There is Room at The Table for All

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Something has been occurring within the body of Christ for some time and it saddens me deeply. Now more than ever, I am seeing a continually tearing down of one another from within Christendom.  Its destructive force is the ugly monster of jealousy.  I am especially amazed how prevalent this is among women in ministry.  Sisters ripping apart sisters, all in the name of “discernment.”  I believe perhaps this is why we do not see more women step up to the calling on their life because of the backlash of jealousy.

Small people abound and pettiness is unfortunately still characteristic even of some leaders in the Kingdom of God. There are many opportunities for jealousy among people – it is part of the fallen nature.  People who call themselves Christians simply do not understand the Sovereignty of God in raising up new people for new situations.  Tragically, many of these Christians are not willing to accept the new generation of leaders as God calls them forward for His purposes.

“Jealously is more detrimental than anger or wrath” Proverbs 27:4

The bible is full of examples of men and women of God falling prey to insecurity and jealousy of what others have. Cain was bitterly jealous of his brother who received approval from God, because Abel did what God asked and required of him.  Cain was not willing to pay the price of doing what was right.

Unfortunately, that are Christian leaders who are insecure in their own position and refuse to allow others to join or come alongside the work that God is doing. The best example of this in scripture is the life of King Saul who was extremely jealous of the call of God on young David’s life.  Even to the point that he allowed murder to abide in his heart for years.  When the people began to sing, “Saul has killed his thousands and David his ten thousands”, Saul immediately felt that his throne was in danger.  He did not allow his soul to find rest in the fact that God himself had appointed him as king.  His reign was in God’s hands, not David’s.

We all know the story of how David literally ran for his life from the tirades and false accusations of a disillusioned Saul. Astonishingly, I have witnessed this within the body of Christ.  Leaders attacking pastors and using slanderous words to defile their character and reputation.  All done from a deep place of insecurity and jealousy.  Oh how this must grieve the heart of our heavenly Father.  His children tearing one another apart and tossing them aside.

 “Wherever there is envy, there is disorder and every evil work.” James 3:16

When someone becomes jealous, they have actually come into agreement with the father of lies himself. The devil continually challenges your right to have the things God has willed and given to you.  If you are reaping fruit in your life from years of obedience to God, prayer and wise living, do not be surprised that the enemy will rise up within someone and accuse you of having no right to the blessings of God.  Tragically our enemy loves to use God’s own people to accomplish this feat.  He knows that the hurtful words and accusations from our own brethren will wreak great damage.  Even to the point where I have seen amazing, anointed men and women of God shrink back and default on the calling, and mandate, given to them to reach the harvest of souls that is crying out.

This world needs to see Jesus’ disciples filled with His love, not hatred, insecurity and jealousy. It is no wonder so many reject the good news because they want no part in the hypocrisy they witness.  Jesus spoke, “By this everyone will know you are my disciples, by your love for one another.” John 13:35

Danny Silk states in his book, Keep Your Love On, “Our spiritual calling is nothing less than to love and to be loved by God and people.”  Period.  Isn’t that refreshing?  It all boils down to experiencing the Father’s love for ourselves and then pouring it out onto others.

Dear brothers and sisters, if you have seen this unclean spirit of jealousy in operation in others, pray for them and bless them. If you recognize it within yourself, break your agreement with it and tell it to leave NOW!  Confess to God and repent.  Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the depths of your heart and uncover any place where the enemy may have a foothold to use you in order to destroy and tear down the people of God.

As Christians we are not of this world, we belong to a different Kingdom. A domain where God’s spirit is displayed with unconditional love, peace, joy and righteousness.  This type of spirit is designed to be demonstrated to a fallen and lost world through the people of God.  Jesus told the disciples to proclaim everywhere they walked, “the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Matthew 10:7

Dear friend, don’t allow the father of lies to trick you into being used by him. We see his demise in the book of Isaiah 14:12-14, “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Lucifer was jealous from the moment he could not possess what he believed he deserved.  He wanted all the worship and adoration that was due God – the Holy One of Israel.

With this understanding, can you see how putrid the works of the devil truly are? And so I leave you with this my dear ones… there is room at the table for everyone!  We do not have to fight, push, shove and even devour one another.  There is plenty of ministry to go around for everyone.  There is a great harvest and Jesus tells us to pray to the Father and ask that laborers be brought forth.  We need the sons and daughters of God to rise up, advance the Kingdom of God and win souls!

The antidote to jealousy is thankfulness. As purchased people of God we have so much to be thankful for – we have no right to be jealous or insecure.  Take time today to posture yourself and embrace all of God’s majesty and kindness.  We become like that which we gaze upon.  As sons and daughters of God, we need to be carriers of His love, His mercy, His forgiveness and we need to manifest this to EVERYONE.

“As holy people of God whom God has chosen and loved, be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle and patient. Put up with each other and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint.  Forgive as the LORD has forgiven you.  Above all, be loving.  This ties everything together perfectly.  Let Christ’s peace control you.  God has called you into this peace by bringing you into one body.  Be thankful.”  Colossians 3:12-15 GWT

 

Remembering Who You

The Buying and Selling of the Human Soul

No Sale

No two words have evoked more emotion in the 21st century than these:  SEX TRAFFICKING.  Mothers and Fathers around the globe are concerned for the safety of their children.   Entire nations are being internally destroyed by the de-valuing of women, men and children.  We hear about it almost daily in the news.  The statistics are staggering and depressing.  It is becoming an epidemic and the most exasperating part of all – it is happening right under our noses and most people do not have a clue.

For 2 years I worked at a treatment facility that served teenage survivors of sex slavery.  The pain and agony I witnessed daily in the faces of the young girls we served changed my life.  Each girl‘s story was filled with tragedy. Our youngest client was 9 years of age.  Astonishingly, her mother had sold her to pay off her drug debt. The saddest part of the stories were that nearly 100% of the time the girls believed that it was their fault that they were used this way – that somehow they deserved this kind of treatment.

Most of these girls had been brainwashed to believe so many lies about themselves.  Over time, the repeated violence, sex and drugs wrapped them with layers of shame. Apart from the goodness of God, they would be trapped in this web for a lifetime. Seeing the effects of shame in their lives was devastating.  The lack of confidence and hopeless outlook on life opened my eyes to see how the enemy has invaded our culture and has imparted his lies into our youth causing the feeling – my life has no value.

The bible warns us through Jesus’ words that a robber does indeed exists among us.  “Jesus spoke and said, the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.  I have come so that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10 NKJ

The “thief” has one objective – he wants to weave his web of deception in our minds.  One of his primary goals is for you and me to NOT trust God.  And the second is just as paralyzing: he wants you to believe a lie about who you truly are.  The tool our preying enemy has forged to use against us is none other than SHAME.  Although the enemy can be very deceptive, he is not very creative, since this is the very same tool he used in the Garden when he deceived Eve.  He begins fashioning this weapon as soon as possible and for most, it usually begins in early childhood.  Unfortunately, I have been intimately acquainted with this condition numerous times throughout my own life.  But it was never clearer than when I walked with the girls who had been traumatized by trafficking.

At any given moment, there are two forces at work — Good and Evil. Light verses Darkness.  These forces are pitted against one another and are vying for control of our minds.   There are no grey areas, and this has never been more true than in the arena of sex trafficking.  Becoming acquainted with the stories of these beautiful young girls has convinced me of the forces working in the diabolical minds of male and female pimps.  The enemy of the human soul is continually working to systematically destroy the value of every child and youth today.

“We don’t see things as they are; we see things as WE are” ~ Anais Nin

The bible refers to shame as being like a garment – that is placed on us and we wear it uninformed.  Shame will keep us from connecting with others.  At its very core, shame will isolate you and bury you deep in its darkness.  Your greatest fear whispers, “If other people find out the truth of what I have done or what has happened to me, then they will not accept me.  I am not worthy, I do not belong.”   And the most incapacitating of all….. “I am not loveable – for no one can love me after what has happened to me!”  These are all lies that the enemy wants us to believe about ourselves.

Shame is described numerous times in scripture.  One of the symptoms of shame is the inability to look at someone face to face – head cast down, and no eye contact for longer than a few seconds.  However, the bible also offers a remedy for our shame.  Cry out to the LORD, and He will come – He is described as the “lifter of our head”.  Psalm 3:3-4.   

Our heavenly Father picks up our head so He can look into our face.  When we have enough courage to believe the truth and trust God, our garment of shame falls off.  It is then that we are able to gaze into His eyes and see reflected back to us our true identity.  A son or daughter of God!  The most rewarding days I spent at the treatment facility were the moments when I would see the most downcast girl, turn to her heavenly Father, and realize her true identity.

“Those who look to the LORD for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.”  Psalm 34:5 TLB

When someone bravely takes just one step out of the tangled lies that the enemy has woven, God meets you in your mess!  With one word, He can cut through the jumbled thoughts and bring clarity.   As you take each lie to Him, He will speak HIS truth and that is where your true identity will shine!

Everyone experiences shame on some level, at least once in their lifetime, and others will struggle with it continually.  But there is hope!  We don’t have to wear the tattered, stinky garment of shame forever.  We can remember who we are.  By turning to the One who has the power and truth to transform us, we can make a great exchange.

  • Truth for lies
  • Honor for shame
  • Love for hate
  • Acceptance instead of rejection!

Conceivably, some of you may be wearing the suffocating jacket of shame and lies.  Perhaps the thief has snuck in the back door of your life and is holding you captive.  Or maybe you know the effects of not being loved or chosen.  Whatever situation you find yourself in, I know someone who can help you dismantle the lies and give you back your dignity.  His name is Jesus!  Allow yourself to be seen…..deeply seen by Him.  By knowing who you are and valuing yourself as a person God made you to be, you portray the confidence and self-esteem so many long for.

“Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;  You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.” Isaiah 58:9

I would love to hear any stories, comments or questions you have regarding shame.  Feel free to email me at:  lroitsch@gmail.com

In love – Lisa