Google Search…


google 2There are few things more helpful today than the ability to do a Google search. You can search for almost anything and 99% of the time you will find the answers that you need. Whether it be, “How to remove superglue from your counters?” to “Why isn’t the air conditioner working?” Google has the answers that you need. Google seems to encompass just about every question that you ask. The only place where Google seems to break down is when you find yourself in need of spiritual answers. Spiritual information either isn’t accurate according to God’s Word or else it’s mixed in with opinions, religious beliefs and a whole menagerie of guesswork which doesn’t really do the trick. For those times in your life when you really need an answer, you can do better than a Google search. You can go directly to your Creator. He is always available, knows the answer and is right 100% of the time.

One of my favorite times of the day occurs when I get up in the morning, brew up some coffee and sit down to write my, “Morning Pages” with my Heavenly Papa. Morning Pages, Julia Cameron’s brainchild, is taking time in the morning to record your thoughts and impressions about whatever is on your mind. It doesn’t have to be super meaningful or insightful, but rather an opportunity for you to clear things up in your head or at minimum identify your problems and seek solutions for them. For me, in my adapted version of the same, it is an opportunity to talk things over with my Father. It is a time for me to get clear about what is going on in my life. Often it presents me with a chance to unpack things things that have been stacking up and causing me to feel confused. Sometimes when I write there can be some complaining. Other times, I ask heartfelt questions and seek solutions and desperately needed answers. Similar to the psalmists, no matter where I start or how I start, before long the answers to my questions become more clear; I receive illumination and insights into which I formerly had no insight whatsoever. God sort of clues me in, in His quiet, perfect, very personal way. He often reminds me of something His Word says which always applies perfectly to my situation. Even my complaining and bitching is generally met with some further understanding about myself and when the problem is “indeed me oh Lord” coupled with a need for me to change my mind. Morning Pages with God is the ultimate Google search for spiritual answers to my spiritual problems.

Recently I found myself in a very challenging situation which I neither had coming nor deserved. Unlike times when I was the culprit of my own poor choices, this time it wasn’t the case at all. As I pondered my dilemma, talking it over on the pages of my journal complete with a good amount of anger and feeling like a victim, I suddenly recalled a section of scripture from Ecclesiastes which briefly states, “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, not the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. Immediately it dawned on me that at times in life we don’t get the result we should have gotten because there is an adversary who is ever at work behind the scenes trying to obstruct God’s blessings and favor in our lives. Otherwise people would always receive exactly what they deserved. As I pondered this further, I was reminded that I am in a spiritual competition and at times a target because of my love for God. And though I still didn’t appreciate what happened, I was comforted in knowing that God always turns those things intended for my harm to something much better for me. In that I found rest.

On another occasion, as I wrote feeling particularly frustrated about the effort I was putting in to get something with apparently very little result, God reminded me “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” In other words, you have to persevere at times to get the things you want and just because you cannot see it right now, doesn’t mean it is not going to happen. It is part of the great contest also with forces working to keep you from your dreams, if you give up in your mind and let them win. Another morning, I wrote about how things were gathering steam and seemingly coming at me from every angle. My knee hurt, my back hurt, there was pulsing inside my head, things weren’t making sense and I felt overwhelmed like my needs weren’t going to be met at all. And as I thought about where maybe I was offtrack or in the wrong space mentally, suddenly I recalled a section from the book of James where God said to count it all joy when you find yourself in many temptations because the testing of your faith (from the enemy) produces perseverance which in turn leads to maturity, being complete and ultimately not being in want for anything. Again, because God is faithful, I saw that at times you are going to be under the gun, but instead of looking inward to find your faults and failings, it is better to remind yourself of the struggle of which you are a part and hang tight looking for God’s deliverance. In fact, James goes on to say that if any of you lacks wisdom (knowing what to do) let Him ask God who gives generously to all without finding any fault. The moral of the story? Ask God the questions and allow Him to give you the answers. Sometimes your answers come quietly from within and at other times you will get them in other ways. God is not limited in His means for providing you with what you need. In fact, often when He answers you and you know it, He will remind you that you asked Him just so it is extra clear. (smile)

If you have lived life long enough, you already know that you have questions from which you have not yet gotten an answer. Google hasn’t helped you with these questions or maybe served to confuse you further. There are things deep inside you that no-one else knows about except you and God. God knows your every need from the smallest to the greatest. God has the answer to every question and He will not withhold it from you. Your job is simply to ask the question and then listen intently for the answer. When something breaks Google is your best friend, but the broken things in your heart and life are going to need something better. God is the something better. Far, far better. Just ask!

Just some good thoughts…

Deceived…


The problem with being deceived is that you do not know you have been deceived! At its core, in order for any deception to be effective, the person subject to the deception has to remain unaware of the deception. There’s little profit in informing someone they have been deceived because in their deception they usually don’t believe you anyway. So why bother discussing such a subject given that there’s so little return on your investment? The point is that the deception only lasts as long as there is no information exposing the deception for what it is. This is the exposure. Have you been deceived? Probably!

As I’ve penned many times before, life is spiritual at its base. Spiritual verities, though often referred to and lauded, are typically misunderstood. They are misunderstood because man needs a standard of truth outside of his own reasoning to separate truth from error. Absent any standard of truth, man is ripe for deception. God does not say that His people are destroyed because they have a spiritual enemy. He says His people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. It isn’t what man knows that defeats him, it is what he doesn’t know or worse what he thinks he knows but doesn’t really know that defeats him. Ignorance is never really bliss! No person that begins to dabble with illicit drugs, for example, perceives that there is something evil behind his pursuit. Instead he relies on his feelings and his newfound discovery of an exciting hidden world he wasn’t aware of before. In this new world there is promise of discovery and insight, indeed awareness he never experienced before. His experiences are generally positive and fun and certainly nothing to be concerned about. He assures himself he has got things under control and knows what he is doing, that is until that which he allows begins to show itself for what it really is and usually by then occurs too far down the road to escape. And like a fish trapped on the hook or a bird caught in a snare, by the time the trap becomes painfully apparent, it’s too late. This is the story of life lived by what appears as opposed to life lived by what is actually true.

It has been said that the secret to the adversary’s success is the secrecy of his moves. As a testimony, most folks don’t even believe there is an adversary. They brush it aside as religious fantasy, all the while being sorely pricked and assaulted by that same source. They fail to see that the life they live is influenced by two sources, one good and one evil. One source promises life, life lived more than abundantly in every regard. One source seeks only to steal, to kill and to destroy. One source encourages and enhances life. The other source diminishes and hinders and thwarts life. Every problem you have ever had, small and great, minor and major, inconsequential and catastrophic comes from one source. Every sickness, every disease, every life cut short, every life lived in bondage, every torture, every war came ultimately from that one evil source. I say that not as a criticism for those suffering or to blame those unjustly victimized and targeted, but as an expose’ and urgent appeal to see things for what they really are. If you are suffering, if you are having a tough time, if you are struggling in any capacity, the source of it is ultimately evil and it is not God’s will for you to live that way! There is a way out, a real source of escape, but it requires that you humble yourself to what God says is true instead of spending your life trying to figure it out on your own. The reason your spiritual opponent gains ascendancy in your life is because you remain ignorant of his devices.

All of us living in this world are subject to the same contest, the same fight. I am not exempt and you are not exempt. I lose the fight sometimes just like you lose the fight sometimes. I get deceived like you get deceived. Being a Christian, indeed a child of God, does not guarantee you will win the fight, ultimately yes, but not necessarily in the day by day. The only way to win the fight is to see through the deceptions and the only way to see through the deceptions is to learn what God says is true in opposition to what the enemy says or portrays as true. The systems of the world are set up and carefully schemed to convince you of things that aren’t true. It doesn’t matter how smart or confident you are, it matters what God says is true. In fact, your spiritual opponent is counting on your own ego to lead you astray. You cannot go by what you think or how you feel or what your parents may have taught you. You cannot depend upon your finite, limited five senses reasonings to discern truth from error. You cannot depend upon your life experiences or your previous successes or failures. You can only depend on one thing and that one thing is the truth of God’s Word.

God invented life and as such knows exactly how it can be lived. Thinking you have to try and just survive life or that life sucks for everyone or that is just the way life is, when it is not good, is to be deceived. With God’s love and help you can solve every problem that ever confronted you or portrayed itself as unsolvable. You can overcome any barrier, every hurdle, all obstacles that ever showed up in your path. You can be healed, restored, uplifted, rejuvenated, revitalized or whatever it is you need to be blessed and to be renewed in your one precious life. It’s not about quoting scriptures and claiming God’s goodness in your life. It’s about seeing and proving it to yourself. It’s about a real and true source of help and answers and solutions. Otherwise, why bother? Lord knows life is too short to live in perpetual defeat!

Have you been deceived in your life? Chances are if you aren’t living blessed and victorious, happy and excited about life, the answer is yes. Don’t stop there however. God is alive and well and chock full of the answers and solutions you need to win against your spiritual opponent. He is just waiting for you to ask.

Just some good thoughts…