Title: To Know the Truth Text: John 8:31-33 For as long as human beings have walked the earth, people have gazed up in wonder at the night sky, beholding the awesome majesty of the Creation of God. We have seen the multitude of stars in the sky, unable to comprehend the vastness of it all […]
I was at the market yesterday to pick up a few things. While I was there, I saw some teenagers there doing whatever teenagers do. One was messing with his cell phone and not watching where he was going. One of his friend started to say “WATCH OUT!” but all he got out was “WAT” and POW, the kid on his phone walked right into a DVD display. It went crashing down as did he, scattering the DVD’s everywhere, him on top of the mess. That reminded me of a time when I was in High School, probably 15 or 16 years old at the time. I was hanging out at the mall with some buddies and as we were pretending to act busy and important, but actually hoping to meet some girls, I saw some girls about our age, doing about the same. I got distracted, she was cute, smiled at me and as I was about to try to get brave enough to go talk to her my friends started saying things like “Hey man” “Dude” but I ignored them, one made an odd sound and as I tried to turn towards him, POW, right into one of those concrete poles or pillar, whatever you call it. Ummmm, what just happened? I didn’t get knocked out, but wow, did it humble and embarrass me. My buddies were laughing, the girl and her friends were too. Well, that wasn’t expected……or was it?
I hate to admit it, but I have possibly done things like that on more occasions than I care to admit, walking in the woods and get distracted and step into a hole or walk into a tree, other times walk straight into a door, and other similar things. WHY does that happen? Well, I get distracted or I fail to listen closely when someone tries to warn me about something and due to that, I get lumps, bumps, bruises, my ego gets hit hard too. It is pretty hard to look like a cool guy after you face plant into a pillar. I have had friends do the same thing, be distracted and not listen when we first try to warn them and suffer the consequences. And, other times, kids being kids, sometimes people on either side of one of us would slowly steer us towards a pillar or sometimes in stores, displays of some sort, just to see what would happen. I have had that occur to me, and to my discredit, been on of those trying to get someone to walk into something. Kids are not always kind to even their friends. Honestly, adults aren’t always that kind either. Anytime it happens, there is always laughter as well as someone asking if whoever just did that is ok.
There are often warning signs in other areas that sometimes we heed, sometimes we don’t. I have one co-worker that is slow and not bad at her job, but lower quality work than others of the same education and level of licensure. Some of those in charge noticed it, but instead of acting on the warning signs, attributed it to being new at that location so no action was taken. It was compounded a few weeks later when there were marked issues that were being looked into regarding productivity and quality of care she provided. But, she had made friends with someone at the top of the chain at our facility so they refused to even take time to objectively review the information they were given. Instead, they let personal opinion sway a professional review and immediately terminated the evaluation that was being completed. This went on for several months and at this facility, within 6 months of start date they can terminate the employee without too much difficulty. But, if they fail to do so, the person becomes considered permanent and the process is 100 fold more complicated. Due to the senior officers failure to objectively review what was there and make the proper determination based on evidence instead of feelings the facility and the area in which the employee works are having complications from that failure to act properly when the concern was first noticed. The facility essentially walked into a pole because of one person’s failure to listen and heed the warnings.
Relationships are another tricky area. I have been married for quite some time, and while I hate to admit it, it was never the type of marriage relationship I thought it should be for people. There were warning signs, at first, some were there, but subtle, and they began to be more obvious. Different things I saw that SHOULD have been huge warnings that I ignored. Various acts, which I harped about for a while, but then, finally realized it wasn’t the individual acts, it was the attitude behind the actions. Essentially, she made herself and her wants her number one priority, then second was pleasing others, then maybe me. Had it only been God in front of me, I would not have been bothered, but God was and is a lower priority than I. Like I said, at first any fights were about individual acts, but, eventually I saw that it wasn’t the acts, well, somewhat, but the mindset was the real problem, since the acts were derived from that. Oh, I am not pretending to be blameless, no one in a relationship is perfect and the blame is never all one’s burden. But, had I been alert, paying attention to the warning signs as I should have done, I would not face some of the issues that I face now.
That happens in our spiritual life as well. We can get distracted by events in life, we don’t pay attention to all that is going on around us, we get somewhat oblivious to surroundings and other circumstances and events to which we should be paying heed. We don’t watch for warnings that should tell us of approaching problems. In the case of the pole, there was a different color to the flooring as well as a different texture, I should have noticed those, even if I didn’t notice the pillar. But, I was distracted, I was not watching where my path was taking me. I headed straight into harm’s way. As I said, there are always warning signs spiritually. There are indicators that something is not as it should be, the trick is being sensitive enough to watch for those signs and to respond when we do notice them.
I had written previously about slowly drifting away from God. Work, school, family, all those things played into things that made it more difficult, well, no I should say less easy, to find times to pray and seek Christ. I started having one thing and another occur that should have given warning, but I didn’t pay attention. My Christian walk was slowing, and then stopped. Even then, warning signs that I needed to get back to God that I failed to heed. Issues at home, work, with family, school, recreational time such as fishing, golf, etc can all be cause of complications with spiritual life. Warning signs that one’s priorities are not as they should be, that they are drifting from the right path, that they are going to run into a pole spiritually because of those, or many other, factors. All should have had warning signs, failure to be alert for them, failure to be sensitive to His way for us. He puts convictions in our hearts, reminders one way or the other that we are letting Him down, and by doing so, hurting ourselves. God tries to warn us, sometimes we are too hard headed to listen. I have been just that way. I felt the convictions from Christ about not being in church or praying like I should have, but I justified it as it was needful to work to support my family, I needed to complete college so I could get into medical school, I had to work hard there to get a good residency and be a good doctor, I had to work hard at residency and had so much call that I had to do that I couldn’t make time, etc, etc. Excuses are easy to find, but most are not valid and those using them know they aren’t good justification. I know I knew they were not reasons, but only excuses and, my spiritual life suffered from that.
To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. Jeremiah 6:10
4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Yes, He gives warnings, of spiritual dangers and consequences of failure to heed those warnings. God also gives warning of failure to listen to the truth of Christ as the Redeemer through whom we have forgiveness of our sins and salvation from eternal death but that we may have life through and with Christ.
Lord, I praise Your Holy Name. I thank You for the blessings You give me. For the sacrifice made by Your Son, Jesus that gave me salvation and forgiveness. I pray in Jesus name that You help me see warning signs in the future to help me avoid problems in life and especially in my spiritual walk. Help me walk with Christ as I should, help me seek Jesus. I ask that You continue to help me better serve You. I pray that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones and others that You give them better understanding to help them avoid difficulties in their spiritual walks as well. I ask that You draw those who believe closer and the unsaved, draw them to You that they will have salvation as well. Give us all guidance on Your will and way in our lives.
I do appreciate everyone bearing with me as go about my life, trying to find areas I need to improve upon and I do pray my insight for my life helps someone else as well as for blessings for all. Do try to be a blessing to others as well.
I saw a commercial on TV earlier about a circus. The lions and tigers and bears, Oh My! Elephants, clowns, trapeze artists and more. That made me think about magicians, which made me think about a brother in law that used to do magic. One time he was showing me some simple tricks. Simple or not, if done well they are neat to see. After he did a few he showed me the “magic” behind them. Very simple for the most part and after he showed me a couple he had me try. As I said the actual tricks were simple and I mastered those, not really mastered but could perform the me tricks. Except, it was obvious how I was doing it. I practiced a little more and was able to do them better but it was still obvious what I was doing. There must be more to it. And, there was which is something I think I’d heard before but had never been told straight out. I asked him and he said that no matter how “hard” the trick looks to be the acts are usually simple and the one thing that made it “magic” was the illusion of the trick and the only way to create that illusion was through distraction. The performer has to do something so the audience doesn’t see the mechanics behind the trick. That can be done with fancy props, a cape, a little smoke or any number of ways. He then added that the best tricks are simple to do and usually involve one hand doing the trick while the other hand distracts people or by saying or doing something that causes them to divert their attention, to the performers face or an assistant. Hmmmm, no magic. I knew that part. But just get them so busy looking elsewhere they don’t realize what is happening.
As I remembered when he taught me those tricks (which I haven’t even tried since) it occurred to me that It was simply manipulation. People donthat all the time, sales people, con artists (basically a type of sales,) politicians, journalists and others that just manipulate people for whatever reason. Sometimes the manipulators work hard to keep the attention focused on other things, their possessions, going to fancy restaurants, entertainment if any kind, they will talk about their possessions and such so you have trouble seeing them through their distractions. Car sales people do it a lot by getting a person focused on one or two of the best features and gloss over or don’t even mention any negatives such as higher price, lower gas mileage, less warranty period or other issues they prefer you not know and by only talking about the pluses, they hope you won’t notice the other issues.
Can you guess who else distracts us to play tricks on us? Not those that may entertain, cost us money or take advantage of us but one who, if we aren’t careful will cost us our souls. I am betting you figured out I mean Satan.
The interesting thing is he will use many different people or things to distract us. Desire for education, a better job, nicer car, nicer house, boyfriend , girlfriend, and many other ways. Anything can be a distraction, anyone can be a distraction. Could be family, friends, coworkers, but for me, the one that seems was used most often to distract me was ME! I got distracted with education and career goals. Telling myself that while I should be going to church, reading the Bible and praying I really needed to study or work. Satan will keep one so focused on whatever it is he is using that one doesn’t realize he is embedding himself deeper into one’s life. I mentioned the other day about how I slowly slipped away from Christ in the past. It doesn’t happen suddenly. Rather slowly in small increments. Why? Because sudden, big changes are things a person is more likely to realize sooner. But the little steps are less noticeable. You are a half step away. Then a step. Then two. Three. Etc. Such a slow process you didn’t even see it happening because your attention was diverted. But enough little steps and you are as far as if you took a huge leap or multiple leaps.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2Corinthians 11:3
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15
Satan is a deceiver, we all know that, he does things subtly. He doesn’t usually appear to us as a horrible creature, in the form of disasters. He did that to Job when God allowed him to do so, when satan tried to prove that Job would turn on God. But, usually he is sneaky. He distracts us, shows us all the things our human selves want to see, want to have and by promising them draws us into his snare. Pulling us away from God.
1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
Paul was pretty harsh about some of what he said on how satan manipulates us. He keeps us so busy looking at this or that and then chips away at our relationship with God.
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
2 Thessalonians 11:13-17
But, no matter the devices of satan, God can defeat him. We can defeat him and satan has no power over us if we claim the pray in the name of Jesus for insight and understanding, for the ability to see his manipulations and deceptions. That we stand fast in our believe in Christ and our salvation so we do not allow satan into our lives.
Lord, I worship You and glorify Your precious name and your Son Jesus who died for my sins that I may have salvation. I come to You today asking for better discernment of satan’s manipulations of me. That I see his tricks to divert me from my service of You and relationship with Christ. I ask that loved ones be given the discernment as well that they not fall into the devil’s traps. Protect my loved ones from satan and the harm he can cause.
I thank You for my salvation, I pray that not only do You protect my loved ones and myself but that You help them not only avoid satan, but more than that, You draw them closer to You. Help us all be better servants.
In Jesus Name, AMEN
Thank you all for visiting my blog. Feel free to share if you think someone may benefit. Have a blessed day, and please, try to bless at least one other.
I wear lab coats at work. White lab coats because that is what color I am supposed to wear. I wear them because that’s what doctors are supposed to do, but also to protect my clothes from things. The lab coat gets dirty and stained so my clothes don’t. Well, a while back I was going about my activities at work and when I took the ink pen out of my pocket and started to use it I made a huge ink smear on the paper. I look, and, lo and behold, there was ink on my finger, the pen had leaked. I look on my lab coat, and yup, big ink spot there too.
Ink is HARD to get out of clothes. Especially white clothes, without other color present to help it be less noticeable. But, I tried to use alcohol wipes to get some of it out. Helped a little, someone said try hydrogen peroxide. So, I diluted some and tried. Nope, no good. When I got home I tried several things on the stain and none seemed to do much. I had a HUGE ink spot right where it was could be seen. If I can’t remove it, I will have to conceal it. Then, as I was trying to leave one supposed stain remover on it I started looking to make sure there were no other stains. As I looked, I saw little places were some blood got on it and it had been washed, since that time, so should have been clean, the evidence of blood was still there. And, other areas had little stains from betadine, an iodine like liquid we use to prepare the skin before various procedures to help get rid of any bacteria so we can decrease the risk of infections. But, that stuff stains badly and is hard to get out too. As I looked, I saw so many different stains I hadn’t noticed before. Blemishes in the appearance of the lab coat. Not bad, and others probably wouldn’t have noticed, but I did, when I looked. So, I tried treating those, but the stains were set in by prior washings and all so I didn’t know if that would do any good or not, but I was going to try to get rid of the stains.
OK, great, so you have a stained lab coat, so what? As I was treating those stains it occurred to me that sometimes, often, we as humans realize we have stains in our lives, sins, that we try to treat, remove, cover up, somehow make it so others won’t notice them. We try to do things, acts of kindness, charity, live as we should. BUT, we don’t always actually go to the One that can actually remove the stains. We may go to God, but because of our attitudes as we do so, we only get a quick touch up on things but don’t sincerely confess to Him or fully surrender. That was like my trying to do something about the stains, but not fully committing to getting it truly clean and white. Some of the laundry facilities over a quick service. They don’t really fully clean the suit you take in, they do some kind of touch up, quick press and there you go. It may sorta look clean, but deep down, it isn’t. When we go to Christ wanting to get this or that sin forgiven, but don’t fully commit and ask for forgiveness of all or fully surrender all to Him, we get, in our minds, cleanish, not clean, but we justify by saying the big spot is gone. Well, sadly, that is an insincere approach and in our minds it may be such that the sin we were worried about is forgiven, we haven’t actually surrendered to Him. And, God does not want us half way.
13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Going to God for redemption of one thing, when we have many that need dealt with I being luke warm. He will spew us out. The same as if we go to Him, asking forgiveness for something, then leave church intending to do more of what we just confessed to Him and for which we were forgiven. If we give half hearted, noncommitted confessions, it displeases God.
But, there is GOOD NEWS for us. If we go to Jesus, confess our sins and truly mean it, He will forgive us, we WILL have redemption through His blood. He can take the stained lab coat of my life and wash it for me, remove stains I cannot remove on my own and make it just like brand new. Not even a tiny stain. He promises, and delivers, forgiveness and redemption for all that confess and ask for the forgiveness and recognize that Christ is the Son of God, sent to defeat death and bring us life eternal. All we have to do is seek Him, give Him the sins, let Him clean us so we are pure.
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
A lot of people like to quote John 3:16, and that I certainly a powerful verse and message. BUT, when you read it in context you see that He requires that we believe in Christ, and that He was sent by God for our redemption. BUT, we must believe, and believe fully. We are required to make a complete and total confession, a sincere confession. Partial just don’t cut it.
God, I worship Your Holy Name and that of Your Son, Christ. I thank You for the mercy and sacrifice that was made for me. I ask that You continue to work in my life, help me fully give up all things to You, that I hold nothing back, that I not be lukewarm in any manner, but that I be fully committed. I ask You to work with others that they may seek You totally and completely as well. Give us all the heart of Christ. Show all your plans for them. Draw us all closer. Reach out to those unsaved, through me and others. that we give them what they need to desire You. I thank You for my salvation and the chance You give me to serve You.
I hope everyone gets their own stains completely cleaned, that you get all he has for you. Thank to all that visit my blog. I hope it blesses someone. And, remember, please, be a blessing to at least one other person today. There are a lot of folks in need of some sort of blessing so you will have the chance.
I published this a while back, but got the same feeling of concern for a friend that I know is not in a good situation. I pray that God works mightily in my friend’s life and gives them exactly what they need.
Have you ever been just going about your business of the day, not really thinking of anything other than work issues and SUDDENLY get a sense of worry or impending doom for a friend that you haven’t heard from in quite a while? No idea why, exactly what they have been doing, just that something suddenly made you have concern, worry, fear, how ever you wish to explain it. Just that whatever is going on, they may be in some sort of physical, emotional or spiritual danger. A sudden, inexplicable, undeniable burden to pray for that person? No idea what to pray about, but the definite need for prayer is present.
I had just that happen, I don’t know why but it suddenly hit me to pray for them. I say hit because it was like a ton of bricks being dumped on me. Well, I tried to shrug it off. They are fine, it’s just a weird notion and they are not in any type of danger. I tried to not think on it, but I could think of nothing else for a few minutes. SO, I prayed for their safety and protection from whatever it may be that caused my feeling of concern.
I sometimes worry about this or that, but have never had that type of feeling about someone or something. And, well, I dunno. I may or may not hear about some sort of close call, some spiritual battle, some very distressing emotional event, but I followed what I felt to be Jesus telling me I needed to pray for my friend.
I have been praying gifts of the Holy Spirit, the other day, I felt much more faith than I have ever had, but this was different. I had no vision or idea of why I felt that need so the gift of visions still is not what I think the gift is but maybe another gift is just an increased sensitivity to His will and leading in my life. I don’t know for sure, I just know I could not shake that feeling and until I prayed, I just started to get worse and worse feelings about the situation, whatever it may be.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
I Corinthians 12:4-12
And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant. Isaiah 14:30
Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. Proverbs 3:23
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
Heavenly Father, I pray in the name of Jesus that You put a ring of protection around my friend, send guardian angels for safety and protection from whatever harm may be on the horizon. Send a spirit of peace and comfort regardless of what may be going on, so that no harm befalls them. I praise Your Holy Name and stand on Your promises that they will be protected.
Thanks, just had that feeling and I had to pray. Hopefully someone derives some benefit from this post. Be sensitive to His Spirit and guidance.
Hold on a minute, don’t get worked up until you hear me out.
Several years ago, a buddy of mine who had a private pilots license asked if I wanted to flying with him. He didn’t own a plane, but he belonged to a club that owned several and members could use. He had one reserved for that weekend and was just going to fly around the area. It sounded interesting. I have flown in larger planes, but not one of the little ones like he was going to be flying. We went, and, after a little while he asked if I wanted to try. I jumped at the chance, I had always wanted to fly a plane. So, he explained operation of the controls, which gauges needed watched closely, and which were important, but could just check off and on, He showed me how to use the yoke/steering wheel and throttle. This plane had controls on both sides, so he said “Ok, now you fly it.” and let go of the yoke. I had ahold of it, nervous, trying to make sure I kept it level, didn’t lose or gain altitude, drift off course. I will tell you, it was nerve wracking, yet he had just been doing the same stuff without any sign of concern or stress. Oh, he was worried about all those things, but had developed comfort doing them all. After a while he said I should try to go higher, get more altitude, well, I got a little too aggressive and went higher too fast. He told me, I adjusted. Then, try getting to a lower altitude. Same thing happened. Ok, turn to the left, then right, and, either I barely moved the controls, or I went a bit too far. Each time, surprisingly, he kept his composure and told me what I needed to do. As we went on I got a little more comfortable with it and while still on edge a little, I was getting better. Not great, but I was doing better controlling the plane. We went flying off and on for the time we worked together and I got better, learned how to take off, how to land, adjust the throttle and fuel mix ratio. It was fun, and, I keep threatening to get a pilot’s license but I always seem to have too many other irons in the fire to make time.
One thing I noticed the first time we flew, when I took control of the aircraft, while I was technically the one flying it, he at first had his hands on the control as well. A few times, I could feel resistance as I made course and altitude adjustments. When I looked out of the corner of my eye, I could see he was helping me avoid making too abrupt changes that could cause the engine to stall or in other ways interfere with operation or control of the plane. Over time, he would hold the controls lighter, sometimes, wouldn’t hold them at all. But, he was still paying attention to my moves and actions, making sure I did as I needed, and if I didn’t he would do what needed done.
Pete was the pilot, I was the co-pilot. I may have been flying the plane at times, but he had the real responsibility and control.
Very often I hear people say that they are not worried about this or that situation, not concerned about finding a job, their safety in a certain place, if they will find the house they want and need that they can afford, adding, “because God is my co-pilot.” You know, I used to think that way. That He was my co-pilot, Christ was there to help me do my job of running my life, dealing with various situations and all of the normal struggles of life when I assigned Him the duty. Then, as I thought to myself one day a week or two ago as I struggled with some relatively minor, but still stressful, work issues, “don’t stress about it, God is your co-pilot.”
BUT, what exactly is a co-pilot, what is their job. They aren’t the one in control, they are only there to help and act as a safety in case the pilot cannot fly the airplane.
Duties of a Co-pilot
There are no flight tasks that the co-pilot, or first officer, cannot or does not do, although the captain will direct the co-pilot’s responsibilities for each flight. Typically, the two share flight tasks, though the co-pilot might be responsible for working the communication radios and navigational computers. On longer flights, a co-pilot might assume command when the captain takes a scheduled break, or they may switch responsibilities for flying and other tasks on each leg of the flight. The co-pilot will also take command if the captain becomes ill or incapacitated.
I don’t want to tell Christ what to do or how to do it. While I want Him to help me with struggles and regular daily life for that matter, I need His help. But, I don’t want to be the one deciding what Jesus should, or should not do, as I remain in control. I tried that, guess what, it didn’t work all that well. Although, by trying to be the one in control things led me back to God, so the results in the long run came out for the best, but that is only through the Grace of God, and not my own doing. Compare the duties of the Co-pilot to those of a pilot.
Duties of a Captain
The captain is responsible for the flight, the crew, the passengers and the aircraft. He has to ensure that all necessary checks are made before, during and after the flight. Typically, this role is responsible for weather checks, safety checklists, flight planning and flying the plane to its destination. Pilots also report any issues or changes during flights, take note of communications from air traffic control personnel and adapt flight plans if required. The captain does not necessarily delegate only routine tasks to his co-pilot. The two tend to share all tasks, including flying the plane. In emergencies, the captain may hand over all routine tasks to the co-pilot while he manages the situation.
So, the captain (pilot) is THE one in CONTROL. HE is the one responsible for all things on the flight. HE makes the decisions. Hmmm, considering that, I kinda have to admit that God is far more capable of being the pilot than I and that is why I don’t want to God to be my co-pilot, I want God to be my PILOT. The one that makes the decisions, takes the responsibility, helps me do my job. Oh, I want to make decisions and have some responsibility as I try to follow Him but I want God there watching as I do so, ready to grab the controls and make the corrections that need to be made. Only different thought I have about the explanations above is that while I want to be the co-pilot, with God as the pilot, I in no way can do all the things He can do. EXCEPT, that I by following Him I can do ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST. But, I will never have the wisdom of God, or be able to do all He can do.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ. He gives me the strength to do unimaginable things.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. I John 4:4
Because, He is greater than he who is in the world.
If I were in church and the pastor said something like that, read those verses, someone woulda said. AMEN!!!!
POWERFUL words, extremely powerful. Not my words, my own words mean little, but God’s words that I are powerful.
Yes, I can have some control of things but no longer will I try to be in control, not true control. I gave control of things to God. He is the pilot, occasionally, He will let me sorta fly the plane, but will always be watching for me to start to veer of course. He will remind me and try to get me to get myself back on course, and if not, He will take measures to make sure I do.
Dear God, Thank You for taking the control, for being the One in charge. Thank You for the mercy, forgiveness and salvation You offer through Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for the sacrifice Christ made on the cross and His defeat of death when He arose. I ask You to continue working in my heart and mind, give me the heart of Christ that I may better serve. Please put the same desire in loved ones and other. That they give You control. Show us all Your will and way for us. Show those unsaved the truth of Your word, use me to help You do so.
Thanks for bearing with me, I hope this is helpful for someone. Please share as you feel He is leading you.
Sometimes when I am getting ready to read in the Bible I have a particular issue I am thinking about and check different reference sources to find the reading I need to do in that topic. Other times I just try to pray a little and seek His guidance. Hoping He will put something in mind to read. And if I don’t feel something in particular from God I try to see if there is something around that it appears He is using to tell me something. Well. Yesterday I was trying to figure out what to study on and not getting answers. So. I thought maybe I will try doing some of the stuff I need to get done around here. Some of the things at my folks house I am sorting through are CDs and DVDs. Some of the CDs are for computer. I just grabbed a bunch and they were all mixed together. I looked. First was a gospel CD with the first song about the Garden of Eden. Hmmm, the next was a computer CD of about a 6 or so disc set the had Genesis through Judges. Hmm, Sometimes I miss the obvious clues He tries to give me. But it occurred God was suggesting Genesis. Ok. Got it. So. I did a bit more work and then decided to go ahead and read some. Not directly related to what I feel He wants me to write about. But He speaks to us in different ways. All we have to do is listen.
As as I read about Creation, the Garden of Eden and the fall of Adam and Eve. And how they had tried to hide themselves from God. They were hiding because of shame. They understood their nakedness and they knew they had disobeyed God by eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They knew they were wrong and were embarrassed for God to see them. But, He knew what they did and so did they.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. Genesis 3:8-10
I was thinking on that part, trying to hide from God and sort of themselves. I read next about Cain and Abel. When Cain killed Abel he tried hiding from God, with his words, by denying knowledge about his brother’s location when God asked Him. Cain tried hiding from God and himself but they both knew the truth.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.
9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?
Thinking about that made me think about times I tried hiding from others because of shame. I wrote about my friend that I had betrayed. Well. For several weeks when he called I would tell whoever to take a message. When I saw him somewhere at school I tried to duck into a room so I didn’t have to face him. We both knew what I’d done. Not facing him didn’t change that truth. What it did was further compromise the friendship. I was hiding, punishing him to an extent, but more than that, punishing myself.
There were times I did something I knew would displease my parents. Some as a child but even as an adult if there were things I did they wouldn’t approve of, whether they knew about them or not. Now, let me take a minute to mention that no matter how old we get, our parents are pretty smart and usually KNOW when we have done something wrong. They may or may not know exactly what it was, but they knew I had done wrong by how I acted. Even as an adult, if I knew I was wrong about something, drinking maybe, and I didn’t want to face them I avoided them, I hid from them. Now, same as before, I sort of punished them, but more so punished myself by denying me the time with them, and having lost them both, I regret every time I avoided seeing them.
One thing I now realize is that in the case of my friend, I made a problem I created by how I treated him worse, by not dealing with him directly I cost myself what had been a good friendship. I was ashamed of one act, and made it worse with another. And, did the same thing with my parents when I avoided spending time with them out of shame. In both cases, they would have all likely forgiven me without a thought. Oh, my friend would have possibly been a little guarded, but we could have worked it out. My parents, they’d have forgiven me without a thought, oh, my dad may have given me a lecture, but that would have been it. I cost myself with my hiding, when, I wasn’t really because one way or the other, people knew I was avoiding them. And, I knew, making my shame and guilt worse when I could have addressed it all without a big problem I not tried hiding.
And, the same thing applies to me trying to hide from God, when I was not living right I didn’t go to church, denying me to opportunity to seek forgiveness from God, not getting the fellowship with other Christians, not getting the spiritual nourishment I needed. All leading to me getting further and further from God. But, through all that, I KNEW what I was doing wrong, I was hiding from shame. I was trying to hide from God, but HE knew, oh, He knew. And, when I finally stopped hiding, well, my life sure got better. It is not perfect, but its so much better than how I was before. I have my salvation, I have forgiveness, I have mercy and I have the relationship I wanted with God.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
I just had to come out of the hiding, I could confess my sin, seek my salvation through Jesus, the Son of God and have all things as they should be for me.
So, whatever you have done, whoever you think you are hiding from, that only makes things worse, because, you risk not restoring things with others and you aren’t hiding from the two from whom you most try to hide, yourself and God.
God, I come to you tonight, praying in Jesus name, asking for Your help and work in my life. Teach me not to try to hide from You and myself. That I not ignore my sins, but confess them to You to keep me where You want me to be in my Christian walk. I praise You for the promises You give assuring me that if I confess that Christ is Your Son, that His death on the cross and resurrection gives me life eternal. Give me the faith to continue work for You, the faith to trust in You completely and totally. I know You have strengthened my faith, please make it even stronger. Help me even better stand on Your word. I pray for family and loved ones, that You make their faith stronger, those not saved I ask You to draw to You and Your way. Those who are saved, I pray You strengthen them, work Your will and way in all our lives. I thank You for my salvation and the life eternal I will spend with You and Christ.
I appreciate your patience as I work through things to understand how I can better walk with Christ. I hope that something I find about my life and areas of needed improvement helps another. I hope something I say blesses you.
My grandmother, Gram we called her, was a rockhound. She loved finding different kinds of rocks. I am not talking about gravel or limestone, I mean the pretty stones, agates and other kinds of stones that while at first glance, seem to be just rocks. But, with cutting and polishing they become beautiful things that could be used for jewelry or used to make displays and decorations. Many of them, as I said, look like plain old rocks. But, once one learned about them they had certain characteristics that can be used to differentiate one from another. One kind she liked to hunt was thunder eggs.
“A Thunder Egg is a nodule-like or geode-like geological structure with some adhering silicified host rock comprising the outer zone of the thunder egg. Thunder Eggs are usually composed of quartz, agate, opal, and/or visibly crystalline quartz.”
Thunder Egg: Thunder Egg mineral information and data.
But, look at them in that picture, sure don’t look like much. We were visiting with them for a couple weeks one summer and we all went to dig thunder eggs. I was digging like crazy, sometimes with pic, rock hammer, chisel and shovel. It was work, but thinking I was digging for a sort of treasure, fun work. I found some and showed them to her. She looked through them, she would hold each one and look at it. After a few seconds she would say, “oh, that is a good one.” or, “nope, that one is no good.” and toss it aside. Now, to me, there was absolutely no difference in how they looked but she said she could tell a difference. I asked how and she said, “You have to learn to look inside them.” OK, right….how does one see inside a rock? I protested that one that I thought looked good was pretty on the inside, she was sure it wasn’t, but said, “well, go ahead and put it in the pile we are taking home so you can see.” She chipped a bit off the side so she would know which one it was and also chipped another that she said was a good one, but chipped it different so she could tell one from the other. We finished up the day, some I found she said were good, some not. The next day we started cutting some in the rock saw. Fascinating things on their own, but will discuss that in another blog.
And, she sliced the good one I found. Those things are amazing inside, different shapes in different colors, some look like houses, people, trees, animals and it is fascinating to see that. She had some that had perfect crosses in them that she had found. One looked like the silhouette of Abraham Lincoln. God does some marvelous work, if you just take time to look. Well, as I said, the good one was gorgeous inside, multiple colors, fascinating patterns. Nothing that resembled anything in particular, but wow, it still looked awesome. Then, she sliced the bad thunder egg, the one she had said was no good. AND, she was right. It had just a little bit of color but dull, nothing vibrant or bright, more like smudges of paint than anything else.
(I kinda see the ocean and mountains in this one.)
I asked, “How can you seen inside them?” She said, well, it’s like in the Bible, there is a lot of stuff in there and to get the most out of it, to see the beauty of His word, you have to learn how to look.” She went on to discuss external features of the rocks that normally were associated with better patterns and colors.
At that time, I was mostly worried about the thunder eggs and didn’t think about the true gem in what she had said, about reading the Bible with the right mindset to find the beauty of various scriptures and passages. And, being a child, after watching the rock slicing for a while, I decided it was time to do other things for a time.
Every once in a while since then, I would think about her saying I needed to learn how to look inside but until recently never gave much thought about the Biblical reference. Now, I try to read the scripture with a different mindset, different intent. I no longer read to just read it. I actually spend time praying before I read, asking for His help in understanding the message He has for me, the lesson He want me to learn, the beauty of that passage and how it can make me a better Christian so I can better serve Jesus.
Many of us like to do with the scripture as I did with the thunder egg, look and think they know what is inside. Many time I have done that. Find what it says, but not think about the meaning. Now, one can over analyze scripture and put the wrong thing into it, but most of us under analyze and only get what we want from it to suit our wishes at the time. One can make many things mean something from the intended meaning if you choose to look at things from the wrong perspective or with the wrong intent. If one wishes to find a verse that suits their situation, they will use that, sometimes paraphrasing or only using part of the verse or passage. Things taken out of context often appear to mean something other than what it truly says. Sometimes that means more than one verse, sometimes, more than one chapter, and, sometimes it requires more than one book. We have to put the entirety of the teachings together to get the real meanings.
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
A cursory read of these verses/passages and one would think that whatever they want, they will get, if they pray and have faith. Well, yes……and no. Before anyone gets upset, I am not saying that faith and prayer will not give you what you seek. The thing is, if you are seeking and asking for the wrong thing, He won’t give it to you. One needs to consider that Christ starts out saying to have faith in God and pray to Him that He will give you what you ask for of Him. However, having faith in God means trying to seek Him, learning how to have the mind of Christ, the heart of Jesus. If you have the heart and mind of Christ and the faith that comes with it, then pray to God, He most certainly will give you what you want. However, you will find that by seeking Him first, the things for which you pray will change. Things will shift from the physical human wishes towards seeking of spiritual riches. One must consider what is said elsewhere in the Bible and use knowledge of all parts to get to the true beauty of His Holy Word.
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Luke 12:31
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39
So, all the promises He makes are true, He will give us what we want, what we seek, but they are conditional on us seeking that which we should seek. We have to get to that moment when we say, as Christ did, “not as I will, but as thou wilt.” God may have other wishes for us than we wish for ourselves. He wants us to want what He wants, He wants us to submit to His will and His way. When we do, we WILL pray differently, think differently, seek things differently. The words, taken here or there, give various meanings, but as I have heard, the sum is greater than the parts. Each part means this or that, but put together, a bigger, greater, more significant meaning is present. Yes, I need to learn to look on the inside, not take a superficial view, but study it and see how the entire thing fits together to make the magnificent message Christ has for me.
Lord, Praise You. Thank You Jesus for salvation and forgiveness. I ask that You work in my heart and mind that I better understand Your heart and mind. That I read the Bible from Your perspective and not mine. That I seek and find Your truths. The beauty of Your words. Please work on the hearts of loved ones that they come to you, those that already know you, make them stronger in faith. Teach us all how to hear You and to listen to what You are truly telling us.
It is nearing the weekend, I hope your weeks were full of God’s blessings and glory. Just don’t be stingy, remember to bless others as well and take time to show and share His glory.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
I was reading in the Bible, saw this passage where it discusses going to a closet to pray and worship. ( FYI, Matthew Chapter 6 is a good chapter to read in entirety) I have always preferred to pray silently, speaking from my heart to God. I suppose that is for a variety of reasons, not wanting to draw attention to myself, not wanting to hear my own voice (which I thinks sounds horrible) and not wanting to disturb others. God hears me when I pray like that. He speaks to me. Oh, there are times, usually when out in the woods, that I pray out loud. For some reason, the fields and woods seem the best place for me to pray.
OK, so what about the stronghold? You are probably thinking. Well, there was a movie I have seen on TV several times, and its probably been couple years or more since the last time, but there was questionable activity on a Reservation, an FBI agent, who happened to be 1/2 native American was investigating. Toward the end turns out there were corrupt federal agents and others trying to mine uranium on the Reservation and since it was going to be a tremendous amount of money, they were willing to kill for it, and he and a tribal police officer were being pursued. He was told to go to the Stronghold. A place on the reservation that was supposed to be where they had good position to be able to fend off an attack. A place of safety and security.
When we go to pray, we all need that closet, that stronghold, where we feel safe, secure, isolated from others so we can focus on seeking Christ. No other distraction or annoyances, but a place where we are privately speaking with Him. God does not like when we make big shows out of things. Oh, there is need for Pastors to preach and singers performing have a function, that is not what I mean. And, there is symbolism in kneeling at the alter that due to that, has a significance so that we know when we do, when we kneel at the alter, usually a cross somewhere near by, that we understand His sacrifice and the need to lay all the burdens, worries, sins and other issues on the altar. There are times it is important to pray out loud as well. When praying with others for someone’s needs, salvation, whatever reason for which it I being done. SO they hear and know that the people praying, as well as the one being prayed for are in Unity before Christ. The act of kneeling at the alter helps us mentally reinforce that idea. But, we do need to pray other places. A person’s stronghold can be a closet, the bedroom, a place by the river, in the middle of the woods. But we need that personal, private time with Christ. Seeking Him and talking to Him. Praising and worshipping the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He wants us to seek Him one on one. Not do it to impress others. Not for attention but to improve our relationship with and understanding of God.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
So, I just would hope that all have, or find that stronghold, that prayer closet, that one special place you can block out all distractions so you can better seek Him in private. Whatever that place is for you. It is different for all, but we all need that place seek and praise Him.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
Jesus, I praise and worship You. I thank You for the mercies You show me, for Your sacrifice on the cross and defeat of death that gives me the salvation You paid for with Your blood. I thank You for helping me find my Stronghold where I can find the solitude to seek You. I thank You for the guidance You have given me and look forward to even more guidance as well as better understanding of You and Your plans for me. I pray You help me better seek You and know You. I pray You work on the hearts of family and loved ones to give them better understanding in their lives. That You work on them and show them how to find You and how to give You their burdens and lead those not saved to You.
Thanks once more for your time. I know it take a while to weed through my writings at times. I hope that someone finds that little bit of something they need to help them in their path through life as they struggle and try to find the Lord. We all have struggles, I just hope as I work my way through mine, something helps another. Have a most blessed day.
No, not that kind of credit cards or that credit score. I am minimalist on credit purchases. For the most part, I have always preferred to hold off until I had the money. Part of that is how I was raised. But, there was a time, shortly after I was married that my wife got several cards. Thankfully, none had high limits, but she shortly had them maxed and with the limited income, we had a mess. We eventually paid them off and closed the accounts, but there were issues with my credit because she had put my name on them and that takes several years to get fixed. Now, I only have 2, one for work that has no balance and another that we use for travel only and I think it has little or no balance. I prefer it that way, not owing a lot of people money.
No, I am not talking about Visa or MasterCard. I mean my spiritual credit cards and Heavenly Credit score. I was not horrible wicked, but I sure wasn’t living right. There were a lot of things going on, finally got to the point that I was spiritually bankrupt. I had been making promises to God, but not following through. Not going to church, not trying to change, despite promises being made, I was not keeping them. Then, it got to that point. And, let me tell you something, I went to God, spiritually bankrupt, full of hurt, bitterness, anger and many other negative emptions. My balance was so negative that by myself, there was nothing I could have done to get out of that spiritual debt.
But, when I went to God, prayed to Him. Surrendered all my spiritual debts, confessed that I was a sinner and that I recognized Jesus as His Son who died for my sins. I asked for forgiveness and mercy. AND HE GAVE IT! What a merciful and loving God we serve.
Spiritually, my credit score was made perfect, all the debts forgiven, written off, immediately. I praise Christ for the mercy and salvation He made available to me, to us, through His death and rise from the grave.
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. Matthew 18:27
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
1 Thessalonians 5:8-10
Praise Jesus for my salvation from spiritual bankruptcy. I thank You Christ for the mercy and forgiveness as well as all the blessings You give me. I pray that You reach out to those that are still spiritually in debt. Give them the blessings You gave me, draw them to You. Give them the yearning that You have given me. Lord, I pray that You work in my heart to not only remain out of debt spiritually, but to enjoy all the treasures You have for me. I ask You to work in the hearts and minds of family, loved ones and other to draw them to You that they seek salvation or if saved, that You bring them closer. Work in their hearts and minds to show them they do not need to worry, suffer or fear. Give them all the drive to serve You completely. Show them all Your plan for their lives.
Thanks for your time. I hope that this speaks to someone else as well, feel free to share as you feel the Lord leading you. Blessings for all, and I want to remind you to be a blessing to at least one other person today.