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I’m taking you back in time as I share a story and apologize to some folks. It’s necessary and ties into the rest of what Dad is saying in this post.
I used to attend the annual Christians United for Israel convention in Washington DC. A girlfriend and I went together one year, joining busloads of people from around the country.
Conversations were easily overheard on the bus. We eavesdropped on two black women wearing traditional African dresses. They spoke excitedly of their support for then presidential candidate Barack Obama.
I was self-righteous, full of pride and arrogance. During this time of my life, I was fully indoctrinated into Zionism and the Republican Party. I’d been taught from the pulpit that we were right and everyone else was wrong.
Talking to each other, but directing our comments to these ladies, we remarked, “How can you even call yourself saved or belong to this church if you support Obama for President?” I know we said more than that. They heard us; their expressions showed their hurt. Ladies, I am sorry. Please forgive me for my words and arrogance. I was wrong.
Flash forward a couple of years. Father tells me to go to the annual conference again, but this time, He has lessons to teach and layers to remove. I was awakening, asking questions about stuff and asking Him to show me things from His perspective. I was doggedly asking Him to lead me into all truth.
Things were stirring in my spirit. My heart was conflicted between what I knew Jesus said and what I was hearing from the pulpit. The conflict grew as I heard (without the usual filters) the words being released into the atmosphere in the Washington Convention Center.
In the middle of some ‘news briefing’ by a correspondent reporting on terrorism, the light bulb came on. We were all gathered in agreement to call for the annihilation of a people: the Palestinian people. We were in agreement with the covenant that unsaved, religious Jewish people live by. In continually remembering the past destruction of Jews in the Holocaust, the state of Israel justifies their current treatment of an entire race of people to the world and to the Body of Christ. The amount of effort, time, money spent to perpetuate this ideology is staggering. It causes much of the Church to be out of alignment with the Gospel. It’s a lens we must remove from our vision as children of God.
Palestinian people, I apologize to you for not honoring and loving you. You are worth as much to Father God as I am. I am sorry. Please forgive me. The negative labels assigned to you were wrong. Today, I bless you.
Here is the transition into the larger message:
Value is defined as worth or importance. As a verb, it means to appreciate or assess.
You have value; I have value. Our value is infinite and immeasurable simply because we are God’s kids – that’s all and that’s enough. Often, however, our value is defined by words or labels used to describe us. Labels describe a state of being, a characteristic, perhaps current or past actions and behavior.
Holy Spirit ran me through an exercise on a recent drive home from work. This exercise challenged certain paradigms and mindsets. I invite you to do the same exercise with Him.
Below is a list of words commonly used to label people according to their conditions, characteristics, ethnicity or behavior.
Choose someone you know and place them before you in your mind. As you read each word, pause for a moment. Allow yourself to assess your emotional and visual responses.
– Does your potential for interacting with this person increase or diminish?
– Do you think of them with honor or disrespect?
– Do personal experiences you’ve had color your perception?
-Unwed mother -Felon -Jew -Palestinian
-Housewife -Homeless -Executive -Progressive
-Alcoholic -Single -Democrat -Lesbian
-Addict -Wealthy -Poor -Homosexual
-Conservative -Liberal -Working Woman -Soldier
-Terrorist -Married -Criminal -Politician
Did you have a different emotional and/or visual response for every label? I did. My responses were based on the filters I had either learned or adopted from personal experience. This exercise rattled my cage. The visual I saw took my breath away. I’ll describe it for you. I picked 3 words. This is what I saw:
Speaking the first word ‘label’ over the person, I took a step back. That label created distance. Then, a box formed around the person. Labeling them with the second and third words had the same effect: more distance and boxes.
My choice of labels resulted in a wide berth of ‘safe’ distance from them. I noted, too, that I could no longer hear or see them. My vision of their true self was now distorted. Their value (to me) was based on my perception of them within the context of labels I selected.
How often do we subtly give ourselves reasons and excuses to disengage or altogether avoid people when their appearance or behavior falls outside our definition of normal? How often do we diminish their value by the word labels we assign to them? The ugly thoughts that follow are worse. The enemy steps right up to help us with the silent accusations.
“That unwed pregnant woman? She got herself into that mess. Let her get food stamps and welfare. She’ll probably have more kids by a different fathers. Why should I help her?” I could go on, but you get the idea.
Assigning value labels graduates into permission slips to assign blame. For example, election cycles amplify the blame game. One party blames another for the condition of the country.
In reality, these are political and religious spirits speaking through people unaware they’re voices were hijacked to accuse others. Behind these demonic voices are larger spirits of fear and greed. Each of them is given assignments to bring destruction in one form or another. And so it goes – if we allow it.
We can actively choose a better way by blessing. We can assign values to increase and build people up. We can ascribe honor, value and greatness the way God does toward us. We can use words and prophecy.
Check your emotional and visual responses again as you assign value to someone with these words:
-Free -Joyful -Creative -Funny
-Radiant -Blessed -Brilliant -Happy
-Righteous -Fearless -Kind -Generous
-Loving -Merciful -Confident -Smart
-Bold -Courageous -Compassionate -Amazing
This is the heart of the prophetic in the New Covenant. This is calling those things that are not as though they are. We call people up to their true identity in Jesus Christ. This is the mind of Christ, holding the thoughts, feelings and purposes of Jesus’ heart. Our vision changes and our words change. We agree with what Heaven sees and says about people. It really is that simple.
Father God gave me this word from His heart on May 23, 2015. It was His response and direction to my request. I asked to have His heart toward all people in every situation and circumstance. He said:
“The fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and evil is bitter. It has no life in it, and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Children, it is so much sweeter and beneficial to you, humanity and creation for you to eat of the Tree of Life. This is where your son-ship resides; it is your rightful place, position and privilege.
It is always your choice to come up higher, but know, My child, I created this place here next to me for you.
If you will sit with Me, you will begin to see the perfection and beauty in which all things were created. In this place, your words will bring life to humanity and creation.
They wait for you to speak new creation into being, for as I created you, so were you made to create, My Bride.
You will not see race. You will not see religion. You will not see income. You will see only Me in each one.
The words you speak will bring healing and health, supernatural provision and abundance.
Peace will reign where you walk in every land you visit.
Kiss the hand of each person you meet. Honor them as My child and introduce them to me. My Presence goes with you.
Do not fear deception; I will keep you.”
With love from Portland,