8. Why Study?~The Secret Storms

September 5, 2018

Sifted As Wheat

Luke 22: 24 “Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. 25 And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27 For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves. 28 “But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

31 “And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” (We all know how that turned out right?)

Whenever we read anything in the Gospels regarding what Jesus’ disciples did or did not do, always keep in mind…they were living in B.C. That is to say before the death, burial, and resurrection of our LORD Jesus Christ. Even though they followed and loved Jesus dearly, loving Him did not make them “new creatures in Christ” (2nd Cor. 5:17). I know this does not set well with many Christians; however, this statement is not based upon my personal opinion. It is congruent with The Word of God, which says:

John 7: 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. 40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people because of Him.”

In both Luke and John, we are witnessing men in the flesh, or mere carnal men. The Apostle Paul wrote (Rom. 8:6…to be carnally minded is death; 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; 1Cor. 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.; 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?)

The Spirit of God administers The New Birth, and The LORD Jesus Christ baptizes the Believer in, with, or even into the Holy Spirit. The terminology is just semantics, so as spiritual men and women we should not get carnal about that. My point is this; there is no division in Christ. His is one Body, as we should be according to 1st Corinthians 6: 17 “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him”.

This has been my experience, or you could say this has been my observation; each denomination believes that they are the greatest. I have heard it said with my own two ears, “we have the purest doctrine.” Because of our prideful attitude toward our factions, we remain carnal and we play at spirituality because we have never earnestly sought to walk in the spirit. I include myself in this regardless of the fact that I work so hard to bring this problem to the attention of the church at large.
After reading a post on Facebook this morning, my heart was shattered in a million pieces. This individual is on the verge of walking away from the faith or worst. He started his post with these words, “TRIGGER WARNING”. That got my attention, as it should yours.

He described in depth the mental and emotional torment he has been experiencing, even though he is a Christian. In addition, I know that our knee-jerk reaction is to quote a few comforting verses. Most likely, he has already read anything we might quote. Some have offered very sound advice and encouragement. However, I get the strangest feeling the verses and advice will not pull him out of this funk. Most likely, he is experiencing clinical depression of some sort. This is the hard reality about this situation; many Christians have experienced, and are still experiencing some of the same things. If you have been reading any of my posts, you might have picked up on this one thing…I’m so much about studying The Word of God, it is healing to all of our flesh.

He said this is his post: “I feel as though I don’t have the will power anymore to want to pray or read the Bible.” I don’t know this guy personally; I wish that I did. We are not even FB friends yet, however, I can certainly empathize with him. There have been times in my walk with the LORD I have wanted to throw in the towel many many times. Why is this? I am a part of what should be the most powerful group of people that has ever walked the face of the earth, yet…I have still felt like a nobody, as if I were a ship lost in a humongous storm.

The Preacher and Poet John Donne wrote: “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main’. That section ends with another famous quote: ‘… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee’.”

The Apostle Paul said: 1st Corinthians 12: 25 “that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if ONE MEMBER SUFFERS, ALL THE MEMBERS SUFFER WITH IT; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”

Nevertheless, there is a real problem, church leaders are too busy with committees, board meetings, and creating more factions, because they don’t believe it the way we believe it, or whatever the dumb thing it is. I call it dumb because some Christian leaders get carnal about these things. While preachers are pounding on the pulpit, trying to convince people to believe what they teach, while ignoring people like Joshua, and are falling throw the cracks. And if we are carnal, then they become someone else’s problem. This gives Satan the opportunity to sift them like wheat. I don’t know exactly what Jesus meant by using that simile regarding Peter, but it does not sound like a good thing. I used his name because he put it out there for all to read, it is a cry for help. Listen, we all have demons. I’m not talking about demon possession or oppression. I’m talking about the skeletons in our closets. Things that haunt us from time-to-time like a ghost. Wounds that have left emotional scars that sometimes cause us to trip and fall.

I realize this post is long, however, I am writing what the Spirit of God has given me to write. If there are any church leaders that know Joshua, don’t text him, don’t email him, don’t cook him a chicken dinner. Go to him don’t wait for him to call or come to you. Take the time to be with him. Don’t judge and do not tell him what he is doing right or wrong, just listen, and love on him. Another author coined this word, withness. He said don’t witness, try withness. The Secret Storms. To be continued…

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