April 29 2015

God In A Box

What do you really know about God? Everyone has their own concept about who or what they think God is, even if they don’t believe in God. The idea of God is so pervasive in our culture that you must have formed some opinion on what God is. Some believe God is a story or that Jesus is a historical figure. Some believe that God was active in ancient times, but no longer a part of our lives. Some believe God is love, and accepting of everyone just as they are. Some believe God is an angry God, who punishes people. Some believe that God is a distant God, who looks down on us. A God that is impersonal and doesn’t care about people. God

Recently I have begun to take a second look at who I think God is. I have been a Christian for two years now, and I thought I had my knowledge of who God is down. I mean, I read the Bible, I pray, I have a relationship with Jesus. So of course I know who my God is. Wrong. I realized that I have been putting God into a box. Actually, not just one box, but many boxes. That is OK though, because God has begun to break down those boxes. God cannot live in a box; He is much too big to be confined.

How can one person ever begin to define God? He is such a vast being, beyond space and time, bigger than the human imagination. Yet He is completely knowable. Can we ever truly know all of God in this life time? I believe we can only know Him to the extent that we allow ourselves too. How close have you allowed yourself to get to God? How close have you allowed Him to get to you?

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. Psalm 139:1

God has known me from the moment of my conception. He has watched me grow like a tender shoot, and loved me completely. Yet I never knew Him. My spirit cried out for God, in the depth of my need for Him, because I was created to have a relationship with Him. Through my darkest moments, through my despair, God was there. Yet I never knew Him. Or did I?

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Psalm 19:1-3

God reveals His glory and majesty to us through so many way during our lives. Creation itself proclaims His wonderful works. The amazing human body is a testimony to His creativity and intelligence. That is only the beginning to how He reveals Himself to us. Think on all the times in your life things just coincidentally happened to go exactly the way you needed them too. That was God. Think of the times when you have just missed something bad happening to you. Or something bad happens, but it somehow doesn’t affect you as badly as it should have. That was God, revealing Himself to you. Do you see Him now?

Yet bad things to still happen to us, or those we love, or in this world. Do we blame God for those things? Did God cause those things to happen or did He allow those things to happen? No. That is another box we put God into. I myself am guilty of this very thought, even in my walk as a Christian. As I have had some severe health problems, I have prayed earnestly for God to heal me. I have had many people pray over me. I have cried and cried because I felt that God abandoned me some days. I have been angry and frustrated because I felt that God was not going to heal me. And  then I thought that God was punishing me or trying to teach me a lesson by keeping me sick.

During this time I was consumed with guilt. I was a horrible mother, wife, friend. A poor example of a Godly woman. I was selfish, thinking mostly of myself and my suffering and misery. No wonder God would punish me. I deserved to be sick. I deserved to suffer. I was completely worthless in this world. What could I do for God? How could I please Him and do His will? I was ashamed of myself. I could not even fathom why God would save me only to have me fall into despair all over again? Life was no longer even worth living.

Do you hear that sound? The sound of wood breaking into pieces. A box, being blasted apart. Then another. And another. All the lies I believed, the God who I thought I knew, He was completely blowing apart all those boxed I put Him in.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. Revelation 12:10

How could I ever believe God is a God who would punish me that way? How could I believe that God did not care about me, would not help me. How could I ever believe I was worthless and unlovable? Those are not the thoughts of God. Those are the thoughts planted by the enemy. Yet I was willing to believe them. I was willing to let them in and to hold on tight to them. How little I really knew my God. The God that loves me, that created me, that holds me in His right hand, singing over me.

I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Isaiah 49:15b-16a

freedomAs I watched God smash all those boxes before me, a new freedom washed over me. I did not have to listen to everything that came into my head. God Himself was there, and willing to show me exactly who He is. He is willing to teach me, not only who He is, but who I am. Jesus makes me who I am. I can listen to the lies of the enemy, and be led by the temptation on sin, and let that create who I am, or I can take every thought captive to Christ, and be led by the Spirit into truth.

Category: My Salvation, Who Is Jesus? | Comments Off on God In A Box
April 16 2015

The Seduction of Magic

magicThere is a battle waging for your soul, right in this very moment. Whether you have any idea at all, there is an enemy lurking in your life, and pitting the powers of hell against you. Sounds crazy, huh? Yeah, I would have thought so too a few years ago. As a matter of fact, I did not even believe in Hell or the Devil. That is exactly what he wanted though. To convince me that all the lies he spun in my mind were true. Once I became a Christian I started to read the Bible. And the Bible makes it very clear that Hell and Satan are very real indeed . And because I choose to believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, I had to believe that things did exist, whether I could see them or not.

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15

As a brand new Christian I had very little understanding of the spiritual realm and how it worked, even though I had entered in to it many times during my time with the occult. Little did I know, all those years I was opening up the door to Satan and welcoming him in. I had no intention of doing so; only intentions of doing good. You see as a witch it was very important to never harm anyone or anything, and to never use black magic, which would be of the devil. Another lie I believed. All magic comes from the power of evil and darkness, and is a counterfeit of God’s power, which is holy and pure. You are literally harnessing the powers of darkness to do magic and other occult and new age activities.

Ouija boards, tarot cards, divination, crystals, chakras, mediums, psychics, astrology, numerology, palm reading, yoga– these are just a few of the examples of participating in the occult. Many people have dabbled in these seemingly innocent things all in good fun. I got my start into the occult as a pre-teen when my sister made a ouija board one night. I had no idea what it even was, but when it began to move on its own it opened my eyes to a whole new world. It was scary, but intriguing. That was just the beginning of my fascination with things of darkness and mystery. Soon I was obsessed with vampires, witches, checking my horoscope daily and trying to understand astrology and how to predict how my life would go.

It seemed innocent enough, but it was really a path leading me straight into darkness. I began to desire more, to  fantasize about a life in darkness as a witch, or to meet a vampire lover. It sounds so silly now, but as a young girl it was very real to me. I wanted to wield magical powers and have a life that was so much more than the mundane and depressing one I was living. I wanted to escape into a world of magic. It was not hard to do as I spent my time watching movies and reading books and writing my own stories. I could not see the bigger picture of how romanticized these things was so very dangerous to me. I could not see I was entertaining evil or how it was enticing me into a seductive life that was far away from God. Of course at that point in time I cared very little for God.

It is very easy for me to look back now as see how this fascination as a young teen drew me into the world of the occult as an adult. A world that held on fast to my heart and wrapped itself around everything that I believed. I can see now, in hindsight, how dangerous walking into the world of the occult was, and the repercussions of it that I still am dealing with so many years later. At the time it was just innocent and fun; a fantasy. I can see now how it was no accident that drew me into this darkness, but someone with an evil intent for my life. An intent to steal me away from the life I was created to live.

It was not until about a year ago, when I realized that spiritual attack was real and it was happening to me. I began to have horrible brain fog (confusion, memory loss, inability to focus and understand things). At first I just thought there was something wrong with me. I began to seek treatment for my problem, desperate to find out what was wrong with me. But as time passed I would seem to get better and then I would just get worse. More symptoms began to appear. I sought out prayer from healing ministries and would begin to get better, only to get worse again. It made no sense, and I could only come to the conclusion that is was not just a physical problem, but a spiritual problem.

Why would Satan want to keep me oppressed in brain fog? Because when I had brain fog, I could not read the Bible, I could not pray for myself, I could not encourage and pray for others as I had become accustomed too. During this year my spiritual gifts began to blossom and God was moving me in amazing ways. But with horrible brain fog, those spiritual gifts were of little use to anyone who I might help. It is like being held captive in your own mind.

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

It was through many different prayer sessions that God began to reveal to me truths that had been hidden from me by the lies of the enemy. Lies I had completely bought into. Satan had been working hard to oppress me since I was a young girl. He wanted to turn me far away from the path God had before me, and it worked. I fell into a life of drugs and the occult. But Jesus is so much bigger than that, and His plans would be accomplished. I was saved by Jesus and now here I was, still held captive by the devil. How miserable it is to find the most amazing saving grace and mercy of God, to know Him, to experience Him, and then to be cast into darkness all over again!

Do not think you are exempt from the schemes and attacks of the devil. He is a hunter, and you are his prey. He knows all your weaknesses, your fears, your guilt and your shame. He knows your past, and the darkness inside that haunts you. He will use all of it against you, to feed a never-ending string of lies to you so he can keep you in some form of bondage. Many of us are captive to a stronghold in some area of our lives, and Satan is all to happy to keep us there. He will place temptations before us and try to keep us distracted.

The New Age Movement has only grown in the past 20 years since I became involved in it. It has seeped into many Christian homes, with seasoned Christians falling prey to its seductive ways. All Satan needs is an open door into your life, and he can begin to bring his demons into your home. He can start with something as simple as a TV show or music, and once you let that in, it opens the door to more. God has warned us many times not to have anything to do with things that take us away from Him. It is a subtle trap, waiting for someone to stumble into it.

Psalm 91: 1-6

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
 You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.