NEVER BE SATISFIED

Quite a few years ago, I came to the Lord and since that day, I have not been sorry that I did. However, before I took the plunge, there was a moment when I just about turned down the invite. That was 61 years ago.

Prior to accepting the saving grace of Jesus Christ, my mind would not allow me to fail without an introspective battle with my young and adolescent soul, for you see, I hated to fail. . .still do. Anyway, I remember thinking, why should I get into something at which I WAS going to fail, guaranteed? I knew that everybody who became a believer. . .failed [1].

I knew that there were other Scriptures that validated my knowledge that all fall short because the Bible says that no one is righteous, no not one [2] and that our righteousness is as filthy rags to the Lord [3]. Failing a wife, friend, or boss is one thing, but failing God, the creator of the universe? C’mon.

As a young man, I loved the Lord alright, but my life was not bearing any fruit. As a consequence of not growing in the Lord and seeking Him, I fell into the hog pen and became a prodigal son [4]. Today, however, I am flourishing in the Lord and I love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength [5]. I still fail Him daily but I fall on His forgiveness and that picks me back up. Thank you Jesus!

Many of us today, me included, not only get complacent in our faith, but we get comfortable in where we are at in our relationship with God. Christ is so much more than our Lord and savior. How can we not want and desire more of Him. How can we not want, to be at His right hand, and in His presence every minute of the day? Complacency is a dangerous position in which to be, especially in these. . .the end times. My precious Lord Jesus Christ,

v11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand [Psalms 16:11 NIV].

Again, thank you Jesus!

When we dated our sweetheart, didn’t we want to find out everything we could about her/him? Is Christ a religion or a relationship with us? Is our faith a conviction or a preference? God awaits us, to learn and to get closer to Him. He created you, me, and all of us for a relationship with Him. God is not our holy butler, feed me, house me, clothe me, heal me, and deliver me. He is our soon coming husband.

The Bible says that Christ went away to prepare a place for us and that He would return for us [6]. We need to veil and prepare ourselves for His return [7]. We need to fill our flasks with oil for the journey back to that place that He has prepared for us [8]. This means to get as close to Him as we can. Learn of Jesus. We will spend eternity with Him [9].

Where do we start? Can any of us really know the entirety of God? In a word, no, but we can learn of His greatness, His nature, His attributes, His character, His love, His majesty, joy, and of the eternal pleasures of His presence. Don’t do as I did and become stagnant and wane from a relationship with God. Your life and more importantly, your soul depend on it. Seek God and long to know Him.

WHO IS GOD?

He is our righteousness [10], our sanctification [11], and our peace [12]. He is our healer [13], our provider [14], our banner [15], our shepherd [16], and one who is always there [17]. He is the creator of Earth and the universe [18]; He is the all mighty and powerful God [19], and the all-sufficient one [20]. Yet, this is still not all of who God is.

He is our resurrection [21], our savior [22], our advocate [23], and the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end [24]. He is the author and finisher of our faith [25]. He is the Door for the sheep [26]. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life [27]. He is a Father of mercies and God of all comfort [28], the Prince of Peace [29], The Bright Morning Star [30], The King of Kings and Lord of Lords [31]. He is our Lord and our God [32], He is our life [33], He is faithful and true [34], our Maker [35], and our heavenly Father [36]. He is our hope of glory [37], our wisdom, sanctification and redemption [38], our foundation [39], and our Bridegroom [40]. This is still not the full essence of almighty God.

God is the holy one [41], the great I Am [42], and Jahweh [43]. He is all knowing [44], a miracle working God [45]. He is full of power [46]. He meets our needs [47] and is our everlasting Father [48]. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever [49]; He changes not. He is the Word [50] and dwells in us [51]. He is our redeemer [52], the true light [53], the Lamb of God, and our teacher [54]. He is the head of the church [55], our wonderful counselor [56], the light of the world [57], and will never leave or forsake us [58]. He is even a God who raises the dead [59]. However, this is still not all God is, for He is without limit.

In essence, God is Love [60]. Now imagine that God, as Love, not having anyone to love. This is the reason why God created man in the first place [61], so that Christ could have a bride and so God could have children on which to lavish His love. You could write a book about who God is. However, thirty-nine Holy Ghost inspired people already have. It’s called the Bible.

See my book Seeking God [62].

NOTE: In two weeks, I’ll start a series on the Jewish Marriage customs. I did a mound of research on this subject. I have never done a more enlightening study than when I studied the Jewish Marriage customs and traditions. After completing this study, the Bible just jumped off of the pages at me. The entire Bible made sense to me and the difficult passages came to light. These next few weeks will just be a basic overview but should open some doors for you and to your further study in getting to know Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and soon coming husband. Today is the day of Hosea 2:16.
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[1] Romans 3:23
[2] Romans 3:10
[3] Isaiah 64:6
[4] Luke 15:11-32
[5] Mark 12:29, 30
[6] John 14:3
[7] 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:1-11
[8] Matthew 25:1-13
[9] 1 Thessalonians 4:17
[10] Jehovah-Tsidkenu
[11] Jehovah-M-Kadesh
[12] Jehovah-Shalom
[13] Jehovah-Rophe
[14] Jehovah-Jireh
[15] Jehovah-Nissi
[16] Jehovah-Rohi
[17] Jehovah-Shammah
[18] Jehovah-Elohim
[19] Jehovah-Adonai
[20] Jehovah-Elshadai
[21] John 11:25
[22] Luke 2:11
[23] 1 John 2:1
[24] Revelation 1:8
[25] Hebrews 12:2
[26] John 10
[27] John 14:6
[28] 2 Corinthians 1:3
[29] Isaiah 9:6
[30] Revelation 22:16
[31] Revelation 17:14
[32] John 20:28
[33] John 11:25, 26
[34] Revelation 19:11
[35] Isaiah 54:5
[36] Matthew 6
[37] Colossians 1:27
[38] 1 Corinthians 1:30
[39] Isaiah 28:16
[40] Matthew 9:15
[41] Psalms 16:10
[42] John 8:58
[43] Exodus 6:3
[44] 1 John3:20
[45] Galatians 3:5
[46] Romans 13:1
[47] Philippians 4:19
[48] Isaiah 9:6
[49] Hebrews 13:8
[50] John1:1
[51] 2 Corinthians 6:16
[52] Isaiah 48:17
[53] John 1:9
[54] Revelation 5:6
[55] Ephesians 1:22
[56] Isaiah 9:6
[57] John 8:12
[58] Hebrews 13:5
[59] 2 Corinthians 1:9
[60] 1 John 4:16
[61] Ephesians 1:9-11
[62] The last four paragraphs is an excerpt from my book Seeking God. You can find it and my other books on my Website at http://www.jameslindquistbooks.com or on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/author/jameslindquist. I am over half way done on my present book Seeking Man, which is a sequel to Seeking God. Seeking God is about “Why does man seek God.” The theme of Seeking Man is “Why does God seek man?” You’ll all be the first to know of its release.

No Greater Power

The highest authority in the land regally stood in front of three men who waited for his pronouncement over them. Would they live or would they die? Would a miracle save them or would they become fodder in tomorrow’s town square? Their crime? Not obeying the edict mandated by the king.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego calmly listened as King Nebuchadnezzar asked them if it was true that they refused to serve his gods and to worship the golden image that he’d set up. If they acquiesced to the mandate, they’d live. If they still refused to serve and worship the king’s gods, they’d die in the fiery furnace. We all know the ending of this story, how Christ was the fourth man in the furnace and saved them from a fiery death. This brings to mind an interesting question.

Should Christians today blindly obey and submit to the higher authority without question as some Christians advocate? Nothing could be further from the truth or is it even biblical. Many Scriptures teach the opposite either by inference or flat out. The aforementioned anecdote is one such story of civil disobedience. Listen to the narrative of the accused.

v18 But even if he (God) does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the object of gold you have set up [Daniel 3:18 NLV].

The passage of Scripture that most expositors use in teaching an extreme 100% civil compliance and submission to all higher authority is Romans 13:1-7, which basically says in verse one, Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. . .

Scriptural Context
Without going into an exhaustive teaching on verse one or this passage, suffice it to say that the Bible explains the proper context in verse three. Most only read verse one and stop there. However, verse three says, For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same. . . Context is everything when studying God’s Word.

Verse three is critically important in understanding what Paul is trying to share via the anointing of the Holy Spirit. What verse three means here is that an appropriate God ordained good government would only be a terror to bad works. A God ordained good government would not be a terror to good works, and as such if a government is a terror to good works, then Christians are under NO obligation to submit to that authority. In other words, if man’s law dictates an action that is squarely against God’s Word and law, then we are not to obey man’s law. If we then submit to man’s law and a terror to good works, then we disobey God. It is our decision.

In fact, when government is a terror to good works, then Christians are obligated peacefully to remove said government, for that government has no God ordained authority. There is NO higher authority than God [1]. When we do good works by choosing God’s way and not man’s way, society will commend us as being a good neighbor, and citizen, says John Gill’s exposition of the whole Bible on verse 3c of Romans 13.

Paul, who was the author of two-thirds of the New Testament, and the same author of Romans 13, unabashedly disobeyed the powers over him. If he didn’t disobey the authority over him, why did they imprison him, whip him, beat him, and stone him [2]? Having said that, Paul was either hypocritical and God made a mistake giving him an Apostleship. . .or civil disobedience is acceptable to God, in the proper context, and he was NOT obligated to follow man’s law. Christians cannot have it both ways. Even Peter and the other Apostles unequivocally said that. . .We ought to obey God rather than men [3].

Prayer
However, as a caveat, the number one tool for the injustice of an evil government is prayer, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places [4]. Question? Should Christians just pray for justice and leave the rest to God, which again is the opinion of many a Christian. Sorry to say that the Bible teaches the opposite and is NOT what God’s Word asks us to do.

Granted, we are to submit to the powers to be, but ONLY if they are NOT a terror to good works. On the contrary, we are to be God’s hands for justice [5]. The Bible mentions “justice” over 200 times [6] in the Scriptures. God tells us that

v33 These people all trusted God and as a result won battles, overthrew kingdoms, ruled their people well, and received what God had promised them; they were kept from harm in a den of lions. . .[Hebrews 11:33 TLB]

America’s Founding Fathers believed that when King George broke his own laws, he was acting without authority, so fed up with the oppression, the Pilgrims left Britain because of that religious oppression and sailed to the new world (which would eventually be America). America is God ordained and is a gift from God to a righteous people. Even today, when the leaders break their own laws and oppress the people with injustice, they act without authority and are a terror to good works, which is against God’s law. The Bible cannot be any clearer. God is also the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow [7].

Brothers and sisters, we need to pray like never before. Focus on Jesus Christ but at the same time be God’s hands PEACEFULLY, LEGALLY, and within the law of the land through your letters, marches, and protests. Redress and justice is not only our Christian and biblical obligation, but our Constitutional right [8] under the Bill of Rights as well. If we do not address the concerns of a run amuck government, and work toward justice, then we stick our heads in the sand, and worse yet, we disobey God’s Word, the Scriptures of which I have previously given. Trust me; there are many more [9]. The Bible says that we are to work toward and for justice.

The Mark
If you are still not convinced of the need for civil disobedience at the proper time and context, let’s look at Revelation 13:15. I guarantee you this will put it all into perspective for you. It will personalize things.

v15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed [Revelation 13:15 KJV].

Do you remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego at the beginning of this blog and how they refused to worship King Nebuchanezzar’s gods? Well, déjà vu. Revelation 13:15 strangely sounds like the Daniel 3 story.

There is coming a time when the Beast will force those who are alive during the end times to worship the image, and those who don’t. . .will die. At that time, we will see whose faith has been a conviction or has only been a preference. Question? Will you be civilly disobedient then, or will you acquiesce to civil obedience and take the mark. It is an individual decision. It belongs to you.

The Lord says, focus on me during these times and I’ll be that fourth man in your fire.

v14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land [2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV].

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[1] Romans 13:1a
[2] 2 Corinthians 11:24, 25
[3] Acts 5:29 KJV
[4] 1 Timothy 2:2; Ephesians 6:12
[5] Joshua subdued the nation of Canaan; Gideon, the Midianites; Jephtha the Ammonites; David the Philistines, Amalakites, Jebusites, Edomites, and etc.
[6]Psalms 106:3; Isaiah 1:17, 56:1; Jeremiah 22:3, 13-17; Deuteronomy 16:19, 20; Job 11:5, 7 just to mention a few.
[7] Hebrews 13:8
[8] Listed within the Constitution of the United States of America as part of the Bill of rights, stating that the government shall not prohibit the petitioning of a governmental redress of grievances. Adopted December 15, 1791.
[9] * Exodus 1:l-21 (v17) Midwives let boys go.
* Joshua 2 Rahab helps spies escape.
* 1 Samuel 14 Jonathan disobeys his father Saul and people save him from death.
* 1 Kings 18 Obadiah hides 100 prophets.
* 2 Kings 11 The kings daughter hides Joash from Athaliah.
* The book of Daniel records many acts of civil disobedience, the first of which is in Daniel three with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The second in chapter six, is where Daniel himself defies the king and prays to God. There are a number of others.
* David subdued many nations and yet was the apple of God’s eye, Acts 13:20-22.
* Peter and ALL the Apostles disobeyed and continued preaching.
* There are many other examples.
* Christians today are in good company especially if we choose to peaceably march and protest in the street, searching for justice for the oppressed, as God’s hands, while sending up many prayers for not only the people but for the government(s) as well (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

Fear, the Enemy of Faith

When I was a child, I was deathly afraid of spiders. How could I be so scared of such a small thing that I could crush with one well-placed step? I do not base my fear on any ordinary spider though — but rather, a tarantula. My fear, in part, was due to the 1955 movie Tarantula where a tarantula grew to the size of a building and terrorized a city until they put it to death.

That fear of spiders hung with me for many years after that and as I think back to those days, it reminds me of another insect story in Numbers chapter 13 when the Lord gave Moses the command of sending men to “search out the land of Canaan, which I gave to them. [1]” After searching out the land of Canaan, they returned and reported, “. . .and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers. . .” [2] Remember the conversation the Lord had with Moses afterward, “. . .How long will this people provoke me. . .?” [3]

Why were the people scared and fearful? For our answer, let’s revert to Numbers 13:31 and the report given by the ten men of the twelve that God sent out to spy the land, “But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” Doubt, unbelief, and fear always points to self and says, “We cannot.”

However, in verse 13:30 Caleb stilled the people after the initial report and told Israel, “. . .Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.” Faith always looks toward God and says, “We can.”

Evidently Israel had forgotten about God delivering them from Egypt and four-hundred years of captivity. They’d forgotten the stories of how God fed their predecessors with manna from heaven, given them water from rocks, and allowed the drowning of the entirety of Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea. Yet they still didn’t believe in the power of Almighty God. No wonder God was provoked.

So, why are we, even today, as grasshoppers in our own eyes? Are our fears causing us to wander in the wilderness today? Are our fears bigger than God? Each of us has to answer that question ourselves because for as many who ask the question, why am I afraid, there will be as many different answers. Although fear is the enemy of faith it can still be a good thing in that it is a warning when something is wrong. God uses our fear as a trigger for faith.

Numbers 14:8, 9 tells us that Caleb and Joshua spoke to Israel saying, “If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” Sounds strangely familiar to Romans 8:31, which says, “. . .If God be for us, who can be against us?” I personally love the part about “. . .they are bread for us. ..”

First Peter 5:8 also says to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Can Satan devour us? You bet. May he devour us? Not on your life. Jesus won that victory on the Cross two-thousand years ago.

Judy from Oregon asked the Lord one day for enough faith to handle a rough time that she was going through, to which the Lord replied, “You have faith. . .use it.” Leave it to the Lord to be short, sweet, and to the point (and comical, I might add). The Lord gave us everything, and all we have to do is. . .use it. Sometimes the hardest thing about victory, is receiving it. We have the victory, in Jesus name [4].
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[1] Numbers 13:2
[2] Numbers 13:33
[3] Numbers 14:11
[4] 1 Corinthians 15:57

When the Enemy Attacks

I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out. Does that sound familiar? Sometimes you even wonder why they play the game what with all the testosterone brandishing about. Boxing matches, wrestling matches, and body slams are frequent occurrences throughout the entire game. The commotion of hundreds of spectators didn’t do much to cover the sound of the violent body crashes into a solid wooden wall.

How many times has the enemy had us up against the wall to where we feel hopeless, beaten, and slammed up against a wall? Maybe Paul can put things into the proper perspective for us.

v23b . . .I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
v24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
v25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
v26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
v27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
v28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches [2 Corinthians 11:23b -28 KJV].

Jesus Christ, albeit God, suffered more than any human being in the history of mankind. If anyone had the right to complain about their plight and to play the victim, it was Christ. Yet He forgave us all and endured the Cross [1]. However, with that said, I doubt very much whether persecution has touched any of us more than Paul for the sake of Christ [2].

What did Paul do when the enemy body slammed him into that wall? Acts 16:25 says that And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. As a simple reminder, God inhabits the praises of Israel [3]. God’s presence is where healing, salvation, deliverance, and a host of other benefits happen.

We can learn a lot from Paul, even now, after 2000 years. What can we do today when we are in the midst of a trial, tribulation, or pain, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual? The answer to all of this is spiritual and by following Paul’s example through prayer and praise.

When we praise God in our battle it provides an opportunity for us to experience the grace of God, and gives us a chance to witness to others so that they may know that there is hope. Furthermore, when we praise God in our trial and/or pain instead of complaining, we get the chance to become someone else’s hero. Maybe even to the point of salvation, because they heard, Acts 16:25 declares. This honors God.

God’s Word teaches us that out of the mouth flow the issues of life [4]. When we speak positive and encouraging words, worship, and/or pray to God, He listens to those words and acts accordingly. When we speak words that fall out of the purview of God’s Word, like Philippians 4:8 or Galatians 5:22 and 23, they fall on Satan’s ears and then he will act accordingly. (Satan listens to our speech as well.)

When we speak, we put words into the atmosphere, and they will affect our lives both physically, emotionally, and spiritually, no matter if God or Satan hears them. The words that we speak are commensurate with whom we want to hear them and whose action we desire. Consequently beware of the words that you speak. Do not give the enemy a foothold [5]. Grumbling is not a fruit of the Spirit [6] and is a bad witness. In fact, it is detrimental to the peace, joy, and patience that come from the Spirit.

In addition, each morning, we should put on the full armor of God [7] like a good warrior must, because it IS a battle. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

Therefore, will we honor God, play the victim [8], or will we play the conqueror [9] in Jesus Christ. This study is not all inclusive but it should give you enough Scripture to help you fight your battle and to somewhat understand the spiritual ramifications and solutions of the battle.

Remember that the best weapon is prayer and praise, that God inhabits the praises of His people, and to watch our self-talk especially in front of others [10]. We are victors not victims. Beware that self-pity and not casting down those imaginations [11] can lead to depression and physical sickness. We are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord. God’s grace is sufficient for us [12].

If anyone is going through a rough patch, I pray that this has helped somewhat. God bless you all real good. There is so much more concerning this subject in the Bible. All we have to do is apply what we read in God’s Word.
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[1] Hebrews 12:2
[2] Accept maybe the many people that Saul persecuted before his trip to Damascus and his conversion (Saul’s conversion Acts 9:3-19). Saul’s acts of persecution of others: Acts 7:58; 5:27-42; 8:3; 9:1, 2. (Saul later becomes Paul, Acts 13:9. No one knows by whom, or when, or how. The Bible does not elaborate.)
[3] Psalms 22:3. The Halakha (the Jewish law), says that when we join a Jewish family, we become Jewish. Therefore, God places those who become believers and followers of Christ, into the sonship of His family, subsequently making them Jewish by adoption, (Romans 8:15; Ephesians 1:5).
[4] Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 18:21; Matthew 15:18;
[5] Ephesians 4:27 When we think and speak negatively, our adrenal gland will excrete chemicals (hormones) that causes stress. Stress CAN make you sick and even kill.
[6] Galatians 5:22, 23
[7] Ephesians 6:13-18
[8] Proverbs 23:7
[9] Deuteronomy 28:7; Romans 8: 31-39
[10] 2 Corinthians 3:12
[11] 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5
[12] 2 Corinthians 12:9