Archives for July 2016

Seeking God’s Protection

Seeking God's ProtectionWith the aftermath of the horrific shooting at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida, people are filled with fear, disbelief, grief, and anger over the senseless killing of forty-nine innocent people by a mentally unstable young man who professed his allegiance to ISIS. Our prayers go out to the families and individuals who died or were severely wounded during this senseless and tragic rampage.

The Existence of Evil

The headline in Time magazine on June 27, 2016 was, “Why Did They Die?” Evil exists. To not acknowledge the existence of evil is to go through life with blinders, only to be blindsided when evil strikes close to home. “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived,” 2 Timothy 3:13 declares. Furthermore, 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

Prior to learning God’s Word, the Bible, I was afraid of a lot of things; the dark, scary movies, the bully standing next to me in line. I experienced different challenges in life where I felt my life was clearly in danger. In one particular incident, I was driving home late at night after teaching an off campus graduate class in Paterson, New Jersey. It was a cold winter’s evening and unfamiliar with the road, it became apparent that I was lost. I pulled over to the side and tried to read my written directions (this was before the existence of gps), and could barely make out my handwriting. Suddenly, I heard a shot and the sound of glass shattering in the back window of my Dodge caravan. I quickly started my car and prayed to God to show me the way back to civilization. Suddenly, I saw a light and started driving and found my way to a gas station. Shaken, I stopped and surveyed the damage to my rear window and discovered a sixteen-inch crossbow arrow on the back seat. I could have been killed. Fortunately, God protected me.

The Bible contains all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The Bible also explains the origins of evil. Why does evil exist? Evil exists because we have a spiritual adversary, the Devil (Lucifer), who steals, kills, and destroys (John 10:10). Isaiah 14:12-14 reads: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Notice all the “I’s” in this passage. Through pride and egotism, Lucifer, the brightest of all angels, fell from grace. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

Three Archangels

The Bible describes three archangels: Lucifer, a beautiful and magnificent angel, Michael, the warrior, and Gabriel, God’s messenger. In Latin, Lucifer’s name means “light-bearer.” Unfortunately, because of pride and egotism, Lucifer rebelled against God and was cast out of heaven along with a third of the angels. The war that took place in heaven between Lucifer and Michael is documented in the following passage:

Revelation 12:7-9

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon;
and the dragon fought and his angels.
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent; called the Devil, and Satan,
which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were
cast out with him. 

The Bible describes Lucifer as the “god of this world.”  “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4). The Devil, and his cohort of devil spirits, works through people, culture, religion, and the environment to steal, kill and destroy. As a spirit being, we can’t see spirit, but we see the manifestations of the destructive evil that is characteristic of the Devil since the beginning of time.

God is Our Protector

In spite of the evil that exists in the world, God is our protector and is a very present help in times of trouble. Acknowledging God’s protection, and going to Him with believing, allows us to have confidence in His willingness and ability to take care of our every need. “But without faith [believing] it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews11: 6).

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 91:2, 4-7

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God;
in him will I trust.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou
trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow
that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction
that wasteth at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but
it shall not come nigh thee.

Asa          

God cares about every single detail of our lives. When we turn to Him for guidance and protection, He is always there to meet our need. One example of a leader who sought God’s protection was Asa, the third king over the independent state of Judah. Asa removed the altars of “strange gods,” broke the idolatrous images, removed the incense altars, and cut down the groves. To protect his people from their enemies, Asa built walls (Does this sound familiar?), towers, gates, and fenced cities in Judah. The land had rest, “and he had no war in those years; because the Lord had given him rest” ((2 Chronicles 14:2-6). Asa even removed his mother, Maachah, from being queen because she made an idol in a grove (1 Kings 15:13).

Azariah’s prophecy to Asa was that “the Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded” (2 Chronicles 15, 2,7). Notice that in order for there to be peace in the land, Asa took the believing action and removed all that was an abomination to God. Once Asa physically cleaned up the land, God blessed His people with peace. God is always there when we seek Him and He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Spiritual Power

There are two kinds of spiritual power. The spirit power exercised by the Devil and his devil spirits who steal, kill, and destroy.  The second kind of power, which is greater than devil spirit power, is the gift of holy spirit that was given to us on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1-11. The gift of holy spirit was made available because of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ who is now sitting down on the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1, 1 Peter 3:22).

Jesus Christ had holy spirit upon him without measure (John 3:34). Prior to Pentecost, the gift of holy spirit was placed upon different individuals by God to carry out His will.  However, after the day of Pentecost, the gift of holy spirit is available to anyone who chooses to confess Jesus as Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:-9-10). “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

As Christians, we have the responsibility to read, understand, and apply the Bible and learn how to operate the gift of holy spirit with all nine manifestations (1 Corinthians 12:7-10). God gave us the gift of holy spirit because He knew we needed it. In addition to reconciling the Israelites back to God, Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8b). The word destroy comes from the Greek word luo and it means to loosen or dismantle by component parts. It is impossible to kill spirit. However, the lake of fire awaits the Devil’s destination (Revelation 19:20, 20:10). Christians who operate the gift of holy spirit, can loosen the stronghold that the Devil has on their own as well as other people’s lives. John 14:12 states that we can do the same works as Jesus Christ if not greater. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” 1 John 4:4 declares, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (italics mine)

Lessons from the Bible

What does the Bible have to do with current events? Everything! Our country is in a crisis. The evil that exists throughout the world reminds me of Psalm 37:35. “I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.” Although America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles where God is the giver of rights, not a pope or a monarch, the vast majority of citizens are ignorant of our Constitution, not to mention our Bill of Rights. A case in point is that one of the leading presidential candidates is a socialist. Vladimir Lenin stated that the goal of socialism is communism. Is this what Americans really want? Or have they been bamboozled to believe that there isn’t a price for free everything? God’s Word says that “if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

To be candid, history and politics were never my favorite topics in high school or college. I remember saying the pledge of allegiance every day in elementary school and even sang patriotic songs like “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful.” However, memorizing and regurgitating historical dates was not my idea of being intellectually challenged. Politics seemed like a dirty business and I didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Politics is still a dirty business, but I chose to get involved and held my nose. Alarmed at seeing what is taking place in our country, I became a precinct leader and an Assistant District Captain in my district. I even ran as an unpledged delegate to attend my party’s national convention! Although I didn’t win, I learned a lot by participating in the political process.

With the deterioration of our educational system toward progressivism, and the onslaught of attacks against our Constitution and our First and Second Amendment rights, Americans need to stand up and say enough! Our churches need to be at the forefront in fighting for religious and political liberty as they did when we were a fledgling nation. In light of the principles from God’s Word, here are a few ideas to consider when seeking God’s protection and becoming actively involved in being part of the solution rather than being part of the problem.

  1. Confess Jesus as Lord in your life and believe that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10). Congratulations! You are now born again and have the gift of holy spirit.
  2. Pray with your understanding in the name of Jesus Christ. God, by way of Jesus Christ, has given us the power and the license to utilize the name of His only begotten Son (John 15:16, John 16:23, Philippians 2:9-10).
  3. Enroll in Bible classes that teaches you how to operate the gift of holy spirit with all nine manifestations.
  4. Learn to enjoy reading the Bible.
  5. Educate yourself about the history of our country which includes our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.
  6. Get involved in the political process and elect individuals who follow Biblical principles that our country was founded on. Policies promoting strength, not weakness, backs down devil spirit power.
  7. Be a witness for our Lord Jesus Christ and love people with the love of God in manifestation.
  8. Reconcile men and women back to God by lovingly sharing God’s Word.
  9. VOTE!

We do not have the luxury to sit idly by and watch our country go up in flames. Like our Founding Fathers, we need to actively engage in the political process and bring it back to the Biblical and Constitutional principles that our country was founded on. James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States pointed this out a century ago:

Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character
of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is
because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If
it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high
qualities to represent them in the national legislature…. If the next
centennial does not find us a great nation…it will be because those who
represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not
aid in controlling the political forces.

Copyright © 2016 Aleta You. All Rights Reserved.
Scriptures quoted are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.
Parts of this article were taken from my book, Biblical Solutions for Daily Living – Developing A Vital and Personal Relationship with God.

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