Social Aloe is a gathering place for healing and deliverance, especially for the brokenhearted and those who have drifted away from the Lord. Social Aloe is meant to provide edification, exhortation, and comfort for the glorification of God.
Prince Charming met Cinderella when she was looking her absolute best, stunning. But it was not her looks that left an indelible mark on him; it was her character. As a result, when he reconnected with her after an extensive search, he did not see the external image he had seen before. Yet, he was not disappointed or deterred because she had retained what mattered the most, her character. The prince confirmed her identity by having her try on the only reminder he had of the woman who had captivated him at the ball, the glass slipper. The glass slipper was another thing that set her apart from all the other women in the kingdom. It was custom made for her so it fit her feet perfectly and effortlessly. And such is love, it is transparent as glass and it does not hurt when it is the right fit. The glass slipper is also symbolic of how the prince could see the character of the woman he desired, despite her outward appearance. Love is clearly unwavering.
By the way, ladies, please take note of how the prince held on to the only remnant he had of the woman he had fallen for, and he searched for her. Ladies, you never have to spend time pursuing a man who has your “glass slipper”. If he has your number but never calls, your social media account(s) and never checks or comments… I hope you get the picture. If a man has your “glass slipper”, and he knows you are interested in him, yet he is not pursuing you, don’t ever pursue him. Never walk a mile for a man who would never walk across the street for you; Prince Charming scoured the kingdom in his search for Cinderella. When you read the Book of Ruth, take a look at how Boaz reacted after Ruth expressed an interest in being in a relationship with him; Ruth never pursued Boaz and she never had to (Ruth 2-3). After all, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.” ~ Proverbs 18:22 (NLT) A woman who pursues a man will find misery, in part because he won’t treasure her.
As a Christian, whether a man or woman, do not commit idolatry by pursuing a relationship with a person instead of the Lord. If you cannot let go of a person, surrender him or her to the Lord, that person has become an idol (a god) in your life. If a person permeates your thoughts more than the Lord, that person may be a god in your life. It is idolatry if getting into a relationship, to include marriage, is more important to you than being with the Lord. If you are trying to make someone be with you, especially when the person clearly has no interest in you, that person has become an idol in your life, the god you truly worship. That includes even if you believe the Lord told you the individual is going to be your spouse; I recommend that you read Genesis 24:1-9 and meditate on the eighth verse. The Lord is not going to violate anyone’s free will, so woe unto you if you do, or if you try. If you are trying to resurrect a relationship the Lord has allowed to die, not only is that person a god in your life, you have become the god of your life. I could provide more examples of idolatrous relationships, or attempts to be in such relationships, but I leave you with the following Words from the Lord:
‘You must not have any other god but Me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject Me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love Me and obey My commands.’ ~ Exodus 20:3-6 (NLT)
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
Do not stay in an abusive relationship because of the lack of physical violence. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” ~ Proverbs 18:21a (KJV) Stress is a slow and silent killer that contributes to a multitude of signs and symptoms. Get rid of the stressors before they get rid of you. God has called you to peace; Jesus is the Prince of Peace.
Love Notes: If…
If you knew what some people went through in their relationship you would never encourage them to stay in or return to it.
Love Notes: Narc
If you are in a relationship and you finally discover that your partner is a narcissist, create an exit plan, and when you leave, do not return. By the way, even if you are in love with a narcissist, despite the abuses, one of the best things a narcissist can do for you is dump you. For a narcissist, a relationship is usually not over until he or she says it is over, which is why it is usually better for the narcissist to leave. Sadly, many narcissists will stay in a relationship because they get pleasure from seeing or making others suffer.
Get to know the signs of narcissism, both for yourself and to help others who are enduring narcissistic abuse. One of the major signs of narcissism is a lack of empathy for others but the narcissist will want empathy from others.
By the way, there are various types of narcissists and degrees of narcissism. The degree of narcissism basically determines how fast the person will suck the life out of you if you remain in the relationship.
Love Notes: Snapdragon
Be careful of any relationship where the other person brings out the worst in you and causes you to act out of character.
Several years ago, a minister met his estranged wife (a fellow minister) in an effort to rekindle their relationship. Things did not go well because the male minister was later arrested for aggravated assault. They subsequently divorced and she is still single but he married another minister. His first marriage lasted 6 years and it may have seemed as if he had anger management issues. But he has since been married for almost 8 years and there have been no such publicly disclosed information regarding him being violent.
Sometimes the victim is actually the victimizer; the seemingly dedicated and loving spouse is the one who pushed the other to the brink. The one who got physically abused was the one who had been emotionally abusive. Take note of how Jesus preached about peace, and He is the Prince of Peace, but it was like He snapped when He saw how they had turned His father’s house into a den of thieves. Various Scriptures tell us that God is slow to anger, which means He does get angry. God is love, and He is very patient, but there comes a time when He will no longer tolerate certain things and He will use His rod of correction.
The following is a cautionary tale based on the Lord’s character to be careful about making someone who is greater in power than you angry. “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” ~ Nahum 1:3 (KJV)
As was the case with the previously mentioned male minister, when someone acts out of character, look at the reason for such a reaction. Sometimes the “victim” sowed the wind and reaped the whirlwind. So, like the Lord said, ‘Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ ~ John 7:24 (KJV)
This is especially for the ladies, if you get into an argument with a man and he tells you to be quiet, or he walks away, hold your peace and do not go after him. If you let your emotions get the best of you in the heat of the moment and do not hold your peace, he may not be able to control his emotions and hold his peace either. Keep in mind that when two small flames come in contact they will create a bigger fire. Also consider this. Would you jump into a lions’ den with a piece of steak wrapped around your waist? If you would, I hope you would do so after the lions have had a huge meal and are taking a nap. Well, an angry man who is trying to walk away is like a hungry lion.
This month (August) marks the anniversary of when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. But the devastation started when the Japanese awoken a sleeping fire-breathing giant that had been reluctant to enter into World War II by its attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. One of the most prolific quotes from WWII was, ‘May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.’ ~ General George S. Patton The Japanese naval admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is credited with saying after that fateful attack, ‘I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.’
Whether a man or woman, do not be a fire starter in a relationship and then complain when you get burned by the fire you started. Even God gets provoked to anger, and you would not like to be on the receiving end of His wrath.
I do not condone any form of abuse, but the example I provided of the two ministers is a reminder that two Christians can be unequally yoked, and even the meek can be provoked. Never assume that being with a fellow Christian means you are compatible. Judas was a Christian, yet the Lord made the following comment to His disciples regarding Judas, ‘Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?’ ~ John 6:70 (KJV)
The Lord does not always show you a person’s true colors for you to take the information to the individual in an effort to cause him or her to change. On the contrary, the revelation is for you to change how you interact with the individual. A herd of zebras getting ready to cross a river does not need to convince what they thought was a floating log that it is actually a crocodile. The crocodile already knew its identity and intentions while pretending to look like an innocuous log. But rather, it is the responsibility of the first zebra that positively identifies the log as a crocodile to alert the rest of the herd.
Knowledge gives you power over the enemy, especially when you demonstrate wisdom by wisely using the information. Moreover, the Lord give us knowledge because as He said, ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…’ ~ Hosea 4:6 (KJV)
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
Ministers the Lord groom in the “wilderness” as opposed to in churches and/or seminaries will most likely get interrogated about the source of their ordination. One of the points of discussion in “Raised in the Wilderness: Rogue Reformers, Rallying the Remnant” is that ordination ultimately comes from the Lord, and He does not always give out ordination certificates to those He certifies. Sadly, many people are serving in ministerial positions outlined in Ephesians 4:11 even though the Lord did not call or ordain them. Some are self-appointed and others where appointed by people instead of God. I will try not to rehash much of what is written in “Raised in the Wilderness”, but I am inspired to remind you of the importance of having an ordination from the Lord, and also how sometimes having a piece of paper from an institution is more coveted than an endorsement from the Lord.
When the Lord called Jeremiah to serve Him, He said, ‘Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.’ ~ Jeremiah 1:5 (KJV) It is a potent reminder that the Lord ordains His servants, even when He uses someone else to make the proclamation, as was the case when the Lord directed Elijah to anoint Elisha as a prophet (1 Kings 19:16-19). Whereas one ordination was private and the other was public, the most important thing was that it was from the Lord. One of the reasons why some ministers end up in the wilderness after receiving their calling from the Lord (in a private setting) is because they get rejected in churches. The source of that rejection may be because the Lord has not made others aware of His calling. Conversely, “they” may know but not want to acknowledge it, or worse, they may be trying to snuff it out. Joseph and David ended up in the “wilderness” because others tried to kill the calling the Lord had on their lives. Even after the Lord had Samuel anoint David as Israel’s next king, in front of his family (1 Samuel 16), rather than treating David as the next king, his eldest brother Eliab said, ‘Why camest thou down hither? And with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.’ ~ 1 Samuel 17:28 (KJV) Yet, please do not assume that everyone who opposes your calling is jealous of you. Doing so may indicate pride that the Lord needs to purge from you in the wilderness. However, expect opposition, to include from those closest to you, once you receive your calling from the Lord, even when He does it privately. For David, his brother wanted him back into the wilderness to tend to the sheep. But that was only the beginning for David. Once David’s calling caught Saul’s attention, the king spent years of his life trying to kill David. Consequently, the wilderness is a place of isolation and insulation. The Lord may place you in the wilderness to insulate you from those who should have mentored you.
Unlike where the Lord called Jeremiah and gave him instructions from the onset of his calling, Samuel’s calling was subtle. Even though Eli, the priest and Samuel’s guardian, was in close proximity, he had no idea what the Lord had told Samuel. As a result, don’t expect others to know what the Lord has told you. The Lord did not tell Eli about Samuel’s calling and He may not tell your pastor about yours. In addition, unlike how Eli believed what Samuel had to say, some people will not believe or acknowledge your calling from the Lord. Sadly, many people are not fulfilling their calling from the Lord because they are waiting for their “pastor” to prepare them for and release them into that ministry. The Lord told Jeremiah that he was a prophet but he had to bear fruit commensurate with that calling. Conversely, the Lord did not initially tell Samuel that He was calling him as a prophet, but as you will see, Samuel’s fruit proved his calling: “And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men… And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.” 1 Samuel 2:26, 3:19-20 (KJV) By the way, some people will see your fruit and will “somehow” remain clueless about your calling from the Lord. You can tell a lot about a person’s calling based on their fruit, such as how he or she conveys messages or the type of messages. For example, when the Lord called and commissioned Ezekiel to preach against the house of Israel, this was a part of the Lord’s instructions:‘And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.’ ~ Ezekiel 2:5 (KJV)
If you are or have been in the “wilderness”, you may have dealt with frustration of the Lord pointing you out to others yet they refuse to believe what the Lord had called you to do. In addition, if you tell people what the Lord has called you to do, and they either cannot recognize it or simply want to deny it, they may accuse you of being self-appointed. Yet, do not consider such things as being strange because your Lord, Jesus, experienced the same thing. There were many signs that Jesus was the Messiah, even from His birth (Matthew 2, Luke 2). But let us fast forward to when Jesus was older. Even though the Heavenly Father let people know Jesus was His Son, many people refused to believe (Matthew 3, John 12:28-30, etc.).
You may know what the Lord has called you to do to advance His kingdom, but others are not aware of your “identity in Christ” or they are in denial. Jesus went through the same thing because He knew he was the Son of God, even when others did not or had seemingly forgotten. When Jesus was 12 years old, and His family inadvertently left Him in Jerusalem, they returned to the city to find Him in the temple. Then the following unfolded:
“And He said unto them, ‘How is it that ye sought Me? Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?’ And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” ~ Luke 2:49-52 (KJV)
Mary should have known better, and understood what He meant. Lest not forget the following encounter with the angel of the Lord, Gabriel:
“And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.’” ~ Luke 1:30-35 (KJV)
It can be frustrating if you are waiting for others to validate what you already know. As you will see later, Paul did not consult with others upon receiving his calling from the Lord. While it was like Mary had forgotten that Jesus was the Son of God, He knew exactly who He was. But after spending 30 years in relative obscurity, hidden in plain sight in “the wilderness”, the Heavenly Father did several things when He ordained Jesus to start His ministry. As was the case of when Elijah anointed Elisha, the Lord used a prophet, John the Baptist, to proclaim who Jesus was. Now, while it came as a surprise to people, Jesus already knew what John had declared. Life in the wilderness is difficult, yet a person can get comfortable in the midst of the obscurity and affliction, until something like the following happens to remove the cloak:
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is He of Whom I said, ‘After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for He was before me. And I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.’ And John bare record, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon Him. And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, ‘Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.’ And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.’ Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as He walked, he saith, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’” ~ John 1:29-36 (KJV)
God used John to blow Jesus’s cover so to speak, similarly to how He will use people and/or situations to expose you to the world (in due season). Joseph and Daniel interpreted dreams and visions but their lives changed when the right people discovered their gift from God. Ultimately, a gift from God is to benefit others while glorifying Him. However, sometimes what determines whether a person stays in or gets out of the wilderness is based on how the gift is used. In a manner of speaking, interpretation a dream or vision for a “baker” will lead to a dead end that keeps you in the wilderness. On the other hand, interpreting a dream or vision for a “cupbearer” will open doors for you to get out of the wilderness. Yet, as Joseph discovered, getting out of the wilderness is totally up to the Lord, regardless of who else he knew (Genesis 40-41). Many people have the misconception that serving their pastor is the only way to launch their ministry. Sadly, many pastors have taken advantage of people by limiting people’s ministry to just that, serving them. But like Joseph and so many others have discovered, “…promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.” ~ Psalm 75:6-7 (KJV) The Lord ended Eli and his two sons’ lives and ministries to replace them with Samuel. Similarly, Saul perished so that David could replace him as king. Woe unto any minister who puts emerging ministers in a position of servitude in an attempt to prevent them from fulfilling their calling from the Lord! Senior leaders can either give others an opportunity to learn and grow or they can become obstacles in their growth. The Lord supports opportunities but He will remove obstacles. John the Baptist was the most popular prophet on the scene until Jesus was unveiled. But John remained humble when Jesus’s ministry began to flourish and he said, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease.’ ~ John 3:30 (KJV) Their ministries did not compete because it was all for the glory of God. Just imagine if the focus among ministers was to build the kingdom of God as opposed to individual empires.
When the Lord ordains a minister, He has many ways of letting others know the minister is one of His and that He sent the minister. But that still does not mean the minister will gain acceptance, or that others will listen to that minister’s messages from the Lord. You may have wondered how anyone could have doubted who Jesus was after the following: “And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he [John the Baptist] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in Whom I AM well pleased.’” ~ Matthew 3:16-17 (KJV) You may have had the Lord publicly acknowledge what He has called you to do yet doubt that calling. Well, we have an adversary, the devil. After the Heavenly Father publicly acknowledged Jesus as His Son, and the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, the devil came along and tried to cast doubt regarding the Lord’s identity (Matthew 4:1-10). Do not let any person or devil cause you to doubt your identity in Christ, especially after He has revealed and confirmed it to you. By the way, one of the signs that you have a calling from the Lord is based on how the devil tries to resist you…
There are times when the Lord ordains an individual and others simply will not be able to perceive it. But again, an ordination from the Lord is more important than a piece of paper. Some people will doubt your calling but it will be an indication of their relationship with the Holy Spirit of the Lord. The following serves as a reminder that some things from the Lord are beyond the discernment of others:
“‘Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.’
Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.’
The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, ‘An angel spake to Him.’
Jesus answered and said, ‘This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes.’” ~ John 12:27-30 (KJV)
Some people are hardhearted and they cannot perceive what the Holy Spirit of the Lord has to proclaim about you. In addition, if you tell them about your calling, they may accuse you of being self-appointed and seeking to glorify yourself. They may even go as far as to say that Jesus never proclaimed Himself as the Messiah. However, there were times when Jesus revealed His identity to others:
“The [Samaritan] woman [at the well] saith unto Him, ‘I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus saith unto her, ‘I that speak unto thee am He.’” ~ John 4:25-26 (KJV) Jesus plainly told her that He was the Messiah. In fact, prior to the Lord’s admission, the lady had perceived that Jesus was a prophet (John 4:19). She perceived He was a prophet and believed He was the Messiah so she went back to her village to tell about her encounter with the Christ.
Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.’ Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.” ~ John 10:27-31 (KJV) There was another instance when people wanted to stone Jesus to death to proclaiming that He was the Son of God (John 5). You may also face persecution from those who refuse to acknowledge your calling from the Lord, and they might also chastise you for declaring your calling openly.
There are times in today’s society where an ordination certificate is required, such as to perform as wedding. But a person can be an officiant without being a minister of Christ. If your calling requires an ordination certificate then let the Lord show you how to obtain one. But ultimately, a certificate is not as important as having the Lord’s seal of approval on your calling and ministry, His Holy Spirit. The examples cited where people obtained favor with God and men was a result of the Holy Spirit. Jesus’s ministry did not officially start until the Holy Spirit manifested His presence. Even Jesus said He could do nothing of Himself, but He did what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19). That was as a result of the Holy Spirit. Many ministries are off track because the Holy Spirit is not leading them, and that includes ministers who are serving in the wrong position. It may come as a surprise to you, but many people have a legitimate calling from the Lord but He did not call them to serve Him in a church. Daniel was a prophet but the Lord had him work for foreign kings. Jesus spent a great deal of time ministering to people outside of the temple and synagogues. The apostle Paul spent a lot of time traveling to synagogues and churches. Yet, some of the most impactful things about his ministry were the epistles he wrote, to include while in prison, which now comprises much of the Bible’s “New Testament”. It is great if you are serving the Lord in the office in which He has called you to serve Him. But are you doing what He ordained you to do? Some of Jesus’s disciples had the title apostle, but they were out of position as they cast their net on the wrong side of the ship, until Jesus showed up and instructed them to cast their nets on the other side of the ship (John 21). Despite the large quantity of fish they subsequently caught, they were still out of position because the Lord had called them away from catching fish so they could become fishers of men (Matthew 4:17-22). Sometimes an ordination from the Lord means He will call you away from the institutional church, similarly to how Paul was serving the high priest until his encounter with Christ changed that (Acts 9).
I close with the following reminder from the apostle Paul, regarding how the Lord called and prepared him (in the wilderness), and how the Lord may also call and prepare you:
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.” ~ Galatians 1:10-24 (KJV)
One of the ways the Lord communicates to us is via dreams (Genesis 20:3, Numbers 12:6, Matthew 2, etc.). If you are a prophet/seer, dreamer of dreams (Deuteronomy 13), or operate in the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 12), it is easy to become consumed with the things the Lord communicates to you about other people and things and lose sight of what He communicates to you about yourself. Critics of those who have a lot of prophetic dreams oftentimes use the following Scriptures to discount those dreams:
‘Behold, I AM against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.’ ~ Jeremiah 23:32 (KJV)
‘I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in My name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; which think to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten My name for baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Is not My Word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?’ ~ Jeremiah 23:25-29 (KJV)
‘I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My Words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.’ ~ Jeremiah 23:21-22 (KJV)
I am not here to address the critics, but I am here to warn those who receive a lot of dreams (and visions) based on the Words of the Lord in Jeremiah 23.
The first warning is for you to test the spirits as stated in 1 John 4:1 to ensure your dream (or vision) is from the Lord as opposed to your soul or an impure spirit. Now, there are things you can glean from all three types of dreams (and visions). Briefly stated, a demonically induced dream or vision may indicate what the devil is trying to stop you from doing, or where he is trying to mislead you into going. Some people do not know what the Lord’s plan for them is and the short answer is it’s the opposite of what the devil wants for you. A dream or vision from the soul may indicate something from within you that is blocking the things of the Lord. For example, your cares of this world may be hindering your relationship with the Lord and you need to cast your cares on the Lord. Cast your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). In addition, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV) Philippians 4:7 also serves as a reminder regarding how a dream or vision from the Lord tends to provide hope whereas one from the enemy leaves you feeling hopeless and fearful. The Lord dealt harshly with king Abimelech in a dream, but that was to stop him from sinning. In addition, the Lord gave him hope of escaping judgment (Genesis 20). Dreams and visions from the Lord can be placed in various categories such as warning dreams, where He may warn you of traps the enemy has set for you or others (Matthew 2). The Lord may also reveal His plans for you in a dream or vision (Genesis 28, 37). Keep in mind when the Lord said to the Israelites regarding their return from captivity (Jeremiah 29:10), ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith theLord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.’ ~ Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV) Also, please note that you may have a dream with multiple segments so you have to test the spirit behind each scene. There are times when you will have a dream from the Lord and a devil may try to sow “weeds among the wheat” by adding to the dream. That may explain why you may have a wonderful dream but then it transitions to something different and fearful, even to the point where you may forget what the Lord had communicated to you. So to reiterate, please test the spirit behind your dream, especially before you broadcast to others that the Lord had shown you something in a dream.
The second warning is to ensure you pay attention to when the Lord is telling you about yourself. When you stand in the Lord’s counsel, to include in a dream, there are times when He will reveal things to you about yourself that could or will result in disaster if you do not repent. Note how the Lord warned Cain by telling him that sin was crouching at his door but he must rule over it (Genesis 4). Tragically, even after standing in the Lord’s counsel, Cain killed his brother Abel, and he paid a serious price for his disobedience and sin. There are many ways to stand in the Lord’s counsel but the most important thing is to take His counsel.
The third warning is if you are getting a lot of revelations about others and none about yourself, particularly things you need to work on, I would be (very) concerned. The prophet Isaiah said, ‘But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.’ ~ Isaiah 64:6 (KJV) One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of our righteousness (John 16:7-15). Yes, you read that correctly, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our “righteousness”. If you are more focused on Him showing you things to come, you may lose sight of His reminders that without Christ, our righteousness is as filthy rags to God. Lest not forget the following encounter Isaiah had with the Lord:
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy, is theLordof hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory.’ And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, ‘Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, theLordof hosts.’” ~ Isaiah 6:1-5 (KJV)
Isaiah stood in the presence of the perfectly holy God and the Lord’s holiness illuminated unclean things about the prophet to himself. Isaiah prophesied about the birth of Jesus, the Son of God (Isaiah 9:6-7), but he was not above being humbled by his own shortcomings. I know many people are discouraged by professing prophets who claim to have dreams and visions about things to come, yet cannot see their own demise if they do not repent of their ways. Whether you are a prophet/seer, dreamer of dreams, or you operate in the gift of prophecy, never forget that Jesus said, ‘Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ ~ Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)
Standing in the Lord’s counsel may make you want to tell others about your dream or vision, but it should definitely make you want to tell people to repent lest they perish. There are also times when an experience with the Lord will let you know that you need to repent, even if there is something minor or even nonexistent now that could become a major problem later. When the Lord spoke to king Solomon in a dream, He promised to give the king wisdom, riches, and honor. But the Lord also warned the king to walk in His ways and keep His statutes and commandments (1 Kings 3:12-14). Sadly, years later, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, some of whom turned his heart away from the Lord to the point of where they started practicing idolatry in Israel (1 Kings 11). Do not overlook the revelations from the Lord about what He wants you to do for Him, such as to repent or walk uprightly, in favor of what He plans or promised to do for you. Gifts from God come with responsibilities.
It is a horrible thing to mislead a person to believe that the Lord is angry with him or her when that is not the case. Similarly, it is also awful to mislead a person to believe that the Lord is pleased with him or her when that is not the case. Many messengers need to repent for misusing the Lord’s name, oftentimes to advance their selfish agenda, and for misrepresenting Him to others. Some messengers need to tell others who are living in sin, which is displeasing to the Lord, to repent. The Lord loved David, yet He sent Nathan the prophet to tell the king about His displeasure with his sinful actions, to include how he was living in sin (2 Samuel 11). A person who is living in sin should never feel comfortable around a prophet. I would be very afraid if I were living in sin and the Lord stopped trying to correct me, either directly or indirectly through one of His messengers.
Prophets, do not think it strange when the Lord shows you that the pastor is having sex with a member of the congregation but you do not confront the pastor, and as a result of your silence (passivity), the Lord does not show you that an angry spouse or parent is coming to the church armed and ready to publicly confront the pastor. If you are a prophet whom the Lord has specifically commissioned as a watchman, keep in mind what the Lord said to Ezekiel if he refused to warn others (Ezekiel 3, 33). Don’t be a messenger who contributes to people’s mess, a MESSenger. The Lord will forgive us of our sins if we repent but He does not overlook them, that is why we eventually get judged for unrepentant sins.
A person who marries a member of the military does not get to wear his or her spouse’s rank or use the spouse’s authority. The service member was entrusted with rank and authority after years of service and adherence to standards. Even though spouses enjoy a level of respect that is commensurate with the service member’s rank, the spouses do not have authority to issues lawful orders… The same rules apply to churches so we need to stop the nonsense of people being a co-pastor for example simply because the person married a pastor. Similarly, being the child of a minister does not mean the Lord has called that person to be a minister. Oftentimes, children of ministers who seem to have a proclivity for ministry are simply emulating their parent(s).
The following illustrate how the Lord called people to serve Him and the roles their spouses and children fulfilled:
“…Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.” ~ Judges 4:4-5 (KJV) Deobrah was the prophetess and judge over Israel so people sought her instead of her husband. Lapidoth did not earn the title “prophet” because he was married to a prophetess, and neither was he a “co-judge” over Israel. There is also another example with the prophetess Huldah, the wife of Shallum. King Josiah sent his men to inquire of the Lord via Huldah instead of Shallum (2 Kings 22). There are times when the wife will be the minister. Yet, even when that is the case, the following still applies: “…the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” ~ Ephesians 5:23-24 (KJV) There are men in the military who are married to women who are also in the military, and even though the women outrank them at work, the men are still the head of the household.
Moses was a prophet and also the first judge over Israel. It is easy to forget that Moses had a wife named Zipporah, and two sons named Gershom and Eliezer (1 Chronicles 23:15). Moses was busy being a prophet and a judge while Zipporah was busy being a wife and a mother. Even though Zipporah was not in the spotlight, she also played a vital role by saving Moses’ life (Exodus 4:24-26). Yet, she was not a prophetess or “co-judge”. In addition, when it was time for someone to take over from Moses, the Lord chose Joshua instead of one of Moses’ sons (Deuteronomy 31).
The Lord called Peter as one of His apostles. But this is how we found out that Peter was married: “…when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, He saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.” ~ Matthew 8:14-15 (KJV) Also, note that when Jesus sent out His 12 apostles, and later the 70 disciples, the Lord sent them out in ministry teams that had nothing to do with marital status (Mark 6:7-13, Luke 10). Peter was married but his ministry partner was not his wife.
Being a minister’s spouse is challenging enough without the additional responsibilities of being a co-laborer in the ministry. Many people covet being a minister’s spouse but very few Christians are prepared to fulfill that role. Being married to a Christian who sits besides you in the pews is very different from a person the Lord calls as one of His apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Ephesians 4:11-12). The Lord does not bestow those positions on people based on nepotism. By the way, you may have thought about how the prophet Isaiah was married to a prophetess. In addition, you may think the term is used to describe a prophet’s wife. Well, the Hebrew word used to describe Isaiah’s wife is the same word used to describe other female prophets such as Miriam and Deborah (נְבִיאָה transliterated as nĕbiy’ah – Strong’s H5031). But just in case you are not convinced, the prophet Ezekiel had a wife and this is how he referred to her: ‘So I spake unto the people in the morning: and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.’ ~ Ezekiel 24:18 (KJV) He did not refer to her as a prophetess.
Ministers, please do not give titles to your spouses that they are not qualified to receive or maintain. By the way, can anyone direct me to the Scripture where it says a pastor’s wife should be called “First Lady”? On a similar note, I recently heard a church’s congregation refer to the founding pastor’s wife as “Mrs. Apostle”. I was shocked that the congregants used her husband’s “title” in lieu of her last name. But what was arguably even worse was that she did not rebuke them, even a gentle rebuke to tell them to use her real last name instead of her husband’s title. There are things that make it abundantly clear when real apostles and prophets are not in some churches, yet many people love it so.
Don’t be shocked, but there was a time when I pursued sin. However, now that I have ended my relationship with sin, and began pursuing Jesus, sin has been pursuing me, relentlessly. And it has showed up at some unexpected times and places. For example, yesterday, I was on a website that I frequent because it is a resource for me to copy and paste Scriptures whether I am writing a book or a social media post. I was shocked when I saw an advertisement for another company on the left side of the screen. It had two images, one of which was of a topless woman, obviously not a “Proverbs 31 woman” (Proverbs 31:21-22). It was surreal that I was on a Biblical website where another company was showing its products, one of which I did not want to see, and it had no place with something that was holy. It was literally like a person with a Bible who has such as photograph in it. Once I realized that what I was seeing was really there, I left the page and began rebuking the devil. Like I said, there was a time when I pursued sin, but since I began pursuing Jesus, sin has been pursuing me. The devil has a smorgasbord of sins on his menu and he will use anything in his efforts to ensnare us. We know the devil as the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 19:10). For some people it is easy for him to accuse them of sin, because they are living in it, but for others, he will falsify a case against them. For those who do not succumb to any of his many seductions, he will use entrapment.
In fact, as I was getting inspired to write and share this post, I was reminded of a dream I had, one I came across in my journal yesterday. I woke up from the dream feeling as if what I had seen in the dream was the Lord telling me why He has been withholding something from me. I woke up feeling as if the Lord has been withholding something from me because I was not ready. The worse part was I felt as if the Lord could not trust me with it. Now, when the Lord says you’re not ready, you’re not ready, regardless of how well prepared you feel. But I kept wondering how it could be if the Lord could trust me with other similar things, then why not that? Another reason why it is also important to also analyze how dreams make you feel is that it made me feel as if I did not deserve the Lord’s best. However, I know that is not the case; the devil simply wanted me to unknowingly come into agreement with him, and he did it in a very underhanded way. Sometimes our humility gives the devil access into our lives. I felt like I was a mere servant of the Lord but the Bible says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” ~ Romans 8:14 (KJV)
As we draw closer to the Lord, we have to ensure that we do not knowingly or unknowingly come into agreement with the devil. Jesus did few works in His hometown because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:54-58). Fear is basically faith in the devil and unbelief in the Lord. Fear also gives devils room to operate in our lives. Job was a righteous man, and the first two chapters of the Book of Job shed light on how the Lord lifted His hedge of protection from and the resulatant afflictions by the hands of the devil. But there was more to it than that based on when Job said, ‘For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.’ ~ Job 3:25-26 (KJV) What kind of fears have you been harboring or even ruminating on? Lest not forget, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) What have devils robbed you of because your fear is greater than your faith, to include feeling unworthy of what the Lord has in store for you?
Before I close, you may think I went overboard by rebuking the devil for the image in the ad I saw. Well, sometimes you have to recognize the spirit behind certain events, and people. When the devil appeared to Eve, he spoke to her via a serpent, which is described as being more subtle than any other beast of the field (Genesis 3:1). In addition, the devil is described as the “prince of the power of the air”, which is a part of why such filth is broadcast via airwaves. Also, keep in mind what happened when Jesus spoke to His disciples about going to Jerusalem where He would be killed but would rise on the third day. On the surface, it may have seemed like a noble thing when Peter rebuked Him by saying, ‘Be it far from Thee, Lord: this shall not be unto Thee.’ ~ Matthew 16:22 (KJV) However, Jesus looked beneath the surface and He knew who was truly speaking. As a result, Jesus “…turned, and said unto Peter, ‘Get thee behind me, satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.’” ~ Matthew 16:23 (KJV) Again, Jesus looked at Peter but He rebuked the devil. So, “Lest satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” ~ 2 Corinthians 2:11 (KJV)
I close with the following:
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.’ See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” ~ Ephesians 5:1-16 (KJV)
Again, “…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” ~ Ephesians 5:11 (KJV) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ~ James 4:7 (KJV)