Battle Cry – It’s Pay Back Time! - Purity 581
Purity 581 11/20/2021 Purity 581 Podcast
Today’s photo of a late afternoon sun blazing in a spectacular cloud filled sky seen through a dirty windshield over a highway near Albany NY comes to us from yours truly as I decided to use my “dash cam” to try to capture the glory that the Lord put before me as I was traveling through the capital district on the ides of November, this past Monday. Sometimes the Lord puts opportunities to experience His glory and beauty in front of us and it is up to us to decide what we will do with it.
We can decide to momentarily appreciate it by mentally saying “cool” or “pretty” and then go back to an earthly train of thought, or we can recognize the source of our experience and thank our heavenly Father for what He has created, for what He continually does, and for who He is and thus appropriately commune with Him with praise and thanksgiving. In these two options, lies the difference between someone just going about their day in the terra firma and someone “walking in the Spirit” and being “God conscious.”
Some may dismiss the two experiences as not being significantly different but those who have an active and vibrant relationship with the living God because of their faith in Jesus Christ can tell you that it is like the difference between deciding to focus on the blotches and dirt on the windshield or choosing to look past the imperfections and to bask in the glory of the heavens.
A life of faith can be joyless drudgery or a dynamic and exciting life of wonder and awe. The difference lies in what we choose to focus on and in our decision to choose to “walk in the Spirit” every day.
And the decision to focus on God, to experience His presence, to walk into the good works He has prepared for us , and to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a decision that will be opposed by our less spiritual acquaintances, friends, and family as well as the demonic forces of darkness. To choose to experience, maintain, and share our freedom in Christ is to choose to fight the good fight of faith. It is the volitional act to do battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Back in April, I attended a Freedom in Christ Ministries’ Community Freedom Ministry Associate’s Practicum in San Antonio Texas where I completed my training to lead people through the Steps to Freedom in Christ. While I was there I shared my testimony of how the Lord led me to put my faith in Christ and how he delivered me from my addictions and worldly lifestyle with an FICM’ volunteer named Bettie Felder.
In giving my testimony, I was honest in detailing how my journey was not for the faint of heart as my decision to follow the Lord has been a road paved with heart ache as I have suffered broken relationships, financial struggles, and the need to abandon my home to find a safe place for my children and I to live back in 2020.
Bettie shared how she had recently lost her husband and was struggling to emerge from her grief and the practicum was one way she decided to “fight the enemy” and regain her hope. She told me that she could “see” my trail of tears but wanted me to know that the Lord was faithful and that it was “pay back time”! She prophesied over me telling me that a faithful and encouraging woman of God would come into my life and walk beside me and she told me that the Lord was going to pay back the enemy and restore everything that the enemy had stolen.
Months after the practicum, I now realize that Bettie’s prophecy has come true as my friendship with Tammy Lyn Seguin grew to a love that will culminate in our marriage on January 1st, all because of TammyLyn faithfully encouraging me. So God has “paid back the enemy” and then some as our relationship has God at its center as we continually seek to do His will by focusing and studying the things of God and by bringing Him into our experience with prayer and a lifestyle of Christian discipleship.
My trail of tears wasn’t traveled alone. I have two young adult children and as my life fell apart while I decided to follow Christ over the last ten years they saw the transitions and suffered the consequences right along with me.
In her senior year my daughter Haley was diagnosed with diabetes, had relationship difficulties, and struggled with depression and anxiety after she graduated high school. She was seeing a counselor to get help during the crisis years since 2018 but was greatly helped by our moving to our new home in 2020 and has since discontinued her therapy sessions. She is currently thriving as a college student and recent employee of the month at her part time job at Lowe’s.
My son Brennan coped with the difficulties of seeing his parent’s divorce by focusing on His interests in the performing arts. But in 2020, Covid-19 discontinued the normalcy of his senior year, and he went into a tailspin of depression and listlessness that resulted in him graduating late via zoom classes in summer school and him staying in our house for a “gap year” where he didn’t work or go to school.
But after his gap year and suffering continual pep talks from his father to “do something!”, Brennan decided to become a full time student at Hudson Valley Community College as a theater major. And last night, I had the unadulterated pleasure of watching him “conqueror” on stage as the male lead, “Laurie Lawrence” in the college’s production of “Little Women”.
Seeing my son emerging from the darkness of his listless gap year and back performing again filled my heart with joy and pride and shook me emotionally as I again was able to celebrate another victory that the Lord has faithfully provided. I told Brennan that using his talents gives God glory and I know that this latest episode in the days of our lives is another fulfillment of Bettie Felder’s prophecy for “pay back time”.
So keep fighting the good fight of faith by choosing to continually seek the Lord and to decide to represent God’s kingdom in all that we do.
My friend in the UK, Phillip Hand recently shared the following poem, and I couldn’t think of a better day to share it as I am still enjoying the latest victory in my journey of faith. The poem is called:”
We must sing praises to the Lord most high
This is our true battle cry.
The Lord inhabits the praises of his people
We are his church. His holy people.
The battle is the Lord’s, He is our champion
The Lamb of God, The Great I Am
He is our Lord, the Son of Man.
In his arrogance and pride, the enemy shall fall into a snare set by the Lord
all we have to do is praise and sing
to our Father and Jesus our King
- Philip Hand
So keep walking and talking with God. Your days on earth may not always be bright but in Christ we can overcome and have peace and joy even in the darkest night. It’s payback time! So go get what the Lord has for you, by being a light in the darkness and by choosing to hope for the good and to walk in the Spirit.
Today’s Bible verse is drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
John 12:50 (NLT2)
50 And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”
Today’s verse are the words of Jesus and spells out a simple recipe for life and a purpose for all of us in Christ.
As God the Son, Jesus lived a sinless life on earth in a world that causes all of us to sin. But Jesus remained faithful because even though He was tempted in every way as we are, He knew the Father and He knew His purpose for coming to the earth.
Here Christ tells those on earth that God’s commands lead to eternal life and so He says all that the Father sent Him to say because His purpose was to bridge the gap between a sinful mankind and a Holy God. Jesus said the hard things that opposed the enemy and the world system causing those in authority to eventually condemn and crucify Him.
The things Christ said were to cost Him His very life but even with that ultimate consequence as a real and present danger Jesus continued to speak what the Father told Him to say because of God’s love for man and for the purpose to fulfill the Father’s plan for redemption that is available for all men who put their faith in Jesus Christ.
As Christians we know that the words of Christ and the “commands”, or instruction, of the Father that we find in the Bible lead to eternal life.
Those words and commands from scripture were used by the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin and caused us to choose to place our faith in Christ, giving us eternal life.
So as we enjoy another weekend in the kingdom of God, let’s rejoice over and meditate on the Father’s commands for us and let’s share the love of God by saying whatever our Father who art in heaven leads us to say.
The word of God is living and powerful and if we feel moved in our spirit to encourage someone, quote scripture, or give a gospel presentation, we should obey our Father’s command because the Holy Spirit may just use us to pass on the love of God and the gift of eternal life to someone who desperately needs it.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org 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.
C. What Are Key Questions about Evil?
Question: "If God is intrinsically good, why would He permit evil?"
Answer: Some people argue that since evil exists in the world and God supposedly created the world, then God cannot be all good. However, God did not create an evil world; nor did He create a robot state where everyone is programmed to do only good and where no one is ever permitted to do evil. God created human beings with free will.
- He endowed them with the capacity to choose both good and evil.
- The problem of evil came about because people chose the evil of being disobedient to God rather than the good of being obedient to God, and as a result, the world changed. People have chosen evil ever since.
- The use of free will does not negate the goodness of God, but it sometimes exposes the badness of people.
- God permits evil, for He permits people to exercise their free will—and they choose evil. They can choose either evil or good—their own way or God's way ...
"The Lord God commanded the man 'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'" (Genesis 2:16-17)
Question: "Is evil a natural result of creation?"
Answer: No. The Bible says that the world God created was "very good" not very evil or a little bit evil. The Bible also says that one day the world will be restored to a perfect condition. If the world will be perfect in the future, then it was perfect at creation. Evil is not a natural result of creation, but a natural result of rebellion—the rebellion of Adam and Eve in disobeying God.
"God saw all that he had made, and, it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)
Question: "If God did not create evil, how did He create Satan, who is the embodiment of evil?"
Answer: God did not create "Satan." God created "Lucifer, son of the morning" (Isaiah 14:12 KJV)—an angelic being who, because of rebellion against God, was cast out of heaven. Only after he sinned did he become Satan, a name that literally means "adversary." Only then did he become the adversary of God and of all that is good ...
"How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!... The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray." (Isaiah 14:12; Revelation 12:9)
Question: "Why hasn't God destroyed evil?"
Answer: Evil is based on moral right and wrong choices; therefore...
- God cannot destroy evil without also destroying the free will of His creatures.
- God determined that free will is for the greater good of humanity or He would not have made people free, especially knowing sin would occur and ultimately result in the death of His Son.
- If God had destroyed the creatures He loves or never endowed them with free will—making them robots—that action could not be for their greater good.
God has already initiated a plan to eliminate evil. His solution is not to destroy evil in this life, but to overcome it—through Christ.
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (2 Peter 1:3)
Biblical Counseling Keys: Evil and Suffering... Why?: Why God? Why?
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship