Charming the Cobra…

Titillation is the feeling we experience when actively seeking forbidden pleasure. It’s is the anticipation of a tactile reaction that can only be experienced when; we have given ourselves over to a force that could easily destroy us, yet: somehow, we escape unharmed. Seeking the thrills with none of the consequences.

As a foolish teen, my brothers and friends tempted traffic as we would run across I-65 and hide in the median and then race back over the interstate where our friends waited and would cheer our “courage”. It is amazing a semi-tractor trailer didn’t crush us into a grease spot on the highway, but the “high” one felt from cheating death was undeniable. Our pulse quickened, my eyes became alert and it is the only way that I could explain what it was like to do a mind-altering drug. It is an appropriate metaphor, drugs and running in front of semi-tractor trailers.

No doubt if you watch any type of dangerous sport, auto racing, motocross, skydiving, bungee jumping etc. you will see people who; without exception have become hooked on the thrill of cheating death. I don’t judge these people, but I realize that the need for excitement, even danger, is ever-present and actively sought for by many. In many ways, those who seek the elixir of thrills are very much like those who charm cobras
.

Even though cobras do not possess the ability to hear the music charmer, they are nonetheless hypnotized by the pungi that the charmer waves in front of the serpent. While it is illegal these days in India and across eastern Asians countries, earlier charmers in decades gone by, placed their lives in danger in order to charm a cobra for payment. The cobra considers the pungi as a predator and follows the pungi closely. The performance before a crowd gives the spectators the experience of danger and they pay the charmer handsomely for his/her courage, but many times it is a sham. Most charmers have pulled the fangs or sewn the cobras mouth shut so that only it’s tongue protrudes.

These days, the lust for a thrill causes us to seek cobra holes that we know are dangerous, but where the stakes and odds seemingly lean in our favor. Many don’t consider what I am going to describe as dangerous at all…but they are filled with venom and their bite will result in death as surely as the cobras. I am not addressing those who are of the world and do not believe or follow Christianity… I am speaking of Christians.

For those who have promised to give Jesus control of their lives and then have become enslaved to playing around the cobra hole of immorality and sensuality, confusion comes quickly and who we are in the sight of God is no longer clear. The serpent is coming to strike and we cry out for God to deliver us, all the while, mowing and clearing the path to get to the cobra hole easier. We become self-deceived as we begin to convince ourselves that God understands our weakness and makes allowances for it. But He does not. The construct of being able to live in sin while following Jesus is just that… a construct, and mental image that goes directly against the Word of God.

They start innocently enough. A casual look at the skirt in the next cubicle. Imagining that he understands you better than your husband and beginning to “admire” the man your co-worker appears to be. It begins with allowing your mind to wander so close to the cobra hole of an affair that you begin to obsess about it…and before long…as a man thinks…so is he. That’s because in humans there are two creations…the first what we construct in our minds, like an architect; and then, building the house. Speculation becomes the drawing board upon which we bring the abstract into reality…where we create from a mere thought the cobra hole that summons us to come near.

For the first few visits, the hole appears abandoned with no serpent in sight. This is the bait with any of the cobra holes we play around…adultery, pornography, deception, revenge. As soon as one has worn a trail to the cobra hole, whatever it may be, the trap snaps shut! “They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.” 2 Peter 2:19 New Living Translation. The New American Standard Bible says it in a different way…” for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved..”

For those who have promised to give Jesus control of their lives and then have become enslaved to playing around the cobra hole of immorality and sensuality, confusion comes quickly and who we are in the sight of God is no longer clear. The serpent is coming to strike and we cry out for God to deliver us, all the while, mowing and clearing the path to get to the cobra hole easier. We become self-deceived as begin to convince ourselves that God understands our weakness and makes allowances for it. But He does not. The construct of being able to live in sin while following Jesus is a just that… a construct, and mental image that goes directly against the Word of God.

Let me tell you the consequences I received from playing around those cobra holes.

I used to live as a missionary and pastor. I traveled to foreign countries and speak two foreign languages. I used to sing ( yes, my fellow classmates in Columbus, I was so ashamed of being able to sing that I hid it from everyone…) I led praise and worship both in Portuguese and in English. I was part of a worship team that monthly sang over a satellite network. I once wrote a song in Brazil that swept across the nation and that God used mightily to bring others to himself. I once had the full trust of my former wife and children. Then I gave in to foolishness and went headlong into adultery. Here I was, a recipient of so many of God’s gifts, and this is how I repaid Him. It wasn’t just a one-time thing, but I will not go into it. The point is that I got bit playing around dangerous places…and my friend, so will you.

Do you know why I no longer pastor? Wonder why I don’t sing any longer? The Bible tells us that the gifts and calling of God are not able to be revoked…in other words, God will not change His mind about them, but He most certainly can and WILL restrict how they are used. I’ve had many say I should go and begin a church, but the truth is, the Lord has forbidden me from doing so. There are consequences for our sin my friends. We don’t think about those consequences, but they are real. While Jesus paid the price for the eternal consequences of our sin, there are some results we cannot run away from here on earth. For years, I was heartbroken by the realization that my own actions hurt my family and resulted in limiting my effectiveness for the Lord. God will not be mocked, and while I am forgiven, the Lord has made it clear that I may no longer be an established pastor in a church. I am not saying that God will require the same of others, but He HAS required it of me…

You may say, “Well, God would never tell you not to minister his Word!” I didn’t say that. In his great goodness and mercy, instead of teaching within a church; which is my gifting, the Lord granted me permission to write. This is why I write today. My zeal for the Lord continues, but the consequences of my sin restrict where and how I may do it. I now sit in my home in front of a computer instead of standing and teaching. It is a daily reminder of what my sin has cost me. Even though the Lord is slowly healing my relationship with my children, what I put them through is still painful in my heart and mind. I have never told this story publicly and I pray you will not judge me too harshly, but the Lord seldom does things for a singular reason.

He did not just create the Sun to heat the earth, but it is also a display and a metaphor of His glory. The sun also is the principal agent in the process of photosynthesis, by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.

Again, God seldom does something for a singular purpose.

And so, it has been my observation that when God teaches a lesson to us in life, it is seldom a lesson only for us. All things are made and used by God to demonstrate His goodness, His greatness and, His glory…even His discipline in our lives. My discipline from the Lord can become your lesson. You can learn obedience from my former disobedience. Even though this happened decades ago, like Jacob, I walk with a limp. I am free and forgiven and am full of joy, and I am thrilled to still be used by the Lord. But, do not tempt the Lord my friends…stay away from the cobra holes that beckon you with promises…there is only death there.

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Cutting the Tap Root

As a young boy, I was always looking for a way to make money. I remember walking up and down the country roads where I lived, going up to people’s front doors, knocking and asking if they had any work they wanted done. Many said no, but one man, I’ll call him Mr. Cunningham, (not his real name) came to his door and listened to my pitch. His wife appeared next to him. They were a young couple…no children yet, and they looked at each other after I offered them my services.

“Do you think he could do it? The husband asked the wife. She looked at my scrawny 10 year old frame and bit her lower lip. They both studied me for a few seconds, then the husband asked me…”Do you have any brothers at home?”  I smiled and said, “I sure do!” He asked their ages and then when I told him they were almost two years older than me, he said, “Okay…I’ll hire you and your brothers to clean out an old out of use green house they had attached to their house.

We got started cleaning out all the old junk, the years of grime and dirt that had taken it’s toll on that greenhouse. We washed the windows, replaced broken glass panes, dug out silt that had blown in, make huge heaps of dirt mounds on the floor of the structure. After three weeks there stood a gleaming clean and USEFUL greenhouse. My brothers and I had money in our pockets and Mr. Cunningham and his wife had a useful greenhouse.

It hadn’t gone without a hitch though…I had made a MAJOR mistake. Mr. Cunningham had asked me to go out and remove the small trees that were growing near the greenhouse. I took a shovel (because I was too young to use a chainsaw and because in order to get rid of the tree, I had to dig out the roots.)

I did pretty well, except, I wasn’t careful and instead of digging out a old locust tree, I accidentally cut the main roots of a magnificent magnolia tree. Mr. Cunningham was upset, be he didn’t lash out at me. I said, “maybe we can just put dirt back around the root and it will heal itself!” I suggested. He smiled at me and said, “Doug, I want you to look at that tree right now…by tomorrow morning it will be dead.”

Well, it didn’t look dead to me! The next morning as our school bus passed by their house…there it stood, leaves wilted, limbs bent down…what was once alive was now dead. I’d cut the main root and regardless of what was above the surface, it was only a matter of time until the tree would die.

There are two tap roots in our nation right now that are providing the power source for the turmoil we are experiencing in our Nation. I couldn’t careless if you don’t like what I am about to say. Unless the tap roots are cut, it doesn’t matter whether you think the United States is a Nation reserved by God to spread liberty throughout the world or not, these two power roots will ensure it’s downfall unless; again, we CUT THEM OFF!

CHILD SACRIFICE AND THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENTS.

America has shed the blood of MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of innocent children since 1970. The fight that has ensued over the past 40+ years has not been for a woman’s “right”. That has been a complete smokescreen!! The issue has not been so a woman can do with her body what she wants to do…again SMOKE!

The reason abortion has become such a long-lasting plague, is quite honestly because it is the power source for Satanic activity. The blood sacrifice is required in order to cause a release of the doors of hell to open wide and flood the earth with anarchy, wars, terror, murder and every type of violence and confusion we are now currently experiencing.

If you also realize that the child trafficking coming into the United States is not only for using innocent children for sex…many, if not most of these children are being killed and used as sacrifices for many of the elites in power, not just in politics, but in Hollywood, and other corridors of influence. There exists a network of such horrid proportions that promise power and influence to those who will partake in sex with children and then sacrifice their little bodies that it has literally spread like cancer across the powerful halls of Congress and the entertainment media that you would not believe what evil men and women in this nation will do.

Planned Parenthood have become the high priests of the sacrifice and have profited greatly. Government has funded it in the name of  “Women’s Health”, thus cursing our economy and as a result turning off the influence of righteousness and subverting it for influencing the nations to abort their own populations for an even greater bloodbath. As a result, The United States has lost it’s moral authority, with only an outward façade of nation it used to be.

SEXUAL NETWORKING AND PORNOGRAPHY

The second tap root is the power source of SEX in terms of perversion and confusion. Consider for a moment the current confusion of identity politics. Men not knowing if they are men and women not knowing if they were born to be women or men. Think for a moment. There is a confusion that has been pulled over the eyes of Christian and non Christian alike. Never in the history of the world has there been such a hurricane surrounding sexual identity. This is because the Satanic influence is striking back at the sixth day of creation. On day six, God created man, and from his side created woman. He thought he had dealt with them by tempting them to break God’s law in the garden of Eden. If Satan can separate man from woman, and both of them from God, then God would have NO influence in the earth at all. What better way to keep men and women from fulfilling their God given purposes in the earth than to convince them they arent’ really a man or a woman. “God doesn’t have a purpose for your life as a male or female…you can be what you want…throw off the designation GOD gave you and choose for yourself!”

This is the same lie told in the garden of Eden when Eve saw that the fruit was good for food and chose for herself and ate and gave it to her husband and he ate as well. Confusion in the first few days of creation is what Satan has wanted all along. Pornography has made as it’s goal to make men unsatisfied with their wives, or to pervert the natural desire for a wife, and inflame them towards an unreal perversion that promises “no one gets hurt’, “Your wife will never know”. It has now begun to be released upon women in our nation. The lie of extra marital affairs is designed to finally destroy the pillars of virtue so there will be no resistance to the enemies advance in our nation. Women are the key…to preserving the virtue in our families. Men are the key to fighting off the attacks on family. Without these, there is no way to keep the flood of filth from entering your home.

These two lies have caused such a whirlwind of divorce, broken relationships, bondage and murder, (yes…murder because when a child is produced as a result of immoral relationships it usually ends in murdering the child in the name of “women’s health”. When men and women, the two powerhouses of god’s creation are at odds with each other, God’s influence in the earth is diminished…that is the goal…diminish ANYTHING of God in the earth. Add to this the devastation of the men and women who are involved in making pornography and the defilement of the conscience of the Nation of the United States, (and in the Church) that the amount of God’s power in the earth has been reduced to a trickle…

And yet, God is awakening his people even now.

On the brink of success in finalizing a “New World Order”, God has inserted Himself into the national conversation once again. Many say, “It is because the Church prayed that God is moving!’. Well, I’m thankful that the church is praying…and we need to pray and pray and pray. But I believe the church has been so weak and fearful that God moved and simply bushwacked the enemy!

He has awakened God’s people, but he has awakened us to repent. Cast out the filth from among us, the perversion we have approved of, nodded our head in agreement with and allow the power of HOLINESS to prevail. God can clean out our nation better than me and my brothers cleaned out that greenhouse. He can remove the grime from the windows and allow His light to sanitize our country again. He want to do it. This no time for some dystopian eschatology! God is not DONE with America! He is not and never will be DONE with the church! Personal repentance is in order. It is the only step we can take. For those of us who have maybe allowed secret sin to invade our lives, God’s promise is, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness!” I John 1:9

The outcome of this nation has very little to do with the current occupant in the White House…and I’m a big fan. But he doesn’t have enough of the power of God in his life to blow the fuzz off a peanut. Is he chosen? Yes, I believe he is. Is he human and finite, fallible and fallen? Yes, just like you and I, and so the source of our national deliverance will come from the one who is Eternal, Immortal, Invisible. The Mighty God, from whom ALL blessing flow.

We cannot have one foot in the river and one on land in these days. We must sell out to one side or the other! It is only when we take a BOLD stance and resist unto the shedding of blood that God will move with his powerful swift sword and destroy the forces of darkness over our land.

So that you will know that I do not write this with some impervious moral authority, I too, fell in adultery many, many years ago. I too was taken captive by the dark power of pornography for a long time. BUT, GOD DELIVERED ME AND HE CAN DELIVER YOU TOO!!!  Corrie Ten Boom whose life was used mightily by God after being set free from a World War II prisoner of war camp said, “There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still!”

I have cut off the roots from my previous sin, and I have seen with authority, the tree wither and die!!! The enemy of our nation is a liar. Will  you not take decisive action TODAY? A voice is calling from the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight a path in the Wilderness…remove the boulders of sin that have been in the middle of your road.” God promises freedom from bondage, release from slavery and He will place a ring upon your finger and sandals upon your feet and you will walk as Kings in the earth Church. Cut the tap root of sin in your life…and watch the tree wither and die. Return to being “an Oak of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord.” Revival has come…when God can release someone like me…and YOU!