Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Be the Standard!

 When the going gets tough, the tough gets goin'! 

-Billy Ocean 1985 :) 

I was reminded of this in my quiet time when I read 2 Samuel 23. We get an inside look into the lives of 3 of David's mighty men. 

These 3 guys engaged in some very intimidating battles and miraculously WON. 

Check these three tough dudes out:


 These are the names of David’s mighty warriors:

Josheb-Basshebeth, a Tahkemonite, was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.

 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite. As one of the three mighty warriors, he was with David when they taunted the Philistines gathered at Pas Dammim for battle. Then the Israelites retreated,  but Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The LORD brought about a great victory that day. The troops returned to Eleazar, but only to strip the dead.

 Next to him was Shammah son of Agee the Hararite. When the Philistines banded together at a place where there was a field full of lentils, Israel’s troops fled from them.  But Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the LORD brought about a great victory.

2 Sam 23


1. "The chief": He kills 800 men in one encounter. That's insane. 1:800.

2. Eleazar: Everybody chickens out and bails, except him. He stands his ground and kept fighting until his hand was so tired, it was literally stuck to his sword. The Lord brings a great victory and the chickens come back to get the goods after battle.

3. Shammah: Finds himself in a lentil soup war. :) He takes his stand. Defends and brings the heat on the Philistine soup brigade. The Lord brings a great victory!


Y'all! These guys are such an example for us today. We may be the only one fighting but that doesn't mean we will lose these intimidating battles. We are to STAND our ground. We are to continue fighting the Lord's battles even if everybody else bails out. These 3 mighty warriors did their part and watched God bring GREAT victories through their determination. 

"The Philistines" of 2021 seem to outnumber us. I am not sure that is reality but it is definitely the picture the enemy is painting so that we will cower in fear. 

A lot of Christians are retreating. And leaving the ones who remain to have a ration of 1:800. But that does not mean we will lose! Often times God wants the battle to be impossible so we will see His glory! Remember in Judges when there was a guy named Gideon? 

Often instead of building our army, God shrinks it

 The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Judges 7:2

That verse tells us why He does it. So we won't boast! So we won't think we won the battles in our own strength.


In 2021, we are seeing many Christians retreat. They are going home. I have to admit, that's what I want to do! Go big or go home? Go home! If it was up to me, I WOULD GO HOME TOO!!!


But what if these mighty men had gone home? God can win battles without any help at all... but I want to be God's mighty one who stays! I want to see His power!!!


I have been studying and meditating on Isaiah 59:19:

When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.


What does this mean? What is a "standard"? 

One definition is- to fly (to the attack) on horseback



Another version says:

"For he will come like a rushing stream
Which the wind of the Lord drives."


I want to give God permission to use me as part of His standard against the enemy! The enemy is always intimidating. Because he will always be bigger/stronger than we are. But BIGGER is HE Who lives in us! We have to know that it is not going to be by our power or by our might, but by His Spirit that we win these battles! As we hold up our swords toward the enemy's overwhelming momentum, the wind of the Holy Spirit shifts the direction of the flood and drives it away from the people in danger.


It reminds me of the verse I have taught my kids:

Therefore SUBMIT to God, RESIST the devil, and he will flee from you. 

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 


When we resist the devil, God uses us to redirect his flood of destruction. I believe the Holy Spirit actually redirects the enemy's fury back toward the enemy. Like that word "nus" that reminds me of a "noose". The enemy proudly builds the gallows. The Lord steps in and redirects his evil fury. He ultimately hangs himself. God has been outsmarting the enemy since his creation. The enemy is a created being who cannot thwart the plan of Almighty God.  That's one reason he is so angry. 


When we resist the devil, we flip the spiritual magnets so that the evil is repelled from us and pulled back toward the one who sent it.


As I was studying this, there is a name for it:

FLOOD MITIGATION.


flood mitigation involves the management and control of flood water movement, such as redirecting flood run-off through the use of floodwalls and flood gates, rather than trying to prevent floods altogether. It also involves the management of people, through measures such as evacuation and dry/wet proofing properties. 


When people ask you what you do, tell them you are involved in "flood mitigation":


When the enemy comes in like a flood,

The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.



We are in the final battles, we need to ask God to raise us up as His standard. We have to redirect the flood back toward the enemy in order to protect the Church. As we deflect and resist the enemy's wicked flood, his evil becomes a boomerang.


"Their evil will boomerang on them."

2 Peter 2:13


What the enemy intends for evil, God REALLY does use for good. 


One of the names for God is Jehovah Nissi. It means The Lord is My Banner. 

Basically, He goes in, wins, and declares victory over the enemy. Then He presents us with the victory banner to hold up. 

Moses experienced this when Joshua won the battle over the Amalekites in Exodus 17. Moses went to the top of a mountain and held up his hands and gave Joshua the victory.  Aaron and Hur held his hands up steady the entire night! That is when Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, 

"Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.”


Hands are definitely being lifted up against the Lord in our day. The same hand that swore ON THE BIBLE, on the same day, signed a law to murder babies. 

That is declaring war with God. The same hand swearing on the Bible is taking the Lord's name in vain and pretty much breaking all 10 commandments in defiance of the Living God. 


Ask God to use you as His Standard against this flood. Ask Him to use you to redirect this evil back toward the enemy. The wind of the Holy Spirit will do it. 

God doesn't use the ABLE, He empowers the AVAILABLE.


You will see Jehovah Nissi win impossible battles and then hand you the banner. 

Don't shrink back. Grab your sword, get on your horse and GO into the battle.  Ask the Lord what that looks like practically. Maybe it is starting a Bible study for teens in your home. THEY NEED IT!!! They are getting beat up by the enemy. Maybe you need to speak into a friends life who is headed toward an affair in her marriage and believing lies. 

Maybe it is going to minister to an elderly person who is dying of loneliness. Get creative! Whatever your gifts are, use them! Mine is speaking forth the Word. That may not be yours. One of my best friends has a strong gift of mercy and is just showering everybody with beauty and love. 

You are commanded to use hospitality. I am not sure the Bible defines hospitality as a gift. He just tells us to do it without grumbling! I believe hospitality is one of the most effective things we can be doing right now. Just loving on people in our homes! Maybe getting on your horse looks like getting involved in political leadership- DO IT! We need godly leaders at the helm! Maybe you are older and you have the ministry of PRAYER AND INTERCESSION! You are on the frontlines. Please don't stop praying. You are moving mountains. Maybe you are a pastor's wife feeling the weight of the flood, keep resisting and encouraging your husband to keep going!

Do what God has called YOU to do! 

If you don't know, ask Him! He will show you and the Holy Spirit will compel you. 

Those are my thoughts for this morning. I just want to encourage you that there is a STANDARD being raised up. A remnant who refuses to back down even if it is 1 against 800. Where there is intimidation, condemnation, and false accusations, the enemy is moving. RESIST HIM. Draw near to God and rely on His power and KEEP STANDING. 

Go to God in prayer and tell Him you are available! 


"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" 

And I said, 

"Here am I. Send me!"

Isaiah 6:8


May the Holy Spirit of God empower you and bless you!

Steph

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

What are we SUPPOSE to do now?

 


As I watched President Trump say goodbye this morning, tears filled my eyes. Not because I worship a man or need to be de-programmed... but because I am so thankful for how God has used this man to protect us from evil. I read something that said, "why don't we recognize the 'good ole days' before they are over"? God was SO merciful to give us President Trump these last 4 years. He fought for life and freedom. He felt like an over-protective father figure.

As I watched Air Force One disappear in the distance, it felt like the man God had been using as a restrainer disappeared before our eyes. The floodgates of evil are now flying wide open. Christians have a bulls eye on their backs because wicked leaders are taking their seats. Their first laws being written are exposing our most vulnerable, our unborn and elderly. The enemy always attacks the most vulnerable first because he is cruel and has 3 simple goals: stealing, killing, & destroying. He always goes for the weakest ones first. 

"The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right." 

Ps 37:14


But enough about what the enemy is doing. That is obvious, overwhelming, and heart-wrenching. 

What is God doing? and what does He want us to be doing?

I loved it when President Trump (my over-protective dad :) said, "I will never stop fighting for you". I love it because that is what God says.

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Ex 14:14


The Lord has allowed the enemy to do what he is doing. I don't know why. Most people in the Bible were very confused because God's plan is so much higher than ours. Our thoughts can't understand what He is doing.  Job certainly couldn't understand. After every traumatic thing that happened to him, he finally says "some things are too wonderful for me to know/understand".  

But then Job goes on to say what he does know:

"For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth"

Job 19:25

So after all Job endured with no explanation, he sums it all up with that. Some things are too wonderful to understand but I KNOW MY REDEEMER LIVES. 

When we don't understand what is going on, we have to remember that our Redeemer lives. He is coming to make all things right. God has a plan in this chaos. It is unfolding before our eyes. America has lost it's power as a country because it rejected God and His Word. We have piled our sin all the way up to heaven. 

We are living in the days of Noah. Right is wrong and wrong is right. Evil is paraded and righteousness prosecuted. 

2 Peter 3 talks about how we are to live in the last days. (I am going to be memorizing it today if you would like to join me. )

The first verse of 2 Peter 3 says it was written to stimulate us to wholesome thinking! We need that now more than ever! Minds stimulated by the Word of God instead of the news or social media! 

So, drum roll please....

Number one thing to DO: 

1. Stimulate your minds to wholesome thinking. 


Guard what comes into your mind. Remind yourself of the truth of the Word! 

"I have written... them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking."

Stimulate means to agitate, to fully WAKE UP, to activate! We need our minds activated and fully awakened by the Word. "Wholesome thinking" means pure thoughts or "found pure when unfolded and examined by the sun's light". Our thought life needs to be pure right now. So holy that when  our thoughts come into the light, they are found 100% pure. That is so convicting and makes me pause this second to repent of an impure thought life. 

The passage goes on to say that scoffers are coming following their own evil desires. It tells us a day is like a thousand years to the Lord and that He is not being slow. He is being patient WITH YOU and because He doesn't want anyone to perish.

Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

When He does come, it will be like a thief. And it says that everything will disappear with a roar, the earth will be destroyed by fire and everything done on the earth will be laid bare. There will be no where to hide and no one to blame. We will all give an account for how we lived on this earth. 

Then it goes on to tell us what to do since everything is getting destroyed.

"Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? 

You ought to live holy and godly lives"

Number 2 thing we "ought" to be doing:

2. We are to be living Holy and Godly Lives!

So, as you make your daily decisions, ask yourself: Is this holy? Is this godly?

If you don't know what is holy and what is godly, ask God to show you through His Word.

We don't decide what is holy and godly, God already did and He has told us. 

as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

drum roll for #3!!!!

3. Look FORWARD to what God is going to do and SPEED IT'S COMING!

Keep looking forward. The best days are truly yet to come. We have so much TO LOOK FORWARD to as believers. God has given us a FUTURE and a hope. No one can take that away. How do we speed it's coming? I believe by sharing the gospel. That is what God is waiting on. He desires that everyone hear the gospel and be saved! If you want to get out of this broken place faster, SHARE THE GOSPEL with someone today. :) 

It goes on to tell us what we are looking forward to:

But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

Can you imagine living in a place where only righteousness dwells!!?? 

We will!

Let's move on to the 4th things we need to be doing...

4. Bust your tail to be found spotless, blameless, and AT PEACE with Him.

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.

How is God going to find us when He comes? Living in sin? Or serving Him? Bitter or at peace? 

Blameless or ashamed? How we are living right now matters. We could see Him face-to-face this afternoon. What condition will He find us in? Bust your tail... "so that when He appears, we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming." 1 John 2:28

Remember that God's patience means salvation for so many... if they hear and respond to the gospel. Tell them the way to heaven! 

2 Peter also tells us that when ignorant and unstable people distort Scripture, it is to their own destruction. We are already seeing people use the Word of God to promote their evil agendas. They won't get away with it in the long run. What they are doing is self-destructing. 

They have pulled a grenade and put it in their pocket. 

The last thing this tells us to do is...

5. Be on your guard so that you may not to get carried away by the error of evil people... but grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus!

be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I am grieving as I watch our country destroyed but I am determined not to get "carried away" by all the error of evil people. I am determined to grow in 2021.

I want Him to find me at peace. The wicked leaders in our country now were not my will or my vote. God has allowed this I know He will continue to empower us to know how He wants us to live. Jesus Christ cannot be de-platformed and the Word of God will never be silenced. The people trying to attack the Bride of Christ will one day be gnashing their teeth and bowing their knees as the Bride of Christ is revealed. 

So what are suppose to do now? Start with those 5 things. Or start with 1. Read 2 Peter 3 yourself and ask God to show you what you need to be doing. 

Do not give way to despair. Continue to KNOW that our Redeemer lives when you don't know anything else. The joy of the Lord will be our strength in 2021! I am grieving for our nation, for the unborn, for the elderly, for the Church, etc. But we do not grieve as those who have no hope. 

I am stockpiling on the Word of God and on Rice-A-Roni in order to be ready to help those in need :). We are considering growing a garden (as much as I despise the time that will take), not out of fear but out of preparation. We want to be able to continue to have food to share no matter what comes. 

"When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality." Rom 12

Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is working. It is exciting to serve Him in these dark days. Yes, there is evil pouring in with destruction in it's wake. Without God in leadership, expect chaos and disorder. :( 

But, God uses what the enemy intends for evil for good and for the saving of many lives. It also says in 1 John that the reason that Jesus came was to DESTROY the devil's work. 

We are going to see miracles in 2021. We are going to see revival. And I believe we are going to hear the trumpet sound at any moment. 

Don't lose heart. Stay busy and keep building the Kingdom of God by sharing the gospel.

Let's work together to speed up the return of Christ!

 I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?

John 11:25-26

God will never stop fighting for you. 
Spend time with Him today.

Steph
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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Sandcastles and Tsunamis

 

There was a spiritual storm that came in to the world in 2020. I am not sure any of us had any warning. It was a spiritual tsunami that caught us all of guard.  Now that the tsunami is rolling back out to sea, it is revealing the destruction and disaster it left behind. 

If you have been around me when I am teaching Bible Studies, I may have taught you the hand motions to one of the most foundational (no pun intended) passages in the Bible:

"So then, everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man. 

He builds his house on the rock 

The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house. But it does not fall. It is built on the rock.  But everyone who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man. 

He builds his house on sand.  

The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house. And it falls with a loud crash.”

Matt 7:24-27

As we are surveying the shocking damage caused by this spiritual storm, there is one thing the houses left standing have in common: They were built on the solid rock of Jesus...OR, they ran to the rock that was higher than them when the storm hit. 


"From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Ps 61:2


Our house definitely felt the full vengeance of this spiritual storm. We got close, hunkered down, and ran for safety: to THE ROCK, to Jesus Christ. 

As the wind and rain beat against the windows of our house (for a long time), the waters started rising. We knew only the Lord could keep us safe in this level of storm.  Our house survived... only because HE WAS STRONGER THAN THE STORM.

The beauty about Jesus is that you can run to Him at any time. Maybe your house wasn't built on the solid rock of Jesus and there is major destruction in  your marriage and the lives of your kids. When your heart is overwhelmed, RUN to the rock that is higher than the waters engulfing your house! It isn't too late!!

 I remember when our friends were stuck in the hurricane in Abaco, everyone was running for the highest point on the island. They wanted to get higher than the storm's waters. They survived the storm because of where they ran. We will survive because of Who we run to.

As we watch the waters from the 2020 tsunami continue to recede, we are faced with the reality that the storm left in its wake. The sad reality is that there may be another storm brewing. We have to continue to run to the solid rock of Jesus with our families.  Not to wine, not to prescription medications to dull the anxiety and help us disengage in the war, not to extra-marital affairs, nothing will see us safely through these storms other than the Lord and His Word.  We have to learn how to deal with anxiety in a healthy way and use the tools God has given us BEFORE running to alcohol and/or drugs. 

Here's the deal, the tsunami is coming whether you are sober-minded or not. You need to be clear-headed in order to pray and run to safety. Make every effort to stay clear-minded! There is a reason that command comes right before the roaring lion verse.

"Be ALERT and of SOBER MIND. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8

Believe me, I want to check out right now too. This boxing match in the spiritual realm is intense and bloody. The seriousness of what is happening in our world can be so overwhelming. I am counseling people in crisis almost every day. Marriages falling apart, depressed teens, depressed adults, adults trying to figure out how to care for their elderly parents, etc. It would be so nice to pretend like this isn't happening and just drink wine, but it IS. And God has entrusted us with the ministry of reconciliation. We have to be begging people to be reconciled to God and to each other.  We have to be teaching people how to build their house on the ROCK or rebuild their houses on the ROCK.  We need to be in search and rescue right now, trying to find people who are buried in the wreckage of this storm and fighting for life. We need to make our homes ground zero for the wounded.  Take a break from the fight and get refreshed with some LIVING WATER and then get back in the fight! There is no time for resting. Look what happened to David when he stayed home (napping and going on strolls) instead of engaging in the war. 

"In the spring, at the time when kings march out to war, David sent out Joab and his servants with the whole army of Israel...

One evening David got up from his bed and strolled around on the roof of the palace. 

And from the roof he saw a woman bathing—a very beautiful woman."

Disengaging from war will get you into a bigger mess. We are meant to be busy in battle.

It keeps us out of trouble. If they enemy has tempted you with an extra-marital affair when you should have been out to war, RUN. 

"Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does."

1 Cor 6:18

GET OUT OF DANGER NOW.

*********************

How do you build your house on the rock? The passage tells us. You HEAR the Word of God and put it into practice. We can't be hearers only but DOERS. We believe the Word of God is true and we act on it. Faith without works is dead. Even the demons believe and tremble. This is different. This isn't "Church", this is total surrender and commitment to obeying the Word of God- no matter what. 

This means walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Being so filled with light, that you have no dark corners. Asking God to make you His floodlight.

"If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”

Luke 11:36

If your marriage is in trouble (don't be embarrassed, most are!), run with your spouse to the rock that is higher. Confess your sins to your spouse and ask God to take your broken marriage and put it back together. Develop healthy habits of reading the Bible together and praying together daily. It is the daily seemingly insignificant decisions that are most SIGNIFICANT!!

Watch as God breathes His life back into your marriage. Decide to have fun in these dark days. Surprise your husband with a candle lit dinner after the kids are in bed. Or better yet, run away for an overnight together. Write him a love note. Kiss him for no reason... in front of the kids.

Don't let the flame of your marriage dwindle while being hyper-focused on things you can't control. Focus on what you can control. Fan the flame of your marriage! Ask God for creativity how to bless your spouse. There is a reason it is called "making love". I really think God has given us the ability to "make" love! Ask God to give you love FROM HIM for your spouse. Your love has limits. His doesn't. His love is agape (ours isn't) and His love never fails (our does). 

If you have a spouse who is an addict, get help. Nothing will work while they are addicted. They have to be sober-minded for there to be forward movement. Don't be an sin enabler. Get them to a Christian rehab. (I know of a good one in Chattanooga if you are in need).

 God can pull you both out of a slimy pit. I love that God called certain things in our lives "slimy". He knows that some pits we find ourselves in are impossible to get out of apart from His supernatural intervention. 

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.

Ps 40:2


The enemy has weakened us all this year. It won't require much for him to slug us with one final and fatal blow. 

BUT GOD....

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

2 Cor 12:9


The power of God works BEST in our weakness! Bring your weakness to the Lord, so that the power of Christ can flow through your spiritual veins. 



Now, is not the time to disengage. We are all weary. Do not check out.
Do not give up.
FIGHT.

"Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."
Neh 4:14

If you need help, email me. I loved that picture that was circulating in the news of the waitress that reached out to the abused boy. 
She wrote him a note and he responded: 


God is reaching out to you. He wants to HELP you.
Respond to Him!

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
    He rescues them from all their troubles.
Ps 34:17

If you don't know the Lord, today is the day of salvation. 
These spiritual tsunamis before the return of Jesus will overpower you apart from the saving power of God. 
(Think sandcastle vs tsunami)



Repent of your sin.
Believe and be saved!
When the rain and wind beat against your house, it won't fall.
(Think house high on a rock)



I will end with this prayer... that God would strengthen you in you INNER MAN! (or woman!)

"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man"

Eph 3:14-16

Steph
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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Cancel Culture

There is so much anger, hatred, and bitterness in our world today. You can see it oozing out of people's mouths and eyes on the news. 

The love of many has certainly grown cold as it says it will in the last days.

What is this new idea "cancel culture" that is becoming normalized in our culture?

Here is the definition of cancel culture:

"Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles - either online on social media, in the real world, or both. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to be "canceled."

This isn't just happening in social and professional circles, it is happening in families. I would describe "cancel culture" simply as unforgiveness. 

If we don't agree with someone, it is much easier to remove them from our lives than to do the hard work healthy relationships require and talk through disagreements. Another hard thing it requires is HUMILITY. People who have adopted this cancel culture think they are right, innocent, and validated in their decision to remove someone from their lives. 

Is this what the Bible teaches?

No. 

The Bible says that God requires us to walk in forgiveness. It warns us that we can develop roots of bitterness by "canceling" people and ultimately defile those around us. We aren't to let the sun go down on our anger. To forgive whatever grievance we have with one another. The strange thing about this cancel culture is that they are usually the ones doing the harm yet blaming it on the one they cancel. New Age Religion calls this "neutralizing" people. That if someone is "toxic", you simply neutralize them and move on with your life. Then you are finally free

But are you really free? Is it even realistic to remove all toxic people from our lives while we live on this earth? Maybe if you live alone on a deserted island.

But then again you are actually STILL STUCK with a toxic person because of the sin in your own heart! To think everyone else is toxic and our heart is pure is a very deceptive lie from the pit.

The Bible teaches us we are to cancel ourSELVES. We are to nail our sinful nature to the cross and not live for ourselves anymore. 

While we were sinners (or while we were TOXIC), Christ died for us!


By "canceling/neutralizing" people (aka unforgiveness), we are pouring more "toxins"(aka sin) into our own heart.

If anybody should have canceled a culture, it was Jesus Christ! 

He should have canceled me, and you, and the entire toxic/sinful world! 

Let's remember His last words:


And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Jesus died offering forgiveness to the world. The world that nailed Him to the cross... because He SO loved them. There is a direct correlation between the forgiveness He offers us and the forgiveness we offer others!

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you." Eph 4:31-32


Unforgiveness is required before we come to the Father in prayer.

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”


Anger and unforgiveness does not free us. 

It controls us.  

And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,  for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Eph 4:26-27


I think when we fail to walk in grace and humility and hold grudges, we are at great danger of falling away. We cannot FORGET where we came from. 


But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.

So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 

2 Peter 1:9,10


We have to make allowance for each other's faults! God made a costly allowance for ours.

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.


If you have adopted this "cancel-culture" belief system, ask God to forgive you. It is definitely the short-cut out of difficult relationships but it defiles you and so many others in the long run. 

If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 1 John


If you are having trouble with anger and bitterness because you have been wronged, take it to the Lord. He is not going to command you to do something He won't empower you to do. He will give you the power to forgive. There is real hurt and pain that can only be handled by Jesus. 

Maybe your pain is directed toward someone in your family. Go to them. Be at peace with all men as far as it is up to you. If they don't want peace or relationship, that is their decision but be a peacemaker. Walk in humility. God will give you the strength. It is very vulnerable. Imagine how Jesus felt as He hung naked and bleeding on the cross offering forgiveness to those casting lots over his clothes. 

Don't take part in this new push of bitterness and unforgiveness. It is way too dangerous spiritually. 

If you want to feel refreshed, repent of unforgiveness. Extend forgiveness. Walk in love. 

"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord"

Acts 3:19

Take your pain to the Lord. Ask Him for help. Don't start "canceling" people you disagree with politically. Don't believe the New Age garbage that you can "neutralize" people who are toxic. New Age teaching convinces you that anyone you want to remove from your life a "narcissist".  There is no taking responsibility of your own sin.

What this really does is "neutralize" you in any effective ministry because it allows a root of bitterness to be planted. 

The Holy Spirit will empower you to navigate difficult relationships. 

I am not suggesting anyone stay in an abusive relationship, that is different.  There are VERY difficult, selfish people that we can't pour all of our emotional energy into. That is not what I am saying. Have boundaries (when necessary) but let the Holy Spirit guide those boundaries in love. And always be ready and willing to forgive!

Because of Jesus, we can love FREELY. 

"I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them."

Hosea 14:4


Ask God to give you His power to love people FREELY. Not holding onto anger and grudges. Give your pain to the Lord and let Him truly SET YOU FREE!

Christians must say no to "cancel culture"! 

And say yes to "forgiveness culture"!

I think "remembering" is the key to being able to forgive.  Remember how much Jesus has forgived you. I am so thankful He didn't take a short cut and just "cancel" us. He died in order to forgive and have relationship. 

Steph 

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