#34 Name-droppers Shall Not Pass

Have you ever had the opportunity to be around a name-dropper? You know, an individual that likes to drop the names of famous, influential, or wealthy people. There are several reasons people name-drop, but oftentimes it is to make others believe there is a connection or relationship between themselves and the famous, influential, or wealthy person. Truth is, the latter usually has no knowledge of this relationship. So why then do people name drop? There must be an intrinsic or extrinsic reward; otherwise, why bother. Benefits may include the receipt of special treatment, favors, or reverence from others. It could also be an attempt to establish one’s credibility by claiming affiliation with a certain individual or group. What is so significant about name-dropping, and what does it have to do with purpose, kingdom assignments, or a relationship with God? I’m glad you asked.

Many people believe that just by dropping God’s name they get a pass into heaven, they establish creditability as being affiliated with God, or that they will receive or are due favor or special treatment. Some are misled into believing that simply dropping God’s name makes them part of His kingdom family, that God is pleased with them, or that He co-signs for them. Those who profess to believe and unbelievers alike fall into the deceptive illusion of name-dropping.  A deceptive illusion is something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality. It is this false reality that is so dangerous for anyone who has determined that heaven will be their eternal retirement destination.

I recall watching various music award shows over the years and noted how winners would pay homage to God for allowing them to achieve such an honor. The recipient would thank God and exclaim the improbability of receiving the award if it had not been for God’s help.  Never mind the fact that the award-winning lyrics were laced with profanities, sexual innuendo, and boasts of violent acts. You tell me; does that sound like God? Did God lend the songwriter breath and health every day while creating their music? Yes; however, an act of love and care is not to be confused with approval, acceptance, and relationship. Jesus clearly lets us know that if we are not going to do what He asks, why bother calling His name. Luke 6: 45-46 states:

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaketh. “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Now, I would classify these types of artists as non-believers or as new believers who have no knowledge of the expectations of God. However, those who profess to know God and to be on His payroll are not exempt from the deceptive illusion of name-dropping. If you grew up or have been around evangelical or Pentecostal churches, you have heard Psalms 105:15, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” Albeit far from context, I often heard this phrase from believers -mostly preachers and prophets- as a roundabout way of saying they are tight with God and He will revenge anyone that harms His anointed one. This type of name-dropping was often used to manipulate or intimidate, and it is definitely not a message approved by God. What God expects is obedience and relationship: Obedience to His will, not ours, and a committed, not one-sided relationship. Ultimately if we don’t live a life of obedience to Him, it will benefit us nothing to drop His name. Matthew 7:14-23 states:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, and neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits, ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Believers nor unbelievers are exempt from the deceptive illusion of name-dropping. It is important to assess our beliefs, daily living, our works, and our motives in what and who we claim God has co-signed. Unbelievers should first accept God, study His Word to know what is expected of every believer, and learn how to please God. For if our actions do not bear good fruit, we will ultimately be disowned and rejected by Jesus.

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Highlights from Today’s Post:

  • Name dropping is a deceptive illusion that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality
  • Dropping God’s name to establish credibility, to receive favors or reverence, to intimidate or manipulate, to misrepresent a relationship with God, or to misrepresent approval and acceptance by God will ultimately profit nothing
  • Not everyone that claims to work in Jesus’ name, or that calls Jesus Lord will enter into heaven
  • We should examine our daily living, our works, and beliefs and motives to ensure obedience to the Father’s will and that we are known by Him

#31 Messages from God: When God Says, “Trust Me”

When God says, “Trust Me”, what comes to mind? In the bible, these words are meant to bring comfort and assurance before or during a trial, a transition, or a setup for an enormous blessing. That is not to say that an enormous blessing will come without challenge or transition. In some cases, a blessing is the ultimate outcome and is different than when the ultimate outcome is for an increase in knowledge, endurance, patience, or the ability to endure suffering. When I hear the phrase, “Trust Me”, from that still, small voice, I stop what I’m doing, my head tilts slightly to the left, my eyes shift from side to side, followed by the questions, huh, what’s going on, and what is this about? There is usually never an answer to my initial flurry of questions just a repeat of the phrase, “Trust Me.” Thankfully, I am able to reflect on the knowledge and responses I’ve gleaned over the years when I’ve heard this phrase.

Past experiences have taught me to ask questions, to listen intently for instruction and directions, to take action when instructed, to be still when there is no direction, to be aware of distractions and false instructions, and to beware of what I share with others. In fact, my practice is never to share words of knowledge or movements that are private between God and me until there is a testimony, or until the appointed time.

Over the years, I have come to equate the phrase “trust me” with the phrase “fear not”, which was often exclaimed by angels before an announcement of a trial, a transition, or a setup for a blessing. I believe the statements are analogous because trust simply cannot exist without some level of fear. Perhaps I’m overthinking the relationship and the phrase ‘trust me’ is simply the new ‘fear not’ as we typically don’t go around speaking in Old English vernacular.  In either case, hearing that phrase is a notice from God that something is going to happen that is bigger than me, that is outside of my ability to control, outside of my scope of knowledge of things present and future, and which, will require me to place my trust in Him.

I recall examples in the bible where ordinary people, like Mary (Luke 1:30-33), Joseph (Matthew 1:20), and Abram (Genesis 26:24) heard the phrase, “fear not.” Their encounter served notice of enormous blessings that also included challenges and transitions. Only God knows, and we in part, the generational impact of their trust in Him. Each of these individuals faced challenges, believed against odds, trusted in the face of fear, and received enormous blessings. From my experiences, I have received enormous blessings through receiving the words ‘trust me.’ After receiving an announcement, “Trust Me”, and being obedient to instructions to move to a new state without a job, I received confirmation of my Kingdom purpose. In addition, I was blessed with a job and a home -built from the ground. As He promised, no man (or woman) has left houses or land for the Kingdom’s sake and did not receive 100-fold in this life in return. Although my salary was significantly lower, God blessed me with that home in a state where the housing market is among those of the most consistently hot in the US.

When I reflect on the ask to trust and see the outcomes of my obedience, I’m made to laugh and shake my head. In fact, in every circumstance where God asks that I trust Him, the outcome turned out far better than alright; better than anything I had imagined, and far better than what I asked for. When the Word says He can do exceeding, abundantly, above all you can ask or think (Eph. 3:20), He can and He will! And, He will make you laugh.

I am learning that the outcome when God says, “Trust Me”, will be a blessing that keeps on giving. Over and over circumstances arise as a reminder that the existence of favor and blessing in my life is a direct outcome of trusting God when I could not fathom His plan and being obedient when He said move even though taking action at the time made no sense to me at all (Proverb 3: 4-6). I know I would not be in a position of favor and blessing in an unstable economy and global health crisis where the odds should be stacked against me. I understand how trusting Him then has opened doors for bigger and future related blessings, if I continue to trust Him.

I hope that you will come to be assured of the favor and blessing that comes when God says, “Trust Me.”

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Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Purpose-L-Elizabeth-Stewart/dp/1545656908

Highlights

  • When God says, “Trust Me”, it is to bring comfort and assurance before and during a trial, a transition, or a setup for an enormous blessing
  • Trust does not exist without some level of fear
  • The outcome of trusting God can lead to enormous blessings that have a generational impact
  • When you hear the still, small voice that says, trust Me, you can expect a transition or challenge that leads to an enormous blessing that keeps on giving
  • When you hear God say, ”Trust Me”, you are favored to be blessed and He will cause you to laugh as He does exceedingly, abundantly, above what you could ask or think

Resources:

  • Genesis 26:24
  • Matthew 1:20
  • Luke 1:30-33
  • Ephesians 3:20