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Tag Archives: rebellion

Seeking Shelter in the Wrong Place

The prophet Isaiah began his earthly ministry in 740 BC, the year of King Uzziah’s death.  As a true prophet of God, sometimes you have to convey unpopular messages.  Any prophet who waters down God’s warning or skips important details will lose God’s favor.  Subsequently, when Judah decided to make a treaty with Egypt by trusting in human leaders rather than God. Isaiah exposes the reason for this decision in the passage below.

“Woe (judgment is coming) to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord, “Who carry out a plan, but not Mine, and make an alliance [by pouring out a libation], but not of My Spirit, in order to add sin to sin; Isaiah 30:1.”

According to biblical historians, the prophet Isaiah was sawed in two, dying as a martyr.  Perhaps, years of blunt, convicting and negative prophecies led to Isaiah’s death.  Yet, when souls choose rebellion over obedience, this becomes a spiritual addiction that results in depravity.  Whenever sin is added to sin, human beings are silently telling God with their own actions that I don’t want you or need you right now.

Who proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me, to take refuge in the stronghold of Pharaoh and to take shelter in the shadow of Egypt!  3 “Therefore the safety and protection of Pharaoh will be your shame and the refuge in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation and disgrace, Isaiah 30:1-3.

The final portion of the prophecy above is a foreshadowing of Judah’s captivity at the hands of the Babylonians.  If the new king of Judah would have consulted God first, history could have been changed.  Unfortunately, the human flesh has of mind of itself, leading religious followers to seek shelter in the wrong place.  Like a broken high school relationship, desperate times led some to rekindle old feelings.  However, this passage in Isaiah serves as a reminder to trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding, Proverbs 3:5-6.  When you do, God will direct your steps via the Holy Spirit to find a spiritual refuge of God’s choice.

by Jay Mankus

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The Call to Serve

If you still have a land line and cable, every in coming call shows up on your television.  Anyone without caller ID has another benefit of technology, a new way to screen your calls.  Thus, if you don’t want to talk to a telemarketer or don’t have time to chat with a friend who tends to be long winded, you have the option to let phone ring until the answering machine picks up.

The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.  He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come, Matthew 22:2-3.

Those who practice this form of call screening may miss someone from their past, present or someone God wants you to meet.  Meanwhile, God’s calling can be obscure, occurring at the least likely time or place.  Therefore, if you are unable to discern, hear or sense the whisper of God, you will be replaced by a more willing participant.

But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business, Matthew 22:5.

Whether you read the Old or New Testament, two common themes exist.  First, human beings were created to praise God.  Second, each person was designed to serve the Lord with their God given gifts.  Sure, everyone goes through periods of disobedience, rebellion and vacation, taking a break from God.  The call is waiting for you daily and the message is clear, to serve.  Don’t be like those in the parable of the wedding banquet who came up with lame excuses.  Rather, make the most of the time that you have, by applying the talents within you.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Consequences of Unbelief

In my days as a coach and teacher, unbelief is like an invisible cloud that stalls out and begins to affect and influence minds.  This negative vibe spreads through doubt, fear and a lack of confidence.  After the main contributor is eliminated or removed, those remaining have a hard time of being convinced that success and victory is attainable.

So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief, Hebrews 3:19.

According to the author of Hebrews, this is what Moses faced as a growing number of Israelites took their eyes off of God on the way to receive the Promised Land.  Thus, one of the consequences of unbelief is rebellion.  Apparently, several individuals wanted to return to Egypt, afraid they would die in the wilderness.  This wave of emotions prevented an older generation from being able to enter and experience God’s promised land.

“ ’If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes,” Mark 9:23.

Today, one of the greatest consequences of unbelief is unanswered prayers and health conditions that do not improve.  Even trained disciples succumb to the power of unbelief after an unsuccessful attempt of casting out an evil spirit.  For most people, each day is like a test, waiting to see if God improves their situation.  The longer one goes without any tangible signs of improvement, the greater unbelief becomes.  When you reach this point, hold on to the promise of Mark 9:23, so that belief will make that which was once impossible possible.

by Jay Mankus

Hearing the Truth

On January 1st, 1863, the emancipation proclamation was issued by president Abraham Lincoln.  This declaration served as a measure during the Civil War, giving 3-4 million slaves in the 10 southern states that rebelled, freedom from their owners.  Unfortunately, for those in Texas, the news did not arrive until June 19th, 1865.  The truth about slavery was withheld, 30 months late, allowing slave owners to maintain control until 2 months after the Civil war ended.

Today, America’s media has become more partisan than ever.  If this trend continues, what facts will be kept silent?  More than ever before, news is being filtered for political means, overemphasizing the positive and suppressing any negative information.  Unless one does their homework, studying history, researching records and testing everything that you hear, read or see, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, you might be surprised by the message journalists want you to believe.

According to Dr. Tony Evans, when the end of slavery was brought forth to Texans, several slaves did not know how to respond to freedom.  Like the Israelites in Egypt, they had grown accustom to a certain way of life, dependent on others for aid and shelter.  Subsequently, some remained prisoners to this way of life.  From a spiritual sense, a vast amount of citizens find themselves enslaved to sin, Romans 7:14-20, unable to free their actions from addictive behavior.  Unless people hear the truth, Romans 10:17, individuals will continue down this lonesome road.  May you be inspired to read the words of Jesus in John 8:34-36 so that you will hear the truth and the truth will set you free!

by Jay Mankus

Silencing Liars

In this age of Blogs, Facebook and Twitter, sooner or later someone will post something untrue about you.  When I taught junior high, a student snuck into my room and used my school computer to open up a My Space account in my own name without permission or support.  Meanwhile, a few years later an educational blog claimed I was a faith healer, charging $25 per healing.  Although the second site was a practical joke to illustrate how gossip spreads, the first was intended to harm my reputation as a teacher.  When facts don’t add up with the truth, its time to silence liars

David was a war hero, skilled musician and chosen by God to become Israel’s second king.  Despite having great intentions, 1 Samuel 16:7, David was young, curious and easy prey for temptation.  Thus, when he decided not to report to work for several months, not going off to war in 2 Samuel 11:1, David committed adultery, tried to cover up his own child and had Bathsheba’s husband murdered.  Unfortunately, David’s reputation is often tied to this rebellious streak, opening the door for future innuendos and rumors.  Psalm 63:11 addresses David’s prayer to cease the mouths of his critics.

When you do fall, especially in public, its hard to repair the trust of others that you have broken.  There will always be those who will point out your blemishes.  However, as you walk in the steps of Jesus, 1 John 2:6, the amount of your enemies will decline as long as your talk matches your walk.  If you’re struggling to silence false statements made against you, claim the words of David in Psalm 63:11 to silence the liars in your life.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Blotting Out Your Past

Whether you’re young or old, everyone has scars, wounds from the past which mask pain and suffering.  Like  bringing home a brand new car, dings, scratches and wear quickly appear.  Perfection fades ushering in guilt, shame and uncomfortable feelings.  These emotions prompt individuals to yearn to blot out their past.

As David comes to grips with his rebellious ways in Psalm 51:1, he leans on God’s mercy.  Images of his sin haunt David, brought to the forefront of his mind by the devil.  Snapping out of his mean streak, a humbled heart brings this servant of God to his knees.  Like resetting a video game to start over after making a careless error, we have all longed for God to blot out portions of our past.

Although memories will always return, God’s love can turn the ugliness of sin into snow, restoring a sense of purity to souls, Isaiah 1:18.  The message of resurrection isn’t limited to one day or merely for a season.  Rather, the triumph of Jesus over the cross, Colossians 2:15 is available daily, Lamentations 3:22-23.  Therefore, don’t let the devil steal your joy any longer, John 10:10; hit the reset button by asking God to blot out the sins of your past.

Please feel free to share testimonies of God’s power to forgive.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Delaying God’s Promises

As I turned on the television this morning, I felt like God was talking directly to me.  Dr. Tony Evans was reminding his congregation that neutrality does not exist in the spiritual realm.  You’re either drawing closer to God, gathering up treasures for heaven or you’re falling away, disappointed by the lack of promises you’ve received if any.  Instead of blaming God for unfulfilled promises, disobedience, rebellion or unbelief essentially delays one from experiencing these blessings on earth.

According to Matthew 12:30, Jesus can’t be any clearer about his expectations for his followers.  “If you’re not with me, gathering people toward the kingdom of God, you’re against me!”  Though it sounds good today, you can’t pick and choose which commandments you follow and which you ignore and or neglect.  During my month long ordeal with my lung, liver and ribs, I began to slip away from God, frustrated by the hand I have been dealt the last few years.  However, my response has delayed God’s timing, waiting for obedience from me before I was accompanied by blessings, Deuteronomy 28:2.

I guess the easy thing to do is blame God for your lack of progress, success or wealth in life.  Nonetheless, David says it best in Psalm 37:3; “trusting in the Lord and striving for holiness comes first.”  Until this occurs, peace and safe pastures are on hold.  Therefore, don’t delay God’s promises any further by idleness.  Rather, delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart, Psalm 37:4.

by Jay Mankus

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