Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. John 4:23-24
My friend Charmane got a powerful picture from the Lord. The picture was of Jesus’s body being hit with a hammer. God showed her when we criticize the church we “beat God’s body.” She shares, “I think it was The Lord showing me what I was doing out of a heart of jealousy, unforgiveness and bitterness. I was “beating” the Body of Christ (my brothers and sisters) by judging and criticizing them. I was being harsh and critical instead of gentle, patient, loving and kind. This begins with our “brothers and sisters” who live in our own homes (spouse and children) and extends out to the worldwide Body of Christ. Scripture says, our strong love for one another will prove to the world that we are His disciples. John 13:35 What message are we sending?”
The #1 person I can think of in the body of Christ is sweet Joel Osteen. If you have an issue with someone, please take your issue to your prayer closet and do not bash them. That’s what I did and God showed me that Joel is on an assignment to love sinners and he is doing many amazing works that God has approved of. God gave me the verse “blessed are you when people speak evil of you.” Can you imagine God calling Joel to his ministry and saying “I want to heal you of people pleasing and fear of man because when you start this ministry you will be criticized much for my sake, by your Christian brothers and sisters.”
This quote fits perfectly. “For when they see a need, instead of becoming critical, they cast down the accuser of the brethren, and they pray.” Frances Frangipane, Exposing the Accuser of the Brethren
If we have the gift of discernment in the church and we don’t know how to use it, we will use it to judge and be critical to others. So how can we love instead of having negative thoughts?
A few years ago, I worked in an environment with four teachers that tutored students with behavior issues. We had to come to work each day and go around the classroom and get the students who needed us. There was a teacher that was one of the four that I worked with who was very young. He was fresh out of college. He sometimes came to work and played on his ipad the entire time while he was supposed to be tutoring. We were paid the same, yet he came to work and did little effort. He mentioned one day that he needed to add a teaching certification test and he said that he would not take it unless the fee was covered. He shared that in the past, all his testing fees were covered by the government. Later that day, God said to me “he has a spirit of entitlement.” I had a decision to make. I could have judged him but God was teaching me not to judge. I decided to do something different. I prayed that God would heal him from entitlement and bless him. The next day this employee came to work as a new person. He ran out and got students to tutor with him so fast that I thought “Oh my word, I better get on it or I am going to be out of a job.” I was speechless of the miracle that God did before my eyes. I could have judged him and walked off but I instead I tried out the technique God was teaching me where I can’t judge because I am too busy praying a blessing over someone. When I start to judge someone I try to stop and remember that I don’t have time to judge if I am praying a blessing over them. It’s also a lot more fun to see what God can do!
How to take action when you see the negative. For example, I see that someone is acting entitled. I take the negative thing “entitlement” and I flip it and pray a blessing over that person. I pray “God please heal this person from entitlement and I am glad that you see them as a hard worker who earns what they deserve.” I have blessed them and stated that I see them as God sees them which is actually a prophetic prayer in line with what God wants to see. Instead of judging them, I have now taken action to allow God to help them and change their heart.
The Lord spoke to me today. He said “Many of my people are missing their calling.” I waited on the Lord a little more and He said “Many of my children are missing their call to LOVE.”
A late prophet who was very close to God’s heart often said “When you get to heaven the Lord will ask you one question- “Have you loved?”
So today I want to ask you “Have you loved?” Is love the main focus of your life? God is love. He asks us to love Him and our neighbors (others).
The enemy is very aware of our call to love and he intends to distract us from loving. Here are three things the spirit of distraction can make us focus on instead of love.
1. Defending our doctrine– When you get to heaven God will not ask you “Did you defend your doctrine?” I often feel like Christians do not know this. I read a Facebook conversation a while ago that somewhat broke my heart. A Christian youth pastor was arguing about doctrine with a nonChristian. I read threads and threads of “You are so wrong” and “How can you believe that!” I was brokenhearted because this other person did not leave the conversation A. feeling like he was loved and B. feeling like God loved him. There was no love at all. Just arguing. Just division. Just clanging cymbals. I knew God wanted me to pray for both ends of this conversation, that one would see their call to love and that the other would feel loved. I do not see Jesus arguing his doctrine in the Bible but I do see him loving people, helping people and healing people. I pray that if you argue your doctrine that you would stop and ask God if this is something that He wants you to do. Chances are high that it is not. Sometimes it’s easy to hide behind a computer screen and not see the other commenter as a real person, but they are a real humans with real feelings.
2. Bashing another denomination, church or pastor- This touchy subject can be a sin of spiritual pride but that is up to the Holy Spirit to convict, not me. Some call this bashing “speaking the truth in love.” We need to realize that not every ministry is the same. God has different purposes for different ministries. There was a ministry that people said believed a “prosperity gospel” so I got before the Lord and asked him. The Lord showed me that He backed this ministry and that they did not preach this because there was no such gospel. They believed a positive spiritual principal that other denominations did not understand and twisted. He gave me this verse “Blessed are you when others speak evil about you.” The people who were doing the evil speaking were Christians! They were patting each other on the back for bashing other groups. This ought not be so!
3. You decide if others are saved or not– You may even call them false. Some people decide that “someone believes this one part of their doctrine wrong” or “they don’t believe this” then they are not saved. Only God knows if someone is saved. You can see if someone has fruit but ultimately God knows the heart. There is a basic principal of truth verses lies. God spends all our lives replacing lies with truth. It’s how we grow as a Christian. It is part of our process to be more like Jesus each day. I am sure that almost every Christian in the world, has a lie that needs to be replaced with truth. If someone does not believe exactly like you do, please stop playing God for them. God weekly shows me things that I need to correct, work on, or lies that need to be replaced with truth. What has he shown you lately?
We are called to love every single person on earth. All of them. God took me through a process where He showed me I was not loving every single person on earth. There were a few people that I had to say – I don’t agree with everything that this person says or does but I do love them. How about the president? Do you love him? Did you know that you are called to?
The other day the Lord asked me to love my neighbor. He sent me to an old neighbors house who is normally drunk. He told me that He wanted to deliver the man and his wife. I was able to talk with them and pray with them and it turns out, the man was wounded by the church and turned away from it. He loves God but his wounds run deep. I think God is seriously going to use this man.
My dad was one of the best examples of everyday love I have ever known. My dad showed me everyday that someone does not have to be a pastor to be in ministry. Everyone is in ministry. In fact most of the people that we know that are the closest to God are not pastors, they are everyday people who know that their call is to love.