1. Within the subject of sickness and poverty, how do you view God’s thinking toward those who have made their own mess and self-inflicted their situation? The Bible is so astounding and wonderful that at times I am moved to tears at the mere connection between what I read and how my brain, heart and spirit combine to reveal to me a layer of interpretation. My personality is a moody thinker that fluctuates between a naïve sad dreamer, and a truth seeker with a little melancholy, perfectionist and extremist thrown into the mix. I have experienced many blessings in my life along along with my share of failures and disappointments, but something I have noticed throughout the journey is the reality of reaping and sowing. I ended up in a divine appointment counseling session the other night with a middle aged man that has come to about as low a point that you could imagine. He was handsome and well dressed and I presumed he had it “going on” in what we would consider normal guy trying to live for God. He went on to tell me how he went from a highly successful buisnessman with a beautiful family to now not even having a place to live. I asked him out of curiosity just where he was staying and when he pointed to his car, I knew this was a serious situation. To make a long story short he had made many horrible descions over the last few years and amazingly his life had fallen apart while him and his wife were leaders in a church. As he began to uncover the ugliness of what was going on “behind” the scenes, I began to realize that he had become his own worst enemy and that his recent condition was the result of his own making. Does this mean we should not have compassion or be willing to help people like this? Of course not. We are all sinners and if not for the grace of God it is no telling where any of us would be. If you look around closely, you will see that we are directly impacted by what we have done or have not done. There are consequences to our actions and consequences from us making the decision to NOT take action. This also plays a part to how successful we are in following our blueprint in order to build our life the way God intended. Sometimes is difficult to help someone that has allowed their life to become a huge mess. For example you can put someone up in a motel tonight, but ewhat about tomorrow night? You can feed someone for a week but what about next week and so on. Humans can only help each other to a certain extent and the message to the world is that each one of us must make the divine connection to God on our own in order to become what Jesus died for us to be. It is the right thing to reach out to people and help them even when they have caused their own problems but we need to use our spiritual discernment and pray for wisdom so that we can know how to help and when we are getting in the way of God teaching someone a valuable lesson about life.

It is true that accumulating more “things” in life does not nessesarily bring true satisfaction or happiness. I want us to observe what Ecclesiastes say’s in chapter five and six, and how the key to happiness is illuminated for us if we choose to digest it.  In verse eighteen of chapter five, it speaks of how good it is to work, prosper and enjoy the bounty which comes from honest labor.  Verse nineteen continues and reveals a crucial aspect of where the wealth has come from, “Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.”  There is a very important key hidden for us here which will unlock a powerful revelation. We must stop and realize what God is saying about those who have been given the “power to eat” the blessing and others who have not been given this special ability. This endowment to enjoy is the contrast between those who live content and satisfied, compared to the ones who are never happy no matter how blessed they are. The next chapter begins with the acknowledgement of an evil that is common among all people who become absorbed in a self-centered lavish lifestyle. It speaks of those whom God has allowed to have so much “stuff” there is nothing in the world left to desire, verse two say’s “yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof. .” What happens when we eat something? It brings pleasure, it satisfies, supplies, strengthens, fulfills, and generally makes us happy, in other words if we could narrow all of these benefits down to one word, I believe we could agree on the word – enjoy.  And I believe this is exactly what God is wanting us to realize.  When we obtain blessing from God and understand his love for us, we need to openly praise him and enjoy every drop of goodness and pleasure he has willingly given us. Wealth and blessing without being thankful to God is an empty, miserable existence that does not feel joy or peace. There are actually people who walk through their beautiful mansions and yet spend much of their time weeping from depression and are constantly absorbing drugs and alcohol in order to escape the reality of how lost they are. It is difficult to comprehend the amount of miserable individuals who have safes filled with gold, banks filled with money, exotic sports cars and priceless collections of treasures yet are so tortured within their soul they entertain thoughts of suicide on a daily basis. In the Bible, riches are many times referred to as being vanity and for those who do not see the reality of wealth or use their riches as a blessing to others do not have the peace to enjoy what they have been given. This revelation is the key to satisfaction; “it is not how much we have – it is how much we can sincerely appreciate.” If we cheat and steal in order to gain wealth it will not bring us happiness. If we consider our wealth as a reward for our flesh then there is no gratefullness to God because we are too busy being proud of our accomplishments. True peace and contentment comes from knowing that God has enabled us to become prosperous and that our success is a part of our divine destiny which is to devote our life serving and loving God and our neighbor.  Man’s freewill provides the liberty to live in peace or pain and as the writer of Ecclesiastes say’s in chapter four verse thirteen, “Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king who will not accept advice.”

  1. I have read about demons and how the devil attacks us, but just how much does this prevent us from having what God intended? Of course we are always reminded in John 10:10 that the thief (devil) has come (to earth) to kill, steal and destroy but Jesus said I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. This scripture contains many volumes of theological debates and most of it centers on whether or not we are to take this literally. I personally believe we can. We are in a full blown war with an evil force that is trying to make us sick and poor. This dark kingdom is also known to make others rich in order to distract them from God and ruin their soul. Whatever the “thief” can do in order to steal our time he will try it. We are all subject to general oppression from the dark side and this is being vulnerable to spiritual attacks, temptations and influences but a Christian cannot be possessed. Demon possession is real. There are probably more cases than we can even imagine. Not all cases are the same in appearance as some individuals are held in the bondage of sickness and disease, others with addictions that cause them to be slaves to poverty, and others are powerful leaders that use their authority to carry out the devils evil agenda. There are many that do not believe that Satan can hold humans in the bondage of sickness which can destroy their lives but whether they accept it or not it is true. Demons cannot possess a Christian or steal their spirit but they have been directed to harass, influence, tempt and confront the child of God with every type of emotional, physical, mental and spiritual weapon they can think of. It is our responsibility to train and take up our armor in order to walk through the battles and not be defeated. Psalm 91:5, 10, 11, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day. There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”

I have “pondered” for years about the will of God and the will of man and it is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. Let’s just go over some quick points. God has a will and man has a will. God’s will has 2 parts – GENERAL and SPECIFIC. God’s general will is His Word and it applies to everyone straight across the board – no exceptions – no compromises. God’s specific will is what I call our blueprint and every person has been given one. They are all unique and personalized. For example, the Holy Spirit is involved within our specific blueprint leading us and whispering to us about divine appointments and detailed instructions like turn here or to give that person some money etc… God gave each of us a “free-will” which means we are NOT a robot but can do whatever we choose within a certain point. Ok, on one hand we have God’s will that He wants us to follow and within us we also have our own free-will which influences us to make decisions. The perfect way to satisfy both is for our will to become determined to follow His and this opens the door to the meaning of life. Salvation includes the concept that when an individual accepts Christ they are to surrender their will and embrace God’s will. The Bible says, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other, ye cannot serve God and mammon”(Matthew 6:24). Wealth or health was never given just so that we could selfishly indulge in them because in this attitude they can and most likely will become idols that control us. We are blessed so that we can be used as instruments to help others accomplish God’s will. The good news is that we can enjoy wonderful health and large amounts of finances IF we seek FIRST His Kingdom and His righteousness. Jesus said, “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless NOT my WILL but thine be done.” (Luke 22:42)And this is where we have the problems! Humans (Christians or not) want to draw their own blueprints! What is a blueprint? It is a diagram that instructs and explains how something is built. What are we building? All of us are constructing our life and we are either building on the solid ROCK of God’s truth and learning how to follow, abide, walk, demonstrate and obey His desires toward our destiny – OR we are building on the selfish carnal sands of corruption and decay.

So, when we study about God’s plans and what (if anything) that can alter or prevent them, I would have to say that nothing can stop God from doing what He desires. God is in total control of ALL things and is the ultimate authority and power and nothing or no one can make Him do what He does not want to do. However, there are many situations that happen constantly that He does NOT want to happen. For example, He may allow people to produce drugs and even watch them sell it and others to use it but I can definitely say that none of this is a part of His specific will. However, He is allowing it to be done for only reasons He knows. On the other hand, many things are predestined by God and nothing can stop them BUT not everything is controlled or made to happen. It is true that Jesus was predestined to save whosoever would believe on Him – but the man who jumps off a bridge because his girlfriend breaks up with him is acting on his free-will and NOT following the abundant life blueprint that God had planned for him. Nothing surprises Him because the Almighty has foreknowledge of every event (Omnipotent and Omniscient) and every thought since the beginning but we are not robots and He does not make everything happen! This means we cannot blame Him for everything because man has been given the freedom to step outside the boundaries of safety and obedience and do whatever he thinks is right in his own eyes. We also cannot always blame the devil for preventing us from walking in the fullness of God’s blessings. We can prevent Satan from stealing our abundant life by listening and following God’s voice. We have been given the responsibility for watching over our blueprint and accomplishing our destiny!



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