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Put Up the Sword


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#1 Candice

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 02:07 PM

Put Up Your Sword
By David Wilkerson
 

"So, you want to be a man or woman of God? If so, you are going to be served a cup of pain. You’ll weep because of something much worse than physical pain. I’m speaking of the pain of being bruised and rejected by friends; the pain of parents when children trample their hearts and become strangers to them; the pain between a husband and wife when walls are built up between them.
Oh, the turmoil that comes, the restless, sleepless nights — knowing that God is real, that you are walking in his Spirit, that you are loving Jesus with all that is in you, and yet you are forced to drink a cup of pain.
We cannot run from this cup. We cannot be fooled into thinking that following Jesus is only happiness. Scripture does say our approach to life should be to “count it all joy” (James 1:2). Yet it also says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous” (Psalm 34:19).
Peter tried to drive away affliction in his flesh. He wielded a sword at Gethsemane, telling Jesus, in effect, “Master, you don’t have to go through this. I’ll keep them at bay while you make your escape.” Many Christians today have the same attitude. They try to turn away afflictions, saying, “I don’t have to face this. My God is a good God!”
I believe God is faithful. But Jesus tells us we cannot run from our cup of pain. He commanded Peter, “Put up your sword. That is not my Father’s way. Live by your sword and you will die by it.” Then he stated, “Shall I not drink the cup which my Father has given me?” (John 18:11).
When you trust the One who is serving you this cup — when you see his purpose behind your suffering — then you are able to drink it. Don’t be afraid, for your Father holds the cup. You are not drinking death but life!"

 

I hope it's ok to quote a non-CM Alliance person here.  This devotional tugged at me.  I recently visited family -- all nonbelievers.  I believe the Lord is very close to me in those days, hours and minutes when each thought and word is scrutinized. 

It is hard for me and I posted the other Provide but Hate post because of the upcoming visit and how to really sort out this family thing.   DO YOU WALK AWAY when you've shared the Gospel and they make fun of you.  I don't watch much TV; certainly not the yucky shows. My sister and her husband describe TV shows they watch....many.  I don't know any of them.  My brother-in-law kept saying, "if you watched that Candice, you'd have to go to church six times.  Hah hah".  I actually laughed out loud.  They don't get it at all.  There's no use even saying a word.  They're atheists and can just send themselves to hell by their own volition.

 

DO WE EVER JUST WALK AWAY?  Jesus seemed to imply this and it seems He was rather direct to me that you will have this trouble.  BUT, I've never sensed this from the Spirit.  The impression the Spirit gives me is that I see my sister on her death bed, and I'm there asking her if she wants to receive Christ.  My heart hurts.

 

BUT, I need encouragement too.  I've asked my two friends this as well.  Has anyone experience with this?

 

Candice


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#2 Meema

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 05:14 PM

I don’t know if I have posted this story or not but I immediately thought of this when I read your post. I think it sums up what I am compelled to focus on.

 

One night I was watching the news. A story about a pedophile who killed several children was being reported. He had been caught and was going to go through the long process of trial and appeal. This disturbed me in a way that made me want to wrestle something.

 

Later, just before I fell asleep I had to ask. I said, “Father, how do you love someone like that?” The answer came instantly. I heard -”Look to the child” What? I asked, in shock. “Look to the child.” That was it.

 

When my brain is forced to process words fraught with emotion, wrapped with deep meaning and lessons I have to mull over it all for awhile. The next day I felt I had come up with the take away. At least it felt right.

 

First of all, I don’t think there is an absolute formula for sorting out who to keep trying with and who to simply walk away from. Sometimes we just have to listen to the still small voice. Each person and situation has different parameters but the basics are the same. As I have been on a path ferreting out how to identify evil I finally figured out that it’s really not my place or job to decide who is going to make it or not. And that’s a major relief. Only God can see into the person’s deepest soul no matter how depraved they seem to be.  For those we truly care about, we have to cling to hope that it’s not a lost cause, never too late.

 

My position is to make sure that I can discern when I need to stand so that God is well represented. Period.  I don’t have to judge, compromise, or be intimidated, neither do I have to preach when it’s clear eyes are blind and ears or deaf. Pearls before swine comes to mind. All that is required of me is that I just have to “be” not “say” unless I am asked point blank, of course. Then I have to be fearlessly honest.

 

All I have to do is take one step in front of the other, sometimes (more often than not)  in the dark, trusting that my moves or words may be planting seeds that I might never see take root. But then I am a sower not a harvester so that’s just my comfort zone.

 

This is one small corner of this very large topic though. There is real evil out there in this fallen world and even if we do not judge or make determinations about where someone will end up, we also can employ discernment about when to put six degrees of separation in between. Ultimately we need to give God latitude about how He wants to do things and understand that He does not adhere to our staid formulas and designs.


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#3 Jesus_Lolly

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 05:23 AM

My thoughts line up with Meema--each situation is different. I think Jesus directs accordingly.

 

 

For example, the Lord prevented the geresene demoniac from accompanying Him saying instead:

"Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee."

 

However, in a separate circumstance Jesus said,

 "Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead" (Mt. 8:22).

 

I believe that the Lord will give you wisdom in this. He cares for you!

In the meantime, follow Paul's exhortation in Ephesians 6:

 

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

 

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

Blessings and shalom


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#4 Big John

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 07:37 PM

As said by Phil Robertson - “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job,” Robertson also said. “We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus – whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists.”  

I've been a christian for 55 years.  My mom is 83 and was the daughter of a pastor and has been a christian since she was little.  I can say that my views on how I should treat people over the years has changed a lot.  My mom went thru the so called Holiness Movement and though I wasn't yet born I am a bit of a church historian (all churches from catholics to pres and meth. I love St augustine and Jan Huss and Martin Luther, etc etc.  

 

In my studies of the very early church their were a lot of stories about how the gospel spread.  Besides, the Martyrs which was obviously very moving and dramatic there were also a lot of stories of these odd people (christians) who would go way out of their way to carry loads for people, give needy people food, give people lodging, pay other peoples bills, etc.  Now the very early church barely had any doctrine or anything remotely approaching theology and they didn't have the New Testament and   the was almost nothing resembling a Bible but they had stories of Jesus and the things He did and said.  AND they had a love, joy, peace in their hearts and lives that had NEVER before existed.  These simple acts and the story of Jesus are what caused so many people to be converted in the earliest centuries of christianity.  

 

Jesus wants us to be witnesses but we barely had churches in the early days (at least like we know churches) and no tracts, etc.  All christians really had was the love and enthusiasm in their hearts and a few stories of Jesus.  

 

So whats my point after all of this.  I have not always felt or acted this way but Phil Robertson has it right.  We are to love people and we are to live with the love, joy and peace of God in lives.  We need to pray for our loved ones and love and enjoy them.  We certainly don't neeed to preach or instruct or give them our tolerance for their bad behavior.  Just live and love before them.  Most important of all?  Pray for thrm and believe God that He will bring them in.  Its His job anyway.  Not ours.  We need to live, love, pray and have faith in His promises.  

 

A lot of this is not just my thinking but also includes my mother who has been christian all her life and mostly pretty Godly for most of that life.  Anyway, I feel I could write about stuff like this forever but nuff said.  Hope this helps Candice.  Have Faith in Gods promises and turn Him loose on your family.  It really works


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#5 Charles Miles

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 05:55 AM

I know sharing the gospel is our duty and we all should do so when the opportunity arises. Sometimes this may be our own testimoney or maybe it is discussed in conversations dealing with"hard times" or maybe even a discussion of eternity and what it is. Anyway, I feel that our duty is to present the gospel, but our job ends there. Holy Spirit assumes His role at that time. The seed you plant may not bloom for years but it was your job to plant it, and sometimes someone may ask you to come back and replant it. Oh, one other thing, if we live near this person or see them on occasion, we should walk like we had what we told them we had.

Some will laugh, mock, and ignore what is said, but that`s OK, you planted the seed. You did your job. Someday you may get to see the crop and then again you may not.

 

Jesus is proud of your work and so are the others working in the field,

 

Charlie


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#6 ADVRider

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 08:16 PM

So whats my point after all of this.  I have not always felt or acted this way but Phil Robertson has it right.  We are to love people and we are to live with the love, joy and peace of God in lives.  We need to pray for our loved ones and love and enjoy them.  We certainly don't neeed to preach or instruct or give them our tolerance for their bad behavior.  Just live and love before them.  Most important of all?  Pray for thrm and believe God that He will bring them in.  Its His job anyway.  Not ours.  We need to live, love, pray and have faith in His promises.  

 

Candice,

 

I like what Big John said here. He could have said, "but also love and enjoy them," meaning, when we pray and they don't respond, just continue to love on them anyway because they are your relatives. Surely you must have some common ground on which you can enjoy them. The fact you laughed at your B-i-L probably showed that both of you knew he was just ribbing a bit. It's not like you can't visit with them because they aren't saved; that's exactly what Jesus did with unbelievers, and the Pharisees didn't much like it. But God does. I think the main point is, just try to be yourself as a believer in their presence. You don't have to prove it by being super-Christian around them, just being with them (when you do visit) is showing love. Other than outright hostility or disrespect towards you, just talk about everyday normal things with them. I am not sure about my own three sisters' standing with the Lord and I should speak more about the Lord with them (I have in the past), but when I visit I enjoy them as sisters. 

 

As for David Wilkerson's piece, perhaps he took a more staunch position than most. I cannot judge his life, but I always sensed he saw most things a little on the serious side. Like there was never much joy flowing out of his words. But, we all have our place. I do not doubt the truth of his words here, but I do like Big John's encouragement--love wins out and wins hearts more than anything else. 

 

Edit: I just saw your line that said, "there's no use saying a word." That's very likely true--I am sure they know who you are and what you believe by now. But here's the thing; you can win them without a word. In fact, your life is a more powerful witness than your words if you allow the Lord to love them through you, just as they now are. Because, that's actually how the Lord loves them right now. Hopefully, this takes the pressure off of you to "witness" to them because as I mentioned, all you have to do is be yourself, a person filled with the Holy Spirit and willing to speak if they have questions. Beyond that, pray, love on them and relate to them as best as you are able. 


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#7 Candice

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 08:19 AM

I appreciate all the input from all of you here.  It means a lot to me!  Wish I had one relative who knew the Lord.....just one!