Well, spring has arrived and so has the tax man. While most people are able to get their taxes done easily and quickly, during this time of Covid-19 pandemic crisis, it wasn’t necessarily true for my household. Can you imagine what sort of problems can happen during a year when an employer lays you off, locks their doors, then closes down for good? Now, during the midst of a worldwide shutdown, the need for a job search becomes necessary. Now add to this, employers who are taking advantage of the situation by hiring for only a few days or weeks to get a particular need filled, then “pulling the rug” out from under the new employee without any explanation.
They might get rid of an employee they don’t want by hiring a hatchet man, then get rid of the hatchet man, (seen that happen). They have a difficult job that needs to be performed, but nobody on the premises will lift a finger to “git ‘er done.” So the new employee works double time and gets the job done, only to be released so one of the “old guys” can take over after all of the dirty work is done, (yup that happened too). What about promises of growth and advancement opportunities to get the new employee excited and thankful for their new position. Then finding out that those opportunities are only given to the most incompetent, or the most senior member of the staff, (the “yes man” got the promotion). The opportunity to advance evaporates into a murky oblivion and hours are cut and eventually days are cut from the schedule. How can I say these things are happening?
It’s easy when you experience it. But even easier when you see people around you getting the same experience as well. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who have chosen to stay committed to God are being treated in odd ways. The rules we were raised to follow don’t work any more. There is too much worldly hatred against Godly people in the workplace today. The need to be able to listen to God’s voice in the believer’s heart is becoming more important. Not only for knowing how to respond to ungodliness at the workplace, but to stay a step ahead of poverty in a world that hates Godliness. Our own household experienced multiple job changes and betrayals at the workplace last year. We’ve been forced to defend ourselves against unscrupulous employers and empty promises. It’s much more complicated to fill out our tax forms simply because many of us are no longer listing only one employer. Simply holding a job is a spiritual battle against ungodliness and lies for the believer, but the relief and vindication that comes when lies are exposed is also part of the spiritual battle process. But relief and vindication from men is not the comfort or the Comforter promised by Jesus.
Jesus Christ promised that He would send the Comforter to help His believers because He would go to His Father.
John 14: 16 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;”
The Comforter was meant to replace the physical presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, and still be Jesus Christ Himself.
John 14: 18 “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
So, when you as a believer can recognize when the Holy Spirit is speaking in your heart, then you are also hearing the voice of Jesus Christ in your life.
John 14: 26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
How did we stay one step ahead of disaster last year? By staying thankful to God for every blessing whenever we started a new job. It didn’t matter what the job may be, the first step is always to be thankful that God made the opportunity to work possible. Sometimes, even though the promises for a long employment was given from the start, the thought that the employment opportunity would not last long would also come. On these occasions, we would continue to seek employment even though it appeared as though we had a stable position. On three occasions last year, a new job opportunity was offered the very next day after being told that our employment services were no longer needed. On two occasions, we were simply told not to show up for work. On two other occasions, we noticed that scheduled jobs were simply removed from our work list without reason or notice, followed by a letter of dismissal. On every occasion, new employment was ready within a few short days. It pays to listen, when God says to keep looking for work, especially when it appeared as though stable work was found. It seems that there is no stable work any longer.
Many of our believer friends have experience the same kind of problems. They ask the same question each time: Why is it happening to them? They’ve also noticed that their supervisors, (just like our own experience), were either hateful to Christians or were superficial Christians. This is part of the spiritual battle at the work front. When a person is controlled by the desires and motivation of the flesh, they are completely helpless against devilish influences. That especially applies to “believers” who walk by the desires of the flesh and have no understanding of spiritual matters. They are an open target to any spiritual power present. They have no defense against any spiritual onslaught. The strongest power that they respect will always control their actions.
A believer that is spiritually strong or growing spiritually, is also an open target to devilish harassment. Why is that so? A believer walking with the power of God is walking in spiritual light. A person walking in darkness and influenced by devilish powers has no clue what they are really doing. But the devil spirit influencing them, can see and hates the light of God in their presence. They will do everything possible to get rid of that light of truth. In today’s culture of growing hatred against Christians, devil spirits have a nearly free hand of power to remove anyone that walks in God’s light. You don’t even have to say a word. Spiritual darkness can see God’s light in anyone who has the Holy Spirit dwelling within them and that makes every Christian a walking target.
Christian believers must subject ourselves to the worldly powers that be. When it becomes culturally acceptable to reject Christian ethics and principles in the work place, the work place becomes a spiritual mine field. Our duty at work is to serve God by working our best, but when the world cannot find a valid fault against the believer, the next attack is to manufacture a lie against that believer. It is a situation similar to what happened to Jesus at His trial.
Matthew 26: 60, “But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,”
A false witness is a liar. In Jesus case, they twisted His words against Him and two were found that agreed. The lies cost Jesus, His life. The lies can cost a Christian, their job. If you are a Christian and have heard of similar or have experienced similar problems, you are not alone.
If you have bought into the “prosperity gospel” that is so popular in this current Christian church culture, then you must take the position that a Christian struggling with employment issues has to be “out of fellowship” with God. Today’s acceptable “prosperity” based teachings assume that God blesses the believer who is “in fellowship” with wealth, power, possessions, and influence. It cannot explain why some Christians are “rewarded” with material good, while others are “punished” at every turn. When a spiritual check against the Word of God is used instead, the battle between carnal believers and spiritual believers is exposed. Carnal believers still walk by the flesh. They live by the rules of the world seeking the rewards of the world. Spiritual believers walk in faith to please their spiritual Father. They live by the Spirit of God to do the will of their spiritual father, God. The two kinds of “believing” are neither compatible nor able to really co-exist peacefully.
Galatians 5: 17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
The question we must ask ourselves is this: Who’s reward are we trying to receive? Are we seeking the rewards of the world, meaning, are we living to receive the notoriety, wealth, and power of influence the world offers? Or, are we seeking God’s favor, meaning, are we living to please Him by obeying His voice in our hearts? The first goal is accomplished by living according to our flesh, the reason and logic of our education, and obedience to the influences of the world around us. The second is accomplished by living according to the written and spiritual revelation Word of God, in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives.
Material blessings do come as an added blessing to those walking by the spirit. But they may not appear to be “blessings” to those walking by the flesh. Have you noticed that the things you need seem to always come “on special” at the very times you need them? What about the special tools you need to accomplish a job? Can you find really good, quality, and expensive tools at a price compared to brand new, but much lower quality tools? Look at the automobile you drive. How old is it? How many miles does it have? Isn’t it amazing that your old car seems to work as well as a new one for so long? The newest vehicle in our household was made in 1998 and our oldest daily driver was made in 1991. The average mileage for all of our vehicles is 180,000 miles. I have shirts and trousers that I bought new 20 and 30 years ago that I use every week and still have no tears in them. These are blessings from God to me. I can’t promise the same blessings to you, but as you work to keep God first in your life, I can promise that He will bless you. I can make that promise because Jesus already made that promise and I am only repeating what He said.
Matthew 6: 31 and 33 “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
What you do with God is between you and God alone. It is a spiritual relationship. If you are seeking support or validation from church leaders, the only way to achieve that is to do all that they tell you to do. But if you fail in any way, that support or validation will always be withheld from you. Who’s support is better to receive? The support and approval from God Almighty who is spiritual and never changes, or the support and approval from men and clergy of the church who’s opinions are always changing?
I can tell you this from experience. When you listen to and act on the words of men, the benefits you receive in return may not reflect the benefits promised in the written Word. What do I mean? If the promise they make is spoken by revelation and agrees with the written Word, then you will absolutely receive the Godly benefits promised to you. If the promise they make is spoken presumptuously and does not reflect God’s spiritual revelation, even though it is the written Word of God, then you might not receive any benefit or answer at all. In fact, you may even find yourself worse off in the end, than if you never acted on their word at all. It’s like being in the presence of Job’s miserable comforters.
Both people are sincere with their advice, but one is acting upon spiritual revelation supported by the written Word and the other is acting upon their intelligence and reason and using the written Word as their support. Only spiritual revelation that is supported by the written Word will give the promised result. Both advice will appear the same. Both people may have also been authorized by the church, ordained by the church, and licensed by the government. But only one was speaking the truth as God intends for you. How can you know the difference, if all you can see are the degrees they hold, the ordination of the church, and the authorization from the government by their license of ordination? This is when you need to know God’s voice in your heart to discern who is really speaking God’s will for your life or their own will for your life.
A “prosperity preacher” may look upon a history like we’ve had last year and reprove our lives as examples of ungodliness and of being cursed by God Himself. On the other hand, a compassionate preacher speaking with the heart of Jesus Christ, by revelation, may speak words of comfort and encouragement instead. But what if we give a little twist here and say that neither of these men were ordained at all. What if neither of these people were even men? What if they were simply thoughts in your mind? Could one of these thoughts be inspired by your own reason or logic and the other from a spiritual source, or both thoughts are from different spiritual sources? How can you tell one from the other without help from God Himself? God does want you to be prosperous and have influence in the world around you.
3 John 1: 2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
But the forces of the world are also spiritual. These forces are the motivators of culture and are, by nature, dark and devilish. These are the principalities and powers of the world.
Ephesians 6: 12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
There is only one way to fight against spiritual wickedness. That one way is to use spiritual weapons. What most Christians only know on a superficial level, (meaning, we mentally assent to this truth), is that the Bible clearly reveals what these tools are and how to use them against the world. Christian churches were originally teaching every believer how to overcome the world. At that time, those Christian churches were Jewish synagogues. The apostles taught by practical demonstration as well as through informational lessons from Scripture. What the church lost before the end of the first century were the practical demonstrations of God’s spiritual power at work in a believer’s life. What good are songs about spiritual armor without the knowledge we need, to be able to use that armor? We need to know what that armor is, as well as how to use that armor in order to defeat the powers of darkness being used against us.
Ephesians 6: 13 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
This is the primary purpose of the spiritual armor of God. For Christian believers to be able to “withstand in the evil day.” What evil day? Any day in our life where evil attempts to defeat us. Could that evil day happen in our home against someone in our family? Yes. What about among our friends? Yes again. Could that evil day happen in school or our work place? Of course. Whether you choose to live as a religious spectator or an active believer having faith in God for all you do is entirely a private matter between you and God. It is not a matter that church doctrine or even my own teaching can dictate. You take on the whole armor of God, (which is spiritual), you learn how to use that spiritual armor with God, and you build your own spiritual relationship with God in the process. All you need is a practical process, or roadmap to learn how to make all this real in your own life.
It’s a process that the first century believers learned from Jesus Himself. After the day of Pentecost, the apostles continued to teach and demonstrate the process. For them, it was a “grass roots” movement. Meaning the Body of Christ didn’t grow as a result of pulpit preaching. It grew as a result of believers living their lives and walking with God. They were living life spiritually with God. Their walk is demonstrated in the book of Acts and the process is taught by the apostle Paul. He learned the process by revelation directly from Jesus. What you will find, as you turn your life from the walk of the flesh, to the walk of faith in the Holy Spirit, is that you will learn directly from Jesus as well. Jesus Christ will become a living and real part of your life when you build your walk of faith.
The biggest change that you will find you make is this. Jesus Christ will slowly and consistently become your greatest source of trustworthy advice, instead of any man or woman you know. That means any teacher, any boss, any minister, any author, even your own feelings and desires. It is a process that I’ve found no book written by a minister reveals. The “spirituality” being taught to Christian believers has no bearing at all to anything the written Word of God calls spiritual. We are being taught to clean up our act and become more Godly in our thoughts and character. These things are good to do, but they are matters of the flesh, not matters of the spirit. True Biblical spirituality requires the ability to hear God’s voice, recognize God’s voice as from God and not any other source, then acting upon that voice of God, (which is obedience). Faith in God is NOT faith in church leaders. It is literally faith in God directly. Do you want to know how to build your faith? You have to train yourself to walk by the Holy Spirit from God.
Liberals are tapped into the world’s spiritual source, and we know that it’s NOT God. They know they are spiritual. They know they are tapped into a spiritual source. Many of them are deceived into believing they are serving the true God. Some of them know they are not following the rules of God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, but still believe they are serving the true God. A few of them know their god is not our God, but do not realize that their god is really Satan. Then there is the final group. They know their god is not our God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, but is Satan and they actively appropriate his power in their lives. This is the power behind the great liberal minds of government, religion, and culture all over the world and what Christians are fighting against. Make no mistake about this one truth, we are alone in a world against God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are not part of the world in any way though we live in the world. Any Biblical talk of a spiritual connection to the true God, and absolute right and wrong according to truth, is rejected by the world. They want to redefine truth as a relative concept that changes from situation to situation. It is now, just like the days of Noah.
Matthew 24: 37 – 41 “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”
Jesus Christ is the Son of man and the one speaking in this passage. I don’t believe that He is coming soon because I’m experiencing job problems. I believe He is coming soon because the Christian church has fallen asleep and abandoned its duty to its own people. That duty is to show each and every one of us how the Holy Spirit operates in our lives. In that operation, how the Holy Spirit keeps us safe in the evil day. In keeping us safe, how our faith becomes stronger and stronger. And as our faith grows, how we overcome the world in greater and greater tribulation, even tribulation that becomes an inspiration for others to want to follow our God. When we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are saved. But until we learn to obey the Holy Spirit, we are still walking by the flesh in no different manner than the rest of the world. We have to change our manner of life by choosing to ask God for answers, listen for His answer by the Holy Spirit, then acting upon that answer. When we act upon the answer we receive from God, it is at that point when Jesus Christ becomes our Lord.
This is why it’s so important for every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to know how to recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice. Jesus Christ may be your personal Savior, but until you listen and obey Him by the Spirit, you cannot build a relationship with Him. If you never build a relationship with your Savior, He can never know you and become your Lord. Why am I able to overcome every obstacle the world throws at me to defeat me and my family? I chose long ago to really learn to listen for His voice and act upon His revelation. In other words, I made the conscious decision to make Jesus Christ my Lord. And that can only be done with a spiritual relationship by the Holy Spirit we receive when we become born again.
If anyone tells you that life is easier and the problems you have will end when you become born again, it is a lie, a devilish deception. Here is the deception. When you realize that nothing really changed about your life except the one thing that led you to Christ, the temptation to reject Christianity and return to your former ways creeps in. Following the rituals of religion seems safe and easy. No matter what Christian church you choose to attend, every one of them has a pattern of ritual unique to that church. There is nothing wrong with the rituals. It’s when the rituals become more important than your relationship with Jesus Christ, then you have a problem. Because when you need to overcome a situation in your life and you trust church rituals more than the voice of the Holy Spirit, then your obedience rests upon the words of men.
It’s the pattern of overcoming situation after situation that reveals whether you are making Jesus Christ your Lord or your church rituals. Problems don’t end because you become born again. You’ve become a light in a world of spiritual darkness. The truth is, you will experience more problems instead, because you’ve become a target that spiritual darkness is able to see. You shouldn’t run away from your problems because you need them to give God opportunities to display His love for you. With every situation that comes in your life, you have another opportunity to ask God for help and answers. Each time He tells you what to do and reveals what is happening is another time for you to show Him your trust by your obedience to His revelation. As you trust Him more by acting upon His spiritual revelation, you are making Him your personal Lord. The trust you are building with Him, is your faith.
So you see, there are times when more problems will simply happen. During those times, you need to turn to God more. The past few weeks have been one of those times in my life. I’ve had to devote more of my time to the problems of living, ordinary problems that simply piled up one after another almost faster than I could handle, but not too fast for God. I’ve experienced a load of problems that took my time away from blogging, but I was able to witness God working in my life to deliver me in my “evil day.” As I experienced one deliverance after another over the past few weeks, it was like Christmas and a most wonderful time, but I’m rejoicing because of His spiritual power at work and deliverance in my life.
Every day is a Sunday for me. There is no day that I don’t turn to God with some reason for help. Whether it’s to ask Him to help others or for myself, that is the reason for prayer. My prayer to God is more like a conversation with Him than a ritualistic shopping list given to Santa Clause. I ask Him to help me understand what is going on with certain people or situations and He tells me. Then I ask Him what I should do to overcome the problems that are happening. When He tells me what to do, I’ve learned long ago to simply do it.
So you see, the asking is easy and the obedience is also easy. It’s the faith part that was hard for me to learn how to build. None of the churches I attended or the ministry schools I graduated from really knew how to teach me the manner to build my personal faith in God. They didn’t know how to communicate the process that I needed to follow that builds faith and makes Jesus Christ my personal Lord and Savior. So I know you are also struggling with the same questions I had. How does a Christian believer really make Jesus Christ their Lord after you become born again? What does faith look like? And finally, how does a believer build their faith in God? That is why I wrote the book: “Rules for Radical Christians: A Practical Primer for Defeating Radical Liberals at Their Own Game.” If you are struggling with these same three questions and have situations happening in your life that God can help deliver you from, then this book is for you. If you have no problems and life is great, then you don’t need my book at all. Maybe you should write one that outlines how you became so successful. I would certainly purchase that book from you.