STIRRING UP THE WATERS

 

  

 

My Brothers and Sisters,

 

I greet you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with love and encouragement.  Let us continue to grow closer to the Lord and walk in His Light.  I offer you these words to strengthen and unite the Body of Christ; that we may continue in discipleship, servants of our Lord, and ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.

 

Throughout the Bible it speaks of many things being stirred up.  Why did the waters at the Pool of Bethesda have to be stirred up (John 5)?  Couldn’t God have just performed miracles in calm water?  Why do spiritual gifts need to be stirred up? There has to be a “stirring up” in order for transformation to take place.  God wants us to see that something is about to happen; something is about to change.  It’s like stirring up ingredients to make a cake batter that will be transformed into a cake.   

 

Why have people through the ages danced around and around the fire? They believed they were stirring up something inside of themselves and something in the spiritual world. There has to be a stirring up to agitate; to shake things loose; and to free you from the physical; to transform the physical to the spiritual. 

 

God often sent His prophets to start this “stirring up.”  But, what were the people doing when the prophet was prophesying, praying and stirring up?  How did they feel about the prophet?  How did they feel about the prophecy?  At that time, did they even consider it prophecy?  Did everyone respect the prophets? 

 

Prophets have a dual purpose—they cut (root out) and they heal.  Their purpose is to bring the people back to God.  Most of the time the people aren’t aware or don’t care that they have strayed away from God.  So, stirring up must take place; troubling the waters to make the people aware that God is not pleased and things are about to change.  Repent and be healed or God will chastise you first.  God has shown us over and over again how He operates, but it still comes as a surprise to Believers.  They still react the same way God’s people reacted long ago, when He stirs things up—they respond with denial, accusations, hurt, rebellion, and outrage.

 

Jesus stirred things up to free us from bondage.  Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Hosea, Ezekiel, David and the rest of the prophets stirred things up; shook things to help the people break free from bondage.  They were called liars, mad men, hypocrites and everything else, but a child of God.

 

God had to toughen them up so they wouldn’t run and hide.  God had to toughen them up by changing the way they walked and talked; by changing the way they ate and dressed.  They had to get to the point where they weren’t worried about people believing them.  It wasn’t about them.  It was about God.  They couldn’t keep their mouths shut when they saw unrighteousness and ungodliness.  They told the people to listen to God, not man.  They had to focus on what God wanted them to do.

 

They knew it wasn’t about having a nice conversation with the people to explain where they were going wrong and where God wanted to take them.  Most people wouldn’t have listened to them.  God built them a different way to be His instrument; to dance His way and stir things up.  Some people think this is not needed today.  We have Jesus to follow.  However, people have not changed.  This is why Jesus continues to send messengers—His way.    

 

Long ago, people set traps for the prophets and tried to prove they weren’t men and women of God.  “See there, they are acting out of self.  They just want to see what they can get out of this.  They’re not trying to help you.  Their word is not from God.  They are no better than you or I.  They are false prophets…unhealthy prophets!”  God’s people hardened their hearts against them and tried to prove them wrong.  Yes, people hated to see them coming because they knew they had come to stir things up.

 

People say they want the gifts to be stirred up, but they forget that the gifts belong to God.  God determines what is said and what is done and how it is done.  Now, we Believers create false prophets.  We create in our own minds what a prophet should be.  We want nice words spoken to us.  We don’t want our toes stepped on because “OUCH!” it hurts.  Don’t ask a true prophet to pray if you don’t want to hear the truth, because the Holy Ghost will start stirring up and bust loose.  Then, the word of God will come forth like a sword to cut through the hardened heart.

 

We Believers have gotten so thin skinned we can’t take anything and God can’t change us.  We run to the safety of our house where we’re comfortable with our surroundings; where we’ve created our own image of God and how to worship Him.  We don’t want God to stir up the waters; it’s too uncomfortable; too radical; it doesn’t fit within our scheme of things and how we want to worship our God.  This is self and this is what caused and continues to cause division within the Body of Christ and proliferation of darkness.

 

When Believers invite God to change their lives and the lives of others, God has to stir things up.  As always, He starts in-house first.  He stirs things up inside His temple.  As Believers, we are His temple.  He gets things cleaned up inside of us and empowers us to empower others.  Our house must reflect the image of Him, so, transformation--demolition and reconstruction must take place.  We have to know what God’s image is.

 

I cannot have a house, where in my house; I put only the things that reflect who I am and what I know.  When people come to my house, I tell them everything about what’s in my house and what I know; so, that when they come to my house they will conform to what is in my house and what I know.  I want things to go by the book I have compiled through my life experience.

 

I have a God and I tell people everything about my God through everything that is in my house and what I know about worshiping my God; so, that when they come to my house, they will conform to what I know about my God and worship my God like me.  I want them to worship by the book I have compiled through my life experience.  I believe I am following my God’s book, but the experience of relationship and worship has to conform to what is in my house and what I know.

 

I find fault when others can’t or won’t conform to my house rules.  I say that it must be because they practice religion; they’re still of the world; it’s because of their race, gender, culture or intellect. Perhaps they have insecurities, sins, jealousy, hatred, arrogance or mental illness.  The word ‘conform’ should give us some clue to the basis of our thinking.  Being a Believer is about a ‘relationship’ between God and one another.  There is no struggle in being one, but a celebration of a relationship of variety and harmony; a relationship that exists through the love, grace and mercy of God; not through any mutual respect that man can create for himself.  When we are One, we come to know and love God for all that He is.

 

Believers must have a heart to see God and to see God in others.  There is only one God and He is a God of many different houses that He made for many people who are very different from you, because He is showing you who He is.  If we are to worship Him and become like Him we must know who He is.  He says, this is me, in all colors, sizes, shapes, races, and cultures.  You can see me if your heart is not hardened.   

 

Now, you say, why should it matter that I want people to do things my way?  Who is it hurting as long as we’re worshiping the same God?  It is such a trivial thing.  There is nothing wrong with the way I worship my God and after all, it is my house.  People shouldn’t be so caught up in self and differences. 

 

Ah, but it was your God who took the time to make those differences so that people wouldn’t be so caught up in self and differences.  God said I will be who and what I will be.  “I Am.”  If we come out of self, we can truly learn about I Am; for He is a God of many differences, but yet the same.

 

If we allow ourselves to experience God in the many different ways He manifests Himself; then we learn to become One.  We don’t see things as being so different, trivial, incomprehensible, nonsense, and uncomfortable for us.  We don’t see people as being so foreign and alien.  We don’t look at their ways as being inferior to our ways; so, our ways must take precedent over theirs.  If we truly believe there is one Holy Spirit in us all, then we can not alienate His Holy Spirit in others.

 

My brothers and sisters, when we ask God to change us or change the world to conform to His image, what image are we referring too?  The image we see in ourselves?  The image we create of God?  Are we trying to transform others into our image, full of the same prejudices and insecurities that made us that way?  God can not send us to free others until we have been freed.  He can’t make others around us into His image until we have been made into His image.

 

Vulnerability produces feelings.  When we talk about vulnerability--an opening up of our feelings; what and who are we opening up to?  We open up not only to share with others, but to invite God in to transform those feelings.  There are feelings, prejudices and insecurities we may not even realize that we have.  But, we must examine those feelings which have surfaced from being stirred up to allow God to transform us.

 

 

Father, help us to see with Your eyes to see You in our brother.  Help us to see You in the many ways You have made us; in the many ways we celebrate You and our love for You.    Father, help us to be truly vulnerable; to see beyond ourselves and what we believe is right.  Help us to be pliable, moldable; able to bend to Your will and not ours, Lord. 

 

There are so many ways in which we create division and darkness and we are blinded to them.  Heal us Lord.  Stir us up to bring the dross to the top and remove it Lord. 

 

Make us wholly Thine.  Father, we say we hunger for holiness, but we fight growing up.  We don’t admit when we are wrong and see that there is another way.  But, Father, You are patient with us, yet, firm.   Take us through what we must go through to open our hearts and give us ears to hear.  Forgive us for the harm we have done to others, Lord, in trying to alienate them and conform them to our image and not Your image. 

 

Father, we know that there will be hurt.  We know that there will be pain. We know that there will be anger, denial and accusations. Yet, we know You will be with us through it all.  As always, You allow it for our benefit, because of Your love for us.  “Open the eyes of our heart, Lord.  Open the eyes of our heart.  We want to see You.  We want to see You.”

 

Most merciful Father, who holds our hearts; who alone is worthy of all praise, glory and honor; thank you for loving us so much.  Thank you for opening our eyes to those things that separate us from You and keep us from being One.  Thank you for helping us speak boldly, in love, as we should.  Heal us, Lord.  Have Your Way.  Amen

 

Through the grace and mercy of God,

 

Your servant,

mishael