"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
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
All Rights Reserved
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.”
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!