Archive

Posts Tagged ‘life changes’

The Closet

The closet Jesus mentioned in Matthew 6 has fascinated me for many years. It is a word used only four times in the New Testament. There are two basic pictures presented by this word. One is a room in a private dwelling where one can go to be alone and meditate. Sometimes the householder would store his valuables in that secret place. The other usage refers to a storage room. In both cases the issue is privacy, treasure and security.

In Matthew 6 it is a place where one meets with the Father who IS in secret and who SEES in secret. And Father has promised to be present there when we come. Recently I realized that when anyone goes into this secret place to meet with Father, he or she is there with the community of God’s people. We may not be aware of their presence, and they may not be aware of their presence there, but since they are also “in Christ” they are also with our Father in his secret place. So my secret place and your secret place is actually the same place.

I suddenly saw that t this is the place of the unity of the Spirit Paul spoke of in Ephesians 4. It is actually the only place we can experience Father’s presence and the unity of the Spirit. It is the place where Jesus dwells in the Father and the Father dwells in him. It is the place where we abide in him and he abides in us. It is the place of the ultimate reconciliation of all things Paul speaks of in Colossians 1:20.

It is also the place through which the anointing of the Holy Spirit flows through us into the community. When the speaker or singer in actually in the Spirit (in the secret place) the gathered community will respond to the call of the Spirit and receive the message. Receiving the message and understanding the teaching are two different things. If you only understand, you only receive the academic side of the truth. If you receive the message by the Spirit, your life will change to reflect the truth. What we really desire is a changed life, not just more understanding.

What a privilege to be invited into that place to commune with him and to make our requests known and to listen for his response. The problem is that our culture does not train us to go there. Most of us don’t even know where that place is or how to get there. Some don’t even know it exists. Our culture is totally focused on the external world of business and pleasure, of weather and sports, of politics and religion. Christianity in this culture is divided because few ever go to the secret place.

Those who know about the secret place often think it is only a place to go occasionally to pray or relax. One can certainly relax and pray in that place, but there is so much more to it. It is also the place from which we speak and act in response to what Father is saying to us while we are there. This is where we are seated with him in heavenly places, the place from which we reign with him in victory over principalities and powers. When we speak from this place we call it anointing or charisma.

Jesus lived his life in this secret place. It was the place where he saw what Father was doing and heard what Father wanted to say. He often went to a private area to be alone, and sometimes took his disciples with him. But his time in this secret place was not limited to these times apart from the crowd. Even in his busy activity with people he was in that place with his Father and was able to receive from him in behalf of others. Our goal is to learn to live consciously in the secret place, not just occasionally visit. We are in Christ at all times. We only need to become more aware of our presence with him as we go about our day. Our lie will change radically if we spend more time there.

If you receive from these blogs, please share them with your friends. They can sign up to receive a notice when a new blog is posted. You should find a link on the top right of each blog where you can enter your email address.

Also understand that I do not have a salaried position with any church or organization. My income is totally from offerings to On Word Ministries. If what we do on the

Facebook Morning Meditations and on these blogs are of value, please consider a onetime offering or a monthly offering. It is your contributions that make it possible for us to continue doing what we do. Go to http://onword.org/donate.htm to give online or make checks payable to On Word Ministries, 106 Ashford Ct, Myrtle Beach, SC 29588. Thank you for your consideration.

Fount Shults
President, On Word Ministries, http://www.onword.org

The Spiritual Marketplace

01/01/2015 4 comments

Several people very close to me have said, “You sell yourself short. You make too many things available for free.” I’ve heard that many times through the years, and I heard it again last month.

My response is on several levels. First, Jesus’ said, “Freely you have received; freely give.” He also said it’s more blessed to gives than to receive. Jesus never asked for money, yet all his needs were met by those (mostly women) who followed his ministry. He actually believed what he taught about his Father who provides for sparrows being faithful to take care of men and women who are of much more value than sparrows. I also believe.

My second response is that my concern isn’t how much I can receive from the spiritual marketplace, but how much value I can bring to the table. I really believe my Father will take care of my financial needs simply because he loves me. His care for us isn’t tied to the value we bring to the marketplace. Yet, at the same time, I know he has given me much and I love sharing the insights he gives me without cost. For many years I have done short term mission work at my own expense.

My third response is that viewing life in this world in terms of the marketplace, judging everything by the “bottom line,” is like using the Temple as a place to buy and sell. Buying and selling as such is not the problem, but measuring everything by the “bottom line” is defiling the Temple and using those who come to the Temple to increase your own “bottom line.” This doesn’t reflect the glory of the God who gave his Son.

I seldom asked for finances up till now. For several years I sold audio teachings when I ministered in various churches. It definitely helped financially, and people were blessed to have them to listen to slowly and take notes. But I felt the Lord calling me to make the audio teachings available for free on my website. I began posting the teachings for a free download, or to listen online. You can go there now and listen online or download to your MP3 player.

Our understanding of life changes as we grow. I have a new understanding of finances now. Like every other missionary, I need finances to do what I do. Jesus needed finances to do what he did, but income was never his focus. He even allowed a thief to handle the offerings to his ministry. I refuse to make money my focus. Last year Father reminded me of a text, “You have not because you ask not.” So I began to ask for finances for travel expenses. The money for our trip to Africa came in within less than four weeks. Last summer all the finances for our trip to the Dominican Republic came in within about two weeks.

My focus in life is to the glorify our Father and to the honor those who value what he has given me to give to others. Now that our ministry is reaching out to many parts of the world, our financial need has increased while our availability to travel and minister in the States (where honorariums are available) has decreased. This puts us in a position where we simply must ask for finances to cover travel expenses as well as the cost of living.

The purpose of this blog is not to ask for finances, but to let you know why we will be requesting donations more often in the future than we have in the past. We request that you ask Father if he wants you to partner with us in the vision of touching the world with insights from his Word.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults, Academic Dean, N2NCU http://www.n2ncu.org
President, On Word Ministries, http://www.onword.org

Testimonies from Korea

05/04/2013 2 comments

Our experience in Korea this year was awesome, as usual. This year our translator was gracious enough to translate several testimonies that came in after we left. Here are a few.

The first testimony is from our teaching and ministry on Generational Iniquities.

“As Fount and Lynda were teaching, I realized I was experience the pain of my grandmother who had abandoned her family. I confessed the iniquities of my ancestors (Lev. 28:40) and forgave my father and my uncle who had caused me pain. After the school, I talked with my cousin about the situation and realized I was really free from this bitterness. I now have joy because of what God has done and courage to continue receiving from him.”

The second testimony is a result of our teaching on lies we believe because of a traumatic experience in childhood. These experiences often leave behind a belief (on the feeling level) that is contrary to the truth of who we are and what abilities we have.

“All my life I have believed I can’t do anything, that I’m ugly and would be better off dead. Today I confessed my sin of believing the lies and living as though they were true. I forgave the offender and myself and renounced the lies I had believed. Father God spoke to me, ‘You are free now; you have the victory and I am waiting for you with open arms.’ I am really free now.”

The third testimony came from our teaching on the emotional wounds we sustained in childhood abuse. We encourage people to connect with Jesus in the painful situation and allow him to bring healing.

“I had many wounds from my parents while growing up. I felt something very special when I forgave my parents. After ministry, I saw a picture of Jesus holding my hand saying, ‘I was there with you, and I will help you overcome.’ I told him I was not confident. He said, ‘I will be with you to bring you into fullness.’ I saw myself as a little girl in prison. When I forgave myself, the little girl was released.”

This final testimony is related to our teaching on Word Curses. When important others speak negative words against us, we often begin to think we are worthless and abandoned.

My father used to tease me while I was young. I felt lonely, afraid and rejected, like no one cared about me. While Fount and Lynda were praying for us, I realized my parents did the best they could with what they had. After I released my parents, our Father gave me a word, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine” (Isa. 43:1). Now I am free.

As usual, we encourage you to share this blog with others who might be encouraged through them. If they desire to be notified as new blogs are available, they can enter their email address above to the right.

Looking Forward,
Fount Shults
President and Founder
On Word Ministries
http://onword.org

Journey to Wholeness 1: Survivors and Victims

01/28/2013 2 comments

A survivor is one who has been through a difficult situation, a battle of one kind or another, but he or she is still standing when the dust settles. They came through the skirmish of victimization and were not taken out. But they did not win the battle either. In this valley many children learn survival skills. As children, they are no match for their victimizers in size or in fighting ability. They should be honored for their creativity and resiliency in surviving. Their survival skills can be very useful in adult life.

One problem is that our culture labels survivors as inferior or “troubled” people. But the truth is that they are often superior individuals who were creative enough to find a way to survive in very difficult situations. We dishonor them when we label them as abnormal. We fail to recognize their inner strength and stamina. In other words, the term “survivor” should be a medal of honor rather than a label.

Another problem is that these creative people often accept the label “survivor” as an identity statement, as a label. They receive this identity from the social workers (who themselves are often survivors) and from the caring profession in general. To BE a survivor is different from surviving. If you ARE a survivor, you cannot change; you just have to live with it. To survive is something one is able to do. Survival demonstrates strength of character and incredible fortitude. Behavior can change, but you can’t change who you ARE.

AA is a good example of the identity issue. It is a very good program for people who wrestle with alcoholism, but there is, in my opinion, one weakness in what they do. To be a part of this program you are required to stand up and identify yourself, “My name is Joe, and I AM an alcoholic.” If that is your identity, then you can never change. He can only continue to fight the battle which he can never win, and his self-esteem suffers in the process. If he could learn to think of himself as a wrestler, rather than an alcoholic, he would find another level of freedom in his life.

The same is true of survivors of victimization. As long as we think of ourselves as survivors, we continue to see ourselves as victims. Here again, to be victimized is not the same as BEING a victim. Victor Frankl was a Jewish psychiatrist held in Auschwitz at the end of the war. He did much more than survive; he learned much about human behavior and developed an ability to help others. He was victimized, but he was not a victim.

Jesus on the cross was victimized, but he was not a victim. “No one takes my life,” he said, “I lay it down on my own accord, that I may take it up again. In many circles today, Jesus would be considered co-dependent and dysfunctional. Those who, like him, put up with abuse without fighting back are labeled in this way. But Jesus was not a victim; he was not merely a survivor either. He was an overcomer. He actually won the battle as no one in history has ever done.

This does not mean that we should mindlessly submit to abuse as adults. I would never insist that a woman continue to live in the house with a wife abuser. But I would recommend she find a way to overcome her own sense of being a victim. We all need to find our identity in something other than what happens to us.

As time permits, I will continue this discussion in several other blogs. In future posts, you will learn some of my personal history and how I learned to go beyond survival. For now, if you find value in these blogs, please recommend them to a friend. You may forward this blog to them and suggest that they sign up to receive new blogs as they are available.

Looking forward,
Fount Shults
Founder and President
On Word Ministries
http://onword.org