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Archive for March, 2011

Limiting God (Part 1)

I mentioned the teaching Don’t limit God from An.drew Wom.mack in my last post.  This teaching has helped me tremendously and I want to share some thoughts about it with you, because before I listened to it I never realized how much I was limiting God.  This is just going to be short points, I would really recommend that you listen to the whole teaching if you think this might be a problem for you, because I could never do the whole teaching justice in even a few posts.

The way you think limits God:

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV):   7For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

What you think of yourself that is what you are.  Everything outside of us is not the problem – the problem is the way you think!  You might not be thinking, “I want to be sick,” but you have sick thinking.  You might be thinking, “I’m only human, I can’t control this, it’s flu season, everybody else is sick, so I’ll guess I’ll get sick.” 

If you don’t co-operate with the devil in your thoughts Satan can’t do all of these things to us.  The Lord flows through the way we think and if you are limiting God with your thinking then you are going to stop what God wants to do in your life. 

Romans 12:2 (NIV):  2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is— his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

The way that God’s will comes to pass in your life is through the way you think.  I want to challenge you to begin to start thinking better and bigger!

You have to co-operate with God:

Psalm 78:39-41 (KJV):  39For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.  40How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!  41Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.”

In Deuteronomy 7 Moses rebuked the people of Israel and asked them, “How many times have you turned against God and kept God’s will from coming to pass?”  The Lord never willed for the Children of Israel to spend 40 years in the wilderness.  He willed for them to come out, He had a period of time at Mount Sinai where He gave them the covenant and established the kingdom, but within 1 year they should have entered into the Promised Land, but they sent out spies in Numbers 13 and they became overwhelmed with fear looking at the size of the giants and because of that they limited God.  They disbelieved God and they stopped what God wanted them to do and so Moses is remembering all of this and the Lord is speaking through Moses and giving instructions about the next time they go into the land. 

Deuteronomy 7:17 (KJV):  17If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?” 

If you doubt, if you say, “God, this task is too big, God I can’t do it.”  Well then God can’t do it though you.  God tells the Israelites through Moses, “If you believe in your heart that these nations are more than I, God cannot dispossess them.”
 
It’s according to the power that works in you.  Ephesians 3:20 (NIV):  20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”

If you don’t have any power, any faith stirred up inside you, if you don’t believe God for anything, then God cannot do exceedingly abundantly above all you ask or think. 

Before you can start to take the limits of God you’ve got to start believing that you’ve got a say in this.  God is not going to flow through you without your consent (see my previous post).  You have to seek to find and you have to seek with all of your heart and if you don’t you limit God.  “If you say within your heart these nations are more than I, how can I dispossess them?” God cannot kick those people out unless He has a person to flow through!  

Every person has a destiny:

Ephesians 5:14 (KJV):  14Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

If you don’t know what God’s will is for your life there is no way you are going to accidently fulfil it.  This verse isn’t talking about physical death, this is talking about spiritual death or like being in a stupor, and there are a lot of people who live their lives this way, just going through life wasting time. He says awake, arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you life.  Come out of your stupor, wake up!  Start taking responsibility for yourself!

Ephesians 5:15-17 (KJV):  15See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  17Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

You could turn that verse around and say it this way, “If you don’t know what the will of the Lord is, you’re unwise!”  Yet the average person today, even the average person in the body of Christ doesn’t have a clear direction on what God’s will and purpose for their life is.

You are going to limit God if you don’t know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has called you, the work, the job that you’re working, that God has called you to be in the church that you are in, that God has called you to do the things that you are doing.  Your life, your efforts ought to be all towards something that you have a calling from God.  Every one of you is called by God and has a purpose and you’re anointed for a purpose.

This should be obvious to Christians, but the church today has been influenced by the world probably more than most generations of the church in recent years and we have this humanistic attitude that in the world that has spilled over in the church to where we just evolved from slime and that we have no accountability to God.  It’s a convenient theology – again people like to believe that, because that means you can go out, live your life however you want to and you don’t have to give an answer to anybody for what you’ve done with your life, but man there are millions of scriptures that contradict that and show that that’s not true!

Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV):  13For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

This means that God possessed us when we still in our mother’s womb.  He knew everything about us, He knew every part, He had a plan for you, you are not a mistake, whether your parents knew you were coming or not – God knew you were coming.  You are a creation of God and designed with specific purposes.  God is no respecter of persons; this is applicable to all of us.  God has a purpose for each one of us.  God’s plan for you is much better than what we can plan for ourselves.”

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Very often when I speak to people I realize that most people including Christians don’t know God at all.  They have no idea what God’s will is and how it impacts them.  They believe lies about God, mostly because that is what they heard in church and from other Christians. 

So often I hear people say: “God is tempting me,” or “teaching me a lesson,” or “maybe it’s not God’s will for us not to be healed/not to have a baby,” or “God allowed it,” or stuff like that and I get so sad, because then I know that that person does not know God’s character. 

I have said this many times, and I guess I’ll have to say it many more times, but God does not punish us with sickness or infertility.  God does not give it to us to teach us a lesson, read this post if you’re not convinced by this post.  Yes, most often we do learn lessons from it, but that is us, not God doing it.   Most Christians still live under the old Covenant, and have no idea that they have a new Covenant with God or what that new Covenant entails – if you haven’t read it you can read more about it here.

To prove who God is I’m going to quote a bit from And.rew Wom.mack’s teaching:   Don’t limit God.

1.   God’s sovereignty:

“The normal doctrine in the church today is that God is almighty that He is sovereign and that nobody can limit God.  I’ll agree that God is sovereign if you would use the word sovereign the way that the dictionary defines it.  The dictionary says sovereign is first in rank, order or authority.  It would be like saying he is at the top of the food chain.  If you want to say that about God I agree 100%.  God is almighty, He is first in command, but to say that God chooses everything, controls everything and if your life is a mess God willed it – that is wrong. 

It always amazes me when I go to funerals.  People get up and say, “Well, we don’t know why God took this person.”  They just automatically make an assumption that when you die it’s because your number is up, and you can’t die unless it’s God’s will.  That is not so!  That is absolutely untrue!

Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV):  16 And the LORD God commanded the man, You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

God does not want us to die!  He told us not to do it!  We ate from the tree and we were the ones who ushered in death! 

Hebrews 2:14-15 (NIV):  14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death— that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”

Jesus came to destroy him who had power over death and that is the devil.  It’s Satan who kills people!  Satan comes only to steal and kill and destroy! (John 10:10 (NIV)) But Jesus said, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  God doesn’t control every person when they die!  God doesn’t control if babies are born deformed and things like that!  God isn’t the author of evil!  God is a good God! 

In the Old Testament there are examples of the wrath of God, but praise God the Bible makes it very clear that under the new Covenant we have been redeemed from the curse and Jesus is not the one who is putting problems on you!  It says in James 1:13-14 (NIV):  13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”  God is not the author of evil, God is not doing these things and yet the church is saying this. 

God does not sovereignly rule your life like a chess piece and just determine what’s happening – you cannot blame God for the failures in your life.  God has a perfect plan for every single person’s life and if you are not seeing that plan fulfilled, if your life isn’t very exciting it’s not God’s fault.  If your life is not supernatural, your life is superficial.  If your life is not going good it’s not because God doesn’t have a plan for you, it’s because you are not co-operating.  You haven’t found out that plan, but I’m telling you that God doesn’t just sovereignly control your life and make it work out.  You have to pursue the things of God in order to receive it.

One of the reason people teach the doctrine of sovereignty is so that they can dodge all responsibility.  For ministers it’s really a convenient theology – You can pray for a person and if they die, well then, “Que sera, sera, what will be, will be.  “Well you don’t know why God took them; it must have been God’s will…”  You know what?  It saves you from having to deal with problems and reality and failure, so that is the reason it’s convenient. 

We can miss God’s will.  Now God can take anything and work it for good (Romans 8:28 (NIV):  28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”), but God didn’t cause it, God doesn’t do it and yet God can work something awesome out of anything negative that the devil throws at you.

2.   God respects your free will:

God gave you a free will and he respects your free will. God is not going to force you to do anything.  You have to stir yourself up or you will sink to the bottom.  You’ll find that when Jesus came to the earth he said, “I’m meek and lovely.”  He had to be invited even when His disciples were drowning in Matt 14.

Matthew 14:25-32 (NIV):  25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.   26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. It’s a ghost, they said, and cried out in fear.   27 But Jesus immediately said to them: Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.  28 Lord, if it’s you, Peter replied, tell me to come to you on the water.  29 Come, he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus.  30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me!  31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. You of little faith, he said, why did you doubt?  32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.”

Jesus came walking on the water, you know the reason He was walking on the water was to save His disciples, but He made as though He would have walked past them.  He went and showed Himself to His disciples in the midst of the Sea of Galilee while they were drowning, and He didn’t come running up and say, “Hold on!  I’m coming,” and then saved them.  He came, showed Himself and they had to cry out and ask Him for help. 

Luke 24:28-29 (NIV):  28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going further.   29 But they urged him strongly, Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over. So he went in to stay with them.”

It’s the same when Jesus met the two on the road to Emmaus.  They had to invite Jesus to come in.    God wants you to invite Him in, that’s just the way He is – He doesn’t force Himself.  You’ve got the right to go to hell and He will defend your right – nobody can force you to choose God.  You have to invite Him in – you have to open up the door.

3.   God works through people:

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV):  20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”

If you don’t have any power, any faith stirred up in the inside of you, if you aren’t believing God for anything then God cannot do exceedingly, abundantly above all you ask or think.  God has to flow through somebody.  God always uses a person; see again this goes against the whole teaching of the sovereignty of God.  That God just sovereignly moves.  There is no such thing as God moving independently of people.  God moves through people.  God always has to have a man or a woman, there has to be some person that God speaks through.  That’s why God raised up Moses – He had to speak through him. 

God gave authority over this earth to physical human beings and when God did that, it limited what God could do, because God Himself is a Spirit (John 4:24 (NIV):  24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.”)  God gave control of this physical earth to people with physical bodies (Genesis 1:26 (NIV):  26 Then God said, Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”)  

That is the reason Jesus had to become a man, to come down here and deal with the devil.  He had to become a physical human being and Jesus allowed God to flow through Him in a way that put Satan in his place.  Now Satan is a de-fanged foe, he cannot do anything except gum you to death.  All he does is lie to us and intimidate us and Satan can’t do anything to you without your consent and co-operation.  The problem is we have been consenting and co-operating more than we should…

Some of you might be frustrated and think, “Well I sought the Lord and things didn’t work out.”  Well we have an enemy that comes against us.  We live in a fallen world.  This is going to be swimming upstream.  This is going to take more effort than floating downstream.  But I can promise you God is for you and if you co-operate God will reach you!”

We have to stop being passive and hope God will reach out to us and fix everything for us.  We have to take responsibility for our actions, we need to stop putting the blame on others and start acting upon God’s word and live according to His will.  The only way we can do that is to read the Bible and learn who God is, what He wants for us and what our responsibility is.  That is going to take work.  It is going to be more effort than just going to church once a week and being spoon-fed.  It takes time, but I have found so many rewards in doing this.  God has given me hope, He has given me a reason to live and He has healed me of many problems.  It is worth it, believe me!

I can also recommend that you read one more post I’ve written about who God is.

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1st Blogoversary

A year ago I started this blog.  I felt compelled to write for a few months before that, but what I wrote just didn’t seem to work.  One day I decided to just start a blog – I didn’t know anything about blogging, but I searched online and got started.  I chose a title from the common underlying message of about 2 posts that I wanted to write.  I thought “Keeping my eyes on Jesus” would be a good title.  I never realized at that stage how appropriate it would be, because that is basically all I have done since then.  Every day I turned to Jesus to help me, especially through the hard times, and He has been so faithful!  He has helped me so much!  I have learnt so much and that is all thanks to our Almighty Lord!

So much has happened in the past year, and yet it feels like I’m in the exact same space I was a year ago.  I still don’t have a baby, I’m not even pregnant.  But I have grown a lot and especially spiritually and I’m really grateful for that.  I am in a much better place emotionally than I was a year ago.  These days I am happy and I’ve realized that I can be happy even if we never have children.  My happiness is not dependant on that anymore.  I still get some sad times, like earlier this week when DH sat with my dear friend R’s little baby girl of 19 months, then I think that he would be such a great dad, and I would love to see him being a dad.  R said she cannot believe how much her little girl likes my DH, as she generally doesn’t like men much, she sometimes cries when she sees the dads of the other kids who come to drop off or pick them up at daycare.   But not with my DH – he picks her up and she will sit with him and talk baby talk with him and she would walk off and come back with little presents to give to him.  It’s so cute! 

I still have hope that we can have a baby of our own, and as a matter of fact, although I’m not pregnant yet, I do feel a lot better than what I used to.  Just over a year ago I was eventually diagnosed with adenomyosis and what I always thought was pain due to endometriosis was eventually explained.  Some months the pain was so bad that it felt like the AF pain never stopped after AF and just continued straight through until the next AF.  That pain returned a few months after my miscarriage, but when I started to believe that I could be healed it went away and I haven’t had it again.  

I used to have lots of problems with spotting before AF was supposed to start and after my miscarriage it was worse than ever.  That has almost completely stopped, it was nothing 2 months ago, and a few drops this past month (it used to start 2-3 dys before AF).  My periods are a lot lighter than normal and I have the minimum pain – I haven’t had a pain pill for months and I used to live on those for at least the first 3 days of AF.  At one stage I was convinced that I never ovulated, these days I can feel the ovulation pains, some months on both sides, but usually only on 1 side.  Ovulation can be anything from day 12 to day 17, so my period lengths vary, but the lutual phase seems to be about 13 days.  It used to be 11-12 days so that is also better.  But the most amazing thing is the fact that I have been completely healed from my depression.  A while ago I remembered how I used to feel and I realized it’s been months since I was depressed and I never had 1 pill or even saw a councillor or psychologist, psychiatrist or anyone like that!

So I do believe a lot of healing has already taken place and I’m sure I’m getting better and better by the day.  I will continue to keep my eyes on Jesus, no matter what!

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV):  1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

These verses sum up what I felt like in the last year:  By keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus I was able to run with perseverance and in the times that I did get weary and lost heart He helped me out of that situation, sometimes so quickly I still struggle to believe it!  This is becoming a way of life for me now and I’m sure things will just get better and better!

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My mom got good news!

My mom saw the oncologist that did her radiation again yesterday, 2 weeks after she stopped treatment and he said that he cannot feel the para-aortic glands anymore.  He was able to feel them with his hands before.  He said he is 100% sure that the treatment worked and will keep on working for at least 3 more months.  He also said that those glands should be completely dead, that due to the treatment there cannot be anymore life in it, so there cannot be anymore cancer left in it.  She will see the oncologist that did the chemotherapy next week and go for blood tests again, but since her blood tests were always negative for cancer we don’t expect any problems there. 

My mom expects that they will take another CT scan in about 3 month’s time and I am confident that we will then hear that all is well.  My mom says that the radiation was more accurate this time, they treated her from 4 angles instead of 3 like her first time, and they did it for minutes at a time, where her first time was only seconds per angle.   So the treatment was concentrated to a smaller area, but more intense on that area. 

My mom’s bowels are also much better, she hasn’t had any more bleeding in a long time and the IBS symptoms are getting less by the day.  She says she feels much, much better than a few months ago.  She is still a bit tired from the radiation, but that is also getting better by the day.  She looks good too, she’s picked up a bit of weight and doesn’t look almost anorexic anymore, and her hair has grown so much that she threw away her wig.  Her hair has grown out nice and thick, it’s still short and she’s coloured it already, but she will probably go cut it soon in a nice short hairstyle. 

Praise the Lord!  Thank you Jesus!  We are so thankful that it all worked out well!

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Generational curses:

Some people believe in generational curses.   My dear friend R was once very upset because some colleagues of her said that the reason she’s had 2 miscarriages was because of either something she has done wrong, in other words sin in her life, or something that her parents, grandparents or somebody in their families did wrong at one stage.  I have wondered about this myself at times.  So I want to share the teaching of Cur.ry Bla.ke regarding this topic from the Ne.w Ma.n:

“You have to differentiate between what the church calls generational and what science calls generational.  Because generational to science means genetic and were talking about a genetic dysfunction or malfunction of some sort.  That is due not necessarily due to a generational sin but it’s more due to the fact that the world is in a decaying state.

You know one of the main things that impresses me or surprises me, whatever you want to call it, is that for hundreds of years now, roughly, people have understood Newton’s laws of thermo dynamics and the second one is that everything is in a constant state of decay, where everything has a tendency to run down, not up.  They understand that is science, that it is true, it’s a fact. 

And yet, they still try to push evolution.  Well the very thought or principle of evolution would deny the second principle of thermo dynamics, because there everything runs down and evolution says everything runs up.  You know, everything gets better not worse, but the fact is even our human bodies proves it – that over time you begin to decay.  Right?  Everything starts to run down, everything starts to decompose, everything is corrupted and because of that, that’s what happens. 

Now there is an aspect in genetics whereby people can live in a certain area under certain conditions that can cause certain weaknesses in the human body, and because of those weaknesses then there will be certain things that will be generated that will allow the enemy to come in and capitalize on those weaknesses and then over a period of time if that family stays in that area, then they will over time develop a tendency toward that genetic problem.  Now that would be closer to the idea of a generational curse than what most people in church call a generational curse, because when most people talk about generational curses they talk about a sin someone committed.

Well, go back and read it.  Just go read Ezekiel Chapter 18, it totally explains it, and it says you’ll never use this again, you’ll never say this again and it’s talking about saying that the sins of the fathers will come down to the sons and down to the third and fourth generation.  He said, no, that’s not true, he said that every soul is mine, every soul that sins will die, and every soul that doesn’t sin shall live and it goes in that every soul is responsible for himself.  And yet we want to tie that back and even in that case, even then it’s not a generational curse, where God says I’m going to make this happen, but its generational sin. 

The son sees the father sin, he decides to do the same thing, well guess what, he is going to get the same results.  It’s the choice of the son to follow the father into the sins that brings the problem.  It’s not that the son has nothing to do with it, in the sense that the father just piled it on to him, it’s a choice and it even says right there that if a good man has a son that is a robber and a thief and all this then the father is not going to bare the sins of the son, but then it says if that robber’s son has a son who sees his father’s sins and  he decides not to go that route, but he chooses to do what’s right, it says that the father’s sins will not come down on him. 

Ezekiel 18:17-22 (NIV):  17 He withholds his hand from sin and takes no usury or excessive interest. He keeps my laws and follows my decrees.  He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live.  18 But his father will die for his own sin, because he practised extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people.  19 Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live.  20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.  21 But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die.  22 None of the offences he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.”

But see people don’t put that in the books.  Why?  Because you would quit buying their books.  That doesn’t sell books. You know first they’ve got to tell you, “here’s the curses,” and then they’ve got to tell you, “here’s the curses that stop the blessing,” and they’ve got to come up with all these reasons…  

Galatians 3:13 (NIV):  13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Well the fact is Jesus was made a curse for you!  You’re in Him!  If you’re in Him there is no curse in Him.  Amen?  The enemy can try to attack but there is no curse that you have to go in and find.  You have to remember the basic fundamental precept of the New Testament is that the minute you get born again; your ties with humanity are pretty much broken.  You know I use the word humanity there, but what I mean is at that point you’re a son of God, not a son of man.  So you don’t go back to your father of your grandfather…  If you’re going to go back and do your family history, it only goes back one generation – that is to Jesus.  In Him there’s only blessing and no curse.  Amen? 

So if you’re going to talk about generational anything, you have to talk about generational blessings.  That is what Paul talked about in Ephesians 1:3: “You’ve been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” right? 

You might say, “Well how come when I broke this generational curse, that helped this,” because you believed it would happen and you get what you believe.  You’ve been taught and trained, and the bad part is, you know those books better than you know the Bible!  If you knew this book that well you wouldn’t be fooled, you wouldn’t be let astray.”

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When I did the Div.ine Hea.ling Tech.nician Cur.ry Bla.ke spoke about 3 ways we get sick, but he only discussed 2 of them, and now when I did the Ne.w Ma.n he discussed it again, but once again only mentioned 2 ways, but it’s not the same 2 every time, so I want to combine these 2 teachings and discuss the 3 ways how we get sick.

Attack:
“The enemy attacks because he hates you – you didn’t have to do anything – it’s not due to sin. We cannot judge (why someone got sick), because the Bible says you will be judged with the same measure that you judged and if you were wrong in your judgement you are in trouble.”

Just an accident:
“Sometimes people get sick by not paying attention, it’s nobody’s fault per se, except for the part of not paying attention. What I’m saying is the enemy hasn’t planned it, he hasn’t set you up. Sometimes he can, he can set up an accident, and in that case it would be demonic (attack). I’ve heard some people talk about how they went through a green light and the person that hit them swears that he had a green light. Now I don’t know what the case was, I don’t know what actually happened, but I know both lights can’t be green, unless there is a malfunction or something there, and then it would be an accident.”

Sowing and reaping:
“You can do things to yourself to break down and give the devil entry in the sense that you’re breaking your body down, giving him a place to work. For instance: You can smoke and get lung cancer. It is not God putting cancer on you and in many ways it’s not even the devil putting cancer on you. You are doing it to yourself. What the devil does… Now you might say, “I thought all sickness was of the devil?” What you did was, many times you weaken the body and you make it so weak that it is susceptible, but every sin has within itself its own seed of destruction. See I don’t worry about catching lung cancer because I don’t smoke, but we do know that if we are around someone else that smokes, second hand smoke is worse than smoking and many times you are killing your loved ones and they will die before you do, because they are getting worse smoke than you are.

Let me give you another example: Paul had workers with him that nearly worked themselves to death for the gospel. The devil didn’t try and get to kill them, they worked so hard, they exhausted themselves, they went and pushed themselves and pushed themselves until they just wore their bodies out and they were left weak.”

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Last week Saturday I went with 3 other people on a street outreach.  What we do is go into the inner city of our town and hand out tracts, Bibles and speak to people in the street and try to help those who need help.

We came across some people who were in terrible circumstances and referred most of them to the shelter in our town that is managed by a group of churches from different denominations.  It is from this same place that we have the feeding scheme, they hand out food packages, there is an overnight shelter for the homeless, facilities to bath and wash your clothes, they hand out clothing and blankets to those who are in need of it, they shelter women and children who need to get away from abusive family members and they have people who draw up resume’s and they try to find work for all the resume’s they have.

I want to talk about the last couple we came across just before we went home.  They were both elderly, but how old exactly is difficult to say because they really looked bad.  Like beggars, or bums, but they were not entirely homeless.  They live in a wooden hut in the back of what was once a normal stand with a house on it, but the house has been converted into a commune and a lot of small rooms have been built on the stand and there must be at least 20-30 people living there, if not more…

I came to them a bit later than the rest of our group as I talked to a young boy of about 8-9 years first, but when I came closer all I could hear was a lot of screaming, shouting and swearing.  All coming from this couple and they were shouting at the other 3 people of our group. 

“I don’t want to hear anything from this God of yours!  I don’t believe in God!  God is not good, how can He be good if He caused the Tsu.nami in Ja.pan!”  They kept shouting things like that, on and on.  Eventually I was able to get a word in edgewise just to say it wasn’t God that caused all these bad things.  That got their attention, when I said it was all caused by the devil, the man started shouting louder again.  They were upset and mad at God for being in their terrible circumstances.  They were blaming everybody they could think of for the situation they were in, God, the president, the government, us, Christians in general, everybody except themselves.

It was obvious that they were drunk.  The man more than the woman, and it was just before noon.  Eventually we were able to talk a bit with the woman, but the man kept on swearing and shouting.  We women just ignored him, and the man in our group said later he was standing there praying silently.  We asked the woman if she knew about the feeding scheme as they said they were hungry.  They did, they were there once, but they are mad because they say one of the men who volunteer there said he would pick them up and bring them every day as they think it’s too far to walk as they both have problems with their feet, but he never came.  I don’t know what the situation was, I know this man, I haven’t spoken to him about it, but I cannot imagine he would promise that as he is not there every day.  He is a business man who volunteers when he has a chance.  The other days of the week he attends to his business. 

After speaking to this woman for a while one of the ladies with us (H), realized she knows this woman.  H has been helping out the people in our inner city for years now and it was her idea to start the shelter, and with the help from some other people and different churches they were able to get it started less than a year ago.  She was involved with other Christian organizations years ago and this woman used to work for one of these organizations that used to hand out food packages to those in need.  She was fired though because she stole the food packages and sold it to buy alcohol.  This woman did not admit this, H told us about it later.  She and H talked about people they used to know and we eventually left promising to bring them food and some shoes.  H took it to them about 30 minutes later.

All afternoon I kept on thinking about these people.  They were in a terrible situation, I agree with that, but they weren’t the worst off I have ever seen.  Both of them receive a small state pension, and they should be able to pay rent for the wooden hut with it and buy some food and clothes at least.  I have seen a single mother with 2 children live in similar circumstances, and the only income she received was the same small state pension, that this couple earns, but because she is one person she gets half of what they do, and with that she had to pay rent, buy food and clothes for 3 people, and pay school fees.

The husband kept shouting at us, “Why don’t you go buy me some bread, I’m hungry!”  He is expecting others to give things to him.  He doesn’t ask, he demands, and I wasn’t with when H took them their food and the shoes, but I wonder if he even said thank you.  They live about 1 kilometre from a place that will give them food and clothes for free, but they do not make use of it, because they refuse to walk there.  I looked at their feet, and to tell the truth I could not see much wrong with them, except for them being dirty… 

They have an income, their rent should be less than half of their income and they should be able to afford food, but they are hungry, and drunk.  The closest shop that sells alcohol is further away than where we hand out food, and I wonder how they get hold of their alcohol.  It seems alcohol takes preference above food and clothes. 

It may sound like I’m being judgemental here, but I’m not – I’m stating what I saw and heard.  My heart aches for these people that they are in this situation, but the thing that is the worst for me is that it is all so unnecessary.  They don’t have to live like that, but to change it they will have to stop blaming everyone else and start to take action and responsibility for themselves.  We can try to help them, but somewhere they must try to help themselves too.

I think it’s because their situation was so bad, and how much their lives that have been messed up, that made me see how we give power to the devil to do bad things to us.  It’s not so easy to see your own mistakes.  It felt like my eyes were suddenly opened and a lot of things that I have learnt just suddenly came together.  I could see clearly how these people’s sins, their attitude, the words they say, their actions, their drinking, their unforgiveness, their fear, strive in their lives, how all of that gave power to the devil and how they allowed the devil to do a lot of bad stuff to them. 

All they think off, is that God is doing it all to them.  They don’t know God and that He loves them, but that is something I have learnt.  God just wants what is good for us; He wants the best for us.  God loves all of us, so much, that He paid the ultimate price, so that we can come to Him.

John 3:16 (NIV):  16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):  11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

They don’t know that God does not punish us, because Jesus took our punishment upon Himself on the cross.  They don’t know that God is not like a human parent – who is fallible.  Humans punish each other, to teach someone a lesson, but God does not work that way.  God does not even allow bad stuff to happen us, we allow it!  That is what they did – by her own actions this woman lost her job, and probably by their own actions of drinking they also can’t get another. 

I wrote a post a while ago about fear and how that give the devil power to do things to you.  But we give the devil power in other ways too, like I mentioned earlier.  God has given us the 10 commandments for our own good, not just because He wanted to impose rules on us.  All of those commandments are there for a good reason.  So the reason God does not want us to sin is because it is bad for us.  Through sin we allow bad things to happen to us.  It not so that God can punish us when we sin.  

Even other things like forgiveness are there for you and not for the other person.  If you have an unforgiving heart you do yourself damage, most of the time the other person doesn’t even know you are mad at them!  Jealousy and envy make you feel bad, it eats into you and can make you a nasty person no-one wants to be around.  It doesn’t do any harm to the one you are jealous about, unless you act upon that jealousy.  But most of us don’t act upon it – we just let it simmer inside us. 

I still haven’t worked out exactly how it works in my own life.  I don’t have all the answers yet, for instance, I still haven’t figured out how I gave the devil the power to kill our babies and cause my miscarriage, like I said it’s not so easy to see your own faults, but I do realize that it must have been my fault.  I know it’s not God’s fault because God wants to bless me and love me.  I have learnt so much about who God is and what He wants for us, that I know it cannot be Him. 

Actually the opposite of what I’ve told you is also true.  If we live obedient lives it cannot go bad with us. 

Colossians 3:12-15 (NIV):  12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.   15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Deuteronomy 28:1-4 (NIV):  1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands that I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.    2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: 3You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.    4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock— the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.”

Psalm 91:9-15 (NIV):  9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.   11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.  14 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”

Isaiah 54:17 (NIV):  17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”

Psalm 37:4 (KJV):  4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Now, don’t you rather want what the last 4 scripture’s promises?  I know I do, and now since I’ve seen this situation, it’s much easier to resist temptation.  I just think of the bad things I might be allowing, and the blessings I’ll be losing out on…

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