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 

Beginning the Process

We are born with a disease that can’t be cured by medical science. We cannot cure it by natural means. It has infected our thinking and our understanding. It has rendered us blind to Spiritual Truth. It has permeated our emotions with distorted results. It has damaged our capacity to “will” what is right. It has disoriented us, leaving us off center. This disease is sin. We inherited a sinful nature and were born into this life in a sin induced condition of Spiritual death. Spiritual birth is the only way to regain Spiritual life. We must be born again! We must be resurrected from our spiritual graves. Once we have received Jesus as Savior and Lord, His very Life is imparted to us. The introduction of this Life into our being initiates a healing process for our inner being, minds, emotions, will, behavior, values, attitudes, etc. Sin is so deeply rooted that God’s Word must be taken daily. There will be steady recovery from sin as we faithfully use this prescription. God’s remedy applied (not just known about) will bring steady improvement. The cure will be complete, when we appear before the Great Physician. We may have a setback by giving in to sin in some area(s). God has a Spiritual anti-biotic. Apply I John 1:9. Colossians 1:21-22 shows us how the cure works: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.” Selah! As this healing cure is applied, the new Spiritual Life will impact health, finances, emotions and minds. Stay tuned!  Ron 

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

Supernatural Healing

Supernatural (or miraculous) healing is a subject that often captures people’s attention. Sometimes God, in answer to the prayer of faith, does a miracle of physical healing. Sometimes, for reasons known only to Himself, He doesn’t heal a person. Faith, that is true faith, will trust Him when He says, no and when He says, yes. Let me ask a question. Why do we limit “healing” to only physical healing? What about emotional healing, financial healing and mental healing? God, if He knows that it’s “appropriate,” can and does heal in these areas. There is one area in which God will always heal! God will always heal, Spiritually, all who exercise genuine faith in Jesus, as their personal Savior and Lord. Here’s a most important consideration: Unless God has a “higher purpose,” healing in these other areas often comes in the wake of genuine conversion. As we learn to walk closely with our Lord, we gain in understanding of and obedience to the guidelines, principles and commands of His Word. This sanctifying, growth process results in various kinds of healing. Our need of healing arises from the leftovers of our fallen human nature. Jesus said in Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Selah! Jesus did these things in Person when He was here. Today, He does them by proper application of Scripture. (Look for insights in these areas in coming days, Lord willing). Ron
Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com

70% Is Not “Passing!”

“I go to church.” “I tithe.” “I work in the church.” “I give offerings.” “I sing the hymns.” “I listen to the message.” “I lead a decent life.” “I pray.” The list could go on. We could do all of these things and still not “pass.” In fact, it’s not our performance that matters. What determines if we have “passed” from death to life? We must be converted! Many would say, I’ve done that. Actually, it is not something that we do. Conversion is a change from something to something else. Only God can effect a genuine change. Only God can change a person from a sinner to a saint; from spiritual death to Spiritual life. Only God can change our desires, values, attitudes, and way of thinking. What changes constitute a genuine work of God? Jesus said, in Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven.” Do we now want His will to be done in our lives? Do we love the Word of God? Are we yielding to its teachings; applying them in our lives as He motivates us to do so and gives us the needed strength to do His will? Do we crave a holy life? Do we care about seeing people saved? Do we love to talk with God, (to pray)?” Do we love the brethren? These are a few indications of authentic conversion. They are not things that we do to win His approval. These are changes that He has brought about. As we are exposed to and responsive to Scripture and solid Biblical preaching, these changes are made in us. We have left the old way; we are moving in a new direction. God, and the things of God, matter more and more to us. If we can’t see these changes being made, something is very wrong! Go to God in prayer, trust Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for you on the cross and trust Him with the control of your life. Spend much time in the Word and prayer. If you do this wholeheartedly, consistently and not just somewhat, you’ll see change! Selah! 70% percent is not “passing!” Make a full surrender of your life to Him and He’ll enable you to “pass.”  Ron

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

Going It Alone!

The flow of much of Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christianity is toward the shore of comfort, conformity and contentedness. The boat is coming to dock in the gently rippling waters. Things are O.K. Don’t rock the boat! Come to land and settle down. Enjoy a little non-demanding Christianity. Wear the label “Christian” proudly. Insist on basic Truth. Don’t give any serious thought to going out into deep waters. Turbulence, stress and danger lies out there in the deep. Of course, there are new experiences to challenge and bless, distant latitudes to explore, new wonders to enjoy. Nevertheless, such an adventure would be costly. You are among many Christians but few of them have any real interest in spending any time or effort on risky endeavors. Their motto might be: “Don’t get all worked up. Relax and enjoy yourself. Go with the flow.” On the other hand, perhaps someone reading this will have grown tired of basking in the sunshine of the status quo. Your heart yearns for a richer and more vital experience of Jesus; you are fed up with spiritual baby food. You crave a walk with God that you can sink your teeth into, a fervency of excitement such as moved those early disciples to be God’s instruments to mightily impact their culture. If you’re serious, you’ll likely have to go it alone. You will be accused of being radical, a fanatic, crazy and losing your mind. But you will have joined the company of those who couldn’t settle for an anemic mockery of genuine Christianity. It will require dedication, determination and discipline. Your commitment will be like that phrase found in a simple gospel song, “Though no one join me, still I will follow. No turning back!” Perhaps the words of Psalm 42:1-2 will become your own passion. “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the Living God: when shall I come and appear before God.” Selah! Don’t pine away on the shore, board the ship and launch out into the deep!  Ron

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