Trust Him –And Wait

•January 4, 2010 • Comments Off on Trust Him –And Wait

Friends,
Sometimes… to look ahead at another whole year staring us in the face can be… well… frightening. To some it may be exciting, hopeful, full of promise… But to others, especially those who have lost jobs or family, or have heard some disheartening news concerning a loved one’s health, or who have been asked to move… the year’s challenges can look rather ominous –even bleak. Or how about those who have been waiting expectantly on a promise they were sure the Lord had given them? And they’ve been waiting… and waiting… and waiting… beginning to fear that maybe… well, maybe… what they heard was not really the Lord after all…

All these scenarios can be quite disheartening.

What does the Lord say to do when we doubt? Or when we fear? He tells us not to do so. But HOW? –is the question. How do we get the strength, the faith –to not doubt and fear?

No, it is not as simple as popping a pill –“Okay, all better… miracle –I feel full of faith now.” Instead, it is slower… a quiet growth… a response on God’s part –when He sees obedience. Our obedience to trust Him –even in the dark. –Even when we feel nothing changing. –Even when we can’t trust anymore than to just open His Word and read, through blurred vision, heart breaking, emotions spent, hope gone…

Quietly, invisibly… a tiny –very tiny– ray of hope seeps into the spirit… and we’re able to say the name “Jesus”… and then breathe out a stilted prayer… and then maybe a verse we’ve memorized… Then we wipe the tears, we sit up, we turn to another passage of Scripture… then another… hearing some faint impressions of comfort and assurance upon our spirits… and we recognize our Shepherd’s voice…

Friends, the waiting, the uncertainty is allowed by Him for reasons… for how would we grow in faith, learn to trust Him… –if it weren’t for these times? Do spiritual giants learn courage overnight? Do warriors become great through osmosis? No. It takes training. It takes work. It takes determination –to succeed… in spite of the discouragement of failures.

So how do we conquer in this fight toward perfection? How do we conquer our fears and doubts? We wait. We trust. We keep in mind that “This too shall pass.” That this discouragement, this uncertainty, this trial, this loneliness, this hardship… will pass. That if we look back up to the Lord, He will give comfort, and guidance, and strength… to put another foot in front of the other… today… and again tomorrow…

And if He does not still choose to shine the light any further up the path, He will be whispering to our hearts that He is there –in control. And that our job right now is to simply wait… and trust… and rest in Him and His words.

“When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose Word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?” (Ps. 56:3,4)

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.” (Ps. 42:11)

“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” (Job 8:21 & see Ps. 126:2)

Trust Him. Wait on Him. He rewards faith.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Perpetually An Infant? –Expect To Be Cursed.

•January 3, 2010 • Comments Off on Perpetually An Infant? –Expect To Be Cursed.

Friends,
How long have you been a “believer” in God’s Word? When did you get “born again”? Well, if it has already been a few years, you ought to be Bible-teachers by now. (See Heb. 5:12) If you are not, why not? What have you been doing? Working, you say? Okay. –But have you not any free time? And what do you do with that free time? Can not a percentage of it be given to God? –Spending time in His Word? –Listening to His Spirit teach you through it? –Devoting your heart and lips to some daily undistracted adoration of Him? –Also offering some completely unselfish service to another one of His hurting children?

No, you do not have to be a “professional” Bible-teacher. But in some way or another, you should be teaching God’s Truth to someone –at least to yourself. And a systematic approach, rather than a haphazard one, is certainly best. This would require a designated time, a planned curriculum (–simple is fine), and a commitment to follow through daily. This (that is, teaching) is the optimum way by which to learn God’s Word –the Truth.

Heb. 5:13 goes on to say, “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.” Indeed, if “Christians” continue to live as spiritual infants, they will not learn righteousness. Yet we are expected to attain maturity, solid faith, the knowledge of and fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4:13) “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” (v. 14) And craftiness there is an abundance of! –Slick and sly –and coming through messengers who appear incredibly sweet and unassuming.

But Jesus and the apostles warned of these! Dressed in soft friendly wool –smiles and love talk included– these teachers are actually “ferocious wolves” (Matt. 7:15) with sharp teeth, ready to tear a gullible one to pieces (Matt. 7:6), as both head toward the abyss. Would the masses follow a teacher that bared his fangs? Of course not. So they come in “sheep’s clothing” (Matt. 7:15) –that popular “cultural relevancy” hip talk –interspersed with cooings about social activism and compassion. Oh, yea… that’s a sure ploy by which to trick the “Christian culture” into thinking one’s motives are far from those of a wolf.

Are all false teachers really consumed with the intents of a wolf? No. But if they are blind, yet think they see and are qualified to lead others who are blind, the destination is the same: The pit. (Matt. 15:14 & 23:13,33)

“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity” (Heb. 6:1), that of righteousness. “Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.” (1 Tim. 4:7) For “solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (Heb. 5:14) So it is by diligently feeding off of God’s Word and putting it into practice that we are like the wise man who built his house upon the rock. (Matt. 7:24)

Heb. 6:7 goes on: “Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God.” The “land” is each individual of whom the Lord rains down upon, expecting fruit, a crop, a harvest of souls. And what is the rain He gives? Verses 4 & 5 tell us. It is enlightenment… a taste and share in the heavenly gift –the Holy Spirit… the goodness of the Word of God… His power… (It is also initial forgiveness of sin, as implied by verse 6.) However, what is said in verse 8 concerning those who receive all this blessed rain, but who remain infants, unable to produce a crop –either outside oneself by bringing others to righteousness, or within oneself by learning to be godly? This is what is said: “But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned.”

This matches what Jesus says in John 15:5,6, “I am the Vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”

So do we see that in Him we bear fruit; falling out from Him, we are cursed? This is why Heb. 6:6 warns about falling away once we’ve shared in the Holy Spirit, and why verse 11 says, “We want each of you to show this same diligence [producing a crop] to the very end, in order to make your hope sure… and inherit what has been promised [– eternal life].” For those who “remain in Christ” WILL go on to fruit-bearing maturity. –Producing “the fruit of the Spirit [which is] love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22) And helping others to also come to maturity, so that they too, may produce fruit.

Let me remind us all of the parable Jesus told immediately after having warned twice, “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3,5) Here it is: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'” (v. 6-8) Being cut down is not dying and going to Heaven. It is Judgment… being cursed and thrown into the fire. It is being assigned “a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:51)

Again: If fruit does not happen within a reasonable amount of time, Heb. 6:8 does teach that these perpetual infants –this barren, worthless, unproductive land– will indeed be cursed.

So, what kind of land (or tree) are you?  (Maybe you should start fertilizing, cultivating, and training yourself –in the Word of God!)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

God’s Word Is Top Priority

•January 2, 2010 • Comments Off on God’s Word Is Top Priority

Friends,
I hope and pray that many people, particularly pastors and other Christian leaders, will, this year, strongly impress upon those they influence, the importance of meditating on and knowing the Word of God. It is the single most important emphasis to be preached. Worship –the practice advertised as most important in almost every evangelical denomination, as well as in many other religions– is not to be prioritized above feeding off Scripture. Because if it is, worship will digress to something anti-christ.

Without the grounding of God’s authoritative and objective Word, worshippers will not know who they are worshipping because they will not know His true attributes as He has revealed Himself through Scripture –nor will they truly know Him. If one does not know the object of one’s worship, then a person opens themselves up to the possibility of worshipping a false god. In doing that, they then neither hear from nor pray to the LORD, the one true God.

How do worshippers deviate from the True to the false? By not worshipping according to the way God has prescribed. No, that does not include all those Old Testament regulations, but it does include purity and holiness and reverence. And we are to worship in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

Unfortunately, this is not the way most churches conduct their worship services. The worship is led by unholy individuals (for the most part) who are talented and who have charisma, but who lack the filling of the Holy Spirit. Many are up front to bring glory, not to God necessarily, but to themselves. Others are more genuine, but lack righteousness in their daily living, lack obedience to God’s holy laws, and lack whole-hearted devotion to Jesus –for too much love of the world still dwells in their hearts.

Certainly, if people would meditate on God’s Word, much of this repugnant and false worship would be eliminated. Churches would know (and care!) about what conduct pleases God because they would know what kind of hearts and minds and attitudes He accepts.

God says in Isa. 1:13, “Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to Me… I cannot bear your evil assemblies.” And in Mal. 1:7,10, “You place defiled food on My altar. Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on My altar. I am not pleased with you… and I will accept no offering from your hands.” And in verse 14 God says, “Cursed is the cheat who… sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king… and My name is to be feared among the nations.”

We do not offering sacrifices of animals anymore in order to please God for “we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb. 10:10) However, this does not mean Christ’s sacrifice gives us license to sin, for later in the same chapter we are told, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only… judgment.” (v. 26,27)

So now, under the New Covenant, it is our bodies and our spirits which we offer to God –as pleasing, worshipping incense. And the only way we can walk pleasing to Him –producing the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22,23)– is by soaking in and studying the Scriptures. As Jesus says in John 15:3,4, “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the Vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.” And He consistently tells us to “remember His words.” (See v. 20)

We cannot do this, if we are not allowing God’s Word to dwell in us richly. And we cannot do that if we are not reading it daily.

So may those in the pulpits –everywhere– fervently proclaim this necessity. And practice it themselves.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Resolution Freedom

•January 1, 2010 • Comments Off on Resolution Freedom

Friends,
So… it is now a new year. Many consider today a new beginning, a fresh start. They make resolutions for themselves –promises to be, in one way or another, a better person.

I guess it’s an okay practice. –Because it’s always good to desire to do the right things –in order to BE right. I’m sure much good comes of it.

However, much discouragement also results from these “New Year’s Resolutions”. –Because most people, even while having the desire, the determination, the will… end up failing soon enough. Why? –Because either they really didn’t want it badly enough, or they did, but just did not have the will-POWER.

Do we know how many forlorn, hopeless faces can be looked into who have tried… truly tried…? Many a time they’ve “jump-started” their wills, determining to quit or do or… and too soon they are back where they started. Yet they insist they’ve done all they can to make the resolution stick –“this time.”

I do feel very sad for these people. They are caught. They are in bondage. Some do not realize it –that they are slaves… –but most do…

Friends, Jesus did come to set the captives free. He really did! The problem is, is that most “Christians” (and therefore the rest of the world) do not believe it. Yes, they do (I guess) believe that we are set free from the penalty of sin, but they don’t truly believe that we are set free from the power of sin. Because if they did believe, they would act on that belief. They themselves would not be bound in slavery to their particular addictions (eating too much, watching junk on T.V., wasteful and unnecessary reading off the internet, too much involvement with things that don’t matter, won’t quit gossiping or lusting or cussing…) and in having tasted freedom, they would be so overjoyed, that they could not help but talk about it, study more about perfecting it to a constancy, and excitedly tell others. For that is the guaranteed natural outcome of anyone who has found something (or someone) wonderful. They will want to find out more, and they WILL tell others!

The LORD says in Isa. 49:9, “Say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!'” How? Through belief in Jesus, repentance, and transferring our citizenship to His kingdom of light. For what He did for us on the cross –taking the punishment for sin–“He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13,14) So because of this tender mercy of our God we’ve been given salvation and forgiveness from Him who came “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1:79)

Salvation… mercy… tenderness… guidance… peace… and freedom…! Indeed, as Rom. 6:18 tells us, “You have been set free from sin…” And Rev. 1:5 sums it up well, “He loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood.”

How does this forgiveness, love, and freedom relate to resolutions? Here’s how: Once we’ve genuinely transferred our citizenship, we need only to make resolutions (or decisions) by HIS power and will. Our wills have been completely submitted to HIS will, and by our having done this, He gives the power for its application. Furthermore, we make only resolutions that HE tells us to, knowing He loves us and considers the best for us. Thus, in so doing, we can be assured that HIS power will not fail us, and we can then perform it –abide by it.

People can muster a lot of will-power on their own. The human potential is actually quite remarkable. But even for the best, it is just a whole lot more lovely to just rest in our God’s power than to work up our own. Because even the best often fail. But God does not fail.

So, if you have a resolution… walk in Him… His mercy, His power, and His freedom. That freedom and power which our merciful God, through our Lord Jesus, paid to give you.

Oh, how do we –specifically and practically– walk in this freedom? By abiding in the Vine. (John 15:1-8) What does that mean? It means walking closely with the Lord in repentance and obedience. How do we practically do that? We pray, praise, and meditate on His Word –the Bible. Indeed, the Word is the main thing He talks from; as well as the main source from which we derive power for right living (see John 17:17 & 1 Peter 1:22,23) and for walking in freedom. (Ps. 119:45)

Blessings to all… as we do this… this entire new year.

Love,
Rachel

Reflect Back, Move Forward

•December 31, 2009 • Comments Off on Reflect Back, Move Forward

Friends,
As we reflect back over the year, do we thank God for all His provisions, His protection over us and our loved ones, His guidance and instructions, and His comfort from His Word? I do. He has been my kind Shepherd, leading me along so gently and mercifully. I am utterly grateful. Other gods would have flung me about, been harsh when I doubted, got fearful or depressed, or when I didn’t understand… but not Him. He spoke softly, but persistently. He always “did answer when I cried to Him in my distress.” (See Ps. 120:1) He spoke to me every night and every day, because I was constantly asking Him to… and I was listening, and praising, and on my knees… and because “I have treasured the Words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” (Job 23:12) Truly, He has honored my seeking of Him…

Do we fathom this God who loves us? Just think: All those astronomy photos we’ve been seeing for years now… He made all those stars. And when we think of how deep the deepest part of our planet’s ocean is… envision ourselves down under its weight –as if our body could take that, which it can’t– and then realize how microscopic that enormity is (the whole ocean depths) compared to the galaxy in which our “pale blue dot” of an earth exists… and then compare that to all the galaxies, and then to the vastness of the universe… and then realize there’s a Being who created all of it with His word (Ps. 33:6)… I’d think that we could not help but fall prostrate in awe and gratefulness before this Great God who says, “Precious individual speck of dust, I love you. I stooped to come to your fallen earth to ransom you. I want to fellowship with you. Yes, YOU.”
Oh, the privilege of this…….!!!

So, were we grateful for this immense privilege? Did we act on our gratefulness? Did we spend time with this Wonderful God –as often as we possibly could?

Or did we say we were thankful, say we love Him, serve Him, listen to Him, yet instead spent hours “doing our own thing”?

Well, for those of us who walk closely, gratefully, and obediently with this Awesome Creator / Majestic One, let’s be encouraged by reflecting back on all those benefits and kindnesses He bestowed. Is it not a sign of what He will again do for us? It is. He will continue His care for us. He will continue His patient training of us. And He will eventually bring us forth as gold (Job 23:10), ready, polished, and finished. Tested and found worthy. Carved to spiritual perfection that we might be the sharp tool in His hand that He wanted through which to make His love, Word, and glory known to the world. And finally, in addition –able to be entrusted with abundance (see Ps. 66:8-12) (–not necessarily material)… knowing that we will not hoard anything for ourselves, but overflow our gifts back upon a hurting, waiting, watching world…

In view of these considerations, may we all move forward with joyful expectation as to what our Glorious Powerful God has in store for us throughout this new year! For indeed, He is “the God who performs miracles.” (Ps. 77:14)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

How Did We Treat The Last Year?

•December 30, 2009 • Comments Off on How Did We Treat The Last Year?

Friends,
So… as this year winds down to a close… what are our thoughts…? –Our thoughts concerning, no, not how the year treated us, but how we treated the year? –The people we encountered? –The assignments the Lord gave us? –The temptations that came our way? — The opportunities offered? In short: How did we react to 2009? — Every day of it?

I hope that we can look back and already have the assurance in our hearts that we reacted to it all exactly as the Lord’s ambassador should have…

That “in everything that happened, we conducted ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.” (See Phil. 1:27)

That in “whatever we did, whether in word or deed, we did it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (See Col. 3:17)

That we “watched our life and doctrine closely” (see 1 Tim. 4:16) testing both constantly against Scripture study and guidance from the Holy Spirit.

That we “devoted ourselves to prayer, to being watchful [spiritually wise and discerning] and to thankfulness.” (See Col. 4:2)

That we presented “the Gospel not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.” (See 1 Thes. 1:5)

That “we took every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5), as well as our every word, action, attitude, emotion, plan, decision, and prayer –constantly.

That we were careful “to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” (Rom. 16:19)

That with His “divine power we demolished strongholds and arguments and every pretension that set itself up against the knowledge of God.” (See 2 Cor. 10:4,5)

That we “did not seek to win the approval of men, but of God… for if we were still trying to please men, we would not be servants of Christ.” (See Gal. 1:10)

That “we spoke as men approved by God to be entrusted with the Gospel, not trying to please men but God… nor looking for praise from men…” (See 1 Thes. 2:4,6)

That “we did not give in to them [false brothers –v. 4) even for a moment, so that the truth of the Gospel might remain…” (See Gal. 2:5)

That we “set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” (1 Tim. 4:12)

That we did our “best to present ourselves to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth.” (See 2 Tim. 2:15)

That we “loved God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourself” (see Mark 12:30,31), and that we did not love the world or its things. (1 John 2:15)

Well, we could go on evaluating how we treated the year and the details of our reactions to what came our way, but we also could just ask ourselves in summary, “Did we strive for perfection in the little things?” Because that is how we will train ourselves in fulfilling Jesus’ command in Matt. 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

For every day, every year, we should all be pressing hard toward that perfection goal… Because we so want to please our God. Because to please Him is to love Him. And Jesus said that that is the greatest commandment.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Seek God Elsewhere… Be Deceived

•December 29, 2009 • Comments Off on Seek God Elsewhere… Be Deceived

Friends,
I find it strange and sad that many modern church leaders are not teaching that in order to find the Lord, we must seek Him through His Word. They are emphasizing being taught by the Spirit, but not by the Word. No, the Holy Spirit USES the WORD OF GOD. Otherwise, in trying to seek God, we open ourselves up to counterfeit spirits –which we all know are working overtime today (1 Tim. 4:1) –especially in the church where spirituality is most accepted. Scripture tells us to meditate on the Word day and night. (For example in Josh. 1:8 & Ps. 1:1,2, not to mention what Ps. 119:11,105,133 all say –and elsewhere.) Ps. 119:72 says, “The law of Thy mouth [that means Scripture] is more precious unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” It does not say, “The Spirit is more precious to me than…”

Many are telling us to get away, get alone, get quiet, and seek God’s voice. But “seek” where? They do not emphasize (or often do not even mention) Scripture. However, God’s Word is where we seek and find Him. It’s true we are to get alone and quietly listen to Him, but that is only partial truth. These teachers leave out a lot. For example, they rarely mention that we are first to totally repent of all known sin. If we refuse to do that, the rest of the attempt to hear from the Lord is very likely not going to happen; and if we do think we hear any peaceful words from Him, it likely is not God, but another spirit. Then, besides repentance, they also leave out that we are to carefully read God’s Word and worship Him with reverent, obedient hearts.

Suggestions that are only partial truth are dangerous. Even Catholic monks, Buddhists, and New Agers know to get alone and quiet in order to hear spiritual things. But they deviate into all sorts of false doctrines because they don’t check what they hear (and hear they do!) against the objective Word of God. Truly, I am weary of seeing that so many modern “Christians”, including even the under-shepherds of God’s flock, cannot hold up the Bible and say, “Here is your answer. God speaks through this.”

Only the Lord knows of all the masses that are left in the dark by the careless suggestions and teachings of those who do not walk whole-heartedly with the Lord, though pretend they do. Indeed, I just weep at the ignorance of the church and its leaders –for error is not a light thing, but sends people to an eternity of Hell! As “they refuse to love the truth they fall for delusions and lies, and they perish” (see 2 Thes. 2:10), taking hoards of church-goers with them! (See Matt. 7:21-23)

The answer in how to seek and find the Lord is this: Step 1. Meditate on God’s Word to get to know Him closely and hear from Him correctly. Step 2. Repent of all known sin, as the practice of the first step brings conviction.  Step 3. Glorify God and give Him thanks. (Rom. 1:21) To glorify God means with our songs of praise, our thoughts, our motives, our actions, our obedience… but it is through the Word that we learn to consistently and correctly do this. And it is through the Word that we grow in holiness and correct doctrine (1 Tim. 4:13,16 & 1 Peter 1:22 & John 17:17) so that we can thus glorify Him out of pure hearts. The Holy Spirit is only “given to those who obey Him [God]” (Acts 5:32) and He does not teach apart from His Word. (Except for rare cases –because of His mercy– such as when one has no access to Scripture; or if we want to say that creation teaches us how awesome God is –Ps. 19:1-4 & Rom. 1:19,20)

“Soak in the River”, “Soak in God’s Presence”… these are things we hear in many churches now, but they are also things promoted by mystics and the contemplative prayer enthusiasts. –By which they bring to themselves false jesuses, different spirits (2 Cor. 11:4) –who teach different gospels– and false doctrines. And worship is so much about “feeling” –ours and God’s. No, there should be no seeking about how God “really feels about us.” He is either pleased with us, or He’s not. Scripture already makes clear: He loves people, but He hates sin. We listen to Him in order to hear His will for us and to please HIM, not get gushy words from Him about ourselves. A striving after that stems from teachings of mystics and those in the prayer movement –who strongly emphasize “intimacy with God” through prayer and worship OVER Bible study. The focus is wrong. Yes, God will likely encourage us, or correct and rebuke us, or tell us to believe, have faith, courage, etc., but it’s not about His “feelings about us”. Nor is it about our feelings. We worship Him by faith and in obedience –no matter what we’re feeling.

I am also weary of those who promote the idea that we deal daily with hearing from all sorts of spirits. It’s true that we sometimes forget to adequately put on our armor (Eph. 6:12-17) –like the belt of Truth– and those fiery darts do make their way in, but it should be immediately recognized and thrown out by the power of the name of Jesus. We are expected to constantly “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16) with the assurance that 1 John 5:18 is true which says, “…the one who was born of God [the firstborn only begotten One] keeps him [we who abide in Him and His words] safe, and the evil one does not touch him.” This is speaking of sin specifically, but is it not a sin to listen to the deceiver’s side when we know how to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1) by way of the objective Word of God? Jesus says in John 8:47, “He who belongs to God hears what God says.” Jesus tells us in John 10:5 that His sheep “will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

Only those who are not abiding in the Vine and His words (John 15:1-7) would entertain words from the enemy. This is clearly what Jesus is saying. However, in turning away from the truth, they will fall to myths (2 Tim. 4:4), from the faith to deceptions… (Matt. 24:10,11) And again, as we know, God’s Word is Truth. “Sanctify them by the truth; Your Word is truth.” (Jesus’ prayer in John 17:17)

Prayer is certainly good and right. However, from hearts that are already refusing to abide by the two main ways of seeking and finding God and His Spirit’s words to them, then that is a rebellious heart, and God has no obligation to answer prayers from such. He may, but only because He is so merciful. Also, in praying to God, while in continuous rebellion of any kind against Him, yet thinking He is answering, there lies a great danger of actually ending up praying to a different god.

Why are preachers of Truth not stressing the importance of reading the Word of God daily, with diligence, whole-hearted fervency, and intensity? Do they want to be worthy ambassadors for the King? Well, the main command the Lord has given His ambassadors is this: To live and proclaim His Gospel –that of repentance, forgiveness of sin, righteousness, self-control, and the Judgment (Acts 5:31 & 24:25), and to “Preach the Word.” (2 Tim. 4:2)

We find God’s will for our lives by opening up the Word and by then allowing His Spirit to speak to us out of that living, active, and judging Word of God. (Heb. 4:12) For “we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place…” (2 Peter 1:19) Verse 20 informs us that it is indeed Scripture that this refers to. So if we’d do well to pay attention to it, if it is what illuminates dark places (evil, confusion, fear, etc.), and if God says His Word is of top priority –up there with His name (Ps. 138:2), then I’d think that church leaders speaking about how to find God and His instructions, should mention it!

So, considering the enormous amount of counterfeits out there, let us all be reminded to test all things against the beautiful, perfect Scriptures we are so privileged to have.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel