Monthly Archives: August 2016

Who Does What?

Today I would like to discuss something rather simple, yet something which will no doubt rock many people’s understanding of the Bible. Who does what? Yes, what is God’s job to do, what is our job, and what has God already set in place (like natural or spiritual laws)? I know that there is much to discuss here, so I will try and let you know my thoughts as quickly and as thoroughly as I can.

One of the biggest issues amongst Believers now days (in my opinion) is that we think that God can do what He wants, when He wants. Dare I say a ‘reformed’ view that God’s sovereignty means that He can do anything. Truth is, He can’t. (Shock!). Before you get all angry and start sending me emails, can God lie? Can God forsake us? No. Now I know what you’re thinking. It is not that God CAN’T do it, it is that He said He WOULDN’T do it. That is my point. God can do anything, but there are certain things that He won’t do, because He said He wouldn’t. Those are the bad things though (lying and forsaking). What about some ‘good’ things? Healing the sick, preaching the Gospel, casting out demons. You see God told us to do this, so He won’t. You may say that this doesn’t make a difference, but it does. Why do we pray to God and ask Him to heal? Why do we pray and ask God to get the demons away from us? Why do we pray and ask God to bring people to Him? This is what He told us to do.

If you’re a director of a company, and you delegate some responsibilities to your managers, would you then go and do the exact thing you asked them to do? No, not if you were any good at being a director. Once you delegate, you let them do it. Yes, you may help. Yes, you may want to be part of the plan. Yes, it is your authority that carries weight. Yes, they couldn’t do it without your backing and permission. But you don’t do it. This is the same with God. We need to do what He has called us to to. Yes, the power comes from Him. Yes, we couldn’t do it without God. Yes, we do it in the name of Jesus. But we have to do it.

Stop praying for Jesus to heal the sick. Jesus told us to talk to the mountain, and He gave us authority over sickness. Talk to the sickness and tell the person to be healed in the name of Jesus. Now I know that there is more to healing than the way we say it, but this will change our attitude. It is relatively easy to have faith, when we know we have the authority, and Jesus has already done the healing (by His stripes we are healed). The healing is done, we have the authority to administer it. If you believe this, it is easier to have faith than if we think that we’re trying to ‘twist God’s arm’ to heal someone. Like we care about them more than God. Are you praying for God to give you release from the demonic? Why? God told us to resist the devil, and he will flee. Do you pray that God will lead people to Himself? He told us to preach the Gospel. It is our job to tell people about Jesus. Yes, the Holy Spirit plays a part in calling people, but we have a responsibility.

Does this mean that God won’t help? No, obviously He does. We can pray that God helps us, that is what the Holy Spirit does. We can pray that God gives us the opportunity, or the wisdom, but we still need to do what He has told us to. The things that God has told us to do is in line with His spiritual laws, things that He has set into place. One that we all accept is salvation. If you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth, you will be saved. That is the law, and if we do it as God has instructed, we will be saved. There is no other way. It is similar with other things too, although our default is to ask God to do everything.

Have a think about this. Do you ask God to do things that He has told you to do? Do you know how to do what God has called you to? Maybe this is the time to rethink how you do things, maybe it is time for change. Stop asking God to do what He has asked you to do, learn how He wants you to do it, and then get out and do it in faith. When we do what God has asked us to do, in the name of Jesus, just see what happens!

Richard

Advertisements

Make Your Mark – Part 16

Today is the last post in my series on Mark, I really hope that it has been a blessing to you. I trust that you have read along with me, and that God has revealed many things to you. I had planned to discuss a few topics in the next few posts, and then reading through this chapter, I realised that it was the perfect introduction.

Let’s take a look at 2 excerpts from Mark 16, which will set the scene for the next few posts. Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead. I know that I often speak about faith and unbelief, but of late I have been confronted with some interesting questions, which show that people still don’t actually understand what I have been teaching, so I will address some new ‘angles’ on the topic of faith.

And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptised will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.

This is what Jesus told the disciples, and therefore us, to do after He left. Do we do this? Do you do this? You see we so often ask God to do stuff for us, without really thinking about who’s responsibility it is. Someone asked me if I thought that God could do anything that He wanted, and my answer was no. The person was shocked to hear my response, but I am fully prepared to explain why I make that statement. In fact when I do, I believe that it may fundamentally change the way that you minister to people.

So in preparation for the weeks to come, ask yourself these questions. Do you believe that God can do anything He wants? How do you balance faith and your circumstances? What is God’s responsibility, and what is ours?

You are probably going to find some of what I say controversial, but please have an open mind. As usual, I welcome other opinions, as long as you provide a scriptural argument, and not just ‘because I said so’. I look forward to the next few posts.

Until next week.

Richard

Make Your Mark – Part 15

Today I may need to eat a little humble pie, but many of you may also have to, as we take a look at Jesus’ crucifixion. We have probably heard this story many times, so I am not going to look at the obvious, but rather something that we don’t often consider. Jesus’ death and resurrection is probably the most important event ever, and there is so much to talk about, but I would like to talk about Jesus’ attitude. Let’s see if it matches ours.

Jesus is going through something really traumatic and scary. If you have ever seen The Passion movie, you will have an idea of what Jesus went through, although even that was not as gruesome as what actually happened. This chapter is rather condensed, showing all the way through from Jesus’ trial to His death, so it is easier to see how Jesus approached it. When He was accused, He didn’t defend Himself. Verse 5. Why do you think He did that? I’m not sure, but I would venture a guess that it was because He didn’t need to. Jesus had said everything that He needed to, that is why they were trying to kill Him in the first place, so He didn’t need to defend himself. The next thing that is quite evident throughout this passage is that most people seemed to mock Jesus. The priests wanted Him dead, Pilate didn’t take Him seriously, the soldiers mocked Him, the crowds mocked Him, even the others being crucified mocked Him. Jesus never defended Himself, he never answered or rebuked any of them. How would we have responded?

How do we respond? What happens when someone puts something on facebook that you disagree with? What happens if someone says something bad about you? Are you a people pleaser, or a God pleaser? People have said some really horrible things about me, and just about everyone posts and says things that are just not true biblically, and I often have to bite my tongue. I don’t always get it right, I often get sucked into arguments. Why? If I am honest, it is probably because I want to defend myself and my views. Jesus didn’t do it when they were killing Him, yet I feel the need to do it on social media. That is something I need to address. Now don’t get me wrong. There is a time to address theology, there is a time to speak the truth, and there is a time to ‘set people straight’. Jesus did all of that, so I am not knocking it. This is not an excuse to sit back and not speak the truth. I am talking about when people attack you for speaking the truth. I often get that, and I used to deal with each and every attack. I don’t any more. If people genuinely don’t understand, or they have misunderstood what I have said, then I will address it. There are those who understand, but just refuse to believe it. There are also those who are openly supporting the ‘opposition’. Entering a debate with them is going to go nowhere, so I don’t even bother.

There is a time to teach, a time to ‘set straight’ and a time to keep quiet. Do we know the difference? Do we know when to do what? I pray for wisdom to deal with these in the future, so that I can improve in this area. What about you? Do you have any words of wisdom? How do you deal with this, especially on social media? In the past years, we may not have known everyone’s opinion or what they think of us, where as we now have it right in our face. We need to have wisdom in dealing with these issues.

Until next week.

Richard