Sunday, December 19, 2010

We Fight a Spiritual Battle- Are You Fully Equipped?

Hello and many blessings to all of my fellow believers and prospective believers alike. Today I come to you with some very useful information (as if there is such a thing as useless information concerning the Word).

I have been delving into the age-old question; "Why do bad things happen to good people?" I hope I have made the answer at least a little less foggy in the past couple of weeks. Or at least spiked your curiosity enough to investigate God's magnificent Word for yourself as that is where all of the answers are.

This post it is my prayer and desire, that through the truth that is the Word, I can explain what we can do to shield ourselves from the fiery darts of the wicked one.

First of all, I would like to make it clear that even the strongest believers; the most upright men and women of God, are never promised to be exempt of adversity. God's Word never promises that any of us are immune to the actions of the adversary. If we were, God would not have needed to provide us verses such as Hebrews 13:3-

Heb 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Along with what we learned from my last post and this verse, it is quite evident that we are all in need of protection from adversity. Knowing this, how do we protect ourselves? How do we live victoriously in this dark world?

The single BEST way to fight this spiritual battle and be VICTORIOUS is to BELIEVE in two simple verses in Romans:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Why are these two verses so important? It is because if one truly believes this, that person is endued with power from above. This power is Holy Spirit. This Spirit makes you a son of God. You do not need anyone to lay hands on you or pour oil on you to receive this Gift (and it truly is a gift, and true gifts are never taken back!) These two verses are the two most important and fundamental verses of this age.

Why is it so important to have Holy Spirit? Because with it comes eternal life, a sonship type relationship with God and nine manifestations or "sub-gifts". These nine manifestations are tools that God gives freely to ALL of His children. These are the tools we use to fight this spiritual battle and they are listed in 1st Corinthians 12:7-11:

1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1Co 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

I will go into more detail about each of these gifts at a later time, but for now just remember that everyone who believes in Romans 10:9-10 possesses these gifts and they are invaluable tools in living a victorious life and winning this spiritual battle discussed in Ephesians 6.

Another important thing to remember whenever you are faced with adversity is who you are in Christ. Never forget what kinds of things you are capable of and what is available. I would like to end here with two wonderful verses. One of them I have discussed before, the other is new to this blog. Both are spoken by our Risen Savior Himself.

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Finally, as you know, the title of this blog is "The Shield of Believing". What is the true shield of believing? What is the primary cloak of protection for our lives on earth? The living Word of God! But not just the Word itself, but the Word when it is believed upon in one's heart and spoken by one's tongue.

Have a wonderful week walking and believing upon God's unfailing Word.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Matt Chandler - Jesus Wants the Rose

Watch and listen to this short speech. Mr. Chandler is right, it is sad to see that there are people out there who use condemnation as a tool to preach the Word. We don't need condemnation, we condemn ourselves enough! What people need to hear is more about God's LOVE, MERCY, GRACE and FORGIVING nature.

"I celebrate the day" By, Relient K (With Lyrics)

I really like this song because it makes you think; "At what point in His life did Jesus understand who He really was?"

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People Part 2

Bless you in the name of our risen Savior Jesus Christ and thank you for returning for part two of this subject!

I left you last week promising that I would further explain why bad things happen even though our God is a loving and merciful God who only wants the best for His children. There are a couple of points I would like to make in order to explore this issue.

First, we must understand that contrary to popular belief, God does not control our actions or decisions. We have a God-given gift of "freedom of will". There are numerous accounts in the Bible in which people exercise this freedom, such as Joshua 24:14-15:

(Joshua speaking)
Jos 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.
Jos 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Emphasis on the word "choose" in verse 15. We are able to choose whether or not we accept the one true God or some other god or none at all. God does not force us to do this, it is up to us. God wants every one of us to serve Him, but notice He never forces anyone to choose Him over any other god or entity. If one does not choose to follow God's Will and His Word, there is no promise that that person will be free of adversity.

I refer now to my favorite passage in the New Testament; Ephesians 6:10-18:

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of believing, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints

This passage is written to people who have already chosen God's way. Yet, we see that there is still need for these people to be shielded from the wiles of the Devil. Why do people who follow God still have to be armored in a spiritual battle? We can thank the first two humans in history for that: Adam and Eve. I now refer to Genesis 3:1-6:

Gen 3:1  Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, "Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"
Gen 3:2  And the woman said unto the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
Gen 3:3  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."
Gen 3:4  And the serpent said unto the woman, "Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
Gen 3:6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Here there are a couple of truths we must understand. First, the serpent referred to here is the adversary, satan or the devil, whichever name you want to use. Second, Adam and Eve both ate of the forbidden fruit even though God had instructed them not to. Third, this is where mankind CHOSE to allow satan to be the "prince of this world". Ever since Adam ate the forbidden fruit, satan has been able to unleash his darts upon this world. This is why bad things happen to good people.

Good people don't always have to be followers of God. I know many good people who have no idea who God really is. On the contrary, I have known followers and believers of God who aren't as "good", yet they still seem to have favor with God. The difference? Believing. God only asks us to believe in Him and the rightfully divided Word He has made available to us. One can attend church every Sunday, but if they do not know God's Word the way He meant for us to know it, that person may not be walking according to His Will and thus not reaping the benefits of  "the whole armor of God"; which is His Word, the knowledge of the Bible.

In summary; we have learned that God is light and in Him is no darkness. God's Will is for us all to be healed and saved as evidenced by Jesus' walk on earth. However, we have the right to choose who we follow and believe in. We also still have to deal with the fact that the adversary has been granted dominion over the earth by our ancestors Adam and Eve. Therefore, we are still plagued by the "wiles of the devil". How do we do what Ephesians 6 tells us to do so we can conquer the "fiery darts" of the adversary? Well, as it is now 12:45 AM on a Monday morning, I think this is a good time to stop and take a look at this issue at another time! 

Please feel free to post any thoughts on this subject. I expect much discussion as this can be a touchy subject for some people since people. I always welcome a healthy debate!

Have a blessed day!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Thank you for reading this and may God bless you tremendously in the name of our brother Jesus Christ!

I have often been posed with the question (either in my own head or from someone else): Why do bad things happen if there is a God out there who is supposed to love us? Why do young children die of terrific diseases, why do churches burn down and why do horrible natural disasters kill thousands of people at a time? If God is so loving and caring, how can these things happen?

Well, first of all we have to look at the likeness of our Father and Creator in order to discover His nature. We can find His nature in a nutshell in 1 John 1:5 which says: "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." Also in John 4:34 we read, "Jesus saith unto them; My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." Jesus went on to heal people, cast out evil spirits and spread great knowledge to anyone who wanted to hear. This is God's Will.

If this is God's Will, then why do we encounter today the horrible things that I mentioned before? Again, we can find the answer in the Bible. Job 31:35 states: "Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book." The adversary referred to here is satan, the devil or whatever the adversary goes by. The interesting thing here is the fact that Job is wishing that satan had written a book, like God did, so he could understand him better (think of the old saying "keep your friends close but your enemies closer"). Why hasn't satan written a book like God did? I can tell you. Satan does not want us to know that he exists! It has been said that satan's greatest trick (and yes he love to trick and mislead us) was to convince mankind that he does not exist. If satan can convince mankind that he does not exist then by default who does everyone blame for EVERYTHING? .....GOD!

So far we have learned that God is light and in Him is no darkness. Jesus did God's Will, and Jesus did only good things. We have also learned that there is an adversary even though he has done a good job at convincing us that he does not exist. Also, that same adversary wants us to believe that God should get the blame for all of the bad things that happen. Knowing this, we still do not understand why satan is allowed to wreak havoc on innocent people's lives. God is good, but why does evil still rear it's ugly face on this earth that God made for us? The post.

Much love to all of you! (even if only one person reads this) God Bless you in the name of our risen savior; Jesus Christ!