelief in God's ability to change them. That does not mean that we don't confront their unacceptable behavior where it hurts us or others. It just means that we leave the results with God. When we do this exercise, we may find out just how much of our activities are motivated out of fear and the flesh instead of by faith as we thought. I remember a time when the Lord confronted me in this. I was confronting a person who was controlling, abusive and hurtful and this had been going on for years because this person was in so much denial. I would be angry and hurt with this person because they were not obeying and submitting to the Lord and they were hurting people terribly. The Lord finally asked me, "Who are you putting your trust in, that man and his ability to change, or Me?" I realized that I was looking to this man to change and when he didn't, then hopelessness, despair, depression and bondage set in. When the Lord showed me who I was putting my trust in and I repented, then the Lord started to change the man. I, out of my unbelief, was operating in the flesh and I was trying to change this person and build the house the way God's blueprints said to build it. The Lord told me that unless He builds the house then my labor was in vain. Out of my fear and unbelief, I was doing God's job and I was hindering God from doing it. Because I was being abused in this relationship and I had entered into the abandonment stage of abuse, which is the last stage an abused person goes through, I felt God had abandoned me. When words and prophecies came out over me, they were all about how God had not abandoned me and when that soaked into my heart, I quit controlling in order to stop this person from deeply hurting me. I became controlling because I couldn't take any more pain and I felt like God wouldn't do anything about my situation. I also became angry with God in my hurt and pain and tried to shut him out. He wouldn't even let me do that because when I tried to turn on the TV to escape my pain, a Madonna music video was on and the words to the song she was singing was "open your heart to Me and I'll make you love me." God anointed those words and was speaking them to me. I turned off the TV. The next day, in the car, I turned on secular radio and that same song came on and again the Lord anointed those words and spoke them to me and pierced my heart with "open your heart to Me and I'll make you love me." I cried and melted at how He woos us and comes after us. I was also amazed at how the Lord could use almost anything to speak to our hearts.
It is amazing how fast Isaac was produced in my life and relationships when I stopped trying to produce Ishmael in my own ability because I didn't believe the promise. It is also amazing how fast my joy and peace returned when I stopped trying to do God's job because I was afraid He wouldn't or couldn't. When Jesus ministered to His disciples after His resurrection when they were locked up because of fear, He stated that He was with them. Whenever a person feels abandoned by God, fear comes. In ministering to those in fear, deal with the abandonment issue and the fear will go away. The reason why Jesus wept at Lazarus' tomb was because Mary felt abandoned by Jesus, not because Lazarus died. Mary said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had only been here, this would not have happened." Jesus wept because He felt Mary's abandonment and pain. How many of us have felt the same way.
I would like to give some teaching on some things I've observed in marriages and apply some biblical principals.
When a couple starts to date, they see only the good in each other and they are blind to the faults of the one they love. After marriage, one partner starts seeing what is always wrong: weaknesses, inabilities, faults, etc. and points those wrong weaknesses, inabilities, faults and defects out by calling attention to them. Ways of calling attention to these weaknesses, inabilities, faults and defects are by constantly helping, fixing, solving, giving advice/opinions or by controlling or manipulating things to go your way and by shaming the person or putting them down if they don't see, feel or think as you do. The person focuses on the "what's wrong" and doesn't see anything right anymore in the partner. If he sees the good, he never mentions it or calls attention to the good. This is called "judging". With what matter of judgment you judge others, they will judge you.
Something now happens to the person who is always being judged, fixed, helped, controlled or only noticed for their faults, weaknesses, mistakes or inabilities. They become an emotional "bloody mess" and they now can no longer see anything good in their spouse who has been chronically focused on their weaknesses, inabilities, faults, etc. Now the "emotionally bloody" beat down spouse judges the fault finding spouse the same way that they were judged. When we are always picked apart and noticed only for our faults, weaknesses, inabilities, etc., then we no longer can see anything good in the person fixing, advising, helping and picking us apart. We become judged by our spouse the same way that we judged them for years.
It takes a person with a great deal of pride to think that he can help, fix, solve, advise and direct everyone else's weaknesses, inabilities, and life. When I was a small child, my mother told me that kids on the bus who were bullies would put us down because it made them feel superior or better about themselves. This is the same principle in action. A person looks for the weaknesses, inabilities, etc. of another and they feel superior to that person because they are always comparing themselves to others. This originates from shame or feeling bad about themselves. To see the good in others makes them feel inferior and it shames them, so they dwell on the weaknesses and defects of others. In order to feel good about themselves, they must feel "one-up" on others so they look for the faults, weaknesses, inabilities, etc. This puts them on a higher level than others and now they can "help". These people actually believe that they are loving and well- intentioned instead of full of fear and controlling because of their shame and inferiority complex. It is just like the bullies on my bus as a kid. Put others down so you can feel better about yourself. Doing this constantly, creates pride in the person who feels "superior".
When other people try to make you into something they want you to be and it is not something God has called you to be, we must remove ourselves from them and go alone to pray. This is what Jesus did. When they tried to take Jesus and make Him king and have Him take over and set up the kingdom of God on earth and overthrow the Roman rule, Jesus hustled off His disciples and put them in a ship and He went up upon a mountain to pray. We should not let other people dictate who we should be, what we should feel, want, need, etc. We are to confront hurtful behavior in others though and this should not be mistaken as trying to make you into something that they want you to be.
If we cannot see the good in others, they cannot see it in you. What you've done to others gets done to you. If you don't want to be judged, don't judge others. If you don't want your feelings, weaknesses, faults, inabilities or defects judged or always noticed, don't do it to someone else. If you don't get judged the way you judge others, then God's word is a lie. Judgment and gossip is rooted in pride. Don't correct or say anything negative to anyone unless told by God to do so. If you don't even hear from God, don't open your mouth. Don't give your negative opinion or preference. If it doesn't affect you, keep your mouth shut. If you always need to know why before you accept something, you have a problem with a judgmental attitude. If you need to know why someone would want a horse if they had to board it, then you have a judgmental attitude. If you need to know the explanation or rationalization behind something in order to accept it, then you need to be delivered from a critical, opinionate, judgmental spirit. Don't confuse this with the prophetic anointing. Many of these people with a critical spirit think they are helping and flowing in the prophetic. They are not. It is satan's counterfeit for the Holy Spirit and it is focused on the external and carnal thinking of man. If you are always asking people why this and why that, then you are communicating unacceptance and criticalness to them and they won't want to be around you or let you close to them. If you have a strong need to know why this or that and you ask too many questions about something that is none of your business, then it makes people feel attacked and they now feel like they have to explain and defend everything. Sometimes, this is how defensive people were created. They had parents who always wanted to know why they would want this or buy that, etc. They were always having to explain and justify their likes, wants, needs, etc. These people grow up and get married and ruin their marital relationships and those with others because they are always defensive and justifying and rationalizing everything. They were shamed for having different preferences than the person who always needed to know why if they did not have and acceptable reason for their preferences. I have learned that I do not owe someone an answer to something that is within my boundary or none of the other person's business. I have recently had a garage sale. The signs posted for this sale stated that the garage sale was between 12:30 and 6:00 p.m. I have had people knock on my door at 8:00 a.m. wanting to know why I was starting the sale at that time. I would not defend myself. I kept stating the boundary or time of the sale. Finally, I got to where I wanted to post a sign on my front door that said, "The garage sale starts at 12:30. This time is not negotiable nor open for discussion. Please do not ring my doorbell to ask about the sale. See you at 12:30". I have had well-intentioned friends like this try to help me find a closer place to board my horse because they thought I boarded my horse too far away. I prefer and enjoy the 20 minute beautiful drive in the country. They could not understand why I would even want a horse if I couldn't have it on my own property. With this person, I always feel on the defensive because I am constantly questioned on the choices I make in life. If they are not the same choices this person would make, then I am questioned on it. They need to have the reasoning behind it in order to accept it when it really isn't any business of theirs in the first place. They are crossing a boundary. This type of person communicates unacceptance, superiority, judgment and criticism. People do not want to be around them and people do not want to reveal the contents of their hearts to them. I sure do not want to expose much of my life to these people. Even in praying, these people may be always asking God, why this and why that. They always want to understand before they accept and this is usually in regards to people's preferences that are none of their business. Then they wonder why they are alone.
Dying to self, which is what we must do to have Christ based churches and marriages/families, means: turning away from your own ideas, opinions, ways, plans, and thoughts and living for God's will and purpose for your life. God's ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and there is a way that seems right to a man, but this way leads to destruction. This means that God's ways and thoughts are superior to ours and we must deny ours and change our mind and think and see things as God sees them. What was the word for changing our minds: REPENT!
Dying to self means that we stop trying to run our own life and everyone else's. It means to stop telling God how to run your life and stop defending or vindicating yourself. That is God's job too.
Many Christians believe that God does not permit divorce and I have known of pastors that quote that to women in abusive marriages. Again, this is the "rule is more important than the needs of the people" thing which is religious and legalistic. They quote scripture about God hating divorce. They are quoting scripture from Malachi and the Lord is rebuking the Levi or priest and men in this scripture. God is saying that he is not listening to their prayers anymore and that God is not regarding their offering or receiving it with good will at their hands because God has witnessed what has gone on between them and their wives. God said that they are dealing with their wives treacherously: yet is she thy companion and the wife of thy covenant. And did not he make one? (equal) And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that He hateth putting away (divorce): for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of host: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. Ye have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied Him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?
Pretty strong words in my estimation. The Lord is rebuking the Levi and men for is spousal abuse. He said that they hide the signs of abuse with their clothing. Then they turn around and justify, rationalized, blame lay, explain, defend and deny and by doing so they are communicating that they had a good reason for doing what they did. By this they were calling evil, good. And they are deceived enough to believe that God delights in them and that He won't judge them because their hearts are hardened to the convicting of the Holy Spirit because they justify why they abuse their wives. The purpose of one flesh or equality in marriage is to produce godly seed or children. The consequence or result of spousal abuse and not treating your wife as "one flesh" or with respect is divorce. God would rather have divorce then have women abused and controlled and have the sins of the fathers passed down to these children. If you quote this scripture about God hating divorce in order to stop someone from getting one, and in order to control a situation and you quote it out of context without even knowing who God was talking to or why He was saying what He was saying, then you are deceived. The same thing is done from Malachi about tithing. Pastors quote the scripture about robbing God all the time, yet when I read the scripture in context I find that it is the pastors God is talking to. They were the ones robbing God because they were the ones not tithing. They were neglecting taking care of the widows, homeless, fatherless and poor in their congregations and gates. Because they were neglecting the poor and needy, they were robbing God. This was their welfare system. They lived in a theocracy. Nowadays, we live in a democracy. The tithes went to pay for what our taxes pay for today. Only now we pay about 34% of our income in taxes to pay for what the tithe went for. A lot of pastors don't want people to know this. When the church wants to take over the welfare system and take care of the poor and needy and be the governing body as they were in a theocracy, then they can collect my tithe and criticize the welfare system. I'd rather pay 1/10 then 34% any day. The problem was that the religious system was corrupt. In the bible, God speaks to three different groups of people: The Jew, The Gentile and The Christian. What was meant for the Jews is not necessarily meant for the church. I'm not saying don't support your pastors. Don't miss the point here! We don't live in a theocracy anymore, but in a democracy ordered and ordained by God founded by Christians. Nowadays, the pastors quote this scripture to shame people into giving by calling them God robbers. Because the pastors are in fear and they have a need to control and they are in unbelief and in the flesh, they beat people over the head with this scripture to get them to give. They end up taking money from the widow, fatherless, and poor and shutting up the kingdom of God to them by telling them that God will not meet their need until they perform. It is religious and works centered. If you just take a scripture out of context and quote it in order to control people to do what you want or what you think is best and you start a doctrine with it, you are way off and deceived. Ask yourself this when reading the bible. Who is the Lord talking to. What is the point! Some people miss the whole point when they read the bible. They end up arguing over or only seeing one verse and they apply that to a situation and it doesn't apply because they took it out of context and missed the whole point and then they go around and throw it in the face of needy, hurting people and they do more damage than good.
One last thought. As I have encountered people who wouldn't receive God's truth for their lives and they continued to think and see things as they had always viewed them, I sought God on this. What the Lord showed me was the parable about the sower and the seed. In one gospel only it talks about the seed being sown on a rock and it was received with joy and it sprung up quickly, but when the heat was on, the plant withered because it lacked MOISTURE. This one parable in this one gospel said it lacked MOISTURE. Moisture, rain, etc. in the bible is truth. TRUTH waters the seed that was sown and causes it to grow and change. Jesus is the truth and Jesus sanctifies us with the TRUTH and to reject the truth Jesus brings into our life is to reject Jesus. A person with a hard rock heart, cannot receive the TRUTH. It rolls right off them and they can't receive it. That is why when the heat is on, hard hearted people wither and their roots have nothing to tap into for moisture or truth. In my bible, the word hard hearted and blind mean the same thing. Hard hearted people are unable to see things as God sees them and they never receive the truth and they never mature, although they received the gospel with joy. Show me a hard hearted person and I'll show you someone who defends, justifies, explains, denies, blame lays and rationalizes his behavior and motives when his sin is confronted because he has a different image, view or perspective (which he is unwilling to give up) of himself than God has of him. All this denial or reasoning or arguments for his behavior keeps the truth from soaking into his heart. The definition of "stronghold" is: a fortress of wrong thinking, beliefs, concepts, reasonings or arguments that allows us to remain in the sin or deception we are in. The bible tells us to make captive these thoughts and bring them into obedience to Christ. A prophetic person is also called to expose, root-up and pull down strongholds. This is painful but it must be done before any new planting and sowing can take place. The old ground must be plowed and made soft before anything can be sown on it. It is less painful and it will take less time if we understand and cooperate with God in the process.
I challenge the church to examine their lives and hearts to see where they are getting their value, worth, love and acceptance and to cooperate with the Lord as He shakes these idols from their lives. I challenge the church to examine where they are living under the curse or under the blood of Christ. Let the Lord show you why you do the things you do. Let Him expose your heart to you. If you don't allow Him, He will send someone to you. Many times in marriages, wives are the ones doing this work in the homes. Jesus is shaking and cleansing His church and His body and anything that can be shaken will be shaken because Jesus is coming for A GLORIOUS CHURCH WITHOUT SPOT OR WRINKLE.