Have you ever been told you must submit and obey what a leader in a church is telling you to do?? And if you don't obey and submit you will not have favor or covering with God and will be in rebellion to Him? How about as a leader you have been under the impression you will be held accountable for other people's choices? I can answer yes to this…but today I have freedom and greater understanding….
I mentioned in my last blog post, What Is a Prophet to Do, that I would be discussing submission to the authority over you. This is used by many pastors, but not all, around the world to create a control over the people that are "under their care". I truly believe this is part of our humanity and just like the Pharisees and Sadducees there is a desire to sit at the best spot at the table. There is a desire to be a leader but not a servant to all. This is our humanity not our spirit intertwined with God's Spirit which has new life and desires truly to be a servant to all. You can see this same desire throughout church history. Man wanting to rule over man. Not realizing there is only one Christ that died for all and one Holy Spirit that is our teacher, comforter, lover of our soul. Am I saying there is no leadership? Of course not! But it does not look like what we see at most churches nowadays. I described how the Lord had shown me what leadership in the church should look like in: Because of Christ, Believers in Him Are Seated in Heavenly Places. With the incorrect idea of: Who Father is, What Christ came to do here on earth, Why He had to leave and Who we have living in us there is an unbalance within the church today that is exactly like what we saw Jesus come to confront. Religious leaders desiring to have the best seat in the house and claiming they desire for people to be safe but what they are doing is trying to control every area of a believer's life. Now many do this because they are afraid they will be held accountable for the "sheep" they have under their care..as they MUST GIVE AN ACCOUNT. Yet, every person will stand before God on their own and I will not have tried to make myself righteous; but freely received Jesus' righteousness as the gift He died to give the world. So, let's take a look at this scripture that has kept many in the church in bondage. Let's see God for Who He is and ALL of what His Son did for us on the Cross.
As a Believer, who has gone to church for many years now, there have been many times I have heard a teaching on Hebrews 13:17:
Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harderfor them? (MSG)
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (KJV)
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. [a]Let them do this with joy and not [b]with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. (NASB)
Three different versions of the same text. Interesting the different wording in each of the three texts. First, a little background regarding the Hebrews letter. It is not known who wrote Hebrews. There are guesses but nothing for sure. It is believed this letter was written before the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., most believers at this time were Jewish they were beginning to wonder if they had made a good choice putting their faith in Christ. Also, at this time there was heavy persecution of Christians and Christ hadn't returned yet; so these Jewish believers were beginning to think, just like their ancestors who thought it would be better to go back to Egypt, they should return to the law. This concern leads to a letter written to encourage the people of faith, in Christ, to continue on with their faith; which is far better than what they had under the law. It is a great letter which displays
the Hebrew understanding of where they had come from and how much better they are now under the New Covenant in Christ. Chapter 11 is the famous faith chapter, Chapter 12 is the famous running the race to stay in faith, ending with:"….God is a continuous fire…stay on good terms with each other, held together by love."
the act or
Chapter 13, as the last part of the letter, is summing up what was spoken of in the rest of the letter. It tells what running the race looks like within the community of those who live by faith in Christ; by telling how love will cohere those in the faith together and how together, as one in Christ, shows or proves we have a better covenant because of what Christ did for humanity. This in turn shows the world Who Christ is as we shone His Light and His love…for they will know us by our love. Let's take a deeper look….
To understand scripture we need to look at the whole picture, i.e.: time period, what was happening in that point in history with the people, the audience written to, who wrote it, the letter as a whole not as broken up verses, looking at the Greek or Hebrew and starting at the right view-point of Who God is and who you are in Him. With this in mind I want to look at Hebrews 13:7 and 13:17. Hebrews 13:7 gives us clues to Hebrews 13:17. First Hebrews 13:7:
Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. (MSG)
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. (KJV)
Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the [a]result of their conduct, imitate their faith. (NASB)
I encourage anyone reading this to go take a look at each word in the Greek and write down the meaning within these two scriptures. Each word gives a greater understanding of what the writer was trying to convey. Remember the Greek language had much greater meaning than what we have in the English language. As I went and looked up every single Greek word, the meaning of what was being conveyed in Greek led to a fuller understanding, flowed with the rest of the letter written to the Hebrews, and tied in with the rest of scripture contained within the New Covenant (Testament). Here is what I found for Hebrews 13:7:
Remember them who lead the way for you that spoke the "word of God" to you; whom, consider (look attentively and thoroughly; and grasping the full meaning) the moving out from to the new outcome ("the successful way out" to a new or desirable outcome) the change of outward behavior from an "up-turn" of inner beliefs (inside out living) follow/imitate the faith (trust, belief).
Now let's take a more in depth look at Hebrews 13:17. Before we look at this closely I need you to understand there are two "for" words in this scripture. When the word "for" is used here the secondary statement is fully dependent on the first statement. I will highlight those words so it will draw attention to them for you.
Be persuaded of what is trustworthy (inactive), even yield under those whom have walked before you; for they stayed vigilant for the soul betterment (extending benefit) as the word of God gives back or restores (returns in order that after this results in a change) causes (makes, manufactures) grace recognized and not a negative feeling of inward pressure (groan in pain) for this one just named –you are not complete or unable to cohere (hold together in a mass that resists separation).
This known outcome,
of the ones who walked before us,
proves the faith they have is trustworthy
Many may believe I am rewriting scripture here; but all I did was go into biblehub.com and look at each word; write down each definition; look at the whole Hebrews' letter; look at the way the letter was written; realize most letter writers sum up in the end of their letter, look at Who God is, and all of what His Son has done for us. This more detailed definition gives us a much clearer view of what is being said that fits with the rest of the letter. It amazed me because it is important to watch those that have led the way in the faith, we are to look carefully and be persuaded of what is trustworthy, who have spoken the word of God to us (have shown us Jesus), look carefully at the outcomes of their lives (even those that have died), follow the faith they have or had, understand the soul benefit in the new covenant, and the outcome should cause us to recognize GRACE. The one whom is unable to recognize GRACE groans inwardly, is not complete, and is unable to cohere. Chapter 13 is simply describing what is available to those whom choose to stay in the faith; just like the ones who walked before them, as Chapter 11 discusses. This Chapter also describes staying in the race and how we are able to cohere in brotherly love; as we recognize all that grace has done for each of us as Chapter 12 had talked about. This is not meant to be used to control people but to understand, as believers in Christ, we have this beautiful gift of grace which makes us complete and able to be bound to one another in brotherly love and we should be able to look closely at people's lives and choose to imitate the faith they have…simply the trust and belief in just Who Jesus is, the Son Who took away the sins of the entire world, loves you so dearly and your debt has been wiped clean for all eternity as you put your trust in Him. It again points to the King of kings and what He accomplished. ❤️
Silence never solves a problem…
I have never told this story publicly……because I was told not to. Why am I telling this story now…..because Prophets need to be a little better understood amongst “leadership” within the church-the abuse (to control and manipulate) needs to stop, prophetic words need to be understood within the church, and why you should never agree to not talk about something that has happened to you.
It is Saturday, May 21, 2008 and that morning I received a vision from the Lord of myself on a tiny wooden boat and heard, “And the tiny boat was tossed.” The sea was dark and rumbling, but I was at peace with light shining down on me. I felt as though a storm was approaching but I will have peace…..It is now July 26th of the same year and I had received a directive and a word from the Lord that week. Our church was to begin a building campaign in the next few months and I was praying for this as directed by the pastors. The Lord told me three things at this time with a great amount of love:
After He told me those three things He requested I proclaim in the earth realm that the money wouldn’t come in. It took much but after He told me the last two things, I did as He requested.
I was to share with the pastors that the money wouldn’t come in. I was able to do so with the female pastor that Saturday night. I thought it was received well and that they would take it to the Lord. My husband, Bryan, had gone to a movie and I had driven home with our young sons. I received a phone call from the female pastor, frantically saying they needed to come over to our house right away. I told her Bryan was not home; but they still came. This is when things got ugly and horrible. First they were asking what they have done wrong, what sin they needed to repent of and I told them there wasn’t anything the Lord had said about that. I had felt the word had come from a place of love and protection. But it was like they didn’t hear what I was saying and continued trying to ask me what sin the church had committed. Then, I was accused of cursing the church and was Jezebel. I was told I must apologize to the pastoral team and what was then a pastoral prayer team members. The prayer team members did not even know what I was apologizing for just that I was to apologize. I was told by the pastoral team that we (the pastoral team, my husband and I) were never to talk about this with anyone. Later I had found out the pastoral team did not hesitate to talk about it with people and these people also shared some things with other people. So much for promises and keeping it to ourselves. I was in full fledge fear because 1) I was accused of cursing the church and 2) What if I did have Jezebel inside me?????.
God never intended us to submit
to spiritual leaders who are cruel,
hurtful or can not humble themselves
They are considered untrustworthy
I had many situations that came up during this time that would be termed as spiritual abuse. Shunning, hurtful words and actions by the pastoral staff, I was actually told they were surprised I showed up for events at the church, my own children were told to pray against me as I was the one “cursing” the church and I choose to stay, I took all the abuse and did what was asked of me; because I doubted God’s word to me and thought I had sinned horribly— so I deserved all of the harsh treatment; because at this point my viewpoint of God was off. I had learned in the church that they are the “authority over you” and “we are to submit to the authority over us”. Never realizing what the Greek actually meant in Hebrews 13, more explanation will be in another post. In a nutshell though– I truly believe that God never intended us to submit to spiritual authority that is hurtful, cruel and are unable to humble themselves to say they are sorry. They fully expect and require people “under them” to apologize for anything they deem needs an apology. People like this are not God’s leadership.
It is now three and a half years later and the money did not come in for the building campaign. Soon after the pledges were taken the economy nose dived and many people lost houses and jobs. The people could not make their monetary commitments they had written in August of 2008. No one on the pastoral team ever said a word about the word being accurate.
I knew the next three and a half years would be different and began praying for the building and the needed money to fund this venture. Remember I never said a word about the last 2/3 of the word. I had kept them to myself and my husband at the Lord’s directive. Sunday, June 1, 2014 the same female pastor met with me in between services because she had to share something with me she had said. We went into a back room and she had asked me, “Do you remember when you had to give that “hard word” back at (the name of the place we were worshipping at back six years ago).” I replied yes and she continued, “The Lord God Himself made you give the word because as a prophet, that was the only way to birth through me the prayer necessary to bring the building.” She never knew that she just confirmed the third promise the Lord gave me. And the second promise was that the building would be up that seventh year and it is.
I never did receive an apology, we were wrong, or you were right. Many leaders in the church are afraid of admitting they are wrong or saying sorry because of a crazy misconception that this will somehow lessen their leadership when instead it actually would increase it. It is wrong to think saying you are sorry in some way will cause them to lose their authority over you. I have talked a bit about this in Because of Christ, Believers in Him Are Seated in Heavenly Places. This kind of control is not of God, it is directly trying to control the prophetic gifting in the most hurtful and damaging way. Most of this occurred because the blind were leading the blind. I say that as Jesus said it about the Pharisees because like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time this pastoral staff’s viewpoints of God were and are still off. They do not see God as a loving Father but one that will turn away from you if you sin and you must grovel to have Him even be able to look at you and love you again. This doesn’t line up with the New Testament Covenant. I believe so much hurt has occurred in the church because of this incorrect view of God and it is time for this to change.
There has been a large movement saying that prophetic words should only be “good” not “negative” and this is unbalanced thinking. Mainly because we have defined “good” by man’s way of thinking not God’s. Prophetic words should bring life, hope, warning and DIRECTION. Here are the biblical examples that helped me hold it together waiting to see if this “word” would come true and prove I wasn’t crazy, Jezebel, cursing the church etc….
“One of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius.” Acts 11:28 NASB
“As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.‘” When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!”” Acts 21:10-14 NASB
One was a corporate word and the other was a personal word. Both were warnings that would help give direction to the individual and to the large group of people. It was to let them know what would surely come; so they could make a plan, to decide, to have wisdom. This is were I see the church lacking because of the fear of a word that doesn’t fit into their “box of love”….while this surely fits into “God’s box of love”. It is time for the church to understand God’s love.
Agreeing “never talk about something again”, for the moment, looks good to the offender; yet it is not healthy. It is unhealthy to not be able to talk, process and walk all the emotions out in a safe place. When I was told never to talk about this situation it actually made things worse for me, not better. I needed to process out loud with people that had wisdom and loved me. What I have realized is that hiding something away doesn’t make it just disappear it makes it fester. And festering is toxic for our bodies. Do not agree to never talk about something again…talking is one of the ways God created for us to stay healthy, helpful, loving and bond as human beings.
This very thing that occurred, as one friend pointed out, helped create who I am today. This very story becomes the tapestry of my life which helps forge what God desires in and through me. I am sure it would have still happened without this occurring yet I might not have understood so many things such as: the Grace of God, being assured of Whose I am and who I am, not doubting God can truly turn ALL things around for our good, His amazing peace in spite of our circumstances, no longer wanting to please man, confident in the fact He loves me no matter what, my children understand spiritual abuse and can spot it a mile away, they are also confident in their stance with God, and I will never prostitute myself in the prophetic again.
Silence has never solved a problem
I am sure there are many of you with similar stories; actually I know of too many stories already that have occurred with these same pastors over multiple states. It breaks my heart that anyone would have to go through something like this. I also know these aren’t the only pastors that lead this way, as they have been taught to lead this way. If you want to share your story to heal and move forward please feel free to share below or on my Facebook page: Hisbelovedgrace4ever. I have set my comment settings so you can be anonymous when commenting below if you would rather. I am here to pray, read your story and will try to respond to your comments. With love, freedom and His beautiful grace, Darlene
For the rest of my story that got me where I am today you can read Ummmm…Is That An Elephant in the Room?!?!? and People Don’t Like Letting the Elephant Out, Questions Answered
I had made a meme…A Little of What… . This had been part of something the Lord had been telling me: "You are the pearl, be the pearl. You are the treasure, be the treasure. You are the coin, be the coin." One of the things I would have believed or interpreted from this statement in the past, because my view of God was off, is this:
"Darlene, shape up because you aren't behaving like you are one of My children."
Yet, this isn't what God was saying to me at all. What He is saying is:
When you believe you are pure, priceless and beloved by a Father in heaven it changes you. You can't help but be changed. Your whole mind shifts from a place of fear to a place faith. When we start to understand the fullness of what Christ did for us on the Cross: how fully forgiven we are, how beautiful and priceless we are, how greatly loved we are this in and of itself changes our perspective of ourselves and others. This alone is huge. Yet then God gives His gift the Holy Spirit, Himself to live within us. The closest we can get to Him this side of Heaven and that is amazing love.
Whose you are
Who you are
It isn't about your or my behavior when He says, "Be the pearl". It is all about seeing yourself as or believing you are the pearl, treasure and coin. This is called: "faith in what He did for you". That is the Kingdom of Heaven….be the pearl.
Matthew 13:44-45, Luke 15:8-10
Maybe you don’t have a big brother in your family like me….yet I do have a Big Heavenly Brother, Jesus, and He has done a lot for all of us.
You may have been taught many times regarding the woman with the alabaster box, in Luke 7. How she had poured out everything she had on Jesus; and while that is a beautiful teaching, as I read this story with fresh eyes the Lord woke something up in me that I want to share with you. Let’s dig into this historical account about this nameless woman, called a sinner, whom had an interaction with Jesus which changed her life forever.
In the beginning of Luke 7, Jesus is invited to Simon’s house, a Pharisee. Right before this invite He is talking about John the Baptist and says this: ““I tell you that among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than Yochanan the Immerser! Yet the one who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he!”” Luke 7:28 (CJB)
What I find extremely interesting is this is exactly who Jesus ministers to…the least. They are the people society deems less than through our human eyes. Jesus did come to help the world see how His Father sees, among many other things He did. As Jesus traveled in those last three years of His life there is an emphasis in what He DOES which shows us just how important each individual is. No one is higher or lower. Everyone is on equal standing no matter wha they have done or not done and yet each of us is still uniquely made. When we look at the historical life story of Jesus, within scripture, He healed the blind, lepers, woman and children. Yet, to the many of the “well taught” men he was trying to heal their thinking. He desired for them to repent, to see things differently and that had to start in the brain of these well taught “leaders” in the community. It is the same within the story in Luke 7. It is interesting that the least, within societies beliefs at that time, saw Jesus for Who He is; while those that would be considered greater had a much more difficult time seeing Who He is.
Let’s look at this account in Luke 7:36-50 (NASB)
“Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.” And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.” Those who were reclining at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?” And He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.””
Three things I took note of in this passage:
As I put all three of the above things together while reading this account, I wept with the beauty and simplicity of Who God is and has been since the beginning. In this story holds the simple yet glorious good news that Jesus had come to bring to all the people in this world He had created and loves so dearly. The woman can be found in each one of us born from Adam; as we are born into sin (Psalm 51:1) and if you don’t believe this to be true you are deceiving yourselves (1 John 1:8). I don’t know about you but I know I have had many sins, even after receiving God’s free gift. Please remember we go from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). I also know that there is no way I could keep all of the Law as Jesus Christ has done for He has “upheld and upholds” the law (Torah) (1 Corinthians 9:21 and Galatians 6:2 CJB). Because of this everyone should be able to relate to this woman, a sinner. So what did this sinner do?? She loved (agapáo)!!! Not just a mushy…oh I love you; but a preference, a personal selection, a free will choice showing good judgement and chose to follow the God given mustard seed of faith and trusted, believed in Who Jesus is. She went and treated Him for Who she saw Him as, the King of kings. The Pharisee, Simon, in this account did not. Simon didn’t believe he needed much forgiveness. He also believed He wasn’t in need of a Savior because he had the law to follow, his own performance that he relied on, and the yearly sacrifice for Israel-the Day of Atonement. He was a Pharisee for goodness sake. Yet, Jesus here told an important truth those that do not feel or think they have many sins love little. Their reliance is more on themselves and their behavior and less on Him and what He desires to do for you. Lastly, the woman did not go and beg Jesus to forgive her. She did not speak all of her sins out and ask for forgiveness. She actually did not utter a word to Him; she simply trusted in Who He is, and chose to believe Who He was in her heart and her actions showed her belief. This faith is what saved her. She boldly approached the throne of Grace, as a SINNER, and she simply from the heart believed in Who Jesus is and Jesus announced her faith (trust and belief) saved her. Out of this faith, in Who Jesus is, came an act of agapáo (“loving”), an affection of choice and selection, a desire to love from and through Him, His strength that made her whole as Jesus said, “Your faith (belief, trust) has saved you, go in peace (wholeness).” Her faith saved her, not her spotless record she tried to maintain but her faith. Your faith saves you not your spotless record or your performance or your trying to act right. Just your faith and out of this faith come these actions of agapáo. This account happened before the Cross, before Jesus took all of the sins of the world upon Himself. He was showing the “ones who were more influential in the world’s eyes” how their system of trying to follow the law could not be done nor would it ever bring the type of relationship that God, the Father, was desiring from the beginning: humans desiring , preferring , choosing and selecting Him out of our own free will. He sent His Son to make the Way for us and all we have to do is agapáo- choose Him, just like the woman who walked in a sinner, broke her alabaster box and chose Jesus, believed in Who He is and walked out forgiven and whole. There was no groveling but an active free will choice to choose Him, to believe in Who He is.
Jesus’ agapáo was
going to the Cross for us,
God’s agapáo was sending His Son
and then placing His wraith for the sin
humanity was due on His Son
and humanity’s agapáo
is to believe in Who He is
Because see He first chose you, us, the world. He agapáo us.
Jesus’ agapáo was going to the Cross for us, God’s agapáo was sending His Son and then placing the wraith for sin humanity was due on His Son and humanity’s agapáo is to believe in Who He is. This is the simplicity of the Good News: fully loved, fully chosen, fully selected, fully forgiven, fully righteous, fully reborn, fully live forever with God, fully whole. This is how I see myself daily in the facts of all Jesus did for me on the Cross. He does not want a groveling child but a child that is confident in what their Big Brother has done for them, what their Daddy did for them…living from that place of reassurance, embraced by the Holy Spirit our Helper…why not come join me in this safe place.
As I have gone back and looked at some of my journals and the words God has given me I have realized how “off” my interpretation or understanding was of what He was trying to tell me; because I did not see Him clearly back then.
So the other morning this is what God and I were talking about:
In the prophetic it is imperative that we see God correctly. That our view is clear and we start at the right starting point. As believers, in Christ, we should be able to see God clearly for Who He is and what His Son has completed for us. When we know who we are and Whose we are the interpretation of the prophetic is on target. When we start at the wrong starting point, because we don’t know who we are or exactly Whose we are, our interpretation of the prophetic will be skewed or off.
We need to start off believing, having faith, that Christ has completed all that we never could, on our behalf, putting us in right standing with God for eternity. And as my mom said forever, or eternity, is a long time. ☺️. We are made righteous through Christ alone. As we begin at the right starting point with these truths we can begin to interpret what God is saying to us much more clearly. “For now we see obscurely in a mirror, but then it will be face to face. Now I know partly; then I will know fully, just as God has fully known me.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 CJB
If you believe you are prophetic, I would encourage you to read through my blogs and begin to undo what you may have been taught in the past of Who God is and begin to soak in Who God truly is and who you are in Him. As His sons and daughters we are to see Him clearly and you will be much more confident as you know to the depths of your being just how important and beloved you are to Him. ❤️