Saturday, February 19, 2011

The first love and the imbalance

When I got freed and then was baptized in the Holy Spirit, a great love for souls was born within me. There was a transformation inside of me, I was in awe at what God was doing in my life. I was so marveled that I had an imbalance.

At 13 years old, before knowing the Lord Jesus, I had problems in school and stopped studying twice. And then the imbalance came this time of always wanting to be at the church helping and I stopped studying once again. I wanted to be in church every day. In that time I was part of the youth group. I evangelized, cleaned, participated of the services... I even took my backpack with food to eat, this was my first love.

Only now do I understand that I didn't do the right thing. I ended up giving a bad testimony to my family back then. Even now, I have dificulties just because I stopped studying. I know that it's really important to be in that faith, the first love, but we need to have a balance. This is also necessary for those who want to serve God on the altar. I have dealt with this imbalance and its revolting! I've been in the USA 3 years and had to learn spanish when i first got here... I have to confess - it was very difficult. I had a lot of trouble learning this new language.

The worst part for me was when we had meetings and people came up to me for counseling, back then we didn't have many assistants, and several times the people came to me crying and I understood nothing. It was very frustrating for me, those were horrible moments. I felt like nothing because I couldn't speak or understand them. But with struggles and perseverance I learned. I still regret having stopped studying in that time though. Now I am learning english, because in this moment I'm involved with the youth group.

There are days I feel like I'm going crazy... studying, struggling to learn, and also sacrificing half of my day to go to school. Sometimes I feel like quitting, those thoughts come "you have so many things to do in the church and you're here in school wasting time." I then remember the reason why I have to understand the youth, I need to help them. And once again I'm in this situation.

If I didn't have this imbalance in the past, I wouldn't have to be, at 27 years of age, in school. And the worst thing is knowing that the work of God needs women and men of God that know another language. Sometimes we have a church and no one who speaks the main language. That's why we need to have a balance. If you have the desire to do the work of God, don't limit yourself. As of now as a youth, assistant, etc, finish your schooling, try to learn as much as possible because in the future it will be really useful. This as well is doing the work of God.

God wants to use us in an extraordinary way... But we cannot limit ourselves. Take advantage of the opportunites now so that you won't regret it later.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The lost coin

My name is Elaine. I’m an assistant in the body of workers for the Lord, and I would like to share a little of what recently happened in my life.

From the moment I became an assistant, I served God in fear and with much dedication, but a few years ago, I began losing myself in His work and at home. Problems began to surge in my family and my financial life, causing me much embarrassment as an assistant. Due to this, I began looking at my problems more than trusting in God. That’s how it started and I allowed doubt to settle in my heart.
It's exactly how we’re taught in church: "If you’ve conquered everything by faith, you can lose it all by doubting."

I allowed evil thoughts to invade my mind and eventually they took over. I started thinking that I didn’t have the Holy Spirit and that’s when my mind became totally contaminated. I accepted the impure thoughts that ran through my mind. I, someone who always had a pure heart and mind, began having horrible thoughts. Thoughts of everything in this world and beyond that were far from the discipline of God raced through my mind, like thoughts of promiscuity, homosexuality, doubts about campaigns of faith and much more.

I hadn’t done anything wrong. I actually didn’t want things to be the way they were. Deep within myself I loathed all of these things but I was like an erupting volcano. I was confused and didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t find a way out (the thought of death passed through my mind several times) because I allowed myself to be contaminated and my "outer woman” became corrupt. I was unable to overcome those thoughts that dominated me and I could no longer put on my uniform. My heart was in terrible pain, all I did was cry. I couldn’t handle the daily torment of so many awful and impure thoughts. When I tried praying, getting up from that spiritual weakness and starting over, I was unable to. I felt accused, overwhelmed and found myself unable to react.
I was like the parable of the lost coin (Luke 15:8). I didn’t leave God’s Work and I hadn’t committed any sins, but I was confused to the point of considering giving everything up.

At this point all that was left for me to do was seek out the bishop of my church for help. I couldn’t take it anymore. The day I went to ask for help, I was willing to do anything to raise myself back up. I didn’t think about my losing my uniform, I didn’t think about the embarrassment I would have to face, I didn’t think about how many years I had been an assistant; I just opened my heart. The bishop, like a father, was used by God to guide me.

Through him, I learned that there are battles which we must overcome on our own, but there are others that, when we are unable to overcome them on our own, we must ask for help, confess and trust in the men of God that are on the altar.

We may appear to lose everything; have to give up a title in the church and have people treat us differently, but we must never allow ourselves to lose our SALVATION, up until the end.

Assistant Elaine
Posted by: Bishop Edir Macedo

Friday, February 11, 2011

Departure from God

Have you recently stopped to think how your life is doing? Things you did before are now part of the past. Do you remember the times when you were so dedicated? You were tired from work but still ran to church only because you were pleased in serving God. In the end all the tiredness went away because God was there sustaining your spirit. But, with time many things change...

A job comes up, the long awaited promotion, an opportunity to take extra classes, and even Mr. Right shows up. That's great, its all you've always wanted. But, are you being thankful to God who gave you all that? Or have you let those things take the first place in your life? There are so many things to do that we end up forgetting about God. He's the one who took us from the world, forgave our sins and was there when we had no one else. With so many things to do we start seperating ourselves from God and start to think that some things don't really mean anything... Like listening to wordly rap or rock songs, a relationship with less restrictions, or even going out with old worldy friends. "That isn't bad, everyone does it..." or so you think.

How strange, you go to church Wednesdays and Sundays, maybe even making a chain of prayer... but things aren't like they used to be. You're not seeing any results. But, that isn't God's fault. God warns us in His word, "So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." (Luke 14:33) That is, if you want to follow Jesus, you need to give up the wordly things. Without realizing it you didn't go back into the world, but the world ended up turning into you!

All the fellowship you once had, all that commitment you once had for the work of God is no longer part of you. The essence of the "first love" is no longer inside of you. You didn't even notice, the anointing you had diminished... and you became weaker.

Nobody falls one second to the next. Can you remember where it all began? Perhaps you can remember your encounter with God but not your departure, can you?

When we fall like this, we've gone too far. Your prayer goes no further than the ceiling and your prayers no longer bring tears of repentance or joy when worshipping God. Could it be that you've become a "conformed Christian"? Can it be that where you work or go to school at, people still see you as a man or woman of God? If God wouldn't be pleased with your response, then friend, God is speaking to you today!

God chose us and knows our flaws yet, He loves us. God was crucified on the cross so that all our sins would be forgiven and so His mercy would shine in all this. You can be a member, assistant, Pastor's wife and if you recognize you need help then, come running to the arms of God!

Admit your wrongs and ask for forgiveness. Be sincere and humble before God. Ask Him to help you start again. Pick your head up, you ARE important to God! So now, seek your RE-ENCOUNTER with God, he won't reject your forgivness prayers.

"I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him." (Luke 15:18-20)

Caroline Oliveira

Monday, February 7, 2011

Where has your heart been?

This week I heard a Sunday meeting by Bishop Macedo and this spoke very strongly to me, opening my eyes.... The message that God revealed through His servant was really strong. I would like to share with you what God spoke to me.

The bible says that the heart is deceiving, knowing this, we need to be extra careful so that our heart doesn't deceive us. The heart appears to know and be sure of this or that, it makes you feel, have a desire for that which he 'says' is right for you, it gives you anxiety that makes you fight for the so called love of your life that your heart showed you. Then you start praying, fasting, sacrificing (even though your reason tells you this isn't the right way), but you have confidence in your heart. Hence, you use your faith, you know that faith has power to move mountains... but are you sure its God's will?

Now listen... God allows you to receive the answer in response to your faith but did you (as a servant) try and find out if it was God's will?

This not only applies in our love life but in all aspects (this is awareness for all of us!). Many have used the power of faith but they have forgotten to ask if its really the will of God... it's then that you see many people getting married and then divorcing... Many converting and losing their salvation... all because, they followed their heart and didn't ask God whether it was His will or not.

If we have decided to be God's servants so then, we need to OBEY GOD and DISOBEY our heart (flesh). If its otherwise, then, you are following your heart, you are no longer serving God but YOURSELF. Sooner or later, YOURSELF is going to win.

There are many people losing their salvation for following their heart (flesh). People out there are interested in having Jesus serve them and not in being servants for Him. They are running after the wind. Now I ask you... Where is your heart??? If your heart is at the center of God's will then your expiration date is eternal.

When we are servants of God, our focus is in the center of His will, in pleasing Him, OUR dreams are HIS dreams. If you please God... He'll give you things beyond your dreams, in double portions, He will do this in your life. When I desire the desires of God, He is pleased in giving me the desires of my heart.

He who is wise takes care of his salvation and doesn't risk it no matter what the heart tries to convince him of... He will always obey his Lord.

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires." (Psalm 37:04)

"A servant that has the same characteristics as God does not only do His work, but overall, His will."