Disobedience Resulted in Captivity…continued…

babylonian-captivityA few days after my posting of “Disobedience Resulted in Captivity” for last weekend, I came across an interesting article, “10 Signs That You’re Captive To The Enemy,” by Brenda Kunneman.  While my previous posting was pertaining to Zechariah 7:8-14 which dealt with failing to obey and comply with God’s directives & mandates, Brenda Kunneman’s article is aimed toward the person as a whole to see & understand how being captive affects the person.

Withing the context of the article, we find the effects of captivity takes away, neutralizes, undermines, etc.,the abilities we once had to do our own battles in the following areas or feelings:  Identity, Anointing, Vision, Authority, Confidence, Surrounded/Overwhelmed, Empty, Intimidated, Confused, & Blind.

Regardless of the reason for your captivity, or spiritual downfall, as Christians we are set free from all such problems of captivity, in-that, we have voluntarily given our lives over to Jesus.  By doing so gives us the ability, through God’s help, to rebuild those aspects of our lives.  If something remains as a detracting factor within your life then you have failed to turn something over to the Author of Life!  But take heart, my friends, Brenda Kunneman stated, “…the Holy Spirit in you is not focused on why you are a captive. He is interested in bringing you out of the captivity!

We are also reminded, in both the article and throughout the bible, that we are “…a temple of the Lord…”  The Holy Spirit is there to help us rebuild from the ground up and to separate us from the influences of our past.  Though, in my opinion, the memories may live on their sting of pain and destruction is taken away and we are a much stronger person in the long run.   It is up to us to ask, in prayer, that God accept us, cleanse us, dwell within us, strengthen us, and to continue to bless us with the breath of life that we can continue to know His will as our purpose.

Brenda Kunneman continued on alluding to some steps that could be captivity-henry-betzaleltaken to remove the captivity from your life:  Expose the captivity, Let go of the excuses, Separate yourself from Babylon (your captivity of choice), and Run to your heavenly Father.

If you give yourself to Him, you will find yourself feeling better about things, not tied to anything but simply as a person who has been tasked by God Himself.  To perform a task, which God has assigned to you because He knows you can do all things through Him who created you!

I found it to be a very good article and well worth the reading time.

Stay vigilant! Stay vocal! Stay blessed!

MK Murphy, PhD

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Disobedience Resulted in Captivity

zechariah

Then the word of the Lord came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother.’

11 “But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. 12 Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. 13 Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,” says the Lord of hosts. 14 “But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known. Thus the land became desolate after them, so that no one passed through or returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate.” ~ Zechariah 7:8-14

Just like a ornery child that needs to be chastised, so were the people of Israel. And guess what? We, the people of America and every other country on the face of this planet, are also children who all-too-often are misguided, full of injustice, lacking mercy & compassion, oppressive in our nature, and whether we realize it or not have the tendency & nature to plan and commit evil. All so often, though we may regret it right afterward – yet, we do nothing to prevent the ultimate wrong we have committed against one of our neighbors, our brother or sister within the human race, who were created in the image of God.

The children of the Great I Am went and did it again. By refusing to heed the word of God and turning a deaf ear to God’s mandates, they simply ignore what is expected of them. I see much of the same thing (more so, in-fact!) in our society today. It is far more wide-spread with our children and our younger generation(s). Who will bring them up the right way after we failed to bring them up the right way? God had a tendency to cast the Hebrew people into the wind via conquest, having the up and move to another region, or going on a trek for 40 years – something that should have taken less than a year.

The choices between life and death were given to the Hebrew people:

“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
~~Deuteronomy 30:15-20

But you should not just consider it an offer of Life & Death to the Hebrew people only, but also to you as a brother or sister in Christ, or one of the lost sheep of God’s flock. This was a promise to us, as God had, “…having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will…” (Ephesians 1:5) Also, it is through Abraham and his monumental faith that we can also claim son-ship:

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. ~~Galatians 3:26-29

We each have our own form of captivity. Pride, vanity, dishonesty, deceit, etc. I just finished watching one of my favorite movies: “KING OF KINGS” (1961). In it Jesus, played by Jeffrey Hunter, is speaking to the Centurion in order to see John the Baptist. When asked, Jesus tells the Centurion that he is there to “Free John.” The Centurion quizzically queries and Jesus tells him: “I have come to free John from within his cell. You can come and go as you please, but you are a prisoner within yourself, because you place no faith in anything but your sword.” I believe this kind of sums up our problems as the brotherhood of Christ…our lack of faith and the lack of sharing that faith with our family and friends! Cast away the disobedience to God in your life and protect yourself from captivity and self destructive behavior.

Save yourself the troubles of captivity by obeying Gods mandates, have faith in the God that created you and hold to the faith in His promises. Share God and His Word with everyone you come in contact with throughout your day. Even if it is something as simple as saying, “Godspeed to you!” or “God bless you!.” By injecting small things as such into your daily life, you will become more comfortable with it and as time goes on God will create a boldness in your life that you never would have expected. Just remember that the saving is up to God, but you must make people aware of God’s presence and His requirements.

Speak to your children especially as they are growing up (the most important impressionable time to teach them), your neighbors and friends, as well as family – near & far. Speak daily, speak often, and show your faith by your deeds…all-too-often, the deeds of we believers are far and away different than the spoken words of our lips.

God has created us for much more than we are presently doing my friends. And yet we set ourselves in captivity by going to the healthy to save them instead of seeking out the sick. Get out of your comfort zone and help in the Lord’s task to both Love God and Love your Neighbor (Matt 22:36-40; Deu 6:5; Lev 19:18.)

 exile-to-babylon

Stay vigilant! Stay vocal! Stay blessed!

MK Murphy, PhD

Procrastination & Obeying God’s Word

procrastination

I really wasn’t certain what I would post, until I was midway through a study yesterday.  It was one of those epiphany like moments…”Ah-hah! This is it!”  The art and dangers of procrastination.

We have either been trained, or trained ourselves, to put things off until later.  Many times, more often than not, later never arrives.  And if it does, there is always something more fun to do!  Am I right?  We put off our dreams, our education, our happiness, and our faith as well.  Our furthering of the art of procrastination by putting off the truths we can learn, the false happiness we settle for, by lying to ourselves, etc., etc.  And the list can go on and on.

As we progress in our lives and grow older, we don’t always grow wiser as we wind up carrying forward all of our bad habits from childhood.  We learn from our parents, peers, those we read about, and our heroes in life.  Procrastination can hit every aspect of our lives, the sad but true fact is we honestly believe that we will get to it some time later.  Happiness wanes, problems grow, and friendships falter as we continue to put these life decisions off til another time.  Our greatest relationship takes a massive beating through our bad habit of procrastination…our relationship with the One True God, through His Son Jesus and by way of the Holy Spirit.

This joint venture with society to push God away has been going on for years, even decades.  Notice how the schools are pushing God out in favor of Allah, or no God at all in the way of the teaching of evolution.  That is sadly funny, in that, evolution is but a theory…not scientific fact as many would lead you to believe.

scientific fact – an observation that has been confirmed repeatedly and is accepted as true (although its truth is never final)

observation – facts learned by observing; “he reported his observations to the mayor”
~Dictionary.com

Based upon the above definition, creationism is also a theory.  Don’t get mad at me, I did not say I believed that, but for the sake of argument let us just hold this thought for a moment.  If both are theories, they both (evolution and creation) have every right to be in the schools being taught as separate alternate theories against one another.  It IS up to the parents to teach their children in the ways of the Lord our God! (Consider:  Lev 10; Deu 4; 2 Sam 1; Psa 34; each of the Gospels; & Acts)  We the parents are responsible for a lot, but tend to flounder with respect to building a relationship with God and sharing that relationship with our children.

the majority of us have read the bible, a time or two, and understand we are to take action, but how often have we put it off for when it would be more convenient, or to our liking?  Been there and done that – All too often!!  The next thing you know 1, 3, 5, 10, or more years have passed on by.  Slowly, but surely, the older generation is depleted and dies off and now you find yourself as the “older generation.”  Not fair, but guess what…that is life in a nutshell.  We must pick up the gauntlet and be those who train the youth of our society.  The family of today is far and away different from the family of just a few decades ago.  When I was growing up in the 1960s & 1970s it seemed as though most people were going to church.  While the populations have grown and church memberships have increased over the years; those who have once gone to church have stopped going to church.  There could be a number of reasons for this, but I believe a number of people stop due to doctrinal issues or other conflicts between the church dogma and the biblical text, in my opinion.  There are potentially a multitude of possibilities why people stop going to church.

Another problem, is everyone has become me oriented and pleasure on-demand.  We are promised one human lifetime, the years of each life will vary dependent on circumstances and decisions, both personally and of those around him or her.  Someone I graduated with died at 49, another in her late twenties, and another died in her Junior year of High School.  Sad and tragic instances all of them, but they should also send us a message that we need to change our lives and transform the lives of those who make up the next generation.  The only way this can be done is to act now!  These sad occurrences should compel us to understand that we can go at any time, tomorrow is not a guarantee…today is what we have to use with any degree of certainty.  We must be reminded from time to time that TODAY IS THE DAY TO ACT!

Jas 4:14 NKJV

whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

All to many, even those of us who know and somewhat understand the Bible also fail to act wisely.  How many people do you know that are this way?  Consider, if you will the THE PARABLE OF THE RICH FOOL. What did the rich farmer plan to do with his life?  He thought he had many goods laid up for years of ease and comfort, but instead his life was called from him that next day.  We are always taught to prepare & plan for our futures, nothing wrong with that – unless you aren’t around to enjoy it.  But it is wise if you are around so that you have something to rely on for your later years in life.

Jesus taught us, in Matthew 6, to do good for God:

Matthew 6:1-4 NKJV

6 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

And we are not to not lay up treasures on earth but rather in heaven:

Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Is this contradictory?  I don’t believe so, in that, God gave us the ability to save for the future, while placing all of our hope in the heavenly.  We can save and care for our futures and yet, place all our hope and faith in God above to care for our needs, which will give us the ability to help others in later years.

Not one of us will get out of this life alive, excepting only life eternal with He who is the Author of Life.  We are reminded in Hebrews 9 that we are appointed once to die & afterwards will come judgement.  However, we are not guaranteed a specific time on earth, just one life.  We should be making the most of it and finding ways to help our fellow man, both in life itself and in the spiritual life as well…as we are commanded to do so…many of use will get around to doing that soon I am sure!

While pondering on what we will be doing later, consider this…we’ve been told that But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.  1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 reminds us:

For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.”

Meaning that we should not be surprised by this, because we are the children of the Most High…we should be prepared and not caught off guard.  The PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS comes to mind with such preparedness of the 5 wise and foolishness of the other 5.  We should each be preparing ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and anyone else that will, or will not, listen.  One thing we all seem to forget – even me – that if we fail to warn others of the eternal damnation of judgement, their blood will be upon our heads!

James told us: “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”  And the only way to sin from righteousness, good from bad, and right from wrong is to have the existence of a moral law giver; otherwise known as God.  If we can agree on that, then we need to agree that we need to obey God’s Word and His commandments.  Teach to Word to our neighbors, speak of it during dinner and normal conversations throughout our day.

procrastinate