One day, I was watching a famous pastor’s sermon on the internet (I now go to Sunday Church and listen to the sermons and then I watch more sermons of several pastors in my own time).
While he was preaching, he told of instances when he said that a certain somebody in his Church had said something about being offended about a previous sermon he had given, in which it sounded like the pastor was using the sermon to deliberately attack a person listening amidst the congregation.
I wondered about that sometimes, like, what is going on? Are these people just super sensitive or something?
So there were a couple of times when I sat in the Church that I went to in the past, when it sounded like the pastor was attacking what I did, and I felt super guilty about it.
When I was an immature Christian and I knew the pastor like an old friend, I used to bring it up and the pastor said he really did not mean it in such a way.
I used to conclude that maybe I am just sensitive about it. Well, I grew out of it. I stopped making it a big deal, but the “coincidences” kept on happening and they still give me the sting.
I realized eventually that my ‘guilt’ was unfounded, like it shouldn’t even have be there. It’s not like they were talking about sin. They were talking about things like sleeping late at night, or posting too much on Facebook and similar cultural norms of the infamous Millennial generation.
Then there were these memes on Facebook, where my friends and everybody’s neighbors and their dogs’ friends started posting on their walls, “The post is on my wall, why do you feel the sting?” and other similar posts, meant to poke fun, criticism and satire at the situation. The common explanation to this phenomenon is, ultra-sensitivity.
And it is…. But not the way we have been understanding sensitive emotions or getting offended easily, no it isn’t. It is the devil at work, against the work of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s say for example, I write a lot of posts about the return of Lord Jesus, and by the leading of The Holy Spirit, I call others to repentance in my blog posts.
I would call others to repent of everything, even little things. such as anger and covetousness, their love of money, gossip and others (I repent of these too, not perfect, so as I call for repentance, I myself repent of these as well). I obviously had to use a tone of voice that is similar and exemplified by the prophets and apostles, because those are the best examples for me.
Now, let’s say somebody reads my posts in which there are coincidental ‘buzzwords’ that are dear to some of these people, and my posts happen to speak about them negatively, so they would think that because they are my friends, so I must be targeting them and deliberately writing to make them feel guilty, on a personal level.
I felt that way a lot too, but shrugged it off, as I’d convinced myself that surely it’s coincidental. Until today.
Today is my second Sunday at a particular Church and the pastor who preached last Sunday is the same one who preached today.
He was preaching about John 10 and Psalm 23, and it was an amazing sermon that discussed about the beauty of the leadership of Jesus, and how He is our Good Shepherd.
Then, there goes a ‘boom’. He said a ‘buzzword’. I wrote about this ‘buzzword’ in one of my last posts and he spoke so critically about the buzzword that I literally felt like he was using the word to attack me and my beliefs of the end times, and everything that I have written on my blog and other platforms.
Then I thought to myself — how would he know? Let me explain….
First, I had not met this Pastor. He did not know me personally. As we had not been introduced at the time, I doubt that he even knew my name.
Secondly, I doubt that he has read my blog posts, because it does not seem to be his cup of tea.
Third, even if he did read my blog posts by random encounter, he would not have known that one of his churchgoers is the author of the post (it is just impossible).
Fourth, he could not have read the particular post that had the buzzword on any other website, because it was not published there yet, at the time.
So I thought to myself, what is this phenomenon that is going on and affecting a number of people, albeit a small group of believers?
As I was thinking about it, the wisdom of The Holy Spirit came over me and I began to understand:
- The Holy Spirit speaks to His people — pastors, preachers, prophets, etc about certain topics for different applications.
He may lead a pastor to talk about selfish businessmen and an author about good business principles.
But the devil would come up and use the Achilles heel of one, to be hurt by the other’s words, simply because the accuser sees The Holy Spirit working in both, and wants to destroy the seeds of The Holy Spirit’s work.
- The Bible says that a kingdom that is divided against itself will fall, and the devil knows the Bible, even more so than the average believer (yes, this is why we need to all the more learn God’s Word).
So he twists this principle to have us attack each other’s preaching and message, service and anointing and to compete with each other to the death until what is left is just wilted leaves.
- The Holy Spirit knows everything about everything, even more so than Google does, and so He would speak to us in such a way that is dear to us using buzzwords that mean a lot to each one of us.
Unfortunately, the devil knows this and whenever he sees the work of The Holy Spirit, he would take up his mantle as the accuser, killer and destroyer and have his forces form a network that could rival the algorithms of Facebook and use supernatural evil resources to give blows, where they would hurt the most to the saints.
- Saints who encounter these situations and are not aware of this, may be frustrated and succumb to bitterness at worst, and confused by the nagging pain at best.
- The devil and his forces are so good at working with each other, that we need to be ever more vigilant, not to allow Satan to gain a foothold against the Kingdom. We m,use be united in such a way, that would rival his network of evil forces.
Here are the steps we can take:
- Study the Word of God and its message.
Do not just listen to sermons. Because if you only listen to sermons and others talking about the message instead of reading for yourself, the devil will take advantage of what you do not know and shake the ground you stand on.
- Learn to encourage each other and challenge each other doing good things.
If you hear rebuke and advice, test it against the Word of God.
If they tell you to live a life of dying to self and not pursue materialism, but they have a house worth half a million dollars, drive cars worth a whole year’s wages, and own the newest furniture and everything, don’t listen to their advice.
Especially if you yourself live in a tiny apartment and you have second hand everything.
If they preach to you about humility and forgiveness, but you do not see these things in their lives, do not submit yourself to them. That is just hypocrisy and unfortunately, that is our current culture.
It is a real problem. One that I know too well, not only because I experience the turn-off and I felt turned off to Church because of this “outside cup perfection but inner cup dirtiness” Pharasaical lifestyle that many live by, but yet denying the power of God.
I have met countless and countless of people who are turned off by this — young and old — and gave up Church, and of both majority background and minority background, those who grew up in Church and grew up in godly families — and that goes without saying, for those who do not grow up in Church or grew up in godly families.
I see that the guilty party is the Body as a whole. We are the ones who have failed, as a whole group.
We should have gone to God and asked Him to change us, instead of letting everything pass us by until the entire nation is now normalizing everything that is abominable, including LGBTQ, abortion, marijuana and drug abuse, drag culture, witchcraft and others.
Witchcraft was like a myth ten years ago when I first came to the United States — It was ‘a foreign country thing’.
Now, it’s on TV and mainstream. We have to wake up. We cannot keep letting everything pass us by so much that the next thing we know The Mark of the Beast System is implemented and we were oblivious to it.
Unfortunately these days, a Church may swing to extremes, from the empty, positive-inspiring mumbo-jumbo of empty words, to the other extreme where people are just bombarded with criticisms and even condemnation, left and right and everywhere you turn. Neither is good.
But I believe, you, the Child of God, can start making the changes and stirrings in the movement of God, bringing in the gospel culture in three simple (not easy) steps:
- Resist rebuking others personally (in their face or on their Facebook walls) unless it is heretical or destructive to them, or they ask for your advice.
Rebuke your fellow brothers and sisters if you see a husband abusing his wife (if it is bad enough, get authorities involved), or someone neglecting their household, or living in disastrous sins.
If they share positive inspiring words that don’t come from the Bible and they say it like it is, ask or remind them gently (We all need to work on this one. I see this too often and I need to work on it too).
Let’s challenge ourselves to strengthen our self-control from running our mouths and tones at an imperfect instance that happen such as, “Hey, what kind of jeans are those?” (super negative tone meant to poke fun) or “My kids would never do that!” or “You forgot to include some real important verses in your sermon, Pastor” or “That event was fun, but the food was kind of funky.”
Well, all of us are guilty of these. Let’s pick up our crosses, and confess to the LORD of these things and repent.
Not only so we maybe healed, but the collective Body can be healed (principle made by example by prophet Daniel in Daniel 9:1-19 which in his lifetime, God allowed Jerusalem to be rebuilt if Nehemiah 10:6 is the same Daniel).
For someone who says “murder is okay or it is acceptable to do abortion because God will understand,” you can answer them with, “No, God will not understand. Sorry, but this is not true. God loves you and He does not want you to live with that regret for going against your design,” without going into their faces about the atrocity of their sins.
There’s already too much of that anyway. After all, we are to hate the sin and love the sinner. We are to call out sins at the collective level and extend love at the personal level.
A very good example of this is to look at the convicting messages of some of the Epistles versus what the encouraging messages that he wrote in 1 & 2 Timothy.
It is important that we take these steps, because too many people are so discouraged these days, so much so that they stopped going to Church in their masses, because they were hurting, when all we could do was just criticize, with no offer of help.
They would rather hang out and ‘fellowship’ with others at a yoga session and would even stop asking for prayers, or in trusting God, or to even try to make friends or have real fellowship at Church (though obviously not all Churches).
Let’s all be the change, and encourage one another in these End Time Days, because the Bible tells us to do so, especially as we watch the Day of the Lord’s return approaches, as described in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and Hebrews 10:25.
We all agree that the Lord’s Return, no matter when it is, is closer to today than it was 2000 years ago, correct?
Written: Sunday, February.24, 2019.
Your Sister in Christ,
~ Julia A.
Julia A. is a prophetic author, who was saved 2011. She has written six prophetic messages to a church in Kansas and publicly shares on her website, Warrior Princess of God, her testimony about the faithfulness of God in the persecution she has faced. She realizes that God’s call for her is to recognize His heart for the world for the glory of His Son, Jesus Christ. For any questions, please reach Julia at Julia.A.A.B.Ministries@gmail.com