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By Mary Lindow

As I sit here in the outdoors this evening enjoying an unusually cool and brilliantly moonlit sky, I am stirred to speak openly and transparently about the things that God is not only dealing with in my personal journey with him, but also some of the trends and presumptions that occur in the world of “Christendom” when it appears and feels as if the Father God is far off and seemingly unresponsive to the cries of those desperate for relief and merciful compassion.

Through his own personal agony, King David came to a new understanding of what it really was that God required from man.

ENMESHED INTO DECEPTION 

God is not interested in our outward sacrifices or "offerings."

This does not necessarily mean that God never requires outward forms of worship or expression or observances. Many lines of Scripture prove that at times he does. But it does mean that these are not the things that he requires first. If our religious practices contain nothing more than outward actions and performance, then God takes no pleasure in them.

God always looks underneath what goes on outwardly, and looks to the motives and the attitude of the heart. What does he look for there?

 David tells us in Psalm 51:16 -17

“For you delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; you find no pleasure in burnt offering. 

The sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.” 

 

BROKEN AND CONTRITE

These are not common words to our ears these days! 

Just what does it mean when God asks that we have a broken spirit?

 Does he want us to be beaten down and humiliated? 

I am sure that this is not his plan. So? What IS a broken spirit? 

It is an “inner self” that has come totally to the end of it-self. It makes no claims, and offers no arguments. All independence, all self-will, self-promotion, all self-righteousness have been pruned away.

Such a spirit simply turns and trusts completely upon God, not trusting in his own skill, merit, popularity, or ability to influence. This one who has willingly allowed the disciplining of his soul knows that he or she must only trust in God and his unrelenting mercy.

If we will ALLOW Him to guide us, HE knows how to produce this brokenness of spirit in each of us. Just remember, he treats us as individuals. And he would never abuse our individuality. He uses just the right amount of intensity needed to accomplish his desires, that we would relinquish our mistrust in his plan and fully step into total abandonment, willingly accepting his plan.

“For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.” 

-Lamentations 3:33

 

AFFLICTION IS ALSO KNOWN AS - “DISCIPLINE” 

If there was ever a man who had to face affliction also known as “discipline” - it was David. I am amazed that he never became bitter. He even admitted that it did him good! God allows us to come under afflictions/discipline, not because he is mad at us, nor because he has rejected us. It is actually a demonstration of his faithfulness.

When he sees us taking a wrong turn that will lead to our own harm and damage, he allows difficulty and affliction/discipline to turn us back to the way that leads to peace and blessing.

When I say affliction, I am not accusing God of bringing about harsh and devastating blows in order to knock us down and break our arms in the process.

No! No! No!

In Psalm 119:67, 71, 75 it says:

 "I used to wander off until you disciplined me;

 but now I closely follow your word.

My suffering was good for me,

for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.

I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair. 


You disciplined me because I needed it.

 

WHEN WE ARE "THROWN A CURVEBALL" 

How do we respond when we are "thrown a curveball" and everything we carefully planned out and prepared for suddenly takes a turn we did not expect?

David did not view afflictions/disciplines as disaster. He saw it as a form of correction - something to adjust his life. He was saying, “Before I was afflicted/disciplined I went astray and I suffered for it. Now I've learned my lesson! It pays to obey your word!”

 

ARE YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF DIFFICULTY, LOSS, OR AN ADJUSTMENT? 

May I caution you? Don't fight back! And whatever you do, do not argue with God! Admit that God is dealing with you and allowing an affliction/a disciplining, a difficulty or disappointment, to address major issues of stubbornness, lazy spirituality, dependence upon others for water from the word, and more than often - a sour and willful independence that does not like accountability in every area.

 

ASK HIM, "WHAT IS IT THAT YOU ARE DOING?" 

“God? Am I off the pathway that you have planned and have willfully gone my own way?”

The Lord is seeking, looking, longing for you to turn away from things that are harmful and to bring you back to things that are in his purpose and plan.

If we are willing to learn from these afflictions/disciplines, there will come a time when we will indeed look back with gratitude for the things we have learned and matured in.

My dear friends, we were not created to serve ourselves or to meet our own needsWhatever we need, the Lord will see to it that we get it, as we move along the pathway that he has chosen. You may be asking the question, “Why is it so hard for me to hear from the Lord at first when it comes to difficult issues and decisions?”

We must understand we cannot instantly “unlearn” what we have lived our entire life.

We must as the Scripture says be "transformed" from who we are to what we want to be.

We need to understand with our whole heart that we were intended to be godly in every way. In our relationships with others, and above all, in our relationship with God the father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. If one is out of order then both will be.

But! As a dear brother in the Lord by the name of Larry Reese says, 

“We are not to fear the passing of time or fear that we are wasting time by spending time with the Lord, searching out his word, and being still in his presence.

You will never lose anything by doing these things!”

 

TRENDS, BLOGS, AND COMMENTS

It's no secret that social media has become quite a form of communication! One of the problems that can occur when “listening” to trends, blogs, and commentary from others is that sources quoted and information gathered might well be skewed to interject thoughts and opinions into the minds of those who never think for themselves.

Believers in Christ are not to be uninformed, but they are to be wise about what they “ingest and digest” when it comes to the lifestyle of a Christian.

Do not rely upon the wisdom of men to help you to ultimately reach the destiny that God himself paid the price for. He is not an ego- driven maniac looking for his entourage of followers to validate his importance!

He "paid it forward" so that we would have the opportunity to walk upon a pathway, although narrow, that leads to purposeful living and a fruitful reaping of productivity that will only advance us into further opportunities to speak of hope and a purpose for others.

 

BEWARE OF FALSE HUMILITY AND UNDERTONES OF DISDAIN 

If there were one thing that sickens the heart of God it would be underhanded and slippery craftiness oozing from those who resist the full aspect of allowing God to create in them a clean and contrite heart.

It always amazes me how individuals that need notoriety and a place of “mystical” influence seem to be able to cunningly discredit good and godly saints around them who have perhaps lovingly warned them about deceptive practices or micro-management control issues, knowing that they risk the loss of relationship when doing so.

It is as if these individuals secretly feel entitled to sidestep the issue of preferring your brother or sister, and humbly listening to their insights and observances.

Equally amazing, are those who listen to only one side of a conflict or disagreement, and then spiritualize-away the facts that harm or discord has happened.

And so, the Lord allows the difficulties and afflictions to come and expose the areas of favoritism, embracing the “new and exciting”… 

…Rather than the narrow and at times - dry pathway to mature godliness.

 

 There will always be among us, those claiming to have “THE” word of the hour, the “message of the forefathers”, and on and on the platitudes and justifications are listed to justify the mocking and putting down of the simple and unique message of self-abandonment.

 

LISTEN FOR THE SOUND OF MERCY 

Listen to the “tone” in the voice of those addressing the crowd, the congregation, or perhaps a small study group. False humility has a highly "honeyed" pitch of barely restrained condescension, laced with heavy doses of unsolicited advice and counsel.

Rarely will individuals who have an exaggerated view of their own importance allow others to warmly and intimately engage in transparent communication and dialogue regarding the unique and yet equal calling and gifting of each child of God. 

 

NOW IS THE TIME -- THE TIME IS NOW! 

These words have been spoken out from the Lord over the lives of many who seemingly can hardly lift their heads due to delays, betrayals, losses, and a deep, deep internal anguish. It seems as if God sees greater fruitfulness when we are at the bottom of the proverbial "barrel"!

Those who are forever wishfully proclaiming that the “bad times are over and good times are ahead” are sadly attempting to override the ache of the soul when it longs to return to the comfort zone of self indulgence.

“But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless!” -Jeremiah 7:8

Know this. To avoid the chastening and bruising of our souls is a guarantee that not only will you cause devastating and brutal pain to others, but also most importantly, you shall grieve the Holy Spirit.

I ENCOURAGE THOSE OF YOU READING AND LISTENING,

TO TEST THE FRUIT OF THOSE WHO CLAIM TO HAVE

A SPECIAL AND MYSTICAL "IN" WITH THE LORD.

 

The Lord is not one who neither “excludes” nor leaves the broken out in the cold, nor does he invite into his inner courts of wisdom and revelation, those who would use it to their own personal advantage or fame.

 

IT IS TIME. NOW IS THE TIME! THE TIME IS NOW!

It is time to face the chastening of the Lord in the light of the purpose he has behind it. Growing up and maturing finally in the things he has been dutifully prodding you to do for a long time now.

 

PROCRASTINATION  FELLOWSHIPS WITH SLOTHFUL AND SLOPPY APPROACHES

 TO RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND WITH MANKIND.

 

For once and for all make the decision to not blame-shift or deflect onto others what God is dealing with in the wickedness of your own soul.

Now is the time to be willing to lose your life, to be afflicted -- yes even to the point of having the Lord remove and expose those who have become disobedient, self-promoting, and abusive in the circles you walk within.

 “SEE TO IT that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8

 

OPEN YOUR EARS 

The Lord is speaking! Listen!

He has wisdom to impart to you that may well save and instruct others who might fall into foolish behavior. It is not about your comfort, your "wants" nor even your dignity! It’s about a willingness to be the servant of the Savior, and to emulate His example.

He Is Speaking....

...But are we listening?

“The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,

To know the word that sustains the weary.

He wakens me morning by morning, Wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.”

Isaiah 50:4

 

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for Mary Lindow is included.

Thank You

Copyright © 2019 THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow

www.marylindow.com

www.globalprayerrooms.com

https://marylindow.podbean.com/mobile/

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~ By Mary Lindow 


"Save me, O God! The water is up to my neck;
I am sinking in deep mud, and there is no solid ground;
I am out in deep water, And the waves are about to drown me.
I am worn out from calling for help, and my throat is aching. I have strained my eyes, looking for your help." ~Psalm 69:1-3 

 

THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS GOING ON IN THE HEARTS OF GOD'S PEOPLE! 

Many believers have gone through pain and devastation because of betrayal and disappointment in those with whom they have at one time “walked with” in the Lord. 

“For it is not an enemy who reproaches me;  Then I could bear it.
 
Nor is it one that hates me who has exalted himself against me;

Then I could hide from him.
 

But it was you, a man my equal,
 My companion and my acquaintance.
 We took sweet counsel together,
 And walked to the house of God among the people.”

~Psalm 55:12-14 

 

 LEVELS OF SEPARATION AND DECEPTION 


Church leaders and members or friends often separate. Their unresolved issues and wounds infect others around them. With their tongue and pen, (and Facebook posts) their resentment and bitterness spread in uncontrollable proportions.
Christians in other ministries and relationships receive the bad report and often, they don't even know the people involved but - because they have leaned their ears to hear the suggested and well-placed evil reports, the conversation poisons them like toxic waste in their soul. If unchecked, this becomes a hideous, malignant cancer-like cell eventually damaging their mind and above all, their spiritual discernment.


“Who is wise? He will realize these things.

Who is discerning? He will understand them.

The ways of the LORD are right;

The righteous walk in them, But the rebellious stumble in them."

~Hosea 14:9 

The age-old serpent, the ultimate enemy of our souls, has not lost the art of deception even after centuries! He, even now, can cause God's people, including the sincere ones, to miss the mark if they are willing to only hear one side of a story! 


THE GREAT “OCCUPY SOMETHING” MOVEMENT 

The “frenzied entitlement culture” we are seeing hold their protests as a result of selfishness and feeding upon fear, have begun to reach a newly fevered pitch. 

People are “herding” their way into public venues to protest Whatever they may be angry at in the moment, and mostly remaining ignorant as to what or who is really driving and orchestrating the events, reflects the hardness of heart and disrespect for the needs and lives of those around them, 

This type of behavior is a prime example of even how believers have become “selectively “ hard of hearing when it comes to serving one another, or encouraging one another, or having patience with one another!  

One moment we are asking for forgiveness and prayer, and in nearly the next breath, slanderous retorts are spoken out in anger and those driving the malicious train, mean to use others as their well placed pawns of destruction.


"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, Fighting and slander,

Along with every form of nastiness." Ephesians 4:31


Once bitter words are spoken or written, they cannot be retracted. Sadly, those who often shout the loudest about being maligned are often the perpetrators of assassinating the characters of those whom have been in disagreement with them or who have possibly warned them about a need for a course correction.

“He who conceals his hatred has lying lips,

And whoever spreads slander is a fool.” Proverbs 10:18


TODAY MANY THINGS HAVE DEGENERATED INTO BLURRED INSIGNIFICANCE  AND UNCERTAINTY. 

The beauty of what God's purpose in His people really is meant to passionately reflect is - missing. Things that are now being said and done do not mean what they did mean originally in His Word. Twisting of truth to fits one’s own idea of God’s will has become acceptable and is often left unchallenged. So many spiritual and scriptural terms are put into motion, but they are not in the same dimension and point of view, which are in the Divine plan! 

The tragedy is that so many well-meaning believers have gone on with the outward appearance of searching for the will of the Lord, and yet they fail to see that the power of His radiant life is missing! 

The Apostle Paul warned us in his letter to Timothy about this…. " This know also that in the last days perilous times shall come… ...Having the form of godliness (true religion) but denying the power there of. "

 

MY HEART IS BROKEN TO SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE HAPPENING ALL AROUND US 

So much is falling short of its original blueprint. There is so much labor and "rallying" being pumped out there into the minds and hearts of people and it is being poured into the “Self Promotion Machine" more than any time in the history of God's people! Yet the toil is ending in heartbreaking disappointment!

Saints, only those devoted to humility and honor can be saved from this deadly poison that lulls those longing to be entertained and pampered into apathy and spiritual powerlessness! 

God's faithful people in this hour should seek Him and that which is upon His heart. What the Lord is doing in this era is so different, and we should be sensitive to Him! 

He is looking for His “People of the Secret Place” in which the power of resurrection may freely function. 

The Apostle Paul said "according to the power that works in us" (Ephesians 3:20b). 

These “People” will have to be men and women who have “seen”! They shall be like "a voice in the wilderness". 


IT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY CLEAR THAT GOD MUST DO A FRESH THING WITH HIS FOLLOWERS. 

And that actual “thing” is that He is drawing them to seek the Lord Himself and His recognizable presence! Away from the throng,
nearer to the Word, bowed in repentance and prayer. 

The Psalmist said, "When You said oh Lord, Seek My face; My heart said unto You, Your face, Lord will I seek." 

 

WILL YOU SET YOUR HEART TO SEEK HIM? 

Oh that God may find His Davids in this crucial hour that will set their faces towards Him at the command of His voice! Without it, the Human race will continue its fall and decline into further confusion, tragedy, and self-preservation. 

“Man’s goings are of the LORD;

How can a man then understand his own way?” ~ Proverbs 20:2 

It’s easy to say, “give your cares to the Lord and trust Him” when everything in life seems to be going well.  It’s easy to say, “I trust you Lord with everything I own” when bills are paid on time and when you just got a promotion at work. 

However, if God striped you of everything you own; If God told you to leave the very job that’s paying your bills, will you trust the Lord enough to do it?  Will you trust God even when you don’t understand; even when life hurts?  

If God told you to leave the familiar and enter the unfamiliar, will you trust Him? 

For many of you, God has done just that.  

He has taken you from what’s “oh so familiar” and redirected your paths into the unfamiliar.  You don’t understand what’s happening in your life; what to do or where to go.  The only thing you know is that the Lord gave you a word (instruction, a promise, vision, etc.) and the only thing you have to hold on to is that word. 

I understand the feeling; you’re not alone.  


THERE IS ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOU TODAY. 

Many things happen in our lives that we will never be able to explain or understand because God is orchestrating the events of our lives “behind the scenes” (read Job 1-2). Moreover, we cannot detect God physically (through our senses) and we cannot comprehend His plans. 

“But the hour cometh, and now is, When the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: For the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: And they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

~ John 4:23-24


Therefore, since we cannot rely on our perception or our reasoning we must turn to something else that is more reliable if we are going to be able to remain calm in the midst of turmoil, to find rest during the storms of life we must rely on God’s knowledge instead of our own. 


“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts.”

~ Isaiah 55:8-9 

 

LET US RUN RIGHT NOW TO THE THRONE OF GRACE AND MERCY!

Now! While our hearts are freshly tenderized and troubled over the recent events in the earth!

Here is something to remember.  Man is fallible; we fall short and at times we’re unable to keep our promises.  Man can give you instructions that are misleading and imperfect. 
With God, none of these things are possible. God keeps His promises, God gives you right instructions according to His perfect will and He won’t mislead you.

No matter how much you don’t understand life as it is right now; no matter how uncomfortable it may seem or how hard it gets, don’t give up. 

If God is with you -  the same God who spoke life into you, the same God who IS and knows the beginning and the end, the same God who knew you before the foundation of this world -is with you, then ask yourself who or WHAT can stand against you.

 

CONSIDER THE SOURCE AND SEEK TO BE OBEDIENT TO THE LORD

Even when you don t understand what God is doing in your life; don’t worry about “this or that” because God has provisions for you.

There is the safe voice of the Father calling us. Let us respond with ears to Hear and hearts that obey.

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

~Hebrews 4:16

Duplication and sharing of this writing is permitted provided

that complete article podcast link and website information

for Mary Lindow is included. 

Thank you. "The Messenger" 

2017

www.marylindow.com

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By Mary Lindow through the Holy Spirit

The Times are RAPIDLY Changing, and I know that for me, it will require a different strategy to handle them and that I must be willing and able to walk out the days ahead.

It seems as if I identify with the prophet Jeremiah more often now than ever before. And so, I am CHOOSING to adjust the way of delivering my portion of what the Spirit of God would give me, as He leads me. Daily.

I AM IN WORDLESS, TEAR-STREAMING GRIEF over the rapid forms of meditation, eastern mysticism, competitive daily trendy "prophetic" articles/words (advertisements!) -and outright fear mongering one moment and then "hysterical" any moment breakthrough messages, (both which, recycle over and over, that are sweeping into the Body of Christ.

Facebook posts are loaded like a buttered baked potato with a big scoop of sour cream, and belch out sarcasm; shaming, smug and rude "thumbing the nose" at any warnings or loving corrections, and the devouring and public slandering has become unbearable.

WHEN PEOPLE REFUSE TO LET GOD BE THE JUDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, when they inject their own standards to oppose His, these people who are "usurping" assume a sovereignty or power that belongs only to God. They choose to undermine God’s order, in order to demand their own, and in doing this, they hope to avoid the pinpricks of their conscience. After all, "if it's legal" then it must be right! Right?" No. God’s law is not so easily escaped or fanned away as an old dusty list of metaphors.

CONCEIT AND PRIDE ARE THE GREATEST ENEMIES TO SPIRITUAL GROWTH! Newly "acquired knowledge" or notoriety often leads to pride rather than wisdom. There is no more certain way to fall into sin and self-deception than to allow pride to lead us into putting confidence in ourselves rather than God. This kind of pride always leads to destruction, because it robs us of God’s power to stand against temptation!

WHAT WE ACCOMPLISH AS MEMBERS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS DONE BY THE POWER OF GOD. AND, KNOWLEDGE CAN BE MISTAKEN FOR MATURITY. True knowledge is designed to bring us TO maturity. When we parade our so called freedom before others in an effort to reveal how much we know, we reveal our immaturity and are treading on dangerous ground! Knowledge put on PUBLIC display leads to heartbreak and divisive scattering. 

The Western Style "First World Church" is caught up in so many identity crises!       And, with pushing movements and meetings, that the voices crying out and weeping in the places of preparation (the wilderness) saying, "You! Yes YOU! Prepare the Way of the LORD! Straighten out those crooked, twisted paths!" -are suddenly being told to step back into a place of silence and travailing prayer, determined to lean in closer to THE Voice that is small, still, and sure.

 ONLY TIME SPENT WITH THE LORD, like a dear friend, will fill the gaping ache you have. He will speak, He will comfort, and He will show you what is true and what is false in the days ahead if you will return to that Place of companionship with Him. Away from the opinions of men and the noise of this life. As you turn your heart and hopes towards him you will see compassion poured out upon you and you will then have his power of pure godly compassion and “wisdom driven” grace to pour out on others.

SPEAK TO HIM WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART, YOUR LONGINGS,

YOUR HEARTACHES, AND YOUR DREAMS.

HE WILL BE THERE WITH ARMS OF STRENGTH

TO RESCUE YOU FROM DESPAIR."

 

“A Prophetic Word” 

Can you not hear my voice speaking to you clearly? Has it become clouded with the cares of this life and the voices of men articulating what they “think” is my voice?

My time for you to hear the truth is never when man decides it. The world screams that all the chaos and change is turning and twisting men's hearts away from me. But when I speak and when I move and I am lifted up, men's hearts ache for me!

There is a greater power in my silence then there is in the shouting of mankind saying that I do not exist! It is folly and foolishness to think that man can try to silence or attempt to erase me!

I am preparing for myself a bride. Not a foolish, emotionally lovesick self-seeking bride! No I am seeking and preparing for myself a mature godly gathering of those who will become one and unified with and in me. I am the one that is shaping and fashioning this bride in the refining fires that are currently burning across the earth.

Men may try to redefine me, say that I do not exist, they may attempt to twist words that I have spoken in order to fit the base agenda in their own souls, but all the while I am shaping and fashioning and preparing for myself an army and a bride that will not be defeated in the days to come. 

Adjust your thinking child!

I am not a God to be dictated to or to be demanded of! I am one to be approached with brokenness and humility! Those who have a contrite heart and a right spirit are the ones that I will answer. There is a time coming when I will sweep away and clean up the false examples of prophetic ministry claiming and declaring things that have nothing to do but glorify the flesh.

If a person's heart is not right with me, no matter what they declare, decree, or shout, it will fall upon ears of deafness in heaven. I desire truth in your inward parts.

Let me reduce you to love.

Stripping away title, presumption, and secret desires for notoriety. In order to be like me you have to live like I did in the earth. I serve mankind and was spat upon. I spoke truth and I was mocked. I challenged the proud and religious thinkers of the day and they desired to silence me and kill me.

I am calling you my people to become honest in heart, broken and humble before me, and with willing and heart to serve me, and those that I send to you. It is not their external condition that you are to judge, nor categorize. Your job is to share my life my light and my love with them. And in your example of how you treat them is how I see you treating me. Show no favoritism but humble yourselves in my site and do the work of my servant.

Yes, the days are changing and the mandates for your life are becoming more defined. Bow before me and reconnect your heart to truth and simplicity and the grace of knowing that you were purchased with a life poured out so that you might live life to the fullest.

 

"It is necessary for him to increase and for me to decrease."

-John 3:30

 

Duplication and re-transmission of this writing is welcomed provided

that complete source, and website information

for Mary Lindow is included.

Thank You

Copyright © 2019 " THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow

www.marylindow.com

www.globalprayerrooms.com

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Please scroll down to the audio player to listen to this message

By Mary Lindow

As I sit here in the outdoors this evening enjoying an unusually cool and brilliantly moonlit sky, I am stirred to speak openly and transparently about the things that God is not only dealing with in my personal journey with him, but also some of the trends and presumptions that occur in the world of “Christendom” when it appears and feels as if the Father God is far off and seemingly unresponsive to the cries of those desperate for relief and merciful compassion.

Through his own personal agony, David came to a new understanding of what it really was that God required from man.

 

ENMESHED INTO DECEPTION

God is not interested in our outward sacrifices or "offerings."

This does not necessarily mean that God never requires outward forms of worship or expression or observances. Many lines of Scripture prove that at times he does. But it does mean that these are not the things that he requires first. If our religious practices contain nothing more than outward actions and performance, then God takes no pleasure in them.

God always looks underneath what goes on outwardly, and looks to the motives and the attitude of the heart. What does he look for there?

David tells us in Psalm 51:16 -17

“For you delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; you find no pleasure in burnt offering. 

The sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.”

 

BROKEN AND CONTRITE

These are not common words to our ears these days!

Just what does it mean when God asks that we have a broken spirit?

Does he want us to be beaten down and humiliated?

I am sure that this is not his plan.

What is a broken spirit?

 It is an “inner self” that has come totally to the end of itself. It makes no claims, and offers no arguments. All independence, all self-will, self-promotion, all self-righteousness have been pruned away.

Such a spirit simply turns and trusts completely upon God, not trusting in his own skill, merit, popularity, or ability to influence. This one who has willingly allowed the disciplining of his soul knows that he or she must only trust in God and his unrelenting mercy.

If we will ALLOW Him to guide us, HE knows how to produce this brokenness of spirit in each of us. Just remember, he treats us as individuals. And he would never abuse our individuality. He uses just the right amount of intensity needed to accomplish his desires, that we would relinquish our mistrust in his plan and fully step into total abandonment, willingly accepting his plan.

“For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.” Lamentations 3:33

 

AFFLICTION ALSO KNOWN AS - “DISCIPLINE”

If there was ever a man who had to face affliction also known as “discipline” - it was David. I am amazed that he never became bitter. He even admitted that it did him good! God allows us to come under afflictions/discipline, not because he is mad at us, nor because he has rejected us. It is actually a demonstration of his faithfulness.

When he sees us taking a wrong turn that will lead to our own harm and damage, he allows difficulty and affliction/discipline to turn us back to the way that leads to peace and blessing.

When I say affliction, I am not accusing God of bringing about harsh and devastating blows in order to knock us down and break our arms in the process. No! No! No!

In Psalm 119:67, 71, 75 it says:

"I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word.

My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.  

I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair. 


You disciplined me because I needed it.

 

WHEN WE ARE "THROWN A CURVEBALL"

How do we respond when we are "thrown a curveball" and everything we carefully planned out and prepared for suddenly takes a turn we did not expect?

David did not view afflictions/disciplines as disaster. He saw it as a form of correction - something to adjust his life. He was saying, “Before I was afflicted/disciplined I went astray and I suffered for it. Now I've learned my lesson! It pays to obey your word!”

 

ARE YOU IN THE MIDDLE OF DIFFICULTY, LOSS, OR AN ADJUSTMENT?

May I caution you? Don't fight back! And whatever you do, do not argue with God!

Admit that God is dealing with you and allowing an affliction/a disciplining,   

a difficulty or disappointment, to address major issues of stubbornness, lazy spirituality, dependence upon others for water from the word, and more than often - a sour and willful independence that does not like accountability in every area.

 

ASK HIM, "WHAT IS IT THAT YOU ARE DOING?"

“Am I off the pathway that you have planned and have willfully gone my own way?”

The Lord is seeking, looking, longing for you to turn away from things that are harmful and to bring you back to things that are in his purpose and plan.

If we are willing to learn from these afflictions/disciplines, there will come a time when we will indeed look back with gratitude for the things we have learned and matured in.

My dear friends, we were not created to serve ourselves or to meet our own needs. Whatever we need, the Lord will see to it that we get it, as we move along the pathway that he has chosen. You may be asking the question, “Why is it so hard for me to hear from the Lord at first when it comes to difficult issues and decisions?”

We must understand we cannot instantly “unlearn” what we have lived our entire life. We must as the Scripture says be "transformed" from who we are to what we want to be.

We need to understand with our whole heart that we were intended to be godly in every way. In our relationships with others, and above all, in our relationship with God the father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. If one is out of order then both will be.

But! As a dear brother in the Lord by the name of Larry Reese says, “We are not to fear the passing of time or fear that we are wasting time by spending time with the Lord, searching out his word, and being still in his presence. You will never lose anything by doing these things!”

 

TRENDS, BLOGS, AND COMMENTS

 It's no secret that social media has become quite a form of communication! One of the problems that can occur when “listening” to trends, blogs, and commentary from others is that sources quoted and information gathered might well be skewed to interject thoughts and opinions into the minds of those who never think for themselves. Believers in Christ are not to be uninformed, but they are to be wise about what they “ingest and digest” when it comes to the lifestyle of a Christian.

Do not rely upon the wisdom of men to help you to ultimately reach the destiny that God himself paid the price for. He is not an ego- driven maniac looking for his entourage of followers to validate his importance!

He "paid it forward" so that we would have the opportunity to walk upon a pathway, although narrow, that leads to purposeful living and a fruitful reaping of productivity that will only advance us into further opportunities to speak of hope and a purpose for others.

 

BEWARE OF FALSE HUMILITY AND UNDERTONES OF DISDAIN

If there were one thing that sickens the heart of God it would be underhanded and slippery craftiness oozing from those who resist the full aspect of allowing God to create in them a clean and contrite heart.

It always amazes me how individuals that need notoriety and a place of “mystical” influence seem to be able to cunningly discredit good and godly saints around them who have perhaps lovingly warned them about deceptive practices or micro-management control issues, knowing that they risk the loss of relationship when doing so. It is as if these individuals secretly feel entitled to sidestep the issue of preferring your brother or sister, and humbly listening to their insights and observances.

Equally amazing, are those who listen to only one side of a conflict or disagreement, and then spiritualize-away the facts, that harm or discord has happened.

And so, the Lord allows the difficulties and afflictions to come and expose the areas of favoritism, 

embracing the “new and exciting”…

…Rather than the narrow and at times - dry pathway to mature godliness.

 There will always be among us, those claiming to have “THE” word of the hour, the “message of the forefathers”, and on and on the platitudes and justifications are listed to justify the mocking and putting down of the simple and unique message of self-abandonment.

 

LISTEN FOR THE SOUND OF MERCY

Listen to the “tone” in the voice of those addressing the crowd, the congregation, or perhaps a small study group. False humility has a highly "honeyed" pitch of barely restrained condescension, laced with heavy doses of unsolicited advice and counsel.

Rarely will individuals who have an exaggerated view of their own importance allow others to warmly and intimately engage in transparent communication and dialogue regarding the unique and yet equal calling and gifting of each child of God.

 

NOW IS THE TIME -- THE TIME IS NOW!

These words have been spoken out from the Lord over the lives of many who seemingly can hardly lift their heads due to delays, betrayals, losses, and a deep, deep internal anguish. It seems as if God sees greater fruitfulness when we are at the bottom of the proverbial "barrel"!

Those who are forever wishfully proclaiming that the “bad times are over and good times are ahead” are sadly attempting to override the ache of the soul when it longs to return to the comfort zone of self indulgence.

“But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless!”

 Jeremiah 7:8

Know this. To avoid the chastening and bruising of our souls is a guarantee that not only will you cause devastating and brutal pain to others, but also most importantly, you shall grieve the Holy Spirit.

I encourage those of you reading and listening, to test the fruit

of those who claim to have a special and mystical "in" with the Lord.

The Lord is not one who neither “excludes” nor leaves the broken out in the cold, nor does he invite into his inner courts of wisdom and revelation, those who would use it to their own personal advantage or fame.

 

IT IS TIME. 

NOW IS THE TIME! THE TIME IS NOW!

It is time to face the chastening of the Lord in the light of the purpose he has behind it. Growing up and maturing finally in the things he has been dutifully prodding you to do for a long time now.

Procrastination  "fellowships" with slothful and sloppy approaches

 to relationship with God and with mankind.

For once and for all make the decision to not blame-shift or deflect onto others what God is dealing with in the wickedness of your own soul.

Now is the time to be willing to lose your life, to be afflicted -- yes even to the point of having the Lord remove and expose those who have become disobedient, self-promoting, and abusive in the circles you walk within.

“SEE TO IT that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8

 

OPEN YOUR EARS

The Lord is speaking! Listen!

He has wisdom to impart to you that may well save and instruct others who might fall into foolish behavior. It is not about your comfort, your "wants" nor even your dignity! It’s about a willingness to be the servant of the Savior, and to emulate His example.

He Is Speaking.

But are we listening?

“The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,

To know the word that sustains the weary.

He wakens me morning by morning,

Wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.”

Isaiah 50:4

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Copyright © 2014 THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow

www.marylindow.com

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