KEYWORDS: time, lord, things, right, people, others

Shooting Straight, Part 15

Karen Zerby

GN 1130 FD/MM/FM

God's views on current issues and attitudes in the Family

By Maria FD/MM/FM 3540 3/05

Note: The "Challenging Thots" in this Letter address commitment and discipleship in general and aren't always related to the issue being discussed.

Be Punctual

The issue:

1. Way too many of you have the terrible habit of being late. I know you are very busy and I'm sure you have lots of "good" excuses, but the reality is that there is no good excuse. Being late is a mark against your testimony as a Christian, as someone who is supposed to be concerned for others, loving and respectful of them and their time. When you are late, you waste others' time. It's inefficient, it makes others upset, and causes people not to trust you or be able to depend on you. It can make a whole Home or work be inefficient—when you're late, it doesn't affect only you.

2. Because everyone is busy, and things invariably come up, the only way to avoid being late is to make it a habit to arrive early, allowing more time than is necessary to make it to any appointment or obligation. Then‚ if you are indeed early‚ while you're waiting there are all kinds of good ways you can redeem the time—having prayer vigil, reviewing your key promises, witnessing, fellowshipping, preparing for the meeting or class, reading something you've brought with you, taking a few moments of quiet meditation and reflection to let the Lord speak to you, etc.

God's mind on the matter:

3. (Dad:) It is appointed to man once to be born and once to die; you don't get second chances when it comes to time. The time that you waste is gone forever; you can't retrieve it‚ return to that point in history and redo things‚ and you cannot relive a moment in time while on Earth. Once it has passed you by, it's gone—not just for now, but forever. Do you understand that?

4. There is a prevalent lazy attitude in the Family about being on time—on time for appointments, on time for meals, on time for meetings, just generally being very wasteful of others' time. It's a poor testimony and a lack of love to waste someone's time.

5. You may waste someone's time and think nothing of it—maybe you're used to being late and others being late too, and you're all in the habit of wasting each other's time. But every time you waste someone's time‚ you've wasted their most precious possession after their soul. Time is something you can never return to them. It's taking from them a most precious thing, without even asking. It's a crime, plain and simple.

6. You think it's bad to waste someone's money, but time is so much more important than money. One day that person's life will be over, their time will be up, and if you've wasted part of their life, how are you going to feel when you stand before the Lord? How are you going to feel when all those hours of others' time that you wasted by being late are tallied up and brought before the Lord on your day of judgment? I think you'll feel pretty rotten and sorry.

7. You'll have to answer not only for your own idle moments, but for all the moments others had to wait on you because you were too lazy to get there on time, or because you were so concerned about not wasting your own time that you caused others to waste theirs.

8. Being late shows a lack of respect, a lack of love. It says that you feel your work or whatever you were doing is more important than they are. It's a form of selfishness, of self-centeredness. You're going to be judged by the amount of love you had for others, and being late‚ tardy, and causing others to wait is pure selfishness and lack of love.

9. I don't like to waste time—though now for me time is different. But when I was on Earth, I would sometimes get pretty upset when people wasted my time by being late. Not because I thought so highly of myself, but because God had given me those precious moments and I didn't want to waste the life God had given me through waiting around for someone who had no regard for the clock ticking on my life.

10. If you've got an appointment‚ you'd better be on time for it. The only way to do that is to allot extra time‚ leave early, and stop what you're doing earlier than you think you have to. You lead busy lives, and there's always "one more thing" you wish you could do before leaving. But you've got to have a cutoff time, and if you want to be on time, that cutoff has to be early. It has to allow for emergencies, unavoidable circumstances, traffic, delays, or what have you, so that you can still make it to your appointment on time.

11. If after all that‚ you're going to be unavoidably late—and that should be the rare, rare exception—then call ahead so that people can plan for it. Once you start taking being on time seriously, and allotting the extra time necessary, you'll learn to recognize when you've cut something too tight, and for God's sake be humble and admit it‚ so the other person can plan for it and accommodate your mistake without losing too much. And please, folks, don't make such a habit of being late that people are continually having to accommodate you, to the point that they simply plan on turning up late themselves because you're never on time anyway.

12. There's just no excuse for being late. It's inexcusable. It's missing the mark. It's sin. One day you're going to have to answer for the loss, the setbacks, the inefficiency, the wasted time, the times when you thought what you were doing was too important, and you didn't look at the overall picture and recognize what others were losing because of your failure to be on time. You might not see it as such a big deal, but I do, and the Lord does.

13. And really, it's not that hard to change. It just requires a change of attitude. You've got to place serious priority on being on time, and be willing to sacrifice to uphold that standard of excellence. When souls are lost, when work is delayed and inefficient, when people's most valuable commodity is wasted—then it's time to do something about whatever is causing it. And that time is now. Be on time!

Additional reading:

14. (Mama:) Here's a little additional counsel the Lord gave someone in our Home who carries a lot of responsibility and is very busy:

15. (Jesus:) One area you are weak in is being on time. You generally push things to the last minute, and many times you either show up for a meeting or event right on the dot, or late, and that's a pretty serious habit that you need to change.

16. Even being right on time is pretty much the same as being late‚ because you're hardly ready to join in and participate if you just get there right on the dot. Like David always said‚ being on time is actually being there early, and that's a sign of love to others. So you need to work on making sure that you plan ahead enough so that you are early and ready for your engagements and commitments to others. There really is no excuse for being late, it's just a matter of faulty planning on your part and not prioritizing right if you are late for something you committed to.

17. It's a serious thing to be late‚ especially if you are leading a meeting, but also if you are just attending. The people you meet with are also quite busy, and wasting their time is robbing them of important time that they need for their work. It's also somewhat linked to pride, because whether you realize it or not, the spirit that it gives off when someone is continually late is that of being more important than others and having a lack of respect for others' time. I know you don't feel that or want others to feel that from you, but that's what it can be like in the spirit.

18. And being punctual is not only important when meeting with people face to face. It also involves meeting deadlines on time, getting back to others in a timely manner and responding to something when you say you will. I know it's hard to keep up with everything and get back to everyone as soon as they would like. Things have sped up in the world today to where everyone expects immediate answers and they aren't looking or thinking or planning ahead much. A lot is done at the last minute and people want immediate answers or responses, which makes it difficult. Sometimes their expectations are unrealistic, and you have to trust Me to take care of things in the meantime, when you're not able to get to something right away. However, when you tell someone that you are going to do something at a certain time, then you need to be sure to do it.

19. You don't like to tell people "no," and you can sometimes give yourself unrealistic deadlines for getting something done for someone or getting back to someone on something. It's much better to just be honest and be realistic about it, rather than giving your word and then not being able to make the deadline you set for yourself. It takes humility to admit when you just can't do something as soon as someone would like, but that's the better road to take. And then you're able to stick to your word and truly get back to people when you say you will.

In summary:

20. (Mama:) I know you're all very busy, but there is no excuse for being late and wasting others' time. It's a poor testimony, it's a sin! Dad makes it clear that we will one day have to account to the Lord for those losses, caused by our failure to be punctual and disciplined with our time. So be on time!

Key promise:

21. There are keys of time management, and when you call on them, they will help you to be more realistic and disciplined in your estimations and plans, so that you can follow through and fulfill My will without rush or stress or being late.

Dig deeper:

[ ] "The Laws of Moses," ML #155:9-12, DB 5

[ ] "Kings," ML #212:1-3‚ DB 5

[ ] "Is It Too Late," ML #1203:71-85, Vol.12

[ ] "The Love of Christ Constraineth You," ML #2098:49, Vol.16

[ ] "Honor the King," ML #2383:9-21, 27-36, Lifelines 18

[ ] "Charter Responsibilities," ML #3197:128, 132-133‚ GN 803

[ ] "Redeem the Time," #9, 11, 53-54, 68-71, Good Thots 2

Challenging Thot:

22. (Jesus:) I have removed your excuses. I have shown you that what I ask of you is both realistic and doable. With the keys of the Kingdom, the weapon of praise, and My instructions in hand‚ you can change, you can obey, you can fulfill My will!


Hot tip: Write it down!

23. (Mama:) This is something that has been on my heart to share with you for a long time, because it's an area that very few people have good habits in—and that's the importance of writing things down that you need to remember, and carrying a notebook around with you so that when things come up, you can write them down. I could never have made it this far if I didn't write pretty much everything down. Those who work with me know it's true; I always have a notebook in my hand, and I use it frequently! I have a poor memory, so I know I have to. Many of you have much better memories, I'm sure, but if you're not writing things down, you're adding stress to your life that you could easily get rid of just by writing things down when you think of them‚ rather than trying to remember them.

24. Recently the Lord talked to one of the IB chairmen about his work ethic, and this was one of the points:

25. (Jesus:) One area that you are weak in is in writing things down, taking notes and having a workable to–do list. You have a to-do list, but you don't always work from it very well. It's not that you are so disorganized and dropping a lot of balls, but you make things harder on yourself when you don't use these productivity tools to the full.

26. Writing things down is the first step, and then you've got to organize that information in a better fashion so that you know what the priorities are.

27. Sometimes your to–do list is so long that you get a little intimidated by it and it can be hard to focus on the best way to get things done. But even that is much better than having nothing. Take that long to-do list, and read over it, and assign priorities to what you can actually get done that day, and put everything else in My hands. Then you'll be working in the most efficient way.

28. That's what good work ethic is all about. It's not about working yourself to death using every available moment of your day for work. It's about being most efficient and at your best when you work. It's about making the right things your priorities and focusing on those, and having a good organizational system so that they get done. That's working smart. Writing things down and working from a to-do list is on the top of the list of working smart.

29. (Mama:) For you who are on a teamwork or in leadership or carry any kind of responsibility at all, this is extremely important. If you don't carry a notebook around with you, people know you're probably going to forget what they're telling you, because they know that no one has that good a memory. While it might be just "one more thing" to you that you have to take care of, to them it might be very important. If you don't write it down, they'll feel that what they're saying isn't important to you or you're not that interested, because you're probably just going to forget. Another reason you should carry your notebook is as a good example. It's really what everyone is supposed to do, and we can help remind each other by doing it ourselves. And besides, if you don't write things down, you're constantly spending time and effort trying to remember them, when you should be able to let them go and spend time and focus on other things. So the moral of the story is, write it down!

30. Then you have to look over your notes and categorize things periodically and ask the Lord to help you define the priorities and decide what to do first, second, third, and so on.

31. Even if it's just something you want to remember to pray for, write it down. Reading it again will help jog your memory and you can actually do something about it.

32. Writing things down, and carrying a notebook so that you can write them down‚ is a key to efficiency!

[End of box]

Talking to the Right People

The issue:

33. (Mama:) There's really something to be said for talking to the right people about things. When you have a question, or even doubts or trials about something‚ or you have needs‚ suggestions‚ complaints, or whatever—there's a huge difference between talking to the right people and spreading your thoughts around to whoever you happen to feel like talking to.

34. If you share how you feel with the right people, your perspective and input can help to bring about change, progress‚ improvement, and, very importantly‚ you can get help and shepherding and prayer if you need it. But if you don't go to the right people, those same thoughts and feelings that you put into words can become gossip, murmurs, spread division, and cause problems and questions for others.

35. If you're not willing to go to the right people about something on your heart, and also disciplined enough to avoid sharing it with those who don't need to be involved, it probably won't come out in the right spirit, and probably won't bear good fruit. You might feel very justified, but it's wrong. If you feel you have to tell the first person you see, or you want to tell someone who you feel will give you sympathy or who will agree with you, but you're not willing to go to your shepherds about it‚ or to the person who can really help or has authority in that area and knows the scoop, or to someone who's really going to help you and motivate you and is even willing to correct you if need be, rather than just sympathizing with you, then you need to check your heart and your motives, because maybe you don't really want the answers or you're not ready to accept the truth.

36. It's not wrong to want sympathy, but if you're not willing to go to the right people about it—and risk the instruction or correction that you might really need—then your heart isn't right, and it probably won't bear the right fruit when you share it with others. And when we say "the right people‚" we're not only talking about your shepherds, although they're often a good choice. But we're referring to whoever the Lord shows you to talk to, who will actually be able to help you and give you some wise counsel and perspective, or at least pray with you and for you rather than just sympathizing or falling into murmuring or gossip or doubts with you.

God's mind on the matter:

37. (Jesus:) The difference between talking to the wrong person and the right person is often the difference between pride and humility. If you don't want to talk to the right person about something, it's often because you want to cover the thoughts you're thinking and don't have the faith to expose them for fear that you're wrong and might be in a bad spirit or have a wrong attitude, and you don't want to expose that. You're not willing to expose yourself in order to find the truth. There are other reasons too, such as perhaps you don't fully trust the person you should talk to about these things.

38. I am the Creator of your heart, and I am the One Who peers deep into your inner thoughts and motivations, your ideas‚ your leadings‚ the way you feel about things, your hang-ups, faults, and shortcomings. I see the inner folds where you have things tucked away, many of which keep you from growing. Nothing is hid from Me, and My greatest desire for you personally is to help you unfold to Me so that I can shine My light and truth into your inner thoughts and your heart so that you can be free from all that hinders, obstructs, and keeps you from reaching your full potential. I have that power, you know. There is nothing beyond My reach. I have searched the deep inner folds of your heart and I know exactly what is there.

39. Usually when you don't want to go to the right people to explain something, the way you're feeling or how something seems to you, it's because you're afraid of any one of a myriad of things. You're afraid you might be wrong‚ or not quite right, and that you will be exposed for being wrong on a certain topic. Or you're afraid the person you go to will not understand, or will judge you harshly. There are many reasons the Enemy might bring to your mind.

40. But the bottom line is fear of exposure, fear of correction, which is rooted in pride, as humility doesn't feel it. When you come to a crossroads such as this, the wise thing, the mature thing for someone who loves Me and wants to follow Me‚ is to lay down your pride and to pick up the key of humility, to honestly expose your heart, and to go to the right person who can help you in your quandary.

41. If you will trust in Me, put aside your fear, and expose your heart to the right person, the end result will eventually be solid growth as a mature individual capable of "taking it," capable of growing—one who is willing to risk his pride for the sake of solid growth.

42. But the person who is afraid to expose his inner thoughts about a topic is actually covering himself in pride. He is motivated by the spirit of pride. The person who goes to others to justify his thoughts or his feelings really is doing the wrong thing, because he is taking a step to promulgate his point of view regardless of whether it is wrong or right. He really isn't being loving to that other person. He is willing to expose others to things that may not be true or right or in the right spirit, in order to justify himself—which is pride, pure and simple, and putting himself above what is good for others.

43. This person is sowing pride in his friends or in others‚ which means he is sowing bad seeds that can sprout into the Enemy's weeds in others' hearts. This is not love. This is the opposite of love, and is the festering, conniving root of Satan spreading its way through that person into others. This is an example of the damage that pride does. This is the damage that just a little bit of you sowing a bad spirit in others can do.

44. This is why I have said that sowing division is one of the seven abominations to Me. Why is that? Think about it. It's because when you take it upon yourself to sow your pride in another, what you're doing is sowing the seeds of My archenemy in one of My beloved ones, and it is abominable to Me. I hate it.

45. Therefore, My loves, love one another! Respect each other's spiritual condition and do all you can to build them up, not to tear them down. If there is something you're unsure about or you feel bad about, or anything at all questionable in your heart or thoughts, don't spread those things randomly so that they take root in others' hearts too, but go to the right person who can help you sort out what is right and what is wrong.

46. Even if for some reason the person you go to doesn't help you all that much, or doesn't have the answers you feel you need, you have still done the right thing in going to the right people instead of spreading your questions or feelings or trials to others. I Myself will come to you and comfort you, will help you find the truth of the matter‚ and will guide you into the truth through the Holy Spirit. We will not fail you, My loves, if you do not fail Me by sowing the spirit of pride in others.

47. If you come in humility to your earthly shepherds, or to those I show you to go to, We, the Holy Spirit and I, will also come to you to show you the way to the truth. This you can count on. We will enlarge your heart and make it a better place, with more room for understanding and tolerance, with more love‚ and with a greater expanse of happiness both in this present world and in the one to come. You will be blessed with My perspective, with peace, and with the answers you seek, or the faith to trust Me that the answers will come in My time. And in some cases I will actually change the circumstances to make things easier for you. Things will be handled according to My will, and so you can know that all things will work together for your good one way or the other.

48. This is My promise to you who resist the desire of your pride to spread itself, who lay your pride down, who stomp on it and chop it up, and who pick up the spirit of humility and follow where it leads. You will never regret following the humble path, for it is where I dwell and where I wait for you‚ My dear loves whom I gave everything for. Please come. We have many joys waiting for us here.


49. (Jesus:) Everyone needs help at times, a listening ear, a voice of sound counsel‚ and a helpful prod that keeps them on the straight and narrow. But sadly, many people feel they need to voice their complaints, their questions, and their needs far and wide—not in an effort to get the help they need, but rather to make a statement. They want sympathy, but they don't want help. And when that's your attitude, you truly won't get the help you need.

50. Shepherds are here to help. Your brothers and sisters who are strong in Me and living the lives of disciples themselves also are your mates in battle‚ and are here to help you. You're all meant to be shepherding each other. Everyone needs to get over their wrong and negative views on shepherding, because if you don't, you're hurting and stunting your spiritual growth.

51. Having questions‚ problems, doubts, trials, and feeling the urge to share these thoughts with someone is a natural human need. But who you go to for the help and instruction determines the type of fruit it bears in your life. If you go to the wrong person for help, you're merely spreading your questions, doubts, or problems around. You're not only not receiving the help you need, but you're subsequently harming and damaging another's spirit. You are opening inroads for the Enemy to get in and attack not only you but others as well.

52. When you go to the right people—your shepherds and those who are strong in the Lord and in the Word—and your attitude is such that you want help, you want to understand and get over the problems you're facing, then you're going to receive the help you need. But when you instead choose to voice your doubts and murmurs to others, it's nothing less than gossiping and spreading division, sowing the seeds of disunity and doubt. You will have to answer to Me one day for the faith of those you hurt in the process, the inroads of the Enemy you opened up and welcomed him in through, not only to your own hurt, but to the hurt of others as well.

53. It doesn't matter what your excuses are. If you're shouldering a burden or a battle that you should be getting help with, and you go and dump it on the wrong person, you're doing the wrong thing. Shepherds are your safeguards, they're here to help; but if you refuse the help, then you're damaging your spirit, and if you share it with those who aren't prepared or anointed to handle it, you're damaging their spirits as well.

54. How will you answer to Me for the faith of others that you hurt through the doubts‚ murmuring, and questions that you dumped on the wrong people? Are you willing to take that responsibility?

55. It's pride that prevents you from going to the right people for help. It's the spirit of pride that causes you to resist the help you need. It's pride that makes you feel that you need to let all your friends and peers know about your views, your battles, your doubts, rather than seeking out the help you need.

56. Going to the wrong people is very often an attention-getter, which is a result of pride. Fear often prevents you from going to the right people, because you worry you'll be corrected for being in the wrong‚ but that fear is also pride. You often feel you'll get sympathy or recognition or agreement from others by sharing these things with them—and you probably often do. But all you're doing is pulling someone else down with you. That additional information you're sharing with them might be just what the Enemy needs to get things going in the wrong direction in their mind too.

57. If you really want to get over issues in your life, if you want to make progress, then you must confront pride in your life—this evil spirit of pride that holds you back from getting help. Go to the right people for help. And by "right" people, I don't mean those people who you think will just agree with you, or not help you; but the people who will give you the shepherding and help that you need to grow in spirit, or the people that I tell you to talk to about it.

58. Fight pride, and get help from the right people!

In summary:

59. (Mama:) Everyone has occasional doubts, questions, battles, things that hit them wrong, misunderstandings, trials, or various other negative feelings from time to time. That's just part of life and the tests that the Lord allows, and things He engineers to help us grow and mature, and it's part of being human too.

60. But it's very important to share those things with the right people. Most of the time, the Lord would probably want you to share those things with your shepherds, as hopefully they have a bit more of the overall perspective and can help you see more of a broader view on things, plus they have the anointing to hear the questions and problems without being too negatively affected. And they can pray for you and counsel you, and even help to set you straight if you need some correction or you're not seeing things right.

61. Sometimes the Lord might also show you to share these things with someone you're close to, if they're spiritually strong and are faithful to communicate with the shepherds as well, and can help pray for you. Sometimes the right thing to do is to go directly to the person who you're having a problem or a misunderstanding with, and humbly share your heart with them personally and make things right with them.

62. If you have a habit of going to the wrong people about things, it would probably be better to err on the safe side for a while‚ and share these types of things with your shepherds first, and get their counsel on whether it's something appropriate to share with your friends and loved ones. Get in the habit of humbling yourself and wanting the help you need‚ and then, when your spirit is right and you're seeking to do the humble thing, the things you share prayerfully with others will bear the right kind of fruit in your life and in their lives.

63. It's also important for us all to be our brother's keeper along these lines. If someone shares something with you that they're going through, ask them if they've shared it with the shepherds so that the shepherds can be praying for them too. If the person isn't willing to go to the shepherds themselves, ask them if they'd mind if you talk to the shepherds about it. We will all continue to need help, and sometimes the ideal person isn't available to talk to‚ but the Lord will bless you if you are seeking to do the humble thing, if you really sincerely want the answers, and are also respectful and prayerful regarding how your words affect others.

Key promise:

64. When you claim the keys of humility and are willing to do the humble thing, everything will fall into perspective‚ and My will will become clear to you.

Dig deeper:

[ ] "Mama's Love Story, Part 3," ML #2994:30-38, Lifelines 22

[ ] "Crisis of Faith, Part 1," ML #3088:24-48, Lifelines 23

[ ] "Crisis of Faith, Part 2‚" ML #3089:61-73, Lifelines 23

[ ] "The Professionals," ML #3399:1, 5–9, GN 993

Challenging Thot:

65. (Jesus: ) I gave My very life upon earth to bring you into My house forever. You are going to live with Me forever, and I want you to have the best rewards and the best possible place when you get here. But if you spend your time sowing bad seeds in others, you're not only diminishing the rewards you will enjoy forever, but you are attempting to wreck and tear down theirs too. This is abominable to Me, because My desire is that you each have the best rewards you can possibly have, those that will make you happiest.

66. So you are directly fighting against My desire for you when you sow your spirit of pride in others. It causes harm to you, and it tends toward harming them too‚ unless they are strong enough to resist your evil seeds. Instead, build up your spirit and the spirits of others too through spreading words of praise, thankfulness, and faith. You'll find that speaking words of faith and praise not only helps you to feel better, but those words bring on solutions and answers, because that's the principle of faith. Share your questions with those who can help you find the answers.

67. That is the way to a truly happy life and spiritual growth. Your happiness and joy will be multiplied when you reach Heaven and see the rewards of faith laid up for you Here!

Perseverance and Long-Term Commitment

The issue:

68. (Mama:) We seem to have a general outlook in the Family of thinking we need to get results right now, because we have for so long had quick answers to prayer, quick souls, quick everything.

69. I think that's one factor that makes people so reluctant or lazy about follow-up, because it takes so much longer and you don't see immediate results. Staying in one situation, as the Lord is now encouraging a lot more of us to do, is so much more difficult. You can go on road trips and reap tons of souls and obvious fruit, but it's much harder to stay in the same place. You have a smaller group of people that you're feeding faithfully, rather than a great sweeping ministry to the passing masses. You have to zero in on your little flock and faithfully feed them.

70. Related to that, it's so hard for some people to buckle down when they're faced with difficult long-term projects of any kind, or being faithful with their schoolwork‚ or pretty much anything that requires a long time to do. Some of our folks have a real weakness of not being able to persevere long enough to finish things, especially things that are hard.

71. You have to discipline yourself to stick to things and see them through! You have to make it a habit and just refuse to give up partway through. Not everything in life yields quick results—in fact, most of the really valuable accomplishments, victories, steps of progress or discoveries are achieved very slowly, one tiny baby step at a time. Success is just following through.

God's mind on the matter:

72. (Jesus:) My Family, your queen is correct—too often there is a lack of perseverance and discipline to commit to and accomplish long-term tasks, especially when you see no immediate benefits. I would like to encourage you that no matter what your task, from you children with your schoolwork, to you faithful witnessers with your follow-up, to you who are learning a foreign language, to you teens getting your CVC diploma, it is worth it to really apply yourself and stick it out to the end.

73. A good example of this is the famous inventor, Thomas Edison. His life and the inventions he left behind on Earth are proof that you have to really stick to your task in order to reap the results. I'm going to let him give a short talk. It's a message that I've inspired him to give and helped him to prepare. He doesn't feel like he's much of a speaker, so I helped him a bit with his notes and gave him an outline, but I want him to put his own personal touch on it, to relate to you the benefits of perseverance. Here he is:

74. (Thomas Edison: ) Hello, Family! Can you hear me? I've done this before, you know, but it still takes some getting used to. Giving messages from up here is not entirely different from the early sound recordings—it takes trial and error, and sometimes you hear me coming through louder than other times. But I have a few things to say‚ and Jesus told me that you would need to hear them, so I pray that He'll help me say what He wants me to say to you.

75. I want to encourage you that nothing that is worth anything comes without a good deal of hard work. And to accomplish anything worthwhile, you will need to commit yourself to seeing your given task through to the end, regardless of the setbacks you encounter or the length of time the project takes. You must also expect the unexpected. Things may take longer than you realized, or you may find that there are difficulties that you never thought would arise. Despite these, you must persevere.

76. I'd like to explain a little more about my well–quoted saying: "Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration." Of course, the main meaning of this is that you have to work hard to achieve your goals. But there is a secondary meaning too. Aside from focusing on the large amount of work needed, I want to draw your attention to the relatively small amount of inspiration that is needed. 10% of anything isn't all that much. Inspiration is vital, of course, but too often you rely solely on that to see you through.

77. Whether it is a physical endeavor, such as schoolwork or evangelization or learning a skill or language, or whether it is a spiritual and moral struggle, such as overcoming personal weaknesses and gaining knowledge in the spirit, the inspiration—what David called "glory in the thing you do"—is vital. But it cannot be all that you're counting on. Inspiration will run dry, and that's when perspiration must take over. You aren't fully committed to seeing your project through if you're only going to work when you're excited and inspired.

78. I am reluctant to refer to my own life's work, because it seems insignificant now compared to the spiritual realm and the greatness I have seen since coming here, and compared to all that is in store for you, the children of David, in these Last Days. However, I will say that there were many times when I no longer had the initial impetus of a project as my ally. My inspiration had run thin, I had tried and failed, and tried and failed again, and there was no more motivation to push me along, except the driving force within that made me want to reach the objective regardless of the cost. That "force within" comes from truly believing in what you are doing, and purposing that you will succeed regardless of how long it takes or what difficulties arise.

79. When the Lord gave the example of not sitting down to build a tower without first counting the cost, that doesn't just mean to add up the physical nuts and bolts of the project. It doesn't just mean evaluating whether you have the time or the resources. It means to consider whether you have the fortitude to push through to the victory, even when your passion for the project has run low, or you have encountered setbacks that you didn't dream of at the start.

80. That's all part of counting the cost. When you embark on any venture, you have to think about the goal and whether it's worth reaching. If you determine that it is, then you have to anticipate the struggles, and still resolve that you will overcome and you will push through to victory. You have to desire the glory and reward of accomplishment.—Not for personal pride, but because what you have set your hand to is worth it for the glory of the Lord and the furthering of His work.

81. So if you must apply yourself to your studies, or to learn a foreign language‚ or you must apply yourself to learning a certain trade or ministry, or if it is to obey and persevere in your follow–up and ministry of evangelization, or whatever your job for the Lord is, you have to determine that you're going to see it through, with or without the inspiration that you began with. You have to be more than just "jazzed" about the project. You have to believe in the project. You have to know that it's God's will for you to succeed, and then you must commit to succeeding at any cost. That's how you'll achieve your ends. That's how you'll make yourself push past the difficulties, and that's how you'll succeed!

82. Inspiration and emotions are fleeting things, but hard work and perseverance can be done anytime. You may not always be able to muster up excitement for your task, but you can always muster up hard work. And don't rule out the Lord's help, either. He can motivate you with His Words and give you back the passion that you once had. But whether you feel it or not, it's not going to happen if you don't get in there and do it with all your might.

83. That's what it takes! And if you want to succeed as a Family, we up here will need to see a little more elbow grease, a little more "try" before the triumph. You know what you need to do, you know where the Lord has led you, you know what He's asking of you, so all that is left is for you to decide that you want it too‚ that you want to win and overcome and achieve, and you will. It takes sweat, it takes work, it takes time, it takes perseverance, it takes discipline, it takes denying yourself, it sometimes requires privation or a lack of the comforts of life, but if it's worth it, then you'll do it gladly.

84. You have to want it. Do you?

Additional reading:

Tips on follow–up and building a successful work

85. (Dad:) It's human nature to want to see action, to see results, to want to enjoy the fruits of your labors. It's also human nature to want to see that action, result‚ and fruit quickly. Most people don't naturally have a lot of foresight or the long-term vision. It takes the supernatural insight of the Lord to work for something that you're going to be rewarded for in the long term, rather than right here and now. It takes faith to invest your time, energy‚ effort, blood, sweat, and tears in something that may take a very long time to see the results of, or that perhaps you'll never see the full results of in this life.

86. But think about it for a minute—isn't that what your life as a Christian and disciple is all about? Isn't it about looking not at the things that are temporal, the here and now, but having your heart and mind fixed on things above? Isn't it all about forsaking the carnal and material realm‚ and the immediate rewards and benefits of the physical world, in order to gain eternal spiritual riches?

87. Looking ahead toward the future and investing in the long term is one of the key elements of a spiritually healthy Christian life! You can't be a good follower and disciple of Jesus if you're too tied up in the present, in the immediate‚ in the here and now. Many of the things the Lord will ask you to do will require a forsaking of your desire for immediate accomplishment and satisfaction, in order to gain something of far greater value and substance in the future—and the area of your witnessing and ministering is no exception.

88. The Lord is asking, and has for some time been asking, that the Family move away from the quick results methods to the long-term results methods. It's a sacrifice to faithfully follow up on and feed the sheep. It seems like a sacrifice at the time to focus your efforts on follow-up ministries and feeding ministries rather than ministries that bring a quick turnaround in the sense of lots of lit distributed, lots of souls won, or lots of finances coming in, or all of the above. It's not bad at all to get out lots of lit, to win lots of souls, or raise lots of finances; but it is bad to neglect what the Lord is calling you to do, and what is really your primary calling—feeding the sheep and training disciples—in favor of these other things just because the results are quicker. It's a case of misplaced priorities and wrongly perceived values.

89. If you're focusing more on witnessing methods with quick results rather than those that require a more long-term investment, you probably don't consciously feel, for the most part, that you're doing it because of pride and wanting to give yourself the satisfaction of accomplishment. But in many ways, in many situations, and with many people, that's what it comes down to. It's really leaning on the arm of the flesh, too.

90. There's often a very strong mindset of, "Well, this is something I know how to do. This is something I've been doing successfully for ten years." Whereas, you feel that to venture out into a more "plodding" type ministry of follow-up and feeding is more of an unknown quantity. You want to believe it will work, but if you haven't personally experienced it, you're in many cases still a bit too skeptical.

91. What it comes down to is that you're afraid to put yourself totally in the Lord's hands and have faith that He will come through for you, fulfill His promises, and take care of you. You're caught up in a carnal mindset, thinking that everything has to "make sense" in the practical; that if you don't get out and do A, B‚ and C, how will you have results to show for it? And how will you support yourselves?—That's always a biggie. But the fact is that when you obey the Lord‚ He will bless it! He will provide for you, and He will also cause you to bear fruit.

92. God is a whole lot more likely to bless you abundantly in really awesome ways when He sees your faith being manifested by pulling away from the safe shallow shores that you've been wading in for so long, and launching out into the deep. Let me tell you, you might think you're doing great catching all those hundreds of little fish that are so easy to find in the shallows, but when you get out in the big ocean and start deep sea fishing, you're going to see that what you were doing before is literally "small fry" in comparison!

93. Those fish out there in the big, wide ocean are harder to catch, yes, but they're the real big, strong, meaty, amazing ones. They're the ones that you have to work hard to catch, work together as a team to catch, and sometimes they're hard to find, or when you do find them they resist a bit. But they're also the "keepers." They're the ones that you bring home with godly pride‚ and when you catch one of those, there's a sense of accomplishment and reward that will never come from catching the little fish, no matter how many you catch.

94. In your witnessing, maybe you are catching more fish with your short-term vision and quick-results approaches. But if you were to fully obey the Lord, to launch out into the deep waters and go for the more long-term approach, well, you might catch less fish, but the ones you catch would be far more spectacular. It's in the faithful, long-term follow-up and feeding that you meet and win those who will be disciples‚ co-workers‚ kings, protectors, and supporters. They don't get scooped up with the crowds in the shallows. They wait for you to make the effort to come find them in the deep waters.

95. That's what the Lord is calling the Family to do, and that's what you need to do if you want to be on board with the new moves of the spirit‚ if you want to move in the direction the Lord is leading the Family's witnessing, and if you want to get in position for God's full blessings. Amen?

In summary:

96. (Mama: ) Many of you need to pray for more perseverance and dedication in your work‚ your ministries, your schooling, your follow-up, and then really buckle down and be willing to do the hard work to see things through! The Lord will bless it, and the results you'll reap will be much greater, more long lasting, and more significant.

97. The "fly by inspiration" method of working is more fun in some ways, but it's not nearly as successful. And in this era of our history, we have to be willing to do the long, hard‚ slow work. That's what the Lord has set in front of us, and that's what we have to focus our energies on if we want to fulfill His will. So just get used to it! Ask the Lord for more of a long-term vision, count the cost like Thomas Edison instructs, and then when you've made certain that something is the Lord's will, for God's sake and the Kingdom's sake, stick to it!

Key promise:

98. Using the keys will help fill in when your inspiration runs out, because the keys are a storehouse of energy, vision, inspiration and fulfillment, and they never run dry!

Dig deeper:

[ ] "Organization I," ML #54:6-12, DB 4

[ ] "Shtick," ML #703, DB 1

[ ] "Hold On," ML #1650, DB 2

[ ] "Feeling Inspired to Do God's Will," ML #2747, DB 11

[ ] "Endure Hardness as a Good Soldier," ML #2786:7-20, DB 11

[ ] "Jewels on Going Slow and Resting in the Lord," ML #2939:19-28, Lifelines 21

[ ] "Serve One Another in Love," ML #2978:49-52, DB 12

[ ] "Let Jesus Bear the Weight," ML #2987:40-48, DB 12

[ ] "Mama's Memos No.10," ML #3246:2-48‚ GN 854

[ ] "The Endtime Series, Part 3‚" ML #3280:89-100, GN 896

[ ] "Activate the World, Part 2," ML #3358:28-37, GN 955

Challenging Thot:

99. (Dad:) Unless you stick to what the Lord has put in front of you, you'll never know how successful you could be. Perseverance equals success. Perseverance equals reward. Perseverance equals lasting fruit. Persevere!

Know Your Helpers and Hinderers

The issue:

100. (Mama:) Some of you still question why we need spirit helpers, or need to be aware of the demons that are fighting us, if we have Jesus and He's all-powerful. And, of course, if you can't see why we need them, you're not going to put much effort into learning their names or portfolios or exercising yourself in calling on the good ones and rebuking the bad ones in your prayers. That's a problem‚ because the Lord has told us that learning to work with our spirit helpers and fighting the hinderers effectively is crucial to our survival and success in the coming days.

101. The Lord sent one of our spirit helpers with an interesting class on this topic.

God's mind on the matter:

102. (Carla:) I want to teach you a class about spirit helpers and hinderers, and their importance. Imagine you're visiting the Center for Disease Control, an institution that has often been portrayed in Hollywood's action films. In reality, it is the hub of disease prevention and headquarters of the United States' government and the medical establishment's warfare against disease. They search for and identify new strains of viruses, bacteria, and diseases in general. The scientists who work there know the vital importance of identifying the specific strain of bacteria and viruses, their "enemy" in the warfare against disease. It is their job, their mandate, and in some cases, their passion to identify new pathogens.

103. It is their job to examine closely the characteristics of a new pathogen. What does it inhabit? Where does it go? What does it do? What are its weak points, its vulnerabilities, that it may be destroyed?

104. An equally important part of their task is to study and identify the different curative medicines and regimens that are at their disposal, and to diligently search for new "warriors" in defense, to conquer specific disease-causing pathogens. Once found, they categorize the new defender/warrior: What are its characteristics? What does it fight most effectively against? When should it be used? When is it best to instead use something else?

105. Do you think they would ever think, "Oh no! We have discovered another strain of disease-producing virus! We always wondered where that particular disease came from, what was causing it, and now we've identified the virus behind it. Perhaps we shouldn't bother to investigate more. We know enough about these viruses and bacteria and germs. Enough is enough. We'll just fight these diseases with what we've got, and not look into their causes and characteristics, their weak points and ways they can be defeated. It's too much bother, we're looking too much on the negative."

106. The fact is, time does not stand still. The germs are getting stronger, the diseases are getting more virulent. If these scientists were to ignore that fact and shut down their research centers, what would happen?

107. Take another example: Let's say your computer contracts a virus. Now‚ you could take a general approach to curing your computer of this virus. You could "level the system," as they say at Microsoft—reinstall Windows and all of your programs from scratch. That's guaranteed to work, no doubt about it. But it can take a long time to do that and fully recover, time that you might not have a lot of.

108. Or, you could use an anti-virus program that was developed by programmers who spend years studying the various types of computer viruses, categorizing them‚ making lists of hundreds‚ if not thousands of them, each with their own signature (a method of identifying a particular virus), what files they attack, how they get in, and how to get rid of that particular virus and repair the particular damage that virus does.

109. What approach would you prefer to use? The "level the system and install everything all over again from scratch," a general purpose cure-all for software problems? Or a program that was designed by a specialist in these matters, who says, "Oh yes, this is computer virus #14272, subtype B. We have a specific program that will focus all of its power on getting rid of just that particular virus in a jiffy, and repair your files. You'll be back up again in ten minutes."

110. Do you see why the Enemy promotes the "general" approach rather than the specific approach?

111. One way to gain perspective on this issue is to look at who promotes this unbelief. Many worldlings don't believe there is a Devil. Who promotes that belief? How convenient of him to persuade his victims that he doesn't exist. If they don't believe he exists, then how can they recognize his attacks? And if they cannot recognize his attacks‚ they don't even know they need to fight against the onslaught. They probably just figure it was a run of "bad luck" or "negative emotions," or whatever. Nothing personal, just random events in a Darwinian universe.

112. Do you see‚ then, how limiting your belief to just God and Satan similarly ties your hands to fight in hand-to-hand combat against the specific demons that attack you?

113. Let's look at this from another, practical perspective: For those of you who prefer the "God vs. Satan" approach, skipping over the legions and minions, who do you plan on working with during the Millennium? Who will you be fighting for and against during the Battle of Armageddon and other Endtime battles? There are a lot more players on those battlefields than just God and the Devil, don't you think? The same is true right now!

114. In fact, who do you think is keeping everything running from behind the scenes right now? Is it only God behind there, doing everything‚ except for the Devil, who's the only one causing trouble‚ and everyone else is just sitting around watching the show? When God wanted salvation communicated to man, did He come down Himself and do the job? He sent His Son. And did His Son come down here and do the job Himself, and then stick around after His resurrection to continue preaching the Gospel single-handedly? No, He delegated the job to you—to His children on Earth. Similarly, God has delegated the intricate job of keeping the universe running from behind the scenes to His angels (that includes all angelic and spiritual beings). So there are a lot of individuals behind the scenes running things‚ and they affect your life.

115. Now, according to the book of Revelation, a third of the angels fell and revolted with Satan, so now a full third of those angels are fighting you. These are individuals, grouped in many cases in legions, and within various principalities and divisions within and under Satan's jurisdiction. These are spirit beings who will be and are now affecting your thoughts, and working to set up circumstances and conditions in the physical realm to attempt to inflict harm upon you. These are up close and personal attacks, growing stronger daily.

116. On the other hand, a full two-thirds of the angels have remained faithful to God, and are fighting for you, helping you, and counseling you. Remember, this is from the book of Revelation, considered Scripture by billions of Christians throughout history. Again, who do you think would advocate your ignoring those two-thirds of the angels who are trying to help you, and ignoring the one-third who are out to get you and trip you up and tie you up and destroy you, if they could?

117. You see, you're moving toward the time when the realms of Earth and the heavens will merge, when you're going to be working very closely with all those good angels, and doing visible combat against those from the other side. You're moving quickly toward that time‚ and it's starting to happen now. The Lord is trying to train you in working more closely with your co–workers on the other side now. It's nothing personal, it's just the wave of the future, and you need to go with the flow of God's Spirit on this. That's where He's leading—an eventual union of the angels and you guys working hand in hand.

In summary:

118. (Mama: ) Learning to work with our spirit helpers, and to fight effectively against those who oppose us, is a vital part of our preparation for the days ahead! If you need more encouragement from the Lord to have the conviction to make this a priority in your life, study up on the topic and all He's already said, and ask Him to speak to you personally about it. But don't neglect it or put it off, or you'll be sorry!

Key promise:

119. Through the keys you can have a clear link to Me and to your spirit helpers, and you can learn to work with us as co-workers and counselors‚ for we are always by your side.

Dig deeper:

[ ] "None of These Things Move Me," ML #3307:41-44, GN 906

[ ] "What the Future Holds, Part 1," ML #3349:14–24, 29-30, GN 942

[ ] "Action Through Prayer, Part 5," ML #3414:46-57, 127-130, GN 1000

[ ] "Pray, Obey and Prepare," ML #3420:141, 148-149, 153–157, 161-162, GN 1007

[ ] "Christmas Gifts 2002," ML #3429: 7-17, 30–36, GN 1013

[ ] "Obliterate Obstacon," ML #3434:1-8, GN 1017

[ ] "So You Want to Be a Disciple?" ML #3458:67-75, GN 1043

[ ] "Which Comes First—The Revelation or the Artwork?" ML #3474:61-62, Post-it GN #12

Challenging Thot:

120. (Dad:) Of course the Enemy will try to convince you that your spirit helpers aren't really that helpful‚ and the demons aren't that real or powerful ဦ he doesn't want you taking active part in the spiritual warfare and defeating him! So every time you're tempted to feel weary with the fight, recognize where that weariness and apathy and skepticism is coming from, and hit back with a specific rebuke in the power of the keys against his active target! Make him sorry he picked on you!

Our Mates and Loved Ones Are the Lord's

The issue:

121. (Mama:) Our husbands, wives, boyfriends‚ girlfriends, special loves, etc., belong to Jesus first of all, and the Family second‚ and third place is for us, personally. We're all His disciples, and even when He allows us to get together as mates or in marriages or relationships, that doesn't change our status as far as being His disciples.

122. It seems like that's a concept that many people have lost sight of, and in your desire to "protect" your relationship or feel secure, you have come to consider your mate or loved one as "yours," and you hold on pretty tightly to that "right," when it's not actually your right at all. I've heard some couples say that they didn't want one mate to get involved in a project or take on more responsibility or receive training for fear that the other one would be left behind. In that case, both wind up missing out. That also crops up when you aren't willing to let your mate take on a ministry that would mean they would be away from home frequently, or traveling‚ or not able to spend much time with you, or that would be threatening in some way. Some of you don't want your mate to take on a leadership role or any other ministry that would require confidentiality—you expect that whatever they know, you should be able to know too. Or you don't want your mate to make personal changes in their life that the Lord is asking of them, because it would be uncomfortable for you—such as reaching out to others, or getting up earlier for personal time with the Lord, or something like that. Can you see how those attitudes in a relationship can wind up holding the partners back? It really doesn't bear good fruit in the long run‚ and the Lord can't bless it.

God's mind on the matter:

123. (Jesus: ) It's extremely important that you accept the reality that your loved ones belong to Me. I don't just mean that in the spiritual sense, or in the sense that, "Yes, You did create them, so they're Yours first of all, as long as You don't take them away from me." I mean it in the practical sense, in the day-to-day sense, in the sense that I need to continue to work in their life as My disciple, and there may and most likely will be times in the future that I will need to call on them, and at that time your attitude will make all the difference as to whether or not you both wind up hitting the mark of My will or missing it.

124. It's a hard thing to remember and accept, because the flesh loves to feel secure, and it's natural to think that the more you "own" something, the more secure you can be that it's going to be there when you need it and want it. It's natural to want to feel that your loved ones will always be with you and that you'll have a say in what they do or don't do, and you can stay with the things you're comfortable with, and on and on. But that's not how it is with you, My beloved disciples. That's not how it works.

125. My laws of the spirit work quite opposite from the way your flesh would like things to be. You naturally want to feel that your loved one, your husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend is "yours," that you at least have a say in their lives, and that you make your decisions together, etc. But because you are My disciples, you each really do belong to Me most of all. Each of you stand before Me as individuals when it comes to the choices you make. And My laws of the spirit dictate that the more you accept that, the more you give each other to Me, the more open you are with Me about your relationships, the more you put everything in My hands freely, the happier you are‚ the more blessed you are, and the more truly secure you will be. The verse applies, "He that saveth his life shall lose it, but he that loseth his life for My sake, the same shall save it."

126. I'm not trying to scare you or make you worry that tomorrow I'm going to call your mate or loved one away and you'll never see them again. That's probably not going to happen—it's pretty rare that I do that. But the reality is that whether I call your loved one Home to be with Me, or I ask them to help in another area for a time, or I'm just asking them to give Me more quality time and make commitments in their personal life toward Me and their discipleship, I need to have the freedom to work in each of your lives. The more you accept that, expect it, and remind yourself that both you and they are Mine first and foremost, the happier you'll be—the more I'll be able to work with you, train you‚ teach you, and get you exactly where I want you. Thus the more useful you'll be, the more fruitful, the more blessed, the happier and more deeply satisfied and secure and content, among many other benefits and blessings.

127. In order to have that attitude that your loved one belongs to Me most of all—and not just believe that in theory‚ but live that principle—you have to realize first of all how very much I love you. More than words could ever express, I know you, I love you‚ I care for you, I understand you, I want you to be happy. That is the basic truth, and you must believe that, otherwise you'll always be worried that I'll do something or allow something that will hurt you.

128. But if you can really believe and rest in My great love for you, you won't worry. You'll know that whatever I ask is for your ultimate good, that any growth or progress or opportunities I bring along for your loved one will also benefit you in some way if you encourage them to follow My will, and you'll know that it's in My will that you'll be truly happiest. You won't want to have your own way anyway, because you'll know that I know best, and because I love you, I only give you the best.

129. My dear loves, I know this is a hard concept to grasp. I know the flesh resists it. But when you're holding too tightly to what you feel is "yours," it prevents Me from working gently and steadily in your life. As a true Father, I won't give up on you, but in the end if it comes down to it, I might have to force your hand in some cases, or in other cases simply take away from you that which is hurting you and stunting your growth. I know you don't want Me to have to do that, and I don't either.

130. So the easiest thing to do is to open your hands freely and say, "Yes, my Love, they are Yours. I know You know my heart. You know how much I love them and care for them. But they are Yours above all, and I give You leave to do what You will in their hearts and lives, to call them where You know they must go, to give and take‚ to work as You know best."

131. This is a hard prayer to pray. It's like the famous "Prayer for Magdalene," or a specific version of a "whatever it takes" prayer. But that is really what your attitude should be with Me when it comes to your loved ones.

132. There is the easy way and the hard way. The easy way is to keep things in perspective that they are Mine first of all, and welcome My hand of love, whether in your life or theirs. The harder way is to hold on to them, to try to prevent Me from working or asking anything that you think would be hard—and when you have that attitude, often it will keep Me from asking for a while. They'll miss out and so will you. But eventually I will come and collect what is Mine‚ because I love you and I value your heart above all else. I will have no other gods before Me.

133. The way of the true disciple is to give all to Me, knowing that this life is short by comparison to the heavenly rewards that are awaiting. Trust fully in My love for you, knowing that I give what is best for you, and that which will make you happy.

134. Look at all the great missionaries and men and women of faith who have gone before you. Very few of them lived a long and easy life of comfort, with their loved ones always by their side, in the place and ministry that they most enjoyed. Very few of them got to "choose" what they did—they simply followed My call. Many of them had to leave loved ones behind, some of them had their loved ones called to Heaven partway through their ministry, others chose to be apart at times for the sake of My work, because they could do more for Me apart than together. They were willing because they realized how short this time was compared to the need, and they knew that if I called them to be apart for a time, it was only for a short time compared to the eternity they would spend rejoicing in My love‚ and thankful that they made the sacrifice. They realized that they belonged first and foremost to Me.

135. I'm not telling you this because I'm going to ask it of all of you. I'm telling you because it's a spiritual principle that the way to true happiness is to let Me work as I know best, and it's also the way to ultimate fruitfulness and usefulness‚ and hence lasting reward.

136. Again, My loves, I tell you this not to make you sad, but so that you can be truly happy‚ truly content and secure, and so you and your loved ones both can be free to serve Me fully, neither holding back nor being held back. For it is then that you find true happiness, satisfaction, and great‚ great reward.

Additional reading:

137. (Dad:) Beloved, you belong to the Lord. Each of you, as individuals, belong first and foremost to Him. As His disciples, you are His property. You're here to get a job done for Him, and it's His right to ask you to do what He knows will accomplish that job the best.

138. It's easy to agree with that in theory, but in real life it sometimes gets a little foggy when you have a mate you dearly love, and you want to have a part in their decisions, you don't want them going away for long periods of time, you want to do things a certain way, you put certain conditions on your relationship, etc. You want them to belong to you, and in the worldly sense‚ maybe they do. But we are not of the world; we are chosen out of the world. And that's one of the principles that the Family is built on. It goes back to the concept of One Wife.

139. This is something that many of you have grown weak in over time. You've gotten comfortable in your relationship‚ or you want to be comfortable, and so you try to make yourself secure by hanging on to things tightly and asserting your "ownership" over your mate or those you love. But you know‚ that's exactly the opposite of the way to true happiness and real lasting security.

140. God's way to wealth is to give it away—and that's true of love, not just money. The tighter you hold on to your loved one and assert that they're "yours," the less the Lord can bless you. But the more you give them to the Lord—or really just respect that they're the Lord's to begin with—the happier you will be, the more blessed‚ the more "wealthy" in spirit in every way.

141. So take a tip from me: Don't try to hold on to those the Lord gives you a special love for or puts by your side. Keep reminding yourself that they're on loan—whether for a little while or a long while—that they are the Lord's. Then when the Lord wants to work in their life—teach them something new‚ ask them to take on more responsibility, ask them to help on a special project or call them to a new ministry or new growth in some way—you'll understand that it's His right, and you won't try to keep them from it. And you know, usually when the Lord sees that you're willing to let them go cheerfully, and when you have the right attitude of heart, He makes it up to you very quickly—often by engineering things so that you don't have to actually forsake them, or by giving you something better, or somehow filling the loss. He never takes anything away without giving you something better.

142. Well, this wasn't meant to be a lesson in forsaking all. I know you are all familiar with that concept. But it's more to remind you that your mates and loved ones are the Lord's. They belong to Him and to His work. Keeping that in perspective is a key to having both a happy marriage/relationship and a fruitful, growing, blessed life!

In summary:

143. (Mama: ) If you haven't been thinking this way, it's probably quite difficult to hear and come to grips with it. You're probably facing your worst fears just in thinking about it.

144. But you know, once you change your viewpoint and realize that your loved one belongs to Jesus most of all, it's really not that difficult! And in fact‚ you'll be happier than ever, you'll have far less fears, and you'll be blessed by the Lord more than ever! I know Peter is the Lord's, but that doesn't mean that we don't enjoy a very sweet, intimate, endearing relationship. We are very much in love, we're very close, we're a part of each other, we work together very well, we share each other freely, and we're very secure in our relationship. But we also both stand before the Lord as individuals; we know that the Lord and His work comes first in both of our lives, and in our hearts too. The way I look at it is, Peter is the Lord's, and who am I to keep him from anything the Lord wants him to do!

145. The Lord is so sweet to give the mate some consideration in things‚ and He has made it clear that certain decisions are good to make together, and counsel and agreement and unity is very important, of course. But when it comes down to it, while we should take our mate's preferences into account, and we want to because we love each other, what really matters and what we have to base our decisions on is the Lord, His will, His Word, and the way He is leading. If you base too much around your relationship or your mate, the Lord can't bless that. He and His work must come first. You belong to Him. Your mate belongs to Him. He gives the mate some consideration, but that's not our right, and we had better use it wisely and keep it in perspective, because otherwise He can just as easily blow on it and take it away!

146. So like Dad said, keeping things in perspective is really the way to be happy and content and blessed, as well as continuing to grow and progress and be fruitful as a disciple. If you're just starting out in your relationship, determine to base your relationship on that foundation—each of you belonging to the Lord first of all, and really encouraging each other to continue to grow and progress and do what the Lord calls you to do. If you've been in a relationship for a long time‚ it's not too late to redefine things and reaffirm to each other that that's the way you want it to be, and have a new start! The Lord will bless it!

Key promise:

147. Claim the keys of perfect love, which casts out all fear, and they will fill your heart with trust and confidence in Me that placing your loved one fully in My hands is the best you can do for your relationship.

Dig deeper:

[ ] "Third Epistle to Pastors," ML #49:17-21, Vol.1

[ ] "One Wife," ML #249, DB 5

[ ] "The Doorknob's Too High," ML #1141:53-58, Vol.11

[ ] "Married to Jesus," ML #1953, DB 3

[ ] "Separations," ML #2339:7-13, Vol.17

[ ] "Living the Lord's Law of Love, Part 11," ML #3211:49–56, 62-69, 74, 77–78, GN 814

[ ] "Put Jesus First," Peter #35, DB 3

[ ] "Through It All," ML #3394:2-138, GN 1001

Challenging Thot:

148. (Jesus:) The personal relationship of each of you with Me is the most important thing there is to Me. Nothing else even comes close in importance by comparison. So if you are together with someone‚ or close to someone, keep that as your most important goal in your relationship too—that each of you will keep Me in first place and encourage the other to keep Me in first place also. Keep firmly in your minds that you belong to Me first of all. Then you are fulfilling My highest will‚ and My promise holds sure that then all other things—happiness‚ security, spiritual progress, contentment, blessing, fruitfulness, miracles, provision—will be added unto you.

(End of File)