Wise Counsel

March 29, 2013

Wise Counsel

Proverbs 24:6
For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counselors [there is] safety.

Most of us appreciate wise counsel, especially in the hard decisions of our life, but we have a choice of who we choose to hear and receive counsel from. Essentially all of our decisions are made from counsel that we gather mentally from different sources, then evaluate and arrive at our decision. Where are we going to get our counsel?
The fruit of our lives will reveal the source of our counsel. If we are walking in the counsel of the ungodly, then our actions, decisions and choices are going to be ungodly. Psalms 1:1 exhorts us, “Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
Most all of us want and need wise counsel. We realize that we are not all wise and experienced in many of the areas of life we must make decisions, so it is quite common that we would seek out those who are wiser and more experienced in these areas of life. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established”
Proverbs 19:20 exhorts us, “Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.” As Christians, most of us have come to realize that our best advice and counsel comes from the Word of God and His people who are skilled and experienced in His Word. One of the reasons we go to church and bible studies, listen to tapes and read Christian books is to hear the counsel of the word of God and it’s interpretation. It is a resource we can use to make wise decisions for the direction of our lives.
One of the names of God and Christ is “Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6). One of the seven spirits of God spoken of in Isaiah 11:2 is “counsel”. God is our greatest resource of wise counsel and direction for our lives if we take the time to seek it out. Too often we are in a hurry with the decisions we make or we have preconceived notions about what we want. As a result we don’t take the time to wait on the counsel of the Holy Spirit or pursue the counsel of wise and godly men. This is difficult for many of us because we are not given to patience. We want our answer right now. With God, His requirements are often that we wait upon Him, that we are “anxious for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6).” Proverbs 20:5 says, “Counsel in the heart of man [is like] deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.” I believe the same is true of God. We have to take the time to draw out what is the wisdom and counsel of God for our lives and the decisions we must make along the way. Proverbs 19:21 tells us, “There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” We have to discern in our hearts and sort out what is of God and what is of natural reasoning and thinking. We do that by connecting the points that make a straight line through the things that line up with the Word and counsel of God. God’s counsel shouldn’t be confusion; it should bear witness with itself all along the way.
It is most important, if we want wise counsel, to keep our hearts in tune with the Holy Spirit, seeking His counsel and wisdom through prayer and the Word. It is equally important to check the attitudes and the condition of our heart and motives to be sure they are pure and submitted to Him. Proverbs is a wonderful resource concerning the wisdom, understanding, knowledge and counsel of the Lord. Let’s conclude with a passage from Proverbs 2:1-8 “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
2turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—3indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding, 4and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. 6For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.”

Blessings,
kent

Peacemakers

March 28, 2013

James 3:18
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

Peacemakers

The Amplified version says it this way, “And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].”
This scripture that God just dropped into my heart makes me meditate upon the correlation of peace and righteousness. Righteousness is the fruit of what is sown in peace. Peace speaks to rest, confidence, assurance, freedom from fear, agitation, worry or discord. Peace is not the result of contention, warring, factions, control or being right. It is the result of right being in relationship with the Lord and His purpose in our lives. Our circumstances aren’t the condition of our peace. Jesus had complete peace even in the midst of a great storm that threatened to take His life and the life of His disciples. Peace comes in the assurance of what your identity is in Christ, your position “in Him” and the divine purpose and destiny He has planned for you. If we truly be walking “in Christ” and living out of His life, then our lives are no longer in our control, but His. It is usually when we take back control that we lose our peace. If we are walking in faith, obedience and in the Spirit then the fruit is going to be righteousness.
Paul says some interesting things in Romans 14 when he is dealing with the Christian disputes over diet and days of worship. He conveys that our faith is so much more than every one fitting in your box or believing and thinking just like you. He says this in Romans 14:7-9, “For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.” Life is not about our dogma and doctrine, it is about living and dying for the Lord. If we are focused on getting everyone to believe just like us, we are never going to have peace. The Holy Spirit deals with the seasons and the changes of our lives, The important thing it being in right relationship with Him and communicating that gospel of peace to all who will receive.
Paul also makes mention a little latter in Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Isn’t it interesting that two of the attributes we are talking about are attributes of the kingdom of God and where they are found, joy is close by.
When we have a revelation of walking “in Christ” then our identity is no longer with ourselves. Our purpose is simply to become the expression of the Lord in each situation. That means we don’t have to get caught in the flesh and in other people’s drama. Obviously they aren’t enjoying peace in the state that they are in. God’s love in and through us is the peacemaker. If we see life from God’s perspective and allow the Holy Spirit to have control of each situation, then our response is to the Lord, not to opposing circumstances before us. When it is not about us, then it can be all about Him. Walk in the freedom of God’s peace for your life. Allow Him to have every concern and worry. Walking in the peace of God, brings forth the righteousness of God.

Blessings,
kent

God’s Love

March 27, 2013

2 Corinthians 4:7-12
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

God’s Love

God’s love will take you further than you want to go,
Cost you more than you thought you could give.
It keeps you sometimes longer than you want to stay,
Causes you to live and act contrary to logic of man,
Contrary to what you may actually think or feel.
It causes you to love those who hate you,
Pray for those who selfishly use you,
Bless those who curse you and speak ill of you.
Forgive those who disappoint and hurt you,
Go the extra mile and give more than is required.
It will cause you to see the best in people, not the worst.
It will cause you to see past people’s faults to see their need.
It will cause you to endure with longsuffering and self-control.
It will cause you to live with abandon to random acts of kindness.
It will give you patience to endure the pain and stay the course.
It will cause you to die that you may truly live,
Because the love of “Christ in you” is the life you give.
Kent Stuck

Blessings,
kent

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

Malachi 3:1

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

When asking the Lord what is the most important message of this hour I believe “preparation” is what He is dropping into my heart. It is the time of a John the Baptist ministry when He has sent His servants into the Land to stir the hearts of the people to repentance and preparation for the coming King.

We have all grown so complacent with the lifestyles that we lead. We truly have far greater riches and blessing than the majority of the rest of the world. That is wonderful in some ways, but in others we have fallen into the snare of self-reliance and contentment. I see this in my own heart as well as others. In the spirit, God is speaking, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” He is exhorting and warning us to stir ourselves to faith and action. It is a time to really seek the Lord and what His purpose and plan is. We may still be in the stages of preparation, but we should be no less diligent in seeking God’s highest for our lives. Things are boiling beneath surface and there will soon come a time when things will be released upon the earth, no doubt in both realms of light and darkness. Lethargy and mediocrity will prove to be the ropes that have tied our hands and feet. Over and over in what we hear the Lord speaking He is saying, “press into Me, repent of your sinful ways and start pressing into the high calling that is yours in Christ Jesus.”

The book of Proverbs teaches that it is the wise man that listens and takes heed to reproof, but the fool only despises it. May the Lord heighten our spiritual senses and accountability today as we endeavor to walk closer to Him and pursue His righteousness. A shaking has already began and a judgement has come upon His house, for God first judges His own house. He is exposing our sin and our corruption. He is shouting from the rooftops those things that have been done in the closet.

This is the day for us to get our hearts right again, to purify ourselves and put away our iniquities. Can we hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches? More importantly are we willing to act upon and prepare the way of the Lord by first preparing our hearts? If you had one month to put your life and your house in order what would you change? What are our priorities in the light of eternity? The decisions and the choices we make today will ripple through our eternity. They may make the difference in whether we stand or fall, whether we are honored or dishonored before the Lord. Many of us are compromising ourselves as King Jehoshaphat did in the Old Testament. He was a good king and he loved the Lord, but in 2 Chronicles 19:1-3 we see God sending a prophet to warn him about compromising with evil. “When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, 2 Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD ? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you. 3 There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.” While many of us embrace and believe the principles of righteousness we embrace alliances with those walking in darkness. The Lord is calling us today unto separation and preparation. Jehoshaphat met his end because he was in an alliance and relationship that was not in the will and purpose of God. Be careful whom you build your relationships with.

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:19-22)

Blessings,
Kent

Three Men in a Desert

March 25, 2013

Proverbs 13:22
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

Three Men in a Desert

Three men started across the desert. One man was loaded down with canteens of water and lots of food. The other man had a tent, umbrella, blanket and some water. The third man had a hat, a canteen, a Bible and faith in the Lord.
After a couple of days of walking the man with all of the canteens and food died of exhaustion from the weight of all of his water and provisions. The other two men buried him, split up the remaining water and food, and continued on. On the fourth day a gust of wind caught the one man’s umbrella as he was climbing over a rocky hill, threw him off balance and he fell to his death upon the rocks. The third man buried him and used the remaining resources to finish his journey.
The moral of the story is that often the Lord uses the resources others strive to gain and hold on too, to bless those who walk in faith and trust in Him.

Blessings,
kent

Christ in You

March 22, 2013

Colossians 1:25-27
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christ in You

There are many powerful truths that are imparted to us through the Word of God. Perhaps the greatest truth aside from knowing Christ as my personal Savior and being filled with the Holy Spirit is the truth that I am sharing with you today. When we get a revelation of what Paul calls the glorious riches of a hidden mystery then we are empowered, because now we are no longer orphans. We know who our true Daddy is and we now know our true identity. That identity is no longer associated with the weak man of the flesh that I was born of in the natural. It is identified in knowing that I am a son of God. Papa’s DNA is now in me, because Christ is in me. When I really lay hold of that and begin to live my life in the light of that truth I realize I am not my own, I am His. It is as Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” That former me died back when I ask Christ into my heart and Christ entered into me to give me my new identity in Him.
Oh, how the enemy wants to rob that truth and revelation from us. If he can confuse or hide from you who you really are then he can perpetrate his lies into you about who you really aren’t. If you don’t know your identity he is more than happy to give you his. That is why so many of us live defeated, discouraged, condemned and robbed of our joy, strength and power.
Does anyone reading this ever feel so unworthy, like a failure and separated in their relationship with God. It is because you are allowing your identity to be taken from you. Your identity is not in your feelings and it is not even in your own righteousness, it is in the Righteous One who died for you. He took our sins and imparted into us His righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Romans 3:21-24 speaks to this, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” We have such a hard time releasing our old identity because that is exactly where the enemy wants to keep us living. In that old identity he can put us again under the law of sin and death, instead of the liberty we can find in the law of the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus.
Jesus speak to it this way when He is praying to the Father in John 17:20-23, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Jesus places us in the same context of relationship with Him as He is in with the Father. That is a powerful insight into how He now sees you and receives you. You are no longer a foreigner, an outsider, but an heir and joint- heir with Him. We are family! Your family doesn’t love you because you’re perfect they love you because you are a part of them. When we realize that we are family, that we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone, then we can get a real revelation of the calling that is upon our lives because of who we truly are. Life is no longer about pleasing me, it is about pleasing my father because I have that Christ nature in me.
What did Jesus come to do?
John 14:31 says, “but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” That is the mandate of a son; to do the will of the Father. We know that we don’t have that within our former self, but we do have it because of who we now are in Christ and because the nature of Christ is being formed in us.
1 John 3:1-3 affirms that identity, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” 1 John 2:3-6 exhorts us with this, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” Because you have born again in His nature you will live in His truth. If you are struggling with this then look at where you identity is at and get it in alignment with who God says you are and what He has called you to be.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory!”

Blessings,
kent

Did You Know You were Dead?

Colossians 3:1-4
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

A principle of salvation and the work of the cross that is hard for us to really grasp and assimilate into our minds and get down into our spirits is the fact that when we gave our hearts and lives to Christ we died. We became identified with Christ upon that cross. When we came into Christ our old man died there with Him. Romans 6:6 says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” We have so long been associated with this body of sin, that many of us haven’t really made the transition spiritually and physically to the reality of this truth. We are still identified with our old body of sin and sin-nature. We keep wanting and trying to change it and reform it. That is not going to happen. We have to grasp the reality that it is DEAD! When we came into Christ we became a new creation, a spiritual man or woman with a redeemed soul. One of the greatest strategies of the enemy is to keep us in that old mindset of being sinners, still living under the curse of sin. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” With that new life we found in Christ, there has to come in us a whole new mindset and way of seeing ourselves and our world through the eyes and mind of the Spirit of God. This is why we can be no longer conformed to the world, but as Romans 12:2 says,”transformed through the renewing of our minds.” Our nation, our country, our citizenship is Heaven. As such we must become heavenly minded in our thinking and actions. This is a hard rut for most of us to get out of, because we live in the world, we are around worldly people and our tendency is to think like they think and live like they live. But we have to remember that we are a redeemed and holy people now, living out our spiritual lives in these natural bodies. That is what makes us a peculiar people. Our thoughts, our dreams, our way of life and living and thinking are lining up now with the mind of the Spirit as revealed through God’s Word. The revelation of that Word is becoming alive in us more and more as we mature and grow up into Christ in all things.
So why are we still struggling with a sin nature that is no longer our nature? Much of it is because we are still housed in a body that can be influenced and moved by sin and temptation. Think of it this way: if when I came to Christ I literally died and went to heaven then I am in Christ and there is no more worries, no more struggles with the sin and the flesh. I can live a sinless life, no more temptations or trials. The reality is that while I did die and my life is in Christ, I am still left in this mortal body and subject to the curse of sin that is all around me and that still is trying to lay hold of my mortal body and soul. Even though I am dead to sin, I can’t run away from it influence. That is by God’s design, because He doesn’t want us to run away from sin, He wants us to overcome and conquer it even as Christ did. The power is not in us alone to overcome sin. If that were the case the law would have been enough and Christ would not have had to die for our sin. The only way to overcome sin is with a Savior whose life and power abides within us by faith. With the natural eye and understanding we may not see who we are in Christ, but with the eyes of faith, empowered by the Spirit and with the authority of God’s Word we go into battle. The battle to live out who we really are in the Spirit and at the same time bring others out of death and darkness, into light and life. As we have died to the natural man with it’s sin nature; we are now free to allow the Christ to live through us as we willing submit our wills to Him as a living sacrifice. We no longer hold our lives as being our own, but that ownership is now the Lord’s. We are His servants, servants of righteousness and no longer of sin. The more we lay hold of and live in this reality the less power sin has over us. It is as Romans 6:13 says, “Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.” It is a paradox that when we die to sin and that old nature, we become alive in our spirits unto God. We have become the products of His life giving Spirit at work in us. While we have not yet physically made the ascent, spiritually we have stepped out of earth and into heaven where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:1-7). We must walk in the revelation of who we are in Christ. Our state has changed from dead unto God to dead unto sin. That death is only made complete as Christ lives in and through us.

Blessings,
kent

A Mighty Wind, A Gentle Breeze

John 3:8
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

How do you know there is a God and a Holy Spirit? As I listen to the chimes outside sounding their eclectic notes both loud and soft I know that the wind is blowing. Why, because I physically see it with my eyes? No. How do I even know there is air, except that it sustains my life? Can I see the electrons flowing through an electrical wire and yet I can experience the power of their presence. The evidence of the Spirit of God is all around us. Do we see Him with our natural eyes and senses? No, not normally. Like the air and the wind He moves in our lives and in our spirits. Sometimes it is gently through the still small voice, sometimes it is like a storm that shakes us at our foundation and sometimes He is still and we don’t sense Him at all, but like the air He is always there hovering over us. It is that precious wind of the Holy Spirit that blew upon us as believers and blew back the spiritual veil of darkness that had covered the eyes of our understanding and kept us ignorant of the Truth. Then He breathed into us the breath of spiritual life and new birth. Again, it was that wind that blew upon our spirits as it did in Acts 2:2, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” It brought power, authority, anointing and gifts of the Spirit into the lives of believers that forever changed them and the world around them. That wind is still blowing today. Sometimes we dwell in our ceiled houses of natural thinking and living and fail to step out into the Spirit to experience the exhilaration of its wind blowing through our spiritual hair. We wall ourselves up in the safe places of our lives where we don’t have to deal with the issues of the spirit and we prevent the Spirit from dealing with us.
Open the doors and windows in your heart and life today and allow some fresh air into your soul. Let the gentle breeze of the Holy Spirit in to purge out the stench of stale air and stagnant odors that have accumulated. It is springtime! Step out into the Son and feel His warmth on your face and heart today. Breathe deep the freshness of Spirit Life and come alive in newness of spirit and commitment. The Holy Spirit is alive, moving and blowing today. Step out into the wind of His blessing. Let Him blow the cobwebs away and refresh you with the power and unction of His Being. If we don’t know there is a Heavenly Father, Son and a Holy Spirit it is because we are spiritually dead. The evidence is all around us. May the wind of His precious Spirit blow through your life today bringing renewal, revival, power and refreshing. He may ruffle your feathers and blow everything out of order in your life, but that’s okay. He is the order of the day.

Blessings,
kent

Jeremiah 14:3
The nobles send their servants for water; they go to the cisterns but find no water.
They return with their jars unfilled; dismayed and despairing, they cover their heads.

Living Water

This is what the Lord says in this day and this hour. Out of your bellies shall flow forth streams of living water so that they that are thirsty may drink. My messengers are already upon the road and the cross-roads of life. They are in the intersections of decisions of life and death. I have sent forth the clouds of mercy and grace filled with the rain of my presence in this hour.
Come and fill your jars that you may return with living water. If any man thirst let him come to Me and I will give Him this water to drink that he may never thirst again after the waters that dry up and evaporate. My spring and My well flow continually to them who bath in its rivers and soak in its baths. My Word is the well-spring of life and it is what must saturate your being. If you thirst, it is because you do not drink of its life, for it is the sustenance of life.
Come with your jars and your earthen vessels that you may take it to the noble of this world; those who will receive of you all that I have poured into you. It is only those who reject my living water that will thirst, dry up and become like the cracking ground. They scorned the cup in the day it was offered and now they languish for thirst and yet deny it.
My life and My invitation is to all that will come and drink of My well. Come, drink and live.

Blessings,
kent

Have You Been Evil Spoken of?

Matthew 12:3
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh

Many of us, as Christians, have experienced the hurt and pain of having our good be evil spoken of or having had lies told about us to slander our character. People have taken our words that we have spoken out of a pure heart and twisted them to malign our testimony. Truly it is said, “that the power of death and life are in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).” Perhaps there is no greater force on earth than words. Words can be a powerful force for either life or death. Perhaps one of the greatest weapons satan has ever formed against righteousness is twisted, crafty and perverted words. With words Adam and Eve accepted the cunning lie and deception of satan that brought all of humanity into the bondage of sin. Other than physically slaying someone there is nothing more powerful and destructive to the human spirit and soul than hurtful words.
As we look back over the course of the history of the Bible and God’s people we can see example after example where the enemy came in through those yielded to him and sought to use words to undermine and destroy the work of God. What are some of the fruit of the flesh? Galatians 5:20-21 says, “idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God (NLT).” So many find their expression through words. What is even more alarming and sad is that not only does the world want to speak evil of us it is often those whom we have considered our brothers and sisters in Christ that stab us in the back and tear us down before others. Psalms 41:9, “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up [his] heel against me.” Who can hurt us more than family or a dear friend? As you read through the Psalms you will see this hurt and the unjust evil done toward David a prevalent theme. A key we find here is that he was dealing first with it in his prayer closet. Moses was nearly stoned and rebelled against on many occasions through the slanderous words that stirred up the people against him. The New Testament holds many accounts through which Christians were beaten, plundered and killed because of evil words spoken against them. Then we have our greatest example, our Lord Jesus, who through the unjust words and judgements of men was condemned, beaten and crucified. That is why Jesus calls the Jewish leaders in our key text a “generation of vipers”. If there is poison in the heart, there will be poison in the tongue and out of an evil heart men will speak evil things. I believe there is a general principle that the more power, wealth or influence you possess the more subject you may be to these attacks, as many of them arise out of envy, selfish ambition and jealousy, but it can happen to any of us.
What do I do when someone has crushed my heart with hurt and disappointment, as well as seeking to ruin my reputation before men? Psalm 41:11-13, “By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me. And as for me, thou upholdest me in mine integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever. Blessed [be] the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.” In Matthew 5:44-45 Jesus declares, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” I guess it can be said that this sort of thing goes with the territory. Our greatest defense is prayer where we can share our heart and our hurt with the Father, forgiveness of those who have hurt you and the love of God toward even your enemies. Our greatest danger is to fall into like tactics of gossip, slander and other devices, we could well feel justified in using if we are in the flesh. Just maintain your integrity. Bring everything into the light and full disclosure, if you are wrong or at fault in any way, confess it and repent of it. Give no place to the devil by hiding anything in the darkness. That is where he does his best work. Be careful about trying to justify yourself, which is our natural tendency. Weigh what you say and do before the Lord and be led of the Spirit before you speak concerning these issues.
This is a spiritual thing and we can all easily get caught up in the snare of gossiping, backbiting and storytelling. Avoid conversation and fellowship with those who are critical and faultfinding. Let your tongue speak good and blessing for the Word says we are “to speak evil of no man” (Titus 3:2).
God is our vindication and our justification. Don’t take the hurtful wounding words and divisiveness into your spirit. Give it to the Lord. Your life and your testimony will speak for itself. Matthew 5:10-12, “Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Blessings,
kent

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