[I have revised and updated this post from a couple of years ago.]
Are your problems like other peoples’ problems?
Have you ever thought to yourself that you were the ONLY one concerned about . . . (name it).
Let’s take a few minutes and look at the 8 biggest problems people face (whether they know it or not). See where you fall out in comparison.
This is not a scientific study**. These are my personal reflections over three decades of serving people. As a busy, involved Life Coach I get lots of questions from clients, friends, and family. They all center around the following eight concerns:
1. Relational Issues. Human beings are relational. Those who aren’t are considered abnormal, and for good reason . . . they are. Men relate to women, women to men, children relate to parents, people to employers, teachers, and government. Everything in life revolves around relationship. Why are so many so bad at them? Relational equilibrium is what Life Coaches help to establish. People sometimes need a new or different perspective on their old habits of relating that aren’t working for them. Perhaps they need a new mental window to look through when they’re communicating with others.
If you want to see shallow, superficial relationships and attempts at “love,” just watch some of the contemporary reality TV programs. The problem with watching them of course is that they have nothing to teach you. Unless you learn from them that relationships need to be other-oriented rather than selfish and self-serving. Who would want a “friend” like some of the people you see on the “Bachelorette” or “Jersey Shore?” I’m hoping these aren’t the new “reality.” If they are, we should add a ninth problem to our list: Shallow Reality TV.
2. Fear of Running Out of Money. Will the money last? Will I have a job tomorrow? Most people are concerned about their income, especially the lack of income. They are concerned about expenses. He says, “She shops like there’s no tomorrow. She can’t possibly wear all the shoes she owns!” She says, ”He thinks a boat is more important than renovating our bedroom or kitchen. If it were up to him, I wouldn’t have anything.”
Some have more than enough but worry that they’ll lose it. Others have just enough to squeak by today but are not sure about tomorrow. Some say they don’t care . . . and among those are the truly content and the obviously deluded. Life and death, sickness and health are tied up in these issues. FREE ADVICE: The best place to be in regard to finances is completely out of debt.
3. Health Issues. What happens if I get sick? How will we get by? OR I’m so tired of hospitals and doctors. I’m sick of sickness! How can I keep myself healthy? Many are deeply in debt through no fault of their own and see no way out. Many folks I talk with are ignorant of healthy nutrition. Others have begun to take seriously the way our food in America is raised and processed (for a real education watch the documentary Food, Inc.–you can stream it on Netflix). They are opting in on organic produce and fruits, grass-fed cattle, and free-range foul. Some worry about their health future. There are solutions that do not involve medical insurance. More and more believers I know are taking advantage of group sharing programs like Samaritan Ministries (for those who are disciples of Jesus).
4. Anxiety over Finding or Losing Loved ones. Am I lovable? Will someone care for me? Am I worth caring about? Am I perfect enough? Can I find mister/ms right? Will I ever find someone like . . . ? Love is at the center of most relationships. All but the most dysfunctional people care deeply about finding, keeping, and losing love. Yet no two people can agree upon what “true love” is. Some say there’s no such thing . . . and they have enough broken relationships to prove it. Relational issues in families, between families have escalated since the late sixties, early seventies. I’m not a sociologist, so I can’t give you the reasons for this. What I can say is that the majority of people I speak with or coach desire whole, functional relationships. Others don’t want to pay the price to change. They want the OTHER person to change. Our difficulties are always easier to blame on someone else when we’re too immature to take responsibility for the way we relate.
Abandonment, rejection, and loneliness have attacked every one of us through some relationship. Good reason exists for us all to be love-shy. Yet, people who can’t or won’t love will remain incomplete and dysfunctional. Love is after all what our Creator says we were created for. All the negative experiences are the result, not of love, but of SELF-love.
5. Religious Questions. Is there a God? Or is this life all there is? Are we alone in the Universe? What if there is a God and I’m wrong? Do I end up in Hell or Heaven? What are the requirements? Who’s right? Muslims? Jews? Buddhists? Hindus? What’s the big deal about Jesus? Why are Christians so insistent on Him for everybody? Do we really need religion? These are not problems for some, but for those who deeply examine their lives, they have to come to terms with whether they want to live a Tea Bag Philosophy of life or encounter and relate to the One who claims to be Creator, and lover of their soul. The reason Jesus is such a big deal, the reason that every known religion has had to come to terms with Him is because He claimed a relationship with God as Father. Then he rose from the dead and was seen by over 500 credible witnesses. His followers number in the 10′s of millions. Like Him, they claim that God has “revealed” Himself to them. They experience fellowship with their Father-God. Other religions make claims as well, but of a very different sort. None claims that their God is the God who is Love. No other God has demonstrated that love by reaching out to human beings to bring them into his Household. For this reason, and many others, I’m a Christian spiritual formation Life Coach.
6. Concerns about Death. What happens when I die? Of course, the obvious answer is “You’re dead. It won’t matter to you.” Don’t we just die, go into the ground, and float around as a spirit looking to hang out in a place that was special to us? Most of the cultural views regarding death are based upon a misinformed Epistemology–Most people are clueless about immortality, death, the grave, and what happens after (including, and sometimes most especially, religious people). You can change that. You can know what happens when you die. That’s why beyond the grave books are such hot sellers. That’s why Life Coaches, who also deal with spiritual formation, can bring clarity to many of these issues.
7. Global War. Aren’t we headed toward destruction of the world? Why can’t we just all live together? Why can’t we live at peace? For the same reason that people struggle with so many of these life questions. Most people look only on the surface and refuse to see the invisible, underlying realities that shape our existence. I guess they feel that they can’t impact those unseen things. So now combine misplaced Epistomology with a misplaced Anthropology. War is the result of men who are unsatisfied with what they have (greed) OR of men who think that they have to institute their religious laws on everyone else (religious legalistic totalitarianism). By the way, Christians to not believe they must institute religious laws on everyone. Quite the opposite. They fulfill and satisfied the law in their relationship to Jesus Christ. What do Imean? Take a week and read, then reread The New Testament in the Bible. Then you’ll understand.
Think long and hard over these two causes (greed and religious law) before you’re tempted to move on. The lust of man, the pride of life, and the desires that he can’t control all drive him to take what is not his or want what is someone else’s. He wants to control, to enforce his will upon others. No god offered by other religions encourages freedom or liberty. They can’t. They want to control. The One True God–Yahweh–is the God of freedom and love. A person adopted as His child, is truly free and beloved.
8. Concerns about the Future. What should I do with my life? Where are things headed? Scores of questions abound regarding the future–what it holds, how people are to face it, perhaps leverage it. The future is big business too. So naturally people wonder if it’s OK to seek out fortune tellers, palm readers, psychics, and other practitioners of divination. As a Christian spiritual formation Life Coach, I share God’s view regarding those practices. They open people to demonization by seeking future information from supernatural sources–which God has expressly forbidden (not because He’s a Blue Meanie–but for our safety). I explain that two sources are available for believers to KNOW their intended future, including preparing for unforeseen events. But that’s another post.
The eight biggest problems people voice to me seem to cover most things human. The specifics change, but the concerns seem to group together under one of the eight–relational issues, fear of running out of money, health issues, anxiety over finding or losing loved ones, religious questions, concerns about death, global war, and concerns about the future.
QUESTION: Can you think of any BIG problems I’ve overlooked?
©2011, David C Alves
**MY RESEARCH: Just to give you some context to why I know something about this topic: I’m speaking from tens of thousands of conversations for over twenty-six years as a Life Coach. The questions and concerns people bring to me tend to be repetitive. I also speak as someone who has weathered bankruptcy and am now completely out of dept. I have been divorced and have been happily married now for 32 years in my second marriage. I was lost and have been found. I was rejected and am accepted. I have defeated panic attack disorder and quit smoking and drinking decades ago. All this just to say, I’m not someone who can’t empathize with the people I coach. Character and wisdom come from weathering life’s storms, caring for others, being teachable, and taking sound counsel.
- Life Coaching Tips (womanby1design.wordpress.com)
- Why I Despise “Religion” (davidcalves.com)
- One2One Life and Parenting Coaching, LLC offers Free Parent and Life Coaching Consultations for Palm Beach County Residents (prweb.com)
- Lust, Love, or TRUE Love? (davidcalves.com)
IMAGINARY INTERVIEW BETWEEN ME and A COLLEGE STUDENT
IN THE NEAR FUTURE
STUDENT: What happened in the early 21st century that led to the demise of the United States of America?
DR. ALVES: Many factors went into its downfall. But two issues sealed the fate of America. The primary catalyst–propelled by modernism and materialism of the 1930′s through the 50′s–was that we turned our backs on God in the mid-1960′s. The subsidiary factor in the first decade of the 21st Century, was that we turned our backs on each other.
We turned from God to worship human beings. This is the greatest sin our culture could have committed. But it is no surprise. This is mankind’s chronic error. Humans were created to worship. If they do not worship the One true God, they will worship anything. Simply look at undisturbed primitive cultures. Here’s the way the Bible states it:
Romans 1:18–32 (ESV)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Since we turned from the truth of God to follow man-made illusions, God gave us over to “depraved” minds (meaning simply, that he let us follow our thoughts and illusions to their end). So, in a sense, our culture went into a form of societal insanity. The primary presenting symptom of that insanity is the denial of our very human natures. Evolution–the idea that we all evolved from some protein riding on the back of a crystal and moved through every possible lifeform from the simple to the impossibly complex–takes more faith than to believe God about how we were really created. We have forsaken the doctrine of creation and have become so confused that first we thought we descended from beavers and monkeys. Now men think they’re women and women think that they’re men. And the rest of the culture, instead of having mercy and compassion on these lost, deceived souls, props up their cognitive distortions. So instead of finding them help, they cheer them on in their gender confusion and godlessness. This is the spiritual root of what happened that led to our implosion. Certainly the financial catastrophe and rampant disease are also symptoms of the spiritual malaise.
STUDENT: Are you saying that our society is insane?
DR. ALVES: In a manner of speaking, yes. We have jettisoned ultimate Reality–God–for our replacements (idols). Insanity is a wholesale departure from Reality. Another Scripture puts it this way:
2 Timothy 3:1–5 (ESV)
1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Ephesians 4:17–22 (ESV)
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles [non Jews] do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
STUDENT: How did this happen?
DR. ALVES: Notice in the Romans passage above. First comes turning away from God. This is the spritual action which leads to unbelief. Then later, God gives them over to their own naturally deceptive, self-centered and self-directed mindset. Then comes the darkened mind. There is actually a spiritual veil over their minds and hearts. Before God gave them over to their own darkness, he was offering them the grace to know Him if they so chose. But people love sin, so they won’t choose God naturally.
STUDENT: If true, this sounds really scary.
DR. ALVES: God’s Word is always true. And you’re right; it’s a terrifying reality. But notice, it’s entirely in the free choice that persons make. People who abandon God are saying to Him, “Hey, I don’t want anything to do with you.” So, he gives them over to the darkness that dwells inside their minds. He removes the restraints in accordance with their wish and choice. In that way they are given over to a depraved mind, and are no longer able to discern Reality.
As frightening is the fact that those who support their unregenerate choices and condition, participate in the guilt over their lostness. In other words, supporters of homosexuality and human worship–because they knowingly supported their rebellion and decadence–will receive the same effects as though they themselves were homosexual, because they supported their dark, perverted behavior.
The next step leads to a seared conscience. Now the conscience no longer functions as it should, it has lost its bearings and the person with a seared conscience calls good, evil and evil, good. They are heartless and hateful. Thus they condemn and demonize God’s sons and daughters, who out of love, are trying to turn the darkened minds back to God. What could be more horrifying than to allow people to die of spiritual darkness when we–who were also once in darkness–have been given the light ourselves? The righteous, illumined mind hates sin, because sin locked us up in darkness and separated us from God and one another.
STUDENT: So Christians hate homosexuals right?
DR. ALVES: That’s your brainwashed education at the hands of American media, homosexual advocates, and public schools talking. How can the people who are trying to help the burn victims to move away from the fire, be hateful. Rather, the ones who won’t warn of the fire or help the victims to safety are the ones who are hateful. And they project that hatred upon the ones who are helping. As far as homosexual advocates go, they are filled with rebellion, hatred, and the blackest darkness. Unless they are willing to turn from their darkness to the light, they will not only perish and be cast into outer darkness (their own choice), but will be destroyed so that when God remakes everything, nothing that stains or causes sin will exist.
STUDENT: So, those who support the homosexual agenda and gay friends and family are the true haters?
DR. ALVES: No, you’d be misrepresenting or misunderstanding my position to say that. Not all the people who support the homosexual and transexual lifestyle are “haters.” But those who are accusing God’s people of hate speech are indeed the most hateful because they project their hatred onto innocent lovers of God. They not only hate Christians and people of faith, but they have murder in their hearts, because their lives are sinful and they hate the righteous lifestyles of the true believers in Christ and Jews who love God.
1 John 3:14–15 (ESV)
14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
And, according to Jesus, those who hate and murder are animated by Satan:
John 8:44–47 (ESV)
44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
STUDENT: You mean to say, there’s really a Satan?
DR. ALVES: Yes, there is. And non-western nation realizes it. But that’s for another interview.
STUDENT: Who are Christians to judge sins? Didn’t Jesus or somebody say, “Judge not?”
DR. ALVES: First, let’s clear the record. Not all who claim to be Christians are indeed Christians. Second, Christians have no right judging sin. That’s one way to tell the real Christians from the religious ”Christians.” You’d do well to read my post on this subject if you want to better understand the distinctions.
What has been going on for centuries is spiritual warfare. All that has happened in the past fifty years is that the warfare has intensified and surfaced. Spiritual warfare is what is behind all that you see in the public arena. The Apostle Paul says it this way:
Ephesians 6:11–12 (ESV)
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 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.
STUDENT: What are principalities and powers of the unseen world?
DR. ALVES: Use your imagination. What do YOU think they are?
STUDENT: Like demons? or Satan? or spirits? or something invisible?
DR. ALVES: Yes! Precisely!
STUDENT: You’re serious?
DR. ALVES: Of course. Why wouldn’t I be? Don’t you believe there’s a spirit world?
STUDENT: I don’t know. I’m not sure.
DR. ALVES: Let me ask you a question: Are you willing to bet your eternal soul that there is no spirit realm and that there is no such thing as demons or spirits?
STUDENT: Of course not!
DR.ALVES: Why not? You don’t even have to believe the Bible or Christians to believe that. I’ve seen many who believe in the spiritual–the spirit world–the supernatural. All I’m saying is that the sons and daughters of God know the One who RULES the spirit world. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One, has allowed us to have authority in that realm (and to some degree this one too, where the two realms intersect).
STUDENT: So how does all this apply to the Implosion of our nation
DR. ALVES: Except for the true believers and followers of the Messiah, our nation is a nation of rebels whom God has given over to their own self-directed, narcissistic choices. We are reaping the wages of those choices. God is simply allowing our choices to play themselves out according to our free wills.
We could have chosen what is good and right. After all, let’s suppose you were going to start a brand new race of beings. And you wanted peace and love to reign. Would you be willing to take onto your new island people who love darkness, sin, decadence, and made choices to harm and hurt those who chose the opposite?
The righteous have always been persecuted by the sinful and truly demon-led and inspired. And sometimes the sinful wore robes and miters. The demon-led hung out in churches and monasteries and had ecclesiastical titles. At other times they carried symitars and shouted Alah Akabar or they simply loved to harm people and encourage lawlessness. It’s all the same to Satan.
As C.S. Lewis once said:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist [atheist] or a magician [or a religionist] with the same delight.”
–The Screwtape Letters
Satan doesn’t care which extreme you embrace, at any pole, he has you. And he has many in our nation who don’t believe in his or God’s existence. Have you ever wondered why Islam calls America the “Great Satan”? We have exported our sensuality, our materialism, our shame and perversion far and wide among the nations. Satan and his forces stand behind the world’s deception, violence, rebellion, carnality, and sin.
One final thought: Christian Scriptures make no mention of the existence of the greatest world power of the twentieth century in the end times. I find that remarkably curious. The American Empire is no longer on the scene when Jesus returns to sort things out and establish HIS government. We are now closer than ever to His Coming!
Maranatha, Lord Jesus!
- Traditional Marriage: Hate Crime of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A? (davidcalves.com)
- At the Middle of the End: No Way Out? (davidcalves.com)
- BILLY GRAHAM’S DAUGHTER COMMENDS “IMPLOSION”: Book releases nationwide today. (flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com)
- Cultural Implosion Advancing (davidcalves.com)
- Can even God stop America from implosion? (wnd.com)
Now also discounted for purchase. You can purchase this life changing book for your Kindle for $4.99. Snap it up!
What’s the book about?
This is a word to the body of Christ primarily, but others can also benefit. God longs for us to get our understanding of who we are from him, not from the surrounding culture or from those who have believed man’s view of who we are. The book leans heavily on Scripture because the views I’m sharing are biblical but not popular. This is meat, not milk.
We’re told to believe that we’re “sinners saved by grace” and we WERE. We’re told that we’re beggars who have found bread, now leading others to that bread, but neither of those are biblical images for our identity. We’re the ‘sons of God’ . . . So What? presents the neglected view of God’s perspective on who we truly are–the “sons of God.” Women, too, find out how sonship applies to you. How it elevates you. Men discover a sense of your role as a man in this world and the next.
To really get hold of this truth and apply the practical suggestions for your spiritual formation, can break you free of strongholds and generational sin, including alcoholism, drug addictions, sexual addictions, and other bondages that keep us earth-bound. You will be filled with Christ’s humility as you consider the scope of the Good News of the Royal Reign of God the Father and your role in his Kingdom.
Want to know God’s will for your life? Want to know your inheritance and begin living in it? See what follows our light and momentary season of suffering.
- In My Father’s House
- What kind of Father?
- A Heart at the Head of the Family
- God’s Authority and Order
- Behind the Veil: God’s Council and the ha Bene Elohim
Know the Problem
- The Great Rebellion
- On Earth As It Is In Heaven
- Wounded Earth
- Kingdoms at War
- Cultures at War
- The “god” of This World
Know the Solution—the Beautiful News!
- Turning Hearts: A Restoration of Legitimate Authority
- The Son of God: All Authority
- Godly Leaders
- Authority of Love
- Promoted Down
Know Who YOU Really Are
- Jesus’ and Paul’s Vision
- What did Paul see? Why could it have caused him to be so “lifted up” that he needed a thorn in the flesh to keep him from harm? Who are we? What was “the joy” set before Jesus? What did he understand that gave him a sense of what lay ahead? What did Paul see in the “third heaven?”
- A New Age—The Royal Reign of God
- sons of God
- A New Family—joined in heaven and earth
- Firstfruits of the Kingdom
Bear the Likeness
- We Shall Be Like Him
- The promises of “glory” are promises to bear the likeness of Christ or of God, depending upon the context in which it’s used.
- Walk As Jesus Walked
- Fixed On Jesus – author & perfector
- Ministry in the 21st Century
- Useful to the King—Rev. 3:14ff
- Our Choices
Prepare to Rule
- The real Return of the King
- The Revealing of the “sons of God”
- Raised and Reunited
- Our Fatherland
- The New Heavens and the New Earth
- Our Father’s City
- “The New Jerusalem”
- The End of Evil
- The End is the Beginning – Back Where We Belong
- Believe INTO Who God Says You Really Are?
Check it out. You’ll be encouraged. Then spend 4.99 to change your life.
Or join Amazon Prime and borrow it for free. But after you read it you’ll not only want your own Kindle version, you’ll want either a softcover or hardcover version. (which I prefer, because I use it so much and it holds up under continued study). Let me know what you think.
QUESTION: Are you living the abundant life Jesus won for you? Are you riding the heights of the earth yet?
©2012, David C Alves
No wonder a theology has developed that thinks Jesus doesn’t communicate with us today.
- Jesus Calls :: Known, Know and Follow (thepauls.wordpress.com)
“We will rejoice in you and be glad;
We will extol your love . . . ”
–Song of Songs 1:1
Have you ever gone to a game and experienced the flush and excitement of the crowd, the intensity as the clock ran down to the two-minute warning with the score so close that either team could win?
We have shouted and cheered. We have experienced the intensity and excitement. The more thoughtful among us have also wondered at the human capacity to become so vocal at a game, yet most of us do. Now add to the mix someone you love out there playing on one of the competing teams. Talk about thrilling! Can’t you feel the adrenaline pump?
The Holy Spirit is teaching me to be as excited about Jesus. Jesus is my Champion. He’s the Champion of Love. The Bride of Christ is my team. We’re at the two minute warning and the other team seems to have the lead.
Greatest of all . . . I’m not just a spectator or bench-warmer, I’m one of the players. We’re all first-string –EACH ONE. My job, your job on the team is invaluable and all of creation is watching us. We are on display to the powers and beings in the heavenly realms (Eph. 6:10ff). Let’s get excited about THAT! Let’s express our excitement by playing the game wholeheartedly–worship, fellowship, prayer, giving, caring, sharing, these are the plays that we need to be doing over and over to win . . . and win we will.
The game is ours. Our Champion not only leads the way, but will play in us. And He has beat this team before.
What will your game be like today?
©2012, David C Alves
Psalm 83:1–4 (ESV)
1 O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God! 2 For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads. 3 They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. 4 They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!”
Are YOU an enemy or a friend of God? Notice that the “enemies” of God–”those who hate” Him and have become proud are described in verse 3 and 4 as those who:
- work crafty plans against his people
- consult against his “treasured ones”
- Those plans intend to “wipe them out as a nation”
- to erase Israel’s memory from the earth
Ring a bell yet?
The Psalmist wrote Psalm 83 over 2500 years ago. He wrote about the nations surrounding Israel sometime around 590 BC. Yet, he could have been writing last week. Asaph’s soul was distressed at the constant hatred aimed at Israel.
Have you wondered at the constant hatred of the world against the Jews–against Israel–God’s people? What possesses those who so blindly hate? What is the source of antisemitism? How is it that its sources are so many? Islam, National Socialism, ne0-Nazis, Communists, occultists, all hate the Jews. Israel’s only friends are the followers of Jesus Christ and righteous people who are friends of Jesus. Notice, I did not say Christians. That’s because not all who have historically called themselves “Christians” were friends. Nor are some of those who today call themselves “Christians.”
My post entitled, Churchianity versus Christianity, , explains the difference between some streams of Christianity and the followers or disciples of Jesus. Even today, some “orthodox” believers in various countries persecute those disciples of Jesus who actually have a relationship with Christ. This too is an age old struggle–those born of the slave woman versus those born of the free woman (an allusion to the “Letter to the Galatians”). Jesus said that you will know the true believers by their fruit–the content of their character and their actions as defined by God’s Word–the Bible.
The Bible says that at the time Jesus returns Israel will again be surrounded by her enemies. Those enemies will hate her and want to end her existence. The reason this hateful antisemitism has outlasted many generations of humans is that antisemitism is spiritual, not merely human. The enemy of God, Satan, has always hated God’s people. And until he is finally destroyed by the power of God through his sons and daughters, and ultimately the direct intervention of the Messiah, Satan will continue to hate–not only the Jews, but all who support her and are friends to Israel. Satan’s hatred of God is why Evangelicals and many Catholics suffer a similar hatred and persecution. Satan hates what God loves. Not much is written about those Evangelicals and Catholics who suffered in Nazis concentration camps. Occasionally you hear of someone who has heard of Corrie Ten Boom or Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Many are the believers who have been beheaded for their faith in Christ at the hands of Mohammad and his evil religion. History has no shortage of Satan’s victims.
Make no mistake about this: I am not saying that all of any group are righteous or unrighteous. Human beings are simply the channels of spirits. We are either animated by the Holy Spirit of God or we are animated by the spirit of Satan. The Bible says that there is no middle ground. God is your source or Satan is your source. You are serving one or the other, either passively or actively. But you are serving. Bob Dylan wrote the song, “You Gotta Serve Somebody.” The lyrics make it clear that you are a servant of one or the other–of God’s kingdom or Satan’s.
Jesus said those who are not for me are against me. If you are not active for Jesus, the Son of the living God, then you are active against him. If you are against Him, then you are against the One he claimed as Abba–Father. If you are not for Jesus, then you are opposed to Yahweh. For Yahweh is the One who testifies that Jesus is His Right Hand of authority and power–His Unique Son. Allah has no Son. This is how you know that Allah and Yahweh are not the same God. Therefore Allah is NO god.
At another time, Jesus said that those who are not against Him are for Him. This is more passive. If you are not actively opposing Him, then you are not channeling Satan’s spirit. Understand that the way a person opposes Jesus is to deny who He claims to be. Opposing Jesus is being hateful toward those he loves. So if you are not hateful and mean spirited toward his followers or to the Jewish people, then you are “for Him.”
The Psalmist’s solution to the antisemitism of his day was to ask God to send upon Israel’s enemies the terrors and shame of being God’s enemies . . . SO
Psalm 83:18 (ESV) — 18 that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord [heb. יהוה ], are the Most High over all the earth.
We want God’s enemies to come to know Him. To let go of their false gods of the pagan world and come into a relationship to the One true and living God–Yahweh [heb. יהוה ].
Are you a friend of God or His enemy? Which spirit works through your life?
QUESTION: What can we do to defeat the spirit behind antisemitism? What are YOU doing?
©2011, David C Alves
- Why I Despise “Religion“
- Clash of Kingdoms: Allah versus Yahweh – Part 1
- Clash of Kingdoms: Allah versus Yahweh – Part 2