God's Provision

God's Provision

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God's Provision Ministries

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Continued from Seekers.

So I guess you have a few questions to ask yourself at this point. You don’t need me to tell you what they are.


I’m going to change perspective on you a little and start looking at Christianity, let’s walk it together you and I. I’m going to share some stuff. I’m not sure why God has decided this is the way it should go but I have learned that I need to listen.


I know, I walk around everyday seeing things in this world just fall apart, I see people crying that shouldn’t have to cry and people hungry that should have things to eat and I ask God Why? God simply says “because you aren’t doing what I asked”.


What kind of answer is that I say biting into my $4 hamburger with a $1.50 Coke?  What kind of answer is that, I say as I reach for one of my children or hug my wife? What kind of answer is that God, what kind of answer is that?


Then it dawns on me Christians, what God said is the right answer. In truth, if we did what He asked there would be much less hungry in fact so few that we would be able to find them in a moment, much less folks crying for no reason because we would do what He asked and reach for them like He reached for us when we became Christians. We Christians are a strange bunch we march around the world claiming to have truth but most of the time the truth is nowhere to be seen in our actions. 


Yet there are many Christian people who follow God as He intended they should and you can always see the effect they have on their area as they walk after the Father, things change, hope arrives, people see the goodness of our mighty God.

Let me stand outside the church for a while and just tell you what I see and those of you who are seekers, you tell me if you agree. I see a people that have so many banners that one couldn’t name them all, there are the big banners, like Catholic, Baptist, Assembly of God, Church of God, Church of Christ on and on and on.


So I figured there must be something to this – maybe God is really a bunch of gods that have to have their own special altars and places of sacrifice. Turned out I was wrong. There is only one God so that left me with the question? Why so many Christian – operative word, Christian – churches.


Well imagine my surprise when I discovered they all say they follow Jesus, so I figured it must be some kind of tribal thing, maybe each tribe of Christians like other tribal systems had their own thing going and just happened to use the same name for their leader.

Well in short order I started to notice that maybe I was right. So I took a look in the bible and tried to find out where God was tribal. Well in the Old Testament He had the Tribes of Judah and Tribes of Israel but when I studied them, as it turns out they held the same Main Temple and all of the satellite temples taught of it. That Main Temple was in one place, not like today where we have thousands of churches spread all over God’s half acre. I also noted they followed the same elements of God’s word and thought cool… So I decided that tribal isn’t what Christian churches are because they didn’t seem to have any specific identity with regard to what God or what physical place they said their church was. So I went back to the bible and asked God for some light on the subject. After all He promises wisdom if I ask – so man, I asked.


I discovered in the Word of God that Christians are supposed to believe the Temple of God is in them and that they are both the church and the body of Jesus Christ. Cool . . . I thought, so I should be able to go to any of them and meet Jesus and then just wander around all of them meeting people and sharing God the same way in every one of them. Well that was silly of me. Apparently God isn’t the same to all members of his Christian church. I have to admit I was perplexed.


Ok, which church had it right? Now that was the sixty five dollar question. So I returned to talk to God more and read his Word more and asked Him. His answer puzzled me at first but later on I understood. He said "the ones who remember me and love me". I said “well Lord doesn’t all these churches and banners love you?” As it turned out His Word in the bible answered my question clearly.


God’s Word says some of his folks worship Him with their mouths but not with themselves. I said ok which ones? Suddenly, He astounded me and took me on a tour of churches that according to his leading actually remember Him and loved Him as He required. What was funny was that they all flew a bunch of different banners. It wasn’t like He said become a Church of God or a Baptist or a Catholic or Methodist but rather He pointed out to me across the spectrum of churches that were in place the ones that He said followed Him and remembered Him in truth. It was quite a sample. Now I’m not as thick as I look and I figured out that the banner really doesn’t matter as long as it’s a Christian church.


There are many churches that are not Christian that claim it  but they are so obvious that it takes seconds listening to someone talk about what they believe you can just go – umm yeah ok, alrighty then, I see Jesus has left the building.

The reason you can do that is because you take what they claim to believe and compare it to the word of God. If they agree with the word of God then it’s simple stuff. If they don’t, it jumps at you. I mean there are even churches that call themselves Christians that change the whole word of God around to meet their philosophies. Pretty funny really, except for all the people that get hurt from the dead stuff they create.


So I took Jesus’ lead and visited some of these churches that He said followed Him. Interesting enough many were different in style of worship; style of preaching, style of format, what clothes I could wear but they shared a common theme. Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God, Savior of the world, Lord of all who was crucified and rose again so we could be reconciled with God through Him. Now that’s a pretty quick description of a much deeper topic. Sorry for all you detail freaks, email me and we can get deeper if you like.


Something else I noticed about these churches is they were all imperfect but all striving to be closer to the dude that introduced me to them- Jesus; it was a common theme. All of them had folks who could care less, all of them had folks that were eager to do God stuff. All of them had good people in management. Pastors/Priests shared a common love and adoration of God and the one who showed me their church, Jesus The High Priest.


I also noted they loved the people who didn’t have a clue about Jesus yet too. They didn’t crush new folk. They didn’t stomp out the lights of anyone that had a question, that I could tell they thought was really silly. Not one of these churches that God showed me had a 400LB Christian gorilla that would stomp the snot out of some poor unsuspecting imperfect visitor.


All of them I noted, fed the poor folk and cared for each other inside the church as well. They prayed for one another and for the community and they sought Jesus to guide them on where they needed to move next. They were abuzz with activity.


Now some had their strengths in different facets of Christian faith than others. I began to note, that specific banners would have strength in a certain thing God wanted of his children. Stuff like; Charity, teaching, love, Holy Spirit each one had its weak and its strong areas but Jesus didn’t seem to mind where they were weak because they were moving and caring and loving and following Jesus as close as they knew how.


I read later in the bible where Jesus often said “according to your faith . . . “or “your faith has made it so . . .” or “believe and it will be so . . .” every one of these banners had a desire to stay as close to Jesus as they knew how. It was pretty cool.

 
I started to speak to the leaders and teachers of these different banners and noted many similarities – Jesus as sole Lord, the power of prayer, the power of fellowship, the power of God, the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact many of you crusty olé Christians reading this may come to be shocked about some of these banners, which you hold are supposed to be dead in one or another of these areas and I found them not to be.


I asked a specific list of questions, ones that were important to me and my relationship with God. After all I was and still am a seeker. I was amazed at the consistency of answers. It dawned on me that it must not be the banner on the rooftop but rather the people in the building and the God they chose to follow. That’s when I became an anywhere Christian.

I still had to note that some folks wanted you dressed up fancy and some didn’t care and some wanted you to be perfectly quiet and others just let it all hang out like David did in the bible. Some were very systematic about how they held the service others were sprawling and changing. Every one of them never failed to tell me Jesus was alone Lord. Jesus Loved me. Jesus gave his life for me. Jesus was the truth and the only way to the Father. In fact one banner, I had heard didn’t believe that, shocked me when I heard it spoke out of the mouth of someone under that banner. Suddenly, I didn’t care what folks called themselves and made sure I stayed close to the ones who Jesus said were following Him as He desired them to be.


What does this have to do with helping the crying and the hungry and the people who don’t yet know Jesus. Everything, these places all different except in Jesus were working together pooling resources standing side by side, having meetings to see how they could better care for each other and the community. It blessed me so much that I almost couldn’t stand it. And then God showed me the other side and it hurt my heart so badly I avoided even the good ones for a time while me and God got to work on me and my heart.


God gave me a list of questions, very simple. He instructed me that all I was to do is ask the leaders of a place these questions and not to weight the answers or concern myself with fixing what I was learning was broke with some of the places that claim they know God. The hardest part was his instruction for me to love them. I was told by God not to assume his emotions but just to be the messenger of these questions. It took me a while to understand what He meant by those instructions and it took me a while to get my stuff straight before I went to do this.  The questions were easy. To the churches:

  1. How many square feet of air conditioned floor space do I have to give you before you let my homeless children rest in you?
  2. How much stereo and equipment do I have to give you before you could care more for the one that would steal it than the equipment itself?
  3. How much food do I have to give you before you stop making man come before you for approval before you give them what I have given you freely?
  4. How many people do I have to send to you before your doors are open all the time to minister to my children?
  5. How much do I have to bless you before you trust me enough to leave my doors open and unlocked?
  6. How big a parking lot do you need before you worship me in front of the world instead of inside your cave?

Well needless to say those are pretty simple questions. Also needless to say it made me real popular among the local banners. - Not.


I have to admit the places Jesus had shown me originally, acknowledged their shortcomings and took action and it was across all banners and sizes of congregations not just specific ones. I know that, not because they confessed to me or anything but because they changed – Just like that.


Keep in mind all I did was ask the questions.  Well, suddenly more folks were getting fed more folks were crying with someone to hold them and more of the folks seeking had places to seek even after dark. Not because of me but because God had asked a few questions.


Some of them were pretty hard headed or as God called them stiff-necked. I was invited never to return to quite a few and what was funny they were across a large section of banners not one specific banner. God was making a point to me and I was starting to get it.


Well then came the next thing He had me do – it was mid day  and God said to me on your way home stop and see how many of my churches have their doors open so the lost can come and talk with me. I argued of course and said “God the church isn’t the only place they can talk with you”. He told me that to the lost sometimes that was the only place they knew they could talk to Him. I asked Him to define open. He informed me that He meant the place or area of worship – some call it the sanctuary, should be open and free that I shouldn’t have to come before the face of man to get there, I said ok Lord.


It was a long, hard, disappointing ride home. I found exactly one church open, I went in and began to pray. They saw me come in and when they felt comfortable I was at a stopping point in my quiet prayer they greeted me and welcomed me and I explained what I was doing. As a result of my explanation they looked at me kind of crooked a bit uncertain of my explanation because they were a more subdued folk in their style of worship but nevertheless they allowed me a place to pray in the sanctuary. One, one house of God was open. It broke my heart but God didn’t ask me to do anything about it except to tell the open church’s Pastor about what God had me do and that He was pleased to see this place of worship open. Later, He had me write a letter to the other churches. It was a loving letter and many changed the way they operated. Still my heart was troubled.


Then one day He pointed me back to one of the small ministries that was doing His work downtown with the homeless. They fed and preached every night. I was so excited because I love that kind of ministry personally. I was homeless for a long time in my youth, by myself with no one, so I enjoy what God allows me to do in that type of ministry. I came to know the Pastor of this ministry and as it turned out he was struggling to make ends meet. My wife and I did what we could and then God asked me – Go ask the other ministries down the street here and then elsewhere if they are able to help and if they would come to the aid of this little blessing downtown.


That little ministry failed. Not because God hated it but because so called Christians hated it.


So seekers if you feel beat up by some of the people you meet that call themselves Christians don’t feel alone, so called Christians are cannibals as well. 

They hated the smallness of the work, they held in disdain the people they fed, they disliked the doctrine the church preached, accusing it of being too simplistic, they hated the people who worked there because they didn’t wear fancy clothes. They hated the place because it was close to theirs.


I watched in a moment of learning as ministries poured money into a non Christian place that was doing the same work right across the street from this little ministry noting the fact this place never mentioned Jesus one time during their work. Never gave God glory one time for his provision. Yet the churches that let another ministry of God fail supported them instead.


They used excuses like well God will support his work and well I guess God didn’t bless it. Hypocrites, millstones for all of them.  Watch for them and keep their hands out of your pockets.


One church answered the call to help and did all they could – people, effort, resources.  In the meantime in those churches up the road, people are dying in those churches because they are asleep and they blame God. Stay away from these vipers. Follow Jesus, pray for them vipers but follow Jesus and if the place you call church home gets funky you talk to your elders and see what they say and then talk to your Pastor, I don’t care how big a church it is and see what his heart is. If it stays funky and you aren’t satisfied have peace and understand Jesus is your covering, your head, your safe place not that dead dry boned place.

Remember talk to God, be honest ask Him what He feels and thinks and read his word and then trust Him. And move on.


Now after that you might say I would have some right to be sour on Christianity. No way, because I know Jesus wasn’t in any of those places that didn’t do as God desired. See you can’t use some scumbag’s issues to keep you off Christianity, it’s an excuse, a justification and it holds zero truth. It’s a great rationalization if you’re not really interested in seeking, allowing you to stop. So if that’s what you’re about, so be it. Remember, God is drawing you to Jesus and all you need do is seek.


See, you will learn quickly not to look for God in men. Men can hurt you and lie to you and do some really junky stuff to you. However; God remains true. Take every nasty thing any so called Christian has hurt you with and see if his book the Bible has instructed him to do it. Don’t let him twist the words in his or her arrogance appointing themselves god to justify it but rather ask Jesus – remember we are already talking to Him seeker – and then read the bible. Very soon you will learn that some folks are just messed up. Then you can pray for them and ask Jesus to get you connected with those of a like heart to yours, you know, seekers. 


You may have to just hang out with Jesus and his Word for a while learning more of Him, talking with Him, stuff like that. Eventually, God will provide you with some fellowship, remember you are not  the same as they are so some stuff is going to  read different to you than to them, Love them enough to talk about it and if you can’t seem to come to perfect agreement on anything but Jesus Christ being your Lord master and savior – stay there. It’s a safe place. The rest will get worked out by the Holy Spirit to bless both of you.
Finally – Remember it’s between you and your God what gets done and how much He is in your life. He wants all of you, what you give up may be less. It’s on you. God does complete works, not partial subcontracting.
Fundamentals – Absolute Honesty – Absolute Trust – Absolute Rest – talk with your God; don’t let men who act like idiots take Him away from you. Love those folks – pray for them, they are dying and don’t even know it because they think it’s all good. God will use your new fire and it will rub off on folks as you seek. Never forsake that first Love – Seeking the face of God.

If you have any questions or issues feel free to email me “here

 

 

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