n the Spirit reminded me of how much our Christmas "muddy feet" experience exemplified what our own spiritual lives are like.
A few months ago, I "accidentally" sent one of my eMinistry broadcasts to a certain individual who ran a business in my hometown. After he received my message, he wrote and shared the story of how he and his wife of many years had separated and how, on one attempt to see her in Mansfield, he was crying so hard he could hardly see the road in the rain. He was repenting before God as he drove - repenting for ignoring Him; disobeying Him. You see, many years ago, this man felt God was calling him into the ministry. Well, he wrecked his car that night. Rolled it three times and flattened it down to the steering wheel. But he emerged without a scratch. While this was happening, his wife was also hearing from the Lord and became convicted about leaving him.
Forgiveness is critical to the success of the Christian walk. Owning up to the true reasons why things are the way they are ranks high on that list.
Even Jesus admitted, " I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me," (John 5:30). Jesus wasn't about doing parlor tricks with the power He had. He used it as He was lead to do so.
When you think of the word "pornography," does it conjure up the image of a scruffy guy with messy hair in the basement watching porn in his underpants?
Why wouldn't a Christian run to her Christ and, instead, run into the arms of another lover like pornography? The answer is obvious: She doesn't know Him.
Shortly thereafter, reconciliation came between her and her birth father. I've met him--and his wife--the day I officiated my daughter’s wedding, at her graduation, at her kids' birthday parties (my grandchildren). I've prayed for both the father and his wife and have forgiven him.
Do you get it? WE are God's new address! He works IN us, WITH us, and THROUGH us to advance His Kingdom to the benefit of ALL people because He's a loving Father.
Each day as we step outside, we are surrounded by people wearing masks. There's the woman who, as a little girl, was never validated by her daddy. So, she jumps from man to man hoping one day to meet her knight in shining armor. There is the little boy trapped within a big, burly man’s body who’s been dragging around with him all the years of loneliness, the pain of not measuring up, even trying to fill his God-shaped void with a woman. Having repeatedly failed, he's tried drinking, porn, drugs, big-boy toys--in some cases, the ministry.
As it is in the spirit realm, so it is in the natural realm. In my opinion, they are two sides of the same coin. Here's what I mean...
We have so many children being born without a dad to properly love, nurture, and reflect God to them. Similarly, we see so many Christians being converted, but the church remains lax in its discipleship efforts. Discipleship takes time. As a result, there's a definite neglect of any spiritual fathering taking place.
Years ago, I felt compelled to write letters to several wealthy business people. Among them were the president of Walmart, the founder of Chick-fil-A, and a businessman in Mansfield with a reputation as a Christian philanthropist.
I'm a firm believer that Jesus still heals the sick. He said, "be it unto you according to your faith," and for that reason, I believe, some people are healed miraculously, others by meds, and others not at all. Jesus placed mud on a blind man's eyes, not because he had to. Not because there were healing properties in dirt mixed with saliva. He knew that the blind man needed that, so He met him “where he was at.”
My oldest son's wife was pregnant. Sadly, he called me one afternoon at work to report that she had just been to the doctor and they were unable to locate a heartbeat. He said the baby would either be expelled or absorbed into its mother's body. I visited the couple on my way home from work. She was weeping in a fetal position on the couch. He was sitting on the patio and muttered, almost inaudibly, "I really wanted this baby, Dad."
Most of us have only one person to blame for the tough times we go through: Ourselves.
Peggy was flabbergasted that anyone could be so cruel to another person. “Just when I was finally getting my life together, all of a sudden I have nothing again!” she bawled.
How quick we are to blame the other guy. We ask aloud, “But I’m a nice person. Why would anyone treat me that way?”