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This month's teaching : Repentance

The Ministry of Silence

The natural man that tries to be spiritual has un-crucified ambitions that cannot find foundational rest. He will fight a fight that is not of faith, demonstrating a lingering need within which he does not recognize. The problem repeatedly shown is a difficult disability called ability. This personal ability is incredibly detrimental to the spiritual ability that God considers to be ministry in His servants.

The personally capable and self-righteous man will be haunted with thoughts that cannot find rest until the self-esteemed monster is personally gratified. His restless mind is perpetually filled with thoughts such as:

What can I do?

Let’s do something.

I can do it better.

I wish they would just ask me.

If only they would hear my opinion.

I see the picture clearer than anyone.

It’s easy.

Many self-relating thoughts of personal ambition become a haunting reality of personal frustration when this person is around spiritual people. The thoughts of a spiritual man are not: let’s get it done, but rather: how is God glorified? Performance is a constant pressure and annoyance to the self-made man. The spiritual man might seem to get much less done in the eyes of man, but God is greatly glorified.

May we take a careful look at several ministries of silence in the Bible which speak incredible volumes?

JACOB, after having accomplished countless masterful things in his many years of living, resorted to a final moment of deep unconditional surrender to the point that he had a change of name. God requested this change because of the dramatic internal change that occurred at the moment in Jabok.

Jacob was done with Jacob! Jacob was sick of Jacob! Jacob was tired of Jacob and all his great abilities! With all the things that Jacob did in his life, there were only two specific things so magnificent that his name and faith were placed in the highest category of Biblical faith.

Hebrews 11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. Many professing Christians have such a shallow notation concerning this great and important revelation of Jacob. If not for his right hand upon Joseph’s son Ephraim, we would not be included in the Messiah’s salvation. Ephraim is Israel. Ephraim had a mother from Egypt and a father from Israel. This mix of races could never have the blessing of the Messiah until Jacob’s hands crossed even while his natural eyes failed. God simply needed that moment with Jacob’s hands to fulfill His will on the lost sheep of the house of Israel, which is us, the mixed race Ephraim.

One last token of great faith was a very difficult one that few can ever surrender to and be at rest. Jacob worshipped leaning upon a stick. The word worship here means to fully and deeply surrender all forms of strength and even the ability to walk alone. When the top of a stick becomes strength to walk with, you have even lost your own walking capability outside of divine help. This is where the spiritual man walks. These two things were the greatest spiritual achievements in the life of Jacob.

We want to consider the silent ministry of MARY. John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. V.4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, V.5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with seemingly all she had earned and poured it from a bottle that had to be broken in order to pour from it. She did it without a spoken word. The aroma filled the entire room with this glorious offering. It ministered to Jesus in a way that nothing could at that time. The anointing was from a spiritual woman that foresaw the death of Jesus. The only one who spoke was Judas; he was entirely critical of her ministry of anointing. Judas wanted the money to go to the poor rather than precious wholesome ointment upon the life of Jesus.

When the end of all time has come upon us, there will be a great reckoning. In Matthew 25:32-39, Jesus divides the sheep from the goats and calls the sheep to their inheritance. Jesus said, You ministered to me while I was naked, sick, hungry, thirsty, a stranger, in prison. The ministry of silence again was not even obvious or noticeable enough to be recognized by the ones who had this spiritual ministry. The righteous sheep questioned in full surprise saying that they never even knew that they did such a thing or even saw Jesus in this manner.

This is where the Lord showed me clearly that the spiritual ministry from the sheep is to Jesus. Mathew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. God’s spiritual people are the least. Have you ministered to them ointments of healing and aromatic silence? Then you have ministered to Jesus.

Set Under Authority

Someone stopped by my residence in the past week who made a statement that astonished me. He was talking about his job and the boss he works under. He said that the general manager of the company understands authority but the owner has no idea what authority is. This type of business owner puts a manager in place, then tries to rule through them. People like this cause turmoil and all kinds of confusion and strangle the organizational flow from top to bottom. This type of person has a detrimental issue deep within. It is created by mistrust that is fashioned within, from the problem of not feeling valued. There are many small business owners that can never grow a company on a healthy larger platform because of this problem of control. These people reign in suspicion which comes from deep personal pride. Proprietors such as this cause disorganization everywhere that they function when it involves more than a handful of people. They have all the answers for everyone else yet have great personal depravity and are dysfunctional icons.

There was a certain centurion’s servant who was important and dear to his master but he lay sick and dying while Jesus was in Capernaum. This centurion sent the elders of the Jews to request Jesus to come to heal him. Jesus departed with them to go to the house where the servant was dying. As He came closer to the house, the centurion sent several of his personal friends to meet Jesus and said unto Him:
Luke 7:6 Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: V.7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.

The centurion understood something that people only understand once they walk under the submission of authority.

Luke 7:8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. V.9 When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

This astounding statement from the centurion was an expression that so few people are ever humble enough to walk in. Let us gain understanding from this statement of truth. Have you ever wondered why God is not using you much? It can be concluded by a small, powerful statement the centurion made: “SET UNDER AUTHORITY”.  A person will never have more authority than what he is submitted to. The centurion did not have to go to the battle field to fight; the battle was not his to fight. The centurion was in charge of the soldiers, the soldiers were in charge of the battle. The centurion had trust in the soldiers and the soldiers had faith in the centurion. The ancient military chain of command charts a tribute from the king to the general – lieutenants – tribunes – centurion – signifier – soldiers. The final combat was fought by the soldier, yet the battle was won by the king. If the soldier refuses to be on familiar terms with his superior in command via submission, then he will soon become useless or ultimately destroyed by the enemy.

Jesus marveled significantly at the words of the centurion and called it the greatest faith; not seen in all of Israel. The centurion certainly heard the common testimony of Jesus as being a healer. He understood that Jesus heals under authority of a power higher than Himself. This authority was from the Father which is in Heaven. The centurion knew that Jesus was in submission to the Father, because the commands of the Father were being performed through manifested healing throughout Galilee. When the centurion declared Jesus to be Lord, he was automatically placed under His authority and he knew that his servant was under His authority as well. There was only one other thing to do and that was: Jesus, just say the word. Hallelujah!

One important fact must be understood before we can live a life set under spiritual authority: being in our position under the authority over us is not something that happens through our intellectual understanding. Authority is not a matter of comprehended truth, but that of a position of the heart. Positioning under authority does not happen in the mind, it happens in the heart.

There was some other person casting out devils and this was Jesus’ response after they forbade him.

Mark 9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. V.40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

Jesus clearly stated that lightly speaking evil against our superior will stop the submission and the flow of Heaven’s blessing. It would do us well to recognize who God has set us under. Am I missing the link? Am I set under authority? May we take heed to the blessing of submission!

Romans 13:01 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. V.2 whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. V.13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Talents: One, Two, or Five?

My personal observation throughout my lifetime suggests that almost all people have some sort of talent. I have always been amazed at the talents that people produce when they put forth extraordinary effort to excel. Among the most significant of clever people I find a characteristic that is intriguing to me. There seems to be a life source in their ability to sustain the ambition of higher goals of personal triumph. It portrays the finest of simplicity, efficiency and effectiveness. The performance of such talent seems almost surreal. To observe such talent in action tends to have a redeeming affect of continuous enthusiasm within one’s self that produces a flow of excellence and charming courage that is almost contagious. It seems to be like an experience of joy. The effectiveness of such character communicates desire and zeal even if it is common masonry skills or a chef in the kitchen. However, one conclusion remains constant no matter the profession: Well done!

Apostle Paul writes about this excellence in servanthood and stewardship concerning our faith in Christ. Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. V.15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect-(ed), be thus minded:

What is the prized mark of the high calling of God? I understand this to be the heavenly excellence upon a perfect heart toward God. One that has experienced the power of the resurrection of Christ with sufferings that conform us in Him. It is the principle that all they that are Godly shall suffer. This suffering however is completely different than most would dare to understand; it is not from committed sins nor is it from living in unrighteousness. It is suffering because of righteousness. It is the pruning of the healthy. It is chastening by the love of the heavenly Father. It is the correcting processes by which His perfection is experienced unto His eternal glory while we live in human form.

Many do not understand this spiritual process because of the shallowness of their experiential understanding of servanthood. Their personal dedication is too shallow to contain the interworking of the active Potter’s hand. The act of perseverance is not deep enough to permit such a work from God because offense is still an impairment to such a one. The depth of this high prize belongs only to the ones that live the life of consecration continually before God in an earthen vessel.

This lack of intense consistence within the experience of Christ will defer spiritual depth. It will allow a man to walk on the surface of Christianity but never grow deeper in kingdom understanding. The depth of such shallow fellowship will, at best, yield an amen or a hallelujah once in a while. The superficial experience of such will not contain any spiritual ambition to show them approved unto God through study of His word. These will never become spiritual workmen in God’s kingdom. Why? Is it perhaps a lack of interest, or disappointment in having a talent that is too small?

Could we serve God with five talents better than only one? It is obvious that God desires us to get the most out of that which we have been given. If God would give us five talents and let us do the least with all of them, we would do less than doing the most excellent with one. The truth is confined with what we can do well with.

In description of the first paragraph I wrote on this subject— we will never be fulfilled when given too many talents unless we have learned to utilize one to its perfection. Sometimes we want to judge one talent as being easier than the other and therefore we do nothing with what we have. This is just a distraction to divert our attention onto wrong things. Maximize what God has given you at once!

In the parable of the talents in Mathew 25 we see that the faithful multiplied their talents. The individuals with five and with two each multiplied them. God called it well done! The one that received only a single talent was disappointed and never did anything with it but hid it from everyone thinking it was not fair. He was called unprofitable.

How could I encourage you to excel in the things of God and to study to show yourself approved unto God? Take that which you have received of God and excel in it with passion. Have you noted that there is a high calling that most never consider? It costs you everything but it is part of the joy of the Lord! All the ones that excelled in the talents that were given received an order from God. The order was: ENTER THOU INTO THE JOY OF THE LORD! Joy is that God given enigma that flows like honey from a fountain of continuous enthusiasm within one’s self; it produces and communicates a flow of excellence and charming courage that is spiritually contagious! Hallelujah!

The unfaithful received a sentence. Matthew 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

The Wounded Spirit

Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; BUT a wounded spirit who can bear?

There are many things that can displace true reverence of praise and adoration to God. I have noticed that new things from machines to equipment, cars or even a new horse can delight our minds for a while. Once we get used to it, its ecstatic awe will dissipate even if the value does not change. It is within our human nature to appreciate things we revere. After we acclimate, it loses its value to our fondness and yet it can become even greater in value with time.

This is the nature that all people are fitted with. It is within this compartment of the human make-up that we maintain the idea of the preciousness of things. Without this attribute we lose value, respect, admiration, honor, appreciation, praise, thanksgiving, desire, and many things not mentioned. This wound when nurtured can become so controlling that everything from taste to touch, feeling, and preference becomes suppressed. The ultimate extent of this problem will cost someone the will to live. How is it that some can endure the same trials of affliction and prevail, while others never do?

Have you ever noticed that a problem can cause all of this God-given attributable strength to cease in a heart-beat?  Why is this? Can one little thing ruin my whole day? Can one incident ruin my week, month, year or my entire life? Can two or ten incidents bring me irrevocable ruin? The answer is an undeniable yes!

I sadly acknowledge that many have had their ship wrecked for life because of an incident that caused a shutdown of this God-given attribute. I have never seen a person with this issue at hand that does not place blame on something. This is simply suggesting something happened somewhere.

Highly controlling parents or partners or even employers and employees can destroy this gentle plant within the tender confines of this attribute. A dream that has failed or a friend that has kicked his heel against you or a sin not forgiven can devastate this God-given characteristic.

Some people always thrive on the things that bring ruin. A wounded spirit is very hard to bear because of the vibes that emanate from its presence. The undertones of ruin emit through the words that are spoken even when the sense seems good. These emissions are repulsive to a sound mind and will erect walls instead of friendship. People with a wounded spirit are people who are prone to find or prove blame even if it does not involve them. The wounded spirit is the callous that people use to cover super-sensitivity.

I am not writing on this subject without having experience on the matter. The destructive ambitions of extreme failure and the self-consciousness of flaws I could not accept offered me much opportunity to bring personal damage to my spirit. The intense prolonged persecution, misunderstandings, spitefulness and lies from people I trusted created every opportunity to self-destruct many times.

So where do I find the answer in overcoming this despairing struggle? It is found in Proverbs 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity BUT a wounded spirit nobody can bear. God’s instruction is that the spirit of a man can deal with this correctly. I have learned to radically separate the things that seek to wound my spirit from things that make my spirit wholesome. I have to take charge of the things that are designed to destroy me. I have separated them completely from the things that sustain healing in me. While my heart is filled with extreme sorrow, my heart is also filled with extreme joy. Here is the balance that can never be violated without consequences. This is a choice we have to make. Until I learn to bring every thought into confinement and separate the two highly influential thinking patterns, I will not be able to walk in Christ’s obedience. Outside of Christ’s obedience I am outside of Christ’s favor. It is like falling dominoes against me because it is unbelief. This violation will seem as a dark cloud of evil over our head with torment like that of demons.

After Jesus’ brutal rejection from His own disciples and then the inflicted pain from the beatings of the cross He concluded saying, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they do!” If it was a violation from someone else, you have to say, Father forgive him or her; he or she did not know what they just did. At times I have said, if I could only explain something, they wouldn’t have done this to me. Sometimes we have to humbly say, God forgive me, I did not know what I was doing. And move on and never revisit it again.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear (timidity); but of power, and of love (affection), and of a sound mind (self-control).

The Bit and the Bridle

Psalm 32:9 Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.

I was told the story that years ago there were two neighbor boys on the way home after an event, moving towards the little town of Trail, Ohio. The well-trained horse became extremely chaotic after it was hitched and was suddenly of a totally different nature for some unknown reason. It was almost completely out of control. His nature was so absurdly different that they questioned whether they had hitched the wrong horse to their buggy. They could not hold back the horse as it even blew through stop signs causing grave danger!

After a wild, chaotic ride for several miles, both boys took the reins that attach to the sides of the bridle and strong-armed the head of the horse to the point that one of the boys could jump off as they passed his homestead. They were hoping that the horse would get tired and lose its strength by the time they came to the final destination. The tumultuous ride continued until they crashed through the home barn doors and the wooden buggy was nothing but a pile of rubble. Happily the driver was not hurt and ran inside the barn till he caught the horse and brought him under control. What was the problem with this disorderly animal? After looking for answers, he noticed that the bit was never put in the mouth of the horse.

David gives us instruction on what guides a horse or a mule. The instruction is clear that when we have no understanding about the direction in which we are headed, we are on dangerous premises. If the bit and the bridle is our guiding principle we have no understanding.

There are many situations that we pass through in life that require understanding. Many times throughout my life I’ve asked the Lord for understanding on why I tend to have certain problems.

Here are some questions we need in order to inquire for understanding:
• What is it that discourages me?
• Why do I avoid certain issues?
• Why are certain issues more sensitive to me?
• Why are some temptations harder to resist?
• Why do some people seek to harm me?
• Why me, Lord?
• Why do I tend to avoid certain people?
• Why am I more reactionary towards certain things?
• Am I going through punishment or pruning?

Many personal questions arise in the believer’s heart that need tended to by way of understanding from the Lord. Do not neglect it with imaginations.

Understanding will replace the need for a bit and a bridle. When you have the understanding from the one who knows all things, you will not need a bit to hold in your mouth. How many times have you said: I will not bring that up again nor will I think about it anymore? The next thing you know, that is seemingly all you are thinking about again. Understanding brings things to rest every time. Have we not heard that most problems come from misunderstandings, which no one is excluded from, not even the wisest?

It was Solomon who asked the Lord for understanding to discern judgment, rather than long life, riches, or the lives of his enemies; God gave him understanding, which is filled with wisdom. God made him the wisest man on earth.

We are also carefully instructed not to lean on our own understanding. When we ask God for understanding, He will enlighten us in due time. Once we understand, it will rest. If it does not rest in the heart, it was not enlightenment from the Holy Spirit nor does it come from spiritual understanding from the Lord. I want to repeat that spiritual understanding will always rest and not be troubled. Entanglements and frustrations simply cease. Spiritual understanding is always enlightening and never darkened imagination.

Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Psalm 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Proverbs 2:11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.