Archive for ‘Satan’

October 30, 2012

Church On Fire

by pastortimfowler

I know its been a few days since my last blog and for those of you whose mental well-being depends on my blogs, I am sorry, but, you are crazy anyway. Things have been really bizarre over the last week, including a church fire. So let me enlighten everyone on what is happening.
As I have told you many times, I pastor an incredible church. The people there are desperate; desperate for doing good things for God. I am SO blessed. We see many people helped all year round. People who are hurting and in need are loved on and taken care of and most importantly, people have their sins forgiven and come to know Jesus. All this made possible because of the people of our church. But there is one bad thing that comes from the people in the church being “on fire”; lots of spiritual warfare. And let me tell you, it has been a battle field in the spiritual realm.
As a pastor of almost 20 years I have seen spiritual battles take place and I have seen God work in some amazing ways. It usually happens during a time of intense growth of the church. I have been part of churches who never seem to have any troubles, but thinking back on those, they also rarely saw people come to know Jesus. You see, spiritual battles are not over things that you and I often think are important, like carpet and music in the church, but it is over those who are lost and those who are saved telling those who are lost how to be saved. I am not talking about a mechanical spiel or a guilt trip, I am talking about sharing love and forgiveness that comes from God to people who need it. And when that happens on a regular basis, spiritual battles erupt.
What are these spiritual battles? Things like tensions between people in the church. If the enemy can get the church turning against each other, the church will quit thinking about those outside the church who need Jesus. Things like getting people focused on material things over spiritual things. Far too often the church worries about stuff and forgets about people. When the church thinks that its buildings and the stuff in the buildings are as important as people, the battle swings to the enemy’s favor. And if the enemy can’t get the people fighting with each other or worrying about their stuff long, then they are defeated.
Yep, we have been faced with some stuff like that. Some things that should have been trivial were escalated and some people who should be working together got to working alone and our focus was being pulled away from God and started focusing on stuff. All of this because we are winning this battle for souls. God, through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, won the war on sin. But the battles still rage. The enemy can’t take our souls back, so they try to keep us distracted enough to where we are not reaching others who need salvation.
I am so thrilled that over the course of this year, our church has seen nearly 100 people come to know Jesus. And because of that, we see the heat of the battle. And because we won’t give in to the those distractions, the heat was turned up; literally. I believe the church fire was part of this spiritual battle. Sure, accidents happen, but everything happens for a reason. God allows us to experience things for a reason and the enemy will move in to areas where weakness is displayed. But I am confident that this battle is going to be a terrible defeat for the enemy. Just two months away from starting our 2nd worship time, we are now faced with not being able to use half of our building. A devastating blow to a church that loses its focus, but a rally cry to a church that is on fire for God. So I look forward to watching even more people being loved on and even more people coming to know Jesus and an even more determined group of people putting aside the trivial things that have tried to distract us over the last week, turning into an even greater focus on the things of God. That is just the type of folks I get to serve as pastor.
Our church may have been damaged by fire, but the fire of its people just got fueled. Don’t doubt me. The fight is on! Our church is on fire!

April 30, 2012

Demons

by pastortimfowler

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jody_art/2054845812/

This is another topic suggested by some of you when I asked for new blog ideas. What is that old saying? Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. Any way, I got it and will try to enlighten. Can anyone sense a chance for controversy or maybe dry humor? The complete suggestion was about demon possession and oppression. Because those words are long and difficult for me to type, I will blog about what I think you need to know about demons.
I guess the first question to answer is do I believe in demons. The answer is yes. I raised three children and each one of them were evil. (Right about now, many are gasping at my cruelty…get over it) I believe in demons like most people do to one degree or another. I think more people believe in evil spirits than a God. Just look at stories through generations of humanity and how there has always been evil spirits in them. Most cultures have evil spirits that are blamed for what goes wrong. Ancient tribes in Africa and the Amazon, native American, and Island tribes all give place to evil spirits. Hollywood has always used evil spirits as plots to movies and today’s television programs are full of supernatural evil beings.
That is not why I believe in them. I believe in them because I believe in Jesus Christ and He believed in them. He did not just believe in them but He conquered them. He warned Christians against an ever-present battle between good and evil. What I find most funny is that when Christians start talking about evil spirits we are wacky but when someone says that they can speak to the dead, good and evil, they are deemed psychic and can even help solve crimes. People criticize Christians for believing in a Bible that claims the existence of good and evil but will flock to the theaters to see a movie about the same.
The Bible speaks clearly about demons being fallen angels and Satan being the leader. It talks about humans being overtaken by these demons and their every action controlled by them. It speaks of those who do not believe in God and Jesus being possessed to the point of their very souls being owned by them. It tells of people who are freed from this control but never totally surrendering to God and therefore being overtaken again. It tells us that Christians can yield their well-being to evil spirits and live in an oppressed state of being.
Possession has been glamorize by Hollywood. The Exorcism is a reminder of how enthralled we can be over such things. But it puts the emphasis on a man called a priest to free the girl from the demon and the emphasis should be on Jesus. Only He can free someone who is controlled by demons. Yes, He has given believers authority to cast out demons, but it is only under His power that we can do so and you don’t have to be a Catholic priest to do so.
Oppression is when a Christian does not yield to the Spirit of God and opens themselves up to control by evil spirits. I personally believe that once you are the child of God you can never be possessed by anyone other than God. But I also believe that God will allow us to be oppressed by evil if we are disobedient. (1 Corinthians 5:5- hand such a person over to Satan to destroy his corrupt nature so that his spiritual nature may be saved on the day of the Lord.) But I believe this oppression can be defeated by something as simple as repentance.
Either way you slice it, demons are not to be taken lightly. If you do not believe in God, they will twist your head around on your body and make you puke green stuff. If you do believe in God they will make you disobedient to God. Most importantly, they want to keep you from knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior. They want you to go to Hell. God does not.

June 27, 2011

Satan, An Angel of Light?

by pastortimfowler

Here is a good idea for a blog, even though the person who sent it to me will now think that she is special. She asked the following:
If Satan is an ‘angel of light’, how do we differentiate whether it’s God or Satan coming to us/leading us to or through something?
Is Satan able to respond to our prayers, too? To mess with us/tempt us/etc…? When we pray to God…can Satan hear and take action in order to bamboozle us?
I am always looking for something new to blog about and do try to respond to most of the questions or requests, so please send them.
Let me address the first part about Satan. He is not an angel of light. He disguises himself as one. 2 Corinthians 11:14 ~And no wonder, even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. His disguises are good ones too! This is his most effective tool against new believers and lazy believers. New believers because they have not learned how to recognize God’s voice and God’s will and Satan knows this. He also knows that all Christians will try to justify wrong behavior because it feels good or looks good, so Satan makes sure you see these factors. Lazy Christians because they would rather have someone tell them what God says than to read it for themselves and take the time to get to know God on a personal level. And that brings us to the second part of that question, how can we tell the difference?
Sometimes we can’t. As a new believer, or weak believer, or even a mature believer going through a tough time, our emotions can over take us and we can make a mistake and fall right into Satan’s trap. It happens to all believers. We must learn from those mistakes. Satan is not stupid. We should never look to try to out dual him. But in the same light, God has given us a full suit of armor to protect us, and our eternal life is in God’s hands and nothing can take that away.
Just like anything else we do, we get better the more we learn and the more that we practice. We begin to know that God’s word never contradicts itself and if we commit His word to memory it becomes harder and harder for Satan to fool us that way.
I like to think that I know my wife so well that if I hear her voice I know it. I also know her well enough to know that if someone else says that my wife says or did something, that I can distinguish the truth because I know her that well. I know that my wife would never say kill our children, so know matter who I would hear that from I know she is not saying it. That is very obvious. But what if someone told me that she said that she wanted to go to a baseball game that night? I would have my doubts because I know my wife does not like baseball, and it would not be her wanting to go. But knowing her that well took time and effort, and even though I love baseball, I know she does not, so recognizing the truth even against my dream of her one day becoming a Braves fan isn’t gonna happen no matter how bad I want it.
The next question is in the same lines of thought as the first, but can be complicated to answer. Simply answered; yes.
In Daniel chapter 10, Daniel has an angel come to him to say that his prayer had been heard but an opposing angel was fighting to delay or stop the response. Angels are used especially in the Old Testament, as God’s messengers. Our prayers take us into a supernatural realm that we don’t fully understand and Satan and the other fallen angels are part of it. This is one argument used for the claim of having a prayer language that is only between you and God, but I do not feel that is an accurate interpretation of scripture. If there was such a language, I would think that Daniel, of all people, would have it. The argument there is that the Holy Spirit is the one who gives us this language and somehow the Holy Spirit was not giving that out back then, but I thought that God was the same yesterday, today and forever. (This will be the topic of another blog I am sure).
Bottom line is that Satan wants Christians to be discouraged, disoriented, and disgruntled. He wants us to remain immature and weak and ignorant. God wants us to grow, and to know Him. He wants us to love Him enough to get to know Him to the point that we are not easily deceived. That takes time and effort. Read your Bible daily. Trust that the Holy Spirit will guide you in the truth and never let your guard down. Pray prayers that are in God’s will and you will not be confused about the answer. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, our Heavenly Father will protect us because He loves us. And remember this verse: 1 John 4:4 ~Dear children, you belong to God. So you have won the victory over these people, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.