Set Free

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“You may lose many battles, so long as you win the war

victory is sure.” 

I’ve never really shared this for the very reason that I want this blog to be one of hope, but now, standing on the other side, the side of victory, I want to share this struggle of mine, so that you too can have hope over it. You can WIN THE WAR.

I used to suffer from depression.

You see, I’ve never really looked at the world optimistically, and there have been things in my life that have affected me greatly. I won’t go into detail because there are people that I have forgiven and things that I’ve gone through that belong in the past. If God permits me to share my testimony on that someday I will. For now, let me just say that I have been traumatized, bullied, betrayed, manipulated, emotionally abused, and have suffered loss in my life.

Adulthood was a new chapter for me, one which I had to choose what luggage I wanted to carry and what I wanted to leave behind. I discovered pretty quickly that it was easier said than done. As an adult, your childhood still clings to you, the pain and brokenness of your past doesn’t leave but raises it’s ugly head when you come across failure or moments when you feel vulnerable and alone.

Aaron has seen the broken side of me, it’s many jagged pieces, the parts of me that no one sees because to the outer world I’m just, “Smiley Riley.” I reached an all-time low just last year and even contemplated taking medicine to help me function, to keep smiling at the world so they wouldn’t know.

I felt like with every step forward in life, satan would come and shove me down. For every step, I would slide back several. Every happy moment in life seemed to be overshadowed by darkness, and each fleeting joyful memory was suspicious to me and a promise that pain would soon follow. I sought God with everything, and in the growth of wisdom I acquired, so did my sorrows.

I felt that I was alone, and misunderstood.

I felt that things would only get worse.

I felt that I was a slave to my emotions.

I felt that I had lost the battle. over and over.

The journey to recovery actually began with forgiveness. In forgiving the people in my past who had hurt me I was opening the cell door and allowing light to come in. Let’s face it, holding onto unforgiveness only hurts you, not them.

After that, I heard a single phrase that turned things upside down for me. You see, I felt entitled to feeling depressed. Like I earned the right to feel victimized or to pity myself. The phrase I heard was this:

“Don’t you know depression is a form of selfishness: humility isn’t thinking any less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” 

I was consumed with self, even if it was negative I still thought inwardly and let my emotions control me. I couldn’t heal because I was experiencing life through the lens of my pain and low self-esteem. I needed to view life through the lens of Jesus. It was appalling to me that I had been acting selfishly, the very sin I despised.

I decided enough was enough, my depression wasn’t getting me anywhere, in fact, I knew that it was keeping me from experiencing what God had for me. It was keeping me from rising from the ashes and living in power. It was affecting my marriage and other relationships as well.

My pastor’s wife walked me through a book by Joyce Myer called, “Battlefield of the Mind.” And I also watched videos from Dr. Caroline Leaf, a Christian author, and neuroscientist who knows the brain like no other. Both of these will change the way you think, and in fact, that is the cure.

It was time I re-wired my brain, that I filled my head with positive words and God’s truth when satan sought to bring me down with lies and negativity. Our minds can be re-wired? yes indeed.

This was a huge step, but the victory over depression only just recently occurred within the past few months. Never have I gone this long without feeling depressed. Something just clicked, I’ve felt wiser and more in-tune with God to the point of knowing when satan is trying to tempt me into depressive thoughts/feelings again, I can see right over the top of the feeling and avoid it completely. It is strange, almost like a road to Damascus shift in me, I just know that I am free, that I am changed, and that the war over this problem is over and I am victorious.

Despite the miracle of freedom, you must know that God only gives us what we can fully accept. Back then, I wouldn’t have accepted this freedom, this gift. Have you ever been given a blessing you weren’t ready to receive? I’ve heard stories of people that lived in poverty winning the lottery and ending up poor again within a few years. Why is that? The problem wasn’t their poverty, it was their heart.

Everything you do flows from your heart. Mine was broken and bent on remaining so. Joy is a choice. One we make every day, regardless of what happens around us. Jesus is our joy and our hope that can never be taken from us.

I’ve seen this truth demonstrated through the life of our friend Jared, who lost his wife in a car accident last year. He has chosen joy and experiences it fully with his young son Isaac. People often say, “I don’t know how he can do that…” to which the answer is, “through Jesus.” That is the only way we can do anything. He will see his wife again, and until then, he is going to live joyfully and continue pursuing what God has for him. That is a huge slap in the face to satan and what he hoped to accomplish through this tragedy.

“In this life, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” 

In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

Rise up, dust yourself off, pull your sword up from the muck, and slay this thing, that cowers because you dared move against it. Can you taste the victory? Jesus paid for it, He dealt the beast a fatal blow, and now it is wounded and afraid. Don’t bow to it any longer! Your name is Victorious! You carry the heart and will of God inside YOU!

WIN THE WAR.

 

Below is a poem I wrote during my battle over depression. Even amidst it, I knew that God was the answer, the only one who could set me free. Oh if only I knew then that I could’ve walked out of the cell of despair at any time…it was never locked to begin with. My Jesus set the captives free a long time ago…

 

I don’t know where to go from here

I think I must be dreaming

To imagine this would disappear

A fantasy so fleeting

 

To say that I am satisfied

When life’s devoid of meaning

I walk through each and every day

A glimpse of hope I’m clinging

 

Why do we struggle on?

Our faces to the wind

Arms reached in sacrifice

Tears that never quit

 

I need you God like oxygen

Do you need me at all?

The fact that you still want me so

Is why I rise and fall

 

If it weren’t for you and those I love

I would begin to fade

Into this cursed ground

That always gives and takes

 

Lord, fill me up!

I need to see

A light in the abyss

A reminder that I’m not alone

And would be sorely missed

 

I need to bow before your throne

Place my burdens at your feet

To hear your whisper in my ear

“I’m always near to thee.”

 

If there is a purpose here

I need a helping hand

To see the bigger picture now

Is more than I can stand

 

Pull me from this hole I’ve dug

And I will understand

The emptiness inside I feel

Will fall away like sand

 

God, you’re the reason this world turns

I’m just a single man

Entangled in your masterpiece

Too big to comprehend

 

 

The Sacrifice

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“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” -John 19:30

Last night we had our first service in the newly remodeled sanctuary. I can’t imagine a more fitting time to reveal its completion than Easter. Our building remodeling is not yet complete, there’s still a lot of work to be done, and yet, walking into that sanctuary, it’s once yellow walls now white as snow, reminds us all of rebirth. That our old sinful selves have died, nailed to the cross that day when Jesus took the full weight of our punishment upon Himself. Now, just like the church walls, we are white as snow, and this idea of renewal, bringing dry bones to life, is at the very heart of what we are called to do.

We have been commissioned to change the world, one soul at a time.

And so, on Good Friday we all gathered together to remember what our Lord did for us, worshiping and reading the last words Jesus spoke before He died.

One thing stood out to me that I had never thought of before, though I knew in my heart that it was true. Jesus gave up his spirit. Just as we read earlier when Jesus was being tempted, He had the power, at any time, to call angels down from heaven to rescue Him (Matthew 4:6). Even when He was arrested and beaten, that power remained in Him, and finally, as He was nailed to the cross, and the people taunted Him saying, “if you are the Son of God, come down from the cross and save yourself!”(Mark 15:30), Jesus chose to remain there.

His final words that He called out for all to hear, profoundly demonstrated that THEY couldn’t kill Him, He CHOSE to die, to surrender His spirit and endure their punishment. In that way, Jesus became a true sacrifice.

Jesus was fully man and fully God, and so He suffered the cross as any man would, enduring pain we can’t even fathom, feeling alone and separated from His Father, and even turning down a drink of medicated wine (Matthew 27:34) that would have at least taken the edge off His suffering when He was so badly beaten He could barely stand let alone carry the cross.

Our Lord endured the worst suffering imaginable…and didn’t once change His mind, didn’t once hate the men and women who spat in His face, who beat Him and cursed Him, laughing at the sight of Him. That is love like we have never seen before, would you do that for a stranger? For your enemies?

This Easter, remember Jesus’ sacrifice, take a moment aside from family and friends to truly be alone with God, alone with Jesus. Read the story for yourself, watch The Passion of the Christ or Son of God movie. Let your heart be moved, your passion awakened, and the truth of the good news really sink in.

God bless you all this Easter and always.

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

-John 3:16

 

Amidst the Ashes

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Amidst the ashes, truth prevails.

I was walking past the cafeteria at work when I saw Notre Dame on the TV Screen. Flames were engulfing the once beautiful and historic site. Immediately I thought about the end times. Pretty much, every time I watch the news I’m considering whether certain events hold any significance biblically or prophetically.

In this case, nothing came to mind. I know that many are speculating whether this has any meaning, but my personal belief is that this is merely the result of a fallen world, and more specifically, a world that is temporary.

Nothing lasts forever, no matter how hard we try to preserve and protect it, there is much that we stand to lose if we place our value on the material instead of spiritual. I’m not discrediting the importance of this cathedral, nor its significance in history which we will not forget, to lose any of it (the foundation remains) is indeed worthy of mourning. However, at the end of the day, what’s important is that no one was killed.

The truth is God no longer resides in a building, He resides in our very hearts and minds, that is what we should protect as if our lives depend on it (because it does), to lose that would be the greatest tragedy of all.

Hence, the cross that still stands amidst the ruins, an everlasting symbol this Easter of Jesus’s sacrifice that can’t be destroyed! He is the truth amidst the ashes, the great news that we must share.

Jesus took on the full wrath of God, the full punishment of sin (past, present, future), remember this when you look upon destruction and suffering…only one person, the devil, comes to kill, steal, and destroy, and his reign is coming to a close.

Science and Religion: Opposing Forces?

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“In Science, we have been reading only the notes to a poem; in Christianity, we find the poem itself.”

– C.S. Lewis

I was sitting in Biology class when the topic of God came up. I don’t remember what led to the conversation we had with our teacher, a young man in his thirties who I admired deeply. It was my favorite class, one that I thrived in because we were able to learn through exploration. We would hike out into the wetlands, catching fish, bird watching, sketching what we saw, far away from the sound of a school bell or the passing of cars.

My teacher was a Baptist, or at least that is the conclusion he came to in-between the moments when his Faith faltered. I could see in his heart of hearts that he was first a scientist, a man driven by sight.

That day, his faith was faltering and he said to the class that he believed Christians were close-minded, that they refused to open their eyes and face the truth. I didn’t reply to this statement, though I felt that he himself had closed his mind that day. I really don’t know if he ever went back to that Baptist church, maybe he did physically, but where was his heart?

Since that day, I have considered what he said, and have come to the realization that I have been quite open-minded about a lot of things, popular science including. To be honest, in school you really don’t get to decide what you learn about, what you have to write as answers upon the exams. Often, you must listen to teachers that are not objective in their relaying of information, particularly theories. Despite it all, I have chosen a path to follow, one that, through reason, has been proven true in my life.

Think of it this way, when do you stop digging once you have found the answer to a question? When do you simply accept an answer and move on to the next big question? I saw my teacher as one who had found the answer, the treasure he had been digging for, and instead of taking the treasure chest out of the hole and opening it, he had tossed it aside saying, “that isn’t it! there must be more!”

How long will he be searching for an answer he desires? At this rate, he may just spend his entire life in such uncertainty and die knowing only that he doesn’t know. If that is considered open-mindedness, then I want no part in it. Truth is not that unobtainable, nor is it relative to the individual. Truth is merely truth and it doesn’t change, and all the truth that matters to us can be found if one searches for it honestly. If we search for truth objectively, willing to accept it even if it is painful to us or not what we originally thought it would be.

In school, I was taught that popular science made up ALL science when in reality such science is popular only because it fits with mankind’s desire to promote atheism or self. Think about it, there have been many scientists in history that were ridiculed by society, only to be proven true much later in time. I believe there are many scientists today that stand for such truth but are not allowed to voice it.

Scientists like Galileo and Newton, or Gregor Mendel (Father of Genetics), Louis Pasteur (Father of Microbiology), George Carver, and Carl Linnaeus (Father of Taxonomy), were Christians, viewing science as the means in which God created life. That only a God could create something so masterfully and complex.

One only need to do a bit of searching to find such influential scientists today, some of which can be seen in the documentary series Is Genesis History? Unpopular science can be found at the Creation Museum, in Petersburg Kentucky which is a 75,000 sq ft facility welcoming over 3.5 million guests since its start in 2007. Located a few miles away is the Ark Encounter, which also adds credence to Biblical history and the scientists today that uphold it.

You were not made to live in doubt, and even if you believe that the path you have chosen is based on scientific proof alone, I challenge you by saying that all belief requires faith. Science and Religion clash because there are things that we will never find the answer to in this life. The mysteries, so to speak, of the universe that we are limited in understanding fully.

The big bang is merely a theory and will remain one since we can’t recreate or test such a theory. Therefore to believe in it requires faith, and I’d go as far as to say that it requires more faith to believe in such an occurrence because it’s very foundation is based on chance, or more specifically, a mistake.

In the end, only you can decide but don’t take this decision lightly…it is the most important decision you will ever make, and it’s effect envelopes more than this short life.

Some great references to look into:

  1. “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” –by Frank Turek/Norman Geisler
  2. Why I Am A Christian” – by Norman Geisler/Paul K. Hoffman
  3. “This We Believe” – by John Akers/John Armstrong/ John Woodbridge
  4. John Lennox: The Question of Science and God-Part 1/2 –Video conversation with Eric Metaxas, Link: Part 1 Part 2

The Glimpse

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Michael was 14 years old when he gave his life to God. He had witnessed something so profound that his heart was forever changed. It all happened on one Sunday night when all was quiet and a sliver of light could be seen through his bedroom door.

Previously, that evening at youth group, Michael had faced the topic of Heaven. Many of the other teens shared in his ideas of what Heaven looked like, and no one knew what they would be doing for all eternity. His friend, Chase, was with him, and though agnostic, he seemed least flexible in his beliefs about the afterlife.

Chase leaned over and whispered to Michael, “have you ever heard the quote, “I’d rather rule in hell than serve in Heaven?”‘ Michael shook his head, Chase smirked at the other teens who were deep in conversation and continued, “what about you? Heaven doesn’t sound all that great to me, I mean floating around on clouds with harps and such isn’t my style.” Michael frowned at him, “and burning in hell for all eternity is?” Chase scratched his head, “well no, not exactly, but you get what I mean, Heaven sounds boring, I mean haven’t you ever wondered why satan fell if Heaven’s really that great?” Michael didn’t have a ready answer to this, and couldn’t help but feel challenged in his Faith at the question.

That night he lay in bed staring at the small glimpse of light, like a beam, cutting through the darkness in his room. He imagined it was a doorway to Heaven and not just the doorway to the hall. Heaven is full of God’s light he thought, that much was certain.

The image of the doorway remained as he fell asleep. In a dream state, he floated from his bed and plopped gently upon the cold wooden floor before it. The light making him squint and strange smells and sounds greeted him as he stepped closer to the door, hand outstretched. This can’t be right? Maybe his parents were making a nighttime snack and watching a nature documentary, he laughed at the idea. No way! nothing smells this sweet and there’s even a warm breeze coming through! He pushed the door open and gaped at the sight before him.

It was a forest, no, a mountain range, or quite possibly a mixture of all the biomes combined but hardly comparable to earth. The trees were so large and thick that it made earth’s trees look like weeds, and the flowers so brilliant and colorful that Michael forgot to breathe at the display. He saw colors that had never been seen before, and smelled the greatest natural aromas, so pure and strong they put his mom’s case of essential oils to shame. “Where am I?” He asked aloud, amazed at the power and conviction of his own voice, no longer that of a young boy’s whose voice was going through its awkward stage.

He saw his reflection as he bent over a stream, the water was pure crystal and though Michael longed to drink it, he didn’t dare disrupt the image of himself that he beheld. It was a flawless him, a Michael that was more real and complete than he’d ever seen before. This is who I really am? He laughed out loud, unashamed to actually love who he was, possibly for the first time.

A voice called out his name, his real name. Michael’s inner spirit immediately responded and at that moment he was fully aware of who he was and who had spoken.

Jesus walked toward him, the grass and flowers almost bowing as he passed by them. His beauty and purity cast all creation into shadow in comparison. Michael fell to his knees before the Almighty, filled with awesome and all-consuming love. Jesus smiled at him and gestured to the landscape around them, “this is Heaven, the home I’ve been preparing for you.” Michael looked again and noticed more with each new glance, could I ever really uncover all its mysteries? In a place where to turn over a stone, merely opens a new world to explore… 

“This is what creation looks like when there are no limitations, the earth is a cursed land that is stunted by darkness. Heaven is free of such boundaries,” Jesus explained as he lifted Michael to his feet. The beauty was so captivating that Michael reached out toward a tree, whose tops shot straight up into the clouds.

He felt the rough skin of the tree, it felt more solid and real than anything he had felt before. Jesus laughed, “yes, this reality is more real than what you know. I created time, a space for my children to exist in, if only for a very short while.” He reached out and placed a hand on Michael’s head, like a father toward his son, he ruffled his hair and said, “that place is not your home, you were made to live eternally…here with me.”

Michael thought of his friend Chase’s words and wished he were here to see what Heaven was really like. If he only knew! Michael thought desperately, Jesus’s face grew sad, reading his thoughts, “Chase is my son too, and I’ve prepared a place for him here also, but he must choose it.” In Heaven, Michael couldn’t help but feel overwhelming hope and joy, and yet he was moved by the passion in Jesus’s eyes for Chase. He has prepared a room for Chase, one that may remain empty…forever.

The nagging question came rushing back, “Jesus, why did satan fall?” Again, his face became sad, “walking among mankind, I’ve seen many forms of evil…pride and selfish ambition being the most destructive, and quite common.” He bent toward a flower, cupping it gently in his scarred palms, it was a radiant flower that shimmered in the light of God, casting rainbows in all directions. Jesus continued, “he was given everything, beauty, power, talent, authority” He glanced at the stream Michael had watched his reflection in not long ago, “he didn’t worship God for what he had been given, instead he looked upon his reflection and chose to worship himself, he longed to become God.”

He’d rather rule in hell than serve in Heaven…

“Hell is a place without my presence, a place ruled by selfish pride. He chose self over God, hatred over love, pride over humility, and ultimately darkness over light.” Jesus turned to Michael, and he smiled warmly at him, despite the weight upon his shoulders, “do not pity him, son, he received what he wanted, and he is not the last…” The words were painful for him to say, and Michael noticed tears in his eyes.

Michael couldn’t imagine turning his back on this place, but most of all he couldn’t imagine turning away from Jesus. “I want to stay here, with you…,” Michael said surely, “but first, I want to lead as many of my brothers and sisters here as possible, so that no room will be empty!” Jesus’s smile grew, “you are such a delight! Do you know how much I love you?” Michael hugged him, and never felt more home in his life.

He opened his eyes and saw that he was hugging his pillow, laying in his bedroom, the light in the doorway, seemed lesser than before. He sat up, raised his hands, and gave his life to God. After that he prayed for Chase well into the night, believing without a doubt that everything, was about to change…

 

 

 

To Coin A Phrase

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Often it can be apparent when God’s Word has been misused or interpreted incorrectly. Other times, they can be subtle changes or tweaks that we end up “coining”, as phrases from the Bible. Let’s look at some of the common Christian phrases that have become engraved in us. The phrases that have even become our go-to responses to people or more typically, baby Christians, who are still new on this walk.

“God only gives you what you can handle.”

I used to think about this phrase a lot growing up. Especially when I heard of losses so tragic I thought that surely no one could handle them. And that it was rather heartless for God to “give” these trials to people.

Biblically we do not see this phrase in the Bible, and it can be damaging to those who are new in their Faith, even if the phrase is said as a way to encourage. Where does this phrase derive from then? 1 Corinthians 10:13 where Paul is saying that when we are tempted we always have a way out, and can endure it. The context is everything here as he is speaking of the temptation to sin, not the temptations associated with hardships or suffering.

In fact, we see over and over again in the Bible the opposite of the phrase which is that we alone, can’t handle trails, and this then points us to a God who can. We are made to rely on Him, not plow through this life on our own strength of will, which will ultimately fail us. Paul himself is no stranger to sufferings beyond imagine and admits his failings and weaknesses to bare them apart from Christ Jesus.

For more go to Moving Beyond “God won’t give you more than you can handle”

“Money is the root of all evil.”

I only just recently, within the past couple years, realized that this phrase was a mistake or really a misphrasing of the verse itself which actually says, “for the LOVE of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).

This phrase reminds me of the whole attack on gun usage, in that it blames the items themselves as evil, instead of the user’s intent. Money is simply paper, only we attribute its value and purpose. It can be used in a crime, or used to help a child out of poverty, it really depends on the user. Same goes for anything else that is merely a created item or tool.

“The LOVE of money…”, is referring to greed. Which is defined as a selfish desire to acquire wealth, often at the expense of others. Such vile emotions are the root of many problems in our society. Wealth, in the world’s eyes, equals power.

“The devil made me do it.”

This one is rather simple to squash and not as common today amongst Christians. I’ve heard it used more in joking than in all seriousness. However, it is a phrase that people can hide behind if found guilty of sin, therefore, let’s refute it.

Galatians 5:13 says, “…do not use your freedom (free-will) to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

More verses that point to us having a “choice” in the matter of sin and righteousness:

“Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” -John 7:17

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” -Joshua 24:15

The list continues, but I will end it with this verse from Romans which says, “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

That word, “wages”, implies that we have earned death through our choice to sin. This view is supported throughout the Bible, and satan’s only abilities have been to influence or tempt, as we talked about earlier. Both of which require that we listen to him or entertain his notions first before they can have any sort of power over us.

What about possession? Though I believe possession is very real since we see Jesus cast out demons in the Bible. This full-bodied take over cannot happen to one who has the Holy Spirit within them, and even still, to those who are possessed they didn’t just wake up one day in deep spiritual bondage but were, as I mentioned, influenced or persuaded to walk down a path of darkness, and they chose to listen and give up authority to the dark forces of this world.

“I’m only human.”

This is a phrase used by everyone it seems, not just Christians. People say this in way of explaining why they sinned or failed. As if we don’t ever need to apologize because we simply can’t help it. There are many ways we can tackle this particular phrase, however, I will start by saying that such a phrase rarely ever works in anyone’s favor, I mean next time you make a mistake at work try saying that to your boss and see how he takes it.

A true sign of responsibility and maturity is owning up to your mistakes and admitting when you have fallen short. That means apologizing and recognizing that you can’t use your past, family, heritage, upbringing, or creation as an excuse for such behavior-it’s really the same as blaming the devil for your mistakes. All you are doing is placing the uncomfortable feeling of guilt on something or someone else so that you don’t have to carry it or face it.

So yes, satan is the source of evil, and yes, since the Garden of Eden, humans are fallen creatures that are bent toward sinful desires. However, none of these factors come between you and your free-will in any given situation. If you use this phrase as a Christian, I seriously suggest that you stop repeating such things over yourself. Because you aren’t just human anymore, but a new creation in Christ Jesus, you carry the will of God, the Holy Spirit is inside you! Speak these truths instead when mistakes come, pray these truths over you when tempted and watch your life truly transform.

1 Corinthians 2:16: “for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

Lastly, a phrase spoken often in regards to loss;

“Heaven must have needed another angel.”

I understand how hard it can be to encourage and comfort someone who is grieving, sometimes our words seem empty or cheap. We say things like, “I’m praying for you,” or, “if you need anything I’m here.” These words can be true, however, they offer no lasting comfort to the one who is alone struggling with heavy burdens. It is a better thing to actually “do” than to simply “say” something comforting.

This particular phrase sometimes makes me feel queasy. Heaven isn’t short-staffed in any way, nor is God in the habit of causing catastrophic events. Also, it translates to saying that some people could do more for God in heaven than on earth. Our time on this planet is very important, and our actions and service to God are equally so. It is satan that works against our time here and our purposes. He is the one who comes to, “kill, steal, and destroy…”, and it is God’s will that we should, “…have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). Another great verse is Jeremiah 29:11, which says:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Lastly, this phrase comes from an incorrect idea of what angels are. There is a societal belief that we become angels when we die, this isn’t biblical. Angels are pre-created servants of the Lord. They minister to God’s people, and they all have specific duties and functions in God’s army. Demons and more specifically, satan, is an angel that has been cast out of heaven. Humans are very different creatures than angels and remain thus after death.

Some verses explaining:

“You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.” -Psalm 8:5

“Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!” -1 Corinthians 6:3

“Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?” -Hebrews 1:14

 

What are some phrases/misinterpretations that you have heard?

How did they impact you?