TeachingOctober 26, 2022

One Defense

So sad to meet people who call themselves a Christian but in down to earth, nitty gritty every day life struggles they are void of true power. I want to sit down and talk to them. I want to ask them “Why, why, why would you want to be contrary to the divine revelation of God’s Word and incur the tragic consequences and outcome of demonic control?” It’s not like you have to climb a mountain or swim an ocean. There is no need for any appearance of moral righteousness. Everything God offers is free, simple and yet profound. The one and only requirement is that you come in through The Door (John 10:9). Jesus says His sheep will “NEVER” follow a stranger (same passage).

How can a man, The Man, be a door? Maybe a bridge, maybe water, maybe many other things but a door means one must pass THROUGH Him. There is no doubt the only way to utilize a door is to go in and pass through …Him. Jesus says that one who comes through Him will “find pasture”. Good things, living truth and healing waters await. This, my friend, is salvation. The living Person Jesus. Plain, simple and profound. God declares that the only way to defend oneself against the god the of this world is “…by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony” (Rev.12:11).

Do you realize how powerful such a statement remains? Right along side the blood of the Lamb, which is THEE most profound event and provision in the universe, of all time, is the personal testimony of a person to meeting Jesus. It is the ONLY defense against the subtle and lethal lies Satan injects into our lives. The Presence of the living Jesus is the only One Who can ensure our real access to His Spirit. Kind of common sense. Yet men would rather pretend because they don’t want to expenisd the heart for truth.

The following is the word of my testimony.

We all carry a burden of life’s pain deep inside us. It doesn’t really spill out until outward things break down. Then, we can get angry, and feel so all alone. We do things we don’t understand or want to do. We are driven by something in us that is an enigma.

We fear there are no real answers. I had a “Bad Ass” image when I played college football. I lifted 405 lbs., ran a 4.4, 40 yrd. dash but beneath it all I hid my feelings of being a failure and my deep depression. Do you know what I’m saying? Have you ever tried to face what you feel inside? Society tells us “You’re on your own baby. Got to fake it to ‘Make it’”. Not true, my dear brother or sister. Not true at all. 

My teamates called me “Crazy War” (from my wild ways and my last name begins with ‘war’).  One night my image drove me to start a bar room brawl. Cops were called. I fled down a back alley and up a chain-link fence. But I landed in jail. My football noteriety kept me from prison, but my ‘crazy war’ kept me locked up in a dungeon of misery. Peer pressure  defined me as others expected of me: “The Crazy War”. 

 I was desperate for another life. Modern times have corrupted the idea of God, from a living merciful Father, into an irrelevant and impersonal system of hypocrisy, politics and self-righteousness condemnation. So hard to get beyond it because it’s everywhere. 

This story is my journey to get beyond it and can help you find reality and resolution to your deepest pain. One night, long ago, while watching The Ed Sullivan Show, my mom just started telling my dad and I about an experience she had of the  living Jesus. I was kind of like “Where did that come from?”. I mean as catholics it was all about Mary and the Mass. What’s with this Jesus thing?

My dad was a big-time “ go to church” guy but  he instantly shut her off.  I’ll never forget his reaction sitting in his chair with his bowl of ice cream. He went from cool, calm and collective to a raging lunatic. In that very moment,  I was stunned by the collision of two totally different HEARTS. How could religion cause such absolute contrary responses?

From then on, their marriage collapsed, until the day she died of intenstinal cancer. It broke my heart and baffled my mind. I loved her so very dearly. As my dad and I drove home in the black hearse,  from the cemetery, after her burial, he told me of his terrible regret of how he treated her. But it was too late.

At that time, I was consumed with my own  world of football, booze and drugs but their illogical conflict put a deep question in me about another possibility of God, other than  typical churchianity. But what could “IT” be?  I kept my thoughts a secret to myself.  Yet I began to become aware of how many people are like my dad, they speak “right” words and ACT religious but inside have no HEART. I also watched so many destroyed by religion, catholic but especially evangelical. So plastic and phony.  So I completely understood why people stay away from mention of “Jesus”.

I refused to play “church”, or become a cynic and antagonist. Instead, I decided to give God a fair chance. So I made a simple, straightforward appeal. If He existed, I tested Him by asking for an “All-City” football award that would get me recruited,  away from my dad, and out of my own home town routine of going to bars and getting drunk. 

 To my shock, God actually answered my prayer. But I miserably failed to respond. In fact, when I arrived at Central Mich. Univ to play football, my inner  ‘crazy war’ went “nuclear”. I ran from God  into a very dark world.

      An Inner Move leads to Another World

Surely, your life-experience is something quite different. You have your own ‘issues’ and case against God. But surely, you desire purpose, meaning and peace of mind. Unforeseen injuries smashed my football dreams. I lost everything and everyone. I was worse than ever before.

  I began wonder if I could truly find the living Jesus. I allowed my HEART to move my will to budge. It’s called repentance. You don’t have to climb no moral mountain or got any meetings. Just start to budge. Do you really WANT to know God? Yes, it’s about eternity in heaven or hell. But Jesus promises to replace depression with joy and laughter here and now.  If you will move an inch towards Him, He will move you a mile. 

As I contemplated Jesus in the Gospel of John I became fascinated with His ways and words. I didn’t even understand the workings of atonement, mediation, propitiation, sacrifice, etc. I just loved Jesus. What a man. What a God. Learning about Jesus is seeing God in action with common individuals like you and me, because He is One (Jn.14:6-9). The ultimate question: Is the Jesus of long ago, alive today? I wondered “If Jesus existed would He do something real for  me?” I also read a book about a caterpillar  and the dark world of a “cocoon” becoming a butterfly. 

 Faith is like a tiny seed that enters our  “caterpillar”. With my leg in a cast, I made another appeal to God.  Jesus promises, not a 2nd chance, but a life of 2nd chances. My injury kept me from playing Spring Ball so earning a scholarship for the next year was impossible. One beautiful spring day, Coach Kramer called me into his office and said, even though I was injured, he awarded me a full-ride scholarship. 

  I was overwhelmed by God being real and His  love to hear a wicked dude like me. I walked outside, fully dressed, and dove into a campus pond (I couldn’t stop itching and was later told it was filled with insecticides. Whoops).  A few months later I visited Notre Dame during a catholic charismatic conference. While sitting in the stadium, under the library mural of “Touchdown Jesus”, I surrendered to the real living Jesus. The Holy Spirit is real. Jesus repeatedly explains His Character in John 14, 15 and 16. He is actually described as a dove (John 1:32). 

I didn’t know it then,  but I was “born from above”  (Jn.3:3-8).In one moment of time and space I became as the wind. The reality is that we have no idea how weighed down we are with guilt, worry, unbelief, ect. It requires the Holy Spirit to lift this burden. No “accept Christ” prayer but the very impact of Presence of His Spirit. There are no obstacles, no walls, no limitations to keep Him from us. Except our wall of pride and presumption.

The weight of guilt was suddenly lifted and I felt like a butterfly escaping the  cocoon. My conscience was washed. There were no angels or rainbows but I was resolved that “the crazy war” died with Christ on the cross. I was reconciled to my living Father. That one de cision of courage changed my entire life. God turned my failures into feathers to build wings to fly (Isaiah 40:31). The proof of what happened then fills fifty years of standing for Jesus since then. Not my strength but His Spirit. 

I am not lying or exaggerating. It is shameful and tragic how “Christians” talk on and on about how they changed their SELF, about a ‘church’, Bible verses, a preacher or experience,  but not one word about meeting the living Jesus. He will bring you into salvation because Jesus IS salvation.   Not some mechanical “sinners prayer” to “accept Christ”. Theory is not Jesus.

The magnificent living Person of Jesus is waiting. He says “Come to ME… Learn from ME…out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water (Mt.11:28/Jn.7:37).  He will meet you right where you’re at. He is a living Person and His Spirit  imparts a life like the wind. It is awesome to actually fly beyond ‘the crazy war’ ; like an eagle (Jn.3:8/Is.40:31). 

God is not seen or known by an hour  of ascertaining abstract sermon knowledge in a building on Sunday. Jesus says “they honor Me with their lips but their HEART is far from me” (Mk.7:6). There are 67k denominations, 300k churches, and a glut of TV “preachers” that confuse and deceive multitudes.  It is not the church but a system of preachers, self-righteousness and Chri$tianity. 

 The living Jesus is not a title, term or cliche. He is the revelation of God on earth. Yes, Jesus is invisible. But so is air, frequencies, aromas, wind, love, truth and all things that constitute real life. The plan of Jesus is to “credit” your FAITH to you as His righteousness (Rm.4:9/Gal.2:20-21/Phil.3:7-11). No more pretending to be good or failing to obey the 10 commandments.  Imagine being “washed” clean of your own ‘crazy war’. Imagine the free flight of an eagle; a son of the Father (Jn.8:32,36/Gal.2:16-21/ 2 Cor. 5:17,6:17-18,). Jesus took it (SIN) into His own body and shed every drop of  His perfect blood as a substitute and atonement (READ Rom.5:8,3:10,7:19/Ps.51:3ff). 

A while back I was up in the high country of the Rocky Mountains. I was laying on my back and watching cloud formations. Just loving God. Suddenly an eagle flew into the picture. Thousands of feet high, it did just one thing. It rode the wind. It glided for miles. So still. No movement yet going so high. I thought of a riddle. What travels into beautiful places without moving? An eagle in flight. Never heard a man talk about John 3:8. Yet it is the one and only place Jesus describes what it is to be born again. So contrary to the “salvation” of a prayer, Bible knowledge and betterment of self. The wind, an eagle, heights in the Spirit, joy beyond joy and destiny of friendship with God.

One touch of His love will budge your heart.  Any church that tells you the goal is to make yourself a “better” person is as stupid as the phonies who dragged an adulterous woman to the feet of Jesus. In one sentence, God, in Christ, nullified all human “righteousness”: ‘he who is without sin, stone her’ (Jn.8:7). God understands all the tough stuff, all the deliberate and accidental sin, and yearns to forgive and heal you.  Jesus yearns to become your true Brother and teach you how to actually mount up with eagles wings. 

We can never “better” our self because there is nothing in self better than self (Rm.3:10). A church did not die on a cross and cannot heal the inner war.  God is fully aware of the ‘crazy war’ we all hide inside. Satan tells us that our  pain is due to our own failure or something or someone ‘out there’. No. All struggle is due solely to SIN written in our blood (Rm.7:16).

Satan tricked our father Adam to defy God and ruined the entire human race (Rom.5:12). So we all inherit ‘the crazy war’  of sin against God in our very blood (Rom.6:23/ Rv.21:8).  Jesus died and rose again to put in us His “life-giving resurrection Spirit”; the only way I conquer the crazy war every hour of every day (Jn.3:7/1 Cor.15:45/ Eph.3:16). 

Don’t let the scars win. All the questions are like dominos that will start to fall as you  budge.  Decide to make humility the 1st feather to build wings to fly in God’s wind (Jn.3:8). Please, let me help you.  Feel free to write. Ask me anything. I love you as a brother and will meet you wherever you’re at. The experience of His wind will extinguish all pain and fear. Flight is far more than a metaphor. It is a promise from the Father.