LEANING ON JESUSHoward Barnett
Back in the seventies, when the Lord was showing me how to be a minister of His righteousness; my first messages were given to me in a complete package. He revealed the passages to read and the words to speak. I thought that maybe this was how it was with all his ministers. The vision of his will was as clear as crystal. I didn’t know that this was just one facet of how He was dealing with his ministry. I was invited to speak at a local church that I had attended a few years before being separated for His ministry. My answer of "sure" to the phone inquiry was based on my previous knowledge of God providing a vision of what to say. But this time it was different. As the days passed and my appointment to speak neared, I had received no revelation of what to share. The scripture that the Lord had quickened to me was "trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."1 I took this at face value and prepared nothing with the knowledge given me to teach or instruct. I went to the service with nothing prepared, and for a young minister this was shaky ground. But I was trusting! When it came time to share the word, I had no idea of what I was to say. I was to learn a wonderful lesson at that service. Jesus led me to speak a word that brought healing to a congregation that was about to split apart over doctrinal differences. Somehow the word had cleared the air, healed the differences and restored peace, as I was to learn after the service from some of the congregation. His message for the evening was nothing that I could have pre-planned. Not leaning into my understanding or taking "no thought" was to become a focal point for my ministry.
Jesus has instructed the church to "take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."2
Trusting Jesus to provide, is a giant step in our walk on the highway of his righteousness. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."3 Leaning on Jesus is preparing us, once our obedience is fulfilled to revenge all disobedience. "For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord."4 And again, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."5
God has instructed the church to "stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet, But they said, We will not hearken. Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it."6
The imagination of the carnal mind will bring judgement upon the earth, because the carnal mind with its lasciviousness is enmity against God. Rather than hear the alarm of the trumpet (the anointed voices of God), the ‘fly-away’ mentality has chosen to have her ears tickled by those that commend themselves among themselves: pastors who in the vanity of their mind, usurp the offices of the prophets or the apostles, thinking they don’t need those foundational voices (the trumpets) to help perfect the saints. Many don’t know that ‘to prophesy’ doesn’t make one a prophet. Paul said, "I would that ye all prophesy". Only Jesus can call, qualify and send those that are anointed for that work. We see the pastoral ego as prophesied by Jeremiah,"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imaginationof his own heart, No evil shall come upon you."7 Instead of helping the saints become equipped as the "army of the Lord" by girding up the loins of the mind to run the race, many that only see Jesus as the Prince of Peace, have not known His will as the everlasting Father, the Mighty God, or the Counselor.
Jesus has said "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division."8 Jesus had also spoken of these things through his servant, Isaiah, with the words, "I have spread out my hand all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day."9 Jesus will spiritually abide till we the feet, place the enemies under us (we make them our footstool).
The last enemy to be conquered is death, therefore, Jesus cannot appear to you until death is overcome. Paul provided the answer with "they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace."10 When we place the carnal mind underfoot, JESUS APPEARS!
He who hath an ear to hear, let him hear.
1 Proverbs 3:5
2 Matthew 6:25-34
3 II Corinthians 10:3-6
4 Hebrews 10:30
5 Romans 12:19
6 Jeremiah 6:16-19
7 Jeremiah 23:16-17
8 Luke 12:51
9 Isaiah 65:25
10 Romans 8:5-6