Psychic wins lottery again!

How come, when reading the morning paper, we never see a headline “Psychic wins lotters again!” It’s because the psychic has nothing but counterfeit prophetic revelation. God’s prophets hear His voice and proclaim accurately the Word of the Lord over people’s lives (potential as God sees it). They also state events over nations. One is the counterfeit of the other.

Pornography on-line is a counterfeit. The best it can offer is counterfeit intimacy as true intimacy is with your spouse or a future loved-one if you are yet to be married. And even that intimacy must arise out of your intimacy with God the Father.

‘Happy’ is a surface feeling that the Devil is constantly telling you that you need to feel. We all think it is our God-given right to be happy. Yet happiness is just a counterfeit for the spirit gift of joy. Joy settles in your spirit and is there bringing life and strength regardless of the circumstances. Happiness comes and goes depending on your personal wants and needs and how well they are being met.

The fear of the Lord is good. The counterfeit distored fear – makes us afraid and fearful and this is not good. Jesus constantly said: “Fear not!”

Worry, anxiety and torment are the counterfeits of awe, reverence and wonder.

In the past, the Church has “cast out” the spirit of worry or the spirit of fear. Maybe it is just a wrong focus and not a spirit at all. Maybe we just have our eyes on the counterfeit gift and not on the real and perfect gift that the Father wants to give us. We tell Christians that they can be happy – that God wants them happy. Not true. Wrong focus! God wants His children to experience the “joy of the Lord” as it is our strength.

A few weeks back my wife preached a three part series on thanksgiving, praise and worship. Thinking back she used the Psalm 100 exhortation “Enter [God’s] presence … with thanksgiving, His courts with praise.” Got to thinking – when we get all wound up and throw our little tantrums, we’ve come into the devil’s “presence” and entered his realm with our anxious fears.

So, if we would just change our focus we would have come a long way to defeating what the current issue is in our lives. If a young man is having trouble with temtation and lust and goes around the whole time saying to himself “Must not think about sex, must not think about sex” … he is actually self-defeating because HE IS THINKING ABOUT SEX! Paul states we are to flee youthful lusts. Just how do we do that? By changing the focus from the counterfeit (a one night stand – sex disguised as love) to experiencing true love that only comes through our relationship with our God and His Son whom He sent (John 17:3).

Everything the devil offers is a counterfeit of something God offers. So, don’t settle for the countyerfeit which leads you away from God. Instead, seek God and place Him first and “all these other things” will be added on to you as He determines and when He thinks you are ready. Trust Him. Make Him your focus in life.

Houston, we have a problem

June’s edition of Charisma Magazine has a “survey says” section. They list the results of a Barna Survey and then ask you to go on line and comment, giving your views.

The poll is on tithing. This will start a family feud. Only 11% of Pentecostal/charismatic Christians (born again, Spirit-filled believers) tithe.

Rubbing salt into the wound the survey further states that this can be compared to 24% of evangelicals (born again believers) who tithe.

Both statistics suck. Because both groups profess to believe the Bible is our authority and the standard upon which we base our lives. We are not talking main-line denominations, cults, sects, and wackos here. We are supposedly talking about solid believers – people who have had a conversion experience due to an encounter with the living God resulting in a personal relationship with Him.

So, we are on our faces praying for revival and wondering why revival has not come. We pray and fast to see our loved ones saved and wonder why new converts are not being added daily. We lay hands on the sick and wonder why, in the vast majority of cases, they are not healed.

Well, let me clue you in Church. Jesus said “If you love Me, you will obey Me” and He was certainly, by all of the gospel accounts, not removing tithing as the standard of giving. So, raise your hands during worship and tell the Lord how much you love Him and then don’t tithe during the offering equals HYPOCRITE! Can you feel my anger and disgust? We are in rebellion.

Well, let me clue you in Church. Jesus said to “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…” and we don’t put God and His Kingdom first in our finances. So, we are disobedient; which according to 1 Samuel is like the sin of witchcraft.

The Bible clearly states (Deuteronomy 14:23) “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to fear the Lord your God” (NLT). So, a lot of believers are stupid because fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and so they have no wisdom because they don’t tithe which shows they don’t fear. Follow the logic there and feel the feeling.

The same verse in the older Living Bible states: “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your life.” And Jesus said “Love the Lord your God will all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” and called it a commandment. This would be putting God first! And so, many believers are not obeying this commandment and do not have God in first place.

There is an old saying I learned when I first got saved 32 years ago. “If Jesus is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all”. Lordship means we have submitted every aspect of our life to Him and He is Lord of every area of our being – including finances. If we are not submitted to Him in the financial realm we are not submitted and He is not Lord.

Tithing is more than paying the bills at the church and making sure the salary of the pastor is paid. It is part of our worship experience. It is a way to offer ourselves up once again to the Lord as we give of what we have earned and so present ourselves in a tangible form to the God who gave us health to work the job. Tithing is basic to the Christian faith – Class 101 stuff – and yet many have yet to learn to obey the Scriptures and live in right relationship with the Lord.

Houston, we have a BIG problm.