From the teaching Pride, Prejudice, & The Gospel
This new series that Marcus has embarked upon is one that is sensitive in nature to say the least. Over the last 5-10 years, I've noticed rising racial tensions in America, but in reality has there ever been a time when human beings have not found something to exalt themselves over the Almighty? Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man Ecclesiastes 12:13. When we fear (deep reverence, honor, and respect) our Creator, by default we are driven to please Him by giving our lives over to doing what He desires for us. He desires us to love Him with our whole heart, soul, and might Deuteronomy 6:5 and to love God is to keep His commandments and they're not designed to burden us (1 John 5:3). Yeshua (Jesus), is the word made flesh (John 1:14) and He was there from the beginning (John 1:1). He is the commandment of the Almighty, the living embodiment of the Father's Word. When we see the example of the life He lived on earth, we see He lived in total submission to the Father. When we receive Yeshua and bow ourselves at His feet in worship and follow Him, we too follow His example to submit to the Father just like He did. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in the fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross Philippians 2:3-8.
As disciples of Yeshua, if this is not how we approach the carrying out of the commandment of the Most High, we need to assess ourselves. Total submission to the Father means that we have to abandon the will of our natural ways. It's natural for man to divide along the lines of appearance and any other insignificant factor such as skin color, hair type, size, social economic status, etc. To be in unity requires a certain level of acceptance and rejection, so what does that look like for those that want to be in communion with God? We know that He is not respecter of persons and will accept ANYONE that fears Him and works righteousness (Acts 10:34-35). So we have to learn to be in unity with the people that have unified themselves with Him and reject the desires of the flesh that sow seeds of rejection. After all, our commission is to love YeHoVaH with all our heart, mind, and soul, so how can we love Him with a hateful heart? Our job is to take forth His Gospel and witness it to all nations (Matthew 24:14), but if we have given ourselves over to carnal aspirations then we deceive ourselves. If we don't use His Word as the standard for governing ourselves, then what's left? We WILL be lead by something.
The leading of the Spirit of the Most High God, YeHoVaH, moves us to render righteous judgment and not to be a respecter of persons just like Him. If you see someone that wants to classify you as "less than" simply because of what your God given body looks like, then we know that the love of the Father is not in them. That person has allowed falsehood to usurp the plain truth of the Scriptures and sadly it is a challenge for many people. There are ideologies that are deeply ingrained in us that Father wants to root out, but we have to allow Him to remove it from our hearts. As I stated before, racial tensions in America flared up again about 10 years ago and it's remained in the news as a hot topic since then. Topics of "race" that were not really openly discussed are now constantly in the news and we can find ourselves at odds with our brothers and sisters. Growing up in the American South, my Mom raised us to respect everyone no matter what they looked like, however; there was always this underlying thread of being wary of White people because of the discrimination directed at Black people by them and even if a White person wasn't racist, they'd never be able to relate or understand you because of their White privilege. This underlying, universal belief that runs through Black and Non-White populations is this: White people think that they are superior and everyone else is inferior to them. Let's get it all out on the table, but please take heed that you are not deceived by the enemy. I'm so thankful that Father has shielded my heart from hate because some people that were taught the same things really struggle with hatred. We can become products of what we experience and what we are taught and it is easier said than done to resist the enemy sowing seeds of racism and prejudice in our hearts and no matter how much we feel we are loving, we don't know what's in us until it's exposed. Before we moved back to the States, I decided to turn on the TV while I was cleaning up and the movie Malcolm X was on. I've seen the movie years ago, but as I listened, I could feel something rising up in me that was coming into agreement with his rhetoric. I had to turn it off because even though I know what the Word says, my experience as a Black woman in America was trying to minister to my spirit. Trying to tell me "They think they're better than you; look how they treated your ancestors; look how they treat your people now". Who is this "they"? An entire group of people? Now everyone is responsible for the actions of individuals? Well, I am no one's victim, I am a child of the Most High, and I have beautiful brothers and sisters of ALL nations and colors uplifting me, encouraging me, and sharpening me. It's the enemy that seeks to kill and destroy and He'll use whomever is willing to do it: White, Black, Brown, Yellow, and every color in between.
Take heed because we all have things deep inside that will work its way to the surface. We have to be honest and deal with them. As long as we live in the flesh, we are going to have to resist this flesh. The enemy wants to keep you in chains to overt racism or subtle prejudice, to a victim mentality, and to pain. He wants your identity to be found in your skin color or your culture, but we have to resist this urge. I had to minister to a friend that was struggling not to feel hatred towards White people for all the things she had experienced and all the things in the news that fuel division between Whites and Blacks. As a believer, she received what I told her because she knew that it was the enemy sowing seeds of destruction. I told her that she had to take her eyes off of color because racism is a work of the flesh and it does not belong to one group of people. This is what HUMAN BEINGS do when they are not lead by His Spirit: they divide, they hate, they kill. If we change the color of the governing majority, the actions will remain the same and we are all susceptible. This truth can be hard for someone to hear when they've experienced harsh treatment by a person or even a group of people that make it clear their hate is directed toward their skin color - a feature none of us had a part in choosing.
In the body of Messiah, we still bring in these closely guarded hurts and lies. If I experience treatment in the world that says to me "I'm inferior" and then come into the "assembly of Saints" and get a white washed version of the same thing, that can be a catalyst for me to seek out a place where I can lick my wounds and be accepted. This is why Marcus stated that Black assemblies are susceptible to embracing prejudice views. The flesh already wants to divide along differences without cause, but give it a "why" like discrimination, and it will just take it and run with it. We need to resist the plan of the enemy and know that if we truly love our Creator, that we CANNOT embrace and practice racism or prejudice and no one is exempt. Every last one of us in covenant with YeHoVaH must conform to the image of our Savior and there is no room for the flesh to operate in the midst of His presence. Like I said before, don't be so certain that this doesn't apply to you, because it's easy to say, "I love everyone" until you're tested with a situation that wants to expose an allegiance to our "race" that we never knew was there. You can tell yourself all day long that you are justified in hating because "they" hate you, but that is a lie designed to keep you in bondage. Allegiance to Him means to break the bonds of allegiance to any other thing and this can be scary, but what else is there? He is the only giver of life and the only source of truth; clinging to Him is the ONLY way, so don't be afraid to let go of death. Embrace Him and His people of ALL nations in love and reject the enemy.