Are You Going Backwards?
My first major introduction to rejection due to being involved in the deliverance ministry came at the hand of a church pastor – a rabbi of a Messianic synagogue. My mother and I wanted to join the church, but we disagreed about telling the pastor about the deliverance ministry. She wanted to tell him, I didn’t think it was necessary. She merely wanted him to know about it – she didn’t necessarily want to minister there, unless he wanted her to. We agreed to pray about it.
One day she called me and told me that she had been reading her Bible, and she felt the Lord plop a big word of knowledge upon her – exactly what to tell the pastor and in what order. When she told me this, I felt it confirmed in my spirit that she was right, we needed to tell the pastor. So we made an appointment. She left her books with him and asked him to pray about us joining the church.
Many weeks went by, and we still hadn’t heard an answer from the pastor on whether we could join or not. She called him, reminded him who she was, and was curtly told that they weren’t in the same “place” and it wasn’t going to “work out”. He was very abrupt with her.
After I got over the disbelief and shock, the pain started to set in for me. I wanted to be a part of this congregation badly. My mother and I loved going to worship there. We felt the Holy Spirit was in the music and dance, and even though I felt the Spirit was often “quenched”, I felt something special there. We were making lots of friends, and it broke my heart to think we couldn’t go back.
I prayed, I cried out to God, and I pondered all this a lot. One day my mind went back to thinking, “why?” As I pondered why would the pastor be so rude to my Mother, as I pondered what was the “root” of his problem, all of the sudden, my mind was taken back to the meeting we had with him, and I distinctly remembered a thought that entered my mind while my mom was giving her testimony. I thought, “It must be hard for a man of God to hear that if this nice little old lady had demons tearing out of her, that he might have demons living within him too.” Mom was saying that she was a “good girl”, and yet she had plenty of deliverance the first time she was ministered to.
I felt the Spirit telling me that this was the root cause: this man didn’t like what she was saying and it was due to pride, his own pride. He couldn’t bear the thought of anyone implying that he might have demons. And what does the Bible say about pride, was my next thought. “Pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) I thought, this man is going to fall if he doesn’t repent about his attitude.
Then I thought, but the pastor appears to be so humble and worshipful in front of the congregation. Yes, but there is a demon of pride “lurking” in the background, was my next thought. “But he, a Gentile, was called by God to establish a Messianic synagogue. How could a man called of God to do such a thing be so prideful?” The next thought was, “Because even if you’re called by God, if you don’t keep growing in the things of God, if you get complacent, if you don’t keep seeking God, some thing is going to seek you – a demon. If you don’t keep growing with God, you’re going backward.”
I started realizing that there’s no such thing as reaching a plateau in your spiritual walk, unless you let it become a plateau. If you get a prideful attitude, like someone I know who has said, “I’ve heard ALL the teachings,” you’re opening yourself up for demons to enter and distort your mind and take away the wisdom, counsel, knowledge, understanding and the Fear of the Lord that God had previously given you.
I had just finished reading the books of Kings and Chronicles and I was constantly amazed and shocked that several kings would start off being good, righteous, God-fearing kings, and then somewhere along the line, they became rebellious and corrupt in their latter, aging years. I got the idea that the pastor had started off young on fire for God, but somewhere along the line, he missed it, like the Kings of Judah. He got his big, beautiful new building for his congregation now, so he’s “made” it. So he thinks. But when someone presented him with the next phase in his growth, to learn about Jesus’ deliverance power, he rejected it. Plus, I had the feeling God was not pleased with him quenching the Holy Spirit in the worship. I had often noticed how at crucial moments in the worship when I thought the Holy Spirit was going to move with a message, the pastor would jump in and start talking and stop the flow.
Back to the statement mentioned earlier that if we don’t constantly seek God, something will seek us – a demon. I had just read the first 10 chapters of Job this morning, where Satan went before God and asked Him if he could destroy Job. The point is Satan is out to destroy us. He wants to sift all of us like wheat. Period. We can’t give him an opportunity. And if we are a man or woman of God doing some kind of ministry or work for Him, even more so do we have to guard our thoughts and our mouths and seek God’s will all the time.
Later on, I had been reading the Proverbs, and I came across this one proverb that caught my attention:
One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. (Proverbs 28:9)
One morning as I was waking up, this Proverb came to my mind, and I started thinking, “The law, the law. There are so many laws in the Torah. God wouldn’t look upon someone’s prayer as being an abomination if they ate pork, would He?” As I was pondering this in my mind, very suddenly, these scriptures came to me:
36 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 22)
I realized that, as Jesus said, on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. The Pastor, because he addressed my mother with such a lack of respect and a spirit of haughtiness, did not follow these two commandments, or “all the law”, at all. He did not love the Lord his God with all his heart, soul and mind, because if he did, he would not have been embracing Jesus’ deliverance power, not rejecting it. And he certainly didn’t love his neighbor as himself, or he would not have been so arrogant and rude to my mother about the topic.
A few weeks later, I was reading the book of Jeremiah and I came across this scripture that caught my attention:
But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ 24 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. 25 Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have even sent to you all My servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them. 26 Yet they did not obey Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck. They did worse than their fathers. 27 “Therefore you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you. 28 “So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the LORD their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth. (Jeremiah 7:23)
Since I have not been super-experienced in hearing God’s voice, I had been wondering if all these words I had received from the Lord were my imagination or not. Then I saw the word “backward” in this scripture and it clicked with the word I had received about going “backward”. If you’re not going “forward” as the scripture says (I heard, if you’re not growing with God – same thing), then you’re going backward. AND, to top it off, the night before, I was listening to a Patricia King recording, and the Lord brought to my remembrance that she had said, “The Lord doesn’t tell anything to His people that He doesn’t back up with scripture.”
About a week later I was finishing reading a great book called, You Can Hear the Voice of God by Steve Sampson. I was on the next to the last page when I came across this:
“The Lord deals with all of us. To the Christian, He corrects us, He provokes us, He challenges us and He convicts us of sin. When He calls us to change, whether it is in repentance over a specific thing or a change in any part of our life, we have a choice—we can hear His voice, or we can harden our hearts.
The moment our hearts resist Him and begin to harden, we cease to move forward but rather backward.
Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward. (Jeremiah 7:24)
“We think when we become callused or hardened we are simply not moving forward. But when we are not moving forward, our movement is actually backward, because His movement is always forward!”
Yet another confirmation!!! Thank you, Lord!
Remember, remember, remember: the take-away from this article is that you have to constantly seek God – that’s loving God with all your heart, soul and mind. And then you won’t go backwards, you won’t have to concern yourself with becoming like the reprobate kings of the Old Testament. Keep going forward with God!