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God’s Green Room

Earl Middleton No Comments

Image converted using ifftoanySometimes we think and feel like we’re in a prison, left on God’s ministerial shelf and forgotten, only to find out later that all along we were just in God’s green room awaiting our turn to go on stage and perform for Him.

There have been several times in my 35 years of ministry that I’ve felt like I was in jail for quite a while, like I was in a dark box, all alone. I was convinced that no one saw me in there, no one knew about my gifts, my abilities, what I had to offer. I felt hidden from the church and the world, tucked away in a dungeon with a lost key. But the years have granted me perspective and now when I read the word I take heart, realizing that God’s nature and ways don’t change, and that often what looks like jail is actually the love of God, the protection of God, and the impeccable timing of God.

Because of what I know about God, because of my knowledge gained through relationship with Him, I now choose, by faith, to see any box of isolation I might find myself in not as a prison, but as a green room. God’s green room. They’re decked out pretty much the same way, no matter where the stage is. The furnishings are spartan, the food is minimal, the company is scarce, and the wait usually seems interminable. But every memorable performer on His stage has spent time in God’s green room.

Moses was in the green room for 40 years in Midian, David for 16 years in the desert, Paul for 3 years in the Arabian desert, Jesus for 40 long days and nights in the wilderness of temptation, and then there’s Joseph and Abraham and Noah and the list goes on and on.

So, rather than trying to figure out how much time will pass, or how to do my time, I’ve decided to use any time in isolation for preparation, instead. Because I’ve done it enough times I know the drill. I know that soon enough someone is going to walk down the hall and open the door and call me out. It always happens, and those stuck waiting never know when. And when it does it’s never a jailer that opens that door, but a production assistant commissioned to bring me to the stage God has prepared for me.

Complain = Detain

Earl Middleton No Comments

An Open HeavenSomehow, you ended up under an open heaven. Nothing to complain about. You received. Great revelation, a powerful anointing, a new burst of faith, energy and purpose. And now, just as suddenly, you find yourself in a huge wilderness! If you’re human, you’re questioning God’s love for you, and the validity of the experience you had before the wilderness.

When all hell breaks loose after the reception of a powerful move and word of God, it is not an act of divine hatred. It is a fulfillment of divine promise. Jesus said persecution and affliction, pursuit and pressure, would arise because of the word. The clouds have rolled in and the supply has dwindled because the enemy is after that word. He wants to snatch it away before it goes from your heart to your mouth and begins to produce change in your life and environment. He comes only to steal, kill, & destroy. When ferocious fire & tribulation follow a powerful word from God, ask yourself, ‘What is the enemy trying to steal, kill, & destroy in my life?’

The wilderness is always a test. All that happens in it is a test. Do your best to pass every wilderness test, not by how you feel, but by what you believe. Let your faith guide everything you do and say in the wilderness.

Wilderness tests are usually tests of offense. i.e. the Devil wants to get you into a place of offense, where you begin to harbor resentment against God. Once you’re off-ended (knocked off your end), it takes longer to get back on track and finish your wilderness course. Some people never get back on track and die in the wilderness. That was the fate of the Israelites who died in the wilderness. They got offended at God (and Moses) because they thought He brought them out of Egypt to kill them in the wilderness. To accomplish this, Satan will always remind you of what you don’t have, what you’ve lost, and what you don’t have access to in the wilderness. All three wilderness temptations of Jesus were about lack (food, power/protection, material wealth), with the goal being to get Jesus to turn against God and supply his own needs.

TemptationThe best way to pass a wilderness test is to refuse to complain so you won’t get detained. Deal with it the way Jesus would and did–remember that he was despised, underappreciated, and rejected, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief as a result of losing so much in his life! You have to be acquainted with loss to be acquainted with grief! Yet, he opened not his mouth! (Is 53:7) He did not complain! When you are feeling loss, shut up. Just be quiet. Tell your natural man to retreat. Don’t give Satan a chance to steal your victory through a poor choice of words or a fleshly expression. Don’t even say anything to your closest confidante on earth. Instead, cry out to the Lord in the spirit, and rejoice!

The only reason we complain is because we think our complaint will somehow get God’s attention faster than our praise, stop the pain, and change our circumstances. It is when we realize that complaining only makes things worse for us by delaying our exit from the wilderness until we pass the test, praising God through the adversity, that we will stop complaining and keep our mouths shut, like jesus (who did not complain because he knew he was supposed to be going through what he was going through). Israel was detained 40 years because they complained. Let’s make a better choice.

“My Dad Beat Me, But I Still Love Him!” ~ Jesus Christ

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My dad beat me.

I’m not saying He was a child abuser, or anything like that. But there are a couple of incidents that stand out in my life that people won’t allow me (or the whole world, for that matter) to forget: the wilderness and the cross. There are millions, perhaps billions, of people who are suffering right now, underachieving, undertrying, underliving, because they can’t get past the memory of just one traumatic time, season or moment in their life. An accident, a rape, a violent assault, a bankrupting robbery, a vicious lie, an identity theft. And when the assailant is a parent, the way around and past the incident seems astronomically long and not even worth an attempt.

That could’ve been me. I’ve had two incidents. There, but for the grace of God, go I. But it wasn’t, and it’s not.

The world considers me to be abused by my Dad: stricken, smitten, & afflicted! And it’s true. My own words confirm it (Is 53:4). My Dad did beat me. But I still love Him. Now, this is not one of those cases psychologists refer to as ‘transference,’ where the abused develops feelings of affection for their abuser. This is all purposeful, and planned. I knew it was coming, and I let it. In fact, I wanted it. I submitted to Dad’s beatings so that I could be the savior, the deliverer, the location and experience changer of prejects everywhere! God bruised me (Is 53:10), & yet I still loved God, because I love you!

Homer choking Bart

Yeah, I’m a healed preject. I was abandoned by my Father in the wilderness and rejected by Him on the cross. But I used the G.R.A.C.E. steps to get healed! The same steps I’ve told this Middleton guy to share with you. When I cried out to Dad, ‘why have you forsaken me?!’ I was actually confronting Him with my pain & releasing it (& Dad). I had to release the pain in order to complete my mission (which required going into hell and preaching there). I did it for you, to show you how to do it and get my results!

I’ve been sitting for over 2,000 years at the right hand of the dude, the Dad who abandoned, smote, struck, afflicted, bruised, and forsook me. Willingly! You have to be whole inside, and walk in love and total, perfect understanding to do that! Without that kind of love, the godhead, my first family, would definitely be dysfunctional, crippled by major issues! But we’re not. We’re whole, and highly functional, and modeling the definition of family for you, because I understood that even in the rejection, my Father loved me; so I was able to return love instead of rejection! Could you imagine what would’ve happened to the world if I did what most prejects do: reject back? Could you imagine if I would’ve refused to go back to heaven and be in the same throne room as my Dad until He apologized to me, and explained why He beat me, and promised to never do it again, and made up for it by giving me something expensive? Whatever you’ve imagined, it didn’t happen because I knew and believed in my Father’s love even (in fact, especially) in my time of parental rejection, and I never let that ‘faith’ go!

Your dad may have beaten you. But if you can love him in spite of it by learning from me, you will break through that inner ceiling that’s been holding you back. If you want me to show you how, click here. It all starts with trusting me as your model and decision-maker. The rest will be history and victory!

All the best,

Jesus Christ

Was Jesus a Functional Preject?

Earl Middleton one comments

My mother-in-law dies on President’s Day. Ten days later a coven of somber faced morticians seal her platinum colored coffin and lower her remains into oddly chilled Florida dirt. Later, my wife and I are trying to get some sleep…on my mother-in-law’s bed (I know she’s gone, but the bed still feels like it belongs to her); but sleep is as elusive as the right words to say. The only thing that comes to mind, that stays on my mind, is…was Jesus a functional preject? Yeah, I know. It’s weird what will come to mind when we’re trying to sleep on dead people’s beds.

You’re probably asking yourself right now, “what the heck is a functional preject?” And you probably realize that I’m about to answer. A functional preject is someone who has been rejected by one or both parents, yet still seems to be in control of his/her life and in no need of being ‘taken up!’ (Psalm 27:10) Sort of like an alcoholic or drug abuser who still functions at work or home. You see, it took death, close to home death, to get me thinking about Jesus’ experience with parental rejection.

The Temptation of JesusDeath is a lot like being in a wilderness. Or maybe it’s the other way around. But you get my point. It’s all about loss. Things (and people) are supposed to die in wildernesses. And like everything else in life, wildernesses have stages. The ending of the whole experience is also its deepest, lowest point, where you feel completely separated from God, seemingly unable to reach Him or hear His voice. That’s when you have to depend on His word & the memory of His love. And that’s what happened to Jesus both in the beginning and ending wildernesses of his ministry (the trial in the desert after his baptism, and the passion on the cross after his Palm Sunday coronation). In both settings the severity of the separation intensified at the end (forcing him to defend himself with the word at the end of the 40 days of temptation; and leading him to cry out to the Father, ‘why have you forsaken me?!’ just before he gave up the ghost–which is what actually, finally killed him!).

Jesus was fully human, with feelings just like yours and mine. Given the closeness of His relationship with his heavenly Father up to that time, he must’ve felt abandoned at the beginning of his ministry as he was left all alone to deal with the devil (‘if you are the son of God…’ – a Satanic test of his conviction about his identity & call) and forsaken at the end of it (a Godly test of his willingness to execute the plan, stick to the script and run the play called by the coach even when all seemed lost). Imagine ministering for three years with the thought in the back of your mind, ‘when I really needed Dad, He left me out there all by myself!’ Given the circumstances it would’ve been understable. But did Jesus function throughout his entire ministry feeling rejected by his father? Hardly!

Prejection only becomes limiting and destructive when we allow it to rob us of 1) parental honor,  and 2) identity & purpose! Only God and His word can restore those to us when they go missing via prejection. Jesus, however, never let any possible feelings of abandonment get him to the place of parental dishonor. Nor did he lose his vision of his identity and purpose. In fact, his wilderness experience confirmed and affirmed his sense of self and mission.

How much of your life difficulties are connected to the ‘dishonor’ of mother & father? We’re called to honor them even in and after their death, and when we do the Deuteronomy 5:16 blessing rests upon us. Jesus perfectly demonstrated how to do this, as he honored his Father even after two seasons of wilderness abandonments, and walked on this earth manifesting the blessing, prospering in his ministry. Through the ultimate expression of parental honor he gained eternal life and all power in heaven and on earth.