Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Five Covenants of God

The following sermons are from Min. David Pawson as he address the five biblical covenants.
The God of the Bible is a covenant-making and a covenant-keeping God.

But what is a covenant and how does it differ from a contract?

How many covenants has God made with humans? How many of these apply to Christians today?

These are crucial questions for the interpretation and application of Scripture. The Bible is divided into two testaments, another word for covenants. Does this mean the Old Testament is only of historical interest to disciples of Jesus ? What about the Ten Commandments? – and the other six hundred and three given to Moses?

Some of the major differences in the Church go back to the different answers given to these questions. For example, whether baptism should be of babies or believers, whether priests, altars, vestments and incense should be used in worship, whether re-marriage is permissable after divorce and whether we should work a six day week.

By His covenants of grace, the Lord has bound Himself to us and bound us to Himself. That is the heart of Biblical revelation and Godly living.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Overwhelmed

The lyrics of this song touch my heart deeply every time I hear it.  

"And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me." Matthew 18:2-5

I see the work of Your Hands
Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I hear the sound of Your Voice
All at once it’s a gentle and thundering noise oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I delight myself in You
Captivated by Your beauty
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

I know the power of Your Cross
Forgiven and free forever You’ll be my God
All that You’ve done is so overwhelming

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Call to Obedience



I remember watching this episode when it first aired and laughing so hard!  On The Cosby Show, Alvin was always spouting these archaic, patriarchal ideals; and Claire Huxtable had certainly set him straight (so I thought).

Yet, as I look back on this now through the eyes of Christ (vs. the eyes of flesh), there is only sadness.  This is the type of insidious perversion which a lot of women have to fight tooth & nail to overcome, just to understand what it is to be a wife or even what it means to serve the Lord (because the two roles are parallels).

What Claire is espousing here is the concept of 50/50.  It signifies that everything must be shared (at least conceptually) to make sure that not one person bears too much responsibility for the relationship. With this mindset, I only contribute to the marriage as much (or as little) as I perceive the other person is.  It is a recipe for divorce.  Why? Because it is based in selfishness (what I am getting, what I am giving, how I see things, me, me, me, etc.).

There is no such thing as a 50/50 marriage.  Such is a fantasy.  Better yet, it is a lie.  People in such arrangements deceive themselves into believing that everything is 50/50.  In reality, every single time, what you really have is one person controlling and manipulating the other to get their way.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Do You Hear What I Hear?

"But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." John 10:26-27

I remember a minister once saying that to "hear Jesus' voice" meant to heed the Gospel and come to salvation.  While the Scriptures are certainly an example of God speaking to us, Jesus does literally have a voice (Genesis 3:8). He is alive. He speaks.  He even sings (Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26; Romans 15:9; Hebrews 2:12).

Tell people - even professing believers - that you hear God's voice and they are likely to think you are a looney toon.  Why? Because people don't really believe.   They use a reference to God as a way to validate their own desires.  To such persons, anything which confirms what I want or what I think becomes the voice of God.  The concept of God literally speaking is foreign - and probably frightening - to them.  If it is not real for them, then they assume it is not real for you either.

Because there are many voices in this world, it is very important that we are able to recognize His voice for ourselves.  Consider Saul on the road to Damascus.

"And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me." Acts 22:6-9

The text says that Saul could hear the voice of Jesus, but those with him heard not.  Saul knew this was the voice of the Lord, but he was perplexed by the accusation.  He was starting to realize that he may not fully know the God he sought to serve.  It had to be revealed to Him that Jesus is Lord.  Yet, look at the following:

"And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man." Acts 9:7

The above text says that Saul's companions did hear the voice.  So, which is it?  The difference lies in the word "hear".  It is not just about sound perception, but the ability to understand the meaning of what is heard.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I AM Stronger

One thing that has been really difficult for me to do on this blog is talk about my battle with cancer. Initially, it was not very hard at all, because I was speaking from a perspective of having been healed. Yet since the recurrence, it has been hard.  I have taken baby steps - referencing "a situation I have been dealing with" - but it was always done with trepidation.

I believe God has been dealing with me on that lately by emphasizing fear. In a recent comment, a sister in the Lord shared something God had told her, "I AM stronger than your fears!" That phrase took hold of me and wouldn't let me go.  It was as if God was speaking to me directly.

I have been telling myself that my cancer has nothing to do with this blog.  That I don't want to be like Hezekiah, being taken advantage of by the devil for sharing too much at the wrong time (Isaiah 39).  Yet, the truth is that I had reasons for not sharing that had nothing to do with those things: the voice of fear.  "Make the wrong move, do the wrong thing, and the cancer will return. Share that God is healing you too soon, and the cancer will spread."  While I would cast these down and counter them with faith in God, the thoughts only grew dim, but never dissipated.  May God forgive me for giving ear to these lies for even one second.

The following I have shared with those closest to me, but I intentionally did not put it on the blog.  I believe it is now time to share. I write this, not to receive accolades or even sympathy from others. May all glory be to God.  I just desire to be obedient to the Lord and to stand against this spirit of fear which wants me to keep my mouth shut. Hey, I want to be free at all costs, and I don't care what I have to share.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Fruit of Your Own Way

"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near." Isaiah 55:6

Many times, there need not be any more said than what the Lord Himself has already declared. People like to paint a picture of God as this great big Santa Claus in the sky who is never offended and always willing to receive us when we get good and ready to hear Him.  All I can say is, "Please read the Scriptures."  You had better get ready to hear Him now.

God desires every singe person to be saved, but He does not take the despising of the sacrifice of His Son lightly (Hebrews 6:4-6, 10:29-30).  Don't assume that when you are finished playing church, God will take you in.

"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" Acts 17:30

The world will tell you that whenever you decide to repent, God will be there to receive you.  I have spoken to many who did not know that there is a "place" and "space" for repentance (Revelation 2:21). They did not realize that there can come a time when God's hand is no longer extended to you (II Thessalonians 2:11-12).

space: Greek word chronos meaning a designated time, either long or short.

place: Greek word topos meaning a place or space marked off; an opportunity or occasion for acting

"Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." Hebrews 12:16-17

Monday, November 10, 2014

That Which I Feared Most

"For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." Job 3:25

We all know that we are to fear the Lord; not in terms of being afraid of Him, but in reverencing Him (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10).  We reverence God when we understand who He truly is, and it makes us walk circumspect before Him. We appreciate His might, power, sovereignty, omnipotence, and mercy; and this knowledge commands our respect.
yir'ah - Hebrew word meaning awesome or terrifying, fearing, revered, piety.
Yet, if the truth is to be known, there are often things that we fear more than God.  How do I know?  Because these are the things which rob us of our peace.  These are the things for which we compromise on the word of God.  It always comes down to us sacrificing that which is eternal for that which is temporal.

"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

Jesus knew that we are prone to fear the temporal more than the eternal, which is why He gives us the warning above.  He knows that the things we fear most are usually that which deals with our lives in this world: loss of reputation, loss of finances, loss of health, loss of family, etc.

How many are serving God out of fear of some calamity; hoping and praying that God will keep it from you?  You can never truly serve God like that.  Let me repeat that.  If part of your serving God is based upon you avoiding some negative situation, then you have not yet learned Christ as you ought.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sin is Like an Infectious Disease

The following message is from Pastor Zac Poonen.

The Bible speaks in Hebrews 12:15 about a root of bitterness that can cause trouble. You don't have to wait till it becomes fruit. You know what a root is. When a tree has started taking root, it's probably not even come up above the surface of the ground. Nothing is visible. When you plant a seed in the ground, it first of all takes root before it comes up.

And bitterness is like that. You sowed something in your heart; it is beginning to take root. If you don't pull it out, it's taking root and it will cause a lot of trouble and not only that, a lot of trouble to you first of all and many people can be defiled. Many people can get that infection, because the person who's got his bitterness in his heart will go around telling other people. It's like a person who has got chicken pox who goes around spreading it to others or a person who has got tuberculosis who goes around spreading it to others, a person who has got a cold goes around giving it to others or the flu. It's very easy to transmit this sickness. It's highly infectious. And you find people who are bitter everywhere in the world. You'll find Christendom is full of it. When a man comes to you with a complaint against another, a gossiper who is talking evil of others, what does he have in his heart? He's got bitterness against that person.


Friday, November 7, 2014

No More Conscience of Sins

In the early days of my salvation, I remember talking once with my pastor and his wife as she did my hair.  I shared with them how weird it was that - when I first started listening to tapes from their ministry - I would have recurring thoughts about seducing him.  I had never met him nor her before, but it was a very strong urge.  As I listened to the tapes, I would hear, "He should be your husband.  His wife probably doesn't appreciate him like you would." Now keep in mind the insanity of this because I too was married at that time.

I was troubled by those thoughts because they were so atypical for me, but they kept coming.  I would ask myself, "Where is this coming from?  Why am I sitting here thinking about some other woman's husband that I have never even met when I myself am married?  And when listening to Bible tapes no less???  This is crazy!"  It made no sense to me because I did not yet understand spiritual things.  Yet, we need to understand the battle we face when we come to Christ.

I didn't think such thoughts were typical of me, but neither was I aware of all that Satan had placed within me (Jeremiah 17:9).  Satan saw me being drawn by the Father and he was pulling out all the stops.  I wasn't aware that there was a spirit of whoredoms in my soul, but when I started coming to the Lord, Satan revealed his hand.  Not only did he want to stop me from coming to the Lord, he figured he could use me - a vessel he had prepared - to bring down this pastor.  In doing so, Satan thought he could keep me as his own, but the Lord was intent on saving my soul.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bubble Bubble Boil and Trouble

There is a saying that if you put a frog in boiling water, he will jump out of the pot.  However, if you turn the heat of gradually enough, you can actually boil him to death as he will never know he is being killed.

Like this frog, the world is being boiled to its death in perversion, and most are none the wiser.  Satan has ratcheted up the witchcraft to such a degree that the conscience of man has been almost irreparably seared (I Timothy 4:2).

We are in the last of the last days.  While no man knows the day or the hour, the Lord does give us signs to note so that we are not caught unawares.

"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done." Mark 13 21:28-30

In the eyes of our Lord, the nation of Israel is as a fig tree.  The springing forth of the fig tree above describes the rebirth of the nation of Israel.

"I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved." Hosea 9:10

The nation of Israel was eventually destroyed due to the stiff-necked rebellion of God's people.  They went to Baalpeor and separated themselves from God because they preferred this shame to His glory. As it was then, so it is now.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fear Not

"Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things." Joel 2:21

If you watch the news lately, you will see plenty of reports which could incite fear.  From worldwide plagues to civil unrest, from violent crime to economic uncertainty, from terrorism to global warming, etc.  Satan is doing his best to instill fear in the masses.  The world wants you to operate in fear, because then you remain controllable.  This is why it is so critical that we take everything to the Lord in prayer.

Even those in the world can pick up the changes in the atmosphere and are feeling the need to make preparations.  The issue is that - in spite of the physical manifestations of trouble - the problem at its core is spiritual.  In order to endure the times which are coming, we must find our refuge in the Lord.  In all of this, we must remember in Whom our hope lies (Psalm 39:7; Psalm 62:5-8).

Some might look at these things and say, "Oh no, the end must be near!"  I say, "Rejoice!  The end must be near!"

How do you maintain peace in a whirlwind?  How do you remain steadfast when the very fabric of the world seems to be disintegrating around you?  You die now.  Of course, I am not speaking about suicide; I am talking about cold-blooded murder (Romans 6:6; Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Standard of Care

As I have interacted with the medical community in recent years, there is one phrase I have repeatedly heard, "standard of care".  What they are offering me is the "standard of care".  All the statistics prove that this is the "standard of care". Why don't I want to proceed with the "standard of care"?
standard of care: A diagnostic and treatment process that a clinician should follow for a certain type of patient, illness, or clinical circumstance. In legal terms, the level at which the average, prudent provider in a given community would practice.
The implication behind these statements is that it doesn't get any better than what they are offering.  I am getting the best the world has to give and should accept it gratefully.  I have even been told that following the "standard of care" is a demonstration of faith, while not doing so is an illustration of fear.

Yet, here is the thing.  I am not a statistic...and neither are you.  As a child of God, He not only knows our names, but He is concerned with everything pertaining to us; even to knowing the exact number of hairs on our heads.  Man's best is not always God's best...and neither you nor I should settle for anything less.

Friday, October 24, 2014

By Their Fruit

"For every tree is known by his own fruit..." Luke 6:44a

Not to state the obvious, but "knowing Christians by their fruit" does not mean that everyone who does something "nice" is a Christian.  It does not mean that God is pleased with someone just because they give to the poor, attend church regularly, or sing in the choir.  It doesn't mean that everyone you think is a good person is saved.

Fruit here refers to the natural attestations of the life one possesses within; it is the fruit of the Spirit.  Apple trees naturally produce apples.  Orange trees naturally produce oranges. They don't have to try to do this or work at it.  In fact, they cannot help it.  Even if they tried to produce some other fruit, they do not possess the genetic make-up to do it.  Each must and does produce after its own kind.

So it is with the Spirit.  To identify those who belong to Him, God has denoted the one thing which cannot be faked: life.

Prior to salvation, we were by "nature" children of God's wrath (Ephesians 2:3).  After salvation we can become partakers of the divine "nature" of God (II Peter 1:4).
nature: Greek word physis; it means the nature of things, the force, laws, order of nature; birth, physical origin; the sum of innate properties and powers by which one person differs from others, distinctive native peculiarities, natural characteristics
When we speak of our "nature" we are talking about the very essence of who we are...and whose we are.  Do we belong to the Lord or do we belong to Satan?  How do we know?  It is not about what we say or even what we do.  It is not even who we think we are.  It's about the nature we possess, and each nature has its own fruit.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Sin You Defend Is the Sin You Are In

God is so merciful.  It is easy to see the sin that plagues us.  Whatever we fight against in the word of God is what ensnares us.

"Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3

One of the purposes of the word of God is to allow us to see where we are out of sorts with the mind of Christ so that we can be changed.

If you justify lying, you are in covenant with liars.

If you justify adultery, you are in covenant with whoremongers.

If you justify homosexuality, you are in covenant with sodomites.

If you justify disobedience to God's word, then you are in covenant with witchcraft (I Samuel 15:23).

It is really not that hard to understand.  Our own words give away what has us bound.  People think they are showing off their intelligence, biblical acumen, or spirituality when they debate Scripture, but what they are really doing is loudly & proudly proclaiming that they are still in covenant with sin.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Honor Your Father and Mother

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Matthew 10:34-37

A sister in the Lord contacted me recently in turmoil, asking how to honor parents who are not saved.  She could feel the oppressive tangles of the spirit of witchcraft vexing her soul when dealing with them (which is the spirit walked in by those who are not born again - this link is a Derek Prince study sheet download).

There always seemed to be manipulation, condemnation, control, and discord at work in those interactions.  There were even physical affects from those interactions, whether it was a terrible twisting in the gut, raised blood pressure, ulcer pains, etc.  All because the parents were not in agreement with their decision to live for the Lord and obey Him.

Things had so deteriorated that the parents were trying to use her children against her and her husband.  It had escalated to such a point where she felt like she needed to cut off contact with their parents altogether.

This is a situation - and a feeling - with which I was familiar.  I had even written about it once before. And while I believe the previous article to still be true, it is not the end of the matter.  Yes, choosing to serve the Lord will often bring about variance between you and those who are closest to you. However, what I learned is that the answer lies in the cause of the variance.

The sword is what we need.  It is the answer for how we are to still honor our father and mother, even when they do not currently belong to the Lord.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Charge to Keep I Have

charge: an amount of electricity; 
the responsibility of managing or watching over something; the amount of an explosive material (such as dynamite) that is used in a single blast; 
an obligation or requirement; 
an expense or cost; 
a violent rush forward or attack.
A Charge to Keep I Have
by Charles Wesley

A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify!
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky;

To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfil;
O may it all my powers engage
To do my Master's will.

Arm me with jealous care,
As in Thy sight to live;
And, O Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give.

Help me to watch and pray,
And on Thyself rely;
Assured, if I my trust betray,
I shall for ever die.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Don't Let the Bible Become a Stumbling Block

Yoked to the Letter

Years ago when I was on Facebook, a professing believer in Christ Jesus started a thread arguing how the phrase "When praises go up, blessings come down" is not in the Bible.  There were dozens of people engaged in this conversation, talking about how foolish "church folks" were when they repeat/believe this.

"God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah. That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. 

Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 

Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him." Psalm 67

Confused by the fervor this post was garnering, I stated that perhaps it is a reference to Psalm 67, echoing the sentiment that there is a relationship between pure praise to God and being blessed by Him. At this, the original poster responded and said, "You know that this is not in the Bible so stop trying to make excuses for these false preachers."

Then I understood.  These were not people seeking after truth.  These were individuals desiring to use the Bible to mock others.  Indeed, as such, they were no better - in terms of motive - than the so-called false preachers they criticized.  The issue is so much bigger than that one phrase.  A true search for truth needs to go beyond just what the Bible says, but seeking wisdom to understand what God means.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Whole Counsel of God

The following message is from Min. David Wilkerson:
The first evidence of revival is a great desire to hear and obey the Word of the Lord.

 “And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. . . . And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people . . . and when he opened it, all the people stood up” (Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5).

The cry of their hearts was, “Bring us the true Word of the Lord!” Ezra stood on a raised, wooden pulpit and read God’s Word for six hours while the multitude stood at attention, learning that the cause of their suffering was their own stubbornness and rebellion. The surest evidence of revival in a soul or a church or a city is a hunger for God’s Word. 
Backslidden Christians don’t want to hear the Word—it bores them! What they want is excitement. Backslidden preachers don’t preach much of God’s Word; instead, they give short sermonettes. They don’t preach the Law because that produces conviction and shakes up the church! It makes compromisers squirm!

Where the Holy Spirit is at work, the people in the pew are clamoring for the Word. I get hundreds of letters from famished saints crying, “We are so hungry. We don’t hear the true Word. We get the dead letter with no anointing!” Where God is at work there are Bibles everywhere. There’s an excitement about preaching and teaching with a true reverence for the Word.

How sad it is that in many Charismatic churches, preaching is merely endured. They just want music, entertainment, and special singers on center stage! When the Holy Ghost comes, the Word will be hailed. The cry of the people will be, “Lord, I want it all: the good, the bad, the commandments, the promises, the whole counsel of God!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Not That Outward Adorning

"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." I Peter 3:1-6

Most people understand that this text is in part about the true beauty of a woman being on the inside and not the outside.  It is not an admonition to not wear jewelry or braid your hair.  It is an encouragement to value that which God prizes most: a broken spirit and a contrite heart.

This is true, not only for women in general, but for the Bride of Christ as a whole.  Much of the churchworld is promoting worldly extravagance as the evidence of their holiness before. and acceptance by, the Lord.  They use Jesus as an accessory to their lives; some flashy adornment which draws accolades their way.  They point to the outward works to prove that they are saved when such is a delusion (I Timothy 6:5).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lest We Forget...

We truly serve an amazing God.

He is Almighty, all power is in His hands.

He knows all things; there are no surprises to Him.  The things you done do not surprise to Him and neither do your current struggles.  He not only knows them, but He has the solution for them. 

There is no problem you face that has Him stumped.

There is no situation you encounter that He has not already solved.

Sometimes I wonder if we don't always understand who we are in Christ because we don't fully appreciate who He is.

I ask Lord that you reach across the divide and pull back the veil to give every heart that yearns a glimpse of your glory and power...even at this very moment.  Empower us by a refreshing perspective of who you are and who we are in you.

We are not beggars.  We are not subject to the whims of the world.  We are victorious overcomers.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Lucy

The Missing Link

Hollywood recently put out a movie called, "Lucy", which surmises about what would happen to man if he could use 100% of his brain. In it, a woman named Lucy ingests a drug which increases her brain capacity and allows her to evolve beyond what is human.  She develops supernatural abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis, mental time travel, and the ability to exert physical and mental control over other physical elements, including people.

As Lucy proceeds along this evolutionary track, she states, "It's like all things that make a human are fading away."

This is what Satan is after. The music, the television shows, the news reports, the anarchy, the political & school systems...it is all designed to make humanity fade away. Wonder what is wrong with people?  It is the influence of the world, which is run by the god of this world (II Corinthians 4:4).  He is taking that which was made to be in the image of God and making it instead into an animal.

Everything in Satan's economy works in opposites to biblical concepts.  In order to evolve in his kingdom, you must actually devolve into a beast.  The lower you debase yourself, the higher he elevates you.  The more you idolize yourself, the more he rewards you.

Eventually in the movie, Lucy evolves to the point of becoming one with the Universe, where she lets us know that she has become, "I Am."  She in essence becomes a god (Genesis 3:5).

Think this is science fiction nonsense?  It is exactly what people such as Oprah Winfrey promote when she encourages you to tap into the energy of the Universe to obtain "The Life You Want": You can use the power of your own mind to create your own reality and become Christ.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Grand Canyon

God is Showing You YOU

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24

If you look at the Grand Canyon, you will see various layers in the rock formations.  This is caused by various geological events which created, pressurized, and hardened rock over the passing of time.

Such is the way it is in sin.  It is like hardened rock that has been so pressurized, fortified, and built upon within us, that it seems almost immovable.

"And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:" Ezekiel 19:9

Sanctification unto salvation is a process (Romans 6:22; II Thessalonians 2:13-17; II Peter 1:4-10). When God chips away at these rocks, He reveals to us who we really are, as opposed to who we think we are.  As such, we should not be surprised to see the fossils and skeletons which resided there in our hearts. They are remnants of our past life of sin which - although may be years ago - still made an indelible impression on our personality.

Friday, September 5, 2014

An Honest Woman

There is a saying that when a woman who has been hanging around a man for a while finally gets married to him, he has made of her an "honest woman".

Kind of makes you wonder what she had been all this time.  A dishonest woman?  A fake woman? An impure woman? A woman of ill repute?

honest: good; not hiding the truth about someone or something; free from fraud or deception, legitimate; reputable, respectable; praiseworthy; marked by integrity

There are those who have been hanging around Jesus for some time; attending church, singing hymns, claiming His name, etc.  God is looking to make of you an honest woman.  Instead of only going to church, you will become the church.  No longer will you simply sing songs, your life will become a new song unto the Lord (Isaiah 43:18-21).  Rather than just claiming His name, you will bear His name as you obey Him, walking in His authority and power.  Eye has not seen nor ear heard the glorious things in store for those who love the Lord, but it requires your submission to Him in all things (Ephesians 5:24).  You must be made an honest woman.

"And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Isaiah 4:11

In Babylon, there are plenty of whorish women around - one on every corner - offering a relationship with God in name only.  You can claim to belong to Jesus, but live for yourself.  You can have the appearance of being holy, but do as you please, never submitting to the headship of Christ.  As Minister David Wilkerson stated, such persons only want to be free from the guilt of sin, but truly have no desire to stop sinning.  When we join ourselves to such women, we make of ourselves a harlot and will never be acceptable to God (I Corinthians 6:16).

"There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel.  Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God." Deuteronomy 23:17-18

One thing we need to understand is that a harlot can be extremely religious.  Deceit is her cover and she seeks acceptability by being found amongst God's people.  However, the difference between a whore and a bride is that the bride submits to her husband as a sign of her love for him.  When you see a professing believer in deliberate disobedience to God, then you know such is not the Bride of Christ.

Jesus wants to take away the shame, loneliness, fear, and pain of being estranged from Him and give you a crown of righteousness, but are you willing to receive it?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Satan Doesn't Care How He Deceives

As Long As He Can Steer You From The Truth

The following video is making its rounds on the Internet as testimony of a Muslim's conversion to Christianity. Integral to this man's conversion was information he found about Jesus in the Qur'an.

First, let us not fall into the trap of believing that God needs validation from sources that are not inspired by the Holy Spirit and merely reflects the wisdom of men (James 3:15).  While things that are true may be found in any writing, the standard of truth are the Scriptures.

Yet, much of the information cited from the Qur'an as validating the identity of Jesus Christ is inaccurate and unbiblical.   These are reportedly the things that are said of Mary, mother of Jesus, in the Qur'an:
  • Mary was ever-virgin
  • Mary was born without sin
  • Mary never sinned
  • Mary was ascended bodily into Heaven
While there are also a few things said about Jesus in the Qur'an as well, more seems to be said about Mary; even having a book of the Qur'an named after her.

What some may not realize is that the statements above about Mary are part of the false doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.  Why would Islam be so supportive of false Catholic doctrine?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

AWAKE!

"As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." Psalm 17:15

The above verse is just beautiful to me.  "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness".

We should be satisfied each day to be in the presence of the Lord.  He should be the first whom we seek in the morning and the last whom we seek at night.  We should be in constant communion with Him (I Thessalonians 5:17).

Yet, as I read that verse yesterday, God put upon my heart an additional meaning.  "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with [to possess] your likeness".  I shall be satisfied when I finally find myself transformed into the image of Christ.  Is that not the goal?  To be like Christ?

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." Romans 8:28-29

As this verse implies, it is by beholding the face of Jesus that such a transformation occurs.

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." II Corinthians 3:17-18

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You Say You Have Received the Lamb

But Will You Recognize the Lion?

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD." Deuteronomy 6:4

You might be surprised to realize how many Christians have splintered the image of God in their minds.  God the Father is considered to be the relentless tyrant, but Jesus Christ is seen as the merciful Savior.  

They do not realize that when we see Jesus, we are seeing a revelation of the Father.
"All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." Matthew 11:27    (Also Psalm 40:8; Luke 10:22; John 1:18, 14:7-9; I John 2:23)
Jesus does not perform His own will; He does the will of the Father alone.
"For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." John 6:38    (Also Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42; John 5:19-30)
Neither did Jesus come to do a separate or different work than the Father; He came to complete the Father's work.
"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." John 4:24    (Also John 14:10, 17:4)
Jesus does not speak His own words, but only what the Father speaks.
"For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." John 12:49-50    (Also John 8:28)
Jesus is the Creator of all things, but He will also be the Judge of all things.
"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:...And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." John 5:22, 27     (Also Matthew 25:31-46; Act 10:42; Act 17:31; Romans 2:16, 14:10; II Corinthians 5:10; II Thessalonians 1:7-10; II Timothy 4:1; I Peter 4:5; Psalm 9:7-8, 96:13; 98:9; Revelation 20:11-12)
We are reconciled to the Father by the Son, but it is the Father who gives us to the Son.
"As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him...I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word...Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." John 17:2, 6, 24    (Also John 6:6-44, 10:29)

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Pleading of the Lord

Many times, the Church paints an image of Jesus that is effeminate, weak, defeated, and docile; begging to be received by sinners.  Yet Scripture paints a different picture. It shows a God who is pleading with sinners via "the fire and His sword" (Isaiah 66:16; Jeremiah 25:31), and the Lord's pleading is often associated with pending judgment (Isaiah 3:13).
plead: shaphat; to judge, govern, vindicate, punish
Yet, some may ask, "Isn't Jesus up in Heaven interceding for all sinners?"

"And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Romans 8:27 

 "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." Hebrews 7:25 

 "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine...Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." John 17:9, 20

Jesus' primary focus in intercession is for believers.  Does this mean that He doesn't care for the lost? Not at all.  It is God's desire that all would be saved (I Timothy 2:4).  The reason that Jesus prays for the Church is because such is God's vehicle for proclaiming Christ (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2; Romans 10:14-15). Jesus prays for the Church so that we will be an effective witness to the world and a powerful army against Satan; the empowerment of the Church is to be a key focus of our prayers as well (Colossians 1:9-11; Ephesians 6:18-20; I Thessalonians 5:25; II Timothy 1:3; James 5:16).

In the same way, Jesus came primarily for the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 10:5-6; 15:24), but it was for the benefit of the whole world.  God deals primarily with His people, because it is His people through which He brings the deliverance.  This is rather different than the picture of intercession painted by much of the Church, because much of what is preached these days is based on carnal emotion - what people want to believe - and not Scripture.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

But They Could Not Show Their Father's Seed

To Whom Do You Belong?


"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." I Peter 1:23 

In the book of Ezra, God begins to gather His people who had been captured and taken away into bondage in Babylon.  The story of God's deliverance of His people here is amazing.  It starts with the Lord moving upon the heart of the Persian King Cyrus to declare God as Lord and calling for God's people to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple.  All that had been stolen from the temple of God and given unto idols, Cyrus collected so that they could be returned to the house of the Lord.

Israel had grown to substantial numbers in captivity.  Not all Israelites chose to return to Jerusalem because their spirits would not be stirred by God (Ezra 1:5; Luke 13:34).  However, of those who were stirred, they came forth as priests, singers, porters, servants...their lineage was made clear so that they could show evidence of a rightful inheritance to possess the land.  Yet, there were some who could not produce this evidence.

"And these were they which went up from Telmelah, Telharsa, Cherub, Addan, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, and their seed, whether they were of Israel: the children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred fifty and two. And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name: these sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood." Ezra 2:59-62
polluted: Hebrew word ga'al; to be to defiled, polluted, desecrated

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The War We Must Win!

"Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? 

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? When thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." Isaiah 58:5-11

 The following is an important message from Min. B.H. Clendennen entitled, "The War We Must Win."
  • Let God deal with ourselves before we ever go pointing fingers at anyone else.
  • When a man is born again, he is a new creation; but there is still that old man to be dealt with.
  • The flesh - the old nature - is the body of the devil just like the spiritual born again man is the body of Christ.
  • The warfare we are up against is the warring of the flesh against the spirit; and it has to be won on an individual basis.
  • There must be a burnt offering to bring about the death of the old man in order for Christ to increase within us.  This is the purpose of the fast.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Power of the Secret Place

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation." Psalm 91

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fool Hardy

"We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised." I Corinthians 4:10

Some weeks ago, I asked the Lord, "When are you going to bring about a change?  When are you going to stand up and let your power be seen to put down all the mockers, for your name's sake?"

He then asked me, "Is it truly my name that you want vindicated or your own?"

That really made me to stop and think.  I realized that there was truth in what God said (of course).

I truly desire to see God's name glorified and to have His power seen because He is worthy of all praise.  I also realize that this is the only way in which souls will be saved (I Corinthians 2:4-5).  Yet, a part of me was also tired of looking like a fool to others.  This - being concerned with how others see you - is an example of pride and I had to repent.     

One of the most viscous type of minds which adamantly stands against Christ is the Greek "educated" mind.  This is in part why I think Jesus tells us that we must become as little children in order to receive His kingdom (Matthew 18:4; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:16-17).  The education systems of this world raise people to be humanists.  Unless the hand of God is upon you to safeguard your mind, you will graduate from these institutions as an educated fool, believing that man himself has become a god by obtaining knowledge (Genesis 3:5). To such persons, the very idea of faith in God and obedience to His word is ludicrous.  We can see this as evident even in the days of Jesus.  It was the educated religious leaders who sought to persecute & silence the "unlearned" disciples of Christ.

In recent years, I have spoken with numerous professionals - the top in their fields - as they looked down upon me and chastised my professed faith in Christ.  "How foolish", they have told me, "to ignore their expert advise and choose instead to be led by this God."  Yet, it is not the anti-christ mind in these individuals which concerned me, but any remnants of that mind in myself.  Why would I care what these individuals thought unless that spirit still had some influence over me?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Operating in the Spirit Realm

The following is a series from Pastor John S. Torell and is entitled "Operating in the Spirit Realm". 
"The purpose of this series is to mentally prepare you to face the antichrist régime and damage it with the spiritual weapons that have been provided by God.
If you live during the reign of the Antichrist, it is because God has selected you to live during this time period and be a soldier for Him. If you understand this truth and start to think in the supernatural, you will be a shining light in a dark world!"
I believe this is a message which needs to be heard.  When you have some quiet time, take time to listen to each video, which includes the following titles:
  1. Supernatural Intervention
  2. Satan's Final Shots
  3. The Modern Church vs. Jesus
  4. Despair to Victory
  5. Fire From Above
  6. Holy Ghost Power
  7. The Story of Pentecost
  8. What is Holy Ghost Power?
  9. The Mystery of Iniquity
  10. The Dawn of the Antichrist
  11. Manna in the End Times
  12. Protection from the Antichrist
  13. Thinking Supernaturally
  14. Keeping the Faith
Key Points in the Series
  • We are living in the physical world, but the time has come where we need to break into the spiritual world.  Not by the power of Satan, but through access to the power of God via the Holy Spirit.
  • Demons cannot be cast out unless you enter the spirit world and attack them by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Put Me In My Place

As I prayed the other morning, I said, "I don't care what anyone else is doing or not doing.  It doesn't matter.  Lord, put me in my place."

As soon as those last words were out of my mouth, I thought, "Where did that come from?".  I then began to contemplate what that could mean.

"Our Place in Relation to God"

To the world, somebody being "put in their place" references a person being knocked down a peg or two after being perceived to be too lofty.  Certainly God also warns us against thinking too highly of ourselves.

"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Romans 12:3

One common way in which people think more highly of themselves is to disregard God's ways in favor of their own understanding (Isaiah 55:9; Proverbs 3:5).  When you see someone who justifies disobedience to God's word, then you are looking at the fruit of pride.

Being high-minded may also cause you to become impatient with God, taking matters into your own hands and creating an Ishmael instead of waiting for God's promises to be revealed.  God had promised Abram that He would provide him a son.  Yet not waiting for God to bring this to pass, Sarai had Abram conceive a son through her handmaid Haggar (Genesis 16:1- 18:15).  Yet, Ishmael was not the son God promised.  From then to this day, the family feud which resulted continues to plague God's people.

At times, God may need to remind us that He alone is God and He alone knows what is best for us. Gd is not looking for man's ability, but is looking for vessels through which He can do even the impossible.  Just as we should not think too highly of ourselves, we should also not think too lowly.

Being "in my place" means that I am a redeemed child of the Most High God and a member of the Body of Christ.  It means I should be able to speak to a mountain and by faith have it moved and cast into the sea (Matthew 21:21).  It means I have been given authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19).  It means that the power of God is available to flow through me, casting out devils, healing the sick, and showing forth miraculous signs and wonders to confirm His word (Mark 16:17-18).

Yes Lord, put me in my place.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wicked Counselors

"Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me." Job 21:16

"Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity." Psalm 64:2

"The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit." Proverbs 12:5

"Then said he unto me, Son of man, these are the men that devise mischief, and give wicked counsel in this city." Ezekiel 11:2

"There is one come out of thee, that imagineth evil against the LORD, a wicked counsellor." Nahum 1:11

The following message from Omega Ministries is entitled, "I Am Possessed".

When you think of demon possession, you will often think the most far out, bizarre, and fringe types of personalities.  However, some of the most demon-possessed persons look extremely normal to the naked eye.  They may even appear to be humble, charitable, pious, and holy as they move in religious circles. 

Satan sets up his ministers in the so-called churches for the express purpose of ensnaring the people and filling them with unclean spirits as a way to keep them from Christ.  Such persons actually become anti-christ in their thinking, all while falsely believing that they are serving the Lord.
  • Our minds need to be anchored to the Lord.  In a storm, this is the only anchor who can keep us.
  • People will be terrified as they realize that they have imagined being saved, but never really knew the Lord Jesus.
  • Fearfulness will overtake the hypocrites (Isaiah 33:14).
  • We are in the middle of a supernatural, metaphysical war.
  • Demons are insatiable.
  • Deliverance is good news and the children's bread (Matthew 15:26; Mark 7:27).
  • Satan sends the spirit of anti-Christ into man's souls as a preparation for receiving the the Anti-Christ to come.  He sends you a wicked counselor to yoke you to itself, advise you, and lead you astray (Nahum 1:11).  The anointing from Jesus Christ can break this yoke, but you still must separate from the lies and the liars which had you bound.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lord, What Are You Doing?

I had a conversation with the Lord last week about some situations with which we are dealing in our lives.  I asked the Lord, "God, I just don't understand the purpose behind all of this and why they seem to be dragging on so."

At that point, He asked me,"With all of these situations you are raising to me, which one would you have me to take away if I gave you that choice?"

Well, I really thought about that...I mean I thought about it long and hard.  There were many possibilities which came to mind, and I was initially excited about being able to tell the Lord which one burden I wanted Him to immediately remove.  Yet, the more I considered the question, the more trepidatious I became.  Which one would I choose??  I realized that attempting to do so would have me playing with fire.

"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." Romans 5:3-5

"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:3-4

You see, what if I chose the wrong thing?  What if I chose a situation that God was using to perfect me?  Was I willing to forgo being perfected in order to have some momentary comfort in the flesh? Yes, it might make my current days on this earth a little easier, but what if the resulting ease meant that I would fall short of the glory of God and not become what He has proclaimed that I should?  Did I want a trouble-free life or did I want to made perfect and entire, wanting nothing?  I could not have both.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Ol' Switcheroo

A few years ago, a young lady we knew got saved and went off to college.  In her college town, there was a woman who led a church with whom she got involved.  Before you know it, the young girl had moved out of her dorm and into a house owned by this church, where she committed herself to doing whatsoever it was this church requested.

When asked what she was doing, she would say that she had given her life to the Lord.  In reality, she had given her life over to a witch who through enchantments and seducing spirits had perverted her away from the Lord.  Because of the amount of religious activity in which the young girl was engaged, she convinced herself that she was pleasing and in fellowship with the Lord.  However, she was drifting further away from Jesus every day because she was drifting further away from the Truths of Christ.  She fell for the ol' switcheroo, believing that outward works meant one was holy.

I warn you.  Do not ever think that a bunch of activity means you are close to the Lord.  Oftentimes, a bunch of fervor in religious circles is a cover for those who are actually running away from Christ. A lot of good - but dead - works at best will make you the equivalent of a Catholic nun. You become Mother Theresa, a woman who gave her life over to good works for the poor in India, yet died doubting there even was a God.  Why did she die in unbelief?  Because she never grabbed hold of the truth of God's word and let that word impart new life to and change her by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is looking to mold you from the inside out, and external works will never be an acceptable replacement for this required inward cleansing (Romans 8:29).  No amount of good works alone will ever keep you when the times get rough, but only the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

If You See Me Wallowing in the Mire...

Let's say that you are walking one day and you find me on the side of the road.  There I am, in a huge muddy pit, just sloshing around in the dirt.

Although it initially looks like I may be struggling to get out as my members contend with the weight of the caked on debris all over my clothes, skin, and hair, you are just not sure.  As you watch me roll around in the mud, you wonder if in fact I might actually be enjoying it...and maybe to a certain extent I am.

Each day, you walk by and find me in that same muddy hole.  Each day I seem to be a little deeper in it.  The degradation of my condition worsens, and the stench from the pit soon becomes overwhelming.

You eventually discover that I have resorted to eating the mud around me, for lack of any other nutrients nearby.  Yet each day you walk by, and if only for a brief moment, our eyes meet.

In such circumstances, can I ask you a favor?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Sincerely Wrong vs. Willfully Ignorant

A brother called recently to talk to me about the story of Job.  He shared how - at the end of the matter - God never told Job why he was allowed to suffer.  His three friends insisted that his suffering must be the result of either his sin or his children's sin.  They claimed that this was a judgment against Job because he really didn't serve the Lord at all.  Yet, each of these friends were wrong (Job 42:7-8).

God starts off stating that Job was a perfect & upright man (Job 1:8) and He ends by justifying Job and blessing him anew (Job 42:10-17).  Yet here is the kicker: There were still things God needed to work out in Job.  Job needed to learn that God is sovereign (Job 38:1 - 41:34).  God does what He wants to do and He owes us no explanation...even while His hand of protection remains upon us.

The point here is that - through this process of suffering - Job was convicted and brought to repentance over having spiritual pride (Job 40:3-5, 42:1-6).  Job was a righteous man, but there were still things in his heart that God wanted to reveal so that Job could be further purged and cleansed (Job 33:14-29).

God is not primarily concerned with the things that are wrong within us; these are no surprise to Him.  He knows there are things in us that are are not in alignment with His will & His ways.  That is why He sent Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sin and the Holy Spirit to be a sanctifier of our hearts.  Perfecting God's people is something only the Lord can do, and He is faithful to complete the work He has started in us (Philippians 1:6).  However, in order to be perfected, we must stay sincere before Him.  Our job is to yield to Him as He does His work.

This is how we are able to live blamelessly before God, even with there still being things which need to be set right within us (Luke 1:6; I Corinthians 1:8; Philippians 2:15, 3:6; I Thessalonians 5:23; I Timothy 3:2-10, 5:7; Titus 1:6-7; II Peter 3:14).  Being upright is not about having no sin, but about not being in covenant with sin...and that is a big difference.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Songs of Joy

Esther Mui has just put out a new album called "Songs of Joy".  About this work, she says:
This selection of Scripture passages put to song wholly resound with praise towards our God and the joy that comes from being in communion with Him. May the words of the psalmists, prophets and apostles uplift your spirits.
Let us remember that joy comes from Him alone, our God of mercy and our defense. Let us be glad in Him and give thanks to Him because he is the deliverer of our souls - our Wonderful, Mighty God. May we be vessels of honor for His glory and praise!

May this be a blessing to you and may Esther & her family continue to be blessed of the Lord for their ministry.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Broken Ribs

In Don't Forget Deborah - Part 3 (The Beauty of Submission), I wrote the following:
When God was creating woman, He took one of Adam's ribs in order to form her. This small point is not insignificant. Again, God does everything for a reason.

The ribs provide one main function: protection for the heart and the lungs. Both the heart and lungs are critical to the life of the body, yet the nature of their work requires that these organs be soft, delicate, and pliable (and thereby in need of protection).

The heart keeps blood flowing, ensuring that life reaches other parts of the body. It also provides a place of refreshing where the blood can get re-oxygenated or revived in order to continue its work. As such, the heart needs to be sensitive and flexible enough to the respond to the body's electrical impulses regarding contraction in order to keep the blood pumping. It is strong and is one of the largest muscles in the human body. It is an involuntary muscle meaning we do not have to consciously tell the heart to beat. It is created to anticipate the needs of the body and does so automatically.

The lungs are the place where gas exchange occurs within the human body; it collects the oxygen needed to give energy to the blood and expels toxins such as carbon dioxide. Similar to the heart, the lungs must be elastic enough to inflate/deflate as needed to support the inhaling and exhaling of air. Again, the lungs are involuntary muscles and expand/contract without willful thought by nature of their design.

The heart and lungs work around the clock, processing on average 8,000 - 9,000 liters of blood and air respectively a day. When they don't work properly, it impacts the whole body's ability to function as it should.

Understanding the functional purpose that these delicate organs serve and how vital their work is to the health of the body, it is clear to see why God - in His infinite wisdom - encased the heart and lungs under the protection of the ribs.
However, what happens when the ribs are broken?  I mentioned in a recent comment that God has been emphasizing obedience lately.  A number of women have even written this month to ask what it means to obey their husbands. Further, I have seen other women claiming to be obedient to God, but rejecting patriarchal authority and going off in rebellion against Him.  They are in fact in "obedient" to a perverse demon spirit, even while claiming to be serving the Lord.

Take time to listen to this message.  The calling of women is so evident in Scripture that you would have to want to be blind not to see it.  Only those who enjoy rebellion and do not want to be cleansed from sin will turn a deaf ear.  If there is any resistance in your soul to this, then that is the very thing which God is trying to deal with in you.

It is past time to get this right.  We need to examine ourselves to see who - and whose - we truly are.  We must lay bare our hearts before God and be desperate enough for deliverance that we are willing to deal with those things that God despises.  It is time for women to once again become life in the church by joyfully understanding and embracing who we are designed by God to be.