Thursday, May 19, 2016

Betrayal

Betrayal.

Now that is an ugly word. If you have experienced it, you know what I am talking about.

II Samuel 13 through 19 gives the account of one great betrayal, that of King David's son, Absalom. 

Now there's a guy who did not live up to his namesake. Absalom, in the Hebrew means, Father of Peace.

Prince Absalom was a master manipulator who played on the emotions of the people to win them over to his side against his father. 

2 Samuel 15:2-6 NLT
He got up early every morning and went out to the gate of the city. When people brought a case to the king for judgment, Absalom would ask where in Israel they were from, and they would tell him their tribe. 3 Then Absalom would say, "You've really got a strong case here! It's too bad the king doesn't have anyone to hear it. 4 I wish I were the judge. Then everyone could bring their cases to me for judgment, and I would give them justice!"
When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn't let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them. 6 Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel.

Things grew and grew to the point that Absalom was declaring himself the new King of Israel with a coup d'├ętat attempt to overthrow David. 

Now that is betrayal. 

Oh how it must have hurt David so deeply coming from his own son whom he loved. Absalom would have stopped at nothing, including taking his father's life to become king. He has already murdered one of his brothers.

Psalm 3, tells us exactly how David felt and how he dealt with this before the Lord in his prayer-life.

Psalm 3 NKJV 
Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
Many are they who rise up against me.
2 Many are they who say of me,
"There is no help for him in God."     Selah

3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4 I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.     Selah

5 I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
7 Arise, O Lord;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Your blessing is upon Your people.     Selah

Wow. What faith.

We know as New Testament believers, our enemies are not people, but rather the evil spirits behind people's actions. 

May we declare this Psalm in faith over our troubles and attacks of the enemy, and expect God to strike the devil and break his teeth on our behalf!

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Anxiety

Anxiety.

Just reading that word can give feelings of stress.

Stress and Anxiety are something we all must deal with in our lives. Being a Christian is not a pass on that either.

Perhaps being a Christian may even add complication to our lives as we must also factor in morality to our decision making. We also cannot turn to the things that pacify the world when under stress like alcohol, nicotine, drugs, and sexual sin.

So where does that leave us?

When people are hurting emotionally, they will look for something that brings pleasure and buries the pain. Some of these things may not be sinful in nature, such as watching 100 episodes or your favorite TV show on Netflicks or obsessing into a hobby.  

There is however, a Biblical way to handle Stress and Anxiety.

It first helps to recognize what you have the power to change and what you do not. When we come to the place to see ONLY God can create a way out of this, we are then ready for the solution.

Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

A supernatural transaction happens here. It is not just a religious act we go through to help us feel better. 

This kind of prayer mixed with genuine faith WILL produce a real Peace in us which goes well beyond our human-reasoning. 

The Apostle Paul goes on to say:

Philippians 4:12-13 NIV
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Paul was well-acquainted with Stress and Anxiety. Yet he learned the "secret." It is found in the verses between these two passages and has to do with a Transformed Mind:

Philippians 4:8 NIV
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise-worthy, think about such things.

So in summary, Pray, Thank God, think on Godly things, and have an attitude that you can make it through ALL situations with the God of Peace at your side!