March 26 2015

Satan Has No Power

satanDuring your life God will let you experience things so that you can learn a lesson. Like the loving Father He is, He has to let us struggle through things so we can gain wisdom and understanding that we otherwise would not have. Sometimes it is the life experiences that teach us the most, when we would not have listened to His instruction for our lives. Other times we want something so bad, that we just have to have it to see it was not what we thought it would be. Indeed, it was not actually even good for us.

I have heard the question asked so many times “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?”. I have asked the same question myself many times as I walked a life far from Jesus’ redemption. It made no sense to me then, so I can see why such a question could plague a soul. The world is so full of devastation and despair, violence and death. Why would God let bad things happen to seemingly good people? I had no idea what a fully loaded question that really is.

You see while I denied and rejected Jesus and any value He had on my life, I thought the world was made up of two kinds of people. Those that were good and wanted to do good, and those that were bad and wanted to do bad. Good vs. evil. And why not? You see the dynamic of good vs. evil all over TV and movies, and it has been portrayed that way as far back as I can remember. It is the eternal battle that plays out, yet good always wins. The funny thing is, for a while there, I really wanted evil to win. I got bored with always see the good guys win. I wanted to know what it would be like for the bad guys to win. After all, how bad were the bad guys really? Maybe they had a messed up childhood and needed help. I mean, doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance? Or to be loved?

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Luke 10:18

hellThis is all a complete ruse. There is no eternal struggle between good and evil, and there never has been. It might be fun to think there is, because we all love a good drama, but it is a complete and utter lie. God is in full control over everything. He created the heavens and the earth and everything in between. Including evil, aka Satan, The Great Deceiver. God is in control over evil, and as a matter of fact, Satan needs God’s permission to do his evil work! Of course Satan does not want us to know that. He wants us to believe he is all-powerful, like God, and that he has just as good of a chance at winning the fight as God does. But he has no chance of winning anything, except a one way ticket to the fiery pit of hell.

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.  Job 1:12

Many years ago there was a great book written about just such a story. It is still on the best seller list as a matter of fact and the end is really the best part. This book is called the Bible, and in the last chapter, Satan gets sent away from earth forever, by the King of Kings. Jesus. Does that mean we are waiting for Satan to be defeated? No. Jesus has already defeated Satan, death and hell, forever, by dying on the cross and giving each and every one of us a free ticket into heaven. All you have to do is believe Jesus is the Son of God who died to save you from you sins, and ask for forgiveness. Satan has no power over God, and he never has. He just wants us to believe he does so that he can continue to spin lies into your head and hold you captive to them.

he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. Isaiah 25:8

So wait a minute here…you mean to tell me God is in control of everything – and gives Satan permission to do evil?? Well the simple answer is, yes. God knows that Satan is doing his evil deeds all over, but it is not just Satan out there doing evil. It is also man. Man is not born mostly good. Man does not depend on the good deeds he does to determine whether he is a good person or not. Because man is not good. Not even a little bit. We are born with sin in our hearts, and with a free will. Therefore we are quite capable of doing evil just as easily as Satan himself. When we have a heart turned away from God and  towards ourselves, it is quite easy for Satan to let us go about being destructive and cruel without any of his help at all.

But the thing is, God knew exactly what He was doing when He sent Satan down to the earth to be with His children. God has already won the fight, and as it is written “on earth as it is in heaven“, that is what God is calling us to do. Kick Satan’s butt. Seriously. We do not need to fear Satan or death or evil. Jesus has already overcome it. So God allows him to do things because it gives us a chance to practice living a life the way we were meant to! Jesus came to free the captives from sin and sickness and fear. It was His example of how we are to live here – on earth as it is in heaven.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19

Which brings us back to those life lessons God lets us experience sometimes. God will never tempt us, but instead He will always give us a way out of our temptations. That doesn’t mean that we will take the way out He gives us. With our free will comes the choice to take the path that God gives us, or to try things out on our own. Much like a toddler who has been told not to touch the hot bbq, we decide that the temptation is just too great and we end up getting burned. A parent cannot shelter their children from every decision that may be bad, nor can they control a child who is willfully rebellious.

heartI have spent a good portion of my life rebelling against God and His ways, but I truly believed in my heart I was a good person. Yet I continued to lie, cheat, steal and hurt those I loved. Did I do it maliciously? Not likely. Yet a heart turned inwards is a heart bent toward sin. There is nothing to be done about it, but to take the free gift of salvation Jesus offers to us. With that we must turn our heart towards God, and towards everything that He loves.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekial 36:26

March 19 2015

Sin Deconstructed

Man-PrayingOnce upon a time there was a young man whose purity was virtuous and true. For no other man in the whole land had made a vow to hold onto his purity until marriage, as he had. All the young women coveted this precious gift he had left, because they had all given up their rights of virtue and the keys to their kingdoms long ago. When they saw such a young man who was so valiant and pure, they wept loudly and mourned openly. For who else would make such a wonderful husband as this man? Who would take them as wives now, that they had given away the most precious gift of all? Only a man with no integrity and no honor would, yet they gave up their purity for greed and lust, and now must pay the consequences of it.

This is not a story you would ever hear in this day and age. As a matter of fact, it is unheard of to see a man’s purity being talked about as a virtue. In the year 2015, there is little virtue or valor in waiting until you are married to have sex. It is now looked down upon and mocked, in a world that flaunts sexuality. It is commonplace to drive down a main road and see giant billboards with pictures of half-naked men or women. It is normal to go to any high school and see the girls wearing enough clothes to barely cover their private parts. Indeed, these parts are no longer private, but more like a show that needs to be seen by all.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:26-27

In our world, it is no longer a sin to have sex before marriage, or to have sex openly or even with the same-sex. It is no longer a sin to take the life of your unborn child, because it was a mistake you never chose to make. It just happened on accident when you were in the heat of a passionate moment. And more and more women are taking the driver’s seat in the sexual explosion,  wanting to harness the power of their sexuality to use it to their personal advantages. Women want it all – the  career, the power, and the ability to treat men like a toy to be played with. More and more men are taking the backseat and becoming passive, or worse yet, claiming a new right into femininity.

RomansWhat has brought all this into the world at this time? Is it the sexual revolution, or women’s liberation, or progress of a modern society? Are things just getting worse and the end is getting nearer? I propose to you that none of these are true. If you take a good look back at the world over the course of the last 2000 years or so, you will see that things in the world had not really changed so much. Sacrificial rituals of children have become abortion. Ancient phallic processions and sex worship have replaced our modern open sexuality. So I ask you, are you horrified by all this? Do the times we live in really seem so much worse than the things that have gone on thousands of years ago?

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Romans 1:21-23

The reason that our society is and has always been wrought with sex, murder, lust, greed and evil is because of one reason, and one reason only. Sin. Our hearts our full of sin from the time we our born. Our hearts are turned away from the one and true living God who created us, and turned inwards, toward ourselves. We see something we like, and it feels good, so we want it. We find reasons why it is ok to do it, and then we proceed to make it happen. Because if it feels good, how can it be wrong? We are basically good people anyway right? As long as we are not hurting anyone else, then why shouldn’t we do things that feel good? We want attention, we want to be attractive, we want to have fun and we want the life we deserve to have. Right now.

That is why sin has become an evil word. We do not want to hear that we are basically bad. It all goes back to the Garden of Eden, when the serpent came to Eve and convinced her that it was OK to go against God’s command. He lied to her, and to justify it, she in turn lied to herself. Because the fruit looked good, and she wanted it. Right now. So it became very easy to forsake the God that gave her life, and paradise, for that one moment of instant gratification. I imagine she really savored that bite as best as she could, shutting out that voice in her head screaming at her that she was doing something horribly wrong.

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5

sinBut let’s be real here. That was no serpent; that was Satan, the deceiver. He came posed as a snake because Adam and Eve loved the animals and had charge over them. The snake was small and seemingly harmless. How could something so small possibly do anything bad to them? And if it was normal for Eve to talk to a snake, we can assume that it was normal for them to talk to the animals. So Satan knew that Adam and Eve had a loving relationship with the animals in the Garden, and he used that as a weakness to get to them. To sneak into their home and their lives without much notice and begin to paint a picture of innocence to them. That their inmost desires were perfectly acceptable and could not hurt them. And they fell for it, because they wanted to believe the lie. In that moment Adam gave up the keys of the kingdom to Satan. And we all fell with him.

Here again, it is so easy to lay blame on Adam and Eve. They had one job, and they couldn’t even handle that! But the truth is, that it is simply the nature of man and there is no getting around it. People want to do what pleases them, and will often suffer the consequences to get it. No matter how high the price. Even when it means you lose all your privileges to Paradise.

So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. Genesis 3:23-24

So often I find myself in this same position. I have a choice to make – one is right and one is wrong. Yet it is so easy to blur the lines of what is right and wrong because I bring my emotions and desires into play. For instance, I really want to eat healthy, yet I often go to a Bible study or church event where something unhealthy is being served (i.e. dessert). I know the Holy Spirit is moving me to refrain from dessert, but it is a dessert I really love (like all of them, right?). So I find little reasons why it is OK. I really want it, I have been good so I deserve it, it is my favorite dessert, everyone else is having it. See how easy it is? I blow myself away even with how quickly I can go from wanting to follow the convictions of the Holy Spirit to complete disobedience. Why is it so easy to fall away from what God desires for us?

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15

Which brings us right back to sin. Why then do we sin? If we have been saved by the grace and Mercy of Jesus Christ, why is it that we continue to do sin and do what we know we ought not do? It is simple. We are not holy, only God is holy. We are simply human and we fall short of the Glory of God. We are incapable of becoming completely incapable of being totally without sin. That is why Jesus came to earth to die for us. Because there was no other way that a sinful people such as ourselves could come before a holy and righteous God. Even though Jesus washes us clean by His blood, that does not make us sinless, it just makes us clean in the eyes of our Creator God.

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Romans 7:18-19

So what do you do in the face of our sin in a depraved and wicked world? Do we give up and join the crowd? Do we put our heads down and just try to get through until we get our ticket to heaven? Never. We never give up or give in, otherwise Jesus will have died in vain for us. We must keep running the race set before us, preserving through all trials and tribulations of life, keeping our focus on God’s leading in our life. Jesus has given us new life and He has so much more to offer us than the world ever can. The world makes so many promises to us, that it simply cannot keep. Yet God has given us His promises in abundance, and He keeps every single one of them!

castingoutdemonsLife as a believer in Jesus Christ should not resemble the life of the average Joe you meet. It should be exciting, interesting and engaging! We as Christians have the duty to go out into the world (even if it is just your own city) and help the homeless, pray for strangers, witness to the lost, heal the sick, give deliverance to those who are plagued by demons and let God use us in whatever way He would please! This is an amazing life to live and it is available to anyone who would just reach out and take it! Believe me, I have witnessed all these things, and the gifts of healing and deliverance are real for us this very day and age! The world would like us to believe otherwise, but I have seen it for myself time and time again.

They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. Mark 6:12-13

 

 

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March 12 2015

Fear of the Dark

sleepingWhen I was a child, I was deathly afraid of the dark. My room always seemed to be pitch black, even with a tiny little Cabbage Patch Kids night light I had for a time. When I would go to bed, I would try very hard to turn off the light without getting off of my bed. I even had a back scratcher at one point to try to hit the light switch off. Anytime I had to turn off the light before getting into bed, I would immediately run and jump onto my bed as fast as I could, so nothing could get me.

Even my bed wasn’t a safe haven though. In my bed I was still paralyzed with fear. I would lay in the middle of the bed, for fear something could come up and reach me from the sides. There was a space between the bed and the wall, only a couple of inches, but enough that I knew I wasn’t safe. As if that wasn’t enough, I also had to have at least a sheet covering me at all times, no matter how hot I was. It seemed that sheet was like a protective barrier between the monsters and I. My room would get sweltering hot in the summer. It gets to be up to 100+ where I live, and there was no air conditioning in my room. So I would be miserably hot, yet still be covered up and hiding under that sheet to protect myself.

If I ever had to get up to go to the bathroom, it was even worse. I would get up as much courage as I could and then run out of my room and into the bathroom. I would turn on the light and shut the door as fast as I could. I did not like the darkness at all. Then I would get up enough courage to run back into my room and launch myself onto my bed. This lasted for all my childhood. I can’t remember when I started to become less fearful of the dark, but eventually it did get better. That fear never completely went away though.

darkAt one point in time, when I was about 18 I think, I decided I wanted to conquer that fear of the dark. I wanted to believe there was nothing out there, waiting to get me. So I began to take walks at night, alone, in my neighborhood. I lived in a fairly good neighborhood, so I don’t think I would have ever ran into much trouble. Not that I am saying it’s a great idea, but nothing bad ever did happen to me. It was difficult for me to lose that “something is going to get me” feeling that I had in the dark. At that time I was very into the occult, and I thought my gods and goddess were protecting me. I used “magik” to put a protection around myself, so nothing with ill intent could harm me. And since nothing bad every happened, I believed it worked. I was completely opening up myself to and immersing myself in darkness, and the darkness was welcoming me with open arms.

It has been many years since I was 18 and testing the limits by walking around alone at night. It seems very silly to me know, but I had courage from my beliefs and from the substance (drug) I was using. I can say I have lost my fear of the dark though. I easily sleep in a very dark room, and do not have to run and jump on my bed when I get up to go to the bathroom. I think I had a period where I was very into horror movies where I did have a fear of the dark again, for a short time. For years I have been perfectly fine, and had forgotten all about it. That is until recently.

You see, recently I have been getting in touch with spiritual gifts that God has bestowed upon me. One of them is the gift of discerning spirits. Discerning spirits is one of the gifts listed in the Bible, and it means that you can tell if there are good or evil spirits present, even if they can’t be seen. Some people with this gift can actually see the spirits, I am not one of them. The gift of discernment also helps you to understand things about people by revelation of the Holy Spirit, that you would not otherwise be able to know.

In the past few months I have had several occurrences where I came into the presence of an evil or demonic spirit. As I mentioned, I cannot see them, but I can feel them. For me, this means when and evil or demonic presence is near, I get short of breath, my heart rate speeds up rapidly, and I feel shaky, as if I am very cold. This all happens very suddenly. I also get a sick feeling in my stomach and sometimes I even get that feeling that something wants to get me.

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 1 Corinthians 7:10

At first when I began to have these experiences, it was quite scary. I had no idea where this was coming from or why it was happening to me. I had never felt demons to my knowledge before, so why should it start now? I have been save for almost two years at the time of this experience. The first time was an isolated incident that didn’t happen again for two weeks. Then another two weeks after. Then it was a week later. It just started happening more often. I started to feel as though maybe I was crazy, yet it was clearly real to me. When someone told me I had the gift of discerning spirits, I laughed. Surely that wasn’t me.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Of course I quickly came to accept that God had given me a gift, a gift I was to use to help others in whatever way I could. And to tell you the truth, while it was a little scary, it was even more exciting! I began to see how God has appointed us to live a life that is far greater than anything we could ever imagine for ourselves! He has divine power He wants to use through us! Not everyone is going to have this particular gift, because there are so many, but we each have spiritual gifts from God, that are to be used in accordance with God’s Word to help and encourage others.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God. 1 Peter 4:10

So back to being scared something is going to get me at night. It was just a couple of weeks ago, when this gift was really starting to get active in my life, that I suddenly began to feel very afraid when I would wake in the night. I would have this sense of dread come over me and I would find myself fearing that something was going to get me. It was very out of the ordinary for my life at this point in time and it brought my memories of childhood flooding back to me. Why would I have that feeling after so many years? It was easy enough answered for me. There was a demonic presence near.

So many things have happened to me so quickly during this short walk I have had with Jesus. I have prayed to God over and over again, to please take me and use me for the good of His Kingdom. I want nothing more than to give my life over to Him, the best I can. I want to help people and I am open to God working in my life, because I love Him so very much. That is the only reason I can think that my spiritual gifts have really opened up to me. But another thing is, I realized that I have had this gift of discernment all along. As far back as I can remember, it has been easy for me to understand people and things about people I couldn’t have known on my own. And there have been times when I had that sickening feeling in my stomach that someone was just behind me, waiting to hurt me, even when I knew there was no one there. This was long before I became a believer in Jesus Christ.

It was very easy to begin to succumb to the fear I felt. The fear seemed to creep up out of nowhere and take hold of me. It whispered in my brain that I was not safe and that evil was lurking to take hold of me at any minute. And I believed it for many nights. It was so easy to believe, because it was just like being a little girl, alone and vulnerable, all over again. That is exactly the place that our enemy wants us to be in. In a place where we let our thoughts and feelings control us. It makes his job very easy!

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

For in our fears, our worries, our anxieties, we are not submitting to God, but to ourselves. For God has promised us countless times that He is with us, protecting us, taking care of us, and that Satan cannot harm us. We are His dear children and He wants to help us when things in life are difficult or scary. He delights in us coming to us with our problems! That means Satan cannot harm us, he can only lie to us and make us believe he can. We are to cast all our cares to God, and let Him comfort and guide us through life. When we stop trusting God and letting Him be our primary lead, we start giving the devil a foothold in our lives.

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 1 John 5:18

jesuslightWe are not to be afraid of the dark. Jesus came to defeat death and darkness. Darkness can never win, unless we give ourselves over to it. That is through fear, worry, anxiety, anger, rage, unforgiveness, or any other sin that causes us to fall away from God. All of these things are like a slow poison that is killing our relationship with Jesus, our Savior. We must remember to daily repent of things that we do that grieve the Holy Spirit, and to continuously move closer to God. He has a plan for our lives, and He wants to prosper us and watch us be mighty warriors in His Kingdom! Do not let fear hold you back from the victorious life in Jesus Christ that God has given you!

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

 

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March 7 2015

The Righteous King; A Parable

crownOnce upon a time, there was a little girl. She was a beautiful little girl, with long golden locks. She was very quiet and shy and always kept to herself. This little girl was the daughter of a king. The most powerful and righteous king that ever lived. He was the most loved and feared king in all the land. All of his subjects worshiped him and adored him, and all of his enemies hated him and cursed his name.

The king loved his daughter more than his own life. He adorned her with beautiful garments and jewels and delighted in spending time with her. The king even made a seat for his daughter right next to his in the royal throne room. His daughter was precious and well-loved by her father. There was only one problem. This little girl had no idea how dearly loved she was by her father. You see, a wicked king had come and kidnapped her away and locked her into a prison cell.

The evil king hated the righteous king. He hated him and wanted nothing more than to steal everything away from him and what most precious to him – his children. this evil king thought that if he targeted the righteous kings children, he could overpower him and take over his kingdom. Little did he know that the righteous king was far more powerful and his kingdom was destined to go one forever and ever. Yet evil never wants to give up, so this wicked king continued to try to attack him, waiting to be crowned in victory.

The poor little girl was treated very fairly in her prison. So much so she began to forget she was in a prison. She was given a new set of parents, a home to live in, fed, clothed and given many fun things to play with. But something was just not quite right, something always seemed to be missing. She could never remember what it was though. For the evil king had sown so many lies into her head, she forgot all about her wonderful father, and his undying love for her.

The righteous king loved his daughter so much, he refused to abandon her or give up on her. He sent in some of his mightiest warriors in the enemy territory in disguise, to look after and protect his daughter. While they could not completely protect her from every bad thing, they did protect her from many terrible things the evil king threatened to do to her. So the righteous king just continued to rule over his kingdom with justice and peace, waiting for the day his daughter would return. For he knew that his daughter would return to her rightful place, reigning next to him.

The poor little girl endured many, many hardships as she grew up, never realizing that her father was there, watching her and protecting her. And the evil king sent many of his most powerful soldiers to visit her often over the years. Yet these soldiers were disguised as beautiful and righteous, so she could never see through to the truth of how evil they were. Their beauty and their lies were so deceptive and she was so immature and weak, she simply could not fight it. So she continued to live in a prison cell, for it became quite comfortable in each passing year.

Until one day, the poor little girl began to wonder why she always felt sad…and lost. She began to wonder why she always felt as thought something very important was missing from her life. Almost like a piece of herself that was gone. At first the thought just quietly nagged at her. But as time went on, the thought became bigger and bigger, until it began to haunt her. Soon she became obsessed at knowing what it was that was missing. Why was she even missing something in the first place? It was a hunger that nothing could satiate – not even the beautiful lies the enemy king put in front of her. Before those things seemed to be like a band-aid on a child’s cut – perfectly soothing for a time. But now, she wanted nothing to do with those band aids, but wanted to rip them off and have a healing of the wound. Not just be temporarily soothed.

prisonThat is when the righteous king knew that it was time to rescue his daughter. She was finally ready! For you see, if he had tried to rescue her sooner, she would not have recognized him, and would have even ran from him in fear. But now, now was the time, the perfect time, to see her father for who he really was. The love of her life, her savior and her redeemer!

The righteous king told his soldiers who were in the enemy camp in disguise to begin to reveal themselves to her, slowly and steadily. And it was as if a veil had been ripped from before her eyes! Suddenly she was able to see that she was not at all in a comfortable home, but a horrid prison cell! Being held captive by deception and lies. But could she really come out? Was she really ready to come out? What would be waiting for her on the other side of that door? The little girl was afraid, for the evil king had tormented her for so many years.

The righteous king knew all this, and came to her. He stood before her, in all his splendor and might and held his hand out to her. He opened the door before her and called her out. “Come daughter, your freedom awaits you!” She looked at this man who stood before her, and wondered who he was. Was he really going to rescue her? “Yes daughter. I am here to give you salvation from this hell you are in.”

The girl took another look at the man, and tears began to spill from her eyes. The memory of her fathers kingdom, her beautiful garments and jewels, and the throne next to his, all came flooding back to her. She was overcome with anger and pain. Why had her father, this stranger before her, abandoned her? Why had he let all these evil things happen to her?! What kind of father would do such a thing? Is this how he showed his love?

Yet, tentatively she walked towards him, towards his open arms and his loving embrace. He looked to warm and inviting, his eyes so tender and loving. She moved closer, afraid, yet curious, but still an anger simmering just beneath the surface. Into his arms she inched until he had them wrapped around her. She melted at that moment and knew, yes, she was home!

The righteous king explained everything to her. The evil king and his plans, and how he tricked her and lied to her, and how the righteous king had been there all along, watching her and protecting her, even when she didn’t know it. At first it was hard to accept. But as he took his daughter home, he began to lavish her with love and blessings like she had never know before. It felt so amazing, and so right. That missing piece, that sadness was gone. Replaced with pure joy, hope and trust in her father, the king.

righteous kingHealing and restoration began to take place in her life. She was no longer a little girl, but a queen. She was strong and confident and fulled with power and majesty, all because her father had been patient enough to wait until the perfect moment to save her. Through the righteous king, the girl saw what it was like to live in freedom from fear and oppression, and to fight the evil king. He often tried to come back to steal her away again, but he never could. For through her father she had enough wisdom and strength to fight him and send him running away in fright.

Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. Psalm 45:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. Psalm 95:3

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14-15

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Category: My Salvation, Parables | Comments Off on The Righteous King; A Parable
March 2 2015

Holy Spirit Speak To Me

hear“Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” These are the words Eli gave Samuel to say in response, when as a young boy he first heard God’s call. This was the beginning of Samuel learning to discern the voice of God, and to be ready to obey. At first Samuel did not know whose voice it was calling to him. He thought it was his teacher, Eli. Samuel had been raised to be obedient to his elders, and to God and without this instruction, he may very well have ignored this call from the Lord. It was with love and submission Samuel learned to stop and listen to that still small voice that called out to him. And because of that one moment where Samuel opened up to the voice of the Lord, a life long friendship was built.

It is not always easy to discern the voices we hear in our heads. We have our own thoughts, then there are the thoughts the enemy plants within us to deceive us, and we have the voice of  the Holy Spirit. In the beginning of my walk with God, I was very obedient. I was totally in love with my Lord and was willing to continuously give Him my life in whatever way He might ask. He was worth it. And the Lord showed faithful to my persistence that He took my life and use me as a tool. It was to the point where He was asking me to do things that were very difficult. Yet I continued to be obedient.

That is until it got so hard I just could not bear it any longer. It was my first Halloween and the Holy Spirit clearly showed me that my family and I were not to celebrate this pagan holy day. Which was just fine with me! The problem began when almost every other Christian around me was celebrating it. It took the conviction that I had and that I took so deeply and made me feel so different. So set apart. And the enemy loved it and took this opportunity to start the lie in my head. I am different and that makes me a freak. And that is when I began to question whether what I was doing was right.

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:19

It wasn’t long after that I wanted to begin to withdraw from some of the convictions of the Holy Spirit. Then the questioning began – “how do I know whose voice this? Maybe it is just me. Maybe it is Satan.” I began to be confused as I believed the lies the enemy was spinning like a web in my mind. Yet it was also a great excuse to not obey. If I wasn’t sure that it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me, then it was easy to say ‘no’ to obeying the things that I didn’t like the sound of. I didn’t even see the how deep into the lie I was getting. I just kept falling deeper and deeper into it, picking and choosing when to obey and living in this constant confusion of what was true, what was of God. Yet it got even worse than that.

The voice of conviction in my head began to speak less and less often. I came into a very dry season, and I was still a new Christian! I fell away from the Word and from time of prayer. I began to not even want to read the Bible or pray. I could not even care anymore. And that is very scary. That is exactly the place the enemy wants us to be in. Complete apathy. What brought me to this place? How could I fall away so easily from the Lord that I desired more than life itself? Selfishness.

But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries. Exodus 23:22

holy spiritBy refusing to obey the convictions of the Holy Spirit, I was letting my own self take the place of God. Yet I did not even realize it. The more I choose to listen to myself and my flesh, the more I was falling away from God. Selfishness leads to complacency, complacency leads to apathy, apathy leads to dependency, and dependency leads to bondage. Once we fall into the bad habits of ignoring the Holy Spirit and the enormous part He plays in our lives, we come into dependence on those habits instead of God. As humans we are naturally dependent, because we were made to be dependent on God. Yet so many times we let that dependence fall onto another person or habits, or even ourselves. The Holy Spirit is here to guide us in every aspect of our lives, from something as simple as what we eat, to the bigger things like who we marry or where we live. To ignore that is moving directly into the line of enemy fire.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Through our dependency on man, ourselves or things of this world, we fall into the bondage that Jesus died to save us from. We were once children of darkness, forsaking God and living a life trying to find fulfillment in things that never gave us any. We were in bondage to these things, because we did not know any better. But once we gave our lives over to Jesus, we become new creations, and seated in the heavenlies with Him. It is only through obedience to the Lord that we move forward into a life of freedom from this bondage. How can we be set free, if we refuse to walk out of the prison cell and into the light? If someone comes and opens the door and tells you “step out” do you not have to obey to move forward into that freedom? And if you have been in a prison for most of your life and you do not know what it is like to live a life of freedom, do you not need to learn how to be free?

That is where the Bible comes in, and the convictions of the Holy Spirit. Set free from your bondage they give you all the guidance and help you need to understand how to live that life in the glorious richness and freedom that only the salvation of Jesus Christ can provide. How well did you do before, when you let yourself rule over your life? When you lived in darkness and bondage? If you are anything like me, you did not do well at all.

Do not be fooled. You my Christian brothers and sisters can fall right back into that bondage again, and it all starts with disobedience to the One Who Made You. He knows you better than anyone else ever can or will. He knows what is best for you in every situation and He knows how ever option is going to play out. Trust in Him – God will never lead you wrong. Even when it is difficult, even when you don’t understand.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 5:9

Thank God I finally was able to pull myself out of my apathy and move back into a relationship with Jesus. It has taught me how easy it is to forget what life is like without God, and how easy it is to move away from dependency on Jesus, and not myself. God has more than blessed me for my eagerness to continue to obey. And He has also asked me to do many more things that I thought were too hard. Things I did not want to do, and things that I did not understand. Yet I moved forward in obedience and trust, knowing full well that God has always been faithful to me, and has always taken care of me.

The Holy Spirit is your friend and wants nothing more than to show you that you are no longer captive. You are a citizen of heaven, and a child of the King. Let Him teach you how to live like it. Let the Holy Spirit move you into a life full of excitement! If you just step out into obedience, just watch what God will do in your life! You will be amazed, I promise!

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10