I asked God yesterday morning for a word I could share with the members of my ecclesia (gathering/house church/simple church/organic church–not sure what to call our little group for maximum communication value.) This is what He gave me, and it was so cool I wanted to share it with you as well.
I am with you, in your midst. Don’t be afraid to give your portion of good news to your brothers and sisters. I didn’t create you, and woo you to Myself in order to deceive you. Did I say to you to be full of trepidation and afraid lest you give a false word? Unless you set out from a wrong foundation–a foundation of self-will, I will truly speak to you and through you. My servants who sincerely seek Me will never be given a stick or a stone, let alone a serpent.
When you do set out selfishly, I will chasten you, but gently and for love–not from vengeance. Don’t be so afraid of falling that you never walk. Babies fall, but parents don’t chide them for that. Self-will, yes–that must be dealt with, and consistently, but sincere and immature children do not trouble Me nearly so much as lethargic babies who do not even try to take nourishment given–let alone seek food on their own initiative.
You should be seeking food not only for yourselves, but to feed others as well. No one who seeks bread from My hand goes away empty. Seek and you will be filled. Doors will open to you and you will go in and out and find pasture for yourselves and for all who hunger for love and hope and truth.
No more will you say, “They don’t want Jesus,” for I will lead you to the hungry ones and I will arouse a terrible hunger and thirst in those to whom I lead you–a hunger that I alone can fill.
Cast down strongholds and they will fall. Mighty is the Name of your Lord. Go forth in strength and not in fear.
This seems pretty straightforward to me, but that may be because God gave it to me, and He knows how to speak to me so that I will understand Him. Because I’m not sure how it will sound to others, let me give a bit of a translation:
Jesus assures us in the bible that wherever two or more of His followers gather together, He will be there, too. Our “portion of good news” refers to things the Spirit has revealed to our spirits, whether at an earlier time or in the present moment as we meet. Brothers and sisters are our fellow believers. Jesus assures us that He didn’t create us and draw us to Himself just to lie to us. He didn’t tell us to be terrified of giving a “word from Him” that might really be from ourselves. If we truly want to hear from Him, and don’t have our own agendas, we will. Jesus said in the bible that people who asked for the Holy Spirit would not receive a stone (a worthless or lifeless thing) or a serpent (a harmful or demonic thing), but would receive what they asked for–the Holy Spirit. The stick is new, and I would say that it refers to something that was once alive, but is now dead (many present-day churches?)
Jesus warns that when we do have our own agenda in first place, we will be chastened (scolded or disciplined), but that this will be done gently and for the purpose of teaching us, not because God is angry and wishes to punish us. He warns us not to be so afraid of doing things wrong that we never try to do them at all. Self-will must be corrected, but He will not be angry with us for making mistakes when we are sincerely trying to do right. He is more concerned about lethargic Christians who do not even take in the spiritual food offered by others, let alone try to find spiritual food for themselves (by seeking Him out in prayer).
We should be seeking spiritual food for ourselves, and also for others. If we come to Him, He will give us spiritual food (this food is Himself–the bread of life).
Doors will be opened to you means that opportunities to serve others and to share His love will come. Finding pasture, again refers to finding spiritual food. Jesus said that He was the door, so all our going in and out must be through Him. The food we find is for ourselves, and for people (believers and non-believers) who are hungry for it. He assures us that there are people who do hunger for Him, and that He will lead us to them and make them even more hungry so that He can satisfy their hunger with Himself. If you have ever “hungered” for a loved one, you will understand this metaphor.
“Casting down strongholds” is a reference to praying for people and against demonic forces that would like to keep the people in bondage. The bible teaches us that we cast down these strongholds by prayer. God is mightier than the devil and by His Name, the forces of spiritual evil will fall. We are not to fight a physical battle, but a prayer battle against spiritual opponents.
Wow! The explanation is a lot longer than the original message. 😆 God speaks a lot more succinctly than I do. 😉 I hope this will encourage some of you to seek that true bread that the Heavenly Father gives us: Jesus Christ His Son.
Grace and Peace, Cindy