Defending yourself : Overcoming the pitfall.
Many people wonder when people slander me and attack me, why I do not return fire to them hit for hit. Many of these people that are trolls to Azusa Report and me personally; I have been given personal information of sinful patterns. I choose to not expose them.
Shortly after I was radically saved in July, 1996; people were reminding me all the reason I couldn’t be “a Christian.” I wanted to defend myself and my conversion. It was black and white difference. However, God spoke to me about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. This young men were faced with the challenge to stand for their faith or return to the old way of life.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. (Daniel 3:16-17)
They were faced with the choice to stand for the encounter they had with God or cowarded back. They took a stand and told the world, ” We do not to defend ourselves.”
The truth is if I spend my time defending myself against those who wish ill against me, I would get nothing else done. Litterally.
The motive test
I find that when I look at the people who speak against me, my anointing, my calling, and my destiny; one thing is common among them all: they have not invested any time in my life. They attack instead of try to understand. Every single time.
It is very hard for people to attack someone they have prayed for, fasted about, and spend time in travail over. The harsh reality is you can not change what you will not weep over. Have you wept for the people you are attacking? Probably not.
The other consideration is WHY are we trying to “correct someone.” Is it even correction that we are looking for? In most cases, it is fuel by hatred for the person; not deep concern for their destiny and the path you see them heading down. If you do not have a positive outcome for the confrontation, you are clearly in the flesh at best.
It is very rare that it is for the betterment of the community to attack someone. Community is not something you choose, it is something you inherit. You can’t pick your neighbors and everyone has to stop at the same Wal-Mart. Communities are all for one and one for all.
Many of these people operate from a place of illegal memory. What I do mean by that? They want to try and drag up things that are “under the blood” and washed away. They try to throw things in people’s faces that God has long forgiven. This is by a demonic spirit. It is pure evil and should be dealt with as a devil.
As you can see, most of the people that do try and attack me do so from a wrong motive and in many cases, a demonic spirit. The people at Malta did that at first too…. then revival broke out at the house of Publius.
The Galatians test
There is a passage in Galatians that many people either forget or don’t realize.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)
I have had these verses really challenge me over the years. I am not the best at being gentle and I am not that great at restoration either. However, the Word of God is true and every man is a lair.
In Galatia, There was a group of churches. It was written to believers in at least four cities. They are Pisdian Antioch, Inconium, Lystra and Derbe. One thing we know about them all is despite being baptized in the Holy Spirit and joy, they were destroying each other doing “fruit finding.” (Acts 13:13-14:28)
Paul is ending his letter with some thoughts that start with how to restore people who fall into sin. He was telling legalists to quit behaving like the Pharisees and to have a heart of restoration and operate in gentleness.
I have watch people I knew fall into serious sin. I have not always been about restoration. I joined the party of throwing them under the bus. This passage is actually one of the hardest ones in all of the bible for me.
Is there truth in criticism?
Anyone that follows Azusa Report for long knows that I have a lot of respect for Mike Bickle, the founder of the International House of Prayer. There is so many things I have learn from my time in Kansas City. It is also worth saying that we disagree on some things but I still respect him.
One of them is that when people attack you, ask if they have any truth or anything that the Lord could be highlighting that needs worked on. Many times those who criticize me the worst on social media actually hold at most 20% (or less) of anything that can be used to make be a better believer or evangelist.
As Mike points out in the video above, 99.9% believers doesn’t care about what the critics say or think. In fact, the reality is 99% of believers just doesn’t even know who I am or you are. If Azusa Report gets a million view in a month, that is like 0.000001% of all worldwide traffic. Let’s get real.
What am I saying? It does not make sense for me to spend time worrying about the critics. They are just the loud .1% of our readership. The other 99.9% is silent majority.
I just ask if they are criticizing for the right reasons.
- Do they have the right motive?
- Do they fast about it and travail about me?
- Do they even care about my destiny?
- Are they trying to make me a better believer?
- Are they trying to restore me in an area?