One of the greatest judgements among the Body of Christ today is the question of Money…Riches…you know the “P” word!!!!
The whole idea of PROSPERITY among Christians has become as avoidable as leprosy. Amazingly enough though, there is no argument against a Believer who is broke as a joke, but let a Believer enter into the place of abundance and he or she will be the topic of conversation every time. It is believed by many that in order to please Big Daddy God one must sell everything, take a vow of poverty and THEN you can finally be defined as a humble servant of His.
Today, I was minding my own business in the privacy of my own home when Holy Spirit highlighted a particular passage of scripture to me. It is found in 2 Corinthians 8:8-9.
“I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that YOU through His poverty might become RICH.”
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times…Jesus was poor when He walked upon this earth and He should be our example!
Friends, the very nature of our God is ABUNDANCE! He owns it all and He never suffers lack. Jesus is so rich in every way that when He came to earth as the perfect sacrifice for man, He had to put off His rich state and put on poverty. Jesus did not become poor as our example of righteousness. He became poor in order to reflect the definition of hopeless humanity. You see, without Christ, you and I are the destitute ones in every way, but through salvation in Him we have been made Rich in all things. Heaven is not your only reward. God has a Huge Benefits Package for you to richly enjoy!
It is the best benefits package you will ever be offered:
The Forgiveness of Sin
Dominion to Reign
And YES - ABUNDANCE!
Your benefits package is for here and now. We will not need forgiveness in heaven. We will not need to be healed anymore. There will not be a need for power or the exercising of dominion once we arrive at our promised destination. It is there that we will live in total Victory! The benefits package is for earthly living and abundance is it’s common thread.
You see, I know exactly how it feels to be poor and in need. After my parents divorced, my mother became quite ill. We lived off food stamps for a period of time. Had it not been for the thoughtfulness of mom’s family, we would have been in a heap of trouble. They lovingly filled up our propane tank, which provided heat for our home in the dead of winter and also helped with our bills until Mom could get back on her feet.
Fast forward twelve years and you find me married at the young age of 17. Steve and I did not have one thing to our name except the clothes in our closets. We had no money and no education outside of high school. My parents lovingly purchased a new home, complete with a downstairs apartment so that we might have some sense of privacy as a newly wed couple. I remember admiring the prom dresses of the other girls in my Senior class. Oh, how I longed to look like a Princess as they did. My dress was borrowed from one of my bridesmaids – the very dress she wore in our wedding. Poverty became immanent for our future…BUT GOD!!!
When I met Jesus, my whole life changed. I began to familiarize myself with my true identity found in Christ and discovered that poverty was not a part of His plan for me. I have been tested by God in times of lack and also in times of much. My true character has been revealed. For, in times of lack I remained the same person as in our times of Much.
Money does not define us, nor do we grant it any place of control in our lives. When God says sell we sell. When He says buy we buy. When He says Give we Give. The foundation of our lives is built firmly upon Christ. As I often say, Money is simply the cherry on top! However, money is needed and for anyone who desires to do much for the Kingdom of God, you will need an abundance of money!
I’m not afraid of money as some are. I have discovered that Money only makes a person MORE of what they already are! Money, in itself, has no power. Money cannot change people. Money will not cause a person to sin. Riches simply often reveal the content of a person’s heart that already existed. If you are greedy, then abundance will make you more greedy. However, if you are giving, then abundance will make you more able to give.
Herein lies the secret:
“Honor the Lord with all your possessions and with the tithe of all your income. He shall cause your barns to be filled with PLENTY and your vats to continuously OVERFLOW with new wine.” – Proverbs 3:9-10
And remember this. If you truly have an issue with abundance and prosperity then let me know. I don’t have a problem asking God for your portion too. I pray BIG BIG BLESSINGS over your life!
It was August of 2009. I can still see myself standing in our kitchen in Gallatin, Tennessee, where I heard the Lord say, “The shaking has begun. If you can walk with Me through this regeneration process, it will end in a place of power for you on the other side.”
Hearing words like regeneration and power, I quickly signed on and fully agreed to this process God spoke about. I had absolutely no idea of the details, nor the cost of such an agreement.
Up to this point, I had served the Lord twenty years. Not one day had passed in twenty years that I had not walked in fellowship with Him. I had matured in my faith and served the local church in many capacities: Sunday School teacher of children, youth, and adults, youth pastor, president of the benevolence committee, choir singer, front-line singer, Wednesday night church director, women’s ministry, nursery worker, etc. From the outside, my husband and I were esteemed as seasoned, stable, faithful Christians and we were.
However, I tell you all of that to say this…You can be a Christian fifty years and never enter into the rest of the Lord I am writing about today. Hebrews chapter 4 explains it best:
9 There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that enters into his rest, must also cease from his own works, as God did from his.
Entering into the rest of God requires that we cease from our own works and labor:
• Striving to be good enough/and godly enough
• Striving for perfection
• Striving to forget our past and present failures/shortcomings
• Striving to serve/please everyone
• Striving for perfect church attendance and fitting into religious molds
As much as we hate to admit it, many Believers who truly love God are still caught up in the bondage of self-works and religious mindsets. Few seem to fully understand the huge difference between religion and relationship with Christ Jesus. Religion shames us into an endless punch list of rules and regulations that are impossible to keep in our own strength. It then keeps a record of our wrongdoings and reloads the reel of memories quite frequently. It forces us to compete and compare our lives against others, producing fatal judgmental attitudes.
Religion screams for us to “DO” instead of “BE”.
In 2 Corinthians 3:9, Paul refers to religion or “the law” as the ministry of condemnation. However, he further describes a relationship with Jesus through his Holy Spirit as LIFE. Oh, how accurate Paul was/is. You see, he had experienced this transition personally. Paul had dedicated his entire life to religion and works until one very special day when he met Jesus. There on that dusty road, he discovered the difference between religion and relationship. This process of ceasing from self-works in order to find true LIFE in the Spirit is known as Regeneration. Paul gave himself to the ministry of regeneration! It was his constant teaching.
Regeneration is the renewal of what “once was” or what “used to be.” In order to fully experience regeneration, the old must die. I know that isn’t something you really want to hear, but it is true.
My personal process of regeneration required the death of a seventeen year season in Tennessee. God relocated me to an entirely new geographical location and held me in isolation for three years. Privately, I suffered the death of two family members, the death of friendships, the death of religious mindsets, the death of judgmental attitudes, the death of several beliefs I had governed my life by, the death of wrongful identity, and the death of man’s applause and pride.
God led me to change my definition of church and true worship. I discovered that some of the best church services are when good friends spend the night with us on Saturdays and we awaken Sunday mornings to a fresh omelette bar prepared by Chef Steve. All while sitting around in our pajamas discussing life, exhorting one another by the Word of God, praying and prophesying. The Spirit fills our home!
Am I against the local church? Absolutely not! I love the local church and still attend in my own community. However, I have now learned that “we – those who are born again” ARE the true church and if I miss a Sunday or two my Father does not consider me a slacker as I was told. No, I can still fellowship with others or worship privately within the four walls of my own home.
True worship is not based on church attendance. Rather, it is revealed through a life that is wholly His!
I no longer fit into this BOX called “religion”. I now live a life of joy and freedom governed by Holy Spirit. Instead of being ruled by a long list of Do’s and Don’ts, I have discovered that the Holy Spirit of Grace enables me to live a life that is fully pleasing to God and not unto a system. My relationship with Christ guides me into a life of purity, passion, and peace. It is here that I have found His rest, the place He longs for everyone. My personal death has made me alive in Christ.
I am thankful for the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ my Lord, which affords me a perfectly positional relationship with Daddy God! I never have to fear because I have full access to His throne. There I present my heartfelt adorations and find help for every situation I face in life. I am thankful that He adds His SUPER to my natural and causes me to successfully accomplish every season of life with passion, compassion and purpose! He is my every source of life. I'm thankful for trials, the pruning process and for LOVE that transforms and yields continued growth. I am thankful for His gracious forgiveness when my flesh gets the best of me. I am thankful for the loved ones He has given me to walk through life with: my husband, my children, my extended family, my dear friends, and the MANY Kingdom Connections I need to fulfill my destiny. His provisions fail me not. I may not possess the great worldly wealth of some, but I am Rich indeed. His peace and power flow through me and I have absolutely everything I need and desire. Thank you, Lord, for a sound mind; for Hope that keeps my soul anchored in Faith, for the freedom America grants me, for the Word of Truth, for wholeness of mind, spirit and body. Thank you for laughter, good food, majestic scenery, furry companions, solitude, good music, warm kisses, soft caresses, gentle smiles, the sun upon my skin, the beautiful blue skies of Texas, long talks with friends, wisdom, encouragement, and for the ability to DREAM! My life is Full and I owe everything to YOU!
The pain, the trials, the sufferings, the tears, the molding and pruning...because ALL of that has led me HERE. And HERE is lovely! Here is exciting! Here is new! I realize today that it has taken ALL of that in my life to get me to my Promised destination! Sometimes, the wait seems too long and many just give up, but I want to encourage you today to let GOD have His way in your life. Wherever you find yourself right now, just let go! Stop striving! Stop trying to control your life. No one knows you better than your Creator. Allow Him access into your heart and life. He is the giver of life. The fulfillment of dreams. The baptizer of Love and Revelation and Power. There is no better place to be than broken before Him at His feet. For there, He will begin to UNDO "YOU" and fill you full of Himself.
Ladies, are you really interested in having a bond of great joy and fulfillment with your husband? We live in a world that is more interested in making sure the community thinks our marriage looks good and have it all together, than focusing inwardly at home, inside the real circumstances of a bond between a man and a woman. There are certainly many facets to a good marriage. No one can simply focus on one aspect and expect to achieve joy and fulfillment. Undoubtedly, the foundational building blocks of a great marriage are love, commitment, and covenant partnership with the Lord. But then there are those daily gestures that will keep him knowing that HE IS THE MAN!
Because men are very visual creatures, it is important that we keep ourselves in proper shape and exhibit daily the beauty that originally drew our husbands to us in the first place. When we arrive at a place where it no longer feels necessary to capture his attention, we enter into a danger zone because someone WILL capture his attention. So, why not let it be YOU! Dress up. Put a little paint on the barn and every once in a while ask HIM to accompany you on your next shopping trip to choose your new clothes. I found out that some of the clothes I like to wear and thought looked pretty on me were not Steve’s idea of pretty at all. I hear women saying, “Who cares if he likes it. Because if I like it, I’m gonna wear it!” I enjoy looking pretty for my husband. He is the first person I set out to please.
Hey, it’s no secret...We all know men love sex! But, what we sometimes don’t realize is that men also like variety. They’re spontaneous creatures. The same ole, same ole gets boring and ceases to entice. Stir things up a bit. Start being fun and fun to be with again. Do something you haven’t done together in ages. Really surprise him!
As the old saying goes, laughter does a body good. Well, laughter also does a marriage good. When was the last time you laughed together? Sometimes, Steve and I laugh so hard together, we cry! Everything about life shouldn’t be so serious. Rekindle the old “inside jokes” between one another and maybe even create some new ones.
It may sound foreign to you, but YOU were given to your husband as HIS helpmate. That is your Biblical definition and we know this word covers a vast number of ideas. Let your husband know that he comes first on your agenda. No, not the children! God never asked you to place the children before your husband. Tomorrow, shock your husband by asking if you can do anything for him. Perhaps he needs a button sewn on his sleeve, or he needs you to pick something up at Walmart that he hasn’t been able to swing by and get. Or, maybe he needs you to make him a yearly doctor appointment? Whatever he needs, let him know you are at his disposal.
Another aspect of being his helpmate is RESPECT! I can hear Aretha Franklin singing as I write. Friends, regardless of what you might have thought, RESPECT is the number one desire of a good man. It is possible for a man to receive sex from any female human being, but a good man will be drawn to the one woman who highly respects him. The woman who lifts him up with encouragement and honor. That is why you often see a husband go astray and wonder why the woman he runs to may not be as beautiful as the wife he left. The key is often that he found a deeper sense of respect and the respect was attractive. It was enticing!
You have been given a wonderful man! There is no greater reward as a wife than to make him the happiest man alive. We need to treat our husbands better than we treat anyone else upon the earth. Maybe you’ve experienced struggle in your marriage this year...I dare you to devote yourself to your husband and practicing these few keys to a fulfilling marriage. Soon, your struggle just may end in a delightful place you have never experienced before. Go for it!
Steve and I were married very young and knew absolutely nothing about how to be good parents. We can testify to having good parents, but we both came from broken homes and once we had children of our own, the desire to be good parents was replaced with the desire to be godly parents. We gave our hearts and lives to Jesus at eighteen and in return HE gave us grace and wisdom to raise both Alyse and Bryce.
Contrary to what might be popular today, we raised our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. This meant that we faithfully attended church and surrounded them with a community of like-minded people and friends. We taught them the truths of God’s Word every day through conversation and life-example. They were infused with character: love, integrity, compassion, honesty, hard work, obedience, generosity, etc. Seven years were dedicated to home schooling them. We were faithful to discipline them. The world today recognizes discipline as punishment, but punishment says, “You made me angry. Therefore, I am going to hurt you. Discipline says, I love you. Therefore, I will discipline you until you can learn to become SELF-DISCIPLINED!”
We were successful at parenting because the grace and counsel of God is very real and tangible. Whenever we came to a crossroads of decision, we sought His guidance. Whenever we did not have the answer, we sought His Word. He has faithfully directed our path and guided us to favorable outcomes. I love to tell everyone that JESUS CHRIST IS OUR SUCCESS! He gets all the glory.
Anyway, we raised two very special children who never caused us any problems until...
When our son, Bryce, turned sixteen. Through the fellowship of a few ungodly, influential peers, he found himself on a slippery road to rebellion. He rebelled against us in ways we never imagined. It was the most difficult trial Steve or I have ever encountered. Our hearts were broken, but because Christ was/is our SOURCE, we were prepared for battle. We loved Bryce, continued to discipline him, and contended for his soul every day through prayer and declaration. Not only were WE prepared for this dark trial, but so was Bryce. The seeds of righteousness and truth had been laid in his life since he was born. They framed his very being.
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it - Proverbs 22:6
One night, Holy Spirit woke me up to inform me that at that very moment Satan was desiring to kill Bryce and destroy him forever. Immediately, God also gave me this promise: Satan will NEVER be able to destroy your son because the foundation you have laid in Bryce’s life is so deep.
Walking this morning, Holy Spirit reminded me of the Parable of the Ten Virgins in the Bible. (Matthew 25:1-13) This parable teaches us about ten people who profess to be in relationship with Christ, but only five of them continually remain connected to Him as their SOURCE. The other five allow their oil to get low and burn out. When the bridegroom appears, they are caught in a panic trying to rush around and borrow oil for their lamps, but it is too late.
I want to lovingly warn you today, do not get caught unaware. Take the proactive approach to life. Do not allow life to simply happen to you and constantly be on the rebound from the severe blows. No, be watchful, prepared, and on guard against the storm that could be coming. Do not wait until a trial arises with your children to try to begin laying a firm foundation in their lives. By that time, it will be too late! Be ready and connected to the only true Source of life, Jesus, when your day of death arrives. Be filled-up and waiting for Jesus to return.
If you wait for these days to appear before making the proper preparations then I assure you, it will be too late and you will not receive the victorious outcome you are expecting. Because we live life prepared, the trial with our son lasted only a short three years. Today, he lives his life in honor to us as his parents and also to his heavenly Father as well. Bryce is blessed and highly favored and God is forever faithful.
I am thankful that early in my relationship with Jesus, HE placed great emphasis on the importance of being in the will of God personally. A portion of scripture that grabbed my attention and caused me to allow God to shepherd my entire life is found in Psalm 139:13-17
“For you created my innermost being; and knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful; That I know full well. My frame was not hidden from YOU when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; ALL THE DAYS ORDAINED FOR ME WERE WRITTEN IN YOUR BOOK BEFORE ONE OF THEM CAME TO BE. How precious to me are your thoughts O’ God.”
I imagine the book sitting on God’s shelf in heaven solely about the life of Jeneen Bullen Kohler. All of my days are recorded in it. It is my life’s mission NOT to miss fulfilling a single day. Therefore, I place high priority on seeking God’s direction and submitting to His plan and course of action for my life.
Recently, I was given the “invitation” to minister in South Africa. It came from a dear mentor and friend of mine, whom I highly respect. I have traveled to South Africa several times and have many dear friends there. These people are like second family to me. Surely God wanted me to walk through this open door? Feeling important, I jumped at the opportunity and immediately began making plans to travel in August.
I had no longer accepted the invitation, when I heard a still small voice within saying, “You didn’t ask ME if I wanted you to go to South Africa?”
My heart sank!
In my own reasoning and desire, I wanted to go! I didn’t want to hurt my friend who had graciously extended this invitation to me. I kept thinking of all the women I could refresh and impact. EVERYTHING SEEMED FINE AND PROFITABLE FOR THE KINGDOM.
Humbly, I decided to make the invitation a matter of prayer. I presented my case for going to the Lord, giving Him every reason Why I thought this was a good idea. He spoke very clearly to me…
”Jeneen, you are welcome to travel to South Africa, but I will not be going with you.”
Suddenly, I realized that I could spend thousands of dollars and much time traveling, standing on stages, trying to impact many people, but choosing this route meant that I would be riding solo, without the anointing and presence of God.
Without Him there is no impact. Without Him, transformation is no longer possible. Without Him, I am only a shell.
I learned through listening to the heart of God that He has others plans for me right now. He has commissioned me to focus on writing my first book. He also revealed His plans for me to conduct a women’s event right here in my own city this year.
In the daily grind, we find ourselves BUSY, but what are we BUSY with? Are we BUSY with our own plans, agendas, and schedules or are we BUSY fulfilling God’s plan for our lives? Our own self-made plans may seem fulfilling at the time, but what better plans might we be forfeiting? You, too, have a book in heaven with your name on it. Have you recently opened it, in the spirit, that the contents of it's pages might be revealed?
Seeking God’s will requires us to separate the desires of man from the desires of the spirit. Discernment is key. Every good idea is NOT always a God idea. It does not mean there is anything necessarily wrong with the idea. It may simply not be God’s plan at the time.
So,why are you doing what you do?
Are you riding solo or are you right in the middle of HIS plan?
Steve and I will be married twenty-six years in September. He does not have to question whether I love him. My devotion to him has proven my love. I married Steve when I was only seventeen years old. We were so broke that the only way we were able to go on our honeymoon was by funding it through the money we graciously received at our reception. Talk about last minute! We were simply HOPING. We drove halfway to Myrtle Beach and stopped at the Cricket Inn to spend our first night of forever together. How romantic is that? The Cricket Inn! Yet, it was romantic to us and we devoted ourselves to one another in that place. Steve still carried the receipt from that night at the Cricket Inn in his wallet until a few years ago when it became unrecognizable.
That was before the days of Steve being named a vice-president of a very large national construction company. Before the days of him being a wise man. Oh, that was sixteen moves ago...before I followed Steve to six different states and lived in a fifth-wheel camper for eleven months while also homeschooling our kids. Long before the days of extravagant gifts, dream vacations, and beautiful homes.
You see, before any of the reigning, there was a season to suffer. A season of proving my devotion to Steve, while having little to our name. A season of following him through blind faith. A season of submitting to his plan simply because I loved him. Encouraging him through times when he lacked the confidence needed to go to the next level. Standing with him through the tough days, on my knees in prayer. Creating a safe place of refuge for him to come home to day after day. Extravagantly pouring out love and respect upon him, choosing to build him up instead of tearing him down.
Through growth and spiritual maturity, Steve now reigns as a King and I stand beside him as his Queen. There is not one thing my husband will not do for me. Not one thing he begrudges me to have, when it is in the power of his hands to provide it for me. He lives by this statement: “My love for my wife is a reflection of my love and devotion to Christ.”
Steve is for me all the way...my greatest fan. He sends me all around the world to do what I love...being a refresher to others.
God is looking for this type of devotion from His children. So often, we want the gifts and benefits from God before the suffering and devotion. But, God is looking for hearts that truly belong to Him, not simply saying we belong to Him through lip service. Have you followed Christ through blind faith, allowing Him to lead and guide your every step? Have you created a place of intimacy for Him to come and dwell? Have you loved him and devoted your life to Him before He gives you anything? Do you serve him with joy and gladness while living in “the camper” just as you will when He provides the mansion? Devotion is the giving of one’s self fully and wholly to another. It is unconditional. It remains through the good and the bad.
Your life, at this moment, may not be all that you desire it to be. Perhaps this is a season of testing and suffering for you, but your faithful devotion to Christ will lead you to your destiny. When you stand in the field of true joy and prosperity, just remember there was no other way to arrive here than through seasons of suffering that reveal our complete devotion to GOD.
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord. Trust also in Him and He shall bring it to pass.” - Psalm 37:4-5
Repairing the Breach Ministries, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Repairing the Breach Ministries, Inc. | P.O. Box 775 | Mansfield, Texas 76063 | Phone: 615.364.3461