Pastor Keith’s Blog

Killing The Lion

 What are the constraining pressures surround you?  What are the cold chilling experiences which are upon you, experiences which make you feel like you are entering a dark winter season of life? In I Chronicles chapter 11, the scriptures list some of King David’s mighty men.  These were men who had fought alongside of David and in the eyes of David had earned the place or honor of being called leaders and leaders of leaders.  These men had proven themselves to be exceptional men by facing their enemies and challenges during times when it would have been easier to have quit or to run away.

    Benaiah was such a might man see verse 22.  It is recorded that he “had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day.”  Being in a confined area and in the cold slippery snow were not good conditions to be fighting a lion.  Yet Benaiah persevered in spite of the constrictions and the season that was around him.  It is one thing to fight against the obstacles and situations of life when they are thrown at you and you have no choice but to fight or die, but this is not the case with Benaiah.  The scripture says that Benaiah “had gone down and killed a lion.”  It was not that the lion attacked him and in self-defence Benaiah killed the lion.  Instead Benaiah saw the enemy, and went to deal with the situation.

You may be under many pressures or challenging seasons in your life.  Don’t use these seasons for an excuse to hold back and not persevere.  Though there is opposition and battles around you, press forward, face the challenges, become  the mighty man or women that God has called you to be.

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“What Do You Expect?”

The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”  These words ring true in most areas of our lives.  When people live selfishly, they are sowing into the selfish realm and almost invariably they will get caught in the consequences of their own selfishness.

For many years I have gone on mission trips to other countries, and I have endeavoured to minister in some of the more remote areas here in Canada.  I have tried to follow the leading of the Lord and have tried to be obedient to the calling that God has placed upon my life.  I have shared the principles of God with my family and where appropriate I have involved my family in the kingdom ministry.   All of my children have worked along side of me in the mission field, or in prophetic ministry, in church dramas, helping to lead worship, or wherever else the need would be.

For years, on a daily basis, my mother has prayed for her children, grand children and great grand children’s strength and success in the kingdom of God.

However today there was a cost involved to this family involvement in the kingdom.  Today we said “goodbye”  to our youngest daughter and her husband as they were leaving Canada for a two year teaching commitment to Africa.  When my mother asked her granddaughter, “Why would you go to Africa?”  The immediate response was, “Well, What do you expect?”   “Grandma, after you praying and giving into the mission field for most of your life, after my parents have faithfully served God in Canada and on the mission fields for most of their lives, what would you expect?”

Will we miss our daughter and her husband, “yes, for sure”.  Could there be some risks where they are going, “yes, for sure”.  Will they become wealthy working in Africa, “I doubt it.”  But knowing that they are walking with our Lord Jesus, and knowing that they will be touching lives with the goodness of Jesus and that our Lord Jesus will always be with them, I could never be happier.

I have consistently sown into the Kingdom of our Lord, and I am seeing some of the reaping take place.  Take a moment to think about what areas of your life you have been sowing seeds into, if we sow the right seeds, we reap the right benefits.

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This Kind

So I’m up early and am ready for sharing the goodness of God to the African community where I am tenting.  Not wanting to be late I walk over to the meeting place made of poles and tarps.   As I sit meditating on God and His word I noticed that a lady is standing respectfully, with a little girl, about 15 feet away.   As I continue to reflect, the lady continues to stand there, looking my way.  Leaning over to my interpreter I asked, “Why is she standing there looking at us?”.  The interpreter replied saying that she wanted prayer.

Motioning to her to come forward she says her daughter is struggling with pain in the head.  We pray, the pain is gone and both leave happy.  As they leave I look up and another lady is standing where the first lady had stood.  She too wants prayer, said the interpreter.  Giving her a nod, she too comes forward shares her situation and then we pray.  When I look up this time there are a three ladies and some children standing where the original lady had stood.   I now realize that they all want prayer.  One by one we pray, some are healed, some are not, some are for marriages, finances, relationships, the needs were many.

After about 25 minutes a young girl comes forward, “There is a demon that keeps grabbing me, chocking me and sometimes in the church services it causes me to shake.”  We start to pray, and she starts to shake, then she is screaming, then she is falling and convulsing on the mat covering the ground.  She was right it did seem to be something demonic getting ahold of her.

Now to be honest, casting out a demon in another culture is not the easiest thing to do.  It’s not that God can’t minister in another culture, but understanding what is going on is difficult, as everything needs to be translated.  There were some other local pastors present, so I motioned for them to come to help.  The girl is flopping around, kicking and screaming.  One pastor is holding her head still, another is keeping her legs from kicking others.

As we pray she screams, I’m constantly asking for translations.  “There is fire within my stomach, it is going to kill me.”  “I’ll be dead by this afternoon”,  “There is so much pain”,  “He is going to kill me”.  Over and over she screams and twists on the mat. She starts to spit up mucous, we need to keep wiping it away so she doesn’t roll in it.

After 25 minutes it seems like there is no progress.  It is about time for me to start speaking yet we have this girl with the demonic problem in the front, where the service should start.  Motioning to the pastors they carry the girl away into a building and continue to minister to her for another 25 minutes till she was delivered of the demon within her.   When she reappeared there was a joyful smile upon her face.  She was raising her hands, clapping, singing and dancing before God.  One would never have known the past that she came from.

In the Gospel of Mark 9:29 Jesus’ disciples try to cast out a demonic spirit and have great difficulty, Jesus’ response was that  “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”  Jesus had just been on the mountain top communing with His Heavenly Father.  He had just received fresh revelation from God and had heard the voice of God.  He was in close fellowship with the Father and so the battle was easy for Him.

In reflecting I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps there are spiritual battles that each of us are facing on a regular basis.  Battles that don’t seem to easily submit to the positive standard of God’s word.  We could wait till the problems manifest themselves, but at that time we might be like the disciples, who should have been praying and fasting ahead of time.  However, if we are constantly close to our Lord, then we will be ready for whatever situation comes our way.

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Though He Slay Me

To what extent do we trust the goodness and the loving nature of God?  Jesus declares in Mark 10:18 that none are good except God.  This means that all which God allows and all which God does must produce that which is good.  1 John 4: 8 says that “God is love”.  This means that all that God allows and that all which He does must be motivated by love.

Now it is one thing to make these statements when everything seems to be going well, but can we continue to trust in God, that He is loving and good, when it seems like all is not well?  This is the dilemma that Job was facing.  His sheep, oxen, camels and donkeys had been lost either by being stolen or through death.  Many of his servants had died, and his sons and daughters also had died.  In the midst of this Job declares, in Job  13:15

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

This is a noble statement made by Job, of course one of the challenges is that we always want to be “God”, not that we think that we are God, but we feel that we can best determine what is good and what is loving, an action which only God can truly determine.  When something doesn’t seem to fit our fancy then we make the judgement call, as if we know all things in the future and the consequences of all contingent actions.  But only the true God who is loving and good has the power, knowledge and the selfless will to bring about the best good in a loving way.

Ask yourself, to what level do you trust the love and goodness of God?  Knowing the loving and good nature of God could you proclaim like Job, that “though he slay me yet I will trust Him?”  Lord Jesus help us to see your true nature and to draw comfort and strength from that.

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