Turning “Led” into Gold – Part 12

Compliance with the leading of God is ALWAYS profitable to those who obey, and more.

Isaiah 1:19 – If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

In the late 1970’s and early 80’s, I was blessed and fortunate enough to work closely with some other ministers, early in their calling.  We often held meetings together called Piedmont  Believer’s Convention in North Carolina.  We would have five meetings daily for six days (Monday through Saturday), and we would share the speaking responsibilities.  The Lord had provided my ministry with an excellent sound and recording system (for that day).  As we came to the concluding meeting, I was urged by Holy Spirit to give my recording equipment to one minister, and my PA amplifier/mixer to another.  In my mind I was a bit perplexed, for in one week, I was engaged to speak in another conference in which my entire system would be needed.  Still, Holy Spirit kept urging.  I complied with His urging and gave the two pieces of equipment away to the ministers He specified.  I knew what the Word said, but my next meetings were so close, and I had no money to make any kind of purchase.

The following week seemed to rush by, and on the day of setting up for the meetings, two things happened, both quite amazing.  Earlier in the week, I had gone to a large music store to see an amplifier/mixer I needed.  When the clerk said he could set me up on credit installment, I said, “No, thank you.  When I get it, I’ll pay cash.”  (I had no money).  Yet as the afternoon set-up  progressed, the man who ran the technical side of our ministry showed up to help, and as he walked in, he was carrying the same amplifier/mixer I had seen in the store.  I still do not know who did it, but someone had walked into the store, without having spoken to me, paid cash for that piece of equipment, and had the sales receipt made out to our ministry.  He then called my tech man and told him to go get it.  Obedience pays.

About mid-afternoon, a man from the church where we would be ministering drove up, came inside, and said he would need help getting something into the church for us.  I went to help him, and we carried into the church a large three-gallon glass jar filled with coin and currency.  A lady in the church had called him saying she had a gift the Lord had told her to bring to us.  The money was delivered to our bank for counting and deposit.  About 4 PM, the tally was given, and I drove immediately to an electronics store to purchase a high-tech stereo cassette player-recorder that was just on the market.  Both pieces of equipment I had given away were replaced by brand new, and much better equipment than I had previously possessed.  The meetings went on without any delay.  Once again, “led” was turned to gold.  It still works.

Manna for Today – Isaiah 1; 3 John 2; Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:13-18; Isaiah 48:21-22; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 55:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:7

Turning “Led” into Gold – Part 11

The “hundred-fold return” on giving is a reality, but obedience is required.

Isaiah 1:19 – If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

My ministry officially began for me in 1971.  Over the ensuing years, the main thing was growing, learning, walking in obedience, overcoming many traditions that had ensnared my Christian walk, and building a foundation that would stand the test of time.  God was, and still is, faithful.  In those early years, I did not know what a mentor was.  A spiritual father was almost unknown.  Still, God was faithful.  He taught me, guarded me, put some awesome influencers in my path, kept me, sustained me, blessed, and promoted me.  For all that, I am eternally and joyously grateful. 

In those years, I was a “tent-making” preacher.  I had a job, often working in my own entrepreneurial business, as ministry was often infrequent, and knowing how to believe God for ministry needs was just developing.  I had attended a meeting at a local church, and in that meeting the Lord spoke to my heart to give the money in my pocket to man and his wife.  All I had was seven dollars, but  I knew the voice of the Lord in my heart.  I obeyed and gave them the seven dollars.  This was on a Wednesday evening, and I had two more days at work that week, but now with no money to buy any lunch.  For the next two days, one of my co-workers bought my lunch without knowing what I had done.  On Friday evening, I attended a Bible-study conducted by a local minister I knew well.  At the close of the meeting, a brother approached me, shook my hand, and pressed something into my hand.  He said, “The Lord told me to give this to you.”  I received it, agreed with him in prayer for his harvest, and put the check he gave me in my pocket.  Later as the Bible teacher and I were having coffee, I remembered the check in my pocket.  I took it out, looked at it, and said to my friend, “Well look at that.  Seventy dol…..SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS!”  There was more than a one hundred-fold return on my gift.

I realized that I had obeyed the Lord according to Mark 10:17-31, and He honored His word to me.  He always does.  Oh, by the way.  That gift I received paid for my first ministry sound system completely, including the gift of a lavalier microphone from the salesman, and paid for the parking of my van I was using to haul the equipment.  Once again, obedience won out.  The week before, I could not have begun to afford that system (in the mid-seventies).  But after being obedient to the leading of the Lord to give according to Mark 10, there it was; all mine.  Let it be known, it IS possible to turn “led” into gold.

Manna for Today – Isaiah 1; 3 John 2; Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:13-18; Isaiah 48:21-22; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 55:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:7

Turning “Led” into Gold – Part 10

The obedience our Lord requires is not complicated.  Even a simple fisherman can do it.

Isaiah 1:19 – If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

Take a moment today and read Matthew 17:24-27.  That is the incident we examine today as a clear example of turning “led” into gold.  A situation had arisen that obviously connected Jesus and Peter in the same predicament.  It was tribute, or tax time.  Jesus told Peter to go fishing with a hook, and to look in the mouth of the first fish he caught.  There he was to find a coin of sufficient value to pay the tax for both of them.  Peter did precisely what Jesus commanded, found the coin, and paid the tax.  A simple story, but a powerful example of turning “led” into gold.

Look closely at the principle revealed in this story.  Jesus and Peter had a shared need.  Learn a secret of the kingdom.  At least, it is a secret to most believers.  If you are facing a need, Jesus is facing the same need.  The question then arises, will you allow Jesus, as your Lord, to take ownership in that need, and thereby take the responsibility of meeting that need?  Think of it.  If Jesus is your Lord, He is responsible for every element of your life so long as you walk in compliance with His will.  For the Christian, that means being obedient to His will, regardless of how it comes to you; in His Word, directly by Holy Ghost, through one of His select channels (one of His vessels), or any other form of revelation (dreams, visions, gifts of the Spirit).

And when you receive clear instruction from Him, it is your responsibility to press forward in full obedience to His will, whatever it may be.  And you can be assured that when you are obedient, the result will be blessing in your life beyond what your own imagination could have conceived.  I will state it as plainly as possible.  You CANNOT walk obediently before the Lord and live a life of lack and poverty in this life unless you choose to not receive that which the Lord desires to give you.  And if you do that, unlearning of His will, not discerning His way, you will come to a place in which you are not pleasing the Lord in what He desires for you.  The child of God must remember, not for the purpose of legality, but for the purpose of walking in a place of the full release of God’s life and power in them, that there are sins of commission in which one deliberately does that which is contrary to the will of Father, but sins of omission in which one chooses to NOT carry out or walk in the will of Father. 

Manna for Today – Isaiah 1; 3 John 2; Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:13-18; Isaiah 48:21-22; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 55:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:7

Turning “Led” into Gold – Part 9

Obedience may require what many would call drastic action.

Isaiah 1:19 – If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

Today I encourage you to read 2 Kings 7.  There you will find a marvelous example of our focus in this series of Second Milers.  Israel was in famine.  Times were very difficult.  The Syrians posed great threat to the people, adding to the horror of the day.  Outside the city gate sat four leprous men.  Being unclean, they had no legal (by the Law) to any means of having their needs met, and that included food.  They, too, were starving.  The day came when the prophet of God, Elisha, told the king that the next day there would be a dramatic breakthrough and food would be very cheaply purchased in the city gate.  You see, God had a plan.

After this news was given to the king, it is evident that the Lord moved on the four lepers who were outside the city gate, starving like everyone else.  They began to talk among themselves and asked, “Why sit we here until we die?”  They knew there was no food in the city, so they determined to go to the Syrian camp.  When they arrived, all the Syrians had fled.  God had caused the approach of four lepers to sound like the approach of a great army of chariots, horses, and men.  There, before these four lepers, lay the camp of the Syrians, empty of men, and in  the camp they had left behind all their gold, silver, clothes, animals, and supplies.  The lepers entered a tent in the darkness of the morning, ate and were filled, and loaded up with silver, gold, and garments. 

They then determined to go tell the king’s household of what they had found, and the people of the city enjoyed exactly what Elisha had said would happen.  The people were fed, clothed, and greatly enriched by what the Syrians had left behind in their camp.  There can be no doubt that the lepers were “led” to go to the Syrian camp.  By their obedience, deliverance was wrought, and bountiful supply was rendered.  But note that it was not the obedience of the king or of all the people, but of four lepers.  On that note, consider the following.  Is it possible that your personal obedience may turn to the deliverance of and provision for people of God on a much larger scale?  When things are not going well, and when it seems that everyone is in the same boat of oppression, need, despair, hunger, and want, it is easy to join the crowd in attitude, if not in presence, and sit by hopelessly thinking the end is near.  But when just a few, or even one, will rise up in obedience to the leading of the Lord, I assure that deliverance and abundance is available.  You see, the wealth of the sinner is TRULY laid up for the just.

Manna for Today – Isaiah 1; 3 John 2; Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:13-18; Isaiah 48:21-22; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 55:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:7

Turning “Led” into Gold – Part 8

The power and blessing of obedience to the Lord cannot be overrated.

Isaiah 1:19 – If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

In our focus on Turning “Led” into Gold, let’s take a brief look into Mark 10 at the story of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus.  You can read it in Mark 10:17-31.  While Jesus’ declaration concerning the 100-fold return in near the end of the full story, I urge you to take a few moments and read Mark’s account of the full event.  While the 100-fold return is where so many people focus their attention, understanding and revelation is greatly deepened by studying the full account.

Let’s examine as closely as we can in our limited space and time the issue of obedience to the leading of God in our lives.  This rich young ruler came with questions, but that is not our focus.  Jesus gave him the answers he sought, but neither is that the critical point of our focus.  The rich young ruler when away sad, for he had great possessions, but once again, that is not the point of our focus.  The critical point of our focus is obedience to God’s leading, and the results that such obedience produces.

One point of this intrigues me.  Look at the question the disciples asked of Jesus in verse 26; “Who then can be saved?”  Why would they have asked such a question if, as so many suppose and have taught, both they and Jesus were so poor?  My point is, and it is clearly born out in the closing verses of Mark 10, they stated plainly that they had obeyed the Lord in His call and demand on their lives, and they fully believed such obedience had rewards that went beyond what would come in the hereafter.

And the final response of Jesus in verses 29 and 30 make very clear that their expectations would not be denied, but would rather exceed what they had thought or imagined.  Jesus spoke openly and boldly of a specified return on their investment.  He had told the rich young ruler to do more than give.  Jesus told him to “sell” all he had, “give” to the poor, and then “follow” (accompany) Him.  Jesus had set a particular amount, designated a specific recipient, and ordered a distinctive follow-up.  When obedience to such instructions is in full compliance, Jesus promised a 100-fold return to that obedient follower.  The rich young ruler could have received no more clear or direct leading from the Lord than what Jesus commanded.  Our understanding of the blessing of obedience to God can be anchored in this passage.  Obedience of the Lord has an extremely high return-on-investment (ROI).  God has established it in His Word.  It cannot be changed.   It is His will.  Will you comply?

Manna for Today – Isaiah 1; 3 John 2; Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:13-18; Isaiah 48:21-22; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 55:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:7

Turning “Led” into Gold – Part 7

The power and blessing of obedience to the Lord cannot be overrated.

Isaiah 1:19 – If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

In our focus on Turning “Led” into Gold, let’s take a brief look into Mark 10 at the story of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus.  You can read it in Mark 10:17-31.  While Jesus’ declaration concerning the 100-fold return in near the end of the full story, I urge you to take a few moments and read Mark’s account of the full event.  While the 100-fold return is where so many people focus their attention, understanding and revelation is greatly deepened by studying the full account.

Let’s examine as closely as we can in our limited space and time the issue of obedience to the leading of God in our lives.  This rich young ruler came with questions, but that is not our focus.  Jesus gave him the answers he sought, but neither is that the critical point of our focus.  The rich young ruler when away sad, for he had great possessions, but once again, that is not the point of our focus.  The critical point of our focus is obedience to God’s leading, and the results that such obedience produces.

One point of this intrigues me.  Look at the question the disciples asked of Jesus in verse 26; “Who then can be saved?”  Why would they have asked such a question if, as so many suppose and have taught, both they and Jesus were so poor?  My point is, and it is clearly born out in the closing verses of Mark 10, they stated plainly that they had obeyed the Lord in His call and demand on their lives, and they fully believed such obedience had rewards that went beyond what would come in the hereafter.

And the final response of Jesus in verses 29 and 30 make very clear that their expectations would not be denied, but would rather exceed what they had thought or imagined.  Jesus spoke openly and boldly of a specified return on their investment.  He had told the rich young ruler to do more than give.  Jesus told him to “sell” all he had, “give” to the poor, and then “follow” (accompany) Him.  Jesus had set a particular amount, designated a specific recipient, and ordered a distinctive follow-up.  When obedience to such instructions is in full compliance, Jesus promised a 100-fold return to that obedient follower.  The rich young ruler could have received no more clear or direct leading from the Lord than what Jesus commanded.  Our understanding of the blessing of obedience to God can be anchored in this passage.  Obedience of the Lord has an extremely high return-on-investment (ROI).  God has established it in His Word.  It cannot be changed.   It is His will.  Will you comply?

Manna for Today – Isaiah 1; 3 John 2; Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:13-18; Isaiah 48:21-22; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 55:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:7

Turning “Led” into Gold – Part 6

What are you doing with what you already have?

Isaiah 1:19 – If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

Take time during your busy days to read Matthew 25:14-30.  It is Jesus’ parable of the talents, and is directly connected to one’s life in Him leading up to the rapture.  The man who traveled to a far country was Jesus ascending to heaven just 10 days prior to Pentecost.  Those receiving talents were those living in the earth, part of His newly reclaimed kingdom, during His absence.  When the Master departed, He delivered His “goods” (that which He presently possessed) to His servants.  His “goods” were represented by the “talents” He gave them.  “Talents” were representations of true treasures possessed by the Master; elements of true riches.

For a moment, let’s lay aside any thoughts of what the talents represented, and understand that in the broad sense of the term, we are speaking of possessions of the Holy Trinity, and the fact that they were distributed to men as the Trinity deemed proper.  God does not make mistakes.  He knows the capacity of each man to whom talents are given; He knows the potential return-on-investment (ROI) for each talent distributed to whomever He gives it.  So, for someone to say or imply in any way that they were inadequate to bring to the Lord His desired ROI would be pure nonsense, untruth, and nothing more than an excuse for refusal to obey.

Note closely, that the Scriptures do not say that any of those who received talents returned an ROI to the Master at full potential.  What IS stated is that all but one had at least increased the talents they were given.  They did something profitable with the talents the Master have given them.  Based on that observation, I am required to ask this question of you.  As a believer, as someone living in this present life, having received a talent, or talents, from our Lord while He awaits Father’s call to bring us to Him, what are you doing with the talents given you?  Are you using them for His glory?  Are you investing them into the work of the Kingdom for the glory of God, the edifying of the body of Christ, and the blessing of those you serve and yourself? 

If your answer is “yes,” good for you.  If your answer is “no,” then awake, my friend.  We are still here.  We still have light.  Work while it is day.  Get busy using what God has given to only you.  Use your God-given talents to glorify Him, edify the kingdom, and bless yourself and those you serve.  Be the example Father has called you to be   Let YOUR light so shine that men may see YOUR good works and glorify YOUR Father in heaven.

Manna for Today – Isaiah 1; 3 John 2; Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:13-18; Isaiah 48:21-22; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 55:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:7

Turning “Led” into Gold – Part 5

If ever there was a time when God’s people need to learn how to be led, it is now. 

The Scriptures are our primary source of leadership in this present life.  If you don’t know the Word of God, how can you be sure of the voice of the Lord; in leading you through any other means?  It is the entrance of the Word of God into your heart that brings the light of wisdom, understanding, and ultimately revelation knowledge.  Any diligent study of the Word will reveal the will of God demonstrated again and again by a pattern He has established. 

God already knows the end from the beginning.  He does NOT test His people to see what they will do in certain situations.  He already knows that . . . He is God.  What God wants from His people is that we learn well how to be led so we can become the kind of leaders He needs in the hour in which we live.  He has shown us this pattern again and again.  Think of this . . .

  • What leader would be great enough to lead Israel after the exit of a prophet so great as Moses?  It was the man who was led by Moses for 40 years from his exit from Egypt to his entry into the Promised Land.  It was Joshua.
  • Who could even begin to ascend the throne of King David, a man after God’s Own heart?  It was the man who happened to be David’s son; one who had grown up watching God’s first choice for King of Israel.  It was Solomon.
  • Consider the great prophet Elijah.  Who could ever be considered to take his place as what was surely the primary prophet in Israel?  It could only be someone who had heard the call of God, responded to that call, followed Elijah (in this case for seven years), learning to be led by the man of God so he could ultimately by led by the God of the man, Elijah.

My friend, leaders are born every day.  The real question is will they develop into the leader God planned for them to be?  They don’t just come on the scene and suddenly manifest high level leadership skills.  They must first learn; learn to be led, learn the skills of leadership, learn to submit themselves to Godly leaders, learn to follow through with instructions, and follow the Lord with a “willing and obedient” heart.  Such a person will be used by the Lord in powerful ways.  Whether it is as a Daniel who only prophesied about five times, or an Isaiah who saw the Lord high and lifted up at the death of Uzziah.  If you rise to the standards shown us in God’s pattern, get ready to be used.

Manna for Today – Isaiah 1; 3 John 2; Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:13-18; Isaiah 48:21-22; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 55:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:7

Turning “Led” to Gold – Part 4

We all need counsel from time to time.  It is so good when it’s accurate.

Isaiah 1:19 –  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

Have you ever had a time when you needed counsel?  We all have.  On some occasions, we just moved forward without it, maybe on “gut instinct.”  There were perhaps times when we needed counsel, but what we sought was encouragement to go ahead with what we were thinking.  We were looking for a “yes-man.”  And then there were times when we truly sought counsel, opening our hearts and minds to receive the best advisory counsel we could get.  But even then, we have likely gone to sources that really weren’t the best.  In all these scenarios, there is a price to pay for counsel.  Regardless of what we think or say, counsel is NEVER free.  There is ALWAYS a cost to be paid.  Of course, the best counsel, right (righteous) counsel, Godly counsel, while there is a price to pay, always gives a return-on-investment (ROI) that is well worth the cost.

I have discovered in my nearly 73 years of living that I am NEVER without the need of counsel.  Prayerfully, I have learned who the source of that counsel always needs to be, and likewise who the channels are through whom such counsel will come.  The source of all the counsel I receive is always the Lord.  Whether it comes as a direct word from the Lord by His Spirit, a revealing word of truth from the Scriptures, or a fresh word from the Lord given through a trusted voice of an ambassador of Christ, my source is ALWAYS the Lord.  However, the channel through which that source is revealed can be greatly varied.  There are dreams, visions, revelations, prophecies, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, conversations, sought counsel with trusted people, or even through nature itself.  I have reaped precious counsel as I have walked through my garden, driven silently down a road, sat quietly at an old fishing hole, or sat alone in my office playing my guitar.  But when I know it is the heart of Father, the mind of Christ, the leading of Holy Ghost, I have made the commitment in my life to move forward with it, in willful obedience. 

From that decision I have learned many things, but as it relates to this series of Second Milers, one stands out.  Willful obedience to the Lord is ALWAYS profitable; profitable in every arena of life.  While there are what I believe to be seven arenas of human life (spirit, soul, body, domestic, financial, professional, and social), they are all interconnected, and can never be truly separated.  When you prosper in one of those arenas, you ultimately prosper in them all.  And be sure, willful obedience to the counsel of God is the most profitable action one can ever take.

Manna for Today – Isaiah 1; 3 John 2; Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:13-18; Isaiah 48:21-22; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 55:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:7

Turning “Led” to Gold – Part 3

There is much more to “gold” than dollar marks.

Isaiah 1:19 –  If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

______________________

During the 50 years of ministry in which I have served, I have heard all kinds of things preached and declared from the pulpit; some right, some wrong, some confused, and some mixed (which adds to the confusion).  I am witnessing in this hour something very dangerous, and that is the use of words or phrases of which the speaker does not have clear understanding, but are spoken to impress, or even startle hearers.  If ever there was a time for the accurate use of well-defined speech, it is today. 

One arena in which this has been so common is preaching on topics that have been popularized by the desire of people for personal gain.  The minister may have spoken with complete integrity, but often hearers take what they’ve heard and manipulate the message in order to gain all the benefits without the required investment of study, prayer, exercising faith, and fulfilling the love walk.

I want to encourage you to do a personal study on the topic of being led by the Lord.  that leadership can come directly from the Word of God, or from the Lord Himself through Holy Spirit.  Understanding the leadings of the Lord and how to honor them is one of the key elements to understanding and actually walking in divine prosperity.  Study the Scriptures.  Whatever you labor at doing produces some kind of fruit.  Labor is a kind of sowing.  What you sow you will reap, but the amount you reap is largely dependent upon the quality of what is sown, the quality of soil into which it is sown, and the attention given to what you sow.  Consider your own front lawn.  You can sow grass seed, but if you do not give attention to what you’ve sown, your front lawn won’t be such for very long.  It may become your front weed bed, or a small front jungle or woodland.

The truth in the matter of sowing and reaping, or what I call the laws of reciprocity, are simple.  I remember words often spoken to me by a beloved mentor/leader in my early pastoral months.  Weekly he called me to encourage my work, and our time in conversation would always end with his admonishing words, “Brother Moorefield, tend your patch.”  Every day that I rise to follow the Lord in His call on my life, every time I sit to write, stand to minister in song or the Word, or engage someone in counsel, I remind myself that I am sowing seed into someone’s life, and sowing that seed requires of me a certain level of responsibility to “tend my patch” in working towards a good and bountiful harvest.  My friend, that’s all about the true riches.

Manna for Today – Isaiah 1; 3 John 2; Exodus 13:18; Exodus 15:13-18; Isaiah 48:21-22; Romans 8:14; Isaiah 55:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:7