Thursday, February 12, 2009

By THIS time you should be TEACHERS!!!

It is so funny that I was speaking to my brother about being frustrated that SO MANY people that SHOULD be mature leaders are STILL DEALING with basic issues.  I told him that I felt this Scripture gnawing at my soul:

Hebrews 5:12 By now you should be teachers. Instead, you still need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food. 13 All those who live on milk lack the experience to talk about what is right. They are still babies. 14 However, solid food is for mature people, whose minds are trained by practice to know the difference between good and evil.
Hebrews 6:1   With this in mind, we should stop going over the elementary truths about Christ and move on to topics for more mature people. We shouldn’t repeat the basics about turning away from the useless things we did and the basics about faith in God. 2 We shouldn’t repeat the basic teachings about such things as baptisms, setting people apart for holy tasks, dead people coming back to life, and eternal judgment.

THEN I get David Wilkerson's AMAZING newsletter entitled "By This Time You Ought to be Teachers."  I believe, therefore, that this is a Word that is also on God's heart.  Let me share some of the basics which are AMAZINGLY INSTRUMENTAL in raising your children!

*WHO is God speaking to and rebuking here?  Believers well schooled in Biblical truth; people who sat under powerful preaching by anointed ministers.  Who knew about Jesus' intercession for them at the throne of God, and His invitation to come boldly before the throne to find mercy and grace in their time of need.  

*They knew supernatural rest was available to them if they'd mix faith the the Word.   They'd been taught the Lord is touched with the feelings of their infirmities and they knew Christ was tempted in all points as they were yet remained without sin.  They knew as God sent angels to minister to Jesus in His time of need, the Lord would send angels to minister to them (Heb. 1.14).  

*They knew from Hebrews 3.6 to "Hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."  They'd been warned in Heb. 3.12 "Take heed... lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God."

Then this passage warning, in short, "By now you should be steadfast examples to your children.  Your faith should be unwavering.  You should no longer be murmuring or complaining in your afflictions, but instead be willing partakers of Christ's sufferings.  You ought not to be hot one moment and then suddenly cold with the enemy comes in like a flood."

Does this apply to YOU?  How many sermons have we heard that challenge us to trust the Lord in all things, and heard God's incredible promises preached to us?  How many faith-stirring sermons have we taken in, and how often have we been blessed by a message about God's faithfulness?  And yet HOW OFTEN are we quickly deflated with a trial comes?

This message from David Wilkerson being quoted herein is not to our children, who haven't seen Holy Ghost deliverances, miracles, and signs and wonders.  Our children haven't yet seen the healed marriages, timely salvations, and physical healings that I have.  I love Deut. 11 where Moses speaks to the generation I would liken to mine:

"Know you this day:  for I speak not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the Lord your God, His greatness, His mighty hand, and His stretched out arm" (Deut. 11.2)  He is not speaking to the untested, those who haven't experienced God's awesome might in the midst of their trials.  

No, Deut. 11.7 says the message is from the Lord to His people who HAVE been sorely tested, they HAVE experienced God's discipline firsthand.  They HAVE come through many trials and witnessed great deliverances and HAVE seen God's amazing promises fulfilled.  "Your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord which He did."  

Why did the Lord need to DRIVE HOME THIS MESSAGE to our generation?!  Because our children HAVE NEVER seen Him do great works in their lifetimes!  They simply don't know God as we do!  And now the Lord is saying to us parents in essence:

"Consider where you are now, on the edge of the Promised Land.  Your scouts have reported there are giant enemies in the land, with high walls surrounding their cities.  Do you GET THE PICTURE??!!  Your children are going to face new battles you have never faced!  They're going to face temptations you never could have imagined.  They are up against OVERWHELMING TRIALS!  AND THEY ARE NOT BATTLE-PREPARED THE WAY YOU ARE!!!"

"Your children are going to need teachers because their faith has not been in the fire.  YOU must become their teachers.  In short, your lives and faith are to be examples to their generation.  Indeed, I have called you to become teachers to every generation to follow, all who will be insecure or ungrounded in their faith."

"Therefore shall you LAY UP THESE MY WORDS in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.  And ye shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down and when thou risest up."  (Deut. 11.18-19)

God is telling us:  "Here is your full-time calling as my servants.  You are to be steadfast always, never wavering in your trust in Me.  In this way, your children will see my mighty hand at work in your life.  They will be emboldened by the peace you have in the midst of your afflictions."  

Our generation NEEDS to rise up and be the teachers we OUGHT TO BE BY NOW!!!  Make NO EXCUSES for the FLESH to rule!  Make NO EXCUSES to disregard the promptings of the Holy Spirit to live HOLY lives, without BLAME, without FACTIONS, seeking RESTITUTION and RECONCILIATION, walking in FORGIVENESS.

Our children have not had the experiences we have had in Christ.  This generation hasn't been enamored by the beauty of God's Word because they haven't had many opportunities to hear it preached in purity.  Instead, they have mostly been enticed into church with the lure of flesh-centered activities and entertainment.  Once inside, the only gospel they hear is one that is easy, non-committal.  And that easy message has totally failed them.

There may be a FEW churches reaching young people in significant numbers and raising them to be disciples.  But by and large the upcoming generation has not known, seen or experienced God's miracle-working power.  Tell me, to whom can they turn?  The prophet Isaiah spoke of a day when the world would be "eating the bread of adversity and drinking the water of affliction" (Is. 30.20).  He predicted that out of this adversity and affliction a cry would arise, and when God hears that cry, He "will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when He shall hear it, He will answer thee" (Is. 30.19).  

How will He answer?  Is. 30.20-21 says "Though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner ANY MORE, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."

In the midst of a calamitous time, a cry will mount up to heaven, reach God's ears, and He will send for an army of teachers to guide us!  These teachers are the "living epistles" Paul referred to -- those with a battle-won faith that has endured trials and afflictions.  Right now, many of these teachers may be knee-deep in sufferings of their own, facing adversity 24/7.  But these servants are OVERCOMERS emerging with a powerful faith!  They are overcoming the enemy by their faith mixed with the promises in God's Word!  They are moving forward with an abiding hope, their confidence in the Lord growing stronger.

These teachers have hope despite job loss, peace in spite of physical sickness, courage in the face of endless suffering.  and they have this in common:  THEY PRAY!!!  These are teachers, living epistles, God's love letters to a hopeless world.  They have become so by being in constant communion with the Lord through every trial and struggle.  They wholly trust Jesus to renew their strength to go on.  They depend completely on the Holy Spirit for direction, and they continually go to God's throne for grace in their time of need.

I love when the Bible admonishes us to STOP BEING LIKE (MERE) MEN!  BE STRONG!!!!  (as in Eph. 6 to be strong in the Lord and the power of HIS MIGHT so we can WITHSTAND!!!) (1 Sam 4.9; 1 Cor 16.13)  When are we going to RISE UP and become the WARRIORS and CONQUERORS He empowered us to be?!

When are we going to SHOW God's power to love the unloveable, forgive when we have a right to hold onto something, really seek someone else's good higher than our own, and have faith the God WILL turn all things to our good?!

WHO is going to teach your children how to deal with their frustrations as teens, when the whole time they are growing up all they see is you BREAK DOWN when YOU are frustrated, screaming and yelling pathetically?  WHERE ARE THE TEACHERS???!!!  If YOU can't handle a two-year old, how on earth can you train your child to handle going against their entire high school to hold onto their values?!

If you are still grappling with BASIC right and wrong issues of cheating, lying, stealing, gossiping, how can you train OVERCOMERS?!  Where are the TEACHERS??!!!

Challenge:  GROW UP.  Grow up in how you deal with problems and trials with your mate! Grow up in how you handle situations.  Grow up in situational ethics and boundaries you set for yourself!  Be aware you are in the presence of God at all times!  STOP drinking baby bottles and move on to MEAT (John 4.24 tells us that Jesus said what MEAT is:  to DO the will of God!!!).  And let's be the overcoming epistle that SHOUTS to the next generation and EMPOWERS them to live in the promises of God:  

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

Jude 24 Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]—