A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In

May 27, 2016

Schemes and Plans

     There is so much that I want to say regarding our discussion on Spiritual Warfare, and so many trails we can go down as we walk this path.  Thank you for being patient as we set the foundation in our knowledge of this war.  I believe it is vital that we take a look at why Christians must come to a knowledge of the truth that our enemy is real, and he is waging war against us.
     That being said, we've been talking about the need to recognize that we are involved in an invisible spiritual war, with spiritual entities that interact with our physical world from an invisible spiritual realm.  It is hard enough for Christians to wrap their minds around that truth, even though the Bible is full of examples of this fact.  Once we are aware of the battle, then we need to recognize and identify our foe.
     Most of us would acknowledge that our opponent is satan, or the devil.  But would you be surprised to know that the Senior Pastor of the largest Protestant Church in the United States allegedly views the devil as largely symbolic?  That he "likes to make [the concept of] the Enemy broader."  He actually preaches, "Sometimes the Enemy can be our own thoughts. We’ve trained ourselves the wrong way. Or the Enemy can be our own lack of discipline."  Of course, I'm talking about Joel Osteen, and this philosophy, in my opinion, is alarmingly similar to that of Anton Levey, the founder of the Church of Satan.  Lavey preached that satan is not an entity but is only a symbol of certain human traits.
     But we make a grave (and potentially eternal) mistake to dismiss, not only satan's very real existence, but just how formidable a foe he can be.  The Bible tells us he has plans and schemes against us, and we better recognize what they are ... to terrorize your soul, to render you impotent as a believer, to make you worthless to the cause of Christ, and to make your life one of misery and spiritual defeat.  It's kind of sobering to think that there are spirits and forces from that invisible world whose sole goal is to do those things to us.  Yet I have seen too many Christians who live their lives in anger or unforgiveness, or who experience guilt-ridden rationalizations because of some action in their families.  They are unaware that their misery is an attack by satan.  They do not understand that they are living their lives in defeat, and they don't have to!
      How many of us are familiar with the following Scripture:  "Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."  And then how many of us take that warning seriously?
     Actually, Peter painted a pretty good picture for us.  What do lions do when they're prowling?  They are constantly looking for something that is vulnerable and will be easy to consume and demolish.  Is that the person who stumbles across pornography on the internet, and just can't pull themselves away?  Is that the man or woman who decides that they are unhappy or unfulfilled in their marriage, and deserve more?  Is that the pastor or church leader who decides to ignore the "hard" passages of Scripture because it doesn't win him accolades from his congregation, or fill up the collection plate?  Is that the person who has a hidden secret that torments them night and day, or the person who can't quite forgive God for a tragedy in their life?
     And these are maybe what we might term "the non-murderous" plans to steal and destroy, but let's not forget the devil's schemes and plans that end up with the vile and evil physical harm that actually kills another human being.   They are all examples of just how formidable and deadly our foe is.   But here is what is so sad to me:  pastors like Joel Osteen (and believe me, he is not the only one) lull Christians into a false sense of entitlement with passages like this from his book Your Best Life Is Now ... “If you develop an image of success, health, abundance, joy, peace, happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you”.  Where in the Bible is that "prosperity gospel" preached?
     And do you see what an effective tool that is for satan to use against us?  If we believe that all God wants is for us to be happy; that all you have to do to reach your goal to be happy is to love Jesus, read your Bible, pray, and go to Church --- then how are you going to handle it when satan launches his attack against you and you lose your job, your marriage, get cancer, or your child tragically dies?
     I do not dispute that God loves and wants to bless us.  But He doesn't want us to buy into this lie that life is a picnic in a beautiful park.  He want us to be aware that we are living our life in the middle of a battlefield.  Now, don't get me wrong ... He doesn't want us to be obsessed with the devil or look for him in every event of our life that doesn't go our way.  We are not to cower in a corner, afraid to venture out.  He needs us active in this world, and bold on His behalf.  But we need to be conscious that our enemy is always planning and looking for ways to launch a strike.  That's why our spiritual armor is so important.  Never neglect putting it on!  That's one of the things that gives me peace of mind.  I don't sit and worry, or look over my shoulder every minute of the day.  If I am suited up in God's Truth, His peace, my efforts to live life in the Righteous manner of Jesus, growing in my salvation process, strengthening my faith, and relying on the Word, I can approach each day with confidence and trust.  That may seem like a tall order, but believe me, when you make a conscious effort and you make it part of your day each morning, you know when you are fully dressed in your spiritual armor.
     If accepting the fact that satan and his force of demonic spirits are real is just something that you find hard to digest, let me suggest this to you ... didn't Jesus think they were real?  Didn't Jesus, Himself, have a personal encounter with the devil in the wilderness; and didn't He spend an awful lot of time dealing with demons and casting them out of people?  We need to realize and accept that when Scripture tells us about satan, he is not as a metaphor of speech, or a symbol of transgressing against our Creator.  He is a powerful fallen angel, who led a rebellion of a third of the angels of Heaven, and he now seeks to destroy all that is good, and all those who have been consecrated by God.
     The one thing I want to make perfectly clear is that we must respect our enemy, but we are not to fear him.  We need to become very aware of his methods and his plans and his schemes; but we are not to become obsessed or preoccupied with him.  Fear and obsession are issues that can give our foe a foothold in our lives.  We do not need to give him that power over us.  We need to study the Word for clues as to what those methods and schemes are, so we can recognize them... plans to slander us or other people in order to cause dissension; plans to tempt us and seduce us into worshipping false idols such as fame, money, or beauty; plans to introduce thoughts that will captivate our minds and corrupt our walk with the Lord.  And yes, there are those instances when he incites pure evil ... when he convinces a young mother that she is to drown her children; or persuades a person to strap a bomb to their body in the name of holiness; or convinces a generation of young adults that they can enter his spiritual world and experience the freedom that Christianity denies them.  And he makes all these things look shiny and attractive, and convinces us that it is the right path to take.
     Then, if, as a Christian, you fall for the seduction, he will condemn you and make you feel guilty, dirty, unredeemable.  And if he can lure individuals, think of the destruction he can cause when he attacks God's people by directing entire governments, deceiving men in leadership roles, destroying life through the sacrificial rite of abortion, persecuting the saints, and preventing our service to the Kingdom through intimidation and fear.  His power is real -- we can see it all around us -- but remember this:  it is limited!  He's not omniscient -- he doesn't know all things.  And he is not infinite, holy, or sovereign.  He is just a created being; although a powerful one.
     In order to be ready for battle, and to stay engaged in this invisible war, we need to develop our  wisdom (knowing who he is and how he acts) and our balance (be aware of him, but not obsessed with him).  We need to recognize that we fight a formidable foe, but never forget that we fight our battle from victory, not for victory.  The victory is already secured through Christ!  We need to know that we've already won the final victory, and we are invincible because we fight in Christ's power, not our own!  We have Christ's authority and power to resist the devil and withstand his attacks.
     So don't fall for the lies and false theology that tells you that Christians are not subject to the wiles and schemes of the devil, or that God just wants to make you healthy, wealthy and wise.  Those are the lies of false security that the devil offers you, and they will render you defenseless when he comes prowling.  Rather, recognize when you are being attacked and stand firm in your spiritual armor; and demand that satan and his demons leave the battlefield in the Name of Jesus.  Recall that the Bible tells us they quake at the mention of His Name!  The devil is a created being, and so are we -- but we are made in the image of God.  He is not!  We have nothing to fear and our victory is secure!

2 Corinthians 10:3    "For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh."

May 25, 2016

It's A Matter of Recognition and Our Authority

     It has been my experience that the question of our Authority on earth to wage spiritual warfare has been one of the biggest hangups for Christians.  In fact, that is usually the first argument I get whenever I try to broach the topic.  I will hear something like this:  "Yes, the Apostles were able to cast out demons, and heal the sick, but all that ended with their deaths."  This is pretty much the basis for a theological position called Cessationism.  
     In strict theological terms, this refers, in Christianity, to a doctrine that says "spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and healing ceased with the original twelve apostles".  Notice that, in this definition, casting out demons is not even mentioned!  Yet, the apostles did that work, too.  So, in the intervening centuries, the Church has simply glossed over these facts and no longer even knows how to address it.
     And, now that Believers are awakening to the Truth of John 14:12, we are having to determine just how we regard this important part of our commission as workers in the Kingdom.   (Please take the time to click on the link and see these important words from our Savior).
     With that counsel from our Lord, I have seen, in my newfound knowledge, two distinct disciplines:  Healing and Deliverance.  We will explore those in coming days, but for now I will tell you that, in my opinion, Healing is using the authority and power from Jesus and the Holy Spirit to bring the healing of physical ailments to suffering Christians.  The ministry of Deliverance finds us using our authority and Their power to help heal the spiritual wounds caused by the Enemy's attack on their flesh and soul.  Very often, both of these disciplines work together because there is interaction between the spiritual and physical realms, and they affect both the spiritual and physical parts of us.  In other words, Jesus asks us to work with Him and the Holy Spirit to help "set the captives free" from demonic oppression -- this is one of the "things He did", as mentioned in John 14:12, and to which He wishes us to do in even greater "outreach and extent".
     This concept that there is interaction between the spiritual and physical realms is also a difficult position for Christians to accept.  That's why I said in yesterday's post, that we modern Christians "don't see the unseen world from the same point of view as the ancient Biblical writers."  They were familiar with the invisible world of the spiritual realm.  They interacted with it!  Let me give you these few examples from various passages in the Bible:
     •  In Genesis 28, Jacob was given a clear vision of interaction between the physical and spiritual realms.  He dreamed that there was a ladder (stairway) placed on the earth, and the top of it reached [out of sight] toward heaven; and [he saw] the angels of God ascending and descending on it [going to and from heaven].  Jacob may not have fully understood what he was seeing in his dream, but he awoke with the realization that "Without any doubt the Lord is in this place, and I did not realize it." He knew that God had interacted with him, and that his physical world had been affected by the presence of God coming to him from the spiritual realm.
     •  Moses certainly experienced the interaction of the spiritual with the physical, when he witnessed the burning bush and the voice of God in its midst.
     •  The prophets in the Old Testament continually gave witness as intermediaries between the spiritual and physical worlds for people who could not see. False prophets spoke from their own minds and imaginations.  God opened the eyes of His prophets so they could see into the spiritual realm and explain what they saw to the people.  Ezekiel saw wheels moving in unison.  Isaiah saw "the Lord, high and exalted seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple."  He also saw the angels that surrounded that majestic throne.  Elisha was able to assist his servant to see into the spiritual realm during a frightening episode when their city was surrounded by an army of horses and chariots.  Elisha prayed, "Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha (2 Kings 6:17).
     •  But it wasn't only the Old Testament Prophets and Patriarchs who had knowledge and experience of this interaction.  Stephen described what he saw in the spiritual realm, just as he was about to be stoned to death:   "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7:54-56).   Peter was released from prison by a spiritual intervention:  "Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists" (Acts 12:7).
     Even Jesus, as fully man, encountered the spiritual realm while on earth.  His baptism saw an intrusion of the Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove) from the spiritual realms, and the voice of God confirmed it.  And I sometimes think we Christians forget that Jesus's ministry on earth always originated in the spiritual realm of Heaven.  Jesus continually tells us that He only did what His Father had shown Him.  How could that be, if He wasn't being shown things in the spiritual realm?   And how can we dismiss what happened at the Transfiguration? Jesus parted the curtain between the physical and spiritual realms, so Peter and John could see that Moses and Elijah were living with God!
     •  While all these examples show us that there were many good and glorifying experiences of interaction between the physical and spiritual realms, we must not ignore that the Enemy also has used this ability to interact with this world.  When he tempted Jesus in the desert, he was able to show Him, in the spiritual dimensions, all the things of power and fame he could give Him, if Jesus would  only bow down and worship him.
     And I find another interesting episode of interaction in the storm which arose when Jesus accompanied the apostles on their boat.  The Greek translation says that "a great storm arose in the sea, an earthquake of the sea, its waters stirred to their depths".  This suggests to me that the forces of darkness understood that Jesus was a risk to them.  He was casting out demons, and they were powerless.  He was healing the people they had inflicted with sickness. They knew that they had to deal with him, before He really got going. So they stirred up the sea and the wind in an effort to kill Him.  That's why He rebuked the wind in the same way as He rebuked the evil spirits He was casting out in people.
     Can you see how both God and the devil -- both Good and Evil -- are able to interact with us through the overlapping dimensions of our physical world with the spiritual realm?  There are many more examples in the Bible of such experiences, and if Christians throughout the centuries (after the inspired Word of God had ended) were to write down their testimonies of spiritual interactions, it would fill untold numbers of manuscripts!  And guess what?  It is still happening, whether we recognize it or not!
     So, it is imperative, if we are to serve our Lord as He purposed us to do, that we recognize and acknowledge that there is an invisible world just as real as this physical one, and it comprises the spiritual realm.  It was created just as certainly as this rock we live on.  These two realms overlap and the forces that aligned with Satan have access to our realm, but we are not powerless to withstand them!  We need to understand that we have access to Jesus and the power of God -- the same power that He used in His ministry on earth to deal with those collaborators with the Enemy.  And He has given us His permission to call upon those powers (it is His Name that activates them!) to resist the devil and his schemes to oppress us.  That is our Authority!
     We desperately need to understand and get this concept!  We need to know --- I mean really know, deep in our spirit -- that we are involved in a visible and invisible world that intersect, and there is a war going on, a cosmic conflict that has eternal implications.  The souls of every man, woman, and child on this earth depends on us knowing that!  And we need to know that the Enemy seeks to blind us, and convince us that this is not Scriptural.  And he has been winning on that front for quite awhile now.  The state of misery that so many Christians are living in is proof of that.
     So I can imagine that he is none too happy that more of us are waking up to the Biblical Truth that Spiritual Warfare is part of our commission as the Body of Christ.  Our eternal Victory has been won on the Cross for those of us who call Jesus our Savior.  But there are millions of lost souls who are in the cross hairs of the Enemy, and it is our calling to share our salvation story.  With that, we can expect skirmishes, battles, and sometimes all-out war with the Adversary.  And that means that we need to be more vigilant than ever to put on our full spiritual armor, as Paul advises in Ephesians 6.  We need not be afraid or timid, or go searching for the fight.  We just need to stand firm in the knowledge that there is power in the Name of Jesus, and we have access to it and the authority to use it.  With that recognition comes the victories that will allow us to fulfill our purpose on earth.  And that is what God and Jesus desire for us!

1 Corinthians 2:13     "We also speak of these things, not in words taught or supplied by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual thoughts with spiritual words [for those being guided by the Holy Spirit]."


May 23, 2016

We Need To Understand The Spiritual Realm!

      I guess various reactions are to be expected when we Christians become bold enough to speak publicly about "Spiritual Warfare" and "Spiritual Realms" and doing battle with "Spiritual Beings".  There will be those who do not share my faith, and are either agnostic or atheistic, and see these subjects as contrary to their scientific mindset, and those who believe in rationalism, a theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief.
     But we should also expect that our fellow Christians may have differences of opinion with us; especially over terminology and just how far we are to go in waging our battle.  We must remember that, as 21st Century Christians, the theology of spiritual warfare is largely unrecognized and we are essentially, still trying to come to terms with what it all means.  
     I happen to believe that the Christian "Church", or Body of Christ if you prefer, is largely uncomfortable with the idea that we live in a supernatural world, and that the Bible is a supernatural Book.  Oh, you will hear Christians agreeing that the Bible is a supernatural book, but then they are so clearly skeptical when you try to point out the supernatural implications of Scripture.  I'm not sure what it is ... if certain charismatic denominations, and individuals, have given a bad name to the spiritual and supernatural side of our faith; or if we have just closed our minds to the possibilities of the supernatural in our faith, so that we keep it at arm's length, and only refer to it in whispers.
     Because of these two distortions, Christians suffer from a fundamental problem:  they don't see the unseen world from the same point of view as the ancient Biblical writers.  One group assigns the spiritual and supernatural to the periphery of theological discussions; while the other group is so obsessed with experiencing the supernatural, that they are indifferent to whether their theology is Scriptural or not.
     That's why I think it is important for us to examine and recover a Biblical context when discussing spiritual warfare, and we must not dismiss, ignore, or wrongly interpret what the Bible is telling us.  I find it interesting that most people, whether devout in their faith or not, will agree that God exists.  Yet how do they see Him?  If forced to define Him, I suppose most would agree that He is not flesh and blood like us, but is a Spirit.  So they can conceive of God, the Creator of the Universe, as a Spirit, but these same people can't agree that there are evil spirits, or that Satan is real.
     I think that it all comes down to a fundamental lack of knowledge about what occurred in the Garden of Eden.  Let's start at the beginning:  The Bible reveals to us that God and the Word (Jesus) have existed eternally.  That's what John 1:1-2 plainly says.  As Genesis tells us, They created everything .... the earth and all things on it; the first and second heavens (our sky, and the heavenly realm beyond our atmosphere); and all the plant and animal life.  God also created angels to help Him create, govern and manage His creation. Angels are ministers, agents and helpers in God’s creation. They are servants of God, playing a critical role in fulfilling His eternal purpose.
     Lucifer was created to hold a special office:  one of just two cherubs covering and protecting God's throne.  Ezekiel, Chapter 28 gives us a good vision of how God saw this angel He created, whom He refers to as the prince of Tyre.  He describes Lucifer as having "the full measure of perfection and the finishing touch [of completeness]; Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty."  God created and educated Lucifer for his assignment on Earth’s throne, which was placed in the Garden of Eden—before human beings were even created! Lucifer received this special training from the “holy mountain of God,” God’s throne!  Yes, God had great plans for Lucifer to manage His creation of Earth for Him.... that is until we get to Ezekiel 28, verse 15:  "You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness and evil were found in you."
     We all know the rest of the story.  Lucifer, in his pride and arrogance, sought to usurp God's throne, and when God (and Jesus) created man to have dominion over the earth and manage their creation, Lucifer became known as Satan and plotted to steal back what he believes is rightfully his.  Through Satan's tempting scheme, mankind experienced The Fall, and we have been in battle ever since with Satan and the angels that chose to follow him.
     But here is what we need to know!  When God created the earth and "the heavens",  He created a spiritual world that exists in parallel to the physical world. God created a multi-dimensional universe.  We can only see the three dimensions of our existence ... height, width, and depth ... along with the dimension of time.  The website called, The Kingdom Watcher, really explains the bigger picture well.  "The physical realms consist of the earth, the sea and the sky. It includes people and the things they have made.  The Bible refers to the "heavenlies" as a label for the spiritual realms that exist alongside the physical world. The spiritual realms are just as real as the physical world that we can see. These two realms overlap and interact with each other.  We live in a multi-dimensional universe in which the spiritual dimensions exist in parallel to our three-dimensional physical world. The spiritual realms operate in continuity with the physical/natural world that we observe. Most humans cannot see into the spiritual dimensions, so we can only observe the physical side of existence. However, events in our physical world are shaped by activities in the spiritual realm. When we look at the physical world in isolation, we miss much of what is happening in the universe."
     Here's what we need to understand ... God operates in the spiritual dimensions of our reality, but He also created and sustains the physical world.  The sad fact is that the ancient Biblical writers understood this concept, and up until about 300 years ago, so did modern man.  But then a European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries, called the Enlightenment, emphasized reason and individualism over accepted traditional thought. Combine that with modern education, and we all but wiped out our awareness of the spiritual world.
     But there's another important concept to understand when it comes to recognizing the overlapping of the spiritual and physical worlds.  It is the concept of AUTHORITY.  God had authority over all the angels in heaven.  At some point, when Lucifer rebelled, one-third of the angels decided to follow him and he was allowed to set up an alternative kingdom, under some semblance of his authority.  (Remember:  nothing happens without God allowing it, even though we may not understand His Sovereign choices).  God created the earth and placed humans in it. He gave authority over the earth to the people He created, but kept authority in heaven for Himself.  Satan wrestled authority from Adam and Eve by persuading them to believe a lie. This gave his spiritual forces of wickedness a place in heaven and authority over the earth, but it was stolen authority. The devil also devised a place in the spiritual realms by acting as accuser /prosecutor of God's people before the presence of God.  (We see that played out in the Book of Job).  And now, all this is being played out in our lives, and upon the earth and the heavenly realms.
     This is what it looks like:  Sin and The Fall destroyed the unity that had existed in the spiritual realms. God still dominates the spiritual realms, and two-thirds of the angels remain loyal to Him. However, Satan drew together the angels that had rebelled with him and squeezed them into an alternative power structure within the spiritual world.  This division in the spiritual realm results in struggles here on earth between the Kingdom of God and the forces of wickedness.  That is why Paul tells us "we do not struggle/wrestle with flesh and blood" -- there is an overlapping and interaction between our physical world and the spiritual realm.
     I realize that this leads to all kinds of questions ... questions that we will consider in the coming days and months.  A question that naturally occurs at this point is, God is Sovereign.  Why doesn't He just stop Satan (or people) from carrying out their wicked plots and schemes?  That is a tough question, and I do not claim to know the mind or counsel of God.  But perhaps He plays by His own rules and His immutability (His unchanging Character).  When He gave authority over the earth to man, it is not in His character to take it back, even when man so carelessly gave it away.  Or perhaps, once man handed over his authority to Satan, God planned a way for us to get it back, but it would involve making a choice on our part to believe in His Co-Creator, Jesus.  I'm not sure we are capable of answering that question, or that it even matters.
     I believe, however, that prior to The Fall, Adam and Eve could see into the spiritual world. They were able to walk with God in the cool of the evenings and speak directly to Him. They were even able to see the devil, when he came to tempt them. But after they disobeyed God, they were blinded and could no longer see into the spiritual realm.  I believe that this is the state in which most of us find ourselves today.  I also believe, that at His discretion, God is able to restore sight to those Christians who can forego their doubt and unbelief and accept His direction.
     But I also believe that Authority will come into play as we near the final struggle for dominion over this earth. God is revealing exactly what we're dealing with, so that we can prepare ourselves for the battle that Satan and his wicked partners plan to bring against us.  They know that Jesus is readying Himself and His army to stop the reign of the Lawless One and take back Authority over His creation.  Until then, He has given us a measure of His authority, and that's what I want to explore with you on my next post.  That is where it gets exciting for me, and I can't wait to share with you what that can look like!

Ephesians 3:10    "So that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places."



May 22, 2016

2 Chronicles 15:7

But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, 
for your work shall be rewarded.

     I'm not sure why, but I kept getting drawn back to this Scripture this week.  Perhaps it is because I am so aware of the fears and the sense of powerlessness that so many people are feeling these days.  And, sadly, that includes Christians.  But, to be honest, it's understandable.  We are struggling, both as Americans, and as Christians, to figure out our place in this country and the world.
     We know that, as a nation, we have sinned grievously against the Lord.  We have been rebellious and disobedient.  Can we say, with all honesty, that our laws supporting abortion and re-defining marriage, or our idolatry towards celebrities, money, or whatever occupies our time, are any different than the sins of the ancient Israelites?
     At the time that this passage was written, Asa was the king of the southern kingdom, Judah.  It has been nearly 100 years since King David began his reign in Hebron, and 20 years since the nation of Israel split into two kingdoms.  It has been a time of worshipping at the altars of false gods in the high places, and of disobeying God's commandments.  The people were rightfully wondering if God's promises of prosperity to the patriarchs would be revoked because of the nation's sins.  Was there any hope of reviving the country and returning it to its pinnacle?  And with the continued falling away from their faith, could Judaism survive?  Their leaders and their religious leaders had failed them. They desperately needed a ray of hope!
     Could not the same thing be said of us and our nation today?  I will admit that I am less interested in reviving the prosperity and reputation of this nation, and more interested in reviving the faith of my fellow countrymen.  It goes without saying, that many of our political and religious leaders have let us down. That's why this particular verse speaks to me.  
     Just like King Asa, who received this word from Azariah, the prophet, we recognize that we need to reform our lives... not only the direction of our nation, but revise and renew our individual lives.  We must rededicate ourselves to the service of God, knowing that God is always faithful to those who remain true to Him. 
    Azariah is telling King Asa to approach this reformation of his nation with vigor and with diligence.  We should do the same in our individual lives!  We should carefully, and continuously apply ourselves to returning to God; to becoming the "new creations" we know we are supposed to be.  We are not to approach this work as drudgery, or lazily.  We are to apply ourselves with consistent effort, always keeping our eyes on the goal -- to glorify God and His kingdom.  
     Just think of all He has given you!  Aren't His works on our behalf worth our best efforts to serve Him?  So, let me encourage you, just as King Asa was encouraged... He was told to "take courage"!  In the Hebrew, this means "to strengthen, to repair, to fortify, to take hold of" -- all in terms of rebuilding the covenant relationship with the God who delivered you out of your sins.  And that takes work on our part!  
     It is important to know that our reward on this earth is in the work itself -- when we make the effort to obey Him during times of temptation; when we sense His presence as we cry out to Him in repentance; and when we set our minds, hearts, and hands to His work in this world, and our spirit acknowledges that the good God has done in the past is the pattern for all the good He will do in our future.  
     It is enough for me to know that God keeps His promises to those who love and obey Him.  But this verse reminds me of the moral and physical strength that my God can communicate to me in my times of disillusionment.  His Mercy endures forever!

May 20, 2016

The Invisible War

     I hope you will allow me to begin this new phase of my blog by starting at the beginning.  I don't want to offend anyone by suggesting that you need to be reminded of the basics of spiritual warfare.  I know that this audience is part of the remnant God is preparing for the End Times.  But, I want to share what the Holy Spirit is teaching me in an ordered fashion, so I am going to explain my understanding of spiritual warfare as if to a new Christian.  And, to be honest, I am feeling that there may be someone out there who is hearing this for the first time.  I want each of us to know what spiritual warfare is, how to recognize it in this world, and how to win the war.  May the Holy Spirit reach each of you where you are in your walk, and may He reveal His truth!

     As the title of the blog suggests, that is what our spiritual war is ... invisible.  But make no mistake, just because we can't necessarily see our enemy, doesn't mean we can let our guard down.  As I have told you in many posts on this blog, I have witnessed the personal battles that so many of our fellow Christians are engaged in.  Oh, you would never know they are fighting for their souls.  (Mind you I said souls ... their mind and thoughts, their emotions, and their will in fighting the flesh.  If they are a Christian, their spirits are indwelt by the Holy Spirit).  Neverthelss, they have developed very effective masks which they hide behind, and the Church has done a good job of painting a picture of what the "good Christian" looks like... just be in the Church pew every Sunday; keep busy in the Church's activities; teach a class or two (by following some designated format); have a "go-to" Scripture or two that shows you know your Bible; and never -- I mean never -- admit that you are scared, or suffering, or that you just cannot conceive Jesus really rescuing you from your torment.
     So, doesn't that make you wonder how many Christians are in a spiritual war and don't even know it?  And if they don't know it, then how in this world are they going to ever win even one single battle?  What's worse is the Christians who recognize demonic attacks, but don't have a clue how to defend against them.
     I mean, if you've never heard a sermon on Satan and his demons in your church, then, my friend, the time is right for you to be attacked.  Maybe you are a Christian that tends to skip over those verses in the Bible that teach us that we have the power that Jesus and the Apostles had to cast out demons, in favor of the verses that teach us that if we just stay in the Word, and abide in Jesus, then anything we ask in prayer will be given to us.  But here's the deal.  They are both true!  We must declare the "whole counsel of God"!
     I happen to agree with D.A. Carson, who is a theologian and professor of the New Testament, who gives this explanation of what it means to consider "the whole counsel of God":  it is the burden of the whole of God’s revelation, the balance of things, leaving nothing out that was of primary importance, never ducking the hard bits, helping believers to grasp the whole counsel of God that they themselves would become better equipped to read their Bibles intelligently, and comprehensively.
     Here's the way I see it:  If we are going to call ourselves Christians, then the Bible is the only manual we have to go by.  And we can argue that it has been corrupted by man (through all the different versions); that there are books taken out of the Bible that should be in there; and even whether parts of it are allegory or to be taken literally.  I guess that's something everyone has to decide for themselves.  As for me, I believe that the Word, in its entirety, is an active and living representation of my Savior, and He tells me in Matthew 24:35 that "heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."  And He means All His words.  So, I choose not to duck the hard passages that speak of the unseen world and demonic or territorial spirits.  At the same time, I do not look for demons around every corner, and I do not neglect the grace and mercy in which I live as I grow in my salvation process.
     So, lest anyone think that by believing in Spiritual Warfare, I neglect the wonder and amazement of Christ's work on the Cross to defeat the Enemy, let's agree to agree on the following, OK?  Let's agree with what the Apostle Paul wrote about in the Book of Ephesians.  Through the Word in that notable Book, we can agree that if we are a true Christian, then we have undergone this stunning spiritual transformation; we are a new creation.  We are accepted as a child of God.  We are blessed and redeemed.  We can agree that we were a part of the kingdom of darkness and sin, but Jesus ransomed us, and we are now a part of "the Church", which is the mystery that God had planned from the beginning for those who believe in Him (both Jew and Gentile, alike).
     We know that through this new relationship with Jesus, we now have the Holy Spirit indwelling us, which helps us to walk in His righteousness; in His Light.  And we can agree that we have been given a picture of what that looks like ... how to walk in love and purity as the Church; as a husband and wife, and in various relationships.  All that is covered in Ephesians, Chapters 1-5.  And then we get to that pesky Chapter 6, and Paul talks about putting on armor; and fighting against rulers, and powers, world forces in [this] present darkness, and even against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places.  And what do we, people of the 21st Century, and our pastors do? We either skip right over that passage, or we attempt to explain it away as only being relevant to that particular time.
     But that's not what Paul intended!  Chapter 6 is just as relevant to us as the first 5 Chapters, and just as relevant as to the First Century Church!  Paul is simply continuing his teaching in Chapter 6.  He has told us what it means to be a Christian; how to do it, and what it looks like. Now, he is reminding us that although we are a new creation, we live in a hostile environment; a fallen, sinful world.  And we must realize that our "newness" and our new "identity" are a threat to the powers that control this hostile environment in which we find ourselves.  And who might that be?
     As Christians, we all think we know the story of the fall of Lucifer, but I wonder how many truly understand the significance in each of our lives today?  I think Pastor Chip Ingram, founder and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international discipleship ministry, says it better than I can, so I want you to read what he has to say:  "There is an ongoing battle between the Holy Spirit and the flesh of man, and there is a supernatural, angelic being, who fell from Heaven, and who took a third of the angels with him.  His job, and his goal, and his strategy, is to destroy your life, to murder you – spiritually, emotionally, relationally, physically.  He wants to take you out.  He wants to ruin your life.  He wants to ruin your marriage.  He wants to ruin your children.  He wants to split your church.  He wants to have you overwhelmed, deceived, believing lies, and be rendered completely ineffective in this new relationship with Christ, so that the Church and the Gospel are discredited, and you become a miserable person, and all the work of God, and the work of the Cross, and the Resurrection is for naught."
     So, Paul, in Ephesians, Chapter 6, says it about as plain as one can say it to a fellow Christian ... and it is exactly what I want to say to you:  you're in a war with invisible beings that are out to destroy this "new you"; this new creation you've become, and the relationship with the One who saved you.  You are in this war whether you want to acknowledge it or not.  You can be aware of it, or you can ignore it.  But you will not escape it.  And that is what is going to be my focus from now on.  I want us all to be aware of the battle we are in, and to be unafraid, and to be engaged.  So we are now on a journey together -- to see this invisible war, and learn how to defeat our Enemy.
     And I want to leave you today with the first step towards winning your war.  Let's start at the beginning of how Paul begins to teach us to wage battle in this invisible war.  He tells us to "Be strong in the Lord".  But unlike so many weak sermons that I've heard from the pulpit, he actually tells us how.  He doesn't leave us in the dark, trying to figure out what to "be strong" in the Lord means; and he doesn't give us a man-made quip that isn't Scriptural.  And he certainly doesn't suggest that we are to be strong "in" our own power.  In fact, Paul tells us we are to be strong "in" the Lord.  Paul tells us plainly and explicitly.  He tells us to "draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him, and in the power of His [boundless] might."  And make no mistake... the power is IN HIS NAME, and when we do battle, it is ALWAYS "In His Name".  The Greek rendering tells us that this power is "manifested" power, meaning it is evidence of, a reflection of, and a display of power from God.  That is why the demons quake at the mention of His Name!
     So, there is real power in Christ, coming from God, and the power He exhibited while on earth is on loan to us!  Did you get that?  We aren't to fight the battle with the unseen forces ourselves.  Yes, we have all the good benefits that Chapters 1-5 tell us come with our new identity as a Christian.  But I also believe that we have the power which was given to Christ [by the Father] available to us, as well.  And I further contend that if seeking the love and grace and mercy and righteousness of Christ were enough, then there wouldn't be so many hurting and suffering and tormented Christians.  We have weapons that are available to us and we don't know how to use them!  And they are all encompassed in the awesome and formidable power that raised Christ from the dead!  And that power, which -- let me say it again -- is available to us, scares the hell out of the devil.  As long as he can conspire to keep us ignorant of it, then the world -- including Christians -- are subject to his power and "the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places".
     My friends, we are no longer going to remain ignorant of that power, and we are going to explore the Word and its teachings on this subject, and we are going to apply it to our lives.  We are going to begin to live in victory, and we are not going to shy away from proclaiming the power of Jesus to set us free!  Thank you for your encouragement and I'm excited to see what God reveals to us!

Luke 10:19    Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, [a reference to demonic powers or spirits] and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you.

May 18, 2016

Listening and Turning

     It's time for a change.  If you have been a long-time reader of this blog, perhaps you have noticed that I have been struggling in my writing lately.  My spiritually discerning husband sure did.  And I am grateful that he made me see that I was striving too hard to stay a part of "this world".  Let me try to explain.
     I could see where I had come since beginning this blog in December of 2011. I had moved from a "prepper" mindset, into relating my Biblical perspective of world events, and was beginning to share that God was showing me we are engaged in spiritual warfare.  Somehow, I let the Enemy whisper his lies and convince me that "enough was enough" on that subject.  And I felt that perhaps I was supposed to back off from sharing this inspired knowledge.  But when I did that, I knew that I was weary of what the world was showing me; "all politics all the time", so to speak, along with the various social breakdowns that make for news headlines.  And it is no accident that I used the word "strive" in that first paragraph to describe my writing, because here is what it means in a Biblical context:  To strive means to specifically struggle (fight) over words; to wrangle about empty and trifling matters. 
     I knew I wasn't happy in what I was saying, and I was dissatisfied at the end of my efforts.  And it took my husband reminding me that I needed to stop and listen to what the Lord wanted me to say, instead of striving with the world's empty voice.  After all, this was the initial purpose of my blog way back in 2011.  So I am announcing that I am making a change; I will no longer run from what my spirit wants to say.  I will no longer listen to the lies of Satan telling me that people are tired of reading about spiritual warfare.  I am listening to what the Holy Spirit is telling me because, honestly, all that other nonsense is what the rest of the world wants to hear.  I know that what I have to say appeals to a very small segment of the population, but I can no longer shy away from declaring what I am being shown.  I've skirted around this position, and it's time to make a commitment.
     I know that I may lose some readers, but there are plenty of other blogs and websites that can feed an appetite for the worldly perspective  -- it's never been about the numbers for me, anyway.  If what I say speaks to one person for the Kingdom of God, then that was my purpose that day.  From now on, I am going to show you, and share with you, what my spirit says is really happening in our lives.  I will still point out what the world wishes us to see, but I will no longer stifle the Holy Spirit and the spiritual aspects and warfare that is our reality.  And it starts today!
     Perhaps the most important knowledge I can share with you today is the realization that we were born into a spiritual war zone, and we can choose whether we want to win or lose.  There is no neutral ground! Now, that's not what the secular world will tell you.  In fact, they've spent a lot of media time, classroom time, and tax dollars trying to convince us that the world's problems are because we are not tolerant of views, beliefs, or behaviors that differ from our own; that we are bigoted, narrow-minded, prejudiced, discriminating, and suffer from any number of hyphenated "phobias".  If we would just be more sensitive to the differences between us, then there would be more peace in the world.
     Of course, that "tolerance" does not rely on any moral standard by which we are to judge its value or benefit to society.  Therefore, all standards are acceptable and we create a huge "neutral" ground wherein anything and everything is acceptable.  But, you see, that neutral ground only exists in our man-made belief system.  There are spiritual realms that have authority over this earthly domain, and in the realm that directly controls us there are only two authorities ... Good and Evil.  They are at war with each other, and we only have two outcomes available when interacting with them; we either win or we lose.  There is no third neutral authority or outcome; no choice called "uncommitted".
     We all have a choice to make as to which side we are on.  The unbelievers of the world have made their choice, whether they see it or not.  Ever since the "shining one" appeared in the Garden of Eden to tempt Adam and Eve, mankind must make a choice as to whom he will follow and obey.  Satan, who was the Deceiver with Divine Knowledge, convinced them to give over their authority to him.
     Remember, that in Genesis, mankind was made in the image of God and was given dominion over the earth.  The word dominion means “rule or power over.” God has sovereign power over His creation, but delegated the authority to rule His created world to mankind.  But we handed over that authority for a chance at eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  If man had entrusted God to be the Keeper of that Knowledge, we could have lived eternally in peace with Him.  But when we relinquished that authority, we instituted the battle that has raged since that very moment; the battle between the authority who champions Evil, and the Authority who is Good.  And we cannot remain neutral.
     And because we have to choose, there will be consequences for the choice we make.  Those who choose the side of Good can expect opposition from the forces of Evil in the spiritual realm, because we threaten their dominion, or rule or power, over the masses on this earth who have not yet chosen.  Sadly, the world -- and many Christians -- do not know or admit that this battle wages on.  But it so clear to me!  And that's why I want to press forward to do what I feel called to do; to write what it means to live in this spiritual war zone; what it looks like to the unseeing world, and how it affects our everyday lives.  I want to wage war in the heavenly realms the way God's Word teaches me and to reveal the deceptions that are keeping others from making the right choice.
     So, I hope you will join me in this new direction.  If it's not where your head and your heart are now, then I understand.  But I hope you will check in from time to time.  Because you just might receive a word of knowledge or encouragement to help you make that crucial choice.

1 Timothy 1:18    “This charge I entrust to you, (insert your name), my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare…”


May 16, 2016

One Is Not Like The Other

     I have been wanting to comment on this topic for the last few days, but honestly, did not feel that I could speak on behalf of Black Americans because I felt it would be presumptuous of me to say that I could identify with their objections.  So, I was happy to hear that the president of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) say that it is "a gross insult" to suggest that "gender-confused" individuals are being discriminated against in much the same way that Black Americans have been discriminated against in the United States.  In fact,  The Reverend Bill Owens suggested that the homosexual and transgender community is attempting to co-opt the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and all those who "faced fire hoses and hatred"  in their very real struggle for equal and civil rights.
     Now, that Rev. Owens has spoken out, I can take a position of whole-heartedly agreeing with him. To compare a difference in skin color (and the suffering and injustice that was perpetuated against Black Americans) to a difference in sexual behavior and anatomy (that has resulted in which bathroom transgenders can use) is obviously dissimilar and ill-matched.
     It is simply untrue that a person who is confused about their sexual identity has suffered the same injustices or lack of rights that Black Americans have.  As far as I know, transgender Americans have never been horribly enslaved, endured forced separation of families, or been denied the ability to drink out of a water fountain, eat at a lunch counter, or attend the school of their choice.  Sadly, it took this nation until the 1950s and 60s to begin to right these wrongs.  To give a quick summary, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned segregation in schools, at work, and in public places. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 guaranteed citizens of all races and ethnic backgrounds the right to vote.
     And now, the LGBT community wishes to equate their struggle with the Black community and suggests the idea that "Transgender is the new Black."  The current Administration is backing that idea by supporting HR 3185, which is legislation that would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  In fact, Attorney General Loretta Lynch argues that “gender identity is innate,” in the same way that skin color is innate.
     How is it, then, that the American Psychological Association (which generally supports transgenderism) says, "Sex is assigned at birth, [and] refers to one’s biological status as either male or female, and is associated primarily with physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and internal anatomy. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women. These influence the ways that people act, interact, and feel about themselves. While aspects of biological sex are similar across different cultures, aspects of gender may differ."
     In other words, "sex" and "race" appear to be equivalent, since both are assigned at birth; while "sex" and "gender" are not the same, since aspects of gender can be different, depending on roles that are "constructed" or developed.  Therefore, for the government to tell us that the amendment to the Civil Rights Act insinuates that gender identity is equal to a person's sex (or the color of their skin) is flawed logic.
     Now let's carry the erroneous legal argument one step further.  The Civil Rights Act was intended to stop separation of the races on a moral and rational level.  Likewise, separate bathrooms for men and women is a moral and rational idea, but separate bathrooms for blacks and whites is not. … A black man’s nature and physiology is not different from that of a white man, an Asian man, or an Hispanic man. The same is not true of sex differences.  Males and females are inherently different from one another. Their physiology is different and their body parts function differently.  For thousands of years, those differences have been respected in performing the most private of bodily tasks.
     Now, to try to equate bathroom privileges to blatant discrimination against the Black race is not only demeaning and dishonoring the struggle of Black Americans, but an obvious attempt to hijack Black history in order to give a false interpretation of the transgender issue.  As Reverend Owens stated, “Transgendered persons are not asking for equal rights—they are asking for special rights that violate the privacy of women and simple common sense.”  I agree!  Let's not exaggerate and make their agenda something it's not.   And you need to know that this amendment to the Civil Rights Act is not the only legislation being expropriated.  Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is also being upheld as legislation that applies to the transgender issue.  It is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.
     As the National Review reported on Friday, "This morning the Department of Justice and Department of Education released a joint statement of extraordinary breadth and scope. Under the guise of offering “guidance,” the Obama administration put every single public and private educational institution receiving federal funds on notice that it intends to interpret and enforce Title IX — a statute, written in 1972, that by its explicit terms only prohibits sex discrimination — as also prohibiting discrimination on the basis of “gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status.” If a boy claims he is a girl, then, according to the Obama administration, he is a girl and must be treated as such by the educational institution."  In other words, if an individual wishes to embrace a different sexual identity, then the federal government is going to try to coerce everyone else to embrace their choice, too, and our daughter''s school locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms will no longer be "for women only".
     You can see where all this is leading. Any attempt to maintain traditional distinctions between the sexes is being declared illegitimate, bigoted, and illegal by our culture, our society, and now our government.  And this radical opinion is being sold by hijacking the injustices done to Black citizens.  Bigotry was a huge aspect of the Civil Rights movement and it was right to declare it illegal, based on race.  But to equate the transgender bathroom debate on par with the struggle for racial equality is contrived, unconvincing, and insulting to every Black American.
     I have sympathy for those who are confused about their sexual identity, I really do.  I can't imagine what it must be like to not know how God sees you, or how He made you, and to be led by false messages meant to confuse you, confound you, and lead you astray.  But to equate the fraudulent transgender argument with the immoral practice of slavery and discrimination is both disgraceful and offensive.  It's just another sign of how far the Enemy will go to spread his lies and deception.

Luke 16:15    And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God."


May 15, 2016

Acts 4:12

There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.

     Although this is an oft-quoted verse from the Bible, I wonder how many people truly comprehend the significance and consequences involved in believing this passage.  Peter and John certainly did, when they were hauled before the Sanhedrin, and Peter spoke these words so boldly.  
     Since the day that the Holy Spirit had descended upon them on the feast day of Pentecost, they had been preaching and teaching to the people gathered in Jerusalem for the Lord's Feasts.  At this particular time, they had been arrested for healing the lame man at the Temple gate, and declaring that they had done so in the name of Jesus.  Furthermore, they taught that Jesus was the Messiah, whom God spoke about through the mouths of His holy prophets.  They contended that God raised up Jesus, His Servant, and sent Him to bless the people by turning each of them from their evil ways.
     We must remember that the Sadducees denied a resurrection, and didn't believe in an after-life, so this was blasphemy to their ears!  So, to preach that salvation came through a man the disciples claimed was raised from the dead could not be tolerated.  They must be stopped from preaching and inciting the people to believe in this Name.
     But notice that Peter didn't merely proclaim Jesus as a way of salvation, but as the only way of salvation.  The Jewish leadership could not accept the idea that there is no salvation in any other, and that there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved; yet Peter could not have stated it any plainer.  That statement enraged them.  And you know what?  The world still cannot accept that truth and hates that claim.  There is a rising swell of voices that protest that Jesus is the only way to heaven, and even some of our own church leaders deny the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ as the only Savior.  
     I guess it's the same old game plan that Satan has used since the Garden of Eden:  Isn't there some way that I can save myself?  Isn't Jesus just for those ones who can't save themselves?  The people of the world simply can't fathom what Peter was teaching that day ... Jesus is the only One who can rescue you from eternal peril, and you must be saved by His Name, alone.  That means that each and every person must make a personal decision to accept Him as their personal Savior -- no one else, or no other god, can do it for you; only belief in Him brings salvation.  
    But the world, who doesn't want to believe in Him, counters with, "What about the infant who dies? What about the person who has never heard about Jesus?"  I believe that our answer to that should be, "God will deal with them fairly and justly, and those who are saved will be rescued by the work of Jesus done [on the Cross] on their behalf, even if they lacked a full knowledge of Him." That is up to God to decide in His Sovereignty.  
     My concern is for those people who have heard the Word of Salvation preached, and who have been told that "there is no other name under heaven given to people" ... and still reject Him.  That concern extends to anyone who wishes to believe that all will be saved, or that there are many roads to heaven, or that one can take the best of all faiths and blend them into one, or that Jesus is just one among many who can punch your ticket to heaven.  All these paths are being preached today, and I daresay that those who adhere to them do not foresee the consequences of their foolish opinions.  
     But nothing has changed since Peter quoted the words of our Savior through the mouth of King David in Psalm 2 ... the nations rage and the people plot futile [fruitless] things.  The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers assemble together against God and His Servant, Jesus Christ, the Anointed One.  We, who know Him and the power of His Name, must be as bold as Peter.  We must pray the prayer that He spoke during this time of harassment and intimidation against him:  "And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your message with complete boldness, while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus” (Acts 4:29-30).  And may we be as blessed as Peter and the other disciples were, when the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God's message with boldness.  There is no other Name that brings salvation! 

May 13, 2016

It's Time For ALL Of Us To Wake ALL The Way Up!

     I would venture to say that more people are becoming aware of the real substance of our lives every day.  To begin, it's not hard for us to see that we're being lied to.  I mean, novelists and clever marketers are hired to "create" the narrative of our foreign policy, and it is sold to the American public in 140-or-less characters on Twitter, and that becomes the story.
     Forget that in days gone by, veteran reporters would dig for the truth, and politicians couldn't escape authentic journalistic scrutiny.  Now, what is dispensed as "on the record", has been carefully crafted and pre-packaged with "talking points" that will not be denied, and everyone with a computer "reports" them as truth.  The digital age is a willing and convenient accomplice to such deception.
     At the same time, digital technology has allowed us to see behind the curtain, so to speak, and if we are discerning, we can tell that Iran is thumbing their nose at us, and the Iran "Deal" is a sham.  It's also obvious to us, when our family members and friends have been laid off, and companies are closing their doors and moving to Mexico, that the positive job numbers we're being sold are false.  Also, how many people are beginning to seriously question the effectiveness of vaccines; the very real existence of chemtrails and what they are doing to our health; and the legitimacy of our election process?  The availability of the internet has allowed us to do our own research and not rely on the media or "experts" to tell us what they want us to know.
     While I think it is a good thing that Americans are starting to think for themselves, there is still a majority, I fear, that are victims of their own normalcy bias (of which I wrote about here in 2012).  And of those who are starting to awaken, it is my opinion that they are still just dealing in surface levels of the truth.   If we are going to survive this forced transformation of our world, then we have to quickly move beyond these first stages of perceiving the truth, and step out in boldness to see "the big picture".
     I will admit that it's hard to face those dark truths.  It's hard to admit that there is collusion between those whom we've elected to represent us and the medical/insurance conglomerates who profit off our illnesses and diseases.  It's difficult to accept that the food industry sells us unhealthy food products.  And it is especially unfathomable that the military/industrial complex could initiate wars and global conflicts in order to profit from the inherent destruction and subsequent rebuilding.  Those are all sinful and evil practices.
     But sometimes that's as far as people are able to go in their awakening process.  To go further means to contemplate a truly frightening world in which human beings are under the influence of dark forces, and we must admit that our limited human capabilities are unable to defend against them.  Far too many people are willing to remain in a state of ignorance, rather than go there.  If they just don't look at the evil, they tell themselves, then perhaps it doesn't really exist.  I'm afraid I'm one of those who, once awakened, doesn't want to go back to sleep.  Once I've seen the curtain pulled back, then I know that in order to survive the forces I see coming against us, I must know the Truth, and all of it... not just enough to try to secure my safety and that of my loved ones; but know the depth of the Truth so I can be victorious against the threat of Evil!
     That's why people like me can look beyond the corrupt policies of the medical/insurance industries and Big Food conglomerates and see the next layer of Truth ... that's why, as reported on the website, NaturalNews.com, "we begin to understand why glyphosate herbicide is sprayed on wheat crops (that aren't even GMO) to promote cancer and infertility. [We] come to realize why vaccines in Africa are covertly laced with sterilization chemicals and why high-level virologists openly talk about wanting to genetically engineer viruses that would wipe out humanity."
     That's when we start reading between the lines of speeches by Bill Gates, in which he says, "If we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower [global population] by perhaps 10 or 15 percent."  Suddenly, all the experimentation with Ebola, Bird Flu and biological weapons makes sense, doesn't it?  And why do you think we are suddenly hearing so much about replacing physical workers with robots?  We're constantly being told that the world's food supply is shrinking.  Do you think there's any suggestion that less food equals less people (due to starvation); and a less-populated planet relieves global warming and pollution?  After all, robots don't have to be fed, right?
     So, if you're able to go that far, why not go all the way?  Why not peel back the surface layers and see into the supernatural realm, where all the things we see in this world (the wars, the pharmaceuticals, the transhumanist/robot agenda, etc) are, in reality, the manifestation of the spiritual war between Good and Evil.  If you can begin to see that all the "good" and "bad" things happening in our society and culture are a part of this spiritual war, then perhaps you can begin to see what it is going to take to defeat the forces of our enemy.
     It is time to see that we are living at the beginning of a dark period in which all the forces of Evil are joining together for a final assault, in order to defeat Good (and God) forever.  As difficult as it might be for my fellow Americans (and even my fellow Christians!) to believe, it is imperative that we understand what is going on.  At the highest levels of national and global institutions are people who are being influenced by dark, demonic forces to ultimately destroy this world.  It is as old as the creation of this earth, itself.
     Those of us who believe in YHWH serve a Lord who promises us eternal life and rewards in His coming kingdom.  But we need to understand that those who harvest organs from aborted fetuses and partially-born babies, or those that allow the children of Flint, Michigan to drink poisonous water for almost a year without telling them, also serve a lord that has promised them rewards in this life. We cannot continue to look at these acts as misguided attempts by ignorant or misinformed people.  They have given their souls (their minds, their emotions, and their wills) over to a force intent on ruling (and plunging) this world into darkness.
     It is time to fully awaken to this reality, and to fully engage in the war to defeat this darkness.  If you know Jesus, then ask Him to equip you for the battle, because I promise you, it is coming in our lifetimes.  It's already here!  We have just been slow in acknowledging it.  And if you don't know my Lord and Savior, Jesus, then please don't waste another minute without asking Him to reveal Himself to you.  He is the only way for you to win the battle each and every person will be forced to face.  Take just a moment and step back and look -- really see -- the world and what is happening in it.  Can you deny that humanity is under attack?  I urge you to please shake off your lethargy and come awake!  Join me in the freedom that comes from knowing the Truth and clearly seeing the Enemy we face; and I promise you, with that comes peace and courage and ultimate victory!

Romans 2:6-8   "He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury."

May 11, 2016

What's On My Mind Today ....

     I told my husband this morning that it is getting more and more difficult to breathe new life into tired old topics.  I am not inspired, in the least, by our political prospects.  And, to be honest, I don't know what to think of our impending Presidential choices.  Party platforms don't amount to a hill of beans, and it's hard to tell what the Puppet Master has in mind.  Frankly, it's become quite boring and wearisome.
     The immigrant issue (both national and global) continues to be polarizing -- Can we get an honest assessment?  I know there is no easy answer, and our nation has prospered because we have benefitted from past generations of immigrants.  And I welcome those from foreign lands who want to better themselves by becoming part of America.  But, really ... Don't we have to be concerned that we might be importing terrorists to our shores?  Is anybody minding the store?
     And our educational system -- from kindergarten through our universities -- is becoming more and more about propaganda and distorting history than it is about teaching our kids how to think for themselves and stand on their own two feet.  An education used to be considered a privilege, in the sense that it was a rare opportunity to better yourself and gain valuable knowledge that would benefit your community.  You worked hard for that privilege and acknowledged the sacrifices made by your family to give you that opportunity.  As we move further towards Socialism, education is now considered "a right", and you are owed it, at no expense of your own.  I guess I'm just old-fashioned, but I worked to pay for my college education, and at the end of that hard-fought four years, I felt I had "earned" something.  I never took it for granted, and maybe that's the difference.
     Then there is my outright bewilderment and concern over the "rights" of transgenders to use the public restroom of their choice.  Add to that the U. S. Department of Justice's ridiculous argument that North Carolina's House Bill 2 (which is a law aimed to protect the general public from sexual predators in bathrooms) is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. How have we come this far, so fast, in the culture wars, that the government can force us to share a restroom with someone we can't sexually identify with?  And does anyone else foresee the possibility that forcing little girls, teenage girls, and grown women to share a restroom with anyone who claims to "identify" as a female will result in a pedophile's playground?  What has happened to common sense and decency?
     And lest you think that I am exaggerating about where all this could lead, let me tell you a quick story about Richard Hernandez, a male-to-female transgender woman who prefers the pronoun “it”, and says it believes it was born not only the wrong sex, but also the wrong species, and has been undergoing human-to-dragon transition procedures to fix the problem.  You read that correctly ... “Eva Tiamat Baphomet Medusa,” has already had a whole slew of transformative work done: Tooth extraction, eye coloring, horn implants, ear removal (!), nose modification and a procedure to give it a forked tongue.  And that's not all ... it has also gotten tattoos and scarification on its face and chest to make it look like it has scales instead of human skin.  Don't believe me?  Just click here to see how far down the road towards perverseness this world is willing to go.  (All you have to do is consider the names it has given itself to see who is behind this transformation).
     All we need now is for the San Andreas or New Madrid Fault to rupture, or the volcanoes under Yellowstone Park to activate, and we can complete this picture of confusion and chaos.  How do folks who don't have the hope of Jesus deal with all this?  I guess they just don't see beyond the immediate objective or cause that affects them personally.  Whether it be immigration rights, LGBT rights, women's rights, minority rights, or where the next handout is coming from, for more and more of my fellow citizens, it comes down to "what's in it for me?"
     I must admit that I am glad I am part of the Baby Boomer generation.  I have seen the best of America and enjoyed the benefits of some of the greatest inventions in the world.  But I am old enough, and have seen enough, to discern that the future is taking us to places I don't want to go.  I will tell you that I am deeply concerned about my nieces and nephews, who will have to navigate a society in which their freedoms will be curtailed and their faith will be persecuted.  Fortunately, my godly husband and I still have some time to offer to them our knowledge and our experiences and the blessings of our relationship with the Lord. I want them to know the real history of their country, and that their individual freedoms are a treasured legacy of those who fought and died for them.  I want them to always think for themselves, and never submit to "the collective".  I want them to know there are absolutes when it comes to morality and justice; and mercy, honesty, and integrity are worthy character traits.  And most of all, I want them to know that faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior is the most important thing to assure a peaceful and prosperous life.
     I know this post has been a random hodgepodge of thoughts, but that's simply where I am today.  It has been a day of quiet contemplation and rumination on what I see before me.  While it may seem as if my thoughts have trended towards the negative side, never doubt that I know what my eternal future holds.  My spirit keeps focused on that, but my flesh cannot ignore the turmoil in this world.  I will remain steadfast in my outlook, committed to my purpose, and joyful at being in the presence of my loved ones.  After all, I'm one more day closer to Paradise!

John 16:33    "I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."