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What a pain in the neck

Posted by: David Carroll

Friday night, I boasted about stepping up the pace on my walk that I was going to do Saturday. Well here it is Sunday afternoon and I just got around to taking that Saturday, stepped-up walk. I did walk a little further and perhaps a little faster for a total of about thirty minutes. Toby (my dog) had a great time running rings around me. Regardless, I am a tired and somewhat hurting puppy myself. I have to keep in mind it was only a week ago that I started out for ten minutes on my treadmill.

Now, about the hurting part. It’s my neck. I guess it is trying to hold it upright to look ahead instead of down. When I was back in the hospital doing my lap around the floor using a walker, I remember asking when I would get my own walker to take home with me. I really thought I needed one the way I felt. Nancy told me: “nope, you don’t want a walker. If you got dependent on that you would end up with a permanent crook in your neck from looking down.” Now it all makes sense. My recovery is not just about getting back in shape, but it is about getting all those muscles in my neck, back and shoulders working again.

I think I’ll relax a while and then get in the hot tub while listening to another one of Don Whitney’s sermons. (It’s cool, I take my iPod nano and clip it to my cap and I can sink right down in to the hot water without worrying about the iPod.)

Added another new devotional

Posted by: David Carroll

Just added a new entry in the Devotional Section: Away from me Satan!

Islam and Forgiveness of Sins

Posted by: David Carroll

I have known for some time that Islam’s god is capricious and cannot really be known like (the Christian) God can be known. Our God makes promises and covenants and keeps them. With a capricious god like Allah, you can never know where you stand with him. Your eternal destiny is in his hands (no problem with that) but the choice for that destiny is based on nothing more than Allah’s capriciousness. Unless of course you are a martyr who kills infidels (us), then I think there is some sort of guarantee.

HajistonesJames R White was talking about about the situation in Mecca recently in which 345 pilgrims were killed in a stampede to be able to cast stones at a rock representing the devil which would purge themselves of sin. He writes in his post:

Pelting rocks with stones purges you of sin? And this from the religion that has spawned the modern generation of apologists who mock the cross? The article likewise notes that similar stampedes took place in 1990 (1,426 people dead) and 2004 (244 dead). Thousands dying in a mad rush to throw stones at the devil? The contrast again is tremendous: in Islam you throw stones at the devil; in Christianity the very Creator enters into His own creation and gives Himself as the sacrifice that brings forgiveness to all those who are vitally united to Him.

I think the one thing all religions do is to recognize our imperfections. As Christians we call it sin and it goes very deep such that even “our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in his sight.” [Isa. 64:6] and “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” [Jer 17:9] and “there is none righteous, no not one” [Rom 3:10].

Jesus, God become man, is the unique thing about Christianity which allowed for the great exchange:

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

CrossThis way, Jesus took upon himself God’s wrath against sin and did it freely on our behalf. In exchange we are accounted as righteous so that when God looks at us, he sees us as blameless. Anybody can have this by simply repentance (agreeing with God) and faith (total belief and trust in Christ). It is amazing to me how many refuse to accept this offer. How could you not love a God who is completely holy, pure, trustworthy, merciful and gracious.

This week is done, and naps are a good thing.

Posted by: David Carroll

Thursday I had a delightful visit with Jon Box; two geeks (professional mind you) enjoying talking about all the stuff our wives have no clue about. Thanks for bringing lunch by Jon, your visit really blessed me; you are a true friend. We probably talked about four hours. (I keep saying that’s about all I’m good for these days, I took a long nap after he left)

CtscanToday (Friday), I had an early Doctor’s appointment to check out this nausea problem I have been having. I thought it was going to be a pretty easy day but that appointment kicked off a series additional trips to get some lab work done, and a CT scan done. I did not get back home until 5:00 (I did have a nice lunch with Delaine at Mamma Fu’s (highly recommended fast Thai food which I think may have cured my nausea problems !). 

So, I sit in my comfy chair at about 5:30 and next thing I know it’s 9:00 and I’m by myself. Delaine comes home shortly with a nice salad and we watched a movie together. I know it’s late now but I go back to sleep for another 9 hours easy. Recovery from major surgery takes lots of sleep and rest. I did not get my walk in today or yesterday but I going to kick up the pace tomorrow and try to go longer and a little faster, Lord willing.

God has been good to me, helped me through a tough but important turning point week. I think I’ll blog another devotional tomorrow and catch up on some reading. I still intend on blogging and podcasting a series of messages on the Kingdom of God. Sort of like an Internet Sunday School.

Don’t forget to pray for Don Whitney. I have been blessed listening to a number of his messages on my iPod this week.

I made it, Thank You Lord

Posted by: David Carroll

I’ve blogged several times about this week being the big test week for whether I was really ready to start keeping commitments, like board meetings, teaching, etc. This is Wednesday night and except for some discomfort in deciding whether to sit or stand, God was gracious and granted me the strength and stamina to teach the first night of the Creation Science course. Thanks go to Bob for helping haul my stuff around but I really want to thank my wife Delaine for dealing with a massive signup night. We had over ninety people in the class tonight. It went well; I received some good feedback afterwards and except for running out of time to finish everything, I am pleased.

Same sort of report for last Monday night when I had an executive committee meeting and then a regular board meeting for the Bellevue Foundation. When I was able to make it through both those events without calling in my backup plan (sneak out and go home early!) I knew I could make it through Wednesday night.

Just to put this in perspective, I just started using my treadmill (ten minutes) last Saturday to try to begin a little physical therapy and last week I was still so weak and nauseous that I could not have made any commitments. As a matter of fact it was not until Monday morning that the nausea finally subsided after a week of misery.

My back and neck muscles continue to strengthen (still use plenty of pain meds however), and my permanently numb fingers (from losing the sensory nerves) don’t even bug me that much anymore when typing.

Strange thing I noticed when out for a short walk yesterday and today (beautiful days), swinging my arms for a normal, slow gait made the muscles that do the swinging sore. Wow, that shows how many of shoulder and back muscles were affected by the surgery.

Thank you for your prayers and I am full of hope for getting back to a normal healthy lifestyle.

I have not said much about my other back problems I have suffered from in the past three years, but suffice it to say that they were still causing me much pain just prior to this last surgery on my neck. That’s after two prior surgeries (discectomy and spinal fusion on the lumbar spine) and almost three years of recovery time. In fact, it was that continued pain that had led me to the pain clinic where God intervened and caused the doctors there to look at my neck with a cervical MRI. Well some have suggested that there is a connection between my past pain and this tumor in my neck. Jury’s still out but interestingly I have not had one bit of low back pain since my most recent surgery on my neck. May be because of the additional pain meds, but I am very hopeful. The pain doc had suggested that the pain I was having was some sort of triggered pain whose cycle needed to be broken.

I am trusting the Lord and wouldn’t it be just like Him and to his glory to have answered all my prayers over the past three years in this way. The doctors could have been looking in all the wrong places but God showed them the right place to look.

Emerging Church's McLaren dissappoints on the homosexual question

Posted by: David Carroll

I don’t want to pick on homosexuals for their particular sin. I have plenty of my own sins that although different, nonetheless make me a sinner. The big difference would be my remorse for my own sin since I do know that they are indeed sins. For the homosexual activist, their conduct is not sin. I think that is the big dividing line. After all, to repent means to have a change of mind toward agreement with God.

I’ve been blogging a post from time to time expressing my curiosity with the emerging church. Brian McLaren, the apparent senior leader for the emerging movement, writes in his own blog: (whole post here)

Frankly, many of us don't know what we should think about homosexuality. We've heard all sides but no position has yet won our confidence so that we can say "it seems good to the Holy Spirit and us." That alienates us from both the liberals and conservatives who seem to know exactly what we should think. Even if we are convinced that all homosexual behavior is always sinful, we still want to treat gay and lesbian people with more dignity, gentleness, and respect than our colleagues do. If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multilayered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex. We aren't sure if or where lines are to be drawn, nor do we know how to enforce with fairness whatever lines are drawn.

“No position has yet won our confidence?” what about the position of scripture which is clear as a bell. This sort of accommodation of current culture without speaking the truth in love seems to be false teaching to me.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

The motive of answered prayer

Posted by: David Carroll

PrayerI have been praying for my own healing, imploring, asking, claiming promises. I hurt and I ask for God to remove the hurt. I need and I ask God to supply the need. I want and I ask God to make me happy. I work and I ask God to make me successful. I share my faith with another and I ask God to give the increase. I hear about others who need prayer and I intercede for them.

A couple of entries ago I spoke of Don Whitney and asked that you pray for his battle with cancer of the colon. Keeping up with his blog, I was very encouraged that he was able to preach last Sunday night. I am asking in a similar way that I be able to teach this Wednesday night. In the meantime, I’ve down-loaded some of his sermons on his site to listen to.

One of the sermons I listened to was called “The Motive Needed for Answered Prayer.” I believe his message will have and already has had a profound impact on my prayer life. Using scripture to make his argument, he concludes that the chief motive for our praying to God for anything should be to glorify Him and His name. That means praying like this. Lord I am asking that you heal me of my current affliction so that your name might be glorified. But If your name would be more glorified by not healing me, then that is what I desire. That’s how Jesus prayed in his darkest moment in the garden of Gethsemane hours before he was tortured and crucified. But Jesus taught us to always be concerned with “Hallowing” God’s name first and foremost.

Psalm 37:3-4 (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.    

This has always been one of my favorite memory verses but I never have tied that delighting myself in the Lord was in essence the same thing as wanting to see Him glorified. That is God’s highest motive and desire that He be glorified among the people.

1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us that "man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever." For me, these two scriptures form the basis of statement. So how do I tie this in to a prayer life that desires God’s glory first and foremost above all my requests? I think Andrew Murray answers this well in his book “With Christ in the School of Prayer”

Desire for the glory of the Father is not something we can arouse and present to our Lord when we prepare ourselves to pray. Only when the whole life in all its parts is given up to God's glory can we really pray to Christ's glory, too. "Do all to the glory of God," and "Ask all to the glory of God." These twin commands are inseparable. Obedience to the former is the secret of grace for the latter. Living for the glory of God is the condition of the prayers that Jesus can answer.

Andrew Murray

Health Update

Posted by: David Carroll

Yesterday, Bethany and I went to the Radiology department at Methodist Germantown to get some spine x-rays done .My surgeon wanted to take a look at how the fusion was progressing during this mornings appointment. He seemed to be generally pleased but not pleased enough to let me take the neck brace off for another four weeks.

But today, was the first chance Delaine and I got to see the extent of the damage (modifications) he had to do to the vertebra to remove the tumor. The most obvious thing you see when you first look at the x-ray is the screws and rod he placed on the right side of C6–C7. Those are where he is fusing the two vertebra together because he had to destroy the facet joint on the left side creating a huge hole to gain access to the part of the tumor that was growing down one of the foramen tubes through which the nerve root passes to my left hand. Without that joint, my neck would be unstable. He could have put a rod and screws on that side too, but he wanted to be able to clearly see that area with another MRI that we’ll do after three months. This is just one of those, “let’s just make sure we got it all.” moves before he pronounces me healed.

You know when you rub your fingers down the back of your neck, you can feel those bumps? Those are called spinous processes. They are rather large bony segments of your vertebra that muscles attach to to turn the individual vertebra and to protect the spinal cord. Well the surgeon had to remove four of those things (C4–C7) including the associated lamina to gain access to the biggest part of the tumor surrounding the spinal cord itself.

Now about how I feel, after looking at the x-ray, I can understand why I still have some neck, back and shoulder pain. All those muscles were involved in some way attaching to those bones he removed. (Don’t ask me what they attach to now, I don’t have a clue.) So I still take pain meds but only about half as much as I was several weeks ago. Thank You Lord.

So, now I seem to be plagued with some fairly minor problems that are kind of breaking through since the neck pain has subsided. I am having a lot of nausea and I don’t know why. I am off all the antibiotics that can cause that. Of course the narcotics can cause that but I’ve been taking those for a long time now and have not had problems with nausea before. Could be just the chronic constipation associated with narcotics but there are plenty of over-the-counter meds to take care of that. Finally I am weak and don’t feel like doing any kind of exercise. Basically the doctor says my physical therapy should be to go back to normal activity (walking etc) when I feel like it. I sure wish I felt like it.

My prayer:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for all you have done for me in this process of being afflicted, diagnosed, and repaired through a capable surgeon’s God given abilities. Thank you for the prayers of all my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world. Thank you for my dear wife Delaine and my daughter Bethany who have sacrificed to take special care of me. Thank you for the improvement I have made thus far. Now I ask, Lord, that you help me to continue to heal. I know that no healing takes place apart from your divine providence and sustaining hand. I ask you Lord for a double measure of relief in the coming days. Give me strength, stamina and remove the nausea. You know Lord, I have a teaching commitment I want to keep starting next week. You have given me the ability to teach and have allowed me to make this commitment and I know you will provide the strength and well-feeling necessary to do this.

Added a new Devotional Entry

Posted by: David Carroll

Just added a new entry in the Devotional Section: The Protoevangelium (First Gospel)

Creation Science Course comming up!, ouch

Posted by: David Carroll

Well, I have been enjoying getting a little better every day. Not great, just a little better, Thank You Lord!

And it’s about time too. Although I stepped down from teaching (for the last five years) Adult Couples Sunday School to take a break and get really recovered physically and spiritually over the next year or so, I need some sort of outlet to express my Spiritual gift of teaching.

So I have a commitment to teach a ten week Creation Science Course at Church starting Wednesday, January 25, 2006. I have always enjoyed teaching this course and the class has grown each year (87 last year). So In that regard I am pumped.

Neither I am worried about getting the material prepared; this will be the sixth time I have taught this series so a little refresher and a listen to last year’s presentation should be enough to get me ready each Wednesday night.

What I am worried about is my stamina. Remember just a week ago I could not sit in a normal chair for ten minutes without extreme neck and shoulder pain. That’s better this week, maybe I can go 20 minutes. Lord help my muscles and damaged tissue heal up.

Related to that, I may need to arrange for a special chair and table to sit at during the presentation. I know, the presenter sitting down during the presentation is not good but it will have to do for the first few weeks.

I’ve got Bob Martin to agree to help me set-up all the equipment each week. (Thank you Lord for providing Bob)

I still need a secretary to get there early and take the roll.

Warning: Technical stuff ahead but serious enough to warrant prayer requests.

  • I have to update my notes and some new software I have been developing over the past three years, that allows me to create and annotate a Word Document that serves as my presentation notes as well as a source document for another presentation time driver to display my notes on one screen (Tablet PC) while synchronizing the PowerPoint slides on the other projector screen and giving a visual indicator as to where you are in the presentation. Anyway, other than creating special PowerPoint slides for illustrations. Nothing more is used than Microsoft Word with my add-in code prepared using Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005. All of the rest of the required PowerPoint slides are created automatically.

This should be fun and I think I have enough lead time but If I run last minute, I’ll be a nervous wreck and that added on top of all my other problems will be bad news for my being able to do an excellent job.

Pray for John Piper

Posted by: David Carroll

I am still catching up on my blog reading and just now found out that John Piper has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will have a radical prostatectomy (complete removal of the prostate) in early February. Again, I find it uplifting spiritually as with Don Whitney below, to see the reaction of a particularly Godly man to such news. (HT: Justin Taylor)

Piper wrote a letter to his church of which I am only going to quote the second half which is the half that shows the sweet and Godly attitude of his complete trust in Christ.

This news has, of course, been good for me. The most dangerous thing in the world is the sin of self-reliance and the stupor of worldliness. The news of cancer has a wonderfully blasting effect on both. I thank God for that. The times with Christ in these days have been unusually sweet.

For example, is there anything greater to hear and believe in the bottom of your heart than this: “God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10)?

God has designed this trial for my good and for your good. You can see this in 2 Corinthians 1:9, “Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” And in 2 Corinthians 1:4-6, “He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God . . . If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation.”

So I am praying: “Lord, for your great glory, 1) don’t let me miss any of the sanctifying blessings that you have for me in this experience; 2) don’t let the church miss any of the sanctifying blessings that you have for us in this; 3) grant that the surgery be successful in removing cancer and sparing important nerves; 4) grant that this light and momentary trial would work to spread a passion for your supremacy for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ; 5) may Noël and all close to me be given great peace—and all of this through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.” I hope God will lead you to pray in a similar way

See, If you are like me, you are already smiling and uplifted in confidence in our Lord because of this man’s scripture saturated prayer.

I want to quote from a scripture he referred to only in a glancing way because it has an important impact on my present situation.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

I have been blogging about my affliction but I want you to know, it is light and it is just for a moment and everything else about this passage is true for me right now.

Pray for Don Whitney

Posted by: David Carroll

DonI remember going through a small group study on Don Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. I know I received a blessing because I learned so many things about why be disciplined and how it exercises our (weak) spiritual muscles for when we really need them (every day!). In addition to the basics like prayer, and worship, the book talks about such topics as Scripture Reading and Meditation, Fasting, Silence & Solitude, Journaling, and Learning.

Anyway, the point of this post is not to recommend a good book (I just did). but to ask you to pray for Don in the same way you have been praying for me. Don is slowly recovering from recent colon cancer surgery. Interestingly he is blogging about his recovery on his website at The Center for Biblical Spirituality. There is a link on his home page to read updates about his health.

(AT: Justin Taylor)

The little things add up

Posted by: David Carroll

NorelcoI took a shower yesterday but beforehand, I took my neckbrace off and stood at my sink and shaved with my new norelco. I could not have even lifted my hand long enough and held my head steady enough to do that a few weeks ago.

Also, since I have to wear my neckbrace in the shower with me, Delaine helps me change the wet pads out to the dry ones. That’s been an ordeal in the past because of all the getting up and down out of bed. Basically, because I could not even sit up in bed long enough without wearing out and having to lay down. Yesterday, I did the whole thing and never had to lay down. Little thing, but big praise for God from my position.

I went out with Bethany to the Best Buy store to get a couple of computer related items I needed and a little accessory for Bethany’s iPod. That may be the second or third time in a car since I’ve come home from the hospital. The other trips were all Doctor’s appointment related anyway. We did make a stop at a drug store to see if they had an item I needed. So, Bethany pulls up into the parking place and I get out of the car and start to walk into the store.

Bethany said “Dad, you’ve left your walking cane in the car.”

So I said, “OK, lets get it but you know that’s a good sign.”

“What do you mean, Good Sign?” She asks.

“That I’m getting better, I don’t feel as dependent on it” I reply.

That is a little thing and if you take notice of them, they add up to significant improvements. But then stamina is a real problem. Bethany and I went to Best Buy and I knew what I needed and where it was so it did not take me long to get the items but I did shop around for just the right deal, comparing one brand over another.

All of a sudden my shoulder and neck muscles really started hurting. I told Bethany I had to sit down and then we could finish. She was really nice by saying we could sacrifice the iPod device she wanted but she did not really understand, I needed to sit down right then. So I start heading back to the corner of the store. She starts badgering me that there were no chairs to sit down in in the store. But I said “yes there is”  as I turned the corner on the Chairwall of big screen televisions and two nice leather lounge chairs. I told Bethany to go put the items we had already chosen in a cart and park it over by my chair and then go find the iPod thing. I knew there would not be a person in that store that would make this crippled “old” man with the neck brace, cane and all that expensive stuff that I was about to buy, get out of that chair, no matter how long I wanted to sit there. That little ten minute break was a life saver. It’s like that all the time now. I reach a drop dead point and I can’t stand it anymore.

So I said all that to say, yes I am getting better, but I still hurt a lot and there are only a few activities I really enjoy. (Like sitting in places that don’t hurt.)

I’m supposed to return to work Feb 1, but we aren't on the same page yet. SpaMaybe God’s going to surprise me with this overwhelming pile of small things that one day it’s going to feel “all of a sudden” great.

Did I tell you I can get back in my hot tub this Friday? Oh, man I can’t wait! See, little things excite me.

Devotion Section

Posted by: David Carroll

I have been reworking the devotion section of my site. As you may know, I started this Blog as a way of reading through the Bible in one year and staying accountable to my students for the commitment by blogging a devotional on something I read each day. I did 324 devotions that year so I fell a bit short but enough for a good start on an entire year's worth of bible devotions. So to complete the year, I need to do another 41 devotions. I've got the setup almost like I want it. So far there are place taker devotions titled "New Devotion" scattered throughout where I failed to post back in 2003. So I'll be working on New Devotions to fill in the gaps from time to time. My goal is to get far enough ahead so that someone could get started on reading the Bible through in a year (you don’t have to start on January 1)

So today I wrote the first devotion of the missing ones: A very good place to start. You can also click on the Reading Plan Button to see how that works too. It has a table of links that take you to Bible Gateway.com to present you with the four sections of scripture you are to read each day.

Later, I’ll post some more about how to use the devotion section or make it more intuitive at the same time.

Waiting for that breakthrough

Posted by: David Carroll

Every time I go to sleep for the night, I keep praying for that breakthrough the next morning. That morning when everything feels great. The hope is there but the reality is not yet. I’ve done my calculating backwards and the return to work date is February 1, today is January 5; that’s just less than four weeks away. I know I’ve come a long way but it sure seems like I’ve got a long way to go on this feeling like working thing in just a few weeks. I don’t know whether this is pressure from insurance or whether the Doctors and nurses have enough experience that I really will experience my breakthrough (bedtime prayer or not) because that’s just the way the body works (miracle of the inward parts).

Psalm 139:13-16 (NKJV)

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

Regardless, even though I say I’m getting better, everybody hears it in my voice, sees it in my gait, I’m ready to feel it in my bones! Waiting on my sweet Jesus!

Did it sound like I was a little anxious, particularly during the calculating part? Maybe a little; forgive me Lord, I’ll just hang my hat on this one for the day:

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

What if I'm mistaken about hearing God?

Posted by: David Carroll

Beware the Spiritual Panacea

Yes, you may think you are hearing a fantastic promise from God but if you think he is promising no suffering, no failure, and lots of prosperity, you are most certainly not hearing from God’s word. Perhaps you’ve heard the health, wealth and prosperity preachers. They make big money to drive big fancy cars and wear fine clothes and jewelry.  After all, they know the secret, why not flaunt it to help you believe it.

Let’s recall the exchange between Jesus and Peter.

Matthew 16:21-23 (NKJV)

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.

Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!

But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

Peter was not happy about Jesus being killed (he did not understand the whole story yet, remember he was a little dense headed). This was Peter’s wishful thinking getting in the way of what the desire and will of God was from the foundation of the world.

Beware Satan’s imitation

Satan can appear as an angel of Light, or he can disguise his voice as that of God. When Jesus was tempted of Satan, you know how he knew he was wrong? Satan misquoted scripture. Jesus corrected him. How? because Jesus was quite familiar with God’s word. The only reason I make such an understatement about that (obviously Jesus knows the Bible) is to encourage you that you too can recognize Biblical truth.

What if we’re wrong?

Nobody’s perfect but one.

God’s Word is Key

Fredrick B Meyer’s says

The written word is the wire along which the voice of God will certainly come to you if the heart is hushed and the attention fixed.

Dallas Willard says:

Both in the experience of scripture and of other things—circumstances, our own inner thoughts and impulses, the reading of history or biography—God’s word frequently comes in a way that at least approximates the experience of an audible voice. When examined closely the data of Christian experience reveals that this is much more common than is generally thought. But the audibility of the voice is not anything essential to it, nor does it have any effect on reliability of our experience of the voice. The essentials The essentials remain, once again, the distinctive quality, spirit and content that we have learned through experience to associate with the personal presence of God.

Bottom line: All that is required for receiving salvation and a guiding word, is humility and openness before God’s Word recorded in the Bible. Be much occupied with that.