Greetings again my Brethren. Where did this year go?  They say the older you get the faster times flies and boy is that true.  Not only faster, but if not in God the crazier things get.  I just shake my head when I see the things going on in America. Do we really think our woke military will protect us? Oh no my friend, as a military veteran of 24 years I hope and pray the Chinese and/or Russians will be merciful. For years I have always heard it does not matter who is in the White House, but it matters who is in your house, well not so my friend it  matters who is in both your house (you as the temple of God) and the White House. And why is America out of God’s control? That is an easy one, because the “church” in America is out of God’s control and getting crazier with each passing day.  A few times Karen and I went to Pentecostal or maybe Charismatic, non-denominational church in Holly Ridge and boy talk about out of control. Both times we went  instead of preaching the pastor decided to pray for the people after a long time of singing and dancing. The pastor would stand there  as the prophet (??) of the house (why I said could be Charismatic) would prophesy (??) over them, then suddenly without any warning the pastor would grab them by their head and start groaning, yelling, and gasping as if the word of God or healing was being pressed or communicated through him. Ungodly manipulation, so ungodly, so out of control.  The first time we stayed for the show, but the second time we got up and quickly left when he started. My friend the church in America is in an horrible spiritual condition because they have not been sharing the truth of the word of God for years and I am afraid it is going to take great persecution and maybe  devastation to American to get her back on track.  Like all things in God time will tell.                      

         This month we will continue to look at the Lord’s visit, but not in a positive way.  We think when the Lord shows up “good things” are going to happen, well the “good things” from the Lord’s perspective may not be so good from our perspective. What we think we need and what God wants us to have often are two different things.  Of course what we all need is more of God, but we also need what God wants to give us at this time. He knows our need, He knows our frame, He knows our lack, but the question we must ask our self is do we know our need? Do we know our frame? Do we know our lack?  Oh we say yes, but do we know what God knows about us?  Do we know our self as God knows us?  I truly believe God would want to so work in our lives to the point He will be able to open up to us and reveal our heart and true need. Then and only then can God can “supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:19)  Often times when the Lord visits we can have a divers attitude. In Mark, we find the towns folks and maybe some of the disciples had a unwanted attitude. We read, “And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. 17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. 18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.”  (Mark 5:15-18) Here in Mark we read where Jesus casts out a “legion” (a Roman Legion in Christ’s day was 5,420 soldiers) of devils. What wonderful miracle, but the people in the area did not seem to appreciate Jesus or the miracle as much as the man who was possessed. As a matter of fact the people wanted Jesus to depart and all the man wanted to do was be around Jesus.  Does this sound like today in most churches?  The people in the area had an unwanted reaction to the Lord’s ministry. Now this was unfortunate for the man, he was so thankful for his deliverance, and all he wanted was to be around Jesus, why he even had to be told what Jesus did for him, “And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine, but the people wanted nothing to do with him or Jesus. Does that not sound familiar? Sadly the Lord is working in lives, but other people want nothing to do with what He is doing. They too have an unwanted spirit. At the heart of an unwanted spirit is ungratefulness and a lack of understanding to what the Spirit is doing. You know as strange as it may seem the people were more fearful of Jesus then they were of the possessed man full of devils. WOW talk about lack of understanding. When I read this story I feel bad for the man (think of what he could have seen and touched) who was delivered, but in the end he too was used of the Lord for God’s glory. The story ends, “Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”  (Mark 5:19-20) God always gets the last word.

         More next month as we continue to look at more diverse attitudes towards the Lord’s visit.  Do you see Him draw near? Please know God is near to them who are near to Him. Do you feel His presence?  Do you see His hand in your life? He is waiting on us to make our first move.  Written by David Stahl