1. When you seek man’s applause, you fear man more than God.
In Acts 4:34-37, we see that everyone had all things in common and there was not one that was needy among them. Contrast that with Ananias and Saphira. They wanted to look good in front of others and so they conspired to basically lie. They thought they could get away with it.
I found a commentary called What Does Matthew 6:3 Mean? from bibleref.com which reads in part, “This statement in no way contradicts Jesus’ recent command to ×let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works.`, since Jesus is speaking of two different motivations. Good works ought to be visible and public if and when that publicity primarily serves to ×give glory to your Father, who is in heaven.` Doing such that others believe God is good is righteous. Going good such that others think we are good is arrogance.”
The word dismay in the latter part of this verse is rendered “make you foolish,” in the New Living Translation.
2. It’s All About Intimacy.
How many times do we sin, thinking that because we look good to man, we must look good to God? Or how many times do we make excuses for our sin? I am reminded of the story of Achan who was stoned to death for keeping back certain goods that were set apart for destruction. I feel strongly in my spirit that the Lord this year is going to begin to put an end to seeker-sensitive Christianity (the act of worrying about what others think as opposed to what God thinks) and we will begin to be Holy Spirit-sensitive again in our Churches. The Lord has reminded me of a prophetic word I received on April 30, 2019. Here is what I wrote in my journal:
When I woke up, I heard the Lord say, “Get ready for My Kabad glory to come down not only in your Church services, but also in your families.”
In her book, Glory Carriers: How To Host His Presence Every day, Jennifer Eivaz writes, “In this chapter, we will look at another aspect of glory, the kabad glory or ×heavy∘ glory of God.” She also writes, “God’s glory can also manifest in a heavy way. The priests were unable to stand because the heavy glory of God filled the temple . . ., and in a negative sense, God’s hand was heavy against the people of Ekron.”
As I write this, I feel like the Lord is saying, “My Kabad Glory was present in the early days of the Church.” We don’t want to be on the “bad side” so to speak, of the glory of God by not fearing Him.
Even I battle this a lot. Due to excitement, I talk about my sermons both during the preparation and after I teach them, sometimes saying, “What did you think about this,” or “that?” and the Lord is saying here, “My beloved, the only thing you ought to be rejoicing over is that your name is written in heaven because this is the real source of your authority.” Paul wrote that he only boasted in his weakness and in the cross of Christ. Therefore, we should too and not our accomplishments; for it is the Lord who does them through us.
The Lord whatever you declare or decree has to be first shown you by heaven; for Jesus even said, “I don’t do anything that I don’t see my Father doing and I don’t say anything that I hear my Father saying,” and He knew the Word perfectly. He was the Word made flesh. How much more important is it for us to do the same. It’s all about intimacy with the Lord. When someone was in tune with the Holy Spirit, someone who may be trying to hide sin from that person will not be able to.
3. A Paradigm of the Judgment of God
In the Endorsements section of Judgment on the House of God: Cleansing and Glory are Coming, Corey Russell defines the judgment of God this way. He writes, “The word judgment provokes so many thoughts, emotions, and ideas. In its most simple definition, God’s judgment is His active making of wrong things right. When God judges, He removes all the things that hinder love in our hearts, in our churches, so that He can have greater intimacy and compatibility with us.” There is so much more that I’d like to point out that is potent for us to consider, but based on this definition and based on things I’ve been hearing both from the Lord and through His servants, I believe the Lord is showing me that He is judging His Church so that He can have a spotless bride to return to.
4. Testing the Spirit of the Lord
Notice how the chapter starts with abiding in the shadow of God Most High. There are teachings who ask a good question: Who says how intimate we need to be order to be in the secret place? To that, I want to answer with my testimony. I used to do everything in the flesh before I began the process of my deliverance, starting with breaking generational curses with Pastor Mickey and then going through inner healing from a friend I met through Dr. Larson’s ministry. I won’t get into the minute details of my testimony, but suffice it to say, everything has been easier for lack of better words—not that it’s like a piece of cake but it’s not as hard as it used to be. When I get into worship, I can literally feel the presence of God. We don’t walk by sight but just like in our earthly relationships, we like to feel a connection to God. Therefore, I believe this is the intimacy the Psalmist is talking about.
There was a guy in our Do What Jesus Did meetings who said something like, “I have a gun and the angels of the Lord to protect me so I’m covered.” In other words, when you don’t take extra precautions to keep your belongings safe, you are testing God. It is the job of the angels to encamp around us and keep us safe, but Jesus did tell His disciples to buy a sword.
I don’t know the full story but there was a big Church in South Korea. I think it was 5 girls that went there and one day, it was raining. They were unable to cross the river, and so one of them thought of the Scripture where Jesus walked on water, so they said such to the others: “Jesus and Pepeter walked on water! We can too!” And they all said, “Hallelujah!” They tried it and drowned. Later on, the church found each of these girls’ bodies spread about in the river, dead.
5. Being Good Bereans
One of the signs of a cult is when the followers are made to parrot the teachings of the cult. To illustrate what it means to be a good berean, the Lord reminded me of a dream I wrote about on September 21, 2020. I wrote, “Last night, I had a dream that I was watching Sid Roth’s It’s Supernatural! and a certain man speaking whose name was not made known to me and he was discussing a time when the Lord would pick out for Himself a people who are not following any particular teacher or movement, but will stay in the Word and ask the Holy Spirit as to the interpretation of the Scriptures. He also talked about deep repentance occuring during this time.”
We must learn to stop reading the Scriptures with the filters of what movement we have learned from but with the filter of, “Lord, what is on Your heart.” If something confuses us, we can consult a commentary or whatever, but we must ask the Lord for His heart on it; for He after all is the author of the Scriptures and Jesus said of the Spirit, “He will lead you into all truth.”
You ought to in every sermon including this one look into the Scriptures for yourself and pray concerning what was said. Do not just take it at face value. Here is the curse breaking prayer that we will pray in the video/podcast: