Reflections on my Forty-Third Birthday


           Well, even as my birthday is overshadowed by Prince William and Kate Middleton’s little wedding, (LOL) I want to write a few things on this, my birthday. For many years; as a child, teen and young adult, I was convinced that I was to die before twenty five. I was convinced that someone was going to kill me or that I was going to die in a car accident or something! What a way to live; especially without Christ!

            At 43, I can look back and see so many mistakes; so many areas that I’ve messed-up so badly; truly, the mercies of God overwhelms my heart to this day. Today I am totally healed from the death of my first wife, Ileana. I heard people say that it took them three years, others five years and even some that never experience healing. Beloved, without Christ, we can’t be healed!

            I remember trying to get drunk shortly after Ileana’s death. At night, when I did not have to be “The Man of God;” in the place where no one was looking and the place where I was comfortable showing my weaknesses…, the pain became unbearable. So, I decided to change my appearance, go into a liquor store in Gates County, North Carolina; and buy some Bacardi to medicate that pain. I drank almost the whole thing at once and it was like drinking water…it did absolutely nothing to me! I wept before the Lord and asked Him to take the pain away; He told me “No, all you have to do is trust Me”. God did not allow me, because of His mercies, to become an alcoholic. That healing came this year; almost six years later!

            Three years ago, as I was facing unbelievable circumstances in my new marriage, I considered jumping off the Matthews Bridge in the middle of a dark night to put an end to my miserable and purposeless life. But again, the Holy Spirit told me, “Angel, I am not done with you!” God is real for me; it is not a church event, a position of leadership or just a song…God saved my life! God stopped me from destroying my life through alcohol and from taking my life in that dark night in March. I love HIM with a passion because I don’t deserve such love, I am nothing, and I even turned my back on HIM. I stopped loving HIM, I stopped serving HIM and I stopped considering HIM. But, praise be to God.

            The divorce process is not an easy process; but I am almost totally healed by the grace of God. I desire nothing but the best for my former wife; she did the best she could, under very difficult circumstances. May the Lord bless her and her children; I am sure God has great things for her!

            Today, I find myself full of joy, I find myself at peace and with a greater intimacy with the Lord. God is indeed good! I look to the future with great expectation! God has already shown me a piece of the promise land. Happy birthday to me!

Happy Resurrection Sunday


We all have our times where everything seems dead, dark and hopeless. We all have many crucifixions, many wounds, and much pain. Many have the scars to show the evidence of the rough times. But thank God for Jesus! With His resurrection He also gave us the power to enjoy the resurrection Sundays in our lives! Beloved, your glorious Sunday is coming!!!!!! For sure, without a doubt… your glorious Sunday is coming!!!!!

Small E-Book: People of God, Get Up; We Do Not Belong on the Floor


 People of God, Get Up; We Do Not Belong on the Floor

By Angel Casiano

April 2011

All Rights Reserved

  Introduction              

In the morning of April 17, 2011, I woke up early and went for a walk with my dogs around my community in Arlington in the city of Jacksonville, Florida. It was before our morning service at The Hispanic Church of God, when I serve as a member of the Worship Team. I could sense that God was going to do something unusual. I love it when God does unusual things. The routines bore me! Thankfully, our Pastors, Dr. Vivoni and his lovely wife were open to the interruptions of the Holy Spirit.               As our Worship Leader, Charles Couret officially started the service; it seemed like just one more service. However, it was far away from a normal service. The Spirit of God moved through the musicians; new songs started birthing all over and as the Spirit of God started moving in me, I heard a powerful expression in my spirit that I needed to share with the people: “People of God: get up, We do not belong on the floor.” This small book is the direct result of the awesome move of God in that service. We are not Exempt from Pain Are we exempt from suffering, injustice and pain? Absolutely not; for the Bible tells us “…that many are the afflictions of the righteous…” Can a Christian stumble? Can a Christian be hurt? Absolutely! Many of our troubles are indeed our own doing! However, whether the troubles are of our own doing or not, we must focus on God so that we can come out of the mess. God is the only one that can deliver us. Psalm 34:17-22 tells us: “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;    he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted    and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles,    but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones,    not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked;    the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The LORD will rescue his servants;    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.” We can see in these verses that troubles will come, guarantied, but the promise is that God has the power to deliver us from them “ALL.” The word “all” means: “every single one.” God can deliver us from every single one of our afflictions.

Looking at Our Falls

It is obvious that throughout history many of us have indeed fallen; but why did we fall? Because we move away from the path God has given us to follow: Jude 1:17-24 tells us: “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”             God is able to keep us from falling, but that is if we continue to build ourselves in the most holy faith by praying in the Holy Ghost; by staying in the love of God and looking for His mercy. It is God, in us, doing the work, not us by ourselves. When we do these things, we give God the permission in our lives to keep us from those horrible falls. Now, you and I know that we have not always stayed on that path; that in our humanity and in our disobedience, we have gone astray many times. We are a work in progress. That is why the Bible tells in Psalm 119:67 “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.”

The Inner War            

 I believe that the evil one has done a good job in convincing God’s people that their troubles and afflictions are indications of God not loving them; somehow they are feeling that there is something wrong with their faith; some even feel like they are not saved. They have yet to understand the nature of life as Christians; and even more tragic, the sinful nature that still resides in us according to Galatians 5:16-17 “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”             Beloved, there is a war taking place on the inside of us; it is the war between the part of you that wants to do the right thing and the part of you that loves sin. Every Christian is engaging in that war daily. The soul is in the middle, deciding between the will of your sinful nature and the will of the Spirit of God in you. This war is designed for you to fail on your own; we don’t even have a chance if we try to engage in these things with our own power. This war is also designed to establish our dependence in God. The

Divine Nature in Us            

2 Peter 1:2-4 speaks to us about the divine nature that resides within us; it is the divine nature that is given by God that makes us able to overcome the world and live Godly lives: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”             Everything that we need to get up, if we are down, is already on the inside of us. It is not the ridiculous approach of relying on self that is going to give us the power to get up; being the “captains of our souls” is not going to cut it. We must surrender to Jesus; we must get a hold of that divine nature that can help us to shine through this evil age.  We can shine as much if we allow our divine nature to consume our hearts.

A Walk by Faith and not by Circumstances            

  The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we live by faith, not by sight.” We can’t judge ourselves based on our current circumstances. We must keep the faith, even when, in the natural, there is no logical reason to believe. The people of God will find themselves in difficult circumstances.

The Brutal Nature of our Struggles

The Apostle Paul stated in 2 Timothy that “He fought the good fight…” Surely, it was not a little dance or a walk in the park; it was a fight; a bloody fight. Ephesians 6:12 tells us: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”             Many times, we read this verse and we don’t realize that the word “struggle” is extremely significant and insightful. This word implies a contact fight; but not just a fight; not just a wrestling match, not just a boxing match, a kick boxing match or even an ultimate fighting match. This is a fight where the objective of your opponent is to place himself on top of you and shock you to death as he watches you straight in your eyes. No, this is not a cowardly “drive-by” shooting; your opponent enjoys watching you as you die.             As believers we must understand that our circumstances ought not to dictate and determine who we are. David would have never been the kind of man he became without a Goliath. The nature of your battle will determine the magnitude of your assignment, but most of all, the magnitude of your character. God is working in you and through you in the midst of your battle. That is why our walk must be a walk of faith as we trust the work of God in our lives; it may be crazy for the world; but we ought to know that God is at work. 

Get Off The Floor!

The amazing thing about a man and/or woman of God is that we do not belong on the floor like a boxer being knocked-out. A lost person is on the floor whether they recognize their condition or not. However, God’s people, on the other hand, have the ability in God to stand in the midst of whatever life throws at them. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 14:32 “When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down,    but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.”             The calamities that come our way are a good method to test our faith and trust in God. When we are praying for the miracle that refuses to manifest, when we pray and things seems to get worst, when all hell is breaking loose around…it is then, that our trust in God is truly tested; it is then that we show the world what we are truly made of. This verse gives us the ultimate test: “…even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.” We can here the echoes of Psalm 23:4 also: “Even though I walk    through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil,    for you are with me; your rod and your staff,    they comfort me.” 

Conclusion        

 The promise is that God will deliver us from all of our troubles (Psalm 34:19) Beloved; we do not belong on the floor; it is time to get up. You have that divine power within to do so. Even King David, with all of his troubles, caused mostly by his own doings; made a powerful statement in First Kings 1:29 “And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress…”             When King David made this statement, he was already an old man and close to his death. King David endured rejection from his family, ran for his life out of the hands of King Saul, had many battles, blood on his hands, personal adultery, had one of his sons publicly having sex with all of David’s wives, had one of his other sons sexually molest his own sister, had murder in his own family and now an old man…David finds himself alone as he never again had intimacy or closeness with neither one of his wives. David was, seemingly, so alone that he found a young woman to sleep with him to keep him warm, however they never had intimacy. This beautiful young woman was there just to care for the king. What a pitiful way of ending such a great man’s life, someone would think. However, David was fine! David speaks of how his soul was redeemed from all of his distress. Beloved, we too, will be redeemed from all of our distress. People of God Get Up; We Do Not Belong on the Floor!                          

He Is Waiting


           Many are discouraged in their local churches; they don’t like what they see; they don’t get what they want and they jump from church to church seeking what they want. Even as the church is not where it is supposed to be; whatever takes place on Sunday mornings all around this nation should not be the center of our Christianity. We are the church, however; the ignorance of this truth is our problem! The Sunday morning service has become our “fix” for the week. So, if that particular Sunday, the Worship Team did not sing the songs that we like or if that particular Sunday, the Pastor preaches a sermon that exposes our mess or if the pastor did not preach with the “style” of preaching that we are used to…we find ourselves in great trouble.

            To make matters worse, we have false Apostles out there that would make you and me think that the church is going under; that we will never make it, that we messed up so, bad that there is no hope for us. They are always speaking negative about the church; but the problem is that they are unable to see that they are a part of the problem and that we are unable to realize this as well.

            We must seek the Lord in our secret place; our homes ought to be open to glorify God with our families through songs, through Bible Studies, Devotional Times, Prayer, etc. Intimacy, intimacy…intimacy with God is what we desperately need. We need to get to know HIM personally and stop being satisfied with what others say about Him. In Mathew 7:21-23 Jesus Himself tells us:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

            Many repeated a prayer some years ago, but their hearts was far away from what they were saying. They walk around thinking that they are saved; some are even leaders in our churches, but they are not really saved. We know these things because the Word tells us that we shall know them by their fruit. Jesus specified that only those that do the will of the Father will enter into God’s Kingdom. That is very specific. Do you have a heart after God? Do you prefer God’s will over yours? That does not mean that you are not going to error, that does not mean that you will be perfect, but this is a matter of the heart; either you are after God and His ways or not?

            Many will bring forward their little job history and the things they done, supposedly, for God; they will talk about how they open this great church, how they have this wonderful prison ministry, fed the homeless, etc. But Jesus will tell them: “I never knew you!” That means that whatever they were doing had a form of Godliness, but they did it for their own glory…help us Jesus! That means that they never developed a personal relationship with God; they relied on their own abilities and so misused the gift God gave them. They did not spend time loving on God, waiting in His presence, listening; they just went on exalting themselves!

            To hear the Lord saying: “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” allows us to see that even as they were doing all those wonderful things, deep inside, in the places where nobody is watching, they were actually doing evil things. I believe that we will see more and more preachers being exposed in these last days.

            So, in conclusion, how is your personal relationship with God going? Are you spending time with HIM? Or Are you too busy to pray? Beloved, there is nothing more important on, in, or beyond this earth for a human being to do than to develop intimacy with Christ. What are you waiting for? Start right now! Cut the TV off, go to your room and tell God you love Him, take a walk and talk things over with Him; repent for your cold ways. It is not too late…HE is waiting! God is waiting for you and He can’t wait to spend some quality time with you. Get to know Him; it will change your life forever. From that relationship, you will see a more powerful Sunday Service as you will begin to move in His anointing and look with His eyes and not with yours!

From Shame to Glory Part 2


“God Can Turn It Around”

“Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. And she said, ‘Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.’ But Ruth said:

      ‘Entreat me not to leave you,
      Or to turn back from following after you;
      For wherever you go, I will go;
      And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
      Your people shall be my people,
      And your God, my God.’ (Ruth 1:14-16)

 

            As we can clearly see, the Moabites carried a very shameful past. A past that even today (2011) could destroy your possibilities of prospering forever. Basically, you have two seemly young ladies who felt that the way to keep their family’s existence going was by getting their father drunk and having sex with him. Genesis 19:31-36 tells us the story:

“Now the firstborn said to the younger, ‘Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.’ So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
 It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, ‘Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.’ Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father.’

 

            The bottom line is that the Moabites serve other gods; even as they were descendants of Abraham, also. Lot was actually Abraham’s nephew, but not a part of the promise given to Abraham. The amazing fact about this story is how God can take a shameful situation and turn it around for good. Ruth was to become the great king David’s grandmother, but also, she carried the amazing privilege of being a part of our Saviors genealogy.

            I am sure you have some shameful situation where you were directly or indirectly involved in something you hope the world will never know! I am sure that many have a past that is constantly hunting your present and stealing the wings of your future. I don’t know what it is! However, if, like Ruth, we abandon our gods and our worthless ways and go wholeheartedly after Jehovah He will turn things around for good. God wants to take us from shame to glory!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Shame to Glory Part 1


“God Can Turn It Around”

“Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. And she said, ‘Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.’ But Ruth said:

      ‘Entreat me not to leave you,
      Or to turn back from following after you;
      For wherever you go, I will go;
      And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
      Your people shall be my people,
      And your God, my God.’ (Ruth 1:14-16)

It always amazes me how God can take a completely horrible situation and turn it around with a redemptive “off the wall” purpose. It is without a doubt that Ruth is one amazing character! 

            There are many reasons why we decide to move from one city, town or country to another; perhaps because of the loss of a job, high crime in an area, searching for better education for the children, etc. Elimelech and his wife Naomi left Bethlehem to go to the country of Moab in search for the “better life” that many of us search for. At the time, things were pretty difficult in Judah as they were experiencing hunger. Elimelech and Naomi had two sons. After Elimelech died, their two sons married two Moabites, Orpah and Ruth. In an unspecified time frame, these two sons died also.

            Naomi was left alone with her two daughters-in-law and she then decided to move back to Israel. In the process, Naomi strongly encouraged both of them to return to their land after both followed her. It really made no sense for an old woman to go back to her land as a Jewish lady with two Moabites. Naomi also encouraged them to go back to their gods and find husbands there. Orpah finally decided to go back; however, we see clearly in these verses that, that was not the case with Ruth!

            We can’t even begin to comprehend the greatness of this story without doing a basic study on who were the Moabites. Genesis 19:31-36 gives us the shameful pass of the Moabites:

“Now the firstborn said to the younger, ‘Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.’ So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
 It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, ‘Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.’ Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father.”

 

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

Three Reasons for War


 

“These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.” (Judges 3:1-4)

 

            God is so amazing! He is able to use our shortcomings and turn them around for a useful teaching and eventually, a positive end-result. How does He do it? That is why He is God and we are not!

 

Everything could have been very simple. The instructions were certainly simple:  “Take the land and kill everyone in it.” The people in these countries, for the most part, had no hope of turning to God or repenting; they were evil. But, just like us, the children of Israel did not follow the instructions; they started reasoning their own ways of utilizing the enemy; their own little ways of doing things apart from the clear instructions of the Lord. It is there that we start getting into deep trouble. The amazing thing about the reality of these verses is that even when the children of Israel clearly disobey God, God is able to work a useful plan in the midst of our stupidity. 

Many of us wish that we never have to go through temptations, suffering, wars and all of those uncomfortable emotions; however, as many of us already know, Biblically speaking, they are inevitable. In these verses, we see, basically, three powerful reasons why God allowed these nations to stay among the Israelites:

1.      So that the new generation would be able to experience war.

2.      So that the older generation would teach the new generation about warfare.

3.      To test them, in order to be able to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands.

War is necessary! God actually allowed these nations to be around for the purpose of them experiencing war. We are also able to see how war gave one of many connections between the older generation and the new. The old generation was to teach the new generation on how to fight these wars. A key element in this teaching was for them to learn to rely on God. We must learn to trust God. The older generation needed to desperately teach the young fellows how to property fight. Lastly, nothing will test our obedience to God like a bloody war.

 As we continue on our journey; we must realize the only Victor of our battles. The overwhelming reason printed in the history of Israel, and perhaps in our own, is that we must learn that it is God who fights our battles. How can we know the majestic powers of our God if we never see Him moving like a Mighty Warrior against the giants of our lives? He shows Himself strong against Egypt to show the Israelites what He’s able to do. Today, He wants to show Himself strong, on your behalf, in the midst of great wars to show you what He can do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Are You Available?” By Prophet G. Craig Lewis


 
“Are You Available?”
Singles Week Revisited – Part 2
 

 

 

 

Hebrews 12:1 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of
witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially
the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that
God has set before us.” NLT

 

This word is for the singles that desire to eventually marry. Many of you choose to be single and don’t even know it. There is a problem with many Christian singles that stops them from receiving the gift of a spouse. I’m talking about the single person that is fulfilling the desires of the flesh. The singles that feel like God understands their sexual desires and urges and they indulge in relationships with the opposite sex. Don’t you know that when you are in a sexual relationship, you are becoming one with the person you are involved with? Then, how do you ever expect to marry or even pray for marriage, when in the spirit realm you are already taken? It trips me out how some single folks tell me that they are praying for God to bless them with a spouse and they are living with their partner, or sexually active? Come on folks! If you are sexually active outside of marriage, you are practicing “oneness”! If you are practicing oneness then you cannot be one with anyone else. Therefore, you are taken and will not receive a spouse from God.

 

I’m not talking about mistakes or slip-ups, but I’m talking about living a sinful lifestyle, (living together, homosexual, lesbian, etc.)! Let me tell you, if you are in a sexual relationship as a single, then prepare to stay single! God ain’t blessing you with someone in that illicit relationship. And as far as God is concerned, you are already illegally joined to a person, so there is no need to seek him for a spouse. The bible says to FLEE fornication. That means get away from that person you are messing with. I’ve had many Christian women and men tell me that the unsaved man they are sleeping with is going to marry them so they might as well indulge! What? Come on people. Don’t make it that easy for the devil to knock you off course. The reason you are even having sexual urges and desires is because your sexuality is awakened and disturbed by your lifestyle. If you would submit to God and resist the devil, the bible says he (his desires) will flee. Get it together single Christian. Don’t believe the hype. If you practice sin, the bible says that you belong to Satan. If you practice righteousness, you belong to God.


Suggested Reading: I John 3:4-10, James 1:13-25, 1Cor. 6:13-20


Truth by my Son Angelo


 

Behold, a time is approaching when man will discern the lack of satisfaction provided by the world; the world that expresses abhorrence as they strive to avert the lost from discovering a truth so, grand and magnificent that it pierces the soul and triumphs over the flesh; a flesh terribly misinformed and rebellious. Yet, this memorandum is not new, simply forgotten; forgotten due to innumerable antichrists that have always existed; existed in unadorned confidentiality; antichrists that promote an agenda that incorporates the content of this dimension of life; a dimension filled with opinions, perspectives, statistics, theories and philosophies; philosophies that have no end in order to thwart the lost from discovering a truth so, grand and magnificent that it provides hope and motivation to live and to love in spirit and in truth. What is the truth of your life? What agenda do you promote; for many antichrists are not conscious of their heresy?  The lives that we live attest our testimony; a testimony of radiance in the midst of darkness. This testimony states that everything beneath the sun is meaningless without purpose. God bestows upon me purpose, and my purpose is to live the testimony; a testimony devoid of opinions, perspectives, statistics, theories and philosophies; the testimony of His Son; the Son who stands upon the waters and assures that I no longer have to swim feebly; the Son who raises me up when everyone readies themselves to stone me; the Son who touched my leprosy. This Son outshines every star and proclaims that nothing matters, except the truth. Behold this truth my family, as I do the same; for nothing is more precious.

What About God’s Afflictions?


11 So the Lord said to the children of Israel, ‘Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians and from the Amorites and from the people of Ammon and from the Philistines? 12 Also the Sidonians and Amalekites and Maonites oppressed you; and you cried out to Me, and I delivered you from their hand. 13 Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods. Therefore I will deliver you no more.14 Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress.’ 15 And the children of Israel said to the Lord, ‘We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray.’ 16 So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord. And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.(Judges 10:11-16)

 

            We hear much talk about affliction, the storms that many of us are facing and the stuff that we are going through; but have we ever stopped to consider God’s afflictions? In reading these verses, the worst thing that can happen to us is to approach this message as if God is only speaking to Israel. To approach this story as a once upon a time thing, could be tragic. Israel’s response to God as a nation is a reflection of our individual responses to HIM also.

            Have you ever stopped to think about all that God has done for you; the many times He delivered you from death itself? Just like Israel, we see God blessing us over and over; we move away from Him, things don’t go well, we cry out to HIM again, He delivers us, but again we move away and so on. It is painful to read the Word and see this awful cycle!

The last part of verse sixteen tells us: “And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.God is afflicted because of our misery as the result of our insisting and walking away from Him. God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, loves us in such a way that He trespasses the wall of what is logic and what we really deserve, and manifests His mercy because of His incomparable love for us. I believe that the next time we decide to dwell on our afflictions; it would be a healthy exercise to pause and take a look at God’s afflictions because of us.