Monday, September 27, 2010

The Danger of Taking a Step in the Right Direction

I want to talk to you about the subtle danger of a tendency common among many Christians. On the surface this tendency may seem harmless, but in reality it can cause shipwreck. I call this dangerous tendency the practice of "taking a step in the right direction."

Now, it is always good to take a step of faith when we have placed our trust in Christ. As a minister of the Lord, I applaud that kind of step. Yet the Bible shows us there is great danger if we don't follow up that first step with increased faith.

Lot is one of the Bible's prime examples. In Genesis 19 we read of Lot's supernatural deliverance from Sodom and Gomorrah. The angel of God's wrath had appeared on the scene, warning Lot, "We will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it" (Genesis 19:13).

When Lot heard this he immediately acted in faith. "Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out" (19:14). Lot believed the angel's warning and took it seriously enough to tell his family about it.

Then we read that Lot "lingered" the next day: "When the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand…

"And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace" (19:15-19).

Lot knew he had been blessed with the saving grace of God. He had been mercifully delivered from Sodom, which God was poised to judge. The Lord even gave Lot specific direction, telling him to flee to the nearby mountain.

But again Lot hesitated, making a request of God that was self-serving: "Thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one" (19:19-20).

The truth is Lot didn't want to go to the mountain. He wanted instead to settle on the plain, in a city called Zoar, whose name means "little." In Lot's mind, it was a "little matter" to request of God.

Here is a picture of a man taking a step in the right direction, a step of faith. If Lot had followed up on that first step with further faith, he would have been on his way to a place of blessing, in the perfect will of God.

In my opinion, Lot is like many Christians today. It is possible for us to be delivered from our own type of Sodom. We can be saved from a life of sin, fear and disappointment and instead taste of the wondrous mercy of God. And we begin to hear the Lord directing us, "Go up on the mountain."

Here is the first lesson we are to draw from Lot's deliverance: We are to go where God tells us to go.

For Lot, the mountain was meant as a place of further blessing. Yet Lot didn't have a single ounce of faith, despite being blessed so greatly. He had tasted God's salvation, mercy and deliverance, yet he didn't translate any of this into faith.

As a result, Lot wasn't dependent on the Lord at all. You might think someone who had experienced such saving grace would think, "I have been delivered by the very angels of God. Surely the Lord has his hand on me. I can trust his merciful love."

But Lot resisted, going his own way. And he had no idea of the consequences of his self-directed decision.

The same is true for us today. Like Lot, we who make up Christ's body have been delivered out of Sodom. We have tasted mercy and grace. But do we always believe we're headed for a place of blessing when we follow God's direction?

The fact is some of the places God sends us are going to be hard.

As a minister of the Lord, I have learned something crucial over the years. It is never to stand in the way of a godly man or woman on their way to a place where God has directed them.

When these servants get to the place God has sent them, they may endure one of the most difficult periods of their lives. Nevertheless what they experience is God's way for them. I have seen destruction result when well-meaning, "logical" Christians stand in these servants' way, hindering them from entering a place that seems risky or dangerous.

Lot, who had no faith, was drawn to Zoar because it was easy and comfortable. To him it was a step in the right direction — and so he went. Yet Lot couldn't have known the saving, delivering benefit of following God's specific direction.

The fact is the sulphuric fumes devouring Sodom were soon to engulf and cover the entire region. Picture the volcanic cloud that emerged from Iceland recently, affecting that entire part of the world. It must have been very much like what God's judgment of Sodom produced. That's why God told Lot to go to the mountain instead of to the plain.

When we disobey the voice of God, we have no idea the terrible things he wants to spare us from. Eventually, Lot was chased up the mountainside by the fiery destruction. And because he had no faith, he ended up in despair. His lack of faith resulted in incest and other horrible consequences. That is never God's way for us; he doesn't want to take any of his children on that route.

Perhaps right now you are struggling against a certain itch. Like Lot, you want to move ahead of God and do something on your own. I can only say one thing to you: Be exactly where God has told you to be. If you are there now, then you are at peace. If you are not at peace — if you're not trusting the Lord in the place he has put you — I assure you, you won't trust him anywhere.

Perhaps the things you're doing right now seem insignificant to you. In your mind, they may not be up to your high calling. But when you make peace with where God has sent you, you will be blessed. The Lord who knows your frame will keep you, instruct you and bless you beyond anything you could know. The point is always to go (or stay) where he has directed you in his infinite wisdom.

Jacob spent twenty years with Laban outside of God's blessing and plan for him.

During the two decades Jacob spent working for his father-in-law, he was not under God's full blessing. On the contrary, he was in a place of deception. The Lord was determined to change that for his servant. One day he told Jacob, "I want you to pull up stakes and go back home. Get to your kindred in Bethel."

Jacob took his first step toward blessing. He did as God directed him, gathering his clan and heading toward Bethel. And I can imagine Jacob was glad to go. He had been toiling for Laban in Syria for twenty years. And all that time he continually lived in disappointment with little to show for his labors.

You see, years before, Jacob had made a deal with God that concerned material things. Like many responsible believers, Jacob had reasoned, "I have to provide for my family." But if you want to follow the route to God's greatest blessing, you must follow his direction all the way, no matter what the cost. And now God wanted more for Jacob. He had a greater purpose for him.

When Jacob and his clan came to the border of Canaan, he was tired and weary. He had the pressure of caring for his two wives and all of their children, as well as their servants and herds. This man had responsibilities that stretched beyond his mental capacities. He was also fearful, because soon he would be facing his brother, Esau, from whom he had stolen the family inheritance years before.

So when Jacob came to a little town called Selah, he was tempted to stay there. Indeed, he bought a piece of land, building a house and even an altar where he could worship the Lord. Up to that point Jacob had taken a step in the right direction. But now he faced the danger that faces everyone who has taken that first step.

The name "Selah" means "safe place."

"Selah" indicates green grass, a nice home, good things. In short, the peaceful little town of Selah had great appeal to the embattled Jacob. It must have attracted him the same way Zoar attracted Lot.

But God's direction for Jacob was to build an altar to him at Bethel. The name "Bethel" means "house of God." The Lord was saying to his servant, "Jacob, you spent twenty years living for your family and yourself. Now I want all of your heart. I want my vision to become a part of your very being. Therefore, I want full control of your life. You are to take directions from me from now on."

To Jacob, moving forward looked risky, even dangerous. But God wanted to bless him. And Jacob couldn't enter that blessing unless he gave up his own self-made plans. From that point on, there could be no more deception, no more deal-making. God was saying to this beloved man, "I want to offer you something beyond your imagining. In the process, I'm going to make you the servant I have purposed you to be."

Beloved, that is the wonderful thing about grace. Jesus not only has bestowed grace on us by casting our sins into the sea, he also leads us by his merciful grace.

Once while in prayer, I heard the Lord say to me: "David, if I gave you the chance to direct your own life, doing everything right in your human ability, you still couldn't get close to my blessing for you. I have your steps outlined for you."

If we are going to follow him, we are to do so all the way, with no shortcuts. That is the only path to his purpose and blessing.

In the Old Testament many of God's servants took a first step of obedience but murmured and complained when things got tough.

I'm not referring to the normal human reaction we all have when we're in such a battle. When we're in a deep struggle, things can come at us fast and furiously. At such times we may think, "Lord, I don't know if I can handle this. I don't see how I can ever make it through." At such times the enemy takes advantage, moving in with principalities and powers to try to rob, steal and shipwreck our faith.

Dear believer, this happens to every true servant of God. Peter lovingly warns us it would happen, saying, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:12).

What I'm talking about is a heart that has become hardened. This type of murmuring, complaining spirit is infectious, and God chastens such. Throughout the Old Testament we see what happens in every instance of hardened complaining: God does not abide it. When he tells his servants to trust him, we are to do what he says without murmuring, knowing he has our best in mind.

Israel under Moses is the most obvious example. The people had been camped at Mount Sinai for a year and had become somewhat cozy there. Then word came from the Lord they were to move out into the wilderness. And the people obeyed.

Now, when you line up a million or more people, you can imagine the scale of such an undertaking. And what a glorious sight it must have been. Trumpets sounded and banners waved as every tribe and family assembled. Everyone was coming under the Lord's divine order.

It was a step in the right direction. But after only a short time, a group whom one translation calls "the rabble" began to murmur. These people's hearts had become hardened by their trials, and now they were just going through the motions. Soon their murmuring infected the whole camp and nearly everyone was complaining. It made God angry.

Think of it: Here were God's people who had been saved miraculously. They had been delivered from the hand of their enemy through a supernatural work at the Red Sea. But now the rabble weren't walking according to God's word. And because of their murmuring and complaining, God chastened them.

Terrible things fell upon Israel after that. It was a series of consequences they brought on themselves. Because they resisted God's direction, they suffered until an entire generation of murmurers finally died out in the wilderness.

After decades of service to the Lord, I am still learning.

I can honestly say I am still being trained by the Lord in this area of following his clear direction, especially into hard places. I am still learning not to say, "That's it, God, I've had enough." I'm also still learning to say, "Lord, I don't see the way ahead. I don't know where I'll find the grace to get through this. But you promised to provide it. You said you would be my strength."

This is the place of true faith. It is also where we find our rest: by fully trusting in the Lord's love for us. As Paul states, what else do we have to present to him but our faith? Not works. Not performance. We have only our belief in him and reliance on him to provide all. At each day's end now, my wife, Gwen, and I will bow our heads and say, "Lord, you did it again. You brought us through."

And, dear one, he is going to bring you through. He wants to take you to a place of incredible blessing. You may have to be willing to do insignificant things. You'll face tests and trials that will be hard, seemingly beyond your ability to endure. Yet that is the training ground God has set apart for multitudes of his most beloved ones. It is where we learn his nature, his character, his blessing and his goodness.

It's hard to understand that in spite of our failures we are cherished by a holy God. But we are loved with the same love he has shown his Son. And he has a holy purpose for us, just as he did for his own Son. Therefore, we have a peace that passes all understanding. And we rest knowing his blessing lies ahead of us. Thank you, Lord — Amen!

David Wikerson

"Devil Gets Decked!"

It is amazing sometimes when we minister how the Lord moves in ways that are unexpected. One of the things that wee have seen Him do on a number of occassions is to turn our enemies against one another. We have seen one friend argue and say that there is no God and his buddy will get in his face and tell him to shut up!

We have seen pushing matches get started and friends dragging their buddies off because they came at us in an agressive way. It is like the breaking of the waterpots in the Book of Judges when the enemies turned their swords upon one another! During this years' Southern Decadence Festival - we recieved word that one of our biggest "opponents" in the French Quarter had met a similar fate.

Leo Watermeier is a former State Representative and Mayoral Candidate that operates in what I would call the "Spirit of Anti-Christ." When we are preaching during 'Raven Street Church" he would often come and stand with a bullhorn in front of us saying, "Blah, Blah, Blah" over and over again to keep the people from hearing the Gospel.

Seems that the Saturday of the outreach, he found another group of street ministers to harass with his antics. A witness to the scene said that two guys standing by got tired of his bullhorn-business blasting them in the eardurm. They told him to stop. He continued to "Blah, Blah, Blah" when one of the guys handed his drink to his buddy and "BAM" - - he knocked poor Leo out cold!

Leo hasn't visited us during "Raven Chuch" since the incident - - maybe he has found that it is not the best idea to come against a Servant of the Lord Most High!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

How can we get the "Evangelists" out of the Building?

OBSERVATION - - just returning from the streets tonight and thought about the number of "evangelists" on facebook and wondered where they all are? What do you call an "evangelist" that never actually "evangelizes?"

1) I am not an Ephesians 4:11 "Evangelist", yet I cannot help myself but to "evangeliize" the lost and dying. Even the "Apostles" where first called to be "fishers of men" (Luke 5:10)

#2) If, as Jesus' "disciple" - I am to "follow or immitate" Him, then what He "primarily" came to do was to "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10) . . . shouldn't "soul winning" be at the forefront of my walk, rather than an incidental afterthought?

#3) If I am His diisciple (Matt 16:24) and I truly love Him (1 John 2:3) then I will keep ALL of His commandments, which would include "going" and "preaching the Gospel" (Mark 16:15)

#4) As a believer (any believer) I have (a) been reconciled to God (b) been given the ministry of reconciliation (c) have had committted to me the WORD of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-19) - that "word" (logon') is something "said" - so if I never go "say" anything am I being faithful to that responsibility?

#5) Further, He calls us His "ambassadors" (2 Cor 5:20) or one acting as His representative - - So, if we are representing, demonstrating, or commmunicating who Jesus is to the world -should we not be walking as He walked - - that being with the primary task to evangelize the world? (John 3:17)

#6) With all of the prayers that He has answered of mine - given the chance - would I not want to answer the one prayer request He made? "pray[ing] the Lord of the Harvest would send forth laborers [not even "Evangelists"] into His harvest" (Matt 9:38)

#7) If we believe that the return of the Lord Jesus is near, and we know that it is His desire that not perish (2 Pet 3:9) then why would we be so "passive" about telling as many people as possible about Him before it is too late? Why wouldn't we make the "main" thing the "main" thing?

#8) While there are certainly "diversities" of (a) gifts (b) administrations (c) operations (1 Cor 12:4-6) It is the "same" Spirit - and that Spirit (The Holy Spirit) came to "convict the world of sin, righeousness and judgment" (John 16:8) - - and because He is in us (John 14:7) We are now His voicepiece of this "reproof" [elengxei] - admonishment, tellling, and rebuke (2 Tim 4:1-2) - - differing "merthods" perhaps - but the same "message"

#9) Paul exhorted Timothy concerning the errors that would find their way into the "last days" Church: (a) loving pleasure or pleasurable things more than they love God (b) having a "form of Godliness, but denying the "power" (2 Tim 3:1-4)

#10) That "power" (Acts 1:8) is designed to make us "witnesses", not (a) administrators (b) helps (c) pew warmers, locally and unto "all the world"

#11) That the way to stay grounded in the word when many will cease to hear and recieve sound Biblical teaching (2 Tim 4:3) is to "do the work of" or "take the responsibility assigned to" an Evangelist - to make full proof of your ministry.

I pour over the scripture for hours each day and I just cannot escape the responsibility that has been handed over to all beleivers to GO and PREACH to the lost - - maybe not where I have been blessed to go do it - but somewhere! and with urgency and responsibility!

I want the whole world to know.

Romans 10:14-16 says, [read it all] " But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!" But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, "Lord, who has believed our message?"

Do you welcome the Good News? or would you rather leave the responsibility of "telling the world about Him" to someone else? Which would bring us to. . .

#12) Are you qualified to tell people about Jesus (evangeliizing)? We will always speak about that which is in the greatest supply within our hearts (Luke 6:45) Not every person who claims to be (a) christian (b) evangelist (c) church goer will make it to heaven (Matt 7:21) but only those that do "His will" - - which is to "seek and save the lost"

Many will try to tell Him about the many great "church" things that they did on the day of judgment (Matt 7:22-23) but He will tell them that He never knew them (or walked in true intimacy with them) - and will call them "lawbreakers"

I just want to be found faithful and do not want to see anyone go to hell without an opportunity to hear about my sweet Jesus - - regardless of what title I go by.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Mark 2:1-4 says, "When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God's word to them, FOUR men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat.4 They couldn't bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus."

Dear Friends -

Many of your either know Sue Scott personally, correspond with her on FB, or might have seen or heard about this dear sister in Jesus on my FB page in the past few months. Sue has been involved with RAVEN Ministries since it was founded in Amarillo, Texas back in the Mid 90's. Her friendship, encouragment and FAITH are truly legendary! I have seen her stand for miracle after miracle for so many people and have seen first hand the fruit of her intercession and travail. Now - it is her that needs OUR FAITH to become legendary in JESUS.

Her son-in-law (and my son in the Gospel) Pastor Alex Hill called me this afternoon and I was immediately alerted by the tone of his voice that something was deeply concerning him. "We need some serious and urgent prayer", he said. "Sue is not doing good at all and she has been in and out of it all day long," he added. He asked if we would stand in prayer for Sue with He and Holly if he went in where she was and put the phone on speaker. Melanie and Kayla and I were in the car and we joined with them in prayer for Sue's healing!

Some of you may not know that she has been battling Stage (5) cancer and "medically speaking" - they have not given her much hope (if any), but I am not in the medical field - - I am in the JESUS FIELD and so is our dear friend and sister, Sue Scott.

When we hung up from prayer, the Lord immediately impressed upon Melanie and I that we needed to get in the car and drive the 600 miles to Daytona and stand in faith with Pastor Alex and Holly for her mom's healing and to encourage them in the Lord as well.

I was quickened to the above passage from Mark chapter (2) and opened to it. The third verse gave me pause, "four men (or friends) arrived carrying their friend." I felt like shouting out, "Melanie and I are the other two friends!" In the next hour, we are going to get in the car and head east towards Daytona to be with Sue and "tear through the roof" and believe God for her healing!

Just yesterday the Spirit of the Lord lead me to a passage from ‎1 Corinthians 16:9 "For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries." - - He was telling me that the "doors" or "passage ways" into the greatest, most effective, and most powerful - - will always be marked by a "formidable adversary" just on the other side. I consider this one of those doors - - and that lying devil of cancer one of those adversaries!

Lately God has truly been building our faith up. He has had me fasting every other day this whole year to bring a greater level of personal discipline in my life. He has called me back into the thick or things in the midst of this Nations most notorious proving ground (Bourbon Street in New Orleans) and has allowed me to see homosexuals and heroin addicts set free through the power of the Blood of Jesus! He has strengthened us physically, deepened us spiritually, and provided for us financially. God is Good and its ALL THE TIME!

The Lord spoke a word to me way back in 2003, "Expectancy is the birthplace for the miraculous and there is a greater reality than what you SEE and that is what I have SAID." God has proven this to us time and again - and we are convinced of these things:

Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"

Romans 4:20-21 "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform."

Please pray for us and especially stand with us in intercession for Sue Scott (please pass it on and lets bombard heaven on her behalf!) We do not know how long we will have to be gone, but if you would like to help in any way with the expenses - any missions giving would be greatly appreciated.


Pastor Troy D. Bohn

Servant of Jesus &
Director: Raven Ministries International, Inc.
PO Box 2102
Kenner, LA 70062

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Joshua & Jared - The Power of HIS Name!

These two young men were hooked on heroin and living on the streets of New Orleans when the testimony of the Cross and the power of the Word of God drew them to where we were preaching the Gospel on the infamous Bourbon Street

Friday, September 10, 2010

Raven Streets Church - New Orleans & the NFL

The NFL kicked off its 2010 season in New Orleans with a huge celebration and parade prior to the rematch of last years two NFC Championship teams. Out team (TEAM JESUS) was also on hand at the festivities to lift up the name of Him who has never had a losing season!

Seems that most all were welcome to the events, but not those desiring to share the Good News of Salvation. We endured the mild persecution and continued to take the message of the Gospel out into the market place.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Raven Street Church: Southern Decadence Outreach in New Orleans

The Raven Ministries International team took the GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST into the streets of New Orleans to share with the 10's of thousands gathering for the annual Southern Decadence Gay, Lesbian & Transgendered Festival.