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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, June 25, 2012

Treasure Hunt


(1 Corinthians 2:7 KJV) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 

In order for us to “speak the wisdom of God”, we must first have a supernatural revelation of something from God.  This of course is the interpretation for a ‘word of knowledge’.
There is nothing more fulfilling than to actually be used by the Lord as a result of getting a ‘word of knowledge’.

Jesus ministered continually by supernatural revelation because He only did what He saw His Father doing. Jesus also commissioned each of us to do the same thing by receiving supernatural revelation from the Father as well. Perhaps this is “the hidden wisdom” that our text is talking about.

Even though I have been privileged to see many miracles throughout my fifty-two years of ministry, I am still amazed as to how it works.  I teach on the subject of the miraculous everywhere I go and I expect it to happen as I minister but it is still beyond my human understanding.

A few months ago I was to meet a pastor and his family for dinner in East Texas. This pastor has three young children, and he had been teaching them how to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. He taught them then that each time they went somewhere, they were to ask the Lord if they were supposed to meet and pray for someone special. This particular night was no different.

Before leaving home that night to come and meet me, he asked each of his three young children (all under ten years of age). “Has the Lord shown you who we are to pray for?” The little boy thought for a minute and said, “Yeah, he is a black man.”  The pastor then asked his youngest daughter if the Lord had showed her anything and she responded by saying, “The black man is wearing a red jacket.” He then turned and asked his oldest daughter if the Lord had shown her something and she said, “The black man is also wearing an orange cap.”

With all of that information the pastor and his three children drove to the restaurant to meet me. Upon arriving they gathered around my table and told me the whole story.

I must admit my faith level was not nearly as high as theirs. The likelihood of finding a black man wearing a red jacket and an orange cap had to be about ten billion to one.  However, not wanting to throw cold water on their faith I told them I would keep my eyes open for this man.

I had no more than said that when the front door of the restaurant opened and in walked a black man wearing a red jacket and an orange cap. I shockingly looked at the pastor and said, “There is your man, go get him.” The pastor headed for the door and asked the man to step outside because he wanted to talk to him.

A few minutes later the pastor came back in the restaurant and sat down at the table. I immediately asked, “Well…did you get him?” To which he replied, “Oh yeah, I got him real good.” He said I not only won him to the Lord but I had a “word of knowledge” that he had a physical problem. I prayed and he was instantly healed.

The point is…the wisdom of God is a mystery that was ordained before the foundation of the world and He has given us the right to operate in it whether we understand it or not. Perhaps our lives should be one of a continual “Treasure Hunt.”

Father,
Thank You for using us in the miraculous even though it remains a mystery to us. Thank You also that one does not have to be someone special or elite to be used like this. You give Your gifts freely to those who choose to yield. I choose to yield and be used.
Amen





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Monday, June 18, 2012

Do Real Men Cry?


(Genesis 46:29 KJV) And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. 

Weeping is probably one of the more interesting subjects in the Bible. We clearly see where both men and women wept openly and unashamedly when the occasion called for it.

However, somewhere along the way, that part of our emotions (at least for men) was quenched. When I was growing up it was fine (if not expected) for men to express their emotions through anger, whereas women could express their emotions by weeping. Boys were taught to control their emotions, particularly crying because real men did not cry. Girls on the other hand were free to cry as long as they did not take it too far.

I suppose the real question is…why is crying necessary at all? The fact is tears are like perspiration, in that exercising and crying both relieve stress. Tears remove some of the chemicals that built up in one’s body from stress, like the endorphins leucine-enkaphalin and prolactin. The opposite is also true. Suppressing tears increases stress levels, and contributes to diseases aggravated by stress, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and peptic ulcers.

 The other day I was talking to a lady who told me how easy it was for her husband to weep, particularly when it came to their children. When their daughter went off to college her husband would often look at their daughter’s picture and weep because he missed her so much. I was moved by the fact that he had the privilege of growing up at a time where he felt the freedom to weep as Joseph did in our text.

I have no way of proving this, but it seems to me that “weeping men” weep more than “weeping women.” I understand the part where weeping releases one’s stress level in the natural, but what does it do for us in the spiritual?

I have noticed over the years that Southern Gospel singers seem to weep more easily than other gospel singers. Perhaps it is because they (particularly the older Southern Gospel singers) were always singing about going to heaven. If that is the case, then their kind of weeping is not meant to release stress in the natural but rather to express joy in the spiritual.

In the case of our text it appears that when Joseph wept over his father it was the result of joy and not for stress release.

The point is...weeping serves a great purpose both in the natural and in the spiritual. That means those who weep an unusual amount in the natural probably have a low stress level and need a constant release. Those who weep an unusual amount in the spiritual probably have their minds on the presence of the Lord more and that is good.

Father,
Thank you for allowing us to release our emotions by weeping in the natural as a stress release and weeping in the spiritual as a release of joy. Lord help us not to be ashamed of the wonderful gifts of our emotions and particularly that of weeping.
Amen

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Coon-Fingering


(Ecclesiastes 2:1 KJV) I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. 

As I have read this scripture over the years I was always left with more questions than answers. I was apparently misinterpreting what the writer was trying to communicate and that is what caused my frustration. I may have even gotten a little cynical at times, but being somewhat of a literalist, I would much prefer dealing with straight questions and getting straight answers rather than having to figure it out myself.

The cynical part of me would say, “Is there anything in life that is not vanity?” Perhaps we need to keep in mind that the word “vanity” simply means “something that is not fulfilling.” That being the case, could it be that the word “vanity” is a floating term? What is “vanity” today in one person’s life is not necessarily “vanity” tomorrow in another person’s life.

With that interpretation of “vanity” we can clearly see that it not sin, but only a momentary fulfillment of something that does not produce a long term fulfillment.

In Solomon’s case he seemed to be void of the ability to be fulfilled with anything in life, even though he spent a lifetime trying. Perhaps he was the one that was cynical in his writings and not me because later he ended up saying, “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity.”

I have come to the conclusion that there are many things in life that are only meant to bring momentary pleasure. Enjoying the momentary pleasures that are given to us by God are no different than a “cookie” given to a child by a parent, even though by interpretation it could be considered “vanity.”

I have also come to the conclusion that what is “vanity” (un-fulfillment) to me may not be “vanity” to someone else. For example, there are those who love to go shopping...or what we call in East Texas, “coon-fingering.” We call it “coon-fingering” because a raccoon is so inquisitive that it goes around lightly touching everything it sees.

Most women get pleasure out of going “coon-fingering,” but most men do not. A man may go out and buy what he wants or needs, but he will never be caught wasting his time “coon-fingering” because to him there is no ”momentary pleasure” in it.

In East Texas (particularly on a Saturday) if you ask a man where his wife is...he will probably respond by saying, “Oh, she is off “coon-fingering.”

The point is, “vanity” according to this interpretation, is not some dastardly flaw in one’s character, but only an un-fulfilled space that requires regular attention.

Father,
Even though we find pleasure in occasionally going “coon-fingering” You allow us that privilege because You love us. These momentary pleasures could never take the place of our devotion to You because our eternal pleasure is only found in You.
Amen

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Ceaseless Supply of Oil


(Zechariah 4:6 KJV) Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. 

True power can only come from the Spirit of God. Even when Pilate told Jesus that he had the “power to crucify Him,” Jesus’ response to Pilate was that he had no power “...unless it had been given you from above...” (John 19:10-11 NAS).

That being the case, then one would assume that the power that man has either comes from God or it is human power which is a product of the flesh.

The difference between these two powers is that God’s power produces life and comfort, whereas man’s power usually produces fear and intimidation. God’s power also produces anointing. The word anointing means “greasy fat” which implies that when God is with you that there is a “ceaseless supply of oil.”

There seems to be those who walk so close to God that they too have a “ceaseless supply of oil” like God. Such was the case with a little lady I once knew who lived in a small town in East Texas.

I am not sure that she ever went past the eighth or ninth grade in school, but she had unusual wisdom. Her wisdom was not contrived by vain imagination, but by the Spirit of God.

As a result of her anointing, there seemed to always be a stream of folks dropping by her simple little home—which she commonly referred to as her shack—to be enriched by her wisdom. If there was ever a classic example of one who had a “ceaseless supply of oil” (anointing), it had to be her. The wisdom she possessed may have at first seemed to be homespun, but it did not take long to realize that the power behind it came directly from the Spirit of God. She expected a miracle each time she prayed.

Even though this “one of a kind” precious soul went home to be with the Lord many years ago, I still study and think about her life, her faith...and above all her “ceaseless supply of oil.” I have come to the conclusion that one can only learn about life by living it. One can only learn about faith by reading or hearing the Word of God. One can only possess a “ceaseless supply of oil” by walking very close to the source of that oil (which is the Lord).

Over the years I have known many men and women who were highly educated in the Scriptures. They could divide the “Word of God” and tell you the length, breath and the depth of every syllable. I highly respect each of these theologian types who have given their lives to learning the depth of the Bible. However, when it comes to the “ceaseless supply of oil” I would rather be mentored by the little old woman from East Texas.

Father,
I thank You for showing us that You really do take “...the foolish things of the world to confound the wise...” as You said in your Word. Lord, help each of us to lay aside that which we think we know about the Word and walk close to the “ceaseless supply of oil” which is the Word. 
Amen

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