Category: W

When You Don’t Know What to Do

O our God, wilt thou not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” 2nd Chronicles 20:12. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been in situations I thought were hopeless. Situations where there just was no way I could do anything to dig out of the hole. In our text three armies were united against Israel [vs 10] and Israel was utterly helpless against them. So they called out to God and prayed these words of verse 12. I like this prayer a lot ‘neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee’.  In the margin of my Bible here beside this verse I’ve added several additional verses that are a comfort and a help to me in such dark times. I hope you’ll make them your own as I have: Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. What a help that has been to untold millions over the centuries. You should memorize it. #2 Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. #3 Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.  Job 13:15, Psalm 138:3 are great too and I always include Psalm 27:13-14 “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

For some these great scriptures are mere strangers passing on the street. For the sincere earnest believer these words are like the very hand of God wiping the tears from our face. It is like that miraculous day where our Lord was heading to a man’s house to heal his daughter. As he went through that crowded city street [Luke 8:40-56] many people bumped into him unawares and yet none were healed, none were changed, none even noticed they had just touched the very son of God. But one desperate woman had been following him. In her desperate need of help she drew closer and closer in this crowd and finally came up behind him and took hold of the hem of his garment. Immediately she healed of her infirmity! Why? Why was she healed while others were completely unaffected? Why do the very words of God walk among us all over the globe and millions hear them but are untouched by them? They are powerful words, miraculous words uttered from the very mouth of God. When an unbeliever ‘bumps into these words’, not mingling them with faith, they touch his tongue as if a stranger bumped into a stranger. Oh but add faith and these words turn in the heart and speak “who touched me”. They become a gentle hand of help in time of need.

 

 

When Things Are Out of Control…

Yes, this Sunday is “Resurrection Sunday” and yes, I want to write a lengthy article elaborating on the dates, history, scriptures, events and evidence behind the resurrection; but I do not have peace about it. I feel an urgency in writing rather what I sense the Lord would have me to write – and that is: there are those reading this who, right this moment, are desperate and discouraged and in a ‘deep dark pit’. Some are even thinking of “putting an end to it all”! God would have me say to you “NO”! Wait! Things will change soon.

I want to urge you to turn in a King James Bible to Isaiah 41 verse 10 and read these words carefully “Fear thou not: for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness”. Now just slow down and take a few moments and read that nice and slow and let it sink in. “Fear thou not….for I am with thee” Maybe you’re thinking ‘well pastor I don’t feel God’s presence in my life right now’! Friend, let’s be thankful that you can still sense when you’re not close to God nor He to you. May I suggest that even though you don’t feel the presence of your heart – it’s there! Maybe you can’t sense your soul’s presence but let me assure you, it is there!

Can I tell you something else? It is very special to God! You are very special to Him, have no doubt of it. God, who holds your life in the palm of His hand, loves you far more than you can imagine. In fact He loves you more than anyone else ever has or ever will. Maybe you’re thinking ‘no not me, I’ve done terrible things, I’ve made a mess of my life’. Well you and I have a lot in common then, because we’ve both done terrible things and made a mess. Perhaps things look completely out of control right now in your life? Perhaps things really are terrible and perhaps there is no one who can help you. Want some good news for a change? Sometimes God lets us get into a deep dark pit where no one can help…where there is no hope! Why? Because when we realize that no one can help us then we turn to God and when He helps us we know it was no one else but God that helped us. That’s when we realize that when everyone else has abandoned us, God still loves us and He’s still with us.

If you would let me I would like to meet with you and tell you many wonderful things the Great “I AM” has to say to you. You’ll find, as many millions have found, that He is full of compassion and mercy, quick to forgive and slow to wrath. I can tell you that there is room for only one on the throne in your life – God will not share the throne or the crown with you.

When Christians Talk Like Lost People…

Although I use it to some degree, I personally hate Nose-book {Facebook}. One of the reasons is that I find myself constantly being disappointed by some of the things professing Christians write and ‘share’; among them, profanity. Profanity is a very filthy and sinful thing which Christians have no business being part of or using. Psalm 59:12 says “For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak”. James 3:10 adds “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be”.

Lend me your imagination for a moment. When our Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed he was taken to a mock trial at a synagogue and the disciple (which means follower) Peter, followed along and blended into the gathering crowd. However, as Jesus had prophesied earlier in the evening, Peter was confronted and denied that he was a follower of Jesus. The third person to accuse Peter of being a disciple was a young woman who had spotted him in the crowd and recognized him as a follower of Jesus. Afraid for his life, Peter denied it just as he had denied it twice earlier that night. However she persisted so Peter, desperate to save his own life, began to curse and swear [Matthew 26:74] to ‘prove’ that he wasn’t a follower of Christ. Let me stress that! In order to prove that he WAS NOT a follower of Jesus, Peter laced his denial with curse words. Why did he do that preacher? Simple, because he knew what any serious Christian knows in their heart today; that profanity, cursing or swearing is part of the fallen world…it’s the way a lost man talks. It has no place in the Christians mouth.

Nonetheless Christians saturate themselves with profanity – they watch movies and television and read books filled with profanity which then gets into their hearts and soon comes out of their mouths. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh”. It is as if they think nothing of the impact it is making on themselves and on their children. It’s almost like they don’t even care. Not only their children, but it seems as if some Christians don’t care what other believers will think or how their cursing will reflect upon Christ Jesus.

As for me, I don’t want to hear it! I don’t want my ears used like trash cans. Some say well preacher people have the right to cuss if they want to. I know, but does that mean that my right to not hear it goes out the window? I read once that a psychologist had coined the phrase “profanity is what happens when a shallow mind is trying to express itself”. Should children be subjected to the cursing of adults and thereby have their own heart defiled? I am old enough to remember when teachers made children wash their mouth out with soap (which they should still do), but the sad thing is if their heart was washed the mouth wouldn’t be a problem!

When You’ve Been Pushed Too Far

That amazing record of the world that God gave us [The Bible] tells us the incredible story of a great strong-man named Sampson {Judges 14-16}. This fella was like a real life superhero who could have easily picked up and carried a full size car up a hill. He had often used his great strength to whip up on the enemies of God. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to have the brains to match his strength and before you finish reading the story of Sampson & Delilah you kind of wonder if the poor guy was ‘right in the head’.

Sampson liked those cheap looking Jezebel type women *(you know the ones, clothes too revealing, too tight, too much war paint on their face and eyes). He met one named Delilah and fell for her. His enemies saw this weakness and used it against him. They bribed Delilah with a lot of cash to find out why Sampson was so super-strong and how they could whip him. So she immediately began pressing Sampson for the secret of his strength and the Bible says she literally nagged the guy to death [Judges 16:16].
She pestered Sampson day and night without end to tell her his secret. Time and again he lied to her and time and again she sprung traps on him. As you read the story in Judges Ch 16 you find that Delilah troubled Sampson 1. Morally 2. Psychologically 3. Physically 4. Emotionally and 5.. Spiritually. In the end Sampson just buckled under the pressure and told her what the secret of his great strength was.
The famous Paul Harvey used to finish his great radio program by telling “…the rest of the story”; but in this case the ‘rest of the story is dreadful and it ends badly’. Sampson is captured with his head in Delilah’s lap. He is tormented, tortured, imprisoned and the subject of mockery. That’s just exactly Satan’s plan for lost people…torture, pain, suffering, betrayal and spiritual destruction.
However in the life of the Christian, Satan’s plan is demonstrated here in Sampson’s life with spiritual ruin. There are multiple reasons, I think, why Sampson told Delilah his secret, but one of the reasons is that she wore him down with her constant nagging and attacking. Satan uses this same strategy sometimes. He hits you on multiple fronts in rapid succession. He doesn’t give you time to recover from one blow before he hits with you another. Sound familiar? Like someone was plotting against and setting traps for you? The devil does that to people as well…he pushes you, tempts you, pressures you and attacks you; sometimes physically, sometimes morally, sometimes psychologically…
through family, spouse, friends, co-workers. He is ever trying to break you and push you over the edge and away from God. Ultimately Satan’s goal is to lead a Christian into Spiritual ruin and mockery.
If I could have spoken to Sampson before his death there is much I would say, but part of it would be “It doesn’t have to end this way! Come back to God!”