For the past months, I have felt a grieving; a painful, deep sorrow coupled with a "sickened" spirit as I have observed prominent Christian leaders preaching out of what seems to be less than pure motives (money as a "key" to receiving miracles, healing, deliverance, for example). (I know, "what's new?"). In one instance, a certain well-known personality declared that God has given him the “secret” to deliverance from perverse and pervasive spirits of addiction. This man declared that he would divulge the secret to each person who would call the television station and pledge a certain amount of money for the next twelve months. As I listened, I thought, “Since when is God’s deliverance for sale?” I thought of people who have no money, who cannot possibly “pay” the required amount for their deliverance from addiction. I thought about God's Word, "Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price" (Is. 55:1). I thought about Simon the sorcerer, whom Peter warned, "May your silver be destroyed with you, because you thought the gift of God could be obtained with money!” Acts 8:20.

I am not opposed to financial blessing: However, the profusion of what appears to be an imitation of Hollywood-success-appearance among God’s ministers troubles my spirit.

Purpose-Driven or Spirit-led?

At the risk of offense and misunderstanding, I need to say that I believe we have it "upside down" in much of the teaching that fills the airwaves and hearts. We've become so fixated on being "Purpose-Driven" that we have neglected the biblical mandate to be Spirit-led. [For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God (Ro. 8:14)].

I am hearing as never before the "self-esteem" message being promoted, the "feel-good" message, the "I can do all things through a positive attitude" message all the while I have heard and felt the Spirit say "What about the cross? What about the pain? What about the cost? What about the price?" Whole portions of the Western Church appear to be sliding head-long into a "Cross-less Christianity" that offends no one, least of all the devil.

I hear the Spirit saying, "It's about the cross. It's about the price He paid, it's about the horror He experienced - the costly, costly, costly act of love and compassion He exhibited on that cross.

WHERE IS THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS? Where is the truth of the passion of My Son? Where is the "crucifying of self?" Where is the death of ego and pride and passion and earthly, earthy desire? Where is the laying down of your life? Where is the picking up of the cross? Where is the bearing about in your body the marks of a price paid?"

"In this hour, many will be deceived. Many will look here and there and will be confused and frustrated because to slake their spiritual thirst they look to wells that have been dug by men and not by God. To satisfy their hunger they look to fields planted by men and not by God. So they will drink the putrid, death-infested waters of the flesh and they will eat that which does not satisfy. Oh, if only the cross would be lifted up again in this hour. Oh, if only My people would return to Me, I would heal them and forgive them and release them with My fire and with My power and with My anointing."

The Bible speaks of a coming "falling away." If we would open our eyes, we would see that falling away even in the sanctuaries, in the church halls, in the pulpits, in the very places that cry "religion" and cry "freedom" and in the places where mouths are opened to praise and to worship, but self-promotion and fleshy pride are the motives instead of broken and contrite spirits.

I am not judging anyone. I am no judge. I am merely a man. I am filled with blackness and evil without His grace and His mercy. The only thing within me that is of any value or of any good is of Him. Without His mercy and grace I would be utterly cast away. How could I ever judge another human? Yet I hear the Spirit clearly. I tremble as I tell you HE IS CALLING US (ALL) TO HIMSELF. He will not have us chasing false gods - ADULTERY! FORNICATION! Making our beds with the comfortable and the easy, giving ourselves to the acceptable and that which pleases the flesh. Neglecting the poor and the aged and the widow and the orphan while living at ease and squandering His blessings. AWAY! Cast off these false idols as we would cast off a coat that has been soiled with stinking, putrefying dead flesh and He will forgive, heal, fill, empower, enable us to become beyond what we ever imagined, dreamed or hoped.

I have heard over and over in the past days, "We have learned our lessons from Katrina. We are ready for Rita." Would that we should learn our lessons from the pain He has allowed that we might avoid the pain that must come as He shakes everything that can be shaken!

We did not learn our lessons after 911. We have not learned our lessons after Hurricane Katrina. We have heaved a collective sigh of relief that Rita did comparatively little damage. We think we've escaped, but there is no escape without repentance.

This is what the LORD says: "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16).

In His Amazing Grace,


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