Tag Archives: deliverance.

with a heavy heart

My heart is heavy today. I feel so helpless.

Wickedness is everywhere. Those with power use that power to ridicule, abuse and silence the sheep. And they get away with it over and over again.

The most unspeakable atrocities are inflicted on the weak in our very churches by the very people who are supposed to encourage, strengthen and lift up.

And when ones speaks out, they are ridiculed, cut off, outcast.

The wealthy and powerful ministers, leaders, husbands and pastors use that power to feed themselves and trample the sheep. They crush the spirit of their wives and children and believe that they do God service.

And the sheep are forced to silence out of fear. If the powerful wicked inflict such terror when they are at ease and dwelling safely, what will they do when their power is threatened by the truth.

It is terrifying, and my heart is heavy. And it is very, very personal.

And everyone says, “It isn’t that bad. People are basically good.”

No, they aren’t. Their only thoughts are only evil continually, unless the Lord intervene.

“Good people with guns protect the weak.” No, they don’t.

“Strong patriarchs protect wives and daughters.” Please. When did they do that? I must have missed it. Never have they ever, ever. Read your bibles again about the “strong patriarchs.” Which ones protected their wives and daughters again?

“The church needs more manly men” – please. I’ve seen what that kind does. I’ll pass.

The quokka throws its babies at predators in order to protect themselves. The powerful ones do the same thing with their sheep, their wives, their children. Sacrifice the weak. The ministry must be upheld!

My heart is very heavy, as I’ve said.

Some days, the imprecatory Psalms resonate deeply.

This one, in particular, is a great comfort to my soul.

Psalm 12:1–8 (NIV)

      1 Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore;
          those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
       2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
          they flatter with their lips
          but harbor deception in their hearts.

      3 May the LORD silence all flattering lips
          and every boastful tongue—
       4 those who say,
          “By our tongues we will prevail;
          our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

      5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
          I will now arise,” says the LORD.
          “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
       6 And the words of the LORD are flawless,
          like silver purified in a crucible,
          like gold refined seven times.

      7 You, LORD, will keep the needy safe
          and will protect us forever from the wicked,
       8 who freely strut about
          when what is vile is honored by the human race.

Nothing destroys the heart faster than a “man of God” who uses the name of Christ to plunder the poor and delight in their groaning.

Nothing destroys the church faster than wicked tongues that speak blessing on Sunday morning and destroy and curse behind closed doors.

But the Lord sees. He knows. He WILL protect us from the wicked, whoever they are.

Whatever “ministries” they have built. Whatever flatteries they receive. Whatever “successes” they have had. God sees. He judges. He knows the heart.

When a heart is heavy, it can rest here.

Please, dear Lord, spare us from the manly men. Deliver us from the wolves who dress and act like sheep. Deliver us from the wolves who don’t bother with the ovine clothing, but devour anyway without the mask because the world doesn’t care and the shepherds are cowards. Please deliver us from the celebrity evangelists who bite and devour. Deliver us from evil men with evil motives and black hearts.

Give us instead men and women who look and act like Jesus.

Philippians 2:5–11 (NKJV)

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Amen. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

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Filed under Christology, Grief, Sin and Grace

God Sees

When the church was at its lowest point; when Israel was in hard bondage in Egypt; when they had no strength, no future, no hope…

We read this:

24 So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.(Exo 2:24-25)

God uses our language to speak to us. He desires to impress upon us that he always hears the cries of his people. How can an infinite, almighty, everywhere-present God communicate to us?

We are finite, complex, multi-faceted, creatures of space and time. And God is none of those things.

So how does he speak to us? He uses our words. Eventually the word of God would become flesh, condescending to us so that we might know God. Eventually, that word, our Lord Jesus, would come and be the mediator of the covenant – fulfilling it all in our place. Our sins are put away in him that we might know God.

But until that day, God will speak by analogy.

He hears our groaning. Our pain rises to him. He who knew no sin and no oppression and no suffering hears the groans of his people.

He remembers. He doesn’t forget, but he does remember. He “brings to mind” what he promises. He will never forget his word for he cannot lie. But there are certainly times when it appears as if he hides his face from us.. But take heart. He has not forgotten his covenant. The Seed has crushed the head of the Serpent. Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus will be saved, for God remembers his covenant.

He looks with compassion – it is far more than simply seeing. He sees with compassion; he enters into our space and time and sees our afflictions. He does not delight in our suffering, although it is the just consequence of sin. But where sin abounded, grace super-abounded! He delivers us from all of our oppressors and afflictions because he looks upon us.

And he knows us. He knows us intimately. He loves us with everlasting, eternal, unbreakable love in Jesus Christ. We know this, not because we feel it in our hearts, but because he tells us. Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.

And when he speaks he cannot lie. He doesn’t change his mind. There is not a secret corner of our soul that he doesn’t know, for he knows his people intimately. He knows us and he gives us eternal life, for it is his desire that we know him.

Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”

When you lie awake at night recounting all of your sins, tossing in your bed; when you wonder about your life – am I in sin? Does God really love me? Am I really a believer? Am I truly one of God’s children?

Remember this – God hears you, he remembers his promise, he sees you, and he knows you.

It doesn’t feel like that all the time. In fact, in this valley of tears called life there seems to be more weeping and sighing than laughter.

We sigh and groan because of oppression. We cry out because of illness and pain. We lift our voices up to heaven because of sin and misery. And we sigh because we are not yet home and long for the appearing of our Lord Jesus.

And yet, he has promised to prepare a place for us. And he will wipe away all tears because he hears our groaning. He will take away the curse, for he remembers his covenant. He will cast death and hell into the lake of fire, because he looks upon our affliction. And he will dwell with us forever and be our God, and we will be his people – for he knows us.

That is truly something to be thankful for.

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Filed under Gospel, Hope

Things that God Hates

Here’s an incomplete list of things that God hates:

Reviling.

Drunkenness

Taking his name in vain.

Idolatry

Brawling

Oppression

Hatred

Oppression

Abuse.

Being delivered from that? God loves that. In fact, he sent his Son to die that we might be delivered from the kingdom of the devil, both the bondage in our own hearts as well as the bondage inflicted upon us from others.

Again, “God hates divorce” is nowhere in the Bible.

Another thought on that:

Capital punishment and other criminal penalties are also not part of God’s perfect plan of creation. But to say then that they are forbidden by God and hated by God is a stretch of rather sketchy exegesis. They are necessary because we live in a world of treachery and oppression.

So also divorce. Sure, God didn’t create the world with divorce as a part of his perfect plan of creation. But that isn’t the world we live in now.

“Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses wrote that.”

As long as men’s hearts are still full of evil – reviling, drunkenness, brawling, idolatry – divorce is still necessary, just like capital punishment will still be necessary as long as there are murderers.

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Filed under Abuse, Divorce, Marriage