I think I need to quote a passage from my first book to make the point that has been brewing in my spirit since Friday, November 26. I have prayed into this thing and even tried to ignore it. But now, I feel compelled not only to speak truth and correction into this situation. But also life. For God is about to once again visit every household to shake its foundation. And in this shaking, we are either going to find ourselves shielded and protected from the things that are about to befall each household because we are His and in right standing with the LORD. Or, we will find ourselves and our household is shaken in dismay and disarray because we either are not His or we thought we were okay – in good standing with God when we actually were not. Matthew chapter 3, verses 8 through 10 explains this better than I can. So, let’s read. This is John the Baptist speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees, who thought they were God’s chosen leaders and in good standing with the LORD. John said,
Let me stop right there for a moment. And let’s bring this verse to modern time so we don’t miss this point. Many of us who call ourselves leaders have a past. A past that we are not too proud of. If we could bury it and wipe it from our own memories and the memories of others, we would. For example, and I have to say it this way to ensure, the persons I am speaking to tonight don’t miss this point. Because the LORD is speaking to specific people today that I am not going to call by name. But I am aware of who they are.
For some of us leaders, whether female or male. The cleanest way I can say this is we were fast. (You can choose whatever alternative words you want to substitute there to drive home the point). We had multiple partners that we slept with. And thank God, many of us got our acts together and stopped sleeping around. Some of us got married to wonderful wives or husbands. While others might have chosen to remain single for a season while practicing abstinence. Allowing us to present ourselves holy in this regard before a holy God (1 Corinthians 6:11).
Now, in the minds of some of you. Because you have stopped performing unclean and unholy sexual acts or running the streets as some of you call it. You absolutely feel that you are officially now in right standing with God. Very little else is required of you because you have been delivered from sexual sins.
But tonight, God wants to go deeper with you guys. With you who call yourself His leaders. I got to emphasize this because this is what God is emphasizing to me. You who CALL YOURSELF His leaders.
With those who call themselves His leaders, you must be mindful that “… when someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required” (Luke 12:48). So, let’s not get this confused. Because the blessings of the LORD should never be confused with the things of the world.
Now, I got to sidetrack for a minute in order to state this disclaimer. God does not have any problem with blessing His servants with material wealth, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADVANCING HIS KINGDOM. When the increase of our assets and belongings seems to primarily be used to advance our own kingdom, our luxurious taste, and lifestyle. Then there is conflict and often confusion about what truly is the source of your blessing. Because we got to look at something that was said to Jesus at Matthew chapter 4, verses 8 and 9. And this is what Satan the devil said to Jesus the Christ. Satan took Jesus to the peak of a very high mountain. And from that mountain top, Satan shows Jesus everything that was in Satan’s possession that was in the world. And says to Jesus, I can give you any and everything from any kingdom of the world. In fact, I can give you all the kingdoms of this world and everything in them.
The point I want you to get from those two verses is that Satan can give blessings too. Blessings that may appear to be from God but truly are only distractions to keep us complacent and content. Making us feel like we are achieving God’s will when we actually are only fulfilling the lust of our flesh at the expense of others.
Now, I can tie this point I just made, back into the main point we are making about open wounds. But there is something even deeper God wants to address.
unhealed openED wounds
Going back to Matthew chapter 3, verses 8 through 10. Let’s pick up where we left off previously.
The Pharisees and Sadducees, professed leaders of God, thought they were “safe” by association. They thought their ties to Abraham were enough to keep them safe and from any destruction that might fall upon mankind. But noticed what John continues to say.
The Pharisees and Sadducees failed to understand that their position and association with Abraham was not enough to guarantee them a rightful place in God’s Kingdom. More was required of them. (Compare to Luke 12:48). Similarly today, too many who call themselves leaders fail to understand that more is required of you than claiming a title for yourself in God’s Kingdom work and being delivered from a single sin such as sexual sins. A leader must become whole – allowing God to properly take them through the wholeness process that leads to your full deliverance from open wounds. For wounds that are left untreated will always cause such traits as hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outburst of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, and envy to dominate sections of God’s Body and Kingdom work. (Compare Galatians 5:18-22).
Let me elaborate on an excerpt from my book, Surrendering: A Blueprint Of My Life, from chapter 8, titled, Letting Go Of All Anger, Resentment, And Bitterness.
Now, these were all Scriptures God made we eat first. I had to learn to live and be healed by them before I was able to capture the lesson I had learned to walk out myself into a book for others to benefit from. Remember, too much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48). I cannot teach what I have not properly walked out myself. But God did not just stop right there. Through writing this book, God showed me time and time again that I had opened wounds. Wounds that I learned to nurse but not for the purpose to add ointment to them in order that they may heal, which would naturally lead to my emotional healing. But instead, by the way, I was living, I was purposely was picking at these wounds and causing more tissue scars – more self-inflicted wounds. Resulting in internal infections that were slowly killing me. There was a silent killer living within me for years because I refused to allow God to properly operate on my opened wounds and provide me the true healing I despairingly needed. And yet, in my mind, I thought I was good, okay, or safe, as John the Baptist called it. (Compare to Matthew 4:9)
LEADERS WHO WON’T LET GOD HEAL THEIR OPENED WOUNDS
God wants so much to gather His leaders. You know what, let’s just read it from the Scriptures. And I partially quote. “How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings….” (Luke 13:34) Nothing pleases God more than to protect any and everyone that He calls His. But even God sometimes finds Himself in an awkward position. A dilemma. He says in that same verse. “… But you wouldn’t let.”
Some of you, who call yourself leaders. Again, I got to emphasize this because this is what God is emphasizing to me. For those who call themselves leaders – His leaders. Today, this has become your dilemma. Too many of you are operating out of your hurt – your opened wounds. That has resulted in
Let me close out with this. Whenever we failed to allow God to properly walk us fully through our healing process from all our opened wounds. We take on things that God never called us to or before we are truly ready for them because we are trying to compensate for the internal turmoil we have not fully nor properly dealt with. Trying to fill avoid and painful areas in our life through titles and positions of power and control over people that will make us feel self-important and fulfilled. Although we are failing to gain proper control and healing over our own lives and affairs. As a result, we are triggered, emotionally triggered when either God sends someone our way or someone of more maturity comes along to show us ourselves – the error in our way.
And once upon a time, I was no different. In my situation, God decided to use someone who at the time was more of a seasoned woman of faith than I was. Now, in my defense, which she later admitted, she should have handled my situation differently. But it didn’t matter! God used it. In that situation, it triggered within me a bad and poor response. But it was that situation that brought into the open a trigger reaction from being wounded by someone in the present but I responded from an unhealed wounded place from my past, which actually was what I needed to save my life, my soul. That pastor’s wife bad handling of my situation, got me to see, to really see, I was operating out of a wounded spirit. Which in turn, allowed God to use it to help me to properly heal because now I can see it.
Let me make this a little clearer and close by quoting from my book that I mentioned earlier. This quote comes from chapter 9 of my book, titled, Forgiving Others And Myself.
For those who continue to call themselves leaders in God’s House but fail to properly deal with their opened wounds that contribute to more disruption. Just remember, too much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:48). You cannot continue to try to fulfill your hurts by (1) spilling your painful experience on the people you claim to serve; (2) avoiding addressing your own wounded issues by avoiding counsel of correction (Hebrews 12:6); (3) by redirecting counsel that is meant for you through means of manipulation which is a form of witchcraft or playing the victim card. Or, one of my favorite that I see far too often. (4) Everyone around needs deliverance from something except for you. For you have already mastered that and everything else. Therefore, you are able to deliver and bless any and everyone from whatever stronghold has a hold over them. And yet, you have not have been fully delivered yourself. This is why the Scriptures encourage us at 2 Corinthians 13:5-10.
Sometimes, as Kingdom citizens, or I should say, Christians, we need friendly reminders of what our worth is. Not as to men. Because that can change from minute to minute, depending on how an individual, a group, or family feels about you in a given moment. So, we need friendly reminders of what our worth is from God’s perspective.
And that’s what I gained during my morning personal Bible study after studying Ezekiel chapter 2. I felt completely refreshed. In fact, throughout my day, I could not get this chapter and the notes I had taken off my mind. So much so that I caught myself saying as I was meditating, “Okay, now I understand.” “That one really helped.” Or, that gave me clarity I really needed.”
So, as I am winding my evening down, I just don’t think I will be able to get any sleep if I did not share some of my study notes with you guys. I hope you will find it encouraging, uplifting, and refreshing as I have found it to be for me.
Reviewing Ezekiel chapter 2
One of the very first things God reminds me of, as I read the first few verses in Ezekiel chapter 2, is that God calls each one of us to the ministry for a specific purpose. Often time, we as the Church get caught up in the appointment and approval by men who place people in specific roles. Rather that be pastor, apostle, prophet, evangelist, or Bible teacher. We all have a specific assignment in the body of Christ. But I believe it all too often gets distorted and clouded by the appointment of men who far too often places men and women into roles that God never intended for them.
So, in chapter 2, in the first three verses, God reminded me that it is He and only He that calls a man or a woman to a specific role in His Body. (Compare to 1 Corinthians 12:11, 14, 18, 24-25, 28). And that it is He that will provide His Spirit to guide and help these ones to learn and operate in that role efficiently and effectively. (Compare to John 16:13). God said to Ezekiel, “… Son of man, I am sending you to the sons of Israel….” And as God was speaking to Ezekiel, the Spirit of the LORD entered Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:1-3).
Now, does God randomly gives us an assignment and let us figure it out on our own – allowing us to insert our opinions, belief systems, and preferences as we go about doing ministry? Well, let us look at what He says to Ezekiel concerning this call God placed on Ezekiel’s life.
Yes, Ezekiel had a very difficult assignment from God. But despite this difficulty of His assignment, Ezekiel had a higher calling and responsibility or obligation. This is clearly stated at verse 7. It says, “… you shall speak My word to them whether they listen or not….”
Right there is when it finally hit me. I get it, LORD! I get it. Here’s is what the LORD wanted, no needed me to walk away with from my Bible reading this morning.
Being Okay with rejectioN
At this point, in the nation of Israel's history, God’s people had become just another heathen nation. They looked no different from the surrounding nations. If we the people, meaning the Church. If we honestly evaluated the sociodemographic structure of the church today, and we closely examine its heart condition and status, its mindset, and its loyalty and preferences, would we find a church that looks very similar to God’s people that Ezekiel preached to?
Assuming that is the case, then God’s ministers today find themselves in the same state as did Ezekiel during his day. True ministers of God today are preaching to a stubborn, obstinate, and rebellious people. Despite this fact, we still have the responsibility to preach “thus says the LORD God.” This was extremely important in Ezekiel’s ministry because he did not have the room or luxury to insert his own viewpoint. The nation, God’s people, did not have that kind of time on their hands. The people had reached a point of no return. And prophets like Ezekiel were the people’s last hope, last chance to repent and to get right with God before time had run out for them.
For the purpose of Ezekiel’s ministry was not to speak the word of the LORD, and then wait around for the people to do that right, and then give them the next word the LORD had for them. No. The purpose God sent Ezekiel into ministry is so that (1) the people will know that a prophet (a true prophet of God) has been among them (v.5). And, (2) so that, the word of the LORD is clearly spoken to God’s people (v.7). Therefore, when all is said and done, God’s people will have no excuse for their specific outcome – whether they heed God’s warnings through His true prophets or not (Compare to Romans 1:20; Amos 3:7).
This is why God kept emphasizing to Ezekiel that he could not consume himself with how the people received his message. Whether the people received his word or not was not of Ezekiel's concern nor responsibility. Ezekiel was only responsible for speaking exactly what the LORD had given him to speak. Nothing more and nothing less.
Ministry can be very challenging when you are being honorable and obedient to what the LORD has given you to speak. That is what the LORD will hold us accountable for. (Compare to Ezekiel 33:7-9). But the LORD does not hold ministers of the LORD accountable for the reactions of the people to that message. Those who hear the word have a responsibility to the word, the message, they have heard. For we all have to work out our own salvation. (Compare to James 1:22; Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23; 1 Corinthian 5:17).
God's word is for the edification, exhortation, and consolation; for teaching, reproving, correcting, and training so that every Christian is equipped for the work of service, to build up the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:3; 2 Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 4:12).