The Success of Stealthy Seduction

Clever infiltration often works much better than frontal attacks. Direct attacks on people will usually result in their getting their defenses up. If Satan uses a direct attack on people, it’s not too likely to work. However, he knows that and works with stealth to seduce people. This strategy has been very successful in the church. Jesus spoke of wolves in sheep’s clothing and of wheat and tares. One use of spiritual seduction has been to lull people into assuming that they are Christians (or, at least, Christian in their actions and attitudes). People assume that because they have some good morals and are good to people that they are O.K. with God. This is bad enough, but there is something much worse. People are led to believe that by subscribing to certain gospel facts and praying a simple prayer that they have been instantly born again. Perhaps and perhaps not. Did they only believe the Truth and then go right on living as they have been right along? Has their knowledge of the Truth initiated a glorious and wonderful relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord? Has He become loved, valued, honored, and obeyed? Has to know Him in a rich, personal experience prompted us to listen to Him, talk with Him and learn more of Him? Has there been an identifying with His will and concerns? Is He truly the most important Person in our lives? If not, then our assumption of being saved may be nothing more than identifying with some local church and its stand. If we are genuinely converted, He has taken up residence in our innermost being. We long to know Him intimately, to serve Him and to please Him. We long for that time when we behold Him face to face. If the enemy can get us to rely on an acceptance of the facts only, without a deep and growing relationship with Jesus, he has been successful indeed. “Therefore, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (II Corinthians 13:5). Selah! It’s time for all who would lead a person to Christ to communicate, with His enabling, a full explanation of what it means to be saved. Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com  

Certain Restrictions Apply

When we seek God’s healing in any of the areas we’ve been looking at, it sometimes seems to us that God is ignoring our prayers for help. I’d like to offer some reasons why He doesn’t respond the way that we want Him to respond. First of all, He may simply be saying “No!” He is not going to grant something that He knows would be bad for us. “….no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” (From Psalm 84:11). Another possibility is that sin has cut off communication. Isaiah 59:2 teaches “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.” It could be a matter of timing. Psalm 37:7 reminds us to Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him.” He may withhold something good for something better. Consider what He withheld from Joseph with the result that the Jewish people were spared from starvation. He may be testing our faith. Peter, in I Peter 1:7, tells us that, “the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” The “bottom line” is that God knows what is best and we can and should trust Him unconditionally. Selah! God would not be a wise or loving Father if He granted our every request. in fact, He would be more like a servant than the God of all. He knows what He is doing. Trust Him!  Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

The Healing of Financial Illness

The first step in dealing with financial illness is to understand what caused it. For the born again child of God, there is the danger of thinking that our money is ours. It is not! Our emotions and our fallen reasoning leads us to believe that since we earned it, it is ours. We fail to take into account that it is God Who gives understanding, energy, breath and ability to earn, not to mention employment. It is God’s money and we are entrusted with the handling of it. If we use it on ourselves for things that He does not want us to have or do, we have stolen that money from Him. We are authorized to use some wisely and in harmony with His guidelines in Scripture for legitimate personal enjoyment and needs; not necessarily for our “wants.” Failure to tithe willingly is indicative of a lack of love for God. It shows a lack of gratitude and reveals greed, selfishness and our distrust of God. What we spend God’s money for may be to satisfy our covetousness. When we give, is it duty or an act of worship? Our spending of money that we haven’t been allowed to earn yet involves our going into debt. This is a clear violation of God’s command in Romans 13:8. He inspired Paul to state, “Owe no man anything….” I’m told that if we tried to say in English the way that it was given in the original language, it would read like this: Owe no man anything, nothing, no, not anything at all. We think that God couldn’t possibly mean that we shouldn’t use credit or loans. There are Biblical reasons why He means exactly that.  In Luke 16:11, Jesus asks, “If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon (riches), who will commit to your trust the true riches?” Selah! Following the guidelines from God’s Word will bring healing financially. The healing may come slowly and it may not be without some pain. However cures are often like that. Thank God that there is a cure. If you have this illness, take your medicine.  Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

What Determines Your Mindset?

Reasoning wrong or not reasoning at all greatly affects our minds and consequent behavior. Mental problems, if they are not the result of brain damage or chemical imbalance, can be of our own making. If our emotions, friends’ expectations or the opinions of people that we trust prompt action, without serious thought on our part, these may lead to mental issues. We were given minds to use, to analyze, to evaluate, to understand and to discern between right and wrong. Further, if we are guided by much of what we learn in secular education today, we can be assured of making bad decisions and experiencing damaging results in our lives. Scripture provides ample reasons to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. Failure to do this guarantees defective living and assures us of eternal regret. Once we have truly surrendered the control of our lives to Him, we have access to the information that we need for a balanced mind. The more that we expose ourselves to what God says in His Word, the more our lives will be stable, meaningful and blessed. Living by Biblical principles, wisdom, commands and values leads to sound minds. God gives the Spirit “of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (From II Timothy 1:7). Psalm 119:130 adds its voice: “The entrance of Thy Words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” Proverbs 2:6 puts it this way, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” As one so wisely said, “The greatest exercise of the mind of man is to think the thoughts of God after Him.” (Source unknown). Selah! The horrible things in the world today are the result of not being guided by God; The truly good things in life are rooted somewhere in God’s eternal Word!  Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

A Vulnerable Target

Satan knows that if a Christian checks the Bible, and bases his or her life on what God says, he, (Satan) will be defeated. He also knows how prone we are to live in our emotions rather than by Scriptural principles, values and commands. Therefore, his primary target is our feelings. Here are some examples: He plants doubts in our minds. How are we going to handle this need? Where will we get the money or help we need? He stirs our fears and anxiety. He reminds us of our failures in order to discourage us. He rehearses in our minds all of our difficult circumstances and stimulates us to feel buried by our troubles. Doubts: “Trust in the LORD; with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Needed help: “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). Fears: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear.” (From II Timothy 1:7). Our cares: “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you” (I Peter 5:7). Our failures: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness(I John 1:9). Now drawing on these truths for ourselves assumes that we are truly born again and learning to obey God’s Word and live our lives in harmony with His principles and values. An example might be that if we are conducting our finances according to Scriptural teaching, we can rely on His help. If not, our trouble might be allowed in order to alert us that we are violating some financial guideline that He has given us in the Bible. Selah! When we trust and obey, God will help us day by day.   Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

Contending Voices

There is a voice trying to influence us to yield to its suggestions. There is another voice urging us to think before we act. The first voice wants us to act impulsively without thinking about it. Now, our inner mechanism works something like this: there is the pull of emotions and there is the pull of getting at the facts and acting accordingly. Our minds are in the crossfire. One voice says “Do it, it’s all right. It will be fun, you’ll enjoy it, other people do it all the time and they don’t have a problem.” This urge comes from the leftover remnants of our fallen nature and consequently we “feel” like we want to do it. We act based on emotional stimuli. The contending voice is the Holy Spirit reminding us to find out what God’s Word has to say about what we are considering doing or being. Now, our minds are called upon to choose which way we’ll respond. Will it be our “feelings” or God’s will? This is why we need to have our minds renewed. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (From Romans 12:2). We do not naturally think Biblically. This is where discipleship (a disciplined life) comes into play. We are having our minds renewed to think Biblically and act accordingly. If we choose “feelings,” there will be consequences. If we choose what God teaches, there will be blessings. Either way, our “will” will seek to go the way we allow ourselves to be influenced. If we choose to be governed by God, we’ll “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (From Romans 12:2). Selah! “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thessalonians 5:23).   Ron

 

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

Becoming Spiritually Healthy

God sometimes does not heal someone directly, miraculously or indirectly through doctors. When He doesn’t, He has a higher purpose. Having said that, when one is truly converted and God’s Word begins to impact his or her being, health often improves, sometimes greatly. In the wake of experiencing a genuine conversion, people begin to trust and apply Scripture. Authentic faith in God frees from worry, fear, discouragement, stress, vices, etc. to name a few things. This life changing process works slowly with some and more rapidly with others. The “bottom line” is that we change. The more that we change, the Spiritually healthier we become and this often brings better physical health. For example, when we refuse to forgive someone who has wronged us (or we feel that they have), we become bitter and bitterness eats at our health, physically and Spiritually. When we forgive from the heart, the spiritual cancer of bitterness is removed and we are freed from its damage. The key is in learning the Truths of the Bible and then living them out in our lives. Jesus, in Matthew 13:15, spoke of people who have eyes and ears to see and hear, but don’t see or hear. If they would open themselves to see Him and listen to Him, doing what He says, they “should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” Selah! God heals us from sin and then from giving in to sin, as we apply and obey His Word.  Ron
 
Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com