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We know that one of the signs of the end of time is apostasy, a falling away from the Truth. (II Thess. 2:3, I Tim. 4:1) There are many other prevailing signs which point to the return of the Lord. There will be attacks upon the Church which come from many directions. Satan is alive and well and has carefully planned out his strategies to bring the Church to a state of ineffectiveness. If we would examine the Church today we would see the Church is already retreating to “caves” and “bunkers” hoping to just survive until the Lord returns to snatch us away from the worldly chaos which we allowed through our inactivity. What is shocking to me is that the Church seems to be imploding, rather than exploding, from external factors. Never have I been so aware of the civil war that is raging within the Church’s walls. Christians are opposing Christians. We have right wing versus left wing, conservative versus liberal, traditional versus modern, literal verses figurative, full gospel verses no gospel and on and on it goes. Satan knows what God’s Word says about “… a house divided against itself shall not stand.” (Matt. 12:25) Divide and conquer is his strategy. God hates the sowing of discord among His people (Prov. 6 19), yet we continue to attack one another, all in the name of the Lord.
The self righteous seek to root out all who oppose their understanding of the Word of God. While they are doing “their house cleaning,” the world is driven farther away from the Gospel message. Who would want to be part of an organization that condemns those who don’t believe a certain way? Who would want to be part of a movement that wounds its own members? Whenever our “religious” actions speak louder than the Gospel message, we have lost our way.
Recently a series of meetings was held in California to expose what was believed to be false teaching that has crept into the Christian movement. Literally thousands attended with the express purpose of exposing “heresy” in the Church. They deposed the Pentecostal movement as an extension of Satan’s kingdom. They mentioned by names pastors and evangelists that they believed were doing the devil’s work. Catholicism was attacked from the Priestly office to the praying to the Virgin Mary. What was amazing was they believed they were doing the Lord’s bidding.
Many people look at methodology as the sign of whether that individual is a true Believer or not. If we must judge another, should one not look at the heart rather than interpreting another’s outward display of worship? I believe the only one who can do that is God! If one believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross to take their sins, if they believe that God raised Him from the dead, and they have repented of their sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, I believe they are saved by Grace. I don’t care how they express themselves in worship. I don’t care if they speak in tongues or roll down the isle. I don’t care if they jump and holler. I don’t care if they believe in a pre, mid or post tribulation rapture. I don’t care if they believe that water baptism is by dunking, pouring, dipping, sprinkling or spitting, just as long as they love the Lord and seek to honor Him.
I don’t care if they are a Calvinist, Pentecostal, Armenian, Catholic, Independent, Denominational or Hines variety; let’s just encourage one another knowing that one of these days we will stand together in the presence of God, praising Him for all eternity.
Maybe the reason God created man with two ears and one tongue was so he would learn to listen more than to speak. Maybe the reason God created man with two eyes was so he would have a Biblical vision of 39/27 – seeing the progression of God’s love from the Law in the Old Testament to His wonderful Grace in the New Testament. Maybe God created man with two feet so that he could go into the world and proclaim the Love of God displayed through Jesus Christ. Maybe God created man with two arms so he could embrace the “whosoever” that needs to experience the love of God. Christians must realize that we are here for a purpose – to share the love of God. I know there are scores of Believers who believe that when the difficult days of judgment are leveled against this old planet, the Church will be raptured. Do you know what that means? Countless millions of people will be lost. Instead of looking up for a way out, look out at the masses that need the Lord. (John 4:35)
God loves the homosexual, the drug addict, the sexual transgressor, the alcoholic, the atheist, the Muslim, the Hindu, and every person that has breath. God hears the cries and pains of the hurting as they search for a purpose in life. It is not time for the confused to become more confused by hearing the shouting of condemnation from the Believer. They need someone to listen to them, to hear what they are saying. When is the last time we sat down with a homosexual? When is the last time we sat down with a woman who was contemplating having an abortion? When is the last time we shared a cup of coffee with an addict? We are so quick to speak and so slow to listen. Show people respect and they might just listen to what we have to say. Many people who have accepted the way of Satan’s world are coming to realize that at the end of their fleshly desires and acts, there is an even greater sense of confusion than before. The void they experienced before has become even greater. To some, it seems the only way out is Suicide.
What is causing so many to accept Satan’s offers rather than accepting God’s invitation? Maybe it is because Believers are passing judgment more than then they are listening to what the hurting are saying. Have you ever had a homosexual share with you why he pursued that direction in his life? How about the drug addict sharing with you how he got started? What did that alcoholic tell you about his first drink? If we were without the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and were pursuing the road of self worthlessness, would we not want someone with whom we could talk? Someone who would listen without passing judgment?
Why do so many people choose the things of the world over the joys of the Kingdom of God? One reason is their lack of feeling loved, that love has somehow escaped their grasp. People are looking to be loved with a heart changing experience, but not knowing how to find that True Love, they reach out for the counterfeit love offered by Satan.
Christians, let us listen to what the hurting are saying, and then maybe we can understand their hurts, and be able to guide them to the One who is True Love!
The definition of faith is “…the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1) Substance and evidence are visible and tangible displays of things not yet seen or experienced. Faith is seeing the reality of what is expected (hope) and the proof (evidence) that it is already done. To arrive at such a place of truth, we have to have faith. That’s right; one has to have faith to believe in faith. All Believers are given a measure of faith. (Rom. 12:3b) This type of faith is a foundational faith in which we simply believe the Bible is the Word of God. We accept the truths that are offered and the acknowledging that God said what He meant and meant what He said. This is what I call elementary or foundational faith. Faith of this kind needs to be taught in our Churches, Bible Schools, and Seminaries. If the foundational Faith is not experienced, reasoning will supersede Faith. If we question the contents of God’s Word, we will not be able to pursue the faith of Heb. 11:1. Analysis of God’s Word smothers Faith. If we try to fit spiritual truths into human reasoning, we dilute the Word into simply stories.
The Faith described in Hebrews 11:1 activates the Word of God and sees the accomplishment of Its intended purpose. Joshua knew that the cities of Jericho and Ai would fall because he saw them fall with his faith eyes. When God told Joshua to see it already done, faith took hold and he saw the reality and fulfillment of God’s Word. (Joshua 6:2, 8:2) When Moses was ready to move from a complainer to a proclaimer, he saw himself just as God said he was, “…a god to Pharaoh…” (Ex. 7:1) God called Gideon, who was hiding from the Midianites, “…thou mighty man of valor.” (Judges 6:12) Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter (rock) well before he became the central character at Pentecost. (John 1:42) The Bible contains many illustrations that display fulfillment before achievement. The faith of Hebrews 11:1 should be the desire of every Believer. The Apostles desired to launch from their foundational faith by asking Jesus to increase their faith. (Luke 17:5) When the disciples were struggling on the Sea of Galilee during a storm, they awoke Jesus and yelled out that they were going to die. Jesus rebuked the waves, and simply asked them where was their faith? (Luke 8:25) They should have seen themselves on the shore of the country of the Gadarenes’ getting ready to minister. The Apostle Paul exhibited Hebrews 11:1 faith when, in the middle of difficult times, he could state that he was more than a conqueror. (Rom. 8:38) Let us read the Word of God with binoculars. Let us see distant promises experienced in the here and now, instead of sometime in our future.
I guess it comes down to asking ourselves if we are content with simply accepting God’s Word, or do we want to choose a Faith that lives in the fulfillment of His Word? Are we happy just knowing about His Truths, or do we want to evidence the reality of those Truths? Do we want to continually petition God to help us cope with our problems, or do we want to see the victory already won? Let us all learn to grow from Faith to Faith, knowing that without the faith of Hebrews 11:1 it is impossible to please God. (Heb. 11:6)
When I was growing up, I experienced both the receiving and giving of words that affected, not only my life, but the lives of others. There were times when I would say things that would have an adverse affect upon the recipient. There were also times when I would share words of encouragement to the listener. James shared that “blessing and cursing” should not proceed out of the same mouth any more than “sweet and bitter” water should come out of the same fountain. (James 3:10,11) Whenever I was on the receiving end of verbal abuse or ridicule, I would display a wounded look that was noticeable to everyone. My parents, seeing my mental suffering, would utter one of the great fictional phrases of all time: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me!” I would think that was easy for them to say; they weren’t the target of the words. When I was on the giving end of hurtful words, I would think nothing of the ramifications they were having on the person I was targeting. Now I wish I could say that as I matured I learned to exhibit the Biblical principle of “do unto others as you would want others to do unto you,” (Matt 7:12, Luke 6:31) but it seemed that as I got older, I just turned to different tactics. Instead of direct words of hurt, I would use things like gossip, rumor reporting, interpretive observation, and exaggerated facts. Why is it that when we are inconsistent in our Christian behavior, we have a tendency to talk about others? Maybe it makes us feel we are not so flawed after all.
One would think as we matured that Paul’s statement of “…when I became a man, I put away childish things…” (I Cor. 13:11) would be what we all strive for, yet today many verbal releases continue to oppose Biblical standards. James writes in his epistle about the difficulty in controlling the tongue. (James 3:1-14) Today we hear the phase, “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything.” Christians break out in a chorus of AMEN, but within hours, a carnal slip is oozing out of our mouths.
I believe the reason negative words are expressed is because a disharmony exists between our spirit and our soul. Whenever we fail to express Kingdom language, we are displaying that we have not been in fellowship with our King. When my parents saw a change in my attitude and heard words come from my mouth that should not come out of a Christian, they knew I had been hanging around the wrong people. It is the same today. People can tell by your words if you have been keeping company with Jesus or have been wrapped up in the things of the world. Whenever the latter is evidenced, the tongue seems to ventilate frustration by launching out in exposing the faults of others. Instead of expressing our frustration, let us fall to our knees and say as David did, “Let the words of my mouth…be acceptable in Thy sight…” (Ps. 19:14)
Maybe we can’t “tame” our tongue, but we can certainly feed what influences our words (by feeding the spirit more than the soul.) Then at least the majority of what comes out of our mouth will be edifying, not only to the hearer, but to us as well.
I know that you are excited about the Christmas season. But who would have ever thought that stores would be filled with Christmas decorations even before Halloween! Even the television and newspapers have put out the bait to lure the innocent buyer into their net of buying more than they can afford. Of course, people are enticed into thinking that with their “plastic” and “lay away” they can purchase anything that seems pleasant to the eyes, especially if it is a “good deal.” Well, enough of that reality.
Let me tell you just a little about Thanksgiving. In 1789, our first President, George Washington, declared that Thursday, November 26th be a day of “thanksgiving and prayer.” That’s right, Virginia, a day of PRAYER! Even though it was not declared a national holiday, it was a time for people to express thanks to God for His many blessings. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made a proclamation that the last Thursday in November would be declared a National Holiday. It would be a day of “thanksgiving and praise.” Yes, a day of PRAISE! In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was pressured by stores and commercial enterprises to move Thanksgiving up so it would give shoppers more time to buy their merchandise. So FDR declared that Thanksgiving would be the next to last Thursday of November. Finally, in 1941, the Congress of the United States declared that the fourth Thursday of November would be the official day of Thanksgiving. I know I am boring you with this history lesson, but it is important to realize that there was a time when this great Country paused to give thanks to God for His many blessings and to praise Him for His faithfulness.
I am sorry to say, Virginia, that the true meaning of Thanksgiving has faded away. This once proclaimed day of prayer and praise has become a fading memory of yesteryear. Stores that once were closed have crept their hours of operation into that special day. Family gatherings around the dinner table, to consume the bounty of abundance and express thankfulness for blessings, have faded into a gluttonous buffet followed by a reclining posture in front of a TV set to watch grown men run down the field in tights carrying a bag of zipped up air. I remember when we used to go around the table and each one would express something for which they were thankful. There was a time of Bible reading, and then prayers of praise and gratitude were offered. If there was a piano, everyone would gather around and sing songs like, “Count Your Blessings,” “We Gather Together to Ask the Lord’s Blessing,” and “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.”
The fourth Thursday of November has now become a day of preparation for the biggest shopping day of the year. Advertisements are sorted through and a “game plan” of store invasions is planned out. The green flag is then dropped and the stores are overrun with aggressive people who give no thought to others. Virginia, there was a wonderful day that was set aside to reflect upon God’s goodness. But, you know something? I don’t think it is too late to reinstate the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Why not start with your family? Ask your parents if they remember when there was a holiday for Giving Thanks. Ask them if your family could experience a real Thanks-Giving day this year!
Your Friend, Simplyrhetorical
I remember that years ago the lights on our trailer were not working correctly. I replaced some bulbs and checked the wiring, but was unable to fix the problem. As I was discussing the situation with a friend, he suggested that I check the ground. Sure enough, the ground wire was barely secured to the frame. The concept was simple; unless the trailer’s wires are grounded, the electrical system will not perform correctly. That illustration can be applied to our spiritual life. If we are not grounded in the Word of God, our effectiveness as a Believer is hindered.
We have a tendency to be spoon fed the Word by Pastors and Teachers, and then think that is all we need to sustain us until the next gathering of the Saints. In the mean time, when the opportunities arise to share the Gospel, or the testing of our faith is presented, our light seems to dim and fade out. Every Believer needs to understand the importance of studying the Word; notice I did not say just reading the Word. The more we increase in Biblical understanding and knowledge, the better equipped we are to not only present the Gospel, but to grow in the Truth that it offers.
The car battery is made up of the positive and negative cables. Each one of these wires plays an important role in the working of the battery. Many Believers feel that the negative aspects of life can only lead to failures and set backs. But as one reads the stories of the challenges that many of the Biblical characters faced, one cannot but notice how God used the negatives to assist them in a positive contribution to the challenges of life. Stop looking at the negatives as negative and began to see how they can function with the positives in life to make a real difference, not only in your life, but in the lives of others. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, yet through it all Joseph was lifted up and placed in a position where he was able to deliver his whole family from destitution. (Gen. 37-47) Paul stated that his imprisonment at Rome had really aided in the furtherance of the Gospel. (Philippians 1:12) Jonah was “down in the mouth” and Moses was “a basket case,” yet Nineveh repented and Moses led two and a half million people out of bondage. Truly, Paul put it into the right perspective when is declared that all things work together for good. (Romans 8:28)
The next time something negative happens, join it with the positive and see the “charge” you will generate. Take your negatives – scars, fears, and pouts – and look at the potential they hold. They will turn into stars, cheers, and shouts; for when everything is hooked up correctly, power will flow from you.
What impedes our spiritual growth pattern is the lack of understanding the implications and directions of God’s Word. Due to selective reading, we have a tendency to accept only Scriptures that fit into our comfort zones. For example, Scriptures that direct us to give away our hard earned money and to live a life totally dependent upon God are glossed over in favor of a teaching on prosperity. Instead of understanding giving, we stand on the concept of receiving. The path the Christian is called upon to take is not always the road of least resistance. God calls Believers to walk by faith and not by sight. Needless to say, that takes determination and commitment.
One area in which many Believers fall short is the lack of understanding the difference between a PEACEKEEPER and a PEACEMAKER. The peacekeeper does not alleviate conflict, but tries to keep it within certain bounds. The peacekeeper attempts to sooth over the problem instead of addressing it, even if it entails compromising spiritual principles. The peacekeeper hopes time will resolve the problem. The peacekeeper does not try to alleviate conflict, but tries to keep it from expanding. The peacemaker, on the other hand, addresses the causes of conflict. The peacemaker uses the Word of God to help to resolve the situation. The peacemaker enters into conflicts so as to bring victory for the kingdom of God.
When Jesus spoke with His disciples that last time on the mount of Ascension, He told them they were to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. (Acts 1:8) Jerusalem represents our community, including our family, both immediate and extended. Many times we are ready to witness, but tragically we overlook those the closest to us. We are to be a peacemaker within our own families. There are families today that are in conflict with one another and the spiritual leaders within those units are doing nothing to help resolve the problem. When problems arise in families, it is the children that are affected the most. Resentments are passed on from one generation to another. Many conflicts are carried on by unforgiving adults, both in the local family cell and the extended family. Where is the example for the children when the adults act like children? Whenever conflicts are tolerated instead of addressed, Satan gains a strong hold in those families. It is time for Christians to realize that they are to be the peacemakers for that is what God commands us to be. (Matt. 5:9)
Those who qualify as a peacekeeper claim that they attempted to be a peacemaker but it brought no resolve, so they did the “Pilate hand wash.” The reason they gave up as a peacekeeper was because those who were the participants in conflict kept rejecting their efforts. Are we not glad that God never gave up on us when we continually rejected His offers? Jesus told Peter that he was to forgive his offenders seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:22)
The biggest cause of conflict within families, both immediate and extended, is pride and a self massaged ego. People need to learn to say “I am sorry,” “Forgive me,” “Let us start over,” “What can I do to resolve this problem?” Life is too short to harbor resentments that can grow into long time hurts. Enough is enough; the battle awaits your arrival, PEACEMAKER!
The first Adam was created by God to subdue and replenish the earth. (Gen. 1:28) He was placed in a garden of abundance where his every need and appetite was fulfilled. The buffet trees were filled to overflowing with every imaginary fruit. He roamed among the animals that he had named (Gen. 2:19) and fellowshipped with his Creator in the cool of the evenings. (Gen 3:8) God was continually looking out for Adam and thought it would be helpful for him to have a companion. Adam named his companion Eve and together they started their life in a paradise on earth. Adam had full rein to express himself, with the one exception that he was not to eat of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. (Gen. 2:17) Adam realized the importance of obedience and, I believe, instructed Eve that she was not even to touch the tree. (Gen.3:3) Isn’t it amazing that even today we are offered so much in the Kingdom and told to shun so little in the world, and yet we choose to partake of the forbidden fruit! For Adam and Eve to forfeit so much for so little in exchange, boggles the mind. Eve was deceived, but Adam took of the forbidden fruit with the full knowledge of what his disobedience would cost. From the Garden to the wilderness, God’s precious creations traveled, never again to return to the suburbs of Heaven. (Gen 3:22-24)
The second Adam, Jesus, (see I Cor. 15) started from the wilderness by challenging Satan’s authority, and battled him from towns and villages to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Cross. What Adam and Eve failed to do, Jesus achieved by pursuing God’s directions and denying the temptations of the flesh. Jesus showed us that the blessings of God far out weigh the offerings of Satan. For each enticement Satan throws our way, God’s blessings overshadow them all. Satan offers temporary pleasures, while God’s pleasures are ever-lasting. Take a minute and think of the things that God has offered to you. As you are swept away by the grandeur of His blessings, you will find yourself offering up praise and thanksgiving for His unlimited Grace. Now take a second and think of the things Satan has offered you by enticing you with the temporal things of the world, and you will find yourself shaking your head in disbelief that you would even consider his offers.
Adam traded the eternal for the temporal and thus ushered sin into the world. Jesus traded His life for the eternal and thus ushered Grace into the world. By Jesus’ obedience to God, He once again opened the door to fellowship with Him. Adam had talked with God, but then walked away from God with his co-conspirator. Jesus not only talked with God, but walked the road of obedience. In so doing, He made a way for the “whosoever” to experience the joys of the Kingdom living while on the way to the Heavenly Kingdom.
Notice in the Garden of Eden, God did not give Adam a long list of things not to do or to avoid; rather, He presented him with the blessings of His creation. Believers are tired of hearing about things that they should avoid, instead of hearing about the things they can experience through the finished work of Jesus Christ. Some believe that Christians need to expose sin and stand against it. Is sin that hidden that we need to identify it? Are we to rain down judgment instead of the blessings of God? What will bring people to their Creator are the blessings of God, not the criticism of the Faithful. Let us enjoy the Heavenly Fruits and shun the forbidden fruits. Amen?
Inside our brain is a compartment that is known as the Memory Bank. It is here that we deposit and withdraw things of the past that have been both positive and negative. Some of the deposits are fond memories of joyous events that continue to bring smiles upon our faces, while memories of the negative past experiences tend to not only impede our motivational actions, but to stifle our joy. It should be no surprise to realize that our Memory Bank has been hacked into. Under careful examination, we see a display of past mistakes that have hindered our spiritual growth. What we thought God had forgiven and forgotten is displayed as if we had committed it yesterday. Satan wants us to operate with full knowledge of our past sins and errors. He wants us to operate with a rear view mirror which causes the Believer to never lose sight of the past. Every time we go to our memory bank, we are amazed at the illegal deposits that have been made to our account. Things that were thrown as far as the east is from the west and into the deepest part of the sea are now sitting upon the beaches of our mind and disrupting the benefits of the Kingdom of God. The Apostle Paul had a full Memory Bank of his past endeavors. The difference was that he made sure the positives out weighed the negatives. When he did recall the past challenges, he always dwelt on the victories that he achieved through Christ. Sure, we all have past garbage, but instead of opening the can and smelling our mistakes, let us see the victories that have been secured through our faith. If God has forgiven and forgotten our confessed sins, why do we want to go back and withdraw illegal deposits from our Memory Banks?
Paul put it very simply when he said to the Philippians, “…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before…” (Philippians 3:13) He explained to his readers that he was going to “press toward” the direction God was calling him (v.14) and urged his followers to do the same thing. (v.15)
Let us fill our present days with the things of the Kingdom, knowing that the deposits in our Memory Bank will incur interest rates that will benefit not only ourselves, but also those with whom we come into contact. Maybe it is time to change our passwords so Satan can’t hack into our account anymore. Let us learn to use Philippians 2:5 as our access code; “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” The next time Satan tries to hack into our Memory Bank, he will hear “ACCESS DENIED.”
All of us have faced a setback sometime in our life. It could have taken the form of a physical illness, a death, a mental breakdown, or emotional instability. It might have been a financial crisis, occupational hazard, or societal disruption. The question that must be presented is, “How did we respond to these negative experiences?” To some of us, the elevator to the basement of human reasoning plummets us to despair. If we are a Believer, the reality of the experience is even more pronounced. To help us to despair with the carnage, Satan introduces thoughts that tend to repudiate Scriptural truths. Questions of doubt are planted in our minds to harvest fear, doubt, and anxiety.
Believers must understand that Satan is not going to sit by and watch the Believer harvest the benefits of the Kingdom of God. He will continually challenge the Christian all the way to the finish line. No matter how much the Believer quotes the Word, he is not inoculated from this constant bombardment. Satan will continue to feed the negatives of life with thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word and, in so doing, causes one to respond carnally. As a result of these assaults, some Believers are forced to take a “standing eight count.” (A boxing term used to save fighter from a total knockout.) The more the Christian responds with feelings and human reasoning, the more the problem expands.
Elijah, the great prophet of God, had allowed fear to control his actions after the victory at Mt.Carmel. He allowed the mental challenges of human reasoning to motivate him into actions that were contrary to God’s plan for him. He even came to the point of wanting to die. From the heights of Carmel to crawling under the Juniper tree awaiting death, Elijah journeyed in self pity. When Elijah faced God at Mt.Horeb, he cried out his case of human reasoning. God simply said, “Why are you here, Elijah?” (See I Kings 19.) When the Believer stands before God with tears of defeat flowing down his cheeks, he will hear God say, “Why are you here?” The Follower of Jesus looks at situations in life and sees the potential for great growth; he sees the “fire” as a period of refining, not as an element of destruction. Christians are not destined to defeat, but to reign victorious. The next time a challenge comes your way, instead of saying, “Why me?” learn to say, “Why not me?” and enter the battle with the Potter ready to mold you and make you into a vessel of honor. (Jeremiah 18) Some time read II Corinthians in its entirety and you will see the arsenal of Satan released against Paul, and yet you will see Paul releasing the power of the risen Savior within him.
Paul wrote to the Philippians telling them that the negative things he experienced in life were assets to the “furtherance of the gospel.” (Philippians 1:12) When the next assault comes your way, meet it with the assurance “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his promise.” (Romans 8:28) When the next problem comes your way, look for the potential it holds and see the victory rise out of the ashes.
My grandkids had a fog delay issued for their school last week. The buses were delayed because of limited visibility. It is just like our spiritual walk when we limit our vision to only the immediate situation; our progress is impeded. We must learn to see beyond the problem to the clear sighted realm of God’s will and pleasure. Even though you have taken an eight count, it is time to reenter the fight and score a knockout over the wiles of the Devil!