Isaiah 30:20-21 KJV “And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:  And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”
Can you determine when something you desire and what God’s word says is at a crossroads? If the answer is, “Yes,” you are so blessed! 😊 Because MANY are not able to do this:
1 Timothy 4:2 KJV “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having THEIR CONSCIENCE SEARED WITH A HOT IRON.”
Romans 1:28 RSV “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, GOD GAVE THEM UP to a base mind and to improper conduct.”
Many are incapable of hearing when God speaks. They have denied the truth so much God has given them up to a depraved mind. It is written. But if you can still hear God’s voice saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it,” when you turn to the left or to the right; even when what God’s word is saying contradicts your feelings and desires, you are blessed!
Contrary to what condemning voices in our heads say, things like; “You blew it again, just give up.” “How can God love you when you keep sinning?” “If God cared about you so much why would you be suffering like this?” GOD HAS NOT GIVEN UP ON US! The fact that you even care about your sins, that you even care about why you are suffering shows you’re still in the fight. And as long as you and I do not give up on God we will continue to hear His voice.
We may get down but we’re never out. We fall short but we get back up. There will be many times we discern we haven’t lived up to God’s righteous standard. And during these times we are reminded of what a kind generous Father we have. He could destroy us in our sin but instead chooses to love us in spite of as long as we do not give up.
When we find ourselves at the crossroads; where what we want and what God desires is in stark contrast, know that this is normal:
Galatians 5:17 GNB “For what our human nature wants is opposed to what the Spirit wants, and what the Spirit wants is opposed to what our human nature wants. These two are enemies, and this means that you cannot do what you want to do.”
God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours. So of course what we want will at times be at odds with one another:
Isaiah 55:8-9 GNB “My thoughts,” says the LORD, “are not like yours, and my ways are different from yours. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.
Be thankful that you can discern when God is speaking because many cannot. Their consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. Also ask God earnestly in prayer to give you the strength to do what he says. Do not be deceived:
James 1:22 GNB “Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice.”
When you fail get back up again. Never give up, that’s the key. And remember Jesus paid a high price with His own blood for our sins. All who are in Christ are forgiven! 😊 So stop condemning yourself. (Romans 8:1)
If God is still guiding you; if you can still hear His voice even when what you want contradicts His will, this is proof that God has not given up on you! You are blessed. Now let’s make our Father proud by obeying Him. 😊
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2 Timothy 3:1 KJV “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
2 Corinthians 11:23-28 EasyEnglish “They may say that they are Christ’s servants. (I speak like a fool.) But I am a better servant than they are. I have worked much more than they have worked. I have been in prisons more often than they have been in prisons. I could not begin to count how many times people have hit me. I have nearly died many times. 24 At five different times, the Jews hit me with a stick 39 times. 25 Other people hit me with sticks three times. People threw stones at me to kill me once. Three times I have been on ships that broke in the sea. Once I was in the sea for a night and a day. 26 I have travelled very much. I have been in danger from rivers and from people who rob. I have been in danger from my own people and from other people, who do not know God. I have been in danger in cities and in country places. I have been in danger on the sea. And I have been in danger from people who said that they were Christ’s. But those people were not really Christ’s. 27 I have worked very much, so that I have been very, very tired. Many times I have not slept. Many times I have been hungry and I have had nothing to drink. Many times I have had no food and I have been cold and without clothes. 28 All these troubles have happened to me. But also, every day I think about all the groups of believers, because they matter so much to me.”
1 Corinthians 4:9-11 NIV “For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.  We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!  To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.”
All the words above are inspired by the Holy Spirit. Used to write them was a man who knew a thing or two about sufferings for Christ’s sake. His name was Paul. Paul went through it for the faith. If you and I never go through half of what Paul faced there will still be many trials to endure. Get into the habit of knowing that nothing will always go as it logically should. You’re in a war against the Devil; God’s arch enemy.
Revelation 12:17 MEV “Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and he went to wage war with the remnant of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
You’re just minding your own business and out of nowhere someone starts messing with you. That’s the battle we’re in. You report wrongdoing then it somehow gets turned back on you. That’s the battle we’re in. You work hard to be a good husband or wife, then your spouse ups and leaves you. That’s the battle we’re in. You’re a conscientious hard working employee, still you lose your job. That’s the battle. Your children rebel against you; the battle. Your parents reject you; the battle. Like Paul you too even experience homelessness; the battle. You are falsely accused and imprisoned like Joseph; the battle. I can go on and on about life’s misfortunes, and by the way guys even nonbelievers go through these:
1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
It’s good to know that God won’t allow more to come on us than we can bear. But there is a special reason why Satan wants us to go through trials: he is trying to break our faith. Yet God uses these same tribulations to make us strong; make us complete:
James 1:2-4 NLT “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
Guys we’re not just going through stuff just to be going through stuff. God is building His kingdom; His temple, His church. That’s you and me who believe. Yes, we are being refined and designed with eternal purposes in mind. Remember this when things aren’t going like they should (or like we think they should). It’s not about us. It’s about God’s kingdom which you and I are a part of. Expect things to go haywire. None of us can predict exactly what’s going to happen in a battle. Whether it’s a football game or a war between nations there’s always the unexpected. Every battle tactician knows that. YOU ARE A WARRIOR!!! LIVE LIKE ONE!!! Unforeseen occurrences, unimaginables, setbacks, even failures will occur. It’s how we handle these that determine whether we win or lose.
2 Timothy 2:3-4 KJV “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.  No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
We are in the most epic battle: the battle for our eternal souls. Fight well by depending on God, His Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Remember, our main foes are not human:
Ephesians 6:12 MEV “For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Expect chaos. You will be surrounded by it. But you can also expect God to be right there with you throughout your storms. And you can expect seasons of refreshment to come from the Lord too. Remember, He has a keen interest in your personal development. You are His inheritance, His special possession. (1 Peter 2:9) He will not leave you all alone:
Genesis 39:20-21 KJV “And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.  BUT THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”
Revelation 2:26-27 KJV “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”
Daniel 7:27 KJV “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”
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Jude 1:3-5 NLT “Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to DEFEND THE FAITH that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful.”
There is a war going on each day worse than World War 1, worse than World War 2, and worse than World War 3. It’s more terrible than any war man has ever seen. It is the spiritual war being waged against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11) Brothers and sisters I wanted to write about something else this week but felt it necessary to write about the onslaught of the faith going on in our day. Satan has an elite group of soldiers who know enough about God to worm their way into our churches. These camouflage Christians imitate us so well. Afterwards they go to work spreading false doctrines like land mines which are damnable heresies. I encourage every believer to be strong in the word of God studying it daily, if all you have is just a few minutes some days. Knowing the word; what it really means, being able to rightly divide it, (2 Timothy 2:15) and living it, is the only way to defeat Satan’s army both seen and unseen. (Ephesians 6:12)
The missiles Satan’s soldiers are firing at us are the same old lies in new costumes. Let us examine:
Recently I met a guy who said he was a Christian. I gave him the benefit of the doubt as is I do whenever I meet someone who says they’re a Christian. He spoke of his dreams and visions like many do that he got from God. He talked about work he did in the ministry. He sounded like a real soldier of Christ. Then he shared with me a problem he was having: a lady who also said she was a Christian kept calling him wanting to meet up with him. “She wants to have sex,” were his exact words he said to me. In fact while we were talking about the Lord she kept calling his cell phone every few minutes. I asked him, “Are you sure she wants to have sex with you?” He said, “Yes.” I encouraged him to run from that situation like the plague. We talked about what happened to Sampson and others for encouragement. I also shared what happened in the past with myself as I also fell for the, “I’m a Christian,” trick with females only to let my guard down and commit fornication. As I was leaving this brother the woman called again, I could tell by the way he was talking to her he was in real trouble. The next day I saw him and shared 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 which says:
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NLT “RUN FROM SEXUAL SIN! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
I then said, “Remember Jesus says if your right eye causes you to stumble pluck it out. If your left hand causes you to sin cut it off. (Matthew 5:29-30) Jesus is saying we must be willing to take drastic measures to avoid sin. If you keep texting her and talking to her knowing she wants to have sex you’re not fleeing from fornication.” He then said, “Brother I cut her off yesterday. I stopped talking to her,” etcetera. I was so happy for him. It was great hearing a brother shunning sin and making the right decision to serve God.
I saw him later that night and could tell there was something wrong but I didn’t want to assume anything.
THE ANT ON A PIECE OF CARDBOARD DOCTRINE?😳
The next day I saw him again and he said, “I went and hung out with that girl last night. Things got pretty heated but I didn’t have sex with her.” I gently said, “Man if you keep toying with it,” He abruptly cut me off and said, “I’m not toying with it. It’s already written! We’re living in a different time period now.” He was referring to the time of grace since Christ’s crucifixion as opposed to the law of Moses when certain sins were immediately punished. So many say this when they’ve made up their mind to sin. He then started earnestly preaching The Ant On A Piece Of Cardboard Doctrine to me:😳 “You can take an ant and put it on a piece of cardboard, it will go in so many different directions, but you can steer the ant on that piece of cardboard and lead it right to you! God is in control it’s already written, we’re predestined, it’s already ordained! I’m not worried about it!” What he’s saying is we are the ants on the cardboard and God is in control of our lives (holding the piece of cardboard). It doesn’t matter if we go in many different directions (choose sin), God will still lead us right to him (by steering the cardboard) because we are predestined, we are His children. I’ve heard many say things like this but this is my first time hearing that illustration. Wickedly ingenious!🤔 I then said to him, “But God gives us a choice. If we keep on sinning willfully, if we keep on doing it (not even trying to repent), He will stop moving the cardboard. That’s in Hebrews 10:26-27. Here I can show it to you,” then I reached for my Bible. Suddenly that man shot away from me like I poured hot water on him! He walked away fast yelling, “Yeah I know you’re gonna show it to me, that’s religion! We’re now in a different time period! You need to get with the spirit brother!”😳 He said a few other not too nice things to me, but you get the point.
Please read the passage below written in our, “New time period,” as the man stated we’re in, and see if it gives us any leeway to sin:
Hebrews 10: 26-31 NIV “If we DELIBERATELY keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, NO SACRIFICE FOR SINS IS LEFT, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. HOW MUCH MORE SEVERELY DO YOU THINK SOMEONE DESERVES TO BE PUNISHED who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has INSULTED THE SPIRIT OF GRACE? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
The same sacrifice people hang their hats on thinking it allows them to sin more, God is saying, ‘The benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice don’t apply to you.’😳
If I had listened to this man trying to sell me the lie and heresy that we can sin as much as we want and God will ultimately lead us to him like the ant on the piece of cardboard I would be another casualty in the war against our souls. Clever the Devil is. He’s taught his soldiers how to misinterpret scripture and teach others to sin. Sinning is bad all of it. But twisting God’s word in order to do it is a very scary thing.😳
Did you notice in the passage above it says, “HOW MUCH MORE SEVERELY DO YOU THINK SOMEONE DESERVES TO BE PUNISHED who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has INSULTED THE SPIRIT OF GRACE?” That totally contradicts what many think. They think that since we are now under grace (since Jesus’ sacrifice) willful sin is less punishable. No! God says it is even more deserving of punishment!😳 Think about it: Jesus leaves heaven, comes to earth as a man and suffers to pay the price for all of our sins, at great cost with his own blood!😳 He lets us know that all our evil deeds will not be remembered, they have been washed away or wiped clean. We then look at Him and say, “Oh, really? So that means I can sin even more now!”😃 People who think like this have completely missed the point of Jesus’ sacrifice. They are trampling the son of God underfoot; treating His righteous blood and sufferings on our behalf like it is nothing.😪 They are insulting the Spirit of grace!😪 God says, ““If we DELIBERATELY keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, NO SACRIFICE FOR SINS IS LEFT, but only a fearful expectation of JUDGMENT.” The same sacrifice people hang their hats on thinking it allows them to sin more, God is saying, ‘The benefits of Jesus’ sacrifice don’t apply to you.’😳
May we never get God’s grace twisted. May we never make excuses to sin. All breaking of God’s law is immorality. Not just the sexual stuff. Holding grudges is immoral. Gossiping is immoral. So is lying, slander, unforgiveness, etcetera. We’re all guilty of sin. (Romans 3:23-24) Let us please repent for the sins we know we are guilty of. GOD WILL FORGIVE US IF WE REPENT!😀 But if we turn the sacrifice of Jesus into a vehicle to live more unrighteously we have really missed it. Refrain from those who teach that God’s grace gives us a license to live immoral lives:
2 Peter 2:1 TPT “In the past there arose false prophets among God’s people, just as there will continue to be false teachers who will secretly infiltrate in your midst to divide you, bringing with them their destructive heresies. They will even deny the Master, who paid the price for them, bringing swift destruction on themselves.”
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