Tagged: Scripture

Indiscretion, Comfort and Strength

“The Lord comforts the afflicted and strengthens those in trouble.” – Psalms (paraphrased).

It has become increasingly difficult for me to perform my work here on Heart of Flesh. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ should be a source of comfort and joy to all who trust in Him. If there be no comfort or consolation then we should be seeking to address that according to Biblical principles. (see St. Paul’s writings to, I believe, the Romans of ancient times.)

I have been severely indiscrete in my words, especially online, and I have made confession of this to the churches. Many have been harmed by my words, behaviours and discussions. Yet I truly believe, in Christ, that many have been comforted, though I myself am now lacking in many respects. (Often I have come to resent that, yet joy returns and now, increasingly, peace, and the love of the Spirit is growing again within me.)

Music and Magic

Many in the world now place a lot of trust in music. Music is, indeed, beautiful if used correctly. It can calm, comfort and bring relief from pain, especially the emotional sort we see in mental health problems. Yet it can also cause untold harm.

Some, such as a few from my own family and neighbourhood, have suffered enormously from loud music of an abhorrent nature. Yet those days are long past, though my connection with the distressed (both mentally, emotionally and physically) means both they and I feel great pain when the wrong music, substances or spiritualities are mixed.

A confusion can arise when words are misinterpreted. For example, in the Book of Revelation, St. John writes about repenting of “sorcery” (KJV) or “magic” (NIV). I will make little further comment on that here (that is a teaching for elsewhere) but suffice to say that these practices can cause intense hardship for many, especially the vulnerable. (And I myself have had very recent experiences of both.) Music and ungodly spiritualities, as well as violence and substance misuse, all play a part in magic and/or sorcery.

Repentance and the Church

The Church contains secrets. “The secret of the LORD belongs to the LORD.”

Not all are willing or able to be a full part of church life. I know some (very few, though) who struggle at church due to demonic possession, whether presently or in the past. As I have stated repeatedly and verbally, I know those I love in both the church, the World and amongst the mentally ill community. (And I say sorry here to those I have been unable to in person regarding any harms, temporary or permanent, caused by me.)

Many who suffer from mental illness do so due to mental turmoil (often treatable through such practices as mindfulness, meditation or medication, not all of which I agree with) yet some do, indeed, suffer from demonic possession. Thankfully, according to my belief and the belief of many others (in my experience), we are in a time of great healing.

Yet it remains true that the words of Jesus Christ the Righteous Messiah are constant, and He states that “None come to the Father except by Me.” [God is present in Three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, an Eternal Co-Existence of the Godhead, with Jesus being the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form.]

Moya Brennan and Enya, formerly of Clannad. The theme of Robin of Sherwood, a favourite TV programme of mine own.

Healing and Salvation

The word of God is vital. Yet many now confuse matters by conflating healing with the good news (Gospel) of Jesus Christ. Healing comes through Jesus Christ if it be true. Medications (such as cannabis, properly prepared, valerian, taken correctly, and certain other herbal medicines) can help, as can many spiritual practices.

Others, however, are harmful. I myself have made my repentances and keep to that which I need. Others also have their coping mechanisms. The Truth of God’s Word, the Bible, must endure, yet I personally believe that many should be allowed their own ways of coping.

Demonic Possession and Healing

There are two primary methods of healing (apart from the Teaching of the Word) in the Church: the laying on of hands (corrupted in the past into “faith healing”, an erroneous and dangerous practice carried out by spiritualists) to heal physical ailments, and the casting out of demons. I am untrained and little gifted in either, yet I have practiced “deliverance ministry” to varying degrees of success.”

May the Lord of all Creation; Father, Son and Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you this Day. – Mark H. (of a Heart of Flesh in Truth.)

Spiritual Attack or Godly Discipline?

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The Apostle Paul speaks in his letters about coming under spiritual attack. He speaks in Ephesians about taking on the whole armour of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit. (ref: Ephesians 6:13-17)

Sometimes our trials and tribulations come from this. And yes, we should do battle, not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual wickedness. At other times our distresses come from a discipline for our own sins or weaknesses which need correction, as the Apostle Peter relates in one of his own letters. (I was told on the journey back from evening fellowship/teaching/prayer that this is likely 2 Peter.)

How do we discern between the two? I suspect that the truth is that they both run alongside each other. Every rod of discipline can be taken too far and received beyond its intended measure. This is an attack from the enemy. Not from people – though the wicked shall love to persecute the believers, especially those who are weak and isolated.

If at all possible seek fellowship at these times. Face to face is by far best, though sometimes a phone call or text is sufficient. If worst comes to worst then online communication is still a recourse of action for those with internet access.

Seek out the brethren, seek God in prayer, however faltering your own prayer life may be, seek to read Scripture, even if you are far from an expert in theological matter and Bible study. It can be quite astounding where help coms from if we prayerfully wait for it and remember the words of Jesus and the saints, especially the words of the Apostles recorded in the New Testament.

(Written on the afternoon of the First Sunday of February, edited during the night the first day and the second day.)

When Being Alone is The Only Option

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed? So distressed, so fearful? You try to reach out but no-one seems to be there. You are alone and you want to depend on God, but then it seems like you are being judged by God rather than comforted? You yearn for even the comforters which Job had rather than be alone with the burden of your failings and your sins.

Scripture reading and prayer are vital, especially when forced solitude is upon us.
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Family and Friends

I have been feeling like that. Family has become distant. In many cases this has been my fault. I have pushed many of my family members away. Others so want to help but do not know how to and so offer to receive a call I cannot make. My uncle said this very thing and said he didn’t know how to help. My reply? “I don’t know how you can help, either.”

Friends have proved themselves not to be friends in need or I have pushed them away, too. Many of my “friends” took drugs or engaged in filthy talk and I no longer want anything to do with that, so I have pushed them away or they have chosen themselves to become distant. My judgementalism hasn’t helped here, even though I am glad to no longer be seeing those who have led me astray (and vice versa!)

Those friends in church I have become close to so want to help but every Christian has struggles and responsibilities and often it can seem as if they are otherwise engaged in peforming some very vital tasks or ministries – tasks and ministries which I have not wanted to get in the way of.

What, then, to do?

There can be no option in times like this. We must seek God. We may feel the heavy weight of His hand yet we need to cling to the promises which are ours in Christ. Reach out to God through prayer. I am reading about Simple Prayer (note 1) right now: prayer without any pretentiousness or any attempt to be perfect; just my fears, burdens and even my terribleness, and thus drawing near to the Holy God through His Son who died for us.

Scripture can be an immense help and has been for me. Sometimes, though, even the Scriptures can appear to be condemning us. I have recently read 1 Corinthians 13 a number of times and the verses on the nature of love have left me feeling as if I do not know love at all. Psalm 23 is a wonderfully comforting Psalm, yet recently as I’ve read of lying down in green pastures I can think of none which are currently thought of as a blessing in a godly way, and when I’ve read of goodness and mercy following me all the days of my life I have wondered where this goodness and mercy has gone to.

Yet perservere! Now I am finding that both of those passgaes are coming to life again and I am finding that comfort I thought I might have lost forever.

Church

In times like these I have found church to be vital. Though I have battled hard – very hard – to keep up church attendance and have, at times, felt only intermittent comfort from those weekly times, I am now finding such a comfort and encouragement from those attendances and they are such a good reminder that God’s people are still here, they still welcome me and they still love me, and you!

(Note 1: Prayer by Richard Foster, published by Clays Ltd, St. Ives, 1992)