KEYWORDS: things, lord, life, family, word

Shooting Straight, Part 12--Letter Links: Family Reunions

March 7, 2005

(ML #3534, GN 1125)

FD/MM August 2004

More on the S2K

ML #3262:29-32, GN 863

29. (Mama:) For some people, having so much contact with their System relatives and being so close to them has a real pull on their service for the Lord. It causes them to be weakened spiritually, to water down their convictions‚ to compromise for gain, to not live up to the standard in the Word because they're afraid of offending their relatives. It often opens the door to materialism and influences their children wrongly in that way.

30. So in situations like that‚ it's definitely ungodly and unedifying‚ and according to the Charter, those folks should be minimizing it. That doesn't mean they can't ever talk to their relatives or visit them‚ but it does mean that they should tone things down, really seek the Lord about how it's influencing them and their children, and get back on track in upholding the standard, even if it means less contact with their relatives. They need to make sure they aren't being unequally yoked with unbelievers, and if they are, they should cast off that yoke!

31. But in other cases, the contact that some Family members have with their relatives is positive and helpful. They're witnessing to them and bringing them along spiritually; they're not compromising their convictions or letting the standard drop. They're careful that it's not too much contact, for the sake of the children. So contact with relatives in itself is not ungodly and unedifying, but it certainly can be if the fruit of it is wrong‚ if it's weakening people spiritually and causing them to lower their standard.

32. You see, that's the key. That's how you can tell—by the fruits. You can't make a black-and-white list and say‚ “This is ungodly, but this isn't; this is unedifying, but this isn't.” Well, you can with some things that are pretty black and white and spelled out in the Charter. Listening to poisonous music with devilish lyrics is obviously ungodly; there's no question about that. Or smoking dope. Or watching horribly violent, senseless movies. That's pretty clear and easy to recognize. But there are lots of other influences that can be ungodly and unedifying that you can't put down in black and white because so much depends on the people involved, the degree of involvement, the circumstances, the effect it has on them, the extent or frequency with which they partake of such activities, etc. So in cases where it's questionable, you can tell by the fruit.

Issues, Part 2

ML #3297:66–89, GN 894

Whose "reality"?

66. (Mama: ) This message was given for an SGA who went to spend a month in the States with her mom and brother and sister, as well as another old friend, who are all out of the Family. These particular former members are quite bitter, and were very intent on sharing with her their disbelief in many, if not most, of the Family's fundamental beliefs. And she was very intent on wanting to hear their views on things, trying to be open-minded, friendly, and loving. Because of this, she spent a lot of time listening to their views and ended up being heavily influenced by their attitudes of doubt and disbelief. When she returned to her job on the field, she asked for prayer and made a commitment to fight to gain spiritual victories in her life, God bless her, though it continued to be a battle for some time.

67. It's very difficult to listen to others' doubts and questions and not be affected by them, because doubts and questions often sound very logical and put an entirely different spin on the way things are presented in the Word. It's very easy to have a conversation with someone who's battling in a certain area and come away from it wondering what's really right—whether it's the way they see things, so logically, or the way the Word says things are, which can't really be fully understood in the natural.

68. (Jesus: ) My darling one, Satan has desired to tempt you away from My will. He's tried to sow his seeds of doubt and discontent within your heart, for he seeks to lure you away from your place of service‚ from the high calling I've placed before you.

69. I know that I've asked you to pay a high price for this honor, and I know that even thus far it has not come without difficulty‚ battle, and tribulation. But this recent test of your faith has been one of the greatest of all. You've come face to face with a serious attack of the Enemy, which you didn't even see as such from the start, since it came through those whom you love dearly—your very own flesh and blood, and old friends. You've heard their grievances and bitterness, and have pondered and considered and weighed them up.

70. While you still love Me and believe in My King David and Queen Maria and King Peter and My Family‚ and I know that this love and loyalty is strong, you've been somewhat destabilized by the blows that the Enemy has sent your way. He's struck at the very root of your foundation of faith—your childlike belief in My Word and acceptance of My love and My will, and My promise that all things work together for good.

71. These who have strayed from the path of My highest will no longer believe these things, for they've let their hearts and minds become clouded with bitterness and resentment, anger and doubt. The things that they say seem sincere, and indeed they are, for they have come to believe them. Some of their grievances have some basis, and some of the things they complain about happened. But they're leaving a very important factor out of the equation—simple faith! That's what your life for Me is all about, and that's what the Enemy is trying to strike at.

72. Life in the world is a life built on what you can see with your eyes and understand with your mind. Life in My Family is built on that which you cannot see but must believe, that which you cannot understand but must accept. It's a way of life so contrary, so different from that which your loved ones have chosen to follow, it's like the difference between the positive and negative print of a photo. Both portray the same picture, but from totally different perspectives. The one seems dark, confusing‚ unappealing; the other is full of life and color. Are they both real? Yes! But the negative is missing something—it lacks life! So do these who have pulled away from the pillar lack life—the life of God that comes through My Word and My Spirit.

73. Without seeing things through the filter of faith and without being spiritually minded‚ it would be easy to be convinced that there are many things wrong with the Word, with the Family and its leadership and others in it, and with its methods. But the truth is that I have founded and led and am leading this Family, and though mistakes have been made by some, you can rest assured that you have a king and queen who are in tune and in touch with Me, and who are leading the Family in the right direction. You can also rest assured that even that which has happened that seemed difficult, painful, or harmful for those involved, can bring about good in their lives and the lives of those around them, if they will be humble, yielded, accepting, and forgiving. This is such a hard lesson for many, for it goes so contrary to the mind of man and carnal reasoning.

74. You, My child, have lived this life of faith for so many years. You know that I have kept you. You know that I have loved you and cared for you, and loved and cared for your loved ones. You know that I'm real. You've seen Me work miracles. You've dedicated your life to giving My Words and My love to the lost. You've seen Me change hearts and lives. You've seen the good results of humility and forgiveness, and the negative results of pride and bitterness.

75. This recent experience should be, more than anything else, a lesson to you of where these things lead. They lead down the path to obscurity, emptiness‚ discontent, and misery. They lead to unfulfilled, unproductive and unhappy lives. This is not the life that I would give to My children. I would give a life full of challenge, excitement, inspiration, joy, and blessing! Yes‚ there are battles and difficulties, but with Me by your side they become bearable. When you do not remain by My side, even the smallest struggle can seem insurmountable, and even more daunting are the great tests and struggles of life, which are inevitable for everyone, no matter who you are.

76. I have allowed this great test to come upon you, My love, to show you that you are weak and needy and must depend fully on Me. You thought you were strong. You thought you could handle being exposed to the words and minds of these who are discontent and dissatisfied with My Family and with the lives they had within it, and who are intent on spreading their words of discontent to whoever will hear. You thought perhaps you could help them, or that somehow through listening to them you could gain input and information and insight that would help you better serve Me. Well, the feedback you received from them is certainly not going to help your spiritual life and your closeness to Me; yet if you hold on to Me tightly and seek Me desperately through this trying time, I will cause this experience to give you even stronger faith and a more clear and determined vision to fight for the right and stand up for My cause.

77. I'll help you to see through the lies and half-truths of the Enemy and to see things as I see them, through the eyes of faith and with the understanding of My Spirit. For My ways are so high above man's ways, and My thoughts are incomparable to those of man. You with your carnal mind could never begin to comprehend the marvelous and manifold workings of My Spirit. Yet when you take on My mind and see through My eyes, I can give you wisdom far beyond your years and experience, which extends the limits of what you've seen and heard.

78. Many times you'll be faced with the questions, doubts, and discontent of those who are unhappy in the Family, or who are going through times of serious battle when they're viciously attacked by the Enemy‚ when he's seeking to undermine their foundation of faith. Many times there will be an element of truth to the things they say‚ because there are problems, there are difficulties‚ there are people who do not walk in love or in My Spirit. Many times you'll find yourself in situations where‚ if you let it get to you, if you're not well prepared in spirit by being full of My Word, and if you don't retreat to My Word and to My voice of prophecy for answers and guidance, you'll be tempted to drink in and be poisoned by the lies of the Enemy.

79. [When you find yourself in that type of situation] you must take extra time with Me—several hours a day if need be, at least for a while—so that you might drink in My written Word, pour out your heart to Me in prayer, and hear from Me personally. Meditate on and study those things which I show you. Bring each question or battle on your heart to Me, and let Me speak to you about it. Or if you don't have the faith or strength within you to ask Me about a certain question or battle, then communicate with your shepherds. Ask others to pray and hear from Me for you if need be. Do whatever it takes, but don't let doubts or questions linger in your heart and mind, while you figure that with time they'll go away.

80. They'll only go away if you wage a militant attack against them. They'll only go away if you stand up to the Enemy and raise your sword of the spirit and destroy his lies with My Word of truth. It's time to fight, My love! The battles will grow hotter and more trying, and I know you're aware of this, though you feel unprepared. It begins now, so take up your sword and fight! Hold nothing back from Me, but give Me your all. Expose every pore and fiber of your being to Me, and let My light wash over you and cleanse you. Let My voice answer you and comfort you. Let My Word strengthen you. Drink it in, suck for it and desire it. Even if you don't feel the hunger or desire, drink it in anyway, knowing that you need it to survive.

81. In summary, the keys to victory for you will be:

82. First, to completely accept and believe in My love for you, as well as My love for your loved ones. To accept My truth and My promises that I work no ill toward My children, and that all things work together for good.

83. Second‚ to come to Me with your questions and battles‚ and let Me speak to you personally and give you My answers. You can ask for help from others if you feel you need more well-rounded answers.

84. Third, to take extra time with Me and drink in My Words in a great and powerful large dose.

85. Fourth, to outfit yourself in mind, heart and spirit for battle. To wage war against the Enemy. To realize that he's fighting you and trying to hinder and defeat the great ministry I've prepared for you. He'll stop at nothing, so you must determine to do the same.

86. Fifth, believe that I can do it. Believe in My power to restore and heal and strengthen your spirit. Believe that I have the faith, the grace, the strength, the wisdom, and everything that you need. You can't do the task ahead of you in your own strength, but you can do it in Mine.

87. Let this time of testing and breaking strengthen you and make you stronger and more well versed in the arts of war than ever before, and so will these battles come to be seen as a blessing and not a curse.

88. I know that you have what it takes, and it's just up to you to hold on to and claim that crown that is rightfully yours. Don't let it go, no matter how great the temptation, no matter how high the cost! In due time you will surely know that it has been worth every ounce of blood‚ sweat and tears, every trial and heartbreak, every sacrifice and forsaking. You'll reap the wonderful rewards of your labors, and you'll receive My commendation and appreciation, because you were yielded and obedient to the Heavenly vision‚ to the call I placed upon your life and heart.

89. For indeed this is your destiny, what I have prepared you for from the very beginning. So fight for what is yours, and fight for what is Mine. Fight on for Me, and for your brethren, and for the lost, and know that great victories will be ours! (End of message from Jesus.)

United Prayer Power

ML #3404:172-181, GN 994

Weakened spiritually during a relative visit

172. (D:) As you all know, I recently went on a relative visit, which, for the most part‚ was a fun blessing for me. Sadly, however, due to pride and disobedience, and because I didn't put the Lord first or keep my guard up spiritually, I became vulnerable to the Enemy's lies, doubts, and confusion. While away I spent a lot of time with disgruntled ex-Family members who were actively and aggressively trying to get me to leave the Family and to stay with them. I listened to a lot of criticism‚ doubts and lies, which was very weakening spiritually. In my pride, I didn't fully realize‚ or rather I didn't want to fully realize‚ the precariousness of the situation I willfully and deliberately put myself in.

173. I wanted to show my friends and my family who are not in the Family that I, unlike others, had accepted them and their decision and that I had unconditional love for them. But because of my pride I was weak in spirit, which led to my compromising in many ways, especially by listening to them so much and not putting my foot down about things more. In my pride and desire to "be a good friend," I didn't stand up to them and for the Lord as much as I know I could and should have. Like the Lord said, I didn't want to seem like one of His "robots"—I was more interested in them seeing that I had made my decision to be in the Family knowledgeably and that I was a "smart girl," that I do think about things, don't just take everything that is "fed" to me, and that I wasn't just "scared to leave," which is what they accused me of, of being "weak," etc.

174. Lord forgive me, I put my pride and the opinions of man before His opinion of me. I really failed on that score and I'm ashamed of that. I should've been more desperate and I should've seen that I was being affected by these things. I did, but in my carnal-mindedness I thought, "I never get to see anyone so I just want to be with people as much as I possibly can, and then when I get back I'll make it up to You, Lord, and will work toward getting cleansed of all this stuff."

175. In my pride and self-confidence I thought I could walk the middle road‚ even though I knew it was dangerous and very risky. But I thought I could take it, that I was capable of walking that road, that these things wouldn't really affect me long–term because I had already made my decision to be in the Family. I thought that I could always just run back under the Lord's tower of protection and be all safe again, like nothing ever happened. Boy, was I wrong.

176. To make matters worse, I was disobedient to the counsel the Lord gave me before I left by neglecting to spend quality time with Him, listening to Him, loving Him, and reading His Word. I knew that I was taking in a lot of garbage and that I should've been extremely desperate with the Lord to be cleansed on a daily basis. But I didn't heed the Lord's strong checks, and therefore I was, like the Lord said, very weakened in spirit and open to the lies, doubts, and confusion of the Enemy. I was affected by the doubts and the things they were saying, and my way of looking at a lot of things began to change. I became much more skeptical, had many doubts, and there was a lot of confusion.

177. When I came back home, I knew I was very weak spiritually, that I was much further from the Lord and had changed in my way of thinking and looking at a lot of things. But I wasn't as desperate as I should've been to get cleaned up and back on track‚ or I would've called for help and for the "safety net" to be raised.

178. There are many reasons I didn't talk with anyone about my trials and doubts, but like the Lord said, it was mainly due to my pride and not wanting to appear weak or like these things affected me as much as they had, because that would ring the alarm bells‚ which I didn't want because of my pride. I thought it was really bad timing for me to be going through this stuff when so much else was going on. I didn't want to be seen or looked upon as a problem case, especially not right now, so that's probably the main reason I didn't ask for help and prayer, and I wanted to just fix things on my own—my pride. I thought I could slip under the radar for now, promising the Lord that I would work on things and get back closer to the Pillar and where He wanted me to be.

179. Plus, because of my pride, I didn't think it was such a big deal or that I was in such a bad state spiritually. I really did think that I could get back on the straight and narrow on my own. I thought that just surviving everything, coming back and determining to stay in the Lord's will for me, though difficult at times, and wanting to change and get back on track was the biggest part, and that the rest would be easy in comparison.

180. Also‚ by nature I am a very private, independent person‚ so I thought that I could‚ and even should, deal with these things on my own. I thought that I should be able to just fall back in line and keep marching, and then slowly work toward getting back to the basics on the side, reading the Word and finding out what the real truth actually was.

181. Because I'm proud and self-confident, like the Lord said, I often feel like I should be able to handle things on my own, that I've grown up in the Family all my life and know the Word‚ and I therefore should be strong enough to deal with things and get the victory. Also, and again because of my pride, I usually like to be able to get victories and work my personal problems out with the Lord without too much involvement from others or "the drama," because it's less humbling. Because when you take care of it on your own, often people aren't even aware of what you're going through and how bad and weak you are.

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