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Isaiah 52:7

Mountain Ministries​

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When Put to The Test (Jonah Part 1 of 4)

Posted on 18 January, 2018 at 10:07 Comments comments (0)
 




As I look over this past year, one thing sticks out more for me than anything else this past year. It isn’t the most significant trial I’ve gone through, nor the greatest miracle I received. Its seeing and experiencing God’s MERCY.
 
A man I knew came forward for prayer. He was having pain in his arm. I knew he was living in sin because he told me. I thought to myself. God’s not going to heal you; you are in sin. Never the less I prayed for healing in his body. To my amazement, God healed him. He was surprised, but I was surprised to even more. This blew my religious belief out of the water. I believed God does not answer prayers of those in deliberate sin. So I asked the Lord why did you heal him. The Lord simply said, “Because I love him.” You mean God loves the sinner, absolutely, but he hates the sin.

I could have argued with God, and told him, that wasn’t right, but I would be wrong. God is God, and I am not, mercy and salvation is of God, as Jonah will realize. 

Jonah 1:1-3
1.Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2. Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD and went down to Joppa, and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.”

Scripture says Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. Can you indeed flee or hide from God and He doesn’t see you, of course not? Instead of obeying God, Jonah fled from God. Why didn’t God find someone else who would obey Him? Why Jonah? Yes, God could have found someone else, but he chose Jonah. Someone else would have said yes Lord and went. But God chose Jonah. Why? God was dealing with Jonah’s heart and beliefs.

Jonah was called to preach and prophesize to the Israelite, but God did something different, something new. Jonah didn’t want the change. But God wanted to change Jonah. God calls Jonah to go to a heathen city of Nineveh to the gentiles and warn them of God’s judgment, just as Jonah had done with the Israelites. However, when Jonah is put to the test of being called to carry out a difficult and unpopular task, the true spiritual state of his heart was revealed. 

The Ninevites weren’t serving God. They were steep in sin and idolatry. They weren’t even his people; they were a heathen nation. As far as Jonah was concerned they deserved judgment. After all, they are reaping what they sowed.

Jonah is loyal to Israel just like many are loyal to their church. He may be religious and attends services regularly, he may tithe generously, but he is also "proud, self-centered, pouting, vengeful; without proper respect or obedience to God, or a love for his enemies." You can be called into ministry, have a spiritual gift, huge ministry, and following, and still, be running from God's purpose and will, Jonah did.

Jonah is not a man to pattern your life after, yet there are many in the body of Christ just like him. They are loyal to their Church and family, but behind closed doors, there is a different personality that emerges when put to the test. Anger, jealousy, backbiting, gossip, profanity, vengeful, unforgiveness, etc.

Jonah 1:3 “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”

So Jonah left his home, family, friends and most of all his ministry and took off for parts unknown. Was Jonah running from God’s presence?

It appears that Jonah was running from God, or was he simply running from himself? Was he running because he was wrong about God? Everything Jonah thought he knew about God from his religious upbringing and teachings was now in question. Was he running because God’s will and purpose didn’t line up with his?  

Jonah wasn’t just running from God’s presence. Jonah QUIT God. Jonah knew about the judgment and wrath of God for sin, He preached it and warned his people to get right with God. Now he was told to go to an ungodly nation and preach repentance. A people who were not God’s people but they were His creation.

If Jonah was wrong about judgment and mercy, what else was he wrong about concerning God, Israel, the word of God, God's real purpose and plan for Jonah. Can you quit God? People do it all the time, especially those in ministry. They are offended, angry or just plain hurt so they walk away from the Church, from there office or gifting, some even close the Church, and walk away from God. Yes, you can quit God, but God won’t give up on you. To be continued.

Unplugging the Wells (Part 1 of 3)

Posted on 14 September, 2016 at 10:52 Comments comments (0)
 
         





Genesis 26:1-2 says, “1And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech King of the Philistines unto Gerar. 2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:”

Chapter 26 is the only chapter in the book of Genesis devoted exclusively to Isaac. While he is mentioned in other chapters, he is not the focus of attention, in this chapter he is the main person. Here we get a better look at who Isaac is. He is not a shadow of his father, he has his own identity and purpose, as we all do. Although he will take over where his father left off, God clearly uses him differently, and blesses him separately from his father’s blessings. Isaac receives his own inheritance from his Heavenly Father. Isaac undoubtable will know that it was God that has blessed him, and not man.

God give Isaac clear instructions. Abraham went into Egypt. Isaac decided to go down to Egypt just as his father had done (Genesis 12:10). This was not according to the plan which God had for Isaac, and so He appeared to him with this word of instruction and promise. The Lord in essence is telling Isaac, you are not to settle in Egypt (world), you are not to do what your father did. I don’t want you to follow in your father’s footsteps, but follow my instructions.

“3Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because 5)that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”

God gave Isaac a promise. The same covenant promises he gave Abraham, Isaac’s father. But, the Lord makes it clear to Isaac that Isaac’s father was bless because in verse five, “Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws”. 

Another words, if you want to receive the promises of God, if you want to be blessed Isaac, then you to will have to obey God’s voice. You too will have to keep His charge “Faithful”. You also must keep His commandments as not to give place to the enemy(devil) in your life. God’s statutes and laws are a reminder of our dependency on Him. Isaac cannot enter the covenant promises based on his father’s faithfulness to God. He too like us, must enter in through the narrow gate, and through the blood (blood sacrifices), keeping the statues and laws.

Genesis 26:1 says, “And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham.” This famine is specified to be a different one than that which happened during the life of Abraham.

We can all agree that famine is extreme scarcity of food, due to unnatural climate condition, human error such as war and plundering, or imbalance in nature (locust). God told Isaac he would bless him, as he did his father. He told him this during the famine, not afterwards. God made a promise to Isaac base on Isaac’s obedience to God, but also based on faith. What Isaac is seeing in the natural does not line up with what the Lord’s promised. 

So Isaac has to do something unnatural to receive to receive something supernatural. Verse 12 says, “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year a hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him. 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 14For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.” Isaac sowed during a time of great famine. That takes faith to give when you are in dire need. He received a hundredfold the same year. This should encourage us to tithe and sow during times of lack and during times of blessings.


To be continued….