Recently I was seeking the Lord in prayer and asking, “Why is it that I see so many traveling to foreign places to assist others when their own homes and communities have such needs?” This is what I heard in return;
“The reason that many travel to other places to serve is simply due to not wanting to face the real issues in their own home. Facing the needs in our own home often requires more than one to two weeks of service and it often has a price that many do not want to pay. So instead, many people often do things in foreign places to often avoid the real issues that they have in their own home.”
In other words what the Lord was teaching is about our human nature and how easy it can be to lose our balance when we neglect or overlook our own responsibilities at home. For when we neglect this principle of balance within our homes then this can open the door for Satan to weaken and oppress the body. We can easily see this over the last forty years here in America as I can witness this same lesson within my own life as well. Think about it! How long can a soldier in foreign missions stay focused when their own home is struggling to survive? How long can we expect foreign aid to continue when we can’t balance the input with the output?
This teaching explains to me why so many communities, missions and relationships become oppressed. Simply due to neglecting the basic principles of gardening and the importance of maintaining the roots of our foundation. By seeking to live a balanced life through the love of Jesus Christ we learn to plant ourselves upon the Rock of our foundation while staying in tune with the needs of the garden. It is also wise to understand that God calls some to plant while he calls others to assist with the harvest.
For God plants each one of us in different places and in different positions in order to serve His purpose and not our own. Unfortunately many fail to understand this so they allow their seeds to be blown in the wind rather than learning how to plant and work within garden. Think about it! Our home can be related to a garden just as our individual lives. What we give and receive plays a major roll within the productivity of the garden. The home garden is supposed to help serve the community as the community garden helps to serve the city to the state. For when we begin to take care of our own home garden then this leads to a productive harvest that can help feed foreign missions and help maintain the strength within our homes for future generations.
There is a great need within our own communities and our country for men and women that are willing to commit to the work that is needed in every community across America. This need is to simply do what God has called each of us to do and that is, to work within the gardens we have been given and to leave something behind for someone else. Without these men and women that are willing to grab hold of the plow and apply the Instruction of God to their local gardens we might as well prepare for an unproductive harvest and for the locust to continue to devour the crop. Many of you reading this may be thinking it is too late but I strongly disagree! For nothing is over until God say’s it is over!!!
How bad would it be to go home and hear one of these questions, “Why did you quit? Why did you not get up off the pughs to help your neighbors? Do you honestly think you were doing your job when you neglected your own home to take care of someone else’s? Why did you not stand up and vote for Godly leadership rather than give in to the popularity contest? Did the numbers that came against you give you fear? Did you honestly think your voice or vote would not matter? Have you forgotten the very One who gives you Victory? Why did you simply fail to be a doer instead of just a hearer? There were blessings right at your feet but you simply lost your perspective. All you had to do was get up off the porch and put your hand to the plow to receive the blessings of God! But instead you allowed your fears, weak faith and laziness to infect the garden. This infection has not only affected you but other plants as well.
It is my sincere prayer for a spiritual Awakening here in America. I pray that Americans will recognize the season at hand and the need for true repentance on a national level. Lord help us clean up our own homes and communities so we can continue to spread your love and feed the hungry. Please give us strength and the wisdom to make the right decisions within our own home in order to refresh the garden and continue to supply the needs in foreign missions. Lord I know that nothing is over until You say that it is over, so please Lord forgive us on a national level of the innocent blood that has been shed from the Native Americans to the African Americans and for simply losing our balance with you…I love you Father and I thank you for the pits that you have picked me up from and I thank you for giving me a new life with purpose and with direction and may others find the same…For all glory is yours…amen
“A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’’
James A. Harrison
If you are on fire for the Lord and you meet someone in the darkness what would you expect to happen if you struck a match in front of their face? They will most often jump back but the question is will they return? Rather than striking a match to make them jump or feel uncomfortable allow them to simply feel the warmth from your heart which is the love of God reflecting through the light of Jesus Christ.
The love of God is what maintains the fire and the more we love Him the bigger the fire. This is where many people fail to understand what Jesus taught to the disciples in Matthew 10:16. He told them as they were going out to share the Good News, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
In other words we should be wise to the spiritual maturity of the ones around us without blowing them away. We are to feed them God’s Word in love and allow the Spirit of Truth to draw them deeper into the well. There is a balance between the fire and water required in witnessing and in discipleship and this where many divisions have occurred .
For the fire without the Word is like a well without water and the deeper we dig in the well the more springs we can discover. The object is learning how to swim in the Word from the shallow end to the deep end without leaving anyone behind…amen
James A. Harrison
Everyday we walk across thresholds into different rooms of life, but how often do stop to consider the ground that we walk upon as well as the environment within the room? Another area to consider prior to crossing the thresholds of life is to be aware of what we are taking in as well as taking out. At times, the steps we take across thresholds can be the hardest steps we ever take. Why is this you might ask? Well, think about it! Often the steps we take across thresholds lead into the unknown or they can lead us back into areas that were once disturbed. These are the very steps that are required in order for us to be set free from the spiritual bondage of Satan.
Disturbed spirits are often wounded spirits that can occur from something as simple as lack of communication, body gestures, hurtful words, actions made or from the lack of action. This barrier of sin that can separate us from the blessings of God is one of the most important thresholds to ever recognize due to the importance of mercy and grace. It is easy in our human nature to avoid specific thresholds due to the pain, the work, the humility and the forgiveness that may be required. But every time we move on without first attempting to reconcile the areas that need to be addressed and receiving the blessings of God to move forward then we are allowing Satan to have spiritual victories that can hold us back in life.
Another area of a disturbed spirit is the spirit of fear that often occurs when we are walking into the unknown. The reason many of us at times allow fear to hold us back is due to not wanting to let go and simply place our trust in the hands of God. It is in our human nature to fight for survival but when we learn to live a surrendered life of trusting in the Lord then He will show us the Way. This is a very difficult stage of the flesh due to letting go of what we see and learning how to simply trust in Him for the unknown.
Can you recall as a child when you were learning to ride a bike? Can you recall the security in the love of your parents as they helped you maintain your balance as they walked by your side? This lesson was taught by Jesus in Matthew 21:1-3. Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her (colt) by her. Untie (them) and bring (them) to me. If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs (them), and he will send (them) right away.”
What does this message teach us about thresholds you might ask? Think about it! Can you see how the actions and the reactions of the donkey could have played a roll into the new areas her colt? Do you think that maybe how she crossed certain thresholds that this could have helped her colt face its fears of the unknown? There was a comfort in the colt walking by the side of its mother as there was a comfort in knowing that our parents walked by our side as we learned to balance that bike to further the ride. The object in life is to develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father through the love of Jesus Christ and then this will cast out all fears of the unknown that can take us forward.
Knowing the ground that we walk upon and the environment in which we enter is vital to understand. For the last thing that any loving Christian should ever want is to take something into a home that could defile the body or to walk into an environment of sin that can bring an infection. This infection can happen through the lack of faith, complacency, gossip, judgement or lets simply say,”Satan.” Another object to understand is the development of our senses to good and evil through the Word of God in order to insure the steps that we take. As we mature with Christ then this cast out any fears of walking into the unknown and there should be peace in our communication because we know that He has already cleared the Way.
As God directed Moses to place the blood of the lamb on the doorpost to protect our homes Jesus taught us the importance of washing our feet. The blood covers us, the Word cleans us and the humility is what gets us in. So with all of this being said this morning lets examine our own feet in the Word of God to insure that we are not being held back at the threshold of God simply because of the step that we choose to not accept and then take. We all have thresholds to cross and the object is to insure that we are allowed in..amen
James A. Harrison
Many Americans and even Christians have come to a point in their life that they have lost sight in what the Word of God teaches. They speak of God but have forgotten how to truly trust Him verses trusting in what they see. Many Americans have fallen to a point of survival instead of seeking God for our direction and trusting in Him to show us the way. Satan in our minds wants us to grab hold of anything that comes our way because he knows that after repeated struggles we become weak in just accepting whatever it takes to survive. This is where we must stand on our foundation of God to analyze our decisions and to insure not only the immediate results but most importantly the future consequences to protect our children’s future.
The United States of America was built on the core principals that was given by God in the Holy Bible that once kept our homes, our schools, our work place, our country and even our churches intact. Well, I believe it is obvious to see what has taken place since we have become tolerant to sin while other’s have been steadily removing God from our foundation from which we stand.
James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of The United States once said this,” We have staked the whole future of our new nation, not upon the power of government; far from it. We have staked the future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments.”
In brief let me possibly open your eyes to the principles in the Word of God in a simple way to understand why our founding fathers stressed the importance of the Word of God within the freedom of this country;
Imagine a large playground and just before the children are released to go play the teacher must set some ground rules in order to maintain the order within their freedom which they are about to receive. Can you see the purpose of these guidelines in order to maintain the discipline, the security, the order, and how to stand in love with each other as a group that respects what they have been given in their freedom? Does this mean once on the playground they can’t enjoy themselves? Absolutely not! But we learn in this message that there is time to work, a time to play, and a time to rest in order to do our very best.
There is so much wisdom in the Word of God and I never understood before and let me tell you,”It is REAL and there is a reason for rules and commandments to follow.” Because without the teacher giving us the instruction and correcting us when we get out of line then how do you honestly see the children acting in the playground with others? Do you see some hording a certain swing? Do you see some trying to take something from others? Do you see some even abusing other children at a distance? Do you see some sitting all alone under a tree while others call them names in being free? What about the teacher or the person in charge, do you see them having a responsibility and job to do? What happens if they only cater to some and neglect others? Or better yet, what if they simply don’t care and turn the children out to play so they can just go on with their selfish ways?
The Lord has mercy in His grace through the love of Jesus Christ and God has proven throughout history that when His people return to Him that He will carry His body through their trials to one day stand again. Our country is setting ourselves up for a hard lesson to come economically, agriculturally and even in our way of life! It is only a matter of time before this takes place and the only thing we can do is to return to God and pray to be restored within the body of Christ. The signs are every where in human behavior, in natural disasters, and within the control of governments removing the freedom from which we stand. If we as a whole do not return to one nation under God then prepare for the wrath to only get worse! By returning we will find new strength to rebuild what has been lost in our families, in our homes, in our economy, in our nation, and even in our churches!
With God He gives us direction, purpose and protection while learning to balance our lives through peace and understanding. There is nothing better in life than having genuine love of God within the family and spending quality time with one another. Everything starts first within ourselves and then spreads from there. Impacting our homes, our communities, our schools, and our nation. Start the positive growth now and return to God with Jesus guiding your path of restoration for the sake of our children’s future. For I believe that with the POWER of GOD in the WORD, the Guidance of the HOLY SPIRIT and the LOVE of JESUS that all things are possible through Christ that strengthens us. Since when are we as Christians to go back when GOD has brought us forward??? May this song by Johnny Cash recall something in your spirit…I Won’t Back Down
James A. Harrison