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8/5/20 - PRESENT but ABSENT

Have you ever been in deep conversation with someone and realize after a few minutes that they have checked out? Or you notice that they’re looking at you but their eyes are glazing over? Lol then you ask, what did I just say? What is always the rote response? I hear you! I’ve been listening! Then they say something totally off topic. Yup. They had checked out.

Jesus had that problem with the scribes and Pharisees, He also had it with the folks who just came for the natural bread. (John 6:26)The spectators. Present but absent. Ask a school teacher or college professor, how often they’re faced with this problem, they’d have a unanimous response. All the time! Ever wondered why some folks will wear dark glasses inside especially in church? Uh uh. Sleeping lol

On the spiritual level, Jesus explains what happens to people who are present but absent using a very familiar scripture.

“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:1-9 NIV

I love that Jesus in the parable singles out the good soil for harvesting. Creating a contrast between those who truly wanted to participate and those who just went along. The Word of God is active. Wherever it finds good soil, the immediate response is hundred, sixty or thirty fold harvest. It must produce. As Followers of Christ, there’s no room for lack of growth. If you intentionally spend a few minutes a day with God’s Word, you’ll have no alternative but growth. The disciples asked Jesus to explain the parables and questioned why He never tells the crowd the meaning. The simple explanation was, they’re here but absent. It’s a new thing so everyone is coming to see. They get excited but as soon as the meeting is over, they forget the value of what they have been taught. So the enemy moves in with distractions that pollute the seed preventing a harvest.

“Then the disciples came to Him and asked, “Why do You speak to the crowds in parables?” Jesus replied to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has [spiritual wisdom because he is receptive to God’s word], to him more will be given, and he will be richly and abundantly supplied; but whoever does not have [spiritual wisdom because he has devalued God’s word], even what he has will be taken away from him. This is the reason I speak to the crowds in parables: because while [having the power of] seeing they do not see, and while [having the power of] hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand and grasp [spiritual things]. In them the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL HEAR and KEEP ON HEARING, BUT NEVER UNDERSTAND; AND YOU WILL LOOK and KEEP ON LOOKING, BUT NEVER COMPREHEND; FOR THIS NATION’S HEART HAS GROWN HARD, AND WITH THEIR EARS THEY HARDLY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE [tightly] CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, AND HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART, AND TURN [to Me] AND I WOULD HEAL THEM [spiritually].’”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13:10-15‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Did you notice the verses I underlined? If you’re guilty of devaluing God’s Word, that explains why you’re spiritually constipated. You’re reading, even attending church regularly but unproductive, plugged up spiritually. Like the Pharisees, you may possess great biblical knowledge, but you’ve checked out, as far as growing in your walk is concerned. Jesus said, even the little that you have, because you know some scripture, that little will be taken away. For the Word to work it must be utilized. Jeremiah said trying to be silent about the Word was like fire shut up in his bones. Jeremiah 20:9 let me write it out for you:

“If I say, “I will not remember Him Or speak His name anymore,” Then my heart becomes a burning fire Shut up in my bones. And I am weary of enduring and holding it in; I cannot endure it [nor contain it any longer].”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭20:9‬ ‭AMP‬‬

So if you’re feeling spiritually plugged up, there’s your reason! You have to let the Word out! If you’re not working the Word you’ll burst or dry up. It must be used.

In chapter 12 there’s another scenario to consider when you’ve checked out. Let’s take a look:

“Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man both spoke and saw.

“Now when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through waterless (dry, arid) places in search of rest, but it does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So will it also be with this wicked generation.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭12:22, 43-45‬ ‭AMP‬‬

You’ll need to read the entire chapter to see how both chapters tie in. The man was healed, the elites were checked out as usual, but Jesus was cautioning both the healed and the witnesses. When you’ve checked in, received the message, but do nothing to preserve what you’ve heard and or received, the thief of the Word, because he’s spirit, observes to see if we’re going to guard what we’ve received. Yes, we’re cleaned up, yes, we’ve been delivered, but it will require a diligent and consistent effort on our part to grow in the Word. Paul told Timothy to guard what had been entrusted to him. We must do the same.

The demon that was cast out, literally said, because he cannot be everywhere at once, I’ll go back and see if they’re serious about this salvation thing. So he comes back, assess the situation, sees that the individual has done some religion, but has no weapon with which to defend himself. Jesus said, the place was unoccupied. The house was all clean but not furnished. Trying to live the Christian life without committing to daily spending time with Jesus and His Word is dangerous! So the demon decided, hey! Not only will I move back in, I’ll get reinforcements so I’ll guarantee he or she will never enjoy their deliverance. This is why Jesus said, even the little that he has will be taken away.

So if you’ve noticed that you’re interested in reading everything but the Word of God, that the news of the day has your ear more than the Holy Spirit, you may want to check yourself into a spiritual rehab. The enemy you left is lurking around, trying to get back into his old house. And he’s not coming alone, he’s bringing friends. No, you may not be sinning, you have not backslidden, yet, but you’re close. A well swept, unoccupied and put in order life, without the Holy Spirit as the occupant, is a recipe for disaster. Don’t be present but marked absent, because of laziness. Jesus requires all of you, heart mind and soul, spirit soul and body. That’s a well swept occupied and put together life. Held and sustained by the Word of God.

That my friends, is a life on its way to a hundred, sixty or thirty fold increase. As you increase in the study of God’s Word, you overflow into the lives of others. As you’re supplied, you nourish others. I wrote earlier, that anything that gives the appearance of life, but doesn’t produce is still dead. We want to be living epistles. This is not the time to check out or be absent. The enemy is prowling around like a lion seeking someone to devour.(1 Peter 5:8) Make a conscious decision not to be on his menu. Jesus has invested too much into us for us to get lazy and fall asleep when we should be alert. Our weapon is the same one Jesus used in Luke 4. Without it we’re defeated. Why would you want to walk around naked, with just a helmet?

Put on the whole armor! Don’t know what they are? Shame on you! I’ve already covered that in an earlier message. Study to show yourself approved unto God! Be a fruitful vine! This is not about you, but about someone whose deliverance you hold in your hands. Your voice may be the only one they hear. So dust off the Bible you’ve put on layaway while you watch television and read novels. The change the world needs is you, armed with the Word and the Spirit of God. The world events will only change when Jesus returns. We are blessed to be entrusted with the Good News! The Gospel of Jesus Christ. When was the last time you offered and followed through with praying for and with your neighbor? Social distancing isn’t an excuse, they can still hear you. Hasten the return of Jesus by sharing the only answer to today’s problems. YES!! JESUS IS THE ONLY ANSWER. As you can see they’re trying everything else and it isn’t working. Let’s be about our Father’s business!

Father in the Name of Jesus,

How blessed we are to be alive in this season. What a wonderful opportunity we have in Jesus to proclaim the good, glad, merry news! May the enemy find no unoccupied space in our lives, but may we study to show ourselves approved unto You so you can pour us out on a world so devoid of Your peace. Help us develop a desire for You and Your Word. We cannot be effective without either. In Jesus Name.

“He was saying to them, “The harvest is abundant [for there are many who need to hear the good news about salvation], but the workers [those available to proclaim the message of salvation] are few. Therefore, [prayerfully] ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Luke 10:2


Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant


© Godly Parent Power 2021.  No part of Godly Parent Power & The Morning Messages can be used, adapted, or copied without the permission of the copyright holder.

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