[anzac] # 3 -The FIGHT AGAINST MAMMON

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 12:31:23 -0500
Part 3 - THE FIGHT AGAINST MAMMON
-Marc White.

Kristie Hogan went to bed wondering what the next day would
bring. Oh, more grace dear Lord. She felt like her whole world
might just spin right out of control. She wondered silently and yet
shamefully why she ever married Jordan in the first  place. Why
did she have to read that article about the fight against mammon
in the first place? I can see now why my friend despised the
article, she mused.

And a voice through the ages echoed faintly through her heart that
very moment, "And what will it profit a man if he gains the whole
world, and forfeits his soul?"

Jordan, Kristie's husband, awoke the next morning very, very early –
much earlier than the usual 6:30 alarm. He felt the Holy Spirit had
been responsible for this unusual wake up call, but in his
grogginess wasn't sure why. He turned over on his back, staring at
the ceiling for a minute or two, then said good morning silently to
the Lord as was his custom. As he slipped his feet over the edge
of the bed, he turned toward Kristie's side of the bed, noticing she
wasn't there. This piqued his curiosity, for she was normally a heavy sleeper.

As Jordan wandered down the hall of their spacious 4 bedroom, 4
bath ranch home, he noticed a light on in their daughter Ashley's
room. Slipping his head inside to check on her, he was surprised
to see she too was not in her bed, or even in the room. Listening
with his ear to son Seth's room a bit further down the hall, he
could hear him snoring loudly. No problem there, he thought. His
pace picked up as he entered the main foyer leading to the family
room, all the time wondering where his women were.

As he entered, he saw a most intimate scene. Kristie was on the
floor prostrated, praying. Not only that, but little 9 year old Ashley
was on the floor too next to her Mom, also praying together at the
same time. They had no idea that Jordan had entered the room,
for it seemed to him they were in the very throne room of the
Almighty Himself, lost to the physical realm. He began to listen in.

Although they were praying at the same time, he could make out
that his wife was weeping softly all the while asking Jesus and the
Father for more grace to be courageous, to do "the right thing" she
kept repeating. Little Ashley's hand was on her Mom's shoulder,
as if to help with that extra dose of faith.

Ashley herself seemed to be begging and beseeching the Ancient
of Days to raise the money needed for her lost black friend Quisha,
her Grandmother Stephanie, and single mom Lisa and the 4 kids
to keep them from being evicted in 30 days. The scene was quite
something to behold in the natural, and certainly joyful to God in
the supernatural. It continued on for some time as Jordan was now
fully awake, silently communing with the Savior about what might
be on the horizon.

After a while, it was silent in the family room, the only sound being
the ticking of the wall clock as it made it's rounds. But the women
now knew someone else was in the room with them, and they one
by one looked up to see a smiling father close by on the overstuffed sofa.

Ashley was the first to make a break and slowly slip up to her Dad,
slowly climbing into his lap. He softly kissed her on her forehead,
asking her what the Holy Spirit was saying to her. She replied that
the Spirit had asked her to sell her prized doll collection, which
she had done, but had failed in the Spirit's instructions to ask them
first before raising $50 from a neighbor's daughter. She asked
forgiveness of her Dad too since she hadn't asked permission of
either parent. But, she explained, I just had to do something for
Quisha and her grandma and Ms. Lisa. I was afraid Mom would
say "No" and I can't stand the thought of my friend and family
being homeless.

She went on to say she wanted to ask them if they could have a
garage sale that weekend so she could sell all her extra clothes
and toys she had in her room. And, she added, we can sell all the
junk and the 2 jet skis in the garage. Besides, Ashley pleaded,
what would Jesus do?

Jordan turned and looked at Kristie. She looked so convicted, so
joyful, so fearful, almost all at the same time. Jordan asked her
what she was feeling. With a new wave of tears in her eyes, she
related that she was unable at this time to give sacrificially like
Ashley had done. But we should help in some small way, she confessed.

Yeah, right. Some small way. Kristie still doesn't get it, thought
Jordan. But quickly, he repented silently of his harsh toughs
toward her on this. I love my wife, but I wonder why she'd so
attached to this stuff Here our own daughter has given what
amounts to her most precious possession, her own "widow's mite."

While Kristie was talking, Ashley had quietly gone to her room
and returned with the $50 from her doll sale, a few crumpled $10
and $5 bills she was now handing over to her Mom. So Mom, she
quizzed, what else are we going to do for Quisha? Dad says we
could sell our cars for cheaper ones, and that we have a lot of
money in the bank, she continued.

Kristie was less sympatric now, counting the cost about giving up
her brand new Toyota Van with 5,000 miles, not even considering
any of the investments. Honey, she replied, my car is important for
church activities, and I need to keep it. Why Mom, Ashley
countered, because Ms. Lisa's old van is almost broke for good.
Maybe we can get 2 vans instead and give one to her. What
church activities do we use the van for, Mom, 'cause I've never
seen us use the van for anything like that, she asked with deep,
childlike inquisitiveness.

Flustered, Kristie stared Jordan down, saying it was easy for them
to ask her to sell HER van. She then said if HE was really serious
about helping Quisha and her clan that he should FIRST sell his
famous gun collection worth thousands, his vintage '66 Mustang
convertible, his own brand new Toyota Sequoia SUV paid for with
cash, and even his golf clubs since it takes so much time away
from the family. She then parroted the famous American Christian
line we've all heard a million times: Anyways, Jordan, in my heart
of hearts I've given up my van to Jesus.

He was having trouble listening to this conversation. On one hand,
he knew the struggle. I struggle even now, Father. But there's real
people with real needs. The Spirit brought back to his mind the
verse in 1st John 3: if you see a brother in need and refuse to help,
how does the love of God abide in your heart?

After all, Kristie was the silver spoon daughter of a "successful"
AOG businessman, who gave away a lot of money over the years.
But it always seemed to be out of his abundance, and primarily to
tangible real estate projects like the new church building, or the
fellowship hall, things that got his name engraved on several gold
plaques. Wasn't this in lieu of real desperate people needs, the
kind Jesus rebuked the Pharisees about, he wondered?

He waited for a long minute as silence fell over the family room.
Finally, he felt the Holy Sprit speak through him, as if the words
were coming out automatically and all he was doing was moving
his lips in response to the leading.

You're right, sweetie, he said. He'd sell those things. All of them.
As a matter of fact, he'd been checking out much older used cars,
and had one his eye on one. It was a old '94 Ford Expedition with
200,000 miles on it, with a so-so paint job, but ran great and was
a single owner. But he could raise over $25,000 for use to the
poor with this trade off. His Mustang would bring thousands more
too, and his Ping Executive golf clubs would fetch a pretty penny
at the pro shop. Also, he conceded, I'm going to quit the club and
save another $3,000 per year so we can support 10 Christian
AIDS orphans in Pakistan. Oh, and the gun collection, he
surmised, might bring $3-4,000 to buy a decent van and some
ongoing mechanic service for recently divorced Ms. Lisa and her 4 kids.

Silence.

More silence.

Young Ashley broke through. "Dad, that's great," she smiled her
voice rising, "and when can we tell Quisha, her Grandma, and Ms.
Lisa? Can we call right now? Can we, Dad, can we?"

Kristie was stunned. No more club meant no more lunch buffets
with her Christian girl friends from church, no more swimming pool
and cabana times Sunday after the late service, no more luxury
rides to the club in Jordan's shiny white Sequoia with the GPS
and dual DVD players. Who cares about the Mustang and golf
clubs anyway, she pondered angrily. She was embarrassed at her
fleshly reaction, but stifled the urge to repent and ask for forgiveness.

Jordan put his hand up toward Ashley to wait for his reply. He
stood up and faced his wife of 15 years and asked with all his
heart: "Do we really love Jesus, Kristie? He said our love was
proved by obeying his commandments." He inquired if she
believed that. Or not.

And that comment about giving up your van in your heart is wrong,
he said. Let's say he was an alcoholic and just kept drinking but
said he'd given up alcohol in his heart. He also explained to her
she'd know his claim of being spiritual by that "sacrifice" was
bogus. Kristie had never thought of it like that before, and
furthermore, her pastor always said that  same thing upon
accepting an ever increasing salary each year that now topped off
at over $200,000 per year.

She was really silent now, with her face drooping toward the floor.
Jordan had learned how to recognize that look over the years. He
knew the Holy Spirit was prompting him to nourish and cherish her
at that very moment.

As he knelt along with daughter Ashley to join Kristie on the floor,
he put his hand under her chin lifting up her face, smiling deeply,
and giving her a tender kiss. That very second the rising summer
sun broke through their sliding door window and across their
screened pool brightly illuminating the expensive golden cross
they kept affixed on the fireplace mantle.

The Father seemed to be saying the same message to all three,
the message of His Son. "If anyone wishes to follow me, he must
deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me."

Jordan for one knew what he must do, for there was no turning
back now. The marvelous grace of his Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ would see all of them through the tough but joyful days
ahead. He must once and for all join the army of Jesus that had
declared war on the spirit of mammon. Again, his mind drifted
back to that mesmerizing quote from brother Eberhard Arnold, who
was now with the Lord, as he described the fight:

"Money and love are mutually exclusive. Where mammon rules,
the possessive will is stronger than the will to community...It is the
spirit of lying, impurity, and murder, the spirit of weakness and
death…Jesus, the prince of life, declared war on this spirit, and we
must declare war on it too. When our inmost eye has been opened
to his light…we can no longer accumulate property. We will turn
our backs on everything present and live instead for freedom, unity,
and peace."

~SOURCE:  "Walk Worthy" - http://walkworthy.injesus.com
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