Clinically Proven

I have to rant and rave every once in a while; it is quite therapeutic for me.

There is no doubt that you have seen infomercials advertising products as “clinically proven.”   Clinically proven may mean any number of things and on the other hand, it can mean absolutely nothing.  You see, when you really want to sell something  just throw in that “clinically proven” statement  which is usually a vague claim that requires no hard evidence and isn’t easy to disprove. Most people do not realize that as long as the product has, “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA” disclaimer on the label, it’s not necessary to have evidence to back it up.

Scary.

My concern is for the “clinically proven” claims made by so called mega-churches, celebrity pastors and ministries.  These guys and gals are some of the best salespeople I have ever seen.  They advertise health, wealth and blessing through religious products. The anointing oil from Gethsemane, water from the Holy Land, a mustard seed in a necklace, at home communion sets, books, CD’s and DVD’s with the promise of blessing-all of this with a very generous love offering. Not convinced? You can watch the what testimonies of people who say they got it and it does everything from fixing their flat tire to paying off their mortgage.

Then there are the commercials. I have found it interesting that preaching has segments now. You even see it in church. Preaching is not enough so we throw a video in the mix.  Then the new breed of televangelists have interview formats, in the name of making Christianity more interesting and conversational.  The interviews even include celebrities who do not claim to be Christians but have tips on being successful. After a few minutes of preaching you have snippets of religious commericals advertising the message you are watching or future conferences and we even have pay-per-view preaching.

The emphasis of much Christianity today is all about results or being practical. Pastors and leaders are not immune from buying into the “clinically proven” church growth strategies from men who went from 40 to 4000 in a year or two. That is all that is pumped into the minds, conferences and groups of any denomination in the name of evangelism.

But who defines this?

You got it-the times and culture of the day redefine faith and religion in a whole new way.  Scripture is reinterpreted in line with the zeitgeist (a word meaning the “spirit of the age”).  The only problem is that such concepts of sin and atonement may become out of sync with the culture and so we have seen even Christianity  redefines God, sin and forgiveness and church in light of the world around them. They will spend time on issues such as practical living, family, marriage and health rather than on “doctrinal” issues in order to really “help people.”  That is their selling point and they say, “it works and you get results with our new religious product.”

It is all boulderdash!

Here is what matters to Christ-doing the will of God from your heart (Eph. 6:6).  It is God’s desire that we, “may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” (Col. 4:12).  That understanding of will of God is found in the clear teaching of the scriptures by gospel ministers in the meeting of the people called the church (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 14:26). No sales, no cheesy punch lines, no dramatics, just a determination to do the will of God. It is after we have been persistent in doing God’s will that we will receive the promise of heaven and eternal life (Heb 10:36). All of this worldly flim- flam religion cannot last under the times of molten trials and fiery testing that will come (1 Cor 3:10-15). John makes it clear: “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:17).

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from.

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Experienced Soldiers Wanted

The Bible speaks of the, “men of Zebulun, experienced soldiers prepared for battle with every type of weapon, to help David with undivided loyalty.” (1 Chr. 12:33).

You may have been wondering why Christians, God’s very own children, go through so many difficulties in life. You would think there would be some level of immunity some perks for the Christian. While there are many advantages in being a child of God we are not free from trials and dangers.  I think that is why the Bible has so many battle scenes within its pages. In a way it is a comfort knowing that life has battles, so as Peter says to, “not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12). God’s plan for your life is still on track despite your problems, this is nothing extraordinary or odd.

All these things are taking place to make you an experienced soldier. You have gained skill through practice. Do not think because you have scratches, bruises or wounds that you somehow have failed as a solider. This only is proof that you have been in some battles and you are prepared. We are at war and you are one of God’s seasoned fighters, “an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” (2 Tim. 2:21).

Christ your General deploys you in his gospel campaigns because you are prepared for battle. All of your trials have been monitored by God (1 Cor 10:13) and are part of a special process to make you more like Christ (Rom. 8:28-30). How can you lose, when Jesus is walking by your side through the mud and grime of the battle field? You are a well armed, intelligent, trained soldier. You are a solider in the army of the Lord God who owns the grid iron of the universe (Ps. 24:1-2). God always has home field advantage and only uses the best on his team,his called, chosen and faithful followers.” (Rev. 17:14). 

You are a royal soldier and God has raised you up for his special purposes. That is why the Christian has at his disposal a heavenly arsenal with every type of weapon (Eph. 6:10-18). God gives you his strength to fight, Christ’s mind for strategy, and the Spirit’s illumination to detect your enemies. William Gurnall said, “Humble souls are fearful of their own strength.”  When you know the Lord you cringe from your abilities because they are flesh and have no advantage at all (John 6:63). It is not our human tactics, carnal abilities and worldly talents that win the day! It is humble dependence  on the strength of Jesus Christ that overcomes the world system of evil. Oh that we would open the Bible and treat it as a cache of weaponry designed to foil the enemy at every turn.

You have an undivided loyalty to the royalty of Christ.  Here is where you great strength lies! You do not have an allegiance to this world system and to God’s ways. It is your love for God and more than that his love for you.  Your power and ability is in the covenant Christ has made with you and part of that covenant is giving you the desire and power to do his will (Phil 2:12-13).  We love him because he loved us first (1 John 4:19) AND he directs our hearts into His love (2 Thess. 3:5) AND He pours his love into our hearts (Rom. 5:5). Christ is our covenant (Isa. 42:6; 49:8) and he is our strength and power and makes our way perfect (Psa. 18:32) because his way was perfect (Heb. 5:9). We have a spirit inspired undivided loyalty through the power of the blood of Jesus, the authority of his spoken Word on our lips and the ability of His Spirit burning in our hearts.

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from.

The Armored Brain

“O LORD, I say to you, “You are my God.” Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy. O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, who shields my head in the day of battle— do not grant the wicked their desires, O LORD; do not let their plans succeed, or they will become proud.” (Ps 140:6-8).

Cry out to God today in the midst of the fierce battle you fight and and he will answer with his mercy. You and I are the objects of God’s undeserved, unearned mercy. He delights to rescue because you he delights in you (Psa. 18:19).  He loves and He likes you enough to save you and position you for victory in this battle (see 1 Chr. 28:4AV).

There is no doubt that there is a battle for the hearts and minds of men. In fact, this war is within the heart and inside the mind against spiritual and sinful desires and we are never free from this battle until Jesus comes and rescues us from the presence of sin (Gal 5:17).  It is a war of emotion and thought. That is where the bloodiest most vicious attacks of Satan take place. Here the armies of Faith and the reserves of Mercy battle with the massive hordes of hell with their Generals Anxiety, Fear and Doubt.

Yahweh is seen here as literally the God of deliverance or salvation who covers the warriors head.  The battle referred to here is actually the day of armor.  There is no doubt that this Psalm refers to the piece of armor called “the helmet of salvation.” (Eph. 6:17; 1 Thess. 5:8). It is this salvation “around the head” that gives us our focus on God’s ability to save and gives calm to a once troubled mind.  You have an armored brain. Your head is covered and no weapon formed against you will prosper. Praise God for that! When the mind of the child of God begins to reason and evaluate adverse circumstances with God’s salvation in view- that is when God gives them perfect peace of mind (Isa 26:3). Attempting to work things out in our own strength leads to anxiety, frustration and anger (Ps. 37:1, 8).

Salvation here is the child of God’s soul security despite adverse circumstances. The first thing the devil attacks is that you are loved by God and then he attacks your identity making you doubt that you are a child of God loved by God when things go wrong. The devil is a master deceiver and liar and he hates anyone God likes.

In this passage we also see how important for the child of God to see victory in their life because people who do not know Christ as Savior must see their need of God or they will become proud.  The proud person is one who is so conceited they mock God, and arrogantly make fun of people who have faith in Christ (Prov 21:24). In a world of countless political, social, economic agendas there are winners and losers. There are people in this Psalm that MUST LOSE so that they do not become proud and so that they see their need of God and are converted to Christ! The Christian MUST WIN and cannot accept anything less than victory and when God blesses his children with victory, “Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” (Psa. 40:3NLT).

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from. 

Here Comes Christ the Warrior King!

“Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle. Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord of Heaven’s Armies—he is the King of glory.” (Psalm 24:7-10NLT).

This psalm demonstrates clearly who is the rightful Owner, Ruler and Creator of the universe! The earth and all that is in it belongs rightfully to the thrice Holy God (24:1)!  We live our lives for the glory of God and the crown rights of King Jesus. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chr. 29:11). 

Jesus Christ is King of Glory is the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle seen in a human being (John 1:14). He only had clean hands and a pure heart. He only could ascend into God’s hill and stand in his holy place (24:3-4). He comes to open up gates that were barred to men and women since the fall of Adam. God was coming to earth in Christ opening up the gates that false religion and sin had closed. When John baptized Christ, “he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. (Mk 1:10).  The Warrior King’s battle cry was, “Open for me the gates of righteousness. ” (Psa. 118:19).

Charles Spurgeon says, “We know the might of Jesus by the battles which he has fought, the victories which he has won over sin, and death, and hell…”  The disciples saw Christ the Warrior King and even touched his wounds after his death in battle yet who rose again for them victorious over death (Luke 24:39; John 20:24-26). You also see Christ the warrior King coming to you by the reading of scripture and witness of the Holy Spirit. There you see his wounds and scars proving that He is your King of Glory, your Lord strong and mighty, your Lord who is mighty in battle who says, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Rev 1:17-18).

What are these ancient doors? These gates are the everlasting doors, the eternal gates of heaven.  Like the old portcullis gate and doors as seen in this article, so the doors burst open wide and the gate was lifted for Jesus Christ the overwhelming Victor. Here comes Christ the Warrior King back from Mount Calvary’s bloody hill of battle, the silence of the borrowed tomb, the earth shattering power of his resurrection and then his triumphant ascension to heaven to take the highest seat in the universe that only the God-man could keep without being dethroned.  He went out weeping and he went to plant the precious seeds of Calvary but came back with singing as he returned with the harvest, bringing back in chains those who enslaved the souls of people and disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He publicly embarrassed them by his victory over them on the cross (Eph. 4:8; Col. 2:15). 

Your warrior King has opened up heaven for you.  Right now a door is standing open for you in heaven. Christ opened it up for you and left it ajar (Rev. 4:1). The heavens are opened for you and God is waiting. “These gates lead to the presence of the LORD, and the godly enter there.” (Psa. 118:20).  Jesus says he is that door (John 10:9). Take his offer now, that door will not remain open forever.

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from. 

When the Battle Seems to Go Badly

“They were helped in fighting them, and God handed the Hagrites and all their allies over to them, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.” (1 Chr. 5:20).

Before there are battle cries of victory there are battle prayers. Please do not confuse what I am saying with all the spiritual warfare teachings being sold today.

There never seems to be a day that goes that there are challenges yet some setbacks are much worse than others. This may be a time for you to be where many things have gone sour all at once.  When the battle of life seems to be going badly and you think you are losing, begin to look to Christ your undefeated Heavenly Warrior and ask him for the victory and God will grant it.

In the midst of difficulty when God’s people cry out to him and when they, like Hezekiah, turn their face to the wall and weep bitterly, that is when God says, “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.” (Isa. 38:2-5).

There are no special formulas or methods. Ask for victory in prayer and one every that asks will receive victory, he that seeks for victory shall find victory and the one who knocks on the door of victory shall have it. (Mt. 7:7-8). These are not levels of prayer, or different kinds of prayer just different ways of saying the word prayer. If you take  the first letters of the words-Asking, Seeking and Knocking it spells ASK.

It is that clear.

It is so gracious of God our Father to extend his mercy and care to us. He says when we talk to him in prayer  is like requesting, discovering and gaining entrance to his answer. It is God’s will that you win for his glory.

Now once we pray for victory, Jesus tells us, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” (Mk. 11:24). Start acting like you have the victory. This is not being hypocritical, it is not pretending, it is quiet confidence. I have asked and God has heard. God’s credit always good with me. What Jesus says and he will do. He always tells the truth and when he says in his Word he will do it. He answers your prayers because you trust in him, his strength, his ability and his salvation. It is his gift!

God will give you the strength of heart and soul to say, “He has answered my prayer!”

He will calm your mind with it’s anxious thoughts. Throw off your sackcloth and heaviness and get back in the fight knowing you have already won though Jesus.

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from. 

Divine Skill and Strength

“He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.” (Psalm. 18:34).

God gives His extraordinary strength and skill to his children in spiritual warfare. He gives us his strength to fight the Battle, for as Paul says we are to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” (Eph. 6:10).  There is no sane reason one can give to functioning and operating in one’s own powers of will, influence of wealth, mental effort and human talent.  We, “put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances.” (Phil 3:3AMP).

God has given us his best weapons for the fight of faith and daily life: truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the holy scripture and prayer in the Spirit. These are weapons he himself used for they are referred to as the armor that God wears (Eph. 6:11) and we are told, “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 13:14).

Christ himself not only bent but broke the bronze like weapons of Satan and confiscated his armor driving out demons by the power of the Spirit of God (Matthew 12:28-29). God in Christ leveled the mountains, lifted up the valleys and made a clear road to victory for his children (Isa. 40:1-3)!  He broke down the hellish gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron and plundered the enemies vaults where all the stolen items since Adam’s fall were stored and gave them back to his royal family (Isaiah 45:1-4).

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from. 

God Will Encourage You!

“But David found strength in the LORD his God.” (1 Sam. 30:6).

It appeared David and men had lost everything as far as family and possessions. There was no earthly resource to recover what David and his men lost, no army to help them fight to get it back, all seemed lost.

They were crushed, their souls and minds collapsed under the weight of this trial and they wept so much they had no more tears. There was only anger and accusation and bitterness. The once victorious army became a mob and wanted to pummel David to death with stones.

Sad to say, we have all been there, done that. Something precious to us has not only been taken but has been held back.  Your family seems irrecoverably lost in sin, your ministry seems irretrievable, your health seem incurable and your finances seem beyond repair. Hope becomes an enemy because faith has run away from your heart. Your despair has made you spiritually unreasonable.

The KJV says “David encouraged himself in the Lord.” He found inner strength when others would have given up. Ah, the advantages of having the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the Comforter living within your heart (1 Sam 16:13)! There were other times people encouraged him or helped him find strength in his God (1 Sam 23:16), but this time the Holy Spirit alone would rise up within him and remind him of the promises of God or as the Aramaic puts it, “he strengthened himself in the Word of God.” (Gill). His past testimonies had no become God’s records in the libraries of  the acts faith.

He remembered when he held by the hair the head of his slain enemy Goliath and that he took his armor and kept them at his home (1 Sam 17:54) and later when he was on the run from his enemy Saul, the priests kept in the temple as a treasure to remember past victory the sword of Goliath (1 Sam 21:9). David took it from them because he has grown now and he himself is able to wield that huge sword.  Let me pause and say that these are not sentimental relics of better times for David but foundations for his faith now, the foundation upon which he stands for his present trials! Look at your treasures of victory in the past and let them be the basis for your belief that God has plans for you yet my friends! If God’s track record is so good for your past then we must declare that good things are going to happen for you now and in the future.

The fight of faith in your heart is much like when Israel fought Amalek, as long as Moses kept his arms up Joshua and Israel would win; if he lowered them they would lose. The fight for faith is back and forth, push and shove and a tug of war until like Moses the Holy Spirit holds up one arm and the scriptures the other and you watch your discouragement, doubts, fears, anxieties and unbelief pushed back further and further (Ex 17:8-15).

Today even right now you have found strength in the Lord, in your heart and spirit because you belong to God. God has spoken well of you (Eph. 1:3), and he commands  favor and honor and he will withhold no good thing from you (Ps. 84:10; Ps. 133:3). You shall recover my friends, trust and strengthen yourself in his very great and precious promises (2 Pet 1:4) and strengthen your faith which is holy to God by praying in the Spirit (Jude 1:20). Here the Holy Spirit of God speaks for you and prays for you and there is nothing that can stop you.

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from. 

On the Eve of Battle

“When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.” (Deut. 20:1).

We often feel the pressure of what the world calls odds and statistics. Many times we intimidated by what life throws at us, evil ambushes and anxieties attempt to choke the life out of us.

We see governments, media and the culture itself massing great numbers against the Christian faith and we seem outnumbered.

God tells his church, to stop being afraid of them because God who saved them and redeemed them is with them. His presence is salvation. His friendship means invincibility.

We must realize that individual salvation is no small accomplishment, it is a miracle, considering the hold the Devil and sin has on the will and minds of men and women. Imagine the salvation of thousands and even millions.  This is nothing for God to do, it is beyond words and emotion.

The God who delievered them from Egypt would be with them. No earthly power or government, no human strategy could have made Pharaoh and the undefeated armies of Egypt even negotiate a release for its working class of slaves. But God made Egypt an offer they could not refuse. The sting of God defeat of Egypt was felt for a long time after even on the godless nations (1 Sam. 4:8).

We must understand that it was by not only the great calamities with which the Lord pounded all the gods of Egypt that released them (Ex. 12:12), but the decisive victory was by the blood of the passover Lamb did they overcome Pharaoh who was a type of Satan and Egypt which was a type of the world (Ex 12:27). The gospel of Christ and his precious blood levels all the powers of darkness, sin, death  and all false gods (1 Pet. 1:19; Rev 12:11).

We smile and march with confidence into gospel battles and Paul says “stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you  will be saved—and that by God.” (Phil 1:27-28).

The power of God in the gospel is so awesome, so powerful, it is laughable to think anyone can stop it.

We should glow with a confident faith! As we stand for God, the Son of Man stands at the right hand of God (Acts 7: 56) for his church! In fact he sist at the right hand of God and from that position neither he nor we can be defeated.

We are on the Lord’s team and we march in his army. The regiments of hell can sneer and mutter all their lies against you. They can shoot bullets of guilt at your conscience, lay IED’s of anxiety in your path and broadcast threats of terrorism and evil kill the body, but never can they touch your soul nor can the thwart the authority of the gospel witness!

As these demonic hordes see the LORD GOD leading His armies, it is they who will be afraid. “The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.” (Deut. 28:7).

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from.