The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Posts Tagged ‘word of faith’

Living & Dying Unto the Lord

Posted by israeliteindeed on January 29, 2017

bill-1-13-17
My husband and I have entered the longest, darkest valley we’ve ever been in. He was diagnosed with cancer. We were told he was cancer-free after surgery, but shortly after that, 5 tumors were spotted in his abdominal soft tissue. We went the all natural route with a very clean diet and supplements, detoxing, etc. But a month ago, the unforeseeable happened. A tumor burst through my husband’s skin. Until then, he was doing very well, even working full time. After this, his health rapidly declined, and the tumors began to grow extremely fast, bursting through the skin one by one. In one month’s time, he went from feeling “normal” to seemingly at death’s door. He spent 8 days in the hospital. We are beginning new treatments this week, along with continuing to try to nourish him with foods like moringa, turmeric, coconut oil, etc.

Nothing can prepare you to watch someone you love lose his strength, his muscle, his size, his energy, his skin (the tumors are eating the skin off his stomach).  Even his voice has been reduced almost to a whisper. I have to remind myself that even “Jesus wept.” It hurts.

But…God has saved him. He is redeemed. He is my brother. He has eternal life. He is committed to Jesus.  How do we assign value to this? Even as I weep off and on during the difficult days, I see the value of my husband’s redemption, and I feel its tremendous comfort.

And so into the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death, a Light shines. A Light bright enough to carry us all the way home if necessary, goodness and mercy trailing behind us. Some truths we understood in part; now we more fully understand. I expect the picture will grow clearer and clearer over time.

Unfortunately, sickness has a way of bringing miserable comforters to your side. They have good intentions, but they don’t understand what God is doing. See the book of Job. His friends insisted Job must have some sin in his life, or he would be healed. God corrected them. I’m so glad that book is in the Bible. Job still speaks comfort to the righteous all over the world who are suffering!

Someone gave us a book that claims physical healing is included in the atonement, and therefore any Christian can demand a physical healing, and God MUST heal them. If they don’t get healed, they must not have the right faith. This doctrine is false.

If we can command God, then we are God, and He is not God. He is God, and we are His sheep. He commands us, and He leads us where He wants because He’s alot wiser than we are. Sometimes He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death because it will bring a greater good whether we are eventually healed or not. Those who love Him follow Him wherever He goes, and He sustains them whether they live or die.

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. (Rom. 14:8)

We will have neither sorrow nor pain nor tears nor death AFTER WE ARE RESURRECTED.The “second death” has no power over us (Rev. 2:11). But all are appointed  to die once in this temporary life, and after that the judgment (Heb. 9:27). We have all been dying since we were born.  One day, something–or many things– will quit working, and these bodies will expire. If you have not yet realized that all flesh is like the grass, quickly fading, in time you will see this truth. It is hard to truly grasp until it happens to you.

The doctrine that if you aren’t healed, you lacked faith, very often condemns the just and makes the heart of the righteous sad, whom God has not made sad (Ezek. 13:22). Thankfully we have the Truth upholding us and the presence of Jesus surrounding us like an impregnable fortress. It’s ironic that we have to hold our shields of faith up to stop the fiery darts of the wicked one (that come through professed believers) saying, “You must have no faith.”

He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord. (Prov. 17:15)

Satan has created a false “faith” that says we can, like God Himself, name it and claim it. That’s not faith; it’s paganism.  Faith trusts in God’s promises–all of them–including the ones that promise we will suffer, but one day our sufferings will cease forever.

God has been preparing me for these days for two years. I didn’t understand the preparation time until now.  He’s been tearing away from me all obsession with this life. This life is beautiful even in a sin-cursed world, and yet the redemption of sinners and the building of God’s kingdom is the ultimate goal as we dwell in tents of perishable skin. I haven’t always had the right priorities. The world teaches us to seek after food, clothes, health, wealth, power, beauty. These are nothing but dung compared to knowing Jesus and making Him known. If I knew this before, I know it better now.

I believe God can do anything. He can heal with a Word. He does heal today. And He WILL heal if it brings the most good to the most people. But He alone knows what will bring the most good. I know if it was up to me to wave some magic wand and get everything I thought I needed, I’d be a self-centered narcissist. That’s not good, and it’s not what I need. I would never elect to go through the fire, but God knows we need refining. God values our souls more than our temporary bodies. His ways are higher than our ways. We are invited to have the mind of Christ, and to assign our bodies and souls the same value He does (Matt. 10:28).

I know and confess that God is good even if He doesn’t heal my husband of cancer. He has forgiven us our sins. He has reached through the confusion and pain of this life to give us the truth that healed our rebellious hearts. He has given us such a beautiful marriage, and precious children and grandchildren.  Even now He continues to bless us, but we need our spiritual eyesight sharpened to see it. That’s ok. On the days our eyesight is poor, He sends a godly friend with a word in season, and the picture clears. He is a good Father, our Healer, our Redeemer, our Provider, our Life, our peace, and our joy. The Friend that sticks closer than a brother. The One who wept at the tomb of Lazarus is not forgetting any labor of love we ever did, and our tears are in His bottle. “My soul magnifies the Lord”!

If you love the Lord Jesus, will you please pray for our family? Pray that my husband’s faith does not fail, and that our lights continue to shine brightly no matter what. Pray we glorify Jesus in this trial, as we should. Pray for the unbelievers in our lives that we may influence because of our circumstances. I am asking my Father to touch and heal my husband and give him more years here, but I trust that He knows what is best and will do it.

God bless you!

Advertisements

Posted in Christian Life, Suffering | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Insight From Balaam’s Prophecy #1–Blessing & Cursing

Posted by israeliteindeed on June 13, 2014

Introduction: Although I consider Balaam to be a prophet who fell from grace according to 2 Pet. 2:15, Jude 11 and Rev. 2:14, I believe his prophecy recorded in Num. 23-24 was inspired by God (see 23:5, 16; 24:2). As such, it contains some very important truths.

At the time when Balaak wanted to curse Israel through the prophet Balaam, Israel was being obedient to God. Therefore God’s blessing was among them (Num. 23:21). Balaam was not permitted to curse them.

Insight #1 — No one can curse someone God has not cursed. God only curses those who deserve to be cursed. God decides who is blessed and who is cursed.

How shall I curse whom God has not cursed? And how shall I denounce whom the Lord has not denounced? (Num. 23:8)

Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, So a curse without cause shall not alight. (Prov. 26:2)

The cursed includes idolaters, those who dishonor their parents, thieves, those who lead others astray, those who pervert justice or oppress the weak, the sexually immoral, those who slay the innocent (including aborting parents and their murderous “doctors”), and those who disregard God’s law in any other way (Deut. 27-28). Scripture also declares that the proud (Psa. 119:21), those who trust in man or flesh rather than God (Jer. 17:5), and those who care nothing for the “least of these” (Matt. 25:41) are cursed.

In the charismatic church, I have noticed a strange paranoia that is identical to what is seen among remote superstitious pagans who feel they must make certain offerings or perform certain rituals in order to keep from being cursed. It is not uncommon for a professing Christian to surmise that some person has cursed them, and to blame all unfortunate events on this curse. Sometimes the Christian will feel they must give money to a ministry or make a trip to a certain place to get free of the curse. One such couple I knew believed a neighbor must be cursing them, or else the car would not have broken down, and the woman would not have tripped and cut her head open on a rock. They spent their time wondering where the curse was coming from, and had no peace.

False teachers take advantage of this ignorance of God’s Word, and exploit the gullible to gain followers and money. Just as a witchdoctor gets paid to keep his devotees “blessed” through witchcraft, these sophisticated liars sell thousands of dollars worth of books and cd’s which supposedly offer “the keys to success” their followers are convinced they need. It is the same deception re-packaged; there is nothing new under the sun. The only key to success is obedience to God’s Word, and this is a message we are to freely give to all.

I have also seen false teachers “curse” anyone who questions their doctrine, so as to insulate themselves from proper scrutiny. Do not be deceived. We are to examine every teaching carefully by God’s Word and warn others if it deviates. If you love God and obey His teaching, you will not be cursed. Neither will you be cursed for judging a man’s words by Scripture. However the godly will suffer trials and/or persecution in this life (2 Tim. 3:12; Acts 14:22).

Conversely, if you disregard God’s Word, you will be cursed, and no rituals or offerings will deliver you from reaping what you sow.

There is also gross ignorance in the church regarding the blessing or cursing of nations. Many think our nation can abort children, spread pornography and false teachings all over the globe, love violence and every kind of sexual perversion, neglect the proper teaching of our children, and yet still be blessed if only we do certain religious things right (such as “go to church” or “vote conservative” or “support Israel militarily.”) This is a lie. As a nation, we are reaping exactly what we have sown, and we will continue to reap what we sow. God is not bought off by hypocritical prayers offered by public officials. He is not blinded to what we are doing by religious rituals. America will continue to fall until she is destroyed, unless she repents. All nations that forget God are turned into hell, without exception (Psa. 9:17). But any individual who turns to God in repentance can be saved from this perverse generation (Acts 2:40), just as some Jews turned to Christ and were saved, while their countrymen continued to rebel until they were destroyed.

How about the blessing of God on the corporate Church? The proud American, apostate church (not the true disciples who are walking in the truth) is largely responsible for this nation’s destruction, and she is cursed. She was supposed to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, but she has followed after the same idols loved by the world. She wants earthly power (dominion), earthly riches and the praises of wicked men (woe to her). The light within her is darkness, her testimony is hypocritical, her adulterous heart is divided. She has been a friend of the world–perverting God’s truth lest she bear the shame of the cross–and made herself an enemy of God. Yet she throws a few crumbs of false devotion to God and expects His blessing. She is deceived and is deceiving others! Many are her false teachers, like unclean birds in a cage, squawking out their lies: Give us money, and you will be blessed! Support other ungodly, Christ-rejecting nations with the arm of the flesh, and you will be blessed! Look at our financial prosperity–see how blessed we are! We have need of nothing! Look what our programs are doing! Look how beautiful our buildings are!

And all the while, because of SIN, the people are cursed and under strong delusion. Their money will soon fly away, their programs will be exposed as not being founded on God’s Word, and their buildings will become rubble.

BUT–those members of Christ’s Church whose “house” is founded on obedience to God’s Word will endure! (Matt. 7:24-25)

In summary, those who love and obey God’s Word will be blessed, and those who hate and disobey God’s Word will be cursed. God has decided this, and no one can circumvent it.

The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the just. (Prov. 3:33)

Posted in "Christian" Zionism, False Teachers | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: