is there a thing or a character trait of yours which others seem to hate most, for which you get called out, ostracized, even excluded a lot?
Me, I have one.
And I am very aware that many people absolutely don’t like this about me, in fact, most people, if not all people I know…
It is my directness.
I had to take lots of beatings because of it, because of speaking a truth which I considered necessary to be spoken.
Most recent example:
in the online group of the prison ministry of my church, someone asked if someone knew anyone looking for work.
Since I work in a very big prison, I “know” many men getting out and needing an opportunity to work, so I asked what it was and what his criteria were…
He replied that he worked on construction sites and that they sometimes need people for a few days to help out for “cash in hand”.
You may already reckon where this is going…?
A few minutes later, the leader of the group, a pastor, replied that she knew someone who was interested and that she was so grateful for this offer – for this offer for someone who just came out of prison to do some illegal work…
I replied that I hope that they will find a LEGAL way to give the guys a chance to start a new life, as cash in hand work is illegal.
I voiced my concerns about us as Christians and as a church being part of something that is not on the side of the law and also not showing that we believe that they can truly make a new start as full members of society, it is instead sending out the signal that we believe they must be glad with whatever opportunity they were given.
Someone then replied that it was not illegal and that I should message them privately.
I wasn’t up for that.
Instead, I told them that when I say that something is illegal, I am not saying it just so that I’ve said something, but I am saying it with a law degree under my belt and I am saying it to protect everyone, the guys and also us and I warned again about this.
I then went to work and could obviously not have my phone during the day, as I work in prison and there are no mobile phones allowed in there, but when I came out, there were messages saying that the guys not declaring a few hours was no big deal and that we were helping them giving them a chance and that nobody was encouraging anyone to break the law… there was also a message from one of the leaders saying that this important issue will need to be discussed more and that it should not be discussed in this forum.
When the next meeting took place, the leader of the ministry asked to meet with me before the meeting in a cafe and I thought that she was going to ask me to leave, which I was happy to do if the truth and lawful practices are not welcome in this ministry.
It was one of those sticky, icky, conversations when you know that what is being said is not what it is about and only when I asked her if she met with me to tell me off did she come out with her opinion… and the opinion was that what I had said was not letting her feel “warm” and I should have messaged privately, not in the forum…
I then told her that I have a lot to give and that diplomacy is not one of my gifts.
We then had to go, the meeting took place, 2 people who had disagreed with me in the forum were there as well and were almost openly hostile towards me… and what we did on that night was the ultimate signal for me that even though I wasn’t asked to leave, I still had to:
there were people there, “guest ministers”, people of the sort I call “Jesus-hippies” – they had grown up in a setting where their parents had opened their house to drug addicts and they had lived with them and they had come off heroin and found Jesus.
I am deliberately writing “Jesus” and not “JESUS” as I normally write HIS name, because I am just not sure if the Jesus they found is the JESUS of the bible…
I mean I wasn’t there and it’s great that they came off heroin!
What makes me believe that it may not have been OUR GOD they were serving is the “exercise” we did – not just the exercise, pretty much everything about these people reminded me so much of all the New Age Groups I went to before I got saved and I was absolutely alarmed, sweating bullets and 100% at unease…
So the exercise was this:
they were playing music (beautiful music by the way, but nothing I ever saw in the New Age Scene was not beautiful!!) and we were invited to open ourselves up to hear from GOD (or from god)… this is the exact moment when it gets really, really tricky…
Why am I saying that?
I am again not saying that to discourage anyone to listen to worship music and to ask GOD to speak to them…
It is just that I know how the devil and his demons work, and they will ALWAYS speak to us, whenever we will listen – and they will speak to us in whatever way we are willing to hear…
GOD on the other hand, HE will speak to us in a certain way, HE will first teach us to hear HIS voice and to know the difference of HIS voice from the voice of the enemy. HE will speak to us when HE wants to and on HIS terms.
And this is exactly why I was so concerned at this event, not for me, I KNOW when GOD is speaking and when HE isn’t.
And I know this not because I am so great or special, but because I had to learn the hard way when it is NOT GOD speaking, I followed the wrong voices for many years and it almost cost me my life… I listened to what I thought were angels, even “Jesus”, which was the false counterfeit jesus of the New Age, and all the other demons masquerading themselves as benevolent beings…
I was concerned mainly for the guys who were there, many of them being “baby christians” and not having developed the gift of discernment yet!
This was the moment when I realized that not only when it comes to working opportunities, but also regarding their spirituality, nothing and no one in this ministry was there to help the guys to start a new, holy life – on the contrary…
What really alarmed me was when she explained that GOD would never speak anything negative to us, that it would always be something gentle and encouraging and full of love and peace…
ALARM! ALARM! ALARM!
This is NOT TRUE!
And it is even less biblical!!!
OUR GOD will sometimes also speak a warning or tell us to stop doing certain things, aka sinning, and especially when it comes to crime (and we were meeting with ex prisoners!), GOD is very clear about that this is wrong and that we need to repent.
So that was the moment when all my alarm bells went off and when I knew I had to be on guard – and when I started praying…
But to tell you the rest of the exercise, we were then invited to share whatever GOD had said to us and after that, we were asked if anything anyone shared was speaking to us, to open our hands and then someone would come and lay hands on us and pray with us – that was the moment when I was praying that none of these people would lay hands on me, because I know how dangerous that can be and that evil spirits can be transferred via this…
So like I said, I started praying when she explained what we were going to do… and GOD gave me a passage from Isaiah 43
Isaiah 43 : 1
But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
And it instantly relieved me… and I shared it, too… I thought even though it was for me in this situation, it could also help anyone here… after this, only one other person shared another scripture and then, the wildest visions were shared by many people… the only thing that was different than in the New Age meetings was that the lingo was a bit more Christian, but the visions were just as “New Agey” and my inner “demon detector” literally went crazy and I had to gather all my strength not to run out of the room and stay and pray instead… and as I had anticipated, not only the people who had opened their hands were prayed for, also other people as well, they almost forced themselves on everyone…
Except on me…
This was of course all the confirmation I needed to know that not the HOLY SPIRIT, THE SPIRIT OF GOD is operating in this ministry, but the spirit of the Antichrist, aka the devil.
And of course, even though I was not asked to leave, I did.
I will find a prison ministry where GOD is and where HE is glorified and where we will help them to start new lives doing legal things only.
Even if I have to found one myself, I will not be part of a ministry which demonizes and discourages and helps exploit people who came out of prison.
There is absolutely no room for compromise in this area of my life.
And I am grateful that GOD gave me the courage and even the URGE to speak the truth when it needs to be spoken.
On this occasion and on others…
I have often had to face what looked like negative consequences when I was speaking the truth and everyone else tried to beat me up afterwards.
I am used to it.
It is not a nice feeling.
But it is also a feeling that I love, because I know that MY BELOVED SAVIOR was even killed for speaking the truth, GOD’s truth – that is pretty much the only real reason why he had to die… isn’t it?
No, he didn’t always give everyone a “warm, fuzzy feeling”, especially not the Pharisees, which the churches were full of and still are today… that was not HIS mission and HIS assignment, to give positive feelings or even thrills… HIS mission and assignment was to bring us the truth and the truth is not always “warm” – but telling the truth is always the most loving thing to do – not lying, not even diplomacy.
What I found is that when I am direct and tell the truth, I may be beaten by others and excluded (openly or subtly) from some circles where the truth is not welcome, but GOD always rewards me for being truthful and for not being a traitor, for not denying HIM in the middle of HIS enemies.
Very often this happens in church settings, but when someone is a pastor or a minister or a bishop (or the pope), that doesn’t mean they are truthful and have or speak the truth and it does most certainly not mean that they are on GOD’s side.
Me, I thank GOD for the discernment HE gave me, for how thoroughly HE taught me to hear HIS voice – I am getting physically nauseous and sweaty and my blood pressure is rising and I have this urge to run out of the room when heresies are told or false prophecies are given… just as I have this irresistible push inside me to speak the truth when the snakes of hypocricy or heresy are crawling around the room or are stretching out their wicked tentacles and trying to wrap themselves around people and choke them…
Not only prisoners come out of prison, me, I came out of prison as well, out of darkness, and I know how important it is to know the truth, to speak the truth and to live a life of truth as much and as often as I can and to repent whenever I stray away from the truth, because the truth is the ONLY way to freedom!
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
I will always rather be free and in tune and in relationship with GOD than a member of a circle or a holder of a position in some sort of company.
The truth is important.
For me, it is the most precious treasure of my life and I am grateful every day that GOD showed me the truth.
Nothing can separate me from the truth.
Nothing and no one can take the truth away from me.
And no matter how hard my life is, I will always have GOD’s gift of truth IN me.
JESUS IS THE TRUTH and lives inside my heart.
Thank you, JESUS!
I thank you for YOUR TRUTH, I thank you that YOU ARE the truth, I thank you that you have given us the truth and that you have come to BE the truth, the way and the life, and that you have come so that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
Today, I ask you and I pray that you shed YOUR LIGHT of truth on me and on everyone who reads these words, that you will constantly teach us to seek your truth, to find it and to speak it and live it as well. That you will open our eyes and ears to see and hear the truth and that will use to to let others find the truth and only YOUR TRUTH as well.
In JESUS’ name I pray.