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Watch What You Watch

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you which is good and pleasing and perfect.”  ~Romans 12:2

By now, most of us have heard about the tragic shooting that took place in Aurora, Colorado at the Aurora Century 16 movie theater. The deadly rampage targeted people inside a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises”. According to Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly, the shooter had painted his hair red and was in a costume, stating that he was the “Joker”, a character in the film. According to the New York Daily News website, the suspect arrested was 24-year-old James Holmes, who would later boast to police that he was “channeling Batman’s arch nemesis.”

This raises many questions:

Are all movies simply “harmless entertainment”?

Do some movies/video games inspire violence?

Is it possible that some movies are demonic?

To answer these questions, let’s look at the facts. In the journal, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, researchers report that watching violence portrayed in movies and other media may make teens more accepting of violence. Also, let’s consider a few incidents of where murder/violence was connected to violent and evil movies/video games. As you may recall, in 1999 Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold launched an assault on Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, murdering 13 and wounding 23 before turning the guns on themselves. According to Serendip, an educational website, Harris and Klebold both enjoyed playing the bloody, shoot-’em-up video game Doom, a game licensed by the U.S. military to train soldiers to effectively kill. The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which tracks Internet hate groups, found in its archives a copy of Harris’ web site with a version of Doom. He had customized it so that there were two shooters, each with extra weapons and unlimited ammunition, and the other people in the game could not fight back. For a class project, Harris and Klebold made a videotape that was similar to their customized version of Doom. In the video, Harris and Klebold were dressed in trench coats, carried guns, and killed school athletes. They acted out their videotaped performance in real life less than a year later. Furthermore, the movie, “Natural Born Killers” was also an influence for the perpetrators of the Columbine massacre, with the phrase “going NBK” in the journal entries of the killers signaling the start of their rampage.

There are other movies which have been linked to murders, suicides and attempted suicides. Movies such as: Scream, Money Train, A Clockwork Orange, The Collector, The Basketball Diaries, The Matrix, Taxi Driver, RoboCop 2 ,Magnum Force, The Deer Hunter, The Program, The Child’s Play series, Girl Interrupted, Twilight, and probably many more which were not recorded. It was also reported that the movie, “Breaking Dawn”, caused many people to have seizures who had never had photosensitivity epilepsy or seizures before. Furthermore, a 1997 episode of “Pokemon” caused nearly 700 viewers to suffer seizures. This brings to mind an occurrence in the Bible. Remember the account in Luke 9 where a boy had seizures due to a demon? I will list the scripture below – but it is safe to say that, yes, some movies can be demonic.

Luke 9:37-43MSG states: “When they came down off the mountain the next day, a big crowd was there to meet them.  A man called from out of the crowd, “Please, please, Teacher, take a look at my son. He’s my only child.  Often a spirit seizes him. Suddenly he’s screaming, thrown into convulsions, his mouth foaming. And then it beats him black and blue before it leaves.  I asked your disciples to deliver him but they couldn’t.”  Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring your son here.”  While he was coming, the demon slammed him to the ground and threw him into convulsions. Jesus stepped in, ordered the vile spirit gone, healed the boy, and handed him back to his father.  They all shook their heads in wonder, astonished at God’s greatness, God’s majestic greatness.”  

Not only can evil, demonic movies affect the watcher, but it can also affect the actors/actresses/film makers in a negative way. Olin Miller once said, “According to the reformers, most of the movies have unsound effects.” Pastor Mark Driscoll, of Seattle, echoes this sentiment by saying, “A movie is a sermon with pictures.”  Again, we must watch out for what we are allowing ourselves to watch. Mail Online produced an article entitled, “The Curse of Batman”. In the article, the reporter states: The devastating shooting at a screening of the new Batman film comes after a string of tragic incidences surrounding the film franchise that has led some to say the film is cursed. Before this shooting spree, one of the greatest tragedies associated with the film was the death of Heath Ledger, who played the Joker in The Dark Knight. The actor was found dead in his Manhattan apartment in January 2008 after taking an accidental drugs overdose, six months before the film’s release. Conway Wickliffe, a New Zealand-born special effects technician, died while working on that film. He was on a camera truck filming a stunt when it crashed into a tree in October 2007. Another cast member was struck by the ‘curse’ of Batman – but fortunately survived. Morgan Freeman, who played Lucius Fox in the film, was seriously injured in a car accident in Mississippi in August 2008. His co-star, and the star of the franchise, Christian Bale, hit the headlines in July 2008 when he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his mother and sister shortly before the London’s premiere.The sequel, The Dark Knight Rises, suffered upsets during filming. A stunt double for Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman, reportedly crashed into expensive camera equipment during filming in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in August last year. Days later the Batwing vehicle was half destroyed in an accident.

Furthermore, New York Daily News reported the following:  Heath Ledger thought landing the demanding role of the Joker was a dream come true – but now some think it was a nightmare that led to his tragic death. Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in 1989 – and who was furious he wasn’t consulted about the creepy role – offered a cryptic comment when told Ledger was dead. “Well,” Nicholson told reporters in London, “I warned him.” Ledger told reporters he “slept an average of two hours a night” while playing “a psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” Tony Timpone, editor of the fantasy magazine Fangoria, said the movie should do well, despite the “cloud over it” from Ledger’s death. “It’s going to be tough, because the Joker is such an indelible character, and Heath was such an indelible actor. It could be tough to disassociate ourselves from reality. Because the movie looks like it’s going to be so dark, and his life had such a dark end.”

My whole reason for producing this blog post is to sound the warning – NOT ALL ENTERTAINMENT IS HARMLESS. Satan cleverly packages evil in a movie, in a video game, in a book, in something that seems harmless – but beware. It’s much like Las Vegas with all of its lights and shimmer – it looks beautiful on the outside but it is known as “Sin City.” The outside of a cup or dish may be clean and sparkling, but if it is dirty on the inside, who would want to drink or eat from it? In Matthew 23, Jesus teaches how foolish it would be to strain your water for gnats, yet swallow a camel. Likewise, He went on to say, “…Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish,and then the outside will become clean, too” Matthew 23:25-26NLT. How does watching a violent movie please the Lord or make us more like Christ? What is our heart-felt motive for wanting to view such evil movies? Aren’t there better things we could do with our time? Those of us who bear the name of Christ are to be a light in this world and to come out from among the sin of the world. What is the point of filling our minds with stupidity, evil, violence, and filth? Please friend, watch what you allow yourself to watch or engage in. Only when we lay aside these weights and hindrances will we see the Holy Spirit move strongly in our lives. Only then can we overcome sin and be more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. Only then can we truly make an impact on the world around us for the good.

“All the ways of a man seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives.” ~Proverbs 21:2

“Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.” ~Ephesians  5:10-11

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” ~Ephesians 5:15-16ESV

Sources:

http://www.nydailynews.com

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu

http://www.trutv.com

http://brainz.org

http://www.foxnews.com

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

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5 Important Truths I’ve Learned (Part 1)

The Lord saved my soul nearly 30 years ago when I was a young girl. In the many years I’ve walked with Him, I have found Him to be faithful, trustworthy, and true. I still have much to learn, but I would like to highlight some of the truths which God has shown me in these (almost) 30 years. The list below is in random order, as I feel all of these truths I’ve learned have their own importance.

Since I will briefly expound on each truth, I will break this up into parts. This is Part 1 of 3. I hope something written here will help you in your journey toward Heaven and a closer walk with our Lord.

gf1.) ALWAYS PUT GOD FIRST AND SEEK HIS WILL IN EVERYTHING – If we put God first, everything else falls into place (see Matt. 6:33). The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray for God’s Will. Think about it, His Will is done in Heaven and that is one of the many great reasons that it is heavenly, peaceful, and wonderful. As Nazi concentration camp survivor, Corrie Ten Boom, once said, “The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.”


cp2.) DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS – This is a lesson that I have to be re-taught often; but find great liberty if I follow this advice. Don’t compare temporary things such as appearance, abilities, success, or finances. Be content with what you have (see Phil. 4:11). But most importantly, never ever dare to compare yourself to nominal Christians who seem to “get away” with sin or a lax walk with God. Remember, God knows and sees all. He sees your obedience and will reward you openly (see Matt. 6:5-6). The Bible even says that it is unwise to compare ourselves to others (see 2nd Cor. 10:2).


fg3.) LEARN TO FORGIVE – Forgiveness is one of the more challenging things we must do in order to maintain a strong walk with the Lord. It is vital that we learn to shrug things off, forgive, and not stew over things. Again, this is a lesson we must re-learn over and over; but we must be able to forgive. Forgiveness does not condone sin or wrong actions of another, but it gives us freedom to love and live freely. As much as it depends on you, the Bible says, we are to live at peace with all when possible (see Rom. 12:8). I like this quote: “To forgive is to set a prisoner free, and discover that the prisoner was you.”


pryr4.) NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PRAYER – There have been so many times when I have found myself in a quandary, not knowing what to do. I have found that prayer clarifies things for me so much easier than me wracking my brain trying to figure out situations on my own. Inevitably, God will drop a scripture into my mind that will help clarify things for me. Prayer gives me courage, comfort, healing, direction, and deepens my trust in God. Prayer is limitless, you can talk to God about anything! It is a necessity as a Christian. Revivalist, Leonard Ravenhill, once put it like this: “No man is greater than his prayer life.” And the beloved preacher, Charles Spurgeon, once said, “Prayerless souls are Christless souls, Christless souls are Graceless souls and Graceless souls shall soon be damned souls. See your peril, you that neglect altogether the blessed privilege of prayer!”  


cry5.) IT’S OKAY TO CRY IN GOD’S ARMS – Game face. In life, we have to put our “game face” on and be rough and tough, oftentimes, as a means of survival. But, when we come to our Father God, we don’t have to be strong. A broken and a contrite spirit, He will not despise (see Psalm 51:17). We find a safe place of comfort under His wings. There, we can release our stresses, burdens, and heartaches. The Bible even tells us to cast our burdens upon the Lord because He cares for us and He won’t let us slip and fall (see Psalm 55:22). And remember, we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses (see Hebrews 4:15).


Listen to the comforting song posted below. ↓ ↓ ↓

Sources: biblehub.com, google.com, azquotes.com, youtube.com, polyvore.com
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Like Mother and Child

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” ~Psalm 139:13-16

Ever since she was a little girl, she longed for motherhood. She was the best little Mommy to her doll, always taking it with her everywhere she went. Then many years later, the day came when her dream would be realized. Her and her husband found out that they would be expecting their first baby. But, in order for her to be able to carry a healthy baby, there were some changes which the doctor had her make. She had to be very careful what she consumed, take extra vitamins, and get plenty of rest. This proved to be no problem since the Mom-to-be knew it was for the health of the baby she was carrying. She disciplined herself willingly in order to protect the baby she was carrying within.

“Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?” ~Isaiah 49:15

isscLiken this scenario to the spirit within. Each of us, whether male or female, black or white, rich or poor, single or married – carries within us very precious cargo. That “cargo” is our soul/spirit which will last eternally. We, like the expectant mother, must protect the spirit within. We must be disciplined and oftentimes deny our selfish whims for the health of the spirit. We dare not consume things which would be harmful to our spirit.

A lady that is not pregnant may decide to re-paint her kitchen and proceed to paint it herself. But, the lady that is pregnant must not be around the paint fumes, as it has the potential to cause great harm to the baby she is carrying. As I’ve heard it said before, “Others may… but you cannot.” It’s not punishment but caution to refrain from certain activities which may cause great harm to the spirit within. As the quote says, “There are two freedoms: the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought” (Charles Kingsley).

“Keep [guard] thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” ~Proverbs 4:23

So, we must ALL guard the spirit within us much like a pregnant mother would protect the child growing within her at any cost; even if it means forsaking herself. As Christians, we are God’s children and He cares for us. But, we also have a responsibility to guard what we allow into our minds and spirits. Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Let’s strive to keep our thoughts pure and our lives guarded from evil. In regards to guarding the spirit within, I would also encourage all Christians to read my previous post, “Watch What You Watch” HERE.

“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” ~James 3:10-11

Not only do we need to be careful what we allow in but we must also be careful what comes out. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. The book of James speaks a lot about taming the “unruly member” of our body – the tongue.  This is more challenging for some of us than others. Nonetheless, it is what the Bible prescribes and we must willingly crucify our flesh for the greater good of our spirit and for the spiritual health of those around us who may be looking to us as an example. Alas, bridling the tongue is difficult – but attainable for us all. Remember, Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; When he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive” (Proverbs 17:28).  So we must know when to speak and when to refrain from speaking. And also note that what we put in will always come out. This is why it is so important that we guard our spirit.

Remember, the Holy Spirit is holy – so we must make our bodies a temple which He can comfortably dwell within. If I had to sum up the point of this entire blog entry, it would be with the scripture found in 1st Corinthians 6:19-20 which states: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Sources: biblehub.com, polyvore.com, youtube.com

 

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The Birth of Christ

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD” ~Luke 2:11

popeace

It is now the month of December where many people remember the birth of Christ. Many scholars believe that Jesus was most likely born in another month, perhaps September or even in the Spring. Still, this is the time of year when His birth is observed. I would like to encourage each of you to reflect upon the scriptures when Jesus so willingly came to earth. Take in the depth and magnitude of His first coming.

To see a full list of the scriptures pertaining to Christ’s birth, please click HERE.

I made a little video for my family, but I consider my brothers and sisters in Christ my family also! So, please enjoy the video posted below. God bless each of you this season and into the upcoming year!

Sources: polyvore.com     youtube.com     whatsaiththescripture.com
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“In the School of God…”

Keith Daniel (courtesy of sermonindex.net)

Keith Daniel (courtesy of sermonindex.net)

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while now, you will most likely remember that I have often quoted a man of God by the name of Keith Daniel. His honest teaching and anointed sermons have truly enriched my spirit.

Keith Daniel is an evangelist from South Africa who does a yearly tour to America in the Fall months to preach at various conservative churches. He also visits other countries and locations around the world, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In this day and age, it is often challenging to find sincere, humble, anointed, powerful, genuine teaching and preaching from the Bible. That is why I truly enjoy Bro. Daniel’s ministry – he makes certain to base his teachings upon God’s holy word.  We do not exalt man, we exalt God – and I can see the fruit of God’s blessings in the life and ministry of Bro. Keith Daniel.

Not long ago, I listened to one of his classic sermons, “In the School of God”. I found this sermon at SermonIndex.net. I have listened to this sermon more than once and find that it is so insightful and anointed. It is such an encouraging sermon to listen to if you are going through a battle in life. It is my desire for the body of Christ to be encouraged. I truly believe that we must find our encouragement through prayer, worship, scripture, and anointed teaching of the Holy Bible. I believe you will find great encouragement and insight by listening to the short excerpt video below. If you wish to listen to the entire sermon, you can find it HERE.

“In The School of God” by Keith Daniel

Sources: Youtube.com, Sermonindex.net

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The Walking Dead EXPOSED

index

I have heard many people raving about “The Walking Dead” television show… “TWD” for short.  Many people who profess Christ are die-hard fans. Instantly, I became concerned for fellow-Christians who may watch this show; not in a judgmental way, but in a way that one would show concern for a friend who is in trouble. That is the reason for this blog, so hear me out…

Where I’m Coming From

As the author of this blog, I want my readers to know where I am coming from. I felt a strong sense that I needed to speak up on this topic in case there are those who are unaware of how a simple TV show can affect the mind and spirit. There is no need to re-invent the wheel, and since I already blogged on the way certain books, movies, and TV shows can impact us, I feel it unnecessary to go over that again. However, I will direct you to my previous blog HERE for more information.

As I have stated before, I am not perfect – God is. I am not the authoritarian – God is. This blog is yielded to God and I believe that He can work through this blog to bring things to the public’s attention. Quite honestly, it is hard to write blogs such as these; not because of the backlash I receive or even the name-calling. What is so hard for me, personally, is having to research things which I really have no interest in touching with a 10-foot pole; and for good reason.

As Christians, we must all strive daily to keep a pure mind and heart, free from the world’s pollution. James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”  Simply researching the topic is unsettling – and I honestly do not understand my fellow-Christians actively turning the television on to watch such gory shows. As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.”  It breaks my heart and causes me deep concern and bewilderment that such nonsensical filth is infiltrating the minds of Christians. Nonetheless, I research in order to help others and that is my whole intent and motivation for doing so.

Before I “got in too deep” I wanted to get my facts straight. Admittedly, I have not watched the shows; therefore, I do not claim to be an authority on TWD. However, I feel that I have researched enough to point out a few things as some “food for thought”. Again, I am not confused as to why sinners would watch such shows – since darkness attracts darkness; but, what confuses me is how Christians can take such shows in. I have heard it said that movies and TV shows are like sermons with pictures. I would agree.

What is TWD All About?

twdThe Walking Dead is a television show about, well, walking dead zombies which they call “walkers”. According to TWD website, the storyline is this: “Waking up in an empty hospital after weeks in a coma, County Sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) finds himself utterly alone. The world as he knows it is gone, ravaged by a zombie epidemic. The Walking Dead tells the story of the weeks and months that follow after the apocalypse.”

There is a lot of violence, gore, blood, shooting, and killing in the show. In fact, there is even TWD merchandise that, in essence, promotes killing. In an advertisement for TWD, the ad with the skull image said, “death knows no borders” and “fear the walking dead”. Of course, the Bible teaches contrary to fear and repeatedly says, “Fear not”. And we also know that “death knows no borders” is an entirely false statement in light of what the Bible states. Although these phrases are in regards to a fictitious plot, the mindset it strives to instill is very real.

But somehow, all of this is looked upon as good because it is the “bad guys” who are killed in the show. Totally fictitious, yes, but not a message we (Christians) should embrace or wear T-shirts promoting. I mean, am I way off in left field here? It seems common knowledge that a person who claims Christ should already know this. A valid question for Christians is posed in 2nd Corinthians 6:14: “…for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”  Just the imagery, alone, looks like it is straight out of the pits of Hell!

It’s Gotten Out of Hand!

imagesThe Walking Dead comics and television show have garnered so much attention that August 6, 2016 was officially declared “The Walking Dead Day” in Cynthiana, Kentucky. A free, public event to celebrate this day was hosted by the Cynthiana-Harrison County Chamber of Commerce. Not completely shocking, yet, hard to come to grips with the fact that some who profess Christ helped fuel this fire. How? By patronizing such events, by purchasing TWD merchandise, by never missing an episode of the show, thus, increasing television ratings.

How else has TWD gotten out of hand? Well, it is even impacting the Director/Make-up Artist of the show. Greg Nicotero has many roles behind-the-scenes of TWD television show. In a recent interview with Deadline.com, Nicotero stated: ” I think it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better for our group, and it’s pretty intense. I mean, the show, we’re sort of opening a new chapter.” He continued, “Everybody’s putting so much of their heart and soul into it. You know, after directing the premiere episode, I was ****** up for two weeks, you know? I really felt like I dragged a lot of my dearest friends into these really deep, dark places shooting that episode, and it’s been definitely an experience unlike anything that I’ve ever handled before.”

How then, can a Christian look on, craving more intense gore? Such gore and intensity that even the show’s crew member had trouble with it mentally! Why watch? As Missionary Keith Daniel once asked, “Is being entertained worth being defiled?” Don’t let your choices of entertainment get out of hand, fellow-Believers! We are accountable to God. The more evil we allow, the more we will crave to entertain us. Not to mention how such imagery desensitizes us. “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (see 1st Thess. 5:22).

A Double Standard

pictwd

(Click to enlarge)

As the above-mentioned scriptures briefly alluded to, having a double standard (a double mind) is dangerous and woeful for the Believer. We must choose if we stand for light or darkness. Yes, we must choose a “team”, so to speak. There is no neutral ground.

In James 3:11, another poignant question is posed, “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?” God deals with absolutes – we are either in or out, hot or cold. In the book of Revelation, He says: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16). But He instructs in love. Later in this chapter, He says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” His love allows us a second chance to live a clean life pleasing to him while we still have time.

You see, double-mindedness breeds instability. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8). The Christian’s body is where the Holy Spirit lives – our bodies are His temple. But let’s remember that He is holy and does not mix with unholiness. We must choose, would we rather have the holy or the unholy? There can’t be both. Please see my previous post which speaks of this at length HERE.

The late pastor of Times Square Church in New York, David Wilkerson, often taught his congregation about the pitfalls that came with questionable entertainment and certain television shows. In a heartfelt sermon, he once warned his congregation by asking a valid question. He asked, “If you are sitting there when Jesus comes and you are watching that filth, how do you expect to come out of that cesspool suddenly and into the arms of Jesus?”

Take this to heart. Search your soul. Strive to please God above all other human desires. Eternity is at stake. The high road isn’t always the easy road – but it is always worth it! I would like to conclude with one final, resounding scripture from 2nd Corinthians 6. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

 

Recommended Video

 

Sources:
biblehub.com   thewalkingdead.com   deadline.com   polyvore.com   keyword-suggestions.com
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What Does It Mean To Accept Christ?

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ~2nd Corinthians 5:17

To accept Christ, to be saved, to be born-again, to be a Christian… what does it all mean? In this classic sermon by A.W. Tozer, you will learn in an easy-to-understand way what accepting Christ means. I put together snippets for this video but the entire sermon may be found at SermonIndex.net. You can search by speaker (A.W. Tozer) and pull up both parts of this amazing sermon. Sermons are listed in alphabetical order. Please feel free to share this video with others to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sources: sermonindex.net, youtube.com, biblehub.com
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Why Playing Pokémon Games Is a Bad Idea

Preface: This article is written to parents, grandparents, and gamers who play the Pokémon game(s) or know someone who does. My intent is to present the facts and potential spiritual implications that a harmless-looking game may have upon you or someone you love. I write because I feel a responsibility to be a light in this dark generation. Although this is lengthy, please read in its entirety with an open mind and receptive heart.

Before we delve into this topic too deep, I feel it is crucial that we understand a little of the history about the creation of Pokémon and what it is about. Pokémon, created by Satoshi Tajiri, gained much popularity in the mid-late 1990’s after the first Pokémon games were released by Nintendo. From the games, other merchandise was manufactured such as Pokémon trading cards, cartoons, movies, apparel, plush toys, and the like.

I Get a Bad Feeling About This

025Pikachu_OS_anime_10When Pokémon first came out in the late 1990’s, there was an anime cartoon episode which caused nearly 700 viewers to suffer seizures, many of which had not suffered seizures before. The claims were that it was due to photo-sensitivity, but it brought to my mind another viable possibility. Do you remember the biblical account in Luke 9 where a boy had seizures due to a demon? If not, take the time to read Luke 9:37-43.

Even before the above-mentioned incident took place, there were Christian parents, grandparents, pastors, and teachers who did not have good feelings about Pokémon, but couldn’t exactly pinpoint why they felt uneasy. Even to this day, there are those of us who get an uneasy feeling about the new Pokémon craze. For me, it doesn’t agree with my spirit for some reason; and after research, I see why. I feel that this is the Holy Spirit protecting His children from something we may not see. And if you’re reading this, perhaps it is the Holy Spirit of God protecting you from partaking in something that will harm you, although to the human mind, it appears harmless as can be.

Games, movies, and books can, indeed, carry bad spirits. Think of the Ouija board game, for instance. It involves necromancy, psychic phenomena, communicating with evil spirits, etc. And certain movies have been specifically linked to causing people to commit suicide (see my blog HERE for more details). Evil begets evil, oftentimes. We should never leave the door open for potential evil to enter.

In the early years of Pokémon, trading cards were the big trend. However, this was dangerous because it introduced card traders to even more sinister cards such as Dungeons and Dragons as well as Magic: The Gathering cards where children would learn all about how to summons evil powers and such. The same company that produced Magic: The Gathering also produced the Pokémon trading cards.

If you are a Christian and have an uneasy feeling about allowing yourself or your children/grandchildren to play Pokémon games, don’t ignore that feeling or that “inner voice”, so to speak. Again, it may be the Lord protecting you from something you can’t see. God often speaks to His children in a whisper. Hone in and don’t ignore the Lord’s still small voice within your spirit. Remember how the prophet Elijah heard him? It wasn’t in the strong wind, earthquakes, or fires – it was in a small whisper. “…and, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” 1st Kings 19:11-12.  

Addictive Pokémon – Go Away!

pokemon-go-logoNow, twenty years after the first Pokémon game was released, it is back in the spotlight and more popular than ever.  Just this month (July 2016) a new game app, Pokémon Go, was released for iPhone and Android cell phone gamers. It uses Google Maps to place the characters on your screen in familiar surroundings such as your own front yard! As you walk or drive around, you may find Pokémon creatures hiding in different parts of the city. The object of the game is to find hidden Pokémon creatures and capture them. Seems harmless enough, right? Well, let’s not take everything at face value. I will build upon this point later. Great technology, I must admit, but as fascinating as this technology is, we must see the bigger picture and not be smitten.

Pokémon Go is known as an augmented reality game and has the potential to become addictive in an unhealthy way.  While an unhealthy addiction is bad, it isn’t enough to necessarily “demonize” the game, because some could argue that they wouldn’t become addicted, thus, they’d feel free to play it with no feelings of condemnation. I will say that no one sets out to become an addict of anything; but once an addiction takes over, it gets a stronghold on the person and brings feelings of compulsion. Nonetheless, I find other reasons why playing this game isn’t such a good idea. The addictive game becomes a time-killer but also a time-waster. Ephesians 5:16 instructs us as follows: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Does this mean that relaxing or having a time of leisure activity is evil – no. But, be aware of how many hours are spent in leisure and how many are spent in prayer, or in helping others, or in serving the Lord.

It’s not only children who can become easily addicted. I have read accounts of where people would drive around for hours looking for Pokémon creatures to capture for their Pokémon Go cell phone game. Some adults will take time away from their families to hunt Pokémons to capture. Gamers can be so engrossed in the game that they get injured because the were not looking where they were walking; others will even jump fences and put themselves in harm’s way to look for fictitious characters.  Something about this seems very skewed and extreme, having strange mental implications upon individuals.

Just recently, a teenage girl in Wyoming was looking for some Pokémon creatures to capture for her game when she came across an actual dead body floating in a body of water. And while that is freakish to hear of, it was somewhat telling of what she and millions of others are doing – they are wasting time trying to find something that isn’t actually alive! It’s just like a chasing of the wind. Ecclesiastes 2:11 states: “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit [like chasing the wind], and there was no profit under the sun.”

Life is as a vapor – here today and gone tomorrow. What are we spending our time doing? For one day only, write down how you spend each hour of the day. After 24 hours, review your chart and see where the bulk of your time goes. Granted, there are responsibilities – but focus on the “down time” – what do you do during those hours?

“Come now, you that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas you know not what shall be tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.” James 4:13-14.

This is precisely why we can’t afford to waste our time, our years, our life! Focus on what matters most. God, family and others. At the end of life, will we wish we had captured more Pokémon or will we realize what really matters?


pokemon-go3The word Pokémon is short for Pocket Monsters or Pocket Demons. Ironic that the cell phone is usually carried in the pocket, giving the gamer a tangible, weighty sense of the characters in their pocket. The idea is to capture as many Pokémons as you can so that you can become a Pokémon Master. Once a Master, you can summons or release them when you need help, power, or revenge.

Writer, Berit Kjos wrote: “What if they carry their favorite monsters like magical charms or fetishes in their pockets, trusting them to bring power in times of need? Many do.” For Christian parents, this should raise some red flags. What is being taught to the young and impressionable as to where to turn in times of need? Who holds the power? Is God their very present help in times of trouble (Ps. 46:1), or is Pokémon? It may sound ridiculous to an adult mind to reason like this – but a child’s mind can be very trusting in such things. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Kjos further wrote: “Psychologists have warned that role-playing can cause the participant to actually experience, emotionally, the role being played. Again, ‘the child becomes the master.’ Or so it seems to the player. Actually, the programmer who writes the rules is the master. And when the game includes occultism and violence, the child-hero is trained to use his or her spiritual power to kill, poison, evolve, and destroy—over and over. Not only does this repetitive practice blur the line between reality and fantasy, it also sears the conscience and causes the player to devalue life. The child learns to accept unthinkable behavior as normal.”

Kjos continues, “The child must exercise his own intelligent mind to learn the complex rules. But after learning the rules, the programmed stimuli produce conditioned responses in the player. These responses become increasingly automatic, a reflex action. Naturally, this can lead to psychological addiction, a craving for ever greater (and more expensive) thrills and darker forces.”

But as I stated earlier, it isn’t just children who can become addicted to this game. Adults will shun responsibilities of the home, marriage, and parenthood to play games instead. Many will spend time away from their families to play or be so entangled in a game that they can’t lay it aside for a family dinner or to visit with loved ones. Little boys in men’s bodies and little girls in women’s bodies; when will we take seriously the responsibility to be an example to others, whether we are parents or not. We need to have the spiritual maturity to know when to lay some things aside. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” (Hebrews 12:1).

Questionable Entertainment

“Is being entertained worth being defiled?” ~Missionary Keith Daniel

We are to be a light to this world and spending our time wisely doing good and not partaking in questionable activities. And yes, I consider the Pokémon games questionable. Why? For many reasons – I will explain below.

In a rare interview with Time magazine, Satoshi Tajiri (Pokémon creator) stated the following:

satoshi tajiri  brasil criador de pokemonTime: None of the monsters is really evil. So how do you know if one of them is with you or against you?

Tajiri: Think of it like this; if a horse runs over you and you die, then the horse is bad. But if you’re riding the horse, the horse is your ally. so, if you have a monster in your collection, then it’s considered good; but if not, it’s still not considered bad because it could be your friend one day.

Okay, for starters, there are some of the monsters in the game which are evil since they possess paranormal, psychic or hypnotic powers. Any type of powers like these are demonic in nature, just so you know. I wrote an entire blog about such powers being satanic. For scriptural references, see my post HERE. Although it is a fictitious game, the premise of the characters’ power is based upon non-fictitious evil. In turn, it teaches a misleading subliminal message that evil equates to power.

The game is heavily influenced by wrong beliefs of evil mysticism and New Age religions in the various elements it exalts (ex. Pokémon Sun/Moon games coming out later this year exalting certain earth elements as in certain New Age or Pagan beliefs. Also see Galatians 4:3 and 4:8-9). In a statement released in 2001 by Pastor Brett Peterson, he stated: “Buddhist Mysticism, Hinduism, meditation rituals, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Book of Tao, the Analects of Confucius, the Gita, the I Ching, The Tibetan Book of the Dead… All these philosophies influenced Pokémon!”

Then, we look at what Tajiri stated in his interview – basically saying that if you are the one riding a horse that kills someone then the horse is good. In other words, killing is good if you’re not the one killed. Then he goes on to assert that even your foe could become your friend; which is very misleading. Satan is the only enemy of the Believer and he will never become a friend. Jesus is that friend that sticks even closer than a brother (see Prov. 18:24). But we must draw the line in the sand and not be accepting of Satan or any of his schemes; he will never be on our side and the Christian will never be on his side. Again – a misleading belief held by Tajiri which is reinforced in the Pokémon games when it is lived out or “played out” by the gamer.

The Pokémon trend will be here for a while; so I want you to be informed about the possible pitfalls. Later this year (in November 2016) Nintendo will be releasing another couple of Pokémon games for their 3DS system – Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. Some are calling 2016 “The Year of the Pokémon“.

Even after presenting this information, some will choose to ignore it and justify playing such games anyway. If someone wants to do something bad enough, they will find some way to justify it. Nonetheless, I have said my piece. I hope that you will prayerfully consider your ways and make the best decisions in life. We only get one pass at life, let’s spend our time wisely and for the greater good. Let’s not fill our minds with useless junk all the time. Let’s step back and look at the bigger picture of eternity and not get so wrapped up in all of these trends.

After I was nearing the completion of writing this blog, I saw a Christian friend’s post on Facebook and it really made a lot of sense and gave a lot of food for thought. With her permission, I just had to include what she wrote below:

7-13-2016 4-25-06 AM“If we gave God as much attention as Pokémon, if we chased after Him as much as Pokémon, if we got into our Bible as much as Pokémon, we’d be so blessed, anointed, and would praise Him so much that we’d enter the world to spread His word and His love. Not to catch some animal. I understand it’s mostly for fun and exercise but how many of you with this app that are Christians go to your Pokéstops and talk about Jesus? How many of you find Pokéstops but don’t find at least one person to share the Gospel with or even pray for? I’m not bashing on anyone who plays the game, do what you want. But ya’ll gotta remember what we do with our time on earth will go into what we do with our eternity. I just spent 4 days soaked in the Presence of God. Drenched with the Holy Spirit. Baptized. Received a new voice. Praised Him like never before. Delivered from bondages. Spoken my future over me. Fallen in awe and surrender. I plan to sacrifice my comfort for a God who loves me, has chosen me, redeemed me, given me hope and life. I’m searching for people to reach the Heavens with me, not a character on my phone that doesn’t give me the pure joy that the Lord does. Yes, I am praying over this whole thing. When you become so filled with Him your focus doesn’t want to be on anything else. And yeah, ppl may be going to the church but honestly, is it for God or to catch Pokémon?! I mean, come on…”

Revivalist Leonard Ravenhill once said, “Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy. The more joy you have in the Lord the less entertainment you need.” Again, I am not stating that having times of leisure are necessarily sinful; but the point is, what type of entertainment do we choose and why do some seem to crave constant, stimulating entertainment more than others. Perhaps it could be due to an emptiness within their souls. The idea is to keep the mind distracted and noisy so they won’t have to get quiet and think about their life and how it is being wasted and how if feels so meaningless and devoid of joy.

God bless you for reading… please consider what I have presented (out of a deep concern) and please do not feel that I am “bashing” anyone who may have played such games unknowingly. Now that you have the wisdom, it is your responsibility to make the wisest choice. Let us all strive to please God in these last days. He needs the genuine, the attentive, the ones not easily distracted by this world. Are you one of those few?


Closing Side Note: You may have also heard in the news how Pokémon Go game was used to assist four people in robberies. The suspects created a PokéStop at a CVS parking lot in Missouri, and when they saw people gathering, they robbed them at gunpoint. This game can be used by predators to lure people to certain locations. This is just a side note, but bore mentioning, due to safety concerns.

Recommended Links:

Pokemon: What Is It? (article)

Pokemon: Innocent Children’s Game or Not? (article)

Watch What You Watch (blog)

Pokemon and Pokemon Go – Dangerous Occult Game (article)

 

Sources:
carm.org     chrisitiananswers.net     independent.co.uk     polyvore.com
google.com     content.time.com     wikipedia.com     forbes.com     worthynews.com 
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A Christian Perspective on the LGBT Fanfare

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” ~Proverbs 16:18

Nearly a month ago (in May 2016), the President of the United States, Barack Obama, signed a Presidential proclamation declaring June 2016 as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride Month. Also, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in June of last year (2015) that states can no longer ban same-sex marriage. Ever since then, the news media, social media, and politics have exploded with “LGBT pride” support and rainbow-clad posts. Rainbow flags and cheesy hashtags began to be shoved down our throats.

Then, to further add to the media coverage and constant bombardment with this topic, there was a terrorist shooting at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida earlier this month. The gunman, a “radical” Islamic terrorist entered the Pulse night club and began shooting, wounding some and killing others. Apparently, because of his religious beliefs, he did not approve of homosexuality; thus, he killed them. Now, here’s where we need to pause a moment.

Firstly, let’s pause to clarify a few things. There are other religions that also disapprove of homosexuality; namely the Christian religion. However, there is a vast, vast difference in how the Christian handles such things. This needs to be clarified. As Christians, we do not take matters into our own hands by torturing and killing those who believe differently than we do. Instead, we are mourned because we see the deception and the direction the sinner is heading if they remain in such sins. This goes for the sin of homosexuality (see 1st Corinthians 6:9-11) as well as other sexual perversions; even sins that can occur amongst heterosexual people such as adultery, drunkenness, thievery, etc.

loveSin is what separates us from God – that is why the Christian is saddened when we see people engulfed in sin. We know that we were saved from the same sinful waters and know how to help. The sinner is drowning and we want to assist in rescuing them and pointing them to Jesus; yet, our extended helping hand is often rejected with hatred. Then, we are slandered and called all sorts of untrue names such as “hateful”, “bigots”, “racist”, “unkind”, “unloving”, “homophobic”, and the list goes on and on. In fact, I have a wise, Christian friend who made a very valid point. She said, “How long til modern cult society claims people who reject alcoholic beverages are alcoholphobes; [those] who use and abuse drugs and alcohol as addicts, addictphobes; [and] vegans are animalphobes.” This sinful society tries to label Christians as all sorts of things – to the point it is getting ridiculous. Nonetheless, this was foretold by Jesus. He said, “And ye [Christians] shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” Matthew 10:22.

You see, scripture instructs us (in Ephesians 5:11) to “…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” So we are not “judging” or “casting stones” – we are merely obeying scripture. If someone has a problem with it, they have a problem with God – not us. A stern warning does not mean we hate those we are cautioning; rather, we love them enough to care about their souls and to care about others whom they may be negatively influencing. We have a distaste for lies and evil; thus, we push back.

Sinners cry, “Stop shoving the Bible down our throats!” But, don’t they see what they are shoving down ours? At least what we’re “shoving” is good like a vitamin; not toxic like the poison they try to feed us – LGBT agendas, liberalism, abortion, scantily clad women on magazine covers, rainbow flags pridefully waved in our faces at every turn. I believe that it stirs up a righteous anger within the Believer.

It’s not okay with us to watch our nation go to “Hell in a handbasket”, so to speak. It’s not okay with us to see others (even large corporations) support a sin that will send masses to eternal damnation. No, it’s not okay – and we needn’t be afraid to stand up for what is right and say, “Stop shoving!” Stop shoving lies down people’s throats that will send them to Hell. Stop shoving the gay agenda upon the public, forcing us to uncomfortably share a restroom with the opposite gender all in the name of “equality”. Stop shoving new bogus laws upon us which contradict our beliefs. Stop punishing the Christian baker who may not want to support a “gay wedding” by baking a wedding cake for such an occasion. If others choose to defy God’s holy Word and live a sinful lifestyle, that’s their choice; but don’t force the rest of us to accept it as law or to be ostracised and punished if we don’t. Enough already! Just stop. We, as Christians, need to stand up and not cave in to the new beliefs of our society.


See the gallery slides below to see who is doing the most “shoving”.

These are the “milder” images – I could not post some because I did not want to defile my reader’s minds. And the Pride parades – forget it. Way too obscene to share (even though, sadly, some “parents” take their children to these events). Bear in mind, this is only a sample of what is out there and not an exhaustive collection of the images available.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Disoriented and Deceived

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” ~Isaiah 5:20

awYou see, in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting at the gay night club, I saw a trend taking place in the media and on the Internet. I saw many individuals and companies come out with rainbow-colored graphics which read, “Love” or “#PrayForOrlando“. Now, I certainly don’t begrudge someone praying for those who may have lost a family member in the Orlando shooting; but to mix the word “Pray” with the rainbow symbol known to openly promote the sin of sexual perversion – well, it just doesn’t match and is contradictory. Also, the word “Love” is so loosely thrown around in the LGBT community that it has almost become their logo. So, if one stands against LGBT sins, they are then viewed as unloving. Do you see what is happening? The sexually-disoriented are trying to disorient what is right and wrong.

I believe this will only escalate Christian persecution. It seems that God is beginning to separate the wheat from the chaff and only the genuine Believers with a backbone will stand.  I think the days of mere bickering and name-calling will escalate to Christians being fined, punished, denied rights, fired from jobs, imprisoned and even killed for their beliefs. We see what is happening with ISIS; Christians are beheaded, buried alive, and drowned for their faith in Jesus and what they believe; yet, this doesn’t get the media attention that Orlando got; most likely because they were not gay and because they were Believers. With all the media hype about LGBTs and such, society is trying to soften our backbone and get us to “lighten up” to believe lies.

If such sinners don’t change their ways and continue to believe lies, the Bible says that they will be damned in the end. “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2nd Thessalonians 2:12). And remember, homosexuality is defined by the Bible as a sin of the unrighteous. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1st Corinthians 6:9-11). Wake up folks, this is scripture; it is true and eternally-binding! Run to Jesus while there is still time and put away all unrighteousness. That’s the whole point of this blog – to point people to my loving, forgiving, renewing Savior, Jesus Christ! Jesus words were this: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:13-14).

Jesus Saw This Coming

None of this fanfare and liberation of gays has taken our Lord by surprise. He warned us about it in advance. In 2nd Timothy 3:1-4, the Bible says:

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God…”

God beckons the sinner to come to Him; but He will not always strive with them nor beg them. The door is open wide for all; it is an individual choice whether we accept God and His ways or not. The sinner must turn to God before his or her heart becomes hardened and indifferent. There comes a point when God will give them up to their sins. I implore anyone reading this not to get so deep into sin that you no longer have a conscience to hear God’s wooing. Take a moment to read this important, pertinent scripture found in Romans 1:24-32 below:

“God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

Need I say more? It’s crystal clear what God expects; His desire is to save us from self-destruction due to sin. Please, take deep thought about what the Bible teaches. Assess your life and take some alone time to do some deep soul-searching. Have a clear conscience when you lay your head on your pillow each night, knowing that your life is pleasing to God; for, that’s all that matters in the big picture.

Note: If you wish to read my previous posts on this topic, please click or tap on the links below. God bless!

LGBT Deception

Companies Defiant Against God’s Word

 

Sources: huffingtonpost.com, instagram.com, newsmax.com, twitter.com, google.com, businessinsider.com, usatoday.com, polyvore.com, facebook.com, abcnews.go.com, gettyimages.com, whitehouse.gov, cnn.com

 

 

 

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The Silence of the Lamb

He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

freely-10094-preview-973x649Jesus, known as the Lamb of God, endured the brutal physical torture that led up to His crucifixion; still, He opened not His mouth. He held His peace and remained silent.  But what about when He seems to be silent in our lives? Where do we turn? What do we do when we experience the silence of the Lamb?

By silence, I do not mean that we once heard His audible voice in our ears which is somehow being restrained. By silence, I mean that there’s an emptiness; like He’s not active or “speaking” in our lives. Of course, sin would be an obvious reason for His withdrawal and silence – but what about when we are serving the Lord with all of our heart? Why are there still seasons of silence when He feels a million miles away?

I write this blog post, not from a self-help guru viewpoint. I write from the depths of my soul. I write as one who knows how it feels to yearn for a gesture of hope, yet, to hear nothing but deafening silence. I write knowing what it’s like to hurt; knowing how it feels to be in a deep, depressing pit with no rays of light shining in. I know. In the pit, I cry, “Oh God, please don’t hide your face from me. Give me God, or I die!” Life is meaningless and empty apart from God. But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God” (Acts 20:24 NLT).

Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

I felt much like Andrew Murray, a preacher of the Gospel in South Africa.  One day, he was walking down the street and he suddenly fell with a gasp. Some that saw him fall, rushed toward him to check on him. The first one to get to him was a policeman. He lifted him up back on his feet and asked him, “What is wrong, why did you fall?” Andrew Murray said, “No, leave me be.” But the policeman insisted that he tell him what was wrong. Murray, realized he was going to have to give this policeman an answer. A tear came down his face as the onlookers were listening. He answered, “Just for a moment…  just for a moment, I lost the consciousness of the presence of God.” This caused him to physically collapse down to the ground. I recalled this account and thought, “Has this happened to me – have I lost consciousness of God?” Or worse – I feared that, maybe, God had lost a consciousness of me. But I knew that couldn’t be true.  His word says, I [the Lord] will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).  Still, the silence and feeling of being alone in this cruel world began to set in and I found myself with a sense of emptiness and hopelessness. My spirit was dry and almost barren.

Instead of wallowing endlessly in my grief and pity, I decided to take what little energy I had left, which had not yet been zapped by apathy and depression, and use it toward studying this topic. I knew that others had experienced such “silent seasons” in life and I wanted to learn how I could keep my head above water during this time of my life; during a time when my spirit inside longed for revival amidst a land of dead, dry bones. My prayers during this season were, “Oh God, restore unto me the joy of salvation”, and “Please, shine your face upon me and speak to me.” I needed reassurance from Him.

Right before this silent season, I had been noticing my prayer life lacked zeal. I recognized it but didn’t really know how to remedy it completely. I was in a pattern of praying before bed and usually when I was too tired to focus; therefore, my prayers became rushed, rehearsed, and repetitious with very little enthusiasm. Maybe I was to blame for my misfortune by ignoring this nudging to do something about my apathetic prayer life? Nonetheless, I found myself in a deep, dark hole filled with sadness, unfulfilled longings, and immense frustration.

Having endured so many setbacks in life, (chronic health issues, loss of our home, life-altering disabilities, emotional and spiritual wounds inflicted by certain individuals, family members being hospitalized,  loss of loved ones to death, etc.) I found myself becoming increasingly distraught and unable to take much more stress. Many things were stripped away and I was whittled down to the core of my being. It seemed life had turned out all wrong and situations kept going from bad to worse.  It all weighed very heavy upon me, and I guess I just folded under the ongoing setbacks and became apathetic, saddened and overwhelmed. It seemed God went silent and my hope was deferred.  Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

The more I thought about it, I recognized that God gave me the Bible as His word… so He wasn’t exactly silent. I also realized that He kept speaking to me in my dreams (see my post HERE) so He was still speaking then. But when I realized that His silence, otherwise, was an answer to my prayers – I felt a sense of peace. He knew all along what He was doing even when I didn’t understand. You see, I had been praying for God to give me a hunger and a thirst after righteousness (see Matthew 5:6). I also had been praying for a revival in my battle-weary spirit. Then I realized that His silence only made me long for Him more and more. I truly had a hunger and a thirst after Him, just like the Psalmist, who wrote, “As the deer pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after thee, O God” (Psalm 42:1).

I recalled a quote by the Revivalist, Leonard Ravenhill, who said:

“There is no such thing as one filling with the Holy Ghost that’s going to last you from here to eternity. There are repeated anointings; there are times when God will withdraw himself and make you feel as though you are dropping into the nethermost hell. He’ll leave you alone to see if you’re going to struggle after his anointing or you’re going to go on in your own eloquence and ability. The Lord thy God is a jealous God.”

Finding Your Way In The Dark

“Trying to be happy without a sense of God’s presence is like trying to have a bright day without the sun.” ~A.W. Tozer

So, what do we do when we find ourselves in such silent seasons? Firstly, we must remember that if we are striving to please God, His silence does not mean His absence.  Also, let us remember that just because He isn’t speaking does not mean that He isn’t listening. Furthermore, it does not mean that He is mad or pouting, as we fickle humans so often do. After we realize that His silence is for a reason, and not to hurt us, we can find some sense of assurance.

darkLook at it like this: We orient ourselves to our surroundings when the sun is shining. When the sun goes down and it is dark, we orient ourselves by recalling how it was when the sun was bright and illuminating our path. When it is dark, we must often walk by faith and not by sight (see 2nd Corinthians 5:7). We must trust that the Lord has sure footing beneath us even though we can’t see it. Just because the darkness falls upon us does not make the sure path beneath our feet disappear, somehow. Just because we can’t see the path, for a season, does not mean that it isn’t there. We must simply go by what we know deep within and what we saw when the sun was shining. This will keep us on course and on the path that leads to life. We remember that it is His Word which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (see Psalm 119:105). We find guidance through His word.

When God is silent, it feels so dark, lonely and sad. But we have to go on what we know to be true during these times. It’s not a sin to feel sorrow. God made us with emotions and we are not robotic. But remember this too; His silence is for a reason, only for a season – and it isn’t meant to harm us. Then, when the sun shines again, we will greatly rejoice! We come to a greater appreciation when we hear His voice speaking encouragement into our lives, once again. It is the most soothing feeling on earth!

Please Note:  I wrote what was on my heart in this blog, but have linked a few sermons, songs, and an article below that expound on this topic in an even greater way. I would highly recommend these resources as a source of help, hope and encouragement.

Article: When God Seems Silent (Read HERE).

See additional sermons and songs below. ↓ ↓ ↓

 

Sources:
sermonindex.net
biblehub.com
youtube.com
freelyphotos.com
gettyimages.com
churchm.ag

 

 

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