The Battle of Caransebes

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The Battle of Caransebes

Different portions of an Austrian army, which were scouting for forces of the Ottoman Empire, fired on each other by mistake, causing self-inflicted decimation. The battle took place on the evening of 17 September 1788. Ottomans were victorious and captured the city.

The army of Austria, approximately 100,000 strong, was setting up camp around the town of Karánsebes (now Caransebeş, in modern Romania). The army’s vanguard, a contingent of hussars, crossed the Timiş River nearby to scout for the presence of the Ottoman Turks. There was no sign of the Ottoman army, but the hussars did run into a group of gypsies, who offered to sell schnapps to the war-weary soldiers. The cavalrymen bought the schnapps and started to drink.

Soon afterwards, some infantry crossed the river. When they saw the party going on, the infantry demanded alcohol for themselves. The hussars refused to give them any of the schnapps, and while still drunk, they set up makeshift fortifications around the barrels. A heated argument ensued, and one soldier fired a shot.

Immediately, the hussars and infantry engaged in combat with one another. During the conflict, some infantry began shouting “Turci! Turci!” (“Turks! Turks!”). The hussars fled the scene, thinking that the Ottoman army’s attack was imminent. Most of the infantry also ran away; the army comprised Italians from Lombardy, Slavs from the Balkans, and Austrians, plus other minorities, many of whom could not understand each other. While it is not clear which one of these groups did so, they gave the false warning without telling the others, who promptly fled. The situation was made worse when officers, in an attempt to restore order, shouted “Halt! Halt!” which was misheard by soldiers with no knowledge of German as “Allah! Allah!”.

As the cavalry ran through the camps, a corps commander reasoned that it was a cavalry charge by the Ottoman army, and ordered artillery fire. Meanwhile, the entire camp awoke to the sound of battle and, rather than waiting to see what the situation was, everyone fled. The troops fired at every shadow, thinking the Ottomans were everywhere; in reality they were shooting fellow Austrian soldiers. The incident escalated to the point where the whole army retreated from the imaginary enemy, and Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II was pushed off his horse into a small creek.

Two days later, the Ottoman army arrived. They discovered 10,000 dead and wounded soldiers and easily took Caransebeş

(Source, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Kar%C3%A1nsebes)

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I would like to call for a ceasefire in this debate regarding gender equality in the church. Many women are feeling increasingly frustrated with the lack of opportunity to minister in the church either because of denominational tradition, prejudices within the individual churches or sincere belief that men and women are different and are called by God to different roles which preclude any speaking to or teaching of men. As a result of this frustration and conflict many women, and men, rather than exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit, are tending to rely on the time honoured means of squaring off against each other as enemies on the battlefield.

This must not be the case. As the battle of Caransebes with its embarrassing and devastating own goal scenario proves all this does is destroy our integrity and expose us to the derision of the world for foolishness and division. Women do not need to become feminists in order to obey the Lord and His call on their lives. Yet in a recent discussion, even Germaine Greer has conceded that gender equality is not the panacea that we think it is. A few months ago on the ABC’s ‘One on One’ programme Germaine pointed out that CEOs of corporations could be both male or female, but there was no point trying to reach such lofty heights if you don’t recognise that in order to become a CEO you have to first of all show yourself to be a corporate creature. Since corporations were pyramids which were littered with the bodies of those who attempted to climb to the top she felt that they were in fact not suited to either male or female humans. She stated that the system needed to be changed inherently to make them acceptable to women in particular whose primary objective was to nurture, protect and assist those in society who were less able. The business world, or in fact the working world, was not a place of gender equality simply because of the differences in our make up.

It is not a good goal for women anywhere, but more importantly in the church, to ‘be the same as men’ without understanding that even what men have is often not God’s choice for them. We frequently see the church and the family as a pyramid and the attainment of leadership and authority as a competition. Yet the Bible shows us that each gift God has given, pastor, teacher, prophet, apostle and evangelist as the work of the Holy Spirit who is manifestly not competitive, jealous, angry, hostile or aggressive. He is gentle, patient, kind, tolerant and loving. Moreover, these gifts are for the edification of the body. What do we achieve by competing with each other for the opportunity to allow these gifts to be exercised; men with men or women with men? I am not seeing much fruit of the Spirit in the debate regarding gender identity and equality which has developed on the internet in particular. Men are becoming nasty and motivated by fleshly pride and fear. Women are becoming hostile and frustrated and losing sight of their Saviour and His love for them.

I am beginning to see that our problem is not the equality of women and men in the church or the insubordination of unruly women who can’t understand this fact. Our problem has now become seeing each other as the enemy. We need to focus solely on Jesus our Saviour who would have us engage with each other rather than fight. We need to fight the enemy of our souls, yet everywhere men and women are fighting for their own rights in the church. We are in a spiritual Caransebes.

We are an army made up of people who do not understand each other because of their backgrounds, ethnicity and culture and who believe they are being victimised by others who have something they do not. There is also a power struggle ensuing. Whether we like it or not, we are like the Austrian army. The Hussars were given alcohol by the gypsies (a type of the world – some claim gypsies emerged from Egypt thousands of years ago). Some of the soldiers were jealous and wanted some alcohol but were denied it. Whether the Hussars should have given their fellow soldiers some alcohol or not is beside the point. They should not have been drinking since they were sent to spy out the land. Drunkenness and contamination from the world was the root cause of the problem here. They were not staying sober and vigilant because their enemy was prowling around seeking whom he may devour. They became drunk and dissident because they were not focused on their jobs as soldiers. They failed, and died as a result.

I believe that the breakdown of the church, both in individual Christians and in families is the result of spiritual forces of wickedness in high places working against the body of Christ. I believe the answer to this is to recognise that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and that we are called to do battle. In fact Paul calls us to stand. This is the same call as a commander would give to his troops to ‘stand their ground’ or hold the ground they have. In Christ we have a great deal, but it is possible to have this ground taken from us by the enemy. The enemy hates us with a fervency that I don’t believe we generally acknowledge as Christians. We come to church with joy and fellowship and participate in peace for the most part. However, if we were more aware of our call, of our enemy, of the fact that we are not ‘safe’ even in the very best churches, we will take up our standard with fervency and press into God with earnestness as never before.

Women fight for the right to preach and teach, they despair of the day when we will be able to hold our heads up as equals as brothers and sisters. I believe we are already in that day. Our enemy is coming against us like a flood and we have not the wisdom or revelation to see it. Our eyes need to be open to the darkness that surrounds us. The enemy will delight in our lack of oneness in the Lord. He will rejoice in our pain and dissension and the fact that we lapse back into the flesh to deal with each other rather than in the Spirit with humility and kindness. We are not talking to each other like this.

I proclaim that the day we recognise who our enemy truly is, we will engage with him and see each brother and sister as fellow soldiers. If an enemy can confuse the opposing troops and have them fighting against each other, he will be the one who wins. If Satan can take the city we are trying to defend, the spiritual Jerusalem, the city of God, we will have nothing left but rubble and dead bodies. Our army will be decimated; the enemy will gloat and be rightly pleased with himself for having taken our eyes off God and onto ourselves.

Even as God prepares His Bride for the final battle, I wonder how many of us will recognise that even if we can’t function in our spiritual giftings in this present age because of the objections of others, we can still learn obedience to God from the sufferings and trials which we endure. And this surely is our highest goal, Christlikeness. My call is to women in particular not to be distressed and frustrated and allow the flesh to rise up and take over. Walk in the Spirit, see your brothers and sisters as your family, not your enemy, and pray fervently for the strength to continue. Redeem the time for the days are evil, and watch the backs of your fellow soldiers. Our enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour!

Ephesians 4: 1-6

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

(NKJV)

 

 

Anita Brady

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Human Huddles and the Myth of ‘Just Keep Moving’

This footage of Emperor Penguins in the Arctic, or something very similar, was first aired in Australia many years ago. I will never forget how amazed I was at the obvious intelligent design displayed by these birds. The facts of this natural/divine marvel are astounding. God has placed within these creatures, which he has caused to live in temperatures forty degrees below freezing, the ability to keep themselves warm through connecting with each other. They keep both their chicks and themselves alive by huddling together and surviving off the body warmth of the other penguins. Not only that, but this is a highly organised and democratic survival strategy. The penguins on the outer circle, the part that takes the brunt of the icy wind, do not stay there. They take turns to go to the outside of the circle of birds and they keep on waddling so they also stay warm through activity. God is truly great! This is not just an example of His infinite capacity to care for his own creation, but a further illustration to us of His Fatherly desire to meet our own needs.

We are not penguins. We are made in the image of God. Yet, even God pointed towards His creation to prove to His people that He is Jehovah Jireh, our provider. While these penguins gain warmth and comfort from each other, they know not God. God has provided for them as an illustration for human beings, moreover, for His own people.

Jesus said in Matthew chapter 6:

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (NKJV)

So, like the penguins, we human beings tend to look to ourselves or to each other for the days needs. I think many of us, myself included, have tended to think of God as some kind of distant benefactor who helps us out sometimes but other times expects us to think for ourselves and find the resources to deal with our own problems.

Think about it. If God has given these penguins, creatures of pure instinct and habit, creatures whose sole motivation is to ‘multiply and be fruitful’, the capacity to deal with their harsh environment in such an ingenious way, how much greater is His capacity to creatively fix our problems. We get ourselves into much worse situations than mere temperature issues. Our problems are complex and involve emotional, mental, physical, relationship, financial and health issues, sometimes all at once. Human beings can be remarkably unhelpful in times of our greatest need. We have found for ourselves that just when you need other Christians or even your family around you to support and help you, that support can suddenly become non-existent.  So even though we can huddle together like these penguins, if we put our trust in other people to fix what ails us, we will often find ourselves becoming frustrated and disappointed. God has other plans for us.

I am not saying, by the way, that God can’t help us through our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Not a. tall. What I am saying is that if we put our trust in our own strength or the strength of others and forget that it is Jesus who is our lifeline, we will fall into the sin of pride and/or idolising men.

Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord.

(Jeremiah 17:5 NKJV)

Jesus is our Messiah and our Saviour. Yet I know that for myself, I have seen Him as a one-time saviour. He saved me when I was 13 and made a commitment to Him, but the rest of my life belongs to me to do with as I see fit. I must somehow live an acceptable religious life so God will be pleased with me, and Jesus will say “well done” when I go to heaven.

Jesus is our Saviour in all and through all. He does not simply wait on the sidelines to give us a push or a cheer when we need it. He wants us not just to come to Him but to cling to Him in all situations whether they appear to be good or bad. Remember, He works all things together for good for those who love Him.

It is important to consider this fact. All life on earth is cursed and lies under the sway of the evil one. (1 John 5:19) The fall of man caused the fall of this universe. One way to understand the difference between that which is eternal and that which is temporal (or of this world) is to remember that life on earth depends upon activity and movement. Everything moves. Time itself is constantly moving forward. As everything moves, so does it deteriorate (the law of entropy in physics). The air moves, the tides move, the earth itself moves. Our bodies are constantly moving. Our hearts pump, our brain crackles with electrical impulses, our blood moves through our body. Our minds are constantly thinking even when we are asleep. Both at the macro level and micro level, life is constantly filled with activity. The planets move, the universe is constantly expanding, our cells are born, divide, die and are reborn. Atoms and molecules are moving. Even in death, the only time something is actually perpetually still, there are microbes and germs moving to decay the body.

Compare this to God in eternity. There are so many instances in Scripture of God and stillness being linked. Jesus told the waves and the wind to be still. (Mark 4:39) The Holy Spirit is a still small voice.(1 Kings 19:12) We are told to ‘be still and know that I am God’. (Psalm 46:10). Another verse is when God told Job to ‘stand still and consider the wondrous works of God’ (Job 37:14). And of course the well-known Isaiah 40:31 verse about waiting on the Lord and regaining our strength and mounting up with wings as eagles. Who hasn’t seen an eagle literally ‘standing still’ in the heavens, wings outstretched, riding the thermals and waiting for God to show his amazing eagle eyes the food He has provided for him.

God’s stillness, His unchangeability, His constancy, His utter lack of turning from His purity of holiness and righteousness is in stark contrast to the utter chaos and degradation of this universe. At the same time that God provides for His creation and the creatures within it, He recognises that this creation is no place for His people. He has made us into a new creation. Likewise, He intends to destroy this physical universe, and sin and death and wickedness and evil for ever. Then we will abide with Him in eternity in a new heaven and new earth which will not be tainted or corrupted with sin.

Compare those gorgeous Emperor Penguins to ourselves. We live in a terrible, harsh, dark, cold and destructive environment. If we were to stay still we would die. So we keep on moving. We are constantly thinking of ways to change and improve our environment and ourselves.

Consider what happens when trauma or difficulty strikes. Say you are working in a company which is being taken over by another company. Immediately, the staff of your company become restless and nervous. They huddle together in tight knit groups to exchange information, to gossip and to try and figure out what is happening. They are scared, they are stressed, they are looking for reassurance and help so they go to each other to see if anyone else has something they can use, information, contacts, etc. Nobody wants to be without a job, nobody wants to be left behind, out in the cold so to speak. Yet, the possibility of this happening is fairly imminent. Somebody is going to be fired, and you are hoping its not you. The huddle and move phenomenon is not limited to Emperor Penguins. We humans are pretty good at it too. It is how we have survived for millennia. We are not so democratic, so purely dependant upon God as these penguins however. Our nature is to take for ourselves, not to share generously with all. We would kick the outer penguins into the darkness so only our chicks were catered for. The only problem with that is, soon there will be no penguins. As God has ensured the survival of the species through sharing both the good and the bad, He has also provided for our survival through good and bad. We must depend upon Him and trust on His genius to keep our lives. Jesus told us that if we try and save our own lives we will lose them, and if we lose them for His sake, we will find them. (Matthew 16:25)

His nature, His character and His plan for us is that we cling to Him as our Saviour in every situation, for every new day, and hour by hour in some cases. In fact, sometimes I think that our very worse times are when everything is going well. We rejoice in our good fortune and we forget God. We forget to thank Him not just for the good times but for the bad times, because it is in the bad times that we learn to trust Him and we learn about His great sufficiency as our God and Father, and as our Saviour.

God saved those penguins from extinction by providing them with a strategy to cope. He didn’t move them out of the Antarctic; He didn’t provide them with a steaming Jacuzzi and a padded cave in which to ride out the winter. He gave them very thick feathers, and I suspect not a small amount of body fat, and He told them how to keep their babies safe and their species continuing. He ensured their survival. If we, as humans, are much more valuable to Him that a bunch of cute birdies, then how much more does He provide for our every need, despite the complications of our lives. God is greater than anything we face, He can help us today in our difficulties, and in fact, those difficulties have been custom designed for us. God knows us inside and out, He has counted the hairs upon our heads. When we wake He is still with us, and His thoughts are continually towards us. (Psalm 139 – read it all it is very comforting) He will never leave nor forsake us. Yet, we still tend towards the old huddle and move survival strategy.

Things are going to heat up, we are going to have to face greater and greater insecurity and difficulty over the coming years. Now is the day of salvation. It occurs to me that this verse does not just refer to initial salvation, but to constant salvation. He not only saves our souls, He saves our lives, every single day. He saves our marriages, our children, our jobs, our health, our finances, He is our Saviour, that is His nature and everything about God is eternal, which means it doesn’t change.

Remember…our universe is in a constant state of flux, of change, of decay and of movement. Huddle and move….or die. God is eternal and He never changes, never moves from His throne, never decays and never dies. He has overcome this world, and He has overcome death, and it is His power, through the Holy Spirit, which gives us life, and life more abundantly.

Thankyou Lord for your constant life-giving power and love towards us and thankyou for those stalwart and patient birds that endure through the cold and darkness knowing that the sun will return to warm them once more.

 

 

Lost Sons

Prodigal Son Luke 15:11-32
Prodigal Son Luke 15:11-32

 

The prodigal son was no longer a son. He had sold his birthright through living a rebellious life. He left his father’s house and was ‘dead’ to his father. In the scriptures it says he is no longer worthy to be called a son (vs 19), but in fact, what he recognised when he ‘came to himself’ was that he could no longer rely on his sonship to be welcomed back by the father. He, as a son, had died to the father, he no longer had any inheritance with Him, and could no longer claim to be of his father. This is a grave issue. When the son says in the parable, he is no longer worthy, he is not just being cute. He literally understands that he is no longer a son in his father’s house, he has died and if he goes back, all he can do is cast himself on the mercy of this man and hope that at the very least he can ask to be a servant in the house. The fact that he is welcomed back by the father is not testament so much to the father’s love, but is more of a testament to the fact that the son recognised what it meant to be a son in the house of his father, and also that he wanted to reconcile with his father in humility rather than in entitlement.

He is now able to be welcomed back, because he is now ready to be the true son he should have been before. Neither son was truly a son in the father’s house, neither son was making the most of their inheritance. Both were squandering it, one in rebellious self-directed living, and the other in self-righteous proud and miserly arrogance. Neither were able to make full use of their father’s riches in the proper way, which is to be in the father’s house and rejoice with the father in the things that the father rejoices over ie, the giving of life to the one who was dead, the giving of sonship to the one who was not even living as a servant.

The son recognised that he had chosen, instead of sonship, his own rebellious ways and to be taught and directed by the dictates of his own heart. Now he wanted his father to take him back, but recognised he had no longer any rights as a son in the house of his father, and he was truly only worthy of being a servant. Our sonship is dependant, not just on being in the father’s house but upon having a relationship with him where he is able to direct and guide us, and we as sons are able to obey and submit to his leading. The older son was not a son either. He had no relationship to his father despite the fact that he did everything he was told. There was obedience, but no relationship. In fact, the older son had more in common with the servants than with true sonship. He was out in the field when his brother returned, and yet sent one of the servants to enquire what all the noise was about. He was in effect identifying with the servants over and above his family.  If he was a true son, he would have been with the father rejoicing with him that his brother who was once dead is now alive.

God has shown me this morning that when we become sons in the father’s house we forfeit the right to own our own lives. We can’t just up and leave and go to a far country and squander our birthright by making decisions for ourselves as to how we will ‘spend our inheritance’. The prodigal son squandered his sonship and his inheritance by doing whatever he wanted whenever he wanted to do it with whomever he wanted to do it. True sonship is waiting on the Father to do what He wants whenever He wants us to do it and with whom He wants us to do it. This is not some terrible burden or prison sentence, to never be able to do what you want for yourself again. In fact, it is only the rebellious soul which is unable to recognise the Father’s heart. The Father’s heart is to work all things together for good, His and ours because He is unable to cause suffering and harm to come to us, it is only our own wicked hearts which convince us that if we give our souls to God that we will somehow miss out.

We have to come to a revelation of what it means to rebel against God. We convince ourselves that we are looking after ourselves better than God could ever do because only we know what is best for us. Yet it is our flesh which convinces us of this and only because the flesh doesn’t want to submit to God because it is not of God and is at enmity with God. The flesh only has one fate and that is to die. It will die, either on the cross leading to life, or in the fires of Hell. This is just as Satan was. Initially he served God in heaven, then he became convinced that he was worthy of worship and wanted to be God, and because of his insanity he fell. We have romanticised this picture far too much. It was his utter depravity which caused him to fall, his complete ‘otherness’ to God which caused him to be put out of heaven. When we follow the dictates of our own hearts instead of God’s word, we are following Satan.

Unfortunately, many ‘older sons’ have gotten hold of the word of God and turned God into an ugly tyrant who just wants us to obey and submit to Him in order that He can control our lives and make us miserable. These Pharisees have taken the word of God and, like a dog in the manger, have not been able to derive life from it themselves and have also not wanted to see others enjoy their lives with God either. Therefore they spy out our liberty, as they did with Paul, and look to see where they can load us down with false guilt and shame because we are rejoicing with the Father in our sonship in simple faith and love. These Pharisees are like the older brother because they were not able to access the inheritance they had with the father.

‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends’ (Luke 15:29)

The older son complains because he blames his father for not giving him a party, when in fact, as the father points out, all that he had belonged to his son, it was just that the son never actually asked for it, or made use of it. In truth, the older son never had anything to make merry about in the first place. He was not able to rejoice in the will of his father, he simply did it because it was required of him, not because he loved his father, and rejoiced with the father over the things his father took joy in. There was literally no like-mindedness in these two. Neither son was able to understand the father and know his ways. Yet of the two, the younger son, who finally ‘came to himself’ was able to firstly recognise his own sin and secondly able to see who his father really was, a generous, caring and compassionate man who treated others with respect and love. The older son had not had this revelation and if he had, he would have been rejoicing in his sonship much sooner.

We need once again to come to an understanding of both the gravity and depth of the truth that we are not our own and have been bought with a price, and also to understand the profound life and joy which is ours in this very relationship. We are not bought with a price so that we can go off and live our lives in whatever way we see fit. We are sons in the house of the father so that we can relate to him and do his will.

The language of the New Testament, of the whole bible in fact, can be looked at in one of two ways. It is either harsh, domineering and controlling (looked at in the flesh) or it is a reflection of God’s character. He disciplines and chastens us as sons, but he also gives us everything that he has. He is completely open and free with his own possessions, we have open access to all areas, but we must choose to live with Him and in Him in order that we can access these riches. We must wait on Him, talk to Him, ask Him for what we need, and He, as a generous and loving Father will never withhold from us.

Jesus told the disciples that he would not leave them as orphans (John 14:18), and that he would send the Holy Spirit to be with them when He ascended to His Father (John 16). In fact, the disciples lived in relationship with Jesus in the Father’s house on earth, being taught, directed, guided and coached in all aspects of their lives. Jesus was with them 24/7, giving them what they needed each day. What He was saying was, that this relationship would now be continued through the Holy Spirit, who would continue His work on earth not just by being with them bodily, but by being in them bodily so that they would never be without His guidance and fathering. Some human beings have assumed that their job was to disciple others and tell them what to do in every aspect of their lives, but this is a blasphemy to the Holy Spirit. No man is able to tell another what to do in this kind of minute detail or control another’s every movement. This is bondage. God has set us free from this kind of obedience to law. This is why the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so profoundly changes our lives. We are able to live freely in obedience to the word of God as the Holy Spirit reveals it to us, individually, at the pace God sets for us as individuals and in the way and order that He dictates, not that another man dictates, nor in the way our own hearts dictate. This is true sonship. An individual, loving and very personal relationship with our heavenly Father through the salvation and freedom of Christ and in the Holy Spirit. A true union in the family of God.

Much love,

Anita

 

 

WHAT ARE YOU LIVING FOR?

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“Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?”

The quote above is from the late Leonard Ravenhill. It is as relevant today as it was the day he first uttered it.

How often do we ask ourselves this question?

How often have you seen this on someone else’s website and wondered, do they really know what this means?

Even as I write, I wonder whether there are many at all who consider this sort of question. Do we ever look at our lives in the light of God’s Word and wonder, ‘Does it all stack up?’

I know of a man who used to have this quote written on his note books and I’m pretty sure it was on the inside cover of his Bible also. This man, in his earlier years, preached the Gospel with fire and conviction both here in Australia and overseas.

This man has for the last 25 years been involved in a well known Australia wide cult. He runs their ‘outreach’, if you can call it that, up in Far North Queensland. They are based at White Rock, a suburb just south of Cairns.

Recently I got to catch up on this man’s ministry via Youtube. Unfortunately he is not even half the man he used to be. The fire is gone. You can see that there is no longer the same passion, the conviction and the spark in his eyes is gone. The Fire of the Holy Spirit is not present in his eyes or life. Dare I say that this has been the case since 1989 when he and his wife joined this cult. Many in the small group they had led prior to that move have now walked away from God and or are so shipwrecked that they no longer have a focus on God, we know of many from that old group who are in the same cult still and locked up in heresy and false doctrines.

So my question to this man, should he ever be looking at this Facebook page and get to read this, and to anyone else who happens to read this post, Is what you are living for worth Christ dying for?

Recently my life was turned upside down by a loving caring Father God. He chose to put me in circumstances that had me on my face in prayer and fasting for weeks.

During this time He began to speak to me like never before.

He began to challenge me again about what I was living for.

What was my focus?

What on earth was I doing?

Which Kingdom was I living for?

Which God was I serving?

This time has been the most eye opening, soul searching time of my life. Never before has God gotten my attention in the way He has over this last little while.

Father God has turned my life upside down, in actual fact, He has turned it right side up.

Our whole family is changing as a result. We have 2 of our children preaching the Gospel in their workplace, our oldest son involved in deep gospel based discussions with his fellow students at QUT, while my wife and I are focused now on the Kingdom of God and crying out to Him every day for Him to move in amongst His people and bring revival.

We have had and are experiencing a mini revival of our own here in our family.

God is opening up His Word to us in a whole new way. Insights we have not seen before, especially in regard to our walk with Him.

Recently He spoke to us from the story of the Prodigal Son. He showed us how we had been in the mire of that pigsty for 25 years and that it was time to step up out of the muck, come home to Him, be cleansed, clothed again in His Righteousness, to receive His ring of ownership on our finger and His sandles on our feet to enable us to walk in His ways.

We have known a restoration into the Father’s household like no other. We know what is it like to be cleansed and forgiven and freed from years of filth and muck and trash and sin.

Then He spoke to us from the story of the Good Samaritan in a whole new way.

More importantly, we know what it is like to be fired up again by the Holy Spirit and to be focused on the Kingdom of God.

I now know that I can say with confidence that what I live for was worth Christ dying for.

My focus daily is the King and His Kingdom.

Jesus Christ my Saviour gave His all for me and I will likewise give my all for Him.

Our prayer is for revival to come to God’s people. Revival starts in the hearts and lives of those who will get on there faces before God and let him have His way in their lives.

Finally to finish, here is another quote from Leonard Ravenhill:

“The only reason we don’t have revival is because we are willing to live without it!”

Steve