Tag Archives: God

The End of Me

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Don’t you love when God hits you sideways with something He’s probably been trying to get through to you for a while and you finally get it?

I admit, I have to laugh.  Because when I do get it, I can look back and see how long He’s been after me to learn something.  I laugh because God knows I’m a dolt sometimes and loves me anyway!  He’s so good to give us space to laugh at ourselves.

In Bible Study Fellowship this week we’re studying John 16 and one of the questions asks, “What circumstances in your life test your commitment to follow Jesus?”  I thought and thought about this question because over the past 9 years the Lord has brought me to a place where I can no longer imagine not following Him.

So I considered my previous life … a time when I backslid … and answered with the situations that tested (and won over) my commitment to follow Jesus.  Namely – success in my career (which gave me prestige and popularity), health (which wasn’t that good, but wasn’t bad enough to worry about), and finances (which were so that I was frivolous and spent buying possessions to fill up the ache in my heart).

As we answered the question in leader’s group on Saturday, I looked at the words on the page: career, health, finances …

The three were the world’s interpretation of success.  I spent my time focusing on those things that were going to help me live the “good life.”  I was doing good.  I had everything I needed and then some.  I … I … I … what I didn’t see was the gulf between God and I getting wider and wider until … I lost it all.

That’s when it hit me.  I’d answered the question a couple of days prior but right in the middle of leader’s group I had an epiphany.

God had brought me to the end of myself.

Ten years ago I was ignoring God and doing my own thing – great career, decent health, super finances.  But now …

Now I have no career, no health, and no finances!!!

Why do I sound so happy?

Because I’m closer to Jesus than I’ve ever been in my whole life!  That alone fills me with so much hope and joy I’m busting at the seams.  At the end of myself my thirst was quenched, my pain was comforted, and my sorrow turned to joy.

So no, nothing can get me to go back to the world’s system.  I’m following Jesus as closely as I can and when I get a little ahead of Him … or perhaps lag too far behind … I know that He’ll pull me close to Him again.

Have you come to the end of yourself yet?

The Interloper’s Homecoming

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This is the third in a series.  If you’ve not yet read The Demise of the Interloper, please travel here for Part One and here for Part Two to be brought up to date.

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It was one of those autumn days in Florida.  The kind where you walk outside and instead of being hit with the usual warm, wet washrag of humidity; you come instantly to a standstill noticing the change.  The air is drier and the temperature reduced a few degrees.  A day that instantly puts a smile on your face and changes your outlook.

Standing in the middle of the driveway I took a deep breath of the crisp air before walking gleefully to the mailbox at the end of the drive.  There was a spring in my step and a large smile plastered across my face.  I had every right to feel a sense of bliss as the seasons changed.  I’d been free of the Interloper for six months and had re-discovered independence inside my own home.

I found my friend Herman at the mailbox.  A little lizard who enjoyed sunning himself on the black metal.  “Isn’t this a glorious day, Herman?” I sang out.  He scampered, as he always did, to the very back of the box as if I was going to hurt him.  We’d only been performing this ritual for months.  I laughed and pulled down the door grabbing at the bills and circulars that threatened to fall out of the open box.  Closing the door I looked for Herman to say good-bye but he’d already moved off and onto some other adventure.  Turning on my heel I headed back to the house but stopped quickly.  What was that?  I thought I heard something in the bushes behind me and it was much too big to be Herman.  At once the hackles on the back of my neck stood up as I turned slowly, needing to see what was there but not really wanting face what it might be.

The sound seemed slightly familiar.  Like a noise you heard once, years ago, and swore you’d never forget it … but now maybe you had forgotten and my mind raced … trying to recall.  I sucked in my breath, at once very afraid, turned and walked quickly toward the safety of my home.  My fear grew quickly in intensity as I all but expected to be jumped from behind by some wild animal or deranged person with mayhem on their mind.  Inside the house I slammed shut the door, locked it, and leaned against it trying to calm my shaking.

Safe now with my anxiety diminishing, I walked into the living room, kicked off my shoes, and settled into a soft couch to read the mail.  A matter of minutes passed as I flipped through junk and bills when I suddenly sat bolt upright.

“The Interloper!”  I practically shouted into the empty house.  My mind reeled.  Could it be?  Hadn’t we gotten rid of him six months ago?  Sweat broke out on my forehead and the mail in my lap slid to the floor as I rushed over to the window and peered down to the foliage at the bottom of the drive.  The leaves moved silently as if blown by wind but I could see nothing else out of order.

Immediately we pulled in the professionals to conference and they put my home through a battery of tests.  While waiting for results I laid silently in bed each night straining to hear any evidence of the Interloper’s evil presence.  I’d already dealt with his malevolence once and truly had no wish to be involved with him again.  I sought out my Guardian but He didn’t speak … or I couldn’t hear Him.  Perhaps my inner turmoil simply drowned out His voice, but the silence was unnerving.

I met with the cutter first.  He was my go-to guy with the ready smile and quirky bounce.  Except this time he wasn’t quite so jovial.  “It’s here,” he said solemnly.  “You may have to live with him for the rest of your life.”

“What?”  I asked quickly, even though I knew I’d heard him the first time.

“This type is hard to completely eradicate.”

I immediately thought about a time in the Bible when the disciples were trying to remove a demon from a young boy but were unable.  After Jesus had removed the demon the disciples asked Him why they hadn’t been able to do the job.  Jesus said, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:29 HCSB)  I was already praying but I wondered if I needed to start fasting.

The cutter suggested that I meet with the Brazilian next.  He, with his toxic lotions and potions, almost immediately told me that there was little he could do.  Through testing, part of my home had been found to be lacking suitable internal structure.  The toxins he had to use to eradicate the beast required my home to be stronger than it was.  He looked at me solemnly while taking a bite of his turkey sandwich as if contemplating what he could say.  Clearing his throat, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and suggested I meet with the genius … the Mastermind.  My options were running out.

Approaching the Mastermind’s office I prayed that he would be able to help me.  If not … if not … I couldn’t speak the words.  The alternative was not something I wanted to have to face.

Where was my Guardian?  I knew He hadn’t left me, wouldn’t ever leave me, but why wasn’t He talking?  Why couldn’t I hear Him?  He so readily spoke peace into me the first time I’d encountered this evil presence.  Why not now?  I stopped asking knowing that sometimes we just didn’t get answers.  Feeling resigned, but with a touch of contentment, “Thy will be done,” I whispered.

The Mastermind greeted me warmly.  I’d spent so much time with him and his machines that I’d grown fond of this man.  Aristotle is quoted as having said, “There is no great genius without some touch of madness.”  I’m not sure I could call him ‘mad’ but certainly I enjoy the touch of weirdness that seems to skirt around the edges of his brilliant mind.

I left his office with hope and determination that we were going to be able to exterminate the Interloper once again.  They would build me my special bed the following week and begin shooting the photon torpedoes into my home directly after.

Then, on a Saturday evening before we’d even started the process, a friend said, “You’re the most courageous person I know.”

I sighed.  “If I’m courageous, it’s only because I know the Creator is with me, goes before me, and stands behind me.”

She smiled knowing that what I said was true but still shook her head.  “It helps that He’s working with gold.”

I blushed, “You’re a good friend.”

The next day as I listened to my pastor in church, he seemed to stare directly at me when he uttered the word, “Courage.”  I shivered in my seat thinking about my friend’s comment the day before.

I only had to wait one more day before a family friend met up with me in the grocery and said, “Have courage.”  I could hardly contain my delight realizing that I’d just heard from my Savior.  In the matter of three small days He was successful in getting His message through.

Courage.

Instantly peace settled into my dry bones and filled my heart.

“Thank you,” I whisper into the air, knowing He hears me.

And now.  Now I lay in my special bed while the Mastermind and his minions shoot photons around my house targeting the intruder.  Each strike sends the enemy screeching and running for cover.  I pray that God keeps this professional’s aim true and that every blast weakens the Interloper further.  I imagine he will be reduced to ruins and cease to live no more – and pray the same.  But I draw on the courage given to me by my Maker and smile.  I will be courageous.

Thy will be done.

 

My Word for 2017

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God gave me my word for 2017 early this year.  Do any of you do that?  Ask God for a word to focus on … something to learn as we approach a new year?

It’s fun and scary and interesting all the same.  In 2014 He gave me the word Grace.  From January 1, I was astounded about how much I didn’t know about Grace.  It wasn’t about the grace He poured out on me.  God mainly taught me how to give grace to others.  I had to break down old ways of thinking and breakthrough stereotypical opinions and it was a tough lesson and an extremely rewarding year.

Last year God started me out with Joy.  How could I have known that that word would carry me through multiple trials and tribulations regarding my health?  But God knew.  I needed a whole new outlook on Joy – what it was – how to get it – and how to maintain it through dark and scary times.  It is to God’s glory alone that I was able to find my joy (which was truly HIS joy) and spread that joy to others while suffering through cancer and all the therapy’s to combat it.

While I normally spend the last week of the year grumbling and groveling and praying for God to give me a word – this year – it was just before Christmas when I thought that I oughta start the process so I could hear the word before New Year’s Day.  God decided not to wait.  Over the Christmas weekend I received the same word by three different people.

What is it?

Courage.

Courage.  Said like the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz.  Normally here I break into song with one finger vibrating my Adam’s apple … “If I were king of the foreeeeesssssttttt … not queen, not duke, not prince.”

I know why God has given me this word (and you will too very soon) and I’m going to embrace it.  And even though I know I’ve moved miles away from being fearful over the past year and a half; I’m ecstatic that God will teach me more.  That He cares.  That He will take the time to grow me.

So … will you ask God for a word for 2017?  If you do, please circle back here when you’ve received it and let us know in the comments!

Happy New Year everyone!  I’ll see you back here in 2017.

To Our Health!

Felecia

The Fog

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The Fog

When Paula came home from Atlanta the last time – she was in, as they say in Hospice, a very delicate condition.  In fact she came home in a private medical jet because the hospital believed she wouldn’t survive the 10-hour drive.  Her friends rallied together so her husband could continue to work and we took shifts caring for her.

When I initially walked into her home for my first shift and saw my beautiful friend laying on the couch it dawned on me that this might be the end and I bit back the tears that threatened.  You see, Paula has cancer.  If you’ve read me for a while you recognize her name.  She was diagnosed before me but was there for me through every step of my treatment, leading the way, plying me with ginger chews and bible verses and toasty socks and lotions, and a safe, godly ear for me to whisper into.

Walking through her door that first day was shocking. She was flat out on the couch under a pile of blankets and could not speak well, walk, or control the shaking in her hands that were puffy with steroids. She was on oxygen 24/7 and a regimen of oxycodone and other drugs and was only occasionally lucid.  As the weeks went on I continued to take my turns sitting with her, helping her eat, and perform other vital necessities.  Since she slept most of the time I busied myself with reading, writing, working on my book, and dozing off myself every once in a while.

We continued on like this for weeks and even though I prayed for healing a part of me was watching my friend sink further and further away from us and I asked God a few times if this wasn’t the end.

That was, until last week.

My ‘visiting’ day that week was Friday and I walked into Paula’s house to find the morning-shift friend smiling at me and Paula sitting up on the couch, her eyes bright, and a wide smile on her face.  I can tell you now, I was more than a little freaked out.  My friend was back to her perky self.

“It’s so good to see you.” She said.  A weird thing to say when I had just seen her the week before.

But as the day progressed I was to discover that Paula remembered nothing of the past eight weeks.  Nothing – save the constant ringing of the doorbell on Halloween.

She remembered going to Atlanta that last time and then … nothing until last Sunday when she, as she said, “Woke up from my fog.”

I was dumbfounded.  Had God spared her the mental anguish of the last eight weeks by closing her mind to what was happening to her physically?  No one had an answer for it but I wouldn’t put it past Him to do such a thing.  That’s how much He loves us.

But that wasn’t the half of the miracle – here was my lovely friend Paula.  Sitting up – and I mean UP (not propped up!) eating, talking, joking, laughing, with only a small shake in her hands to offer any lasting evidence.  Her legs and arms were still mighty weak but that first day she walked with her walker, crossed her legs on the sofa like any proper lady, and held lasting coherent conversations.  Even though she continued to freak me out as I watched her, I praised God for His miraculous healing.

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It’s been four weeks since that day and Paula’s now moving around without the walker, has been out of the house to shop and dine and go to a Christmas party, and continues to amaze.

God is truly astounding.

Never give up praying.  Never stop praising Him.

Never give up believing that God will intervene.  I know that many times He doesn’t, and we won’t ever know why this side of Heaven, but sometimes He does.  In both times, in all times, we must pray, and believe, and have faith, and praise Him continuously.

I’m learning that now, more than ever.

 

A Silly Monday Post

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There is something inherently beautiful about eggs straight from the farm and fresh from the chicken and I get all sorts of wonky when I have an opportunity to obtain some.

It may stem from growing up in Connecticut where we had farm-fresh eggs available to us within a mile or two in every direction.  It felt like a covert operation to drive to a farm, find the table with eggs set upon it, leave a dollar under the rock (it was always a rock), leave a used egg carton if you could, and make off with a carton of this delicious forbidden fruit.

When I was living in Arizona I, quite literally, hunted for the exceptional vessel that would be deemed worthy to hold my eggs.  With their blues, browns, ivories, and whites; they became a patchwork art that changed daily with use.   This berry bowl made the grade.  Is it very weird that padding out to the kitchen after a good night’s sleep and seeing this bowl full of eggs makes me so very happy?

If I know hen-fresh eggs are available somewhere, I’ll go through any sort of hurdle to obtain these beautiful little ovoid shells.  Such yummy goodness!  Surely, when God was leading the Israelite’s into paradise, He was talking about the land of milk and honey and farm-fresh eggs.

May God bless us all with His abundant provision.

Felecia

Denying Sin

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“The Bible’s not working for you.”

Her words stung like water crackling on a hot pan and my blood ran cold.  It was her way of saying God’s not working for me.  My heart sunk.

The hard truth was … she was right, in a way.

I had been denying my sin.

I hadn’t confessed it, hadn’t repented of it, hadn’t asked for forgiveness, hadn’t received God’s glorious grace.

I’d stuffed it down inside like no one could see it.

But everyone could see it … even God.

And while everyone looked the other way, God didn’t.  He had to call me up on my game of hide and seek.  I hid and He sought and found and used this woman to bring me back round to Him.

Thank you, Lord.

Even through the silent tears and the hurt and the embarrassment of my sin being found out … thank you.

Because now I can move forward.  Now I can confess it all to Him and receive His grace and mercy.  Now I can ask Him for the help I so desperately need and faithfully, He will provide.

He will strengthen me.  He will lead me away from sin.

What sin did I commit?  Does it matter?  God cannot look upon sin and I want Him watching me … always.  I wish for nothing other than His constant, unfiltered, undeniable love.

Will there be more sin?  Of course.  We are sinful beings.

But today, I’ve repented and have been forgiven. I’ve received His grace and mercy.  I stand in the light once again, free.

Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love; according to Your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion.  ~ Psalm 51:1

Glorious Father, why do I believe I can hide my sins from you and somehow You’ll overlook them?  Keep me forever in Your grace Lord, searching out my heart and finding the sin that creeps inside and tries to hide from the One who knows all.  Help me Lord to quickly remove myself from temptation when my flesh or the world or the devil hungers to sin against You.  Let me be a source of light to those around me and not an overturned basket hiding sin in the dark.  In Jesus’ magnificent name, Amen.

For more of one of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible, please read David’s Prayer for Restoration in Psalm 51.

 

 

 

Heightening Your Discernment ~ 3

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This is the last post of a three-part series to bring you ways you can increase your discernment – Part One is here and Part Two here.  It’s an appendix in the book Another Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith and have supplemented it in some cases with my own opinion from my experience – which you’ll find in italics.

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Before I close out this series I need to go back and clarify two issues from Part Two.

In #5 in which Mr. Smith says “Do not seek signs, wonders, and spiritual experiences.”  I stand by what I said originally but want to clarify:  I absolutely believe that God still speaks in signs, wonders, and spiritual experiences.  God will use anything and anyone to get His message across.  For me, He has used people, songs, birds, and even secular books to solidify a point.  My faith has been built on His Word and the spiritual experiences He’s given to me.  What I want to stress is to be careful in interpreting any sign, wonder, or spiritual experience you encounter.

I’ve known people who have become so fixated on a sign that they stop looking to Jesus Himself.  I’ve had friends tell me that they asked for a sign and then God said “this” in a cloud but the next morning He said “that” in the waves of the ocean.  Our God is not a God of confusion.  Just like the issues I have with Jesus Calling, He is and was and always will be – unchangeable.  As much as we should test the spirits – test the signs you think you see.  This is why we need to continually grow our discernment.

Secondly, I stated under point #7 that I don’t believe angels are spirits.  A dear friend pointed out that in Hebrews 1:14 when the author is comparing Jesus to angels he says:

“Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?”

That also reminded me that all demons were originally angels fallen from God’s grace.  So I stand corrected.  Angels are spirits too.  Somewhere along the line I guess I just made an internal decision that angels (good) spirits (bad) and that vernacular leaked out into the blog.  I should be more careful!  Mea culpa.

Now – on to the last example to heighten your discernment:

9.  Gird up the loins of your mind. Take every thought captive for Christ. Fight the good fight.  Contend for the faith.  Let God’s truth continually preserve you.

  • Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ~ 1 Peter 1:13
  • … since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
  • Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses. ~ 1 Timothy 6:12
  • Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all. ~ Jude 1:3
  • Teach me Your way, Yahweh, and I will live by Your truth. Give me an undivided mind to fear Your name.  ~ Psalm 86:11
  • Lord, do not withhold Your compassion from me; Your constant love and truth will always guard me. ~ Psalm 40:11

Take every thought captive for Christ.  Guarding your mind is so vitally important!  When I read the book Another Jesus Calling I was overcome by compassion for my friends and other Christians who have been reading (and loving) Jesus Calling … a book I believe is not at all from Jesus.  Within one day I heard Ms. Young was releasing another new version and my heart sank.  How many Christians (fans and/or followers) are being held in the grip of this spirit who is speaking for Jesus?

Please be wary about anything that comes into your mind that is not of God or godly. Learn to see it and oust it before it starts working on you.

I was listening to a talk by Jenn Johnson (Bethel Church) recently and she reminded me about viewing everything with a Kingdom perspective and to not let yourself get mired down in the negativity that has become our society these days.  She’s right and it’s a word we all need to hear time and time again.

Step away, because you are set apart!

In His Love,

Felecia

Heightening Your Discernment ~ 2

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This is the second post of a three-part series to bring you ways you can increase your discernment – Part One is here.  It’s an appendix in the book Another Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith and I have supplemented it with my own opinion or from my experience – which you’ll find in italics.

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5.  Do not seek signs and wonders and spiritual experiences.

  • But sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, “Why does this generation demand a sign? I assure you, no sign will be given to this generation!” ~ Mark 8:12

In this passage, the Pharisee’s were harassing Jesus to prove over and over again that He was who He said He was.  He was done with their demands for a sign. In my experience, I’ve found it’s quite common to ask God for confirmation of something you believe He’s telling you.  If it is He who is doing the   telling, He will give the confirmation.  We are not to test God in anything other than tithing. Malachi 3:10 is the only place in the Bible where the Lord says we can test Him.

When we start asking God for signs, we run the risk of asking God to confirm what we want – to bless our will – rather than seek to do His will.  We can also develop a type of tunnel-vision by focusing on the “sign” that we become unable to even hear God’s voice in the matter.

I do believe that God still speaks in signs, wonders, and experiences to us – but not when we ask for them.  We need to keep our hearts open always to hear from Him.

6.  Do not get involved with undiscerning believers who are listening to and heeding deceptive spirits (or consulting with familiar spirits).

  • Do not turn to mediums or consult spiritists, or you will be defiled by them. I am Yahweh, your God. ~ Leviticus 19:31
  • No one among you is to … practice divination, tell fortunes, interpret omens, practice sorcery, cast spells, consult a medium or a familiar spirit, or inquire of the dead. Everyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord … ~ Deuteronomy 18:10a-12a

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What can I say? If your best friend is the Long Island Medium, I’d say good-bye.  Lots of people dismiss the authenticity of mediums, psychics, and other seers but I can’t because by warning me away from them, my God tells me they exist.  I mentioned last week that I used to go to Psychic Fairs as a kid because they were fun.  Many of the “seers” there were just making stuff up, but on a couple of occasions, I could tell the person really had a gift.  Today, you would not catch me within a mile of such a place.  The temptation is always there but my God gives me the ability, through His Holy Spirit, to not succumb to the temptation.

In today’s society, if people you know are gravitating toward these types of spiritualists, do not consort with them.  You may have to break all ties, but Satan would like nothing better than for you to disobey God.  Your eternal home is on the line.

7.  If you’re confronted with a spiritual presence test the spirit and pray for wisdom and discernment from God. You may also, by faith, ask God to take the presence away if it’s not from Him because “greater is He that is within you, than he who is in the world.” 

  • Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you know the spirit of God: Every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. But every spirit who does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist; you have heard that he is coming, and he is already in the world now. You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. ~ 1 John 4:1-4
  • Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. ~ James 1:5-7

I love the Holy Spirit but, in general, I don’t like spirits.  I don’t believe there is any reason for a “good spirit” to be on earth.  I also don’t believe angels are spirits – they are angels – a separate entity altogether.  There have been many times when I’ve felt evil emanating from a person, and many times I’ve asked God to rebuke and remove the devil and his demons from my presence.  There have also been a few times when I’ve felt an angelic presence. 

The latest was during a late night stop at my post office box.  The parking lot was empty but lights burned brilliantly inside.  I’d turned off my car and immediately felt a presence.  I actually looked up on the roof of the post office believing I’d see something but saw nothing.  Somehow I had the distinct impression that this was a protective angel.  Still in my car I peered out into the night realizing that there were many nooks and crannies in which someone could be lurking.  The ‘feeling’ of the presence hadn’t gone away and I checked the roof again.  I prayed quickly to God thanking Him for his protection and made my way quickly into the post office.  I didn’t linger there and walked as quickly back to my car.  The angelic presence was still palpable which interested me because I believed I was “safe” back in the confines of my locked car.  I started the engine and made my way back to the highway, and home.  The presence continued to stay with me for about five minutes of the drive and then abated.  I often wonder what he was guarding me against and why he stayed with me even after I left the Post Office.  I’ll never know, and that’s okay by me!

8.  Love the truth. Be valiant for the truth. The Bible warns of the consequences concerning those who do not have a love of the truth.  They can become deceived and fall away.

  • The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders, and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

I believe this is what we’re seeing today.  It’s not that a Christian wakes up one morning and declares, “I’m no longer a lover of the truth.”  It’s the itching ears syndrome (2 Timothy 4:3).  They long to hear God but turn to other books and experiences instead of the Bible to hear Him speak.  Christian, please remember that the only truth is found in the Bible.  The Scriptures are your true North – nothing else.

I’ll be back on Monday with one last tip and to wrap up this series.  Thanks for hanging in there.  Have a wonderful weekend and please let me know if you’ve ever had to test the spirits!

In His Awesome Name,

Felecia

Heightening Your Discernment ~ 1

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This is the first post of a three-part series to bring you ways you can increase your discernment.  I found this list as an appendix in the book Another Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith and have supplemented it in some cases with my own opinion or advice which you’ll find in italics.

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I was rebuked in a comment last week for boasting about my gift of discernment.  I hope I truly didn’t come across as prideful.  I use this gift for the edification of the church – to warn you from what I see happening under our noses.  I am committed to lifting up the Church and certainly don’t want any of my brothers and sisters in Christ to be swayed in these last days.

That being said, here are some ways to be more discerning:

  1. Be sure you are in the true faith following the One True God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and the One True Savior, Jesus Christ.
    • Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless you fail the test. ~ 2 Corinthians 13:5

We are to continually test ourselves.  The words ‘test’ and ‘examine’ in this Scripture are in present tense meaning it’s something we should do consistently.  Ask God to show you if you’ve strayed off the mark.

  1. Measure everything by God’s word.
    • … they [the Bereans] welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. ~ Acts 17:11b
    • Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. ~ 2 Timothy 2:15
    • All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17

This is the easiest way to see if you are within the adversary’s target.  So very often he comes at me with a saintly voice, even quoting scripture.  It may take a minute or two of me believing that the Holy Spirit is impressing something to me when suddenly he trips up and I find the crack in his message.  He deviates off of what God would NOT say.  Ooooo I get so mad!  I think I’ve even shaken my fist at the devil.  “Try and sway me, will you?  NO WAY!” 

BUT, in order to have this work for you, you have to get to know the Scriptures.  So open your Bible and start reading! It’s the only way you’ll be able to detect the devil’s lies.

  1. Don’t be ignorant of our adversary’s schemes and devices. Be sober. Be vigilant.  Be prayerful.  Be watchful.
    • I have done this so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:11

This is a most sobering call to arms.  How many people have I met who call themselves Christian and yet do not believe in the devil?  It boggles the mind.  Luckily, I think these people are safe.  Why should the devil bother with those who don’t believe in him?  He’s already got them.  (That’s not scriptural, that’s my opinion!)  The problem is, he will use those people, those seemingly Christian, to get to you.

Additionally, don’t give the devil more credit than he’s due – but neither should you limit him.   I met two Christian women once who told me that the devil can’t get inside our dreams.  Is it safe to be that ignorant?  The devil is the prince of this world, and while he is limited to what he can do to us by God, God has most assuredly allowed him into my dreams.

  1. Pray for discernment. Ask God, as did Solomon, for spiritual discernment to help you determine good from bad, right from wrong, truth from deception.
    • So give Your servant an obedient heart to judge Your people and to discern between good and evil. ~ 1 Kings 3:9a

In this post-modern world where the lines between good and evil are increasingly blurred, this is a prayer we should pray daily to help keep us on our toes.   

Stay with me this week for more ways to increase your discernment.

In His awesome name,

Felecia