Thursday, July 3, 2014

Prospect of Freedom

July 4th is a big day in the United States of America. It represents a day in which after 150 year British rule, the 5th & 6th generation of the American Colonists saw a prospect of freedom. The prosperity of the colonies gave way to the idea of self government, after all the ruling seat was on the other side of a vast ocean. This separation however did not effect the authority of the King and he was not willing to let the prize of North America go easily. Many skirmishes broke out between the colonists and British authorities. Taxes and tariff's were imposed to keep people from building great sums of wealth. Policies were enforced that would not allow the Americans to form a militia for self defense—that may threaten Britain.

Most American's believe that July 4th 1776, set us free from England and we became our own people, that could not be further from the truth. The battle for independence began much earlier in 1756 with the French & Indian War. Hostilities did not conclude until 1782 with signing of a Preliminary Articles of Peace. The establishment of the United States of America did not begin officially until June 21, 1788 when the Constitution was ratified by New Hampshire.

The struggles for freedom from tyrannical rule is nothing new in the history of man. The American story reminds me of our Christian story. In our battle for freedom from Satan and sin that causes so much destruction in our lives, we find many similarities.

Our battle for independence came when we heard about richness of God's grace and that Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross. We declared independence when we chose Jesus. But the war had just began, Satan was not going to let his prize of human choice go easily. His tactics have not changed, twisting truth and by keeping carnal minds on the physical and not the spiritual reality. Although our battle is won in Christ, ignorance of God's Word and His promises has caused failure in experiencing real freedom in Christ.

The opportunity to be a self ruling person begins with renewing our minds to the truth of God's Word and changing our evil thoughts and actions. Gaining ground is a long and difficult daily battle, but our victory is guaranteed. Knowing this truth found in scripture "The articles of Peace" will secure our succession from a tyrant bent on the destruction of our faith. If we have the wrong definition of freedom and independence then we will continue to place ourselves in slavery to a tyrant instead of the mercy of our God.

Our founding fathers knew this truth. With faith in God as our King, they set about establishing a country based in freedom from tyranny and a place where we could worship God without fear. Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” God has truly blessed America, but we are the ones who keep it free by renewing our minds to the truth.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Knowledge of Faith

Although we can't see God with our natural eyes – His love, His word and His truth is everywhere. Every waking hour we are confronted with the overwhelming evidence of God, from other people to plants, animals, sky, moon and stars. The fact that God has never violated His Word stands evident to us as well. But, we are confronted with another fact that things are not right. Evil desires that cause fighting, discontent, lying, cheating, stealing and betrayal don't seem to have a rightful place in this symphony of beauty.

Many people have been exposed to some teaching out of the Bible either by movies, television, other people's thoughts or even at church. We know something in our heart, even if we don't understand it. We all have an intuitive knowledge of God, but that is where it ends for most people. The things they think about God determine how they pursue God. The Holy Spirit is constantly pursuing people, revealing His love, hope, acceptance and peace. Drawing people to a deeper relationship with Him.

Most people who've experience an encounter with the Holy Spirit and sense that hope, joy, peace and acceptance will in turn try to pursue Him, but fall away as soon as that feeling has past. Many times they will quit the pursuit because of what other people say. Still others continue on and rediscover that love, hope, joy and peace.

Unfortunately, many people including Christians dishonor the Lord by believing the opinions of others. Those who don't know the Lord say the Lord is out to punish them and even those who have a strained relationship with the Lord will believe similar things. Some Christians are taught to believe twisted scriptures to make the tote the line, made to feel unworthy and having to earn favor with God to receive from Him.

For many years I had the wrong impression of God through the opinions of others including pastors, teachers and other Christian examples. What they said about God and how He does things was different than what I was reading in the Bible that inspired my heart. I had a conflict and had to make a choice what I was going to believe. Through the eyes of faith, I began seeking God, believing the scriptures above what others said and God spoke to my heart and confirmed to me the truth.

It has taken many years to undo the damage of others opinions and twisted scripture teaching and removing the lies. It takes effort and faith, but it is well worth it. If you want to truly know God you've got to get somethings straight in your heart. You've got to understand that God loves you unconditionally, everything that kept you apart from God was dealt with at the cross. Seeing God with the right prospective opens the gates to the overwhelming blessings. The Lord takes great pleasure in restoring all that has been stolen from you.

Psalms 119:140 “Your promises have been thoroughly tested; that's why I love them so much.”