Signs of God – Personal testimony

My husband and I have recently moved cities and we’re staring from “zero”. Before marrying, we were praying for God to show us where we should live. We had an option of 4 countries that are far away from each other. So, during those months of prayer, God began “deleting” some places for various reasons such as jobs, high flight prices and visas, letting us know He wanted us to live in Brazil. But, Brazil is a big country and we wanted to know specifically where we should live. I was praying for God to show my husband (then fiancee) in a vision or dream where we should live because I felt that if He showed him, my husband would feel like more like a leader and head of the family. My husband then had a vision of a map and he drew out the map and sent it to me via Skype. (We were in a long distance relationship.) I then said I had no idea where that place was, and we’d have to look for it. We just knew it was close to water, which could be a lake, river or sea. So, we went on Google Maps and started searching for a similar place. My husband then sent me a link of a place that looked exactly like the one in his vision. The map was perfectly compatible. This is how we knew where we should live.

The city God wanted us to live was one I had never heard of and knew nothing about and knew nobody. About three weeks before the wedding ceremony we were still searching for a place to stay (someone’s house) in our new-city-to-be but nobody knew someone who could help us. It was crazy when someone asked us where we were gong to live at the wedding ceremony day and before that and we said we didn’t know yet, but we knew what city it was. A friend of mine then said she knew a guy from the city we were going to live in and added that she hadn’t spoke to him in 2 years but he was very cool and she was sure he could help. I added him on Facebook but he didn’t say he’d help us then, just a few months afterwards. He said we couldn’t stay at his house and put a request on his Facebook page asking if anyone had a spare room and his friend said he did, and that God told him he was going to help someone that needed a place to stay. All was arranged to stay with this friend of a friend of a friend about 1 week before moving! (This was already after we had married, when we were staying at my parent’s house.) Needless to say, as the days went passed, people asked us about where we would live and thought we were crazy! What was interesting was that when we said we were going to live somewhere we’ve never been and don’t know anyone from there, but we were going to stay in a friend’s friend’s house, many christians said it was a bad idea, that it was dangerous and naive and so on (even when we explained the vision), but many non-christians said it was awesome, adventurous and cool.

We finally moved in November 2013 and went straight to this friend of of a friend of a friend’s house. We stayed with him for a month before renting out a little house for us. During this time we were given so many things from different people we’ve never seen before, all with different reasons… We arrived here with just some clothes and an air mattress, but God used many people and now we have lots of things. We were given a wardrobe, a bed, a stove, chairs and table. God is so good! Each of these things were given to us in a miraculous way. We even found the house we are now renting in a miraculous way too. But if I keep typing all the wonders God has done I would write too much! We had to buy some things but God helped us to buy them really cheaply out of someone else or a second hand shop.

One thing that happened that impacted me a lot was that we were out of money and we didn’t know what to do because we had to pay the rent the next day. We needed exactly 100 reais (about 43 dollars) more to pay the rent. We went to a random church on Sunday and the pastor said that we had to learn to live in dependancy of God and that He would take care of us, but we had to have faith. (The pastor was preaching to all the people there but I felt that message was specifically for us.) We then went home and I felt very loved by God and knew He was going to perform a miracle. I slept in peace. That same day a friend called my husband saying he had something to give to us and so my husband met with him the next day. That friend then said a man from his church came up to him with 100 reais and said God told him to give it to him, but it was not for him but he would know who it was for. And this friend felt it was for us. And so he gave my husband the 100 reais that came from someone else. The exact amount we needed to pay the rent that day! God is so wonderful! I felt even more loved by God and knew that He was taking care of us.

Last month, I started working in a place that was not very good, because people kept bullying me, saying bad things behind my back, cursing me and God and lots of other bad things. I was not feeling well there. Lots of questions aroused in my head like, “Why is God allowing this to happen? Am I supposed to be here in this job?” Every day I was crying a lot and it was very difficult for me. I was asking God for a sign that I should leave that place or stay there, but felt very confused as if God wasn’t talking to me. I’ve asked God for signs before, but they have never been a specific request. In other words, I’d say something like, “God, please give me sign so that I may know if I should ____.” But I’ve never said, for example, “God, give me sign so that I may know if I should ____ and may that sign be ____.” So, I’d always leave what the sign was for Him to decide and when the sign came, sometimes it could be confusing if it was actually a sign from God, or just a coincidence, or maybe my interpretation of a normal event. One morning I woke up and felt an urge to cry out to God for a specific sign, for I wasn’t coping any more. I was kneeling beside my bed about to pray when a thought came about the birds I see every day. (Every day as I went to work, lots of birds would fly over me. There was not one day they didn’t do this.) I asked God to not make the birds fly over me that day if I was supposed to quit my job. I said this with lots of faith and determination. I left my house and guess what… not a single bird flew over me! I looked up to the heavens and thanked God. That same day I asked to leave my job. This was the first time I’ve ever asked God for a specific sign and He gave it to me.

Now I’m asking God for direction as to what I’m supposed to do. I’m looking for jobs but I’m not sure if He wants me to have a job or not. These days that I’ve been jobless have been a time for me to know God more, read the Bible and pray more. It also was good to be jobless as we’ve moved house again because the other house had too many rats and was falling apart. I know God has put my husband and I in this city for a divine purpose but we still don’t know why. All we did was obey. Now we are waiting for the next step we should take. If you feel in your heart, please pray for us. We don’t know what church community we should take part in either and this can be very confusing. The church we’re currently going to now doesn’t bring peace in my heart but my husband is tired of jumping from church to church every Sunday so that’s why we stayed there. I feel we should have a church-house group and am praying for confirmation about that still.

Advertisements

Wicca and Christianity

Image

This drawing is a message from a wiccan to Christians.

I don’t know about you, but when I saw this picture, my heart ached. It saddens me on how Christians will just “go with the flow”, do what’s popular and cool, do what your family has done for generations without questioning it, practise pagan things with each other.

Please, please take time to research. To question. To pray. To read the Bible. To ask God for understanding about these things and for mercy and forgiveness. What do you think Ephesians 6:12 was about? “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” A joke? Nothing to worry about? May your spiritual eyes be open in the name of Jesus!

Let me mention just a few things that you should be aware of, in topics, so that you may know what I’m specifically talking about:

– Participating in halloween in any way – be it by pumpkin carving, trick or treating, scaring people, dressing up…
– Bringing satanic symbols into your life – on your clothes, in your house, hand signals…
– Making Christmas a pagan party – decorating Christmas trees, focusing on presents (false gratitude, consumerism)…
– Making Easter/Passover a pagan party – eating or decorating chocolate eggs, introducing bunnies…
– Liking books, films or series that glorify the occult/wicca – such as Harry Potter, Twilight, Sabrina witch, Pokemon…
– Introducing idols into your life – buying glorifying statues, making an idol of musicians and actors…
– Singing or listening to evil music – not researching about the band, singer, lyrics, meanings…
– Playing, joking about serious things – vampires, zombies, voodoo, witches…
– Having “luck charms” – symbols, animals, saints, numbers…

Etc, etc, etc… I think you get the idea. If you are a Christian, I urge you to not overlook this topic. God wants us to be always willing to sanctify ourselves and become more like Jesus. Would Jesus do, watch, listen to, participate in the things you do? Be careful, brothers and sisters! Set a good example unto others so that they may also know and fear God!

Anti-intellectualist Christians

Many Christians have not been thinking properly as much as they should be. By just “going with the flow” of what Mr. Society says is right, natural or normal, they aren’t using their minds in a Godly manner, looking like they’ve been blindfolded by religious doctrines.

Here are two quotes that help resume why this subject is so important and urgent:

“Our churches are filled with Christians who are idling in intellectual neutral. As Christians, their minds are going to waste. One result of this is an immature, superficial faith. People who simply ride the roller coaster of emotional experience are cheating themselves out of a deeper and richer Christian faith by neglecting the intellectual side of that faith.”
—William Lane Craig

“At root, evangelical anti-intellectualism is both a scandal and a sin. It is a scandal in the sense of being an offense and a stumbling block that needlessly hinders serious people from considering the Christian faith and coming to Christ. It is a sin because it is a refusal, contrary to Jesus’ two great commandments, to love the Lord our God with our minds. Anti-intellectualism is quite simply a sin. Evangelicals must address it as such, beyond all excuses, evasions, or rationalizations of false piety.”
—Os Guinness

Jesus said this is the first and greatest (very important and essential to Christian life) commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37

But doesn’t the mind think evil things and is therefore a dangerous tool to use? Well, who’s created the mind? “Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind?” Job 38:36 God has!

What’s so bad about “going with the flow”? “A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of twisted mind is despised.” Proverbs 12:8

Should the whole Church exercise their minds, or just the leaders? “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” 1 Corinthians 1:10

Can God help me be wise? “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

What should we be setting our minds on? “But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23

“Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” Ephesians 4:17-18

May we pray unto God “Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.” Psalms 26:2 so that we can improve our Christian thinking caps and expand the Kingdom!

Free Will x Predestination

I thought about putting over here what was discussed on the post Is Free Will Really Free? for it is a very interesting, debatable and important topic to think about.

Firstly, here is a short article that I found to explain this matter in a very rational and direct way:

How can we have free will if God has a plan for our lives and knows everything we’ll do in advance?

Since God is omniscient, God has foreknowledge, meaning he knows what everyone will do in the future and what any individual would do in any given situation. This foreknowledge enables God to have a plan for everyone’s life. For instance, if God wants a particular action to occur, he knows who would choose to do that action, and under what circumstances they would choose it; thus he is able to plan for it to happen. However, God’s knowing what choices we will make is simply knowledge – it doesn’t remove our free will, for we are still the ones making the choices.

This may be more understandable if we consider that we have a type of foreknowledge from our knowledge of history. For example, we know that the Americans won the Revolutionary War. If we went back in time before the Revolutionary War took place, our knowing the outcome wouldn’t force anyone to do anything. Our knowing the Boston Tea Party would take place wouldn’t mean that the colonists would be forced to throw the tea overboard, it would only mean that we’d know what the colonists would choose to do. It’s the same with God: his knowing what we’ll freely choose to do doesn’t mean we’re forced to make that choice.”

I guess it’s all part of how much God love us – He loves us so much that He lets us choose: His way (perfect) or our way (of which, although isn’t what He wants for us, He certainly knows the consequences of). I’ve heard people say that if God “pushed” us to do certain things (including accepting Him to be our Saviour), He wouldn’t truly be loving, and yes a trapping and selfish God. We don’t do God’s will because He’s forcing us to, we do it because we love Him, and we only love Him because He loved us first. – mysterytopursue

(…) We must consider that God, though He orchestrates everything, allows us to make the choice, because He already knows what the choice will result in. His Master Plan will be carried out one way or the other, but He will never force us to go with His plan, no matter how beneficial it may be for us to go by. He wants us to fall in line, but not necessarily because we have to, but because we love Him and, in love, want to fall in line. It’s just like that line from “The Break-Up” when Jennifer Aniston’s role says to Vince Vaughn’s: “I want you to WANT to wash the dishes. – ediddydub

(…) Being free – having free will – is a gift to all of those who are saved though Christ. That being said, those who are lost and don’t have Jesus in their hearts are not free, for they are trapped in sin. But society and the media in general reverses this and says Christians are trapped because they have to obey the commandments and everything the Bible says to do or not to do, and those who aren’t Christians are free because they can do whatever they want. The truth though, is the other way around, for God has broken our chains that were stuck in sin and set us free. (…) There was once a preaching I heard that said that people tend to do a lot of questions that complicate things that are either very simple or not possible to humanly understand. The preacher gave an example of a black-board eraser that was obviously a 3D object. “Is it rectangular or square?” (Just like saying, “Is my life consisted of free will or is everything predetermined?”) God’s answer would simply be, “Yep”, because He is God and works however He wants to – even by 2 different things at once. – mysterytopursue

(…) Being in Christ frees us from the bondage of sin, standards, and societal whims, given that 1) God dares us to stand out from the world (being in it but not of it), and 2) unlike society, who dictates to us what we can and can’t do in order to fit in, and unlike sin which keeps us bound into our own carnalities, Jesus gives us two simple commands to follow once we become a part of the Kingdom: love God, and love one another. The essence of Christianity summed up in those, who wouldn’t want to be free, truly free? (…) I agree again in that God has everything scrpited in His hands. The awesome thing about God is that He already knows what’s going to happen, and how we can get through our situations. And if I can ever master “peace that surpasses all understanding,” then I can rest peacably, assured that God will work everything out, because He knew this was going to happen anyway. All I’m really doing is walking. – ediddydub

I really like being able to discuss matters like these with people I’ve met over here. God even uses blogs to bring edification to our souls! I find these kinds of conversations to be very interesting and productive. It’s a pity not everyone knows how to converse in this respectful and helpful way.

May God forgive us for tending to over-think and complicate things, and may He give us wisdom towards understanding His Kingdom, so that we may pass on the Good News to others in a simple, yet deep and loving way, without any doubt towards the Truth of the Gospel – and, in this manner, bring lots of lost souls to Christ.