How these poems came about

  • INSPIRED! Not for sale
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I would often go away for 3-4 days to seek the Lord through prayer and fasting. Some of these times were spent at a place called Cedar Springs Christian Retreat Centre in Sumas Washington.

On the occasion of the first poem "Inspired.. Not for sale." I had just been out for a walk around the grounds and was praising the Lord. When I got back to my cabin, I heard the Lord say, "Get pen and paper." I thought I was going to get a regular word from the Lord, perhaps direction or a message for someone. But when I sat at the table and began to write, I was totally surprised. This poem came forth and was completed in 20 minutes. Now that may not mean much to some people, but considering that I am not a poet and this was totally out of my normal realm of operation, it was above the ordinary for me.

The second poem came on the next trip to Sumas and in a very similar way.

I must admit that I have not in the past been inclined to writing poetry nor interested much in it, and have somewhat "downplayed" this beautiful method that God can speak to us through... Forgive me Lord. I claim no credit as I know they did not come from me personally.... I am just the messenger, to HIM be all the glory.

- Prayerfully submitted, Ian Oliver

INSPIRED! Not for sale

By Ian Oliver

There's money to be made! for sure,
Within the Christian setting:
But are our motives really pure,
With all this gain were getting.

Let's take a look deep down within,
Our hearts and motive see;
Could be were clouded in with sin,
When the gain obtained should be free.

We quickly claim what was given "Inspired"
Or given us by God's Spirit...
But make a fortune in passing it on,
As if by our own merit.

We get so much gain from what was given,
To us from our Lord so free.
So when ministry by money is clearly driven,
Then corrupt it surely must be.

Jesus told us how we should go,
"No script" or "purse" said He;
So writing and charging was not His way,
For the gospel message to be.

Now making money is not a sin,
From business, work or our lands;
But to take what's freely given by God,
And charge for ? As if by our hands!

If you say "It's inspired by God" as you do,
Whether sermon, song, poem or book,
How dare you charge an exorbitant price,
That others must pay just to look.

The cost of it's making can be seen,
As a legitimate price one must spend,
But when charging much more for profit galore,
The Scriptures we clearly must bend.

I once heard a preacher on the radio tell,
Of another who met his disdain,
For an MLM he was involved in now
His livelihood trying to maintain.

The radio preacher was insistent you see.
To make money this way must be wrong.
It's okay to make a bundle of money;
Through a sermon or poem or song.

More proper it seems to make gain from our schemes,
If they're not wicked, corrupt or evil.
But what's given by God there should not be a charge;
As this would give place to the Devil.

You see them on TV saying "send me some money"
And "God's word will I forward to you"
But these prophets of gain, are servants of Baal.
Though quoting the scriptures they do.

The Devil himself quoted scripture,
to try to corrupt the Lord Jesus as well
It's an old tactic friend, you pay in the end,
For the corrupted words that they sell.

Much gain there is to be had
From a ministry, pure from above.
When the flow of God's Spirit is continually in it.
Then souls will be won in His love.

So if making great gain from the ministry gift
That God has entrusted to you
Your reward will be... Exactly your fee
Don't look for a blessing from above.

Now "How do I live?" I can hear you say.
"If I don't charge, for what I do in my name"
It's plain to see, you must be admired
So admit it is you and not "it's inspired"

If it's money you want from the things that you do,
Then don't "spiritualize" it, just be plain and true.
Say "This is the way I make my living"
" I can't live by faith and trust to your giving".

Now remember it's not wrong to cover your cost,
When inspired by God to reach to the lost.
But if moneys your goal in the thing that you do,
And the saints are your target God is warning you.

If you're making great gain from the things He inspired
I'm telling you friend, The Lord's getting tired
Of corrupting His message for profit and gain
So, repent and give freely, 
what is done in His name.

The labourer is truly worthy of his hire
But that's not the case for what HE inspires
Though we are fellow labourers with HIM
To charge for HIS gift is surely a sin.