God Doesn't Have To Do Anything
By Billie Marie Zal
If we love the Body of Christ, we want knowledge. And we want Truth. And I fear that there is a tremendous “mixture” of Truth and error in the Body today.
For example, we hear so much about “the law of prosperity.” That is, if Christians know just what to do and how to tune in to the Scriptures, then God MUST bless financially. God doesn’t have to do anything. He is God. He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning of beginnings and the End of the end. He is infinite, merciful, complete within Himself. He inhabits eternity. He, with a Word, created the heavens and the earth. He kills and He makes alive. He loves and He hates. He builds and He destroys. He has the right. He is God.
Therefore, we cannot demand from Him that He make us prosperous. If we could, I would be one of the richest believers on earth because I have, for all the years of my pilgrimage, kept His precepts and obeyed His Word. But I dare not go to Him and demand that He make me prosperous.
For one thing, how do I know what prosperity would do to my soul? I have observed through the years how wealth makes people less dependent upon God and sometimes haughty and proud. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Who can know it, but God?
In the book of Jeremiah God gives us a pretty good picture of what He thinks of our present day idolatry, for He says, “How shall I pardon thee for this? Thy children have forsaken me; and sworn by them that are no gods; when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses. They were like fed horses in the morning; everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife. Shall I not punish for these things? saith the Lord; and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?” (Jeremiah 5, 7-9)
Then God goes on to say that His prophets have become wind. And He continues: “As a cage is full of birds, so is their houses full of deceit; therefore they are become great and grown rich. They are grown fat; they shine. Yea, they pass over the deeds of the wicked; they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless; yet they prosper, and the right of the needy do they not judge.” (verses 27-28)
And then comes the most poignant Word of all: “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end of it all?” (verse 31)
From the foregoing verses of God’s Word it does appear that deceit brings riches. Riches bring pride and the poor and needy go unnoticed. Not only the world, but the Church has bowed to the god of this world - money! And though we live in an age of grace, God’s judgment is sure. For in the book of Revelations God warns the Church concerning riches. He tells this Church, the last of the Age, that because they have increased in riches and “have need of nothing” they are lukewarm
and He will spew them out of His mouth. If they want His favor, they must suffer. “Buy of Me gold tried in the fire . . . “ That means before a Church can be favored of God it’s body members must suffer. It hurts to be “tried by fire.” And who today wants to suffer?
We go further into the error of “making God do something” when we refuse to leave our loved ones to Him in the matter of salvation. The child who is disobedient must, in time, pay for the disobedience, especially if the parents have been faithful in bringing the child up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” I have heard pastors and evangelists preach that God MUST save our house, according to the Scripture verse spoken to the Philippian jailer where Paul had been delivered by an angel - “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31)
The jailer, believing that Paul and the other prisoners had escaped, drew his sword and intended to kill himself, but Paul restrained him, assuring him that they were all there. Then the jailer asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And Paul replied with the above words. Immediately Paul spoke to them all the words of God and they responded by washing the wounds of the men who had been their prisoners, and Paul baptized them all.
Of course we must pray and believe that those of our household will be saved. In the case of the Philippian jailer, the groundwork was laid by the Holy Spirit for them to see a miracle of deliverance, the loving forgiveness of God, and the “staying power” of those who are persecuted. His house was ready to receive the good news of the Gospel.
But this is not always the case. I am reminded of Absalom, the son of King David, who was a rebel all of his young life. He was a manipulator of men. He slew his brothers; he stole the hearts of the men of Israel; he conspired to do evil.
Now here we have a young man who had every opportunity to know God, for doesn’t God call King David “a man after mine own heart?” David had sinned; but God had forgiven him. And in spite of Absalom’s rebellion, David time and again, carried his son in his heart and prayed for him. He never gave up loving that son. But God, in His justice, eventually slew Absalom. I personally do not expect to meet Absalom in Heaven, but it is only my opinion. I do know the grief and sorrow that filled David’s heart as he realized that his son was dead and had died in sin. If anyone could have projected his son into the kingdom of God, David surely is the man.
It simply did not happen. Why, we must ask? Because for whatever reason God designed His ways with men, and He made one rule for Himself: He would not violate man’s free will. We have choices. We can listen or not listen. We can rebel or not rebel. We can risk hell, or we can fear God and begin to receive “godly sorrow that works repentance.” So, nobody saves anyone. It is the right (the Sovereign right) of our God to save, and in this case Absalom was not saved.
And Judas, the betrayer. In a sense, he was “in Jesus’ house” as Jesus walked this earth. He belonged and observed the wonder of God manifested in the flesh. He saw miracles of healing, supply, forgiveness, and Love such as was never before manifested on the earth. Yet he was lost. I often wonder why, after he was filled with remorse about selling Jesus out, he was not saved. Wasn’t this evidence of his repentance? No! Instead of choosing to identify with Jesus Christ on the Cross, he killed himself. One last rebellious act of playing God, for suicide is murder.
In my personal history with Christ, I have lost some for whom I had prayed and believed with
all my heart. I know what it is to carry that grief. But we can overcome even such grief if we remember that it is God who gives life and it is God who gives godly sorrow and it is God who saves. We can rest in that knowledge and go on. Jesus said, “Other sheep have I.” I have no intention of quitting because some of those whom I bore in Christ have rebelled and turned away. If I suffer (and I do), then I suffer. But I suffer on behalf of Christ Jesus who Himself bore their sins in His Body on the Tree. Jesus died in their place. I didn’t.
These are just two of the areas of Christian teaching where we could be misled if we do not know the whole Word of God. We are told that we must vow a vow and pay it; then we will receive the money, or the job, or the car, of the home that we want. God does not work that way. We would be forcing Him to do something. And He doesn’t have to do anything.
Again, we are told that if we “visualize” a certain amount of money coming to us, and command that money to come, it will come because we are speaking as gods. That was satan’s first attack on mankind. He told Eve that if she would disobey God, she would become a little god. He was right. She became a god unto herself, brought Adam into the web of disobedience, and lost eternal life. Satan brings us promises and never mentions the consequences of our acting out what he tells us to do. I personally find it impossible to believe that “visualizing” is anything less than a form of occultism. I do not want to make things happen. If God doesn’t make a thing happen, then baloney to it.
We are also told that success is a sign of whether or not we are “blessed” of God. I cannot find that promise in the Word. I looked up the word once in the Scripture verse, “Then thou shalt have good success” and the meaning was, SPIRITUAL understanding. Mankind, being what we are, grab on to the hope that we can be “big” and then people will know that we have made it.
God’s Word is diametrically opposed to this concept. In a few instances God made certain individuals wealthy and placed them in control of a nation in order to save His people. But more often than not, the saints who loved Him as He deserves to be loved suffered persecution, abandonment, rejection, and eventually execution. If you study the Apostle Paul’s Gospel you will never be deceived by the lies perpetuated by satanic interpretations today. And God will glorify Himself in you.
One more area where we are told that god MUST do something is in the matter of healing. We have only to look to the Scriptures to see that sometimes God permits illnesses and blindness and deafness in order to glorify Himself. In those cases, He entrusted the individuals with these afflictions so that at the right moment, His power would manifest who He is and they would be healed. But not all are healed. I was ill for many years with such pain that I cannot describe; but through it all, I learned to get up, smile, “anoint myself with oil,” and praise God. And in one swift moment in the night, He healed me.
You might wonder, did I love God more AFTER He healed me? NO WAY! Healing was part of what He had in mind for me. I committed my life to Him from the day that He revealed that wondrous Word to me: “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me. And the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Like Job, I put my hand upon my mouth and repented in sack cloth and ashes for the many affronts to the God of all creation. I deserve nothing, and if in His eternal plan for my life, I receive the gift of healing, or financial supply, or friendship, or see the
salvation of those for whom I have prayed for so many years, then that, too, is alright. He is God. Besides Him, there is no other.
He is enough. I sometimes am grieved because so many of those to whom I have ministered faithfully to through my publications have never seen our need here. A lovely Christian writer told me not so long ago that the Church has bowed to that thing that all the world bows to - money. And if I had a “huge following” my work would most certainly be published. I felt honored to know that I stand in the shadow of that Cross that Jesus said we must bear if we are to be HIS disciples and “learn of Him.” I have no huge following. But again, I have Him. Or rather, HE HAS ME. He is well aware of the needs here on the mountain that He created and He gave to us. By His grace, and for His glory and honor alone, we will keep this mountain, this witness, this land, “till He comes.”
From the March, 1992 Wingspread
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Well, we made it through 2008 and another year is before us. And aren’t we blessed to have a God of many second chances? Speaking for myself, I have needed every one of those chances. After putting us through four years of uncertainty the IRS finally came to a conclusion and an amount that they feel our corporation owes. It is over double the amount we feel we should have to pay, but that is beside the point because we have exhausted all appeals. They gave us until January 5th to come up with the money.
God had mercy on us because we were able to borrow from the bank most of what we owe. This has broken us financially, but not spiritually. God knows what He’s doing, and it could have been even worse. We won’t be able to do a lot of the things we use to do, but we’re still here, and we still plan to minister thru the newsletters and personal letters like we’ve always done. And with that, let’s move on to some more positive news:
Brian is doing really well with his recovery. He’s been working 4 or 5 hours a day now for over two weeks. Rodney drives him to and from work because Brian is still confined to a wheelchair, but he’s getting stronger and in early February he will be able to start putting weight on the leg again. He’s making good progress.
And Eddie seems to be doing better, as well. The Veterans Administration sends a nurse out to see him several times a week, as well as a therapist. So he’s getting good care. Shirley is a little under the weather today with flu-like symptoms, which is unusual for her, because she never seems to be sick. But for the most part her and Eddie are doing well.
We received many Christmas cards this year, and we were amazed by everyone’s creativity and resourcefulness. We know that cards are hard to come by in prison, so we appreciated them even more knowing that some of you had to make a real sacrifice to do this. Thanks to everyone! They were some of the nicest cards we’ve ever received.
As we start 2009 we should not be looking back on all the trials and tribulations of last year, or worrying about what lies ahead. Instead, look at how God brought you thru those situations, and count your blessings that He did. All of us here wish you all a happy new year!
Prayer Requests for January, 2009
For Anthony Grayson at Fallsburg, New York, who is working on a new appeal.
For Ed Ewing, Tulare, California, who is 87 years old. He is having a lot of complications from diabetes.
For Ken Hogan, Death Row at McAlester, Oklahoma, who is having problems with high blood sugar.
For Frank Williams, Jr. who is on death row at Grady, Arkansas, and for his Mother who is very ill and not expected to live much longer.
For Robert Heffernan, Grady, Arkansas, that he’ll be able to walk with his new forearm crutches, and that he’ll be able to walk on his own soon.
For Sister Ann & all the Carmelite Nuns in Little Rock.
For Pastor Melissa Scott and her ministry in Los Angeles.
For Willie Harper, Joliet, Illinois, who recently had stomach surgery to remove cancerous tumors, that he stays “cancer free.”
For Henry Buckaloo at Holdenville, Oklahoma, who is having problems with high blood pressure.
For Dennis Martin at Lexington, Oklahoma, who just found out that he has an enlarged heart.
For Willie Scott, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, for his health, and that he’ll remain cancer free.
For Robert Ross at Helena, Oklahoma, that he will hear from his family soon.
For Henry Buckaloo, Holdenville, Oklahoma, who is having problems lowering his high blood pressure.
For William McAllister at Danville, Illinois.
For Freddie Lee Lott, Galesburg, Illinois, that his cancer stays in remission.
For Marlin Resinger at McAlester, Oklahoma, who is trying to get an Interstate Compact transfer to Arkansas to be near his family.
For Cleveland Cook, Florence, Arizona, who has Hepatitis C, that the chemo he is taking will work.
For all of us at Wingspread.
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