What Is Your Issue?

God has been dealing with me of late about the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25, Lev. 15:19 & Matt 14:34-36). I used these scriptures to examine her issues. God was showing me that this story illustrates the modern church. The wounded women are people in the church who believe in God but are not delivered from pain and hurt in their lives. They want to serve and be whole, but just don’t know how to get free. In this passage, the bible talks about doctors who tried or promised repeatedly to heal this woman but had no power to help her. Instead she ended up spending all that she had trying to find a true balm for her ailments.

This is what seems to have happened in our churches today. Believers are going from church to church looking to leadership for a true connection to God. They need someone who can get a prayer through so they can find peace in their spirit and healing in their bodies. They are like birds struggling to fly with a broken wing in spite of their very noticeable dysfunction.

The problem lies in that there is an obvious wound that needs to heal in order for them to soar. The disciples were operating in the traditions of church law in regard to this woman. Even though they were supposed to see her need and show compassion, they instead chose to cling to rules that deemed she was unclean. Their desire was for Jesus to just dismiss her, ignore her need and send her on her way. They felt Jesus had more important things to do and she didn’t qualify in their minds as one with a legitimate need. Our churches perform the same ritual weekly. People who are in dire straights seem to EMBARRASS many self righteous believers! They want ministry but don’t want to deal with people who have desperate needs in their lives. They say they want to fight as soldiers in the army but not really sold out enough to get dirty in the trenches. Real ministry means you have to get your hands dirty in order to pull someone out of the very real pit in their life.

Thank God for GRACE! This woman is an icon for the church and those that God wants to deliver from despair, abuse, oppression, fear and anything else that hinders victorious living. It grieves God I believe, because this is the face of modern day churches. We don’t seek God anymore with passion or consistency; therefore leaders are pitifully weak and profoundly ineffective. There isn’t enough fasting or prayer on a consistent basis so in effect; the church has learned to tie God’s hands. He can’t show up to heal if the atmosphere isn’t right nor will He move if there is no true worship. God didn’t fail us but it is we who have lost faith. Compromise in our walk has led us to witnessing more lukewarm believers that are nursing old wounds.

Jesus saw the heart of this woman and her desire to be free. The compassion of the Lord didn’t fail which compelled Him to stop and bless her on His journey.

In light of this act, we too need to see if we actually qualify to minister to the Lord’s people. We need to take a minute and see if someone else has a need that is pressing because it’s always about us! It’s all about God’s agenda. It’s about being in position to be used for His service.

We all have issues. We all need help to get healed and we’re unable to do it on our own. We need each other because we were designed for relationship and we need God because we can’t heal ourselves. We need the ministry of intercession back in the church. We need the ministry of the prophet back in the church for confirmation, correction and order. We need the wisdom of church mothers, mentors, spiritual fathers and missionaries to provide direction.

The woman with the issue of blood was unable to heal. Her blood didn’t clot properly so that she could put her painful past behind her. The bleeding was a constant reminder that her issue was not yet resolved. Her issue was painful and impacted her present life. It also threatened her future as she grew weaker from the blood loss with each passing day. Blood is binding and represents covenant. This is why Christ’s shed blood is so precious because in its’ shed state it offered us a covenant with Him. Blood has iron in it. When detectives apply Luminol to blood at a crime scene, it bonds with the iron component forcing it to illuminate. The blood of Christ once applied to our lives, our past and illuminates our hurt. Once the wound is identified, complete healing commences. There is no residue of the past or any other emotional pain. It’s been washed away forever and our slate cleansed.

Be encouraged child of the most high God~!

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Dr. Denise J. Williams was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and has over twenty-two years of ministry experience. The author’s first book “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” can be found on http://www.amazon.com. She’s currently penning her second book and resides in Jacksonville, FL with her husband.

Every Place You Hurt

There she is alone at the well… Then a man shows up saying “give me to drink“. She wonders why because the Jews have no dealings with Samaritians. He’s different though and talks to her because He can see she’s in pain. He questions her about who she is. She tells Him the story about the well, Jacob their father and the worship that took place on that very mountain. He gets more personal by wanting to know about her husband. She says I’ve had five. Each of her  husbands represented a church, a covering that failed her in some way. Each covering has let her down, abuse in one, lied to in another, manipulated in the third one, abandoned in the fourth one and put out in the fifth one. She’s saddened discussing it all. Five husbands. Five coverings. Five failures. She was done. She was finished with coverings, husbands, churches the whole lot of it. No earthly covering understood her needs.

If you can relate to this woman it is probably because at some time in your life, the church has failed you. This woman has been talked about because she went from one covering/marriage to another. Some of us get talked about for going from church to church but can’t help it because some of us have pain the church can’t fix or won’t address so we search. Some of us need counseling that the church didn’t want to do because it might require a commitment from the leadership to meet with us weekly. Someone may have to miss their favorite TV show to help! Every deliverance doesn’t happen on Sunday and every healing doesn’t happen in the bible study. Some pain, some heartache, some emotional devastation needs to be tended to when others are home eating dinner or chatting on the phone with friends. Her pain was real just like it is for some of us. She was shunned among people of notoriety because of her past. Even in modern circles people still judge us for what we may have done in our past. The bondage this brings is crippling. Some people never forgive our mistakes even if we did repent and some choose to hold it over our heads. The loving church people wouldn’t reach out beyond their comfort zone. The thing is, this woman could have been any of us or possibly she is us?! She was someone with a hurting heart and needed the love of God manifested in a person that would help her heal. She was looking for love with each husband/church/covering and was unable to find it. Like many of us today she felt broken, isolated and ashamed.

But wait….Jesus is the sixth man. He is the sixth covering in the life of this woman who is at this well. Five is the number of grace however six is the number of mankind. Jesus redeemed, healed and offered Himself as her church. He was her covering and her husband. She found that in Him she is truly complete! That day she was the one that got a drink. It was a drink of deliverance! She received living water and she found renewed hope for her life. The gift of the GOOD NEWS was hers that day. She met Jesus! The promised one. The messiah. The only one that can heal every single place she hurt.

Be encouraged child of the most high God~!

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Dr. Denise J. Williams is the founder of Broken Vessel Outreach Ministries International. She has just completed her first book entitled “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel”  in early 2009. She and her husband reside in Jacksonville, Fl. http://www.thebrokenvessel.com/heal 

GIVE HIM YOUR ISAAC

 

Last night, my husband and I enjoyed the symphony with friends. As we watched, I was mesmerized by the melodious sounds resonating from the stage. Each musician was precise, accurate and totally engaged in their work. Every ounce of their discipline was evident as their offering of harmony delivered to our audience one perfected piece after another. In our lives we can see a mirrored scenario. We each harbor thFreeWomane potential to offer beauty in any endeavor we pursue. God offers us success, but after our journey in Christ commences we have to grow spiritually in order to wisely manage it. Without maturation we become a stagnant, useless carcass unable to fully manifest His glory among men in the earth. There are many zealous believers that desire to be used mightily of the Lord but in order for this to occur, there is a process of preparedness that has to be completed. In Genesis 22, Abraham was in the process of being re-constructed. He was on the cusp of being spiritually challenged in a way he never expected. In this look at Abraham, most believe God only wanted him to offer his son Isaac as a test of loyalty. The passage illustrates obedience to God in the midst of what human discerning may deem illogical direction. While this is definitely one perspective, God revealed something deeper concerning this conundrum to me.

In order to remain in a place of spiritual flexibility, we need to regularly be made uncomfortable! The reality that God places us in such situations may not be popular but is indeed a fact. Abraham fell into a place many of us find ourselves amidst. He was complacent. He served God, observed the holy days and offered the appropriate sacrifices when he was required to do so. He trusted his “safe” spiritual place yet his routine actually worked against him. Oh how we are more like him than we realize! We attend the worship service, pay the tithe, hear the sermon, wonder what restaurant has a dinner special and repeat the process the following week. Our God is a God of progressive change yet believers desire an ordinary seasonal predictability that offers false security. When God directed Abraham to offer his son Isaac for the sacrifice, he was shaken from his place of comfort and catapulted to an area he’d never known. Extreme faith! Abraham knew that the law of Moses offered him only judgment if he didn’t obey. However his blind obedience didn’t challenge his faith. Committing scripture to memory didn’t’ do it either. He needed something more. More than ritual, he needed a relationship with the Lamb.

Genesis 22 presents us with the ideal that the body of Christ has to endure a periodic agitation. If we are looking for the miraculous in our daily lives, we have to submit to an abrupt, sudden and permanent change in our spiritual thinking which is orchestrated by the Father. Our “Unknowing” will lead us as it did Abraham to a place of abundant faith. Abraham moved in his extreme faith when he said in verse five that he and the lad will go worship then return. He didn’t know if God would resurrect Isaac or continue to require his son to remain the sacrifice. All he could comprehend was that his humanity which is representative of wood is fallible. He knew somehow, someway that God would not let him down in relation to his son which he now perceived as the sacrifice. His child was the perfect offering before the Lord at that moment. This type represented Jesus’ death for all of humanities sins. Even more perfect than Isaac’s child. Isaac, in his quest to find the spiritual perfecting he needed, he had to give God his Isaac so he could discover the Lamb.

In verse six the question arose, “Where is the Lamb?” If we desire God’s perfect will we have to surrender our Isaac and find the Lamb. Just as the musicians who performed for me sought perfection through repetition, we too must repeatedly seek God in the realm of massive, unwavering faith. This will only come through allowing Him to place us in uncomfortable situations so that we can believe for more than we ever dreamed possible. This can only occur for us once we’ve attained grace from God through His Lamb.

If the church is to make a broader impact in the world and persuade the lost, we need to be ready to give up our safe places that offer us monotony. These are our Isaac’s. It encompasses those spiritual hiding places of hindrances or feat that challenge our growth. We can not continue to forsake the initiation of intimacy if we desire mammoth faith in Jesus. Any other misplaced confidence in our ability only encourages us to depend on ourselves instead of God.

As the symphony drew to a close the question again resonated within me. What is your Isaac? What is that sure thing, that carnal connection which I always know will come through for me? What do I always depend on that is not Christ? The body of Christ needs to realize a new dispensation is here just as Abraham had. The miraculous will not happen with believers hiding in the shadows with the fear they will offend someone with their salvation. It will not happen if we keep pacifying ourselves with church work nor will it happen through pretending to be full of wisdom. Our goal as believers is to show the world a more radical place of belief; not hide in the pews. We should be able to illustrate to the unbeliever that we have all power on earth to fulfill our prophetic assignment. Just as the musicians, we must be precise, strategic and totally engaged in the work of the Lord for the perfecting of the saints. Every ounce of our disciplined living should be evident in all the areas of our lives offering harmony to those around us.

What is your Isaac? If you yearn for more out of your relationship with God, let Him exacerbate your circumstances to propel you to a broader place of faith. Give Him your Isaac and watch God use you in a mighty way in the body of Christ.

Be encouraged child of the most high God~!

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Dr. Denise Joyce Williams lives in Florida with her husband who is a career soldier. Her articles have been featured in CALLED and WOW magazine. Her book entitled, “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” was released by Publish America in March 2009. The book can be found: http://www.publishamerica.com. She can be reached via her ministry website http://www.thebrokenvessel.com. She’s currently penning her next book entitled “The Chambers Of The Heart”.

What Is Your Boiling Point?

Recently, I was in a church service and was quite disturbed at how the offerings were conducted. To my surprise there were five different appeals for funds! During the general offering, a missionary was allowed to make the appeal. She began by asking the congregants to stand. After which, they were directed to a scripture located in Haggai 1:1-11. After reading eleven verses, she scolded the people for not providing more resources for the work of the Lord and threatened that we can’t expect God to do anything for us if we don’t give. At one point she alleged that the members should willingly offer their utility bill money to pay for the church’s expenses and challenged the people to have faith in God to meet the need in their home. As I looked around the sanctuary, I saw many of the members avoiding my gaze, looking at the floor. Some went outside until the collection was over and one rushed off to the restroom. As the missionary’s nearly thirty five minute rant to intimidate the members for funds drew to a close, she added that the Lord loves a “cheerful” giver. She wanted them all to smile and feel encouraged as they came around the altar to leave their monetary gift. How one could be cheerful after such a presentation is beyond me. I was truly embarrassed for them, and relieved I was not a member of this body of believers. I was immediately overwhelmed with anger and the Lord whispered to me “What is your boiling point’? The boiling point for water is two hundred twelve degrees. I am fully persuaded that I felt more intense heat than that! I felt so incensed that this kind of manipulation was playing out before my eyes that I wanted to scream out loud “This is not how we receive an offering for the Lord!” When I reflect on our modern day church my heart aches within. It’s painful observing what our churches seemed to have become. They appear to be more of an icon these days than a living, breathing, active body of believers dedicated to fulfilling God’s will in the earth. Where is the vibrant body that is awed by a move of the Lord? Why is it becoming increasingly difficult to find the loving heart of Christ in church on Sunday mornings? Why is this becoming such a Herculean effort? Instead of setting our agenda toward ministering to the impoverished, it is apparent we have suffered a diversion.

The goal of serving the masses should be pointing out God’s mercy is available for us daily. Without understanding His mercy how can we truly believe there is hope for mankind? Lamentations 3:23 cites the mercy of God is new each day. When we rise to greet a new morning, we are not only blessed with life but with the gift that God offers us a chance to clean our slate with Him. The chance to know Him and seek a fruitful relationship within is to open the door to eternal peace. Many people however are not even aware of this character trait of the Lord. They are more often than not presented with an angry God who wants to merely judge and destroy them. The modern day church has a brow beating dogmatic stance toward humanity that serves no purpose. The mercy of God isn’t heralded leaving them lost and quite bewildered. Confusion settles in their spirit leaving them to sort out feelings of condemnation, the foundation for embracing apostasy. They need a refuge and the offer of a better day but how can they find it when they are challenged and told they are not caring for “God’s house”? God doesn’t want to alienate His people and is none too pleased when believers engage in that kind of behavior. God wants His worship services to offer an atmosphere conducive to enticing congregations to want to have a relationship with Him.

Ministries today should periodically re-evaluate their agenda to make sure they are staying true to Gods’ prime directive and not a man made goal. Too many people are citing the same reasons for not having any relationship with God. Many are disillusioned with constant bickering among saints, being badgered for finances or brow beat for having weaknesses in areas they may be struggling with. Many feel guilty and worthless for their transgressions because they’ve not been offered hope. God hears our heart and knows what we all yearn for the most. He knows we all want to be accepted, loved and valued. The cry of the oppressed is coming up before God’s nostrils and He is holding leadership accountable. We must return to God’s way of engaging each other. We must present God’s word, live God’s word and allow potential converts to make a choice. Our vision should not be clouded with how much the offering will bring in, or how many new members the church gained last Sunday or how many titles to covet. God wants us to be real believers and not a social club where politicking for position is the order of the day. God is angry at the bondage of tradition, control and manipulation that is alive and well in many ministries. It is taking them from soul serving to self serving. God is angry that believers allow denominations to divide instead of unite. He is angry that our nation chose to evict Him from our government yet seek his protection from foreign enemies when we feel it’s convenient.

Again I ask “What is your boiling point?” When will we learn that money is just an end to a means? When will we learn that we need to trust God for lack in our ministries and attend to the spiritual needs of one another? How can we honestly stand before God with a clear conscious if we haven’t looked after the fatherless and the widow? (James 1:27). Badgering the faithful for funds is not the will of God. Taxing those who we know don’t have is not ministry for them, it’s drudgery. We know it takes money to operate ministries but not at the expense of souls. Our first directive from the Lord isn’t to build empires called mega-churches. The role of the church is to help the unchurched in facilitating a relationship with the Father. When will we become bold enough to revamp our agendas and let God direct us? When will the lunacy of “paying” to be a member in good standing or just to be a Christian cease? If we return to the financial plan that God has set in His word, nothing that has been properly built to glorify Him will fail.

“What is your boiling point?”

Be blessed child of the MOST HIGH GOD……

Dr. Denise Joyce Williams lives in Florida with her husband who is a career soldier. Her articles have been featured in CALLED and WOW magazine. Her book entitled, “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” was released by Publish America in March 2009. The book can be found: http://www.publishamerica.com. She can also be reached via her ministry website http://www.thebrokenvessel.com. She’s currently penning her next book entitled “The Chambers Of The Heart”.