Either we believe the word of God is true, or we don’t.  We can trust His word to guide us and show us how to live a life pleasing to God, or we can modify it to fit what we want it to say.  I believe, from experience in both camps, that the very best thing for me to do is to believe God at His word and not complicate scripture in order to make it fit my life choices.  I do not believe that God is waiting to club us down if we disobey Him.  Evil comes our way when we defy God and step out from under His protective covering.

To the “are there any other reasons why my life is difficult, without all the spiritual warfare mumble, jumble?” crowd, yes there are.  For those of us who ever held on to unforgiveness, we know that bitterness sets in and bitterness can lead to all sorts of physical ailments.  Ever seen the book, “Anger Kills….As Seen on Oprah”?  I’ve seen the book, missed the show!  Ever have an “accident” because you are distracted by worry or life business (texting or talking on the cell phone while driving)?  The Bible refers to “the reproofs of life”, simply put, there are consequences for our actions or inactions.

I do not have my concordance, so if you want the scripture references, you’ll have to look it up.  It is always a good practice to search the scriptures when someone quotes it, reading before and after the verses to get a better picture of what is going on around that verse.  “In the mouths of two or three witnesses, a thing shall be established.”  Find supporting scripture so you have two or three, (at minimum) to establish what is being said.  I won’t waste time addressing the “too intelligent” among us who manage to discount every simple command of God by describing why the Bible should not be taken literally.  There are many among us who have had “insights, visions” due to digestive maladies and those visions should be scrutinized by God’s word also.  There are many sick among you (us), because we take the Lord’s Supper in the wrong spirit and by doing so, there are many sick and dying among us.  We are told that if we have anything against a brother, we are to go make it right before we take the Lord’s Supper.

Do you harbor anything against someone and you say, “I just can’t forgive them for that” or, “I forgive you, I just can’t to be married to you anymore”?  The Bible says we are to forgive, so our Father in heaven forgives us our sins.  But didn’t Jesus die for our sins and isn’t that a done deal?  Yes and yes, still the verse about forgiveness stands, why?  Ask God.  I do know that scripture says the world will know we are brothers by our love.  If we won’t forgive our brothers or sisters, let alone strangers, how will the world see Jesus?  What about the “can’t be married to you anymore” statement?  I’m talking about two Christians, vowing to God and each other in covenant, all the promises and pledges in a traditional marriage vow.  What does that say to our children, fellow believers who pray for us, our extended families and to outsiders just looking for hypocrisy amongst believers to sharpen their teeth on?  It says simply, “I have no desire to please God by believing His word, my happiness is more important, my suffering is too much”!

Jesus had all the same physical characteristics as you and I.  He got tired, hungry, sad, felt pain and frustration, even to the point of checking to see if “this cup” could pass by Him, if he could avoid the torment of taking on all our vile sin, getting beaten to a pulp and hung on a cross to die!  I have to ask myself what in my life of “suffering” came close to that of my Lord’s!  God said He would not put anything on us that would be too much for us to bear.  If I quit my marriage or spend all my energy trying to avoid or get out of the “refining fires” of life, I am saying, “God You are a liar”!  That is what it boils down to, if we are honest.  What in our life experience comes close to the Lord’s Passion?  Yet, as He was dying on the cross, He said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing”.  WOW.

I have been criticized for turning to God when my life turns upside down.  Pretty silly criticism, since it is the only way for me to get my life right side up.  The criticism fits for ignoring God and allowing my life to get upside down!  When I do my life on my terms, in my understanding and will power, it goes sour to say the least.  My life is a good example of what happens by living a life that is not pleasing to God.  He does not make my life hard when I don’t follow His word, He doesn’t have to, I MAKE IT HARD.

I am blessed and grateful to belong to a group which believes that without God in their lives, their lives would be unmanageable.  In fact, if this group and I step out and live life like we did, we know it would hasten our death and our life would not be worth living anyway.  When you have this sort of mentality every day, you become grateful for the reprieve and the promise of a better life…in God.

Peace & Blessings

Stan

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