“Many of us fondle a romanticized spirituality in our imagination, the ‘God’s in His Heaven/all’s right with the world’ sort of thing. When things don’t go ‘right’ (however,) we blame others or ourselves, muddle through as best we can, often with considerable crankiness, and wish that we had been born at a different time (or not at all)—Bible times, maybe!—‘when living a holy life was so much easier.’ That’s odd because the Bible, our primary text for showing us what it means to be a human being created by God and called to a life of obedient faith and sacrificial Love, nowhere suggests that life is simple or even ‘natural.’ We need a lot of help. We need organizational help: when people live together in Community, jobs have to be assigned, leaders appointed, inventories kept. Counting and list-making and rosters are as much a part of being a Community of God as prayer and instruction and justice. Accurate arithmetic is an aspect of becoming a people of God (therefore, an open-door policy with the literal ‘church books’ is of Utmost Importance, if the Community is serious about growing into its God-ordained Potential and Destiny, leaders and laity alike!). And we need relational help…Wise discipline is (and the Righteousness, Peace and Joy of the Holy Spirit are all) required in becoming a People of God.” Eugene Peterson, in commentary on pg. 169 re. the Book of Numbers, in his Message Bible (words in italics and parenthesis added by dkb).
“We must get beyond our close-minded, dwarf-hearted, ‘good times’ in man’s elusive company and temporary pleasures into open-minded, huge-hearted, great times in God’s eternal Presence and life-changing Power!” Denny Beckham
“Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” William Cowper (1731-1800), as shared by Mark Bell (2010)
“When we knowingly use a Treasure for something other than it’s Intended Purpose, we hurt our world, singe our consciences, displease God, and cause the demons to rejoice.” Denny Beckham (1964-
Idolatry is not ‘only’ overt evil but also includes covert evil. ‘Covert evil’ includes everyday, ‘morally-neutral’, ‘normally-healthy’ activities, like eating, sleeping, talking, even working or playing, and allows them to degenerate into excessiveness, where we lose control, and by which neither we or others are edified, much less is God glorified. Ibid.
When someone is ‘stuck’ in their sin, either by blindness or willful disobedience, we need to be very careful about inadvertently being perceived by the sinner as ‘one who rejects them’ just like, in their minds, ‘God has’, when we reject and ‘rebuke’ sin in them, though it is very difficult to know, sometimes, their perceptions, much more to control them. We may be able, by Grace, to ‘separate sin from the sinner’, and ‘hate evil’ while still loving the evildoer, but our zeal can be misinterpreted and, therefore, misunderstood by them, perhaps even falling into being guilty of the forbidding command, ‘answer not a fool according to his folly’, simply by ‘answering’ their wrong actions in life literally, by face-to-face words, when the LORD might want us to ‘stand against evil’ with Him, privately, in our prayer closet. Discernment and timing are key here, as there is a time when the evildoer must be confronted with his evil for the sake of his own soul, and others around him. But the old ‘Chinese’ axiom, ‘when student is ready, teacher will come’, also applies even here (and God is also better at confronting evil through people’s consciences, circumstances of life, and others, than we could ever be!). Bottom line: people want to be wanted, accepted and to fit-in and, when they are still foolish, have a hard time separating themselves from their sin, for ‘as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ Better to be more like Jesus, and not try to reason with fools but instead to keep wisdom high, speech brief, and boundaries healthy and firm. Then, in teachable moments, when the fool converts to Wisdom and gets in his right mind by and before God, he’ll finally see that it was in your ‘wanting the true him’, the ‘God-intended self’, to come forth, that you chose to confront the evil you saw in the first place, so as to try and save him from certain destruction. Ibid.
Evil is wrong and heinous because it is deceptive and destructive. Hence, our need to focus on Good, and saturate ourselves with same. Ibid.
When on the ‘drug’ of ‘the pride of this life’, like other drugs, it causes you to believe and speak lies, blinded by the enemies of self, sin, our culture, and satan. “From the womb they come forth, speaking lies” and Psa.34:13. Ibid.
In taking a stand against evil, we must take care not to partner with it unwittingly. This can happen when one is pre-occupied more with it than with good. The remedy then is certainly not to ‘look the other way’ and tolerate evil but instead to have at least an equal pre-occupation with good, or love of virtue. Ibid
We must train ourselves to say what God says, just like David did, especially when he was facing the daunting giant, Goliath, for “life and death are in the power of the tongue”, literally! (Proverbs 18:21) Pastor Rod, at Business Men’s Morning Prayer, Q4 ’10.
“Faith has a believing, doing…and a saying side (includes memorizing, meditating on and praying Scripture which, when proclaimed, brings “…health to thy flesh,” or body, according to Proverbs 4:20-22, and to others, as people will mirror my attitude.” Ibid.
“God could’ve ‘thought the world into existence’ but He instead chose to ‘speak it into existence’!” Ibid.
“We can’t really create anything…except our own (private, personal, public) worlds.” Ibid.
“We need to leave the ‘party-animal-scene’ (living for temporal fun or pleasure) and come Home to be ‘prayer-people-clean’ with Jesus (and one another)!” Denny Beckham.
“Are we a Community of quitters or a Community of ‘Commiteds’? I pray the latter!” Ibid.
“We pray and do what is right…and God becomes our deep delight!” Ibid.
“Stars ‘never’ leave their course…yet men wander out of orbit.” Rev. T.F. Tenney (spoken at the ‘Because of the Times’, or BOTT, ministry event in Alexandria, LA, 1/19/11)
“It would’ve been a huge condescension for Christ to take over the Roman throne.” Rev. Woodward (at BOTT)
“Sub-mission is ‘my mission under someone else’s mission’.” Ibid.
“You lead best when you let go.” Ibid.
“Is there a place in my life (my heart of hearts) for Christ to lay His head (establish His authority and government, as found in the five-fold ministry)?” Rev. Mark Morgan (at BOTT)
“May the King of the universe, who entered this world as a helpless infant, give us the humility to be healed.” Kevin Burke, Executive Director of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries
“There is liberty in restraint! Liberty has been described as the power to do what we should do, and not the license to do as we please!” Pastor Don Conner, pg. 2, Lesson 2, Part 1 of ‘You and Your Pastor’, in his ‘Discipleship’ series ‘Discovering Your Christian Family’
“Wild sheep do not acquire highly-developed wool.” Ibid.