We are so excited here at Operation Light Force for the launch of the God Speaks projects! Hear as Richard shares a little about this project!
Joshua 18: 10 ¶ And Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD: and there Joshua divided the land unto the children of Israel according to their divisions.
Joshua divided the Land for the tribe of Judah by casting lots before the Lord. Casting lots was like flipping a coin to decide who goes first. It seems to involve random chance. In Joshua 18 we see Joshua casting lots before the Lord. The Lord did not tell Joshua to decide about the land by casting lots. In fact, this comes on the heels of chapters of Joshua dividing the land and a history of God directing who God what area of the land. Sometimes it seems to be human wisdom and logic at work, other times it seems to be divine direction. In this case while Joshua cast lots it seems as if the expectation was that God would be at work in the casting of the lots to supersede pure chance. Can God use lot casting to make his choice? Any child can answer that quickly with, “God can do anything.” We ultimately place our faith in the Lord that He is even Lord over the casting of lots.
This is not a recommended way of discerning God's will but it can be an effective way of making fair choices between two or more options. It is like tossing a coin at a football game to see who goes first. No one thinks that anyone showed favoritism in the process. No one protests a coin toss. Sometimes people pray for favorable coin tosses and God may indeed superintend what happens when lots are cast or coins are tossed when it serves His purpose.
BETTER THAN A GREAT MEAL
Job 23:12b “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”
Job was in the midst of the worst distress of anyone I have ever met. Loss of his wealth, death of his children, severe pain and decline of his personal health, bitterness from his wife and accusing friends were all his lot in life as he spoke these words. Hearing God’s voice was more important to him than eating food necessary to stay alive. Wow!
Job’s friends are accusing him that his circumstances are the result of his disobedience to God. Job is telling them that to the best of his ability he has sought to obey everything that God has asked of him. Their accusations seem to get more and more intense all the time. Job seems to be saying that there is nothing I want more than to do what God says for me to do.
What are you facing today? Does it seem like God is quiet? Many times our sin and disobedience to God can be the root of our troubles. At other times, as in Jobs case it can seem as if God is silent when we want answers for what we are going through.
How important is hearing God’s voice to you? Is it your greatest priority? Do you quiet yourself and sit in his presence for long seasons? How long has it been since you spent time in God’s Word? How long has it been since you took a day to be with Him? Listen to Him? How long has it been since you fasted?
No condemnation. These are just the questions I’m asking myself or maybe the Holy Spirit is asking both of us? How highly do you esteem My Words?
A Biblical and Christian Response to Harry Potter
I was in the airport last week and noticed that the book rack seemed to have more books on witchcraft and Vampires than I could believe or had ever seen before. I was flying back from meeting with some Doctors who prescribe our healing website www.operationlightforce.com to their patients. I had just left the home of one of them whose daughter was reading the Twilight Series. I had been sharing with her and the family what the bible says about vampires. Yes, the bible even addresses vampires but that is for my next blog. She was a sold out young woman going to serve God with an international ministry and she saw nothing wrong with the books she was reading. She didn’t believe any of it was real and just saw it as entertaining reading.
That seems to be the normal “Christian” response to most of the new books and movies that Hollywood is producing that have to do with witchcraft. It seems like in many Christian homes where I visit or stay that I find the Harry Potter books and or the Twilight series. I did a search online several years ago to get the Chrisitian response to these books and found that most of the responses were positive. The reasoning seems to be that because the books do not contain sexuality and only mild language that they are not bad.
To be a truly Christian response a response needs to line up with scripture which true Christians believe is God’s Word. If anyone truly examines God’s Word in light of Witchcraft, Sorcery, Wizards, Mediums and Spiritists they will be very surprised. You cannot find biblical grounds to condone these books and movies. God’s Word is not wishy washy or grey on these matters. Let’s start with a New Testament passage.
Galatians 5: 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Witchcraft is right in line with Adultery, Idolatry, Murder, and Drunkeness and tells us that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
“But I don’t practice witchcraft, I just watch it.” That is what most people say who are reading the books and watching the movies. I’ve heard many say, I would never actually practice those things.
Before I go any further some of you might be asking what makes me an expert on any of this. I direct a healing ministry. People come to us with physical illness, psychological illness, mental illness and spiritual illness and God heals them. Over the past 15 years we have had people come to us that have been involved in witchcraft, Satanism, vampirism and every form of the occult you can imagine. Almost every one of them who has come started by reading a book, watching a movie or with a friend. Even those who were victims of satanic ritual abuse who became involved themselves didn’t copy their abusers but usually just got interested like everyone else.
I have seen the devastating effects that becoming involved in witchcraft has had on everyone who has come for ministry. I’ve also had the privilege of seeing them set free and healed by God’s power which is greater. This stuff is very real. It is nothing like Hollywood though. Hollywood makes it look glamourous and noble. It is none of that. The devastation is incredible and the cost to ones soul and life is not worth it.
We need to get back to what God’s Word says and why. Look at these passages real quick.
Deuteronomy 18:10 Let no-one be found among you who … who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,
Exodus 22:18 "Do not allow a sorceress to live.
Leviticus 19:26 … "‘Do not practise divination or sorcery.
Deuteronomy 18:14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practise sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so.
Is God clear about His will regarding sorcery and witchcraft in these passages? It cannot be clearer. This is not an area that God is either silent in regards to or does He leave room for interpretation. It was because of these practices that God drove the inhabitants out of the land and it was for these very same practices that God had Israel overrun, destroyed and exiled. They over time began themselves to practice these sinful things.
In Acts 8:9 and following we find a man named Simon. He had practised sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great. When Simon saw the power of God operating through the apostles, he was willing to pay money to have the power that they had. The apostles rebuked Simon and Simon repented and turned to Christ. In fact, in every encounter that the apostles had with witchcraft they demonstrated greater power.
I was ministering in Africa in a region known for it’s powerful witchcraft. What we began to hear from the witch doctors was that our “witchcraft” was more powerful than theirs. We were not doing witchcraft but they couldn’t understand when they saw people getting healed and people having demons cast out of them. They also said it was dangerous for them to put curses on us because the curses came back to hurt them instead.
The problem today with most Christians and the church is that they are ignorant of the power of God. The devil has as much power over a Christian as they let him have. Many are bound up and tormented only because no one has set them free or taught them how to set themselves free or how to maintain their freedom.
The truth about Harry Potter is that Hollywood took something that is so sinister, destructive and powerless in comparison to the power of Christ in you and turned it into something that is so appealing, seemingly powerful and noble. That is deception and lying. Disney is seeking to shape your belief system into believing that witches are powerful, Christians are petty, powerless and awkward and we wonder why a generation is being lost to our gospel. Because too many who call themselves Christians don’t know what the bible says, don’t know they have been given a glorious inheritance and an incomparably great power. Read Ephesians 1.
Let me leave you with some more scripture to look up and ponder if you still wonder what the bible has to say about witchcraft, sorcery, wizards and all the other forms of the occult.
Le 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.
Le 20:6 And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
Le 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
Re 9:21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Re 18:23 "The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
Re 21:8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Re 22:15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
Sorcery - Exodus 7:11; Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:26; Numbers 23:23; Numbers 24:1 Deuteronomy 18:10; Deuteronomy 18:14; 2Kings 17:17; 2Kings 21:6; 2Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 47:9; Isaiah 47:12; Isaiah 57:3; Jeremiah 27:9; Daniel 2:2; Nahum 3:4; Malachi 3:5; Acts 8:9; Acts 13:6; Acts 13:8
Witchcraft - Deuteronomy 18:10; 2Kings 9:22; 2Chronicles 33:6; Micah 5:12; Nahum 3:4 Galatians 5:20
Wizards or (Spiritists in the NIV) - Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1Samuel 28:3; 1Samuel 28:9; 2Kings 21:6; 2Kings 23:24; 2Chronicles 33:6