Good Morning and Shalom Saints! I pray that you all are in good health; especially those that have been devastated by the storm in Texas and all those that have experienced disaster around the globe. Let's make sure that we get involved in distributing prayers, aid, and resources. HOI Charlotte has started a donation fund that will go to HOI Saints in need.
I hope that everyone was blessed by the introduction to this teaching series Watch Your Mouth!. This is an area I try to be mindful of even though habits sneak up. When we were visiting HOI London a few months ago, I remember walking back to our hotel after Shabbat service with Sister Sharon when I sort of tripped up on the sidewalk and without thinking said, "sniper got me". Now, I learned this from someone as a funny way to distract from the "embarrassment" of tripping over something. Sharon quickly corrected me with, "now you know we shouldn't be proclaiming things like that." I honestly wasn't even thinking about it like that; I was simply reacting out of habit without thinking and when she brought it to my attention, I wasted no time in recanting. It may seem like a very elementary example, but it just brings to light how we need to watch over even the simplest words that we release. Now do I really want a sniper to "get me"? Of course not and that wasn't even on my radar when I spoke it, but I don't need to be declaring silly things like that and it's one of the reasons why I chose the title for this blog series. I'm not sure if I shared this already, but I'm an Athletic Trainer. The profession is often confused with Personal Trainers, but if anyone is familiar with sports, an Athletic Trainer is the one running out on the field when players are injured. It's a sports medicine profession. When I was in graduate school, I was assigned to a Division I football team and during one of their practices I was watching the field from the sideline. All of a sudden, my preceptor came running over to me saying that he had been calling for me and was quite irritated because I hadn't noticed, which meant he had to physically come get me. I found out later that he referred to me as a space cadet while telling the story to my classmate and I remember being highly offended. I obviously didn't think that one incident was enough to be branded a space cadet. However, I can't defend that I checked out while I should been on the job and alert. I had gone off into La La Land for whatever reason. I was not paying attention and many times in our walk with Messiah, we are in La La Land instead of being vigilant. We embrace philosophies and speak words that are rooted in darkness and conceived in death.
This covenant way of life requires that we are circumspect about EVERYTHING, and this includes the "trivial" things we may allow ourselves to speak or think. In the flesh, this sounds overwhelming, but if He abides in you, then you can see how this is possible.
John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
The introduction Marcus presented is critical for laying the foundation for the rest of the teaching because like he explained, there are many people that have rejected anything that appears to have its genesis in the New Age realm and while it's wise to reject New Age teachings, remember to recognize when real truth has been distorted and stick with Scripture. I remember learning about these things when I was on my conspiracy theory hunt. Playing I Spy, the occult edition (that's not a real game it's just that I was finding out how the occult world permeated every area of modern life). If you didn't already know, this junk is everywhere and believers can't seem to separate truth from fiction sometimes because it's so embedded. The danger rests in the fact that there is truth peppered in the pot of lies and this is what deters people, but we don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. If we are knowledgeable of His Word and connected to Him in spirit, we should be able to recognize when we hear something that doesn't add up. When I heard about the universe being a giver of good things, I knew that the universe couldn't give me anything. I honestly had no idea of the origin of "the universe" declarations, but I knew upon hearing it that it was bogus. I know the universe is a creation of The One that made it and Matthew 7:11 tells me that my Father in heaven gives good gifts to those that ask. When I saw this preacher on YouTube huffing and puffing in the microphone "MONEY, MONEY, coming to me NOW!", I knew it was false teaching. After hearing a bit more of his doctrine and seeing the congregation in a frenzy throwing money at the pulpit like they were in a gentleman's club, I was convinced I was seeing what Paul warned about in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 about itching ears. The law of attraction was a bit more deceiving for me. I didn't know where that came from either, but it more appealing to my ears than the examples mentioned above. It made sense to me because it resemble truth, but like Marcus stated in the teaching, when you move away from Scripture, faith, and obedience to the Word, you've chosen another Way. It may not look or even feel like that's the case, but when you really contemplate what it is that you are actually coming into agreement with, it is an anti-God state of mind. The anti-God approach is to tell Him to move over and off His throne because "we got this". All I have to do is name it and then go claim it. It sounds good right? Is it rooted in His truth? That's why we have to test the things that we hold dear in our hearts and the things we speak. Where do they come from?
Some people shy away from prosperity because of the two ends of the extremes witnessed in the religious world. One group says you need to live in abject poverty and reject any comfort in this life and the other group says that you deserve to be wealthy as a child of God. These doctrines warp YeHoVaH's words for the gain of man in his desire for self righteousness and greed. The Bible does speak about the blessings of YeHoVaH, Deuteronomy 8:18; 28:1-14; but Scripture in context shows us that faith in Yeshua with a loving heart and obedience is to be our ambition. We should not be led by fictitious piety, the pursuit of earthly pleasures, or other idols. We are to speak the words of life that come from our Master Yeshua and seek His righteousness, knowing that He will provide our every need and even more is He so desires. Some of us want more money so we can feed our fleshly desires. Why do we want to be "blessed" with an idol? Our hearts need to be in the right place first. Father wants to bless you ultimately so that you can be a vessel for distribution of His provision and His truth. That's not to say that He doesn't want us to have abundance, but it's not exclusively for us to hoard.
Many times it's a battle to remain vigilant and not drift off into space throughout the day and during my interactions with people. Forgetting what my purpose is and acting out of habit because I've unknowingly dawned my space cadet gear. The education that I've received from this ministry has helped me with tools to tackle these issues. We need to remain vigilant in the things that we proclaim and the things that we hold in our hearts. Don't shy away from the Word of truth because heathens are peddling an adulterated version. Alternatively, be careful about embracing things that are partially true. We don't need to cut mold off of a stale loaf of bread when we have access to fresh bread - the bread from heaven. Know the truth and walk in it with all diligence. Until next time...