Answers to Life's Questions

Mar 31, 2006 at 18:30 o\clock

Christ's Coming

                      The Rapture

QUESTION 38: Can you show me where the Rapture is taught in the Bible?

ANSWER: Yes I can, however, something need not be mentioned by name in order for it to be biblical.
    For example: "Trinity" is not mentioned in the Bible, but it is taught from Genesis to Revelation.  The word "substitution" is not mentioned, but that Christ died for our sins as a Substitute is taught throughout the entire Bible.  I could name others.  There are seven raptures in the Bible.  Five have taken place, and the other two are in the future.

1. Enoch Gen. 5:24 [Heb. 11:5].
2. Elijah [2 Kings 2:11].
3. Christ [Acts 1:11 & 12].
4. Paul [2 Cor. 12:2 & 4]
5. John [Rev. 4:1].

The above are in the past, the following are in the future.

6. Those in Christ, of the Church [1 Thes. 4:16 & 17].
7.  The Two Witnesses during the Tribulation [Rev. 11:11 & 12]. 

    That should be proof enough.  The Rapture will take place.  The Lord has promised to come for His own [John 14:2 & 3].  The days are evil, surely His coming is nigh.     Are you ready for His coming?
    Have you repented of your sins and trusted the Saviour yet?
    Will you go or be left behind to perish?
    This depends not on what you do FOR Him; it's WITH the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrificial work for sin on the cross which we MUST do.

http://home.ca.inter.net/inchrist/prop_q38.html

Mar 30, 2006 at 17:27 o\clock

Why do innocent people suffer ?

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer?

This is one of the most difficult questions for Christians to answer.

The "problem of pain," as the well-known Christian scholar, C.S. Lewis, once called it, is atheism's most potent weapon against the Christian faith.

All true science and history, if rightly understood, support the fact of God. This evidence is so strong that, as the Bible says: "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm 14:1).

Photo copyrighted. Most atheists, therefore, without any objective evidence on which to base their faith in "no God", must resort finally to philosophical objections. And this problem of suffering is the greatest of these.

That is, they say, how can a God of love permit such things in His world as war, sickness, pain, and death, especially when their effects often are felt most keenly by those who are apparently innocent? Either He is not a God of love and is indifferent to human suffering, or else He is not a God of power and is therefore helpless to do anything about it. In either case, the Biblical God who is supposedly one of both absolute power and perfect love becomes an impossible anachronism. Or so they claim!

This is a real difficulty, but atheism is certainly not the answer, and neither is agnosticism. While there is much evil in the world, there is even more that is good. This is proved by the mere fact that people normally try to hang on to life as long as they can. Furthermore, everyone instinctively recognizes that "good" is a higher order of truth than "bad".

We need also to recognize that our very minds were created by God. We can only use these minds to the extent that He allows, and it is, therefore, utterly presumptuous for us to use them to question Him and His motives.

"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25).

"Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, why hast Thou made me thus?" (Romans 9:20).

We ourselves do not establish the standards of what is right. Only the Creator of all reality can do that. We need to settle it, in our minds and hearts, whether we understand it or not, that whatever God does is, by definition, right.

Having settled this by faith, we are then free to seek for ways in which we can profit spiritually from the sufferings in life as well as the blessings. As we consider such matters, it is helpful to keep the following great truths continually in our minds.

There is really no such thing as the "innocent" suffering.

Since "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), there is no one who has the right to freedom from God's wrath on the basis of his own innocence.

As far as babies are concerned, and others who may be incompetent mentally to distinguish right and wrong, it is clear from both Scripture and universal experience that they are sinners by nature and thus will inevitably become sinners by choice as soon as they are able to do so.

Elderly woman in wheelchair. Photo copyrighted. The world is now under God's Curse (Genesis 3:17) because of man's rebellion against God's Word.

This "bondage of corruption," with the "whole world groaning and travailing together in pain" (Romans 8:21, 22), is universal, affecting all men and women and children everywhere. God did not create the world this way, and one day will set all things right again. In that day, "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain" (Revelation 21:4).


Learn about how much Jesus Christ suffered

The Lord Jesus Christ, who was the only truly "innocent" and "righteous" man in all history, nevertheless has suffered more than anyone else who ever lived.

And this He did for us! "Christ died for our sins" (I Corinthians 15:3). He suffered and died, in order that ultimately He might deliver the world from the Curse, and that, even now, He can deliver from sin and its bondage anyone who will receive Him in faith as personal Lord and Savior. This great deliverance from the penalty of inherent sin, as well as of overt sins, very possibly also assures the salvation of those who have died before reaching an age of conscious choice of wrong over right.

With our full faith in God's goodness and in Christ's redemption, we can recognize that our present sufferings can be turned to His glory and our good.

The sufferings of unsaved men are often used by the Holy Spirit to cause them to realize their needs of salvation and to turn to Christ in repentance and faith. The sufferings of Christians should always be the means of developing a stronger dependence on God and a more Christ-like character, if they are properly "exercised thereby" (Hebrews 12:11).

Thus, God is loving and merciful even when, "for the present," He allows trials and sufferings to come in our lives.

"For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).

http://christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-t023.html

Mar 29, 2006 at 20:03 o\clock

The Battle for your Mind (part 2)

The Battle for the Mind

We also are vulnerable to the enemy’s clever mixtures of truth and deception. The pages of history reflect the variety of ideologies that Satan has used to cause people to doubt God. Sometimes these false ideologies deny the existence of God; sometimes they distort his true nature. In every case, they lead to a devaluation of man, creation, art, morals, and knowledge.

Thankfully, Satan does not have the last word. Jesus’ sacrificial death has disarmed Satan’s power over us. If we cling to the truth (what God says about himself), we can stand up to the father of lies and be guaranteed to win!

Nothing in life changes for the better unless we choose to change. Wrong habits, lustful ideas, envy, anger, strife, and jealousies can only bring harm to your mind. But you can’t fix them quickly. Don’t let your mind become the devils’ playground. It is the entrance to your soul. If Satan can get your mind, he’s got your soul. Satan is out to destroy us!

Suggestion: Write down your problems, then start thinking about them in a different manner. Shift your mental gears into God’s direction.

If we plant an acorn in the ground, an oak tree will grow. As we sow, we reap. The same is true of our thinking. Bad actions come from bad thoughts. Good thoughts produce good actions, which then produce good results. It requires right thinking though. Let’s plant good seed in fertile ground.

Look up:

Isaiah 26:3,55:7-9;

Colossians 3:1-5 & 9-10;

Mark 7:20;

1. What did Isaiah predict in 26:3 what will have?

2. What does Isaiah say about our thoughts in 55:7-9

3. What should we set our minds on?

4. What should we put to death?

5. What should we rid ourselves of?

6. What are we being renewed in?

http://hometown.aol.com/sue3hawk/Page19.html

Mar 29, 2006 at 17:06 o\clock

Wisdom from God

Wisdom from the Proverbs

The second chapter of Proverbs speaks about the value of wisdom. The first five verses read:

My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God
.

This section shows that if I diligently search for wisdom, if I apply my heart to understanding and if I regard wisdom as something precious, then I will come to understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. The second verse speaks of the heart, which in the Old Testament was seen as the seat of both will and reason. So what this passage says is that I need to understand God with more than just my mind. I need to know and understand Him with my whole life; I need to know Him in a deep and personal way. The knowledge of God, who is perfect in every respect, is the basis for all morality. The more I come to know and understand God the more I will be able to discern right from wrong.

In this passage we see both human responsibility to search for knowledge and God’s grace to grant it. God is the one who gives wisdom and the one who helps preserve those who are wise. When I diligently search for His wisdom He will provide it, helping me to understand “righteousness and justice and equity, every good path.”

Verses 10 through 22 speak of what will happen when wisdom fills my heart and mind and when it becomes pleasant to my soul. Discretion will preserve me as I learn to use my understanding to make right decisions. I will be able to discern evil and turn from it before it has a chance to consume me. Understanding will protect me from people who would seek to lead me in a way that leads me from God. It will protect me from immortal relationships which lead to death. Death, of course, does not refer to physical death but to a departure from the road the leads to life. It refers to the inevitability of spiritual death if I continue on the path.

The final three verses speak briefly about the blessings of a life of wisdom and obedience. Using language that Jewish people, familiar with God’s covenants with His people would understand, it reads “For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it, but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.” Throughout the Old Testament God blesses His people with land which foreshadows heaven. When God says someone will be cut off from the land, He indicates that they will have no inheritance in heaven. So this passage does not speak about earthly wealth and blessings but about rewards in heaven.

Conclusion

The objective for this study is to learn godly wisdom and discernment. Based on this chapter, here is what I have learned from Proverbs 2:

  • Wisdom is a choice. There is a human element to it whereby we are responsible to search for it.
  • Wisdom is a blessing. There is a divine element to it whereby God will dispense wisdom to those who diligently seek it. Wisdom belongs to God as He is the ultimate source of all wisdom.
  • Wisdom allows me to understand God. I need to understand Him with my heart, my mind and every part of my life.
  • Wisdom will grant me understanding and discernment to know good from evil and to keep my way straight. A life of wisdom will ensure me heavenly blessings.

The third chapter of Proverbs continues the theme of the blessings wisdom can provide. The first few verses indicate that wisdom will give to me “length of days and years of life and peace.” It will help me “find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” Clearly wisdom is something God wishes to provide to His people so they can enjoy lives that are pleasing to Him. Wisdom allows me to find favor in the eyes of God.

Verses 5 and 6 are well known and I know many people who rely on these verses for guidance and inspiration throughout their lives. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” What awesome truth is contained in those verses! If I trust in the Lord with my whole heart, my will my reason and all that I am, while refusing to depend on my human understanding, God will direct my way. He will provide the guidance and the godly wisdom I need to make right decisions and to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Every Christian would do well to understand, memorize and believe these verses! They can be such comfort in times of trial and in times where we do not know if we should turn to the right or to the left. Trust the Lord, seek His wisdom and know that His wisdom will help you choose the path you should take.

The passage continues with showing the benefits of wisdom. We are told that wisdom will be “healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” If we honor the Lord with our possessions He will provide for us financially for “your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” Of course we can see all around us that this is not always the case for often those who seek God’s wisdom are not healthy and wealthy, so how are we to understand this?

What we find is that a long life, prosperity and health are the normal expectations for a life of wisdom. This does not mean that they will definitely be given to us. If we do not receive them in this life we can rest assured that we will be given them and more in the world to come. We also read in verses 11 and 12 that we are not to despise the Lord’s correction and discipline. It may be that if we are not experiencing these things God could be correcting some sinful behavior. However, this is not always the case as we see, for example, in the life of Job. He was faithful to God and sought wisdom, yet for a time had prosperity, health and happiness taken from Him. We are left with no choice but to follow Job in submitting to God’s design and plan for our lives.

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Nothing I can seek or desire can be more important and more valuable than wisdom. If there is anything I seek in life it should not be wealth or happiness or popularity; it should be wisdom!

In verse 19 we read “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.” We see that wisdom is what God used to create the world and everything in it. This displays the power of God’s perfect wisdom. If God’s wisdom can create something so great and so magnificent, should we not do all we can to attain the wisdom that He offers? To seek for wisdom and to take hold of it is to imitate God.

The chapter closes with an exhortation not to envy evildoers. The Word tells us that perverse and devious people are an abomination to God and are not worthy of our envy, for God chooses to take into His confidence those who are upright. Where He curses those who are wicked, He blesses those who are righteous. In the end it is the wise who will inherit great honor while the wicked will be put to shame. The New King James translates this thought as “shame shall be the legacy of fools.” Who would ever want their legacy to be one of foolishness? I pray that God would allow me to leave behind a legacy of godliness and wisdom.

Conclusions

The objective for this study is to learn godly wisdom and discernment. Based on the third chapters of Proverbs, here is what I have learned:

  • God blesses those who seek wisdom with peace and favor.
  • Wisdom helps me understand when, how and why God is chastening me and disciplining me as a loving father disciplines his child.
  • Nothing in all the world compares to the value of wisdom. Nothing I could desire can compare to her value.
  • I am to strive to attain wisdom seeing the beauty and value of wisdom in the world around me.
  • I am not to envy foolish people, for in the end God blesses only the wise. If I continue to seek wisdom I will leave a legacy of grace rather than shame.

http://www.challies.com/archives/000201.php

Mar 28, 2006 at 18:16 o\clock

The Battle for your Mind

The Battle of the Mind

A study page to combat Depression, Worry & Entrapment from Satan ~ According to the Scriptures.

Proverbs 23:7

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

The mind may be defined as the seat or subject of consciousness, the thinking and perceiving part of consciousness or intellect, the unity of the conscious and unconscious, or simply that which thinks, feels, perceives, and wills. When this vital organ becomes filled with the things and cares of the world, it is not “sound.”

When it takes on the consistency of, and logical connection with, the concerns and preoccupations of the world, our minds become at enmity ( hostile; against ) God, and we lose the ability and desire to understand the things of God.

The world’s system is always opposite to God’s system. It is so important that after you become born-again, you allow the Holy Spirit to redeem your soulish nature. The Holy Spirit sets up a classroom in your heartso He can teach your mind things about God you will not forget.

James 1:21

 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

When we are weak in the Word our thoughts are open to the assaults of the world-the temptations and lures of sin. And because our thoughts run our life, we must constantly guard them so that they don’t lead us into a life of sin.

Proverbs 24:33-34

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.

The writer of Proverbs makes clear that we won’t fall into the deep pits of sin overnight. It is a gradual process. We begin to rest and become complacent in our faith journey. We don’t guard our thoughts and actions with diligence. Our thoughts gradually increase on worldly matters and decrease on godly ones.

It is essential that we guard our thoughts and actions CONSTANTLY or we will fall victim to sin. God is a faithful Shepherd to our soul, He wakes us up and intervenes. He brings us back to the cross. He shows us again and again that we are saved only through His grace.

Ungodly thoughts will be followed by ungodly actions that will draw us further away from God.

James 4:7

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We need to BE RENEWED every morning.  When we arise we need to renew our commitment to Him.  Pray and tell God how much you love Him. Tell Him that you are going to serve Him and obey Him this day. Ask him to allow you to do what He is blessing that day. Ask Him to fill your thoughts and mind with good, positive things. Tell Him that You want Him to be proud of you today. Refuse to allow yesterday’s problems to enter your mind. Take your stand at the beginning of the day, get into partnership with God as soon as you wake up.

Romans 8:5-6

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Our minds cannot be physically touched or seen. They are like computer programs written on our brains. Just like the computer, we make decisions and draw conclusions from the material we feed into our minds. But unlike the computer, our minds can draw more that just one set of conclusions from each situation.

Our thoughts must be filled with all the fullness of God. Then we will see His glory, His wonder, His beauty and His worth. He will be our complete and perfect joy now and for eternity. We are what we think. Out thoughts determine our actions

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. Our greatest joy is surrendering our thoughts, and our life, to God.Our thoughts now affect how we’ll spend eternity. When our thoughts are faithfully focused on God, we’ll be rewarded with an eternal mindset. We’ll have a glimpse of eternity now, and we’ll be richly rewarded in His presence in heaven.

1. How are we to be transformed?

Romans 12:1-2

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2. How are we made new?

Ephesians 4:23

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind

3. What has the god of this world done?

2 Corinthians. 4:4

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

4. What did God give to each of us?

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

5. What have we been given?

1 Corinthians 2:16

For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

6. What attitude should we have?

Philippians 2:5

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus

7. Those that are not yet redeemed are what?

Romans 1:28~32

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

8. What are we to do with our thoughts?

2 Corinthians 10:4-6

 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; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

Ask yourself:

1. Do I have a personal relationship with God?

2. What areas in my thought life are based on the Word of God?

The Battle of the Mind ~Part2

We Are What We Think

Suppose a recording of your thoughts this week was revealed to friends and family and business associates? Would you be appalled or delighted? What would the recording reveal about where your thoughts are based?

Are our thoughts important? Does it matter what we think?

Proverbs 4:23

The New Century version translates it this way. “Be careful what you think because your thoughts run your life.”

Yes, our thoughts and imaginations determine who we are and what we do. We might define imagination as “the image-making faculty of the mind.” Our imagination molds our mind, our thoughts, our ideas and attitudes. Imaginations become a pattern of thinking and a whole mindset toward life that determines our creativity, our emotions, our outlook, our self-discipline, our ability to solve problems, and our ability to make the choices that we make every day.

Look Up Philippians 4:8

These are Godly imaginations. Think of it as a clock. Our priorities are the hour hands. They set the general direction of our lives. Our thoughts and imaginations are the minute and second hands. They give us our energy and our vision. Our attitude,our inner imaginations, our inner state of peace or anxiety determines our actions. Our actions and our words show whom we really are inside.

Look Up Matthew 23:25-26

The inside of the cup, our mindset, is what’s important. Our imaginations determines out actions.

Look Up Matthew15:19

We will fail if we let the wrong thoughts direct our actions. What God really wants is for our inner life to be directed toward Him. Most important, our fate for eternity hangs in the balance of what we are thinking. Our thought patternsfor this life will mold our thought patterns for eternity. We will be rewarded for our faithfulness when we keep our thoughts focused on Him. The secret to our daily life is to keep our thoughts focused on Him.

Look Up John 8:44-47

Standing up to the “father of lies” The contrast between Jesus and Satan shows why our mind is such a battlefield. Jesus is the truth, the giver of abundant life. Satan is the father of lies who comes to rob us of life. From the first conflict in the Garden of Eden, Satan’s strategy has been to distort the truth and lead us to question God’s Word. Satan didn’t need to demonstrate his power to Adam and Eve. Simply believing his lies led to their spiritual death.

http://hometown.aol.com/sue3hawk/Page19.html

Mar 27, 2006 at 18:09 o\clock

Commands of Christ

Commands worth Following

God has given us instructions to help us answer the questions of life;  many of these are found in the gospels.

The theme of all Scripture is to love God with all of our hearts and to love one another. (See Matthew 22:40 and John 13:34.)

  1. Repent—Matthew 4:17Humility
  2. Follow Me—Matthew 4:19Meekness
  3. Rejoice—Matthew 5:12Joyfulness
  4. Let Your Light Shine—Matthew 5:16Generosity
  5. Honor God’s Law—Matthew 5:17–18Love
  6. Be Reconciled—Matthew 5:24–25Responsibility
  7. Do Not Commit Adultery—Matthew 5:29–30Self-Control
  8. Keep Your Word—Matthew 5:37Truthfulness
  9. Go the Second Mile—Matthew 5:38–42Deference
  10. Love Your Enemies—Matthew 5:44Creativity
  11. Be Perfect—Matthew 5:48Sincerity
  12. Practice Secret Disciplines—Matthew 6:1–18Faith
  13. Lay Up Treasures—Matthew 6:19–21Thriftiness
  14. Seek God’s Kingdom—Matthew 6:33Initiative
  15. Judge Not—Matthew 7:1Discernment
  16. Do Not Cast Pearls—Matthew 7:6Discretion
  17. Ask, Seek, and Knock—Matthew 7:7–8Resourcefulness
  18. Do Unto Others—Matthew 7:12Sensitivity
  19. Choose the Narrow Way—Matthew 7:13–14Decisiveness
  20. Beware of False Prophets—Matthew 7:15Alertness
  21. Pray For Laborers—Matthew 9:38Compassion
  22. Be Wise as Serpents—Matthew 10:16Wisdom
  23. Fear God, Not Man—Matthew 10:26Boldness
  24. Hear God’s Voice—Matthew 11:15Attentiveness
  25. Take My Yoke—Matthew 11:29Obedience
  26. Honor Your Parents—Matthew 15:4Honor/Reverence
  27. Beware of Leaven—Matthew 16:6Virtue
  28. Deny Yourself—Luke 9:23Determination
  29. Despise Not Little Ones—Matthew 18:10Tolerance
  30. Go to Offenders—Matthew 18:15Justice
  31. Beware of Covetousness—Luke 12:15Contentment
  32. Forgive Offenders—Matthew 18:21–22Forgiveness
  33. Honor Marriage—Matthew 19:6Loyalty
  34. Be a Servant—Matthew 20:26–28Availability
  35. Be a House of Prayer—Matthew 21:13Persuasiveness
  36. Ask in Faith—Matthew 21:21–22Patience
  37. Bring in the Poor—Luke 14:12–14Hospitality
  38. Render to Caesar—Matthew 22:19–21Gratefulness
  39. Love the Lord—Matthew 22:37–38Enthusiasm
  40. Love Your Neighbor—Matthew 22:39Gentleness
  41. Await My Return—Matthew 24:42–44Punctuality
  42. Take, Eat, and Drink—Matthew 26:26–27Thoroughness
  43. Be Born Again—John 3:7Security
  44. Keep My Commandments—John 14:15Diligence
  45. Watch and Pray—Matthew 26:41Endurance
  46. Feed My Sheep—John 21:15–16Dependability
  47. Baptize My Disciples—Matthew 28:19Cautiousness
  48. Receive God’s Power—Luke 24:49Orderliness
  49. Make Disciples—Matthew 28:20Flexibility

http://www.billgothard.com/bill/teaching/commandsofchrist/49commands/

Mar 24, 2006 at 16:40 o\clock

Strong in the Lord

Be Strong In The Lord

  Ephesians 6:10 -11

"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."

When I consider the majesty of Almighty God, and the power of which He is, I am overwhelmed. He created the heavens and the earth and the majesty of the stars, mountains, valleys and all of nature. He is truly God. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, He leads us step by step on a narrow path. We learn to understand His love for us, and how He willingly teaches and protects us.

As we grow in faith and trust in Him we are often challenged to the depths of our spirit, and are called to stand firm in that faith and trust. We are told to "be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."

But, what does that mean to be strong in the Lord? Many times we fall because we really haven't learned that to be strong means to be aware of how weak we are. That the battles that are fought are battles that we in ourselves cannot fight, but rather, by clinging to the Word of God, and resting in Him, we know that the battle is already won. His Word has so many promises, and we know God will never break a promise.

We must learn to trust Him completely, because He knows and understands all that will befall us. He has promised to be our refuge and we are not to be afraid, no matter the circumstances or those involved.

Nahum 1:7

"The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him."

Isaiah 41:10

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

2 Timothy 4:18

"And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."

God deals with the spiritual battles that rage around us. Nothing that we say or do, in ourselves, will remedy what takes place. It must come from Him. Often the circumstances of the day can overwhelm us, because we may momentarily take our eyes and trust off Him. He is faithful, and will never abandon us. He allows us to struggle at times so that we may learn to lean on Him with complete trust and acceptance of what He is allowing in our lives.

Ephesians 3:16-21

" That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."

Isaiah 40:31

"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."

2 Corinthians 2:14

"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of His knowledge by us in every place."

2 Corinthians 3:4,5

"And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;"

2 Corinthians 12:9

"And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

Psalm 138:3

"In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul."

Our dependence and trust in Him must be strengthened as we see the wickedness of the world around us. We must learn to Stand! and stand firm--not being swayed--but trusting Him and being obedient to Him, without hesitation or doubt. Our rest in Him will allow our witness to reflect through; we will not be confounded or confused, but will learn to rest in the shelter of the wing of the Almighty. What safer place is there?

Psalm 71:16

"I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only."

Psalm 71:1-5

"In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth."

Psalm 31:1-3

"In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me."

It doesn't matter how strong the adversary appears, or how many there may be, our God is so much more. There is nothing, nor any person, who can defeat us when our trust is in Him. He is truly all-powerful and our strength lies in our dependence in Him.

 Psalm 46:1-3

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Se-lah."

Psalm 27:14

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."

Psalm 61:2-4

"From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Se-lah."

We are called to be a witness for Him, and to that end He teaches and leads. So many things that are happening around us, the apostasy, the blasphemy, the continual rise of the occult in everyday events, may cause many to grow afraid. Many become fearful of what physical things may take place, and what could befall them. Many may fall if they do not grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and truly trust in Him. We must be "strong in the Lord."

2 Timothy 1:7-9

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."

 Proverbs 14:25-27

"A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies. In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death."

Hebrews 12:1-4

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily best us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."

For God Himself has promised:

Hebrew 13:5b, 6

"...for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."

http://www.seekgod.ca/strong.htm

Mar 23, 2006 at 19:48 o\clock

Christian Spiritual Warfare (part 2)

Powers Of Strongholds

The more we sin, the greater grip the enemy has on us. In fact, he grips according to the kind of evil we give ourselves over to. If a city gives itself to witchcraft, the enemy can assign a power of witchcraft. If a church gives itself to strife and division, a stronghold of strife is set up. These strongholds can come on individuals, families, cities, or nations - any place people choose to allow them.

God can reveal the predominant powers in a given situation. Then we can use our authority to break them in the name of Jesus. Sometimes we can break what has been binding a family, city, or church for years. Identifying these powers also helps us avoid their influence and live in the opposite spirit. For instance, if the power is greed, we give generously. If it's pride, we humble ourselves. This is a powerful way of breaking strongholds.

Forces Of Darkness

One of Satan's main tactics is keeping people's minds in darkness. He is the father of lies and a deceiver. Millions are supernaturally blinded by the complex network of lies he's constructed - like atheism, evolution, heresies, cults, philosophies, and all the world religions.

This is why it's so important to live out truth and preach the Gospel. Spiritual warfare can't be separated from evangelism. If we want darkness erased, we have to put light into it. Christians who compromise aid the enemy because people can't see the light. There are spirit beings trying to keep you from preaching the Gospel. That's why most Christians never do. Through prayer, we can drive back the darkness hovering over people's minds so we can share truth in loving and appropriate ways.

Exercising Our Authority

What can we do about all this? When God made man, He gave him a free will. Included in that free will was authority over Planet Earth. Psalm 115:16 declares, "The earth He has given to the sons of men." We have the awesome power of choice. If we sin and act selfishly, we allow the enemy to work. But if we exercise our free will and authority in Jesus' Name, we can drive the enemy out. It's just that simple. Adam used his authority to disobey God, and opened the door for the enemy to work on the earth through people.

Jesus came to take back the authority Adam gave away. Colossians 2:15 tells us that Jesus "disarmed," or stripped, the devil of all authority. Jesus died to destroy the works of Satan, which are, as mentioned in Isaiah 61, simply the end results of human beings giving themselves over to sin and selfishness.

After the Resurrection, Jesus gave that regained authority to us in His Name. That means God has done everything to Satan He's going to do - except for punishing him at the end! The rest is up to us. God said: You resist the devil. You heal the sick. You cast out demons. You pray for the Kingdom to come and for the will of God to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven. I give you power over all the power of the enemy. (Jas. 4.7; Lk. 10:9:19; Matt. 6:10; 16:19; Jn. 20:21-23)

God is looking for an army - people who know their authority and will exercise it. If we don't rise up to drive out the enemy, he'll stay in control. Like in the Promised Land, God gave the victory, but the people had to do the fighting. We need to get angry enough at the devil to refuse him access by defensive warfare - and then push him out with offensive warfare.

Where are the people who will stand in the gap for the structures, smash the principalities, pull down the strongholds, and drive out the darkness? A policeman's authority does him no good if he just rides around in his car all day. He must exercise it. Through prevailing prayer and resisting and cutting off the strategies of the enemy, we will see change in families, in cities, and in the world. Be as specific as you can be in spiritual warfare. Let the Holy Spirit lead you and energize you as you push back the powers of darkness and pray down the Kingdom into people's hearts.

http://www.lastdaysministries.org/articles/spiritualwarfare.html

Mar 23, 2006 at 19:44 o\clock

Christian Spiritual Warfare (part 1)

Spiritual Warfare

by Dean Sherman 

Spiritual Warfare

You may believe spiritual warfare is only for Christians who happen to be "into" such things - or for obscure missionaries working in dark, heathen places. I'm sorry to say, this just isn't so. I wish we could all live in Disneyland, but we can't. There is a real devil and there are real demons. And every Christian is in a real war - a desperate, life-and-death struggle with a vicious enemy.

You might say, "Well, I'm not sure I'm ready for that. It's not my calling, I'm really into music." Or you might mistakenly think, "If I leave the devil alone, he'll leave me alone." But the war is on and we're in it whether we like it - or agree with it. It's not just for some Christians, and it's not just for some of the time. The war is on for every Christian, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You are engaged in spiritual warfare whether you know it or not - the Bible states it categorically in Ephesians 6:10-18.

"Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints..."

That's a warning cry from the Bible for each of us! Be on the alert at all times. Be strong. Get your armor on... You're in a raging war! And the attack is not coming from people - but from unseen beings. There is a roster in hell and your name is on it.

Interestingly, this scripture uses the word "wrestle" to describe the conflict. The most disciplined athletes I know are wrestlers. In football, basketball, and most other sports, the players are given a "time out" to catch their breath. But not in wrestling. The wrestler has to be in top physical form. Once he enters the ring he can't let his guard down for even a second or his opponent will pin him to the mat.

Christians can't say, "Time out devil, I need a breather!" He doesn't take weekends or Mondays off. He doesn't take it easy on you when you've been through a tragedy or been ripped off. That's when he pours on the heat. He's the original kick-'em-while-they're-down person. He is totally evil. He has no sense of mercy, sympathy, or what it means to have a fair fight. There's no practice and no warm-up. Satan is fighting a real battle against every one of us. We need to learn the "Three R's" of spiritual warfare so we can fight back.

"Three R's" Of Spiritual Warfare

RECOGNIZE: Recognizing you're in a war is a big part of victory, because knowing the enemy's tactics is to be in the light - and the devil works in darkness. The devil takes advantage of our ignorance, but when there's light, he can't do what he planned.

The Bible teaches us to be alert, which means "to watch." We must keep our eyes on Jesus at all times - but also on the devil. The Bible says we must not be ignorant but instead, "stand firm against the devil's schemes." The enemies we face are not "bad vibes," or "negative energies in the universe," or the "dark side of the force." They are personalities who think, talk, listen, observe, and plan strategies. (II Cor. 2:11; Eph. 6:11)

If we watch, we'll recognize the strategies of the enemy in our lives as well as in society. Do you see a pattern of hurt and rejection in your life? Or perhaps you're bothered by suicidal thoughts, or by the slow deadly escape of dope and booze. Does something always seem to happen to keep your family or church in strife? Look for the enemy's strategies and recognize the patterns - then go to the second "R."

REFUSE: Refusing Satan is passive warfare. Once you recognize what he is up to, ignore it and avoid it. Turn away and begin to worship the Lord and lift Him up. Refuse to be hurt. Refuse to get angry. Just let it go by. That's warfare. Nothing defeats the devil faster than ignoring what he's trying to stir up.

RESIST: This is active warfare! We're told to "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." God won't resist him - you have to. Speak to him and say, "Devil, I cut off this strategy in Jesus' Name. You've been doing this to me for 15 years, but I'm on to you and IT'S OVER!" He may try it six more times, but when you've convinced him that you're convinced of your spiritual authority he will stop (Jas. 4:7; I Pet 5:9)

How To Stay Balanced

How do we go to battle without becoming demon chasers? There are two extremes to avoid. Some people tend to blame every adversity on the devil, always assuming, "It's a demon!" They're impressed by the heaviness and the oppression. They know all the spirits and the "sub-spirits." This can be an unhealthy preoccupation.

But there are others who never admit the devil is doing anything. They don't want to even think about it. They say, "Let's not give the devil publicity! Let's just keep our eyes on the Lord." They may be frightened or maybe they don't want to be like some of the "demon chasers" they know. Unfortunately, you can't make the enemy nonexistent by refusing to recognize he's there.

So, how do you stay balanced? Don't assume the devil is behind something, but don't refuse to consider it either. How will you know? Ask God. When He shows you, that's what the Bible calls "discernment."

Be aware of what the devil does, but don't be influenced by his activity. Being aware won't hurt you - the Bible refers to demons and Satan all the time. But if you fall into the subtle trap of being influenced, Satan will have you focusing on him. Then you'll end up with a big, complex devil and a relatively small God in your mind. Find out what the devil is doing, but spend more time studying God and His greatness.

Warfare: Defensive And Offensive

We need to defeat the devil on two fronts: the defensive and the offensive. God gave us weapons and armor, which means we're prepared for both. If you're a Christian, you're ready! Christ is our armor, righteousness, salvation, and truth. Remember, "Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world." We can be "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might." So let the weak say, "I am strong." (Joel 3:10; II Cor. 10:4)

Defensive warfare has to do with you as an individual. To paraphrase a familiar saying, "The devil hates you and has a horrible plan for your life!" Ephesians 6:13 says, "... having done everything, to stand firm." In sports, the defense's job is to stand in front of the goal and keep the opponent out. We don't struggle to get saved or stay saved. That's a gift of God's grace and He can keep us from falling. But we must defend our commitment from the enemy's attacks, lies, seductions, and temptations. We must declare, "I'm standing firm, devil, and you are not coming through here!"

Three Areas To Defend

YOUR MIND. The devil loves to put thoughts into your mind. You can be born-again and heaven-bound, but if you have wrong thoughts, your effectiveness on earth is greatly diminished. We must war against thoughts that don't agree with the truth. Analyze your thoughts. Just say to yourself, "Hey, thoughts! Where did you come from?" If it's a thought of pride, fear, unbelief, lust depression, or condemnation, it needs to be cast down. That's something you have to do. Refuse to dwell on it. Turn your mind to God and make it agree with His Word. (2 Cor. 10:3-5)

YOUR HEART. In this case, your "heart" means your attitudes and emotions. Wrong attitudes are killers. In Ephesians 4:27, we learn that as Christians we give opportunity to the devil if we don't deal with our wrong attitudes. Arrogant, rebellious, unforgiving, and contentious attitudes open up a door for the enemy to enter our life, marriage, church, nation, and world.

The devil only has access to the world through people's sin and selfishness. Jesus defeated every demonic power on the cross 2,000 years ago - but Satan is still active to the exact degree people allow him to be. Sinners are not the only ones allowing him to work. Christians allow him to work when we don't deal with our wrong attitudes.

Ephesians 4:26 tells us, "Do not let the sun go down on your anger." So we must deal with any wrong attitudes on a regular basis - like taking a shower or brushing our teeth. It's something we must do. We "put off," the old man and "put on" the new man. That keeps the devil shut down. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep your heart with all diligence..."

YOUR MOUTH. The mouth is a powerful instrument and the devil knows it. Our mouth has spiritual power for either good or evil. The same mouth can pronounce a blessing or a curse. (Jas. 3:10) Our words can be a vehicle for the human spirit, the Holy Spirit, or an evil spirit.

The enemy loves to inspire us to speak unbelief, slander, gossip, and hurtful, harsh sarcasm. Many of us carry wounds from things said to us years ago. Don't let the devil bring curses through your mouth. Think! Pray what David prayed in Psalm 141:3, "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips."

Taking The Gates Of Hell

Offensive warfare is aimed at the world around you. It's warfare done to advance God's Kingdom into society. In sports the offense tries to find a way over, under, around, or through the opponent - to the place of scoring. Unfortunately, in spiritual warfare many Christians only do defense. They just hope to keep the devil off their backs from Sunday to Sunday. They pray the game ends 0 to 0. How boring! Let's take the offensive. That's what Jesus described in Matthew 16:18, "I will build My Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.," Offensive warfare is taking initiative against the gates. They won't prevail if we move against them - but they will continue to stand if we don't attack! We need strategies of prayer and service to smash down the gates of hell. These gates are listed in Ephesians 6:12. Let's look at them.

Rulers Of This World

The enemy is after authority because he wants to rule the whole earth. Human structures and their leaders are sources of power, so he seeks to control them. His main strategy is to assign spirit beings to attack existing authority structures so he can function through them. All of society is set up in authority structures: marriage, family, church, school, business, tribe, club, media, labor unions, cities, and nations. Spirit beings are assigned to capture these structures and rule them.

Like walls around an ancient city, authority is a wall around every structure in society. When authority is ungodly or breaks down from neglect or rebellion, the walls can be penetrated by the devil. Therefore, you are doing spiritual warfare by being good leaders and submitted followers. Romans 13:1-3 indicates that good authority hinders the attack of the enemy. We also do spiritual warfare by praying for these structures and for our leaders - standing in the gap and building up broken-down walls. (Ezek. 13:3-5; 22:30)

Principalities

In Daniel 10 there's an angel who had just fought in the heavenlies with a being called the "prince of Persia." Later in that chapter, the "prince of Greece" is mentioned. If there were princes of Persia and Greece then, there are princes of London, Los Angeles, Japan, Texas, and other regions today. The biblical use of the word "principality" - which means a specific territory ruled by a prince - shows Satan's forces are assigned geographically and according to people groupings in society. That's why you can stand on a border in Africa with your toes in a country where thousands get saved every week, and with your heels in a country where there are almost no Christians.

To combat these principalities, we must pray geographically and according to people groups. People groups consist of any distinct group in society with a common bond: children, senior citizens, refugees, homosexuals, racial groups, language groups, or occupational groups. The enemy knows each one and has them targeted with a specific attack. Every Christian needs to be a student of geography. How else can we push back the enemy?

We have let the enemy work unopposed in much of what he's doing. He's been systematically deceiving, binding, and destroying people groups and structures that no Christian has ever even prayed for, let alone served. The gates of hell are prevailing. We have the authority to knock the gates down, but we must identify them and aggressively move against them. We must target every people group with prayer and loving service.

Powers Of Strongholds

The more we sin, the greater grip the enemy has on us. In fact, he grips according to the kind of evil we give ourselves over to. If a city gives itself to witchcraft, the enemy can assign a power of witchcraft. If a church gives itself to strife and division, a stronghold of strife is set up. These strongholds can come on individuals, families, cities, or nations - any place people choose to allow them.

God can reveal the predominant powers in a given situation. Then we can use our authority to break them in the name of Jesus. Sometimes we can break what has been binding a family, city, or church for years. Identifying these powers also helps us avoid their influence and live in the opposite spirit. For instance, if the power is greed, we give generously. If it's pride, we humble ourselves. This is a powerful way of breaking strongholds.

-- continued on next posting

http://www.lastdaysministries.org/articles/spiritualwarfare.html

Mar 22, 2006 at 21:48 o\clock

Weapons for Spiritual Conflict

Please read 2 Corinthians 10:1-11

Spiritual Weapons for Spiritual Warfare

Introduction

Read and explain setting (why Paul is coming on so strong).  False apostles (11:13) have infiltrated and are trying to discredit Paul by pointing to his contemptable appearance and unimpressive speech (10:10), so he has to defend himself for their sakes.

Let’s focus on vs 3-5.  Paul says we are at war, and that we are responsible for waging an offensive war.

The war is not against people (Eph. 6:12), but rather against falsehood (“fortresses” are “speculations raised up against the knowledge of Christ;”  “captives” are thoughts).

Our weapons are not humanly-originated (physical beauty or power; personality power, political clout, etc.), but rather divinely powerful (2 Cor. 6:7; Eph. 6:17,18 >> God’s power through his Word and prayer).

How do we use these weapons effectively?  What does it look like to practice vs 5?  Paul doesn’t tell us in this passage, but we can find out from other passages . . . 

Taking every thought captive

This probably refers to how we handle our own individual thought-lives.

The key to spiritual growth is mental transformation (Rom. 12:2; 8:4-6).  Those who focus on superficial ethical change or emotional experiences are off-track.  Deep-seated, lasting ethical change and healthy spiritual experience are results of primarily learning to think differently about ourselves, God, others, our circumstances, etc.

If we want to be able to “take every thought captive,” we will need to practice three things:

INPUT: learning the biblical world-view

Read Col. 3:16.  The idea here is to super-saturate our minds with biblical truth.  Like a large sponge that is so saturated with water that it oozes at the slightest poke, so we should be so full of scriptural truth that any stimulus prompts us to respond with what God says about that area of life.

This is why we stress the Bible so much here!  This is why we have this meeting, home groups, study groups, courses, etc.  Spiritual transformation takes place via the renewal of our minds with biblical truth (Rom. 12:2a).

CONTROL: monitoring your own thought-life (Heb. 5:14)

Aggressively identifying falsehoods, rejecting them and replacing them with biblical truth

“. . .we must talk to ourselves instead of allowing ‘ourselves’ to talk to us!  Do you realize what that means?  I suggest that the main trouble in this whole matter of spiritual depression in a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self.  Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical?  Far from it.  This is the very essence of wisdom in this matter. Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning.  You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc.  Somebody is talking.  Who is talking to you?  Your self is talking to you.  Now this man’s treatment was this; instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. ‘Why art thou cast down, O my soul?’ he asks.  His soul had been depressing him, crushing him.  So he stands up and says: ‘Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you’.  Do you know that I mean? If you do not, you have had but little experience.

The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handles yourself.  You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself.  You must say to your soul: ‘Why are you cast down’ -- what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself; ‘Hope you in God’ -- instead o muttering in this depressed unhappy way.  And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done and what God has pledged Himself to do.  Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people,  and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: ‘I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the heath of my countenance and my God’.

. . . The essence of this matter is to understand that this self or ours this other man within us, has got to be handled. Do not listen to him; turn on him; speak to him; condemn him;’ upbraid him; exhort him; encourage him; remind him of what you know, instead of listening placidly to him & allowing him to drag you down & depress you. For that is what he will always do it you allow him to be in control.  The devil takes hold of self & uses it in order to depress us.  We must stand up as this man did and say: ‘Why are you cast down? Why are you disquieted within me?’ Stop being so! “Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance,’ He, ‘who is the health of my countenance and my God.’[1]

EXAMPLES: HAPPINESS BY HAVING OTHERS LOVE YOU PROPERLY; PERFORMANCE-BASED ACCEPTANCE WITH GOD; OVERWHELMED BY CIRCUMSTANCES; SELF-PITY.  There is endless application to this.  God will help us identify the lies, bring to mind scriptural truth, etc.--but we must be fully engaged on this front!

This is why fellowship is crucial.  You can’t always identify the lie, and/or you don’t always know what to replace it with, etc.  But other Christian friends can help you in both areas!

OUTPUT: choosing to act existentially on truth (Jas. 1:25)

This is the final piece of biblical faith.  This is what tamps these truths deeper into your mind.  This is what builds greater confidence in God’s Word.

Once we know that God accepts us unconditionally in Christ, we need to act consistently with that truth by drawing near to God even when we feel unworthy, by being honest with him and others about our moral failures, and by extending God’s forgiveness to others.

Once we know that God works sovereignly for good even in bad circumstances, we need to act consistently with this truth by thanking him in the midst of trials and actively seeking to bless others.

Once we know that true fulfillment comes by serving others sacrificially, we need to act consistently with this truth by choosing to serve even when we feel needy na dhave nothing to give.

>> Where you are spiritually five years from now will largely be the result, not of MOUNTAIN-TOP EXPERIENCES, but of habits you build in this area!!

http://www.xenos.org/ct_outln/2cr10-11.htm

Mar 21, 2006 at 22:01 o\clock

Finding Answers

                            Introduction

This site's postings will periodically have links and text for some of the important questions and answers and struggles we face in understanding and living in the 21st century, and dealing with important issues.

Note that all these postings are written from an evangelical Christian viewpoint.

As a start, check out the message on the following web site:

http://www.findtheanswer.net/Homepage.html