The Hits Just Keep on Coming

Atlanta Braves v Chicago White SoxI believe most of us have had days that seemed to drag on with one bad circumstance after another pelting you. You might have even felt like you have some invisible bulls eye on your back that everyone else can see but you. Whether your day started out getting laid off at work and then on the way home you run out of gas to finally arrive to your house to find that the air-conditioning system is not working. That my friend is a day that you could pin the phrase, “the hits just keep on coming”. I imagine we all have a story we could tell about some day that goes down in our history as one of those days. The question is, can we prevent it or not?

In 1 Sam 30:1-26, we see David and his 600 mighty warriors coming back from battle. I am sure they’re looking forward for some downtime to heal their wounds


Deal with your sin before your sin Deals with you   (tweet)


and bodies from extreme exhaustion, as well as, connecting to their families. Maybe they had had some near misses in battle or even been in the clutches of death, but now they’re headed to there home sweet home in Ziglag.

Somewhere along the path home they might have noticed a small trickle of smoke quietly lifting in the blue sky. Maybe there was joking amongst them selves on whose wife was burning dinner or whose barn had just caught on fire. But tragically the fun jabbing became a nightmare as they got close enough to see the magnitude of the circumstances. The Amalekites had invaded their hometown, burning it and taking their wives and children captive.

This enemy that David had fought against some time back (1 Sam 27:9), where he hadn’t taken any captives had now returned and brought havoc to Ziklag. I can’t even imagine the thoughts that were invading these men’s mind. In 1 Sam 30:4-6, it says that they “lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep” and that “the soul of all the people was grieved…”. Knowing that your loved ones are now in the hands of a vicious enemy bent on revenge would torment you beyond words.

The sad and almost disgusting part of this whole story line is that the Amalekites should not have even been on this earth to bring havoc on David! David was dealing with an enemy that God had told King Saul to annihilate once and for all


It might be because of you that the hits just keep on coming!   (tweet)


in 1 Sam. 15:3. Yet, because of self-opinion and compromise, along with deception King Saul thought fit to disobey the Word of God that was given to him through Samuel the prophet. Because of this major disobedience this enemy was kept on the earth and the consequence has been monumental. First, we see that the kingship Continue reading

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Deal with your Rebellion before it deals with You!

169372603In the midst of the quiet night my wife shot out of bed with a crying scream, “I am in so much pain”! Those who have experience a dry socket will immediately remember the excruciating pain it can cause. It was after my wife had finished getting a wisdom tooth pulled that she was released to go home and recover with the needed medication. Well, at the crack of dawn I was rushing her back to the dentist’s office because of the unbelievable pain she was in. It didn’t take long for the diagnosis of a dry socket to be made and dealt with.

Once the initial tooth distraction was done and the open wound began to heal on the surface, a small piece of chipped tooth was left and produced infection that quickly spread within the socket causing pressure and a throbbing pain that can bring


Too often people allow their hearts to be defiled and conceive a spiritual cancer that spreads throughout their lives.   (tweet)


a grown man to his knees. The solution is to open the wound and clean out the infection and apply medication down deep so that it can heal from inside to out, instead of healing just on the surface, leaving a festering infection on the inside.

In 1 Kings 11-13, we are introduced to Jeroboam who had a similar problem. We see that because of his giftings and abilities that he was one of King Solomon’s upcoming leaders. In verse 29-39, he is given a word through the prophet that God Continue reading

What’s Wrong with Just one Wink?

103923348“It all started with one wink”, he said with tears. He had come to my office devastated from falling into the trap of the enemy. Unfortunately this wasn’t the only time I had heard this same confession. So let me be frank, it only takes one wink to begin down the slippery slope of being ensnared in sin. James 1:14-16, says that it is our desires that leads us astray from the ways of God. Scripture reveals that desire conceives sin and sin un-dealt with will progress to ultimately a death.

Job’s friend counseled him by saying, “why does your heart carry you away and what do your eyes wink at, that you turn your spirit against God…” (Job 15:12-13). Eliphaz insinuates that Job’s heart was moved towards sin causing him to wink at sin, which caused Job’s heart to be turned against God.


It only takes one wink to begin down the slippery slope of being ensnared in sin. (Tweet)


 

What causes a person to have a twinkle in their eyes for things that are against God’s statues? It’s a heart issue. We open up our heart for other things to entice us. Years ago I knew a husband and wife who loved the things of God. But over time the wife began to watch her husband be drawn away from God through his intellect and pride. His eyes were being fascinated by knowledge and the attention it was getting him. It was a gradual process over time. Yet, the wife would not confront her husband’s heart being turned from God. She began to squint or allow her spiritual eyes to grow dull towards God. The shocking thing is that her spiritual condition started being manifest physically. She went from having good vision to her eyes dimming and eventually becoming blind.

It reminds me of the story in 1 Sam. 3 of Eli, the man of God in his generation. It starts off letting us know that his physical vision is becoming faint as well as, the spiritual climate was fading and darkening. The lamp or fire of God was on the verge of going out. One would ask the question, “Did it just happen over night?” Not at all for the previous chapter reveals it’s a process! Eli’s sons were corrupt and did not know the Lord. Their sins were affecting the people of God causing them not to desire the things of God and walk in His ways. Therefore, it says their sin was great before the Lord.

The interesting point is seen in verse 13-14 where God is raising up young Samuel in the midst of such darkness to spiritually see and speak a word of judgment to Eli and his family because of his sin. What was the sin that would bring such a harsh judgment? It was not refraining his sons in their sin. The definition of refraining in this text indicates Eli was winking or dimming his eyes at the sin of his sons. Not rebuking them but allowing them to continue in their vile conduct. Therefore the result of narrowing his eyes at sin caused the heart of many to turn from the ways of God. Maybe, Eli’s excuse was “It was just a wink?” His story deserves our attention! The casual wink or spiritual apathy led way to a physical dullness and ultimately death to him and his family and the presence of God to be taken out of Israel.

Have we allowed our heart to turn from the things of God because we are winking at sin?

 

 

Unforgiveness is the Cancer of the Soul

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The effects of revival in our land have on different occasions in history touched even the White House.  President Lincoln, being concerned about America’s condition, its success and independence as well as a country be ripped apart.  He gave his Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer.  On April 30,1863, President Abraham Lincoln said, “… It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”[i]   The results of the great revival that had been happening in America not only carried on, but lasted for many years.  It had begun in a passion for prayer and was sustained with faithfulness of prayer!  Mathew Henry once said “When God intends a great mercy for His people, He first sets them a praying.” We must find the place of prayer!  We must allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of anything that would stop His flow in us and through us. 

God wants us to pray from a heart of purity that we might see Him in His fullness and in dimensions of His great mercy.  Even in the midst of blessing and revival we can allow the enemy to get a foot hold in our lives. In Matt. 6:14-15 it says, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (NKJV)   Anytime we allow our soul to be infected with the spiritual cancer of bitterness and unforgiveness, it will hinder God’s moving in our lives and those around us.

  • Unforgiveness will stop your prayer life!
  • Bitterness that is bottled up inside you will defile you and others.
  • Lets deal with our bitterness and unforgiveness so that we can have a pure heart.

How can we expect to talk to our heavenly Father who has forgiven us when we ourselves are holding bitterness and unforgiveness in our own hearts towards others?  In the Gospel of Mark we read “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”  ( Mark 11:25  NKJV)

 Search your heart for any area

of defilement in you.


[i]   Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation , The Rebirth Of America, 1986, p. 151