I Cor. 4:4-5 – “ For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; But He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore, judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts….

Each year I choose a book to use as a daily devotional. With the help of a dear friend, Thomas, who was reading the book himself and encouraged me to pick it up, I have chosen a book Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding CA, authored. The name of the book is “When Heaven invades Earth”. I have read this book before several years ago but there is now an expanded edition which even includes a daily devotional. Perfect!

I am not sure what it is…perhaps because it is a different season in my life or I am just seeing things differently this time around But the book is both challenging me and encouraging me at the same time. I find I am stopping to digest key things that are being highlighted to me by Holy Spirit as I read each page.
Something that has recently caused me to take a rather long ‘Wow, that is so true’ moment is a statement in the book pertaining to bible reading in reference to teaching a message without any demonstration of power: “ The Bible is the absolute Word of God. It reveals God; the obvious, the unexplainable, the mysterious, and sometimes offensive. It all reveals the greatness of God. Yet it does not contain Him. God is bigger that His book.” OH MY! Can you feel the shutter in the hearts of some at the verbalizing of those words? He goes on to say, in chapter eight of the book, “ Revelation that doesn’t lead to a God encounter only serves to make me more religious. Unless Scripture leads me to Him, I only become better equipped to debate with those who disagree with my way of thinking.” Wow… powerful stuff! It takes real courage to write those words because they carry real potential to be misunderstood and, for many,to become offended. But they are so true and need to be said!

As I read this I can remember encounters with people over the years. People who knew volumes of the scripture. Many were in ministry. Even more where, and still are, leaders in ministry. I can remember how scripture was used by some of these to not promote the truth of living a life of true faith, which includes regular supernatural God encounters, but to actually discourage anyone from wanting to step into anything that can not be digested by human reason and intellect.

Unfortunately, this continues to happen in many churches to this day. This discounting who Jesus is by denying that He came so that we can all do the very same works He did when He was on earth and even greater works, thus disqualifying the very purpose He died for! ( I Cor. 2:1-5)

Actually taking His book to basically call Him a liar! I am sure each ready of this blog either has heard or been part of a church service where the scriptures were used to try and disprove the purpose of each believer. (John 14:12-14 ) We must honestly ask ourselves…’Is my bible reading being done so that I can draw closer to and understand this awesome Lord that I love OR I am I only wanting to increase my knowledge of Him? It would be best for each reader of this blog to ask themselves that question with the same seriousness we would ask ourselves,’Do I want to live in heaven or Hell for eternity?’ Because the answer you come up with may very well determine where you are headed!

In short, if any bible reading or a sermon is not promoting the truth of Heb. 13:8( Jesus Christ, the same today, yesterday and forever) then there is a serious problem! All further bible reading should stop until a true relationship with Jesus has been established and confirmed through the Holy Spirit leading and guiding your life in everyday life.

Dear Reader, I am not trying to shake you up ‘just for fun’ BUT if the words I have written have caused some alarm in your life I would strongly encourage to follow the advise and counsel of Mike Bickle, Leader and Founder of International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO, Pray: “ Lord, shock me now.” ( so I have time to repent) “So I am not shocked later when I stand before you!”

My prayer for each reader of this article is that an examination of our hearts is made in order to make adjustments in our motives toward Jesus and His word.

Let each of us allow Holy Spirit to shock us now of any any hidden motives and places of unbelief that may reside in our hearts in order to be able to stand before Jesus and hear these wonderful works, “Well Done My Good and Faithful Servant.”

Venetia Carpenter
Founder, Ecclesia International Ministries