A Two-Edged Sword

roman-sword

I had something of a revelation this morning.

After working on the previous post yesterday regarding the inerrancy and efficacy of the scriptures, I was in a conundrum.  There is a particular physical issue I have prayed about over and over for the last two years asking God to heal me.  During that time I had to go back to the scriptures and pray. I really wanted to know what God said about healing. Does God heal today?  Is God not unchanging and without a shadow of turning? Did Jesus ever turn away anyone who came to Him for healing with an “oh it’s not God’s will that you be healed right now”?   After many months I came to the conclusion that I do believe God heals, I am not a cessationist and I know because the scriptures tell me God heals and nowhere does it say that God has stopped healing.  I read many testimonies from various Christians, some from a more extreme Charismatic background and others who were not extreme at all. I even read a testimony from a guy who used to be cessationist but had a friend who believed God healed and gradually changed his mind on the subject simply because his friend was so unflinching in his belief, yet so joyful in his faith.  So in the end, it was the scriptures coupled with the testimony of the saints which caused me to know in my heart that Jesus heals.

But if I did not have the scriptures to give me historical accounts of what Jesus actually did on earth, and what His people experienced and testified to in the years after his ascension, I would have nothing but other people’s stories.  Our testimonies are important, scripture tells us we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the testimony of the saints (Rev:12:11). But if all we have are subjective stories, you can be tossed too and fro by other people’s contradictory accounts.  One person has prayed and never been healed (like Joni Earekson Tada) others have prayed and been instantly healed, others slowly over time etc. How do you account for such things?  You will never know what God thinks about this subject unless you go the scriptures.  If you don’t believe the scriptures are inerrant and that God’s spirit has inspired the words and that they testify of God, then you have nothing left. I mean literally nothing except feelings and stories, yours and other people’s. There has to be an authoritative source which tells us what God’s nature is, and how He intervenes in people’s lives.  Jesus healed when He was on earth, He heals now. Steve has been to India and spent a number of months on two separate occasions.  He worked with the people there, helping to build an orphanage, and also preaching the gospel. He saw the signs following; salvation, deliverance from demons, physical healings, the same things that happened when Jesus walked the earth.  There were no weird manifestations, nothing different from the biblical account.  Jesus heals.

Yet I was struggling this morning with my faith on this matter of healing despite the fact that God has given me dreams, words from others, words from Scripture and the scriptures themselves testify that God heals.  I was getting panicky and wanting God to give me another sign.  It was an attack of the enemy, but at the time, I was overwhelmed and not thinking straight.  Finally, I sat down in at the coffee table and my eye was caught by the bible in front of me. Of course!  I realised, the bible tells me over and over again that God heals.  His word says he came to heal the brokenhearted.  Jesus said that this was His ministry.  Not only does He heal the broken heart, but he heals the bodies of the brokenhearted and their souls as well.   But He doesn’t change, His word never changes and is sharper than a two-edged sword. I have it here in black and white.  A book of God’s laws and God’s nature and God’s commands.  So if this book is not what Jesus said it was, then Jesus is not who He said He was and it all just implodes.  You have nothing left. So when I am not sure, when I doubt God’s word to me, I go back to the black and white version and I read what Jesus said.

It is one thing to disagree over the meaning of certain scriptures while both parties still believe that the Word of God is in fact God’s word.  However, to cast doubt on the scriptures or to claim that they are not inerrant or even make outrageous claims that what is contained in the Word of God is in fact not true at all in any part, and is all ‘symbolic’ or worse is completely sadistic.  If you don’t believe, keep it to yourself, don’t cause other people’s faith in the Word of God, or in God himself to be shipwrecked simply because you don’t share it or have succumbed to an attack of the enemy yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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No More Sucker Punches

jo.._peooooo Most would know what a sucker punch is but for clarity I will insert an excerpt from a website on self defence which describes it.

As the name implies, the sucker-punch, also known as the ‘king-hit’, relies on the attacker’s ability to dupe his victim into a false sense of security, lowering their fight-awareness. The practised thug will do this through engaging the victim’s mind with words or movement, meanwhile closing the distance and getting into a good striking position, to then deliver one — and only one — almighty punch. This punch is delivered with full speed and full power to do one thing and one thing only: knock out the victim. In such situations, there is no fight. There is only an ambush, brutality and violence. There is not a loser as such, only a victi

Source: (click to link) While the above paragraph is about physical punches, I want to talk about what happens when you get an emotional or psychological sucker punch. The pain is very similar I believe. I also am convinced that you can get sucker punched in the heart and gut and you can feel the effect of these in the midriff area around or just below the stomach, the same place that you get ‘gut feelings’. Many of us have carried these punches to our hearts all our lives. The result of this kind of emotional bruising is wide spread. Every kind of addiction and obsession can be traced, I believe, to the heart condition of mankind. A hardness of heart can ensure which creates angry hostile people and a world where kindness has become very uncommon. You can get all kinds of emotional sucker punches and they are exactly like the physical kind. You are taken unawares because you believe or trust in the person who attacks you. You have no idea that somebody actually is a ‘practised thug’ as they turn on the charm and convince you that they are the good guy. Alternately, a sucker punch can come from long time friends or trusted authority figures. Often sucker punches come from somebody who you have no reason to believe would betray or hurt you. As the old T.V. ad used to say ‘one punch can kill’. You can be sent flying by just one well placed hit to the heart, say the infidelity of a partner, that you had never suspected. Imagine if you will a life of sucker punches. Many of us have lived them. What happens to your heart and your soul? They become calloused and distrustful. Why should you trust the world when it has rained only continual cursing and hostility down upon you. This, I believe, is the situation in which many find themselves. I also believe that this is why so many have lamented the fact that the world has become increasingly devoid of courtesy and consideration for others. What a couple of generations ago would have been a world of comparable kindness of strangers is now a world where aggression and rudeness are the order of the day. I want to briefly mention here that there are in fact people who are deeply character disordered and actually enjoy giving sucker punches. Psychologists call them ‘malignant narcissists’ or ‘psychopaths’ and claim these ones are often the criminal types who get away with all kinds of rule breaking because they think the rules don’t apply to them. While this may be some kind of comfort to those who are not character disordered, it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with them. And the punches to the heart do not heal any quicker simply by understanding that there are dangerous predatory types who are simply waiting for the unsuspecting to take their bait. Scripture tells us what is happening and in fact prophesied that this would happen two thousand years ago.

3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

(2 Timothy 3) While it is important to recognise what is going on in our world, it is far more important to know how to deal with the aching void within which results from trying to deal with the pain and shame of the sucker punch. For here is the problem. We are not only dealing with other people’s sin against us, we are dealing with the shame of being victims of other people’s sin. You would think that there is no shame in being a victim, but ask anyone who has been abused physically or sexually and they will tell you that they feel overwhelming shame. Human beings try anything and everything to fill the void. They fill their stomachs, they fill their minds and they fill their lives with activity. They empty their bank accounts, they empty their minds, they empty their lives of friends and family because their obsessive and self-destructive behaviour is too hard to live with. I have experienced this kind of shame. It is debilitating. But the flesh, which is temporal, will never be able to fill the void because as scripture tells us, the flesh is a bottomless pit of need. Solomon said it best.

The leech has two daughters— Give and Give! There are three things that are never satisfied, Four never say, “Enough!”: 16 The grave,[a] The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water— And the fire never says, “Enough”

I would add that the flesh is never satisfied. If you make the flesh your master, it will drive you to hell. It will never be sated, it will never say ‘enough’, it will never leave you alone. Your only hope is to go to God. Scripture tells us that Jesus is the healer of the brokenhearted, as this is in fact the scriptural term for those who have been sucker-punched too many times. Your heart breaks, your spirit becomes sickened. Scripture also tells us that a man’s spirit bears him up in illness, but a broken spirit who can bear? (Proverbs 18:14) It also says that the Lord is near to the broken hearted and those of a contrite spirit he will hear.(Psalm 34:18) While this verse focuses on repentance, I believe it is also true of those who have been the victims of other’s violence.

“He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.”

(Psalm 147:3)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,[a] To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

(Luke 4:18) The sucker-punch is the hallmark of those who have lived in this world for any length of time. I don’t believe there is a human being alive who has not had one of these at some point. The biggest problem is for those of us who have had too many of them. You can become ‘punch drunk’, to continue the metaphor.

  1. Showing signs of brain damage caused by repeated blows to the head. Used especially of a boxer.
  2. Behaving in a bewildered,confused, or dazed manner

(Free Dictionary) There is only one thing to sober you up in this situation, and that is the truth, the life and the way. One person can heal you, give you peace, give you direction and protect you from further punches and that person is Jesus Christ. If you come to Him and seek comfort and help from the Saviour, you will no longer be a sucker, and the hits, though perhaps still surprising, will no longer be delivered to an unsuspecting victim. You will be a prayer warrior, a child of God, in His keeping and hedged around behind and before by God’s own hand.

With love,

Steve and Anita