I have been reading through the books of the Old Testament prophets as the Holy Spirit has been leading me. Today, while I was reading the Book or Amos, the Holy Spirit burned within me while I was reading Amos 5:20-24.
Amos 5:20-24 reads: At God’s coming we face a hard reality, not fantasy – a black cloud with no silver lining. “I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with you religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you want what I want? I want justice – oceans of it. I want fairness – rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.
As I read these word’s I felt convicted in my spirit. While it is true that money is necessary to do anything in this world, and to run a ministry, it should never be our focus.
I felt the Holy Spirit not only telling me to stop seeing ministry as a business, but to tell others to stop seeing it that way as well. Ministry is a calling, not a business!
Yahweh is clearly telling us that He is sick and tired of the fund-raising schemes and gimmicks a lot of ministries use.
We’ve all seen those commercials where a certain ministry is selling “miracle spring water” promising prosperity to anyone who drinks it and follows the instructions that come with it. Or the donation matching fund-raising drive weeks a lot of ministries have every year.
The first mentioned gimmick rips people off of their hard earned money. These ministries are clearly of the evil one! They prey on the needs of the weak and desperate. The hold large conventions and conferences in order to make money and charge ridiculous prices for people to attend. Their motivation is to make money for themselves and to make a name for themselves. They showboat and make a theatrical performance of proclaiming the Gospel. They cause the Kingdom of God to be mocked. These ministries and people need to be avoided at all costs! And Yahweh is about to expose them for what they really are!
Yahweh says of these people (ministries) and to the world: “Woe to you who turn justice to vinegar and stomp righteousness into the mud. Do you realize where you are? You’re in a cosmos star-flung with constellations by God, A world God wakes up each morning and puts to bed each night. God dips water from the ocean and gives the land a drink. God, God-revealed, does all this. And He can destroy it as easily as make it. He can turn this vast wonder into a total waste. People hate this kind of talk. Raw truth is never popular.
But here it is bluntly spoken: Because you roughshod over the poor and take the bread right out of their mouths, You’re never going to move into the luxury homes you have built. You’re never going to drink wine from the expensive vineyards you’ve planted. I know precisely the extent of your violations, the enormity of your sins. Appalling! You bully right-living people, talking bribes right and left and kicking the poor when they are down. Justice is a lost cause. Evil is epidemic, Decent people throw up their hands. Protest and rebuke are useless, a waste of breath. Amos 5:6-13
As it is written: test every spirit that speaks. And flee every appearance of evil.
But the more insidious danger is seeing our own ministry as a business and running it like one. And trying to run it like the world would run a business. This danger sneaks up on you and catches you unaware. It takes well meaning, Spirit-filled, anointed and called people who truly want to do the will of Yahweh and share the Gospel with as many people as the Lord allows them to and distracts them from their mission and ministry.
It causes them to lose focus on what really matters, our relationship with Jesus Christ and serving and helping others and starting focusing on numbers (people in attendance, etc), how much money you’re making, etc.
Yahweh is saying that He is sick of all the meaningless conferences, conventions, church services, worship songs that are just empty emotional fluff. He’s had His fill of out cutesy slogans and empty symbolic imagery. For example: How many people (especially famous people) wear the cross as an empty fashion statement?
He wants us to have substance. He wants us to worship Him is Spirit and in truth from the depths of our hearts in our own words and in our own unique way. As it is written, The Father seeks those who worship Him is Spirit and in truth. For the Father is Spirit and they that worship Him, must worship him in Spirit and in truth.
In Amos 5;14-15, it says “Seek good and not evil – and live! You talk about God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies, being your best friend. Well, live like it, and maybe it will happen. Hate evil and love good, than work it out in the public square. Maybe God, the God-of-the-Angel-Armies. will notice your remnant and be gracious.
Now Yahweh is not saying that we can earn our salvation through works. He is telling us that He wants us to act like Sons of God, not like little babies or like the people of this world. He want to see the proof in the pudding. He want to be able to show us off to the world. Like He did Job. We read in Job that Yahweh said to Satan “Have you considered Job? There is none like him in all the world.”
Yahweh wants to be able to say the same of us to the world. But how can He if our focus is on ourselves and how to make money or how to fill seats?
Yahweh commands us to do things the opposite of how the world does them. As it is written, “you have heard how the rulers of this world lord it over them. Not so with you. For whoever wants to be greatest among you must be the slave (servant) of all.
Yahweh told me through the Holy Spirit, that if I would just teach and prophecy, than He will take care of the rest. And He is saying the same thing to all the churches and ministries. To all His Children.
So, as Yahweh says in the beginning scripture, when was the last time you sang to Yahweh from your own heart in your own words? When was then last time you approached Him with the simple faith of a little child and just thanked Him for being your Daddy and for Him loving you even when you didn’t love yourself – even while you were His enemy?
As it is written, whoever does not enter the Kingdom of God like a little child, will by no means enter it. And over and over in scripture, God warns us not to lose or to return to our first love.
After all, how are we truly going to be used of Yahweh to lead other to Christ or even to help them if we don’t have a intimate relationship with Him ourselves?
Is it not written, Seek first the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness and the rest of these things will be added onto you?
Right before that it’s written, “Do not worry about what you will wear or what you will eat. Do not the pagans seek after these things? Consider the birds of the air, they don’t toil or reap, but you Heavenly Father feeds them, consider the lilies of the field, which are today and tomorrow are thrown into the oven, if God so clothes them, won’t He clothe you oh you of little faith?”
It is also written, “What does it profit a man (person) if he gains the whole world but loses (forfeits) his own soul? And what would a man (person) give in exchange for his soul?
I’ll leave you with this warning from Amos 5:6: So seek God and live! You don’t want to end up with nothing to show for your life but a pile of ashes, a house burned to the ground. For God will send just such a fire, and the firefighters will show up too late. Raw truth is never popular.
Let he who has an ear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches, Ministries and all His people, small and great! And let the world listen and take note as well. Amen!