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Is this monster in your church?

Aug 03, 2018

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(By Guest Blogger Karen)

I had a supernatural experience with GOD many years ago.  Everything in my life changed from that point forward.    The LORD, the Holy Spirit of God, told me to write things down…to keep a journal.  Because, if I didn’t, I would not remember the things He did in my life.  If I wrote them down, I could go back and read my journals and then,  I would remember what God had done in my life.  I was sure that I would not forget where God worked in my life!  The first few years, I wrote stuff down, but I didn’t really keep a journal.  One day, I needed to find something the LORD had told me and I could not find where I had placed the paper I had it written on.  I immediately went to the store and bought a college rule five subject notebook and began to journal daily…sometimes, I just wrote down scripture that I wanted to remember, other times, I wrote the secret things Holy Spirit whispered in my heart.  Journaling became a way of life and part of my prayer/Bible reading time each morning with the LORD.  

A couple of years ago, my church was in transition because of the resignation of the Pastor. A wonderful Godly man became our interim pastor as the Church Board began the search for a new full-time Pastor.  After months of searching, a promising candidate was brought in for an introductory sermon and congregational approval.  Soon he and his wife, also a pastor, came to live in our small town and became our fulltime pastors.  After several months, it became apparent that some of the people weren’t happy with the way the church services were going and/or maybe the sermons weren’t what people expected.  I was gone a lot with family things that kept me from attending many Sundays and missing a lot of Wednesday night prayers.  However, I did keep up on all that was happening in the church by maintaining contact with other members and listening to the podcasts online.  It wasn’t long before I became concerned about people leaving the church.  

I understand that it is common for a few people to leave when a new pastor comes…  and, also, for new people to attend…to “check out” the new pastor.  But, this seemed more serious … we had lost over half of the congregation!  And, the other half was worried about the first half leaving!  I was concerned because I love this church and the people. The atmosphere in the church was not peaceful…it made me want to get up and leave whenever I was able to attend!  I begin earnestly seeking the LORD for answers.

I have a very dear friend with whom I have been praying  for over 16 years, ever since my late husband died in 2002.  We have lived in different cities over the years and sometimes many miles apart! Nevertheless, our hearts are close to the LORD and we are spiritual sisters in one accord.  I had not really told her very much about my church…only mentioned that the church was having a rough transition with the new pastors and so we prayed together for both of our churches.  Several weeks later, on Monday, March 5, 2018, She called me early in the morning and without even saying “hello”, blurted out:

 Karen, there is a spirit of offense in your church and you need to take care of it and cast that thing out!”

My first thought was; “Ok GOD. I got the message loud and clear!  You want me to address this thing…but can I do that??? Can I cast a spirit out of a church??  A person, yes, but a church??  What, dear LORD, is my responsibility here???”.   As I was pondering this, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper in my mind, “Go to Psalm 28 and  read it out loud.”  The inference was to meditate on it. 

The next morning during prayer, Holy Spirit placed other scriptures on my mind to read…In Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah and Romans.  I knew in my heart,  I needed to pack as much scripture into my brain as I could over the next few days so that it would be fresh in my mind!  I would trust the Holy Spirit to bring it to my memory when I needed it.  I read every scripture that came to mind hour after hour ….and even fasted some the last three days before Sunday, March 11, 2018.  I knew, before I even walked into church,  the LORD was going to have me say something to address the attitude in the church.   Only, I had no idea what, when, where or to whom.   The only thing that came to mind was something I read in 5th grade in one of the “Little House On The Prairie” books.  Laura Ingalls had just received an autograph book and her Mother wrote this little poem in her book:

“Of wisdom’s ways you wisely seek

Five things observe with care

To whom you speak

Of whom you speak

And  how and when and where.

Okaaay… LORD…please just show me who You want me to speak to, when I am supposed to approach them…. and pleeeease  put the words in my mouth that You want me to speak!!!

I quietly took my seat as the announcements were finishing up.  The Praise team began the worship music and the Pastors’ stood up front ready to pray with anyone who needed prayer during the worship time.  Nobody was going up for prayer. I was looking around trying to figure out who it was that I was supposed to talk to…hoping that it would be somebody in the back where I could discretely give the “Word” to and go back to my seat.  Every time we started a new song, I asked the LORD, “Is it time now..Lord?”

No answer.  After several songs, we were about halfway into a song about the Blood of Jesus…I heard. “Go Now”.  I knewI KNEW… GOD wanted me to go speak to the Pastors.  So, I thought, “Ok GOD you have to show up because I have NO IDEA what to say!”  

I walked up front and whispered to the Pastors that I had a “Word” from the LORD.  Our heads were bent down together, the Pastor, his wife and me, and I opened my mouth and words came out.  When I finished, the Pastor said, 

“I can’t remember all that! Can you repeat it over the microphone?”

I was dumfounded. My immediate thought was, “Oh no, I’m in trouble now!”… yet, somehow I managed to squeak out, 

Maybe.”

Before I could say another word, the pastor turned to the worship team which was now playing very soft music, took a microphone from one of the vocalists and put it into my hands.

I prayed silently, “O GOD please put Your Words back into my mouth!  I am going to open it and I hope You show up!”

GOD showed up!  The Words just flowed out of my mouth. I gave the microphone back to the Pastor and went back to my seat.  I really had no idea exactly what I spoke… something  like, “ The Holy Spirit says there is a spirit of offense in this church…. “ After that, I had no idea what I said.  

There was dead silence for a few minutes.  The pastor then said something about the definition of  offense being something a person perceives as being done to them without cause….Then, suddenly, people were repenting, crying and asking for forgiveness…some on their knees by their seats and some at the altar…the whole church became undone.  There was no sermon and church went on until almost 1:00pm.

After church I called my prayer sister and related all the details.  She used it as the subject for her Wednesday night prayer.  One woman took it seriously. She went home and “cleaned house”.

The next Sunday, I wasn’t sure if people would be happy to see me or unhappy….I went a little early to check the “temperature” of the atmosphere.  It seemed peaceful and everyone was greeting me warmly, so I was relieved. I saw the pastor was in the sound booth and so I took my seat.  He came down out of the sound booth and stopped by my chair. I stood up and he said,

“Well, Karen, the LORD would not let me rest until I had addressed the prophetic world you gave last Sunday.  I wanted to continue on with my sermon series on the LORD’s prayer.  But the LORD told me He didn’t care what I wanted to do, I was to address the the” word” you gave. So, we will do that today.”

I was astonished and replied, 

“But, Pastor, I have no idea what I said!”

He just smiled and said, 

“That’s ok, you will know today.  I am playing back the recording and I have also transcribed what you said.  I will be putting it up on the big screens so everybody can see it.”

“O boy!  This is going to be interesting….”  I thought silently.

This is the prophetic word that came out of my mouth:

“The Spirit of the LORD has revealed to me there is the sin of offense.  The spirit of offense is a sin in it’s bitterness.  It is the root of bitterness and it causes unforgivness and terrible things to happen in the Body of Christ.  The Holy Spirit says, “If you will surrender the spirit of offense, I will give you my joy, the joy of the LORD.  Just surrender, surrender, surrender unto the Blood of Jesus.  Surrender yourself and receive, receive the oil of joy – receive, receive the oil of joy.”  Oh, the blood of Jesus, precious blood of Jesus.  Power, power, power. Let the fire of the Holy Spirit burn, burn, burn in you today.

The Pastor went through every word and the scriptures that confirmed them.  He acknowledged there had been confirmations from others concerning the “word”, so therefore, it was a true prophetic word meant for our church.

When I heard the words that I had spoken…they pierced my own heart. I knew that  I needed to talk to my EX-husband.  We had been emailing each other for some time, mostly about GOD stuff.  I had asked him if anything good had come out of our marriage.  He said that he probably would have turned away from God if he had not met me…that I had shown him how to “hear” God. Once, he asked me if I’d like to meet him back where we went to school.  I was not willing. Yet, I could not shake off the feeling that we were still somehow connected.  I didn’t feel free.  After I gave the prophetic word in church, I called him and asked his forgivness for the wicked way I had behaved….we both behaved wickedly towards each other.  We talked a little about maybe sometime in the future meeting somewhere to talk, but I needed confirmation from the LORD before I could make plans to do that.

I called my prayer sister and we talked for a long time.  There was a death in her family a few days later.  She and her son had to drive through several states to attend the funeral services. On the way, she told him about the spirit of offense. He ended up giving the eulogy at the funeral and because of the prophetic word, he gave a wonderful eulogy that brought a feuding family back together ….some of whom had not spoken to each other in over 30 years!  God is good!

I had planned on attending a conference in Dallas March 13-16.  I kept those plans, staying with an acquaintance in Oklahoma overnight, then, we planned to leave early in the morning for Dallas.  In the course of the evening conversation, I told her husband about the spirit of offense.  I also, told him that I had attended Bible College in another state in 2009, met and married a man who also was a student there.  But we let the devil destroy our marriage and I divorced him in 2013. I thought the spirit of offense was a major factor…we sure did offend one another!  

I later found out that the woman and her husband had been having trouble with the spirit of offense and because of what I had said, their marriage had begun to heal.  God is good!

For the first time in my life, I was able to literally watch GOD perform His Word!  GOD is so amazing! This gave me so much joy to see people beginning to love each other again! 

I decided to dig out my journals from storage and read through them.  I went back to the year 2001 and read most of what I had written up to 2017.  God was right.  I had forgotten how many things He worked out for good in my life!  I am so grateful God that You never gave up on me!  When the going got tough, I became a crybaby!  I never gave up, but I sure complained a lot! 

After much soul searching, prayer, fasting and reading of the scriptures I felt that Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart to go visit my ex-husband.  So, after talking this over with him, on May 5, 2018, I made the flight arrangements to go speak face to face and eye to eye with my ex-husband during the July 4th holiday.  We were both a bit nervous…we had not seen each other in six years.  We had no idea what God was doing, or even what we were doing, only that sometimes, things must be done in person.  We both wanted to be obedient to the LORD.  

I’m not going into details about what happened except to say, when I left his house, we had decided that we probably finished God’s sentence about our relationship. We probably should not have gotten married, but we will always be friends.  Our relationship is very comfortable as a brother and sister in Christ Jesus and members of the family of Christ Jesus our Savior. On the plane ride back home, the words of a song “Where the Spirit of the LORD is there is Freedom”, kept going around in my head and Peace and Joy were in my heart.  I was so glad that I had been obedient to go and take care of this awful spirit of offense and unforgivness in my life.  There is so much freedom in forgiveness!

A few days after I got back home, I realized the spirit of offense had turned into an ugly monster within the church…the pastor announced his resignation effective July 29, 2018…the membership was down to 18 people.  Now what LORD?  What is my part in this?  What is my responsibility?  

I felt that the LORD desired me to bless the Pastor and his wife by giving them a certain book, enclosing a personal card with a blessing and “gas money”  and giving it to them before church on the coming Sunday.  The following Sunday would be the pastors last Sunday. So, I was obedient.

The following Sunday, the Pastor’s wife followed me into the ladies room to tell me that what I had done was such a blessing to them and we hugged.  We spoke about the spirit of offense becoming a monster… and that both the church and the pastors are moving into a new season.  I spoke a blessing over Pastor and his wife after church.  

I believe God is shaking the church.  He is showing people what is really in their hearts.  It’s up to us to take Him seriously and do something about our hidden sins…especially the sin of unforgiveness.  Now, the question remains…what will the people do with this monster in the church?