by JoAnn McFatter
Whatsoever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. Philipians 4:8
I keep finding this phrase coming out of my mouth over and over in all sorts of settings and situations……”think on these things.” There is a reason God admonishes us through His divinely inspired Word to set our thoughts and minds upon certain things. His Word is repeatedly directing us to posture ourselves in a particular way to live out the life He has granted us in this earthly realm; in these physical bodies.
He knows how we are put together and He is fully aware of what influences us, and has an effect upon the way we process things that come across our paths. In order to have clarity of thought and the ability to rightly divide, so to speak, He has given us instruction that is for our benefit. They may even seem like simple strategies, but they are fundamental to what lies before us in this hour that we live.
So many influences bombard us daily, even minute by minute, that we must guard ourselves to not be swayed by the mixture that we are constantly exposed to in the culture that we are encouraged from scripture to “be in but not of.”
I have given them Your Word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth. John 17:14-17
Yes, these seem like elementary principles, but I’m afraid in all of our seeking out of the gifts and the experiences available to us, even though they be from the Lord, we have lost sight of some basic instruction that was given us to build these things upon. When the foundation gives way it is easy to get pulled into attitudes and carelessness that can cost us dearly along the way. It can even disqualify us for the very thing that we are contending for in the Spirit.
Apart from a sound foundation, God in His mercy will not allow us to step into some of the more mature experiences and places of authority in the Spirit that He has for this end time generation – even the mature sons of God.
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. Romans 8:16-19
All that He has invited us to partake of must be built on love and truth. I cannot emphasize this too much – it would be impossible to do so. There is way too much at stake in this hour. I feel like He is putting a fire under us right now to refine our foundation and to stir once again the elementary principles on which we should be building.
Unfortunately, I even see the criticism that has come at the participants of the move God has allowed in Lakeland, Florida as a huge test to expose some things in the body of Christ. I remember Mike Bickle always saying “God offends our mind to reveal our heart.” The words that have been spewed out of the mouths of Christians in the guise of critique have been shocking. We’ve lost sight of love.
Please know that it is not my intent in this statement to address this matter, I’m just stating this as an obvious current example of where we are. I understand and agree with the principle of “testing the spirits” that scripture encourages us in, but we’ve wavered far from love in the acting out of it. I don’t want to get sidetracked here, as I realize this is like opening a Pandora’s Box, as I want to apply these things to where we are going as opposed to where we’ve been.
The battle that lies ahead of us between Satan’s kingdom and the Kingdom of God is going to take great authority from the sons of God in the not so very distant future. I’m afraid we will be surprised to find what great conflict is at our door. That is not to put fear in our hearts, only to bring us to a place of the seriousness of the task, privilege and the unbelievable invitation from the Lord to us to be ones who walk in this level of authority and grace.
Once again, though, it must be bathed in love and truth. Exaggeration has got to be taken out of our mouths and critical words out of our vocabularies. The voice of authority that He wants to entrust to us cannot cohabitate with these things.
Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each of you speak truth with his neighbor, “for we are members of one another. “ Be angry, and do not sin “: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:25-32
I’ve felt so strongly to pray and ask the Lord to help us, myself especially, to be able to position ourselves before Him in love and in truth that we may be ones to which He can entrust His Word of authority that must be carried in the days to come. We must ask for help that we would not add to, take from, or exaggerate what He gives to us. We must ask for help to guard our tongues from lying or from vicious, loveless words that we would be tempted to release.
The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment. Proverbs 12:19
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight. Proverbs 12:22
Getting treasures by a lying tongue is a fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. Proverbs 21:6
Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips and from a deceitful tongue. Psalms 120:2
An interesting fact is that our bodies are actually weakened by lies. There is a simple experiment you can do with someone to test this out. Have the person to stand in front of you and hold out their arm. Tell them to resist with all their strength your ability to pull their arm down (of course this will need to be someone physically stronger than you) and then try to pull their arm down to show their strength. Next tell them, while their arm is still extended, to state their real name and try to pull down their arm. You can’t do it. Now tell them to say my name is ….and then insert any other name than their own and you will be able to pull down their arm. It’s really quite amazing, but it proves even that our whole being is weakened when we lie. My point is that lying will even tear our own bodies and spirits down when we give in to that temptation.
God is looking for those He can trust who will not exaggerate, lie or even use for their own benefit the authority that He must hand out in this dispensation of time if we are to stand and fight the level of onslaught that is coming. While it is true, greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world, there is an authority from Heaven that is about to be released to the manifest sons of God that the earth has not seen or heard in quite some time – if ever before, apart from Christ, Himself.
It’s something to ponder in the days ahead. We need to be admonished to “think on these things” in order to position ourselves to be ones who can and will carry Heaven’s authority in the earth as we see this thing through to the end as ones who overcome the onslaught of hell in the coming days. Though the fire must come, be encouraged to know that we can and will overcome as He releases His authority and great grace upon us! Lord, touch Your coal to our lips and make us a people of clean lips before God and man.