Watching the turmoil and persecutions happening throughout the world today, it causes me to reflect back on my own life, and re-evaluate the sum of it.
After living the first 25 years in selfishness, turmoil and sin, and coming to the end of myself; alone in my house in March of 1978, I cried out a simple prayer, and surrendered my life to Christ, and did a 180 turn around. Everything changed from that day, and the most important change was within me. Jesus came into my soul, and his presence was real, and profound. It remains so to this day.
Life didn't become easier, it became harder. But, there was a difference. I knew His abiding presence, and guidance in every situation and circumstance I faced. Every prayer I directed to Him, I watched as the answers unfolded. He has proven His reality, and His power to change things in me, and my life. No one can move that faith, nor that conviction, and Satan has tried in many ways and used many people to try to destroy the faith that reigns in me; but without success.
Shortly after my salvation, the devil didn't waste any time testing my walk with Christ, using the people I loved the most. Just a few months after getting saved, my husband made the first of two ultimatums over a 4 year period to me-"You'll have to decide whether you want me, or Jesus. If you choose Jesus, you'll have to leave." He was serious, and this started a spiritual battle that lasted almost five years-and we went through divorce and back.
I took my young daughter, and left, not knowing what would happen to us. I prayed constantly, and clung to Jesus, His word, and asked for His guidance in every situation. During those years, I learned to trust Him, and His power to open doors, supply every need, and walk in confidence-no matter who opposed me. Family and friends tried to get me to forget Lynn, and find someone else, to forget my faith in Christ, and go back to the life I had lived before. The spiritual battles were relentless, and came from every direction. I was faced with looking deep in my soul, in my guts, and asking important life and death questions to myself-and to God. I was not playing games-I meant business. When you mean business with God-you will get answers.
I'd sit for hours at night after Carrie was asleep, and search the scriptures, and seek the face of God for answers to the needs in my life, and the strength to withstand the pressures from people who meant well-but were trying to lead me back into a life of sin. These years molded me-and taught me how to stand in faith-which I could never have learned sitting in a class room, or church pew. I went to church over the years, but learned with each experience in them-that there are just as many unbelievers in the church-as there are out in the world, walking the streets. Most churches do not preach sound doctrine, and apostasy is rampant in them. If you spend any time in scripture, then listen to them-you fast learn how bad it is, and your left having to decide to obey the bible-or the apostate preachers.
Faith, and a life of commitment to Christ is individual, personal, and no one can walk it for you. It's strictly between you, and God.
What solidifies my faith, is the empty tomb.
Christ is risen. He is not a dead God, nor a deaf one. He is alive, He answers prayer today, and is coming again. No man, or devil in hell will ever change that conviction in me.
I learned some valuable lessons, that I'm putting into practice at a greater level today, as this Covid hoax brings on these world wide lockdowns, restrictions, vaccine mandates, and everything else the world system is scheming to inflict on us.
1. No one can force you to do something, unless you open the door and allow them access. Jesus warns us to guard our hearts-for out of our hearts come the issues of life.
Luk 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
2. God gives every person the free will to do either good or evil. When I gaze out over the world and it's evils-I see the evidence of Satan's influence in people's lives, combined with their own selfishness, pride, and desire for power and control. The longer you study the word of God-the clearer the picture becomes, on how much the combination of the seething desires of the pride of man, together with the influence of demonic manipulation, has worked to bring this world to the point of destruction it's at now. These two forces working together has almost completely decimated this planet-and there's not much time left, before something has to give. All these factors reveal the need for Christ to return-before we destroy ourselves, and the world He created.
3. I learned during those first years of trial and tests, to use my mind, and critically think for myself. There are many deceivers, con artists and puppets. Money, power and the need for acceptance and adulation from people is all important to them and causes them to say and do things that reveal their real motives, and instability. They live for what this world can offer them, and the applause of their audience. Jesus talks about those who have turned from this world, and left it.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Mar 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mar 8:35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
Joh 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
These verses are impossible to attain to-without the Spirit of God within us, working in us to transform us into the image of Christ. No man can achieve this in his own strength. Jesus told us narrow is the way, and few there be that find it-and how true His words are.
Those who have taken these words-and eaten them, and allowed them to become meat for their souls-walk in this world, but are not of it any longer. We are strangers and pilgrims in this world-waiting for the day, when we join Christ in His Kingdom, and reign with him forever. For me, my spirit longs for the courts of the Lord.
4. I've learned to never forget what Jesus saved me from, and who I am without Him. There's no one in this world, that could forgive the sins I allowed to rule me for 25 years. Only the resurrected Christ, and his precious blood shed for me, could cleanse this heart of sin, forgive and redeem my soul from hell-which I deserved. When I look back to the darkness, and hopelessness of my life before my salvation-it causes me to love Him even more, and realize the preciousness of the "pearl of great price" I've found, since that day I surrendered my life to him long ago, in my house alone.
5. I've learned to not expect people to understand, and not be surprised at the reactions of those who can't or won't allow Jesus in their own lives. For I can see myself in them-before I was saved. The same blindness, stubbornness, foolishness, and pride. The "I can do this myself" mentality. No one can convince them, unless they come to the end of themselves, as I did, and finally start asking the right questions inside-why am I here, what was I put here for, is there a God, who is He, can He really help me, how do I find Him. These are questions Nicodemus was seeking-and found the answer standing in front of him, and was given the answers. Every person has to find the answers for themselves. If they seek Jesus with all their heart-they will find Him.
6. In walking with God now many years, I've stumbled, fallen, and failed the Lord. I've looked up as David did long ago-and had to simply confess my sin again-and ask for the mercy and forgiveness of the Lord to cover and blot them out (Psalm 51). None of us will attain perfection in this life, until we leave this world of sin-and are set free from these bodies of corruption. We desire to please Christ, and ask for His strength to meet the daily challenges we face-He knows we will lose our strength at times, and will give in to sinful desires-even while we hate ourselves for our failures. He tells us in the Psalms-His mercies are new every morning. He knows our frame-that we are dust.
Psa 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Psa 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Psa 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Psa 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Note: for those who arrogantly preach that if you are walking right with God-you won't sin. Yes, that's true-how are you doing? (be honest)
Scripture teaches us:
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
God's people strive to walk in righteousness, but we will never be totally sinless in this life-until we join Christ in heaven. The verses above are the guideline for our life, and the path to stay in righteousness. We won't want to sin if we have the Spirit of God living in us, but we will fail once in a while-and thank God, Christ has made provision for us when we do. Paul tells of the war between the flesh and the spirit in Romans chapter seven, but also of the victory for the saint who trusts in the shed blood of Christ, that continues to cover, and cleanse us, when we come to Him in humility and seek His forgiveness. Again-His mercies never fail. We are justified by faith in Christ's victory for us-not in ourselves. In Romans chapter 8, the first verse declares our victory:
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
I've learned that when I walk in obedience, His presence and strength is within me, to overcome every circumstance, and every battle that would come my way. I've seen doors opened, obstacles broken down, and victories in prayer, that have fueled my faith, and made my spirit solid against the attacks from man or devil. Though this flesh may fail-whatever comes, I know I'm in good Hands. My outcome is sure. Whether I live or die-I belong to the Lord. There's nothing more valuable than having this assurance.
7. To sum this up-I've learned to look out over the world with a critical eye and ask myself within:
a. Does this decision/problem have any eternal value?
b. Is it really anything God wants me to pay attention to-does it fit into the plan God has for my life-and the purposes He wants me to achieve?
c. Is this situation, this thing, whatever it is-worth living for, and worth dying for?
Being single minded on God has great value. It gives keen discernment, to be able to discard the chaff, and what has no relevance to the purposes God has for me. But, it takes being diligent in my walk with Him, staying in His word, and allowing His word to take root, and grow in me. The more I practice this, the stronger my spirit becomes against the wiles of the devil, and the sharper my eyesight is as I watch, and listen to the din and clatter of the world. If you pay attention-you'll notice that many in the world are uncomfortable, unless there's great noise of all kinds around them. People find it very difficult to face themselves in silence-Satan knows this, and makes sure they are always surrounded with as much noise as possible.
When you become single minded on God-you'll find that your feet are truly being ordered by the Lord, and it eliminates a great deal of the enticements and confusion you encounter in life. You may make a mistake once in a while, but not often, and if you do, you'll find God is right there-and quick to get you back on track with Him. This stability and security is worth more than anything money could buy.
As the chaos continues to develop around the world, and this country unravels, I go back to these principles I've learned over the years, and put them into practice in a deeper way. I ask myself-Is this issue-whatever it is-worth living for-and dying for.
If it attempts to cause me to lose my faith, and walk with Christ; the answer is no.
For myself, and those with the same convictions, we may very well be faced with seeing ourselves tested as many others before us, who suffered and went through what Jesus describes in this verse:
Joh 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
My approach to what I'm seeing developing in this country now is to double down in my time of prayer, study, and eliminate anything that's not necessary. Travel light, and do what Paul advises:
1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
God was with the children of Israel when He brought them out of Egypt. He gave Moses the instructions to give to the people-to keep them safe during all the plagues that fell on the land. He will be with us in the same way, in this time.
Cover the door posts of your heart, and let Jesus be the Captain of your ship.
Some Thoughts to Ponder
God's people are facing many hardships now, and will increase as things get worse in this world. Below are some truths from scripture that can help us as we go through the storms ahead of us.
Excerpt from a devotional:
The Father's Love Did Not Exempt Jesus from Suffering
They would recall again how the Father's love for Christ did not exempt Him from the sorest suffering. He was the well-beloved Son, yet a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. If there be one thing we all crave to do, it is to shield our loved ones from the sting of pain. That passion is in the heart of every mother as she clasps to her breast her little child. Yet here was the love of the Father for the Son, that gave the Son, and did it quite deliberately, to bitter suffering ending in a cross. Often when our beloved suffer we are powerless. We know the agony of being helpless. We have to witness excruciating pain, impotent to do anything that might relieve it. But the Father, clothed in His omnipotence, with a single word could have put an end to suffering—and yet He loved His Son and did not do it. I wonder if the disciples thought of that when afterwards they recalled this word of Jesus. Stoned, shipwrecked, persecuted, tortured—could it be possible their Master loved them still? And then, clear as a silver bell, these words would strike upon their ears again, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you." He was loved, and yet He suffered sorely. He was loved, and yet His face was marred. He was loved with an everlasting love, and yet all the billows of this mortal life went over Him. What an unspeakable comfort for these gallant souls, tempted through suffering to piercing doubts, this as and so of the Lord Jesus. All God's children must remember that when they are tempted so to doubt the love of heaven. Have not many cried beside some bed of agony, "How can God be love if He permits this?" In such an hour argument is powerless, but there is one Voice that is never powerless. It is His who suffered—and was loved.
The Father's Love Triumphed in the Resurrection and Ascension
They would recall, too, that the Father's love for Christ was a love that justified itself at last. There came at last the hour of resurrection and of ascension to the right hand in heaven. Was it love that gave Him to the earth? It was love that lifted Him above the earth. Was it love that permitted Him to suffer? It was love that crowned His sufferings in glory. The final issue of the Father's love was not the quietness of a garden-grave. It was song; it was dominion; it was liberty. What a magnificent hope for these disciples, persecuted and in prison. What a magnificent hope for every disciple just when things are growing unendurable! A little patience and the love that grips us is going to justify itself magnificently. That is bound, as with hoops of steel, to the Lord Jesus.
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No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,
saith the LORD.
is born of God overcometh the world: and this is
the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Who is he that overcometh the world,
but he that believeth
that Jesus is the
Son of God?
But they that wait
upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The Whole Armor
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
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.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all,
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
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