Hi, my name is Larry Sparks. I serve as the publisher of Destiny Image and welcome to God Today. Have you ever been hurt by the Church? Have you been betrayed by a pastor? Are you at a place right now where you are thinking to yourself, “I don’t even want to be a part of what is going on. This Christian thing – I have tried that. I have given my life to Jesus. But, I don’t know if I can trust anybody again.” Listen, I have been there.
I was in a church for about 7 years. That became my life. Those people became my friends, that became my family. Through a certain turn of events, abusive leadership, that kind of thing. I remember leaving that church and when I left that church I was actually told, “If you leave here you will lose your anointing, you will never become anything.” It was demonic in nature. The reality is this: I left and there with a lot of offense. I left there with a lot of hurt. It took me time to heal, time to process.
Here is the deal. I actually believe for any of you this is relevant to – what God wants to do, there is a prophecy, there is a gift in the ashes. Out of the ashes of that situation, and that situation nearly destroyed me. I could have allowed it to destroy me. I could have allowed it to push me totally away from the Church, totally away from my destiny. The devil had a narrative he wanted me to agree with. The enemy actually wanted me to agree with the statement which was pronounced over my life which I believe is a word curse. Saying, “If you leave here you will lose your anointing, you will miss your destiny.” Don’t agree with those things, you are not called to agree with those things.
I want to tell you this – the gift in the ashes was this: I saw a lot of phoniness, I saw a lot of hypocrisy, I am sure you have as well. Those things make you think, “Why do I even want to be a part of this thing called Christianity?” I’ll tell you exactly why. The gift I received out of that situation, and now over 10 years later, healed, whole – I am not offended by that. I am not angry, I have forgiven. I picked up a gift. My gift was this discernment.
I believe the Lord. It is not a criticism – discernment is not criticism. Discernment is not you becoming the self-proclaimed Holy Ghost Police where you go around and try to figure out everybody doing things right and doing things wrong. That is not my assignment. Here is my assignment and why I am grateful for discernment. I am grateful because I never want anything that even sounds, smells, looks manufactured, fake, and phony. My heart burns for the authentic move of God, the authentic move of the Holy Spirit. I have seen the fake. I have seen the phony, I am sure you probably have as well.
Guess what? Anything there is a fake, a phony, or a counterfeit of – that is no reason for us to write something off. If anything, the enemy wants to introduce fakes, phonies, and counterfeits so that we get so driven away from the pure and authentic that we end up shipwrecked. I want to encourage you. There is a pure, authentic move of God being released in the Earth. God wants you to be a big part of it. I am sure you have been hurt, I am sure there are ashes God is in the process of cleaning up.
I prophesy over you today. There is a gift in the ashes. It might be unique, it might be different than what I received. I will say this: if you have dealt with any of that stuff – hypocrisy, phoniness, the fakery that sometimes comes in this world. I declare over you that you are going to pick up the gift of discernment. Rather than becoming overly critical and hurt, you are going to say, “God, I pick up this gift. With a laser-sharp focus, I will be intentionally looking for the authentic, pure move of the Holy Spirit. I am going to partner with that.” It is not going to be perfect, it doesn’t mean it is going to be perfect people carrying or stewarding that. It is going to be pure, it is going to be authentic and God has called you to join in and be a part of that.