Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: betrayed

Seduced

The term seduced is usually applied to an unwilling participant who is beguiled, enticed and lured into some sort of sexual encounter.  This leaves a victim feeling betrayed, used and violated.  Beyond physical attractions, individuals can also be seduced by alcohol, drugs, fame, food, impulses, pornography, power, shopping, technology and wealth.  One of God’s greatest concerns in the Old Testament was that Jews would be seduced by high places, centers for Canaanite idol worship scattered throughout the Middle East.

And they have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my mind, Jeremiah 7:31.

This connection became clear to me after reading an article written by a member of the Billy Graham Association.  High places is mentioned 117 times in the Bible; derived from the Hebrew word “hamah” referring to mountaintops.  In nearby hills, mountains and peaks, open-air altars on elevated knolls were built to pay tribute to pagan and secular gods.  When Israel entered the promised land in Canaan under Joshua’s leadership, God commanded his people to destroy and tear down these places.  Unfortunately, a lack of thoroughness left many behind as ancient idols slowly and subtly seduced God’s people year after year, unable to stay away.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places, Ephesians 6:12.

Today, with a click of a mouse, tap on your phone or voice to Alexia, the internet, a.k.a. the world wide net comes alive.  While this technology was created to advance, expand and further human development, new high places are erected daily.  Fueled by spiritual forces of evil, demons regularly seduce curious and vulnerable souls just like Eve succumbing to Lucifer’s reasoning.  This seduction often goes unnoticed until sin becomes full blown, leaving a trail of devastation and destruction.  Sure, there is forgiveness, grace and mercy, but humans don’t always see eye to eye, abandoning broken relationships to start anew.  Despite how far one may fall, in God’s eyes no one is too far gone.

by Jay Mankus

 

Advertisements

When Our Problems Meet God’s Possibilities

As life takes an unexpected twist or turn, certain things don’t make sense.  A typical response to unfortunate events is to question God wondering, “why is this happening to me?”  When confronted with problems, struggles and worries, perhaps its time to consider these situations as an opportunity for God to meet us in the storms of life.

And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you, Genesis 45:5.

While his arrogance may have created the environment for hardship, Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, thrown into prison and forgotten after helping a member of the king’s service.  Despite one disappointment after another, Joseph didn’t dwell in the past or throw a pity party, “woe is me.”  Rather, Joseph saw his problems as a chance for the power of God to rescue him.

But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance, Genesis 45:7.

Amid these setbacks, God gave Joseph the strength to press on.  Raising him up on wings like eagles, Joseph persevered until he found his true purpose in life.  Sure, the path the Lord took him on was a long and winding road, but Joseph’s problem met God’s possibilities.  If you find yourself spinning your wheels in 2016 or going around in circles, don’t lose hope.  Rather claim the promise of Luke 1:37, with God all things are possible!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

If the Lord had Not Been on My Side

If human beings could catch a glimpse of the spiritual dimension, a preview of what lies behind the scenes in life, perhaps souls would have a greater appreciation for divine intervention.  An individual loses their keys momentarily, only to escape a fatal car crash.  Someone wakes up with an uneasy feeling, deciding not to go to work at the World Trade Center on the day of 9/11/01.  A sluggish woman has a premonition to go to a doctor, finding a deadly disease in its infant stage, saving her life through early prevention.  Looking back on numerous miracles, if the Lord had not been on my side, I wouldn’t be alive today to write about it!

We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. – Psalm 124:7

The Bible would be just another book if the boat God told Noah to build didn’t float.  If the flood waters of the mighty Nile decided to break as Israel was crossing upon dry land, Moses wouldn’t have survived to complete the Pentateuch.  Meanwhile, if Mary choose to abandon her new born babe before the Magi arrived, the Savior of World would be like all the aborted babies, a distant memory of what could have been, but never was.  Despite all of these scenarios, somehow, someway and for unforeseen purposes, the Lord of the heavens and earth choose to protect his people.

Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth, – Psalm 124:8

Like a scene from Groundhog Day, lives have been altered forever.  Unfortunately, not everyone has been saved, spared or protected.  Many have become victims, dealt a knock out blow, sending any hopes for life to the grave.  Many of those left behind on earth never recover, bitter at God for months, years and decades.  Feeling betrayed, few overcome the heartbreak and suffering of seeing wonderful souls eliminated from society by accidents, bloodshed and demonic influences.  May this piece give readers a new appreciation for life and faith to overcomes moments in time when God doesn’t appear to be on our side.

by Jay Mankus

Helpless… Except for Prayer

After last week’s election, most voters were optimistic that their newly elected leaders would cease this opportunity to make a difference.  Several days later, it appears that many career politicians have reverted to their former ways.  Add in a rogue president who disregards the constitution and citizens become helpless.

In a whirlwind of disappointment, I was reminded of a simple solution, prayer.  Scouring over the Psalms of David, there is nearly a prayer for each emotion you encounter.  Whether you feel betrayed, running for your life or in need of divine intervention, help is just a prayer away.

For those of us who struggle to let go, yearning to take control of daily situations, there is one truth you can’t ignore: the Lord reigns over heaven and earth.  Although you may not like the path America is going down or the road God has chosen for you, there is still time to act.  If you’re feeling  helpless like me, don’t let the sun go down without crying out to the Lord.  In the end, warriors of prayer will usher God’s ultimate will into existence.

by Jay Mankus

 

Not Immune

When the next mind boggling event occurs in America, I’m not afraid to question God, searching for answers to stabbings, shootings and tragedy in public places.  Sometimes I feel like God has removed his presence, moving on to another nation, where hearts are open to truth.  Yet, as soon as trials enter my own life, the Holy Spirit has reminded me this week that Jesus was not immune from heartache.

According to John 11:14, God reveals to Jesus that his friend Lazarus has died.  As He makes his way to the tomb, Jesus is met with a distraught sister, blaming him for her brother’s death, John 11:21.  A second family member has similar feelings, bringing Jesus to tears, John 11:32-35.  While using God’s healing power to raise Lazarus from the dead, John 11:38-44, Jesus’ grief continued.  One of his disciples betrayed him, another publicly denied knowing Jesus and finally the Jews convinced the public leaders to have him crucified.

Unlike the Curse of the Bambino for Boston Red Sox fans, the events of original sin can not be reversed, Genesis 3:16-24.  Perhaps, this may explain Hebrews 12:4, putting life into its proper perspective.  With the circumstances in life continuing to decay, no one is immune from pain.  Therefore, as you fight the good fight, 1 Timothy 6:12, hang in there, encourage the depressed around you and place your trust in the Lord, Proverbs 3:5-6.  Share how you have been helped or reached out to lend a loving hand.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: