Articles

THE DENIAL OF DARKNESS (A New Definition of Love)

The Denial of Darkness by Merrie Cardin

The Presence of God was strong in our gathering Sunday.  Now the thing about His Presence is that He hugs, He restores and heals and then – yes He convicts.  Conviction always draws us to Him while condemnation blocks our path to the throne of grace.  Therefore, I have learned to love conviction and the dance of repentance.

The Holy Spirit spoke to me, “Daughter, why do you hate and fear the words of your elected leaders?”  I answered Him honestly since He already knows.  That is who He is – the ONE who Knows and Sees.  I told the Lord that I do not listen and I even turn them off because they lie.

So, the One who NEVER lies said this, “You do not listen because there is a place inside you that gives their words more power than Mine.  I want you to listen with an ear to hear strategy and discernment and I will show you how to pray.”

Therefore, this morning as our President spoke at the summit in Turkey I decided I would listen.  I heard him speak of a mindset – an ideology – that would not judge anyone and there was a stream of wisdom in the words but a complete denial of darkness.  So, as he spoke he addressed our need to be compassionate, non-judgmental and kind, I heard a familiar ring —- wow, this sounds like much of the church.  You see, we need to be fearless with compassionate and also ruthless with evil. Love and freedom are not without cost.

Jesus was not in denial about sin and darkness and I would consider Him to be the very embodiment of compassion.  He talked about cutting off the hand that stumbles you and He said if we keep our lives for self then we lose it.  He spoke of dark times, dark acts and dark sin.  He said that those who follow Him would not walk in darkness.  He judged the religious structures and the civil structures.  He overturned tables where the religious leaders served money more than God.  (just fyi for the crowd who refuses to be politically engaged.  This was part of Israel’s political structure.)

Why are we so afraid to address evil?  Well, let us begin with our own hearts before we confront the structures outside the church?  I believe we have lost our way as we seek the true expression of love.  We have redefined the Love of Christ.  We have embraced the ideology of humanism or human-centeredness. Love expresses the grace of God while expressing grief towards sin.  His Love shares with compassion while refusing to embrace the idolatry of co-dependency.  He protected the woman in adultery from accusation while telling her to go sin no more.  He made a man whole while warning to remove sin “lest worse come upon you.”  Was He loving?  Yes!!  Was He judging? Yes!!

When David heard Goliath he was moved by both the love and judgment of God.  He walked into the midst of God’s people who were listening to Goliath and also being moved by the fearful words.  Their fear of Goliath’s words caused them to refuse to move.  His own brothers accused David of being prideful as he refused to deny the truth that Goliath taunted Yahweh Himself.  David loved God and judged blasphemy.  The church today is so very much like the army of Israel in that very valley of decision.  We refuse to see and address the “controversy” of blasphemy, evil, idolatry and sin.  What made Israel afraid of Goliath?  They were afraid of death, loss and defeat.  What are we afraid of?  We fear death to our reputation, loss of church members and truthfully we fear the words of the Goliaths out there more than we fear the Word of God.  I think the word we use is “tolerate”.

The army of Israel under Saul was forming their thoughts in alignment with the words of Goliath.  Remember that Saul eventually lost his place due to the fear of man.  The prophet Samuel addressed that fear as rebellion (witchcraft) and insubordination (idolatry).  We have our reasoning as we deny and refuse to confront our Goliath also.  We call it the separation of church and state or we cloak our refusal under the guise of a higher goal such as “winning souls”.  We refuse to offend people and so we wind up offending God.

So, I see that true Love never denies darkness.  True Love exposes darkness so that His Light can overcome darkness.  How can we expose darkness without being “judgmental”? We expose and judge as we allow His Love to grow bigger than our fear. We expose darkness because we love Father and people enough to risk making us all uncomfortable and maybe even sad or mad or……….perhaps even be judged by those refusing to see?  We expose darkness with Love because it is what we all came out of.  We expose darkness because it is the nature of the Light.

Revelations 12 says we overcome the real accuser (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, by the word of our testimony and by our conscience decision to love not our lives here even unto death.  The blood of Jesus is not politically correct.  His blood does not deny darkness but confronts darkness.  The lamb’s blood judged and confronted every demon in Egypt.  The blood of Jesus judges and confronts and judges every demon that holds people and captures their worship of God.  Could it be that the word of our testimony should point to the ruthless Love of the Lamb and His blood?  Could it be that His blood was given to set free our words that expose darkness and bring light?  Who has captured your words?  Religious political correctness?  Fear of man?  Humanistic goals of comfort?  Do we love our lives here on earth more than His Light?  Are we selfish?  There are so so many literally losing their lives as we form ideologies that do not align with Truth.

In short, there is only One source of Love.  God is Love.  The spirit of anti-Christ means against Christ but also it means “instead of” Christ.  There is a spirit moving both in the world and infiltrating the church that spreads a gospel of “instead of” Love.  It is a counterfeit love. This form of love will not stand in the baptism of fire nor will it be able to find its way in the threshing floor of Jesus’ passion to form a bride.  It will deny the fire and it will try to deny the reality of the threshing that separates wheat from chaff.  It will call the winnowing fork of Christ judgmental and out of touch.

This nation and many others are now reaping the results of ideology that denies evil.  In the political world this ideology is most often labeled progressivism.  The roots of it are in Darwinism (evolution/no Creator) and so there is no true evil.  There are only circumstances responsible for the sin of man.  In fact, this doctrine does not acknowledge sin.  It has polluted our thinking. Today I write with a prophetic passion because it has slipped into our Covenant love feast uninvited. It is now leading in our government and our colleges and media. Give this denial and this darkness no place in your heart or your mind.  Leave only room for His Light and Love.  He that is in us is greater!  His Kingdom is always increasing.  Let us move with His Kingdom and take the head of Goliath.

Moving in Awakening with you,

Merrie Cardin

A Call to Courage

“Then the Lord answered me and said: ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it'” Habakkuk 2:2

A Call to Courage
By Merrie Cardin

The LORD spoke to His prophets because their life was a life of prayer. He then often asked them to display with words and actions the decisions of the LORD’S word to them. Isaiah spent 3 years walking in his loin cloth to display what would happen to nations. (Isaiah 20:2-6) that Israel trusted in instead of Yahweh. I want to challenge the church of America – even if only a remnant. We must begin to consider our lives as lost to Christ, forsake our lust for comfort, and boldly face what kind of land we leave for our children. First we are called to pray.

It is courageous to pray and to obey in our time here in the nation. Let me say UP FRONT that there is nothing scarier to me than for God’s people to move without a word from the Lord. Any action or obedience that is not following a word from the Lord is obedience to something else. But I do believe we will see times of Spirit-led action in the near future. Our prayers and active obedience will not just be motivated by love of our nation. Please hear that COVENANT with God is generational and our motivation – our passion is generated by our hearts joined to see His Kingdom come to earth and His love for generations of those that will serve Him

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Christian living in America when he felt he must return to Germany as it was being overtaken by Hitler and Nazism. He was a man of prayer and he also died a martyr in prison. He said some beautiful things:

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” I do believe his prayers and even his death paved the way for Hitler’s defeat. He said, “The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.” He also stated, “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.” He also said that “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

I have always admired these two people who died for what was righteous and just- both honoring the law of love and insisting that God’s people never give in to hatred or false judgment.

Recently I met a Bible Church pastor who is a black man and was involved in our nation’s struggle for civil rights for the black race. He is a very bold man and for several reasons I am not going to name him but I want to quote him also. He said, “We have way too many evanjelly-fish. The minute he said this I could see many born-again floating around in an ocean called religion with no backbone what-so-ever. Why quote all these people who stood in times of national conflict? Because we stand in such a time!! For the sake of space I will not give you the many cases right now in our nation concerning decisions that attempt to hinder and stop Christianity from witnessing, from speaking up, from stating Biblical values. Other nations have already fallen to this due to the silence and powerless apathy of the church. I am speaking out because I firmly believe our prayers may need to be expressed in actions that demonstrate our refusal to leave our children a heritage of secular humanism and atheism.

I write this as a call to prepare your heart to resist fear-based comfortable unawareness leading to complacency. I write this as a cry from Father’s heart. I have never felt that politics or political parties can save a nation, although all should vote. We know that only God’s people have the place of authority to turn and heal a nation. Our biggest need in this hour is to know that following Jesus is not the same as being His disciple. (Luke 14:25-35) This is a call to become His disciples, to lose our life for Him, and to boldly resist when we are pressured to disobey His Word. Not one of our Christian forefathers affected this nation through fear, complacency, lies or comfort, but through not loving their lives even unto death (Rev 12:11) Am I talking protests? If directed by our Father for the future ability of our children to serve God with freedom, YES. Am I talking civil disobedience? If we are asked to do things that directly oppose what God is saying and has said in His Word – ABSOLUTELY. My greatest concern is that many are oblivious to our season lost in the ocean of the cares of this life, the busyness of the day and maybe even anesthetized with church programs.

This is for those who have ears to hear and the willingness to develop an unusual courage.

Calling All Priests to Worship, Calling all Kings to War

Calling All Priests to Worship, Calling all Kings to War
By Isaac Duke

The Lord of heaven and earth is asking His People today, “Don’t you know who you are?” Shake off the spirit of abdication Church! The Lord is restoring all that has been lost. Worship has become so many things in the church today: a warm-up act for the preaching, a church growth strategy, a feel-good get my spiritual “goosebumps” session, a power struggle over musical style and preference.
In Amos and in Acts the Lord promises that He will rebuild the Tabernacle of David. What does this mean? Well, who can know all the intentions of God’s heart, but we believe that part of this means that the Lord is restoring spiritual authority to the Church’s worship. David, the archetype of Christ “The Anointed One” typified all three anointings (Prophet, Priest, and King) of King Jesus, the “Son of David.” Consider the governmental decrees in Psalms 2, 24, and 148 (quite possibly written in the Tabernacle of David). Ephesians 3:10 declares that the Church (that’s us!) declares the wisdom of God to the powers and principalities in heavenly places. Now, we can’t begin to understand what all that means but we do know that when God’s people come together to worship, God sees it as powerful gathering of His sons and daughters and His kings and priests (Revelation 5:10).
Many of us have heard the scripture “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord” (Zechariah 4). This passage goes on to say “These two stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.” These “two” are Joshua (high priest) and Zerubabel (prince of Judah), who are types of kings and priests. Do you see yourself as God’s covenant partner standing beside Him in authority? Because that’s how He sees you!
We are not Baptists, Charismatics, Methodists, Pentecostals, and so on…..we are People of the Anointing. We are the Ecclesia (Church), the “representative, legislative government of God.” We are the Bride of Christ, and our love song is a war song! The Day of Pentecost, the Church’s Brithday, was Jesus’ Coronation Day. Just as Samuel poured the oil on David’s head to anoint him king, the Father poured out the oil of His Spirit on the whole world at Pentecost as though to say, “Earth, here is your King!”