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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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This post contains nothing that is of any use to me. What were you thinking? Anyway, it's probably the best I've read all day.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Wednesday Prayer Encouragement -III-
Today I would like to address the "God must hate me because I can't overcome the sin of [fill in the blank]" syndrome, specifically with regards to how it can cripple prayer life.

We go to the book of Joshua for our encouragement today. Specifically we want to read the whole of the eleventh chapter, paying attention to how many times we read something like this:
...and struck them with the edge of the sword, devoting them to destruction.
God commanded Joshua to go in and to destroy it all, and that is what Joshua did. But I want you to understand something about that destruction, something that is recorded in verses 19 and twenty:
19There was not a city that made peace with the people of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took them all in battle. 20For it was the LORD’s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the LORD commanded Moses.
That is our encouragement for today.

Why is it that you are so confounded by that habit that you cannot let go of? The taking of the promised land pictures how a Christian enters into rest - it is recorded for our benefit so that we can take comfort and certainty in the victory. The reason we struggle with some sins is not to discourage us, but rather it is so that we do not make peace with them, but battle them until they are utterly destroyed.

So take heart in that struggle, don't grow slack, but know that God isn't hating you for your failure, rather He may well be allowing/using this failure to strengthen your resolve to utterly deal with some sin rather than to deal with it in a superficial or temporal manner. Our encouragement is this - He shall be called Emmanuel, God with us. Our Lord is not absent in our struggles, don't get all half hearted in your prayers because you feel like a failure - that just shows that you are coming to God in your own merit - no, instead you must cast aside this "I am all alone in this" kind of deception, and recognize that your Grand General, the Lord of armies has sent you to take a hill that has been slotted for destruction - and he knows it isn't going to be a cakewalk - but He is the one who sent you into it, and He will lead you through the victory.

So if you have a habit of letting besetting sin cripple your prayers, it is because you imagine that God runs away from you during your struggles instead of runs towards you during them. You have a wrong understanding of God. God doesn't abandon us when struggles come, that is when He is most near. The tension you feel over unconquered sin is intended to drive you on to victory, and not to lull you into defeat.

Do not be fooled by the whispers of the enemy - God is not against you, he is for you. Take your shield out soldier, and with it quench those fiery darts - and get in the fray.

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posted by Daniel @ 6:15 AM  
6 Comments:
  • At 8:58 AM, August 08, 2007, Blogger Jim said…

    That is a great admonishment!

     
  • At 9:09 AM, August 08, 2007, Blogger Susan said…

    And encouragement.
    Thank you.
    (written with one hand, while repositioning shield with the other...)

     
  • At 9:19 AM, August 08, 2007, Blogger Marcian said…

    Well-needed at this time. Thanks for reporting truthfully from the battlefield.

     
  • At 3:27 PM, August 08, 2007, Anonymous paul said…

    Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus, my name is Paul, I'm a friend of JD's, (voice of vision) he is my Pastor as well. I posed a question to him today and he responded by pointing me in the direction of your Post today. I must say, that is the clearest explanation of this topic I have ever read. Praise be to the Father.
    So... Thank you and Lord bless you.

     
  • At 5:10 PM, August 08, 2007, Blogger Daniel said…

    Grace and Peace Paul!

    I thank God, and will thank him again, that this post could by used by Him to shed some light on this for you. I know the Lord is gracious to us, but sometimes I marvel at how gracious.

    He never leaves us, and never forsakes us, just like he said.

    Thanks Paul for stopping in.

    Dan
    <><

     
  • At 5:56 PM, August 08, 2007, Blogger donsands said…

    The genuine man or woman of the Lord will struggle, and have tension. I surely have, and do.

    My bottom line is always pride. It grips me like a vise. But God has loosened this vise, and it's better, and He, the Savior, and His grace receive all the glory.

    Very good post to ponder and reread.

    This one verse is always an encouragement to me as a child of God: "And by this we shall know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things." 1 John 3:19-20

    The true child of God does condemn himself sometimes, but we can take heart that God is greater than our heart's condemnation.

     
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