Small E-book: Mixing With The World


Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

 

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:1-12 (NKJV)

Specific signs of the last days:

  1. People will say that they are Jesus.

  2. A lot of deception (Leading people astray)

  3. Wars and rumors of wars (Strife, fighting everywhere)

  4. Nation will rise against nation (Nation is the word “éthnos”, is where we get the English Word Etnic.

  5. Kingdom against kingdom (Governments)

  6. Famines (Hunger)

  7. Pestilence (Epidemics)

  8. Earthquakes (A lot of shaking)

  9. Great tribulation and the mass killing of the true people of God.

  10. Great hatred against God’s people all over the world.

  11. Many will be offended and leave churches because of offenses.

  12. A lot of betrayal and hatred from within the church.

  13. The rise of many false prophets that will tell people what they want to hear and move people away from God.

  14. Because of lawlessness many will grow cold in the things of God. Everybody will accommodate the law to their convenience to satisfy their carnal desires.

 

Every activity offer by the world is designed by Satan to keep us from being on fire from God. This is so because Satan is the god of this world according to Second Corinthians 4:3-4

 “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” (NKJV)

From music, to clothing, to movies in Hollywood is all designed to keep our minds away from meditating on the Lord. Even things that appear to be good, when the focus take us away from God Himself it become another distraction and a potential idol.  Many people in the church have become secular minded and are constantly mixing with the things of this world. The world and what the world has to offer is very attractive to our flesh. To justify our carnality we make pitiful attempts to spiritualize our worldly activities.

So many Christians go to clubs and dance to the sounds of secular artist who are enemies of God. As we dance to their rhythm we approve and support their agenda and therefor give Satan legal right to enter into our lives and do greater damage. We find ourselves spending money to support their music, their movies, their TV Shows, their line of clothing, etc. We convinced ourselves that we are not doing it for Satan, but Satan is a liar and a deceiver, so we can actually find ourselves worshipping him without knowing it. In John 15:19 Jesus told us:

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (NKJV) 

These are tough words to swallow, but when we find ourselves in a friendly relationship with the world something is actually wrong with our Christianity.

Nobody likes to be hated, everybody likes to be respected and liked, but when you are serious about your Christianity you will clash with the world system. In the last days we will have a remnant that will be on fire for God and because of it, they will be hated by the world according to Matthew 24.

Today we see many politicians who present themselves as Christians and Religious’ leaders who purposely avoid taking a Biblical stance on the issue of homosexuality. They are also avoiding the reality of Christ as the Only way to heaven. Making a Biblical stance on these two issues will guaranty great hate against us.

Take a look at this video where Former President George Bush, who campaigned as Christian, was asked about Jesus being the only way to heaven:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4iVbqCIYPo

Let me also show you another video where one, who is consider, the greatest Evangelist of our time, also denied Jesus as the only way to heaven:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozjLaoPrcQ0

As you can see in these videos, the Gospel is under attack, so many people that  consider themselves saved, are not really, because more and more we see that this new gospel does not need Jesus. Therefor there is no need for repentance. So we have problems right at the door. With the fear for being accused of judging many chose to back off from the topic of repentance.

As you enter then, the house of God’s family, we are also under attack, because now Satan has found ways of taking away our fire by promoting the mixing of the world with Christianity under the umbrella of ministry. We are call to love everyone, but we are not call to fellowship with the world or the things of this world. Second Corinthians 6:13-18 tells us:

13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open. 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore “Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.” (NKJV)

In Psalm 137:1-4 we see the Levites being capture by the powerful Babylonian nation of that time. The Babylonians wanted the Israelites to sing, it could have been a great opportunity to minister to them in song right? To win a few for Jesus right? But look at how the Israelites answered:

By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.

There on the poplars
    we hung our harps,

for there our captors asked us for songs,
    our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
    they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

How can we sing the songs of the Lord
    while in a foreign land?”

 

These people knew that there is no place for mixing with the world for God’s people. The bottom line is that many Christians today are afraid! If we confess Jesus as the only way to heaven the world will accuse us of being crazy, arrogant, close-minded and others. On the other hand if we established that sin is sin, we will be hated. James 4:4 tells us:

“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (NKJV)

Lets take the issue of homosexuality for example. Homosexuality is, not only a sin before God, but an abomination. The spirit of homosexuality is so strong that their leaders are making the atrocity of comparing their fight for social, moral and legal acceptance of homosexuality to the fight for racial equality. Lets look at another Christian leader speaking on this issue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4i-00c32J4

 It is hard for us as Christians to understand that we do not have a middle line; it is hard for us to understand that everything that refuses to give glory to God will indeed take our fire for God away. The Bible tells us in Matthew 18:8-9

 “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” (NIV 1984)

 

Is there anything we need to cut off? The concern here is, are we as Christians call to miss out on things? Are we called to take away from our children what the rest of the children have? This is how Jesus response to this concern:

“He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39 (NKJV)

 

The Devil will have us think that we are losing, but we are not, we are actually gaining a life that no one else can offer. We are called to do what God tells us to do…in that we will find the abundant life that Jesus came to give us according to John 10:10.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” NKJV

 

So what can we do in this world as Christians? We still need water, food and shelter; we still need to wear clothing and we still need to make a living. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:31-34

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” NKJV

 

These verses are making it clear that God is aware that there are things we need for our survival; but He is also making it clear that we should not make it a priority in our lives to run after those things. God is telling us not to worry, He promise that He will provide, but He also is giving us how the order of our priorities should be. In verse 33 God tells us:

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” NKJV

 

The word Seek here means: “To strive to find, to go after.” The Kingdom is God’s Government and Righteousness is God’s way of doing things. God must be first; He demands first place in our lives because nobody else can do HIS job. Only God can heal us, restore us, save us, give us purpose, give us true joy and peace that overpass all understanding according to Philippians 4:7.

Why do we continue to mix with the world? The answer is very easy to find; we want the acceptance and validation of this world. The children of Israel did the same thing as they ask for a king that would lead them; that was the system established in the known world, so the Israelites, like many of us today, have the same carnal desire. In First Samuel 8 we see the story of God’s people step in the wrong direction. Even as Prophet Samuel tried to discourage the people from such idea, even after God Himself told them that having a king was going to hurt them deeply, they replied in verse 19 and 20a,

“No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations…” NIV

That is exactly what we do today, we know that we are spending too much time messing with our smart phones, we know that we are spending too much time on Facebook, we know that movie is not Godly, we know that TV Show has a demonic agenda and that is presenting a value and moral system that is against God, we know that those books are drying our souls, we know that those videos games are taking away our ability to sense God’s presence, we know that this or that relationship is not good for us…but we do it anyway because deep inside we want to be like the world. We resolve in our minds that they, the world, have all the goodies, they get to have fun and I want some of that to…after all, I deserve that, I am not a bad person, I go to church on Sundays, I don’t smoke and I have not kill anybody, after all, everybody else is doing it…so, why not me?

Beloved, we are call to be holy, a people separated for God. I know that legalism and man-made religion have done a great deal of damage, however that is not an excuse for us to live our lives as if we are able to do whatever we want without having to pay any consequences. First Corinthians 10:23 tells us:

“Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.” NIV 1984

We must understand that even as we have the freedom, especially in this country, to do whatever we want as long as we are not violating the law, not everything is beneficial and/or constructive. We must know that those things we insist in doing that are against God’s Word carry very painful consequences. No! We are not call to do whatever we want, we are call to do what God wants. Romans 8:6-9 tells us:

“6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”

What kind of mind do we have today? What kind of walk are we walking today? Maybe the problem is that the Spirit of God is not in you. May be you are moving away from God because you are offended or because you got a hold of some false teachings.

This writer does not write from the pride of a perfect life where I did everything right. I am writing as one who knows sin very well. I wish I can hide behind the leaves of my days before coming to the knowledge of Christ, but I can’t. I have sinned with the sin of fornication. Oh I know that many say that all sins are the same, but even as all sins will separate you from God and all sin will guide you into hell without Jesus and without true repentance, there are sins that will cause more damage to your soul than others. Fornication is that kind of sin that is designed to destroy a men or a women of God. In First Corinthians 6:18 the Bible tells us:

 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” NKJV

I know first hand what it is to go after the desires of our flesh. In my case is taking me years to get back to feeling God’s fire in my life. But I don’t want you to be discouraged. Right now, take the time to truly repent and return to God for He is faithful and He will always love you. God has not deleted His plan for you. I end this small e-book with these words from Romans 11:29 as Paul tells us:

 “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” NKJV

 

Sermon: We, The Church!


Man-Thinking11

Even as political, economical, social and constitutional issues are important, we the church can’t allow those issues to take our focus away from Christ.

Democrats and Liberals want nothing to do with God, so we can never look at them for true changes in our nation. During their own 2012 Democratic Convention, they rejected God and the mention of the nation of Israel. With great difficulty, and in the midst of great opposition, that rejection was changed.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9ha9o24Pfw) The Democratic Party’s stance on social and moral issues is an abomination to God.

Republicans and conservatives, on the other hand, look at our Founding Fathers and the Constitution for answers. How can that be? They fought for the freedom of this nation from England, but openly denied the freedom of our black brothers. Even as recent as the 1960s, blacks would register to vote in the south with great difficulty.

Many of our founding fathers were filled with great hypocrisy. As Thomas Jefferson wrote our beautiful Declaration of Independence, he himself owed a great number of slaves.

Our Founding Fathers were mere men and not gods. I don’t judge them, they did the best they could during their historical time, but I will not close my eyes to their reality and moral failure on the issue of slavery and I refuse to give them a divine place as a solution for our current crisis.

But today I am inspired to lift up my voice and cry out for my brothers and sisters with whom I share my citizenship, according to Philippians 3:20. I am not talking about my American citizenship, I am talking about my heavenly citizenship; I am talking about my family…the church, also known as the bride of Christ.

We, the church, must look up to the mountains where our help comes from, according to Psalm 121.

We, the church, must fix our eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, according to Hebrews 12. Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the only one that can change a man’s heart, a family, a neighborhood, a town, a city, a state, our nation and the entire world.

We, the church, are the answer for the economy. The righteous way of dealing with the individual and even the national economy is found not in the constitution, but in the Word of God, in a book known as the Bible. Romans 13:8 tells us:

“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (NKJV)

We, the United States, a nation that I deeply love, as individuals and as a nation, have become a wicked nation. Psalm 37:21 tells us: “The wicked borrows and does not repay (NKJV)

 

It is no wonder our national debt is now over 16 trillion dollars.

It is no wonder that in the last 72 fiscal years we only have on record 12 fiscal years where we actually had money in the bank. The rest of the fiscal years were and continue to be in deficits.

We, as a nation are operating with a checking account that is on the red. As individuals our checks would have bounced and our credit and debit cards would have been declined, but the Government keeps using his power to self-destruct as they continue to add more debt that they will never be able to pay without the divine hand of God. The last four years had four fiscal years of deficit exceeding a trillion dollars each year; those are historical, world-record making numbers.

We, the church, are the answer for America’s moral crisis. We, the church, are the answer for America’s increasingly violent tendencies.

Some argue that we need to make it easy for the good citizens to own guns; others argue that we need tougher gun-control laws. The problem is that the so-called criminals are not the ones doing the mass shootings that we saw in Connecticut.

Who then is committing these mass shootings? Teenagers who were able to steal the guns from their parents an/or family members. Parents and/or Family members whom, by the way, were in the category of good citizens!

Who else is committing these mass shootings? Not people with criminal records! But the men that went crazy because he lost his job, therefore he decided to go back to his old job and kill everyone before taking his own life.

Who else is committing these mass shootings? It seems like the Personality Profile of these mass shooters, from Columbine to Virginia Tec and Connecticut, is the same:

“The young man with a sick mind; the socially challenged one, the funny looking one, who found it hard to make friends. The quiet one that everyone ignored, that everyone made fun of. That one who could not find an argument in his mind against shooting and killing as many as possible.”

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/12/14/1337221/a-timeline-of-mass-shootings-in-the-us-since-columbine/ showed us alarming statistics:

“The rate of people killed by guns in the US is 19.5 times higher than similar high-income countries in the world. Since 1982, America has witnessed at least 61 mass murders.”

The Bible tells us in First Corinthians 13:8 that “Love never fails…” (NIV) I wonder what would have happened if some one had shown love to these mass-shooters prior to these crimes. But our schools and our society in general are filled with the spirit of mockery. Truly they have made it clear that God is not welcome.

But I am sure that the act of loving unconditionally feels like a failure at times.

I am sure that Doctor Martin Luther King felt like a failure as he fought a seemingly unfair fight and stood for non-violence.

I am sure he felt like a failure, as Luther was slapped on the pulpit by a white man while beginning his sermon for that day.

I am sure that Dr. King felt like a failure as Malcolm X, an Islamic leader of the time, called him a “Glorious Fool.”

I am sure that Dr. King felt like a failure as he saw the police brutality of his time against black men, women and children.

I am sure that Dr. King felt like a failure as he saw the dead bodies of his people as a direct results of his many marches around this nation.

I am sure that Dr. King felt like a failure as he saw, together with the world, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who was working closely with him in the fight against racial discrimination.

I am sure that Dr. King felt like a failure as he went to prison time after time; one time just because he ordered a sandwich in an Only White restaurant.

Many do not know this, but I am sure Martin Luther King felt like a failure as his own wife was arrested and sent to prison eighteen times.

I am sure that Doctor King’s closest followers felt like failures themselves as they saw their leader being shot and killed in a Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Martin Luther King said it himself many times that he would never see forty, and he did not!

But is their any other man in the history of our nation that has even come close to achieving more for the cause of racial equality in this nation that Doctor Martin Luther King? Not even close…Doctor Martin Luther King did not waste his time, Dr. King was not a failure, for even today the anointing in his life, his message and his great sacrifice is able to inspire a tremendously unqualified Puertorrican minister like me.

And what can we say about Jesus? He is the King of kings; He is the Lord or lords, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Prince of Peace, our Savior and our Lord. His love will never fail and His love is still changing lives today!

We, the church, are the ark of our time. We are called to love one another, to love even our enemies, to give our lives, if necessary, for the sake of God’s Kingdom and for the sake of a lost humanity.

When the flood of God’s judgment starts pouring down, when man finds himself face to face, reaping the hate they have sown for so many years; when the sound of the last trumpet begins to announce the end of this dimension of life…we, the church, will be standing strong, dressed in white, singing the heavenly song reserved with a special melody for God’s saints. In Revelation 19:1-9 we see a historical moment that will take place as the Bible tells us:

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:

“Hallelujah!
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,

 

for true and just are his judgments.
He has condemned the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.
He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”

 

And again they shouted:

“Hallelujah!
The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”

 

The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried:

“Amen, Hallelujah!”

 

Then a voice came from the throne, saying:

“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
both great and small!”

 

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah!
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

 

Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.

 

Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

 

With great conviction and humility for my own shortcomings, I gave you this word that the Lord gave me today for this amazing nation.

May this word penetrate, not only ears, but also hearts, and may the statistics show, very soon, an America that is changing for the better, an America that will give glory to God, an America where the first and second commandments are as real as the stripes and the stars of our banner and an America where Jesus Christ is indeed the One and Only KING. May we be covered today and forever more with the banner of God’s love.

Intenciones del Corazón


bd-pensar-20-BaraderoHoy

Así que, no juzguéis nada antes de tiempo, hasta que venga el Señor, el cual aclarará también lo oculto de las tinieblas, y manifestará las intenciones de los corazones; y entonces cada uno recibirá su alabanza de Dios.” Primera de Corintios 4:5 (Reina Velera 1960)

 

En esta preciosa mañana mientras miro la nieve decorar mis alrededores medito en las intenciones del corazón. Podemos hacer veinte mil cosas maravillosas, pero si no son echas con un corazón puro y con la exclusiva intención de darle gloria a Dios y de servirle a su pueblo, todo lo que hemos hecho será en vano. Dios no juzgará lo que hacemos, sino el porqué lo hacemos.

Introducing Our Logo


OUR LOGO

Dear students, parents and friends:

I am so happy to introduce our Good Fight Taekwondo and Kickboxing Academy logo. This logo captures the fact that our program is more than just Martial Arts. As I look at this logo I see a profound meaning. I see a father leading and teaching his son. I see the Great Commission of Jesus as He tells us in Matthew 28:19

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

On this logo you can also see that as the son follows his father, the father is also following the cross of Christ. The cross becomes the center between the proper father-son relationship.  The Red Cross obviously represents the sacrifice of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ; the red represents the blood of Christ shed in Calvary for the remission of sin.

As you see, even as the silhouettes in this logo are my sons and mine, we are faceless, establishing very clearly that it is not about us, that all glory, honor and praise belongs to our Father.

I want to thank God for answering our prayers… to God be all the glory! I want to also thank God for my son Angelo Casiano for administering this task and a very a special thanks to the man that prayerfully made this Logo possible, and who worked so very hard, Mr. Troy Fitz. I hope you like it!

How Do We Know That Is God Speaking To Us?


Hearing-God

“Five Biblical and Practical Ways to Know that God is Speaking”

 1.  It must be inline with His Word: God will never contradict His Word.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” NKJV 2 Timothy 3:16

2.  Through wise counsel: Even as New Testament believers, we must know that can still use wise counsel to speak to us.

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15 NKJV

3.  Through the confirmation of two or three spiritual witnesses:

“…By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” 2 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV

4.  Through circumstances: Simply put, God will open or close a door.

“Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV

Also we see in Proverbs 10:22 an amazing way to know that something is from God:

“The blessing of the Lord makes one rich,
And He adds no sorrow with it.” NKJV

5. Through inner conviction and peace:

“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

Our minds must stayed focus on Jesus. When we make it about ourselves, when what we like or what we don’t like and what we want or don’t want are the forces behind our decision-making, we will very quickly, lose our precious peace.

As I said before, inner peace is the end-result of a heart that is trusting God. It is the end-result of the smile of God over our lives.

Especially in issues of transition, possible marriage and other important life events, the process of hearing from God should include all of these elements for a safe and unregretful decision.

Why Can’t We Hear God?


121227075645-pakistan-religion-christmas-praying-in-church-story-top

Have you ever done something, made a decision even move out of state thinking that it was of God and later found out that it was not? I know I have! In Romans 7:14-25 we see a door that explain some of the reasons why listening to God is a challenge:

14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” NKJV

As we read these verses we can clearly see that some of the challenges in listening to God are:

1. Our own will: Our will many times speak louder than God’s voice. Our souls rather turn on the volume of what we want, than on what God wants.

2. Sin: This is when we insist in embracing a lifestyle of sin. Very difficult to hear God’s Voice when we are consume by sin. During this time our fellowship with God is affected. Our only alternative is to repent, ask God forgiveness and get back to surrendering to His will.

3. The battle between the Flesh against the spiritual man (Romans 7:18) We must add that the flesh also fights against God’s Spirit in us according to Galatians 5:17 and also against our souls according to First Peter 2:11. We must understand that there is a part of us that want absolutely nothing to do with God and that is the true for all of us. We must stop the hypocrisy and understand that. This bloody battle is a great obstacle in this process of learning how to listen to the Lord.

Other challenges against us hearing God’s voice are:

4. We have become lazy: It is sad to say but we have develop an Old Testament approach to God’s voice as we depend on what the Pastor has to say about God. We fail to understand that the death and resurrection of Christ did not only gave humanity an opportunity for salvation, but also for us, as individuals to be able to hear God ourselves.

5. We talk too much: By talking we are never in a position of listen.

6. We are distracted by the busyness of life: One day we will find ourselves before God and our jobs, house work, our business, peer pressure, our children, school work, our problems, etc. will become ridiculous excuses that will slap us in the face. How can we justify to place anything before our time with the Lord?

 

7. The values in society and in our culture: This is the mentality that tells us that because everybody else is doing it, it must be right. When our focus becomes what society accept and rejects as moral and not God’s Word, do not expect to get the great next revelation from the Lord.

8. Satan himself: Satan knows how to dress himself as an angel of light according to 2 Corinthians 11:14. It is very easy to fool Christians that are carnal and do not study God’s Word. Many Christians feel like they are listening to God, but in fact are listening to Satan.

9. The many voices around us: We are surrounded by many voices that are used by Satan to move us away from God’s will. These are people that are very close to us. They are not Christians, they have no spirituality, but we have given them access and permission to constantly speak into our lives by allowing them to be a part of our fellowship. We must love everybody, but our fellowship belongs to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Voice of God


Voice of God

In a world where everybody has an opinion and has the right to express it, we must know what God is saying. What God has to say about matters is the most important thing in this world; that is why we are seeing an increasing attack on God’s voice. I believe that there is no better way to start this year of 2013 than to have a clear Biblical understanding of the ways God speaks.

There are nine different ways God uses to express Himself. There may be more, but these are the ones that I can clearly see in the Bible so far:

 1. Through the Bible: (2 Tim 3:16, Psalm 119:11, 105): This is the most clear and effective way of God’s communication with His people. The Bible is a priceless book! We will never be able to hear God effectively without the faithful and active study of Scripture. Without the Bible we can be easily fooled. It is sad to say, but how often do we try everything else, but His word? How often we rather read a book about God, than to read the Word ourselves? Second Timothy 3:16 tells us:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”

Some key definitions:

The word profitable can be also defined as “Lucrative”. The word lucrative means basically: “Well-paid”. The word doctrine can also be look at as policy; the way things ought to be done. The word reproof is the word rebuke. The word correction it can also be look at improvement. And when we speak about Instruction in Righteousness we are talking about: “Training in the acceptable ways of the Lord.”

2. Through the inner still, small voice of Holy Spirit: (Acts 11:12, Acts 13:2, 1 Kings 19:11-12, Isaiah 30:21) This is another common and powerful way used by God to speak to us. This voice is a voice that speaks straight to our spirit. It does not go through our ears first, but it penetrates our minds and hearts and go straight into our spiritual man.

 “Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” First King 19:11-12 NKJV

Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house.” Acts 11:12 NKJV

“As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Acts 13:2 NKJV

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21 NKJV

3. Through the advice and counsel of the men and women of God: (Prov. 12:15) It is so easy for our minds to justify everything and called of God. No doubts that God can speak to us directly, but we must also understand that God can still use others to speak to us. In the Old Testament people were totally clueless as what was the will of God , that is why the Prophet was key to inform them “what says the Lord”. However, in our New Testament times, even as we still have prophets and they can still see futuristic events, God uses the Prophet to confirm what is already in our spirit.

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
But he who heeds counsel is wise.” Proverbs 12:15 NKJV

“…By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” 2 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV

We also must establish that according to Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked…”
so we can’t rely solely in our hearts.

4. Through the Audible Voice of God: (Acts 9:4-5) “Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Acts 9:4-5 NKJV

On June 5, 2011 the Lord woke me up with his audible voice by saying “First Corinthians 1:18” That was the first and only time so far that I have heard his voice.

5. Through Dreams: (Matthew 1:20-21) – God has spoken through dreams in both, The Old and the New Testament. We must also point out that God also spoke through dream to non-believers in Genesis 20:1-3 and in Genesis

6.Through Visions: (Acts 10:9-18)

In Acts 10:9-18 we see the Apostle Peter’s vision that planted a strong seed for the acceptance of gentiles into the receiving of the Gospel.

7. Through Angels: (Luke 1: 26-38)

The birth of Christ was announced to Mary by an angel in Luke 1:26-38

8. Through circumstances: Here we must be very careful that simple circumstances be used to dictate if God is speaking or not. We must remember, as the Bible tells us, that we live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). However in Acts 16:6-7 we see how God spoke very clearly through circunstances: “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV) We must remember that God opens and closes doors…period!

9. By Inner Conviction and Peace: (Isaiah 26:3) The inner conviction and peace is the emotional result of a heart that is indeed listening to God. This inner conviction more than God’s voice is his smile as we follow his will.

“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

Do You Hate Your Children?


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“He who spares his rod hates his son,
But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” Proverbs 13:24

The older I get the more I understand the significance of this verse. The Bible is telling us here that when we do not discipline our children we hate them. Some parents think they actually love their kids by giving them all they want and by never confronting them with their character issues. That is so because they believe the lies of Satan concerning love.

Some parents think that their children must be spared from any uncomfortable emotions. Parents go out of their way to make sure that their children are happy. Happiness becomes more important than building character. That is why we have children in elementary school already walking around with smart phones, kids in high school driving brand new cars, kids demanding privacy, kids telling their parents what they want to do and not asking permission for it, kids without supervision late at night, kids calling adults by their first names, kids yelling at their parents, kids wearing all kinds of inappropriate clothing, kids going out on dates and the list goes on.

Beloved, I am a parent of six children; I can write a book on the challenges that I have faced with them. That experience takes me to the following conclusion: The fact that our children are acting like fools is not necessarily a reflection of our parental skills. However, not doing our job of correcting our children is indeed an awful and clear reflection of who we are as parents. Proverbs 22:6 tells us:

“Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.” NKJV

 

Beloved we are trainers and life coaches dedicated to prepare our children to face the cruelty and the blessings of life. When we do our job, we give our children something to remember when they get old. I know in my life, the older I get the more I appreciate my parents and the more I am able to see their impact in my way of thinking. However, as I was growing up with them I did not feel this same degree of appreciation…at times, I had no good feeling towards them.

Do you hate your children? Well, if they are in charge, you do! If you are not guiding them, you do! If you have not earned their respect, you do! If they never get mad at you, you do! If you give them all they want, you do! When you do your job as a parent, their love and appreciation for you comes later; they do not have the maturity to understand that you actually love them. We are not called to be our children’s friend; we are called to be our children’s parent.