earnestly contending for the faith

God and Winston: a lesson in patience

My wife Cheryl’s old (1997) Suzuki Sidekick has more miles on it that the average Canadian goose flies in a lifetime. It has been a pain to drive for several years. It’s major problem is not idling well and dying when she slows down significantly or stops at a red light or stop sign. It got to the point that it was dying 5 to 10 times each day.

She loves that old vehicle (named it Winston) and does not want to part with it. However, I have prayed often for the means to get her another vehicle. I was really discouraged when there was no solution after several weeks of praying. This Saturday morning when I was praying I had the thought that I should try to repair it.

Now I have tried before, but that Japanese motor is an anomaly. It is not anything like the old American cars I grew up working on. I took it to a mechanic a couple of times. Although he regularly works on imports, he could not figure out how to make Winston run smoothly and idle properly. An online search of forums revealed that I might need to replace an expensive module.

But this Saturday I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to tackle the project again. So I bought some new spark plugs and went to work. First, I removed some plates and tubes so that I could reach what I thought were spark plugs. They were on the side of the block, but when I had removed all the bolts and screws and pulled on the wires, they turned out to be tubes for the fuel injection system.

I eventually discovered that the spark plugs were deep under the valve cover on top of the engine. I had to go buy a special locking extension to reach them and get the socket off after replacing each one.

However when I started to put all the tubes and plates back on, I noticed a idle screw. What a surprise! The mechanic and I had looked in vain for that adjustment, but it was hidden under a plate.

Continue reading

Enduring End-time Trials

I firmly believe that the Remnant of God’s people are going though a purifying and strengthening process by waves of trials. I know many Believers who are wrestling with great hardships. My family has not been exempted from that purging process. It seems that you barely get through one trial, have a brief period of peace, and another one comes rolling in. I sometimes feel like a rock in the surging tide. We have no option but to accept it, stand in God’s armor (Ephesians 6:11), and wait for the wave to pass. It is essential to remember to put on His armor—not ours. Trying to fight in our armor would be a disaster.

When the Believer attempts to fight the enemies of righteousness in his or her own strength and abilities, it is a huge mismatch. Sometimes all that we can do in the firefight of light against darkness is to cry out for more light. Like a solar powered vehicle, we are “light-powered” and must stay in the light to function at optimum performance. It means to overcome evil by doing good, to walk in the light, and not descend into a mêlée designed by Satan with his rules and on his battlefield. Instead we commit our battle to the Lord and trust in His faithfulness.

Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. – Psalm 37:5

The Hebrew word for “commit” is galal, which means to “roll off or roll oneself.” When I discovered that blessed nugget long ago it became a source of great comfort and relief for me. It means to roll off my burden onto the Lord. That is much different than handing Him a burden. A burden that can be handed off does not appear to be much of a burden.

When working on a farm I carried heavy bags of feed on my shoulder. One did not lay such a heavy burden down—it had to be rolled off. Sometimes I would carry it to the entrance of the barn and roll it off onto another guy who would take it inside and stack it. The relief is instantaneous and you feel light-footed as you head back to the truck for another bag. Continue reading

Dealing with Satanically Compliant People

There are harsh satanic attacks being carried out against Believers who love, defend, and present truth. Deceived apostates that believe they are servants of God are carrying out that aggression. They are blind to the evidence of their evil ways and believe they are truly godly Christians secured in God’s kingdom.

“The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service._ – John 16:2

Do not despair my fellow watchmen, you are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). The satanic aggression is to make you back down, shut up, and settle into a non-productive religious condition that so many are comfortable with today. It will cost you somehow or some way for every good work—be prepared to pay and pray.

The truth proven by historical evidence is that the wicked one will attack all major progress of a Believer. Do anything significant for God and you should expect the enemy to incite his subjects to harass the Believer. It is not an easy or pleasant thing to endure, especially when it includes false accusations and slander.

There are some things that you can do to turn the entire evil intent back on the one and his flunkies who try to carry it out.

First, do not retaliate. When you fight a battle, fight it on God’s terms, not Satan’s. Retaliating against evil speakers is going down into the miry pit with them. Stay on the hallowed ground of peace where their evil feet cannot tread.

Second, forgive them. Forgiveness puts all wrongs in the hands of God. He will respond with justice and mercy. Furthermore, forgiveness cuts off their access to your spirit. If you dwell on things people say or do to you, then they are still doing them. Forgive and end their access and activity in your spirit.

Third, let the false accusations cause you to search your heart. Pray and repent over everything you discover that is not right or not submitted to God. If you respond to evil aggression by allowing it to humble you, you have won that battle. I would rather my pride catch every blow and fiery dart than to harbor an unhealed wound in my heart.

Fourth, don’t withdraw and become reticent to trust and love people. Smile, hug, say encouraging things to people who are suffering or rejected. In other words look for ways and people to pour out love on. You may speak piercing truth and Satan’s imps may call you mean-spirited, but heaven and needy people will know you as a person who loves.

Fifth, pray for your antagonists. They obey the dark forces of evil; but you have much more power when you pray to the just and righteous God that loves you.

Sixth, do not feel sorry for yourself. The pity option has no blessed fruit. Instead, it can make one feel cheated and entitled to compensation. Satan is all too happy to agree and honor that request. Instead of pity, rejoice in the fact that you are not like them. Be grateful that you can endure pain and prevent it from becoming anger or hate.

Seven, don’t over analyze what evil people do and try to make sense of their actions and words. Just wrap it all up and file it away under nonsense. So what if people despise you for being fully surrendered to God. They are the ones with the problem, not you. So do not play their game of causing you to fret for hours on end daily wrestling over the conundrum of why they are so mean and callused.

I have not always fought those battles efficiently or correctly, but I have learned that doing it God’s way yields the battleground to Him. It is not going to get easier as the evil darkness become stronger. However, I believe that we can continue to develop our response to evil aggression and become overcomers.

“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” – Matthew 10:22

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