Mind Blowing! (ATP)

If death and sin were never part of God’s original plan, then why did He create the tree of knowledge of good and evil?! We are taught that God knows everything before it happens. Did He know Adam and Eve were going to sin ahead of time?!

Many people mistakenly take God’s foreknowledge of what will happen and equate it to His will. God knows all things, there is nothing hidden from Him. Hebrews 4:13 tells us, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” Just because He knows it doesn’t mean He chose it!

To create a being in love, you have to create them with choice. Why? The Bible tells us that love is free to choose, it is not forced (read 1 Corinthians 13). God didn’t create us to obey Him, He created us to love Him. If He said, “you have to love Me,” then we would not have been created out of love but forced in bondage. Think about it like this, how good is a relationship where the one of greater power says, “you must love me, and you have to be in this relationship with me. Because I love you, I will make you love me!” Doesn’t sound appealing does it? It doesn’t because it is not love. God created us in love, to love, and so with that we have the choice to or not to.

God cannot help that He is all knowing. I know that may seem to be a paradox but it isn’t. You cannot be all knowing without knowing everything and if you know everything then you by default are all knowing! This is God, He just knows. That said, God also loves and desires to be loved. He wanted a creation that loves Him truly, because they wanted to. He created everyone to be able to love Him, but this they each must choose. 

God also loves variety. How do we know this? Point to scripture, I demand it! Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” God didn’t just make one kind of tree, or flower, or rock, He made them all! Each is different, each has purpose and we can understand how He does things by what He has done. If He created the lesser things like this and was pleased, the greater things like humans would be no lesser. Every variety of human has the ability to love God the same. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will. 

All of that said, I do not believe that scripture is clear as to exactly why He created the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I do believe that we can draw conclusions to this through what we do know of God and His will. I will share my thoughts but with this caveat, you may get to Heaven someday and find out I was wrong. If so, please have patience with me, I did my best!

God loves knowledge. He wants us to also have knowledge. Proverbs 4:7 says, “The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding.” The scripture is a book of knowledge though it isn’t a book on all knowledge. We also cannot all handle all knowledge all at once, but we must grow into. I believe this was the purpose to this tree in the garden. Given time, had man listened, God would have prepared him for this knowledge and how to handle it. 

Now you may ask, why place the tree there at all? When God created the garden as well as everything else, He called it good. Just because something is good doesn’t make it good for all or all the time. For example, many would agree with me that a real tasty medium rare steak is good, but you would try feeding it to a one year old. They have to grow to be able to receive it. To a baby, it would only make them choke. God saw it as good, knew that where He put it was also good, but that it wasn’t good for man to eat of it. At least right then.

He knew Adam and Eve would eat of it, but He still had to give them choice. Remember this, and this I want to stress: God knows what’s truly good and what’s not. If He saw it was both good to exist and good where it was placed, then it most certainly was! Just because we weren’t meant to partake at that time or even at all does not change this fact. I would assume that because God is only good, this had good purpose! To think another way, consider water. Water is good and life sustaining, however in the wrong context it can be very bad and life taking. Drinking of it, verses drowning in it. That fact makes water no less good.

Now let me present another, well, what if. What if because God knew we would sin because we would not resist free will, He created things in the best possible scenario to allow that but also allow our redemption. What if because God wanted creatures that loved Him, had to make us with this likelihood of sin, but did it all in a way that ensured a path back to Him? In other words, in exactly the way all things were created, God made absolute the possibility of free will and imperfect creatures with ability to rise to perfection? I know this can be confusing but my ultimate point is, an infinite all knowing and perfect God can and will do that which is perfect. We have to believe His purposes have the greatest and perfect affect to achieve His perfect plans.

Of course, I presented a lot of what ifs and if you continue in this line of thought, I’m sure you will discover more. We simply will not and cannot know all things here. God however has ensured that we will have access to way more knowledge than we could possibly embrace in this existence. After all, we are trying to understand an infinite God with a finite mind. That alone is an interesting thought! 🤔 

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff 

Chaff in the Wind? (ATP) 

In Psalms 1 it says, “The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” Does this mean He looks away from us, like depart from Me, I never knew you?

Questions like this give us an opportunity to teach a little bit about Bible interpretation basics. One of the most important things we can do as believers who want to know more about the Lord is learn how to study the Bible in context.  Let’s look at the whole of Psalm 1 and we will see that, in context, the righteous and the wicked are put up against each other here as to compare and contrast the two. 

PSALM 1

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so,

But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

But the way of the wicked will perish.

There’s much to unpack here and I’m glad you have asked about this because there are important truths we can pull from this psalm. First, notice the one who is blessed is the one who doesn’t receive counsel, which also means both advice and purpose, from this wicked world. This is so important for us to understand as we live in a world where there are louder and louder voices that would advise us opposite of the ways of the Lord. If our life is spent walking down the same paths as those who don’t know Jesus, we’ve essentially decided we don’t want the blessing of the Lord. Good luck being blessed the world’s way! 

Who is blessed? It’s the one who delights in the truth of God. It’s the one who hears the Bible, even the parts that challenge the way they’ve always done things, even the parts that call for sacrifice of the things that feel good to the flesh, it’s that person who will see the blessing of God. Notice though in verse 2, that in order for us to walk in His ways, we’ve got to meditate, meaning to study, to speak out, to read, to think about and ponder, the Words and commandments of God if we’re to know them and walk in them. When someone delights in something it means it’s a joy for them to partake of that. I delight in time spent with my family. A believer ought to delight in time spent with God. 

Now look at verse 3, this person, the one who delights in meditating on the Word, will be like a firmly planted tree. We have a lot of firmly planted trees in our woods on our property. They have been there a long time and their roots have become established into the ground. No storm that comes even shakes those strong trees. It’s the dead trees that become uprooted and fall down when the storms come. Likewise, the storms of life will knock down those people who aren’t firmly planted in the truths of God. Also on our property, we have a couple fruit trees that we’ve planted. We have put some tubing around them until they become established because there’s always animals and winds that will threaten them until they have become firm in their roots. As we protect and nourish these trees, we can expect fruit to grow on them. Our prosperity likewise depends on how firmly planted we are. Now, when I say prosperity, understand the biblical meaning of this. When the scripture says here that your life will prosper it means, it will be successful, good, and profitable. There will be progress and advancement. When? When you delight yourself not in the purposes and advice of this world, but in the purposes and advice of God and His Word. 

Now this brings us to the scripture in your original question. Consider what a chaff is. Chaff is the part of the wheat stalk that blows off in the wind. Chaff is the part that gets thrown away while the seeds are harvested. Chaff is not valuable or fruit producing. The seeds are the fruit and the fruit producers. Let’s look at this scripture in the Amplified Bible. Psalm 1:5, “Therefore the wicked (those disobedient and living without God) shall not stand (justified) in the judgment…” The only way we stand justified before the Lord in the day of judgment is by living for Him. Now, with this, we must remember His mercies are new every morning and if we repent He is merciful and just to forgive, but our hearts should be to live for Him, each and every day. The wheat will always be separated from the chaff. The righteous will be separated from this sinful world. Will we be counted as righteous? It’s entirely up to us. 

Look at Romans 12:1 (NKJV), “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” He paid for you with His life. It’s reasonable for you to give your life to His purposes. 

Be Blessed, 

Pastor Renée 

How Is It We Don’t Understand?(ATP)  

I know that we are called to love people into the Kingdom of God, but I see many Christians that are confused on how to treat people who are entrapped in a homosexual lifestyle. I’ve seen Christian leadership use rhetoric that treats gay people like they are untouchables; however, I have seen some pastors just embrace homosexuality. Where is the proper middle ground? I have transsexual and gay family members, and they are so much more than their gender or sexuality… how do we get past hate to love them like Christ… embracing them, without embracing the sin they are, and to get them to see Jesus through us?

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NASB)

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

I want you to read these scriptures again. When you are finished, do it again. In fact, read the whole chapter and let it sink in. If Jesus said that we are to abide fore-mostly by the law of love, we should really get a good understanding of what it is. Now that we’ve done that, how do we move forward in a Christian way concerning these things.

One of our greatest issues today as Christian’s is also one of the devils greatest tactics. He gets men and women of God so stirred up on hot button issues that they miss the whole point of mercy. Now, before you write me off as a heretic, listen to all I am saying. I am in no way during any part of this discussion advocating for acceptance of sinful behaviors, however we do need to look at this correctly.

God hates sin, and as it would seem every and all sort of sexual sin appear to be at the very top of this list. I would never provide anyone in a discussion about these topics with the idea God embraces such actions. However, I do think we need to look at it balanced.

When you first meet someone, do you ask them if they are married or fornicating? When you see a young high school couple at the park eating ice cream, do you approach them informing them they are in danger of going to hell if they aren’t pure? Of course you don’t! I believe the same respect should be given to everyone. Just because a transgender or homosexual couple may be more recognizable doesn’t mean we should immediately enter into condemning judgement. On the other hand, I don’t see a place for Christians to be participating in pride parades either. The point that I am making is we need to understand our place and then embrace it.

Contrary to popular belief these are not new issues and the society we live in isn’t even close to as bad as some of the worst ones that have existed. The time when Jesus walked the earth was far worse, with certain places even having public orgies. Even in our country, the free love era of the late 60’s was worse than today. The answer was and is the same. You will not force people to change simply by hating them, but by showing them the love of Christ.

In Ephesians 4:29 we find a beautiful scripture, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” What’s interesting about this scripture is that it comes not long after the whole “equipping of the saints” talk in verse 12. Remember the job of the ministry offices? To equip the believers for the work of the ministry, or spreading the gospel! Wow have we strayed from that! It isn’t opinion hour in the pulpit, it is get people prepared to win the lost and dying of the world.

The Church got into serious error when it lost sight of the very reasons it was founded. Church was not to create a political party or agenda. It’s purpose was not to over throw the government or start a revolution. If you remember in Acts 1 that’s exactly what the disciples thought and Jesus corrected that thinking. The purpose of the Church is to equip believers to go into the world and make disciples or students of Christ. First, by the very idea of what the true gospel is.

Gospel literally means good news. The good news is not that God wants you blessed (He does). The good news was not that God wants you healed (He does). It is not that He wants you happy and at peace (though He most certainly does). That was not the good news, that was who God had always been. The good news was and is the same as it was when it came. Through sin man was forever separated from God and it was impossible for them to come to Him. Jesus came as a substitute for us so that that union could be restored. God is good by His nature and wants to bless His children because He loves them, the Gospel is that Jesus made that possible.

Now I am not saying there are no benefits to it, not even remotely, I am saying that’s not the good news called the Gospel. Look what Paul said to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” What I am getting at is that though there are truths and promises in scripture, so, so many,our job is to spread the good news. The Holy Spirits job is to convict the world of sin (John 16:8). See when you approach all people from the standpoint that “all people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” there’s not much room for individual name calling.

Again, I am not saying we hide our faith and if we are asked, sure we should be open about it. However, social media rants or Christian rally’s that only stir up other people who believe exactly the same as you do aren’t spreading the gospel. Those aren’t methods of using edifying (building up) speech. Those are exactly the same tactics corrupt politicians use to ensure their votes. 

I have not met a Christian yet who became one by being a good person or by their stance on anything righteous. The way to be a Christian is to embrace the reality that they are lost, completely unable to save themselves, and Jesus made a way for even the very worst of them to come to the Father. When one embraces that they find salvation for their souls and through discipleship can learn what God expects of them. 

We are called to act in love. I have learned by pastoring that people need to be shown the love of God continually, regardless of their sin. It is His love that brings them to true repentance… I think that that may even be written somewhere. 😉

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff 

Make Straight Paths (ATP) 

Is Hebrews 12:12-13 literal or figurative “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, vs13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather healed.”

As with any passage of scripture, we must read it in context to understand what it’s actually saying. Taking this particular scripture as a stand alone verse completely distorts the meaning of it. A first clue that the scripture has more to it is the first word here, “therefore.” Let’s figure out what that therefore applies to. Let’s go back to Hebrews 12:6-9 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”

It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?” The Lord is a good father who loves us and love’s goal is to make one better, to course correct to keep the one you love safe. If a father can’t correct you than you’d have to question whether or not you belong to him, likewise, if the Lord didn’t correct us, as a Father does His children, it would show we didn’t truly belong to Him. Now, we’re starting to see context. 

The thought continues in Hebrews 12:10-11, “For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” God only disciplines us to make us better and though it doesn’t always feel good in the moment, as like when we were children, maturity recognizes and appreciates the fruit of that discipline as time goes on. Recently, the Lord was really correcting my husband on some of his ways of thinking and doing things and the Lord spoke this to his heart, “I’m only trying to make you better.” God is a good father who only wants to make us better!  

So now we get to the verses you asked about,  in context, which say, Hebrews 12:12-13, “Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” Who is this direction for? It’s for each individual Christian. We could say it like this, “child of God, you’re not perfect, there’s correction needed in this and in that area, so strengthen those areas that you’re weak in and that you’ve been feeble in, and make your straight path according to the correction of the Lord, so things that are out of order will be put back in order and you’ll be more effective.” I love how The Message Bible paraphrases this and takes it a bit further, Hebrews 12:12-13, “So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!” Get yourself in order and help get others in order too! Look at the Amplified Bible, Hebrews 12:13, “And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction]…” 

It is the job of every Christian to follow God’s direction and accept His correction. Many things we deal with in life will be the result of either following this truth to fruition or refusing to do so. We have all heard the saying, “God is in control.” But the reality is, we are meant to follow God and demonstrate self-control. 

Be Blessed,

Pastor Renée 

Don’t Bite His Hand (ATP)

I know we are suppose to be strong and trust in the Lord. Could you elaborate on Psalm 2:11 “Serve the Lord with fear, and Rejoice with trembling.”

Psalms 2:11 (NASB)

Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling.

If you will notice, I put down this scripture in a different version from the one you’re reading. I did that on purpose to show variations in translations and I will explain that.

This question is one that many have. If God is loving, if God wants me to have faith, then why all these “fear Him” scriptures? This is a wonderful question and also is an example of why many people get confused without proper teaching. Teaching? I thought that the scripture says that we will be taught of the Lord (Hebrews 8:11) that we don’t need any man to teach us (1 John 2:27). Well, that’s not exactly what those scriptures mean (that’s another Faith Fix should one care to ask 😉).

Sometimes the wording in scripture can be confusing. The reason for this is called translation. Recently my wife and I started learning Spanish. One of the things we learned quickly is that because of different cultures and usages of language, things don’t always translate perfectly. What we then need is someone who understands both languages to make connections. As far as bibles are concerned, there are many types. Some are direct word for word translations and some are transliterations. A transliteration will translate the idea of the intent, not just the exact word used. They do so in order to make sense of the text. The heart behind this is that because things don’t always translate well, we sometimes need better understanding. The Bible primarily was originally written in Hebrew and in Greek. Just like in the United States we primarily speak English, but there are different dialects or usages of the language depending on where you are at. In these two languages there is the general meanings but also the meaning of the way they were spoken in that time that they were written. In fact, some words in those languages have no equivalent in the English language at all. All of this comes into play as we learn God’s Word. Do we need teachers? We sure do.

One key thing to remember when we are looking at scripture is not always to take just a single text and think we can understand everything about it. We need context which could include everything from history of what’s going on, to the understanding of who and why something was written. For example, I have been studying the book of Hebrews and have found much deeper meaning in the text as I delve into its history and purpose. With things pertaining to God’s character, we have to take ALL of what we learn about Him in order to understand single scriptures about Him. Does all this sound confusing? I assure you, it’s really not, but it does take time to learn just like with anything else.

So let’s look at our scripture. Both versions above are slightly different and both are accurate. Serving God is worshipping Him and worshipping Him is serving Him. I want you to take note of the next part though and pay attention. In the first version it says to do so with fear and in the one version I gave it says with reverence. Your version I am guessing is the NKJV which is the King James version made modern. The KJV was translated in 1611 in England where though it was English, it was a different dialect. Words change over time and so do their understandings. An example of this is that the KJV references unicorns several times. Now we know that unicorns don’t exist and some critics of the Bible have tried to point to this to disprove our faith. Hears the issue. If you get an very old dictionary, like from the 1800s, and look up the word unicorn you will see that it is what they used to call a rhinoceros. Now we know they exist! Phew! Fear, likewise, doesn’t exactly equate with what we understand it as today.

Godly fear is reverence. Reverence is a healthy fear of something or we could say even respect. I have a motorcycle of which I have a healthy fear. Now if I was just afraid of it I wouldn’t ride it. I am not afraid of it but when I ride it I do so with great respect. I don’t ride carelessly, I pay extra attention and take heed to follow the rules of the road even more closely. Why? Because I respect it and I fully understand what can happen if I don’t. It’s also like a little kid who respects their parent. They love and enjoy them but they have a fear of stepping out of line, knowing there will be consequences.

To rejoice with trembling is to be fully joyful but keeping in remembrance from where you’ve come and what God has done for you. Deuteronomy 8:11-17 gives us an example of this. For some reason with humans it is easy for us, once God has saved us and blessed us and we start living a good life, to forget that He saved you and blessed you. Humans have a tendency to get puffed up in their thinking when things are good and forget that God did so much for them. They will get “rich” but forget God wants them to be a blessing to others and to serve Him with it. This is the purpose of rejoicing with trembling. Fully enjoy what good God has done, just don’t forget Him in that process.

God’s heart is to bring His people into greater and better things. So often when He does, as soon as they are out of trouble, they turn away from Him. I have seen this so much. People come to God broken, hoping for help. He does amazing things in their lives, and they turn their backs on Him. You will see this too. People come to church hurting or suffering, only to forget about it once things get better. It’s a shame that people so often have no respect for God! They forget Him as soon as it’s convenient to do so.

The heart of this scripture you ask about is to keep a heart for God. It isn’t to live afraid of Him which sadly so many do. It’s to give Him proper honor and respect, using what He does for you to bring glory to Him. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. We shouldn’t allow that fact to take us from Him or injure His cause. Love the Lord with all your heart with the kind of reverence that He deserves! That is true Godly fear.

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff 

This Is Going To Be Mental! (ATP) 

Could you discuss mental health? I’ve known many people to have struggled with things like depression , anxiety, suicidal thoughts, ADHD, etc., and many Pentecostal Christian books that touch on mental health are from the standpoint of it all originating/derived from the spirit of fear or something spiritual in nature. To treat it- you must deal with the literal spirit. Have you seen much success in helping people like this? Do you ever recommend “worldly” treatments ie. mood stabilizers or trauma therapy? How can we help our Christian brothers and sisters who are struggling?

Romans 12:2 (NASB)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Let me first say that if you or someone you know is dealing with the above issues, they need to seek help immediately and refuse to stop until they get it. Mental health is nothing to ignore, it must be dealt with.

I am extremely acquainted with troubles that are commonly considered mental in nature. I suffered from extreme depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts for many years, saw many counselors and psychiatrists, and was even hospitalized as well as being heavily medicated for these things. I say that to point out that when I speak about this stuff, I speak from first hand experience. I can also say that I have been completely delivered from it, and I will get more into that later.

There are many different reasons that a person can deal with various mental disorders. That being so, to think there is one particular way to fix the issue would be in error. As with anything that affects us, only when one understands the nature of the problem can they be equipped to fix it. For example, I have seen people struggle with some kind of attack that they pray for help with and don’t seem to get any help. But then they have their problem answered in a service they failed to attend or in their refusal to do what the Word says. In these cases, prayer would not be the answer but following instruction would be. It’s like having a GPS giving you directions, you refuse to follow them, then complain to Garmin that their product doesn’t work. The complaint will never solve the issue.

When it comes to mental issues, there has to be a careful look at the why behind them. For that, I can only answer these questions generically. Many different things can cause many different things and therefore the truth needs to be sought out. One can rarely do this on their own which is why I suggest seeking help.

In dealing with my own issues, the problem was mostly spiritual in nature. No amount of counseling or medicine changed the problems, they were always there. Depression and anxiety would settle on me like a blanket and rationalizing could not remove it. Medication did not remove it. What I found was the importance of the scripture I started this with in Romans. My mind needed to be renewed. I needed to think like God wanted me to think. As I sat for years under a pastor teaching me the Word, and allowed it to sink in and change me, I became equipped to deal with each issue. I have found there was no better help than the Word for me, and it has kept me free.

Now when I say kept me free I do not mean that I am never tried with depression anymore. Recently my wife and I were discussing these things. Because I have a certain type of personality, I will always be susceptible to depression. For the strengths that are in any given personality, the devil will attempt to manipulate it into a weakness. With my personality type, depression and anxiety can be the weakness. I have to stay renewed in my thinking or I will slip into depression. If I do slip, then I renew my mind and I come back out of it. In these cases, I don’t need counsel (other than Godly counsel of the Word) and I don’t need medicine. Therefore you see, I can rightfully claim I am free. 

There are however, other types of mental illnesses that go deeper in nature. For example, I worked with a young man once who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Believe me, you have to be careful how you work with someone like this. You cannot just start talking to them about the inward witness and the voice of God because they often have chemical imbalances that make them hear voices that are not God. Could this be demonic or spiritual? Of course it can but it could also be something wrong with their internal wiring. In these cases it would be no different than another disease. Things like cancer can’t just be warm wished or thought away, they need supernatural healing. In such cases, the best thing may be to start on medication and then be monitored very closely. Again though, I stress each situation is different and great care has to be taken for treatment.

Something’s that people think are mental problems or weaknesses are actually great blessings. I know of a wonderful Bible scholar for example that has been diagnosed with Asperger‘s syndrome. Although it makes him very socially awkward (and that was self admitted), it also makes Him be able to see things in the Word others couldn’t immediately see. As a result, he has brought a lot of balance to things in scripture that others just couldn’t previously see. This man in particular has a wonderful wife who has worked with him to make him more effective when he speaks to people, balancing out this so-called disease. He mainly does lectures on apologetics and is a great asset to the Body of Christ despite his perceived “disability”. Here he has learned to work with this amazing gift, though normally things of this nature often go misunderstood. I am not implying that all people diagnosed with Asperger’s have it as a gift, but here is at least one case where it is.

These are several different scenarios all with different outcomes and directions. If we tried to lump them all in one category, with one answer, we would certainly miss some important things. Most of our society is built with one generalized teaching method and our churches are much the same. The truth is, God loves variety and He loves human quirkiness. He loves doing things through methods that boggle our minds and if we are quick to jump on any one idea, this is where we can miss it. I am convinced this is why we have so many Christian denominations. Not because one knows more than the other but because each has a part of the truth.

I have given a very brief overview as this question could not possibly be answered in one sitting. As with anything in the Bible, the more open we are to God’s truth and not man’s, the more able we will be to learn from Him. Surely fear can be a cause, but the cause can also be as simple as not following basic instructions, or at times, not seeking professional help. I have come to realize that anxiety isn’t always bad. I believe it is a warning sign to us that if we heed it, we can quickly get back on track. However, anxiety manipulated becomes irrational fear, and this is not God’s will.

God’s Word is as practical as it is supernatural. Many people who embrace the supernatural reject the natural, forgetting God is the One who made both. He loves the natural, He created it. He has never instructed us to forget about it, but rather to reject the wrongful manipulation of it. God designed our emotions to experience life, never to guide it. The devil loves to manipulate emotions and lead people astray. If we know this we can use them effectively and not be coerced into wrong thinking. The closer we stick to the Word, the more we we will be able to determine what is Godly and what is not. Not because man thinks it, but because God has declared it!

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff