Hearing God’s Will for your life…….

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hearing GodThis has to be the singular major topic for many Christians – how do you know if you’re hearing God speak to you & if you think you do what is He saying & what is His Will for you.   Well, I’m here to tell you it’s SIMPLE – truly!!!  But more of that later.

In my own life, it happened on a couple of occasions that I learnt how to listen to God speaking.  The first time was shortly after I’d returned from South Africa and realised I would be going back there again within the year.  At that point, there was absolutely NO earthly reason for me to think I’d be going back other than an inner “knowledge” and a certainty I couldn’t explain.  I’d no money left by then and no means of getting the nearly £1000 required to consider returning.  Various events happened over the next few months which confirmed that I was to return and I’d be saving hard but was still well short of what I needed.  During this time I’d been praying hard and seeking God as to the way forward, as time was running out – I’d a deadline of the end of April that year to buy my airline ticket and book things.  God didn’t provide me any hints of what I should do other than a continued quiet reassurance that everything would come together at the right time.

I can’t tell you that I was perfectly calm at this point – a lot of me was getting hugely concerned & nervous about what to do.   But as I’d little choice, I just worked on towards my return trip as best I could.  Three weeks before my cut-off date for buying the plane ticket, an uncle I rarely had contact with, but whom I’d notified of my previous trip to SA in his Christmas Card, contacted me, wanting me to visit him & update him further on all I’d done on the trip.   Part of me was thinking “I don’t have time” as I was frantically trying to figure out what to do if I had to cancel my trip, but I duly fitted in a short visit a few days later, as it was on my mind.  (That’s hint #1 on hearing God speak!)

My uncle & I had an hour long of a chat at the end of which he absolutely floored me – he told me he’d something for me, went off, & a few minutes later came back & handed me a cheque for £1000!!!!  I nearly fell through the floor as he explained to me that he’d enjoyed hearing of my fun on the previous trip & I absolutely HAD to return to fulfil my quest.  I think he was equally shocked when I told him I’d been hoping to do so but just hadn’t the finance to until then!  SO after a whole year of waiting God finally enabled me to do the one thing He’d previously “told” me I’d get to do.

What I learnt about hearing His Voice is firstly, you don’t hear an audible voice, nor words in yourhearing God ear or any such thing – trust me, if you do, or think you do, be extremely cautious, as Satan is more likely to be behind such events than God – we don’t live in Old Testament times when God did speak audibly to His people – you read the NT & you’ll discover that apart from Paul on the road to Damascus, not even the apostles heard an audible voice when God spoke to them!   Secondly, He will never tell you to do something that goes against scripture.

Thirdly, if you really want to hear God speak to you in any sense, the simple method is to READ HIS WORD!!  I know many say that scripture doesn’t answer questions like “Should I move home” or “Is this job right for me” etc, but actually scripture still does hold the key to being sure of His Will even in those situations.

For example – if you’re contending with the option of moving home & wanting to be sure of the right path forward, you would know that God won’t honour you putting yourself into debt in order to buy a home beyond your means, so that’s the financial aspect sorted out to begin with.  Once you choose a home, you’ll know the right one when the doors literally open & open easily for you to move forward on buying it.

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Pro 22:7 

Scripture will always provide a measure of God’s opinion on pretty much every facet of life, even in our incredibly complex generation, you just have to sometimes dig a bit deeper for it.  Thus, once again, the importance of reading your bible and more so, studying the true meaning of what you read, is abundantly evident.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,…..”2 Titus 3:16

On another note entirely, it reminds me of a well-known joke:

IMG_0206There was a very religious man named Jim, who lived near a river. One day, the river rose over the banks and flooded the town, and Jim was forced to climb onto his porch roof. While sitting there, a man in a boat came along and told Jim to get in the boat with him. Jim said, “No, that’s okay. God will take care of me.”

So, the man in the boat drove off.

The water rose higher, so Jim climbed onto his roof. At that time, another boat came along, and the person in that one told Jim to get in. Jim replied, “No, that’s okay. God will take care of me.”

The person in the boat then left.

The water rose even more, and Jim climbed onto his chimney. A helicopter came along and lowered a ladder for him. The woman in the helicopter told Jim to climb up the ladder and get in.
Jim said, “That’s okay.” The woman said, “Are you sure?” Jim replied, “Yeah, I’m sure God will take care of me.”

Finally, the water rose too high and Jim drowned. Jim got  to heaven and was face-to-face with God. Jim said to God, “You told me that you would take care of me! What happened?”God replied, “Well, I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What else did you want?” 🙂

And if you’ve any stories of how God has spoken to you using scripture to confirm His Will, I’d truly love to hear them!!

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There IS proof God exists….

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I truly believe you can prove God exists in multiple ways, but the best is in firstly accepting that the Bible is His Word to His creation, and thus obviously He will reveal Himself through it.   But aside from the obvious texts where God just states who He is, He has placed a lot of material in there to prove Himself to a sceptical world, and to those who at the very least, are willing to consider it.

clearingThe most important proof is still Creation.   I know many of you who read this blog subscribe to Darwin’s theories, but just stop and think laterally for once.   Aside from the unbelievable twists you have to take to provide any mechanism for getting from goo to a zoo let alone mankind, think about this.   If man had evolved from an ape no matter how many years it might have taken him to get intelligence (personally I think he’d have become extinct before it could have ever been a reality but anyway), after all that hard work and billions of years of evolving why,  but why would he then have determined he needed to create a god in any sense?   Would he not have figured he was a god to have come so far in his own journey of evolution –  it would have been a backward step to consider having any Being above him, let alone a God who would demand so much!???

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Whose life is it anyway??….

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lifeHave you ever stopped to consider your life – truly?   Have you thought about the awesome complexity of this “vehicle” you’ve been provided for your time on this planet?   Do you ever take pause to be grateful for the immense fact that you don’t have to think about it for 90% of your life or until some event makes you take notice of the air you’re breathing, or the number of times your heart is beating – things ordinarily we never have to contemplate as they work so well, we don’t notice.   And have you taken this one step further again to contemplate why you have been granted such an awesome body to reside within?  In other words, how often have you really thought about the meaning of YOUR life?! 

I’ve thought long and hard about my own many times – being disabled brings a whole raft of problems other than the obvious – aside from the not being able to live independently at times or not be able to do even the simplest of tasks, disabled Christians in particular then face the added burden of feeling useless in their walk with the Lord.   Many consider if they are unable to be active and “doing” then they’re not of value.   Now, I know that’s not true and I don’t believe it for my own situation, but, certainly I have had many times when I have felt pretty useless or inept in the work of the Kingdom.   When you live alone and don’t have much social interaction, you find yourself very quickly sliding into selfishness as you become so used to only ever thinking about yourself.

 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1Jn 5:12

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Mark Driscoll critiques Joel Osteen….

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mark-driscollI’m in no way a huge fan of Mark Driscoll, as I believe he goes way too far overboard in trying to appeal to his younger audiences and many of his sermons are on topics that should be kept private and not blasted out across the internet where those who’re young in the faith perhaps take them out of context and/or consider this is mainstream Christianity and then don’t know how to deal with the latter when they do meet it in other churches.

However, I came across this snippet of one of his sermons josteenwhere he does a critique of Joel Osteen and have to say I was happily surprised at his viewpoint, as previously I thought he was little different.   Turns out he’s got a lot of very solid truth underpinning his radical approach, and so you really have to be hugely discerning to listen to him, and ensure you don’t get swept along on his tides of intermittent lapses of wisdom.  But his take on Osteen is certainly good and well stated – so if you’re a Joel fan, please, please take heed of what is said in this short clip and rethink your position because you will fall into a lot of traps otherwise and find yourself unable to figure out how to cope when you discover that God’s plan for you is most likely not for you to have “your best life now!!”  Not in the way Osteen states it at any rate.

Mark Driscoll on Joel Osteen

A truly remarkable relationship…

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godThere is one thing that Christianity offers over every other single religion on the planet – well, more than one, but aside from a risen Saviour and forgiveness of sins and a multitude of other vital requirements, our God is the only One with whom we can actually have a relationship!   Unlike the Muslims or the Hindus, Buddhists etc who worship unknown gods and can never be sure if their prayers are even being heard let alone answered, we have a God who actually resides within us through His Holy Spirit and with whom we thus have continual commune.   We have a God who desires to hear His people talk to Him and tell them what He already knows.   And we have a God who absolutely works to help us to hear Him speak to us in a multitude of ways, but especially through our conscience.   How many times you will hear of a Christian who says that they were about to undertake some action, but something stopped them, or they knew instinctively to do something would be wrong.   And I’m not talking the obvious sins here, but more the subtle ones that Paul spoke about when he said that if someone thinks something is wrong, then it is sin for him to do that thing, even if for another person it may not be e.g. eating pork.

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So you want to go to heaven? WHY????

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This is aimed primarily at those who are not Christians, or who otherwise don’t consider Jesus to be their Saviour and God to be the primary focus of their lives here on earth. However, many who call themselves Christians would do well to read on and equally give thought to some of the points I’m going to raise here.

heaven.jpgI suspect that if you asked 100 people whether they wanted to go to heaven or hell, at least 99 of them would sensibly say heaven. But if you asked them why they figured they should be allowed into heaven answers will vary from the sublime to the ridiculous with everything in between, with even some Christians not having a good answer sadly. If you’re one of those, read on as what I’m going to say may make you rethink your reasons.

I imagine most people want to go to heaven because firstly its something ingrained in us since childhood – this idyllic nirvana state we’re brought up to believe is pretty much our right if we are “good” and don’t do “evil.” Many have varying views on what heaven actually is. Most consider it to be a place of rest and/or peace, and some actually do think they’ll spend most of eternity sitting on a cloud somewhere watching the world go by. So lets start by having a little scripture lesson on the reality of the 2 places you could spend eternity in for starters – just so you know exactly what God says they are.

Hell:
It will be full of more people than heaven as Jesus stated that the road was broad (i.e. easier to travel on) that leads to it.
Isa 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

hell2.jpgThere will be angels (or rather demons!) there also:
2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

It is a place of final total and utter destruction with no hope of ever changing your mind:
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Heaven:
By contrast it’s impossible to find any singular or even just dual streets.jpgverses dealing with heaven – Jesus spoke about it at length in more parables than about any other topic other than salvation itself (Matthew 25 in total, Matt 22:2-13, Matt 20, 1-14 and multiple other instances).

But Revelation 21 provides greater insight to the magnitude of the new Holy Jerusalem and is precisely descriptive. V. 22 is the one most people are alluding to when they talk about “streets paved with gold.”

“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. “

But over and above those descriptions is the purpose of heaven.  If it was purely a new home for everyone on earth who was good, once again, there would be no need of a Saviour for all would end up there, as there would then also be no reason for hell.  Some people seem to think hell is purely for Satan and his demons forgetting Satan’s role and purpose on this earth – he is the “Prince of the air” and has been given the earth as his domain!! In other words he rules here as is rather evidenced by the increasing propensity for evil even amongst children nowadays.  And his other role is to pull as many people down with him as he can and that’s becoming easier by the year as more people succumb to the “Live your best life now” syndrome rather than concerning themselves with their eternal future.   Heaven is solely for those who have been made worthy of living there, and who desire to live with God and to worship Him alone for eternity.  God created man solely to worship Him, but man determined from the outset he’d rather worship Satan and have his own way, so God has allowed him to do so, but has equally (thankfully) also provided a way back to Him for those who desire to take it. What Adam destroyed, Jesus rebuilt – a relationship with God by faith. There are no “good” people in heaven – only saved sinners.  Even Jesus Himself asked:

“And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God” Luke 18:19.

So if you’re one of those who errantly thinks you’re going to get into heaven by merit of your own “goodness” whatever that may mean to you, think again.  Jesus says otherwise:

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matt 7:21-23

And a final thought – if you don’t want to spend your time here worshipping God (90 years perhaps at most) then why on earth would you want to go to heaven where you will do so for eternity???

(Also read:  https://tikkiro.wordpress.com/2007/05/26/rapturitis-if-there-be-such-a-word/
https://tikkiro.wordpress.com/2007/12/02/the-difference-between-paul-washer-joel-osteen/)

The fundamental differences between the Fundies…

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There is only ONE God and His Name is Jehovah and Jesus Christ is His Only Begotten Son!

Having got that premise firmly in view I wanted to demonstrate something that has been rather obvious to me and I would hope to many others in these turbulent times.    The term “Fundamentalist” has of late, been more attached to Islamic militants than anyone else, but if they are truly fundamentalist in their views, then we once again have an extremely obvious view that Islam and Allah are totally remote to Christianity and the One True God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.   Jehovah stated in scripture that He never changes and yet Islam presents a god who is totally different and tries to persuade the world they are one and the same – NOT!!

A fundamentalist Muslim aims to take over the world for his god Allah by any islamic.jpgmeans possibly, and most usually violent.    We are truly back to the dark ages of “Convert or Die” where militant Islam is concerned and while I accept that many Muslims are not in the least desiring to take their faith to that extreme, there’s no escaping the fact that the Koran does indeed demand it of all “good” Muslims – that they take the Christians and the Jews and either offer them safety by conversion to Islam, or kill them as apostate if they won’t.   Fundamentalist Islam is a bloodthirsty, uncompromising, utterly militant belief system which enables those who’re of that mindset to start with, to then use the Koran to their advantage in stating that they are fighting for god – their god (intentional lower case!) has little interest in mankind other than to gain as many numbers as possible and rule the world by whatever means possible.  Fundamentalist Islam removes all choice for any individual stating that they must become a Muslim or die.   Fundamentalist Islam serves a god who is against everything Jehovah stands for – love, freedom and choice.   

A fundamentalist Christian on the other hand should equally wish to take the world for God, but is mandated to do so by love, not war, and to respect the will of mankind to choose freely what they wish to believe.   Ours is a task of words not swords!    We don’t do any converting ultimately because we recognise that we don’t have any power to do so.   We can only provoke interest and provide information and the Gospel message and it is then the Word of God that strikes deep into the heart of man like a searchlight revealing the depth of sin, the need for repentance, the desire for forgiveness and the will to submit to the only One who can provide ALL that we need.    Conversion is not an act of the will, but a spiritual act of Grace from an Almighty God who desires that all sinners would accept their sinful state before Him, and seek His forgiveness through the awesome and incomprehensible sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ.   

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