I have been asking God about the question on judging. I asked because you need to judge sometimes. For example you need to know who is a false shepherd etc. And one day it became clear to me, judging is when you look down on some one. Even if the person lives a wicked life, it is not for us to look down upon them, because if were in the same situation as them we might be just as bad. It sounds so simple that I thought I should have known that ages ago. But I didn’t ask ages ago. Another question I started asking was how do you receive gifts from God. People will often say ‘receive’ and I be thinking how? Jesus is the vine and we are the branches comes to my mind. I receive from Him spiritual nourishment when I listen to quiet Christian music. Or when I go outdoors and admire my plants and look at the clouds in the sky. I sometimes feel His presence. It is being quiet and so importantly learning to slow down so I can take Him in. I am still learning to slow down these last two years. It is not an easy lesson for some of us. When we ask questions, we think the answers are going to be complicated, but they are so simple we think, why didn’t I think of that? God speaks to us in a way that we understand. He speaks to us in our own individual language that only God knows. There is so much communication problems with one another, but God understands us and He knows how to talk to us.
I have an addiction for knowledge all my life. I know all children will go through a period of asking why? And it can get ignoring. Some children ask why more than others and I was one of those that just kept asking why! Why! Why! All the time. Even seeking knowledge about God can become a god. You have to watch and know what your true intentions are behind everything we do. Sometimes we think we are doing things for the right reason only for God to reveal to us that we are not and what our real intentions are.
Matthew 5:20. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachings of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
I find that verse unsettling, because it clearly says studying the word of God is not enough. You have to put it into action and then you are pleasing to God. I remember hearing of one person’s testimony about being in hell with Jesus and she saw a long line of people dropping into hell one after another with their bibles. I think it is a common problem amongst many people.
Everybody has different weaknesses, so I believe we are all just as guilty as one another in one way or another. One person isn’t greater than another and we all are welcome to come to Christ and made new. God has said that His people perish through lack of knowledge. So it is always a balance thing. This is where we need to pray about everything that we are in need of.
Don’t Rely only on Books
I have made a mistake sometimes by searching for answers that I needed to know about how to handle desperate life situations from books only. Books are great but we need to go to God first and ask Him to give us the answers we are in need of and then see how God wants to answer us. I have said often, one of the things that I love God about the most, is that you can be so honest with Him, and He will always help you. The truth is you can’t hide anything from Him anyway and He is so kind and a loving Father that we don’t have to be afraid approaching Him, whatever we are dealing with.
I use to ask God questions when I was young and then open the bible up and where ever the page opened up and my finger landed I would read, and I very rarely didn’t get an answer to my question. Then after a time I started to read the bible the wrong way. Every time I read how God would punish the wicked, Satan would put it into my mind that God was talking about me. Long story short I got very sick because of it and my mother told me to put the bible away for a year, which I did and it happened to be good advice for me. So there is a right and wrong way to read the holy bible.
Sensitive people are always very conscious of their sins all the time and if they are not strong in their faith that they are saved by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus, they are an easy target for Satan to convince them they are going to hell for eternity instead of heaven. So if that is you, I would write out all your favourite passages of the bible that clearly lets you know if you put your trust in your saviour you are saved. And then pray and declare it over and over again. When you do that don’t be surprise to feel God Spirit confirming it to be true within you.
If Satan can win you over because you doubt Jesus is your Saviour, you are believing in a lie. So you must ask all the time for God to enlighten you of all the ways Satan tricks you into believing in his lies. And keep praising God of all the blessings He has given you throughout your life. Praise is a powerful weapon against Satan’s lies. Wisdom, knowledge and understanding are all very important tools to fight Satan with. When you open your bible up to read, ask God to open your eyes and direct you to what He wants you to read with wisdom, knowledge and understanding. And then the ability to practise what He is showing you to do. God will always reveals His secrets to the humble never to the proud. We all have different levels of pride but if we love God, humility will always grow accordingly to how much we hunger for Him and desire to please Him.
Personally I don’t think it is God’s Will to heal you every time in this life. In Heaven we are all going to be completely healed. In this life I believe God does use sickness for many reasons. I don’t believe we should presume God doesn’t want to heal us. I believe we should always pray for healing, but sometimes I believe we do get a ‘no’ or at least God may want to delay the healing for another date. God will always answers prayers in a way that is best for our souls and people He wants you to help in some way.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.’ The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
If you read up on Job, the devil really attacked him in every way he could. Job learnt humility and a true appreciation of God’s sovereignty, through his tragedies. It wasn’t done just for Job’s sake, but we all learn from his experiences and get encouragement from Job’s trials. This applies to our trials that Satan brings on us. God is in complete control, but sometimes even after a great many prayers and fasting, God seems not to be listening to us. God is very attentive to our cries, but He also knows sometimes we need trials to learn a great many things for our souls and others benefits.
I have had many trials and the result of them cause me to be very deprived of sleep, for at least four decades. One part of my life, I would go to work and I would know by rights I should have been dead of sheer exhaustion. My body was in pain through lack of sleep and the thing I noticed despite of the credible exhaustion that I suffered, I would work harder than many people at work did. I was in constant amazement that God gave me the grace to work, when I knew I should have been dead. It was a miracle and I knew it. Four decades later it seemed that God put into my heart to call on Him for deliverance and healing of this problem. I knew I had some work to do for the Lord and yet I was dying. So I knew it wasn’t God’s will for me to die and since doctors couldn’t help me there was no other alternative but turn to God and start asking for the gift of faith, so that I could be healed and do the work God called me to do.
I bringing this up, because I believe God was using my sickness for those many years, because it was serving a purpose and then came a time when God put it into my heart, He was now wanting me to grow another way. I remember my mother told me once that my father’s family, was trying to stop my father from marrying my mother, because she was sickly. They said if you marry her you will get nothing but medical bills. What happened, it wasn’t my mother that brought in all the medical bills but my father. He became sick two years into the marriage. What my mother said was before the illness came onto him, my father had a chip on his shoulder, believing the world owed him something and he didn’t have any time for people who were sick. My father became sick when I was about a year old, so I only knew him as a sick man. My mother said it changed him. He became a very compassionate man towards other people especially those who were suffering. His heart softened towards his fellow man and he was a very good father, unlike his father.
This is one of the things that Protestants and Catholics tend not to agree with. I have read many Protestants books using the bible passages where Jesus heals everybody, not one person He didn’t heal. I also heard Protestants say that they were told by Jesus the part of the Lord’s Prayer when it says ‘Thy kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ So in other words it is not God’s will that we are sick. Of course it is all true. Jesus never lies. I remember writing an article on ‘closed minds.’ Saying what Jesus will say to Protestants He will not necessary say to Catholics and it also applies what Jesus will say to Catholics, He doesn’t necessary say to Protestants. I know at this point people are going to think that I am committing blaspheme here. But I am not. God will speak to you where you are at. The more open you are to God the more He is able to explain everything to you. Nobody knows it all, we are all learning more and more about God and His ways every day.
I remember reading a Catholic who just received the gift of faith healing, so he went to the hospital and prayed for every sick person there. He came back home angry with God and told Him that he prayed for everybody and not one person got well. God then replied to him, ‘did I ask you to pray for them.’ Faith healers will pray over people and they will find not every one of them gets healed. Some of the faith healers will say it is the sick persons fault for not having enough faith. I also have heard where other faith healers will go up to a perfect stranger who is an atheist and pray over them and they will be healed.
I believe generally speaking Protestants tend to lean more to reaping and Catholics tend to lean more to sowing. Reaping and sowing require different skills. For example I remember a Catholic monk was talking to a crowd of people and he looked straight at me and he said ‘I don’t understand these stay people.’ For me it was obvious he wasn’t called to be a sower. He was called to reap. If you are called to reap in the harvest that God has sent you, you will need to be fairly healthy physically. To get around here and there and preach and heal and counsel etc. you need to have a healthy mind and body.
People who are sowers are called to full time intercession, most of the time. Travelling and full time intercession work doesn’t as a rule go together. And quiet often not always, sowers may be called to be what Catholics call being a ‘victim for God.’ Sickness is not an uncommon calling for this group. One saint that I love very much, because she has taught me so much and inspired me a great deal to carry my cross as well as Saint Francis’s Assis, is Sr. Josefa Menendez. Jesus communicated to her all the time. Her mother superior and other people looking after her spiritual progress would test her many times to make sure it was indeed Jesus communicating to her. The suffering Sr. Josefa was called to suffer for the Lord and on behalf of mankind, demanded so much courage that I can’t help loving her for what she has done for God and for her fellow man in union with the suffering of Jesus Christ.
Suffering has a place in our redemption and the ones God has called us to help. My sleep has improved incredibly so. It has taken over a year to get this far. I am still weak and exhausted, but my sleep has much improved. The time has not been wasted, because God has taught me so much about Himself that I would not have ever known. There is so much to learn and I know even when we are in heaven, we are going to learn about the marvels of God for ever, because there is no end to His greatness.
Sister Josefa has to be one saint that has impressed me to follow Jesus more than any other, including saints in the Holy Bible. She suffered incredibly so for the love of God. Not many people can boast of descending into hell on a regular basis every week, thinking she is dammed forever and the Devil and all the demons believe it to be too, over and over again. God placed her there time after time to be a victim for souls, so that they may be saved from eternal fires. Not just for an hour at a time, often hours at a time.
She is so powerful, every time I say this novena with a humble heart, I always feel the power of God’s presence at the beginning at the novena. It is a truly a powerful novena, because of her faithfulness to suffer for Jesus and for souls, on His terms. Once again to suffer isn’t what it is all about, we can suffer and suffer and not save our own soul, but if it is done in obedience to God and in union with His suffering it has great merit. This is how God finds out the sheep from the goats. Goats will run from suffering, they only want the good things in life.
People might be confused why at the end of the novena we would offer up three prayers of Glory be’s, in honour of her. Some people would say straight out that is worshiping the saint, who is not canonised but I believe is more of a saint then many that are. Catholics do not consider that is worshiping at all but honouring her of her obedience to God. It might not seem obvious to a Protestant but we are in fact saying How Great Art God who can raise a lowly servant such as her and turn her into something so great that I envy her holiness to such a degree I want to follow Jesus as much as she did, if not to my very best for the Glory of God.
The Novena Prayer
O Jesus, full of Grace and Charity, Victim for sinners, so impelled by Love for us that You willed to die on the cross, I humbly beseech You to glorify in Heaven and on earth The Servant of God and Victim Soul, Sr. Josefa Menendez, who faithfully participated in Your passion and shared Your sufferings, to prepare the way for The Devotion to the Divine Mercy, for the salvation of souls, and for the Glory of Your Heavenly Father. With confidence I beg You to grant me, through her intercession, the Grace of: ………. Make your request here.
Followed by one decade of the Rosary, or one decade of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
“Glory be the to the Father …. (Three times) In honour of Sr. Josefa
When you offer up a novena it is usually said for nine days in a row. You can actually say it as many times as you like, there is no law in Heaven that prevents you from doing what the Lord has put in your heart to do.
One day I said this prayer to Jesus and He appeared to me In Spirit and showed me how deeply He was touched by this prayer offering I gave Him. So now I say it five times before I rise in the morning.
‘I offer up all the homage, praise, worship, adoration, gratitude, joy, love, faith, hope, and trust of all the angels and saints in heaven for all that you have done for us on earth that this may comfort you in the garden.’