Sunday, June 9, 2019

Learning from Nehemiah’s Prayer

I came across this prayer by Nehemiah in the context of praying for America. It was a departure from my planned reading of Scripture, which has me re-exploring the book of Luke in the New Testament. Instead, the Lord directed me to this Old Testament passage:

The Present
32 And now, our God, you are the great, mighty, and awe-inspiring God.
    You faithfully keep your promises.
Do not consider all the hardships
    that we have been going through as unimportant.
        The hardships have come to our kings, leaders, priests, prophets,
            ancestors, and all your people
                from the time of the kings of Assyria until now.
33 But you were fair about everything that has happened to us.
    You have been faithful, but we have been wicked.
34 Our kings, leaders, priests, and ancestors didn’t obey your teachings.
    They didn’t pay attention to your commandments or the warnings
        that you gave them.
35 When they lived in their own kingdom and enjoyed the many good things
    that you gave them in a vast, fertile land
        which was set in front of them, they didn’t serve you
            or turn away from their wicked lives.
36 Look at us now. We’re slaves!
    In the land you gave our ancestors,
        they could eat its produce and enjoy its good things.
            But now we’re slaves!
37 The many products from our land go to the kings you put over us.
    This is because of our sins.
        These kings have control over our bodies,
            and they do as they please with our livestock.
                We are in agony.
Nehemiah 9:32-37 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

“Do more with less!” is a common saying I hear as people become more and more enslaved to their jobs in fear of impending lay-offs. The shrinking middle class and unimaginable wealth of an ever-shrinking few is used by selfish politicians to further their own selfish and ungodly agendas. Racial tensions increase as we focus on differences and privileges rather than uniting around a common fight for inalienable rights of every person – every person who bears the image of God – every person whose blood runs the same color as the One who bled and died for our freedom from sin and the wages of death. The Church has been corrupted with a new gospel, one of social justice, that perverts the understanding of Scripture with a more palatable yet less truthful interpretation. 

Who is to blame? Is it our leaders in government, business or the church? Is it the Entertainment industry? The News Media? Education? Who is to blame? As Nehemiah described it in verse 37 above: “The many products from our land go to the kings you put over us. This is because of our sins. These kings have control over our bodies, and they do as they please with our livestock. We are in agony.”

We looked to our government as our provider instead of God. We set our places of work up as idols. We shopped for churches that filled our desires rather than our needs, drifting away from our own responsibilities to grow the Kingdom. We chose to be entertained rather than to grow more fully into the people God desired us to be, and we chose the convenience of listening to talking heads tell us what to think rather than exerting the effort to learn by the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

We are to blame and we need to return to the God of the Bible. Ultimately, we know from Scripture that there will be a great falling away and that Our Lord and King will return, but we who believe should live in purity, love and truth in either preparation for His coming or to push back the tide until that Day.

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

My Top Five

My top five is really YOUR top five; they are the most read posts on this blog. It’s made me wonder what makes them the most read posts? So I decided to post one of my shortest blogs (this) and list the Top 5 to see if it changes how they rank. If any of these links resonates with you, please send the link to a friend or two who you think might be interested. So without further commentary, the top 5 most read posts listed in order are:
  1. 1.       How to Fight - Oct 15, 2018
  2. 2.       End of Age Handbook - Nov 27, 2017
  3. 3.       Two Sides of the Coin - May 30, 2012
  4. 4.       Man Up, Boys! - Aug 11, 2013
  5. 5.       What Is Your Value-Add? - Jul 28, 2013

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy

Sunday, April 28, 2019

What is a Soul? (and other related questions)

Ok, let’s be honest, who has ever heard a clear definition of a soul. It’s a mystical, ethereal thing that is somehow the same as and yet different from our spirit (Hebrews 4:12). I’ve heard it described as the mind, will and emotion, which is both true and says absolutely nothing. The best definition I’ve heard is that it’s our habit of thinking, those thoughts we think without realizing that we are thinking, and that concept finally opened doors for me to understand how the soul is indeed the mind, will and emotion all tied up together in a way that describes the essence of who we are. 

And that understanding opened many more doors to see how this battleground of the soul is where Satan operates. If he can get us to think wrongly without even realizing our self-sabotage, then the battle is almost won (by him… bad for us!). He can neutralize our efforts by the self-sabotage of our habits of thought. He can create discouraging feelings when God’s Word tells us to be bold and walk by faith. It is only by an act of will that we press forth against the feeling toward a goal that we cannot see, taking captive every thought for the victory that Christ intends for us. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Our mind knows how God wants us to live, but segments of our soul have been manipulated by the Enemy to work against us, creating feelings that don’t represent the truth or perceptions that cry out “you’re going the wrong way!”. So we walk by faith and over time that walk teaches us and repetition creates changes in our soul rendering the Enemy’s words as ineffective and over time, even laughable! If God is for us, who can be against? (Romans 8:31) 

There’s a book I highly recommend called R.A.R.E. Leadership (see on Amazon) that offers so many practical tips for training our brain to become the leaders who can change lives, starting first with our own. The time is short (1 Corinthians 7:29-31), so we need to be sober minded (1 Peter 5:8-9) – intentionally pursuing a transformation from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) I’m not saying that our soul is merely a physical attribute of the brain (read the book for context), but I believe like the Israelites that the physical and spiritual are both equally real and tightly intertwined. 

What, then, does it mean to save a soul? It starts with saving your own soul by agreeing with everything that Christ tells you is true and acting on it. We lead ourselves first, and we are inspired to lead others. R.A.R.E. Leaders start with becoming that R.A.R.E. Leader while at the same time reaching others. When we live by faith and not by the way of the world, we are changed, and that change is a beacon to people enslaved by fear. Out of fear and pain, they may reject the message, but they are watching and hoping that despite their words and actions to discourage us, we can show them the path to eternal healing. Truly they need God and us to forgive them, because they don’t know what they do. (Luke 23:34) 

The Word of God instructs us through the leading of the Holy Spirit and we can speak directly to spirit in each person we meet in a way that treats them as a valued brother or sister rather than a project. We find a freedom that we can’t keep to ourselves because we remember the kingdom of fear, afraid of the righteous judgement coming our way. We see the captives longing for delivery while not daring to hope it’s even possible. But perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18), and Satan needs to flee from the battleground where confidence in God’s loving grace has cast out all fear and anxiety. 

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4 - NIV) 

So don’t fight with the weapons of this world and ask for creative ways to lead others, taking God’s truth into the workplace, the neighborhood, the school, the gym or wherever you happen to be, because you born for a time such as this! (Esther 4:14, Acts 17:26)