Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why Am I Afflicted?

   "Many are the afflictions of the righteous" is a passage we often take comfort in, and offer comfort by. And that's legit. But what about those times in our lives when it's one crisis after another, "all Thy waves and billows are gone over me", and we're just buffeted with all kinds of junk!? Are we being tested like Job?
What's the deal?
   Proverbs 26:2 tells us, "the curse causeless shall not come". Now far be it from me to accuse any of you of harboring "some secret sin" when your life is upside down and you need answers. My plan here is to give you a checklist to pray over, and ask the LORD to show you the cause of the curse.

  • The most obvious- and least likely- is open unconfessed sin. Faithful believers really can't go long without conscience buzzing our ears. It can happen: think David & Bathsheba- but it's the exception, not the rule.Probably not your problem.
  • How about disobedience? I don't mean willful disobedience, but maybe you got too busy, or you forgot, or weren't really sure it was God talking to you in the first place. It's happened to me- you think it's your own daydream, don't realize it truly is a vision inspired by the Holy Spirit. Remember how Moses almost died, because he hadn't circumcised his kids? Ask God to remind you-then do it!
  • Our associations can bring trouble. "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" is sound advice! We can't always pick who we work with. I have a friend in law who also got involved with politics. Many judges and politicians are deeply into Freemasonry; being around them can expose you to their demons! Short of quitting your job, what can you do? Pray for their salvation & deliverance.
  • The cursed thing. Remember how Achan brought spoils into his home? It ruined his whole family! Now you may not go out & buy something accursed, but someone may give you an item, and you accept it to be nice Some items are charged: it may be nothing to you, but to another it's a talisman or charm. Book, decoration, album....could be a conduit for evil forces, a very lightning rod!
  • Last one, and easiest to fall into, is unforgiveness. Problem is, it's a passive sin, not an active one. We all know the parable of the servant who was forgiven but wouldn't forgive. It opens us up to spiritual assault!
   So brothers & sisters afflicted & tormented, pray and ask the Lord if any of this is going on to open a door in your life. The Holy Spirit will be happy to show you, as will your guardian angel, whose job will be a lot easier with the cause removed! If it is just a test, may God grant you the patience & faith to endure.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Loaded Cross

   Years back, I was visiting a church, and the Pastor was giving a sermon tiled, "The Empty Cross".  He was going on about how mainline churches depict a crucifix with Christ nailed to it, and how they oughtn't do that since He isn't there any more. OK, point taken. But if your cross is empty, I feel sorry for you: because mine is full! It's loaded! With what? Glad you asked!
   First off, I'm on it! I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ Who lives in me" according to Galatians 2:20. My flesh and its lusts are nailed there: Galatians 5:24. The world and its ways are condemned there to me, Galatians 6:14.
   It gets better! All my sins are tacked up there: "...having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us and took it out of the way,nailing it to His cross!" Colossians 2:13-14. The Old Testament legal requirements are also there; I don't have to be concerned with crossing my t's and dotting my i's to please God!
   Hallelujah! Know what else is on that old, rugged cross? ALL MY SICKNESSES AND DISEASES!
"Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed!" Isaiash 53:4-5, as if you didn't know!
   I might just start preachin'! There's one more tihng on that ol' cross. An ugly, stinking horrible thing: MY PAST. All my failures, mistakes, disobediences, foolishness, and faults of any kind are posted there for it is written, "IF any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away, behold all things are become new and all things are of God"! 2 Corinthians 5:17
   So you see my friends, I don't have an empty cross. My Saviour isn't there, but everything He saved me from IS! Grace, peace, and thanks for stopping by!