Showing posts with label 1Kings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1Kings. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Rejection and Beating the System – Wisdom from Dr. Neil Anderson - Purity 1214

 Rejection and Beating the System – Wisdom from Dr. Neil Anderson - Purity 1214

Purity 1214 12/04/2023    Purity 1214 Podcast

Purity 1214 on YouTube: 

Good morning,

Today’s photo of an “oversized” boat gliding over the blue waters of Spencer Gulf that are reflecting the blue sky above comes to us from Dave Baun Photography (  who shared this scene from his visit to Cowell, South Australia back on August 11th.  

Well, It’s Tuesday and I’ve been looking back to August recently as I am rejoicing over the positive changes that I have made with my health and how the decision to actually treat my food addiction as an addiction has resulted in more than proverbial weights being lifted off of my shoulders.   I am in the best physical shape of my life but at the same time, this year has challenged my resolve as I was summarily deemed to be “rejected” by people I had idolized (there’s a mistake) and for something I had put a lot of pride in obtaining (there’s another mistake), and I had spent considerable time, effort, and money and worked hard to accomplish (no regrets there – I gave it my all).   But I have accepted the loss and am moving forward to the “next things” that the Lord has in store for me.    

The best analogy I can make in regard to my disappointment is that “sometimes you can make all the shots during basketball tryouts and still not make the team.”  Oh well, I have other responsibilities and commitments to take care of and instead of lamenting over what could have been, we will thank the Lord for the lessons learned and move forward to follow Him.   The new year has me leading another Freedom in Christ Course for Men Online for Freedom in Christ Ministries and am signed up for a class to get additional “Discipleship Counseling” training with FICM.  So, in spite of disappointments, I have a hope and a future, for ministry and as always with Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  

Rejection can sting though, and it can cause all kinds of responses like anger, bitterness, depression, and for some of us it can cause us to “press in” and work harder. While that last response is admirable, it also has its inherent dangers as our desire to “beat the system” may lead us to play a game we cannot win.

Freedom in Christ Ministries recently shared this message from Dr. Neil Anderson via email that addresses how overachieving as a response to rejection may not lead to victory and only lead us astray.  I found Anderson’s words to be wise and am sharing them on the blog today.  Dr. Neil Anderson writes:


Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11).

A small percentage of people defend against rejection by buying into the dog-eat-dog system of the world and learning to compete and scheme to get ahead of the pack. These are the movers and shakers, people who earn acceptance and strive for significance through their performance. They feel driven to get on top of every situation because winning is their passport to acceptance. They are characterized by perfectionism and emotional insulation, and they struggle with anxiety and stress.

Spiritually, the beat-the-system individual refuses to come under God's authority and has little fellowship with God.

This person is committed to controlling and manipulating people and circumstances for their own ends, so it is difficult for them to yield control in their life to God.

In our churches, this person jockeys to be chairman of the ruling board or the most influential member on a committee. Their motivation is not to serve God in this position, however, but to control their world because their self-worth is dependent on it. Beat-the-system controllers are some of the most insecure people you will meet.

Sadly, the controlling individual's defensive strategy only delays inevitable rejection. Eventually, their ability to control their family, their employees, and their church diminishes, and they are replaced by a younger, stronger controller. Some survive this mid-life crisis, but many who make it to retirement don't enjoy much of it. Studies show that high-powered executives live an average of nine months after they retire. They base their lives in the world system they seek to conquer, but inevitably the world claims its own.

 "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ" (Colossians 2:8).

Gracious Lord, teach me to be in this world but not of it. I choose Your kingdom to be my standard.

Neil Anderson”

Yes, Lord teach us all to choose Your Kingdom to be our standard and to not place the approval of other men above You. Help us to accomplish Your will for our lives and to not make idols out of the things of this world that will one day prove not to be of You and will only pass away.   Help us to follow You into your purposes and peace, always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, .

Today’s Bible verses comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. ( )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

1 Kings 22:1-14 (NKJV)
1  Now three years passed without war between Syria and Israel.
2  Then it came to pass, in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went down to visit the king of Israel.
3  And the king of Israel said to his servants, "Do you know that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, but we hesitate to take it out of the hand of the king of Syria?"
4  So he said to Jehoshaphat, "Will you go with me to fight at Ramoth Gilead?" Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses."
5  Also Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "Please inquire for the word of the LORD today."
6  Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, "Shall I go against Ramoth Gilead to fight, or shall I refrain?" So they said, "Go up, for the Lord will deliver it into the hand of the king."
7  And Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not still a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of Him?"
8  So the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD; but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil." And Jehoshaphat said, "Let not the king say such things!"
9  Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, "Bring Micaiah the son of Imlah quickly!"
10  The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, having put on their robes, sat each on his throne, at a threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.
11  Now Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made horns of iron for himself; and he said, "Thus says the LORD: 'With these you shall gore the Syrians until they are destroyed.' "
12  And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, "Go up to Ramoth Gilead and prosper, for the LORD will deliver it into the king's hand."
13  Then the messenger who had gone to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, "Now listen, the words of the prophets with one accord encourage the king. Please, let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak encouragement."
14  And Micaiah said, "As the LORD lives, whatever the LORD says to me, that I will speak."

Today’s verses fall under the sixteenth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church, Communion of the Saints.

 16. God’s office bearers must say all and only that which he requires of them, even when they are under great pressure to do otherwise

Today’s verses set the stage for a dramatic moment regarding prophecy and the reality of the fact that God may use the spiritual forces of darkness to accomplish His will on earth.   For Micaiah went on to say:  

1 Kings 22:19-23 (NKJV)
19  Then Micaiah said, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing by, on His right hand and on His left.
20  And the LORD said, 'Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?' So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner.
21  Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, 'I will persuade him.'
22  The LORD said to him, 'In what way?' So he said, 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And the LORD said, 'You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.'
23  Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you."

That’s a tough message to share – that King Ahab’s hopes for victory will fail and that demons are speaking through your trusted advisors, but Micaiah eventually shared it regardless of the pressure on him to say otherwise.  

And so we too must share the gospel of grace that declares Jesus as the ONLY WAY to peace with God and that calls sin for what it is.   But let’s remember to say all and only what the Lord would have us say and to hold off on sharing our personal opinion if it does not come from God’s Spriit.  We want to speak the truth and we want to do so in love but sometimes we are charged to bring conviction and should speak the hard truths that others need to hear.  So follow the Lord and listen to His voice to make sure you say all and only what He calls you to speak.



As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we are sharing from “God is in the Manger- Reflections on Advent and Christmas” – By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer



The Wonder of All Wonders

God travels wonderful ways with human beings, but he does not comply with the views and opinions of people. God does not go the way that people want to prescribe for him; rather, his way is beyond all comprehension, free and self-determined beyond all proof.

Where reason is indignant, where our nature rebels, where our piety anxiously keeps us away: that is precisely where God loves to be. There he confounds the reason of the reasonable; there he aggravates our nature, our piety—that is where he wants to be, and no one can keep him from it. Only the humble believe him and rejoice that God is so free and so marvelous that he does wonders where people despair, that he takes what is little and lowly and makes it marvelous. And that is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly.… God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.

That … is the unrecognized mystery of this world: Jesus Christ. That this Jesus of Nazareth, the carpenter, was himself the Lord of glory: that was the mystery of God. It was a mystery because God became poor, low, lowly, and weak out of love for humankind, because God became a human being like us, so that we would become divine, and because he came to us so that we would come to him. God as the one who becomes low for our sakes, God in Jesus of Nazareth—that is the secret, hidden wisdom … that “no eye has seen nor ear heard nor the human heart conceived” (1 Cor. 2:9).… That is the depth of the Deity, whom we worship as mystery and comprehend as mystery.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,

nor the human heart conceived,

what God has prepared for those who love him”—

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

1 Corinthians 2:8–10[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess, trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 22–23.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

REAL Prayer and Keeping it Real with Biblical Counsel - Purity 1143

REAL Prayer and Keeping it Real with Biblical Counsel - Purity 1143

Purity 1143 09/09/2023 Purity 1143 Podcast

Purity 1143 on YouTube:

Good morning,

Today’s photo of crashing waves on the rocky shores of Lake Ontario at sunset comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography ( While Oswego is a three-hour drive away from me, I got to see last night’s sunset on Lake Ontario because of social media and because Celestial Blues’ Rocco Saya is faithful in sharing his photographic artistry with his “friends”.   Thank You Rocco!

Well, it’s Saturday and as the sun sets on the first week of September, I am grateful for the people that God has brought into my life who so generously share their talents, expertise, friendship, and love.   And I am grateful for the people that God has put on my path that I have been able to minister to.   While I continually receive a little help from my friends and a whole lot of help from the Lord, I am more than happy to help others with whatever counsel or guidance I can give because I have received so much.  

I had the pleasure of offering prayer ministry and counselling to two people in the last 48 hours whom I would have never even met if the Lord hadn’t guided me to where I am today. Because I have tried to follow the Lord’s lead, I find myself being trained as a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister and serving at Recovery/Discipleship Ministry for a church that I didn’t know about a couple of years ago. I am simply amazed by how technology has allowed me to meet, get equipped by, and minister to people from all across the world and how the Lord has been moving me on the terra firma to boot!

On Thursday evening, I led one of my fellow students through a session of REAL prayer as part of our studies at Deeper Walk’s School of Prayer Ministry via Zoom.  The REAL Prayer process is a form of listening prayer in which one asks the Lord to guide them into healing.   REAL is an Acronym that stands for:  

“R – Remember – Where we ask the Lord, or Jesus specifically, to “bring to my mind any memory or memories that you would like to heal today.”

“E – Explore – This is a two-part process where explore both the relational (right brain) and logical (left brain) aspects of the memory by praying:

“… please bring to my mind the sights, sounds, smells, emotions, and other aspects of this memory that I need to remember in order for your healing to be as complete as possible. “     - this highlights those sensory/relational aspects.  After this prayer, we look at what emotions are coming up and how intense they are.

We then pray to see how this memory impacted our beliefs or logical/analytical processes by asking to the Lord to reveal the false beliefs/lies we hold because of this memory by praying:

: “… please reveal the lies that the Adversary succeeded in planting in my heart as a result of this memory/traumatic event.

After this we list whatever lies we believed and rate how “true” they seem to us.  And then we

A - Ask – the Lord to heal us by praying:

I ask Jesus to do whatever he needs to do to heal this memory. I invite Him into the memory and ask Him to allow me to perceive His presence.”

And finally we, 

“L – Listen - Once we have asked Jesus to heal the memory, it is time to stop, look, and listen. Jesus tends to reveal himself through sight, sound, or sense. Some people see him or a representation of him in their memories. Others hear his words in their minds. Still others sense relief from dominant emotion and have an experience like a light going on in which the lies no longer feel true.”

(The REAL Prayer Process, the instructions and prayers listed above come from Dr. Marcus Warner’s “REAL Prayer” book, For more information about REAL Prayer you can buy the book by that title from the online store at )

Real Prayer relies completely on what the Lord brings to the minds of those who go to Him in prayer. As a facilitator of the process, you simply guide the participant to pray to the Lord and assist them by repeating and validating what they report. Thursday’s session was my first time facilitating the REAL prayer process and although I was a bit nervous over my lack of experience, I was relieved that the Lord was faithful to lead the process and assist the participants by revealing what they needed to “see” and know to bring healing.  I just led the participant to pray the prayers and ask Jesus to help them and He did!

My experience as a CFMA for Freedom in Christ Ministries and this latest training experience with Deeper Walk International has shown me that the Lord can bring healing to root issues that keep Christians stuck or hurting.  God is faithful to expose the lies and heal the hurts when we ask Him and all we have to bring to the process is faith in Him.   Amazing things can happen when we pray!

However, I was also reminded yesterday that just knowing what is “right” according to the word of God can bring healing too as I was asked to give counsel regarding some relationship problems from someone connected to my local church. This person is new to the Celebrate Freedom growth group and reached out to tell me some specifics about their situation and to get biblical counsel about what they should do.

After I got some basic details of what was going on with their relationship, I advised them that while I am not a licensed counselor with the state, I have a master’s in Christian counsel and that the advice that I bring would be considered “nouthetic” – or biblical – counsel and that it is somewhat confrontational because in this form of counseling, we examine the person’s thoughts and actions against what the word of God says and would exhort them to do the “right thing according to God’s word.” Unlike other forms of counseling that would leave the interpretation of their lives and next steps up to the client’s subjective thoughts, feelings, and insights, nouthetic counseling confronts clients with their sins and directs them to repent and do things God’s way.  

So after hearing the details of this person’s situation, I had the uncomfortable task of pointing out how their troubled relationship had really been broken from the start because the parties weren’t married and had no intention of marrying although they lived together.  As for the future of the relationship, I suggested that there was really just one question to be addressed: Do you want to be married to this person and would you put God at the center of your marriage? While no decisions were made in our short conversation, this person said they really appreciated the clarity that our conversation provided.  The confusion over what to do and all the mixed-up emotions were clarified through the filter of God’s principles for living. 

“Oh I don’t know what to do!”

“Well, let’s look at the word of God and do what’s right”.

Because the parties weren’t married, the person wasn’t under any obligation to continue in the relationship. The dysfunction that was rearing its ugly head and the fact that the relationship had already broken up were all pretty clear signs that this person was not “the one” to get married to and that it was probably best to say goodbye and make the breakup final. When we operate according to the wisdom of God’s word, things are pretty simple and the person I counseled really appreciated that I listened and “told it to them straight”.   

These two episodes of helping others just mirror what I had learned in my own journey.

I prayed through and was lead through the Steps to Freedom in Christ and God helped me. So, I am just doing what was done for me by becoming a prayer minister.  

I was given wise biblical counsel and teaching on how to live according to God’s word. So, I am counseling and teaching others to do the same – to follow the Lord with the way you live.  

I have received, and constantly still receive, the Lord’s help and help from my friends. So I try to be a “brother and a friend” to the people God has put on my path by praying for them, and with them, and telling them the truth of what God’s word says and how to apply it to their lives.   I’m not giving anything I haven’t been given.  And the amazing thing is the more I give the more I still seem to receive.

So ask if you need it, ask the Lord for healing and go to your friends when you need their help. There is no shame in receiving help because we need it and because when we receive it, we most likely will give the help we receive to others.  


For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. ( )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Anger, Hot Temper

Psalm 7:11 (NKJV)
11  God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day.

1 Kings 11:9 (NKJV)
9  So the LORD became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the LORD God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,

2 Kings 17:18 (NKJV)
18  Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone.

Mark 3:5-6 (NKJV)
5  And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
6  Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

Today’s verses fall under the first point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Anger, Hot Temper

 1. Anger is not in itself sinful.

According to our resource, and the context, the verses above demonstrate:

God is angry with the wicked.

God was angry with Solomon.

God was angry with Israel.

Jesus was angry with the Pharisees.  

Today’s verses show us that anger is not sinful. God does not sin, and His anger is “righteous” because it is aimed at those who are wicked – those who rebel against what is right. The Lord’s anger at Solomon and Israel comes from the fact that they were not walking according to His ways.  

Likewise, Jesus was angry with the Pharisees because they had distorted God’s word by their manmade traditions and refused to see the truth of who He was.   

God and Jesus are angry when they see something that is wrong – wicked,  So we too can be “angry” when we see something wrong, but the key is that we are to also follow the Lord and Jesus’ lead and “not sin”.   So we should not develop our hostility, we should develop our humility, patience, and self-control by walking in the Spirit so we can have a measured and righteous response to evil that won’t lead us into sin. 


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

23 - The Spirit Witnessing

What He Bears Witness To

It is most important that the Christian should be quite clear as to what it is his own “spirit” or conscience bears witness to. It is not to the eradication of evil from his heart, nor is it to any purification of or improvement in his carnal nature—anyone whose conscience bears witness to that, bears witness to a lie, for “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). So long as the Christian remains on earth, “the flesh (the principle of sin) lusteth against the Spirit”—the principle of grace (Gal. 5:17). Moreover, the more our thoughts are formed by the Word, the more do we discover how full of corruption we are; the closer we walk with God, the more light we have, and the more are the hidden (unsuspected) things of darkness within discovered to our horrified gaze. Thus, the Christian’s assurance that he is a regenerate person by no means signifies he is conscious that he is more and more dying to the presence and activities of indwelling sin. God does not intend that we should be in love with ourselves.

That which the renewed conscience of the Christian bears witness to is the fact that he is a child of God. Side by side with the sink of iniquity which indwells the believer—of which he becomes increasingly conscious, and over which he daily groans—is the spirit of adoption which has been communicated to his heart. That filial spirit draws out his heart in love to God, so that he craves after the conscious enjoyment of His smiling countenance, and esteems fellowship with Him high above all other privileges. That filial spirit inspires confidence toward God, so that he pleads His promises, counts on His mercy, and relies on His goodness. That filial spirit begets reverence for God, so that His ineffable majesty is held in awe. His high authority is respected, and he trembles at His Word. That filial spirit produces subjection to God, so that he desires to obey Him in all things, and sincerely endeavors to walk according to His commands and precepts.

Now here are definite marks by which the Christian may test himself. True, he is yet very far from being what he should be, or what he would be could his earnest longings only be realized; nevertheless, is not his present case very different from what it once was? Instead of seeking to banish God from your thoughts, is it not now the desire of your heart for your mind to be stayed upon Him, and is it not a joy to meditate upon His perfections? Instead of giving little or no concern as to whether your conduct honored or dishonored the Lord, is it not now your sincere endeavor to please Him in all your ways? Instead of paying no attention to indwelling sin, has not the plague of your heart become your greatest burden and grief? Well, then, these very things evidence you are a child of God. They were not in your nature, so they must have been implanted by the Holy Spirit. Those graces may be very feeble, yet their presence struggling amid corruptions—are marks of the new birth.

If with honesty of purpose, lowliness of heart, and prayerful inquiry, I find myself breathing after holiness, panting after conformity to Christ, and mourning over my failures to realize the same, then so far from it being presumption for me to conclude I am a child of God, it would be willful blindness to refuse to recognize the work of the Spirit in my soul. If my conscience bears witness to the fact that I honestly desire and sincerely endeavor to serve and glorify God, then it is wrong for me to deny, or even to doubt, that God has “begun a good work” in me. Take note of your health, dear reader, as well as of your disease. Appropriate to yourself the language of Christ’s Spouse, “I sleep, but my heart waketh” (Song 5:2)—grace is to be acknowledged amid infirmities; that which is a cause for humiliation must not be made a ground for doubting.

But notwithstanding the evidences which a Christian has of his Divine sonship, he finds it no easy matter to be assured of his sincerity, or to establish solid comfort in his soul. His moods are fitful, his frames variable. Grace in the best of us is but small and weak, and we have just cause to mourn the feebleness of our faith, the coldness of our love, and the grievous imperfections of our obedience. But it is at this very point the blessed Spirit of God, in His wondrous grace and infinite condescension, helps our infirmities—He adds His witness to the testimony of our renewed conscience, so that (at times) the conviction is confirmed, and the trembling heart is assured. It is at such seasons the Christian is able to say, “My conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 9:1).

The question which most deeply exercises a genuine saint is not, have I repented, have I faith in Christ, have I any love for God? but rather, are my repentance, faith and love sincere and genuine? He has discovered that Scripture distinguishes between repentance (1 Kings 21:27) and repentance “not to be repented of” (2 Cor. 7:10); between faith (Acts 8:13) and “faith unfeigned” (1 Tim. 1:5), between love (Matthew 26:49) and “love in sincerity” (Eph. 6:24); and only by the gracious enabling of the Holy Spirit can any soul discern between them. He who bestowed upon the Christian repentance and faith must also make him to know the things which are freely given to him of God (1 Cor. 2:12). Grace can only be known by grace, as the sun can only be seen in its own light. It is only by the Spirit Himself that we can be truly assured we have been born of Him.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel:

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog ( ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock ( ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to :     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Near Death Experience – The Dangers of Being on Autopilot - Purity 578


Near Death Experience – The Dangers of Being on Autopilot - Purity 578

Purity 578 11/17/2021  Purity 578 Podcast

Good morning

Today’s photo of one whopper of a seashell underneath the blazing sun on the shores a Florida beach, presumably near Jacksonville,  comes to us from a friend from the U.K. who was visiting their transplanted and recently married offspring and enjoyed a week filled with coffee shops, early morning beach walks, and family time.  As life has seen their children grow, marry, and move to another country, our friend expressed how blessed they felt to have this special time away from “not so sunny Portsmouth”.

I believe it was the American philosopher, Ferris Bueller, who said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  My British friend knows the truth of that, and his report encourages us all to stop and look around and appreciate the life that God has given us.  

Last night, I had a moment to appreciate the life that God has given me in a sudden and startling way. 

I have been frequenting Star Point Church in Clifton Park NY for various purposes over the last several months and have gotten in the habit of speedily leaving their grounds to get on to State Route 146 on my way home, which is 45 minutes away.  Because of the frequency of my visits, the length of my drive home, and the traffic on 146, I have learned that it is best to not hesitate too long at the stop sign at the edge of their property because the traffic on 146 can be substantial and if you wait too long you could find yourself waiting what seems to be an eternity to start that near hour long drive home.    

So last night, as I left a session of pre-marriage counseling there, I was almost victim to the perfect storm of circumstances that could have ended in tragedy.  I was tired and in a hurry which is never a good mix.  Because I was tired and feared the fatigue of the drive ahead I decided to grab an energy drink as I was driving out of the parking lot.  As I approached Route 146, I did what I always did: I looked both ways and gauged whether it was safe to do a “rolling stop” before hitting the gas and zooming into the flow of traffic safely, preparing to do just that as I had on a dozen occasions in the past.  

But unlike my previous exits from that property, last night it wasn’t safe to do a rolling stop and as I was fumbling with the just opened energy drink, I panicked and went to step on the brake but last night my foot slipped off the brake and got momentarily stuck between the gas pedal and the brake pedal!

As I tried to correct my action and reapply my foot to the brake, I started to careen directly into the path of an oncoming SUV.  From their perspective the other drive would have seen me pull up to the stop sign, pause, and then do a herky, jerky entrance right into their way!

The Lord protected me last evening with an alert driver in that vehicle because as I fought to slow down and correct my progress, the other driver adjusted their direction and was able to avoid broad siding me as I sat helplessly bathed in their headlights as they went speeding past me.   

I immediately thanked God for His protection because I know that His will is sovereign and the things that happen or don’t happen are all under His control. Thankfully, MT getting smashed, injured, and possibly killed on the 16th day of November in 2021 was not in the Lord’s plans.  

As I cautiously drove the rest of the way home, I repeatedly thanked and praised God for His protection and mercy as I recalled a similar situation in my past where a woman I didn’t know made a similar mistake while driving and paid the ultimate cost.  

A few years ago I was working as part of the line crew doing some pole work on Route 20 near Duanesburg when a woman who couldn’t see the oncoming traffic because of an obscured view decided to take a chance by blindly easing out of a parking lot of a Mobil gas station onto the State Highway.  At the precise moment that she decided to trust that it was safe, a pickup truck was coming the other way at 55 miles an hour.  The crash was loud and immediately one of my colleagues yelled for someone to call 911.  As a flagger on an adjacent road, with my work area safe, I ran down to route 20 and started flagging traffic away from the accident site.  After 45 minutes or so I was relieved from my post by local police who closed the road with their squad car.  

As I walked back to the site, I learned that one of our line crew had performed CPR on the woman at the site but to no avail. From what I understand she was killed almost instantly from the impact trauma.  

So after my near miss last night, I realized that I didn’t just avoid a fender bender. Because of the alertness of the other driver, and because of God’s protection,  I avoided a crash that could have taken my life.  

Stuff like this happens all the time.  Because of our repeated actions and familiarity of settings we all have places where we have come accustomed to acting in a certain way.   I have friends who have joked about stop signs that are “really a yield sign”  or “only a suggestion”.  I and my friends have also admitted that the details of an entire commute were a blur because of the over activity of a busy brain or the laxity of inactive mind.  So I know that I am not alone with being guilty of the sin of being on autopilot. 

Thankfully, we don’t hear of the fatal accidents among our friends too often, but they do happen. Our near misses are so commonplace that we often are jolted to attention by them but quickly take them for granted and fail to mention them to anyone.  

A lot of people just think they were “lucky” but if we properly understand how God has created and shaped the universe according to His will, we understand that there are “no accidents”.    

So if you “get lucky” today because of a near miss, because something really good happens, or because you just lived to make it home to experience the “same old same old” with your loved ones, remember to stop and look around at your life and thank the Lord who gave it to you and all blessings you enjoy.  

God’s common grace falls out upon all mankind as the potential disasters that could come from us being on autopilot “somehow” don’t come to pass.

For every tragedy that does come , there are tales of how it could have been worse and even in those moments we are given an opportunity to see the big picture of the brevity and precious value of our lives. 

He saves us for our mistakes even when we don’t deserve it and He sent Jesus Christ to save us for all eternity.

So keep walking and talking with God. Pray everyday for His protection and presence in your life. When you do that, you will recognize that He never leaves us or forsakes us and that His comfort and love is available to experience every day of our lives.       

Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.  

This morning’s meditation verse is :

1 Kings 8:56 (NLT2)
56  “Praise the LORD who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the wonderful promises he gave through his servant Moses.

Today’s verse reminds us that God is faithful to His promises and delivers us from calamity and gives us rest.   

The appropriate response to our “good fortune” of near misses is to praise the Lord.  

Today’s verse tells us to do just that.  As adopted sons and daughters of God through our faith in Jesus Christ we become grafted into God’s spiritual nation of Israel.   Now while Gentiles like me can’t claim a direct natural heritage with the people of Zion, because of Jesus Christ, I can claim a spiritual heritage with “God’s chosen people.” 

New Testament scripture points out that just because you have a natural connection to the Sons of Abraham does not mean that you are a part God’s chosen people. The Old Testament documents that all but two of the original nation of Israel, that experienced the supernatural deliverance from bondage to Egypt, were allowed to go into the promised land.  

So even though some experienced the faithfulness of God as physical members of the nation of Israel when He parted the Red Sea and Moses led the tribes to safety, scripture indicates that you still have to have a personal relationship with God to be delivered into God’s kingdom.  

The promises of God are for the people of God. So make sure you and your loved ones have made Christ the Lord and Savior of your lives to have assurance of your salvation and membership into God’s spiritual “Israel”.   

When you make peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ, you become one of His chosen people and you can finally know what it feels like to find rest.  

The fear of death and the power of sin over you are put to rest through Christ.  In Him you become heirs of the promises of God and as you agree with and live according to God’s will and ways for our lives as described in the Bible you will experience just how faithful God is in fulfilling His promises.


As always, I invite all to go to where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s “Evil and Suffering… Why? Is God Fair?

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work.


B. How Did Job Respond to His Horrendous Ordeal?

Job's perspective of life had become thoroughly saturated with physical, mental, and emotional pain. He could not peer "behind the scenes." Feeling robbed of joy, he saw death as the better option. Did Job see God as good? Read the points that follow and draw your own conclusion.

  1. Job, who does not deny or cover up his pain, acknowledges that the Lord has the right to decide what is given to him and what is taken away.
        "'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.' In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing." (Job 1:21-22)
  2. Job, after confronting his overly critical wife, lives with obvious integrity and focuses on trusting God with their lives—with their present circumstances and with their future.
        "His wife said to him, 'Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!' He replied, 'You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?' In all this, Job did not sin in what he said." (Job 2:9-10)
  3. Job suffers such severe pain that he wishes he could die. He honestly laments before his 3 friends.
        "Why was I not hidden in the ground like a stillborn child, like an infant who never saw the light of day?" (Job 3:16)
  4. Job repeats his desire to be released from his earthly life in order to stop the pain, yet he focuses on being a man of integrity. If he were dead, he says,
        "Then I would still have this consolationmy joy in unrelenting painthat I had not denied the words of the Holy One." (Job 6:10)
  5. Job, though dismayed over his misery, admits that his God is the Maker of the universe and has performed innumerable miracles.
        "He [God] is the maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted." (Job 9:9-10)
  6. Job doesn't stuff his feelings—even admitting to self-loathing, complaining, and bitterness—but then pleads with God to reveal what he has done wrong.
        "I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God: Do not condemn me, but tell me what charges you have against me." (Job 10:1-2)
  7. Job doesn't understand why he has become a laughingstock to his friends; however, he continues to focus on the many attributes of God.
        "In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.... To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.... To him belong strength and victory; both deceived and deceiver are his.... He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light." (Job 12:10, 13, 16, 22)
  8. Job states that even if God were to kill him for attempting to defend himself or to argue his case, still—and he makes this clear—he will continue to trust in the Lord.
        "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face." (Job 13:15)
  9. Job answers that God has established the precise length of our lives—even has set limits we cannot exceed.
        "Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." (Job 14:5)
  10. Job, though distraught over his human accusers, realizes he has a heavenly advocate—an intercessor who is also his friend.
        "Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend." (Job 16:19-21)
  11. Job, who knows he is surrounded by mockers, restates that he will hold to righteous ways.
        "The righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger." (Job 17:9)
  12. Job, in spite of feeling torn down by his friends and even by God Himself, focuses on seeing his Redeemer in the future.
        "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" (Job 19:25-27)
  13. Job has no comprehension of why calamity has continued to afflict him, yet he still states that God is the highest judge.
        "Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest?" (Job 21:22)
  14. Job, though he can't find the Lord, realizes that he is not lost to the Lord—the Refiner who is testing him so that he will come forth as gold.
        "He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread." (Job 23:10-12)
  15. Job, who genuinely believes he is undeserving of such calamities, remains determined to defend his integrity.
        "As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit. I will never admit you [my friends] are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live." (Job 27:3-6)
  16. Job, after experiencing a deep encounter with God, realizes that it is only because of the extremity of his severe suffering that now he is able to "see" God.
        "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:5-6)

Conclusion: Although Job suffers severely in the furnace of affliction, he indeed comes out like gold—pure gold refined by the fire.


Question: "Why do Christians sometimes suffer for doing good?"

Answer: Evil is always in opposition to good. By its very nature, evil will seek to harm and destroy those who do good. The only real peace to be found in the midst of suffering is in the One who has made us to be at peace with God. In His time, this Prince of Peace will do away with evil and thereby secure total peace for all eternity for His followers. He Himself suffered for doing good. As His followers, we at times will also experience suffering for doing good. Jesus said ...

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.... If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also." (John 15:18, 20)

Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?.

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------


Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at, You can also find it on Apple podcasts ( The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and 

Email me at to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.


Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship