Faith | Don't Mess With God's Vineyard
I referenced Isaiah 3:16 in a conversation I was having on Facebook today, and I feel the need to share the backstory again. It's long, but definitely worth the read.
About a year ago, God told me to stop what I was doing so we could talk. I got on my knees and started praying, not really knowing what to expect. He told me to turn to Isaiah 3:16 and read. Now, because I'm a bit of a heathen, and not too familiar with Bible scriptures, I thought it was a mistake...
Me: "You mean John 3:16, God?" (One of three verses I have memorized...)
Him: "No. You heard me right the first time."
So I read...
16. The LORD says, "The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, strutting along with swaying hips, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
17. Therefore the Lord will afflict the scalp of the daughters of Zion with scabs, And the LORD will make their foreheads bare."
18. In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces...
SKIP TO VERSE 24 - He pretty much snatched all of their prized possessions away, haha.
24. Now it will come about that instead of sweet perfume there will be putrefaction; Instead of a belt, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, a plucked-out scalp; Instead of fine clothes, a donning of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty.…
YOU GET THE POINT. BACK TO THE STORY...
Confused, I went back and started from verse 13.
13. The Lord takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people.
14. The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: “It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses.
15. What do you mean by crushing My people And grinding the face of the poor?" Declares the Lord GOD of hosts...
Stay with me...
So pretty much, God tasked a certain group of folks to lead His people to Him, but they did the opposite so He had to punish them. The leaders were rude, condescending, arrogant, mean-spirited, etc... He then made the folks who were being oppressed rulers over the oppressors.
God showed me these scriptures during a time when I was getting a big head about gaining an audience from my writing. All of a sudden the gift he awarded me with was used to make me feel as if I were better than others. And even though I never voiced any of this out loud, I definitely thought it. And He knew that because He knows everything, haha.
God then told me that if I didn't get it together, and use the gift He gave me to speak truth and positivity into His people's lives the way He intended, He would strip it all away. And that He wouldn't take me any further in my journey UNTIL I ACTED LIKE I HAD SOME SENSE ABOUT MYSELF.
I say that to say this...
God blesses us with our gifts and talents. You either use it for Him - with authenticity and love - or He won't hesitate to take them away. He does not play when it comes to His children.
When I read the Kim Burrell bit, I felt bad for her. I was in the same boat as her when God gave me my reality check. I wasn't out here alienating folks, but I was being pretty haughty.
Kim took God's word and - whether subconsciously or with malicious intent - attempted to "ruin His vineyard." But, she's not the only one... Preachers across the world tailor sermons to target and alienate God's children all of the time. They were tasked to speak God's word and lead people to Him. Not with finger-pointing-theatrics, but with love and sincerity. Not to alienate and demonize, but to build up and inspire. But with fame, fortune and the notoriety that comes with the platform, can also birth haughtiness - a recipe for disaster, and totally against everything that God is.
Now, I'm no expert, but I do know how to read. And you see what happened to the last group of leaders who "ruined God's vineyard..."