Why Every Believer Needs to Know the Difference Between Jesus and Cheez-Its

 I remember a video really tickled me that won the prize on America’s Funniest Home videos in which a little girl told her mother that she had learned about God, the Holy Spirit, and Cheez-Its in church that day.  Her mom replied, “Do you mean Jesus?”  The little girl insisted, “No!  I mean CHEEZ-ITS!” 

CLICK HERE for a link to the Video

😊

In essence, this is exactly how Satan poses as an angel of light.  He presents himself as Jesus except something is just a little bit off.  It’s almost like his name sounds like Cheez-Its.  He’s the Great Almost.

The Word says “…Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”  2 Corinthians 11:14-15

An “angel of light” in very simple terms is Satan posing himself as Jesus. 

We must be careful in these last days to keep ourselves from counterfeit ministries, kingdoms, and people that are built on the Great Almost instead of the Great I AM.

Here are a few things to help keep your eyes open for:

1.  The Great I AM doesn't have any strings attached when welcoming people to His Kingdom.  Salvation is FREE if one believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth that Jesus is Lord, even for the worst of sinners.

The Great Almost has prerequisites in place.  And once you “give” your life to Christ you must abide by a hundred different rules in order to keep your place in the Kingdom.  But the truth is that your salvation does not rest on how much you obey God.  It rests on the finish work of Christ.  (side note: your eternal reward DOES rest on how much you obey Jesus – 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, but not your salvation.)

2.  The Kingdom of the Great I AM is built on Grace AND Truth.  He gives grace to the humble and truth for the proud.  He gives grace to the repentant and truth for the wicked.

The kingdom of the Great Almost is built on a pendulum that swings back and forth between Religious Rules and Emotional Happiness.  It does not care what the Word of God says – It says “you can’t be saved unless you are good.”  And it swings to “God just wants you to be happy – so do whatever feels right.”

3. The Great I AM invites us to use our giftings to help build His Kingdom.

The Great Almost invites you to build your own “Barbie dream house” kingdom or the kingdom of another human being.

4. The Great I AM always sends an invitation to join Him, but He never forces someone.

The Great Almost and his followers – demand that you follow him and conform to his ways.  They have no problem using force or manipulation if necessary.

5. True light from the Great I AM sets us free.

False light from the Great Almost puts us in bondage.

I am sorry to tell you that there are churches that are built on the Great I AM and there are churches that are built on the Great Almost. 

There are people who serve Jesus, and there are people who serve Cheez-Its.

They look very similar on the outside.  But when you really look at the kind of light they are shining – you have to ask yourself these questions:

1. Is there true liberty?  Am I free to be myself, or must I conform to the cookie cutter pattern?

2. Do they believe the whole Word of God?  Or do they teach the letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law?  Or do they conveniently leave out the hard parts of scripture in order to appease their personal doctrine?

3. Do they insist that I help to build “their” church/kingdom?  Or encourage me to focus on the one Jesus is building?

4. If I left the church/person, would they let me go and love me unconditionally?  Or would they insist that if I leave, I am wrong?

5. Does this church/person set me free or put me in bondage?

Sometimes it is really difficult to see the difference between the bright and blinding angel of light and the soft glow of the glory of God.

Telling the difference between the counterfeit and the real is something that we must be equipped to do in these last days!  God’s true Kingdom is one of invitation to experience the unconditional love of Jesus, who is full of grace and truth.  Anything outside of those parameters is an angel of light…or Cheez-Its.

Steps to Wholeness:

Father God, if there are any “angels of light” in my life, I ask for you to open my eyes to them.  I pray that everything in my life would be built on the Kingdom of the Great I AM.  Tear down everything in my life that is built on the Great Almost.  I want You, Jesus!  I want everything in my life to be pure and holy.

Deliver me from false kingdoms.  Set me free that I might praise Your name. 

In the mighty name of Jesus, AMEN

The Ugly Side of the Evangelical Church

I am guilty of everything I’m about to write.

I have participated in each and every ugly bullet point below.  And I repent for it.  I was wrong.  I was selfish. I followed Paul and Apollos instead of Jesus.

The following article is not an attempt to shame anyone.  I forgive every person in the Evangelical Church who has hurt me.  This article is a call for repentance.  I am attempting to hold a mirror up to the evangelical church and asking if they like what they see.

I am going to use coarse language to describe my sin.  The Bible uses coarse language to describe Israel’s sin.  But if coarse language offends you – you should stop reading now.

I know that many people have been hurt by the Evangelical Church – personally, I have been hurt and I have also been the one who caused damage.  I am sorry for those I have misled and I ask for God’s great mercy to heal anyone I wounded.

I have attended a total of seven Evangelical Churches in my 44 years.  At different times, I was a Director of Worship, Bible Study Leader, Youth Leader, Prayer Ministry Leader, and Women’s Ministry Leader. I am still an Evangelical.  I hold fast to the Word of God.  It is my foundation.  I also believe in all of the gifts of the spirit.  I am, what I would call, a Charismatic Baptist. 

My husband has helped me greatly in understanding my calling and has fully supported me throughout our 24-year marriage.  When I refer to “husbands” below – I am not referring to him personally.

I don’t always write heavy pieces – I mostly just want to help people become whole from their emotional trauma.  But it is the TRUTH that sets people free.  So the band aid must be ripped off and the veil pulled back - everything in the dark must be exposed to the light.  I am blowing the shofar (the trumpet) concerning the ugly practices of a good portion of the American Evangelical Church. 

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Whores

I was a whore.

I was a spiritual whore in several of my Evangelical Churches.

It’s what I was trained to be.  I was a woman who was not truly allowed to have power. My job as a church whore was to allow the men in my life to use my giftings, revelations, and talents to make them look good.  I was expected to have a man approve all of my decisions.  In my home, in my workplace, and in the church, if I did not have the OK from a man - the church considered me “out of order.”  I was trained by the church to believe that a man was always required to have the final say in my life in order for me to be one with Jesus.

So, to have any source of significance in the church, I was forced to be a whore – “one who sells themselves.”

I sold myself and my giftings to the church for acceptance.  My worship leading, my teaching gift, my administration gift – all of it.  I sold it to the men in my Evangelical Churches and took no credit at all.  I thought it was my duty to let them use me.  I just wanted to be holy.

I grew up being told that a woman’s place was to submit to men.  So then – when it came to my giftings I was forced to use them for men’s glory.  In the home – the church said I had to let my husband shine brighter than me.  So when we would go to be with church people, I would beg him not to be an introvert, because I would take the heat for it. 

In the church – I had to let men, in general, shine brighter.  On several occasions, pastors stole my revelations (new understandings from the Bible) for their own sermons.  As the Director of Worship, I would sometimes completely produce an entire Sunday morning with two services all by myself. Behind the scenes – I was the one who made the church look good.  But I would never take credit – nor be given credit for all of my hard work.  I believed the lie that I was supposed to give away everything for free so that the pastor could take the stage and he could shine with his gifting.

I look back now and see how differently I felt when I was working outside the church because the world mostly sees men and women as equals.  There wasn’t the pressure to perform to make my boss look good.  I was given credit when I achieved something or created something good.  But the pressure to stay home with my kids was another way to demand that I conform to the Evangelical Hive Mind.

I wanted desperately to please the  Hive Mind (read more here). I wanted to belong.  But to belong I had to play the role of whore:  Make the men in my life look good.  Make men feel good about themselves.  Sacrifice my self-respect.  Don’t make waves.  Just perform.  

In some kind of twisted way, I believed that “performing” for my pastors and elders in my church gave me some sort of power.  Somehow –  if I “performed” well enough they would see my worth and give me credit for my maturity and wisdom.  But it didn’t.  It just inclined them to use me more…

And so… I became a Madam.

Madams

A Madam is one who keeps the other whores in line.  She’s the one in charge of the whorehouse. Did you know that most Evangelical Churches who are “complementarian” have a Spiritual Madam?

It’s a necessary position.

I would correct women who weren’t letting their men shine brighter than they were.  I would reprimand women who weren’t taking a secondary role in the marriage.  I would warn the pastors about women who were “usurping” authority.  

In essence, I was the one insisting that women allow men to be their Masters.

In the complementarian Evangelical Church, if the men are not the Masters over women then they have no “man-hood.”  It is a stain on their masculinity if they are married to a strong willed, gifted woman.  We are directed to serve THEIR calling while ignoring our own.  We are controlled by contrived gender roles.

One time I had a Church Madam come to me and tell me that the Lord wanted me to submit my personality to my husband.  She said that if I would just tone it down a little that it would help my marriage.  So I was not free to be who God intended for me to be, I wasn’t allowed to have the outgoing, fun-loving personality God gave me – My husband and I were expected to manipulate our marriage so that we fit into the cookie cutter that was set forth for us by the Church.

There is a lie STILL perpetuated after all of these years that there is something inherently wrong with a woman and she cannot truly lead.

Because – you know what happened in the Garden of Eden don’t you?  It was “That woman’s” fault. (Genesis 3:12)  The perpetual lie is that we are still under the curse from the garden.  So women shall continually have men “ruling” over them… and if men are not ruling and women submitting, then we are not truly one with Jesus.  Never mind that Ephesians 5:21 comes before Ephesians 5:22.  As a Madam, it is important to ALWAYS start in verse 22.

The problem with this thinking is - that if the curse of gender roles from Genesis 3 is still in effect then the blood of Jesus was not enough to roll back the curse completely.

Somehow part of the Evangelical Church believes that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was enough to roll back the curse of death – but not gender roles.

If we believe the lie that men must still rule over women – then a Church Madam is necessary to force the women to comply.

The Good Old Boys Club

The Good Old Boys Club in the Evangelical Church is the one that gets together behind closed doors …and decides.

They decide everything.

I hate to tell you this but most of them don’t seek the Lord.  They are putting their own plan in motion.  Because as far as they are concerned – they are the leaders the Lord has appointed so whatever is in their minds must be from God.

Sometimes it’s the Elder Board who makes up this club and sometimes it’s not.  Sometimes it’s just a few who have the Pastor’s ear.  They have invisible puppet strings attached to the pastor and they use him for their own purposes. 

When the pastor is a peacekeeper – He is never the true leader of the church – the Good Old Boys Club is the one in charge. 

Sometimes the pastor is the leader of the Good Old Boys Club.  When a pastor is overly insecure in his masculinity having this Club makes him feel like a man’s man.  As a woman in church leadership, I let this Club take advantage of me – because I thought it was the righteous thing to do.  I had no idea at the time, that I was being a whore.  I let the Good Old Boys Club use my gifts, talents, and influence to keep their positions as the Masters of the Church.

I will tell you a sad story that illustrates the Good Old Boys Club:   After I came out of my deception of being a Madam, I was part of a church in which it came to my attention that one of the pastors was asking the women he counseled if their sex life with their husband was satisfying.  The women didn’t feel like they could evade the question so they answered and the pastor proceeded to give them pointers on how to make it better.  He told them sexual positions to try and lingerie to buy and even websites to look at… all of this without their husband’s knowledge.

I approached the leadership of this church with proof and three witnesses about what this man was doing in his private meetings with women and nothing happened to this man at all.  He still retains his position.  He was not corrected nor reprimanded. He never asked for forgiveness from anyone.  This is because the Good Old Boys Club protected him.  They cared more for the reputation of this pastor than the women whose marriage beds had been violated.

I have witnessed a few Evangelical Churches where there was no Good Old Boys Club – but it was only because the pastor was humble enough to obey the Word and strong enough to disobey the Club.  Sometimes he survived – other times the Holy Huddle crucified him because he dared to rock the boat.

Holy Huddles

In many Evangelical Churches, peace is to be valued above all things.  It is the highest calling of the church to be at peace.  We believe the lie that if we are not at peace then we are not one with the Lord.  Because Jesus is peace.  Therefore, be quiet.  Do not disagree.  Do not point out flaws.  And especially do not point out sin.  If you point out sin – you will be ostracized and labeled a troublemaker.

I used to be a keeper of the peace.

I would tell people “Don’t rock the boat.  Be quiet about your complaint – it’s actually your issue.  Don’t judge. You’re being critical.  Have you really prayed enough for that person?  You are causing dissension…”

I really wasn’t keeping the peace.  I was forcing everyone to sweep their issues under the rug and be quiet about it.

For the most part, the church doesn’t really value peace.  We value quiet.

We value having our Holy Huddles where everyone pretends everything is all right.  Because peace is put on a pedestal and worshipped, anyone who causes conflict and doesn’t pretend everything is alright is not tracking with the Hive Mind.  Anyone who doesn’t value peace (or the absence of conflict) is put out of the Holy Huddle.

Sometimes dissent is allowed.  Usually only once.  But after that – after you’ve presented your case to the elders – now you are just whining.  Doesn’t matter how much scripture you have to back up what you are saying…  dealing with the actual issue will cause the boat to rock.  And we must have peace – or we are not one with Jesus.

Peace – whether it is real or false – must be abided by at all times!

In many of the Evangelical Churches, you must serve the Holy Huddle – or move along.  Unless you have money, if you have money – we will adapt the Holy Huddle to you.

Money Prostitutes

I wish this weren’t true, but it is.  I wish I had not participated, but I have…

Here are the bullet points of being a money prostitute in the church.

The “givers” in the church must be tended to.  Give them special treatment.  Take their phone calls.  Answer their questions. Give them leadership responsibilities.  Name parts of the building after them.

The Church service must not only please the givers it must also reach the young people.  There are rules and regulations about worship.  If they are not abided by, people will withhold their money.  So we listen carefully to the comment cards of those who give more money.

One time at an Evangelical Church I attended, I had taken steps to start a 7 days a week Prayer Ministry.  The pastor had been very supportive, it was growing and people were coming to prayer meetings we would have every single day at the church.  I was excited to actually make some headway into ministry and be able to fill a hole that was sorely needed at this church.  Until one day, I spoke from the platform about something God had laid on my heart in prayer and I offended the Church Madam whose family gave a great deal of money.  She complained to the pastor and I was brought in to his office – not to make peace with her, nor even to face her.  The pastor brought me in and gave me an ultimatum to face Church discipline or to step down from ministry.  I knew I had done nothing wrong and that this pastor was bowing to money.  So I stepped down.

Jealousy and greed are ugly.

Most Evangelical Churches are struggling for money.  So when we cannot raise enough money within the church to do what we would like to do, then we look to the world and use Babylon’s methods like grants and fundraisers to find enough money to keep our Church dream alive.

Because addressing why people aren’t truly tithing would cause waves – and we must have peace above all things.  Addressing why there is a financial famine from the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills might cause us to have to address our own sin.

So we manipulate and find the money to at least give the perception that we have a “Picture Perfect Church.”  Money helps us to keep our veils in place.

Veils

The Evangelical Church believes that the church needs to appeal to the consumers in the community.  Instead of actually being the church, where we REACH OUT and clothe the poor and feed the hungry and offer mercy, we focus on what kind of veils will attract the community to our church.  When you are caught up in the consumerism of church, it is hard to see the truth beyond the veil that God doesn’t consider His Church to be made with bricks and mortar.  He considers His Church to be made with people.

There are several kinds of veils to keep people interested and oblivious to what is actually happening behind the scenes.

There are veils of “niceness.”

We don’t really speak the truth to one another – that would upset the delicate balance of peace. Conflict means that we are not one with Jesus.

So we’re nice.

We either ignore complainers.  Or tell them that they are completely right – but we never change the thing they bring forth.

We placate.  We may wine and dine the complainers for a moment – hoping they’ll be quiet.  We do it in the name of love.  But really we’re doing it so they’ll fall in line.  We’re doing it to placate our own soul.

And then…whether or not the dissenters listen, we have been nice.

We want to be one with Jesus and Jesus would have been nice.

There are veils of “worship.”

Take it from me, as a former Director of Worship…if we can pull of a killer worship service, people will overlook a lot.  If we dress it up and make it sound semi-professional, if we make people feel a little bit lighter because of the worship service, they are willing to look past some of the more unsavory things happening just to get their weekly dose of peace.

This is similar to David singing and worshiping before King Saul.  It brought him a little peace from his torment.  He would get a little relief from his demon but never truly repent.  In a way, this is what a worship veil does.  We give the people a little relief from their torment – but never truly pull back the veil of the cause of their torment, which is sin.

We also used to do a huge Easter production every year and the whole church would be filled with Believers, being blessed by the story they already knew.  When we shifted it to an outreach type of program, no one came.  No one brought anyone.  We were a consumer church with the wrong priorities.

There are veils of “outward appearance.”

Going to a church with a really nice building appeals to the consumerism of the world – so we build really nice facilities to cover up any flaws in the internal structure of the church.

We offer the latest and greatest programs, which again, appeal to the consumers who are looking for a church – but offering them a beautiful building and dynamic programs instead of Jesus causes people to worship their own comfort and peace. 

The veil of outward appearance leaves us with a shallow church who does not truly know the Man they claim to be serving.

In a way, this veil allows the people to accept Jesus, without turning away from the world.  But the truth is –  you can’t have the Kingdom of Heaven without repenting.

Calling people to repent of their sin rocks the boat and disturbs the peace of the status quo – and the Evangelical Church is all about their (false) peace.

Sin is messy.  It takes courage to call people on their sin – especially in this day and age when you will be called judgmental or unloving.  But Jesus called people on their sin ALL. THE. TIME!

When I was a whore to the Evangelical Church, I was more concerned with the appearance of the church than I was with the hearts of people.  I did not want the world to hate us.  I wanted them to want Jesus and think He was cool.  So I helped to create veils that would make Christianity inviting.

I did not preach Christ, nor the truth that accepting Him includes forsaking the world.

When I was a whore, I pretended to play church but I really didn't build His Church. I built a comfortable "paneled house" but His true Church was left in ruins. This is why there is a drought in the American Evangelical Church.  We are guilty of the same sin of the Israelites after they returned from exile.  We're building ourselves a house - but not Him.

2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’”

3 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”

5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9

“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.

10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”  (Haggai 1:2-11)

Epilogue

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for playing my part in all of these ugly things.  I’m sorry for insisting on false peace.  I’m sorry for insisting on cookie cutter Christianity.  I’m sorry for being a whore to the Evangelical Churches who had a Hive Mind instead of the mind of Christ.

Women should be completely equal to men.  If they are not – then the fullness of the cross will never be realized.  Jesus paid the price for ALL sin, including Eve’s.  In doing so, the cross wiped out the curse from the Garden of Eden. There is no male or female in Christ.  Women are not second class citizens.  We carry half of the image of Christ – without women in leadership, the Church does not really have the whole picture.

When Paul said women should be silent – he was speaking to a specific group of women who had gotten rowdy.  Jesus told women to speak up – specifically, He told Mary Magdalene to go and tell his male disciples that He had risen.   A woman was the first preacher of the gospel.  So, obviously, Paul did not mean ALL women should be silent and “not be permitted to teach men.”  Jesus told a woman to go and “teach” a new revelation to His disciples.

When the Evangelical Church separates men and women like this they become guilty of spiritual homosexuality.  Spiritual homosexuality happens when only men are allowed to “birth” things in the church.  Only men are allowed to make decisions.  Only men are allowed to do the teaching.  Having only men in Church leadership means that there is only one gender that is allowed to “spiritually parent” the Church.

There are hearts in the Church who are crying out for true mothers.  Not whores, but Spiritual Mothers who have authority to comfort and correct and teach and nurture.  There is a GREAT need in the Body of Christ for the comfort that only Spiritual Mothers can bring.  The only roles that were given to the genders in the Garden of Eden were that of a Father and a Mother.  Both are necessary to create life.  Both are necessary to raise healthy children.  Right now – most of the Evangelical Church is only allowed to have Spiritual Fathers.  True Spiritual Mothers aren’t kept behind their husband as though they are invisible.  True Spiritual Mothers work alongside the Spiritual Fathers and have equal say over the raising of the children.

God’s original intention and Christ’s subsequent redemption was that men and women would be one flesh and rule over the earth together.

God needs us to become one.  We need both male and female to spiritually birth things.  This is not achieved by females becoming invisible so that males can lead.  We need each other.

Once, God used me to correct a young man from his sin and then him free in a miraculous way at an Evangelical Church.  It was truly an amazing thing to witness God’s presence as He led me in using my gift of discernment and my tools of deliverance to set him free from his sin.  But after the amazing awe-filled evening, I was told that I couldn’t take any credit for what happened.  I was told, “God did it… not you.”

I was stunned for a moment that this elder was not even going to give me any credit for what he had just witnessed.  I had taken great risk to call out this young man’s sin.  I had used a gifting that came from God but that I spent years developing my character to use.  I had also trained myself to use tools of deliverance.  Yes, God did it – but He was able to use me because I was mature enough to use them.

I was a Spiritual Mother to this young man because I cared for his destiny more than I cared to upset him.  But the elder can’t afford to give a woman credit for setting this man free.  It would upset the apple cart of the spiritual homosexuality that he and the Good Old Boys have so carefully preserved.  I was a better elder to this young man than the male elders had been.  They knew he was sinning and no one was willing to cause conflict in order to set him free.

I know it’s ugly.

But it must be dealt with.  I am sorry for my part in oppressing women in the Evangelical Church. I’m sorry for promoting spiritual homosexuality.  I’m sorry for manipulating people for their money. I’m sorry for creating a Holy Huddle of self-righteousness.  And I am sorry for covering all of it with a veil of “niceness.”   I hope that through this confession that some will see behind the veil and repent.

There is nothing in this life that I take more seriously than Judgement Day.  When I stand before the Lord and bow my knee, I want to hear “Well done, good and faithful one!”

It is for this purpose – wanting my brothers and sisters in the Evangelical Church to hear “Well done!” – that I dare to rock the boat.

Are you willing to give up your false peace in order to take a long, hard look into this mirror?

As a woman in the Evangelical Church, I want to be united with men.  I want to be of one heart and one mind.  I don’t want to be “over” men – I want to rule alongside men, the way the Lord intended.  

I want to be Mary Magdalene who comes and tells you a new revelation that God has given me.  But if you ignore me the way the disciples did Mary… if you steal my revelation from God and claim it for your own… if I’m invisible and you think that women should be silent and only here for the lifting up of men – you relegate me to being a whore.

And I refuse to be one anymore.

 

How We Hurt God's Heart With Our Golden Calf Syndrome

The Israelites were in slavery for 400 years.  It was a slow process.  First, they were welcomed in Egypt because of the great wisdom that Joseph brought to the nation. He saved them from a seven-year famine because of his relationship with God and understanding of dream interpretation.

But there came a time that the Egyptians forgot what the ancestor of the Hebrews had done for them.  Eventually, the Egyptians began to take advantage of the Israelites and pretty soon they found themselves in chains to Pharaoh and his plans.

They were indoctrinated in the ways of Egypt. And even though they told the stories of the Hebrew God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob He must have seemed like a weak God to them.  Bitterness and doubts of God's goodness probably set in among some of them. 

When Moses showed up as the "deliverer", they still had trouble believing it was really real.  They didn't truly know the I AM because they had only ever heard stories about Him.  They knew about God, but they didn't know Him in personal experience.

They understood the gods of Egypt. They understood the shallow worship of their slave masters. It was the only other kind of worship the Israelites had ever seen. The kind where you bowed down to a carved image.

When the I AM delivered them from Pharaoh with such amazing displays of the plagues and the Passover and then the Red Sea… the Hebrews finally experienced the magnificence of their God.

On the other side of the Red Sea, they were still full of the ways of Egypt.  They built a golden calf in the style of Egypt and bowed down saying behold the god who brought us out of Egypt.

Exodus 32

2 Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”

What the Israelites failed to understand was that He was nothing like the earthly gods they had seen Egypt worship.  He is too big and holy to be confined to an earthen vessel. But the Israelites wanted to be like Egypt.  They wanted a god they could define.

We too wrestle with wanting to be like the world in how we worship. We bring God down and try to encase Him in an earthen vessel.

We make the same mistake every time we worship a pastor because of his preaching ability.  We make a golden calf to him and say behold the earthen vessel that set me free! 

We make golden calves to great worship leaders or a song writer or a Christian author and say behold the earthen vessel that helped me through my dark night!

We make golden calves when we worship people who have been instrumental in teaching us great revelation or Christian programs that have led us to freedom.  We do the same to those who work in miracles and healing. Whenever we give an earthen vessel the glory for delivering us from bondage.  We have set them up as a false God, and we completely have missed the point.  The point is that the I Am is the One who sets us free. He will not be brought down to our level… He will not be contained.

It's time to check your heart for golden calves! Have you put a program or a person on a pedestal and said: "Behold the god who set me free?"

God doesn't share His glory with earthen vessels or with golden calves.

Anything that has set you free and built you up in the Lord has originated from Him, and He is the only One who deserves your praise!

People and programs are not meant for pedestals!   

Steps to Wholeness

Father God we pray that You would reveal any programs or people that we have put up on pedestals.  We repent for giving earthly things the glory that only belongs to You.  We ask You to weed out of our heart the tendency we have to worship golden calves.  You alone deserve the praise and glory.  In the name of Jesus, we ask these things! AMEN

Needing Someone to Rescue Your Life? One Simple Shift Can Make the Difference

I have a plausible theory.   I think Adam and Eve were co-dependent.

Let me lay the ground work.  Codependency is relying on something or someone other than God as your source of value and identity.   Since the fall in the Garden, we all have the innate desperate need of a savior.  We instinctively know that our souls are ‘naked’ and every human being has to deal with the same lies that the enemy told Eve.  You are not safe, and you do not have value.  When Eve believed those lies, she was duped into believing that we must ‘save’ ourselves.  This is why she ate from the tree that was forbidden. She believed the lie that God was not a trustworthy Savior.

Of course, they realized their error right away.  For as soon as they had turned to ‘self-sufficiency’ as their savior, their world came tumbling down.  This beautiful paradise could no longer be their home.  The deep abiding peace they had lived in was slowly  engulfed in fear and hardship.  God had a plan to redeem them, but He would have to cut them off from the Garden of Eden so they would not partake of the Tree of Life and thereby living eternally in a state of fallenness.

Adam and Eve heard God’s plan for redemption when he cursed the serpent.  He said, “And I will put enmity (or animosity) between you and the woman, and between your offspring

and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

The offspring that God was referring to foreshadowed Christ coming to earth as a human to be crucified and crushing sin and death in the process.  The fulfillment of His words didn’t happen for 4000 years.  That is a very LONG time to see a prophecy come forth!

Adam nor Eve could have conceived of the coming of Christ.  My theory, based on the fruit of the first family, is that they believed it would be their first born son, Cain (their offspring) that would crush the head of the serpent so that they could return to their beautiful Garden and the deep peacefulness of close fellowship with God.

I further believe that they raised their son Cain to also think that he was the savior.  You have seen families in your lifetime who have lifted up one of the family members to be the rescuer.  The star athlete gives the rest of the family an identity.  Or the eldest in a family is counted on for their protection or provision.  When we get our identity, protection or provision from anyone or anything but God we are using a false idol to be our savior. 

I believe Adam and Eve put Cain on a pedestal as the savior, and Cain believed them. You can see his arrogance in his fruit.  In Genesis 4, God chastises Cain and rebukes him for not ‘doing what is right.’  God further warns Cain that sin is crouching at his door and must master it.  Cain did not humble himself after this. Instead, he lured his brother to a field and murdered him.  

Instead of God being on the throne of Cain’s heart, Cain was sitting on the throne in his own heart and in the hearts of his parents.  This is the simple definition of co-dependency, someone or something other than God being on the throne.

OK – hard truth coming! 

The Church in many ways is co-dependent.  We count on our pastor to rescue us.  Or we put a picture perfect fantasy life on the throne and say “If I could only live that life, I would be rescued.”   We look to our spouse to give us value.  We look to food or money to comfort us.  These are all false idols on the thrones in our heart.  They will never satisfy.  They will only lead to heartache as it did in the first family.

The true Rescuer came to earth and they crucified Him on a cross.  He was full of grace and truth. He rose again from the dead and is still our Rescuer.

Jesus has everything we need.  He is the One who gives us our identity.  He is the One who values us. We have no need for any other human, or fantasy, or money, or false comforters to rescue us.

We must learn to trust in the One who is seated on the throne and let Him replace all other false rescuers.  It is only then that we will stop needing to constantly be rescued.  The True Rescuer awaits your cry for help.

Steps to Wholeness

If you recognize that you have a rescuer other than Jesus your first step to wholeness is simply confessing it to the Lord.  Maybe you ARE the person trying to be a rescuer, you also need to repent.

1) Confess to God that you have a false idol on the throne.  

2) Command the idol (mountain) to be cast into the sea. (Sometimes I picture kicking the pedestal out from underneath the idol.)

3) Ask Jesus to sit on the throne of your heart in every area.

Keep Jesus on the throne by asking the Lord for conviction whenever you look to something or someone else to be your rescuer.

Co-Dependency may be generational.  

Click here to pray over generational sins of co-dependency

.

If you do a really deep work of dethroning idols - it is probably a good idea to pray the Sealing Up Prayer 

(found here) 

 when you are done.

Wives, Are You Worshiping Your Husband Instead of God?

Sometimes I write articles with the voice of a "lamb," and sometimes I write articles with the voice of a "lion."  This particular subject I believe that God is a "lion" about because it has to do with idolatry inside the home.  I have written about One Flesh Marriage before with the voice of a "lamb."  

You can read that by clicking HERE.

But this article I have written with the voice of a "lion" - proceed at your own risk. 😊

Wives, Are You Worshipping Your Husband Instead of God?

There is a troubling teaching that has permeated the Church regarding the relationship between husbands and wives.  It is a teaching which puts the husband on a throne in a home.  It’s a teaching about headship in which the husband ends up becoming the “King” of the home.

This teaching says that husbands have the “final say” over everything in the home.  It teaches that the word “submission” to a wife means that she has no power except what the husband will allow.

This destructive teaching has ruined so many marriages.  The twisted definition of two people becoming one flesh has come to mean that a wife must give up her own identity in order to fulfill the directives of the husband.  This is not one flesh.  This is a slave/master relationship.

God did not create the husband and wife relationship to be that of a slave and master.  When Jesus died on the cross, He rolled back the curse all the way back to the beginning.  His blood paid for the sin of both Adam and Eve.  In the garden, before the fall, they were equal.  In the garden, they were one flesh.  In the garden, they submitted to one another and focused on fulfilling the assignment of God to name the animals.

It wasn’t until after the fall that an imbalance came into the institution of marriage.

I have personally had to come out from under this teaching in order to fulfill my destiny.  I tried very hard to fit into the mold that I would be called a good, submissive wife by the Church.  But I never seemed to be able to please anyone no matter how low I went.  I was even told once by a woman in my church that I should quiet my personality to let my husband shine more.  Do you see the twisted thinking here?

I mentor many women who are still trying so hard to become good wives.  They keep trying so hard to submit to this teaching that they should treat their husbands as the kings of their home.  But it never works.  It never satisfies.  No matter how much women try to make our husbands the master of our homes – it will NEVER happen in a way that brings the Kingdom of God to earth.  Do you know why?

Because when we put our husbands on the throne and call him “master”  - we are giving him the throne where only God should sit.  Our husbands can never truly fulfill the role that we are expecting him to fulfill – because He is not God.

So many women that I mentor are disappointed in their husbands.  They are disappointed because their expectations are going unmet.  Somewhere along the way someone planted the ideal that a Super Christian Husband should be able to provide, he should be able to fix everything, he should feel manly and sexually virile at all times and if he doesn’t it’s the fault of his wife.  We are taught that our husbands should be ahead of us spiritually, so he can be the spiritual leader of our home and if the wives are more spiritually mature we are subjected to shame for our house being “out of order.”

We are putting WAY too much pressure on our husbands because we are looking to them to be the provider and fixer and spiritual leader – instead of looking to Father God to fulfill our needs.

The Bible NEVER calls the husbands to be any of these.  Husbands are simply called to love their wives and oversee the home.

Wives – we were never meant to put our husbands on a pedestal and worship him.  If we are doing so, we have put him up as an idol and we are grieving Father God.

Becoming one flesh or becoming equally yoked doesn’t mean one person is in charge and another person is subservient.

Being equally yoked meant that it took a team of two oxen to pull a cart.  They were a team.  If marriage is supposed to be an equally yoked team – then we both do the work together.  In a team of oxen, there is not just one person in the driver’s seat.

Some of this erroneous teaching comes from Ephesians 5.  We love to quote verse 22 where wives should submit to their husbands.  We love to quote verse 23 where it says the husbands should be the head of the wife but we never seem to start that passage with verse 21 – which proves my point about no one being the “King” of the home.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

 Ephesians 5:21

Instead of thinking of marriage as the man holding the umbrella over the home.  We should be focused on God holding the umbrella while the husband and wife are wearing the same athletic team uniform.  Neither husband nor wife become the master over the other.  We both listen to God and He gives us our assignments.  We’re on the same side.  Both husband and wife play the game.  We both have a purpose to fulfill and we serve each other until those purposes are completed.  This is what becoming one flesh is all about!

(Read more here)