Sunday, July 12, 2020

Four things to Guard Against and Three Things to Do During Global Troubles


There are four things we need to guard against during times of global troubles.

1. Complacency
In this condition, we are unaware of what's going on around us. We have our head in the sand and are naive. The solution is to wake up.

2. Anxiousness
Once we wake up, we will see the condition of our world and there is a tendency to fear and be anxious. The solution is to trust in the Lord. Repent where we need to, and get our heart, mind, and life in line with Him.

3. Viciousness
Once we get our faith in the Lord right, we see that other people's behavior still affects us. There are consequences to what others are doing. We may want to attack them as a way to get them to stop. The solution is to pray to the Lord, and intercede for the others. Direct your energy into boldness to speak the truth, and to speak it in love.

4. Arrogance
The wicked will reap the consequences of their actions. When they do, there may be a tendency for us to snicker at that--or to all out laugh at them or mock them. This is not God's way. The solution is to humble ourselves and have mercy. 

Remember that there are wicked people who intentionally do evil things, but there are also those who do wicked things because they are deceived. They may not intentionally be trying to hurt God, or His people, but they are deceived. The strong delusion Paul spoke of to the Thessalonians is sent to those who don't love the truth and take pleasure in wickedness. Love of the truth is the answer, along with not taking pleasure in those things which are wicked.

We ourselves need to always make sure we embrace and seek truth. Proverbs tells us to buy the truth and not sell it. Truth costs something. It may cost us repentance or admission of wrong. 

During global troubles, it rains on both the just and unjust. The godly and the wicked live on the same planet and what one does affects the other to varying degrees. The Bible tells us of three things--Faith, Hope and Love. Our own lives, and the lives of those around us, can be affected by these three things.

Hope---After we awake in a state of anxiousness, we receive hope and speak words of hope to others.
Faith—We replace our anxiousness with faith and trust in the Lord so we will not attack others, but intercede, and boldly speak the truth.
Love—We are not arrogant and laugh at the calamity of others, but are merciful and humble.


2 Thessalonians 2
Proverbs 23:23
Matthew 5:45
1 Corinthians 13:13

Saturday, July 11, 2020

The Third Thing

4: One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church.
5: Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. 1 Corinthians 14:4-5
In the church, we pray with our understanding so we, as a people group, are edified and built up. We speak in the common language so we can gain knowledge, learn, and bring our thoughts into line with the Lord’s.

We can pray in other tongues when we are gathered with other believers, and we ourselves will be edified, but the church will not be unless we interpret--or put into the common language--what we are saying. What this tells us, is that if people don’t understand with their mind what they are hearing from the realm of the spirit, it won't build up the group into what the Lord desires it to be. It is as “speaking into the air.” 

Language has meaning. It’s purpose is to bring understanding to the mind. This understanding enables the group to see their purpose which will cause them to think in line with that purpose, and then act accordingly.
6: But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching?
7: Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp?
8: For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle?
9: So also you, unless you utter by the tongue speech that is clear, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air.
10: There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning.
11: If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me.
12: So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:6-12
When we gather, each of us has something to offer, and we should seek to give from the spiritual gifts we have, that which will edify the others.
26: What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 1 Corinthians 14:26
When the church comes together, they become something corporately that is separate from who we are individually. The church is edified when we come together with the purpose of speaking intelligently to gain understanding and knowledge of the ways of the Lord. But what occurs is not just for the personal benefit of each one of us. It's not just you and me--a third thing happens. A corporate identity is birthed, and this corporate entity becomes built up into what the Lord desires it to be. The third thing is what the Lord is creating and birthing--the thing that He wants the corporate group to do/be.

There is power when people speak and understand each other. We see this at the Tower of Babel. The  Lord divided the language of the people because they were intending to build something as a group that was against His desires. They had the power to do it because of their common language. He scattered them because what they were intending wasn’t right. Common language enables building--the building and birthing of something new--the third thing.

The Holy Spirit is given to us to be our teacher, He gives us insight and understanding into the Word of the Lord.
26: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. John 14:26
He teaches and reminds us of all that Jesus has said. When we come together with the goal of gaining a corporate understanding of what the Lord is saying, we will be able to build the church into what He desires it to be. Let's keep that in mind when we gather, and use the individual gifts each one of us have towards that purpose. We need more discussion, not lecture, so every part of the body is able to give the piece they have to share in building what the Lord is doing.




Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Professors, Petitioners, and Protesters



When an American feels he has been unjustly treated by the government, there are certain avenues in place to address it. It is a blessing that America has these things in place, not all countries do such as communist countries. However, it’s the responsibility of every American to become, what I call, a “professor” of the American Way. This being a person who has studied American government and civics, educating themselves on how America works.

Without knowing the ways of America, a person will not accurately understand whether or not the government is mistreating him. Or, if they do know they’re being mistreated, without understanding how America works, they won’t know the avenues in place to properly address it. (On a side note, in America, if a person feels they’ve been wronged by another person, there are civil courts to handle disputes between citizens. That is a separate topic not covered here).

There are three types of people, or you could say three behaviors, I want to point out in this article.

Professors of Principles

As I stated above, every American should be a “professor” of the American way—knowledgeable in the ways of our government and citizenship. Professors are first students themselves. They study the constitution, our founding documents, and the Bible. The Bible is one of our founding documents and it is where our founding fathers got the idea of all men being created equal with certain “inalienable rights.” America’s form of government is based on the biblical concept that certain rights have been given to all people by their Creator and no other man or government can take these rights away.

All citizens need to become professors, not just when they feel they’ve been mistreated. If we don’t, we won’t know when or if our rights are violated. Laws may be passed that take away our rights and we are not aware. Or we may accuse our government of not doing enough for us, when in reality, a limited government is necessary to keep the people free. These misunderstandings can lead to the deterioration of our freedoms and our country itself. It’s vital for all Americans to be students of the founding documents—especially the constitution and the Bible.

A professor of principles will study America’s founding documents to be sure he has a clear and proper understanding of them, including the Bible. This is where the core basis of truth is established. These documents are the legal authority which grant American citizens their way of living. Any legal or military action needs to be based on the authority of these documents. These documents state that Americans have the freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The government exists to protect those freedoms. The government doesn’t grant freedoms. Since professors have gained understanding of America themselves, not only can they act accordingly in their own lives, but they are able to explain, or teach the American way to others.

A professor who feels he has been unjustly treated by the government—for example unjustly charged with a crime, or becoming aware of a law that appears to be unconstitutional—after knowing what his rights are, follows the next step—petition.

Petitioners in Prayer
A true petitioner of the American way will first have become a professor and studied the founding documents. If he believes there should be an adjustment or change he petitions for it. For example, if he was given a ticket or charged with a crime that he believes is not just or in line with the law of the land, he petitions it by going to court. This is in response to a governmental action against him. It could also involve contacting his legislatures when he’s discovered a law or practice that violates his rights. Or voting for or against candidates based on how closely the adhere (or don’t adhere) to the constitution.

It’s the responsibility of every American citizen to inform themselves of candidates running for office, to vote, to pay attention to what their representatives are doing, and hold them accountable when necessary.

A petitioner in prayer will approach the throne of God to ask for his/her request to be granted by the Lord. Go to the Lord to present your case, be open for instruction and a more accurate understanding of what is true and right concerning your request. Be humble and admit you’re wrong if that’s the case.

If petitioning hasn’t resolved the situation, and you are confident your request is right, then the next step is protest.

Protesters with Prophetic Proclamations

A true protester of the American way will first have been a professor who has a proper understanding of the founding documents, he will have some sort of action against him he is responding to, or discovery of something wrong, and has taken the route of petitioner and not gotten a favorable response. He protests to bring awareness of what has happened.

Once again, you need to make sure your protest is based on the core foundation of founding documents.

When protesters express themselves verbally, those who hear need to be professors themselves, so they can properly judge whether or not the protester is accurate in his accusations. This is vital, otherwise people can respond sympathetically or emotionally and give support to a cause that is unconstitutional and/or unbiblical. By knowing the founding documents yourself, you can make an informed decision as to whether the protester has a valid point.

The enemies of America have used protests against us. They know many people don’t know the constitution and will side with protesters out of sympathy. They want to change America, not enforce her greatness. They’re not protecting people’s rights, they’re actually trying to destroy America and the freedom of the people. They’re preaching another ‘gospel.’

Violent protests which violate the constitution are nothing more than an invasion of America and the American way. Once again, its important for all legitimate protesters to first be professors so they are working to keep America in line with her founding documents through their protest, not steering her into socialism, communism or some other ‘ism that oppresses the people.

If the government really is tyrannical the people have the right to bear arms and fight the tyranny. But there are those who are using protests or other types of chaos to try and make it appear that the government needs to step in to keep peace, make life safe or healthy, or whatever the case may be. Their goal is to give the government more power, reducing America’s freedoms in the process. As they protest for more laws to make things more “fair” or “safe” they are actually taking away freedom and safety by creating a monstrous government.

A protester with prophetic proclamations is one who will also, after having received the knowledge of the Word of God through study, and the heart of God through prayer and petitioning, will take what the Lord has revealed and prophetically proclaim it. This addresses the spiritual opposition, as well as bringing a prophetic word of God into a situation.

As a Christian American, it really is your duty to:
  • Educate yourself both in the Word of God and in America’s law of the land.
  • Address the areas that are out of line through legal means, voting, discussion, petitioning, as well as going to the Lord in prayer. 
  • Protest only to keep America in line with her founding documents, particularly the constitution and the Bible. Be careful not to support the protests of others who are out of line with these things. Proclaim and declare what the Lord has solidly spoken.

An excellent resource is The Founder’s Bible by David Barton--check it out here.


Monday, June 8, 2020

The Endless Stream



Joel was sitting at his computer looking for a new game to play. He had heard of one that sounded really fun but couldn’t remember the name of it. Something about a stream, or was it a river? The final stream maybe? He did a search on all those words and couldn’t find what he was looking for. Then he saw a link to “The Endless Stream.”

“That’s it!” he cried out as he clicked on the link. “I think…” he said doubtfully when it turned out not to be a game at all, but a story. He started to read…

Peter jumped in his dad’s old rowboat. And I do mean old. The faded blue paint was peeled in several places, and rust forming in its place. Peter hoped it would hold up. He was on a mission. They lived on a stream. It was a large stream, big enough for him to take the boat out onto. He and his dad often went out fishing on the stream.

Peter had heard that the stream ended at some point and he was on a mission to find the end of the stream. As many times as he went out on the stream, he never saw the end of it. Today was the day, he decided. So he dragged the old boat onto the water, put in the oars, a bag of chips and bottle of soda pop and off he went—downstream. Upstream, where he and his dad usually went, would be too much work.

He was excited about his adventure and rowed enthusiastically at first. But it didn’t take long and he stopped rowing to rest. He floated for a bit with the current and then slowed almost completely to a stop.

“This is hard work.” He said out loud as he opened his bag of chips. Just then a canoe came by with two people in it. They were moving pretty quick.

As they approached him they called out, “Did you see the apple tree back there?”

“No.” Peter yelled back. He had been so busy rowing he didn’t notice anything that was on the shore he passed.

“They’re really good!” They yelled as they passed him by.

Peter thought about going back to find them as he realized the chips wouldn’t last him very long but decided that would be too much work. He started rowing again, trying to remember to glance at the shore every so often to see what might be there. But soon he was just staring downstream looking for the end. Sometimes the stream would curve, and it looked like it ended, but when he rowed closer he saw it continued around the curve. By late afternoon he had finished his chips and soda pop and was really tired.

“How far can it be?” He asked out loud.

Then came a motorboat. “A motorboat!” He thought. “A boat with a motor!” He stopped rowing and admired the ease at which the boat quickly moved through the water.

“Where’d you get the motor?” Peter yelled out to them.

The man stopped and looked over Peter’s boat.

“Where you heading?” He asked, without answering Peter’s question.

“To the end. I want to find the end of the stream.” Peter answered.

“The end huh?” The man asked while rubbing his chin.

“So, where do you get a motor?” Peter asked again.

“Well son.” The man answered. “You need to stop sometimes. Learn how to build a good boat. Find those who make motors. People who can help you.”

“That sounds like a lot of work, and like it takes a long time.” Peter answered.

“Are you in a hurry?” The man asked.

“Well…” Peter answered. “I guess. My chips and soda are all gone and its starting to get dark.”

The man nodded. “Mmm hmm.” He said. “Well, there’s a spring just down the way a bit. Keep a close eye out for it and you can fill up your soda bottle with water. Then be sure to keep an eye out for fruit growing along the shore. You can find apples and berries all along in here.”

“O.K. Thanks.” Peter answered. Wondering if the man could just give him some food and water. But he was too afraid to ask.

“And listen.” The man continued. “Sometimes you need to stop and rest. You need to get off the stream and explore. Live life. You understand?”

Peter nodded.

“You want a nice boat? That’s what you’ll need to do.” He said.

“O.K.” Peter answered, wondering if that was really necessary.

The man left and Peter rowed with his eyes on the shore until he found the spring. He was happy when he found it. He wished he had more than one soda bottle to fill up, but he took a long drink from the spring and then filled the bottle up.

He rowed until well past dark. He was tired and stopped next to the shore. He decided to sleep for a bit and got off his seat and onto the floor of the boat. It was hard and uncomfortable, and Peter wished he had a pillow and blanket. His boat kept floating away too so he pulled down a small branch from the tree on the shore next to them and held onto it while he laid down.

Before long he heard some laughing and yelling and peeked up over the edge of the boat. There was a boat full of weird looking people. Pirates? He wondered. No, not on a stream. Right? Whoever they were they gave Peter the creeps and he stayed low in his boat hoping they wouldn’t see him. It seemed to take forever, but they finally passed by. Why are they going so slow? He wondered. He never knew there were such strange people on this stream at night.

Peter slept poorly. His hand was tired from holding the branch to keep them from drifting away. He was happy when the sun came up. Happy, but hungry. He was anxious to continue down the stream but first looked around for something to eat from the shore. He couldn’t find anything, so he started rowing while his stomach was still growling. He had every intention of watching the shore for apples or berries, but soon his mind wandered and his thoughts drifted back towards the end of the stream. By mid-morning his hunger pangs were quite distracting and he realized suddenly that he had not been watching the shore.

Just then, another motorboat came by.

“Have you seen any apples?” Peter asked.

“You just missed them a little ways back” The woman answered.

Peter looked down sadly and she stopped her boat.

“You know.” She said. “There are a lot of things on the shore that might help you on your journey.”

Peter looked up at her, thinking she sounded just like the man in the other boat. 

She continued, “Following the stream isn’t everything you know. Why don’t you go back upstream just a bit and get some apples? There’s a woman there making some apple fritters too.” She said with a smile.

Peter thought that sounded wonderful but also that it was too much work to row upstream. She must have read his mind because she said, “You know, we see a lot of young people like you in this stream. They get so caught up in the stream that they don’t know what they’re passing by. They’re looking for something they can’t ever find. The stream never really ends. Or if it does, its in a lonely place. Its meant to be used to help you build your life on the shore, with your loved ones.”

Peter looked up at her. She looked very nice and very happy, but he wasn’t sure what he thought about what she was saying.

“What I’m saying is, if you just follow the flow of the stream, eventually it takes you to a lonely place. Away from your shore.”

Peter didn’t answer. As she sped away, he admired her boats ability to go quickly, and how well she could steer. “She could even drop anchor if she wanted.” He thought, thinking of his sore hand. But Peter didn’t go back to get the apples and by mid-afternoon he rowed towards the shore and pulled out seaweed from the bottom of the stream. He ate the seaweed and didn’t like it.

Peter continued to follow the stream, but he started paying more attention to the shore watching for apples, berries, and springs of water. At night, he laid low trying to avoid the weird people who came out. After several days of this, he stopped and got out at a place where he saw a man making boats. It felt good to stretch his legs and he realized he had hardly gotten out except to use one of the outhouses along the way.

“What you looking for?” the man asked Peter, glancing up from painting a boat.

“I was looking for the end of the stream.” Peter answered.

The man stopped painting and looked more closely at Peter. “How’s the search going?” He asked.

“Well. One person said I needed to get out on the shore sometimes and another woman said the stream doesn’t really end, except in a lonely place. So, I haven’t found it yet.”

“You know.” He said. “This stream here is very useful. We use it for fishing, for traveling, for swimming, and just plain enjoyment. It’s pretty to look at. But when you never get out of it then it becomes more of a curse than a blessing. It can consume you—rob you of all your time, your people, and your energy.”

Peter nodded. He started to understand now. The stream was useful, and fun. It helps people with their purpose. But the stream itself isn’t the purpose. He couldn’t live in the stream forever.

“What are  you going to do?” The man asked.

“I never meant to run away.” Peter answered. “But that’s what I’ve done.” He started to cry then quickly wiped his tears. “I’m going to go back. Upstream. But I’ve got a long, hard way to go.”

The man smiled and said, “Well, I’ve got just the thing for you.” He stood up and motioned for Peter to follow him. They went into a barn and he picked up a motor. “This motor works for those who’ve made the decision you just made. Use it to go back upstream, back home to your family and find your shore there.”

Peter’s eyes got wide. Yet he wondered why the man would trust him to use the motor to go home. What if he tried to take it down stream?

“I’ll only use it to go upstream.” Peter said, feeling the need to reassure the man in case he was wondering. “I’m done looking for the end of the stream. If it never ends, I’ll never find it anyway and I’ll waste all my time. If it does end, but in a lonely place, well...”

“That’s the right choice son.” The man said with a smile. “Let me show you something.” He walked away and Peter followed. They walked along the shore of the stream and stopped a little ways down. The stream ran into a lake.

“Is this the end?” Peter asked.

“No, not really. It never really ends. It empties into the lake here but picks up again over there.” He pointed to a place far across the lake. “The lady told you right son. It doesn’t end. The streams keep going and if you don’t pay attention, they’ll take you farther away from your own shore—the place where you build your life.”

Peter didn’t know what to say. He was glad he made the decision to go back. This stream is nice to explore, but not something to follow endlessly.

“Thanks.” Peter said, staring across the lake, thinking how wrong it felt to go any further.

The man mounted the motor onto Peter’s boat and gave him enough gas to get home. He showed him how to use it and how to steer.

As Peter traveled quickly upstream, he watched the shoreline and saw all he had missed when he passed by before. The people living life, enjoying each other, talking, playing games, the beautiful houses, gardens, squirrels and birds. It was full of life. But with his head down and his eyes and thoughts focused on the stream, he missed it all before.

Before he knew it, he was back home. His dad was waiting, very happy to see him. When he saw the motor he said, “You made a difficult decision didn’t you?”

“Yes dad, and…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to run off like that for so long. It’s just… I thought… I thought I would find the end of the stream and that the end was someplace that would make me feel good. Like I finished something. Like I found something. The end. But it didn’t end. It keeps going. Some people tried to tell me. And there were weird people out at night. I didn’t eat right. I didn’t do anything except row, row, row, in the stream.” Peter was rambling but he didn’t care. He had to get it all out and his dad was listening intently.

“The boat man helped me. He gave me this motor…” Peter turned back to look at the new motor on the boat but it was gone. He looked at his dad and then back at the boat. There was no motor.

“You learned an important lesson Peter.” He said. “That motor is in you now. Once you’re willing to make the tough decision to get off the stream and back onto the shore of your life, you’ve gained new strength. Come on, we’ve all been waiting for you.”

Peter walked up to their house with his dad, knowing that this is the end of the stream for him. Or really, the beginning. This is where he belongs and where he can begin to build his purpose.

Joel finished reading the story which touched him deep inside. He no longer wanted to find that game. He wanted to find his shore. He climbed out of the boat and walked away.




Friday, April 24, 2020

The Olympic Christian

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
We're told to run the race set before us with endurance, fixing our eyes on Jesus--our example. We're told to run with winning in mind. We don't run aimlessly, but we discipline our bodies, making it our slave. In other words, we train like we were training for the Olympics.

If your goal was to try out for the Olympics, and not only make the team but win the gold medal, you would train intensely. You would spend hours a day. If you were studying for your doctorate degree, you would put much time into your studies, research, writing etc. In the same way, if you want to be an Olympic Christian--one who wins the prize in the race set in front of you to run, then you must train for it. You must prepare for it. It won't just fall in your lap.

So how do you train for it? Time and energy. Thought and attentiveness. Planning your life around it. In other words, make time every day for studying the Word of God and spending time in prayer. Go above and beyond.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15.
Study. Study to show yourself approved. It's not enough to read the Bible. Let me say that again. It's not enough to read the Bible. You need to study it. Study as if you were writing a thesis. Be diligent in this. Be disciplined in this. Like a doctoral candidate. Like an Olympic athlete.

I'm not saying to simply memorize the book order and be able to eloquently quote a multitude of Scripture. But study so you understand the thoughts and concepts that are written. Study to understand the message God is saying through the Scriptures.
And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” Matthew 13:23
Give diligence to understand the Word of God. Discipline yourself to inherit the imperishable prize. Train yourself daily, throughout the day. Day and night, so you are diligent to live according to the truth of it.
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1:8
Shall not depart from your mouth means that its constantly in your mouth. It never leaves. It doesn't mean you don't speak it, but that you don't stop speaking it. Meditate on the Word of God. Speak it out loud. Ponder its meaning. Discuss it with the Lord. Don't just read it, put thought into it so you are sure you accurately understand. Ask questions. Why this, not that? What it the context, the setting, the history? Do all this and become the Olympic Christian you are called to be!






Sunday, April 12, 2020

Job and the Whirlwind


Job was a blameless and upright man. He was very wealthy, and helpful to the poor and needy. He sat in the gates and instructed others. He had the final word on matters, almost like a king. 

One day, Satan came before the Lord and the Lord bragged on Job.

“Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” Job 1:8
Satan responded by saying that the only reason Job was faithful to the Lord is because He was protecting him. He said if God touched what he had he would curse Him to His face. So the Lord gave Job's possessions over to Satan, but told him not to touch Job himself.

Job suffered complete economic devastation, as well as the lives of his children. Yet he did not sin or blame God. "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there" he said. Job 1:21.

One day Satan came back to the Lord and the Lord again bragged on Job.
“Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.” Job 2:3
This time Satan said if He were to touch his flesh, he would curse Him to His face. So The Lord gave Satan permission, but said to spare his life. Job broke out in very painful boils all over his body. His wife told him to curse God and die but Job remained faithful saying, "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" Job 2:10.

So we see Job as a wealthy, well-respected, upright man. God sees and is pleased. Satan accuses him of weak integrity that won't hold up under pressure. The Lord gives permission to Satan to test him, yet within boundaries. Job's grief is great, he wishes for death, while maintaining he's done nothing wrong. He says God has done this to him and he doesn't know why. He says his righteousness didn't keep him safe, and that if he could argue his case before God, he'd be vindicated.

Job's three friends came to comfort him, however they zeroed in on saying he must have sinned, and that God did this to him to get him to repent. Job insisted he had not sinned, that God is doing what He wants, but if he could just argue his case before God he would be restored. Job says his friends should comfort him, pity him, strengthen him, but instead they accuse him of sin and wickedness. His friends continue to say he must have sinned and he should repent and God will deliver him. Job 3-31

The discussion goes on for most of the book of Job. The young one, Elihu, spoke after Job and his friends stopped talking. He said that Job's friends really haven't answered Job, yet they condemned him. Then he rebuked Job saying he should listen to God's chastening and repent. He asks why he should expect God to tell him what He's doing. His case is before God and he must wait. Just because God hasn't come in anger, he says, Job continues to talk and multiplies words without knowledge. He says Job should consider the majesty of God and consider his own ways. Job 32-37.

Then the Lord came in a whirlwind and spoke to Job, humbling him. He spoke of creation and all that He did to form it, including what He does to maintain it. He asks Job if he can do all that. Job repents. Job 38-41.
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6
It was one thing for Job to hear of God, but another thing to see Him with his own eyes. Seeing Him speak from the whirlwind was enough to cause Job to humble himself before the Lord. We need the whirlwind of God to come speak to us! We need to see Him and not just hear of Him.

The Lord told the three friends that they didn't speak right of God, as Job did. He told them they needed to offer a sacrifice and Job would pray for them so they wouldn't suffer God's wrath. When Job prayed for them, his fortune was restored twofold and his friends didn't suffer the wrath of God. Job ended up with twice as much as he had before and lived another 140 years.

Why did God allow Satan to do this?
At least for two reasons. One, is that an accusation was made. Job was accused of being weak in integrity. Satan said the reason it wasn't evident is because God was protecting him. When an accusation is made, God replies. Just like in a court case, an accusation is answered with evidence. God presented evidence that Job really was an upright man. God doesn't hide from the enemy. He even brought Job to Satan's attention. He is light. He is truth. He is not afraid of Satan in any way. Not even for us.

The other thing is, that testing comes not just to prove our faithfulness, but also to strengthen us and perfect us in the areas we're weak in. Job had flaws. He didn't have a concept as to how great God really is, and how inferior he was compared to Him. He thought for sure that his troubles were God's idea and that He was the author of it all. So in the end, God set him straight, as well as his friends. Yet He restored what Job had lost, doubling it.

The devil is the one who accuses, to see whom he may devour. When these times come, we need to resist the devil firm in the faith, while remaining humble before the Lord. Yet that doesn't necessarily mean we won't suffer at all or experience any adversity. After our suffering, God Himself perfects us and establishes us.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,  casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11
If we just had God's protection, with no adversity, we may be able to appear perfect and blameless but in the end, when trouble or temptation comes, will we hold up? Do we have just a false appearance of integrity? When the tough times come, we learn to appreciate the times without it. There is darkness and we love light. There is suffering and we're thankful for peace. There is lack and we appreciate times of plenty. Paul learned from his trying times.
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Exchange of Breath--Truth for Lies



I mentioned here before that I am on an assignment which began Nov 1, 2019 and goes until Oct 31, 2020. I am speaking the entire Bible during this time-- reading out loud, writing summaries and making prayers and proclamations daily.

The Lord said that as His spoken word is released it will dispel the darkness, lies, and toxic breath of the land in America. It would be a cleansing of the land through the spoken word like Jesus said (John 15:3).

Since Nov. 1 various other themes have come up such as:
  • freedom to America (or any nation) coming through discipleship because when we study His word we know the truth which brings freedom (John 8:31-32).
  • Darkness being dispelled through transformation, not just displacement was another theme. (And conversion can come through discipleship, but discipleship doesn't always follow conversion). 
  • Cleansing being a separation from dirt, from that which defiles, so there is a holiness type of cleansing occurring (Jer. 15:9). 
But what I want to get to, is that most recently the focus has been back to the breath. As His word is spoken--breathed out--its released as a breath of truth and life. With each exchange of breath lies are exchanged for truth. Not driven away, but changed. The inhaled truth is processed through the lungs and heart. As the heart is changed, the breath of the lungs becomes pure and releases life and truth with every exhale (word). 

Specifically relating to the virus, this breath--His words that we've inhaled or studied and processed--will replace the toxic contaminates in the air (physical or spiritual) with life and truth, bringing both health and freedom. And the freedom will be more than the stay at home bans being lifted!

Psalm 12:6 says the words of the Lord are pure words as silver tried in a furnace of the earth refined seven times. We are the furnace and His words are processed through us--our heart, lungs and mouth--to release breaths of life and truth. As our spirits are filled with the Spirit of God, in alignment with His truth, then what is exhaled from our spirit--our breath--will be life-giving truth.

Take the time to hear and process the Word of God. Study it. Meditate on it. Put it into practice. Align your life with it. Make a point to intentionally inhale, process, and then, after all that, exhale (speak) the word of God.

Also check out The Parresia Anointing here.