Monday, July 14, 2014

SATAN'S DISTRACTIONS

Since all truth is parallel, I offer up to you this simple anecdote.

One day you meet the woman/man of your dreams and a friendship results. You can’t wait to see that person when you get off of work. Once there and after two or three hours of joking, laughing, bantering, and talking to one another, you hate to leave when you have to go home.

Months may go by and you two enter into a committed relationship and begin to grow together. Most of the time it’s great but those times are not without their challenges and troubles. After about a year or two you may or may not get married. Then come mortgages, upkeep, bills for two, then kids, bills for three, school, graduations, and the circle of life continue.

Nevertheless, after a few years of all the things that life throws at us, we become familiar. Our laughing together stops, we don’t date as often or if at all, we stop talking with each other, and our relationship turns into jobs, kids, houses, and external stuff. The magic is gone and minimum we are emotionally divorced. Maybe we never got married in the first place but instead, our relationship waned, and we went our separate ways.

The above scenario often describes our relationship with God in that we started out on fire for Him. Oh at first we studied His Word, prayed to Him daily, and poured out our heart to Him when we felt that we needed Him. When the distractions of life interfered in our relationship with Him, we trusted Him enough to take care of us and to give us a way out. Our focus was on the Lord.

Guard your heart above all else, for it determine the course of your life [Proverbs 4:23 NLT].

For the last couple of weeks, I have had a hard time getting into the Spirit enough to write. I unintentionally did not leave much room for the Lord to squeeze in there and talk to me. It is very hard to get into His presence with so many distractions gumming up the works.

What with the daily grind and all the stuff going on around us these days, it can be a hindrance in seeking the Lord’s manifested presence sometimes. Things like the condition of the world, corruption abounds, unemployment is the highest in our nation’s history, and we’ve lost a job and we can’t find a new one. The money we’re going to be short this payday plagues us. The kids are having trouble and we aren’t able to help them. A relationship or marriage has gone south and the car needs a new tranny, or any number of things that can bombard our minds in today’s world. These things and more, distracts us all but what about the personal distractions when seeking God and His presence? Here’s what I experienced just the other day while trying to write. (True story, all of it.)

I got out of the house and went to Star Bucks where I could think and get into the presence of God for some relief, but to my chagrin, the distractions followed me there. After about 20 minutes at Star Bucks, praying to God, I finally got a breakthrough and connected with the Lord. At that precise moment someone’s car horn started honking, alerting passers-by that something was wrong. Honk. . .honk. . .honk. . .honk. . .honk. . .honk. (I hate those things.) I sighed when the owner fixed the intrusion (probably a distraction for him as well), when a fire truck went by with their sirens blaring away, while they laid on their air horn through traffic, which was supposed to move cars to the right of the road. (It’s a long road and lots of cars.)

It wasn’t one minute later, as I sat outside drinking my coffee trying to get into His presence, again, that a kid next to me started crying and sliding a metal chair across the cement sidewalk making this god-awful scraping sound and at the same time, the parents are yelling at the kid to “Stop it! Stop it! Sit down!” About fifteen seconds later someone’s cell went off and evidently he didn’t want to talk to the person. My inner man scre-e-e-e-a-a-med and I thought Beam me up Lord! If it all weren’t so maddening and frustrating, it would have been comical.

This is just a glimpse of what I have been experiencing these last couple of weeks. My mind has been so-o-o plugged with outside distractions that I think I am going crazy sometimes. On top of all the garbage, I have all this writing to do for the Lord and I can’t even get into His presence. I know that’s why Satan is trying to distract me.

Please tell me that someone can relate to this.

How do we get into God’s presence despite all the outside interference(s)? Here’s what worked for me.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel [Psalms 22:3].

Satan is alive and well and knows where he is going. He wants to keep us from God and our only defense is to remain focused on Christ. Distractions are a major tool in Satan's grab bag of tricks to keep us away from the presence of God.

The Lord and I had a big laugh today, and I (we) eventually came up with this blog instead of one of the other three that I had on my mind for this Monday, which was probably what God wanted in the first place. I have been distracted before and when I regain my focus, His manifested presence comes flooding into me.

So, to eliminate the outside distractions of the world around you and to get into His manifested presence of God, first get alone with God, not a place where the whole world is clamoring around you (like I did). Get into a place where you feel anointed of God. Make sure it is a quiet place and away from the world and turn off that cell phone. (I know that’s going to be hard for some of you.)

Then. . .be still and know that He is God [1], and approach Him with a reverent position of the heart. Worship Him and pray to Him [2], and invite him to join you. Prayer does not have to be some generic by-the-numbers mechanical prayer, just talk to Him as you would a friend [3].

The best defense is a good offense, and worship and prayer are the tools in our arsenal and of our warfare. Even spiritual warfare can sometimes be a distraction because in our binding and fighting, our focus is on the enemy, not Christ. Don’t misunderstand, warfare is a necessity but it should be in a 10% to 90% ratio, because remember that God inhabits the praises of His people.

In these latter days, it is Satan’s final assault on mankind and like I say, his distractions are a major tool in his arsenal. However, I have discerned many other spirits that Satan is releasing into the atmosphere in this hour preparing for the big battle, but I will write about this next week.

[1] Psalms 46:10
[2] 2 Chronicles 7:14
[3] Psalms 57:1, John 15:13, Romans 5:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:17

.

Friday, July 11, 2014

THINGS TO COME

Part Four of Four: What should we do?

Let’s let God's Word tell us what’s wrong and what to do.

This life is but a whisper, a puff of smoke in terms of eternity. So think more about eternity rather than here on Earth in this mortal existence.

Does the following Habakkuk Scripture sound familiar to you? It should. . .this is a prophecy written for these end times.

v2 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
v3 Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
v4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth [Habakkuk 1:2-4].

It is impossible to please God without faith [Hebrews 11:6]. Is our faith a preference or commitment? If we take the mark, our faith was a preference. If we do not take the mark, our faith was a conviction. Only we can answer that question.

With the times that are coming, are we going to be safe and immune to the Tribulation that the Bible talks about? I can answer in the affirmative, most definitely. There is only one place of safety and that is “In Christ.” Don’t play Russian roulette with your soul. Are you a child of God? If not, there is only one way, and that is through Jesus Christ. There are some ugly times ahead and I personally am glad that I will not be one of those left behind. I will be coming back with Christ on a white stallion of my own to fight alongside of Christ against a world that has rejected my savior and husband.

1. DO NOT FEAR: Do not fear those things that are coming upon the Earth. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. [Matthew 24:6 (Also Mark 13:7 and Luke 2:19)].

2. GET YOUR EYES OFF OF THIS WORLD: The Word of God is clear, our hope and call is not in this world. God has not called us to restore or save the world.
v10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent

heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

v11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
v12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
 v13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. [2 Peter 3:10-13 (Also Colossians 3:2)]

3. SET YOUR EYES ON THE SKIES: Our focus will be on the lost and dying as we discern the lateness of the hour. The world sees the same crisis as we do only they will look to themselves to build a New Age of Peace and Prosperity. Whereas, we will look to the skies because our redemption is nigh at hand.

v28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. [Luke 21:28 (Also Colossians 3:1-3)]

We cannot be silent anymore. There is a dying world out there. We must discern the signs of the times, and realize the hour in which we stand. We must cry out: My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. [Jeremiah 4:19]

For further edification
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God [John 3:3 KJV].
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe [Proverbs 18:10 KJV].

Friday, July 4, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

Standing on top of a hill overlooking Washington DC, sits a 79 ton marble sarcophagus. A soldier from the 3rd Infantry Regiment marches 21 steps back and forth guarding this lone and Unknown Soldier. He pauses at each of the four turns, and waits 21 seconds at each turn before continuing. A soldier (sentinel) while “Walking the Mat” does not wear an insignia of rank. This further respects and honors the occupant so as not to outrank him.

These 21 steps and seconds are the highest honor that each sentinel can give to the Unknown Soldier because it is representative to a 21 gun salute. While writing this tribute today and reflecting on this tomb and where America is in this day and hour of history, I literally came to tears as I read the inscription carved into the large marble tombstone.

Here rests in honored glory
an American soldier known only to God.

Death is final and this soldier gave up his everything so that I could be free and pursue the remainder of my life with my kids, my friends, and my dreams. As I read the inscription and realized what this soldier gave up, I felt as though I wasn't worthy even to read what was carved on the tomb wall. He not only gave up his life for me but for the country for which he served. . .America.

America also sits on top of a hill and is the light of the world.

You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden [Matthew 5:14 NLT].

People have come here for over 200 years to be free, to live out their dreams, and to follow their aspirations. Where will the people go when America is gone? (I know where believers are going!)

America celebrates its 238th birthday today as a beacon of light to those who would be free. However, the reason that America is free is because of the thousands of men and women soldiers who protect her and sometimes give their life for her. To those brave individuals who serve(d) the greatest nation and strongest economic power in the history of mankind, I give my total 100% respect, support, and gratitude. Because of you, may the Stars and Stripes fly forever. I know they will at my house.

One has only to visit the Arlington Cemetery to see the countless rows upon row of white crosses, a daily reminder that each and every one represents a human life and precious soul that sacrificed his or her life for our great nation. There are 400,000 American soldiers buried in Arlington Cemetery, three of which are unknown [1]. Without compunction and without any regard for their own safety, they selflessly sacrificed their lives, not caring about any recognition they might receive for doing so. Sirs and ma’am’s, I thank you with a grateful heart.

The tomb of the Unknown Soldier is empty now [2] but the Army Guard still guards the tomb with the same respect and honor that it deserves, as it represents the soul who dwelt there and the three unknowns buried in the cemetery. It also represents the countless thousands of soldiers today who throw caution to the wind and charge the front line with the resolve of an expectant victory, but also with the ever present possibility and hidden apprehension that they too could end up as a permanent resident of Arlington. . .but with controlled abandon they charge anyway.

This is the American spirit, a spirit that still lives on in the hearts of not only every soldier today but of every citizen who dwells here. We [are] America. Each and every one of our soldiers are heroes in my book and I salute you. I only wish I were young and strong enough to charge with you.

When I think of what this country stands for, I can’t help but think of the expense that it has cost their comrades in arms and of the American people, especially as I look out over the sea of white crosses. It reminds me of the price of freedom and indeed, it does not come cheap.

Then when I think of what America is becoming now all because of a few power hungry individuals during these end times, it exacerbates the tears that I have literally shed for her today. I cannot stop the flow. It really saddens me and I have a heavy heart thinking of her miracle, the cost, and what we are doing to her. Lord, please forgive us for what we are doing to the gift that you gave us 238 years ago.

All of these thoughts leave me with a vision of 400,000 crosses spread out across an open field and of the lives and purpose that they represent, and as I reflect, my mind fills with a cacophony of emotions; respect, thankfulness, awe, hurt, remorse, pride, humbleness, sorrow, and yes – anger. Anger in that these great men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice for what would now appear to be for naught to a handful of elite individuals who are the powers to be, and by their actions, are spitting on the graves of our dead hero’s memories. I apologize to all of you soldiers, dead and alive, for the actions of a few men in power. God bless each and every one of our troops in Jesus name, and He will. . .bless you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA! The majority of us still love you. Thank you Lord for America and please have mercy on us your servants.

____________________________
[1] 125,000 buried on foreign soil managed by the AMBC (American Battle Monuments Commission). 300-400 Americans who fought in French Foreign Legion in WWWI buried overseas. 200 casualties buried in Canada from war of 1812. There are approximately 3600 war dead who are not in any official overseas U.S. cemeteries. 468 buried at Brookwood just outside of London and another 563 missing in action memorialized by name. There are about 750 Soldiers buried in Mexico City. There is no database for all dead American soldiers and some are still on the battlefield. We will never know exactly how many are buried on foreign soil or who are still on the battlefield in their grave of honor and heroism.

[2] On May 8, 1984, the remains of the Vietnam Unknown Soldier entombed at Arlington was disinterred and through the miracle of DNA testing, they identified the soldier as Air Force 1st Lt. Michael J Blassie. The family re-interred him in his home town in St Louis, Missouri. Under the direction of President Ronald Wilson Reagan, the government decided that the tomb would remain empty. This author thinks that that was a great idea because now it represents ALL soldiers who will be known and unknown and yet will give their lives for us.

.