Saturday, November 26, 2011

Forget Being Neutral

No one had to convince Ted and me that Satan is real. We came out of his realm into peace with God through Christ when we were 20. Immediately we were attacked by the father of lies who was lurking, waiting to render us inoperative. His goal: (always) fruitlessness. You can take that to the bank. Together Ted and I entered into Warfare Course 101. By the time my partner left for Heaven we had received Doctoral degrees in fighting the mastor of psychology himself. Since Ted left the imposter has attacked me every which way but loose and he fights dirty. Our Abba, however, has his angels polish my armor to a shiney sheen regularly because it gets very blood-caked some days.

The closer Thanksgiving came, the more I was longing for reinforcements on my battle field and they came! Around our dining table were fewer members of Ted’s and my beloved family but we set places for both Ted and Doug. Five of our six grandchildren were here and the sixth one wanted to be. Lauren, Granddaughter #2 read Joshua 4:1-7 (regarding the twelve stones), her dad, Jeff, prayed, then each grandchild was specifically prayed for by an adult. For several days we have gathered around each other and the throne, stronger in our committment than ever to help one another fight the good fight with intelligent combat, to stand fast in the faith and be strong in the Lord in the midst of the battle in this dark and evil world. The Bible states that all human beings are victims of dark, invisible forces, but only believers can be VICTORS over them.

In Luke 11 Jesus was casting out demons. This ministry was continually questioned by those who chose to approach the scriptures intellectually, for they did not like this business of delving into another realm that they could not explain. Who DOES, for Pete’s sake? The sensationalists, maybe, but sensationalism comes at too high a cost for me. Anyway, the whole scenario in Luke 11 is the finest of “reads” because Jesus Himself wrote it! Look at verses 20-23. “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God then the Kingdom of God has come to you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils. He who is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me, scatters.” Who is the “strong man”? Satan. What is the “house”? The world. Who are the “possessions”? The human race. Three great principals emerge: 1) Humanity, alone against Satan, is powerless and hopeless. 2) Only the “good news” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can break the grip of the “bad news” of the devil. 3) There is no neutrality in spiritual warfare. You either stand with Christ--or against Him.

Now the house is quiet for all have scattered to their own places. Before leaving, ready hands tended to accumulated needed repairs: The all-night light on Ted’s headstone is set for another six months; my dishwasher is repaired; food leftovers have been devoured or tossed; the wood supply for the office stove is replenished; the sprinkler system is shut down for the winter; the toilet bowl thingamajiggie is working again in one of the guest bathrooms; the beds all have fresh linens, ready for whoever comes for a night or two of encouragement and rest, the floors are vacuumed and scrubbed and we are all recharged by the deep spiritual partnership that binds my family together by the shed blood of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

From the old hymn, "Oh, For A Thousand Tongues To Sing"

HE breaks the power of canceled sin; He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean; His blood availed for me.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Put on Your Armor

When Ted and I first went into ministry and were launching many missionaries into unreached places, their reports of Satan's horrible devices to thwart God's work were too bizarre to absorb into our insulated American minds. No more. Thank you for respecting my request not to probe for details regarding my blog of last weekend. Those who did respond were relieved that I wrote it, for they too are fighting principalities and powers in high places, fully aware that Satan has indeed been allowed by God to loose his minions to attack even the elect. His favorite tool: guilt, shame and blame. I am reading Matthew 24:4-6b as I write: "...but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. ...All these are the beginning of birth pains."

My sisters who are mothers: We remember well what we endured before the birth pains began. Our bellies were swollen to near explosion, our backs were in constant pain from carrying so much weight on our fronts, we could not stand, sit, lie or walk in comfort...and we cried out: "Please God, no matter how much it hurts, LET THIS BABY COME!" That's where we are today. We "Pre-Tribs" are waiting to be delivered from the rest of the prophecy of Matthew 4. Many of us are not waiting without taking action, for "the night comes when no man can work". (John 9:4) What we know as believers is that a screaming, angry child is about to be born. ...and his equally angry twin is coming with him. Maybe they are on earth now, or are just beginning the slide down their mother's birth canal, but they're coming: the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet.
"Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful". I Corinthians 4:2. Our nation was birthed by people who rejected the false prophets who put them back under the Law and murdered their fellow believers who wrapped themselves in the blanket of the New Covenant. These Pilgrims worked hard, fought hard, depended upon the God that had rescued them from the tyranny that had come upon the Church of England. Hard-won affluence resulted, but then, because of the fallenness of man, greed followed and their descendants enslaved hundreds of thousands of innocent people in order to increase their riches. That score has never been settled. ...yet. After greed runs its course, and it is, our country is caving in on itself as poverty sets in. God is judging this nation. (An FYI: "Replacement theology" declares this: The church has supplanted God's promise to Abraham: "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I WILL BLESS THOSE WHO BLESS YOU AND WHOEVER CURSES YOU I WILL CURSE." GENESIS 12:2,3. Our Awesome God will not stand for His decrees to be chucked aside by our nation's leader.)
I have no degree in Psychology, but that does not seem to be an issue with couples(some Christians, some not) who call, ready to separate or divorce from not being able to achieve "oneness" with their marriage partner. I have run out of patience and boldly ask: "Did you have sex before you were married? Yes? Are you willing to face your sin head-on, confess it to one another, then to God, ask forgiveness and receive His cleansing by the shed blood of Christ? No? You see that question as irrelevant to your not having oneness in your marriage? ...then call another counsellor!"
My dear teenagers who gather on Thursday to study the Word will have no excuse if they choose not to "flee sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (I Corinthians 6:18-20). 

We will spend Thanksgiving with the couples and children who are left in my family. We will grieve that our Pappa and brother/son/uncle/dad are not at our table, but rejoice that they are free from all the inevitable consequences of our sin that face this nation. Let me remind you once more: SEE TO IT THAT YOU ARE NOT ALARMED! Hide His Word in your heart, but PLEASE DON'T HIDE FROM THE REALITIES THAT ARE CLOSING IN ALL AROUND YOU. PUT ON YOUR ARMOR AND FIGHT!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Study to Show Yourself Approved

Ted used to say: “Satan is no pimple squeezer; he goes for the jugular!” I would so prefer to tell you a bedtime story in this blog, but my Father will not allow it. Do not query me, for I will tell you nothing further than you are about to read.

It will not be news to most of you that Satan and his minions are real. The armor we have been issued by our awesome God is quite adequate and He is serious about our donning it. Every day. This has been a week of rediscovery that the war we are fighting is “not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12. A batallion of scripture-saturated Christians was gathered by God this week to do battle and learn that 1) the focus of Satan’s plan is to freeze Christians in guilt, shame and blame so they will be blocked from bearing fruit that remains; 2) Satan does not want any believer to be freed from fear; 3) Satan wants Christians to believe that Satan has no power over them whatsoever. Don’t you believe it! You bet he does. This battallion of seasoned warriors heard the battle cry and came together when summoned to free a beautiful saint from demonic forces WITH NAMES that screamed, threatened, moaned, groaned, shouted and would not let go. We were not afraid for we all know that “Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.” We are all exhausted, but because of the privilege of watching the power of God and His Word and prayer in action, we are exhilarated. We were reminded of three Absolute phrases that Satan hates: The Word of God; the Blood of Christ; the Lord Jesus Christ. Think now. Why wouldn’t just the word “Jesus” send him into spasms? Why would “The Word of God” send him into a rage? Why would the “Blood of Christ” cause him to scream?

Reinforced in our understanding of Satan’s strategy is this: If the evil one and his minions can keep an adult stuck in childhood fear from mind and bodily assaults by adults (even Christian adults) he renders them fruitless because they cannot believe that they are unconditionally loved by God and are worth, to Him, every drop of His Son’s blood. LOVE FREES; FEAR BINDS. These childhood experiences must be admitted, faced full-on with scripture and prayer, sometimes requiring a team of doctrinally sound believers who come against demonic forces hidden for decades in the bodies and minds of unsuspecting, normal-appearing believers. Fear-bound Christians will not bear fruit that remains, but will often be busy in ministries. The closer we come to the sounding of the Trumpet, the more Satan is tightening his grip on believers. At one point, I asked one who would not let go if he was holding on because he did not want any more people to come to know Christ as Lord and Savior. He screamed in a gutteral voice: “NO. I DON’T WANT ANY MORE PEOPLE TO BELIEVE...” and then he shut up because he would not utter the NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES.

In this God-ordained batallion this week were Bible teachers, pastors, church staff, a seminary professor and homemakers, all part of institutions known for solid, non-charismatic doctrine. He even sent reinforcements from a nearby city who thought they were coming for an overnight, restful time on our mountain. None of us will hang out our shingle as exorists; we will not join Benny Hinn, TNN or any sensationalists who market something so sacred that we are in awe of our God (In fact, we broke several times to sing “Our God is an awesome God”), we will not write any books on how to smoke out demons from their hiding places. We would all just like to rest and “ to show ourselves approved by God, workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth!”

I mean it. Do not question me. I don’t even understand what we have all just experienced. I know this. Any “boxes” we may have placed around our Mighty God have had the slats kicked out of their sides.
Love, Jo

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Will Fear No Evil

This week has been too wacko to even attempt to reduce it to one transferable truth. Another translation for the word “wacko” is “confusing”. You know who is behind “confusion”. It is never our Lord. until I get a dozen or so matters sorted out so I can think right, I will give you the scripture that is holding me together: ...good old Psalm 23:3b-4

He guides me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil, for You are with me
Your rod (which bops the predator on the head) and Your staff
(which hooks around my ankle and pulls us back from the abyss that backons me to just give up and fall in)

WHAT comforts me? His ROD and His STAFF



Love, Jo