Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Division Within

The full acting out of the self's surrender to God therefore demands pain: this action, to be perfect, must be done from the pure will to obey, in the absence, or in the teeth, of inclination". ~C.S. Lewis

Some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit I have kept in secret with the exception of very close friends because it pleases my Lord to do so, perhaps because it makes people quite uncomfortable...or want to stone me in the street. However, very few know of my blog and most of them are kindred spirits in the Lord. I do not ask for people to be kind, but should you have concerns or disagree, I ask you to pray before you comment, to hear what the Lord has to say on the issue and respond as He has directed you.

We all know that there have always been people in the church who believe they are saved yet are not, but often we are surprised to find who they are once they confess...and this has been more common with pastors than people would like to believe. Our former pastor had been a pastor for a few years before he was saved and the one before him was in ministry for some time before she was saved.

I remember well when I first met a man in a church and knew he was not a believer. He knew all the right things to say and he was well liked, but he had not yet accepted Jesus as his Savior. I talked to him and he was very convincing in speech and action, but I could see his heart. This is called a Word of Knowledge. I did try to help him see that he was missing the mark, but he was completely convinced in this deception, as were others including his wife, who had been ill, and his children, which is why they were so surprised when his marriage fell apart and he announced being in a relationship immediately afterward. Even as my husband and I hoped for the best, we were not surprised at all, because we knew through Words of Knowledge.

I have a friend who sees something like a black veil over the faces of the unsaved and the saved to her would have a glow around the face. In fact, it was because of this gift that she approached my booth at a health fair, but that is a long story. I am just throwing this in to suggest that other people have such a gift to determine the state of another's soul even though the way the knowledge is revealed to them can be different than the way it is revealed to me.

One woman once was quite offended when I told her she was not a Christian, but I felt the Lord pressing me to be stern with her. I did not like it and she left in a huff. I prayed for her often and then I saw her a year later when she came to one of my seminars on health. Her face was glowing! I told her that I could tell something was different about her. Smiling she told me that certain events had happened after she saw me last, one was the pastor at the Unity church had thrown down the Bible and said it was unneeded. The other was she had read the Left Behind series. Afterward she joined a Bible study within a few months she became saved. Then she looked me sternly and said, "I want you to know that I really thought I was a Christian" and I replied "And God really wanted you to know you were not."

I have had discussions with many people over the years who have told me "we cannot know, therefore we cannot judge." They close the door on the entire idea saying that which is in the thoughts, mind, or heart of another person, even knowledge of what they have secreted in their hearts and will do before they have done it, only God can know. Yes, and only God does know...however, I believe God can give this knowledge to whomever He wills.

Then two questions follow:
Do you believe that God does give this knowledge?
If so, then do you believe He would give it to me?
If the first question does not trip up the unbelieving believer, the second one usually does. After all who am I to be given such knowledge that only Jesus had the power to know? I am no one special at all.

Not only are there the deceived and deceiving unbelievers, but there are unbelieving believers, those who are saved but have not come to The Surrendering, which I wrote about over two years ago on my blog. They are saved and often they are devoted, Bible-believing, God-loving people, but these things do not equate to The Surrendering. In the Nazarene denomination, it is called Sanctification and in other places it is known as Baptism of the Holy Spirit, but it is not necessarily a thing that happens when one is prayed over. It happened to me in a private place and a sincere prayer at the end of a 12-day fast without any witnesses. As I wrote in the last paragraph of that aforementioned post...

Those who have surrendered will understand, those who have not, will not, just as believers understand what unbelievers cannot.
Knowing that there have been some deceived into thinking they are believers, does it not follow that there would be even more people in our churches who are believers but are not surrendered to the Holy Spirit and some of them would be in positions of authority in the church? Those who believe Jesus died for their sins, and who talk the Christian talk and walk the Christian walk, but really are not listening to God, therefore are not obeying Him? And if God judges hearts and chooses to reveal this to one who will listen, is it possible that this knowledge has been revealed?

I have learned that respecting church elders does not mean they should never be challenged, because I had been called to challenge. I understand now that longevity or position in a church does not gain favor with God, as it can with man. In fact, people in position who are not obeying God can hinder the task God has placed on the church. I have always known that God looks at the heart and that the knowledge is often passed on to me, but I resisted hearing it. I chose to close my heart to the knowledge previously in my former church, but during this last trial, when I was faced with opposition, I questioned over and over if I was being obedient and I was given confirmation of my obedience...and yet even more opposition came from my fellow Christians, who just were not hearing God. I know that He wanted me to see what I would not accept, what I did not want to believe, what sickening me, literally.

I read somewhere that many things that can divide a church. The five main ones are:

  • Pride
  • Heresy 
  • Legalism
  • Distrust
  • Traditionalism

It is the last one that is the most subtle of Christian idolatry and so suppressive of the workings of the Holy Spirit.

God does not say to one "lead the church to the right" and to another "lead the church to the left." He will challenge us and direct us to do different things within the church, but He does not divide His House. There are those who hear and obey, those who hear and do not obey, and those who just do not hear at all. There are no gray areas here. There was a time to remain silent and then came the time to speak out in obedience to my Lord. One must hear to obey and all else is disobedience in the eyes of the Lord. To call disobedience anything else, in an attempt soften the edges of it so it would be inoffensive, is to enable it to continue. The outcome is a church that is of no good to the Lord it claims to honor.

My husband told me this trial would make us stronger a few evenings ago when I felt like a failure. I am seeing it now. I will continually work on keeping my heart open to whatever God will reveal to me and act in obedience regardless of what it will cost me...and this last trial did cost me, but what is that in comparison to Christ?

Those who have surrendered will understand, those who have not, will not.

~ My Lord, may all who read here be surrendered to You. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.