Around Christmastime last year, I received a phone call from the daughter of a lady I met while volunteering at a local nursing home. She had a multitude of health issues and as she recounted them, my heart went out to her. She was particularly upset that her medical problems and upcoming treatments would inhibit her ability to travel to Florida to see her Mom for the holidays. As she spoke, God whispered in my ear “Can you pray on demand?” I thought to myself what is praying on demand? How do I process this? This woman felt her prayers to God were unheard and that she was alone in this process she was experiencing. After pondering this thought for a bit, Continue reading “Pray On Demand”
I take great pride in letting people know I’m from New York City. In my opinion, it was the best place in the world to grow up. In NYC, there exists such a variety of cultures that make living there very exciting. I was raised in the borough of Brooklyn, NY yet love to share little known facts about New York City in general. Why? Because I love my city! Recently, while in attendance at a seminar Continue reading “Foundational Truths”
I have for the last five years felt distanced from “the church” and many who propose to be a part of the conventional church. For years my journey has led me to houses of worship and to church leaders who seemed to have an aversion to either living holy or embracing me (a female) with any level of respect. This lack for love and nurturing is a trend that has infiltrated many congregations. The faithful are being shunned, ostracized and called witches to make room for worship styles that do not always exalt the Father. We know that in the last days we’ll face perilous times (2 Tim 3:1) but also we’ll encounter a falling away (2 Thess 2:3). While “the church” would like to believe this excludes them, this event is not isolated to the unbelieving sinner we’re often so quick to condemn. Sadly, it’s already commenced. The house church movement has grown not because people are not willing to submit to leadership, but because they have submitted to them and were wounded. They’ve found perverse leadership who routinely operate in unGodly fashion and evict themselves from accountability. They operate the church as if it were a corporation and under the guise of preaching the gospel, souls are lost. More emphasis has been given to protocol, traditions, sexism, racism, personal agendas and money which seems to be the ultimate god. Many of the exiled have been either invited to vacate fellowships or felt compelled to do so due to alienation or other form of intimidation. Regularly, the exiled are accused of “operating in witchcraft”.
Where is the compassion? Continue reading “Reflections of an Exiled Believer”
I consider myself an unlikely activist in the Christian community. I feel especially drawn to shedding light on the unpopular issues that exist within the body. It is evident that we have a plethora of useless “feel good” preaching. Hollywood is alive and well as shallow leaders perform rather than minister to their flock. It seems evident that there exists a tremendous deficit in life altering truth. This naked truth illustrates to us that the majority of the body of Christ lives in constant limbo. Many have no clue what their purpose is and expect lack luster leaders to fill their spiritual void. It is here I feel compelled to emphasize I harbor great love for the people of God. They are diverse, talented and beautiful. However, many have adopted a club mentality in relation to their walk as a believer. They’ve perfected the lingo, embraced worldly attire, listen to compromising music, purchased the status quo vehicles and appear at the right churches. They’ve been duped into believing these rituals make them blessed. By trusting in the most popular pastor they deem themselves anointed. If this were true, every unbeliever with similar lifestyles would be heaven bound. There are many people in this world who have no relationship with God yet achieve similar milestones in their lives that often includes wealth. So the inquiry becomes, how do we discern who is really the blessed believer from the passive/aggressive atheist?
Jesus is not a magician.
In order to find firm ground in our relationship with God we must diligently commit ourselves to holy living. Everyone wants miracles, everyone wants to be used of the Lord and everyone is seeking a “fresh” revelation. Seriously? Why do we need to believe for miracles when we don’t believe enough to honestly report all of our taxes to the IRS? If we are kingdom minded believers we must uncompromisingly begin the process of taking full responsibility for our own spirituality. In order to cultivate a climate for miracles, an extreme level of spiritual discipline and maturity has to exist. It will not manifest by depending solely on Sunday morning homilies or mid-week prayer meetings. Sermons and weekly meetings will only supplement our spiritual journey but not the meat.
Change has to be embraced!
Club Christian exists because the spirit of compromise has infiltrated many converts. The hunger for Godly interaction has waned. If we are to see the miracles, signs or wonders our heart has to become pliable before the Father. His anointing of deliverance and healing is driven by love. If we don’t have it, the word says we are none of His (I John 4:20). Miracles show up when our heart mirrors His with an abundance of love and compassion. There is no magic scripture that will help us find a deeper intimacy with God. It happens through a choice we make to get closer to Him. We who claim to “be the church” have fallen short in our directive to love our fellow man unconditionally and need to repent. Once this is done, then we can seek direction in sincere selfless prayer. His provision of Godly instruction will provide directives to get us back on track. An investment of time, individual assessment and a willingness to change must be initiated. This self evaluation will supply an insight as to how committed we really are to the gospel. If this practice is not engaged we must face the fact that we’re not on fire for God at all, just mere unbelievers masquerading as saints.
God shouldn’t be scheduled into our day like an afternoon ball game. He should be the center of our very existence.
The depth of miracles we will witness in our lifetime will only match our level of belief. The unreserved love of Christ must reach believers and unbelievers. In Mark 9:29 the disciples learned that some things will improve or radically change solely through prayer and fasting. The disciples were perplexed because they were unable to cast a demon out of a man. They thought that just their mere association with Jesus would be enough. They thought that their word would be authoritative enough to help but in they end, they were ineffective. Jesus told them what it would take. Praying and fasting is what it takes in this dispensation just as it had then. We’ve heard it said or even said it ourselves “freedom isn’t free”. Indeed, it’s not. In order for miracles and deliverance to happen, someone has to pray into the wee hours. Someone has to fast a bit longer than what is comfortable. Someone has to desire to hear the voice of God. Hanging out at Club Christian with mediocre believers will not yield such results. The kind of power needed to deliver those in the condition of the demonic man in Mark 9:29 will not occur through eloquent, empty prayers or constant pleading of “the blood”. Obligatory offerings or regular appearances at conferences with renowned leaders will not facilitate yoke breaking deliverance either.
We American Christians blame the devil for so much he can actually take lunch breaks! There are some hardships we have to endure and some warfare that has to be waged if we want the modern church to emulate New Testament moves of God similar to those recorded in Acts. We will not always be able to pray everything away and blame the devil. There are some battles God wants us to actually fight which reveals what kind of stuff we’re made of. Some challenges we face really are tests. Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7 believed the stumbling block he struggled with would exalt him above measure. He gladly bore this inconvenience, knowing it would keep his heart knit to the will of Christ. Some adversity will drive us daily to our knees; which is where we need to be anyway. No matter how painful or unfair, some trails we will just have to press through in our walk with God.
The miracle is sometimes learning that we can walk through the fire and trust God while coming out on the other side.
We can’t find true peace in a thriving church if we linger at Club Christian. Club Christian has only a form of godliness because it is based on human effort. We won’t see miracles trying to attain celebrity on Christian networks or other venues that promise millionaire status. Club Christian is for those who are not brave enough to truly hearken to the voice of God. Now those brave souls who choose to avoid Club Christian and strive do the will of the Father daily are the heroes of the faith. They obey God even when society believes it’s not popular. Let us seek the Lord with a pure heart and mind. Let us return to loving others as much as we love ourselves. If we take the initiative to seek the meat of the word, we’ll find there is no viable place for us at Club Christian.
Denise Joyce Williams lives in Florida with her husband who is a career soldier. Her first book entitled, “The Healing Of A Broken Vessel” was released by Publish America in 2009. Her much anticipated second book entitled “Chambers Of The Believing Heart” is expected to be released in the spring of 2012.