Saturday, December 31, 2011

Will the true Hypocrites please stand?

I have been and sometimes still am a hypocrite. Not in the meaning that some see the word but in the meaning of how God sees it. I wrestled with this message all night. It seems my Lord had something to say to all of us. (To you the reader, to you the listener, and to me the writer.) We go through life thinking that we have everything understood to only discover that we don’t. We step into roles and functions which are never meant for us and lead a life of hypocrisy.
What is a Hypocrite? This word is spoken of often in regards to a person or group of people but never described to as ourselves. Most people find it easy to blatantly call someone else a hypocrite but rarely would you see an individual call themselves that. Jesus called the Pharisees and Sadducees hypocrites quit often. Did you ever read where the Pharisees or Sadducees called themselves a hypocrite or agree to the words of Christ? Yeah, ummm no. They did not. Why is that? Hypocrisy is seen clearly when glowing on another person but seen rarely when faced with the similar glow upon ourselves. In other words, it is easy to always point out the faults or what we think are the faults of others but it is hard to sometimes look into the honest mirror of our lives and see who we really are.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the meaning of the word Hypocrite.
1.       : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion
2.        a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings
The Origin of the word “Hypocrite” gives the meaning as a stage-actor or pretender. I am sure there are many other meanings but all similar. Let’s look at this word not in the eyes of our understanding but through the eyes of Christ. He is by far the only one worthy enough who could speak this word to an individual. How He sees us is always different on how we see each other. Therefore, all I have to worry about is how HE SEES ME! Fortunately for mankind, we have GOD’s WORD to give us an understanding of how Christ sees us and how we should live. We might make xcuses but we are without excuse.
This morning the Lord was giving me flash backs to my life throughout the years. I could see His hand steering me in the right direction. (When I would obey.) We all are uniquely and wonderfully made. He intended for us to be holy people and people who walk throughout life with a purpose. The name of this blog is “From the Apostle’s Desk” Am I calling myself an apostle? Yes and no. I don’t care for titles, so no I am not entitling my first name with the word Apostle in front of it. However, I am an apostle in every sense of the word. Let me explain. The word “Apostle” means “Sent one” or “One who was sent out.”  Ever since I became a follower of Christ, this definition has fit my life.  God would send me to people as a young lad and help them through their problems.  Not to people I knew but total strangers. Let me give just a little list of how the Lord has used me as a “Sent One”. I compile this list not as a brag or proof of who God has made me to be. It is a visual of what I feel the Lord desiring to minister to us today. I feel the prophetic voice speaking clearly for this coming year. “Be who I have designed you to be.” “Walk away from the sins and the blind spots in your life and become the fullness of who I have called you to be.”
Being the “Sent one”
1.      I was sent to a pregnant teenager when I was in high school to bring ministry and the love of Christ to her. We were on the same school bus.
2.      I was sent to several people in my school down in Florida. One was a Satanist who God helped deliver from this awful belief system.
3.      God told me to go into the military for there were many there I was called to speak too and lead to Him. Boy did that happen!!!! It was an amazing time.
4.      When I got out of the military then Lord sent me back up to South Carolina because my future wife was there and I would be like a Boaz to her.
5.      I was sent out to plant a church in my early twenties. After 5 years, of pastoring the church the Lord tells me to merge it with another and prepare to be sent out.
6.      We get sent out to Kansas City, Missouri. A place unfamiliar to us and totally different from our southern roots.  Planted a church here. Turned it over to a servant of God in hopes that it would continue on but it did not. I had left the 2nd church to plant a 3rd church but the Lord told me to hold off. He was going to send me into a church to help them and for them to help me. That is where I am at now.
7.      Since I have been here in this city, God has sent me to pastors and leaders who were total strangers to me. One day I was coming back from doing a wedding and I passed a church in Harrisonville. The Lord commissioned me to turn around and go and prophesy to the Pastor. I obeyed and the Lord did great things.
8.  Since 1998 I have been sent to several countries and to several people in those countries.  God has miraculously opened doors that no man could open. I am better for it.  I have been asked to come to many other nations but only go where HE SENDS ME!
I have many stories I could tell. My children could probably recite them for you. (LOL)  Why do I write all of this?  There have been times where I have not walked in what the Lord has called me to be and this makes me a HYPOCRITE. How could this be? Let’s look at Jesus’s definition of a Hypocrite and hopefully we can gather a greater understanding.
I have literally felt led to read this passage of scripture for the past two weeks. Every day I would read it and just now something so true comes out of it.
Luke 13:10-17  Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the day of worship.  (11)  A woman who was possessed by a spirit was there. The spirit had disabled her for 18 years. She was hunched over and couldn't stand up straight.  (12)  When Jesus saw her, he called her to come to him and said, "Woman, you are free from your disability."  (13)  He placed his hands on her, and she immediately stood up straight and praised God.  (14)  The synagogue leader was irritated with Jesus for healing on the day of worship. The leader told the crowd, "There are six days when work can be done. So come on one of those days to be healed. Don't come on the day of worship."  (15)  The Lord said, "You hypocrites! Don't each of you free your ox or donkey on the day of worship? Don't you then take it out of its stall to give it some water to drink?  (16)  Now, here is a descendant of Abraham. Satan has kept her in this condition for 18 years. Isn't it right to free her on the day of worship?"  (17)  As he said this, everyone who opposed him felt ashamed. But the entire crowd was happy about the miraculous things he was doing.

Jesus heals and delivers a woman from a demon within the local church. It was on the Sabbath and when the pastor saw this healing; he gathered the crowd against Jesus. He speaks in what he thought to be truth but was deceived by his own ignorance.  Jesus responds with boldness. This local pastor was living a lie and so was many in the crowd. They had forgotten as to why they gathered. They played the role of believers but not the believers of God. Jesus was fulfilling what He was sent to do.
Being a Hypocrite in the eyes of Christ is being the opposite of what He has commissioned you to do. Many walk the earth as Hypocrites today! The drug addict is being contrary to what the Lord has called him to be. The adulterer is being dishonest with himself. The murderer is falling in a trap not prepared for him by the living God. Those who chose to not follow the word of God but rewrite it for their benefit are hypocrites in the shadows. People of God who go to church day in and day out but never serve the Lord in any capacity are hypocrites. Those who don’t follow Christ and serve false gods or themselves are hypocrites dangling in the balance of life.  Hypocrites in our churches, hypocrites in our streets, hypocrites in our places of business, hypocrites in the government, and hypocrites in you and I. When we are doing opposite of what He has called us to be. When we are doing opposite than what his word plainly states. We all become hypocrites. When I refuse to be sent to others then I am a hypocrite. When I refuse to follow the Lord at His word then I am a hypocrite. I am being contrary to what he has made me to be. We all have the capacity to live a lie. We all have the capacity to be deceived in our own stubbornness.  Hypocrites are liars of themselves. They are actors of deception and many don’t know it. We set ourselves up as the ones who are beyond hypocrisy but fall into it just the same. All I can do is speak the word of God. All I can do is declare what His word plainly states without blinders on. All I can do is simply follow Him and allow my steps to be ordered by the Holy God. All you can do is follow Him without the blinders on. The pastor of the synagogue thought he was doing right. He thought he was quoting the word of God but failed to see the heart of God through His word. This pastor became a hypocrite by becoming more knowledgeable than the one who knows it all.  It comes back to relationship with our Lord. Doing is just doing until you have a relationship with the one who has done it all.  We are all doomed to walk this planet as hypocrites unless we step away from our self-made precepts and start following the Lord’s. There is more at stake here than what you think. You and I must walk in our calling from the Lord because others are depending on it.  Maybe you are frustrated in life right now. Maybe it is because you are walking contrary to the Lord’s purpose for your life. Deep down you know there is more you should be doing. Deep down you know that God is calling you to something more. Many seek the titles or positions and get what they are looking for, but never fulfill the purpose of God. It is more than a title or position. It is about passion. Passionately following the Lord into whatever abyss He calls us to. Passionately seeking His face until the answer has been discovered. We can live a life of Hypocrisy by playing the roles we so easily cling too, or we can rise above it all.  The chains can be broken. Jesus does not call someone a hypocrite with vindictive notions but with empathy and a sorrowful heart. This year He is calling His people to a greater place. The Kingdom of God must be expanded. His purpose must spread like a wild fire in a wilderness.
Here are the rest of the verses I have been studying for two weeks.
Luke 13:18-21  Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What can I compare it to?  (19)  It's like a mustard seed that someone planted in a garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds nested in its branches."  (20)  He asked again, "What can I compare the kingdom of God to?  (21)  It's like yeast that a woman mixed into a large amount of flour until the yeast worked its way through all the dough."

Hypocrisy hinders the advancement of the kingdom of God within us. His kingdom is meant to be something great and unique to this world.  It is meant to be a mystery to be shown to the world through our very lives. I must not be a hypocrite any more. I can’t allow my past hurts to stop me from fulfilling His purpose in my life. I can’t and you can’t live a life any longer in Hypocrisy!!! Be who Jesus desires you to be. Fall in love with Him each day. Allow Him to heal you and forgive you. Allow His love and life fill you up from the inside out.  Get His eyes. Get His heart beat. Get His mindset.  Oh if you could feel what I am feeling right now. There is a freedom!!! There is a victory!!! Lift the burden oh Lord from your people. Allow the Spirit of Hypocrisy to be cast down from our midst. Let us seek you in all of your glory and fullness. Give us a heart for your kingdom and let us be the Kingdom you have called us to be.
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