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Why Our Enemies Get Back Up

“And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.”
Malachi 3:15 KJV

Have you ever wondered why our enemies seem to always get back up? They are not supposed to be able to get back up (Proverbs 24:16). We watch what they do and say, and it seems like everything indicates that they should have fallen, crumbled, shriveled up and blown away. Sometimes we try to justify our attitudes about people that we do not like by thinking ‘God is going to get them!’, but then our frustration sets in when nothing bad happens to them. We end up thinking, “If I had done that…”. As a matter of fact, the Saints in Malachi 3:14 even said that serving the Lord was useless. They were upset because they felt like even after serving God and obeying His Word, they didn’t seem to gain anything; “It is useless to worship God. We did what the LORD All Powerful told us, but we did not gain anything. We cried like people at a funeral to show we were sorry for our sins, but it didn’t help” (Malachi 3:14 ERV). We complain about proud people being happy, evil people succeeding and doing evil things to test God’s patience and it just looks like God does not punish them (Malachi 3:15). The Book of Job asks the question bluntly; “Why do evil people live long lives? Why do they grow old and successful? They watch their children grow up and live to see their grandchildren. Their homes are safe and free from fear. God does not punish them. Their bulls never fail to mate. Their cows have healthy calves. They send their children out to play like lambs. Their children dance around. They sing and dance to the sound of harps and flutes. Evil people enjoy success during their lives and then go to the grave without suffering” (Job 21:7-13 ERV). It is true that sometimes we do not actually receive some of the things that we pray for (Hebrews 11:39). It is also true that the wicked prosper in this wicked world (Psalm 73:12). We must be honest and say that it hurts to see it (Luke 16:19-22).

If we are honest, it somewhat bothers all of us who try to live right and do what God commands us to do while we watch the wicked living peaceable and prosperous lives during our struggles and sufferings; “I saw that wicked people were successful, and I became jealous of those proud people. They are healthy. They do not have to struggle to survive. They do not suffer like the rest of us. They do not have troubles like other people. So, they are proud and hateful. This is as easy to see as the jewels and fancy clothes they wear. If they see something they like, they go and take it. They do whatever they want. They make fun of others and say cruel things about them. In their pride they make plans to hurt people. They think they are gods! They think they are the rulers of the earth” (Psalm 73:3-9 ERV). We must also be honest and admit that we have questioned God when we suffer while watching the wicked prosper “Habakkuk 1:13”. If we are honest, we can admit that deep in our hearts, sometimes it just does not make sense; “LORD, if I argue with you, you are always right. But I want to ask you about some things that do not seem right. Why are wicked people successful? Why do people you cannot trust have such easy lives?” (Jeremiah 12:1 ERV). Do you know why our enemies seem to rise instead of fall? Do you know why our enemies seem to get up when they probably should not? The Lord told Pharaoh that He raised up Pharaoh for God’s own glory (Exodus 9:16). Ultimately, the wicked pay the price for the lifestyles they chose to live (Luke 16:25). Another reason why it looks like our enemies rise while we suffer is because God may be testing our faith. God has Satan in His hands, and the Father sometimes uses Satan to test His people (Job 1:8). Even when something looks like it could only come from God, it still may only be a test of our faith in Him; “A prophet or someone who explains dreams might come to you and tell you that they will show you a sign or a miracle. And the sign or miracle they told you about might come true. Then they might ask you to follow other gods (gods you do not know) and say to you, ‘Let us serve these gods!’ Do not listen to them because the LORD your God is testing you. He wants to know if you love him with all your heart and all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:1-3 ERV). The good news about suffering is that it is only temporary (1 Peter 5:10).

Another reason why it may look like our enemies get back up is because God uses the wicked to chaste us when we are disobedient (2 Chronicles 33:10-11). The Lord even told David that He would use wicked people to chastise His children (2 Samuel 7:14). Still another reason why our enemies rise up when they probably should not be because we have a problem of getting in the way. God is our Superhero. The Lord is our Avenger. We need to get out of His way and let our Godly Superhero Avenger do what He does best (Romans 12:19). Abigail warned David not to avenge himself because Nabal’s cruelty was a trap for David set by Satan (1 Samuel 25:31). Whenever revenge is suggested, then it is a trap set by Satan. The best response to cruelty is to do what Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and Daniel did. The world gives Dr. King credit for non-violent protest, but these Hebrew men were actually the first people to demonstrate non-violent protest as a Biblical principle; “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up” (Daniel 3:17-18 KJV). Daniel’s response to injustice lets the world know that he was going to worship the Father at any costs (Daniel 6:10). In the midst of danger and a corrupt government Daniel still gave God thanks. We need to leave room for the Lord and not hinder the Holy Spirit by disobedience.

The Apostle Paul told the church of Corinth that they were hindering punishment of the wicked in their congregation (1 Corinthians 5:1-5). The other reason why our enemies escape God’s wrath is because of our own attitudes. We cry out to God ‘Get him Lord!’ and God goes to getting and then we get happy. We laugh and make fun of them when they fall and then they get back up and do better than us. We scratch our heads and ask, “What happened?” The Holy Bible tells us what happened; “Do not rejoice and gloat when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad [in self-righteousness] when he stumbles, Or the LORD will see your gloating and be displeased, and turn His anger away from your enemy” (Proverbs 24:17-18 AMP). Every time we make fun of those that we do not like they tend to escape the inevitable. The Lord says in Psalm 73:18 that He has clearly put our enemies in danger of His wrath and makes it easy for them to fall and be destroyed but we negate their consequences because of our laughter and jovial hearts when we see them in trouble. We make fun when we should be praying; “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

If we want to be like Jesus, we have got to respond like Jesus (Matthew 27:14). If we want to be like Jesus, we have got to behave like Jesus; “He was treated badly, but he never protested. He said nothing, like a lamb being led away to be killed. He was like a sheep that makes no sound as its wool is being cut off. He never opened his mouth to defend himself” (Isaiah 53:7 ERV). If we want to be like Jesus, we have to love like Jesus (Luke 6:27-28). God expects us to be different than the wicked and not do to them what they would do to us; “If someone does you wrong, don’t try to pay them back by hurting them. Try to do what everyone thinks is right” (Romans 12:17 ERV). Success of a country is in the hands of God’s people. If God’s people obey His Word, then we all benefit, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV). If we obey God’s Word, He will change hearts and we will all have a chance to rise instead of fall.

 Submitted by Trustee Stanley Ridley



Worship

“For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
Exodus 34:14 KJV

In God’s infinite wisdom He created us with brains designed with neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is two compound words, neuro- and plasticity, joined together to make one word. Neuro- means nerves and plasticity means changeability. In short, neuroplasticity is the ability of our brains to change via transmitted and received nerve impulses. This amazing design by the Creator allows our brains to form,

change and reorganize even in response to brain injuries that can be caused by strokes. In other words, God made the brain so that the damage to the brain can be healed. Neuro- is used as the root word for neuron. Neurons are the impulse-conducting functional brain cells of our nervous system that are activated by our senses of sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing. God designed our brain with a nervous system that uses chemicals released in the brain to help strengthen the bonds or connections between neurons. For example, when we experience the pleasures of life whether it is eating delicious foods or someone’s touch or the excitement from sports and entertainment the neurons in our brain release a chemical called dopamine.

Scientists call dopamine the brain’s reward circuit. The slang word ‘dope’ has been used in hip-hop culture to describe anything that was desirable and pleasurable. God’s design was perfect. The human body was created perfectly by God to do what it was designed to do. We were designed to commune with God. We were designed to have a feeling and attitude of deep respect for God tinged with awe. Tinged is past tense for ting and ting means to make a sharp, clear and ringing sound. Awe is an overwhelming feeling of admiration and fear.

In other words, ‘tinged with awe’ means to be very loud with an overwhelming respect and admiration for our God. In other words, ‘It ain’t quiet!’. God designed us to give Him reverence. Reverence is the outward feeling of the worth and excellency that we see and know about the One that we serve. We see demonstrations of what we were designed to do in the Holy Bible. King David showed it to us; “David danced before the Lord with all his might” (2 Samuel 6:14 KJV). That is worship. King Solomon showed us the right way to enter into God’s house; “It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD;

and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 5:13 KJV). That is worship. The blind man that sat by the wayside begging showed us how we should call out to God; “The blind man was excited and said, ‘Jesus, Son of David, please help me!’ The people who were in front leading the group criticized the blind man. They told him to be quiet. But he shouted more and more, ‘Son of David, please help me!’” (Luke 18:38-39 ERV). That is worship. The Prophet Daniel showed us the right way to pray; “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime” (Daniel 6:10 KJV). That is worship. The poor widow showed us the tithes and offerings we should be giving to God; “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mark 12:42-44 KJV). That is true worship.

If we really want to know the right way to worship God then all we need to do is open up His Word and read the stories of those who have gone before us. They truly worshipped God. We are equipped to worship God but many times we are just not using the design the way God intended for us to use it. If we do not function like God intended us to function, then God sees us as worthless; “God knows who is worthless. When he sees evil, he remembers it” (Job 11:11 ERV). Value is a choice, and it is found in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Choices require will. God’s first command to man required obedience and a demonstration of having power and control over our will to make a choice to obey His Word; “Nevertheless he that standeth steadfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart…” (1 Corinthians 7:37 KJV). Man was created perfectly but the pleasure circuit in the brain became infected by sin and what was initially perfect became imperfect. Sin and disobedience infect the body and causes the body to decay; “My guilt is like a heavy burden. I am sinking beneath its weight. I did a foolish thing, and now I have infected sores that stink” (Psalm 38:4-5 ERV).

The world system is based on the primitive desires of men and women and the greedy ambitions that floods people’s brains with dopamine; “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16 KJV). The rush of dopamine over and over again rewires the brain’s reward pathway and ultimately can physically change the makeup of the brain. This can result in addictions and an increased appetite for sin and disobedience that ultimately diseases minds and bodies. Selfish desires can lead to very destructive and disappointing consequences in people’s lives; “After desire is conceived, it gives birth to sin and then the sin becomes full-grown and gives birth to death” (James 1:15 EXB). God warns us about protecting our minds; “Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life” (Proverbs 4:23 ERV). There are consequences for not having a mind to worship only God; “And at once an angel of the Lord  struck him down because he did not give God the glory [instead permitted himself to be worshiped], and he was eaten by worms and died five days later” (Acts 12:23 AMP).

Thank God that with His infinite wisdom He designed our brains with neuroplasticity and changeability. Even though our thought process has been damaged, God says we can be healed and change our minds; “…be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23 KJV). A healthy mind results in healthy worship. This article was written by someone who once had a damaged brain from a stroke but now can testify about God’s healing power. To God be all the glory, all the praise and all the honor! We worship only Him!

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”
John 4:24 KJV

Submitted by Trustee Stan Ridley



Consider This…

Why is God’s love not seen through His people (the church)? The problem could be bitterness, unforgiveness or fears tied up in our souls blocking God’s love from flowing through us. The Holy Spirit has to overcome attitudes in our minds and desires and emotions to get through to our behavior and responses.

Perhaps these are some obstacles in your life:

  1. Past experiences can equal patterns of defensive emotional responses.
  2. Negative thinking equals selfish desires or selfish expectations.
  3. Are we willing to be transparent?
  4. Will we allow God’s Word to change our thinking?
  5. Will we forgive other’s actions and attitudes toward us?
  6. Love dwells in the believer’s spirit.
  7. Do you love yourself?

Submitted by Sis. Brenda Perry