Friday, 30 September 2016

Unnatural Soul Ties

Proverbs 6:32  But whoso commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding: he that does it destroys his own soul.
      
      What is a soul tie?
      This explanation is taken from the Great Bible Study.Com. Godly soul ties are formed when a couple are married. Eph. 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. The Godly soul tie between a husband and wife as written in 
Mark 10:7-9 is what God intended us to have and is unbreakable by man. 
      However, when a person has ungodly sexual relations with another person, an ungodly soul tie is then formed. 1 Cor. 6:16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. This soul tie fragments the soul and is destructive. People who have many past relationships find it very difficult to 'bond' or be joined to anybody, because their soul is fragmented.
      I tend to call any soul tie outside of God's realm of permission in relationships an unnatural soul tie. An unnatural soul tie can capture a soul anywhere in life, regardless of where the tie started in one's heart and mind. It has to be cut off by one's own free will as soon as it is noticed so that there is no place given to the enemy of our soul to land on and do great damage to our lives. Eph. 4:27 Neither give place to the devil. A very short bible verse, but also a very clear instruction. 
      We as individuals always have to make the choice to bring our thoughts, actions and intent of the heart into line with what we know is right and what God says is honest and true.1 Cor. 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. The Sir Norm's translation of this verse is "I pull my body right back down in my face so I can examine it and its motives to keep it from becoming a victim of its carnal desires and end up losing relationship with everything important to my eternity." Yes, friends, it is a bit wordy but it also leaves no doubt to what is being said. Get yourself under God's control so you don't lose yourself. 
      One of the lies the enemy offers us is if we go ahead and sin it is no big deal, we are only hurting ourselves and we can always ask forgiveness. There is forgiveness when sincerity returns to one's heart but know this. NO ONE FALLS ALONE!! There are always casualties to a person's sin or any sin that is done. Take a look at the world condition and tell me sin has no other victims other than the person committing them.
      There is a tragic story of an unnatural soul tie in the bible. Jacob's daughter is raped by Shechem. Gen. 34:1 Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to visit some of the women who lived there. 2 She was seen by Hamor’s son Shechem, the leader of the Hivites, and he grabbed her and raped her. 3 But Shechem was attracted to Dinah, so he told her how much he loved her. 4 He even asked his father to get her for his wife. Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi, devise a plan of revenge by pretending to go along with Hamor, the leader of the Hivites, who wants his son to marry Dinah and also intermarry between their people. Simeon and Levi pretend to agree with a condition. As long as all your men get circumcised, then this could work out. 
      The Hivites were seduced into getting circumcised by the riches they would get through marriage. Gen. 34:23 Just think! We’ll get their property, as well as their flocks and herds. All we have to do is to agree, and they will live here with us. On the third day of healing from the circumcision, when the nerves are most painful, Simeon and Levi killed all the men. Gen. 34:25 Three days later the men who had been circumcised were still weak from pain. So Simeon and Levi, two of Dinah’s brothers, attacked with their swords and killed every man in town, 26 including Hamor and Shechem. Then they took Dinah and left.
      The sin of rape by one man brought destruction to all the men of the city that was brought about by the sin of revenge. This sin of revengeful pride caused a loss of spiritual inheritance and marked the destiny of two tribes of Israel for generations. 

      Jacob prophesied over his sons and cursed the actions of Simeon and Levi. Gen. 49:7 Their anger is cursed, for it is strong, and their fury, for it is cruel! I will disperse them throughout Jacob and scatter them throughout Israel. The cost of an unnatural soul tie, in this case, was horrendous as Shechem's unbridled lust cost the lives of many and the suffering destiny of others. Really? No one is hurt by our sins?
      This is my admonition to myself and others. If there are some unholy fantasies going on in our hearts and minds toward anyone we are not married to, then the imagery needs to stop before destruction causes havoc. 

      If there is a possibility of an unholy, unhealthy or an unnatural soul tie forming in our hearts and minds then that tie needs to be cut out and washed with the blood of Jesus. Psalm 51:2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Happy is the man whose sins are forgiven. Happy is that man! Lord, have mercy on us all. Amen!

Friday, 23 September 2016

Can't Get No Satisfaction

Proverbs 30:2 Surely I am only a brute, not a man; I do not have human understanding.


      I can't get no satisfaction!
      The British rock star and philosopher Mick Jagger has been howling this statement for decades. For many listeners of this old song, the truth of it has come home and has become poignant to the point of heartbreak. Many have traded sex for affection, drugs for enlightenment, and alcohol for strength and courage: all in the search of fulfillment. People have traded their values and morals for money. 
      Many have even exchanged their personal identity for the acceptance of others, resulting in false friendships that come from that exchange. Through it all, they have found no satisfaction for their souls whatsoever. Perhaps we have to ask ourselves the question found in the word of God. Luke 24:5b Why do you look for the living among the dead? 
      Why do we continually keep looking for purpose and fulfillment in a fallen and destructive environment? Someone might answer, "It is because we live on this earth and are human; therefore, look for satisfaction within the realm of our existence." This answer seems to be right until we come to the fact that we are first a spirit with a soul living in a body. 
      Our first position and existence is spirit and until the needs of the spirit are met the rest of our being will be found wanting. 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
      Satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment and rest are not commodities that can be bought or exchanged on an open market as advertised twenty-four-seven by the many media outlets in this world. Paul the Apostle said that he had learned to become content. Phil. 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 
      Contentment, satisfaction and fulfillment are disciplines and acquired skills that we grow into by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Happiness is often circumstantial but satisfaction is a state of being. True enough, I can't get no satisfaction in this world system; however, I can get it in the kingdom of God. Matt. 11:28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 
      So, how I do change the tune of that old song in my life? How do I get satisfaction in this life? A very good instruction given to us by the Apostle Paul is stated in Gal. 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. First things first. Walk, react, talk and go forward in the spirit of God who lives in you and is leading you through your conscience to do what the Lord has already instructed you to do through His word. 
      If we do this we will not fall to the seductions of all the sins that are available to each one of us. When we start to focus on living by putting the spirit first then satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment and peace will come up to the forefront of our beings. Some will say to me at this point, "I do not read the bible as much as I should. How do I get to the point of the Apostle Paul's instruction?" This is the dilemma going on in the body of Christ today. 
      People want all the blessings of God without growing in a relationship with Him. A worldly saying that describes this problem would be, " Everyone wants to park in the shade but no one wants to plant a tree." God has made it possible for every person on this earth, regardless of race, nation, language, status or anything else that designates a human being to come to Him and have a relationship. Growth in that relationship comes through His word. Rom. 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 
      I am not advocating a bunch of "Thou shall do and thou shall not do" to get true satisfaction in our lives. I am saying that authentic satisfaction comes from a relationship with God and is developed and nurtured just as much and even more than with spouse or friends. Become satisfied in God and who He is in your life and then you will become satisfied with who you are. Become satisfied in the Lord and you will become satisfied in your own skin. 
      Satisfaction is found in the kingdom of God and not the realms of this temporal world system. Yes, we all live in this world, but put God first and the world system will not live in you. Matt. 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Someone Should Do Something

Proverbs 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He will.

      How often have we heard someone blurt out this statement? "Someone should do something!" Well, my friends, that someone is you and me. We are the hands extended in this earth whom God has given His mandate to. We are the salt and blessing to this fractured world.
      One of the last instructions Jesus gave us before He ascended was to go into this fallen world and proclaim that there is some good news for all creation. Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

      We often dismiss ourselves from the ones who are to go into the world because we do not think or believe we are qualified or called to extend the grace of God toward the needs in this world. That is one of the biggest lies Satan has sown in this earth. 
      If you have genuinely received Jesus Christ into your heart as your savior then you are more than qualified to give an account or reason for the joy, peace, or change in your life. 1 Pet. 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
      The Lord uses weak things or even foolish things as perceived by man to determine the destiny of mankind. 1 Cor. 1:27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God is not saying that He has a monopoly on foolishness or only the ignorance of man is available to Him, but rather He can use whoever and whatever He wants to get His wisdom across into our heart. Prov. 21:1 The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turns it wherever he will. 
      We are the whoever or the someone who should do something to help in the difficult situations of life. We are a walking Gospel of God in this hurt and desperate world. In most cases for a lot of people that we come across in our daily walk, we are the only Bible they will ever get to read. We are read and even judged daily as we express the heart of God toward mankind. 2 Cor. 3:2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men. 
      We just have to look through the bible to see that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things in and for the kingdom of God. We read about Deborah who judged Israel and was described as a mother in Israel. Judges 5:7 There were few people left in the villages of Israel--until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel. 
      God used Jephthah, a social outcast, to deliver Israel. Judges 11:2 Gilead’s wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. “You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, “for you are the son of a prostitute.” The prophet Amos was a herdsman. Amos 1:1a The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of Tekoa. 
      The Apostle Peter was a fisherman. Matthew was a tax collector. The Apostle Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla who were tentmakers but influenced the movement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Acts 18:3 And because he was of the same trade he stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.
      Many people say, "I am just a laborer or a mechanic or a store clerk and so on." No saints. You are the someone who should do something about what you are seeing that is disturbing your heart. The Lord has allowed that irritation to bother you so you can step up to the plate with God's direction and blessing to do something about it. Don't just curse the darkness, but rather, bring light to the situation. 
      You are the light of the world and yes, there may be some opposition to what God has put in your heart to do. However, you and God are a majority. Church history shows us that we have the right and freedom today of owning and reading the Bible. This came at a great cost to many who forfeited their very lives to get that privilege for us. 
      God can turn the heart of anyone in opposition to His plan that He is using you in. Before you say, "Someone should do something." Ask yourself what you can do about the situation. You may be the one with the answer. Esther 4:14b And who knows whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? May God give us the wisdom and courage to step up and be that someone.

Friday, 9 September 2016

I'll Take Hope

Proverbs 14:32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.

      John Maxwell said, "Where there is no hope in the future, there is no power in the present."
      Without hope, our faith will not work. Gal. 5:5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Without hope, our love will be weak and insipid in ourselves and toward others. Hope gives us the strength to move towards our future with an anticipation of God's blessing in our lives. 
      Hal Lindsey has stated, “Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air...but only for one second without hope.” I am not sure of the accuracy of the statement but I do believe the value of what is being expressed. Without hope, we can become quite morose about life and living it. 
      The Psalmist encourages us to hope in God and overcome the depressions and failures of life that can sometimes overtake a person's heart and mind. Psalm 42:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. We are encouraged to magnify the solution with hope in our heart and shrink the problem by hoping in the Lord's grace for victory in all the battles taking place in our life. Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
     I was talking with someone who had been given a new prescription for an ailment that was not getting better. The old pill was not having the desired affect. I found it interesting that the person had a lot of hope in the new pill. They had read some favorable results about this new product and was putting their faith in the possible cure that might happen. 
      Is this not what we, as Christians, are expected to do in Christ? We come to the Lord in prayer and through His word God gives us a new prescription so to speak. We begin to have hope in the word God gave us and we get new life with a stronger faith from the Scriptures God opened to us in our heart. Suddenly our faith begins to grow and manifests blessed results and we are shouting praises to our God for the victory or the cure to the problem that has now been overcome. 
      It was hope in the love of God that brought us to Him in prayer. It was God's love for us that gave us hope to come to Him with our request. As often said, "Hope springs eternal." Rom. 5:5 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
      There is a sense of hopelessness in the world today. This statement was echoed by John Maxwell who said there does not seem to be much hope for the future and therefore no ability to do anything about it. This often creates despair, worry and a life with no expectations in it. Yet even in the harshest of times the power of hope is often found in the most terrible situations and places. 
      Some of the harrowing survival stories in the Nazi concentration camps can bring shivers up our spine from both sides of the atrocity. The pure and evil length to which man can go to brutalize another human being, but so courageous actions of those who found hope in these man-made places of hell. 
      I heard the account of a woman who had found out her husband was still alive in another concentration camp. Somehow she managed to get a written note to him and got one back from her husband. This gave them both the hope, courage, strength and ability to survive the horrors and brutalities of the camps. Somehow hope had made its way into their hearts and they purposed in their hearts to come out alive for each other. 
      Lord, may I have that kind of love for my wife when I feel I have been slighted in some way by something she said. May I have that kind of grace and courage in my marriage. 1 Pet. 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
       Unlike the lost of the world, Christians have an eternal hope within our hearts and lives. We do not have to fear death because the mercy of God has been poured out on us through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. Prov. 14:32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death. The word hope in this proverb means refuge. A place to hide and be protected. Hope in God is a safe place. Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy. 
      The world system is advertising twenty-four-seven trying to get us to hope in their products and wares, but as so many of you know, it is a dead-end street. Hope is not a last attempt at making it through; like I'm hoping-and-a-praying for something - anything will happen. No saints, hope, like love, has no torment. Hope causes our faith to grow and boil-up into believing and trusting God's will for our lives. 
      As for me, I'll take hope and grace into my prayer times with the Lord and will allow my faith to become active in this hopeless world. May we all grow in the hope God has put within us through Jesus our Lord. Rom. 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Hope in the Lord and He will lift you up.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Faithfulness In Faith

Proverbs 31:12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

      Joel Osteen stated, "If we are not faithful in the desert, then how can we be trusted in the promise land?"
      A man's word is his bond is still a nice code to live by. Being faithful in all aspects of life is a good goal to fulfill. It might look difficult to live in this world with this type of standard, but with the Lord in your heart it is possible. It may not always be easy, but it is possible.
Luke 16:10 Whoever is faithful with very little will also be faithful with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 
      We all know someone who has been ripped-off by a scam or a sure deal that could not fail and that person ended up losing their shirt so to speak. What went wrong? Most of the time faith was put into a wrong belief in life or they misjudged the true character of a person. They ended up putting their entire trust in a human rather than God. Even a human with the best intentions can get it wrong and that is why we need to keep our heart and mind in Christ. Jer. 17:5 This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD. This is why we have to build our faith and remain faithful at all costs.
      We read about King David making sure his part in a covenant he had made was fulfilled years after Saul and Jonathan's death. It did not matter to David if the other side had kept their part of the deal, he was going to fill his part. David asks if there are any descendants left from Saul's family. 2 Sam. 9:1 And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, that I may shew him kindness for Jonathan's sake? 
      David finds out that Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan, still lives but is living in poverty. He is lame from a childhood accident and has a hard time getting around. King David says to bring Mephibosheth to him and David restores all that was taken from Mephibosheth's family and King David gives it back to him, plus Mephibosheth would eat at the king's table for the rest of his life. 2 Sam. 9:7 And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father's sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually.
      Someone might say that King David did not have to keep his part of the bargain, because the other side did not keep theirs. When you are faithful in your faith in God, you will keep your part of the covenant because the covenant is not just with the other person but also with the Lord. Christ is inspiring us to do what the Lord has put in our character, no matter what the others do. 2 Tim. 2:13 If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 
      Faithfulness in faith is not circumstantial but a reality in living. I choose to be faithful because God is faithful to me. I remember a person who had committed adultery and was defending their position for not keeping their part of the marriage covenant because their spouse had committed adultery first. This person was saying, "Why should I keep my part of the covenant when I have been so wronged?" 
      This person thought the sin of adultery they were committing was no big deal because they were only responding tit for tat. All I could think was immaturity comes in all sizes and packages. This person had forgotten that their marriage covenant was not just with their spouse but also with God. Prov. 20:22 Don't say, "I'll avenge that wrong!" Wait on the LORD and he will deliver you. 
      Being faithful in the faith is not just a good idea because while we are on this earth faithfulness in faith is life itself. On judgement day we will not be standing before God with anyone else. You will be alone with God and the words you want to hear are "Well done my faithful one." No matter how hard some of life's events seem to be, faithfulness at all costs is still a peaceful place to be. 
      God is pleased when we keep getting up and applying faith to any situation. Heb.11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. When God comes looking for us, will He find us faithful in faith towards Him? I hope so. Luke 18:8b But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?