Today, the ordained minister in me is coming to the forefront. I would like to discuss character and eternity. Oftentimes, we read the scripture John 10:28-30 “…And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one…” we get excited. We use it as a base to declare that once you’re saved, you’re always saved. That no one will be able to take you from the Father. When we make his declaration, it is indeed a true statement. Whatever God gives Jesus, He is able to keep it. BUT… we have the ability, because God has given us free will, to willfully choose to walk out of the Father’s hand. Our actions and sometimes words, scream at God saying… “I DON”T WANT TO BE HERE ANYMORE!” After much intervention, God will allow you to walk away from His grace. But because he loves you so, He is still committed to the relationship, and will continue to “woo” you back. Scripture says, He is married to the backslider.
When we say to someone, just get saved, and neglect to inform them that something is now required of them concerning their life. We do them a grave injustice. You can no longer live anyway you desire to live. Acting on every impulse and whim. There has to be a separation, because a holy tasking has been placed on your life from the Father Himself. In His word He says, “Be ye holy for I am holy”. We have to tell the new convert, the rest of the story.
You cannot not put your hand to the plow and look back. You cannot allow the cost of fame to be the reason you give up your eternal inheritance. Esau sold his birthright inheritance to his brother, Jacob, for a pot of beans (Genesis 25:24-34). Everything and everyone associated with you is affected when you sell out. We have superstars who reported sell their souls to the devil for fame. Yesterday, we were barely aware they existed. They were average singers and dancers at best. However, because they kept a date made by the devil, they became an overnight sensation. And furthermore, some of them openly admit to giving themselves over to these seducing spirits just before they walk on stage to perform.
But you say, hold up preacher girl… I thought you said once saved always saved? Well… Hebrews chapter ten paints an enlightening picture.
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
So here we see that, just as you are given the grace to come to God. That same grace also extends you the option to leave. You make a decision that you are going to leave God when you sell your soul out for fame and fortune.
You know the scenarios:
…I’ve got this invention. I’ve been sitting on it and it’s going nowhere. Doors are shutting in my face. I know it will change lives. However, I can’t make any headway. Don’t they know that if I had the money I wouldn’t be asking for it…
…I’ve got this song on my heart. I’ve been singing my heart out, just trying to get noticed. I’m barely getting by. Ends are not meeting and I find myself without. Living in the land of lack. I know I’m a good singer. I’m better than half the people that have record deals. Most of them can barely even carry a tune, yet they are superstars. People are flocking at their feet just wanting to get a touch from them, and they are millionaires. They are on the big screen, in movies and now they are even writing books…
…There was a book burning in my heart. I wrote it, published it and its just sitting there on the digital shelf. It’s not moving and no one is buying it. Meanwhile, people with less substance in their book that can easily be classified as literary porn, in the same genre as mine, are flying by me. They have six figure incomes…
…I know I’m a dynamic speaker and no one is asking me to come speak at their conferences. The ones I attend, the audience is excited about a preacher in the pulpit prophe-lying to them and they are mostly just full of fluff, with no real revelation or anointing…
We find ourselves screaming, really… what gives with that GOD!
The truth of the matter is, most people get caught up with superstars and covet their lives. The fame is addictive. However, what’s not considered or understood is, that some of them got to where they are with a heavy price. One too expensive, evasion and explosive to control! They start out with the ability to walk in and out of the character (spirit invasion) at will. But as time goes on, the real person is lost behind the stardom and the spirit, screaming for someone to “please help them to escape.” Most often, people are oblivious to spiritual warfare and haven’t a clue that what they see, are two entities in operation. They chalked the behavior up to being the person’s true nature, and are fascinated all the same with their lifestyle. We most slow down, and process God’s hand designed destiny and path for each of us to go through to get our promised prize. He desires for us to have these things. But obediently walking His road, means taking on an easy burden and light yoke.
I’m an Atlanta native, but I remember growing up, my siblings and I would most often, spend our summers in LaGrange, Georgia. My Cousin, Gina Adams, and I were at the time, the youngest two cousins. My younger cousin Chantriss, because she had a different father from Gina, rarely spent time at my Nanny (Zula Adams) and PaPa’s (Clarence Adams) house. Anyway, I remember that my grandmother always made everything from scratch. If she baked a pound cake (my mouth is watering now just remembering this… haha) it was always from scratch. Even the caramel icing was made from scratch. She hardly ever bought anything from the store. If we wanted hamburgers, we didn’t go to local restaurants. Our Nanny pulled out the ground beef and cast iron skillet and went to work. I remember we always yearned for the pre-made processed burgers from the local fast food restaurants. Now that I’ve gotten older. I realize that although food was nowhere near the level of being processed with the additives thirty years ago than nowadays. When we desired to get away from home grown organic foods, what we were actually craving was sickness, disease and death. Stay with me… I’m going somewhere.
My cousin Gina and I, being the youngest, were would often have to sleep on the floor underneath the dining room table. I remember thinking how huge that table was. We would pretend to be in a fortress or throw the sheets over the top and let our imaginations take us on a camping trip. When my grandmother passed away and my sister inherited the table, I was amused at the fact that it was much smaller than I remembered. I guess when you’re five years old or so, everything is huge. When we were deemed worthy enough to sleep in one of the beds, lol. We would always get the infamous pin cushion bed. You know… the one your grandmother stuffed with strips of cloth, so the springs wouldn’t cut you in the middle of the night. You had to stay in a certain position for most of the night. And when you did move around, you felt your way through the process for any uncovered springs. We would lay there for hours laughing about being in the pin cushion bed. I don’t ever remember being angry that the older siblings got the better beds.
What does this have to do with the subject you might add? Well, the point is, I wouldn’t give up or change these memories for anything. I wouldn’t sell how I grew up for any amount of fame. Think about this. When you sell yourself out to the enemy for fame, drugs, alcohol, etc. You don’t just sell yourself, you sell the memories that your loves one experienced along with you. You sell everything out. Because everything about your life changes. The family members and friends that grew up with you will never see you the same, and the lifestyle your forefathers sacrificed and worked diligently to direct you toward, is severely damaged and trampled upon. Others may envy your fame and fortune, but your spirit is dead. When you sell your soul out to get ahead in life, you’re inadvertently seeking after sickness, disease and death. There is nothing you will ever do, that effects just you. There are always casualties of war. Whether you see or acknowledge them or not.
We have to control our strong appetites of desperation and selfishness when it comes to coveting fame and fortune, so that we don’t cross the lines of grace to achieve them. We want people to flock to come see us; and stand in long lines just to get an autograph, glimpse, conversation or picture with us. All these things in themselves are not the problem. The problem is the price by which we obtained them, and our attitudes once we get there. I feel that sometimes as ministers, we have forgotten that our job is to go ye into all the nations preaching the gospel. When we do it God’s way, and in His timing, the fame and fortune are achieved and your character is still intact when you arrive. I often tell my husband. I want to be a silent millionaire. I want to be that anonymous person who gives and meets the needs of others without them ever knowing I was there. If you can’t handle fame and fortune, don’t seek it, because it will take over you.
Let’s balance this, because I don’t want you to assume that I am implying that you are not designed to be prosperous, because you are. Dogmatic preachers will use the same scenarios I stated above to convince others that they should remain poor and underprivileged. The bible clearly denotes that Christians should be the wealthiest people on the planet.
Just to name a few scriptures on the matter:
Deuteronomy 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
3Jn 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Deuteronomy 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
Deuteronomy 28:3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
Deuteronomy 28:4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
Deuteronomy 28:5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.
Deuteronomy 28:6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
Deuteronomy 28:7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways.
Deuteronomy 28:8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Deuteronomy 28:9 The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways.
Deuteronomy 28:10 And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.
Deuteronomy 28:11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
Deuteronomy 28:12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.
Deuteronomy 28:13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
Deuteronomy 28:14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
These scriptures do not denote living a life of lack in anyway. God designed you to have and gain wealth. Just don’t allow things and wealth have you. Let us not covet the creature, but the creator Himself. When he seek Him first and His righteousness, as it says in the books of Mathew and Luke, all these things will be added unto us. God forbid we allow material gains to control us to the point that we seek after them, willing to do anything. To include selling our souls, to acquire them. We must always remain humble at His feet, supping with Him for divine instruction in all matters.
If I sell my soul out for my book series “The Other Side of Through” to be a number one best seller. Then yes, I’ve gotten there, but at what cost? Heaven and hell are both eternal. I would rather please God and only sell a few, than to sell millions and miss His eternal presence. I know that the books I have been instructed to write, although they are fiction, ministers to those that read them on a nonfiction level. They are not just a good read, they are an experience. The characters fiction lives are people’s reality. If the fame never comes and the only ones helped are but a few. Then those few are reward enough. However, God knows my desires and I have delighted myself in him.
I receive emails on numerous occasions explaining how the books ministered to various areas on reader’s lives. So I know, although I have not sold thousands yet, much less millions, they are indeed fulfilling the mission and purpose God designed for them. I know, according to God’s promise. I will get to the millions, but I cannot bypass the process. Oftentimes, the devil will come along and offer you something in order to deceive you into bypassing the process. The same way he tempted Jesus in the wilderness and Eve in the garden. His whole design in offering Jesus the kingdom as they sat on that high pinnacle was to get him to bypass the cross. Jesus understanding that he had to regain power in the earth and redeem mankind the legal way, resisted and responded with God’s holy word. It’s like Jesus was saying, “Nah… dude. I came for the cross, and the cross it shall be.” The enemy deceived Eve by getting her to focus on the one thing she couldn’t have (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), thereby forgetting they had the run and privilege of the entire garden, with all its food and riches.
There is nothing new under the sun. If he tempted Jesus to sell out (Which we are most grateful He loves us and sent a resounding NO to the enemy), he will tempt you to sell out. Never mind the fact that God’s word clearly states that wealth is already yours. It wasn’t so much about getting Jesus to serve him, as it was for getting Jesus to bypass the cross to serve him. He does us the same way. He tempts us to bypass the process; the wilderness; the place where we are scheduled to be tried, tested, and proven. And, where our characters will be sharpened and anointing gained, to go straight to the fame.
Are you willing to gracefully allow someone else to pass by you, and help them with their vision while yours seemingly sits idle on the shelf? But, I’m here to tell you this. When you’re about the Fathers business, nothing sits idle in your life. Even when things appear to be standing still, God is ever moving! Endure the process. So that once you arrive, you have enough character to remain there. Some of the things we ask for, at that time we ask for them, our character cannot handle them. We would be in trouble eternally if God gave us everything we asked for at the precise moment we asked for it. Your waiting time, is your proving time!
There is a generation coming after you that has their eyes on you right now. You are someone’s reality TV show. What message are you going to send? What legacy of wisdom will you leave them? How will your actions teach them to live? The youth learn more from what you do rather than what you say. A wise pastor of mine of New Zion Christian fellowship in Killeen Texas, Bishop Gilbert Grace, would always quote, “People can’t hear what you are saying, if what you are doing is too loud.” Is your life screaming out obscenities that are contrary to the word of God, while your lips are whispering gospel truths? If the life that I live says holy. Then when I speak, my mouth has no choice but to follow! In secret, is when your character counts the most. So don’t sell out… go through the process!