Saturday, November 24, 2012

Walking In The Fire

Just recently it was pointed out to me that what appeared to be something was really not what it appeared to be after all. Ever been accused of something that just was the furthest thing from the truth? I have! Stephen Covey in his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” shares a story of a man and his two young boys on a subway. The story basically goes something like this. A man and his two boys got on a subway and as the father sat down the two boys began running around and acting up making the passengers uncomfortable. The dad seemed to be oblivious to the fact that his boys were making a ruckus and causing the other riders to be very distressed and even highly annoyed. After a short while Stephen who became agitated and even angry that this dad was not even paying attention to his own children approached the dad wanting to scold him for his misbehaving children and confronted the ‘irresponsible’ dad. After he confronted the man, the dad apologized for his boys behavior and for not keeping them in line but said his mind was on the fact that his wife, their mother had just died at the hospital. For what had seemed to be a careless father with rude children actually turned out to be a totally different situation all together.

How many times will someone see a situation in another person’s life and make a ‘judgment call’ on that person. For instance, how many are quick to judge someone’s motive or actions based upon what ‘appears’ to be the truth. How many react with condemnation or criticism when they see someone stumble in the faith or maybe act or respond differently than what they think a ‘Christian’ should. Just maybe the person is struggling and growing in his faith and does make a mistake or isn’t mature enough to do the ‘right thing’ at this point in his Christian faith. Maybe it could be that the one being judged truly is walking with God and walking by faith IN THE FIRE! Sometimes God takes us through the fire with Him to teach us, to show us, and ultimately to change us. Walking in the fire with Jesus is going to be tough, hard, and at times painful! It’s during these times that God ‘refines’ His children and consequently those ‘ugly’ things, the ‘chaff’ float to the top and become visible to all around. These are painful times and yes, during these times we should respond to God’s refining work in good and positive ways. Sometimes our responses might appear to some as being wrong or undignified and even ‘unchristian’. Can you imagine Peter when he cut Malchus’ ear off? It’s obvious that Peter wasn’t seeking cut off his ear. He actually was aiming for his head! Certainly this wasn’t a very ‘Christian’ thing to do was it? Surely a disciple of Jesus would not want to hurt someone! A nice Christian would never do such a thing as this would he? The fact is Peter was close to the Lord, growing in his faith, and following Jesus! It happens like this still today. Many will unfortunately ‘misread’ and ‘misjudge’ situations like these. Now there are times, because of habit that we react instead of respond and sometimes we react in negative and even wrong or sinful ways. This doesn’t mean that we’ve backslidden and are living in rebellion and open sin or that Satan has taken over. It just means that we have stumbled as we follow the Lord on this road of faith. The road that at times that takes us through the fire! Walking in the fire with Jesus will be hard and it will get hot and you will stumble, fall, and even sin!
Even so, walk on!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Is anyone really happy today? Really! From social media to walking in a local Wal-Mart it appears that many just are not happy. So much of the complaining and the negativity floating around out there is a pretty good indicator that many are flat out miserable. The scowls and frowns on the faces I see are discouraging to the say the least! One study has the United States as being tied with France when it comes to the happiness countries. The sad fact that we are tied for 13th place! Wow! That is certainly nothing to be happy about.

Merriam-Webster defines happiness as ‘a state of wellbeing and contentment’. Hmmm… Very interesting indeed.

The fact of the matter is that here in the United States of America, we have been blessed beyond measure and have so much to be thankful for yet we are not happy and we tend to want even more. Even those who are considered poor have the ‘niceties’ of life. On top of the basics; food, shelter, and clothing most everyone has a cell phone, television, and Internet service. The majority of people have so much more than those things, yet so many are still unhappy.

I find this a little unsettling but I am reminded that real happiness was never intended to be found in possessions or even in blessings. Things, status, and achievement were never intended to bring happiness yet most of us live life just the opposite. We have bought into the lie that if we can only get the right toys (car, truck, clothes, ‘bling’, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, family, etc.), reach a certain status (fame, position, popularity), or only do something grand (win the Lottery, be promoted to a great job, etc.) that we will finally arrive at ‘that place’ and we will then be HAPPY and live Happily Ever After!!! WOOHOO! Right? WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having possessions, desiring to better one’s self, or even to become famous, but if these things are sought out with the hopes of finding happiness then disappointment shall follow. A sense of accomplishment can be felt, excitement can be experienced, and even a momentary rush of ecstatic celebration, yet these things are short-lived and cannot be held. They will dissipate as smoke from a dying fire. It’s only momentary.

Happiness is something that we all seek. The only problem is that we simply seek for it in the wrong things. Happiness is a gift that can only come from the giver of that gift and not in things.  To expand Merriam-Webster’s definition, happiness is that state of being satisfied with ‘who’ you are based upon ‘Whose you are’ and in that that you are ‘favored and loved’.

Inside of every person is that innate desire to be wanted. Some may say it is to be loved while others say it is to be respected, but I have found that the greatest desire is simply to be wanted by someone else. This inherent desire was placed inside of us by our very own Creator, God Himself. In creating us, God placed this overwhelming desire to be wanted and to be desired by Him! This sounds so elementary and simple and maybe it is but I find that so many miss it. Even though many people seek for it in church and ‘churchy stuff’, just as happiness is not found in material things it is not found in religion or religious practices either. Many attempt to find it there and many claim to find it but in reality they don’t. Happiness is as easy as discovering AND living life from the vantage point that we are truly wanted by God Himself! God wants us, He loves us, AND He favors us! God really is crazy about us and He desires that we truly experience real happiness and experience it to the fullest! Happiness, that state of being content and fulfilled, comes only when we live life the way it was intended. Happiness is life lived to the fullest in God. Nothing! Absolutely nothing else will work!


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Thursday, November 17, 2011

For God's Sake, What's Wrong With Me?

Have you ever asked yourself that question before? I know I sure have many times. Like the time as a teenager when I got on the back of a Ninja motorcycle with a friend who liked to hit speeds of 130 mph. Or the time when I climbed 60 feet up Chimney Rock at Lake Martin just to jump off. There are numerous times that I have asked myself this question and wondered if there really was something wrong with me. I think we all do this at times. Even so, I find that I have asked that same question after doing something stupid, selfish, or just flat out sinful. The fact of the matter is that we all do this.

Having been a Christian for almost 30 years, I can still slip up and do a big piece of stupid. You know how it is when you do something dumb and you have to ask yourself that question; "What's wrong with me?". There have been times too in my faith walk that not only did I sin, but sinned big time and even enjoyed it for a season! (How many know that sin is fun and enjoyable for a while, but that does not make it right!) I remember early on in my faith that when I would lose my temper, throw a fit, and just do a big ole piece of stupid, I would ask myself, "What's wrong with me?. I mean I must not be a Christian for surely a Christian would not do that." I would feel bad about it and still wonder about my salvation. I must not be saved if I can get that mad and act that way, right? Then I would go to church and hear a message most likely confusing me even more. I would hear the preacher say something like; "Well, if you are a Christian you might sin, but if you stay in that sin then you just 'ain't' saved!" O boy! Here I'd go again feeling even more insecure and more confused about whether or not I was saved or not. I'd lie in bed at night thinking that I must not be saved and I would pray to God asking Him, begging Him to save me and to make me a Christian. After a long night of doing that I would wake up feeling much better and thinking 'I am NOW saved!' Phew! Much better. Then a few days, a week, or even a month might pass and it would happen again. I'd do a big ole piece of stupid AGAIN! I'd sin against God and against someone else and there I was asking that question all over again; "What's wrong with me?" Talk about frustration! I see this all the time and it is so unfortunate that it happens. I eventually got tired of this and simply went to God's Word for help. (Now there's an idea!)

My first stopping place I went to was the verse I had memorized when I had first trusted Christ. John 3:16! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." In basic terms, If I would only believe in Jesus, I would be saved. I remember praying after reading this. I said something like; "OK Lord, I believe this and by faith accept it as being true. Now Lord help me understand why that I, a born again, Jesus loving, Christian just keep messing up and sinning and at times sinning big?" He then led me to Romans 7. I found that the Apostle evidently had similar struggles! Booya! He did things he didn't want to do and didn't do things he knew he needed to do. Basically Paul said that even though he was a follower of Jesus, he still messed up and still did pieces of stupid. Talk about relief and comfort for me! We see this truth throughout Scripture. God's people have a tendency to 'still sin' and sin in big ways at times. Remember David? Samson? Peter? This doesn't mean we are not saved, it surely means though that Christians still have the propensity to sin and will sin and at times they will sin for extended periods of time. I am reminded of Jonah and also of Lot, whom God called righteous but lived in sin till they died. In 1 John 5:16 John makes reference to the 'sin unto death' affirming that a believer can actually live in sin till he dies and STILL be saved.

So, what am I saying? First of all I am NOT saying that sin is OK. Sin is WRONG and is never acceptable, but it is something we must deal with daily till we die. What's wrong with us then? The truth is; we are sinners saved by grace living in a fallen world with many enticements and temptations that the enemy uses to discourage, deter, and defeat us. There will be times of victory over them while there will also be times when we simply succumb and fall into sin. Even so, take courage! When you totally blow it, as I have done many times, get up, ask God for forgiveness, and press on! 1 John 1:9; We confess, He forgives! Now that's good stuff!

Now let's move forward in Jesus name!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

This is America! ... At Least For Now

(I wrote this as a Facebook comment, but decided to post as my blog.)

This is America, home of the Brave and land of the Free! This is America, not England, not Spain, not Mexico or Canada! This is America and we were birthed in pain, blood, and the lives of men and women seeking freedom from government control and tyranny. We wave the American Flag proudly. 911 reminded us that we are hated and despised as a nation and the enemy wants to destroy us and is bent on doing just that! Anything that deters, squelches, or hinders us from being America works in unison with those who want to destroy our country. Those who fight against the freedom to fly an American flag, pray, or bear arms strike at the heart of who we are. 911 proved that there are those who want us wiped off the face of the earth. 10 years later, it seems that most have forgotten. 

Maybe though it is deeper and more diabolical than we figured. Radical terrorists have not only infiltrated the USA, their ideology and their hatred has found sympathy with many. The enemy has snuck in and found sympathizers and has enlisted many who call themselves Americans all the while they hate the America that is free, that is strong, and that is the greatest nation in the world. Those Americans who hate America should leave! It is a sad day we live in when we have a president who bows to Arab leaders and apologizes for America being America. We are on a downward spiral and there are those right here in America, who call themselves Americans, who serve in our very own government as President and congress, etc. and those who pull their strings (George Soros, etc.) who are hell bent to bring America down and destroy that which we have truly enjoyed and held dear to our hearts - our freedom! 

Socialism is not freedom! Government Control is NOT FREEDOM!!! See, what is sad is that this country was formed as a REPUBLIC, NOT A DEMOCRACY! Republic is rule of law. A Democracy is majority rule. When the majority is conservative - conservatives rule. When the majority is liberal - liberals rule. Whatever is majority rules whether it be liberal, conservative, Islam, etc. If Radical Islam becomes majority, then they rule! They don't just worship Allah, but they make everyone else do the same and if you don't they KILL YOU!!!  

Radical Islam has been given a pass by many in this country because we need to be tolerant. Tolerant my hind parts! Tolerance says, if you want to worship Mickey Mouse, go ahead, just don't force that on me. There are those who are not only tolerant of Radical Islam but who cater to and give sympathy to. Don't dare mention Jesus or fly an American flag here in AMERICA but give preference to Muslims to build a Mosque on ground zero! We have crazy people making decisions now which will bring America down and I can't stand it! 

I can only say that the Bible is true! We are closer than we have ever thought! Spirit of Anti-christ is at work deluding the masses and clearing the way for The Anti-christ to come on the scene! People, I love this country and I am American through and through, red, white and blue, but this country is in the hands of the wrong people and those people are representative of a larger problem! There is something so much bigger at work here. 

I know I could be wrong (I doubt it though!), but I think that we are on the brink of something catastrophic! In one way, it is sad and it is scary, but in the other, it is exciting! The Bible talks about all of what we are seeing. In the last days, men will become lovers of self and haters of God! Think about it. How can so much hostility be against America and the American way of life by Radical Islam? They see us as a 'Christian' nation! I know we left that a long time ago, but they see us as such and they hate it because they hate JESUS CHRIST!!! 

I hold to the words Jesus said; "I shall return like a thief in the night!" Could it be that we are on the brink of the antichrist coming on the scene? Maybe? Maybe not! I am not looking for antichrist, but for Jesus Christ! Jesus Himself said He would come when least expected. I find that not many really expect Jesus to come any time soon. That is when He said it would be! Things are falling into place where the people of America and the world will become dependent upon government. Antichrist will make it where ALL must depend upon him or die. Thank God that Jesus said He would take His own out before The Antichrist comes on the scene! I'm ready! Are you? I love America! Will die for America and for the freedom we have, but it seems that we are so much closer to losing that freedom. I still hope that things turn around. I pray that they do! But, I know to that it may not happen. That's sad, but then as a follower of Jesus, I find it exciting as I anticipate the greatness of all He has in store for believers! Even so, come Lord Jesus! With all that is happening and all that is about to happen, good or bad, I quote an American hero of 911, Todd Beamer - "Let's Roll"!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two Kinds of Christians

(The Difference Between The Spiritual Man & The Carnal Man)

By Scott Myers

John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius have been dead for years, but they are still stirring up a hornet's nest today! Well, at least their teachings are. Since the days of these two theologians, there has been a constant debate (and much arguing) in regard to salvation and sin in the lives of Christians. Calvin at least contended rightly that salvation is by God's grace, and that there was nothing that could destroy the believer's relationship with the Lord. Once a person is saved, he is saved for all eternity! (The life one gets at faith in Jesus Christ is 'everlasting', i.e., 'never ending'!) Arminius believed that it was possible for a 'sinning' Christian to lose his salvation. WRONG! Calvin, on the other hand went to the extreme in teaching that a Christian is not accountable for his sins because they were all under the blood of Christ, and that it makes no difference how one lives. WRONG! Arminians, those who adhere to Arminius' teaching, damn Christians who sin to hell. WRONG! So ... it's easy to see how these two systems of theology have caused many Christians to ponder the question; 'Is there any difference between a God-fearing, Christ-honouring, Spirit-filled Christian and one who is carnally minded, worldly ambitious, and self-righteous?'

OK, let's move ahead to our day. There are those who have gone so far away from the Scripture as to contend that if an individual sins after faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is evidence that he has not 'really' been saved. Such contention is not true because 1 Cor. 3:12-15 says;

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

and Eph. 2:8-9 says;

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

There are many other similar passages that also teach conclusively that works do not enter into spiritual salvation and that it is possible for an individual to be spiritually saved and yet not have a single good work to his credit. (The thief on the cross for instance had no works at all. A person who trusts Jesus on their death bed also will have no good works!)

The Word of God teaches that there are two types of Christians. The Word of God also goes as far and reveals a three-fold classification of mankind: The unsaved, called the natural man, and the saved, which are divided into two groups - the spiritual and the carnal.



The natural man is spiritually dead and lives life apart from any influence from God. Since he is spiritually dead, he cannot hear God or accept the things of God. Whereas the spiritual man is a Christian who is following Jesus and living life by faith, the carnal man, a Christian as well, but like the natural man he too is dominated by his carnal/selfish desires and does not live by faith. The carnal man IS a Christian! This truth is unequivocally set forth in 1 Cor. 3:1-4.

"Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?"

We can look back into the Old Testament for a classic example: Abraham, representative of the spiritual Christian, and Lot, representing the carnal Christian. Were it not for the statement in 2 Pet. 2:7, 8 that says;

"and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds)."

we would not know by the life he lived that Lot was a saved man. He was spiritually saved, but all of his works were destroyed. (Based upon their systems of belief both Calvin and Arminian camps would have to say Lot was lost!)

One of the most poignant truths in the Word of God is that Christians must give an account unto the Lord for the deeds done in the flesh as a believer. This is a repulsive doctrine to many Christians and for many it has never even been heard of! While the gospel of the grace of God has been taught, the doctrine of rewards seems to have been hidden or at the least obscured. For instance, how many Christians believe that heaven is a reward? Many hold to this erroneous belief all the while the truth is that heaven is a gift given to those who place their faith in Jesus Christ. Still, God's truth must be proclaimed whether man receives it or not. 2 Cor. 5:10, shows us that ALL Christians must appear before the Lord to be 'judged' based not upon whether we were saved or not, but instead upon 'how' we lived life once we were saved.

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad."

OUCH!!! By much that is preached and taught today it seems that this verse must not 'really' exist in Scripture ... but it does!

By direct statement, parable, type and symbol, the Holy Spirit has set forth throughout the Word from Genesis to Revelation the truth that faithful Christians will be rewarded and unfaithful Christians shall suffer loss. For instance, consider briefly the parable in Luke 19:11-27. Here our Lord shows that in the days of His absence His business has been committed into the hands of His servants. When He returns, the servants shall be called before Him to give an account of their faithfulness. In the parable one is given authority over ten cities, another is given authority over five cities, while the unfaithful one has no authority whatsoever; however, the fact remains that this unfaithful servant is a servant of the Lord and his spiritual salvation is secure, though there is no reward; no place of reigning/rulership which would give him honour and glory

Look at David. From David's experience in the wilderness reveals that many of the men associated with him, because of their faithfulness to him in his exile, were given places of honour when he established his kingdom. Many others, because of their unfaithfulness, though still in his kingdom, had no place of authority/rulership.

Notice 2 Tim. 2:12;

"If we endure, we will also reign with Him;

If we deny Him, He also will deny us..."

and Matt 20: 20-23.

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She *said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They *said to Him, “We are able.” He *said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”

You will note in these verses that the position in the Kingdom is up to the Father and it is on the basis of works. Many unfortunately take what Paul is writing to Timothy is about is salvation. He's not! Paul is dealing with believers and rewards!

Truth: Spiritual Salvation is by grace, and rewards are given on the basis of works. There will be a time, the coming thousand-year reign of Christ, in which rewards to the faithful Christian will be manifest as well as loss to the unfaithful Christian.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Ministry of Darkness ~ Part 2

We've looked at the ministry of darkness and how there will be times in our lives when we are walking with Jesus, trusting Him, actively worshipping and loving Him with all of our hearts when all of a sudden without any warning the lights go out. This spiritual eclipse takes place and darkness surrounds us and overtakes us. God has removed light from our life and we wonder what is going on.

God has a purpose.
Have you ever gotten serious with God, your prayers began to get answered, you hear the voice of God clearly, and it seems all is well in the world? Intimacy with God is wonderful, your zeal for God is growing, and you sense Him like never before? You have that feeling of 'Yea, THIS is so cool'! Then one day you wake up and darkness surrounds you and dryness and emptiness is all you can feel. You don't see God, you don't hear God, and for some weird reason there is this tidal wave of doubt in that if for a moment or two you are not even sure God is even real. Been there and done that! If we are honest, we all have doubted. It is simply par for the course in the life of fallen man who has trusted Christ. It just happens. Not because we are not really saved or we have lost salvation, but because we are flawed and messed up. Even though we are saved, we still possess the 'sin gene'. Not only do we have the propensity to sin, we are going to sin and at times struggle in our very own faith in God. Just because I am saved does not assure that I will be exempt from struggles in matters of faith. I believe the opposite. I will struggle in the area of faith because I am saved. Face it, it's just not normal to trust someone we have never seen. We will go through things and be faced with situations and decisions that will test us and challenge us and it will be in some of these times that we will doubt, even doubt that God exists. Jesus never said it was going to be easy! As a matter of fact, nowhere in Scripture do we find that it will be easy. On the contrary Scripture proves it over and over that it’s going to be hard and difficult and at times overwhelming, especially when we experience dark dry spells.

NOTICE DANIEL – In Daniel 10:8 we can see that Daniel was exhausted! He hit the wall! He had no strength left in him. Daniel was God’s man, a man of strength, a man of spiritual power and stamina. Not long after he had seen great visions from God he experienced a spiritual eclipse! Daniel found himself physically and emotionally exhausted! Ever been there? Verse 9 says that Daniel was so physically weak that he passed out. I’m convinced that many Christians are tired and exhausted because they are just too busy, yes too busy doing church stuff, going through man-made motions, and doing 'busy' stuff that they don’t have time for God. This wasn’t the case with Daniel, no indeed! Daniel was exhausted for He had been with God! He had spent time not in a deacon's meeting, not in a business meeting, not in a Sunday School class; he spent with God! I must wonder, who of us today have exhausted himself in fellowship with the Living God? Have we ever? Hmmm...

REMEMBER DAVID? – David, a man after God’s own heart. Killed Goliath when he was only a teenager! He later became a mighty warrior for God and ultimately the king of God’s people. Went from mountain top experiences with God to another! Experiencing victory after victory, blessing after blessing. Anointed with God’s power and authority to overcome and defeat all enemies and enjoy fellowship with God Himself and yet experienced times when he penned the words “My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I have no rest.” My God can't we feel David's emptiness? His despair? His helplessness? It is obvious from just this one verse found in the Psalms that David experienced soul darkness! He felt as if God had abandoned him, had left him all alone and hopeless. Wow! God's great and mighty warrior, God's man, His #1 man went down! I think because we are so familiar with this story that we strip it of much of its meaning. David was broken and greatly depressed here. Here is this warrior who had stood up to a Philistine army, killed thousands, and commanded the strongest army in the world crying to God. Wow! I know that sure makes me feel better right off. His pleading was; "WHERE ARE YOU LORD? HEY! REMEMBER ME???" David couldn't find God anywhere! Darkness had surrounded him! He found himself in a dark pit looking for God!

HOW ABOUT JESUS ? Remember the darkness He experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane? In His darkest hour on the cross Jesus Christ Himself cried out to the Father the exact words David voiced; "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" Talk about make you think! Jesus, the Son of God, God in the flesh, experiencing soul darkness! Wow!

(I have to say it's when I read these stories that wonder about those Christians who seem to always have it together and never have such problems. I really wonder!)

But still I ask why? Many ask WHY??? Why must we experience soul darkness? Is there a purpose or something? You bet there is! Notice ...

ENGLISH PREACHER T. AUSTIN SPARKS experienced soul darkness after mountain top experiences with God. He said; “in order to go on to further stages of truth to further revelation, something has to happen to us. We go through new experiences of death, desolation, emptiness, hopelessness, in order to come into something further on and deeper in divine revelation. We thought we had come into the fullness of God’s thoughts. We thought we were really growing, seeing. Then everything is as though it is nothing… “My experience is that it is through such a history with God – a history of repeated desolation and emptiness, after wonderful unveilings and revelations – you are brought up out of that dry place again into something further on, greater revelations. And your vision is enlarged…”

Fellow Saints (Sinners who have been saved!) LISTEN UP AND LISTEN CLOSELY! IF you are seeking to follow the living God, I mean you are in this thing for the long haul, you WILL experience soul darkness! You WILL have dry spells! You WILL struggle in painful ways! Let me be clear ... SOUL DARKNESS is part of the journey! You’re not losing ground in these times! It's part of the Lord’s plan. Just press on and KNOW BY FAITH that God is with you! Keep on keepin' on and you will move toward higher ground, experience greater victories, and receive new revelation from God! Hang on brothers! Hang on sisters! God is preparing you for something GREATER! BIGGER! GRANDER!

Remember! IN the darkness, God IS WITH YOU! After Daniels time of darkness it says in Daniel 10:18; "Then this one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me". There is a promise in this. Afterwards GOD WILL TOUCH YOU! We don't know how long the darkness is going to last, but once it has completed what God wants it to accomplish God will touch you!

SO ... Hang tough!!! Stay faithful! Don’t lose heart! STAY WITH GOD!

In the words of Paul in Galatians 6:9; Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Don't give in, give up, or give out!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Ministry of Darkness Part 1

By Scott Myers

Has there ever been a time in your life when you just felt darkness. I mean you're praying, you're living for God, you're trusting Him, you're giving of yourself to Him, you're worshipping Him, yet in all of that it’s like the lights are out. Please understand that I’m not talking about times in our lives when we do a piece of stupid and embrace sin. I’m talking about when you’re doing everything right. You’re walking by faith and from all you can tell, you’re right with God, yet it’s like a spiritual eclipse has taken place in your life. The light has gone and vast darkness has overcome you. Ever been there? I have! It’s like being in a pit. Well that’s what Isaiah is talking about in Isaiah 50:10-11.

"Who is among you that fears the LORD,

That obeys the voice of His servant,

That walks in darkness and has no light?

Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.

Behold, all you who kindle a fire,

Who encircle yourselves with firebrands,

Walk in the light of your fire

And among the brands you have set ablaze.

This you will have from My hand:

You will lie down in torment."

This text seems to give us the picture of a believer going through the inevitable – soul darkness. For many of us it’s unexpected, and for most of us, we just don’t know how to handle it. When the lights go out in our spiritual walk we need to know what to do. Darkness is simply the absence of light!

When the lights go out on this lonely road of faith, I have 3 suggestions.

SUGGESTION #1 - Keep On Walking!

The logical thing to do when the lights go out in the physical realm is to stop!

To stop whatever it is we are doing until we can get the lights back on. Well, in the spiritual realm this is not the right thing to do. If you are a believer, you are a spiritual being. Keep in mind that our emotional needs, our mental needs, and our physical needs all are spiritual needs! So then, what are you to do when darkness falls upon you? When light is withdrawn from your life? First of all, keep walking!!! Keep walking the walk of faith! Keep living for God! Keep doing that which you know is right! It’s so important that we not forsake our faith just because darkness befalls us. You see as a follower of JC we are on a grand journey and the basic need for this journey is 'faith'! It's trust! It's trusting God EVEN in darkness. The lonely road of faith we are called to walk on by God actually implies we walk on in faith in spite of the darkness that surrounds us! We are to keep praying, keep trusting, keep seeking and keep living for Jesus! We must keep the faith and just press on moving forward step by step in faith! Don’t stop! Don’t quit!

SUGGESTION #2 - Do NOT Create Your Own Light!

Secondly, when the lights go out DON’T LIGHT YOUR OWN FIRE!!!

Our natural desire will be to create some light ourselves that will substitute for the light of God. Remember, Remember, Remember, God’s light has been withdrawn. For whatever reason, God has done this! He has withdrawn His light and we should never, never, never attempt to replace it with our own light! Very big mistake if we do! Unfortunately many of us here try to do this. We try to light our own fire to take the place of the light God has taken away. Many reason we shouldn’t light our own fire!

Soul Darkness is Ordained of God!

Darkness is the absence of light; therefore, if there is a darkness that has come upon your life as you walk with Jesus, it is simply because God has withdrawn that light for a purpose. To make any man-made light will be to frustrate the purpose of God in your life and actually thwart whatever it is God is seeking to do in your heart. Think about this. Do you realize that night time is just as much a part of the day as the light is? God created the light and He also created the night! Just like darkness of night has a purpose, there is a purpose for soul darkness! I find it so remarkable that there are some things that you just can’t see except in the darkness! The moon, the stars! Meteor showers! Great lightning shows.! Passing comets! Only when it is dark can you see these beautiful creations of God! Soul Darkness is ordained of God and there is always a purpose for it. I believe that it’s during these times God wants us to see truths about ourselves and also truths about Himself in big ways, like a comet flying in the night sky! Maybe He wants us to see our faith and how strong it really is, or how it’s not, or maybe how faithful He is. Maybe He wants us to see something about ourselves that we can’t see when the light shines brightly!

Another reason we should not light our own fire;

Man-made light is Defective & Dangerous!

Abraham tried to make his own light and Ishmael was born. We are still paying for that attempt! Simon Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane attempted to light his own light and cut off Malchus’ ear. Our attempt to make light is a sure defeat, a mistake, a failure on all levels! Whether it’s church or just life, when we attempt to do it on our own, we mess up and we miss God! Our man-made attempts to fulfill the purpose of God are defective and dangerous and will never get it done!

SUGGESTION #3 - Lean On Jesus!

The passage said 'let him trust the Lord and lean on His God'! This isn’t a deep concept, but it really is a powerful one to say the least! Lean on Jesus! I do not mean to be simple, but it really is that simple. Trust He’s there; believe He's there with you and lean on Him! You see, God sends the darkness in our lives so that we might discover that even though the light is good, there is something even better than the light – Jesus! Even though the light may be gone from your life, God isn't! Jesus is always there! He’s always right there with you! Just reach out and take hold of Him! EVEN when you don't feel Him!

Soul Darkness will come at times in our lives and it's so important that we understand that it's during these times that there is something very important God wants to teach us. Or just maybe He wants us to enjoy Him instead of the light.