This is the 3rd in the Be Not Deceived series. And probably the most important. All other articles in this series culminate in the understanding of the Great Awakening.
As I mentioned in the article The god of This World, Satan is the father of lies. He is the great deceiver. And he has used many deceptions during his reign here on earth. The article Pharmakeia mentions one such deception.
And it seems that deceptions are being revealed at an alarming rate. People all over the world are rising up to protest their governments as details of corruption and tyranny are being found. More and more people are learning the truth many “conspiracy theorists” have been reporting on for years.
They are all calling it the Great Awakening.
Simply put, this is the revealing of the truth of our world. The lies that many of our governments, corporations, and even celebrities have been hiding behind. It is learning that Hollywood is full of pedophiles. And so is Washington.
It is learning about the elites. Those power-hungry rich men and women who are really pulling the strings behind many of our current policies. And many of our current trends.
It is learning about the pharmaceutical companies manipulating our health for profit. Bill Gates pushing vaccines and buying up all the farmland. Most likely for nefarious purposes.
It is exposing the New World Order and the Great Reset.
It is the mass awakening of the people to the evil that has been in our world, hidden for centuries.
See, while many of us are being outraged by the slow release of crime after crime against humanity, we are blind to everything else going on in the world. And we are being manipulated to get angry.
We are being herded towards a period of chaos. A time when the world will be utterly in shambles.
As these outrages are revealed, people will get angrier and angrier. Just look at the increase in protest activity in the world. Even though most is not being reported, places like France (where I live) have seen the protests continue every weekend for nearly five years!
And rather than fizzle out (as such things do when the people begin to realize the governments are not listening). Instead, they are growing. People who never protested before are showing up in even the smallest towns.
Elections in western countries are looking more and more like they are being rigged. And the information is so blatant. Many leaders in major western nations are stepping down: Italy, England, Germany, etc.
One of the most obvious anger-inducing plots being discussed recently is that of the Great Reset. It is a plan by the World Economic Forum (WEF), an unelected group of powerful men and women in both the political and corporate arena.
This plan is laid out in the book of the very same name by the head of the WEF, Klaus Schwab. And it is slowly being implemented in our countries under the name of Agenda 21 or Agenda 30. Or most recently, Build Back Better or the Great Reset.
This plan, if it succeeds, would create a global government. One that is unelected. And its directives would be enforced through a Chinese-style social credit system.
It has been in the works for decades. And really took off during the global pandemic. In fact, many speculate that this is why the pandemic began when it did.
Their goal of a global government, a new world order, was set for 2030. And without some kind of event that would help crash the old system, it was looking like it could not be achieved.
But now, because of the lockdowns and draconian restrictions of the last two years, they are in a better place. The whole system is about to crash. Inflation – destruction of the financial system; increase in deaths (SADS)/ covid – destruction of the health system; climate crisis – destruction of the food system.
All of this has been manufactured to usher in their solution of the Great Reset, the New World Order.
And this is the actual deception.
You see, they want us to see the strings of this evil agenda. They want us to protest the coming world tyranny. And they want the people to wake up, as the truth community puts it.
Because this is not their actual plan.
To understand this a little better, it helps to know about the Hegelian Dialectic. It is a manipulative philosophical theory put into practice by those in power. They use this whenever they want to create change.
The three steps are known as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. Otherwise known as problem, reaction, solution.
In essence, they create a problem. This problem will elicit a specific reaction. At which point, they will offer the solution. Usually, whatever they wanted us to do in the first place but knew we wouldn’t accept easily.
This short video gives a simple explanation of how it is being used to destroy Christianity.
This dialectic has been used over and over in rapid succession the last few years to confuse us. And to reformat our thought process. And many in the truth community and Christian community are getting caught up in it.
As I mentioned in god of this world, it is important for us to know who our enemy is. And part of that is exposing the deceptions. Deceptions like pharmakeia, the transgender/ androgyne agenda, transhumanism, racial divide, and many others.
It is important to know these in order to not get caught up in it. However, even more importantly is to see the bigger picture, the bigger deception. These deceptions are released in rapid succession so that we don’t notice that what is coming after is even worse. Though by the time it takes center stage it will seem like a relief from all the chaos and tension of the previous years.
This will be the true antichrist system that will, if it be possible, deceive the very elect.
Knowing the enemy and their belief of duality (as well as the Hegelian Dialectic) can help. They are trying to bring in the light side of the dark side.
But most importantly, we are to keep our eyes on Jesus. By looking to Him and only Him, we will not be confused or manipulated by the system.
There is a reason we are told “be not conformed by the world but be ye transformed.” By not living as the world or having the same expectations of peace on this earth, it will be impossible to be caught up in the deception.
When I first started looking for the truth in this world, I got caught up in a lot of these deceptions. The Q movement especially had me tricked for a little while because the Bible was quoted quite often. Ephesians 6:12 was a special favorite.
But we have a merciful and gracious God. The Holy Spirit continued to guide me through the deceptions. Revealing them to me as I researched and leading me always back to the truth. Found in Jesus Christ alone (John 14:6).
And again, Jesus tells us to endure until the end. Not getting caught up in the affairs of this world. But simply living our lives for the glory of God even while the world may rage around us.
Look at the words of the worship song Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and graceHelen Howarth Lemmel
Keep close to the LORD and you will not be deceived.
As always, I encourage you to do your own research. And above all, stay close to God. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in all things.
These past two years have been for the record books. You would have to be a hermit not to see the massive changes that have taken place around us. Not just in our own respective countries, but around the entire world.
It has been an unprecedented attack on our way of life. At least as far we have known in our lifetimes.
And it was all planned ahead of time. Without our knowledge.
And it was centuries in the making. Again without our being aware.
In fact, would you believe me if I told you that our whole way of life was created by the god of this world precisely for this moment?
Seems unbelievable. Until you reread Bible prophecy. And it all becomes clear.
Hindsight is 20/20.
Well, everything really.
Let’s start by defining pharmakeia. It is a Greek word. And many of our modern English words are derived from this word and its Greek equivalents.
I’m betting you can guess one English word in modern use.
Yep. You’re right. The word is pharmacy.
If we look in Webster’s Dictionary, we will find a little of its etymology. Under History and Etymology for pharmacy you will find this entry: “Late Latin pharmacia administration of drugs, from Greek pharmakeia, from pharmakeuein to administer drugs, from pharmakon magic charm, poison, drug.”
Wow. In its earliest usage, we are already seeing this word was associated with magic and poison.
This is important because of where we find this word in the Bible. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible’s numbering system gives this Greek word pharmakeia G5331 and notes that it is used only three times in the Bible.
First, it is used in Galatians 5:20 and is translated in the KJV as witchcraft. The other two times can be found in Revelation and are translated both times as sorceries.
But what I really want to focus on is one of the Bible verses found in Revelation. Specifically, Revelation 18:23. In the KJV, it is written, “And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”
There is a lot to unpack in this one verse. But I want to focus on the word sorceries or pharmakeia in the original Greek. The NIV translates this as magic spell. In neither instance is this something Christians should be messing with.
Strong’s definition links this word with G5332 pharmakeus. This word is used only one time. Again in Revelation. Revelation 21:8 which says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
I know this sounds harsh. But God doesn’t mess around with witchcraft or sorcery. And He links them with murderers and liars.
If you’ve been paying attention at all these past couple of years, you will see that the medical community has been involved in one of the biggest scams/ lies in modern history. And it has cost countless people their lives.
There are many who will try to discredit this claim, most notably the “fact checkers” of the mainstream media and social media.
We are seeing the fulfillment of many end times prophecies. And I’m not the only one to notice. It is on the radar of just about every Biblical scholar I know. Matthew 24 is probably the most well-known description of the end times.
And with this comes the great deception of Revelation 18:23 when all nations are deceived by the “great men of the earth.” (our corporate merchants/ pharmaceutical industry)
Satan wants to be like God. It has been his sin from the beginning. It is how he tempted Eve in the garden. And it is how he tempts so many today.
Where is the temple of God? It is not in Israel like so many would like to believe. No. The Bible tells us that we are the temple of God. Our bodies. First Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
And again, 2 Corinthians 6:16, “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
We are to care for our bodies and not let Satan enter in.
People are deceived by doctors because we have been led to believe that this is the only way to heal ourselves. Many Christians even quote that Luke himself was a doctor so they must be part of God’s plan.
But here’s the thing. Modern medicine (and therefore modern doctors) is a relatively new concept. Before the rise of the pharmaceutical industry in the 1800s, people (and doctors) were reliant on herbs, plants, and food to treat and heal.
This is the way God had created us to be from the very beginning. But when man began to meddle with God’s creation, things started to go wrong. As such things will. (This is a whole other topic that many others have covered more in depth.)
We have become increasingly dependent on drugs and modern medicines, I believe, to the detriment of our health and our temple.
And I believe God used this pandemic to open our eyes to the ways we have been manipulated by the medical industry. And to give us a chance to change our ways. To become less dependent. Also to trust Him more. And to prepare us for the exodus to come.
I could go on all day about the many deceptions of the medical industry. And how that has led to a dependence on man over God.
Please believe me when I say that the medical/ pharmaceutical industry is integral to Satan’s plan to deceive us. The Bible says it clearly in Revelation 18:23.
But take some time to investigate on your own. Check out the links I’ve scattered throughout this article. Start with Nicolson1968’s website (who has the clearest presentation of the mark and the kingdom of iron and clay spoken about in Daniel). Also check out the Covid-19 is an AMAZING virus section under the Truth Vault at Shaking My Head Productions.
Pray for discernment and God’s leading through the deception. And as always, don’t believe me or any other man over what God says.
This is the beginning of a series of posts to help you see through the deception. In Matthew 24:24, Jesus said, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders: insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” And again in Matthew 24:4, “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”
There are so many things in this world that can deceive. As I tell my children, the devil will not come after God’s elect looking like the cartoon version of a devil. He will not be wearing horns and carrying a pitchfork while clearly leading us into debauchery.
Rather, he will try to lead us astray by a path that looks like it is from God. In fact, the path may even run parallel with God’s path for a while making it seem like we are still doing alright. But it will be leading us astray little by little.
To learn more about why it is important to know the enemy, please see my post Knowledge is Power.
The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
It is the enemy, the one who would blind us to the truth in Christ.
And who is this enemy? Simple answer, Satan.
This article, Who Is the God of This World?, by theTrumpet.com does a great biblical job of explaining who Satan is. (Note: I’m not endorsing everything written by The Trumpet. But this explanation of Satan and his role in the world is excellent.)
He is the fallen one. Luke 10:18 says, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (More on this important symbol in a future post).
He is the serpent, the dragon. Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Also 2 Corinthians 11:3, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
He is the father of lies. John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
He is the prince of the air. “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” Ephesians 2:2.
He will deceive. Again, 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, let the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (emphasis mine).
It is so important that we understand who he is. And God clearly thought so, too. He spoke so often of the devil in the New Testament. He knew that we would be attacked.
So He did what any loving Father would do. He gave us knowledge so that we would know how to spot the enemy. And avoid him whenever possible.
As Charles Beaudelaire so eloquently put it, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
Yep. Most people don’t even think there is such a thing as a devil. So of course, that would also mean that God doesn’t exist either.
And of those that do recognize both God and Satan exist, so many underestimate Satan’s role right now. He is in control of our governments. Our leaders of industry and entertainment. Even many of our churches.
It is bad.
We are clearly at the great falling away warned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
Because God is beginning to reveal to His watchers that which was hidden. Jesus said, “For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” (Luke 12:2-3).
This is happening now. We are beginning to see the cracks in our systems. The debauchery that is rampant in Hollywood. The deception of our governments, our medical system. The churches that are turning away from preaching the Bible.
All of it is coming to light.
This is important. Like I said earlier, Satan will not show up to deceive the saints wearing a red jumpsuit with horns on his head. That would be so obvious we’d have little trouble walking away.
Again, Jesus warned us that, if it were possible, he would deceive the very elect. Satan has to be so sneaky that we might not even see him!
Isaiah, one of the greatest prophets in Old Testament times, tells us how God will help us to see the enemy coming. He uses the imagery of a watcher on the wall. “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence.” (Isaiah 62:6)
And Ephesians tells us where to look, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
There have been many watchers in recent years able to see the hidden things of this world. They have been trying to warn us. Some for decades.
You can find them on YouTube, Bitchute, Odyssee, Twitter, Facebook.
The world often calls them “conspiracy theorists.” They are being silenced, banned, removed from platforms.
Many have created their own websites as they have been kicked out of the mainstream. God has given them wisdom. And we, as His people, should be listening.
(For a list of some of these watchers, please see below.)
The watchers on the wall are telling us that the enemy has already breached the city and is living amongst us. They are even telling us who they are.
This one is actually pretty easy. If you have eyes to see, and ears to hear. (Matthew 13:16) This is why God calls us blessed.
The god of this world reveals himself in everything. He uses signs and symbols. Those who work for him use these same signs and symbols to communicate.
And we can see them, too. If we know what we are looking for.
And when we really look (and know what we are looking at), we will begin to see that Satan’s workers are everywhere. And in everything. Especially those who are in positions of influence.
They are our government leaders, our doctors, movie stars, rock stars, sports stars. They are the elites of this world. Those we usually look to for answers, solutions, and entertainment.
They control the message. The newscasters and influencers of social media. They are even the pastors of many of our churches.
If we didn’t know the Creator, it might seem scary how much they have infiltrated our daily lives and decisions. But remember, Jesus told us, He has already overcome the world. (John 16:33)
How do we keep from being deceived?
God, in His love and wisdom, has also told us how to do this.
God is not distant. He is not leaving us to fight this battle on our own. Not only has He given us all His protection (see Ephesians 6) but He has already won (see John 16:33).
We are called only to stand and endure.
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Mark 13:13 (emphasis mine)
Here is a list of some of the channels I have followed over the years. Though I do not necessarily agree with everything they post, I have found them to be extremely beneficial in navigating the deception.
Most importantly, remember to pray before, during, and after watching or listening to any of these. Use discernment. Remember, the devil wants to deceive God’s elect. He will do it by any means possible. Up to and including using God’s own people.
Disclaimer: Some of these videos deal with very dark and disturbing things. If at any time you feel that you are being pulled down with it, please stop immediately. I will often pepper my research with long bouts of Bible reading or singing of worship songs.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Philippians 4:8 KJV
The rulers of this world worship the god of this world. But they do not see him like we see him. Satan has twisted his own character to seduce these prominent people into following him and fighting for him. This channel does an excellent job exposing this religion and all the signs & symbols associated with it. I suggest watching in order from oldest to newest video in order to fully understand. Also, take frequent Bible breaks. I found it to be necessary. (In fact, I’ve still not finished the entire series because of this.)
For more information on this website/ channel, please see my Resource Review: Shaking My Head Productions.
Much like Shaking My Head Productions, this Bitchute channel exposes the leaders and entertainment industry by analyzing their repetitive use of symbols.
A channel that analyzes current trends and news as it relates to Bible prophecy.
Much like Dayz of Noah (they will often even interview one another), this channel discusses current topics in a Biblical manner. They also do online Bible studies and offer free Bibles and Biblical tracts to anyone who asks.
This was a YouTube channel for many years. Often removed for “violating community guidelines” ie. exposing the truth, he has made his content available with a small monthly fee on his own website. Excellent videos to understand the signs & symbols often associated with their religion.
Most known for his exposure of the androgyne agenda (transgender). Entertaining and highly informative but often a difficult pill for many to swallow.
One of my favorite resources to expose the darkness and the lies was a YouTube channel called Shaking my Head Productions (now a website). The videos on this website discuss the “conspiracies” I kept encountering in my search for truth. But the twist is that it shows how the lies we’ve been told were ultimately revealed in the Bible.
When giving my testimony, I often mention that it took being a conspiracy theorist for me to see the real truth of this world. The truth that is found in Jesus Christ. And though this is an extremely simplified version of the whole story, it is how I was born again into the Christian faith. I had exposed some pretty significant lies when my first child was born which pushed me to go on the search for truth. It all eventually led to Jesus. You can read a little bit more about this on my About Me page.
Disclaimer: As stated on the Shaking My Head Productions website, “Please do your own research on all the information posted here. Don’t take any of this as final say without looking into it yourself.” These videos are not for you if you are not interested in exposing all the lies we’ve been told (and there have been more than you think).
However, if you, like me, struggle to make sense of everything and want more knowledge, this website will rarely lead you wrong. Just remember to pray for guidance as you step into the rabbit hole. Without God’s protection and guidance, this search for truth can lead to some dark places that can be difficult to get out of.
One reason to research these topics is to answer questions you may have. Often times, we may feel like something doesn’t feel right. Like something is off about what we are being told. But we just can’t put our finger on it. I believe this is the Holy Spirit working in us to be wary of our next step.
So many of us have become complacent, letting others do the work of discernment for us. And then just blindly trusting what they have to say. Not just those that are listening to authorities. Even some “conspiracy theorists” are guilty of taking someone else’s word for something.
I think it is important that we question everything given to us by man. God is the only one we can trust blindly. Because He is the only one perfect, unable to make mistakes or to lead us wrong. Man, no matter how well-intentioned, is fallible. He makes mistakes. Often.
So when we trust without question, we put ourselves at great risk for being led astray.
There are multiple Bible verses that urge us to do our own research. To question everything.
As I mentioned in my post, Knowledge is Power, God wants us to be aware of the world around us. He does not want us hiding in a Christian bubble completely ignorant of how the enemy works. You can read the post here.
Having grown up in a Christian household, attending Christian schools, hanging out with Christian families, I fell into the same trap so many other Christians have fallen into. The idea that everyone thinks like us. That what we know of the world is correct because we are Christian.
But when I moved to France, and began to live my life surrounded by those who were of the world, I began to see a different side to things. And it was confusing. Which was correct? Even more confusing, why did so many of the world live just like those of us told not to conform to the world?
The Bible is clear. Romans 12:2 says, “be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed.” James 4:4 tells us that friendship with the world means enmity with God. And Colossians 2:8 warns us, “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world.”
Many of us have daily and life routines that we learned growing up. Some has changed because society, technology have changed. And we don’t really question it because everyone else is doing it. And when we are surrounded by Christians, and they are living this way too, we are even less likely to question it.
But we are told to do everything as unto to God and not unto men (Colossians 3:23).
Our lives should look vastly different from those around us. If not, can we truly say that we are different? If the world is enmity with God but we are living like those in the world, then we must also be at enmity with God.
There is a reason God tells us not to live as the world lives. And it is the reason why it puts us at enmity with God. Very simply, the world was given to Satan.
And if the world belongs to Satan then much of what we learn from the world must be lies. Because Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44).
We need to learn the truth. And to do that, we need to question everything that does not come directly from the Bible.
When attempting to write this review, I struggled to find the words to explain why I think it is so important to know how the enemy works. I prayed and gave up many times.
And then, one morning, while rereading the story of Moses, God reminded me that He has done this before. The story can be found in Numbers 13:1-14:45. God tells Moses to send spies into Canaan. One from every tribe.
These spies are sent to verify that what God had said about the promised land. And to show them the enemy they would face. He did this to give them hope and to get them excited about receiving the gift of this land. But He also did this to equip them for the fight.
Shaking My Head Productions (SMHP) is a website dedicated to exposing the darkness of this world. It is not meant to indoctrinate into the mystery religions or worldly practices. Instead, as a watchman, he is trying to expose how the enemy operates so that we can be better defended.
The videos he posts are compilations of clips from news channels, movies, tv shows, commercials, and other content creators. By piecing together these different clips, he is attempting to reveal some aspect of the world that is a lie manipulated to seem truth (or sometimes just to entertain).
The videos range in time from 20 minutes to over 2 hours depending on the topic. And he covers everything from politics to medicine to the entertainment industry.
There are also images or memes to try to impart this same knowledge in a snapshot that can be used on social media.
The different tabs help you to navigate between all that the website has to offer.
This is where the latest video compilations will be posted as well as links to the Shaking My Head Productions different channels like on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, Odysee, or Rumble. This is the tab I use most often. There are so many different things happening in the world today. And here is where you can begin to make sense how it is all working together.
The Truth Vault tab is basically a breakdown of different videos (or images) by subject matter. Some of these subjects include:
Within this tab is an even larger breakdown of individual videos in the Truth Video Vault or images in the Truth Image Vault. These video clips come from tv shows, movies, news, and even personal cell phone videos. Some of the subjects you can research are:
Here you can get access to all previous videos by Shaking My Head Productions. There are currently 6 pages of archives. You can see how much information is available for research should you have the time and interest.
This is also where you will find the videos that were deleted by YouTube. If you are not aware, YouTube has been censoring many people in the last few years. Especially those that are not sanctioned by elite and their narrative. Because of this, people like Shaking My Head Productions have been forced to move to other channels like Bitchute and Odysee and to create their own websites to continue getting the message out.
Obviously, this is where you can sign up for the newsletter. As social media sites begin purging those who reveal the truth in ongoing censorship, newsletters are one of the last ways for Shaking My Head Productions and others to continue sharing their content.
If you are interested in his work, consider signing up for the newsletter.
Shaking My Head Productions is a one-man operation (as he states on this page) who has been called to this task since 2016. It is how he supports himself.
I highly recommend helping him with a donation (if you find his work as helpful as I have) so that he can continue to expose the lies of the enemy.
Shaking My Head Productions is jam-packed full of information for just about any subject matter (conspiracy theory). If you have been wondering about something, changes are pretty good that he has created a video revealing the truth.
If, however, you have a question on a specific topic, it is through this form that you can contact Shaking My Head Productions. From experience as a website owner with no help, it may take a few days for a response.
While Shaking My Head Productions is not the only source I use to test the truth of this world, it is one of my favorites. The videos are entertaining as well as informative. And I am confident that SMHP uses God’s word as its basis for truth.
Since 2011, when I began my own search for truth, I have come across multiple different websites, books, and videos that attempt to explain the world. Many times, I was nearly led astray because they were attempting to explain the world through worldly means. It is only when I began to read and watch explanations of the world from a Christian standpoint, that I began to see the lies with which we have all been manipulated.
By the grace of God, I have been brought time and again back to the narrow path written in Matthew 7:13. And I truly believe that God wants us to know our enemy.
God does not like to surprise us. Everything that I have learned about Him shows that He continually reveals to us His plan so that we can be prepared. In a sense, He is making faith easier on us because He gives us a basis for that faith.
He says to believe in Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer. But then He sends His Son to live among us, to perform miracles for thousands to see and experience. And when He is resurrected, He sends hundreds of eyewitnesses to that resurrection.
He doesn’t expect blind faith from us. He knows how impossible that can be for us. So He makes it possible for us to have verification. He gives us eyes to see and ears to hear (Matthew 13:16). And He uses people like Shaking My Head Productions to reveal the truth of this world to us. Just like he used the Canaanite spies. To prepare us.
But also to show us His might. Because what might seem an unbeatable enemy, He has already destroyed. (John 16:33).
You’ve probably heard the term “sheeple” before. Merriam-Webster defines sheeple as “people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced.” The Oxford English Dictionary says it is a derogatory term which means “people compared to sheep in being docile, foolish, or easily led.”
And while this sounds incredibly clever and even a bit funny, it shouldn’t have the negative connotation that it does. We are all sheeple. The real problem lays in who or what we call our shepherd.
The Bible calls us sheep multiple times in both the Old and New Testaments. And it is never in a derogatory sense. Rather, it is a clear image of how we are to see ourselves in this world.
We are dependent. We need guidance. And we need to be cared for. People are not meant to live entirely alone, independent, and far from society. We are social creatures, created and designed to live in groups.
In fact, we are seeing the results of forced isolation right now. Suicide rates are up. Depression is up. People are more aggressive than ever. And partly because of the isolation we are forced into through social distancing, group limits, and divisive politics. Families are being driven apart by opposing ideological values. And society is crumbling as a result.
The famous words of John Donne go like this:
While most people think this was a poem (though Donne wrote some beautiful poetry), it actually comes from a sermon. He reminds us that we are all connected and our connection is important for our survival and wellbeing.
As Christians, this is also an important concept. We are called to the body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 we are told that though we are all individual members, we are of the same body with Christ as its head. Should one member of a body be missing, the body would not be able to work as well as it could.
Simply, it is not a bad thing to be a sheep as so many memes and commentators would have us belief. I’ve seen both sides of an issue refer to the other side as sheeple to indicate their idiocy and inability to see the truth.
But the actual truth is even simpler. We are all sheep. We were created to be dependent on one another. And we were created to follow.
I love the imagery of being a sheep. While the world wants to twist this to seem like we are unable to think for ourselves, naive, or foolish, the Bible paints a different picture.
Instead we are a flock. We are cared for, protected, led to food and shelter. We do not need to be independent, stressed by trying to “get it all done.” Rather, we can look to our Shepherd for help in a world that can be overwhelming.
Let’s stop looking at sheep as something we pity or even detest. We must stop trying to be islands, independent of each other. Let’s stop adding unnecessary stress to our lives by trying to do it ourselves, finding our own way, and rejecting both the flock and the Shepherd.
However, make sure that the Shepherd you have chosen is the Good Shepherd. And not just another sheep trying to lead you to the wolf to be devoured.
The problem really comes when we choose to follow the wrong thing.
There is only one Shepherd that leads to safety. We are all created to be of one flock. But society has pitted us against each other. Some follow the shepherd of science. Others follow the shepherd of politics. Still others think they are following the Good Shepherd but have been led astray by wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15).
Be glad to be one of the sheeple of God. And praise Him for His wisdom in creating us this way.
This month I would like to review a Bible study resource I’ve been using since its founding in 2019, Sojo Academy. Created by Arabah Joy and Jen Evangelista, this resource offers a wide range of faith-based resources not the least of which is a monthly thematic Bible study. I mentioned this briefly in my article Do We Need to Go to Church? No as a possible virtual community to join in the place of a physical church.
Sojo Academy, at its core, is an online community of women dedicated to studying God’s Word in depth on a regular basis. Each month, a new study is released. The studies can have a theme based on the season, like Christmas. Or it can be an in-depth look at a particular book of the Bible (like last November’s study of Ruth).
With each new Bible study release, the founders host multiple online group sessions. In general, Sojo Academy hosts four different opportunities to meet and learn together. These are:
New Bible studies are released the first Monday of every month. It is at this time that there is usually the first of the four online group sessions. In this workshop, the group discusses how best to plan your time to make the most of the study. It is especially helpful if you are unsure how to get started or what steps you should take to successfully make the most of what is offered.
The next online group session is usually the Mentor Monday (though this is sometimes offered after Create & Connect). In this workshop, you get to meet the author of the month’s Bible study. You can ask questions directly to the person who wrote the study. And often you will also do some of the reading or study together.
This is the most fun (in my opinion) of the group sessions. This workshop provides new ways to use each month’s creative elements. It is where you can learn how to:
Professional crafting or art skills are not required. It is meant to be a fun way to make your Bible study as beautiful for your eyes as for your spirit.
In fact, this is one of my favorite parts of the monthly Bible study. I love crafting. I could spend hours, days, months creating journals, cross-stitching, diamond painting, and more. But I rarely have the time (and have even less money).
However, each Bible study includes different elements like journal cards, tabs, images that I like to print on sticker paper to use in my Bible study itself. I often reuse them for other projects (like my junk journals). And have even printed a couple to stick on my laptop cover.
This group session is a little different. It starts off with a 30-minute study session where everyone is on camera, logged into the live session, but studying individually. This can be the actual Bible study for the month, something you are working on on your own, or just a prayer time. At the end of the 30 minutes, everyone focuses back on the screen for sharing time.
Whether it is a something that you learned, a prayer request, or just a moment of praise, women are encouraged to very quickly share what is on their hearts for the group to hear.
It is a time of encouragement and rest in a Christian community of women.
Sometimes, this becomes more of a praise session. Sometimes (like the Let It Go party at the end of December) it is a moment of fellowship and fun.
Though all of these sessions are offered live every Monday (usually) from 1PM to 2PM EST, they are recorded. This means that if you are unable to attend, you can re-watch them at a later date that is more convenient for you. Which is generally how I do it because that hits at 7PM for me which is stories and bedtime for my kids.
There is one last way to connect with the other women in Sojo Academy. And this is in the private Facebook Group. It is here that you can:
Though I am not a huge fan of Facebook, it is wonderful to see it used in the service of God.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been a member since it’s founding in January 2019. And though I have not taken advantage of the Christian fellowship as much as I should, I have completed every monthly Bible study.
The beauty is that once you have downloaded the materials, you own them for life and can come back to them as often as you’d like. Most women start on the first Monday of each month when the Bible study first comes out. The studies are laid out for five days of study per week for four weeks.
Ideally, you would study during the weekdays leaving weekends for catching up. And the last week of the month (or beginning few days of the next month) could also be used to catch up. I say, ideally, only because the discussions in the Facebook group and in the workshops often are presented as though this is the case.
However, I’ve been known (as have many others) to start late, study only on weekends, or even do a study from a previous month depending on what my life’s circumstances are like. It really is up to you.
The importance is to use the resources that are given to grow your relationship with God and with God’s family. This is not a place of judgment but of encouragement.
Bible studies are classified in a couple of different ways. First are those that study closely one particular book of the Bible. Others include themes based on the spiritual gifts like prayer. Others follow a particular type of book like our study of the minor prophets. Each brings wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.
Proverbs 1:7 reminds us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” If we truly fear the Lord (awe, reverence, trust, and love), we will desire time spent learning about Him and His ways. Which is why I so look forward to my monthly studies.
Here is a short list of some of the Bible studies from this past year:
I honestly recommend joining this group. Especially if you are unable to join a physical Bible study group. Though community in person is the ideal, our current world is far from encouraging this. So many of us have been left to drift alone.
But the good news is that God is ever present. And His church is not confined to a physical location. We can meet anywhere, at any time. And God’s people are finding new ways to share the Gospel message and create community when old ways fail.
If you’d like to check it out before joining, the ladies at Sojo Academy have offered a free Bible study. “Forget Not His Benefits” is a 1-Hour Bible study that focuses on remembering all God’s goodness and finding joy even in the hard parts of life and is based on a powerful passage for finding joy, Psalm 103:1-5.
This FREE resource is designed to help you dig into God’s word through a meaty, single-session Bible study. It’s perfect for when you only have a short window of time to study and want a soul-refreshing hour with God.
Download it today and enjoy a rich hour in the Word today.
One of the most well-known Bible stories from the Old Testament is that of the exodus. The Israelites had become slaves to the Egyptians. And their life was only getting harder. So God chose a leader, Moses, to get them out of Egypt. And to bring them to the land promised to Abraham. Moses helped prepare God’s people to leave their old lives behind for a new and better one. He wants to do the same for us. He wants us to prepare for the exodus, too.
When we look back at the exodus story, we notice first the need for a change. The Israelites originally lived in Egypt in good conditions. Over the course of a couple hundred of years they went from honored guests of the Pharaoh to slaves.
Let’s review. In Genesis 37, we learn that Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers and brought to Egypt. After years of service to an Egyptian official, he was unjustly thrown into prison.
The Pharaoh pulled him out of prison after hearing of his ability to explain dreams. And because of the wisdom God granted Joseph, he was eventually put in charge. In fact, the only person higher in power was the Pharaoh himself.
So when the famine predicted in the Pharaoh’s dream took place, Joseph was well placed to save not only Egypt but his own brethren. Eventually, his eleven brothers and father Jacob all moved to Egypt. It is then they lived in prosperity as honored relations of Joseph, the right hand man of Pharaoh.
Jump forward a couple of hundred years and we see the Israelites (Hebrews) are no longer honored guests of the Pharaoh. It says in Exodus 1:7, “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.”
This new Pharaoh, whom the Bible says “knew not Joseph,” didn’t like this so much. In fact, it scared him. So he started making their life difficult.
First, he made them slaves. They built Pharaoh’s cities. When that didn’t make them less mighty, he made plans to kill all their male children.
This is where most people begin to be familiar with the story. Moses, of course, was one of the babies that should have been killed. But his mother successfully hid him and sent him down the river where the Pharaoh’s own daughter found him and raised him as her own.
Moses was in a unique position to know the language and culture of both the Hebrews and the Egyptians. And this is partly why he was chosen to lead God’s people out of Egypt.
The people were so heavily burdened by this time that the Bible says “God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” (Exodus 2:24) And He began to put into motion His plan to save His people. And fulfill His promise to them.
Just like in Moses’ time, God’s people are beginning to groan. In many parts of Africa and Asia, Christians are being persecuted in large number. But even those of us in the West (where we, too, were once prosperous) are beginning to “sigh by reason of the bondage.”
Our leaders, once determined to rule according to the morals and values of Christianity, are now following their own desires and those of the world. As we see a rise in racial tension (provoked by the media and those in authority), gender confusion (taught and encouraged by teachers and doctors), and poverty (brought about by our business and government leaders), Christians are quickly becoming a minority. One that is silenced, mocked, and sometimes even jailed.
Less than a hundred years ago, living as a Christian in the West was easy. We were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with” us. (Exodus 1:7)
But no longer. And once again, we are crying out to God for peace and rest from the burdens of this life.
And just like in the time of Moses, He is getting ready to bring us to the promised land.
But this time, our Savior is known. He came once to release us from the bondage of sin. And He will come again to bring us home for good. Revelation 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
And this exodus is no longer just for the Israelites, (the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) with whom He made the covenant. It is with all people. “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians 3:11
We need to be ready.
Moses didn’t just show up one day and say, “hey guys, let’s get out of here.” This wouldn’t have worked very well. For a couple of reasons.
First, he had to establish his authority. Who was he to be leader? Why should they listen to him? And not just his own people, but the enemy, the Pharaoh needed to know this as well.
Second, the trip out would require preparation. Not just the physical preparation of gathering food and belongings. But the emotional and mental preparation of leaving everything they ever knew behind. Their entire way of life would be changed.
Remember, they had been living in Egypt for hundreds of years. The Israelites had most likely developed some habits and customs similar to those of the Egyptians. They had homes, families, routines. They had stability.
The Israelites needed not only to accept Moses as their leader, they needed to accept a new way of life. They needed to be willing to give up their stability. And they needed to be willing to give up the assurance of a bed to sleep in, food to eat, a future for the family. Even if that future was filled with burden and grief.
They needed to be ready to trust God with it all. Follow Him blindly. Give up control. Trust Him to provide.
Our modern leaders do not know Christ as they used to. Like the Pharaoh in Moses’ day, they see the prosperity and abundance of Christians and it hardens their hearts. They are fearful that we will rise up against them and they will lose their power. That we will no longer let them live so that “every man [does] that which as right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
So they are increasing our burdens. Some are asking us to compromise our faith to keep our jobs. Asking us to “follow the science” like it is some new savior. Even giving up our children on the altar of “science” and inject them with experimental drugs that have now been shown to have serious side effects.
So we are standing at the same point as the Israelites before leaving Egypt. Are we willing to give up our habits and customs? Will we give up our homes, routines, even families? Are we willing to give up our stability?
God didn’t expect the Israelites to make these changes overnight. In fact, we often think of the ten plagues as God’s show of power over the Egyptian gods. As a sort of proof to the Egyptians that God is sovereign.
But it was also to show the Israelites themselves that God is Sovereign. That they can trust the leader God had sent them to free them from their bondage. And it gave them time. Time to prepare the voyage to the new land. Time to change their attitude. And time to give up their old way of life.
Of course, they complained almost immediately upon leaving Egypt. Many wanted to go back to the security of slavery. They wanted the assurance of a roof over their head and food to eat.
And God added forty years in the desert. They were clearly not ready to make the change necessary to receive the gift of the promised land. So He gave them time. And He proved to them over and over for forty years that He is Sovereign. He cares. And He provides.
And He is doing the same for us. As we approach the end times, we know that it will get rough. That the mark of the beast will be required to buy and sell. That we will be persecuted.
And while I don’t believe the masks or the vaccine are the mark, I do believe they are precursors. And that God in His wisdom and mercy, is giving us time to prepare. Time to change our attitudes about this life. And time to put all our trust in Him.
And when we do. When we take that first step out of Egypt, He will prove to us again and again that He is Sovereign. He will provide as He has promised. And He will bring us home. To the real promised land that is eternal life in His presence.
So I urge you to use this time wisely. Start taking those steps of faith. Reject the comforts of this world for those of heaven. And let God show His Sovereignty in your life. He will provide as He promised in Matthew 6:33. “ But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Stay strong. Resist the mandates.
And above all, trust God. He is giving you this time to prepare for our own exodus.
In this article, I answered the question “do we need to go to church?” with a “no.” Biblically, we are not required to attend weekly services in order to be saved. Read more here.
Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
I remember reading this Bible verse just after the first lockdowns in March 2020. And it struck me that what was happening was wrong. We aren’t called to assemble “except” or “less.” We are told to do it “more.”
Add in the Bible verse from James that call for the sick to be brought to the church for prayer and we were way off to close up churches. (James 5:14-15 Is there any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.)
Jesus himself never isolated himself from the ill or avoided those who called on Him. And if we are called to follow Him as our example, neither can we.
Even more importantly because Christians are the body of Christ. Romans 12:5 says, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 12 discusses this concept more deeply.
We are all members with different gifts that are to be used for the edification of the church. As members of one body, we must work together. And this is nearly impossible when separated.
To continue the analogy of the body, when we have a stomach ache or a runny nose, we do not separate those parts of the body until well. Rather, we rest the whole body together or take medications that will heal the whole body. (This is why herbal medications are better than those chemically-created. The ingredients are not isolated to target one symptom, thus causing side effects. But more on this in a future post.)
So if our spiritual body is sick, if there is a lack of trust in God, or earthly fear is dominating its members, it is counterproductive to separate them. Rather, they must be treated as a whole. Encouraging and rebuking one another is what we are called to do to overcome our distrust or our fear. And this can only be done when we are together.
As I mentioned in this post, we are blessed with the ability in many places of meeting online. And sometimes this is the only way. In fact, this is the way my family has been living for the last 18 months. We have no churches that preach the way (as the early Christian church called themselves). What we have available to us are churches that fear man more than they fear God.
But even though I have been able to grow in faith exponentially since I’ve been forced to find my Christian community online, I must tell you that it is far from ideal. I long for the days when we as Christians could rely on each other both spiritually and physically.
And I can only pray that we (and all Christians) are able to find our way back to this. And soon. Especially as we find ourselves fast approaching the day of the Lord.
My advice is to first try to find a physical church home near you, if at all possible. However, even if you are not able, maybe try to create your own Bible group (no matter how small) to try to have fellowship. Or even just meet with fellow Christian families on a regular basis for meals, prayers, and singing.
Because it is important to try to follow the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:14, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” And you, in turn, can be warned, comforted, and supported when you need it.
But don’t be disheartened if you are living in a spiritual desert, like I am. Read Do We Need To Go To Church? No. to learn more about why we can still be strengthened if worshipping alone.
This is a question that a lot of people are asking these days. With churches closing during lockdowns, requiring masks, and some even requiring vaccines to enter, Christians are beginning to wonder. Do we need to go to church?
The answer is no. And yes. Today, I’ll explain why, biblically, it is not necessary to attend church to be (or become) a Christian.
1 John 2:27 tells us, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
He makes it very clear that we do not need any man to teach us. We have been anointed. God abides in us as He did in Jesus. And we receive teaching because of Him.
Even further, John 15:16 says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you.” It was not the church or a pastor or even our parents that made us Christians. It was God who chose us. And we, in return, agreed to be His. No man, no matter how well versed in the Bible, can save you. That honor is reserved for God alone.
At our salvation, God sent us a Comforter. The one we call the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit. Jesus spoke of Him for the first time to His disciples in John chapter 14. And only those who have been saved can receive Him.
John 14:17 says, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” There it is again. We have God dwelling in us. And He brings us truth.
Further on, Jesus explains what the Holy Ghost will do for us when we receive Him. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
The Holy Spirit, sent to us by the Father, who lives in us, teaches us all things. This is how we can explain the emergence of new Christians who live in areas where no church exists. They were chosen by God. Either they heard through the Bible or some other reading, or maybe even just by word of mouth. And they believed. The moment they believed, the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell in them and teach them all things.
John expounds on this even further when he writes in chapter 16 verse 13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”
Once again, we are told that the truth comes from the Spirit who is sent to us. And that it is He that will guide us and show us what is to come.
So we see, that it is entirely possible to become, learn, and remain strong Christians without attending weekly church services. And this is good news for those of us who live in spiritual deserts. For those of us who find ourselves living in an increasingly materialistic world. A world that has rejected God for the idols of Mohammad, Buddha, celebrity, money, health, power, etc.
Nothing was made more abundantly clear to me that I was living in a nation that outright rejected God when the March lockdowns in 2020 also closed down all churches. During the Easter season. And not one church that I knew of in all of France even bothered to object.
We were left in a spiritual desert. The churches left us to fend for ourselves for weeks on end.
But God reminded me of a simple truth: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” When our family was forced to worship alone, we did not despair. Rather we gloried that God was so merciful that He did not require the legalistic approach that perfect church attendance is necessary for salvation.
Instead, He made it easy for us. We need only be two or three and He will come. He sent us the Holy Spirit to teach us all things. He chose us.
If you do not have a physical church that you can join (for whatever reason), I highly suggest you find a virtual community. They are multiple choices. You can join a virtual Bible study. Or follow a specific minister on YouTube. Listen to a podcast. Or even join a Bible study group on social media. The possibilities are endless.
Here is a small list of some of my favorite online resources (that we use in our family):
But most importantly, put God first in your daily life. Read the Bible. Sing hymns or worship songs. Sing alone or as a family. But keep God first. Because remember, we are the temple of the Lord. We are the church. Wherever we worship, God will be with us.
If, however, you do have a church community, do your best to attend regularly. Find out why here.
This month, I have chosen Prayer – Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster. This book was recommended to me early this year by a fellow Christian mama at Read Aloud Revival. I had been a premium member there for a few years and was mostly active in the Prayer Request forum. This is mostly because I do not have a Christian community where I live to make these requests to.
In one of my more stressful moments (just before a homeschool inspection), a fellow prayer warrior mentioned the Prayer of the Forsaken. Her description was so compelling that I felt the need to check the book out for myself.
If you’ve ever felt that your spiritual life is stale or that you seem to be missing something in this spiritual discipline, I highly recommend this book.
Richard Foster does an excellent job of breaking down many different forms of praying. Even more importantly, he backs up these formulas with scriptural examples. The examples written in the book of Psalms. Those spoken by the prophets of the Old Testament. And those used by Jesus and His followers. Among others.
And Foster organizes these different types in such a way that you can easily jump around if you are looking for a specific one.
There are three sections:
Each one of these sections then breaks down the different examples that will help us to fulfill the needs we have as followers of Christ.
In Part I, Moving Inward we encounter seven different types for spiritual growth:
These examples are those that we use most often in order for spiritual growth. They force us to look inward, asking God for help in times of trouble, in times of repentance, and sometimes just to help us strengthen our faith.
In Part II, Moving Upward, Foster explores seven types that cause us to simply look up at our Heavenly Father.:
Often what we pray speaks more about who we are than who our God is. This section teaches us to pray about the wonderful attributes of the One and Only Creator God so that we bring Him glory. And that we don’t just turn our prayers into the “me hour.” Focusing only on our life as His followers.
And lastly, in Part III, Moving Outward, we learn seven more types that help us to be better disciples of the Living Lord in the world around us:
Each of these final examples give us some of the ways we can pray in our own ministry. We are called not just to grow in faith ourselves. But to spread the Gospel message to those around us. And to encourage and rebuke fellow believers.
I originally bought this book on the Kindle (trying to save money and space on the bookshelves). And it took me months to finish. Partly because I read on a schedule (this book I read every Sunday). And partly because it is so packed with useful information that I didn’t want to rush through it and miss something important.
I also wanted time to meditate on each example and how I could use it in my own life.
There is so much to be learned about this discipline. Many of us are using a fraction of the ways that God has taught us to pray in the Bible. And we can spend our entire lives sometimes not even praying a specific example listed in this book. Often because we don’t know how.
Which is why I find this book to be so important. Especially if you are looking to grow your own spiritual life. And it also the reason why I will be purchasing a physical copy of the book. I do this so rarely (again for financial reasons as much as for space). But it is so full of wonderful information. And I want to be able to flip through it over and over again as I explore each of these prayers in turn. I have no other option but to have it in hand. Right next to my Bible.
Pick up a copy and start revolutionizing your own spiritual life through praying.
A few years ago, a story started traveling the internet about the quote by Francis Bacon, “knowledge is power.” It is a pretty funny story that still causes me to chuckle every time I hear it. If you’ve never heard it, it goes like this.
When I was young my father said to me: “Knowledge is Power… Francis Bacon.”
I understood it as “Knowledge is power, France is bacon.”
For more than a decade I wondered over the meaning of the second part and what was the surreal linkage between the two. If I said the quote to someone, “Knowledge is power, France is bacon,” they nodded knowingly. Or someone might say, “Knowledge is power” and I’d finish the quote “France is bacon” and they wouldn’t look at me like I’d said something very odd but thoughtfully agree. I did ask a teacher what did “Knowledge is power, France is bacon” meant and got a full 10 minute explanation of the “knowledge is power” bit but nothing on “France is bacon.” When I prompted further explanation by saying “France is bacon?” in a questioning tone I just got a “yes.” At 12 I didn’t have the confidence to press it further. I just accepted it as something I’d never understand.
It wasn’t until years later I saw it written down that the penny dropped.Lard_baron
And even though this a delightfully funny story, there is some truth to be found here. Not just the fact that knowledge is power. Especially knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It can cause confusion. And it can cause us to isolate ourselves from others. They seem to understand. But it is not getting any clearer for us. So there must be something wrong with us.
What is heartening about this little vignette is that the boy in the story doesn’t stop trying to figure out what he was missing for a long time. However, eventually he just accepts it as something he will never understand.
We, too, are at risk of confusion, lack of confidence, and eventually giving up. When we don’t stay in the Word, when we put off quiet time with God, we stray further and further from understanding. The views of the world get clearer and clearer. While God’s view of the world becomes dim.
And this misunderstanding can cause big problems in our lives.
Hosea 4:6 warns what happens to God’s people when they stray from knowledge. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”
The first and most important can be found in Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”
And again in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
We are to fear the Lord first. This doesn’t mean that we are to be frightened of Him. (Though, of course, He is the Almighty and His wrath will be fearsome to behold.) But we are to be in awe of Him. We are to recognize who He is (the Infinite God with no limits). And we are to recognize who we are (His creation with only limits). We are to remember our place in the world. And not try to be equal with Him.
Then comes the knowledge of what He has done for us. John 3:16 (can you recite it with me?) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Our faith. Belief in the Son. Who came to earth, died, and was resurrected for us. He came to pay the price of our sins so that we could be reconciled with the God of all creation.
And many Christians stop there. Either they do not understand the rest of God’s message, what happens after salvation (France is bacon). Or they have given up looking. Or else they think that is enough.
Because there is more required of us after we have been saved. We don’t need it to be saved. (God’s grace is all that is needed. Ephesians 2:8-9) But true salvation works in us the desire to do more.
First are those things that we learn of through the life of Jesus Christ and His followers. The New Testament is written to teach us of our salvation. But also how to live a saved life.
We are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. And to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Mark 12:30-31)
And in this confusing world, we need to be aware of God’s will and desire for our lives so that we can obey Him. And this means, going directly to the source.
Too often we are told something by a preacher or respected leader that sounds good. So we follow along. But how often do we actually verify that this message is actually in accordance with the Bible? I would venture to guess, not often. I know I didn’t.
When I no longer had a spiritual guide (no pastor, no Christian mentor, no church) I was forced to look for answers directly from the source. And I was astounded at how we have been led astray in this modern world.
How often did the Bible speak of false prophets or false teachers? There are at least 14 Bible verses that speak of false teachings. Clearly He was aware that we may be led astray. It has happened numerous times to God’s people in both the Old and the New Testaments.
After all, Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44).
Some of the lies will be obvious. (God is a woman. There are more than two genders. Jesus was only a man.)
But he also likes to twist the truth just enough to turn us astray. (God is love. God just wants us to be happy. Jesus was all about peace and love.) While these things are true in essence, they are being used to accept sinful lifestyles. Ignoring the command to rebuke the sinner. (2 Timothy 4:2)
We need to be aware of the world around us. And how it is twisting the Word of God to fit social justice, peace, or any other modern ideal.
First, stay in the Bible. Read it often. Or listen to it on audiobook. Attend church (whatever way that may be).
And question everything.
I urge you to take everything you hear worth a grain of salt. Do your own research. Use the Bible to discern God’s will in everything. If you are studying the Bible daily, God’s vision for the world we become much clearer than what we see through our sinful eyes.
And lastly, pray. Because we are living in a world that has rejected Jesus as its Savior. And it wants you to see the world as it does.