heart, however...heading a different direction..how can this be?
Dear sister, a better question may be to ask yourself, "how can this [i]not[/i] be?"
One of the greatest perils in the modern way of living the Christian life is the Western conditioning that our walks in Christ and relationship with God through the faith [i]of[/i] Christ is somehow supposed to be a smooth, creamy cakewalk.
This is a great fallacy (as I'm sure you've discovered long ago), and one that is propagated by preachers and teachers who know not God, and it irks me that the reality of suffering, failures and defeats is not taught and explained more from the pulpits. Too often we relgate Christian "trials" to some physical thing - an illness in the body, a rebellious child, having to deal with an ungodly co-worker, not having enough money, a broke down car, etc. While these are unpleasant burdens God may utilize to bring us to our knees, they barely scratch the surface of what I believe are the [i]real[/i] trials and tests we must face and overcome in Christ.
The hardest, bloodiest, most tearful and strenuous trials I've had to face are the ones that are inside me, silently warring against my mind and inciting the flesh when all on the [i]outside[/i] paradoxically appears to flourish - that is, when I have plenty of money, when my car is in great running condition, and when all at work is good. Amidst all of this, there is often a deadness inside, seeking to spread like a poison, to infiltrate my mind and give rise to doubt, fear, confusion. And very often it can be set at odds with my intelligence.
People say that intelligence and logic can often hinder the work of grace in the spirit of a person, and this is true. But sometimes I can see the opposite during a hard test: I can know all the doctines of grace and have appropriate Scriptures locked in memory, locked and cocked and ready to fire at the enemy...and suddenly he does a flanking movement and comes at my heart with a rogue [i]feeling[/i] I wasn't anticipating. If I'm not careful, I can allow the alien [i]feeling[/i] to eclipse that which I know is right in my mind.
We shouldn't be ignorant of his devices. I wrote a little sermon called [url=http://www.xanga.com/PFWest/633606915/the-battle-scars-of-a-satanic-attack.html]The Battle Scars of a Satanic Attack[/url] that touches on this very thing, but is in no way exhaustive on the subject.
Paul Frederick West
| 2008/7/6 13:53||Profile|
Yeah...I suppose head knowledge alone cannot lift the wicked heart to the Lord.
If I'm not careful,
Watch and pray, I can just hear it ..
I do remember we once had a thread on The Battle Scars of a Satanic Attack, didn't we?
Thanks, brother Paul, so much.
| 2008/7/6 17:17||Profile|
do remember we once had a thread on The Battle Scars of a Satanic Attack, didn't we?
You're right - we did. I forgot about that! Well, the link I provided is an audio recording of the message, of me reading and commenting a bit on it. Perhaps the Lord will use it as a word in season for some folks here; from speaking to other brothers and sisters, there certainly appears to be some serious times of testing and unrest afoot. I've just come out of a bad storm myself, and I'm still wet from the rain.
Sometimes I think the Lord doesn't want us to "dry off" completely; the eye of a hurricane never really affords us that much time anyhow. The sea to heaven's shore can get extremely tempestuous at times, and one thing we "sailors" of Christ should have learned in bootcamp is that no matter how dire the weather gets, we don't abandon ship. We hang on, we bring the sails down if we must and we get into the hull, but we don't abandon ship. In a little while the storm will abate, and those who didn't jump ship will be better, stronger, wiser sailors and proceed to further and deeper waters in the school of God. Those who abandoned ship will have to face the same storm over and over and over again till they learn to sail through it.
Believe me, "Sinbad" doesn't have anything on the Christian sailor. He only had to go through seven seas; we as children of God will need go through 70 times 7.
Paul Frederick West
| 2008/7/6 17:33||Profile|
| Re: A Puritanical Remedy for Spiritual Discouragement|
I have done some extensive digging looking for some certain things, and i found this thread, it is worthy to be "bumped"
[i]So likewise a godly man may say as concerning his own sin, "This sin of mine is indeed the plague of my soul, and a leprosy, but though by this leprosy of mine I am now suspended from the use of my comforts -- yea, from the full use of my interest in Jesus Christ -- I yet have an interest in Christ. I still have a right to Christ, although I cannot come to the use of Him as I did before -- yet I have a right to Jesus Christ now, even as I had before."
And if all these things be so, why should a godly man be cast down or discouraged in this respect? Surely he ought not be so."[/i]
| 2008/12/28 18:37||Profile|