Posts tagged ‘destroy’

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.

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April 13, 2012

Is It War?

by pastortimfowler

When I was in the Navy, we got to hang around with Marines quite a bit. The Marines have an amazing way of taking something as stressful as what they are called to do and making it look easy and some of the strangest comments about war that I have heard have come from a Marine. I don’t think that anyone really likes war, and some would say that there is never a time for war, but the fact of the matter is that there are wars and they are not pretty.
One Marine friend of mine said that he was taught in boot camp that war was about killing people and breaking things and that is why God created Marines. That may sound overly simplistic, but in reality it is very true. Somehow we have gotten this idea that wars can be fought with minimum of either one of those things happening. If we only had a smarter bomb or better intelligence, we could not kill as many people and break fewer things. But that will only lengthen the time it takes for the ones that you are fighting to give up and surrender. Remember that old saying, “all’s fair in love and war”? There was a reason behind that saying and it wasn’t so that fewer people would die and less buildings explode. As long as we try to make a war a good one and a cleaner and safer war, we are going to be terribly disappointed. Wars are not meant to go on forever and are not meant to be political. They are about killing people and breaking things and whoever kills the most and breaks the most usually wins.
The other day my blog was about words and their meanings. War is one of those words that we have used to the point of not really understanding what it is. When I was a teen, the USA started the war on drugs. Now we have marijuana just about legalized and more people than ever addicted to prescription drugs, not to mention the most addictive street drugs that have ever existed. We have a war on poverty that has only resulted in more people on food stamps than ever before.  What we in the USA consider poverty would be considered middle class in most other countries. The latest “war” that everyone is hearing about is a war against women. Supposedly, if you don’t believe the same way about birth control as someone else, that makes you at war against half of the people on the planet. Come on people, these things are not wars.
There is one war that few recognize, but it is about killing people and breaking things. It is a spiritual war for your soul. Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy. He wants to deceive and lead souls to an eternal death. Satan wants to destroy marriages, and the lives of our children by fooling them into thinking that they are just some sort of mistake that resulted in our existence. He wants to destroy your reality by getting you addicted to drugs and alcohol. He wants people to think that the most important thing in life is the fun that you can have and that the thought of a God that is the ultimate King of the universe is only for people who are weak-minded and uneducated.
God has given us victory over all of this, but He is not drafting people to fight on His side. He is accepting volunteers and is willing to equip those who join the fight with everything needed to defeat the enemy. The Bible describes the final battle in this war as one where Satan and his followers are destroyed and their kingdoms wiped out. Those who are on the winning side will take part in a Kingdom that on this earth is only a fantasy. The Kingdom of God, where there is finally peace and war no longer exists, because the real war was fought and the enemy and his stuff was destroyed.
God knows how to win a war.

August 31, 2011

How Long Does It Take?

by pastortimfowler

Have you ever seen someone who a few months ago was doing really well and today they are hardly recognizable as the person you thought that you knew? What I am talking about is the type person that use to come to church, was very active in worship and serving and seemed to have their act together, and one day they just quit coming. So you run into them and they have began to live a lifestyle that has no resemblance to who you knew them to be just a little while ago. How does this happen?
Today I finished reading 2 Chronicles in the Old Testament. It chronicles the time in the Jewish history after the period of judges up to the captivity of the Babylonian empire. In short summaries we hear of each king and their actions and how their rule effected the people of Israel. Those kings who followed the ways of God and passed that on to their people were blessed and the nation was blessed and those who did not follow God’s ways brought on misery for the themselves and the people.
Because these are short summaries of each king’s reign it often looks like a rapid decline in morality, when in reality things progressed over a few years, but from time to time you could see the fall take place within months. In these cases the kings before them who tried to follow God, often forgot or refused to destroy the places where idols were worshiped. They would try to make people happy on both sides and play church when it was convenient and please the idol worshipers when that was convenient. As a result, when a king would come in behind him who did not follow God at all, the fall of the people happened very fast and often in months.
Becoming a Christian happens at the blink of an eye. The very moment that we repent and accept Christ as Savior, we become a Christian. The growth of Christians takes time and effort. We must build new habits and tear down the things that are not pleasing to God. Often times we will leave those bad things alone and just try to build our Christian faith around it. We do all the right things and ignore those that are counter productive to our growth. Often in this period of Israel’s history, a new king would come along and try to restore things to God but leave the idols and their alters in place. The effort was always full of conflict because it is easy to worship something that does not hold you accountable. Idols don’t, God does.
God wants us to tear down and destroy the things that distract us from following Him fully. If they are destroyed they can’t tempt later. But the people who fall away, like I mentioned in the beginning, are those who usually just tried to build around the old ways and not get rid of them.
There is no way the we can ever live a totally sinless life as long as we are flesh and blood. But the Holy Spirit in us does allow us to continually work toward holiness. We do need to build new ways into our lives. We need to lay a new foundation and use fresh, new material that God provides. But often before we build we need to spend time doing a bit of demolition. We must tear out the old foundation and things that our lives had been built upon. God is giving us a new foundation in Jesus Christ.
So when you see someone who has fallen away and it seems like they have only taken a short time to fall a long way, remember this. God wants the old stuff destroyed, not moved around or built around. He wants us to start over with newness and build on one solid foundation, not covering up the old one because we like it too much to get rid of.
I tell my staff all the time that we are all closer than we will ever want to admit to falling into our old ways. I warn them and they warn me of things of the past that need to be torn down and gotten rid of. I encourage you to take a few minutes in prayer and ask God to play building inspector and look around to see if there might be some things you need to work on. I surely don’t want to run into you one day and see you in a broken mess and wonder, how long did it take?