“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7
Vol. 18, No. 8 August 2009
I woke up with this thought immediately on my mind: “You have been sanctified through the truth.” I felt so clean inside. It was as if I had been thoroughly washed inside out.
There seems to be so much filth in the world today, it is hard to keep one’s self clean and purified. Yet that is exactly what the Lord requires of us. Of course if we are not getting the truth in us on a regular basis it will be very difficult for us to keep ourselves cleansed and purified.
John 15:3 says, “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken to you.” Is the Lord speaking to you on a regular basis? If He is, then you are being continually cleansed through that word. If you are having a difficult time hearing God, then stop and listen; He has something to say to you because He wants you clean from the stains of this world. It is extremely easy to get a stain today from the world. Don’t’ fret; just keep yourself in the Word and let the sanctifying power of that Word keep you as you experience the joy and blessings, that will flow out of your innermost being.
There is something refreshing about a nice shower first thing in the morning. It is revitalizing to the body. Well, that is what the Word of God does for our soul and spirit. So be cleansed this day. Amen!
God Will Take Care of You
Psa 37:7 (KJV) “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”
We can stay spiritually and emotionally healthy if we continually commit all situations to the Lord and believe that God will take care of us. Under no circumstances are we to seek to justify ourselves because of what we go through.
Do you remember Absalom had tried to take the kingdom from his father King David? After fleeing the city, David came to a town called Bahurim where a man named Shimei came out of his house and began cursing him. Because he blamed David for the death of King Saul, Shimei said that David’s being shamed by his own son was justice. (Sounds like America today.) Abishai offered to avenge David saying, “I’ll cut off the man's head for speaking to you like that.” But David said, “No. Perhaps the Lord may look on my distress and return good to me for his cursing me.”
How many of us can do that? David had committed his way to the Lord. He had the power to strike this man, but he waited on the Lord to take care of him.
We must learn that when people get in our way and mistreat us, even curse us, that we turn to the Lord instead of attempting to justify ourselves. This response will keep our hearts free from animosity and hostility that brings on bitterness. God will bring forth our righteousness as the light and our judgment as the noonday if we don’t justify ourselves.
The mark of a mature Christian is to wait for the Lord even if it takes years. We cannot enter the Kingdom of God apart from considerable patience and endurance. We pray, we obey, and then we wait, wait, wait.
Satan tempts us to take control and jump off the pinnacle of the temple. Satan urges us to come off the cross with accusations. “Get down from there you loser. Can’t you see everyone else is prospering and all you have are problems and discouragement? I can make your life more pleasant.” How many friends do you know that think there is something wrong with you because of what you go through? We enter the Kingdom of God through much tribulation. Tribulation works patience and patience works its perfect work in us. People are seeking for happiness today when they ought to be seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
God does want us to be happy, and we shall know the fullness of joy at His right hand. But first we need to know the Lord. If we are going to know Him, then we must submit to His rending and tearing us so that He can bandage and heal us. There is no other way to know the Lord.
When we decide to rest in the Lord and wait on Him, we will be surrounded with people who seem to have everything going their way. We may think we are at a disadvantage as we wait on the Lord while others go forth in their own strength and following their own rules. I am not talking about passivity. Waiting on the Lord is not passive, like waiting for the movement of the water before we jump in. If we do that we will be deceived.
When we talk about waiting on the Lord we are speaking about praying and waiting until we get guidance and have an assurance in our hearts that God is in a specific situation. Even then, deception can come; so we walk cautiously to see what kind of fruit from our actions takes place.
For a disciple of Christ there is no such thing as an “obvious decision.” That is taking the Lord for granted, and chastisement will usually follow.
When I look around in certain places and see people applying the principles of “church growth,” I often get a twinge urging me to “do something” until I go to prayer and hear Psa 127:1 “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain.”
Too many are playing politics and seeking their own glory. They will prosper while telling you what to do. But remember the words of the Lord: Psa 37:9 (KJV) “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”
There are too many voices today telling us what to do and how to do it. Some are beneficial, but what does Jesus say? I think He is saying, “Prepare for judgment.”
Is it possible that America must be brought low and then raised up for the world to see the power of Christ? The Lord is saying, ‘I WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.” Psa 37:10-11 (KJV) “For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be]: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it [shall] not [be]. (11) But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
Men have become lovers of themselves. The perverseness is beyond comprehension and the covetousness is just as bad. For most of us, our problem is “fretting” about what is happening. The people are much like Lot: they are righteous at heart but deeply grieved and vexed over what others say and do. All we can see is injustice to make people rich. It is difficult not to become cynical.
· Unjust wages
· Unjust benefits
· Unjust judicial decisions
· Unjust abortions
· Unjust marital status
· Unjust control over our lives
People are sick of the injustice, yet there is little we can do without breaking the law. Things are not better than they have been in the past. Things are going to continue to go downhill. BUT WE ARE NOT TO FRET OURSELVES. Fretting leads to sin. We are not to envy those who get away with things that cause them to prosper. We are commanded not to fret and not to be envious of others: Psa 37:1 (KJV) “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.”
Instead, we are commanded in: Phi 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.”
I am not speaking about a careless ignorant attitude that makes us look like we are coo-coo. I am talking about resisting the devil who is determined to get our eyes off the Lord and watch him instead.
We are learning when God’s Word says to do something, we should do it. After we have done what God has enabled us to do and we are still fretting and agitated, or filled with negative discouraging thoughts, then we are to come before God in prayer until we get victory over these harmful emotions and attitudes.
You do not help yourself by fretting about evil. You grieve the Lord and everyone around you when you speak and do harmful things to yourself and others. We need to be hearing about the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Lift up your heads in the Lord Jesus Christ and rejoice so others can be drawn to Him.
When God has something constructive for us to do, He will show us exactly what to do. In the meantime, quit fretting.
Sin always catches up with people. Sometimes the wicked seem to live forever while goodhearted people are destroyed. There seems to be no justice. But God has a way of revealing His judgment. Whether in this life or the next doesn’t matter. Judgment will happen. Nothing righteous or unrighteous catches God off guard.
Our prayer is to see people turn to righteousness. And when they do God forgets about their wickedness. But when a righteous man turns from his righteous ways, he will be judged as a wicked person. NO ONE GETS AWAY WITH ANYTHING. But as long as we are trying to exert our own justice – God will not move. Let go and let God!
Turn your problems over to God. Let Him rule your heart and mind. Our problems are trivial compared to what is facing the world.
Why not pray victory over harmful attitudes and emotions and see that God will take care of you.
. . . My calling as a pastor
Pastor’s Journal 2008
Aug. 4: “You have My assurance that I am still leading you. The Kingdom of God is suffering violence, but I am at work to deliver My people and cause them to know Me like never before. My faithfulness is never ending.”
Aug. 9: “The day of the Lord is here. It is a day of darkness and gloom but I will arise with healing in My wings and lift My Bride up with Me. I will not suffer the righteous to be forsaken. Draw near to Me in everything. I am your gladness, joy, peace and portion.” PTL
Aug. 16: Thank You, Lord, for Your continual presence and direction in my life while we were gone. I am so amazed how anyone can live without knowing You. The worldly influence is continuing to increase everywhere we go. We must have Your direction and manifested presence to show us the way through this darkness. To know You is sufficient. There is contentment when we are in Your perfect will. My heart beats, “Thank You,” with much gratitude!
Aug. 18: It is time for RESTORATION! It is time to restore what the enemy has stolen. We are fully devoted to You, O Lord. We are ready to pour out to others what You have revealed to us. This is Your day. You have called us to restore that which has been torn down. Let us be known as those who restore!
Aug. 19: My God, You are ALL-ALL-ALL that we need.
Aug. 23: “Do not say your heart is evil. I say those who bring forth lasting fruit have a good and honest heart. Yes, it can be deceived; but as long as you are being watered by the True and Living Word, it remains good and honest.”
Revival or Revenue?
The great world-wide depression of 1929 is usually the first thing that comes to mind these days when economic chaos is being discussed. That is probably because it has been less than a century since it happened, and the effects of that calamity have been felt by many people who are still alive today. But that depression was not the first one, and it will not be the last one. With the unrest in today’s economy, many people sense that we may well be moving into another global depression. Whether that is true or not, the real question is what will it reveal about the depths of our hearts and our faith?
Ecc 1:9 (KJV) “The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun.”
History shows again and again that the Word of God is true. There have been times of plenty, as well as times of leanness, and the same will continue to happen. The one thing that does not change through it all is Christianity. Of course God does not change, but the fruit of the lives of those who profess to be Christian has been known to fluctuate during the hard times in their lives. In my studies of history on this subject, I found indication that greed drove many from their faith, and into diverse sins. In addition, the denominational churches of that era did not experience growth, but rather were deeply concerned with the lack of income they were experiencing. One noteworthy fact was that the “tongue talking, Pentecostal churches” were increasing in numbers rapidly during that time. They were noted as being those who professed to being led by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. That difference was not because of any certain named revival, but simply because people were living what the Holy Bible calls the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Rom 8:14-16 (KJV) “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (15) For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (16) The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”
It is always necessary to seek the Lord for direction in our lives, so why should we worry when the world changes around us? Perhaps we have grown to trust in the things of the world more than we trust in our God. Just remember, God goes back further than the “Great Depression,” and so do the records of those who have followed Him faithfully. One instance is a story about “The Bank Panic of 1857.” Severe economic circumstances had caused the extensive banking system of The United States to collapse. on October 14th of that year. Rich men went broke overnight, suicide and murder and prostitution rapidly increased as panic filled the nation. Over a month earlier in New York city, Jeremiah Lamphier, a quiet forty-six year old Christian businessman who had been seeking the Lord was led to start a noontime one-hour prayer meeting for businessmen. Attendance at the meetings started with one person besides Jeremiah, then grew so large that multiple buildings were being used daily throughout New York City. These meetings were strictly purposed for prayers of renewed devotion to Christ, and prayers for the salvation of lost souls of loved ones and acquaintances. The prayers were not about the economy, but God blessed those who attended in every way.
If you are being led by the Lord, it does not matter how well the economy is functioning, only doing what the Lord says that matters.
Quotes From Leonard Ravinhill:
Are all things you’re living for worth Christ dying for?
Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility.
My main ambition in life is to be on the devil’s most wanted list.
You can’t develop character by reading books. You develop it from conflict.
Stephen was Spirit-filled when he was performing wonders. Yet, he was just as Spirit-filled when he was being stoned to death.
If a Christian is not having tribulation in the world, there’s something wrong.
Concerning the fixation that today’s church has with numbers, growth at any price; the church has paid a terrible price for statistics.
Many pastors criticize me for taking the Gospel so seriously. But do they really think that on Judgment Day, Christ will chastise me, saying, “Leonard, you took Me too seriously?”