The Kiss of Judas

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Why do we think it so strange when the people we are closest to turn their backs on us? We are living in a time where things are NOT gray, they are black and white, light and dark, the lines are not blurred. We are in a time when people call good evil and evil good. Why do we find this strange when the Bible tells us this is going to happen?

I am writing this post because my heart is heavy and feeling broken. I wont go into details, but suffice it to say, because of the truth of Gods word, I am losing people that were once so close to me. I am no way claiming to be perfect or super spiritual, but I do know Gods word and there are some thing that are non-negotiable. Does this mean I love them less? No! But, listen to me, no matter who it is that is challenging your belief and faith in Christ, you must NOT waiver!

Lately, the persecution is stepping up it’s game. To believe in the word of God you are given a label, and it is not a nice label. You can try to be as loving as possible and explain and defend yourself until you are blue in the face, but the truth is… the time has come to separate the sheep from the goats.

Look, I want to be real with you. This is not always easy, because it is coming from people we love and care for. We may struggle and hem haw around because we do not want to “offend” them or “hurt their feelings,” but I have to tell you, there is something much more at stake here.

We cannot walk around on our tip toes, because if you are a follower of Christ, then you must learn to see as He sees. He did not love people unto their grave and death because He didn’t want to hurt their feelings. He didn’t tip toe around and sugar coat things because He was afraid they would reject Him. He met them where they were (His goodness), ministered to them, and then told them to go and sin no more. He was not afraid to call it out, because He didn’t look at the temporal, He looked at the eternal.

We must look beyond the flesh, beyond the person, and recognize it for what it is. It is an attack from the enemy. Do NOT take it personal! The person through who the attack comes from is being deceived. Have pity on them, have compassion, but do not waiver, stand on the truth!

Think about Judas; he walked with Jesus. He was in the inner circle. He heard the Word through God Himself. He sat at the table with Him. But, he was deceived and betrayed the very One Who held eternal life in His hand. He betrayed the very One Who laid His life down for us.

Why?

Luke 22:2-4 says: The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people [who listened devotedly to His teaching, and who respected His spiritual wisdom]. Then Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve [disciples].  And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him and hand Him over to them.

The devil saw the weak link and took advantage of it.

The enemy will come at us through the people we love. We think because we are Christian things should be easy. We think if we love someone enough they will see the truth.

But…

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I like how the Amplified says it: Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword [of division between belief and unbelief].  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;  and a man’s enemies will be the members of his [own] household [when one believes and another does not].

His Word is offensive to those who do not believe. Because His Word speaks truth and it convicts of sin. Not to torment, but to show a better way, to lead to repentance and salvation. But, for those who are comfortable in their sin, they will reject the truth. The world will tolerate you as a Christian as long as you keep silent. But, we are NOT called to be silent. We are called to be the salt and the light. When someone is in darkness, the light will blind them; they will either adjust their vision to the light, or they will reject the light.

What I am trying to say, is do not be afraid, do not back down. Do NOT beat people up with the Bible, but DO continue to speak the truth. Do NOT back down or sugar coat the truth. Their eternity is far more important than your feelings and what they think about you.

Stay close to Him, my friends. The day is coming to an end. His return is close. Pray for them and give them to God. You are only responsible to speak the truth, not for if they receive it or not. And for pete’s sake, do NOT let the enemy wreak havoc in your mind with accusations of your past, do NOT let him tell you you are disqualified! You are called and chosen. Now GO!

When you are being “labeled,” and when you are being accused, hold fast, even if the accusation is coming from someone as close as Judas.

Be Free & Stay Free

 

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Clouded By Insecurity

mind-prison
Prisoner of the mind

 

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, but not yet seen. Insecurity is the substance of things dreaded/feared, seen or not.

Our minds are always on. We have constant thoughts. Sometime the thoughts flash without too much consideration. Sometimes a thought grabs us and we linger. When we catch ourselves lingering on a thought (or an imagination), the attention we give to it causes a reaction. If the thought is positive, then the reaction is positive. The same is true for negative, fearful thoughts; if we dwell there, then the effect is negative.

If we give voice to our thoughts, then our thoughts become action and will produce fruit. Scripture says there is power of life or death in our tongues. If we meditate long enough on a thought (germinate the seed), it will eventually come out of our mouth and the fruit of the seed will grow.

Fear is the breeding ground of insecurity. I do not believe we were created with a fear gene; rather it was learned through negative experience. Since we know we were created in the image of God, and God is not fear and confusion, then we can be certain that fear is not from God. Therefore, since fear is not from God, we do not have to accept it.

Insecurity has been the demise of many relationships, opportunities, and dreams. Insecurity has silent partners called “what if” and “yea, but.” What if and yea, but has a relative named “remember when.”  They are counterfeit imitators and reside in the mind of reasoning; they are enemies of faith and they set up camp in depression and discontentment.

Our minds are conditioned by experience; starting from childhood.

The brain contains billions of nerve cells arranged in patterns that coordinate thought, emotion, behavior, movement and sensation. A complicated highway system of nerves connects your brain to the rest of your body, so communication can occur in split seconds. (CLICK HERE)  Truly a fascinating creation!  I am not a scientist, so I wont even attempt to explain the intricacies of the human mind, but I do know our brains are able to store information we have learned, through experience; intentional and unintentional. It is like a Rolodex, when faced with situations our mind quickly goes through the old files and says, “Aha! I have been here before!” and then it triggers the response based on previous experience. To the unregenerate mind, this can lead to a road filled with debris of broken relationships, dead dreams, and wounded souls.

Here is an example of what I am talking about:

I grew up with an angry father. In my home it was like constantly walking on egg shells, because we never knew when his  temper would spark.

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This experience has caused me to have fear of confrontations. To avoid confrontations I would operate under the fight or flight mode; usually it was flight. If I was around anyone having an argument, or heated discussion, I would exit quickly, because it made me feel very uncomfortable and fearful. Or if I sensed someone was not in a “good” mood and they were silent, I would become tense and begin to mentally look for a place to take cover when there was an explosion.

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And because I not only grew up in a home with an angry parent, I was also rejected by my father. As you can imagine, as a child I was torn and confused between the two fears; I was afraid of doing or saying something that would cause his wrath and at the same time, I so wanted to please him and to be accepted by him, incurring a double whammy, his wrath of anger and his rejection.

Fast forward into my adult years…

Even as an adult, I still had to contend with that fearful child inside of me. I was like a turtle, I would walk and talk confidently, but as soon as I sensed “trouble,” I would retreat into my shell. The end result would cause even more fear and insecurity. Grief! What a vicious cycle, huh? How many failed relationships and lost opportunities must we have before we understand the past does not dictate our future?

Just like Pavlov’s dogs, we have triggers.  The triggers may not be bells, it could be a word, a look, a place; or anything that brings into remembrance the thing that caused us pain. Sometimes the triggers can go unnoticed, we may just find ourselves feeling or acting a certain way and not understand why. Have you ever done or said something and then later think, “Wow! Where did that come from?”

Let’s use marriage and remarriage as an example. I read the rate of divorce in a second marriage is higher than a first marriage. Again, I am no expert, but I submit the reason for this is because people enter into other relationships before being healed from the soul wounds. What we do not see, is while we are packing the boxes and suitcase to move on, we are also carrying with us the disappointment, anger, and rejection. Then when we meet someone else, fall in love, get married, and set up a new home, we are unpacking the luggage we brought with us from the past. Inevitably there will be a trigger, our fear of the past happening again causes insecurity, and we act on the fear.

Our minds begin to fixate on the what ifs and the yea, buts. You know, the “what if I made a mistake and he/she isn’t the one?” Or “what if he/she does the same thing my ex did?” Or “Yea, I know this is what they said, but they really meant this.” The past plays over and over again in our minds like a broken record and we get stuck there. Meanwhile, the present looks at you, scratches its head and moves on without you.

There is only one way to get off the treadmill of insecurity and that is, faith. But, to truly have faith you must be perfected in love. What do I mean? Glad you asked.

1 John 4:18 says, There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].

There is freedom in Gods love. Knowing His love, goes further than just quoting scripture. A person can know the Bible word for word, can even be a Christian, and still be bound to fear and insecurity. Only intimately knowing God the Father, through Jesus the Son, can we walk by faith and security, knowing our destiny does not rely on other people or things. Only through an intimate relationship with Him can we believe that no matter what, this will work for my good. When we know His love (experientially), then we do not have to be fearful and insecure.

The more intimately we know Him, the more we are conformed into His image and our hearts and minds are regenerated, made new. Then we do not make decisions based on the “what ifs” and “yea, buts.” We are able to discern the will of the Father and act on it. We are not moved by what our eyes see, we are moved by faith, knowing it is the substance of all things hoped for, yet not seen. The more we are like Him, our thoughts line up with His thoughts, and our hopes are in sync with His promise.

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The more we trust in His love and care, the more we are able to extend it to others. When we grasp His mercy in forgiveness and His grace , then we are able to extend that same mercy in forgiveness and grace to others. And this, my friend, is where true freedom is found.

Forgiveness is not denial that something happened. It is not excusing someones actions that has caused you hurt. Forgiveness releases the person to God and frees you from the ties of the past. It frees your mind from the lies that try to hold you captive to the prison of defeat, fear, and insecurity. Forgiveness releases you to walk in your purpose, your destiny, and lets you experience real healthy relationships.

So, you see, there is no need to be insecure. God has you and He loves you. He is here, and His heart is that you believe Him and receive His love to the fullest measure. He has been here all along.

Be Free & Stay Free

 

Be a Light in the Darkness

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Know the Truth, speak the Truth, live the Truth…

Do not be afraid to speak the truth, because only the truth will bring healing and deliverance.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16

There may be times you feel you are standing alone. You may even feel the tug to remain silent and not rock the boat.

Especially in these, the last days, we can remain silent no longer.

Remember, it just takes a little light to shine through the darkness. Be the candle. Let your light shine.

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11

You are not alone. He always has His remnant.

So too at the present time there is a remnant (a small believing minority), selected (chosen) by grace (by God’s unmerited favor and graciousness). Romans 11:5

Then Elisha prayed, Lord, I pray You, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17