Thursday, May 1, 2008

What to Do About Weeds?

Can you spot the weeds?

Christians will say they KNOW that -
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8) YES; and you "who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ" (Galatians 3:27) ; who told us very clearly - "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father..." (John 14:12); and he told his disciples, "... these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons ..." (Mark 16:17a) So, WHY DON'T WE? Gee, do you think the enemy would rather have us focus on the last half of that verse: "they will speak in new tongues." (Mark 16:17b)?

The number of unclean spirits around has not decreased in the intervening years. THEY'RE STILL HERE .... HELLO. Sitting in our churches, sometimes disrupting, sometimes just there, stinking up the place, often insinuating themselves into leadership. Satan seeks to disrupt, deceive and ultimately destroy, if he could, the Church of Christ.

Though, praise God, the outcome is secure. Satan doesn't win in the end. However, many battles are lost, souls stumbled, leaders ruined and churches closed down. Yet, we ignore (or try to) their presence among us today, or attach interesting psychological labels to his sad captives and worry that maybe they're off their "meds" when abnormal behavior is noticed.

The Gemini temple

The church seems so powerless in the face of the real god of this "New Age" - science. That spirit is the one that has gotten us to question, pick apart and disbelieve so much of the Word of God - beginning with Genesis. Basically, that's what it is - a sin of unbelief - active in the Christian church and incubated in our liberal seminaries and "Bible Colleges." They teach students not to rely on Scripture, but to question it - rather than question "science" when it contradicts the bible. As a side note, why just question a six day creation when the whole Bible is packed with supernatural events from beginning to end? Genesis to Revelation. The answer is, of course, that the unbelief doesn't end there. And, it filters down from the top right into the congregation.

We feed the hungry, teach children, disciple new believers, send missionaries (ill-equipped) to foreign lands, we pray for healing, but don't, as a rule, take authority in His name and set the prisoners free. And, that's what they are.

Jesus said to us, as well as to those in the synagogue:
"Should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?" Luke 13:16

Is it important at all, or can we continue to shove it under the table, or into a psychiatrist's office?

See Matthew 13:24-25 & 38-39:
"The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But, while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat... the weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil."

We're told not to pull the weeds up in this parable, so as not to disturb the good plants. But he has let us know they are there so that we might use the discernment he gives us wisely, for the good of the church. Spiritually oppressed people can be delivered, and that is what Jesus did. It's their choice in the end to allow the Holy Spirit to be in total control of their lives or to let the evil one back in.

Again, "In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an unclean spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice..." Luke 4:33 (A verse I was reading today and which inspired this rant.) Note, this spirit didn't flee from the very presence of Jesus until commanded to do so. Even Jesus needed to take authority over them, to DO something. The problem won't go away by itself. And, I don't think there is a single instance in the Word of a person so afflicted who personally asked for help. It was either Jesus who noticed the problem, a disciple, a relative or friend who sought healing for the victim. They are deceived and bound, to greater or lesser degrees.

I set out cockroach and ant traps - don't want those unclean critters around. Ohhhhhh no. The slightest sign of mice brings on instant attack mode - traps, poison - whatever it takes. And, I can certainly tell a weed from a tomato plant, and pull it out. Why then are we so inept at getting rid of unclean spirits? Setting their captives free? Where is the leadership? Or, considering the number of times Scripture mentions Jesus dealing with it, the teaching, the sermons? The gift of discerning spirits (1 Corinthians 12:10) should be as appreciated and heeded as any other gift. It's certainly needed now as much as in the past.

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