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SCRIPTURE - Ga l5:16, 1Cor 2:16                                                                       APRIL, 2009

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Last month, I started talking about why we, especially in the black community, seem to have, or attract the worst, of what life has to offer.

If anything goes wrong for this nation, the black community seems to bear the brunt of it. The late Coleman A. Young once stated, ‘When America gets a cold, the black community gets pneumonia!!’ That, at one time, seemed a little exaggerated, until I looked at the statistics.

Essentially, what they reveal is, if it was something good, like jobs, health, prosperity, intelligence, education, and the like, the black community, rated dead last in all these areas. On the other hand, if it was something negative, like crime, infant mortality, joblessness, illiteracy, poverty, death from diseases, percentage of population incarcerated, alcoholism, AIDS, and the list goes on and on, we are at the top of the list.

After looking at these statistics, it became evident to me, that our problem is a whole lot more serious, than what the leaders in the black community, that are preachers, are telling you.

Listening to them, they would have you believe that our problems, are the result of institutionalized racism, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, the Republicans, Rush Limbaugh, and, lest I forget, the biggest devil of all, ‘the religious right.’

Time and again, when serious issues come up, that affect the black community, the news reporters, run to the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Wendall Anthony, and others, that have been appointed by the black community, as your mouthpieces, to address the issues.

Now, these men, as I mentioned last month, are exceptional black leaders, and civil rights leaders, and, if the problems affecting the black community, were the result of racism, discrimination, and the rest of those issues that I mentioned earlier, that I would take my hat off to them.

However, what is happening to the black community, goes far deeper than that. And these men, who also bear the title of Reverend, seem to be overlooking the one piece of evidence, that explains the situation, and that is, the Word of God, the bible.

The bible, lets us know, just what man’ relationship is with God, and that is, we are His creation, thus making Him the Creator. And, seeing that He Created us, then He did so for an express purpose, and that is, to worship Him.

How does man worship God, you might ask?? Despite the outward expressions of raising your hands in the air, and raising your voice to Him, and calling out His name, or falling on your knees, and weeping, or running down the aisles, or singing songs of praise, all of which are good, the main foundation of ‘true worship of God, is obedience to Him!!!’Jesus addressed it this way, Johs 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

What He is saying, is that there is a big difference in what we call worship, and what He considers worship.

If you will notice, Jesus uses two terms that separate outward worship, from the type of worship, God is looking for. Those terms are ‘true worshippers’and ‘in spirit and in truth.’ If God, designed man to worship Him one way, but man decides to do it another way, then God is not pleased with man. And as a result, man stands to suffer God’ wrath. It is that simple.

True worshippers, are those that adhere to the Word of God, in unashamed, obedience. They don’t care what people may think, they have set their hearts and minds to follow His Word. In order for them to be able to do this, they must have it burned in their spirits. It must be a part of them. That is what is known as, ‘in spirit!’ But it goes one step further, because it says, ‘and in truth!’ That means it has to be according to, and in line with the Truth of God’ word!! If you determine something is the ‘Truth’ and it is not, and you pursue that ‘truth’ then you are not going to get anywhere with God. The only thing He will do, is give you warning, that you are displeasing to Him, so that you might change your ways, and get it right.

However, if you choose to ignore the warning, then you will have to suffer for it. The more you ignore His warnings, the worse you will suffer.

Enter the black community.

The sum total of the black experience in this nation, with its problems, and failures, amounts to proof that there is a whole lot more than anything that man is doing, or can do, to cause these problems. It has to be a supernatural situation. A curse, if you will.

Today, in our 21st century way of thinking, just like man has always tried to do, we want to deny that there is any such thing as a curse. We even want to deny that God is involved in anything negative, that happens to us, if we even believe there is a God. We have no problem continually acknowledging God, when things go good for us, because that is the only image, these leaders present of Him.

Doing that, is like presenting a one-sided dollar bill to a cashier at a store. It is unacceptable.

We are continually warned throughout the bible, about the wrath of God, and how it may manifest itself.

Here are just a few scriptures from the New Living Version of the bible about how His wrath, through cursing, manifests [comes from the spiritual realm, to the physical realm] itself.

Deu 28:15 "But if you refuse to listen to the LORD your God and do not obey all the commands and laws I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you:
Deu 28:16 You will be cursed in your towns and in the country
Deu 28:19 You will be cursed wherever you go, both in coming and in going.
Deu 28:20 "The LORD himself will send against you curses, confusion, and disillusionment in everything you do, until at last you are completely destroyed for doing evil and forsaking me.
Deu 28:22 The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, fever, and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, and with blight and mildew. These devastations will pursue you until you die.
Deu 28:25 "The LORD will cause you to be defeated by your enemies. You will attack your enemies from one direction, but you will scatter from them in seven! You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.

These verses, there are over 40 of them, in this old testament book, chapter 28, outline every possible thing that could happen to those that are disobedient to God. Some of them say that your families will be in disarray, and in poverty. Your kids will be cursed, and made slaves of. And, though everyone prospers following a proven plan, you will not.

It is interesting to learn that the first 14 verses address what good things will happen to those that obey His directions.

All of this represents one thing, and that is a lack of understanding, of the consequences of disobedience to God. And it is these same leaders, that are showing their followers, that they don’ have the spiritual insight, to see what is at the root of black community’ problems.

In order for us, all of us, to avoid the curses that God has out there for the disobedient, we need to be aware of all factors that go in to our having as pleasant a life as possible.

These preachers, are supposed to be leading, or rather educating the people in the things that God wants us to know, so that we will be pleasing in His sight. But, how can they do that, if they don’ even know it themselves?? Jesus once said, Mat 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. And that is what’ happening, the black community is falling in the ditch, along with the leaders that they look up to.

Well, the natural question that would come up is, ‘what is it we are doing, that God disapproves of??

That alone, shows the biggest problem we face. The people don’t even know what they are doing wrong. And as a result, they don’t know they are cursed, and respond by accusing others for their condition. And, as such, they continue in the very same behavior, that ultimately keeps them in that condition.

Next month, I hope to finish this message, by listing some of the things we are doing that is bringing God's wrath on us, and what we need to do to change our future.