People often misinterpret Jesus Christ because of the actions of Christians. Christians – myself included – can be hypocritical, spiteful, angry, hurtful and just downright mean. It is because of this, I think that people often reject Jesus Christ and the Christianity that the churches preach.
However, I’ve learned over the years that many – dare I say, most – churches are off track when it comes to how they portray God and Jesus Christ. This is not an anti-church rant, so I won’t say anymore on that subject, but suffice to say that our family hasn’t been to “church” in over 5 years. We left our last evangelical free church due to dangerously incorrect teachings about God and Jesus Christ, and have been home-churching, straight from the Bible, ever since. For those of you who may be concerned, yes, we have plenty of fellowship with other Christians as the Bible encourages us to do, it’s just not usually in a church building. And, because our training has come straight from the Bible for so many years, we’ve grown in our understanding of God more in the last five years than we had in the two decades preceding that.
As such, we’ve learned a few things that I think may answer some questions in people’s minds about how this life works. What you read below may be controversial, and of course, you’re welcome to disagree, but this is some of what we’ve come to understand about how the world works, and I’d like to share it with you, as it was life-changing for our family, and I hope it will be for you too.
Read below the excerpt from a book I started years ago, and that I may or may not ever finish. This book is meant to be kind of a follow-up book to my first book on prayer:
I often lament for those who reject God or deny His existence. Whether or not we believe in Him, the fact of the matter is that He does exist, and He is the Creator of all that we see.
And whether or not we choose to believe in Him or accept Him as our Rescuer, we still sit right smack in the middle of a war for our souls.
Jesus has indeed won the final outcome of this war with His resurrection, but Satan still strives day and night to deceive us into believing that God, instead of being a loving Father, putting every attempt in place to get us to open our eyes and recognize the lies we are being told by Satan, that God either doesn’t exist, or is an angry dictator looking to force us into a life of control and complacency – to His boring life of “being good”.
Oh, how I wish they understood! How I wish they could recognize that life with Jesus is SO much more! The Lord once gave me a vision of our family standing in a large eagle’s nest. Covering the nest was a massive eagle’s wing. This was the protective arm of the Lord. The wing was situated so that there was a sliver of sight given us to the world outside our nest. We could see the sky, and in it, a war going on. It was terrible, with planes, bombs – the whole works. Nothing, however, by any means, could harm us though (Luke 10:19), with the giant eagle protecting us in our nest. The planes and bombs were miniscule in size compared to His massive stature, and in His nest, we were safe and sound.
When we start to truly understand God’s tremendous love for us, and begin to understand the power and authority that we inherit as children of God, it is then that we begin to get a glimpse of who God really is, and what his true wishes for us really are. It is then that we start to open our eyes to the fact that God has a love for us that is so colossal that we will not nearly comprehend it till we meet with Him in person on the day of our move from this life into the next.
Most of us, as a result of the fallen state of this world, have a sadly skewed perception of what a father is. Therefore, we see THE Father with a deceived mind.
The more I pour through the Word, the more I come to understand that our Father in Heaven, who created us all is not at all like the Hitler we are deceived into imagining, but instead, He is the Father we all have, in our biggest dreams, ever hoped or wished we could have.
As my own father grows closer to the Lord with each passing year, I often get to see first-hand examples of the love our Father in Heaven has for us.
Once a man dominated by the bondage of the cares and weights of this world, my dad is being transformed by the renewing of his mind more and more with each passing year.
He has an amazing look in his eyes – a look of abundant love, every time he sees one of us kids. He has a smile on his face that is captivating, and a warmness in his heart that is magnetic.
Because he is truly starting to grasp the love the God has for people (we will never fully understand it while on this earth, as we literally couldn’t handle it and would likely die from the intensity), that love is radiating from inside him, and us kids, along with the many others he serves as an ambassador for Christ, are the blessed recipients.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. – Sir Isaac Newton
Whereas God’s love for all humans is so grand and all-encompassing that we could never imagine it, God’s adversary, the Devil (once God’s highest angel and right-hand being, who chose pride over servanthood, tried to take over God’s kingdom, was banished to Hell and still works to this day to destroy God’s beloved creation), has a hate for humans that is so grand that we could never imagine in it. This hate, and the Enemy’s ability to deceive us into believing the lies we’re told about situations, is the major cause of problems on this earth.
Those who are deceived by the Devil think my dad is not right in his mind: another one lost to this crazy cult of Jesus followers. I know, for I was once one myself. I had no desire to give up my “fun” life of drinking, partying, and providing for myself every material thing I thought I deserved and every thing I thought was necessary for a “happy” life. I had no desire to be “good”. To me, good equaled the opposite of fun. It was boring, and I didn’t want to be bored.
But in the quiet times, I realized that I truly wasn’t happy. Hand me a drink and some friends, and all was well. But if I couldn’t be content and happy alone and sober, what was the point? I thought, “When I have my family, the husband and children I’ve always longed for, then I’ll be happy”, or, “When I have my dream home, I’ll be happy.”
When they finally came, I still wasn’t happy. Depression plagued me for years. My husband and I both came from broken homes and had baggage enough for a worldwide tour that made marriage trying and troublesome.
Even after I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, I struggled, on and off, with emptiness and sadness. I had salvation, but nothing more. Life after Jesus wasn’t much different than life before Jesus, save for the partying, which had largely gone by the wayside.
It was then that I realized that I didn’t really know God much at all. I had known what I had heard from pastors and the like. It seemed, though, that they all had different thoughts and opinions about who God was. Some ranted and raved and warned the people to repent before the coming judgment and wrath of God. Others soothed by saying judgment ended with Christ and that God was our buddy, our new BFF, always waiting to join us for fun in this awesome life.
But around me, and when I looked out into the Christian world, things truly looked about the same as they did for non-Christians, and I didn’t get it. Is this all there is? I would ask God and ask myself. Surely, I must be missing something.
It was about this time, the summer of 2007, when I had had enough of mediocrity in life. Understand, I wasn’t wanting for material things. What I desired was a deeper understanding of God and his supposed “good news”. I felt like an outsider as I read the New Testament. The writers of the New Testament wrote as if they were handing us a key to an unlimited treasure chest. Verses such as 1 John 3:1’s “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God, and we are!” baffled me. The disciple John speaks in this verse as if we have won the lottery, but I just wasn’t “feelin’ the love”. What was I missing? Where was the disconnect?
In August of 2007, I called on my dear friend, Jess. Jessie, whom God ordained as one of my closest friends and a spiritual mentor, has a faith in God like I have never seen. So it was the natural choice that I went to her with my questions and doubts. There were things I needed to know. Who is God? Why are these bad things happening in our lives? Is this really of God? If God is love, why is there so much hurt, turmoil and chaos in the world?
Through this process, I learned about God in a way that would be different than I ever imagined. I’ve still got a long way to go – I’m the first to admit it. But what God has revealed to me through this journey are things that I believe will help people to understand who God really is, and clear up many misconceptions that are out there, deceiving people into believing that a life with Jesus Christ is not for them.
God is a good God, and the Devil is a bad devil.
This is the first lessons that Jessie taught me through the Bible. If you read the beginning of the book of Genesis, you’ll see that life was AWESOME. God had provided everything Adam and Eve needed for life: food, shelter, etc. There was no sickness, and no sin – until Satan came running, trying to convince Eve that God was holding out on her in an attempt to lure her away from God and into a life of sin and despair. Eve, and then Adam, took the bait, inviting the sin into this world that has so damaged the lives of people for thousands of years.
Free Will – Both a blessing and a Curse
God made the choice to give all humans free will. Why? Because He wanted His children to love Him by choice, not by force. The down side of free will, however, is that it gives humans the option to make bad choices, such as the choices we made that got us into debt. It’s the evil plans of the Enemy, and also often times those bad choices, that cause most of the problems we have to deal with on earth, not God’s will, as so many churches teach (for more info, read Deuteronomy 28 and Psalm 91). God is not in control of your life unless you ask Him to be – He will not force His way into your life – and unless you go to Him, seeking guidance and direction for every decision, so that you can make the best choices for your life, you’ll be running things on your own. I’ve been there and done that, and in my humble opinion, it sucks. We can’t see the goings on in the dimension of the spiritual world, so without God, we are not running on all cylinders, so to speak. “Hearing” God, or feeling His will in your spirit, only comes after you’ve worked to develop a true relationship with Him, and get to know His voice as opposed to the lying voice of the Enemy. Knowing God in this way will help you to navigate around the trouble the Enemy has planned. This concept alone has completely changed my life, and the lives of my family as well. Read this excerpt from my book on prayer:
Our family got to experience the benefits of having a close relationship with God and being able to discern His instructions to us not too long ago on a car drive with my kids. We were approaching a 4-way stop in which both roads had speed limits of 55 miles per hour. I stopped, and with no one waiting at the signs going the other way, would have normally proceeded through the sign. But the Lord immediately spoke to my spirit. Wait. Having gotten better at hearing His voice through the reading of the Word, I immediately obeyed. I looked, and saw approaching on my left a distracted drive who obviously didn’t see the sign and had no intention of
slowing down. At 55 miles per hour, he came to and passed through the intersection quite fast, and didn’t slow down or realize what he had done until about 100 feet after he’d blown through that stop sign. I know that in the “olden days” before the Word of God had been planted in my heart, I would have looked
no further than the intersection, proceeded through that sign, as was my right, and been t-boned at 55 mph with my kids in the car. The results for all involved would’ve been disastrous. Thanks to the wisdom that comes from spending daily time in the Word, all that resulted was some embarrassment and hopefully some conviction for the distracted driver, and, of course, a very grateful mom and her 4 children. Experiences like this have happened to my family and I more times than I
It’s very, very difficult for people to admit that there is an Enemy out there wanting to take their lives, and to admit they make choices that can bring trouble to their lives and the lives of their families. Facing the fact that we and we alone had gotten our family into a dangerous amount of debt was horrible. The guilt, shame and sadness (all from the Enemy) tortured us for years. It was horrible, but we didn’t know or understand how to change. So we started to pray that God would give us His wisdom in all situations.
That’s when things started to change.
Prayer works. The more we sought to know God and His Will, the more we asked for His Wisdom, the more we humbled ourselves and made Him and His will the center of our lives instead of ourselves the center of our lives, the more our lives changed for the better. Don’t get me wrong; we still struggle with things, because we live in a world where there is an Enemy after us and where people have free will to do things they shouldn’t do. But now that we know and understand God’s will, through the studying of the Word and through a close relationship with Him, it is MUCH easier to navigate around the troubles the Enemy has laid out for us. This is the difference. Now that we understand God’s tremendous love for us and what His real will is for our lives, we no longer take the Enemy’s crap – we fight back, with what we know about the truth that is God’s will for us as it’s laid out in the Bible.
We now have our own Bodyguard, so to speak, helping us, protecting us, and guiding us, and it’s delivered us out of more troubling spots than I could probably ever fit into a book. And the true “good news of the Gospel” is that He’s available to you as well.
If this post has left you with questions, the very best place I can send you, beside to the Bible, is to Andrew Wommack Ministries. This guy knows the Bible and knows it well. Visit www.awmi.net and go to Teaching Articles on the left sidebar, and have a very, very Merry Christmas.