We are all walking on a road of sanctification. The longer I continue on my journey, the more the Holy Spirit impresses the importance of “wisdom” to me. We must be alert and open to the leading of the Holy Spirit at all times.
Yeshua taught us that we speak from the abundance of our hearts (Matt.12:34). We read the Word of God, we preach to one another, we glory in our own accomplishments for the Kingdom of God, we boast in the fact that we “know the hour we are in” – but still there is a tongue inside of our mouths that holds the seeds of rebellion; and that is manipulated by the antichrist spirit in this very “last hour” that we boast about.
The antichrist spirit is already loose and busy fighting us; and in the areas where we are not fully surrendered to God, it will manifest through us. Then we just become slaves again to Satan with a “Christian” tag around our necks. The challenge is not speak the right kind of religious words before people, or to give the right amount of money to charity – no, the challenge is for your inner room. Those intimate places when your family and kids, and the people you work with, see you with your mask off – when the real you comes out.
Have you noticed how people can sometimes seem totally “holy” the one moment, just to rant and rave the next? I’m not trying to point any fingers when I say this, I’m talking about all of us.
I was standing in the reception area of a business the other day when I heard how the owner was screaming at one of his employees in the back room. He didn’t know that I was a bit early for our meeting. I came to pray for the business of this “man of God” that is currently going through a slump, but I quickly discerned why he was struggling: because he was living a double life. His tongue is full of the poison of rebellion and nobody knows it except his family and the people working for him. He didn’t know I was early, and ever so friendly he invited me into his office when he came out to meet me in the foyer. Immediately he started talking about deep spiritual things with me, and he told me about all the great things he was busy doing for the kingdom of God. I stared at him in disbelief, and wondered to myself when we will realize that we can’t lie to God about who we are.
In the last days Satan will cause this rebellion to manifest at its maximum level through the spirit of the antichrist – and some of it through the mouths of “Christians”. In 1 Samuel 15:23 it says that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Ask yourself the question: Is the spirit of witchcraft operating through your tongue?
The Lord reminded me of a letter I received from someone in America some time ago, and it broke my heart. I fondly thought of her as beautiful woman I met on one of my previous trips to the States. In her testimonial letter, this woman told us about how she was diagnosed with cancer in the tongue, and that a part of her tongue had to be cut out to keep the cancer from spreading. Throughout her suffering, she knew the Lord was busy walking with her on a road of sanctification – and it could clearly be seen by the words that came from her mouth.
Most believers are not careful about the words that come out of their mouths. How quickly do we use our words to judge others? Even without knowing anything about their lives, we give sentence over them through our words, and the seeds of doubt we sow about them to the ones listening to our slander. Every word we speak is like a rocket being launched. Afterwards you might feel regret about the words you said, but by then it is too late – the damage is already done. Satan uses our words like arrows of fire against those we judge. Your tongue is an instrument of Satan if it is not surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. Is your tongue under the control of the Holy Spirit, or under the control of Satan?
Doesn’t it strike you as weird that we play into Satan’s hands so often? I stand amazed at Christians who gossip, slander and judge other Christians, all the while sitting beneath the banner of “the blood of Christ”. It is astonishing how quickly we can justify ourselves – “but we said it under the blood, Retah?!” No thank you, I don’t want any part of that! How do you know what really goes on in another person’s life? Have you walked in their shoes, and gone through what they have had to endure? Maybe I’m so passionate about this because I have had to endure so many of these “fiery arrows” of attack, slander and judgement just because other people didn’t understand what we had to go through. Wisdom often reminds me through Aldo’s letters how much pain these evil words can cause, and that we must protect ourselves in the spirit from it.
Be careful about the rockets you send off – because once you’ve launched them, they are in the air and can’t be called back. Yeshua says in Matthew 12:36 that man will give account of every idle word we speak. That basically means that we will have to give an account of every careless word at the day of judgement. Rebellion is largely centred in the tongue, and the only way to conquer the spirit of rebellion is to come with the opposite spirit – to repent, and to be meek, gentle and humble. This means to be in submission to God, and to give Him praise and thanksgiving with our mouths rather than slandering our brothers and sisters. We need to use our words for good and not evil.
I want to draw your attention to these two scriptures that describe the “mouth” of the beast: Revelations 13:5-6: The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.
Daniel 7 (vs7): “After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.... (vs 11): “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.
The speech of the enemy will always be boastful. The spirit of rebellion in man is manifest in its fullness through our mouths – for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
How can we live two lives? How can we say that we love God whom we can’t see, but then we don’t love our brother whom we can see? We need to be transparent before God in order for us to overcome our giants.It is time for us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and to confess our sin. We need to face the truth, and allow God to set us free by His truth. We need to ask Yeshua to free us from the rebellion and pride that is rooted in our hearts. The realisation of how much weight our “idle” words carry caused me to be much quieter in conversations. We all need to put our hands in our own bosom and ask the Lord to show our hearts to us, and to heal us.
“Please help me Yeshua not to say things in the name of Christianity that hurt and slander others. Help me not to be opinionated and judgemental about someone I only know from the outside. Please Lord, help me!! I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of those hurtful words. Lord, I place my spirit, soul and body – and especially my tongue – on Your altar to be a living sacrifice to You. Let my life be a pleasant fragrance to You, and let Your holy fire burn out the unrighteousness in me that is still hiding in my heart, mind and tongue. Please wash my tongue with the blood of the Lamb. Amen and Amen”
At the McPherson Household, it looks like that movie chicken run! Tinus bought Josh a whole flock of guinea fowls, francolin’s and chickens. When I got home two weekends ago after my ministry trip, I found a big surprise waiting for me next to the kettle – a whole box of chicks! I wondered to myself what the chicks were doing in our house, and immediately called Josh to come and explain.
“Mom, these are the new members of our family!”
“What are we going to do with all these chickens?” I asked surprised.
“No Mom, they are not all chickens – there are guinea fowls and francolin’s in there too!”
“Josh, can’t we at least put them somewhere else where they won’t be in our way all the time.”
“No Mom, I know that you’ll look after them if the box is next to the kettle – ‘cause I know how much you love coffee!”
After he went to bed that Sunday evening I moved the box. During last week I worked from home most of the time. I’m busy writing on a new book, and I get more done at home. At the office there are just too many distractions – not that home is much better. One afternoon during last week Tinus and Josh decided to build a cage for the chicks in the garden. They built a cage on the only little piece of grass we have in the backyard. Every now and again I peeked out of my study’s window to see their progress in the garden below, and I wondered to myself if Josh and Tinus realized that we are living in a security estate, and not on a farm. It didn’t seem to bother them at all.
Later that afternoon Josh came into my room with a list of instructions for when he would be at school the next day. “Mom, when you feel it is getting colder outside you need to catch the chicks one by one and bring them back into the house. But before you put them into the box in the house, you need to give each one a kiss on the head. (At least by now the box has been moved from beside the kettle, to the bottom story of our house.)
“My goodness Josh – you must remember that I’m trying to get some work done.”
“Mom, please you need to stay home this whole week so that you can take care of my chicks.” (Photo: The chicks in their cage in our backyard.)
I nodded in agreement, and silently thought to myself that it couldn’t possibly be that bad! The next day I was busy writing, when I heard the soft sound of rain outside. After a while of going on with my typing, the Holy Spirit whispered into my heart: “the chicks!”
I jumped up and ran outside to find all the chicks heaped up in a corner and soaking wet. I tried catching them, but it sure wasn’t easy! And there definitely wasn’t time to give each one a kiss before putting them in the box.
Each day we had to repeat this exercise, and soon my “chick catching” techniques improved... until Moya (Josh’s beloved dog) decided to help us, and killed two of the little birds. When Josh got home it was a valley of tears, because Moya got spanked and two chicks were dead.
I grew up on a farm, so I knew that once a dog had bitten a chicken to death, it will lead to more trouble (because now the dog’s instincts will kick in, and it will try to kill more chicks), but I didn’t say anything to Josh.
Tinus fixed up the cage outside nicely to try and keep Moya out, but when we went to count birds again on Sunday we saw that two more were missing. We heard a loud yell coming from the other side, and it was Chans and Josh calling for help! Moya killed two more birds...and there were lots and lots of tears! Josh was overwhelmed by the death of four of his chicks, while at the same time struggling to forgive Moya for what she did.
After Moya received her spanking she ran off down the street, and Josh called to me: “Mom, please go and find Moya and tell her I’m not mad at her.” I there I went, running down the street looking for our dog – oh, what a parent wouldn’t do for a child!
I know that my Abba feels just like this about me too – even more so. Later that evening Josh was still lying in my arms crying, while I was trying to comfort him and dry his tears.
“Josh, death is part of life. All of us suffer loss at one time or another. Nothing is ever permanent. Just look at what happened to us... our accident taught us that we can’t trust in ourselves, but that we must only look to God. Why don’t you give all your little chicks into Yeshua’s hands, and trust Him for their lives.”
Eventually he fell asleep in my arms, and while he was sleeping I prayed for God to engulf his hurting hear with His peace.
This morning Tinus came home with a larger net to fix up the cage, so that Moya won’t be able to jump over it.
“Tinus, you’ll remember that you can’t turn our yard into a farm won’t you?”
“Yes, Retah – the chicks just have to live here until they are bit bigger and stronger. Then I’ll take them to the factory. I have built a nice big cage for them – they’ll love it there! But Josh loves it so much to look after them; we can’t take them away now.”
I could only shake my head and laugh, because the whole McPherson family was busy with the chicken run – not only Josh. Each one of us gets a turn to go and check that the chicks are okay; it’s only Aldo that we try to keep away, because he doesn’t know how strong he is.
Our neighbours have to hear Aldo call over the balcony every day: “Birdies, this is a blessed house – even you are blessed with Deuteronomy 28!”
I asked the kids last night what they would like to eat, and Josh said: “anything but chicken Mom!”
“Oh Josh, but these little chicks would make excellent chicken nuggets!” I joked with him.
“No, Mom! You must speak life over them!”
What a pleasure it is to see Josh grow in maturity and responsibility. I had such a lovely weekend of rest with my family and the nuggets.
I bless you with a quiet and gentle spirit that is precious in Yeshua’s eyes. (1 Pet. 3:4)
Let’s live life to the full with peace in our hearts!
Retah and family.
Valentine's Day (14 Feb): Be nobody's valentine
I received this letter from a Christian institution, and I felt on my heart to share it with you:
Each year on February, 14th, millions of people celebrate a day known as “St. Valentine’s Day”. What is at the origin of this “day of love”?
The ancient Romans celebrated the sacred day of February, 14th, as “Lupercalia” or “day of the wolf.” On this day, which was later named Valentine’s Day, the Luperci (or priests of Lupercus) dressed in goatskins for a bloody ceremony. Women would sit all around the hill, and the priests would strike them with goatskin thongs to make them fertile. The young women would then gather in the city and their names were put in boxes. These “love notes” were called billets. The men of Rome would draw a billet, and the woman whose name was on it became his sexual lust partner with whom he would fornicate until the next Lupercalia or February 14th.
Thus, February 14th became a day on unbridled sexual lust. The color “red “was synonym to that day because of the blood. When the Catholic Church began to get a foothold in Rome around the 3rd century A.D., they continued to celebrate this day.
To write an anonymous letter to somebody, declaring your love or asking to be your Valentine, is not biblical. Let us start a new culture of celebrating love in a Godly way on February, 14th – and let us not conform to the traditions of the world, but rise above it.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).