Tag: Freedom

Worship: The Freedom Connection


Break Every Chain
words/music by Will Reagan
unitedpursuitband

Worship is probably the most effective way to connect with the Lord God. The act of worship gives voice to your faith, a guard for your heart, and an opportunity for God Almighty to speak to your heart and touch your soul and body. It is a special time that allows Him the freedom to have His way in our life.

The Freedom Connection!

There’s a story in the Bible about a madman, a demon-possessed man, who could not be chained, shackled, suppressed, controlled, or tamed by anyone. My how they tried! They might get the shackles on for a moment, but before long, SNAP! The chains would fly off, and the man would be on the prowl again.

IF, I repeat, IF, you wanted to find him (though I’m not sure why you would want to), he usually hung out at the local cemetery. No chains, no clothes, no hassles. Unless, of course, someone came along to pester him.

While it’s true no one could shackle him, it is just as true he was not a free man. He was bound by a much stronger force than anything man could create or concoct. He was bound by evil spirits whose sole desire was to steal, kill, and destroy.

He was bound, shackled and tortured by demonic chains! 

Though he lived “free” among the tombs, and though no one could control him or even communicate with him, he was not a free man.

How did all this happen? When did this change “come over” the man? What was he like before he became bound by the devil? Scripture doesn’t give the answer for those specific questions. The best we can do is surmise a guess based on principles revealed in the Word.

For instance, Proverbs reveals, “Pride goes before destruction…” (16:18). We know that was one of the issues the prince of darkness, The Rebellion’s Leader, had problems with. Pride opens the “door” for thoughts, actions, and even manifestations of the evil one.

Isaiah 14 reveals another aspect of Lucifer’s problem. It wasn’t just pride, but a discontented heart. He wasn’t content with the ministry the Most High gave him. No, he wanted elevated to THE Highest place. He felt he could do better than the One Who created him. Discontented and Anointed with Power, Authority, Beauty, and a following of others spelled trouble, division, and ultimately a change in Heavenly leadership. A new worship leader had to be found.

This could be the reason the madman was like he was. It’s possible. He could have been an associate rabbi at a local synagogue. He could have felt his messages were far better than those of the senior rabbi. The more he thought about it, the more others reinforced those ideas with words like, “brother, you really are a great teacher/preacher. You ought to have your own church. We get much more out of your messages than our rabbi,” then the more he was convinced. Things like that can turn many a head. And, turn the head far enough, it just might fall off.

Something else might have happened. Someone could have really upset him. Maybe made him the laughingstock of all their jokes. Maybe they lied about him and ruined his reputation. Maybe…maybe he felt like others were putting him down, ridiculing him and not appreciating him enough.

How do you handle the words of others, aimed as arrows at your heart, words you know are untrue? Do the actions of others draw you into feelings of retaliation, or extreme depression?

What did Jesus do when people attacked Him like that? He did just what James said to do. “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (4:7)

There are other things that might have been the reason the man was being controlled by demons. Maybe raised in a home that worshiped everything EXCEPT the One True God. I’m not saying his parents were evil personified, but just “living for the almighty dollar”, or “living and working for the weekend, for recreation, for football, for a party, etc” is a form of worship many in this day and age ascribe to. Worshiping anything or anyone other than God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ will only leave a void in one’s life. That void CAN be filled with habits or spirits that bind a person with unbreakable bonds.

But this blog isn’t just about how chains can be applied, or how a man can lose control of his life. This is about FREEDOM. It’s about Jesus, and His ability, desire, anointing to break EVERY chain!

The Kingdom of God isn’t just about words. It’s about Heaven’s Authority AND Power changing things on earth. Jesus said, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” And He meant it.

When the “madman” first laid eyes on Jesus, he ran to worship Him. “When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him.” Mark 5:6 

The demons controlling him fought to keep him bound. But it was too late! Worship had drawn the two together.

The madman was changed by the Kingdom of God. The woman at the well was changed by the same power. The Widow of Nain’s son was raised from the dead by the Word of Heaven!

And, regardless of the reasons for your chains, you can be free as well.

Will you worship, will you bow down before your Lord and King?

Will you be free today?

Free! Jesus breaks every chain. There’s IS power in the Name of Jesus!

A Reason To Worship

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In case you can’t find a reason to worship the Lord this Christmas season, here’s one for you.

“And the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the people of Israel and that he had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.” (Exodus 4:31 ESV)

Have you heard the news? The Good News of Christmas? God saw our plight, our emptiness, and our cruel bondage to sin. He knew there could be no freedom unless He sent Someone strong enough, and pure enough, to defeat the devil on his own turf.

So, that’s what He did.

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8 ESV)

Do you believe the story of Christmas?

It’s true. God saw YOUR bondage, YOUR affliction, and He sent His Son for YOU.

THAT is the reason for Christmas, and the reason to worship.

Cause and Effect

20130717-072655.jpgI woke up this morning with an old song on my mind; an old Gaither song called, “Because He Lives”. “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow”, is the beginning of the chorus. As I kept thinking about those words, the phrase, “cause and effect” jumped into my mind, waving its arms and hollering loud enough to keep me from falling back to sleep.

The cause and effect of the Gospel! “Because” and “Therefore”. The “cause” is why it happened, and the “effect” is what happened as a result. For example:

“So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision – the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.” (Colossians 2:10-15 NLT)

Let’s look at this idea using a simple ’cause and effect’ format. The first line of each group will be “the cause”, the second, “the effect”.

Creator God loves fellowship, loves creating good, loves giving life.
He created everything seen and unseen, and called it “Good”.

God gave Man total authority to rule and reign on earth.
They had the authority to give it away to the Deceiver.

The Deceiver is the father of lies, rebellion, wickedness, sickness, fear, torment and death.
Man began to experience the nature of the new ‘boss’, and pass it to each subsequent generation.

God never quit loving His ‘lost’ family.
He found people who would ‘cut the covenant’ with Him.

Abraham believed and obeyed God, even to the point of offering his son as a sacrifice.
Abraham’s covenant partner, God, could offer His sinless Son as a sacrifice for Abraham’s family.

Jesus died on the cross.
He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The judgment upon Him was for our peace, and the stripes He bore were for our healing.

God raised Him from the dead.
We are raised with Him! Through faith in God’s answer to our need! Jesus!

I left out a lot of examples between Abraham and Jesus’ death, but I’m sure you have the idea. As you read your bible, see if you can find more examples of ’cause and effect’.

Here are some examples that thrill my soul:

He cancelled the list of sin that was on our account.
We can walk in newness of life.

He delivered us from the authority of darkness.
We can walk in the light of His love.

He openly displayed His triumph over the Deceiver.
The Deceiver actually has nothing to blackmail us with, or to hold over our head.

Jesus’ Spirit lives within the heart of the believer.
The believer is not obligated to listen to the desires and dictates of the old nature.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
As a ‘temple’ of the Holy Spirit, those things can flow from our heart.

God works within us, giving us the power and desire to do what please Him; the right thing.
We can ‘work out’ our salvation; actually do what He’s placed in our heart to do.

God resists the proud but helps the humble.
Submission to God gives power to our resisting the devil, so he flees.

Whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
That’s me! Saved: delivered, made complete, a new creation, child of God, someone with a hellish past but, now, a heavenly future.

Because He lives, I can face my yesterdays, tomorrows, and even my todays.

How about you?

“Because He Lives”
(written by Bill Gaither, Gloria Gaither)

God sent His son, They called Him Jesus. He came to love, heal and forgive. He lived and died, to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know, I know He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a new born baby, and feel the pride and joy he gives. But greater still is that assurance the child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know, I know He hold the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day, I’ll cross that river. I’ll fight life’s final war with pain. And then as death gives way to victory. I’ll see the light of glory and I’ll know that He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know, I know He hold the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Four Anchors

anchoranchoranchoranchor

Now when the fourteenth night had come, as we were driven up and down in the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors sensed that they were drawing near some land. And they took soundings and found it to be twenty fathoms; and when they had gone a little farther, they took soundings again and found it to be fifteen fathoms. Then, fearing lest we should run aground on the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern, and prayed for day to come.
Acts 27:27-29 NKJV

Paul’s journey to Rome, with its storms, treachery, shipwreck, and rescue, would make a great movie! But just in case that doesn’t happen for a while, there is something in this story I must tell you about.

The ship and all 276 people aboard had just endured almost 2 weeks of stormy weather. It had been so bad, many had feared for their life. Now things were going fairly smooth, other than they had no idea where they were.The sailors were extremely cautious at this point. Traveling at night, they relied largely on their experience and gut feeling to alert them of possible danger. About midnight, the crew sensed they were drawing close to land. To know for sure, they took soundings (using a line with a lead weight on the end, they measured the depth of the water) a couple of times. They discovered land was fast approaching and the ship was in danger of colliding with the shore. So, to avoid the collision and disaster, they lowered four anchors and waited for the sun to come up.

Everyone has gone through, is going through, or WILL go through, storms. Each person runs the risk of becoming shipwrecked, or even worse, destroyed, as a result. But as the story illustrates, God shows us a safe way to travel, to keep from destroying ourselves and others, even through the toughest times. And though a lot of storms are not our fault, just knowing where to place the blame doesn’t help the situation.

Have you ever been overtaken by a storm? No warning, not a clue anything was brewing. It happens all the time. It was happening on Paul’s ship. The soldiers weren’t aware of danger, the prisoners (outside of Paul) didn’t really care – they were probably as good as dead, anyway. But someone on Paul’s ship with life experience recognized the possibility of impending danger; and the experience became the wisdom necessary to avoid certain disaster. Even in the dark, where it was impossible to see, the experienced ones knew what to do until they could see the issue for what it was. And in each of our lives there’s someone with the experience and wisdom to help us know how close danger is and what to do until revelation comes.

The sailors (experience and wisdom) said, “Drop four anchors and we’ll wait for the sunlight.” Light, daylight, sunshine, all speak of revelation knowledge. God, opening the eyes of their understanding, allowing them to see things from His perspective and with His wisdom.

“Drop four anchors…” Four anchors to hold them in place, to keep them from drifting, from wandering; giving them stability until the next step for action could be discerned.

In our life’s journey, these four anchors are extremely important. They help us stay in place and not drift when we can’t see what’s around us. Something that gives us stability and helps keep us from drifting. These four anchors are:

1) Hear the truth – “So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1 NLT

Don’t trade the weighty anchor of truth for something that is only fluff. The anchor of truth can smash our foot if we drop it there, but it will also keep us from being blown about by every wind of doctrine.

2) Hope – “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” Hebrews 6:19 NKJV

The hope of God’s promises is an anchor for our soul – our mind, our will, and our emotions. As our soul is anchored, we have greater confidence to go boldly to the Throne of Grace. Encouragement.

3) Helpful Friends –” Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. ” “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.” Proverbs 27:6,17; Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 NKJV

Friends – people who love us enough to tell us the truth AND walk with us during dark moments. People who will help us with our resolve and be there through the restoration process.

4) Holy Spirit – “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” John 16:7-15 NKJV

The Holy Spirit KNOWS what’s going on and WHY it’s happening. He will guide us INTO ALL TRUTH. He will guide us OUT OF ERROR. This anchor will keep us from turning around.

Life’s a crazy, dangerous journey at times. We all need people speaking into our lives who have the experience, wisdom, and love to help alert us to possible danger. We must listen to them, and not push them aside when we don’t like what they say.

If you’ve been running through life without these four anchors, I encourage you to stop now and secure the anchors you’ll need. Because you WILL need them.
Keep the anchors within reach, for when the slightest “drift” is detected, it’s time to act.

A Dumpy Hotel Room

Dumpy HotelDumpyI found myself in a dumpy hotel room, somewhere close to the Mexican border. How I got there, I didn’t know. Was I in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico? California? I just didn’t know. I only remember feeling like my world was enveloped in some kind of fog.

No memory, no money; only confusion. If I could have thought more clearly, I might have had enough sense to be afraid.

I was sitting on the side of my bed, match in one hand, joint in the other. I hadn’t smoked dope for a long time, but there I was, holding a joint the size of a small cigar, long and lean. How or why I had it I had no recollection. I only knew I was in a battle.

Two voices inside my head were struggling for my attention and allegiance. One voice was demanding attention, while another voice calmly promised assistance if I’d only strike the match and smoke the weed.

In all my life, I couldn’t remember such a battle. Never before had I wanted so badly to get up and run from a temptation. Yet…

Hours must have passed as I sat on the bed, staring at the doobie in my hand. Finally, I set it down, deciding to give it to a policeman who was walking just outside the hotel.

As I left my room, the calm voice which was so soothing, so assuring just a few hours earlier, began screaming so loud within my mind I was certain the other tenants could hear. The promises of assistance, of God’s help, were now screams of threats, of curses, and accompanied with a feeling of pending doom.

However, the voice that earlier was demanding my attention became the one that began to calm me, giving me a peace within.

Stepping outside, I located the policeman, and walking up to him, explained my situation. I then handed him the joint.

He asked me some routine questions, but with no memory, all I could do was look at him and shrug my shoulders. It’s not like I was trying to hide something. I just didn’t know anything.

He finally asked me the name of the person who gave me the dope. It was one of the few things I did remember. And, since I was trying to be rid of the whole ordeal, I told him.

For some odd reason, the cop insisted I accompany him to the place where I was given the dope. And stranger still, when a moment earlier I had no memory, now I could remember the address of the place and the name of the dealer.

Looking back, I now can see the power of fear and confusion. Fear keeps your mind in a muddled state. You fear what you don’t know or can’t see. When you begin to see a way out, fear comes with just enough truth of your situation to emphasize and amplify any possible problems.

When we arrived at the house, there were 3 Hispanic men on the porch of the house, each carrying a gun. I didn’t see the dealer. There were others there as well; children, running in and out of the house.

The cop called for backup, and when another couple of policemen arrived, the first cop pulled out a loudspeaker and told the 3 men to give themselves up, the place was surrounded. He proceeded to broadcast I was the one who turned them in, even giving them my name!

With that announcement, the men went inside and started firing at the police. The police returned fire, and 2 children were shot, dying instantly. I didn’t see who actually shot the kids, but I immediately left my position beside the car, retreating to a tree across the street from the house.

After a short barrage of gunfire, the men were captured. As they were being handcuffed, one of them yelled to me that I was as good as dead. I’d pay for the death of the children.

My whole world began to turn upside down. I had worked for the post office, but the police decided I needed to have my name changed, get a new, fabricated background, move to another part of the country, and start all over.

So, I went into hiding. I was told to contact no one, not even my wife.

Once again, the hideous voice of fear began to scream inside my head. Confusion, darkness, and fear accompanied the demonic voices.

About 30 days in hiding, all of a sudden a revelation hit me that changed my world!
I was running for no reason! The thoughts and reasonings in my mind were unfounded!

My ordeal and loss of memory, the joint, the cops, the shootings, and the threats were all part of a dream.

The things never happened!

I was free to live my life without fear of someone gunning me down. Without the guilt of being responsible for the death of some children. I was free! No more confusion or intimidation.

I called my wife, friends, coworkers, anyone I was even remotely acquainted with.

And then…

I awoke a second time.

Fear is a device of the devil. When the spirit of fear is present, the strength to do the right thing, the compassion to help others, and the ability to make good decisions are all greatly hampered.

Fear causes you to live in a fog, a dream, a place where reality is unknown, and the unknown becomes reality. It speaks “prophetically” to its adherents, and is worshipped and obeyed as truth.

But the Word of God says, “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Tim. 1:7

There are a lot of things in our world that can cause us to fear – if we allow them. Allowing suggestions of fear to gain our attention, our focus, opens a door to the spirit of fear.

But just as there are plenty of things causing fear, those same things are opportunities to believe God! Fear will paralyze, but faith will liberate. Fear relies on half-truths, dark rooms, uncertain diagnostics. Faith relies on one thing – God.

You may be wishing someone would come along and wake you from your dream, from your unknown world. Be assured, God has an answer for everything you are going through. His Word will eliminate your fears! He will turn your confusion into soundness of mind.

Everyone faces an unknown world, a dreamworld, at times. But no one has to face it alone! “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.“

So we may boldly say:
“The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me.”
(Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV)

“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
(Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

a simple reminder…

A New Day

We may struggle remembering things such as names, dates, assignments, and the like. But God has given everyone a way to NEVER FORGET the important things.

Just a simple reminder. As simple as the dawning of a new day.

Each time the sun rises in the east, signifying the beginning of a new day, let that ordinary event remind you of God’s extraordinary promises!

See the rising sun as a simple reminder of “NEW”:

Covenant – 2 Cor. 3:6
Creation – 2 Cor. 5:17
Freedom – 2 Cor. 3:17
Mind – Rom. 12:1,2
Provision – Matt. 6:11
Power – Acts 1:8
Things – Isa. 43:19
Comforter – John 14:26
Coming of the Lord – 2 Pet. 3:12
Heaven and Earth – Rev. 21

and also Lam. 3:22,23
Compassion
Hope
Mercy
Faithfulness
Living

Just God’s simple way of saying to us, “If I can make the sun rise each and every day, please know you can trust Me to help with the small things.”

Jesus Breaks Every Chain


Break Every Chain
words/music by Will Reagan
unitedpursuitband

There’s a story in the Bible about a madman, a demon-possessed man, who could not be chained, shackled, suppressed, controlled, or tamed by anyone. My how they tried! They might get the shackles on for a moment, but before long, SNAP! The chains would fly off, and the man would be on the prowl again.

IF, I repeat, IF, you wanted to find him (though I’m not sure why you would want to), he usually hung out at the local cemetery. No chains, no clothes, no hassles. Unless, of course, someone came along to pester him.

While it’s true no one could shackle him, it is just as true he was not a free man. He was bound by a much stronger force than anything man could create or concoct. He was bound by evil spirits whose sole desire was to steal, kill, and destroy.

He was bound, shackled and tortured by demonic chains! Though he lived “free” among the tombs, and though no one could control him or even communicate with him, he was not a free man.

How did all this happen? When did this change “come over” the man? What was he like before he became bound by the devil? Scripture doesn’t give the answer for those specific questions. The best we can do is surmise a guess based on principles revealed in the Word.

For instance, Proverbs reveals, “Pride goes before destruction…” (16:18). We know that was one of the issues the prince of darkness, The Rebellion’s Leader, had problems with. Pride opens the “door” for thoughts, actions, and even manifestations of the evil one.

Isaiah 14 reveals another aspect of Lucifer’s problem. It wasn’t just pride, but a discontented heart. He wasn’t content with the ministry the Most High gave him. No, he wanted elevated to THE Highest place. He felt he could do better than the One Who created him. Discontented and Anointed with Power, Authority, Beauty, and a following of others spelled trouble, division, and ultimately a change in Heavenly leadership. A new worship leader had to be found.

This could be the reason the madman was like he was. It’s possible. He could have been an associate rabbi at a local synagogue. He could have felt his messages were far better than those of the senior rabbi. The more he thought about it, the more others reinforced those ideas with words like, “brother, you really are a great teacher/preacher. You ought to have your own church. We get much more out of your messages than our rabbi,” then the more he was convinced. Things like that can turn many a head. And, turn the head far enough, it just might fall off.

Something else might have happened. Someone could have really upset him. Maybe made him the laughingstock of all their jokes. Maybe they lied about him and ruined his reputation. Maybe…maybe he felt like others were putting him down, ridiculing him and not appreciating him enough.

How do you handle the words of others, aimed as arrows at your heart, words you know are untrue? Do the actions of others draw you into feelings of retaliation, or extreme depression?

What did Jesus do when people attacked Him like that? He did just what James said to do. “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (4:7)

There are other things that might have been the reason the man was being controlled by demons. Maybe raised in a home that worshiped everything EXCEPT the One True God. I’m not saying his parents were evil personified, but just “living for the almighty dollar”, or “living and working for the weekend, for recreation, for football, for a party, etc” is a form of worship many in this day and age ascribe to. Worshiping anything or anyone other than God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ will only leave a void in one’s life. That void CAN be filled with habits or spirits that bind a person with unbreakable bonds.

But this blog isn’t just about how chains can be applied, or how a man can lose control of his life. This is about FREEDOM. It’s about Jesus, and His ability, desire, anointing to break EVERY chain!

The Kingdom of God isn’t just about words. It’s about Heaven’s Authority AND Power changing things on earth. Jesus said, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” And He meant it.

The madman was changed by the Kingdom of God. The woman at the well was changed by the same power. The Widow of Nain’s son was raised from the dead by the Word of Heaven!

And, regardless of the reasons for your chains, you can be free as well.

Free! Jesus breaks every chain. There’s IS power in the Name of Jesus!

Pictures Paint…Choices

Slaughterhouse 4“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters” (James 1:12 – 1:16 NLT)

So she seduced him with her pretty speech and enticed him with her flattery. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart (Proverbs 7:21- 7:23 NLT)

The power of encouragement is evident in the above scriptures. Both James and Solomon are warning and encouraging the reader to pay attention, don’t get caught off guard, and make wise choices. The choices one makes will determine whether they live or die; it’s that serious.

 Slaughterhouse 5 Slaughterhouse 2Take for example Solomon’s words: Pretty speech, flattery, whatever was needed to get the young man to follow, that’s what she used. Prey on the weak spots which, for most men, are their eyes and ego.

What a descriptive word: like an ox going to the slaughter. I worked at a meat packinghouse for a while in the 80’s. Never worked the kill floor, but “visited” there once. Wow. Picture the animal as it’s poked and prodded into the livestock trailer. Have you ever followed one down the road? Whew! Now see it as the trailer backs into the gathering area, is poked and prodded more, is herded through a narrow gate, onto the kill floor. Its head is bashed with a stun gun, legs are manacled, body lifted above floor as it hangs by its hind feet. Then the knife and flow of blood; flowing, flowing, flowing until the last drop of life is pooled on the floor.

This is the picture Solomon had in mind.Slaughterhouse

Remember, though, the picture was intended to warn, to encourage, young men (and old men) to watch their step, guard their heart, and stay clear of the slaughterhouse. Not an easy feat, these days. Bombarded on every side, voices and images flash before us endlessly. But the Lord will give you the strength to overcome; ask Him, believe Him, and turn away from the kill floor.

For those who’ve already been a participant in the packing house regimen, God, through Jesus, is the God of restoration and new life. Repentance is the key that unlocks the door, removes the shackles, and even causes the dead to live again. 

I know…

jumping calf

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