Journeying with a Purpose 

Pilgrim 

            “Pilgrim” comes from the Latin peregrinum, which means “wanderer” It’s a voyage to honor God. Christian pilgrimage is ancient. Once the temple was erected in Jerusalem (ca. 957 B.C. ), all Jewish men were required to attend it for the three major feasts: Pesach (Passover), Shavu’ot (Pentecost), and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles, or Festival of Ingathering), per God’s command in Deuteronomy 16:16-17. On the walk to the Temple, they sang “pilgrim hymns,” Psalms 119-133. Jews still call these feasts “Pilgrimage Festivals” Pagans also perform the pilgrimage. When they worshipped local gods, as in ancient Greece and Rome, pre-Columbian Central and South America, certain portions of old Europe, and the ancient Middle East (Palestine, Syria, and Israel), followers would journey to the god’s shrine to beg for favors, forgiveness, or other religious motives.

The Focus of the Christian Pilgrimage

Our focus is Christian pilgrimage. After the death and resurrection of the Incarnate God and the development of Christianity, Christians yearned to follow in the footsteps of their Savior, His Holy Mother, and His Apostles. Even when millions of Christians were killed for their Faith, the faithful visited the tombs of favored saints, sometimes at the risk of being martyred themselves. Their motivations? They were similar to the pagans, but they knew that they glorified God Himself by honoring God’s saints. Some pilgrimages were made in penance for sin, petitioning for a special blessing, and out of devotion.

As expected, a Christian’s most incredible journey was to the Holy Land. Far from Christian Europe, the trek was intimidating. First, it took years. It was expensive and risky. The highways were full of robbers and killers, and there were brutal deserts to cross. Many pilgrims were hurt or killed. When the traveler returned home, he knew he’d received numerous graces. As penance for sin, religious beliefs require pilgrimages. The sinner had to trek barefoot and in tatters, never staying more than one night in one area, and beg for food along the way. This was no fancy journey to Rome or Jerusalem with air-conditioned accommodations and local food. It was a huge sacrifice that looked terrible in our eyes.

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The True Pilgrimage

Misconception: a pilgrimage is a religious holiday. Pilgrims trek toward God. As we are, we come to God. We contribute our doubts, defects, crises, illnesses, curiosity, adventure, faith, thanksgiving, and Pilgrimage intentions and prayers.

On a Pilgrimage, we meet God in His manifestations.

If you want luxury, perfection, or a vacation, skip the pilgrimage. A pilgrimage is a called from God, not a “vacation” from commitments. As Jesus’ disciples, it reminds us of our faith. On a Pilgrimage, we meet God in His manifestations.

Pilgrims want peace with a loved one or in the world, but they know they must first achieve peace with God.

This can be tough since it involves tiring travel or hard terrain. Every step is important, however difficult. Pilgrimage is a journey to God. Every step on your Pilgrimage will bring you higher consciousness and God awareness. It brings us closer to our faith via honest, focused prayer. We go on Pilgrimages to change, and it happens. Pilgrimage focuses on an intention, desire, or problem-solving. A pilgrim goes to deepen his trust in God. Pilgrims want peace with a loved one or in the world, but they know they must first achieve peace with God. By leaving their daily lives and beginning a Pilgrimage, many Pilgrims meet God and calm, returning with renewed faith and eternal transformation.

A successful pilgrimage means leaving care behind and focusing on God.

While modern Pilgrims have more pleasant travel alternatives, the goal of Pilgrimage remains the same. A pilgrimage to a Holy, Sacred spot brings them into God’s presence. The pilgrim must have cheerful expectations, a desire to temporarily escape from the world, and a willingness to serve others in humility. A successful pilgrimage means leaving care behind and focusing on God.

Pilgrimages are ancient. Such travels are performed as acts of devotion, penance, or thanksgiving in quest of benefits or miracles. Pilgrimage transcends ideology and religion. Muslim law mandates all devoted and able Muslims to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, Muhammad’s birthplace; Hindus consider bathing in the Ganges sacred; and Christian pilgrims travel considerable distances to worship spots in the Holy Land hallowed by Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the Apostles.

Spiritual preparation is needed to obtain the desired frame of mind.

Pilgrimages became popular after Emperor Constantine I converted to Christianity, sanctioned the faith throughout the Roman Empire, and established new goals to retrieve key Sacred Christian relics and artifacts. He and his mother Helena became influential Pilgrims after discovering Christ’s tomb, the Holy Sepulcher, and the True Cross. By the fourth century, pilgrimages to the Holy Land were common despite the danger.

As Rome became the center of Christian devotion, it became a popular pilgrimage destination, as did Greece and Egypt. By the Middle Ages, churches and cathedrals housing relics of the Holy Family, Apostles, and early Saints expanded the appeal of pilgrimage.

Preparation is key for a successful pilgrimage. This is especially true for group pilgrimages to the Holy Land, since time is limited and much of it is dedicated to a prearranged schedule. Spiritual preparation is needed to obtain the desired frame of mind.

Christian pilgrims might prepare by reading related Scripture passages.

Christian pilgrims might prepare by reading related Scripture passages. Whether or not the trip is once-in-a-lifetime, the pilgrim should enjoy it. Such an experience can provide spiritual sustenance, more faith, soul-searching and discernment, new resolutions and strengthened commitments, and pleasure, enjoyment, and new friendships.

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The Cost of Pilgrimages 

“A journey becomes a pilgrimage as we discover, day by day, that the distance traveled is less important than the experience gained.” 

Ernest Kurtz 

POWER TRUTH 

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” 

John 18:36 NRSV 

 The Holy Family as Pilgrims 

Joseph and Mary, Jesus’ parents, would make annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Let us look at a specific text from the Gospel of Luke that demonstrates the many costs of pilgrimage in this chapter:

So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. 

His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve, they went to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem.

Jewish men were obligated to attend three feasts every year throughout the Gospels. Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles were observed, albeit only Passover was strictly kept. Those who lived far from Jerusalem, particularly the poor, could not attend all feasts. On the other hand, women and children were permitted to participate in these feasts, and on Passover, everyone celebrated God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Pilgrims would stay for at least two days and occasionally longer.

Counting the Cost

The first expense of pilgrimage revealed by this verse is the time commitment required to be a pilgrim. According to the Gospel of Luke, Joseph and Mary traveled yearly to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. This suggests that going on the pilgrimage was not done on the spur of the moment. Before embarking on the voyage, one must arrange and organize one’s affairs at home.

The second expense of pilgrimage mentioned by the Gospel of Luke is time, which states that once they had completed the days and returned from Jerusalem, the boy Jesus remained behind. This statement of ‘days’ implies that pilgrims had to spend at least two days in Jerusalem, staying for the night before returning home the next day. Taking more than a day off from work would have had significant financial ramifications during a time when people were surviving daily.

Travel is the third cost of pilgrimage in the Gospel of Luke. The chapter explains that after the family had completed all the things needed by the Lord’s law, they returned from Jerusalem to their hometown of Nazareth in Galilee. Even today, the drive from Nazareth to Jerusalem is 91 miles (146 kilometers). Every pilgrimage would be a round trip, which would double the distance. This was a considerable voyage that was not taken lightly, requiring a significant investment of time and resources. Pilgrimages are always associated with long treks, and Biblical expeditions were no different.

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Prophetic Pilgrimage Series

“Pilgrimage is a powerful metaphor for any journey with the purpose of finding something that matters deeply to the traveler.” 

Phil Cousineau 

POWER TRUTH 

Happy are those whose strength is in you,
    in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 

Psalm 84:5 NRSV 

Introduction

Because we’re going into a new year, learning about spiritual pilgrimages is only fitting. Going from 2022 to 2023 is like a Prophetic Pilgrimage. Where would this new year take us?

Before discussing why people go on pilgrimages, let’s define one. A pilgrimage is a spiritual journey. It’s usually a journey to a shrine or other location important to a person’s faith, but it can also be a metaphorical journey into one’s beliefs. Pilgrimage is a meaningful journey. Pilgrimages follow paths walked by pilgrims for hundreds or thousands of years to historical or spiritual sites. Many religions attach spiritual importance to particular places: the birth or death of founders or saints, the area of their “calling” or spiritual awakening, the place of their connection (visual or verbal) with the divine, the locations where miracles were performed or witnessed, the areas where a deity is said to live or be “housed,” or any site with special spiritual powers. Such sites may have shrines or temples that devotees visit to be healed, have questions answered, or achieve other spiritual benefits. Pilgrims make such journeys.

The Holy Land, synonymous with Israel, is a pilgrimage site for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. According to a 2011 Stockholm University study, pilgrims visit the Holy Land to touch and see physical manifestations of their faith, confirm their beliefs with collective excitation and connect personally to the Holy Land. A pilgrimage is a sacred journey. It allows us to pause from our busy lives and seek quiet and reflection. It lets us “walk through” whatever issues we have.

The Social Aspect of the Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage can be a social activity, allowing us to enjoy the company of others we meet on the road. It recharges us mentally, physically, and spiritually. People go on pilgrimage at a crossroads when their life direction or relationships change. Others may be seeking a more profound spirituality, healing, or forgiveness. Or a pilgrimage may mark a birthday, retirement, or another occasion for giving thanks. It’s a great way to meet new people and see new places. Pilgrimage can change lives. It is a time to let the old go and welcome the new. Pilgrims are inspired and changed by the places they visit. Pilgrimage can increase awareness and wonder. Or advance our life’s purpose. Pilgrimage helps us focus on “what matters” and rediscover the joy of giving.

To appreciate life’s gifts for Christians, a pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place to ask for the Lord’s blessing or physical or psychological healing. The pilgrimage could be to the Holy Land to walk in Christ’s footsteps or to a nearby shrine or grotto. Pilgrims travel not as a vacation or sightseeing tour but as a prayer and a quest to encounter the Lord. Pilgrimages have been taking place since the early days of the Church when people wanted to see where Jesus lived and taught.

Some Traditional Reasons

Some religions still see a person’s suffering on a grueling journey as penance for their sins, although many modern religions no longer promote this.

God will see this as a sign that they are genuinely sorry and forgive them. To go to heaven, they seek God’s forgiveness. Those who seek something difficult or impossible to achieve, like healing from a long-term incurable problem like illness or infertility, or finding success in a field that has eluded them, be it work, romance, or anything else, may look for a miracle from God. They make a pilgrimage as thanks for the miracle. Henry VIII reportedly visited Walsingham to pray for a son. Pilgrims have reported miracles during and after their journeys. One source says the Catholic Church recognizes 65 miracles at Lourdes.

Many pilgrimage sites housed religious relics, such as a cloth soaked in a saint’s blood, a piece of a saint’s skeleton, or a piece of Jesus’s cross. Some believed that touching holy artifacts brought good luck, mainly if they belonged to someone with desirable traits, such as courage or healing abilities. Even in the Bible, ordinary people made pilgrimages, like Mary and Joseph, who went to Jerusalem for Passover. The pilgrimage would require time and effort. Next week, we’ll examine these costs.

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The Perfect Amphibian 

Each of us was created to be unique. Being an Insider does not mean you “pretend” to be something you are not. This is not what being an amphibian is. People can detect it when you are inauthentic. The perfect amphibian was Jesus Christ. 

Jesus hung out with the sinners but never sinned. The crowd was drawn to him because he spoke their language. They were able to relate to him. Jesus was able to connect with sinners without having to compromise his own beliefs. 

The common language is love.

Jesus never denied who he was. He was authentic. Yet, he was still able to make those connections. Jesus drew people to him because of his genuine concern and love for the people. The common language is love in this world and in the world of God. 

Jesus may seem like the most unrelatable person in the world because, well, for starters – He’s the Messiah, and you are a sinner. He is holy; you are not. He is as white as snow. You are like a filthy rag. He has perfect love. Your love is conditional. These reasons and several others make a load of difference between him and any other person in the world. How was Jesus able to make himself relevant? 

 

Jesus stayed in the center of God’s will.

However, once you get to know Jesus by reading your Bible, you will be surprised at how relatable this person is. He was born into a humble family. His lineage came from characters who had questionable values. Some were prostitutes. One was a murderer. Satan attacked and tempted him. 

The Bible said he was 100% human, and his life accounts showed that he was human. The only thing was he never sinned. He stayed his course. Jesus remained in the center of God’s will.  

The 4 Quadrants

Jesus understood the power in the four quadrants. He had a political agenda. In fact, he is the King of kings. Moreover, he let the world know of his dominion and his authority. The Bible says, “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). 

Jesus also had an economic plan. He spoke about money more than he did anything else. He knew he needed to place a Christian perspective on money. His teaching about finances remains our standard for managing our finances to this day. 

Jesus had a social agenda. In a culture wherein religion set the “religious” and the “sinners” apart, Jesus stood in the gap. He had meals with tax collectors, considered the worst sinners during those times.  

In a culture that held traditions and rituals to be of significant importance and sanctity, Jesus healed on Sabbath. He exhibited how people were more important than traditions. Jesus shocked people.  

Jesus created possibilities that were not known of. He performed miracles. Also, he healed the sick. Moreover, he made people rise from the dead. A carpenter from a humble family spent his time in the temple, discussing the teachers of the Law. These were just some of the counter-cultural breakthroughs that Jesus generated.  

Jesus also had a spiritual agenda. We see how Jesus significantly challenged the way of the Pharisees. He had heated encounters with religious leaders. Jesus changed the way we define holiness. The Lord said: “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them” (Matthew 15:11). 

Jesus is the perfect example of the amphibian.

Jesus Christ would be the perfect example of the amphibian because he spoke the world’s language and the Lord’s language. He could connect with the world while remaining associated with the Father. He could reach and make an impact in the four corners of the world.  

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The Amphibian 

This purpose is to connect with the world to win people over to follow Christ. To communicate with the world, we need to be people that other people want to connect with rather than people they want to avoid touching. There will be times when men will look up to us, and we will be able to attract them to us like a magnet. On other occasions, a concerted effort to connect with them is required to be successful.

If some aspect of a new culture does not compromise the gospel and makes you more accessible to others, there is no reason not to adapt to that element out of courtesy and love – even if it is not your preference. Otherwise, because of you, the gospel may appear “unnecessarily alien.” We must avoid offending listeners because we are culturally offensive rather than the gospel…. Proper contextualization [of the gospel] means causing the right scandal – the one the gospel poses to all sinners – and removing all unnecessary ones. (Tim Keller, Center Church, 111)  

Connect to the world

We can connect to this world through the use of the gifts that have been given to us. Bridging the divide with our contributions is not an end in and of itself. For us to serve the world, we need to close the gap, and the world, in turn, will be interested in seeing what (Who) we have to offer once we do so.

We do not wish for the people whose hearts we desire to win for Christ to find us to be an obstacle in their path. You would not want someone to feel out of place simply because they choose to educate their children in a manner that is different from the norm or because they listen to music that is not the same as everyone else.

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Christianese

Christianese

Do not exclude people 

When you spend enough time in church, you develop a “Christian lingo,” also known as “Christianese.” You say things that a Christian should say. There is nothing wrong with this when you are in church, but when you go out on your mission field, this will cause you to fail.

What is the first thing an Insider needs to know in an Insider mission? The dialect. An American spy cannot enter a foreign agency while speaking in English. He’ll be apprehended right there and then. To blend in, he must be fluent in the language of the foreign agency he wishes to work for. This is not to say that you must use curse words to “belong.” As Insider, you must exercise caution so that your comments do not exclude others.

Sometimes your sentences all end with “Praise God!” Hallelujah! “We become overtly religious when we describe something.” When a friend inquires about your meal, you respond, “Anointed, Bro! “Someone asks you to pray for him, and you go all mystical and yell at the top of your lungs, “Thus says the Lord, Father God.” Don’t get us wrong: this is not sinful. However, if you are serious about reaching out to the lost, you must be deliberate in your language use.

Your language

You must ensure you are winning people to Christ rather than sending them away. They may dismiss you because of your language. It may cause them to perceive you as someone they cannot relate to. Is this the kind of presence you want to bring to the workplace?

We don’t want to be known as the “weird Christian.” It’s not that we’re overly concerned with what other people think of us or that we’re apprehensive about our image. However, we should be concerned to some extent. What good is it if people avoid us in the hallway? What good is it for our mission if we can’t even persuade people to engage in a normal conversation with us?

We must keep things simple. We must maintain our sincerity. We must keep it current. We are not disputing that speaking in such a way as to honor God is an outpouring of our hearts. According to the Bible, we speak from the overflow of our hearts. “Praise God!” we can’t help but exclaim at times. “However, we must be able to communicate in two languages.” We must be like the amphibian, able to function in the world we inhabit and the church.

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Christianese

Your Gift Closes the Gap

Your Gift Bridges the Gap

As Insiders, we must ask ourselves, “Are you closing the gap with your gift?” Or do you think like David? Do you sit around your house doing nothing, allowing yourself to be consumed by idleness?

The Gap Exists for You

You become prosperous when your gift fills a void. When you allow God to use you, God will provide for your needs. God will fill the gap in your finances as you fill the gap in God’s work.

If your gift is not in the gap, you are not eligible to transfer wealth from the wicked camp to the moral center. Your gift must fill the void. The vacancy exists for your gift because God created it for you to fill. The space was designed to accommodate your gift. And until your gift fills the gap, it will remain in the pillar of power God has placed you in.

We are currently amid a takeover. We are at the beginning of a power transfer in which wealth, which includes authority and power, is transferred to the just. There has been a takeover.

As an Insider, you were assigned to your workplace. God is telling us that we are in a season where we must take control. What is the purpose of the Insider if he refuses to join its camp when it conquers the city? What is the purpose of the Insider if all he does is stand on the sidelines and say, “I’m sure the others can handle it.” “I don’t want to go to work today.” Isn’t this precisely what David was thinking?

Make that kingdom God’s kingdom.

How does a worldly kingdom become a kingdom of our Lord? The Bible reveals the pattern. When you close the gap in the domain with your gift, you transform it into a God-given realm.

The Pharaoh had a need; Joseph had a talent. The gift filled the void. Egypt’s kingdom was transformed into God’s kingdom.

Queen Esther had a gift; King Artaxerxes had a gap. Artaxerxes’ kingdom was transformed into God’s kingdom. Darius had a flaw; Daniel had a talent. Babylon became God’s Kingdom. God created every gap that was mentioned. God’s hand was behind the kings’ dreams and the king’s desire to marry.

Do you notice a pattern? Is this what God is still doing today? What is your talent? What void must you fill? How will you fill the gap in your workplace? Think about how you can transform your business into God’s business. Moreover, how are you going to win that industry for the Lord?

Pharaoh had a vision. He is unable to interpret the dream. Joseph possessed the ability to interpret dreams. Joseph’s gifts filled the void. When we look at the word “gap,” it means “breach or bursting forth,” as in an outburst, breach, or broken wall.

When the Pharaoh could not interpret his dream, his world was shattered. The puzzle pieces were not put together. Joseph filled the void with his gift. Even during the famine, Egypt can suddenly eat, and Joseph begins to save his brethren.

Discovering Significance

God was ready to destroy the world in the book of Genesis. He begins to build the ark using Noah’s gift. The ark starts to fill the void as a haven. The ark served as a portal to a new world for the believers.

So, what is your gift, and what gap did God task you to fill? Once you determine what gap your donation will fill in one of those four quadrants, you will find significance. Not only that, but this is the time when you will be prosperous. This is when, as a person of value, wealth and power will be transferred through you. This illustrates what it is like to work for the Lord.

You must enter the arena to close the gap. The importance of being on the field cannot be overstated. When you’re a hundred miles away from the gap, you can’t use your gifts to close it. Get over there and into the center of intelligent business and politics. Go to the arena, where the culture is so vile. Enter the church where the doctrines are so perverted.

Yes, you must go over to the company that does the most unthinkable things, the ones that make you close your eyes and say, “I cannot believe they’re about to put that whole neighborhood on the street,” or the political arena where a policy promotes everything the Bible calls sin.

Allow God to position you.

Allow God to place you in a position where you can be the “Joseph,” “Nehemiah,” or “Esther” of your industry and stand in the gap. Go shoulder to shoulder with the enemy until you reach maturity and influence where your hand can be in your enemy’s neck. “Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the necks of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you,” the Bible says (Genesis 49:8).

Your hand will not be able to enter your opponent’s neck until you begin to wrestle with principalities, powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. God created the gap with you in mind to fill it. He does not require you to fill this void, but He wants to collaborate with you to bless you. In fact, God wants you to bridge the gap so that the blessings can flow through you like a pipe and bless you.

God gave you this gift to fill this void. When our gifts supply the gaps in these quadrants, we will see the redemption of cities, nations, and the land’s healing.

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The Amphibian Church 

 “Some people have a warped idea of living the Christian life. Seeing talented, successful Christians, they attempt to imitate them. For them, the grass on the other side of the fence is always greener. But when they discover that their own gifts are different or their contributions are more modest (or even invisible), they collapse in discouragement and overlook genuine opportunities that are open to them. They have forgotten that they are here to serve Christ, not themselves.” 

Billy Graham

Power Truth 

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58 

Insiders on Purpose

How many of you have tried to invite a coworker to a Sunday service or a prayer meeting and been turned down? Worse, some will make fun of your faith and your church. What are we doing incorrectly in our approach to our workplace?

They’ll say, “Don’t go there because they’ll brainwash you.” To some extent, this is correct. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” Paul says. Then you will be able to test and approve God’s will, which is good, pleasing, and perfect (Romans 12:2).” Doesn’t this sound like brainwashing?

Integrity in Daily Life

People will accuse Christians of having a hidden agenda if we invite them or treat them well. It doesn’t have to be hidden. That is correct. We do have a plan. We have the intent to spread the word about the gospel. We intend to lead them into a relationship with Christ.

We must be intentional in bringing the presence of Jesus into everything we do, whether it is at work, in our hobbies, or our social interactions. We don’t have to preach. We don’t need to pull out our Bibles and quote verses constantly.

All we have to do is bring Jesus’ presence by living our lives with integrity. We must serve as living epistles, telling the world about Jesus’ power and how he could change our hearts, minds, and stamina. How can people see the beauty of our faith if our lives do not appear to them to be pleasing?

Everything you do must bring God glory. You can’t talk about the Gospel one minute and then curse your boss and your company the next. It takes effort to represent Jesus. There is no such thing as a “haphazard” Insider. It is not a “hit or miss” situation. Either you are an Insider for God, or you are not.

People do not need to read the Bible to become acquainted with Jesus. They must first see your lives to understand what Christianity is all about. Your life must reflect the message you will deliver.

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Your Gift Meets the Gap 

“Do not be satisfied with God’s calling or His gifts in your life. Be satisfied with Jesus Christ Himself.”  

Brother Yun 

 Power Truth 

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

Colossians 3:17 

Idleness is the enemy

Before discussing how God-given gifts are intended to fill a gap, it is more powerful to see a picture of what happens when we choose not to use them. As an example, consider David’s life. It was spring, which the Bible describes as “the season when kings go to war” (2 Samuel 11:1).

But where had David vanished? He was a king, but he stayed in Jerusalem. He passed on this one. David was known as a great warrior. Indeed, the Lord bestowed a gift on David, enabling him to lead Jerusalem to victory. The following passage demonstrates that he was more anointed in battle than King Saul ever was.

Whatever mission Saul assigned to David, he was so successful that Saul promoted him to a high rank in the army. This pleased the troops as well as Saul’s officers.

When the men returned home after David had killed the Philistine, the women of Israel came out from every town to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, joyful songs, and timbrels and lyres. “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands,” they sang as they danced. (See 1 Samuel 18:5-7.)

David once chose not to use his gift by remaining in the temple and doing nothing. Idleness. This was the opponent against whom David fought and lost.

The Trap of the Enemy

David was supposed to be working. David’s role as king includes leading his army into battle. He failed to appear for work.

Idle minds are the devil’s workshop. When we fail to show up for work on time, the devil has the opportunity to take advantage of us. The enemy can tempt us into sin when we are idle.

David got out of bed one evening and walked around the palace’s roof. He noticed a woman bathing from the roof. The woman was stunning, and David dispatched someone to find out more about her. “She is Bathsheba, Eliam’s daughter and Uriah the Hittite’s wife,” the man explained. Then David dispatched messengers to find her. He slept with her after she came to him. (She was now cleansing herself from her monthly uncleanness.) She then returned home. The woman became pregnant and informed David, “I am pregnant.” 2 Samuel 11:2–5

God Will Fill the Financial Gap

When David should have been working and fighting on the battlefield, he was at home doing nothing. He got out of bed and walked around, noticing a lovely woman bathing. He had a thing for her.

Despite the fact that his servant had revealed that the woman was Bathsheba, “the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite,” he proceeded to sleep with her. In David’s army, Eliam and Uriah were dependable soldiers. That didn’t stop him. He made Bathsheba an adulterer. He turned murderer to cover up his sin by putting Uriah on the front lines of battle.

What happened to bring David to the point of sin against the Lord? It all began with the laziness he allowed himself. David had this deliberate refusal to go to work. It began when he stated at the time, “I will not use my gifts.” “I will not allow my gift to bridge the gap,” I say, refusing to do what is expected of me. According to the Bible, God was not pleased with David’s actions (2 Samuel 11:27).

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No to Legalism 

How many of you have witnessed people performing penance? In Italy, the Scala Sancta, or “Sacred Stairs,” was said to be the very stairs Jesus climbed to stand trial before Pontius Pilate. Pilgrims climb on their aching knees, pausing to pray on each of the 28 marble steps. It was taught that doing so would grant the penitent “plenary indulgence,” or complete absolution from all temporal punishments for sin. This is an example of legalism.

A works-oriented attitude

We exist in a world where “there is no free lunch.” We have been used to paying for everything. Most of us feel that we need to earn everything we have. We ought to work hard to achieve something. While this is an admirable trait, when it comes to salvation and the love of God, this makes us miss the mark.  

A work-oriented attitude toward the love of God deceives us into thinking we need to perform good works to earn God’s love and our salvation. When the truth is we can do nothing to earn God’s love and our salvation. It is a gift from God. It is God’s grace upon our lives. Legalism promotes a works-oriented attitude and goes against the doctrine of grace. 

Instead of approaching God’s throne empty-handed, legalists will come to Him with their religious success stories expecting a “paycheck” for everything they have done for HiAs as a pillar of po, the churchwer needs to protect itself from this mindset. Pride is the sin that fuels this perspective. Legalism says, “I am holy because I do good works,” while the doctrine of grace says, “I am a sinner, but because of what Jesus did for me,can to do good works.”  

A false burden on the believers

 Paul wrote to the local churches of Galatia because of the problem, which is the false doctrine of legalism. The Judiazers, a heretical group, spread a false doctrine that taught that a Christian is not only saved by their works plus faith but also claimed that one achieved personal holiness and spiritual growth by doing good works (Davis, 2010). Legalism created a false burden on the believers from the Galatian church, which caused them to turn their focus from Christ to their works.  

Paul was a legalist himself before his turning point with the Lord. He knew the dangers of legalism on a believer. A legalist deals with sin with little or no love and compassion. As Christians, we tend to bring this legalistic attitude into our workplaces. We interact with our non-believer officemates with so little compassion and mercy that we become self-righteous. If you look at how Jesus responded to sinners, he displayed his understanding, compassion, and forgiveness.  

We must understand that the Law of Faith is the belief that only God is righteous and merciful (which means we are not righteous on our own) and that only He can provide the way of salvation for humanity. Believers can bring this self-righteous pride into their workplaces that turn off their officemates. The truth is, we have nothing to be proud of. 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10) 

The spirit of legalism

Currently, many legalists still condemn people to hell who will not accept the requirements of the law. In the final analysis, they make salvation possible through one’s efforts. As church members, we tend to forget that we were sinners and deserve an eternity in hell, if not for the salvation Jesus purchased. 

There is a need to guard our congregations from the spirit of legalism. Protect the church against the Insiders that the enemy sends to our spiritual family. The church must persevere in training Insiders to send out to the world’s four corners.    

Invitation

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The Church Mandate 

How do we safeguard our church? How do we launch offensive operations? We must continue to do what the Body of Christ should do. Believers should continue to study and meditate on God’s Word. We should continue to pray and meet together, encouraging one another to grow in the Lord. Insiders should be trained and equipped to go into all sectors of the world and bring Christ’s presence and message.

The Church is the Influencer

Take care that the church does not become so introverted that it only sees Sunday services, prayer meetings, small group meetings, and so on. We must return to what Jesus told His disciples. What is the church’s true mission?

According to the Bible, the Holy Spirit will guide believers into all truth. The Holy Spirit will chart the course and establish the parameters for the church’s operation. The Divine Strategist is the Holy Spirit.

The church must have an impact on everything around it. What’s in the neighborhood of the church? The church is surrounded by society, which means that the church also covers the other pillars. “You will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you,” Jesus told the disciples (Acts 1:8). We will be receiving dunamis (dynamite). When the dynamite is detonated, it affects everything in its path.

The commission called for us to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. What geographical significance does this mandate have? Jerusalem represents your town, city, or village. Judea stands in for your country. Samaria represents your continent. The rest of the world is defined by the ends of the earth. Is politics, economics, and education/culture present in your city, country, continent, and the rest of the world?

Relationships-Based

You don’t have to look far to find where you’re going. It would help if you went to your workplace. This is where you are directed.

The church’s strength is built on its relationships (Cowan, 2011). Church members must establish connections with the world they belong to serve as bridges between their world and the church.

We must prioritize people over programs (Cowan, 2011). Moreover, let us not be too concerned about inviting people from work to church events when our relationships with coworkers are superficial. We must prioritize people. Also, we learn to care for and serve our fellow believers in the church. Let us bring this servant’s heart to the workplace so they can experience what it is like to be a part of a church community.

Contribute to your workplace in ways that go beyond your job description. More so, you are a representative of both Jesus and your church. Next, needs must be met. If your employer does not see you contributing, they will doubt the worth of your church membership. Finally, they will wonder what the true impact of the church is in your life because they cannot see it.

Invitation

Your weekly dose of a prophetic word and prophetic anointing awaits you. Join our LIVE Conference Call!

1) Call 515-604-9266

2) Go to startmeeting.com, and use the login: BishopJordan