A Bad Report

There have been many rumors circling around lately. They claim that someone I know is involved in being a murderer, a torturer, and that they have been orchestrating evil behind the scenes in people’s lives for many years now. I honestly have found myself more and more shocked at the reports that continue to surface over this case. This is why I wanted to bring it to your attention.

For one thing, this shocks me because the person they speak of is a dad and a teacher. He has even adopted kids over the years in addition to his own. Unfortunately, people will stop at nothing in our world to bring others down, and continue to make claims without a good understanding. They have lied to the world that he physically abuses his children in order to teach them right and wrong. He burns them, makes them sick, injures them so they can’t excel in a sport, etc. Yet, no one seems to have filed any official child abuse reports.

To make matters worse, his now adult children, with the exception of one, came out to share the “truth” with the press about their home situation. All those years of hearing the false reports shifted their own beliefs about their father. They are now saying that he did in fact hurt them and allowed others to hurt them to make them better people. What rocks everyone is that the children of this man were just fine with this terrible treatment. They claimed it has actually helped them grow closer to their dad over the years. The press screams brainwash.

There have been further reports surface of this man stealing money, making families poverty stricken, starting fires, spreading deadly viruses and diseases, starting a cult, killing children, and kidnapping people’s family and friends to never be seen again. Beyond this report, there have been many many others arise; too much in fact to report here.

Are you outraged yet? Are you ready to prosecute this man after all that I’ve shared with you? Give him the death sentence? Who will lash out first?

Who is this man anyway? His name, the one whom you are ready to destroy, is in fact God.

Do I have your attention yet?

Think about it for a minute. Seriously think. How many times have you heard these things spoken of referring to God? Things like:

  • “God caused [insert bad scenario] to get my attention”
  • “God allowed me to feel that pain so that I could learn _______”
  • “God took [insert person] from me to heaven and I hate him for that”
  • “[Insert person] died so that God could be glorified”
  • “I can’t believe in Heaven, because then I would have to believe in God, and if I believe that I would have to believe he allowed me to get sick”.

When you think about the man in the story I described above, if that man truly did the things I wrote, he would have the world rallying against him to punish him for the sick things he had done. What I don’t understand, is how many Christians, say the exact same things about God. If God truly has done and is doing those things, who in their right mind would WANT to serve and follow someone like that?

Many people will be extremely offended by this, but it’s ok. My challenge to you is that you read what I have to share, and that you examine for yourself, allowing God to reveal the truth to you. Don’t take my word for it. It’s worth the risk of offending you. It’s worth the risk because I can’t tell you how many people are perishing because of this.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” – Hosea 4:6

I personally know people who hate God with a vengeance because of Christians saying these things. I actually wept the other night watching a TV show because a child was dying and spoke out the last statement quoted above. It’s becoming so engrained in our society, part of “Christian-ese”.

The thing is, it’s wrong. It’s a lie of the devil and it’s slander against the true character and nature of God

Through the most painful time in my life…I had a choice to say one of the statements above. Saying that stuff would’ve been the easy thing to do to ease my pain for a moment maybe, but I chose daily to say the opposite, through tears, “God you did NOT do this. You did not do this. This is not your fault.”

So, let’s just break this down and walk through this together. Here are some questions that I thought many of you might have:

  1. Why do people say these things?
  2. Why do bad things happen?
  3. Does God allow them?
  4. Why can’t God do anything about it?
  5. What about Job?

Why do people say these things if it’s untrue?

Many say this and probably don’t even know why. It’s just what they’ve always heard said whether from family or friends or maybe at church or maybe something they saw in a movie or on TV, so though they don’t understand themselves, they continue to say the same things.

Oftentimes, these statements help people through terrible situations. It gives them hope that good will come or help make sense of things that we can’t make sense of with our own minds. Sometimes hearts need closure from situations, and these statements we’ve talked about provide people a way deal, to move on.

But doesn’t God cause all things to work for good? Romans 8:28, is one of the banner verses for this. I’ll be providing more background of why this isn’t true and how most people use this verse out of context, but in short the actual verse says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” There is a difference; God didn’t “cause all things”. That’s not what the scripture says.

Also, if you read the scripture prior to that, it talks about praying in the Holy Spirit (different topic all together, for another day), and how when you don’t know what to even pray, praying that way, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, THEN all things will work together for good. It doesn’t end here though, it says “to those who love God” for one, and for two it says “for those who are called according to his purpose”. Thus, this doesn’t apply if you haven’t received Jesus as your Savior and if you don’t love God. This verse is saying that when we face tough situations to get into the presence of the Holy Spirit, get into a place of faith, and then, you’ll start to see what the devil tried to throw at you, meant for evil, will be thwarted and work out for your good.

Back to reasons why people say these things: Unfortunately there are also times where people get themselves into a bad situation and blame God when they face the consequences, as though he is punishing them. I’m sure there are other reasons, but these are the main ones I can think of off the top of my head.

So, why do bad things happen and does God allow them?

To understand this, we need to go wayyyyy back, back to Genesis where it all started. In chapter one and two, you can read about how God began creating. He created everything ahead of time, and then created man. To me, this is so like God to anticipate man’s needs and have it all prepared. After He was finished we read in Genesis 1:31, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good…” Notice here, everything God created was “very good”.

God didn’t just create man and tell him “good luck, you’re on your own!”. He blessed them, and gave them three specific things to do and you can find this in Genesis 1:28. The three things were: to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it, and to have dominion [over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth]. God basically gave man unqualified control over the earth. He gave man the ability to govern the earth how he saw fit.

Let’s now zoom over to Genesis 3: the fall of man. This is where Adam and Eve were in the garden and were deceived by the serpent.

Stop! Why did God allow the devil into the garden? Good question, glad you asked. Though I can’t say with 100% certainty, I might assume that Lucifer, God’s angel, was sent to the garden to minister to Adam and Eve, since we don’t have any prior accounts of Lucifer’s downfall until this point. We know that this is something God does according to Hebrews 1:13-14, which speaking of the angels says, “are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.” In case you’re also wondering, God wills that none perish, but that all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) So God doesn’t pick and choose who will be able to come to heaven. It’s His will that all would eventually come to choose Him. Just wanted to make that clear.

Back to the story! We find out in Isaiah that the root of Lucifer’s downfall was pride. In Isaiah 14:13 it says, “For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…” Lucifer wanted to be exalted above God. He deceived Adam and Eve by getting them to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which in Genesis 2:17, God instructed Adam that they shall not eat of it, “for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.”

Stop, Stop, Stop! Ok, why, would God put that tree in the garden? James 1:13 says, “let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, nor can he tempt any man.” Then consider Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Ok well that verse is about Jesus…not God. Then lets go to Hebrews 1:3, which explains that Jesus is the exact representation of God and expresses His very character. Now that we know that, you should know that God loved man enough to give man a free will. A free will to choose to love and seek after Him. He risked giving us a free will knowing that some may not choose Him. Without a free will, you would be a prisoner. We have a choice. God wants us to choose life, but we do have the freedom to choose. That is why the tree was in the garden.

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life…” – Deuteronomy 30:19

Let’s get back to the story shall we? So we are in the garden. Lucifer has disguised himself as a serpent and meets with Eve. The Bible says that the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field, which the Lord God had made (Genesis 3:1). This means that his approach was very subtle, not forceful. Note here that it said he disguised himself as a beast of the field…didn’t we already read that Adam and Eve had dominion over everything that moved on the earth? Instead, they were deceived by the words of the serpent instead of exercising their authority and dominion (sounds familiar).

How did Satan do it? He went after God’s word to deceive. He made Eve believe that God was keeping something good from them. Adam and Eve both ate of the tree and the moment they did, they realized they were naked. The moment they did, sin entered the world. The moment they did, they experienced spiritual separation from God (spiritual death). The moment they consented, they surrendered their God-given authority and dominion of the earth to Satan. This was the only way Satan could attempt to exalt himself above God, hijacking what was given to man. That’s how powerful what we were given was.

It’s important to note here that God still came looking for them after they messed up, but it’s also important to realize that it’s here where God had to change how he related to man. Because of the sin and spiritual separation, God could no longer guide man from within them and face-to-face from here until the New Testament begins. Many people read the Old Testament and view God as terribly harsh and mean. God’s character never changed, but how he related to man had to change because of this. To execute his plan of redemption for the world, He needed a way to protect His people. To do this, He created covenants with man. He gave them “the law”; you’ll recognize this as the Ten Commandments. This was God’s way of providing a temporary way to still bless man until the time of redemption could come. If they followed the strict rules, they found blessing, and if not, there were consequences. The blessings and curses are listed in Deuteronomy 28.

This leads us to the question of:

Is God allowing bad things to happen? Why can’t God do anything about it?

The short answer is, God allows what we allow. God gave total control over the earth to man. There was no take-backsies. “My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips” – Psalm 89:34. If God were to intervene, he would break His covenant, and everything would fall apart. That is why He gave us all of the tools we needed to live a life of victory.

Wait, I thought you said we surrendered our authority to Satan? This is true, but the beautiful thing is God had a plan of redemption. Now that sin entered into the world, God had to work through man to accomplish that plan. That took time, but when the appointed time came, God, the Creator, became the creation, to come to earth and set things right. It was a loophole. Jesus came to earth and lived the sinless life we or nobody before us could. BUT, he died on the cross; crucified, beaten, and spit on by the people He was coming to save. He died the death each of us deserved to die.

Satan thought he had won, once and for all. But Hallelujah, Jesus rose from the dead victoriously! Now able to restore to those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, to their original place in the kingdom, and to make an even greater covenant with them than the original one. If you are born again, you are redeemed from the curse of the law (someone once told me to go back in Deuteronomy 28 and see all of the things that were named curses and realize that now we are redeemed from…and it says anything that’s not listed there – that’s HUGE!), you also have dominion and authority restored to you. Many people don’t understand the magnitude of this.

After we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our spirits are wiped clean. We are transferred out of Satan’s kingdom of darkness and ushered into God’s kingdom of light. Our spirits become white as snow. This is not to say we won’t mess up, but we have been given a new spirit that is sealed and it can’t be tainted by our mistakes. (Not to say that this is a free ticket to live sinfully, because there are still consequences to our actions) To understand this transformation more, I would suggest studying out the difference between your spirit, soul, and body. But, if we continue to get to know God, over time our desires in our soul change to become more like His. We now have the ability for God to once again guide us from within and have direct communion with us. There is no more separation. Satan no longer has dominion over you and cannot do anything to you without your consent and cooperation.

Wait! One more thing. So how DOES God correct us? Hey, you’ve asked great questions and I’m so glad you asked this one. God corrects us through His word.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16

Now that we know all of these things, we can finally answer our original question of why bad things happen. Bad things happen because we live in a fallen world. According to Romans 8, creation has been in the bondage of corruption and has been been groaning with “birth pangs”. Bad things happen because we have an enemy out there “seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). Sometimes thing just happen. But now, we know for certain that none of the evil or bad things are from God. That is the one thing that gave me comfort, because knowing this allowed me to run and cling to God instead of run from Him in the time in my life when I needed him most. I could trust Him.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” – James 1:16-17

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10

There are many more verses that show this, but these say it very clearly. ANYTHING that is stealing or has stolen from you, killing, or destroying is from Satan. The scenarios I wrote about in the beginning, all are things that steal, kill, and destroy. Now you can know that they are 100% not from God.

This is why the statements I originally wrote about are so destructive. People don’t realize what they’ve been equipped with. They put all the responsibility on God and think that whatever happens must’ve been God. If you think this, you are defenseless to the wiles of the enemy and in a sense diminishing what Jesus accomplished on the cross. God clearly instructed us:

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will fee from you.” – James 4:7

Have you been resisting the devil, or have you been unknowingly submitting to him…mistaking his ploys for God’s will?

If you have, it’s ok and it’s not too late. I am not here to tear you down or make you feel bad, or try to pump myself up. I’m here to help open your eyes to see with clarity God’s true character, which is love, to realize the power you’ve been given, and to more fully live the life of victory and purpose that you were created to live. I’m here writing this because my heart wrenches seeing people turn from God, people putting responsibility for horrible things on God, and for people continually being destroyed by this way of thinking. God is my very best friend…the one who has given everything for me, and for you too. The One, who has loved us and provided a way out, provided comfort and freedom for us who don’t deserve it. It is breaking my heart hearing people talk about my friend and Father in those ways and makes me so sad to hear these stories and know that these people were deceived, wishing they could know the truth.

Unfortunately, there are Christians out there who refuse to believe this. They want so much to believe these untrue things about God and I have no explanation for it. Why are you fighting so hard to live powerlessly? Why are you fighting so hard to hold onto something that’s being used as a tool to destroy you? Maybe it comes from mistaking God’s role as being sovereign. God is sovereign. I definitely agree with that, but I agree with it if you read the dictionary’s definition, which is “a supreme ruler”. Somehow, religion has twisted the term sovereign to mean that God has absolute control. As we have discovered that is not the case. Jesus warned of this in Mark 7:13 that we can make the word of God ineffective through tradition and things passed down. I think that is what has been happening. One of my most asked questions challenging that is, “well, what about Job?”.

What about Job?

This is a huge study…so this is just the cliff note version. The book of Job is actually one of the oldest books in the Bible. Job had no idea that he had an enemy out there trying to destroy him, like many people today, he assumed God caused everything in his life. His friends knew for sure he did something bad to deserve it and kept trying to get him to admit it. The truth of the matter is, God was blessing Job very much during that time, but Job didn’t have a covenant with God (this was a time prior to when the law was given). Job was technically a sinner and under Satan’s control and God didn’t have a legal right to be so good to him.

This is why God started making covenants with people so that he could legally bless them. Nonetheless, Satan called God out on it and there was nothing God could do. Job didn’t know this and the only logical thing he could assume was that the root of all the awful things that happened to him was from God. At the end of the book, Job actually repents and admits that he was uttering things that he didn’t understand.

Don’t be blinded any more

It’s time to come alive to the fact that you can walk in freedom and power. Don’t spend one more second living a passive life bouncing from one thing to the next and hoping that God is with you and wondering what He’s doing. Don’t spend one more moment shackled to believing the false report that God is the one stealing, killing and destroying or allowing bad things to happen to you. That is a bad report. I’m Sydney Liesmann, and I’m here to report…God IS GOOD, God IS love (1 John 4:8) and He is for you.

You are of God little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you in greater than he who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

 

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