Not more adult than God

 

1504487914-9a9a67b58246433ae33e8df73a64f849

Why do we fall into destructive behavior?  Why do we fall into traps and go for people that harm us?  Are we weak?  These questions are asked by those on the outside who perhaps have never known a day of sorrow, a day of loneliness, a day of yearning…a day of longing…and yet there are grains of truth in those questions that can’t quite be denied, they nag at me.  They are offensive, sure, but truth often scratches at us, doesn’t it?  We bristle uncomfortably at it, we draw back in fear from it.

In our darkest times, we are weaker, that’s the truth.  There is a danger to this as well, because a predator, a person with ill intent grasps at this and holds on and latches on and uses every weakness, every loneliness, every insecurity, every piece that hurts to draw us to them as your anchor…because when we are weak, trying to stay afloat in a storm we seek an anchor.

As a Christian we know the truth.  The Holy Spirit tells us that truth.  He tells us WHO that anchor is.  He tells us WHO that ROCK is.  He tells us who will never fail us.  He tells us who can carry that heavy burden, He tells us who can heal the broken heart…but we push Him away.  We push the true Lover of our hearts and souls away, because in all honesty we say HE IS NOT ENOUGH.  Lets be real.

But why is He not enough?

Jeremiah 17:5-10 says:

Thus says the LORD, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant.  Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD.  For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.  The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?  I the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.

A loaded verse.

In my experience, time and time again I have put my trust in people and time and time again I have come away broken.  Some people have intentionally, maliciously hurt me.  Some people have hurt me unintentionally, and yet have hurt me all the same.  Friends, family, a spouse…people.  People who were supposed to be there in times of need and loneliness and yet when needed were not there to carry heavy, heavy burdens…because THEY COULDN’T.  I expected them to care for my hurt like the LORD cares, to wipe my tears like the LORD does, but you see, they can’t see the deepest parts of me, nor can they fully care even though their words may convey such care.  ONLY ONE CAN TRULY DO THAT.  And yet again I let my HEART get ahead of me…this deceitful thing beating inside and I let this heart feel and I let the feelings dictate that trust should be placed on another person who is just as flawed as I am, who perhaps is just as hurting as I am.

Do you see?

Have you done this?

Well, let me tell you a predator preys on this.  And if you don’t have Jesus as your armor, you will fall.

In previous blogs I’ve talked about how to protect yourself from online predators, I’ve talked about human trafficking, about domestic abuse…and all of this in some way perhaps can be brought back to who you trust.  No, not all things can be avoided.  You can’t help if someone kidnaps you.  But being LURED away as an adult can be helped.  You CAN protect your heart if your heart is in the hands of Jesus.

He is not an imaginary friend.  He is not a fictional character.  He is the God who became man.  He is the one who came from Heaven and died on the Cross for all your sins, all your flaws, for that deceiving heart that constantly is selfish, that constantly fails, that constantly mocks you, that constantly tells you that you are not good enough.  He is the Son of God who is here to tell you that you are his Bride and you are made SPOTLESS in Him and He has chosen you, and He DOES love you, AND THAT MATTERS!  In the end, if you do meet a man worthy of you, He must honor Him and in honoring Him HE WILL HONOR YOU, he will not defile you.  He will cherish you, he will point you to the Cross when you are weak because he will realize that a man is not strong enough to carry a burden by himself, he will take you back to your Groom.

Ephesians 6:10-12

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

 

The verse goes on to list (read on your own), the armor you are to put on: truth, righteousness, Gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).  This is the armor you must have in your daily life, whether it is in dating, work, church, family, etc.  You must have it on EVERY DAY, because you don’t go to war without armor and satan constantly attacks you, if you are unarmored, you will fall and then you will ask God why…well, you were not prepared.

We often think because we are adults we can make decisions and we know better than God…but lets not forget…we are not more adult than God, and He knows better what can protect us.  If He whispers, or shouts to your soul: NO!  Or stay away, this person is bad…LISTEN!  Stay under His protective wings and seek His heart above all else, He is your/my beloved and He loves us well.

 

Stay Smart…Because you are Priceless

bride-being-crowned-1966730_10152741235918579_5266892681562101799_n

It is almost indisputable that in this day and age love has become a word we have become desensitized to.  We don’t understand it’s meaning anymore.  We don’t understand that above all love is the very definition of commitment.

Not many are willing to commit, it is too much of a sacrifice.  The ‘what if’s’ win out (what if my feelings change, what if I’m no longer attracted to him/her).  What we don’t realize is that feelings are deceitful and they can wreck our lives worse than a tornado if we base love solely based on feelings.  We often use the term: falling in love.  No I disagree with this.  Falling implies chaos, an accident, pain, horrible consequences.  Love needs to be more intentional than this if we don’t want to be left with horrible scars that take years to heal (believe me, I know a bit about this).  Love is the thing that remains when the feelings go away, where you would still battle through hard days with that person even when you are hard pressed to like that person because you simply know that despite everything, despite the flaws, you would die for that person.  It is a friendship that develops and blooms, it is a seed that is planted and watered and cared for and then can be enjoyed with it’s beautiful aroma.  Love is not simply going to a flower boutique and picking a rose that you have not tended and nurtured (yes this coming from a person who has no green thumb).  There is no satisfaction in that.  But to know that the flower will continue to bloom in the garden where it belongs with your love and care, there is a satisfaction to that, because you have poured out your time into that.  It is the same with friendship that develops into a forever love.

Love honors above all else, it knows how to sacrifice, it knows how to respect that which is beautiful and pure.  It does not tear down and storm through and then leave everything wilted and dead.

Many of us have known the kind of ‘love’ that is not love.  The kind that defiles the very sacredness of love and we are tempted to never love again…but that is only because we have never encountered the Christ love that can exist in a man or a woman who know Christ.  You see, Jesus said this to men:

Ephesians 5: 25-28 (NASB) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his own wife loves himself;

If men were to HONOR women like in the verse above, a few things would happen:

  1.  He would give himself up for her, put her above himself (sacrifice)
  2.  He would sanctify her and cleanse her (by the washing of water with the word).  To me this means he would point her to HIM (Jesus), he would seek to purify her, he would not lead her into temptations that he shouldn’t, provoking her etc.
  3. He would love her as he loves himself…now lets admit it, we all can be a bit selfish and think of ourselves first, if men were to put their wives and think of them as they do themselves, they would have a happy spouse.

If the above is done, then it would be very easy for the wife to SUBMIT to such a man as it is preached over and over from the pulpits.  That is the kind of man that is worthy to be the head of a family, because he KNOWS what family is.

NOW, keeping all of the above in mind, many young and older people these days find it hard to find the kind of love described above, because as I said, not many people value that kind of love anymore, or if they do are tired of waiting for their Boaz or Ruth and so we seek other avenues.

This is where online dating comes into the picture for many ladies…and men.  So, if you must go on this hunt, in this manner, I would say please be safe.  There are a few steps you can take in staying safe:

The Online Dating Game: Tips That Can Help You Stay Safe and Protect Your Identity

The above article mentions not giving your address, phone number or real email until trust is established, this should be a give in.  I would also add if you have children, no meeting of them until a deep level of trust is established.

Don’t get lured into going far distances and don’t be naive enough to believe sob stories…because most likely that is what they are.  Predators prey on sympathy and if you are a caring person they will pick up on that.  Check facts…run background checks if you must (some go as far as hiring an investigator to run background checks though keep in mind just because someone comes back with a clear record doesn’t make them a good person…just hasn’t gotten caught).

Move slow, don’t get sucked into moving into a fast relationship, don’t let your emotions rule you, take a step back and let your logic take over for a bit.

Listen and watch for clues in behavior once you do meet that person.  Does this person constantly want you AWAY from friends and family?  This should serve as a red flag.  A person with good intentions would normally be eager to get to know both your friends and family just as you would his.  It goes both ways.

When you go on your dates, tell a friend or family member when and where you will be (especially in the beginning stages) and as the article above mentions, YOU drive your own car, though it might be romantic to be picked up by a gentleman, keep in mind this is NOT someone you have known for years and in this case it is not safe or appropriate.  Oh yes, and don’t go to a secluded place for heaven’s sake…make it a good populated, public place, in broad daylight.

As for in case things do go bad…I would say it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have pepper spray or at least know how to defend yourself.

Remember, you are worth being safe.  You are worth not compromising.  You are worth loving.  Don’t become a victim, stay smart and don’t let your heart be torn out by a person who preys on those with good hearts who just want to truly love.  Above all else, love is forever.  It is not fleeting.  It is not a fling.  It is not just a physical relationship…and for the physical to exist, I truly believe that man/woman needs to be ready to commit to marriage.  Don’t compromise, you are priceless in the eyes of Jesus, you were bought with a price!  Demand that whoever you meet treats you with the honor that Christ demands.

 

The Gay Debate

10984131_906398966094308_2542864607802831831_n 11403158_856918514362660_68117423349441390_n 11698671_857407380980440_6068813421797048358_n

In debating what the Bible says and does not say, the old law has been brought up. Jesus made a new covenant with us when He died on the cross. It is the covenant in which sins are forgiven (this does not give us permission to willfully sin because that would be mocking Christs sacrifice and if we do so then we haven’t really believe in the first place).

Jeremiah 31:31-34 ESV

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Luke 22:20 ESV

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

In this debate of what is wrong and what is right there have been things brought up that are said to be ‘outdated’ such as:
Your adornment must not be merely external– braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; (1 Peter 3:3) Notice that is says Your adornment must not be MERELY external, thus insinuating that yes, you may adorn yourself, but what is inside is what matters.
The Bible also talks about modesty…what is wrong with that? Of a woman having enough self respect not to treat herself as an object by dressing ‘sexy’.
There are other points brought up some from the Old testament (Old Covenant that existed before the new covenant of Jesus Christ)
In any case the point of what was brought stemmed from me saying that we can’t pick and choose what we like and apply only what we like from the Bible. My point still stands. I can’t pick and choose what I like from the Bible and toss the rest out. Will I ever err and do what the Bible says not to do? I’ve never ever claimed not to be a sinner in need of daily grace from my Savior whom I have accepted as the One to pay the ransom for my sins. I am a sinner. I do sin. I break the heart of Jesus everyday, and yet because I have come to the cross and brought my sins to him, he obliterates those sins and forgives them and gives me the strength to get up and try again. My point was about willful disobedience of Christ. For example if I am married, and I know that cheating on my spouse is wrong and I willfully go and cheat on him then I am mocking Christ. Will I be forgiven? If I come to Him with a sincere heart (not thinking I can fool Him) and sincerely want to change my ways, then yes, I am forgiven. In every case where Jesus speaks to a person who was living a life of sin, his words were: Your sins are forgiven, GO AND SIN NO MORE. Thus a change is expected.
That is very logical if you think about it. In the court of law, if I am brought before a judge for stealing, and lets say my defense lawyer is good and clears my name (though I have broken the law), the judge might give a similar warning: You’re free, no punishment for you, however don’t do it again.
Or do we think we can cheat God or fool Him? Do we think we can say in our hearts: I am really attracted to this person even though I’ve made a vow to another, I will give in to my fleshy desire because it will feel great for a moment and then I will come to God and ask forgiveness and He will forgive me. That is willful disobedience. I cannot fool the God who knows my heart, I am only fooling myself and I will still be judged because I have not truly believed–had I believed I wouldn’t spit in His face like that.
Divorce was also brought up.
Matthew 5:31-32 says this:
31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

NOTICE THAT JESUS GAVE AN EXCEPTION: EXCEPT FOR MARITAL UNFAITHFULNESS

And as statistics have it abuse usually follows unfaithfulness so it is pretty much an all in one exception. In the case of unfaithfulness according to the above verse, that group is permitted to remarry.

Regarding tattoos, again that was part of the Old Covenant before the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is not mentioned in the New Testament other than the Mark of the Beast (the mark of the anti-Christ and so this does not refer to all tattoos it only refers to the specific mark that will be given by the Anti-Christ)

The other portion was referring to witchcraft and fortune telling. Yes the Bible speaks against it, Understand this supernatural power comes from one of two places: God or Satan. Witchcraft represents the power of satan and his falling angels. So when you think your fortune is being told, it is satan speaking lies to you drawing you further, trapping you into a snare, witchcraft comes with a price that satan will always come to collect. This is why God forbids it. Do you want to know the future? Do you want to taste of the supernatural? I would say go to God, He is the authentic one, satan only mimics and copies.

Regarding homosexuality:

Romans 1:24-27   24) Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.   25) For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever, Amen.

26)  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,  27) and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

So according to the Bible homosexuality is wrong.  I am not sure how a person can claim to be Christian and can call everything else wrong (abuse, lying, adultery, etc) but when it comes to this then they excuse it (I am referring to the Christians that spout how God is love and so because He is love He will overlook this one sin and make an exception for them….but why not an exception for the other sins?)  God excuses no sins without Christ.  Through Christ all sins are forgiven (no exception)…but again, remember the warning of Jesus:

YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN, GO AND SIN NO MORE.

Another argument is that God is love.  YESSSSSSSS HE IS!!!!!!!  But that is not all He is.  It’s like saying that my mother is love (and yes she is very loving), but that is not all she is.  If I do wrong (for example against my sister), in love she will forgive me, but she will tell me not to do it again for if I do there will be consequences.  Lets say I am a rebellious child (which I have been in my time) and I do something against my sister again on my assumption that my mother is loving (and forget all her other qualities to my disadvantage), my mother then proceeds to punish me (grounding, taking away of privileges, kicked out of the house, etc) and she would be just in doing so for she has already warned me and laid down the law of the house.  It is the same with God, only God sees all and thus is far more just than my mother.

By Christians it has been said: ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin.’  To which it has been said how can we love the sinner if the sin is who they are (homosexual etc.)  This can apply to all sins not just homosexuality.  Yes it is possible to love the sinner and hate the sin.  I can love you even if you are wrong about something (or I perceive you to be wrong about something).  A few examples:  I love my sister dearly but she may have something that she constantly does to hurt me (she does not…well on occasion…but I do the same), I reproach her for the wrong she does, but I still love her, I would still give my life for her no matter how wrong she might be.  The same goes for the question that was posed to me:  What if one of your children comes to you and says they are homosexual?  Will I stop loving them.  No!!!!!!  Because I do not hate the person who is homosexual.  I will raise my kids, I will teach them what the Bible says is right or wrong.  In the end the choice however will be theirs to make.  If the come to me with that revelation I will still love them deeply, and endlessly, however I will tell them, and they will know that I do not agree with that lifestyle.  I will not cut them out though.  It is a decision they will have to make as to who they will serve.  It is the same if one of them God-forbid was to kill someone (to me this is the ultimate sin and I think all would agree), will I hate them?  No.  I will not.  Will I turn them in to the police so that justice can be served.  It will break my heart to pieces, but I will.  And I will pray for them to change their ways and turn to God and seek forgiveness from both God and those they wronged.  So it is absolutely possible to hate the sin and love the sinner.  It is possible for me to have a homosexual friend and hate the sin yet still love him/her.

I will leave on this note:  I pray for this nation, and this world.  I pray that God opens our eyes and hearts.  I love you even if your lifestyle is in opposition to what the Bible says (and just because I believe this does not mean I am putting you down).  If I truly believe that Jesus is the only way, truth and life, if I truly believe that sin (all sin) condemns us to hell and that only Christ can erase that sin and change us, if I believe all this and don’t tell you, how loving will I be?  If I truly believe that our souls are eternal and that we will ether be forever in Heaven or forever in Hell and I do not tell you the way to heaven…how cruel and hateful would that be of me?  And hell people according to the Bible is not a place where you will party with the fun people, it is a place of complete isolation, incomprehensible pain, void of completely of all love…I don’t wish that on anyone (not even my ex no matter how much I hate what he has done to me and the kids).  I may say that in anger (again that is me being a sinner), if I really sit and think about it, I don’t want that for anyone.  I would rather see them changed by the new Covenant of Christ and see them in Heaven.

Be blessed one and all.

Tell them about Jesus and let HIM clean them

Jesus-Good-Shepherd-06

In church yesterday was discussed a topic that is very close and sometimes controversial for Christians: leading people to Christ.  In a world that is extremely liberal, where right is called wrong and wrong is called right, I had said, it is hard to speak about Christianity.  We have become less bold and seemingly more ashamed of what it is to be a Christian…we tend to go with anything goes.

The Pastor answered very beautifully to my concern, he said:  “You just tell them about Jesus and let Jesus clean them.”  In other words, as Christians we are quick to tell those who are not Christian about what is right or wrong according to the Bible, almost as if we expect to change them before they even know Christ.  This is simply not possible.

I came to Christ when I was 16 years old.  I grew up with my Christian parents who loved God and yet as a teenager I was very rebellious and I was headed down a road that would have been destructive had my parents not decided to move from Michigan.  We had lived in a neighborhood that was starting to go bad (more drugs, etc).  I had started surrounding myself with people who were into those things and naturally I started gravitating toward that life style.  No I didn’t do drugs but I started to smoke here and there and became very selfish and concerned with popularity (so much so that I didn’t care who I walked over).  I think my parents saw the beginning of my decline no mater how I tried to hide it from them.  Anyway, we moved to Arizona where we began going to a Romanian (since we are from Romania) church.  I wore very revealing clothes, short skirts etc.  One day a woman walked up to me and tugged on my skirt and said:  “What, did this shrink in the wash?”  I was very offended, she didn’t even know me.  She didn’t know my heart, mind or soul.  This might be the reaction other people who are not Christian have to us when we try to condemn them of immoral behavior and tell them something is wrong, evil, before we even know them.  We tend to think that a person has to change before they come to Christ in stead of letting Christ do that miraculous transformation.  Still, what happened that day was still a tool that made me think.  I felt guilty because I had good parents, I felt like my parents didn’t know me…nor did I want them to know me because they would be ashamed of me.  I felt stained by my past.  Then one Sunday, for reasons unknown to me, I actually LISTENED to the preaching and what my ears (and heart) heard completely shocked me–because until that day I never really understood what Jesus did for me, I never understood why in the world an innocent man had to be crucified for me (in fact it enraged me).  I’m sure that others had told me before, including my parents, but it didn’t click until that day.  The pastor said that when we come to Jesus and accept Him and His sacrifice, he COMPLETELY erases our past in His eyes, it is FORGIVEN, it DOESN’T EXIST in God’s eyes, we are made into a NEW CREATION, the OLD IS GONE AND THE NEW HAS COME.   That is the day I decided I wanted to follow Jesus…but let me make it clear: I DIDN’T CHANGE OVERNIGHT!  Jesus worked and molded my stubborn heart little at a time (He is still perfecting me and as the old saying goes: He is not finished with me yet).

I give you a part of my testimony because I want you to understand that it is not YOUR job to change a person.  Are you telling an adulterer about Christ?  Don’t worry about his/her sin, tell him/her about Christ, lead them to the cross and let that innocent perfect blood of Christ cover them and atone for their sin, let HIM begin the change in them…OR maybe we don’t trust Christ to do what He came into the world to do?  In the end, remember, you are a sinner too (I know I am, I struggle with many things that are wrong, like using words that are fowl, anger thoughts etc), remember God is still changing you too, do not interfere with God.

That being said, once a person does become Christian, we do need to walk beside our new family member and show them the way, but not with condemnation and holier than thou attitude, rather with love and patience and endurance and perseverance.

Those Brokenhearted and Crushed in Spirit

Looking at the world today, I cannot help but see and hate all the pain and injustice I see. Fellow human beings killing other fellow human beings. The rich taking advantage of the less fortunate or those who have lost much. Loss after loss, storm after storm.
What is worse is seeing those who gain the ‘world’ by stepping on others prosper. One cannot help but think: Why God? Why do those who do wrong prosper? Why do those who hurt others rise so high? Don’t you see? Don’t you hear the cries of those who are brokenhearted, those who’s spirit is crushed beneath the weight of injustice?
The situation in Iraq and Syria and Israel are grave. Innocents killed by those who have guns, and hate, and power, and so-called religion on theirs side. Where are you God?
It is my prayer that God will intervene there and quickly and that He hears their cry.
It is my prayer that those who walk over those who are completely broken will face God’s justice and fairness.
What does someone who is crushed in spirit look like?
It is someone who encounters loss after loss, storm after storm (and the storms still don’t stop). It is someone who has lost a loved one, then lost possessions, then barely makes it, and cries for mercy, yet finds none. I know my family and I have fallen into that category. It is someone who on top of the storms receives mockery from those who should be there for them. It is someone who in those hardships, they receive thoughtless advice that is hollow because it shows carelessness instead of love. It is those who have suffered abuse. It is those who work so hard and are so tired but they push on because after all so many depend upon them.
Who are the brokenhearted?
It is those who have given love a chance and time after time love turned out to be only a word thrown into the wind. It is those who have given all of themselves but received nothing of the same in return.

There is a Psalm that talks about those who fall into the above categories, and it describes what happens when they cry out to God (the Father).

Psalm 34: 17-22
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;
he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him. (NIV)

Read that again if you have to. It says the righteous have MANY troubles. It doesn’t say that troubles, calamities, hardships, heartbreaks do not come on those who trust in God. But still, even so, God steps in when we cry out to him.

In the past few weeks, or rather years we have gone through such troubles…and still going through them. The heart grows faint, the spirit is crushed. By crushed I mean faith is almost non-existent. I know some of you are encountering the same thing. You are in that place where you question God as a result of the lost hope. You wonder if those who have done wrong to you will always prosper while you always work, work, work, toil, toil, toil, cry, cry, cry. Words of ‘encouragement’ from friends become void of meaning. It becomes like Job and those ‘well-meaning’ friends (that in the end God told them to ask Job to pray for them) who kept admonishing him for his doubts and kept trying to show him how he was wrong to be angry with God or doubt him. But you see, those friends had not lost everything, had not lost everyone…they were in all likelihood prosperous friends, who had not lost anything…maybe even happy that Job was no longer rich like he had been (that he had lost EVERYTHING), maybe they were happy that now, in the position and station of life they were ABOVE him. It was easy for them to admonish and give advice from their higher position. But read to the end and see what God told them. Understand dear one, that your suffering might go on for years before you have a time of rest (we are still going through it), but the end does come.

Please understand that one day, after the patience of God has been used up (for he is patient and merciful and gives chance after chance for the evil to change their ways), there will come a day when he will come in like a raging storm. He will be just and fair and He WILL come to your defense in just that moment when you cry out to him that you CAN’T anymore. In that day you will testify that Proverbs 21:15 is true.

Proverbs 21:15 When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.

Understand also that when you pour out your heart to your friends, if they have not walked where you have walked, they will most likely not understand. In fact they may hurt you further. Some might do that intentionally, some unintentionally. Put your faith in God, cry to Him. Still, there will be those along the way that come into your life that will hold you and let you cry, and not say a word…just simply wipe your tears and let you rant. Some will help you in ways you don’t expect.

Why do I write this? For many reasons. A bit from personal pain at seeing those who at one time we helped turn their back on you when they are needed most. It is like Job. When he was wealthy those friends who admonished him probably were close to him (maybe hoping to gain from his prosperity). He might have helped them get to where they got. But in the days of his suffering they condemned him. Also I write because I know my family and I are not alone in what we are going through. There are so many who have lost all strength and hope that things will change. There are those who week after week, even day after day encounter more and more hardship. To those I want to remind you of Job’s ending. Yes in the beginning he lost absolutely everything (children, workers, possessions, friends), but in the END he was given DOUBLE what he lost. Those who condemned him, were humbled by God Himself. Did that erase the previous hurt and loss? I don’t think so. But healing began when God stepped in and interrupted his doubts and interrupted his ‘friend’s’ rants and simply put said: ENOUGH.
That time will come for us, I have faith that God is not blind. That time will come for those who are persecuted in Iraq, Syria, Israel and other places. He hears the cry of their very blood given for their faith and love. That time will come for you, He will gather you in His arms. Please don’t give up. I know it’s hard. I know it seems like it won’t ever end. I know it seems like all who are left are those who laugh or mock or make your pain seem irrelevant. Please know that to HIM what you feel is everything, he loves you, and He will rescue you, He will be your shelter and defender. Those who mock you now will one day face God the Father’s fairness and justice…and perhaps that might mean vengeance. Vengeance is the Lord’s. That is hard to accept, that is hard to trust. But know, that His vengeance is better than yours.
One last thing, and this is hard…when that day comes, when He steps in and says enough, yes, he will admonish and convict your enemies…but He may also ask you to pray for them.

Rich preachers…poor souls

There are many social medias in which I see a lot of 'inspirational' quotes from various preachers.  They sound really good, uplifting, hopeful...and they ring false.  I'm normally a very positive person, but I'm also a realist.  The following quote is from Joyce Meyer (and I have no beef with her so don't misinterpret):

"It may be through small or big things, but God wants you to live an exciting, amazing life."

My first thought in reading was: Wow, really, is that so?

Lets examine this briefly.  She seems to imply that the Christian life is a walk in the park, full of vibrant, happy days...where all your dreams come true.

Yet this is in stark contrast with what Jesus Christ said, namely that in this life we will have MANY trials (hardships, turbulence, etc.)  We are not promised heaven on earth.  We are warned about trials and tribulations in which an enemy is constantly trying to bring us down.

My next thought was:  It's so easy for you to say this Joyce (or for that matter any other rich mega church pastor), you have everything.  You don't worry about bills, loosing your home, food, having to work so much just to get by.  (After all most of Americans are in that second class, namely not rich like her).

Personally, I'm tired of this false 'prosperity' preaching that tickles the ear and sounds so pleasant...that is false...and this is why so many Christians backslide in my opinion.  Because these preachers talk about giving your ten percent and then God will richly bless you, and often it's the poorest of the poor who give their all and yet are left with nothing, and then wonder what's wrong with God...  Let me tell you, nothing is wrong with God.  You can't bribe God.  Yes, there will be times when He will bless you.  But there will be times when the enemy attacks you and tries to snatch you from God.

These prosperity preachers are like a false General in an army.  This false 'General' preaches to his army that if they do all their training right, and go through all the right motions, then none of them will be wounded or killed in battle...in war.  I give this analogy because we are in fact in a war against an invisible enemy that sometimes manifests himself through the harshest, bitter loss (of a loved one, home, etc), or perhaps through verbal attacks through others, or even abuse.  We are in a war.  In war, you have the possibility of getting wounded, even killed.  These false 'Generals' make God's army weak, making Christians (the army battling against the principalities of darkness) expect an easy road, with no hardships, with a war already won simply by doing everything right.   In a war, even if you do everything right, the enemy can still get to you (just ask anyone who has lost someone in the wars our country has faced).  These false 'Generals' make God's people complacent.

A true 'General' would in fact warn his/her army of the dangers they face, the attacks and ambushes they may encounter, and of how to get strong enough where they can truly fight and counter evil.

So these rich preachers can talk their pretty talk, but when they are standing before God, I wonder, will they be found lacking with utterly poor and bankrupt souls?