“Shall NOT”

PSALM 23:1: “The lord IS my shepherd; I SHALL NOT WANT

 Our world, our messed up, ripped up, tore up from the floor up world that we all must call home, at least for a little while, as those clay feet of the mighty world has began to crack and crumble under the heavy weights of sin that has been hard and unyielding to the oppressed as the bronze and iron it has been forged of.

As we all have witnessed the news of the Orlando nightclub massacre, it is just another reminder of this truth. Those feet are made of clay and these weights they will not withstand and as we are told we will either be built upon the rock that is Jesus Christ or we will be washed away as the sand gives way under the blowing winds and crashing waves.

Even as you watch these things come to pass, as Jesus said that they would, we still can’t help but to be overwhelmed with the sadness and senselessness of the actions of those who are agents of the hate that is as old as the world itself, the hate that tried to even spread itself through the heavens and has not be cast down upon the earth. That hate IS not going to cease, it WILL only grow worse.

REVELATION 12:12(b) “WOE unto the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!  For the devil is come down upon you, HAVING GREAT WRATH (ANGER) FOR HE KNOWTEH HE HATH BUT A SHORT TIME.

Watching an especially poignant first hand account of a victim who had survived by hiding in a bathroom, tearing flowing and sorrow beyond sorrow as he told of those outside the door that they could not let in, those who died outside that door, the account of one woman who hid under dead bodies and we know that ONLY, ONLY God can heal this kind of hurt, this kind of sorrow and these lives will never be the same.

But it is a wake up call for US ALL that time does truly draw nigh and we are not promised the next breath and every moment of that time should be spent sharing the Gospel, the TRUE Gospel, not watered down candy coated fluff that has no real staying power and no real sustenance when it comes to dealing with tribulation, remember Jesus said that IN THIS WORLD we will have tribulation. 

The only way out for any of us IS the Gospel. The only way to survive these days without being desensitized by all the horror we see, or our human minds trying to process those things which can not be processed leaving us cold, numb, and defeated. As one who was given a divine intervention when death came to call, I do understand and I also understand that in these atrocities God will heal, make new, and free people into Himself and that they will understand the mercy they were given and will show it to others.

But it time to get serious and to really seek the Kingdom of God, LIVE by HIS word, not the candy coats code of conduct which is an abomination to God, but He will save those who are sincere and will show them the true way, and that is His way.

This was something He dropped in my spirit concerning a situation, well, actually a couple of situations, in my own journey and that one long waged battle in the war would be taken care of the very next day, and it was. And the thought became so profound in my spirit that I want to share it.

IT is how we will make it in these days, as Jesus told us that in “Patience possess ye your souls” that is to wait, and wait, and keep waiting in faith and perseverance knowing that ALL things will work together, and as He told us in the book of Revelation, that some WILL DIE but NOT ONE HAIR SHALL PERISH.

He is telling us just how serious we are to be, in all things and it is wonderful to have a good time, free our minds, let loose or whatever but THAT TIME IS OVER for the church, it is now time to watch and pray that not only us but that others, those who are lost and those who are being misguided, that ALL of us may be accounted worthy to stand in that soon coming day.

So if we remember nothing else, remember every day that as His children we shall not want and our prayer should be “we shall not”. “The Lord is my shepherd; I SHALL NOT WANT.” Period. It stops and it stops right there, so what does that mean? It means want or lack any good thing or any thing WE NEED to finish the race before us.

Because HE IS the shepherd and the secret of the joy of the Lord is OUR strength, but what about the joy He HAS when His children act right and His lambs choose to follow His paths and the paths He set before them.

His Joy in “enter in my good and faithful servant” the joy as a Father when his children ARE a reflection of His values and represent His family in honor and integrity, kindness, and mercy. We will be happy and we will be filled with joy when we make bringing joy to Him our first priority.

NEHEMIAH 8:10: “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to them for WHOM NOTHING IS PREPARED: for this day is HOLY unto our Lord: NEITHER be ye sorry,for the JOY OF THE LORD is YOUR STRENGTH.

JOHN 16:24: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ASK, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL.”

 JOHN 17:13: “And now I come to thee; and these things I speak IN THE WORLD, that THEY MIGHT HAVE MY JOY FULFILLED IN THEMSELVES.” 

Jesus PRAYED this and He prayed it while facing His death, as Hebrews 12:2 tells us it was FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM, joy that WOULD later come, joy that would ONLY come through obedience in the midst of tribulation, terror, and suffering. We SHALL NOT want for that joy.

We live in the “shadow of the VALLEY of death, always, death is always an ever present possibility and times of terror and fear make us painfully aware of that fact.

ISAIAH 9:2: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: THEY that DWELL in the land of the SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM HATH A GREAT LIGHT SHINED.”  

JOHN:8:12: ” Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I AM the light of the world: he that followeth me SHALL NOT walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” In the blackest of nights we SHALL NOT WANT for the light.  

When fear comes calling, classic PSALM 91:5-7: “Thou SHALT NOT be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrows that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday; A thousand shall fall at thy side; and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”

When the winds blow and the floods rage: ISAIAH 43:2: ” WHEN thou passest through the waters, I WILL be with thee, and through the rivers, they SHALL NOT overflow thee, WHEN thou walkest through the fire, thou SHALL NOT  be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

Notice, there is no if there, it is not a question of whether these things come, it is WHEN they come.

 Looking for those things which are to come, you SHALL NOT lose your hope, your faith and your confidence in the Lord.

PSALM 16:5-9 ” The Lord IS the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage (inheritance).

I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins (heart) also instructs me  IN THE NIGHT SEASONS.  I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I SHALL NOT be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh shall also rest (dwell securely) in hope.” Don’t give up the fight, whatever you need you SHALL NOT lack, SIN SHALL NOT reign and my all time favorite, the gates of hell SHALL NOT prevail! Have a blessed week! 

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“Playin’ favorites”

And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he (male) goats.

Seemeth it a small thing unto you (you seem to think it is a trivial thing) TO HAVE EATEN UP THE GOOD PASTURE, but ye must TREAD DOWN (trample) WITH YOUR FEET the residue (remainder) OF YOUR PASTURES? and to have DRUNK OF THE DEEP WATERS, but ye must FOUL THE RESIDUE WITH YOUR FEET?            EZEKIEL 34:17,18

What He is saying is this, He will decide and do justice between “sheep”, His people.

It seems that to these that it is no concern of theirs and nothing to them, if the other sheep have no food, because they greedily gobble it all up and then crush and trample the little that remains.

They have no care or concern as they guzzle down all the available water, as they stand in it with their  dirty feet with no regard that others who are dying of thirst will only have this to drink. 

And they ARE the favorites of the shepherds of those fields, so no one dares to question. Playing favorites, man, I could actually write a book, maybe two just on the subject alone. But I don’t need to write anything since it has already been written and wonderfully fit for a time such as this.

The favorites of the shepherds, the chosen few, the “pets”, the family, the friends, the social status cliques, the biggest tithe givers, and I am sure some that fall into the category of, “Oh, I just like you, you remind me of a younger me” and of course they do like ones that are like-minded and share agendas.  

This is the separation: EZEKIEL 34:19-22: “And as for MY FLOCK, they EAT THAT WHICH YE HAVE TRODDEN WITH YOUR FEET; and THEY DRINK THAT WHICH YE HAVE FOULED WITH YOUR FEET.

Therefore thus saith the Lord God unto them; Behold, I, even I, WILL JUDGE BETWEEN THE FAT (FED)  SHEEP AND THE LEAN (STARVING) SHEEP.

Because YE HAVE THRUST (pushed)  WITH SIDE AND WITH SHOULDER, and PUSHED (BUTTED) ALL THE DISEASED (WEAK) WITH YOUR HORNS, TILL YE HAVE SCATTERED THEM ABROAD.

Therefore WILL I SAVE MY FLOCK, and they will be no more a prey; and I WILL JUDGE BETWEEN CATTLE (SHEEP) AND CATTLE (SHEEP).” 

Notice the pushing and shoving, those who, when they see one stumble, rather than help them up they will merely use the fallen back as a bridge to snatch a morsel out of the mouth of a another. The ones who shamelessly take credit for the work of others. The ones who mistakenly believe that they are of a greater importance to the flock and to the kingdom. They push and they shove the weak, notice the horns, adding to the wounds of those who are  injured, and hurt. They never feel one ounce of regret or remorse because getting all they can grab is what they are all about.

I love how  the Lord had these passages go hand in hand in the book of Ezekiel, He first speaks to the Shepherds, who are in for a world of hurt and then He goes on to the “fat cattle, the difference that are made by the shepherds who have their own agendas which are “ME, MYSELF, AND I” and if you can’t expand my pasture   ( help bring sheep and FURTHER THEIR ministry) well, just go on down the road, someone will take you in.

It is so funny, I have heard a thousand times by many different mouths, words such as “So and so will be here, come on out and make him welcome” “I‘ll be at ….. come bring friends” “ I am starting a new teaching series, come on out ” and of course the “great new” books that you just can’t live without, of course you have to pay for it but they really want to get this “must have” into your hands and teach you secrets of the kingdom! So funny, there is ONLY ONE book that you must have and that is the Bible and they want you to have it so bad, and you “need” it so bad, but they sure aren’t going to give it away now are they????? But you NEVER hear “Come check out my sheep” “Look at this fine flock” never, never because IT IS NO LONGER ABOUT THE FLOCK.

Another fine example of what He is getting at:

JAMES 2: 1-10 ” My brethren, have ye not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, (do you not profess to be of Christ) with respect (partiality) of persons?

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel (expensive clothing), AND there came in ALSO a poor man in vile raiment (filthy clothes); and YE HAVE RESPECT (PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION) TO HIM IN GAY (FINE) CLOTHING, and say unto him, SIT THOU HERE IN GOOD PLACE, and SAY TO THE POOR, STAND THOU THERE, OR SIT HERE UNDER (AT) MY FOOTSTOOL.

Are ye NOT then partial in YOURSELVES, (Have you not DISCRIMINATED) and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath God not chosen the POOR of this world rich in faith, and HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM which he hath promised to them that love him?

But YE HAVE DESPISED (dishourned) the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw (drag) you before the judgement seats? Do not they blaspheme the worthy (noble) name by which ye are called? If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF, ye do well.

But IF YE HAVE RESPECT (PARTIALITY) TO PERSONS, YE COMMIT SIN, AND ARE CONVINCED (CONVICTED) OF THE LAW AS TRANSGRESSORS. For whosoever shall keep the law, and yet offend (stumble) in one point, he is guilty of all.”

I often wonder what it would be like now if Jesus or the disciples were to walk into a modern church. Would it be like it was when he came to earth?

You know when the Jews and Pharisees just didn’t think He fit the bill for being the Son of God, He didn’t look like royalty, He sure didn’t act the part, He refused to share their religious snobbery and woman hating misogyny.

And Oh, my goodness…. Can you believe that HE ACTUALLY LET MARY TOUCH HIM?????? He actually healed the sick without giving them a speech about how they should have taken better care of themselves. He actually cast out the demons that troubled them (without asking a fee) he raised their dead not to make Him a mega minister but actually OUT OF COMPASSION for their pain. He dined with “sinners” hung out with fishermen. He even let His disciples eat with unwashed hands. And all those that pointed fingers at Him questioning His authority to do these things were met with the finger of God pointing back at their own wicked hearts, sure, cast the first stone, oppress the widows, sell the orphans, slaughter his lame sheep. 

I really don’t think they would recognize Him here, do you???? Wonder if they have ever pondered the fact that the least of these will be the greatest in heaven? That does not mean high and lofty, that means Jesus came to serve not to be served and this is what He expects from His followers. So if they do not want to do it on this earth and they want a “higher” position then they can expect to have a reversal of that position in the kingdom of heaven.

And THAT is gonna be a lot of fun! I am quite excited about it, as my own struggles dealing with shepherds and pushy- shovy sheep, in the forms of Alpha Male Ministers and Cattle Prodding Pastors, Church House Divas and my favorites the “Is she wearing PANTS” crowd. I have to ALWAYS keep the tongue in check and know that HE IS MY SHEPHERD and know that no matter how scruffy, malnourished, or thirsty I may get and contrary to who likes me or who doesn’t that HE will always feed me, water me, and love me because I am HIS, and I know if I don’t learn to just deal with them, look over them, and see it for what it is, that hate will grow and I will lose my relationship with the Lord and no one is worth that, no one is worth becoming a child that will bring heartache to the Father and His is the only opinion that should matter.

Right?…. Wrong, the problem with the shepherds and fat cattle is that it looks so good to the weak, diseased, hurting, hungry, and thirsty sheep and they flock to it, hoping the “grass is greener” hoping they will get healed, delivered, fed, and watered, only to arrive and be met with those horns as the “home” sheep  continue in their own self survival. Then the little lambs are in even worse shape because now they are in a foreign pasture left to the side to die and wondering what they did wrong. They didn’t do anything to deserve this treatment. God explains it all for exactly what it is.

This is why the accountability will also be for all those who had been driven away by cruel shepherds, and no one has looked for or cared for these wounded sheep. They have been left, lost in the wilderness, to be prey for wolves and devoured by the beasts. 

Something to ponder as we continue to look for the day of the Lord, pray and weep in humility and correct those things that we can, never turn away His sheep, love and nurture them. Jesus IS THE SHEPHERD and we will all give account to Him.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2016