KEYWORDS: lord, things, way, honesty, people, others

Loving Interaction!

Karen Zerby


Advance copy for translators only

Keys to Victory series

Practical tips on communication, honesty and openness!

By MariaMaria #481 CM/FM 3234 7/98

Keys to good communication!2

How to overcome in an argument!4

How to become a better listener!5

Dad on honesty, openness and freedom!6

Why the Enemy fights honesty7

A word to our younger generation8

The Devil's bondage vs. the Lord's true

What is honesty and openness?8

Honesty—the way of escape9

Honesty brings blessings9

The power of honesty11

We all need shepherding!—More on honesty!12

Dearest Family,

1. I love you so much, and really admire each of you who are desperately asking the Lord to help you rise to the challenge He's placed before us! It's a high calling, and fulfilling it comes with a high price—but in the end I know we'll be able to say with conviction, "I never made a sacrifice! Whatever I gave up, the Lord more than repaid!" When you see the rewards laid up for you in Heaven, and the souls which were won through your obedience greet you at the gates of the next life, you'll be so happy you followed close and were willing to "go all the way" for Jesus! Praise the Lord! I'm so proud of you!

2. This is the first GN in a series containing practical counsel about some of the little areas of our lives that probably all of us could stand to do better in. They're short messages of love and encouragement and tips from our sweet Jesus on how we can do better in certain areas, and learn to be more like Him! I think you'll find them very helpful and encouraging and easy to receive.

3. Of course, just because they're presented so positively and gently doesn't mean that the Lord isn't expecting us to do anything about them! But I think He knows that most of you are already very desperate with Him through the messages He's been giving recently in the GNs‚ so this is just a bit of positive reinforcement to help you along the road to victory!

4. When we asked the Lord about these GNs, He said:

5. (Jesus speaking:) These messages contain Words which will help My children improve and overcome in their weak areas. Many of them will help them to more clearly apply the goals which I have set out for them—for these messages address further roadblocks to unity‚ love, cooperation, and even communication with Me and closeness to Me.

6. Love‚ unity‚ communi­cation with Me, and closeness to Me and to others‚ are all vital roots of the tree which the Enemy tries hard to sever. These are the foundation stones which the Evil One tries to dislodge, knowing that if the weight is shifted off of these building blocks, if the priorities of My children are directed to more trivial matters, then is the building destabilized and the foundation is no longer able to properly support the structure. So these messages, though they are small, contain keys to victory, clear instruction which My children need in their fight to overcome.

7. Now is the time for overcoming! This is a time for laying aside the weights for the final race! This is a time of seeking Me, your Master Trainer, and heeding My counsel, that you might run more swiftly, more efficiently, and thus not only gain greater speed, but also conserve your energy so that you may complete the race. (End of message from Jesus)

8. (Mama:) The Lord has promised us the victory—all we have to do is continue to follow and lay aside the weights, and then He will give us the strength to run and win!

9. These messages are not all on the same subject‚ but are more like a potpourri of counsel and practical instruction on different ­topics. The ones in this first GN are along the lines of love, communication, honesty and inter­action with others. I pray they will be a blessing to you, and that as you apply these things to your personal life and learn and grow from them, they will lighten your load and make your working and loving relationships flow smoother! I love you!

Love always,


Keys to Good Communication!

10. (Jesus speaking:) Following is a list of key factors needed in order to have good communication with anyone—your husband or wife, your shepherd, your peers, young people, older people, friends and co-workers:

11. Honesty. Unless there's honesty in com­munication, you're going to get your wires crossed. A good foundation to have if you want to get off on the right foot with someone is to be completely honest and open.

12. Tact. As soon as you realize you must be completely honest, you must also pray and ask Me to help you be prayerful and loving in the way you express things, especially things that are of a sensitive nature. Some things would be better talked out with a shepherd first, so that you can get counsel on how to present it, or can find out if it's even necessary to do so. Above all, ask Me. I know what's best and will show you the humble, loving thing to do.

13. Love. Love is what motivates you to be truthful and sincere with others, as well as tactful when the occasion warrants it.

14. Wisdom. In order to know the difference between when you should be as open as possible and when it would be better to be more careful with your words, you need to pray for wisdom.

15. Sensitivity. The sensitivity I speak of here is that of being responsive and attentive to the needs of others. It's helpful to try to be sensitive to others' moods and feelings when communicating. For example, perhaps you know someone is in a more receptive mood after ­dinner than right after their nap, so that might be a better time to talk to them. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

16. Courage. Having the faith that overcomes the fears and hesitations you have about communicating‚ and which expects a positive response.

17. Sense of timing. Timing is vital in com­muni­cation. Of course‚ in the smaller matters that you discuss with others on a daily basis, it's more important that you simply communicate often. But when the subject is a little sensitive, requires privacy, or may mean unpleasant news or changes for someone, then it's wise to choose the timing of your presentation when they're not in the middle of a demanding project‚ or coming to the close of a hectic day.

18. Prayerfulness. Mental prayerfulness is good in any situation, constantly praying for wisdom, for "in the multitude of words there lacketh not sin." But verbal prayerfulness is also a good habit to acquire in communicating with others. If you have a work–related matter or some kind of delicate situation to discuss—or even when it's just fellowship but you don't know what topics are going to come up—pause for a moment and say a prayer. Acknowledging Me helps you to go slower, to have more respect for each other and for Me‚ and it also empowers Me to make your time beneficial and not hurtful or frustrating.

19. Patience. Good communication requires patience. Everyone is different and has different ways of looking at situations and solving them, so it takes patience to see things as someone else sees them, and also come to a common ground of agreement.

20. Respect. You must respect the other person's opinions and feelings. The most obvious way this is manifested in communication with others is in letting them say their piece with­out interrupting or trying to hurry them along or finish their sentences for them.

21. Sense of humor. Lighten up! Often people hold things in, so that when they finally do take the plunge to communicate about a matter‚ they come across too strongly or defensively. It pays to lighten up together if things are getting too intense or unnecessarily "heavy."

22. Silence. Yes, surprisingly, the art of being silent is a quality much needed sometimes in com­munication, or rather the art of listening. It's no use trying to come to an agreement with someone if you are merely thinking about what you're going to say while they're voicing their opinion. Be like the wise old owl: the less he spoke the more he heard!

23. Openness to others. People will be much more at ease communicating with you if you make a habit of being open to what others have to say.

24. Humility. It doesn't pay to carry the attitude around that you're always right. Pride stalemates communication more than any other trait. Also, like the fable of the wind and the sun, you will find that as you take the lower seat of hearing people out and sincerely considering their opinions, they will be more open to yours as well.

25. Regular communication. Good com­muni­cation should not be saved for special occasions‚ but should be a part of your everyday life. People who communicate frequently understand each other the best, and are more likely to be able to work through problems when they come up.

26. Clarity. Explain, explain, explain. You may think others understand exactly what you mean, but it may surprise you to realize that misunderstandings arise every day in people's lives for lack of clarity. If you're not sure whether someone understands what you mean, ask them! It's a lot more efficient than guesswork.

27. Talking. This may seem humorous to some people‚ but there are many people who settle for subtle hints, signals, and cryptic mess­ages as their sole forms of communication, whe­ther in bed with someone, working together, or trying to iron out some problem. Un­fortunately, the success rate for those forms of communication is minimal, and nothing beats talking—both to each other and, most of all, to Me. Try it!

28. Willingness. Communication takes just plain hard work. It takes a lot of effort, but the rewards of friendship, harmony, unity, and mature relationships are well worth the energy spent—as long as you're willing to do it! (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

How to Overcome in an Argument!

29. (Note: The dictionary defines "argument" as "a discussion by persons who disagree; a debate." As you read the following prophecy, please remember that such disagreements or debates can range from mild differences of opinion all the way up to very heated‚ raging debates.)

30. (Jesus speaking: ) Just like the picture of the two goats on the narrow mountain trail, one had to lie down to let the other walk over him. When there's a difference of opinion, someone has to give and yield to the other if you're going to get anywhere. In this new day when you, My children, are becoming even more exercised in hearing My voice directly and personally‚ I ask that as the people of old took their conflicts to King Solomon to decide, you bring them before Me and ask My opinion.

31. Big or small, only I know what is best and what will bring you the most happiness. I can also, in the same breath‚ smooth out the wrinkles and disagreements, fill in the blanks‚ and give you both incentive for the way I would have you to go by showing you how it is the best choice. Of course‚ I give you the majesty of choice, but if you let Me choose for you, this is what pleases Me most.

32. There are times when you need to debate an issue, whether with your mate, or a co-worker, or with the whole Home in Home Council meetings, and there are certain practical steps to take at these times to ensure your communication is helpful and not heated.

33. When emotions come into play during discussions or arguments, they can be a recipe for disaster. But if instead the people involved are more concerned with what is right instead of who is right, then they can discuss matters in a calm, clear, objective way. And when their discussion is over and they've exhausted every option, and perhaps there are several options to choose from, they can then bring the matter before Me, and I will break the tie either way as I know best.

34. There are many practical tips on how you can express your disagreement, how you can begin and end in a more loving, effective manner. "Argument" has a very negative connotation, because man's natural tendency is to pride, stubbornness and sensitivity. But arguing doesn't have to be a negative experience if the people involved are mature, prayerful, and follow practical guidelines involving respect, love, and humility.

35. One of the first things you should do when you realize that an argument has begun with someone is to stop and pray. It helps you back down a little and see things more objectively; then you can proceed in a more Spirit-filled manner, if necessary. Or if the timing was bad to begin with and the situation is too emotional, or you find anger welling up inside, then it might be best to postpone the discussion by explaining that you feel heated so you'd like some time to think and pray about it objectively before discussing it together.

36. If you find that you have a weakness for arguing and that arguments you're involved in often end fruitlessly, or with one or both parties offended‚ unconvinced, and their original opinion unchanged, then it would be good for you to study practical tips from the Word and the Marvellous Marriage book. Don't forget that you can always ask Me about the personal problems or questions of your heart‚ and I will be more than willing to give you tailor-made, ­loving, practical advice for your situation.

37. Remember, "love, humility, and prayer solve all problems‚" and there's always a solution as long as you're open, humble‚ willing to listen, and willing to bring matters to Me. I'm the Answer Man when there's no other ­solution, and I have the wisdom of the ages ready to give for the asking. (End of message from Jesus.)

How to Become

A Better Listener!

38. (Jesus speaking:) Take a lesson from My example in this. For though we are divided by the veil between the physical world and the world of the spirit, yet our relationship is just as real as that of any two people on Earth. I wish for you to learn from My example. How do I listen to you? Do I listen for a measure of time‚ and then interrupt you? Do I begin talking before you do, before you've uttered your prayer or heartcry? Only in very rare instances. I'm always here‚ always available, and I always love to hear from you!

39. I understand‚ of course‚ that you, My human representatives to My children, are less available. You're not able to always be in every place, as I am, but are bound by other responsibilities and duties of the Kingdom. However, the art of listening comes from the attitude of your heart. It's something that can be learned, and I wish to teach you.

40. When you come and talk to Me, you feel that I understand. How do I understand? First of all, because of My great love for you‚ I'm always willing to listen to your side of the story and give you the benefit of the doubt. I look beyond the feeble words you speak and I hear your heartcries. I see your motives. You don't have the ability to do this as I do, but I've given you a measure of this gift, and you have but to ask for it, seek it, and be desperate to use it.

41. This is one of the most important qualities of being a good listener—not only listening to the words that a person speaks, but asking Me to help you hear and understand their heart. Much judgment is misplaced because of people listening only to the words of someone's mouth rather than hearing the words of their heart and understanding.

42. Some people may be good at speaking, but in their hearts they have the wrong motives. Others may be poor at expressing them­selves or are nervous around you, but in their hearts they long only to serve Me and to love Me, and have committed no sin or wrongdoing. Yet other times something will appear very wrong, but because of the motives of their heart, I would excuse them or grant them mercy. This is why I say that man looks on the outward appearance, but I look upon the heart. You would do well to pray for this gift, and seek to use it at every opportunity.

43. If a person feels understood‚ it helps them to communicate better and more freely. So in this, you not only are able to pass better judgment, but you also make the whole process of communication—which is such a sacrifice for many people—much more pleasant and easier to handle. You'll find that people will be more eager to share their hearts and more willing to give the unvarnished truth rather than the polished, one-sided version of the story, if they're treated with understanding of their hearts. They'll know they can speak without fear, for they will not be judged merely by their words, but you will in love look past their words to their hearts, and you will ask Me to show you clearly how you may best understand and help them.

44. Another gift which enables you to be a good listener is the gift of humility—being truly humble and knowing that there are many, many, many things which you know nothing about, and so to learn, you know that you must listen carefully. This is not something that can be brought about in the flesh. For while body motions and comments from your mouth are indicative of this, they alone cannot change the problem of your heart.

45. If you're carrying the attitude of being above them, or that you already know or have an opinion about what they're talking about, you'll not be able to listen carefully and absorb what they're saying in the right spirit. Your perception of the conversation will be tainted by your opinion‚ and in turn the person you're talking with will feel your disinterest or disagreement with what they're saying.

46. Those who are sensitive to this‚ or already nervous or struggling to communicate, will be stumbled, and will most likely have an even harder time expressing themselves clearly to you. Because they feel a wall there, they will be prone to exaggeration, covering up, or only giving one side of the story, to try to make their point clear even through the wall that is built between you in the spirit. Some will quit communicating with you altogether, figuring, "Why should I struggle to express my heart when it's not even taken seriously or clearly?"

47. So your attitude of heart, the love you have for the person‚ the understanding which you are seeking Me for‚ and the humility in your heart towards them—realizing that each person around you knows many, many things which you don't know—are all keys to helping you become a better listener.

48. Another key to being a good listener is learning to come before Me with the person you're talking with, and throughout the conversation committing the subjects you discuss, even those you casually chat about, to Me. This will help to avoid many misunderstandings, for as you do this, you will see the other person's point very clearly. Together you will summarize your discussion as you commit it to Me, and you will solidify your conclusions with My blessing. Also, as you stop and take a moment to commit it to Me‚ I'm able to punch through with more understanding if it was lacking ­before.

49. Stopping to commune with the realm of the Spirit and asking for My blessing opens the door for your helpers to check you about anything you said that was not right, or any subject you might not have understood clearly. They are also able to refresh your anointing and give you clarity of thought.

50. You should also be seeking Me for the understanding you need. I don't mean only for those you shepherd‚ but also for those you work with, for those you pass casually in the hall, for those you chat with in the kitchen, for those you witness to, for the children you care for, and the list goes on.

51. Every one of My precious children needs to feel understood, and a part of that feeling of being understood is what they feel from you. You are only one person, but you affect and influence many others. So it's important for all of My Family members to come before Me and ask Me to help them do better in this area. Understanding and the skills of good listening convey love—My love for the person, which is unconditional, forever, and perfect in every way.

52. In order to be better representatives of Me, come before Me and spend time listening to Me. Practice your skills of listening and receiving as you come before Me for little things. The more you listen to Me and the more of My thoughts and Words you receive and absorb, the better you will communicate with those around you, and the better listener you will become. Cultivate the habit, for it's worth it! (End of message from Jesus)

Dad on Honesty, Openness

And Freedom!

53. (Dad speaking: ) I want to ask you folks straight out: What is it that you love so much about me? Oh, of course, I know you'll say, "Why, Dad, it's the Lord in you, of course!" Well, thank the Lord, praise the Lord! It's only Jesus, that's for sure! But that's not the answer I'm fishin' for! Come on now, what is it that you see in me? What do you like about me? What is it that attracts you to me and my Letters? Well, this is a loaded question, and you might have several answers, but the subject I want to hit on here is honesty! Many of you have written and told me this in the past‚ and I think that most of the Family really appreciates my openness and honesty.

54. I've lived by this principle and always tried to be open and honest with you‚ and I've tried to teach you the same! My life has been like an open book, and I think the Family will agree that that's one reason you love me so. I've always been open and honest with you, even confessing my sins and failures and shortcomings! I think the times I confessed my shortcomings and failures were the times that encouraged folks the most! So there's a lot to be said for being honest and open.

55. This is a big subject here—honesty and openness. I've talked about it time and again through the years, because it's fundamental—a key ingredient to happy living. And folks, it's vital to your spiritual health and well-being!

Why the Enemy fights honesty

56. Do you want to know why it's so import­ant? Did you ever wonder why it is that when the subject of honesty comes up, people often tend to cringe? You can sometimes just sort of feel them sinking lower and lower in their seats, while the strong vibes of, "Oh no, not this again—where can I hide?" are rising higher and higher! Have you ever felt that way? Come on now, be honest! We've all felt that way at one time or another.

57. And why do you suppose folks tend to feel that way? Why is it so darn hard to be open and honest, to open your heart and life to ­others? We can blame it on pride, which holds folks back, or all kinds of fears: fear of failure, fear of being misunderstood, fear of being misinterpreted, fear of other people's reactions, fear you won't be able to explain well, maybe even fear of getting in trouble‚ fear of how your heart will be handled—all kinds of reasons.

58. Well‚ we shouldn't have these different fears, but sometimes we do. These are very real things that can hold you back from opening up and being more honest with your shepherds, with your mate, and with each other—those you live and work with. The Enemy tries his darned­est to put these stumbling blocks in front of you to keep you from being open and honest. I'm sure you can probably come up with other good reasons too. But of all the things he can try to hinder us in, why does the Devil fight so hard in this one particular area?

59. It goes back to this simple fact—he knows that if he can stop us before we even get started, then he's won the battle right there! This area of honesty and openness is the starting point for growth and victory with the Lord‚ and spells defeat and disaster for the Enemy, so he fights hard to stop you before you can even get started.

60. Some of you might not even realize that the Enemy is fighting you in this way. You might not even think that he's holding you back in this area. But the way to find out is to ask yourself if you're opening up to those around you. Are you being honest with your shepherds, your mates, your co–workers, and those you live with? When something bothers you, do you hold it in, or do you go in love and share it with those it concerns? Are you smoldering inside, or getting things out in the open, expressing your feelings‚ telling others your needs‚ wants, desires, etc.?

61. If the Enemy can stop you from opening up your hearts to each other, from being open and honest, then right there, without going any further, he's already won the battle! If he can stop you right there, then his job is easy from there on out! If Satan can hinder you from opening up and being honest, then he knows he can just switch into cruise control. His job is more than half over! He's got you in the basket! He's covered you with his dark cloak, and therefore provided a place of shade for himself to work in!

62. If he can keep you from being open and honest, he's built himself a shelter under which he can work. That's a key play in his strategy—to stop you from being honest at the very start. And if you fall for it, it's like building a roof over your head to shade you from the sun—in this case, from the light and truth of the Son [Jesus]—and the Enemy goes to work right away. He works in the shade‚ in the darkness, under that cloak of secrecy where he can get in and cause all sorts of problems.

A word to our younger generation

63. Maybe some of you are tempted to think, "Aw, come on, Dad, do we have to be so open these days? Can't we have a little privacy for a change and get away from the days when we had to be so totally open about everything?" If you think I'm exaggerating here, think again!

64. I don't think I can overemphasize the importance of being open and honest—especially to some of you of the younger generation. I don't mean to single anybody out here‚ and everybody can certainly benefit from what I'm saying. But you of the younger generation—well, simply because you're younger and have a little less practice at this, I have the burden on my heart to especially bring this to your attention, because I can see it's something that's holding many of you back! You kids are doing wonderfully in so many areas, but if you're gonna grow, if you're gonna get anywhere, you've got to open your hearts and lives to others.

65. Learning to be open and honest is an ongoing process. Some of you old-timers have grown and learned good lessons on this and have reaped the benefits through the years, and you younger generation are learning too—but you need to realize that in this area there's no standing still! Especially in this day and age, the Enemy's hitting hard on this‚ and if you don't wake up and see the importance of it‚ you're gonna get left behind in the dust!

The Devil's bondage vs.
the Lord's true freedom

66. Take a look at the world around you. Look at all the cover–ups, the pride, the contention‚ the coolness, the hypocrisy, the lying, the sneakiness, the false reports and false fronts. Oh, false fronts, that's a big one in the world today! The way the world is going is the opposite of being honest and true and open! It's all around you! It's everywhere! The way of the world is opposite of the true way of the Lord! You see it on the news, in all the scandals, in advertising, in the movies, in people's attitudes! Of course, they pretend to be open and honest, but they seldom are. There's very little true ­honesty and openness out there, and the world is reaping the results!

67. People being closed and secretive and covering up is rampant in the world today, and do you know why that is? This is one of the spirits that has gone out into the world. It's the opposite of the Lord's Spirit of honesty and open­ness, uprightness and truth. It's the spirit of cover–up, which leads to dishonesty, lying‚ false reports, and all sorts of deeper problems with stress, strain, tension, pressure and fears. And because this is one of the spirits that is let loose on the world today, that means God's children need to be all the more aware, all the more on guard against it!

68. You're to wise up! Get smart! Defy it! Don't give way to it, unless you want to end up like the poor fools who are deaf, dumb and blind to what's going on around them, and who are trapped in bondage instead of set free in the true freedom of the Spirit!

69. What I'm trying to do here is help get it through your head that if you want to grow, if you want to get anywhere, if you want true freedom of the Lord's Spirit, you're going to have to learn to be open and honest!

70. Now does that click? You've got to see the importance of this, go on the attack, be on the lookout, and don't let it happen to you! Don't let the Devil hinder you or stop you before you even get started. Don't let him build that shelter over your head, or cast that cloak over you so that he has room to do his dirty work.

What is honesty and openness?

71. So why is it that folks often cringe when we talk about being open and honest? Well, besides the fact that the Enemy just plain fights it, another reason is because folks often associate honesty with confession, with being in the limelight, on the hot seat, having to confess your faults to each other. While this is true‚ confessing your faults is only part of being open and honest. There's a time for that, and it is import­ant—and if you've done something that needs confessing‚ it's good to get it out and get prayer, so that the Lord and others can forgive you and you can go on from there. Confessing your faults, failures and short­comings is a very big part of being open and honest, but it's not all of it!

72. Being open and honest is not always just a matter of confession. It's much broader than that! It's fuller than that, and this is what I want you to see. Confessing your faults is a part of it, but there's another whole dimension to being honest, to being open‚ that you don't want to miss out on in your everyday lives—because if you do, you're going to be stunting your growth! You're going to be held back and not make progress like you need to.

73. You might not have done anything wrong today that needs confessing, but there may be things that you've not shared with anyone, that if you did, it would make your life a whole lot easier! It would make things run smoother, it would ease your load and save you untold trouble in the long run, and it would make you happier!

74. Being honest is not only confessing; being honest and open is so many things! It's making your needs known. It's expressing how you feel about a matter so that others can get to know and understand you. It's asking for help when you need it. It's seeking prayer. It's opening the door so others can love you and get to know you. It's helping others to understand you. It creates a vacuum for giving and receiving love. It creates power that draws you close to one another. It's chasing away dark clouds that other­wise might loom over you, and letting in the warm sunshine of the Lord's love. It's allowing the Lord's strength to work through you. It's opening your heart and life and allowing the Lord's Spirit to flow in freely and abundantly. Being open and honest is love. It's humility. It's being like Jesus, because He is ­honesty, He is openness, He is love, He is humility.

Honesty—the way of escape

75. If you're not open and honest about how you feel, what you think, what you need‚ and how you see a situation‚ what often happens is that the Enemy can then attack you with his dark clouds. By simply hindering you from opening up, he can cast his cloak over you, and then he gets to work playing on things such as sensi­tivity, criticalness and negative thoughts. ­Under that cloak, he can cause misunder­standings‚ mis­interpretations, miscalcula­tions, and he can have a real heyday!

76. Then you run the risk of short-circuiting, just because you didn't have an outlet. You've overloaded your circuits, and the Devil can come right in and get you in a real muddle! Under that cloak, mass confusion can set in to where he's got you drawing the wrong conclusions—and when this happens, you can come to a standstill. You get all tangled up and you don't grow and progress! Savvy?

77. If you wanna grow and make progress, you're gonna have to learn to be open and ­honest with each other. You've got to have this outlet, folks! And I've got news for you! This is one of the "ways of escape" that Paul was talking about when he was referring to temptation, and he said the Lord would "make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it!" This is one of the escape routes the Lord has provided!

78. The Lord made this way of escape—a way to escape from misunderstandings and mis­con­cep­tions, from hurt feelings, from getting all muddled and in a frenzy, and therefore drawing wrong conclusions and being misguided, which will not only stunt your growth, but it can get you totally off course altogether!

79. The Lord made a way of escape from the tangled web of Satan's muddle by leaving us His Own sample of honesty and openness! Even though He was our Lord and Savior‚ He called His disciples friends, not servants‚ and said, "All things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you." He shared His heart with them, and even went so far as to tell them when He was going to die. He was loving, honest and open with them, and as the Apostle John said, if they'd written down everything He did and said and shared with them, the world itself wouldn't have been able to contain the books that would have been written!

Honesty brings blessings

80. Honesty is one of the Lord's Own safe­guards, a steppingstone into the realm of true freedom in His Spirit! There are so many advantages and good reasons for being open and honest! Take battles and trials, for example. Most of the time, if you're going through a battle or a trial, by being honest and open about it, by speaking up to the right person, to someone who can help you, you can get things cleared up right away and save yourself a lot of trouble and heartache. At least you can get prayer, and then you know that help is on the way! More often than not‚ whatever was bothering you or whatever you had a question about has a simple explanation—some detail you weren't aware of, or something you didn't see or understand before—and by just speaking up to the right person, or the persons involved, you can get it all sorted out!

81. Why suffer in silence when you can be over and done with it and go on from there? If you've got a problem‚ why hold it in? Why have that hurt or confusion? Let me tell you, if you have some­thing on your mind or heart, something that happened involving another person, or there's something you didn't understand, or you're going through a trial, whatever the case might be—if you hold on to it and don't get it out, it goes to work right away and eats away at you.

82. It's like getting a cut or wound and not cleaning it out‚ not tending to it properly from the start. It begins to grow and fester, and before you know it, it can become infected. And if you let it go on untended, pretty soon it can abscess and send poison throughout your body! Gangrene can set in if you're not careful‚ and you may have to amputate a limb!

83. So watch out! It's that serious in spirit, folks! I'm not exaggerating! That's how holding things in and not attending to things through the channel of openness and honesty can cause things to go awry to such an extent that it can affect your whole spirit.

84. Watch out for that dark cloak of ­secrecy that the Devil is constantly trying to cast over you through holding things in and not getting'm out! Those things that you hold in your heart can affect you spiritually just as much, if not more‚ than any ailment of your flesh! Being open and honest is the Lord's Own way, His Own safeguard‚ the mechanism He has provided by which you can stay clean and well groomed and healthy, so that you can grow and mature and prosper! It's His way of keeping you free from all sorts of sickness brought on by mis­under­­standings and misinterpretations that can grow and fester into strong roots of hurt feelings, criticalness, discontent, resentment, bitter­ness, and so on.

85. If you want to grow, you have to open up to Him and to others. The Lord had a lot to say about being honest. If you want to see, read what the Bible has to say about being "upright in heart." It says a lot about the rewards of ­honesty. The upright in heart, the honest ones, the open ones, are going to dwell with the Lord. The fruit of honesty and open­ness is peace. You'll receive the Lord's blessings, you'll have light instead of darkness, you'll have the Lord's strength, and He'll be able to guide you better.

86. Why do you think the Word instructs us to dwell on the things that are true, honest‚ just, and of a good report? Because in this lies the Lord's blessings, the Lord's power‚ the Lord's strength—and most of all, the Lord's freedom!—True freedom of spirit! Through opening up and being honest with the right people at the right time, you'll be able to grow—grow in spirit and grow in freedom. You'll be able to cash in on all the benefits the Lord has to offer! The Lord delights in your openness and honesty! You know why?—Because it makes room for Him! It paves the way for His Spirit to move freely in you!

87. Every time you're reluctant to be open or honest, it's not only stunting your growth, but it's like shutting the door on the Lord. This is why the Devil fights it so hard. There's no standing still! You've got to remember that! You're doing one of two things: Either you open up and thus open the door for the Lord to pour out His Spirit on you, or you clam up and thus leave a way for the Devil to cast his cloak of darkness, to cast a shadow over you—under which he goes to work right away to cause you all sorts of problems.

88. You can look at it this way: You're ­either open and honest, and therefore opening yourself up to the love and freedom of spirit in the Lord; or if you choose to shut up and clam up, it's akin to shutting the door on the Lord. And when this happens, you leave yourself susceptible to falling under the dark shadow of the ­Enemy.

89. You have a choice to make every time you're faced with the decision to be honest and open or to hold things in. Being honest and open will solve so many problems. Which would you prefer?—Muddle, confusion, tension, worry, stress, and a whole slew of problems?—Or do you want real freedom of spirit which brings happiness‚ joy, love and peace? Do you want to go forward or backward? There's no standing still in this life! The Devil's playing for keeps and he's out to stop you before you make any more progress, or to put you in reverse if he can!

90. Be open today, be honest today‚ and grow!—Grow in faith, in love, and in the Lord's Spirit! Just be sure you open up to the right people and at the right time. Pray and ask the Lord and let Him guide! But whatever you do, be open! Don't hold it in! Don't suffer in silence. You're either stepping out into the light and the freedom of the Spirit, or you're hiding in the dark shadows where Satan is waiting to pounce on you. You're either building walls or building bridges! Which will you choose? God help you to be open, honest‚ and free! Love‚ Dad. (End of message from Dad)

The Power of Honesty

91. (Dad speaking: ) Learning to be open and honest takes time, but each time you're open and honest, you become a little freer in spirit. It's like you're winning more and more freedom, you're gaining more spiritual strength, and the Enemy has less power and control in your life.

92. Honesty is a very powerful thing, just like love is a powerful thing. The ability to be honest has real power in the Spirit. It has power in your life and it has power in the lives of those around you. It has the power to strengthen your connection with the Lord, and it has the power to resist the Enemy.

93. It's a wonderful thing to be able to be open and honest about yourself, your problems‚ your weaknesses, your mistakes, your failures, your wants, your likes‚ your dislikes, your needs, your fears, and your life.

94. Being honest helps to keep you close to the Lord. It helps to keep you humble, meek, yielding, desperate, and needing Jesus and His Word. Working on learning to communicate with openness and honesty is one of the best things that you could apply yourself to, because it has a wonderful ripple effect. It not only touches your life, but it touches the lives of everyone around you—and it certainly affects your re­lation­ship with the Lord.

95. Any time that you choose to be open and honest, you're choosing to keep your spirit strong and clean and healthy. It's very healthy for your spiritual growth. It's not necessarily easy, but it gets easier every time you're honest and open about your feelings or your problems.

96. The first few times‚ or the first few months‚ or no matter how long it takes, it will seem like death, because if you're not used to exercising your honesty muscles, it's very difficult to get started. It's like trying to push a heavy car; it's just so hard, it seems to take so much effort to even get started and push it one little inch. But once you get started, as you inch along being open and honest one step at a time, pretty soon you have momentum and things are rolling‚ and it becomes much easier to keep up the momen­tum. Pretty soon it gets to the point where your first reaction is to be open and honest rather than being fearful or covering things up, or worrying what people will think about you.

97. The more honest you are about yourself, the sooner people get to know you, and from then on you don't worry so much about what they think about you because they already know your weaknesses and that you have some sins just like they do. It only makes people love you more. It makes them respect you and admire your willingness to confess your mistakes and your faults. It's a very good example when you can be open and honest with the Lord's spirit of humility.

98. The Enemy really tries to persuade people that‚ "You can't say that! You can't talk about that! You can't ask for prayer for that, because people will think you're really weird or they won't understand, or somehow it's going to ruin your image." But it's just the opposite of the truth.

99. Maybe it would help people if they remembered that the things the Enemy tells you are always the opposite of what God tells you. If the Enemy is telling you‚ "No, don't talk about that, don't ask for prayer for that," you can be pretty sure that the Lord is trying to tell you that asking for prayer and being honest about your needs is the best thing to do, is the right thing to do, and will bring the victory. It's the spiritually mature thing to do.

100. You should treasure every opportunity to be able to share your hearts openly and honestly with your shepherds, and not mind sharing your weak­nesses or problems with the Home‚ if necess­ary, so you can get more prayer and more help in the spirit. That way you'll continue to grow and make progress; you'll be a good sample and testimony to others; others will understand you better, and it'll ensure that you can do an even better job for Jesus. (End of message from Dad.)

We All Need Shepherding!

—More on Honesty!

101. (Jesus speaking:) Did I not set up one shepherd over you, even My servant David? And when I brought David Home to Heaven, did I not set up your own beloved Queen Maria and King Peter to shepherd and to lead My flocks of the house of David? And from the top on down, so have I also ordained shepherds of My flocks‚ pastors of My folds, that you might find guidance‚ counsel and prayer power in your time of need. Such is the nature of man, for I have created man with this need—the need for each other, the need to communicate, the need to pour out‚ the need to get help. And to fulfill this need, I set up shepherds.

102. As My Father sent Me into the world to be your Shepherd‚ so likewise, now that I am with My Father, I raise up earthly shepherds over you that they might care for your souls. I set up shepherds over you to care for you, for you are Mine. Your soul belongs to Me; your heart, your mind, and your body are Mine. I love you and I care for My Own, and one way I care for you is through the shepherds which I set up over you to care for your souls.

103. I am the Good Shepherd and I care for My sheep—and I care for you in a very personal way. When no other earthly shepherd is available, I am able to guide you directly by My hand. Yet I know the frame of man‚ and I know that in your flesh you were created to need ­others. I have made you with an inborn need to communicate, to counsel, to pour out‚ to seek the help of others, to seek prayer with others—mothers and fathers, shepherds in Me. For it is through this structure that I have set in place—this system of pouring out, of opening your heart in all honesty and sincerity, of seeking and receiving counsel and guidance—that I lead you‚ guide you, and teach you priceless‚ valuable lessons.

104. This basic human need for shep­herd­ing that each person has is ordained from My hand to teach the individual many, many, many lessons—lessons on faith, trust, sharing, ­caring, honesty, openness, yieldedness, listening, humility, pride, obedience. For the one who goes to his shepherd, who seeks the direction and counsel and advice of his shepherd, and who follows the instruction and counsel of his shepherd, is exercised in all these matters. It takes faith‚ it takes humility, it takes yieldedness, it takes listening‚ it takes being open, it takes sharing, and it takes following in obedience.

105. A wise man will learn on his own, but a wiser yet will follow closely by his shepherd's side. In this new day I am leading and guiding each one of My children more directly, in a more personal and intimate way. I'm able to guide each one personally, not only through My written Word and through the New Wine that I pour out to My servants the prophets, but also daily in the personal whispers that I speak to each one. Yet you must know, My children, that this does not fully replace the need for shepherding, the need to counsel and pour out and seek the advice and help of your earthly shepherds. Do not neglect this latter part. For this is the nature of man—I have set it in the heart of man to need others.

106. A wise man, a prosperous man‚ will seek the counsel of his earthly shepherds‚ for in this counsel is safety. By wise counsel purposes are established, and in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Seek, therefore, the counsel of your earthly shepherds, of parents, and those who keep watch over your souls, for this is the plan I have ordained. (End of mess­age from Jesus.)

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