by Beth Fiedler
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First Impressions by Beth Ann Fiedler ©2008 Beth Ann Fiedler 3/64. All Rights Reserved.
What if the world only saw Jesus when he turned the tables over in the temple?
45 Then he entered the temple area and began driving out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” he said to them, “’My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’’
47 Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all of the people hung on to his words.
-Luke 19:45-48, New International Version
Would you give him a second chance like He has given you so many times?
As a grade school teen, I was introduced to Christ and enjoyed summer camp. As a high school student, I forgot about Him so I could play sports and learn about boyfriends. In my college years, I was so filled with required courses on Eastern Religion in order to graduate that I did not think to return to Jesus. In the midst of all those alternatives, what was the point? In my every day life, I learned how to do Ouija boards for ‘fun’ and consulted the ‘stars’ for guidance on who I was and what I was destined to become. I spent a lot of time looking for ‘signs’ but still, I forgot about Christ. At that point, why would I think that it mattered? But it did.
I sunk greatly into the art of ‘white’ witchcraft. I thought that it made me interesting. And, it ‘broke the ice’ at making friends as I pulled out the Tarot cards for a quick reading. So many people thought it was fascinating. That is, until I realized that I acquired this gift for Tarot card reading from one that never had my best interest at heart. I was disillusioned into believing that it was just a phase and had no influence on some of the bad choices that I had been making. It was just fun, right? But I learned that there is no such thing as ‘white’ witchcraft. Deceit is deceit, no matter how fashionable it is dressed. Further, it opened the door to things in my life that were not so well-dressed but by that time, the devil had his claws on me. I could feel his breath on my neck and it was very clear that this was not fun anymore.
And so I began to ask myself, how do I get out of the grips that bind me? At that point, I was not even really certain of what it was that actually had it’s grips upon me. That was how disillusioned I was. For years, I was distraught until it occurred to me one winter day that I should start to read the Bible again. Of course, I had to fight to get one. Then to open it. Then to read it. Finally, to understand it. The later three still present a fight which I still have on a daily basis. But, I was hopeful that perhaps Jesus would see me as something other than the arm of the devil.
But, what if I had not remembered to look in the word of God? What if He had not continued to remind me every day in some little way that He was there? What if Jesus only saw me at MY worst?
Then, something very odd happened. Through His word, I came to realize that he NEVER saw me as the arm of the devil. He NEVER lost sight of me though I had lost sight of Him. I was His child. Once called, He is faithful to His promise to ‘complete the good work that He had started in me’.
6 “…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6, NIV.)
Amazing. Me, who forgot to give Jesus a second chance because of my own lack of understanding of who He is and what He has to offer me has been blessed with many opportunities to see that He has been waiting for me. The more I read, the more clear it became. The real work of the devil was to keep me from seeing the real work of God. Whether it was the result of being preoccupied with ‘seeing into the future’ or believing that I had some miraculous power to change it did not matter. The results were the same. The wretched deceiver did not want me to see God, His Son and the work of the Holy Spirit. He wanted me to see a half-crazed maniac buried under the time-consuming occupation and delusion of trying to find my way through a broken world alone.
Be advised. HE does not make you walk alone:
“…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5.)
HE does not make you question your future but offers guidance instead.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6., NIV.)
And when your back is breaking from the burdens of life because the devil has made you forget to take them to prayer, He does not make you carry them alone.
“Cast all of your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7, NIV.)
If you can’t remember anything else, remember this. God loves you! See past the deception of the devil.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NIV.)
Beyond whatever is happening in your life or in the world as you read this, take another look at the God who loved you before you were yet born. He has not forgotten you.
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Beth, I love the way you write, but I wanted more in this column. When you describe the events of your life and why they happened it is great...when you skip to the end results of your thoughts and decisions, you seemed hurried. I would suggest you drag your writing out to a full conclusion instead of a quick result. May God bless. Sincerely, Dan Blankenship
This is a very good article. If the "whole" truth were known, there are/were many who fell into the devils playpen with the Quija board, tarot cards and whatever else he came up with i.e Mind Control. Many did not realize it was satans tools, but through it all JESUS NEVER LEFT THEM. The Holy Spirit of God will always draw those, in their ignorance, back to HIM. Thank you so much for sharing this truth. GOD BLESS YOU