I turned 63 at midnight and have been praying ever since. I can’t stop. Each time I try and think I’ll go to sleep, I start again. But let us back up. I keep using that word, “praying” and I do not think it means what you (maybe) think it means. My friend said it’s time to stop praying and start declaring and decreeing according to the Word, according to the promises, of God.
I thought that was part of prayer. Well, so does she, but in response to the unbelieving begging done by her prayer group, she’s defining prayer as do they: a begging of an unpredictable God. This, my dearest reader, is a mixing of covenants.
Unless and until you believe and receive what Jesus gave/accomplished on the Cross, you will never walk in victory, you will never pray the fervent, effectual prayers of a righteous man. “Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness.”
Begging and hoping God might be in a good mood, that you might be “good enough” to get a good outcome, is not righteous behavior. Going around parrotting the evil report that “God is sovereign” as a cop-out, rather than standing fearlessly in faith come Hell or high water, is not righteous behavior. “Sovereign” is another one of those words you (maybe) keep using and which does not mean what you think it means.
Praying a paltry begging prayer from a heart full of pride and unforgiveness rather than from a confident heart–one cleansed via the childlike acceptance of the free gift of Jesus’ shed blood at Calvary–isn’t pious, it isn’t effectual, it isn’t righteous. It is selfish.
It is thinking that it’s so much all about you that you’re going to ignore the gift of the blood of Jesus. So, like my friend’s prayer group ladies, you can meet all day and all night and beg and beg and cry and cry for God to “do something” but until you receive and believe what He’s already done, you’re wasting your time.
Pathetic, paltry, lily-livered Christianity has got to go. It’s time to man-up, trust, and obey. And it’s time to stop believing lies of so-called “spiritual authorities” and just believe God. Jesus said to love and pray for our enemies; He said to trust and obey; over and over and over He said, “Fear not.” He said if we’d humble ourselves He’d heal our land. He said John 10:10. He said we have what we say. But He never said to beg.
The Bible says we’re to rejoice when people persecute us and tell all kinds of lies about us. So, rather than getting all shook up when the IRS seems to target the most effective ministers, or when a group of politicians tries to impeach a president who isn’t even in office, and when the media hands out lies like Halloween candy, let’s say, “Hey! That guy must be doing something right! If that gal is rejoicing every time she’s plagued and persecuted, her life is one big party!”
Let us not be surprised or dismayed or angered about what we’re told is coming. Jesus told Paul, in a nutshell, “They hated me, they’re gonna hate you.”
It’s not personal. It’s just darkness vs. light and there’s no hiding from it. We may as well stand up and fight.
How to stand? For what to fight?
We stand by humbly bowing to Him, by obeying His . . . command . . . to Love . . .
We stand by rejoicing because we are being continually filled with His Spirit via hanging out with and obeying Him, acting, thinking and talking like Him. Talking like Him, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Thinking like Him, “It’s not about politics in America. It’s about the Good News being preached throughout the earth.” Acting like Him, “I forgive my persecutors.” (Good Newsflash: When we’re continually spirit-filled, we have the power to forgive–we look like the One we say we serve.)
Praying, as He suggested? No, as He commanded. Praying for our enemies, that they may turn from darkness to light.
For what to fight? We fight for the Light, not to be right, not to “win” an argument (there are no winners where there is strife). We fight for the Light. How will they turn to light if there is no light? Will there be light if we refuse to obey? When we disobey, our own hearts convict us and we are sick inside, dark, without light to share, cut off from power.
The light is Love, Who loves the persecuted, and the persecutors. “Where,” they ask, even as they revile and hate us, “is the Love?” “How and why,” the astute among them marvel, “do they serve my master Satan even more effectively than do I?”
We stand by repentance. There is no problem on earth, and no solution on earth, apart from the Church. Let us pray, beginning with, “Father, forgive us, for we know exactly what we DON’T do, haven’t done, refuse to stop doing. Make us strong (humble) enough to admit our weakensses and failures, strong enough to stop looking at the weaknesses and failures of others, strong enough to disregard the opinions of man, and consider only Yours.Create in us clean hearts, O God. Hearts mighty in Love.”
Love is mighty enough to tell the truth, and to withstand the consequences of doing so. Love is of God, and is up to any task or trial. When all else fails, such as supreme courts, parties, legislatures, media, medicine, education and other things of man, we will turn to the One Who cannot fail, and cannot lie. We will cease looking for natural solutions, and seek the supernatural.
When we stop returning hate for hatred, reviling for reviling, and become living testimonies of the power of Love, the enemy will have nothing to work with. We will see victory in Jesus, when we are “in Jesus” and His Spirit in us.
“How much longer,” God must be asking, “are you going to walk in circles in this wilderness?”
We can come right out anytime we decide our way isn’t working, anytime we believe that apart from Him we can do NOTHING, anytime we stop the insanity of disrespecting, disdaining, and disregarding of the Blood-bought freedom of Calvary.
We were shocked and appalled at the deterioration in my uncle when he came to visit. His dull eyes and countenance, shuffling gait, and inability to follow the conversation were noted, and then understood, as he pulled out a sack rattling with numerous bottles of prescription meds.
What to do or say? Experience says there’s nothing to be said or done. God, also known as “my doctor” has spoken. But then my uncle got a break. His son said, “You’re coming home with me and we’re getting you off this crap, or I’m taking you to the nursing home right now.”
My uncle chose to go home with his son and within weeks he was off the meds, onto right eating and supplements, and was his old (brand new!) self.
I liken this sack full of meds and the exponential damage done as one insult is added to yet another; one side effect is “treated” with yet another poisonous cocktail; this ruining of the body’s inherent ability to heal itself if given time, nutrition, nature’s remedies and most of all prayers of faith; I liken all this to torturing a free-market economy with the deadly “cure” of socialism.
It aint natural, and it won’t work. It never has and it never will.
This is the time to put on the Red. Red lipstick may not be your thing (it’s not mine) but I’m wearing my big smile anyway. It’s time to do the exact opposite of what we feel like doing. It’s time to act like winners–to think and talk like winners.
God works through faith and when we do the woe-is-we we give Him nothing.
Let’s pray like what we are–overcomers, and let’s smile all the while.
Rom 8:31: What shall we then say to these things? If God befor us, who can be against us?
I awoke at 4:30 a.m. with a familiar rant running through my head, one that’s been there since recently delivered unjust allegations. As I came awake, my mind took me scene to scene through what I might call, “A History of Lesbian Aggravations and Insults in My Life.” So, here goes.
One of the many benefits of getting a few years under the belt is the slow down in being hit on. By other women, that is. Men are much too gentlemanly, in general, to caress the calves of women in the gym whose names they don’t even know. They generally hesitate to, in the guise of a nurse trying to help a new mother breast feed her baby, get way too involved in “helping” her baby latch on. I have never had a man sit down, uninvited, in my living room and try to convince me my “lifestyle” is inferior to his, nor corner and come on to me in a swimming pool as did the wife of a former boss (while he sat poolside, obviously mortified). None of my male college professors ever gave me an “F” on a paper simply because I wouldn’t come around to his way of thinking. A man has never tried to turn fellow employees against me because I am so obviously heterosexual and in love with my husband. No man has ever followed me around like a hungry dog after saying to others, “I can turn anyone gay.” In short, I am not “ignorant” (as I was recently called) of the aggressive, pushy, IGNORANT ways of many lesbian women.
Nor do I “hate” them. It was a lesbian woman who sat at my table .lamenting the women at her office who never shut up, who never stop griping, about their husbands and kids. She wept as she said, “I’d give anything to have a husband and kids to gripe about.” It’s been years, but still I pray for her to have those heart’s desires. It was a “bisexual” woman being persecuted (a mild way of putting it) by a group of lesbians, who actually fell into my arms as she reached my front door and safety. Sobbing, she begged to come in.
It was a lesbian woman who (temporarily) came between a best friend and me, and it is a lesbian who is aggressively and unceasingly striving to destroy her own sister’s marriage to the point the husband is crying out for help. How, in fact, does one fight such a vitriolic force? In the spirit realm, that’s where.
I’ve had much more pleasant dealings with gay men than with lesbians. In fact, I was once madly in love with a gay man. He has since come out of that lifestyle, in spite of all the propaganda that says it’s not possible, and has a beautiful and adoring family.
Not so another gay man, one I dearly loved my entire adult life. He recently took his life. In all the rantings about homeosexuality, certain things never seem to see the light of day, such as the suicide rates of homosexuals. Really? You really think this is because of persecution from “ignorant bigots” like me?
I don’t persecute my gay friends. I listen to them. Without exception they were raped as children or young men. Without exception they want to be free. I did not say that this is true of the entire homosexual community. It is, however, true of my friends.
Noticing the interest of one such friend (I’ll call him George) in a lovely young woman, I teased him. “George is going straight,” I said.
He turned mournful eyes to me. “I can’t go straight.”
“Who would go out with me?” (This was in the 80’s and at the height of AIDS awareness).
“Would you?” he persevered.
No, because I am not interested in AIDS, thank you.
I stood, mute, having no idea what to say.
“See,” he said sadly.
I was caught unaware and unable to answer what I would now: “First of all, George, Jesus would go out with you. He LONGS to go out with you, to bring you out, to heal you and help you and love you.” And when George tried to shoot that down (he was molested by a priest and didn’t think too highly of God) I would show him beautiful scriptures about what was accomplished on the Cross and show him how it’s the enemy of our souls who brings shame and guilt and despair. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” would be right in there with God’s love, love, love. I would take him to the book of John, chapters 14 through 17, and read them aloud with him.
And, I would explain how the enemy works. John 10:10 tells us the thief comes to steal and to kill and to destroy, but that I (Jesus is speaking here) have come that you might have abundant life. And I would prove with scripture and my own checkered past and subsequent deliverance and healing (if I had to go there) how God calls sin those things which expose us to the enemy. Beginning with (you thought I was going to say homosexuality) unforgiveness.
“George,” I would say, “You have a soul tie to that priest, and to the nasty accusations of the enemy, by the SIN of unforgiveness. Like it or not, forgiveness is key. Who must he first forgive? Again, I think you didn’t guess it. It’s not the priest. It’s his parents who didn’t protect him, and who haven’t forgiven him (or so he thinks). And it’s himself. I wish I had shared the trick I use against Satan when I feel shame and guilt: In the midst of my sin I say aloud, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” I would explain how this appropriates what Jesus did on the Cross covering all, even MY horrid sins, unto me, thereby strengthening myself against that sin. I wouldn’t give up until George understood that guilt and condemnation are from Hell and they keep us there. “George,” I would say, “The Word says Satan is the accuser, the deceiver, the Father of Lies.” God says you are loved and you are forgiven. Get loose of your pride that makes you think your sins are special. Stop insulting the Blood of Jesus with your refusal of it!”
But I wasn’t that good a friend to George. Nor was I to other gay men in later years. When Chuck told me about his mother’s unending and all-consuming money ambitions, which included taking in foster boys who were unsupervised as she pursued other career goals (he was repeatedly raped by older, stronger boys) I never said what he gave me opportunity after opportunity to say. I never said, “I love you and Jesus loves you. And you MUST forgive, even as Christ forgave and continues to forgive you. Forgive your parents, your abuser, YOURSELF. Remember, Chuck, the Bible says when we confess our sins God puts them as far from us as the east is from the west. Did you hear me, Chuck? The Word of our Maker says He will remember our sins no more. Chuck, that hopelessness you’re feeling is from your enemy.” But again, I said nothing at all.
And so Chuck, like so many other victims (by the way, Chuck’s mom was a Christian) gets his “encouragement” from people who “support” his “lifestyle choice”. I recently started reading a book by a man who had some good things to say, until he got to the part about all the calls he gets from suicidal homosexuals. He blames society, especially Christians, for the misery of these men, telling everyone who calls and who reads his book that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality, and that they should accept who they are.
Let’s get one thing straight. In our Maker’s eyes (and He should know) we are not defined by our hang-ups, our addictions, our sexual habits. Promiscuous women are not sluts, people who drink too much are not alcoholics, those who struggle with substance abuse are not drug addicts, people who can’t seem to stop throwing their money away at casinos are not gamblers, and people who engage in homosexual behaviors are not gays and lesbians. Yes, that’s what we call them, what we label them, how we define who they are.
This is unkind, to put it mildly. Notice how the enemy works here. People who beat cancer are told it’s “in remission.” People who stop drinking are told, “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” Women who struggle with promiscuity say, “I just have to stay away from men and dating because I have this problem.” I agree that staying away from dating might be a start, especially if that time is spent pursuing the love of Jesus, but it’s not fully accepting the freedom bought on the Cross. “Free indeed,” is how it’s described.
The truth is that we were all fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. Because I told a fib when I was five, does that mean I am a LIAR, and never to be otherwise? No, as the Word of God says, all things are possible for those who are in Christ Jesus. If your past is keeping you down (usually from unforgiveness) dare to listen to the loving words of an “ignorant, bigot, hater” like me, one whose Christianity is “a joke.”
I am not ignorant, either of sin’s pain, the enemy’s devices, or the Hell on earth of bondage to sexual sin. I am not a hater, except of Satan and his lies. If “bigot” means someone whose mind can’t be changed, perhaps I am that. My mind cannot be changed in that I love sinners with the very love of Christ (beginning with myself). I, like the Apostle Paul, was and often still am, a chief of sinners. And I, like Paul, PRAISE GOD FOREVER, have been delivered from real bondage through the love of Christ. Not religion. Just Jesus.
As for my Christianity being a joke – people who have been delivered from underneath the pit of Hell do not joke about Jesus.
Thanks for listening.
P.S. For real insight into this subject from someone who was a lesbian for 14 years and is told and re-told the lie (from “professionals”), “Once a lesbian, always a lesbian,” consider the books and website of Janet Boynes. And for help with forgiveness check out Dr. Caroline Leaf’s Who Switched Off My Brain?
P.P.S. If you don’t want insight and help, but can’t wait to hurl insults at me, beware. I and my family pray for everyone who persecutes me, and let me tell you, once we start praying for you, you’ll get mighty itchy trying to stay in bondage. Amen and Hallelujah for your freedom!