In Need of Repair?


Stop-trying-to-fix-yourselfHave you ever confessed that you have been working on yourself as if you needed some type of repair? Or, have you used phrases such as, “I’m trying to be better, or I’m a work in progress?” Well, these things may actually be true in some sense. We all could benefit from some revisions, some adjustments I suppose. After all, we are all imperfect creatures in one way or another. But, have you ever considered that you might be just fine exactly the way you are? Behind all of our noble and sincere efforts to be better, hides an enemy whose goal is to make us feel less than who we actually are. He assaults our hearts with accusations and endeavors to write a narrative about our lives that isn’t true. He seeks to point out what is wrong with us instead of all the things that are right. And, in the end, we end up feeling bad about ourselves and searching for ways to improve. So the question is, are you really in need of repair or have you simply been focusing on the wrong stuff?

Almost since the beginning of the world we have all been subjected to an enemy that works in secret. Our opponent knows that in order to defeat us, he has to convince of things that are not true. In his hatred for God and all that is good, he takes his anger out on God’s creation and does so by working people over in their thought life to the point that they start to believe those wrong things are true. It is not by accident that most people feel unworthy before God and do all sorts of things in an attempt to improve their standing. People have magnified their faults and their failings above God and have in error taken those false ideas unto themselves. Nobody feels good enough and almost no-one maintains a healthy view concerning who they are. Instead people become consumed with themselves and drive themselves to the brink to be better, to get better, all the while being ignorant of the truth that God, in the work of His son, has already made them better. People, good people, have learned to accept the falsehoods, not knowing any better, and in so doing carry around a perpetual need for improvement in their hearts. Instead of accepting the value God has given them, they seek to earn their value by the things that they do; by their accomplishments; by their societal standing. Meanwhile, deep down in their hearts, they still feel inferior and act as if something is always wrong with them. It never dawned on them that the things they are thinking, the words they are considering, the ideas they hold about themselves have been manipulated and twisted. People are not inherently evil, the adversary is evil. The wrongs that people do are always due to the influence of evil in one capacity or another. If there were no evil there would be no sin, no error, no mistakes. But, there is evil and it is that same evil that accuses you of being something you are not. Evil accuses you of being what it is. You are not broken and in need of repair.

The function of evil is perhaps the most misunderstood thing in the world. God does not convict you of sin, evil does. God does not exist to point out your shortcomings and remind you of your failures, evil does that. God is not behind all of that self-focus and sin-consciousness that plagues you day by day, evil is. In not knowing or understanding the nature of God versus the nature of evil, mankind is forever subjected to lies and deceptions aimed at breaking him down first in his mind, then later in his heart. Once those falsehoods have been inculcated into your heart, you will struggle to believe God for even the most simple things in life. Your so-called unworthiness will render you afraid and helpless against an opponent that only wants to hurt you, steal from you and ultimately defeat you. The spiritual competition that rages demands that you pay attention and recognize what is going on. People spend their entire lives plagued by the mistakes of their past accepting full and complete responsibility for them. They learn, by endless repetition, to focus on their shortcomings and foibles never actually considering that all that was ever wrong with them has been remedied by God in the perfect life of His son. In this, though they may have been deeply broken, they are broken no longer and in need of no revision whatsoever. Sure there will always be more to learn, adjustments to make, but in their heart and in their spirit they have been completely repaired and made pure. What a revelation to the heart of man. My friend, you do not have to try and fix yourself, you have already been fixed.

From your heart, as the Bible says, proceed the issues of your life. Your life will be both blessed and cursed by those things you carry in your heart. When you spend your days dragging around all that is wrong with you; all of your shortcomings; all of your past failures, you weaken and damage your own heart. You look for and expect bad things because you have been convinced that you deserve it. When good happens upon you, instead of enjoying it, you look askance waiting for the trouble that will surely follow. In this you have been deceived. The deception will always drive your focus back to yourself; to the things you may be doing wrong and to things you should be doing that you are not doing. Instead of looking at God with great gratitude and humility, your focus will be squarely upon yourself and your imperfections. And by doing so, you have been artfully tricked into looking in the wrong places. And sadly, the more you delve into the imperfection of your human flesh, the more things not to like will you discover. This is not God’s will for your life. God has given you complete and perfect freedom and He did it by the works of another man. You are not in dire need of repair as you have been told (often), you need to change what you have been looking at instead. Focus on God’s perfection!

The idea that humans have great need of repair is a plague that assaults all of mankind. Have you ever thought that maybe you aren’t so bad? Maybe the mistakes you have made pale in comparison to all of the good things you have done. Maybe you aren’t secretly evil and looking to do bad things or things that hurt other people. Likely, you are just the opposite. The fact that you actually care about what is right informs you that the former cannot be true. Yet, the accuser, your personal adversary, seeks to convince you otherwise. The solution to this dilemma isn’t to work harder on yourself, garner more discipline, exert more effort. Doing so simply admits the error of your starting premise; namely that something is wrong with you. Instead of working harder on yourself, the remedy is to turn your attention away from yourself. Stop analyzing yourself; your motives; your every move. Stop it! Every time you consider and entertain the thought that God hasn’t made you perfect, you will feel the need to add to God’s already finished work. And, you cannot get more finished than finished! Put your focus on God and what He says is true. Embrace who He has made you to be, no matter how much of a stinker you were. Stop judging yourself, comparing yourself, and berating yourself. There is something behind every wrong done and that someone isn’t you. Thank God you have already been repaired.

My dear friends, it is time to step off the treadmill of the world and start living how God wants you to live. You have been made free in every conceivable sense. Live your life and enjoy your life, even the bad days. Accept and embrace your imperfections knowing that you are just like the rest of us. Put an end to your consideration of the false narrative and believe who God says you are instead. Jesus Christ was the ultimate sacrifice for you. You may as well enjoy what he did. After all, that is what he died for! Are you in need of repair? I should say not. You are wonderful just the way you are…

Just some good thoughts…

Stop Surviving, Start Thriving…


survival modePeculiar things can happen to you while you’re on the journey of life. You can lose the things you once possessed. Your path can imperceptibly become more difficult. The joy and the happiness you once enjoyed can be stolen from you and replaced with something less. Incredulously, you can even begin to work against your own best interests. What happens to a man or a woman that leads them to survive instead of thriving? It’s time to stop surviving and to start thriving!

No person alive would willfully choose to oppose themselves or work against their own best interests. Even animals instinctively know they have to fight for themselves; for their own lives. Yet this is what happens to people. They can become so broken down, so defeated internally that their only reasonable option seems to be survival. The reason this happens is because their opponent, who works in secret, develops and builds strongholds of error into their minds. These mental fortresses occupy and overrule their logic and paint pictures of life that aren’t actually true. Yet, because they appear true, their devastating effect is realized. People are defeated within the confines of their own heart. It’s no wonder God admonishes us to guard our hearts above all that can be guarded. Once these errors of thought take root, gain momentum and build strength, they render you as a drunken man, unable to discern with any clarity of thought. They rule with the iron fist of fear to the point that it seems more reasonable to limp along in life terrified of some potential outcome, more so than to take life on with its multiplicity of challenges and win. It’s the textbook definition of getting punked out; accepting failure and loss without even fighting back. Logic would seem to dictate that you only need to survive in life when you are out of all available options. Yet those in survival mode always have options as the the things they seek to escape aren’t actually a part of their reality, but rather a part of their imagined reality.

Once people find themselves in these self-made prison holes, it becomes very difficult to extricate themselves. They have been caught in the snare of the adversary and are taken captive by him at his will. In this they are captured alive like a bird that once had freedom of flight. They are not dead, thank God, but they may as well be in comparison to the misery they endeavor to survive day by day. A great teacher once remarked, “Choose your ruts wisely, for you may be in them for a long time.” Ruts are formed in the road by repeated travel down the same path to the point where a groove has been carved into the road. Try as you might, you just keep getting sucked back into the groove. Thus, the solution isn’t to keep going down the same paths over and over again hoping to jump up and out of the rut, but rather to stop traveling down that road altogether. The rut was developed within your own thoughts and you have to decide to make a new road. The reason we get trapped, myself included, is that we persist in thinking the same things that brought us down to begin with. If those things we continue to consider are a lie, our consideration of them, over and over and over, is not going to make them true. Rather, we strengthen the edifice; we build higher and stronger the opposing stronghold and suffer greatly as a result. There is no shame in recognizing that you have been captured, but rather in surrendering and choosing not to fight for yourself. God will always provide a way out, but you have to stand up for yourself and take it.

The only way to tear down those great citadels of error that exist in your mind is to begin to stand against them; to oppose them. It is the truth of the Word of God that sets you free and there is no other way to do it. You stop surviving by your refusal to go down those same paths. It is your human nature, your ego, your well nourished system of logic that is keeping you bound. Humility is the willingness to admit that you might be doing something wrong; that you might be working against your own best interests. The enemy of all goodness is counting on you to make the wrong choice by working on your ego, by those things you think that you already know. By the time you reach the rut; by the time you have become imprisoned by your own self, by the time that fear is the dominating factor in your life, you have already been captured. You’re in the trap! No amount of introspection will open the locks on the trap as it is your (and mine) incessant focus on yourself that got you there in the first place. Who told you that you were not good? Who convinced you that you have no power against the evil that has been threatening you night and day? It was a lie from the father of lies and the only reasonable escape is to stop your consideration of the lie! Stop surviving!

You can only begin to thrive when you rid yourself of the hinderances to your growth. You must cast down those reasoning thoughts against what God’s Word says is true and every exalted thing that stands in opposition to the truth. Once you stop going down the same path the rut will eventually fill back in. The smooth, flat road of the truth will encourage your forward movement. The truth considered and cleaved to will open every lock; break every chain or fetter the adversary has ever put around you and you will once again soar the heights of life where there is no fear. But, the starting point is your humility to God and the things He guarantees are true. Once you escape the false confines of self-made prison holes you can begin to recover yourself and return to sober minded thought that has no basis in fear, only love. And, as God lovingly and graciously gives you a change of heart to the acknowledging of the truth, you will be set free. You will be free to dream and expect and love and enjoy. You will be free to live your best possible life with accomplishment, success and exploits for God. You will stop listening to and acting on those damnable lies and will walk the new road of high endeavor. You will be the man or woman that God always wanted you to be, free to love, free to give, free to serve.

All of us are going to reach a point in our journeys where we have been deceived and suffer as a result of it. All of us are going to fall short. All of us are going to find ourselves in impossible ruts at times. All of us will find ourselves in despair, in survival mode. But the only good God of eternity is always willing to help us find the way back. God’s will is that we thrive. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Stop surviving and start thriving. It is God’s highest good for you. Thrive!

Just some good thoughts…

Yeah, But What Do You Think?


think-different

I’m not sure if it’s politics or the ease of getting information or the advent of social media, but it seems more and more that people have stopped thinking for themselves. Maybe there’s nothing new under the sun. Maybe all original thought has already been thought. Perhaps we have reached such a grand stage of enlightenment that there is no longer a need for folks to think for themselves. But, I doubt it. Somewhere and somehow it seems human beings have been talked out of the veracity of their own thought; their own conclusions. It is like there are only a rare few rebels left who dare to go against the status quo; the information wheel of things. People are either aligning themselves to some all or nothing cause or else they are blindly supporting it. It seems the logic or maybe the illogic is that if you are this, then you have to be that. You absolutely cannot be part this and part that, it’s all or nothing baby! Now that logic may work for absolute truth, but it fails miserably for everything else. The earth is round. To think otherwise isn’t original thought, it’s inconceivable illogic. Yet there are people, all scientific evidence to the contrary, who believe it. The issue isn’t what the masses are saying. The issue is what do you think? Yeah, but what do you think?

You likely won’t be able to survive in a world where black is no longer black and white is no longer white. Things are real and have a distinct meaning. To challenge the reality of things is absurdity. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is probably a duck. When you let some influential fellow convince you that it is a chicken, when it is clearly a duck, you may be teetering on insanity. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, that is how the world seems to function today. Whether it be adherence to some political party or else well established Facebook algorithms, people seem to have stopped thinking for themselves. COVID19 is a real thing. It’s not a media construct, though the media may oversell the fear of it. There are literally real people that you know that have gotten sick and in some cases have even died from it. Again, to buy into the logic that the media has invented it for some sinister, future governmental takeover, is irrational at best and insane at worst. There are people, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, still concluding it is a hoax devised to “take down” America. Yet, it seems more likely that the economic “take down” of America is more directly related to the virus itself. All throughout history there have been pandemics, always having their roots in evil, designed to destroy the masses and bring ruin to the people. That part is clear. However, in this instance of another variation of the same, there is produced a whole segment of society that refuses to acknowledge its existence. Do you really think that the government is so sophisticated that it could align not only the media, but also every hospital and care center to buy into the same lie? If the government has that type of control, we truly all are doomed. And, however rapidly produced, there is a vaccine offered that prevents the virus from gaining access and greatly limits the impact of the select few that still acquire it. Medical report after medical report lauds the veracity of it with evidence to back up their claims. Yet, almost incredulously there are still people, many people who refuse to get it. To them, it seems more plausible to believe that the government has somehow found a way to implant tracking devices so small they can fit through the point of a needle. Now, I know evil is very deceptive, but through the needle? If anyone is being tracked it’s more likely through their cell phone or some chicks named Alexa or Siri. Yet onward march the thoughtless masses refusing compliance based on civil rights or something. I personally know a man that coordinates a large hospital in our area that reported 95% of those poor souls suffering from COVID in his ICU are unvaccinated; 95%! Lord help us, is anyone still thinking for themselves?

Somewhere along the line, I pray, people will return to thinking for themselves. Yes, the media portrays falsehoods. Yes, the great media machine slants and manipulates information. Yes, evil is likely behind it pulling the strings. But, for God’s sake, you have to call a thing a thing. The reason the pandemic has gained a resurgence is because of all of you conspiracy theorists that have given the devil too much credit. It’s like the man that prayed for God to save him from the flood that refuses three offers of being saved because he was still waiting on God to deliver him. Take the ride you dummy and stop refusing your common sense. It is scary to think that we live in a world where you can deny real occurrences by calling them fake news and even scarier that people could overlook a preponderance of evidence to the contrary. We, as a nation, are in real trouble when that type of logic is allowed to prevail. Look, when you go to the doctor, though you know that medicine isn’t perfect, you have to trust what the doctor says and do what is required of you. To question the doctor, not based on medical science, but based rather on what some non-medical friends have informed you to do is not wise. Yet, that is where we are today. Not a day goes by that I am not subjected to some quack or even less than a quack, reporting some false statistic about some erroneous data they reportedly read questioning what is obvious in favor of some equally insane conspiracy theory, again giving evil too much credit. And do you know why they are so convinced? Because the Facebook algorithm has fed them so much agreeable information for their whacky views that they have now concluded it is true. The question that begs remains, come on man, what do you think?

I will be the first to tell you that evil is very deceptive and that I have personally been led down a few blind allies to my own hurt and loss. But, somewhere along the way you have to start questioning these conclusions that people make and decide for yourself based on some semblance of logic. I can think of no better way to enable a pandemic to persist than to convince the masses of the evil inside the anecdote. The vaccine may not be fully tested yet and there may be some future harm connected to it, but that has to be a lot better than watching grandma or grandpa waste away due to something we do know very well. Life often isn’t a clear choice between good and evil but instead sometimes the lesser of two evils. In an imperfect world governed by evil, you sometimes have to trust God and make a choice. And absent any insider information from God, choose logic. My heart and prayer for our country and for our world is that people return to thinking for themselves and stop casting logic and plain common sense out the window in favor of a political view or the opinion of the divided sides. You don’t need a party platform to recognize good from evil, even if it might cost you a few votes. Think about the things you are cleaving to and if they pass the acid test of common sense. Yeah, my friends, but what do you think?

Just some good thoughts…

What Came First, Your Thoughts or Your Results?


maxresdefaultRecently, I found myself embroiled in a Twitter battle with someone I don’t know and many others I don’t know over the topic of depression. A guy posted a little ditty about being depressed along the lines of, “if you’re depressed and you know it, clap your hands.” So I replied, tongue in cheek, with a similar ditty about changing your thoughts. Some recognized the levity, but quite a few others insisted on teaching me about depression and how it wasn’t that simple and show me some evidence that changing your thoughts can change brain chemistry and so on. Essentially the group argument consisted of well-intentioned people defending the chemical nature of depression and apparently the fact that your thoughts have nothing to do with it and even more incredulously, that there’s nothing you can do about it. So depression or any other mental malady, what came first, your thoughts or your results?

First let’s clarify one important reality. Yes depression, particularly clinical depression can be tracked to chemical changes in your brain. But, and hear me out on this one, to conclude that the depression you are experiencing has nothing to do with what you are thinking, is categorically nuts! If that was the case all of us would be potential victims to any mental malady that came our way and would be powerless against it. You’re living your life happy and blessed then boom, you spiral down into depression or anxiety or anything else that chooses you! Life does not work that way. However, if you are paying attention, you will recognize that the world will always have an excuse for you to stay trapped in your personal conundrum.  It will always have you draw some conclusion where you basically agree there is nothing you can do about what you are experiencing. The result? You end up actually defending your problem’s right to have power over you and have lots of science or other man-made intelligence supporting your beliefs. Your thoughts came first!

Depression begins with depressed thoughts. Anxiety begins with anxious thoughts. All known phobias began with fearful thoughts about something. Now stop right there. If what I just said pissed you off in some capacity, you have to ask yourself what it is you are defending. To think that your thoughts didn’t precede you present reality takes away your responsibility for your life and hands it over to someone or something else. The world is chock full of victims with well-rehearsed stories about how they don’t have a choice when actually they always have a choice. The choice with mental maladies, and by the way I’ve been there, is to control your thinking in the here and now. Is it really that simple? No, it’s not simple at all, especially if you have gotten yourself into some deeply grooved ruts! But, it is the only way out! You have to decide to think something else or stop thinking certain things, before you can even begin to see the way out. Wallowing in the chemical nature of your problem is simply resignation to defeat. Your thoughts came first!

In contrast to mental maladies and anything that pains or hinders our lives, let’s consider happy people or people who remain positive and hopeful about their lives. What do they do that maybe you don’t do? Are they really predetermined for success? Are they just the result of good fortune heaped on them randomly with no discernible reason why? The same world that spends considerable time with increasing evidence to convince you there is nothing you can do about your problems, also maligns and disparages being positive and reduces it to foolishness by implying positive people simply spout positive bullshit in contrast to their worsening issues. Really? Is that all that positive people do? In reality, positive, happy people experience the same garbage and conflict in life that you experience. The difference is that they fight back with their thoughts and refuse to surrender to science or anything else that chips away at their well-being. They can acknowledge that today was a freaking horrible day, but don’t expect tomorrow to be the same. When someone lays a rap on them that implies there is nothing they can do about something, they beg to differ over and over and over again. Your thoughts came first.

Part of controlling your thinking, and for the love of God it is something you can do or God wouldn’t ask you to do it, is to be cautious about what you take ownership of… Is it a disease or is it your disease? Is it depression or is it your depression? Just because a doctor gave it to you doesn’t mean you have to own it. I know, there I go again with my Pollyanna bullshit! I mean, the perfectly reasonable, logical thing to do is to accept your fate and get in line with the rest of the sheep following and cascading over the cliff to their own demise! Being realistic depends wholly on what you consider to be real. Science isn’t in opposition to God it’s of God (you smarties…). The opposition shows up when science, so-called, refutes what God says and makes it appeal to the ego of man who always knows more than he actually knows! If you and your scientific realities know the answer, then fix your issue and let’s get back to living. Alas, your thoughts came first!

One thing you can and should own is your own life! You certainly don’t need to own the negative assaults upon you day by day, but you can and should own your results. Own it! Accept where you are. Accept responsibility for the things that haven’t worked out. Taking ownership is always the starting point for any life revisions you may need. As you  put your hands firmly back on the wheel, you will discover that God has given you control if you are willing to take it! Say what you may my friends, your thoughts came first!

Just some good thoughts…

 

The Spin Cycle of Error


spin_cycleHave you ever found yourself caught up in a negative spin cycle of error that ever picks you up and drops you off at the same place repeatedly, eventually draining all the life right out of you? Have you ever found yourself plagued by the same issues year after year? Have you ever decided to make a journal entry and as you read some of your former entries from ten years ago realize you are writing about the exact same crap? If so, you might be trapped in the spin cycle of error…

It goes without much thought to recognize that error is always complicated. At its base it is simply a lie you’ve been talked into believing and subsequently experiencing day after day. However, its simplicity is masked and befuddled with extraneous data like the Tax Code rendering its victims unaware of what is going on or how to ever change it. The only way that error can gain a foothold in your life is by getting you to cooperate by repeating and rehearsing certain thoughts, words and behaviors.

As a person thinks in their heart, they are, whether their thoughts are good, constructive and useful, or wrong, defeated and debilitating. Wrong thoughts or thoughts containing error hide alongside many other thoughts. In the milieu of thought, it is very difficult to discern what is going wrong or to isolate rogue thoughts that bring negative results. However, if you find yourself experiencing negative results i.e. all mashed together in a damp heap, spinning and spinning amidst an ocean of the same crap, you have got some error going in your thinking that you must repair.

You can almost always tell what thoughts you are harboring in your mind by the stuff that spews out of your mouth. What negative views of yourself can your friends predict you will say? What line of self-deprecating humor is your go to laugh line? Are you disappointed with yourself or the person you have turned out to be and as a result say bad things about yourself to yourself? Those harsh views, jokes and negative self-image all point to some errors you have been holding onto inside.

Although always preceded by thoughts, certain behaviors serve only to thwart you and retard your progress. Certain pleasures conceal the poison contained within them which is only discovered once the poison has taken effect. Some activities promise you fulfillment in one area only to pay a heavy tax in another. Behaviors the run at cross purposes with the Laws of Love always demand payment in pain and suffering.

In order to stop the murderous spin cycle of error, you must attach yourself to something that doesn’t move around day by day. You must affix your purpose to something that is true and immovable. You finally find the hidden error by focusing on the truth. Focusing on the error; the why didn’t I see this coming of the error; the how did this happen to me of the error; leads only to, and trust me on this one, countless journal pages dedicated to and salaaming error, inadvertently and unknowingly worshipping the evil one! You are not going to see your way out playing that game. The treachery isn’t in presenting you with wrong choices and getting you to choose them. The deception is in what you’ve been talked into focusing on! If you’ve lived a little you already know that stepping aside or missing a step is easy. Everyone you have ever met has come up short in some capacity. The test for success is in getting back up, dusting yourself off and walking in a new direction leaving all of the past behind you.

Error holds sway by wearing you out on the inside. In order to wear you down and eventually out, it must have access to your head and heart. It doesn’t flourish by mistakes you have made here and there, even the egregious ones. It flourishes and tightens its grip   by getting you to shift and keep your focus in the wrong place. Maybe you made a heinous mistake twenty years ago that ended up defining the life you live right now. How can something that happened twenty years ago define your present existence? It does so because you have held onto the damn thing like a cherished guest for twenty frikkin years. The fact that you did something wrong twenty years ago and still insist on bringing it to mind is the larger error.

God’s way out of these mental prisons that thwart and defeat you is by you making the decision to no longer hold onto and cleave to the error! If your life isn’t what you want it to be today, get busy changing it into something you like. Lamenting on what’s wrong with it is just getting suckered into more of the same! If you’ve made some bad mistakes, you have beaten yourself up enough already. Jesus Christ paid for the sins, not your insistence on suffering and self-condemnation! (Do you really believe God wants you to suffer?) If you have some gnarly thoughts concerning your self-image, it’s up to you to change those concepts and start seeing yourself like God sees you.

At the end of the day, just know and understand that you are doing it to yourself. Sure, there is an evil one and yes, life can be very challenging at times, but you are only responsible to live this life one day at a time, forgetting all that is past and refusing to be afraid of the future. Change your life by changing your subject of focus! Get out of the spin cycle and move on over to the warm dryer where life is oh so good…

Just some good thoughts,…

 

 

 

The Illusion of the Self-Made Man…


self_made_manPeople living in the world today have a rough go of it. They spend their entire lives in conflict with an adversary they know not of, nor have any means to detect. They have at their fingertips uncountable volumes of information promising techniques, principles and solutions for every problem that could ever surface. There are rules to find happiness; “must do” activities for wellness and tips or clues for optimum prosperity and health. And, the information is so compelling that it supports a billion dollar industry almost all based on one grand illusion, namely that man can by his limited senses mind and decision-making, take full care of himself! He doesn’t need any outside help, but rather a resolute will and determination to make himself into something he is not yet. The allure is so compelling that the vast majority of people on Earth flounder under its spell. The self-made man is an illusion!

The last thing in the world that “the world” wants you to understand is that there is an entity opposed to all that is good or beneficial or kind, that takes full advantage of man’s ignorance concerning it. Evil has been deemed a label that man gives to forces he cannot see with his senses mind. It has been reduced to the level of superstition. It is generally a source of ridicule and a figment of the imagination by the so-called intelligentsia of the day. Yet absent a true spiritual understanding of evil and how it works incessantly to thwart mankind, man is forever the brunt of a cruel joke; one that plays out in his everyday existence. And you know, if you’re honest, that things often don’t turn out the way you had hoped they would. Instead apparently random circumstances and by chance events shape the life you are endeavoring to successfully live. On the other side of the same coin, there are those who see evil in every event and action and would have you to avoid the experience of life in its entirety. Both are fueled in ignorance of true spiritual realties.

Man’s unknown and somewhat typical experience consists of spending most days hoping he doesn’t get the unexpected roll of the dice that will lead to certain suffering ending in death. He is terrified of cancer or other deadly diseases and when hearing of evil that befalls another, makes up sayings to assuage himself like, “I guess it was his time.” And what incredulously cruel entity would decide when it was “his time?” The same one that lies hidden under the apparency of things according to the maxim, “the secret of its success is the secrecy of its moves.” Add to this, man’s ascribing these foul qualities to God and you have a recipe for a futile existence. For this reason, no man living, successful or otherwise, is self-made, but has knowingly or unknowingly tapped into something that either helped him or hindered him in his life. All that a man gets or fails to get is a product of his own beliefs. Being determined upon some goal and taking vigorous action towards it, leads to its acquisition, not by himself but in concert with all that is Good and gives unreservedly. Conversely, man fails and suffers hardship not by his fear alone, but rather by his ignorance concerning evil, and unable to successfully stand against it, he succumbs to a difficult life.

Life was never intended to be an obstacle course or a maze that could only be bested by years of “trying to get up that hill.” Instead man was supposed to seek out spiritual assistance to his spiritual problems from his spiritual source – God. God has not left His people without recourse. But, you’d never know that by studying the life of the average Christian today. It seems Christianity has been taken over wholesale by a preoccupation with sin. And in a man’s futile attempt to not sin, he sits ever open to the attacks from an enemy that not only entices him to sin, but accuses the holy bejesus out of him when he does sin. In this, the Christian is no different from the unbeliever in that he suffers pain from an enemy he cannot see nor discern by his ignorance of the truth. Working hard to be good enough or righteous enough is yet another endless puzzle with no real solution because the starting premise; you can by your own self-made efforts make yourself good enough, is categorically false as well.

God has given man remedies to his dilemmas, if he only knew it. The first and foremost remedy can be found in the Bible, also called God’s Word. God’s Word, specifically that part of His Word written to us directly, offers the truth concerning any apparent situation or dilemma we find ourselves in. To conclude that believing God for healing is foolish and that one is best served by the medical community is just another fault in a long line of faults, falsely setting up man and his wisdom as predominant over God’s wisdom. God’s Word is always paramount in our quest for truth. In addition to His Word, God made available holy spirit, obtained simply by believing (Romans 10:9-10). Receiving holy spirit, which some erroneously conclude resides in every man, enables man to once again be connected to God, the Holy Spirit. Holy spirit living within a man comes with built-in potential power. However, this fantastic power with the ability to overcome all difficulty and unlimited capacity to discern the spiritual world, must be energized within the man himself. This energizing within is accomplished by praying in the spirit, also called speaking in tongues. Typically, just the mention of speaking in tongues elicits a negative reaction in man’s mind. This shouldn’t surprise you as the source of all difficulty and hardship has worked tirelessly to queer the process and thus ensure that you don’t learn how to do it. Doing it and doing it often builds up His spirit within you. Once built up, man can once again see what he formerly could not see. He then not only has the ability to discern the evil, but also has access to God’s spiritual solutions for his spiritual problems. So very simple, yet so wholly misunderstood.

In the beginning, man was formed, made and created to live a life where God was at the center of his existence. He had responsibilities to accomplish, but his life was cared for by his God. And like a child seeks out his Mommy or Daddy to get his needs met, man was to seek out his Father to get his needs met as well. The self-made man is the ultimate ruse because man lacks the ability to self-make anything, though he demands otherwise. Instead man is a Spirit-made creation and absent God’s help has little to no shot of overcoming the world and it’s pain.

There is a wonderful, abundant life out there waiting for you, but you’ll never see it if you try to do it on your own. Spirit-made baby, that’s where real life is found!

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

Working Hard for God?


working-hardHave you ever seen the movie, “The End” with Burt Reynolds? There is a classic scene where Burt’s character , after numerous attempts at suicide, finds himself in a large body of water with little hope of being able to swim long enough to save himself! So, he makes several deals with God, attempting to encourage God to rescue him. While being a hilariously funny comedy, the movie shows how many people view their relationship with God. Reynolds offers to keep the 10 commandments, after he learns them. Promises to be honest in business etc. The message is obvious, if you do a lot of good stuff and obey the rules, God will help you out. But, if you mess up or sin, your sh*t is in the wind. How many of us are working so hard to please God in a misguided attempt to get something from Him?

The whole world, and I might add, every major religion is wrapped up in that simple, yet complex lie. If you have ever been unfortunate enough to have tried it, you found out pretty quick that it was damn hard work! The more you work to earn something from God, the more you fail. The more you fail, the harder you work. When you finally think you’ve become good enough, you find out that your good enough apparently wasn’t good enough, because something negative still happened. You analyze yourself deeper; find areas of potential error and set about to work even harder. It never even dawns on you that God’s willingness to help you was never based on your behavior in the first place. This is the message of almost the whole book of Romans in the Bible, but hey, who needs the Bible when you can just work hard?

Of all the dastardly, evil, discouraging, asinine, wretched, bull-crap, devious things people have been talked into believing, the most supreme of all is the absolute lie that you could do something to earn God’s love, blessings and protection! Read that sentence again! You cannot earn it, never could earn it and never will be able to earn it. Even when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord by believing God raised him from the dead, even then God reckons righteousness unto you because of your believing. Not by works, lest any man should boast. The only way you can ever get anything from God is by believing. Period. End of sentence. End of damnable hard works!

Do you want to please God? Do you want God to be pleased with you? Then believe Him! Do you need God’s help in a situation? Believe that He can and WILL help you! Do you need to make a deal with Him? Never. Do you have to do good works to get His blessings? Heck no! In reality, God blesses you to  motivate you to do good works, not the other way around. You gotta give God a little credit here. He already knows all about you (and me) and still loves you. He already knows everything you are going to do (good and bad) and still protects you. His love for you always was and always will be unconditional. He doesn’t have conditions, you do! He doesn’t make deals, you do! He doesn’t bless you because you are good enough, He blesses you because He’s good enough!

The quicksand trap of that treacherous works routine is that as long as you believe you have to do something to get something from God, you will never get around to being fully persuaded in believing that what He said He would do for you, He will do! You are always going to be able to find something wrong with you and you won’t even have to look very hard. You, you human being, cannot measure up; it’s impossible. So for goodness sakes, stop it! It’s a trick. It’s a lie. It’s wrong on every hand.

Look, I’m not trying to condemn you, I’ve played this game; far more than I am loathe to admit. It’s subtle and it’s obvious. It’s clear and it’s vague. It’s a feeling and it’s a thought. But, no matter how it manifests itself, it is a damn lie! It contradicts God’s Word. Whether it comes from your Preacher; your mother or your wife, it’s a damnable lie, from a damnable source with damnable intentions to defeat you. It’s not your conscience mysteriously chastising you, it’s God’s archenemy carefully crafting circumstances and conditions to talk you into something that isn’t true with a further view to stop you from believing in and upon your ONLY source of help!

At the end of the movie, Burt’s character makes it out safely and quickly begins to break all of the deals he made with God. After all, he is safe now and the deals no longer make sense. How profound huh? He made it out alive and all of the deals he tried to make never did make sense anyway! So, if you are alive right now, and I’m assuming you are because you are reading this, stop trying to make a deal with God. Stop trying to trick Him into thinking you are better than you really are. Instead, be yourself, be honest and be true. Learn how to believe what He promised you. Stop thinking your behavior is a factor and just get your old stubborn noggin to believe what He said He would do for you, without any conditions, clauses or contingency plans. He is that good people and He is anxious to prove it to you!

Yeah, I still get caught up from time to time earning something God already gave to me, but when I do, I write a blog about and somehow feel a little better.

Believing what God said is no harder than believing the sun will come up tomorrow. Learn to believe God as you are, right now, and you will see what all believers see, God is faithful to those who believe. Are you working hard for God’s blessings? I hope not, at least not anymore, anyway…

Just some good thoughts to set you free!