Now, my father called himself a Christian. I call myself a non-Christian. But he was more of a non-Christian than I am yet. A real non-Christian heeds the Voice. As long as we are not recognizing that Voice to be who it is, and as long as we don’t have the courage to go ahead and be misunderstood and falsely accused, to appear to be doing the wrong thing, to be accused of being unloving and self-willed – whatever the criticism may be – as long as we do not follow the Voice and remain afraid of what man will do to us, we are still Christians! Fearing man is being a Christian, and a good one. That’s why the Spirit of God in me was raging, because it’s not a Christian. It hates sin. It reproves sin. It yields to nothing and wants us to yield to him.
No matter what kind of revelation, no matter what kind of understanding, no matter what kind of knowledge, no matter what spiritual place God has led us to, whenever I look down, I can see the footprints of those who led us to Christ. They’ve already been through this territory. We haven’t out-grown them. We are on the road they were on. In fact, by following after the Spirit, those old saints showed us how to be non-Christians.
What difference does it make what we claim, anyway? What difference does it make to God if those old saints claimed to be Christians while they were listening to the Spirit? What difference does it make to God if we claim to be non-Christians when we do not listen to the Spirit? Claiming to be a non-Christian is the equivalent of claiming to be saved already, if we’re not walking in the Spirit. It’s just another worthless claim of the flesh.
Glory to God! We must listen to that wonderful, loving Voice! It alone knows the way home, and when it comes, it comes to save us, to keep us from falling into a trap, to protect us from having our victory robbed by a slick-talking minister. And God wants us to grow into that place in spiritual life where you know what is right and you have the strength to do it, even if there is nobody around to tell you what to do. In Christ, you have that light inside of you. And it’s showing you the way, every day.
Oh God, help us hear His Voice, to recognize it for what it is, and to have the courage to live by it! That’s being led by the Spirit. That’s being a real non-Christian. In fact, that is being a real non-human, for when the Word of the Lord comes to us, it creates in us an attitude, and understanding, and a power that is far more than what is simply human.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
"Those that make them are like them."
There is an old adage that says, "You are what you eat." And that is in many ways true. The quality of what you put into your body is a key factor in the health of your body. If you put bad things into your body, you will become weaker and ill. Very bad things taken into the body can even kill.
This principle holds true in our spirits. When we worship, we are actually sharing a meal with the God we worship. Several Scriptures in the New Testament refer to eating and drinking spiritually, and that was nothing new to the people who first read those Scriptures. Throughout the ancient history of man, worship regularly included a meal shared by the god being worshiped, the priests of that god, and the ones bringing the offering, the worshipers. Even in the worship of the true God, as described in the Old Testament, this was the required pattern. Paul refers to this in 1Corinthians 9:13: "Do you not know that those who labor in the temple partake of the things of the temple and those who tend to the altar share with the altar?" Let us always remember that, in this New Testament, Christ is "our Passover Lamb" that must be consumed if we are to escape God’s death angel, and Jesus invited all his disciples to do just that (from John 6):
Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven, for the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
Then they said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst."
The Jews then started whispering about him because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." They were saying, "Is not this man Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?"
Jesus answered and said to them, "Do not whisper among yourselves. . . . Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the desert and died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever, and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
Then the Jews murmured among themselves, saying, "How is this man able to give us his flesh to eat?"
Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, if you do not eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you do not have life in you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me, and I am living by the Father, so also that man who eats me shall live by me. This is the bread that came down out of heaven – not as your fathers ate manna and died. He who eats this bread shall live forever."
You are what you eat. We partake of what we offer to God in worship, and what we partake of, or eat, spiritually, we ourselves become. This is the danger of worshiping God with dead ceremony. Doing so is a sure path to deadness in spirit. God must be worshiped "in spirit and in truth", Jesus said, and if we worship as he said we must, we will partake of the life and truth of the spirit that we offer to God. Worship in God’s way makes us more alive, not less. But offering God dead things in worship can only deaden our spirits to the things of God. David saw this reality long ago and made mention of it in one of his songs:
"The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; they have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one who trusts in them" (Ps. 135:15-18).
Do not offer God dead works; He will not share that meal with you. And you will have to eat it with the dead.
On the way home last night I was listening to the songs of mine that are going on the CD, listening for anything that didn’t sound right in case I needed to make any last minute changes. Well, after a minute or so I got lost in the songs and just drove along enjoying the words and feelings from them. All the way home it was "Amen", "Man, that’s good", "Thank you Jesus", etc. I love the words in these songs. They say something and they mean something. They touch people’s lives and they heal hearts. They are not songs to make money from or songs to impress people with. The world is so very backward. Singers in the world sing songs to make themselves rich. These songs that we sing make us all rich.
Some are songs that we have written to share our experiences and to share thoughts we are having with others. Some are songs from the heart of God for us. He gives them to His Son to give to us for our benefit and the benefit of anyone who will hear them. Whether written by us or given from the Lord, they are all inspired by God.
I do not know why He has chosen me for the part I have in the body, but I thank God for using me like He has in this music, and I pray that He will allow me to continue on for many years. I thank God that I can see and feel the difference between our music and everything else out there. People can feel something different in these songs, but to understand what they are saying takes knowing the Father and Son, knowing good from evil, knowing what is of man and what is of God.You have taught me more about God than I ever thought I could know. Thank you for being available to God and for sharing with us what He has taught you. It has helped me in my life. It is still helping me in my life. Through your teaching and our learning, we have understanding, and that is priceless.
Several years ago, when I first felt the anointing that is on you for God's children, I told some folks in my house, "That man has authority from God to make music for His children." I had never felt that before from anyone. I agree that the music that God is giving us here, from you and from others, is very special music. It has a way of finding unlocked doors to people's hearts and has the power to fill lonely chambers with hope.
The feelings in this music we are producing are needed by God's abused children. It is not Christian music; it is music from Jesus to us, and it is full of selfless love and healing for all.Right now, Brother Rob has over thirty new songs in the computer waiting for him to have the time to finish the engineering. My, I wish there were four of him! We are excited about getting this holy music out to people, but it seems to be such a slow, tedious process at times. I hope that all our friends around the country and the world will be in prayer for Rob and the others who must do the hard work needed to make these songs available.