During the recent Football World Cup in Russia, a certain team, during the first-half play were doing rather badly.
Grunts of disapproval emanated from the crowd. Shouts of censure, even mocking fell like spitting rain, soaking not only the players, but the spectators as well.
The “commentary” from the various football pundits, were less than complementary, as the teams took themselves off the field for half-time.
At this juncture … a replay started playing in my head, of an incident concerning the first-half of an international rugby match. This is how it went then…..
Many, many years ago, I was watching, an international rugby union match between England and Argentina … and right up to half-time, although the teams were equal, England were making many mistakes … dropping the ball, kicking badly, making the wrong choices … making it hard for themselves and EASIER for the opposition.
I became aware of the various commentators on the game, complaining, moaning, berating and getting fed up with the poor display … though many of the comments were deserved, the team were trying.
They had not got their act together, as a team. They could not join the varying aspects of the game together, like joining with the pack in broken play – connecting with the faster mid and wing players.
‘Join together,’ became the plea! They were not united …not linking up with one another, in the various phases, and parts of the field and game. The more the mistakes, the more the disjointedness increased.
But something in my spirit “grated.” Something in me disagreed with what was being said, how it was said and how the bad and the negative outweighed the good and the effort…..
Because of the mistakes, the actual effort, any good, though misdirected, was negated and dismissed by others.
Whether one would agree it was deserved, or true or not, is not the point here … the negative words were doing harm … actually promoting more mistakes and indeed nervousness, as attempt after attempt continued to be flawed.
The commentator said … at half-time a “hair drier job” was needed to reconvene the team and redirect and adjust their efforts, cutting out and down on their mistakes.
The manager – at half-time would have this task, to “blow away” at the faults with the bellowing of his voice … they would need waking up.
The church is at half time … and the manager has something to say to His Body … to its critics within and to its participants … to those doing good and to those doing not so good … “It is time for disjointed play, tactics and opinions to end…”
They are destroying, and they are creating negativity at levels that one cannot imagine.
This is what I heard … and it took all of the intermission and the best part of the whole of the second-half for the LORD to exercise my spirit on what and how He was saying it.
I encourage you to read Isaiah 58, either BEFORE you read on, or after you have read the rest, or later at another time with reflection.
Be blessed, brother and sister, in Jesus’ Name!
“You fast for reasons you think are right, but not for those you think are wrong.
Your moaning, grumblings and complaining are preventing you entering into an understanding of what is needed.
You pray about what you think is, not about and for what isn’t, no wonder that which is dark is still dark.
Your negative unresponsive words are not composing, but undoing what I long for.
Reach for Me, with and for your brother, reach for BOTH of your successes and needs not just for your own.
You moan and complain and expect your voice to be heard on high … stop … stop complaining, stop the pointing finger, stop the dragging down, stop your own puffing up in the thought that you do right all the time.
Do you not know ALL shortcomings are under grace, under the access of the blood?
You think yourself perfect and not at fault, but it is not so, it is not right.
Have concern for your brother, your sister, your neighbor and not just for those of your choice.
Spend your selves on your brother, who is your neighbor and is poor, otherwise you are just a noisy gong … who puts in his “giving” with no thought of and with an air of superiority over those who you see as giving wrongly or less … give rightly and justly to me, to ME.
You give out of your riches and not out of your poverty. I hate self righteousness.
I despise your pride and lack of brokenness for those who do not have, for those who in their sin give wrongly or seemingly unrighteous to Me, for your brother caught in a pit …
I speak about your brothers, the Church, in their service to Me.
Do you not hear?
Can you not see him caught in his pit?
I do, and I do not rejoice over evil or wrong doing.
I do not accept, nor will I accept the pointing finger and the malicious talking tongue. I will not ignore it … but I will also not ignore those crying out for him, for his need, for your UNION with them, cry out …
How can you separate yourself from that which the blood joined? Was it, is it, not brother to brother, son to son, heart to heart?
I AM sick!
…. made sick with your words, burdened by your pleadings for yourself(selves) and not for others in your seeming correctness.
It is not right just to be right – any rightness, correctness you have comes from Me!
Wish this not just for yourself, but also for others, your brothers fallen in battle, lost and in despair, live not in darkness but in My Light, and not just in the darkness or the seeming light of your own correctness.
I AM tired!
…. with these moanings about your brothers, wearied by your lack of care concerning them – stop proving your self righteousness, enough.
Pray you will be one and not two, don’t separate but join, don’t hate but love, ask Me for love for them, the love you do not have.
Ask Me for peace. Ask Me for unity you already have in Me, but don’t express it.
Ask Me for love and unity in Me … and for YOU to express it!”
At the commencement of the second-half, the English team came out with a different verve – they had obviously listened to the manager at half time, but what was said, was said behind closed doors … but they responded … what is more, they played as a team, connecting up the various parts of the team on different parts of the field … linking with one another, despite the varying and different skill levels … they worked together having a common vision and HOPE RE – instilled.
They went on to win the game, though not without a late rally from the opposition, but they withstood that … as well … for they were united in defense and not disunited in ATTACK(ing).
Be blessed … for …
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish,” Psalm 1:1-6.
Fasting that Pleases God
“Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the ordinance of their God.
They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching God.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’
“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, and exploit all your laborers.
Indeed you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness.
You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high. Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?
Would you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?
Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the Lord has spoken,” Isaiah 58.
~ David Hood
David Hood, is from Stanley, County Durham, England and was born-again 30 years ago. He began a more serious prophetic insight in the 90’s.