Welcome To Josiah Ministries
Who We Are
Although only a child when he became King of Judah, Josiah brought tremendous reform and revival to
TALENT OR GIFTING
Then Who (how) Does God Choose?
I used to believe that because of who I was and the talents that I had, God could use me greatly just as I was. But that stuff I drug into my new life in Christ caused way more struggle than it was worth. I have come to know that God does not need any of my fleshly talent or abilities to further his Kingdom. So I have to ask myself, “What does he need from me and all my great giftings? The answer, none of them. My talents and gifts are more a detriment than good in the Kingdom of God. Why? God want us to be completely dependent on him, not at all on ourselves and because we are fighting an enemy who is of the spiritual world and spiritual gifts are needed to combat them.
After three and one half years with Jesus, you would think that the first twelve disciples would be ready to go out to the world and spread the Gospel, or at least get their ordination or a degree of some sort. But Jesus said “Stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” Luke 24:49. About 11 days later (Pentecost) the Holy Spirit came upon them and then they were ready to proclaim the Gospel to the world. The Bible doesn’t show the Disciples being educated or greatly gifted men, they were just every day people who had been with Jesus.
The Bible teaches that God chooses the foolish ones of this world to confound the wise. (1 Corinthians 1:25-31) Why? Because the foolish have no choice but to listen and obey the Lord and they know that they have nothing to offer God but their lives. In all that we do, God wants to be glorified. He knows our hearts and chooses those whose hearts are truly his. Our society leans towards the brightest and the most talented. You often hear words like gifted, dynamic, talented, cutting edge….etc. But God chose a young shepherd boy, an eight year old boy, a barren old lady, a man hiding in a well, fishermen, a young girl, a man shepherding his father in laws flock and many more to use in his service. One thing that many of these had in common was one on one encounter with the Lord. (Moses and the burning bush, Mary and the angel, The Disciples with Jesus and Pentecost, Gideon and the Angel of the Lord. Some like David and King Josiah had a right heart and the Lord blessed them and used them. The test of greatness is not talent, titles, degrees, but a right heart and obedience before God, a servant who know his masters’ (Gods) voice and is obedient to him.
If God would have allowed me to continue on and become a Pastor or something in Christian music, it would have on my own strength. About 10-15 years ago he started moving me towards prayer and teaching ministries. As I have tried to be obedient, the Lord has blessed my efforts. He has changed my heart and now it is my desire to pray for the sick and troubled, to intercede for my church, family and all those around me. My hearts’ desire is to disciple and equip the Church. I don’t have the talents or qualifications to do this, but God gives me his gifts to accomplish this as I need them. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a Pastor or something in Christian music, but I’m OK with that. I want to please the Lord and further his Kingdom where ever he leads me.
“His master will say to him, “well done good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master” Matthew 25:21 That’s what I want to hear.
Take some time and read about King David, King Josiah, Mary (mother of Jesus), Gideon, Samuel, Martha (mother of John), Moses, the Disciples…..and on and on. These are among those whom God chose to greatly use. He doesn’t need my talent, only my heart.
TALENT OR GIFTINGS
In recent times the Lord has been speaking to me about what I brought into the Kingdom after I was saved. In my teenage years I loved sports, football was my favorite. I got to play quarterback for one year and running back for four years. I played linebacker on defense all the years I played. I loved to hear name be heard on the PA and to known for my exploits as I played. I have always loved music, from working at rock concerts in High School to playing the guitar and singing. I used music to express myself to anyone who would listen.
I came back to the Lord when I was about 23. I saw myself as a Pastor/preacher type. Up in front of the Church preaching. (That was a long term goal). Or leading worship or ministering in music one way or another. The Lord allowed me to lead worship in several churches, although still struggling with my flesh, the Lord blessed my efforts. Eventually I started playing in coffee houses and wherever I was invited. That was when my flesh took over completely. I was given a chance to preach a few times and I know the Holy Spirit led me through that. Not being ordained or being able to go to Bible College is a drawback to being a Pastor, but didn’t take away my desire to be one. No doors would ever open for that calling. Everything about ministry became frustrating. As time went on the Lord started closing doors until the things that I wanted most were the very things I could not have. I went through a period of seeing others walking in their calling, but much frustration in my own.
Psalm 37:4 says,”Delight yourself in the Lord; And he will give you the desires of your heart” I always believed that music and being a Pastor were the desires of my heart. I believed that God was changing my desires to his desires as I grew in the Lord and for the most part that satisfied my walk with the Lord. But there was always a longing in my heart those things.
About a year and half ago, the Lord gave me a vision of myself standing behind the two leaders of the healing ministry that we are a part of while they ministered. As I prayed the Holy Spirit gave me an explanation of what I saw. He was asking me if what I was doing in ministry was enough to satisfy me. And I said yes Lord. His peace came upon me as I chose to be content with what he is doing in my life. Since then I have been walking in greater peace, favor, anointing and contentment than ever before.
In recent times, I started learning about the baptism of Moses, spoken of in 1 Corinthians 10:1&2. “For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and the sea” God parted the Red Sea and Moses led Israel through the sea on dry land. When Pharaoh and his army (who represented Israel’s slavery and bondage) tried to cross, they all perished. When we give our lives to Jesus, all of our sinful desires have to go. Some go instantly and others the Lord will help us work through. But they have to go! My ego and pride should have been removed when I came to Jesus. Instead I allowed it to form what I thought was “my calling”. I believe if I want to walk in the Lord’s favor, I should be where he wants me to be. Thank God for grace, because he still watches over us when we stray, but, like a loving shepherd he is always drawing us back to the fold. The original Disciples were not chosen by their job experience or education, they were chosen by Jesus, who saw their hearts. It’s not up to me to tell God what my calling is, it’s up to me to allow God to call and equip me for the work ahead that he has chosen for me.
In Christ, Marty
WALKING IN THE SHADOW OF THE GIANT SLAYER
The Bible speaks of King David more than any other of the kings in Israel and Judah. After he killed Goliath, he was taken in by King Saul and led the army to many more victories.
The women sang, “Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands.’ (1Sam. 18:7)
From 1Samuel 16 to 2Samuel 24, and the first 2 chapters of 1Kings, we read of the life of David and his exploits. He is the king to whom all other kings are compared to. He is referred to as the “man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:22) Others are spoken about, good and bad, but David is spoken about the most.
As you read 1st and 2nd Samuel and 1st Chronicles 11-29, you can see God’s hand on David and David’s heart toward God. These chapters speak of many servants of David who did great things, yet very little of the details are reported. It would appear that very few of them tried to bring glory or credit to themselves (Absolon, Adonijah, Joab…) But overall not much is known of their of their service. 2Samuel 23 speaks of David’s mighty men. You read names like Adino, Eleazar, Shammah, Abisha, and others. David was a great king, but he didn’t do it on his own. The Lord was with him. The Lord brought many great men to serve under him making it possible to accomplish what David did. Goliath had 4 brothers, each one was killed by some of these men who little was written about. All of these servants were essential to David’s reign.
In the church today there are many great ministers of the Gospel, (preachers, teachers, etc.). God has raised them up and set them apart for His service. We know many of their names and testimonies. Behind these people are great men and women of God whom the Lord has called to support them.
In the book of Acts we see many servants of Christ “sent” throughout the known world, first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. These believers were called by God, trained, set apart, and sent.
Steven and Phillip were examples of this. Both full of the Spirit and of wisdom. (Acts 6:1-6)
Steven and Phillip were, in a nutshell, busboys waiting tables, but the Lord was able to greatly use them. You have read sermons by Paul, Peter, Steven, but you don’t hear much from those who were with them. They were there in the background ministering.
Most Christians never get the opportunity to preach, teach, or lead worship, but that does not mean that they don’t have anything to offer. It also does not mean that what they have to offer is any less inspiring or Spirit filled. We serve a personal God who sees what we do in private and rewards us in private. Sometimes it’s just the peace of God or the still small voice saying, “Well done”.
In my life I have always been trying to prove myself before men and to prove my worth. I can’t explain it; maybe it’s the way I was raised or the circumstances in my life. Last year I was seeking the Lord for direction in ministry and the Holy Spirit gave me a vision of what I was doing at the time. At first it didn’t mean much, but as I thought about it, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “If this is all I have for you, is this enough?” I said, “Yes, Lord.” It meant not looking ahead hoping for what I didn’t have, but concentrating on the Lord’s work right where I was at.
It has been an amazing year with the Lord. Jesus has quietly used me to minister the Gospel like never before. I have watched Him save, heal, and deliver many people. I believe in an ever increasing relationship with Jesus. I expect to experience even more this coming year.
I am experiencing a time when I have been set free from trying to prove myself and justify myself before men. My hope/expectation is to see even more. It is the Lord who sees and knows how we serve Him. He is our rewarder. To hear the Lord say, “Well done good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your Master.” (Matt. 25:25)
Or, “Blessed is the slave whom the master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions.” (Luke 12:44-45)
To those standing behind their giant slayer, be encouraged. The God who equips you for the battle is the same God who sees what you do and rewards you for all that you have done for Him. Focus on what is before you today and do not worry about what tomorrow brings. Don’t allow the accuser to come at you and belittle what you are doing. You have a calling that only you can fill each day. Focus on that.
I speak to the servants of the Lord who faithfully serve Him mostly out of sight. Your name and service are probably not known outside of your circle of friends and family, but God sees everything you do. He knows your heart. If you seek man’s approval or to be known by men, you will spend a great deal of time frustrated and disappointed. Know that God knows your name and sees all that you have done for Him. It should be enough to hear the Father say, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into your rest.”
In recent years I’ve learned that my name, face, or deeds may never be known outside of my family and friends, but that’s OK with me. God knows and that is all that counts.
The Holy Spirit
To any Christian who reads the four Gospels, there are a few things we can all agree on; Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, He was betrayed and condemned to die for our sins, He was crucified and died. He was buried and rose on the third day and appeared to over 500 people. When the Disciples encountered the risen Christ, Jesus breathed on them and said “receive the Holy Spirit” (see John 20:21&22).This is the moment they believed, this is the moment of their salvation. When we encounter the resurrected Christ and give our lives to Him, we are saved and we too receive the Holy Spirit. There are many other things that Jesus did, but these are part of the foundation that the Christian Church is built on.
In John chapters 14&15, Jesus explained the role of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:12&13). Jesus said “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world can not receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know him because He abides with you and will be in you. John 14:16&17.
In John chapters 14-17, Jesus is in the last week of his earthly life. He spends a great deal of time preparing the Disciples for what’s ahead, His death, burial and resurrection and the fact that he would be taken away from them. He continues to teach them about the Holy Spirit and His role in their life to comfort, teach, guide, empower them…etc. The same Spirit that rested on Jesus in Luke 3:21&22 and raised Jesus from the dead would be ours too.
In Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20&21 we are told of the resurrected Jesus appearing to the Disciples over a period of 40 days. And He gave what we call “the great commission”. At the end of the Gospels we find the Disciples convinced of Jesus’ resurrection and waiting for the Holy Spirit. I have read that it was only 11 days between when Jesus ascended into Heaven and the day of Pentecost. As they were instructed the Disciples were waiting for the promise of the Father. These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus and with His brothers. Acts 1:14
Acts chapter 2 tells us about the day of Pentecost. As the Holy Spirit is poured out on the Disciples in the upper room. There came from heaven noise like a violent wind and tongues as of fire settled on the Disciples. A crowd gathered and heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached by Peter in their own language for the first time. And hearing this Gospel they were pierced to their hearts and said, “What must we do?” and Peter said, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins”. The Church of Jesus Christ was born on that day.
The Disciples were performing great signs and wonders under the power of the Holy Spirit. 3000 believers were added with the first sermon, God added to their numbers daily and 5000 were added in Peter’s second sermon. We must realize that the Spirit that empowered the Disciples then is available to us today. We all received the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. (See John 20:22) But Jesus told the Disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they were clothed with power from on high. (See Luke 24:46-49) We have the same experience available to us today. When Pentecost happened, the Disciples were fully given to Jesus and look at the result. When we come to Christ we must give Him all of our lives, not holding back anything. That is what the first disciples did, they gave Christ everything.
As I have been seeking the Lord on this subject, I believe He has shown me that one of the keys to the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is the preparation of the believer, has this person come fully to the Lord? Or, are they trying to bring the world with them? I have been seeing people receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and not have this be the life changing event that it was for the early Church. I believe that preparation is important, but teaching these young Christians (or old Christians) to have a complete relationship with the Lord helps keep the Spirit flowing. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not a final destination, but an important part of our Christian walk and ministry. What we as Christians are willing to put into our relationship with the Lord has a direct effect on how much of us the Holy Spirit is able to use.
There are many Christians who have been greatly used by the Holy Spirit to minister. One thing many of them have in common is they had a very close walk with the Lord, making it their priority each day.
As I close, I want to challenge anyone who reads this to press into your walk with the Lord. Radio, TV, CDs…etc can be a great resource, but they must not replace your prayer time and time spent in the Bible. We live in tough times and at times the enemy seems to have the upper hand, but he doesn’t. Where/when ever the enemy attacks us, Jesus promised us to empower us with the Holy Spirit (who already defeated Satan) to carry out his will. May the Lord bless and keep you, in Christ, Marty
The Holy Spirit
Our men’s Bible study has been studying the Holy Spirit. In our last lesson, we were asked to name some people in the Old Testament who were filled with the Holy Spirit. King David and King Saul came to mind. Both were mightily filled with Holy Spirit and anointed King, but had entirely different results. David died and is forever remembered as “a man after God’s own heart” and the standard by which all Kings were measured. Saul died as a demonized man in rebellion apart from God. And a failure. How did this happen?
In recent years I have noticed the same difference in those who received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Not dieing the same death as Saul, but never experiencing the fullness of the Holy Spirit we should expect. I believe that we have more control over this than we think. In Ezekiel 47, the Bible speaks of water flowing from the temple. First, a trickle, then to the ankles, then to the knees, then to the loins, and eventually a river that totally immerses the writer. As the river flows, it sustains all kinds of life down stream.
Water is sometimes symbolic of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. (John 7:37-39 and John 4:13-14) I believe that is the case here. This section of Ezekiel is speaking of the restoration of the Temple and God’s people. He speaks of putting things in order (the requirement of the different rooms and implements of service). He also speaks of the people repenting and turning from their idols. The preparation was essential before the Spirit filled the Temple. In the cases of King David and King Saul, the conditions of their hearts made the difference in their outcomes. Although not perfect, David’s heart was right before the Lord, he had true repentance. His filling lasted his whole life. He became the standard by which all kings were measured. Saul often walked in direct disobedience of the Lord and eventually the Spirit was removed from him. 1 Samuel 16: 14-15 “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him. And Saul’s servants then said to him, behold now, an evil spirit from the Lord is terrorizing you”. Instead of true repentance, Saul had excuses. His heart was not fully given and it cost him.
I have seen a number of people receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and I have to ask “Why do the results differ from person to person?” To some believers (such as the original 120) it was a life changing event that changed their world and lasted a lifetime. To others it is like Saul’s, where the power is there in the beginning, but fades or disappears with time.
In Luke 8:4-15, Jesus tell and explains the parable about the seeds. I think that some of the Church is in between the seed sown in the weeds and the seed sown on good ground. In seed sown on good ground, the result is obvious, as is seed sown in the weeds. Time will tell. In my own life, I have found that the more of this world I am willing to give up (TV, hobbies, and sinful behavior) the more of the Spirit I will walk in.
In John 14:16&17, Jesus speaks of the promise of the Holy Spirit. “Whom the world cannot receive”. As I read this, I wondered, “If I have too much of the world in me, am I hindering how much of the Holy Spirit I can receive?”
In a society filled with idols, are we trying to keep one foot in the world (in the weeds) and one foot on the fertile ground? If the Church wants a Pentecost type experience, maybe we should try to conduct ourselves as the original 120 did; In prayer, fellowship, devoted to the Word and breaking bread together. I know that God has so much more for me than I am experiencing now. I am determined to keep seeking until I find it. In Ezekiel 47: 7-12 the writer speaks of the great flow of the river sustaining life down stream and even making the sea fresh. This is what I see what started with the original 120 and spread throughout the whole world. If we are not content with ankle deep or calf deep filling of the Spirit, we can change that by our behavior. Verse 11 gives a warning that we should pay attention to. 11. But its’ swamps and marshes will not become fresh. They will be left for salt. A marsh is dead stagnate water that will not sustain life, Salt water will not sustain us either.
Throughout the years I’ve read about great men of God who were mightily used by God. I find it very encouraging to read about these people. I ask myself, Why not me? Or, Why not my church or community? If the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead and filled these saints’ lives in me, then why not me? In Luke 24:49, Jesus said; “And behold I am sending forth the promise of my father upon you, but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high”. They were blindly obedient to what Jesus told them to do and when the promised Holy Spirit came, the New Testament Church was born. I pray that this message encourages you to say, “Why not me”? Yours in Christ, Marty
You Are Not Alone In This Battle. If you have any prayer requests, leave them on our blog or email them to us. We would be honored to pray for you.
As you read through I and II KIngs and Chronicles. you can see that because of Israel's rebellion, judgment is unavoidable. There were a few Godly Kings, but overall things did not look good for Isreal or Judah. King Josiah was only 8 years old when he became King. His heart was right before the Lord and he began going through the land destroying the idols and their alters. I believe that Josiahs' obedience touched the heart of God and judgment was delayed 31 years while he was King.
The sins of our land are increasing and it would appear that judgment is unavoidable. But I believe that if the true remnant of God's people would humble ourselves, repent and pray, that God would look at our hearts and postpone judgment. Whether Christ return sooner or later, I pray that when He returns, he will find me doing my Fathers' business. The early church expected Christ to return in their lifetime. We should serve the Lord with that same mindset. I pray that these studies will encourage you to seek the Lord all the more as you see his return is near.
What brought us here
We have been serving the Lord for over 25 years. We have worked in childrens ministry, youth, street ministry, worship, preaching/teaching and most recently we are part the prayer team for Flames of Fire Healing ministry. Our desire is to encourage all we meet to push themselves to draw nearer to God. I have found that the best way is to seek Gods face. There is no shortcut, it only comes by time spent with the Lord.(reading the Bible, prayer, worship and some times just sitting before him. We hope that these materials will encourage you to go on further in your walk with the Lord. As we post lessons, feel free to email us with questions.
Pease take time to sign our guestbook.
All information is optional.
We will not share any information with anyone.
Feel free to leave comments or ask questions.
Let us know what you think.
Thank you, Josiah Ministries