Does God Micromanage?

I find it interesting when things don’t go the way we think they should, people say, “It’s not God’s plan.” Why do people say that? How do they know? Because they believe God micromanages every little thing in our lives including our pain and suffering. I disagree.

Let’s look at God for a few minutes. The Bible tells us sin caused a great divide between God and men.  The punishment for sin is death, total separation from God for eternity. But God loves us so much he came up with a plan to bridge the divide. He sent his only son, Jesus to reconcile us to our Creator. Jesus died in our place taking all our sin, shame, and punishment. This is foundational to our faith, but Jesus did not stop there. Jesus came to give us an abundant life, filled with peace and joy.

God sent his son to repair the damage we did to our relationship with him and show us a wonderful life, does that sound like someone who would deliberately do something to harm and cause us pain? The answer is a resounding NO!

So why do people blame God for every little thing that goes wrong in life? Could it be easier to blame God when pain and suffering strikes us because someone has to be the culprit? I believe Satan has successfully lied to all mankind. (check out last week’s post) He has convinced humans God is responsible when Satan and his demons are the ones causing all the anguish in our lives. After all he is here to kill, steal and destroy. He’s done a good job deceiving people.

Could some of our problems be consequences of our own decisions or those of others that have spilled over on us? Or have things simply gone wrong and no one is at fault? Again, why does it always have to be God’s fault?

Brothers and Sisters, God loves us too much to cause us any kind of pain. His desire for our happiness and contentment is paramount. It is not God’s plan when anything bad happens. God doesn’t make people ill. He doesn’t cause accidents that injure us.  He does NOT kill our loved ones, though he does receive them with open loving arms when they die. Side question, why would we want to spend eternity with God if he was responsible for our pain, suffering, and death in this life?

God is not the big boogeyman in the sky sitting on his throne in heaven and calculating how he can make our lives miserable. That is not in his character. His character is love. Love with a capital L. He is patient and kind. He bares all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. His love never dies. Remember, he sent his only son to us to make a way for us to spend eternity with him. What greater love is there than that? Yes, he will work all things together for good for all those who love him and have devoted their lives to him in times of trouble. But he didn’t cause the problem only to then make it right. That doesn’t even make sense if you really think about it. God wants us to come to him for all our wants, needs, and desires. He wants us to depend on him and find hope in him. Do you really think he would treat us poorly, then expect us to run to him for comfort or protection?

Consider this, if God created your problem or pain, how can you really believe God will help? That would make God double minded, first creating a bad situation or harming you in some way, then providing the solution. Jesus tells us we must not be double minded. He tells us to stand firm in his love and wisdom. I assure you, if he tells us not to do something, he nor Father God would do it either.

We must get God’s love for us straight in our hearts, if we are to totally depend on him and his promises. We have to believe he loves us more than anything in the universe, has our best interests at heart, and will provide for us. There is a spiritual battle going on and we are in the crosshairs. We need to accept he will make a way for us, because God is righteous and holy, his love is unending. He will never leave or forsake us and because we believe in his love, we can stand firm in that love in the dark days ahead. We must be able to turn to Father God without hesitation or reservation believing with all our being, God will protect us, shelter us, and give us comfort.

Identity Theft

Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? Someone steals your name, money, and tarnish your character. They don’t care if they turn your life upside down, cause great pain, and tarnish your name. After all, they will just move on to the next victim as soon as you know what they have done and shut them down. Then you can spend weeks, months, or years trying to repair the damage.

Consider this: Satan stole God’s identity. Lucifer envied the love and respect man and angels have for God. He wanted that for himself. In order for this to happen, he stole God’s identity and set out to make people believe he is different from he actually is. Satan paraded around impersonating God. He misaligned God, making people fear, hate or ignore the true Creator.The difference, between our identity theft and the one Lucifer perpetrated against God, is he still attacks God at every opportunity.

God loved, provided for, and protected his beloved creation in the Garden of Eden. Satan had to create a divide between God and man. He needed Adam and Eve to disobey. First, Satan encouraged defiance through lies and deceit. It is true that Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, but they were deceived and tempted first. Satan knew man would suffer if they fell into transgression, but he needed sin in the world to advance his cause. Damage the relationship with God, then some men would worship him instead of God. As long as men remained obedient and walked with God, that would not happen. I am sure Satan rubbed his hands with glee when Adam and Eve fell and brought sin into the world.

Next, Satan needed to further the divide between God and humans. God had a love letter written to the people of the earth…the Bible. Satan saw it as a perfect tool to use against the Creator. His goal… bring fear, confusion, and lack of understanding into the hearts of men. By whispering into the minds of individuals, Satan convinced people God is angry, vindictive, and punishes people for every missed step. By twisting the truths of the Bible, Satan and his demons could get gullible individuals to believe false information. This would bring division between groups of people as well as between God and man. That suited Satan even better.

Life is filled with ups and downs. Great joys, children, dream jobs are offset by accidents, illness, loss of jobs and death. These are normal occurrences in life, but people tend to blame God whenever anything they don’t like happens. It is certain Satan and his demons encourage this belief when negative things occur. But people have free will and as we have stated many times on this blog, there are times the free will of others can affect us in a bad way. In addition, sometimes bad things just happen. I don’t understand everything about illness and disease, but I do know God is NOT the author of that either.

Finally, Satan came as an angel of light to establish false religions. What better way to get people to worship you? Simply disguise yourself and supply devotees a new way to believe. You promise everything God does…eternity in heaven if you follow the rules. These fake creeds weigh supporters down with oppressive regulations and laws that no one can ever completely follow. Harsh punishment in this life and the next is promised if you fall short.

If Satan can’t get a person to follow him, he uses other methods. Education, science, wealth or power can easily fit the bill. For him, it is better they believe there is no god at all than follow the Great I Am, the true and living God. Lucifer/Satan and his demons have done a very good job at identity theft through the years. He knows he and his followers will spend eternity in hell and want to take as many people with him as possible.

We, who are believers in Jesus, know the evil one and his followers will do anything to keep men and women from the love and salvation God offers. I challenge each of you, step out in faith and share the truth about God with those around you. We need to help people see God’s great love. He is not angry with people, disappoint or saddened, yes, but not angry. He does not want to send anyone to hell. God loves us so much he sent his only son Jesus to take our punishment. So let’s do a better job of reflecting that love. It will go a long way to bring a lost and dying world to the true and living Creator of heaven and earth.  And it will help people see God’s true identity…LOVE.

Jesus is Risen

Jesus is Risen; he is risen indeed! I can’t remember not having Jesus as a part of my life. From my earliest memories, he was there. My understanding, in my youngest years, wasCross simple. Jesus, the son of God, came to the earth, lived a sinless life and died in my place on the cross. As a child, all I needed to know was Jesus loves me.

In my teen years, my understanding grew. I grasped the truth that sin created the divide between a holy and righteous God and sinful man. No matter how hard I tried to avoid sin, it seemed to chase me. Sometimes, I gave in which caused distress and remorse. But I grew to understand, Jesus loved me still and forgave me the second I asked to be forgiven.

As a young adult, I was stagnant. I never lost my faith, but I didn’t pursue Jesus either. Yet, I always knew he was by my side and I never strayed far from his teachings. My husband and I taught our children about Jesus from their cradle. We wanted them to share the same faith and love for our Lord as we did. I am grateful, all of our kids know and love Jesus as much as we do.

My crisis of faith came in 1998. We lost our business and home. We had to make major changes in our life that I found very difficult. I blamed God. After all, he could have made everything work out couldn’t he? Why did we have to lose everything? But it was through the struggle and loss I came to a new place of understanding and faith. I also learned that Satan and his minions are alive and well. They do their best to cause pain and suffering in this world. They are responsible for a lot more of our problems than people realize. It was during this period of time, I learned how much Jesus/God truly loves me.

My great awaking to renewed faith came in my mid-forties. My hunger grew to learn, study and increase in understanding of Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Father God. I am thankful we found good and faithful teachers to share the Word and their knowledge with us. Of course, the Holy Spirit is a great teacher too.

Understanding God’s love is the beginning of wisdom in my book. When we comprehend he only wants good for us, we can see him in a new light. God’s shining light of love casts out all darkness. When you finally understand that love, you can finally believe, all things are possible through Christ Jesus. We can see evil for what it is. We are not deceived by the lies of man or Satan concerning things of faith. This is why so many hate Believers. We can discern truth from lies, and they don’t like opposition.

Each of us has a faith story… a testimony of faith in Jesus. As you reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, think about your own walk…your old life, your death to sin when you accepted Jesus, and your new birth and life with Father God because of what Jesus has done for us. This is a time of great sadness, that sin brought death to the world and Jesus choose to die because of it, but great joy because he paid the price and dealt with that sin before rising from the dead. Now we are free from sin and can walk humbly with our Lord and Savior today, tomorrow and forever. Amen.

Thoughts

Thoughts

Our thought life is a part of our being that we must be in control of, instead of allowing it to control us. Many people do not realize, actions begin in our thoughts. If we have a poor opinion of ourselves, negative or sinful thoughts, we are in danger of turning down a harmful path. Pride and selfishness also begin in our thoughts when we elevate our wants,thought emoticon needs and opinions above those of others and or above God. These are some of the reasons we must take every thought captive. However, we must keep in mind, a great deal of good can come from our thoughts as well. Thinking about and meditating on the Lord is very positive and beneficial to us.

Have you caught yourself thinking about something and ask, where did that thought come from? If you are like most people, you have. The world intrudes on our lives in more ways than we realize. Education, philosophies, theories, false religions, entertainment (TV + Movies), government, opinions of family and friends, all of these and much more, bombard us with ideas that are contrary to God’s Word. It is not surprising to find ourselves thinking about some of it.

Satan can play with our thoughts too. I don’t believe he can read our minds, but he sure can plan a thought or whisper into our minds. That’s another reason we must take every thought captive. We are responsible for what we think. Therefore, if our thoughts do not line up with the Word of God, we must cast them aside.

Have you ever had an imaginary conversation? Have you rehearsed a discussion with a friend or family member? It’s okay to think about or to plan what we will say, but going over and over it may not be healthy. It is not uncommon for people to nurse and rehearse these exchanges to the point they take over reality. That is why two people in the same discussion can remember it differently. I would venture to say, it is because one of them went over and over the conversation to the point it evolved into something it wasn’t. We can’t assume we know what others are thinking and to rehearse in this way makes that assumption. Females have a greater problem in this area than men do. I used to struggle with this, in both positive and negative situations. I had to stop myself.

It takes discipline to control our thought life. It is a part of self-control we need to learn as Believers. We are called to be righteous and holy, just as Jesus is. That includes our thought life. Most sins begin with a thought.  I am sure someone contemplating an affair, planned a theft, or any other sin thought about it first. That is why it is important to take our thoughts captive and make them line up with God’s Word. Next time you catch yourself thinking about something unhealthy for your spiritual life, cast it aside. If you do this every time, the thoughts will come less often until they rarely happen.

We are entering a period in history where our faith is going to be tried unlike it has ever been before. We must stand blameless before an evil world. Since our walk begins in our thoughts, we must control them. We encourage you to examine this area of your spiritual life and make any adjustments that need to be made. In addition, Satan will use our thoughts to condemn us. We must remember, whom Christ has freed, are free indeed.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV)
5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ

Passing the Baton

Every human being is born with an inner knowledge of God, yet each person has free will to accept that truth or not. God wanted his children to learn his truths from those who accepted and believed in him. He knew the importance of sharing God’s miracles, blessings, and instruction. He gave the task of passing the baton of education and understanding to the elder generation. In the earliest of times, God told parents and grandparents to teach the children. God did not want his children learning from the world or society where man’s philosophies abound.

Children are impressionable by nature. Their minds are empty slates. It is our job as parents to show them, at an early age, God’s love and teach them the foundations and Bible truths that rule our lives. As we instill truth into their tender hearts and establish the absolutes of God’s character and love, we help them see Jesus can be trusted. As with every person on the planet, our children have free will to choose to follow our Lord or not. We need to plant seeds of faith deep in their hearts so deep roots can be established before the world and society intrude and challenge God’s truths.

One of the problems is, the many (not all) public schools are indoctrination stations for the very young pulling them from the very foundation that established our nation and our lives. No longer is any faith taught, in fact, children are instructed in evolution, science and theories, much of which cannot be proved even when using their own methods of establishing facts. This causes confusion and distrust. Many teachers go on to tell their students people of faith are wrong, believe in fairy tales and lies. As a result, the United States at large is becoming more godless each day. To fill the vacuum left in the hearts of people, the world’s philosophies and false religions are making huge inroads in making converts.

We need to question and listen to our children about what they are learning in school. When they bring home false teaching, gently yet firmly make the correction; explaining that people in the world don’t believe as we do. We encourage parents to be active in the schools. Join the PTA, volunteer to help in your children’s classes. If you have the time, run for a position on the school board. If we are to take back our country, it begins with our children and the schools where they are being taught.

Next, we cannot be Sunday only Christians. We cannot leave the education of our children in the things of faith to others. Spend as much time as possible teaching your children about Jesus. Daily devotions and Bibles studies are important. Our faith is relational. Jesus is our Savior, and we walk with him day by day. It is not a dead religion. Our children need to see us walking out our faith. That is the best teacher. The mantel we pass to our children is even more important today than it has been in the past. It must include faith, Bible truth, and righteousness. Evil is growing at an alarming pace. We and our children need Jesus more today than at any time in history.

It is time for Believers in Jesus Christ to step up and speak out. We must stand for truth and righteousness without condemnation. We are not perfect. We are saved by grace and strive to do Jesus’ work on this earth. He never condemned anyone, even those caught in sin. We must follow his example. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Doing that is walking a fine line. True and faithful believers are up to the task. We can love sinners into the kingdom through love, kindness, and friendship.

These truths hit hard with the passing of a couple of elderly relatives recently. As the older generation dies, the baton is being passed to us. No one knows if we are the final generation. But whether we are or not, we must stand firm and tall in our faith, without wavering. Let’s share the truth of the gospel of Jesus, especially with our loved ones. Let God be true, and man’s philosophies lies. Finally, let us walk in love, kindness, and forgiveness; a shining example of a true Believer to the next generation.

Are you rooted in love/Jesus?

Are you rooted in love…rooted in Jesus?

Faith is a seed and it is planted in our heart when we hear the Word of God. As with all seeds, given time and water, they will take root. The tiny stock springs up. All gardeners know a gentle spray of water at regular intervals is needed at this stage in the plant’s development. Too much moisture will up root or drown the small seedling. Not enough will cause it to shrivel and die. The balance is critical to the health of the plant. As time goes on, fertilizer is added, food that will give the roots vigor to push deep into the ground. After much time and care, the plant bears fruit. This is the law of seed, time and harvest. It is a foundational truth in God’s Word…the Bible. It is true for us as believers in Jesus as well.

We hear the Word of God, the truth of Jesus Christ and his life, death, burial and resurrection. We understand our need for a Savior and accept Jesus as our Lord. We acknowledge God as the final authority in our life with his Word as our foundation. The seed of faith takes root in our heart. We hunger for the nurturing and life-giving water that comes from the Living Fountain. In the beginning, we receive the milk…the lighter things of God. We receive them with gladness and joy.

As time goes on, God begins to feed us the meat of his Word. The heavier things of faith, those things that conflict between God and the world. They challenge us to choose between God’s truth and man’s philosophies. This is where the roots either go deep into Jesus or skirt the surface.

Then the trials come and they will appear. We all have them in one form or another. Look at a mighty tree, what you see above ground is anchored by a root system below of equal size. But when the winds blow the tree whose roots are shallow topples and the one with roots that reach deep into the ground stands firm.

What kind of tree are you? Are you rooted deep into the love of Jesus? It is important to search your heart and allow your faith to establish its roots deep into our Lord. We will sometimes struggle with the hard truths of the Bible. When a loved one chooses to disregard God’s truth and go their own way…the world’s way. When tragedy strikes and we lose someone we care about to death or illness. When we wait on the Lord…and wait…and wait.

Jesus never promised a life without problems, trials, and persecution. In fact, he told us we would encounter all three and more. If your roots are shallow and just reach below the surface, you run the risk of toppling over when the storms come and the winds blow. Yet, when you are rooted deep into Jesus, you can and will stand firm against any tempest because Jesus holds us firm. He is the ground that holds us in place, he is our strength. Though the winds may blow and we may sway, we will remain standing.

Old messages can bring new insight.

How many times have you listened to a sermon or read an article with old messages? The first thing that goes through your mind is: ‘I’ve heard this before.’ Do you stop listening or reading because you think you know what’s going to be said? I challenge you to continue to listen, lots of old messages can bring new insight.
We limit God when we assume we know what the message is. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, but that doesn’t mean he can’t open your eyes of understanding and give you a fresh view of his truths. As we grow in our knowledge and understanding, God expands our perceptions. If we close him down, we do it at our own peril.
It is true that there is nothing new under the sun. However, there are always new pearls of wisdom we can glean from the Word. In addition, God speaks to each of us and maybe we understand something a bit differently than someone else. Where it is true we need to use our discernment when listening to anyone who speaks and we must make sure what they say lines up with the Word, different life experiences give distinctive perspectives, valuable information and insight and we can profit from this new information.
So next time you hear an old message, open your heart. You might expand your grasp and insight of the mysteries of God.

Who is John Galt?

Who is John Galt?

We watched ‘Atlas Shrugged’ written by Ayn Rand and published in 1957. Three movies were made from the book, with the third ‘Who is John Galt?’ the most recent. On this blog, we talk about preparing for hard times ahead each week. ‘Atlas Shrugged’ talks about some of the why.

Let me begin by saying, Ayn Rand was a non-believer, in fact she did not believe God exists at all. Where I disagree there is no God, many of her words have merit. She predicted the downfall of our country and the reasons. At the time her book was published, most people paid little attention to her words. After all, the book was fiction and how could anyone believe our country could fail? But Ayn Rand believed our government officials would grab more and more power, establish more laws and regulations, while buying votes with welfare programs that enslave people.

In Ms. Rand’s story, the government’s ideology is no man builds a business on his own. No invention belongs to the designer, ishould be turned over to the public and used for the common good. No man deserves to make more money than anyone else even if some are willing to work long hours and sacrifice to achieve their goals. No matter the years of education, people must be equal. We are a collective, and all should prosper from the work of others. They believe businessmen and women use public roads to move their goods, public utilities to power their factories and public education who teach those they hire. For this reason, the business owners owe their success to the government. Finally, the government takes over all major businesses, factories, railroads and transportation. As a result, the entrepreneurs and hard workers disappear, they move to a hidden community and establish their own community. The country falls into ruin through poor management, lack of initiative and innovation, and corruption. Even when things fall apart, the government will not admit free enterprise and commerce, along with the ability of each person to work to achieve their personal prosperity, is what keeps things running efficiently. Sound familiar?

John Galt’s belief was, we must work to achieve our goals. No one has our best interest at heart but us and our families. Each person must provide for themselves to the best of their ability. There are no free rides. We need government to provide infrastructure including roads, highways, and schools. It is also their job to establish international and interstate trade, along with furnishing protection for our nation.  After that, they need to step aside and allow the free enterprise system to work without hindrances. Government should be limited to the things our founders laid out for the government to provide through our taxes, nothing more.

We all know government has expanded their reach way beyond the original intentions of our Constitution. In doing so, they have spent us into high taxes and even higher debt. As a result, much of what Ms. Rand wrote has come or is coming true.

We all know there are abuses in any system. There will always be greedy and power-hungry men and women who trample on others. But that is true in every area of life. Business people have done some horrible things in the name of profit, but government is no better. We have corrupt politicians who pass legislation that enrich or profit them as well.

An article I read, complained that John Galt and his philosophy was not compassionate and empathetic, that he does not take into consideration natural disasters and people need help after experiencing a catastrophe. However, it is not the responsibility of government to fix or restore things after a tragedy hits. People need to save for emergencies or purchase insurance to take care of that kind of thing. But in worst case scenarios where there is no savings or insurance, Americans are very generous people and come to the aid of others in times of tragedy. People from all over the country go to help whenever hardships hit around the country providing time and money. We don’t need government to do it for us.

God is our provider, government is not. He supplies our needs, wants, and desires. He gives each of us talents and skills to provide for our families and share with our community. If we have widows, orphans and sick in our mist, we must help, not government…us. And though God established governments, He is our final authority. If our government asks us to violate our faith/beliefs, we must draw the line.

The dark days ahead will test our faith. There may come a day when we are told by government officials to disobey God or suffer the consequences. We must decide now, obey God and suffer for our faith or disobey and earn the praise of men. What will you do?

Search my Heart

Search my heart, Lord. Allow me to see all that you find displeasing within me. Help me see where I may have taken a wrong turn and set me on the right path.                   Cleanse my heart and renew a right spirit within me.               Allow your heart of love for all people to become one with mine that I may be a witness of your love and kindness to all I encounter.                                                                               I understand that the world hates you and they hate me as well. Help me to love my enemy.                                              I rejoice in you, Lord. I lift you high and place you above all things in my life. You are my life and my light.                           I thank you for all your blessings. I am sincerely grateful.       I love you Lord with all my heart.

I wanted to share this with you because this is something you need to do. Think about and talk to the Lord. You need to make your walk with Jesus personal. He is a person and enjoys his time with you. We run to him with our problems/concerns and we should. But a true friend, doesn’t just talk about the bad that happens in our life and never shares the good. Take time in your visits to talk about the good, the bad and the mundane. Remember to say thank you for all he does working in the background of your life.             As times become more difficult, we will need Jesus more and more. If you already have a solid relationship with him, you will be able to trust him to take care of things. But remember, he doesn’t always do things the way we think he should. His ways are not our ways. That’s where the trust comes in.

It’s Hard to Say Good Bye

It’s Hard to say Goodbye
Through the years, we have only a few loved ones who have died. Two more joined them this past week. After a death, it’s hard to say goodbye no matter who it is. As Believers, we know we will see them again. But grief is real, we love our family members or friends and we will miss them…greatly. Some we will miss more than others, but no matter who they are we don’t want a separation. It is selfish, but love doesn’t want a parting, even if it’s not forever.
In our times of grief, we must remember, Jesus is our hope. Believers should not grieve as the world does. Jesus promised that all who believe will be with him in paradise and his words are true. Our loved ones, who know and have accepted Him as Savior, are in heaven and we will see them again.
It is important to focus on the good times with our loved ones who have passed on before us. We have wonderful memories we need to draw on instead of the separation. My father-in-law wanted to see his wife one last time after her passing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible. I retrieved their wedding book and told him, he needed to remember her happy and filled with joy instead of sick and in pain. It is even more important to focus on the good times if the person who died has been ill for a long time.
Time will heal the deepest hurt as days, weeks, months and years pass. With profound love…a husband, wife, child or best friend…you’ll never get over it entirely, but God brings new things into our life that will help with the loss. Treasure your memories, they are God’s gift to us. Pictures and videos are great reminders of the love and good times you shared. When grieve pulls at you, get them down and take a look. We are blessed to live in a period where we have photos. Make use of them to help with your sorrow. Yet, we must go on with life. We cannot live in or dwell on the past. Just because someone we love has died and we feel sad, we cannot stop moving forward. Our life and purpose continues. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. We still have work to do.
The days ahead will bring more death. In the normal passing of time, the older generation passes the mantel to the next one. But as the darkness increases, the death rate will climb. It is a reality I struggle with. We have to push those thoughts aside, or they can bring depression. We know evil is growing. Lawlessness, selfish ambition and pursuit of power to name a few. But regardless of the future, our hope is in Jesus. So when you’re having a hard time saying good-bye to a loved one who has died, say ‘see you later instead.’ Keep your eyes on Jesus. He will see us through until our physical death comes, then we too will live with Jesus forever.