They Killed the Man, not the Message!

The timeliness of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birth was an appointment predestined by God for his assignment in the earth.   Therefore, his growth and development into manhood, and his advanced matriculation in education were necessary to meet the urgency of mankind’s need to hear what God had to say and do for generations to come.

To the unenlightened Dr. King was just an intelligent man with great oratorical skills and a public platform.  Many honor him only for his fight against segregation and inequity in the Deep South.  For many, observance of the holiday simply means recognizing a great Civil Rights leader.  Yet, for some, he was a voice that condemned the ugliness of racism smeared in the faces of nonwhites and Jews.  To others he was the voice of greatness— an icon to the rise of “black power.” To the degenerates, he was a dangerous threat to the kingdom of darkness that must be annihilated.

However, I know for me; he was ‘the voice of the Lord’ back then, now, and in the future! It was the voice of the Lord back then because segregation and injustice were worn like badges of honor, and celebrated with pride. Although public segregation is no longer, Dr. King’s message is the voice of the Lord now because the seeds of segregation are still being harvested in soils of ignorance, and injustice is a mockery. We see it acted out in the judicial system like the characters in a Broadway production. We see crimes of injustice committed by law enforcement agents, who are the very ones sworn to uphold law and protect the citizens.

I was only sixteen years old when the news of his brutal assassination was announced at the small segregated school I attended in Louisiana.  To this day, I recall the emotional upheaval this news brought throughout the school as well our small community of underprivileged “coloreds.”  In particular, I remember my own emotional outbursts.  It was a ‘gut-wrenching’ queasiness I’d never felt before.  Perhaps, it was like that of receiving the news of my father’s death, if I’d had a relationship with him.

I believe the prophetic anointing within me (not yet recognized or released) grieved for a true prophetic voice silenced by a nation rebelling against God’s will for humanity, addicted to hatred and committing heinous acts of violence against its fellowman.  I didn’t know then, but I know now that the spirit of heaviness overshadowed me because the resounding affects of an audible voice inspired by the Holy Spirit would be silent forever.  This man was the voice of the Lord for all times!

I’ve read the history of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. several times.  But each year, it becomes clearer that this man was born for such a time, even as this.  His messages still echoes throughout the portals of time, and reminds us of the need for change—change that results in spiritually transformed hearts and minds—changed lives that conform to the standards of GOD ALMIGHTY, and attitudes that align with biblical principles.

His messages, his courage, and boldness to speak out against the ills of society were in alignment with righteousness.

Dr.KingatMicrophoneDr. King’s messages were focused on man’s greatest needs.   And 43 years later, the needs are still great— justice, equality, and peace. 

God created all men equal, in His image and His likeness. Yes, we have come a long way, but we still have a ways to go until we all come into the knowledge of God’s will concerning justice and equality for all men.  There are still too many subliminal messages, innuendos, jokes and jesters, which reveal the secrets of an evil heart overflowing with hatred. Therefore above all, man’s greatest need is a new heart.

Dr. King preached peace and nonviolence.  This message is relevant today because man longs for true love and spiritual peace. Wherever there is war and violence there can be no true love.  God is love!  Therefore, there’s an even greater need today—a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He preached peace because Christ paid the ultimate price for our peace—peace with God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  When men are not at peace with God, there can be no peace with his fellowman.  Consequently, wars, crimes and violence are inevitable in a depraved society.   But, there is hope because with God all things are possible.

In a message on Peace, in 1964, Dr. King said, “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.  This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant.”1

Dr. King understood that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Because Christ is our hope, he declared boldly and with tenacity, “Let freedom ring.”  He understood that freedom is the reward of knowing Truth.  Dr. King knew that when America embraces the Truth, we would be free at last.

He was confident in his mission and sincere in his message.  He was not intimidated by men to conform to their systems of injustice, ungodly beliefs, and immoral values.  He stood courageously in the face of opposition to deflect the darts of unrighteousness that penetrated the concrete walls of pride, hatred and selfishness. 

On nonconformity, in 1963, he said, “This hour in history needs a dedicated circle of transformed nonconformists.  Dangerous passions of pride, hatred and selfishness are enthroned in our lives; truth lies prostrate on the rugged hills of nameless Calvaries.  The saving of our world from pending doom will come, not through the complacent adjustment of the conforming majority, but through the creative maladjustment of a nonconforming minority.”2

Ultimately, Dr. King’s mountaintop experience afforded him a privilege few will have in their lifetime—to see the Promised Land.  Seeing the Promised Land gave him the assurance, confidence and hope that we all must live by daily—that God’s kingdom will come, and His will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

On April 3, 1968, Dr. King said, “Well, I don’t know what will happen now.  We’ve got some difficult days ahead.  But it doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop.  And I don’t mind.  Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place.  But I’m not concerned about that now.  I just want to do God’s will.  And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.  And I’ve looked over.  And I’ve seen the Promised Land.  I may not get there with you.  But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the Promised Land.  And I’m happy, tonight.  I’m not worried about anything.  I’m not fearing any man.  Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”3

I believe this spiritual encounter enabled Dr. King to release everything and everyone into the Master’s hand—his life, his family, his work, his country, and this world.  He had answered the call of God.  He had done the will of God. He had lifted up his voice like trumpet in Zion, and sacrificed all for the Master.  He had fought a good fight and finished his course.

He had presented his body as a living sacrifice time after time.  He was pressed on every side, and oftentimes felt forsaken; yet,   he did not conform to this world. Instead, he was transformed by the renewing of his mind.  He understood the good and acceptable and perfect will of God; therefore, he proclaimed it to the world without compromise.

Today, the greatest honor we can bestow upon this man of God would be to submit our lives to the will of God as he did; yield our members as instruments of righteousness for the Master’s use as he did—denying all for the Kingdom of God.

I ask, “Lord, will there be another voice that will take up the cause of Your Kingdom without expectation of human rewards?

Who will be the voice of the Lord?  Let it not be the voice of one man alone, but many that will be heard as one voice.

I pray that we, the body of Christ, be the voice of the Lord.  Though we are many members, let us declare as one, “I am the voice of the Lord.”

Copyright 2014 Queen E. F. Phillips. All rights reserved. NOT-FOR-PROFIT use only.  Credit must be given to copyright owner. Revised and republished.

A Colorful Reminder

The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.                                                     –Genesis 9:12-17 (CEV)

 

It’s good news to know that God keeps His promises. To this date, we bear witness to an eternal promise God made in Genesis 9:12-17.

After the flood, God made a promise to Noah that He would never again let the floodwaters destroy all life.  Yes, we’ve seen lots of devastation from flooding, but we survived storms.  The rainbow is a colorful reminder that we can depend on God’s promises. A rainbow is created by millions of rain-drops, each at a different angle and each reflecting a different color into the eye of the beholder.  God wants you to remember that if He makes a promise, you can depend on it, and He gives us a visible reminder.

You know the saying, seeing is believing?  It’s something about seeing a rainbow that changes your perspective.  I can recall a period in my life when I faced family, marital and financial challenges.  Whenever I would behold a rainbow in the sky, it gave me a sense of calm resolve that everything would be alright; that God was faithful and that I could trust His word.  This is a visible sign to serve as evidence that what God says, God does.  This beautiful array of colors scientifically explained is a truth that cannot be denied, and is upheld by the power of His word.

The photo in this article is real!  My dear friend suffered a great loss.  They had purchased tickets to visit family in Colorado, but plans were altered by the inevitable.  But amazingly, God gave them a “colorful reminder” that brought peace and comfort as they beheld the beautiful rainbows that hovered over their home for days. It reminded them of God’s promise for eternal life for all who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, and gave them the assurance that their love one was at peace.

With the state of affairs in society today— turmoil, evil, wickedness, distress, disaster, disappointments, broken hearts and lives—it’s a delight to meet the only Promise Maker that will never break His promise.

An excerpt from the book, “The Path to Promise: Moving Forward After Brokenness

Transition: Changing of the Guards

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.  —Joshua 1:5

English: Moses and Joshua Bearing the Law; ill...

As the New Year approaches, transitions are inevitable. God’s plans, from the foundation of the world, are in motion  for 2013.  Many will be impacted by those plans; but keep in mind, God’s plans for us are always for our good even though it may feel as if they aren’t because you don’t know all the details.  This is why you must trust His heart.

Feeling abandon is a real-life experience after the death of a leader, or someone you have worked closely with for many years.  My own experience gives insight into how Joshua may have felt after Moses’ death.  It was indeed a time of transition—CHANGE for purpose—moving forward.   God had appointed this time to move His people from forty years of wilderness wanderings to possess their inheritance.

Are you in transition?

Is it time to possess your promise?  

The Israelites’ transition would result in the promise made to Abraham long ago. Not only would this be a geographical move, but it would also mean psychological adjustment for Joshua and the people.

If we’re honest, we don’t always like the way God brings His purposes and promises to pass.

Usually transition is uncomfortable and puts us in unsettling and uncomfortable positions. As a result, we are forced to exercise another level of faith.  Transition should compel us to position ourselves in God’s presence to hear His voice for clear directions. Hearing the voice of the Lord is extremely critical during times of transition. We are more vulnerable emotionally, and susceptible to demonic assaults on the mind.  The fiery darts of the devil are hurled in the form of defeating thoughts and feelings of rejection, abandonment, discouragement, and the list can go on and on.   When death occurs it thrusts us into a time of transition that can be emotionally overwhelming.  It’s easy to lose focus on God’s perspective in transition.  We spend too much time reflecting on the process and analyzing the details surrounding every aspect of this whirlwind of change.  Consequently, we risk getting stuck in the present and worrying about the future instead of trusting God to move us forward.

Assisting the leader is one thing, but being the leader raises the level of responsibility and accountability to God.  Although Joshua had been there with Moses as his assistant, he didn’t have to make any decisions.  Moses had always been the one; he was the leader chosen by God.  It was Moses who gave instructions from God—“said what God said.”  Moses had dealt with the rebellious, stiff-necked people. He had been the object of their complaints and murmuring because they had become comfortable being in bondage and wanted to return. Moses had been the one to intercede on their behalf when God wanted to kill them all.

Now, everything that Joshua saw Moses deal with as the leader he would inherit. Would it be any easier for Joshua than for Moses?  After all, this was the second generation (Joshua 5:4). They didn’t have the “bondage” mindset; they had a “wilderness” mindset. This second generation hadn’t experienced the miraculous deliverance from Egypt.  They hadn’t walked across the Red Sea on dry land. They hadn’t witnessed the power of Moses’ rod.

Do you think it was easier for Joshua to lead this generation as Moses’ successor? No. It was not any easier.  Although it was another generation, the sinful nature of humanity remains in opposition to God’s law, then and now.

Man’s disobedience to God will always make leading people challenging (Joshua 7:1-11). There are good times and difficult times.

 Nevertheless, the challenge of transition in leadership affects not only the leader but also the people. They must adjust to a new leader and leadership style. Joshua had been faithful in assisting Moses. He had been prepared to lead the Israelites, and assumed his leadership role at 80 years young.  What we must remember is that transition is always about God’s plan, purpose, and promise. 

Joshua’s assignment is clearly stated, “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead thespeople, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.” —Joshua 1:2

English: The Israelites Cross the Jordan River...

God understands how transition can affect us mentally and emotionally.  He assured Joshua of His presence, protection, and plan that guaranteed his success (Joshua 1:3-9). Not only did God assure Joshua of being an effective leader, He also established him as His choice to lead before the people.  This is important in times of transition.  It validates and affirms the new leader (Joshua 3:7). Since it was a time of transition, there would be a new strategy for accomplishing what God purposed and assigned to Joshua. Although the promise was made to Abraham, the strategy for possessing the promise would be different—the transition resulted in a time of conquest.  Israel would have to fight to obtain the promise.

Oftentimes, transition involves conflict, challenges and struggles in order to move you from the place of familiarity and comfort to another place where God’s plan, purpose and promises are waiting for you.  Transition requires a “faith fight.” 

The good news is that you have the assurance of God’s protection and presence—“I will not fail you or abandon you” (Joshua 1:5c, New Living Translation).

Although feeling abandon is a real-life experience after the death of the leader you’ve assisted in ministry for many years the assurance of God’s presence makes the transition a peaceful process.  Just make sure you obey His instructions to reap the rewards.

Gains and Losses

SOON TO BE RELEASED!

I’ve learned it’s so easy to focus more on our losses in the past that we lose sight of any spiritual gain in the future.I firmly believe that gains and losses are a necessary part of life.  I also believe that when professing and practicing Christians lose, God has a plan and way of restoring or replacing what we’ve lost with something better and more valuable.  Usually, it requires an attitude adjustment on our part before we can attempt to make sense out of what we’ve experienced in terms of loss. 

Additionally, if we don’t assess the gains as being more valuable than what we lost, from God’s perspective, we may never realize this truth; and we certainly won’t appreciate the goodness and sovereignty of God. Why? Because we’re too focused on our loss; we are crying hopelessly and looking backward rather than forward to the possibilities of having better and being greater in God.
Also, I am persuaded to believe the greater concern we have is with a carnal analysis of what we define as gains in comparison to what we consider loss.  Unfortunately, our analyses are calculated from a worldly system of operation and thought based on past personal experiences and present unpleasant circumstances.  If we itemize our losses and gains from a worldly system rather than a Kingdom view, we can be easily deceived into believing God is not trustworthy, and is out to destroy us. (That’s a lie from the father of lies!).   Consequently, we itemize our gains and losses from a faulty and unstable system rather than align with God’s way of operation.  No, it doesn’t mean our losses are unimportant nor have no value to God. However, it does means that God sees beyond the here and now.  Remember, God’s thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).  So often what is valuable to us, based on our limited knowledge and understanding, has no real value in the Kingdom, and is useless when it comes to fulfilling God’s purposes.

For example, Apostle Paul came to a point in his life when he made an analysis of his gains and losses. He itemized using the same value system as God.  Paraphrasing, he said in Philippians 3:7-11, what were his assets (gains) he wrote them off as a loss.  Why? Because what was most valuable to him was gaining Christ… having Christ…knowing Christ, the power of His resurrection, and the participation in his sufferings.  Sufferings! Are you serious? No one wants to suffer, right?  Obviously, Paul viewed all the suffering he endured for the sake of Christ as gain! That was Paul’s mindset.   What about you and me? What are we willing to lose so that we might gain for Christ’s sake?

Sadly, too many Christians fall apart and panic when they experience loss of materials items. No one should deny the truth that it hurts to lose stuff… even loved ones. I know the pain of separation!  It hurts to lose anything you consider as valuable; especially life. But what can be gained? A more constant and consistent prayer life, deeper trust and dependency on Christ to sustain,  increased faith that looks to God for provisions, better stewardship practices,  a greater witness to the faithfulness and peace of God during life’s storm, greater commitment to the work of ministry and helping others in need.  God gives you so much more in place of what you lost when you trust Him as your Source.  

Beloved reader, remember it’s so easy to focus more on our losses in the past that we lose sight of any spiritual gain in the future. Also, like Apostle Paul, we haven’t been perfected yet, but let’s press forward and grab hold of what God desires for us.  Let’s press in to get to that place where God is calling us to reach in Christ Jesus. Let’s not focus on our past losses, and what we’ve left behind so much that we miss what God wants to do  in our lives now, and what He has destined for your future. 

Moving forward on the path to promise,

Book! Soon to be released!

When what you write…

helps you…

Funny how inspiration works! Currently, I’m in a situation that was weighing on me to the point of worrying about it. But the words I had been inspired to write some days ago popped into my head.  So I went back and read what I now know was divinely inspired. And, guess what? Now I sense that these same words are meant to help someone else, could that someone be you?  Here’s a timely word tailored for the heart.

 

Worrying? Stop it!!!

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7

 

Don’t worry about anything? I know you’re probably thinking it’s easier said than done.  No; it’s just as easy to do as it is to say. The reason you think it’s hard to stop worrying is because you’ve convinced yourself that it is hard…that you can’t help yourself.  Worrying is an habitual sin! What? Yes. What makes it a sin is the Lord Jesus Christ said don’t do it. Plain and simple.  (Read Matthew 6:25-34).

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