Sunday, September 14, 2008

September Ramblings

The month of September 2008 marks my tenth year anniversary of when I became a born again Christian. It has been a journey to say the least. I have had more adversity coming against me after becoming a Christian, then I ever had as a non-believer, and I say that at the risk of being "charismatically incorrect". Yet, I count on Him to bring me out of my trials. Also, I am not discounting the fact I experienced trying times before accepting Jesus as my Savior. At times my life has been like a nightmare, but one thing I do know, I would rather be where I am today with Him enduring these hardships, than to be without Him. For our time on this earth is temporal. And it is where we spend eternity that matters. The Lord Jesus Christ not only gives meaning to our lives, He is the meaning of our lives.

Ephesians 1:5
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Our walk with the Lord is a growing process. He has taken me far, despite the many afflictions I have encountered this past decade. I have experienced real hardships, serious illnesses, poverty, and contempt from my own family members at times. My elderly parents and my brother are to this day Roman Catholics, and I grew up with that background-- but I can say assuredly, I was NOT saved. Then for some years afterwards, I was quite comfortable with my beliefs as an atheist. But back to my point…I believe many trials are to keep us from growing in the Word, as Satan will come to steal the Word through adversity in our lives.

MARK 4:13-20
13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
14 The sower soweth the word.
15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.

Not only will the enemy send affliction, send diversion and hardships; he will send certain people to stray us off course with our walk with God. Satan will send people (often well intentioned people) to lead us into error, yet I can look back now and see where God was directing me from some of them--- but I rejected His voice. Error can be easy, because our adversary will often make error easy for you. Satan will even confirm erroneous teachings to keep us off course, and attempt to make it look like God. However, there are times God will also make things difficult for us, because He is trying to protect us. We can therefore misinterpret those things as coming from the enemy. This is why knowledge of the Word and prayer with God is so essential.

I am committing myself this next year to re-examine some of the teachings I’ve been exposed to. Recently, I have been learning things I never heard of---very serious things concerning the end times; and I give the Lord praise for directing my paths. Another area He is dealing with me on is too often I assume people who know a lot of the scriptures, and who have theological education, or who are in leadership positions must be more spiritual; therefore most likely correct in matters concerning His Word. I have learned it is wrong to make assumptions like this! Never exalt the knowledge of men over the Word of God! I need to spend less time on “teachings” and just desiring the sincere milk of the Word. Don’t get me wrong, I am not minimizing the importance of solid teaching. But thank God we have His Spirit to lead us into all Truth. And it seems He often does this through His Word.

What I have learned the hard way… and I pray to the Lord I have truly learn this, is to be able to admit I am wrong about something and to search the Word of God on things even if I think I know the answer. Pride can really ruin our walk with God, and it is an evil destructive thing. But one thing stands sure, it’s His Word. We are living in a time, when it is absolutely essential for us Christians to stay in our bibles. I used to think this in terms of us believers dealing with the non-believing world. Au contraire! Not just the world—but this is applicable to interactions within the church. There is a wave of seduction out there, and I don’t mean of the opposite sex. I mean seducing spirits and false gospels which seem right, but upon closer inspection, they fail the Word test. We must put on the whole armor of God to stand in these times.

Ephesians 6:11-13
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

1 Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: