Monday, September 16, 2013

Stumbling Blocks

“Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea that that he should cause one of these little ones to sin” (Luke 17:1-2 ESV).

Also, “But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak” (1 Corinthians 8:9 ESV).

Biblically, the term stumbling block literally is a “behaviour or attitude that leads another to sin.” Our Lord calls it “temptation.” Temptation gets its sting from the sinful nature, and the sinful nature has an appetite for unwanted needs. These needs are unwanted because we have enough, but desire more through greed and selfishness. The Word of God categorically admonishes us “… and be content with what you have…” (Hebrews: 13:5 NRSV). As it is, there are stumbling blocks we create through selfish desires (James 4:2-3) and there are stumbling blocks coming from outside as our Lord pointed out above. Therefore, if we make ourselves unhappy by desiring things that are not really needed, we are being a stumbling block to ourselves.

What is the Purpose, and What are the Consequences of Stumbling Blocks?

For Christians, we know the drive behind a stumbling block is to hinder our walk with God. These hindrances can have a three-way effect: to derail our relationship with the Lord; or if we are vigilant we will use Satan’s plan of destroying us as an opportunity to glorify the Lord through our obedience; and this obedience leads to growth in our faith and in the Lord (1 Corinthians 16:13).

Therefore, every opportunity to do right or wrong-doing is dependent on our choice to obey or disobey the word of God. Like we mentioned in some of our past articles, the Word of God acts as a custodian to our conscience. The Bible addresses and lists the various stumbling blocks and in this way our conscience has a guide, and when we have a guide we must accept accountability too.

In the account of the fall of man, Adam and Eve were given the command to obey [The Word](Genesis 2:16-17), but the spirit of desire entered Eve, leading to the temptation (Genesis 3:6). Consequently, this led to the judgement of man and the tempter (Genesis 3:14-19). If they had obeyed, this would have resulted in a struggle-free life. The judgement handed down by God, as is evident from the above Scripture, was added to make us earn our living after we rejected through disobedience the free offer of eternal life. While the man and his wife offered excuses, this did not deter the Lord from executing His Judgements. This leads me to ask this question: do we allow others to make wrong choices on our behalf that lead to bad consequences? The serpent acted as a stumbling block to Eve, and in turn she became a stumbling block her husband; is this how we allow others to deceive us? This could be our wives, husbands, friends, pastors, or close family members; the consequences will be borne by us.

Furthermore, in our article titled Ignorant People, we alluded to the fact that when we are brought to account for wrong behaviour we often plead ignorance and as the Scripture says we cannot cheat God in this way (Galatians 6:7). I have another question: do we use ignorance as a stumbling block to our salvation? What a costly consequence! Remember, brethren, we must use stumbling blocks as an occasion to glorify God and to display the fruit of obedience.

The Lord Protects the Little Ones

I will share two short visions the Lord gave Charis recently and this morning (September 16, 2013) as warnings. These visions relate to temptations used by the devil as stumbling blocks. The Bible says, “Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for someone he can devour. Resist him…” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Kindly allow me to share a testimony with you: more than three years ago, the Lord gave us names of people to pray for. As a family, we have been praying diligently every day for these people. A week ago, one of these people, a young man, came to us saying he would like to make right with God, and he asked us if we could pray for him. Glory to God! We prayed for him and led him to the Lord and he instantly received deliverance from destructive habits. He immediately joined our group for fellowship and service in our ministry. This young man, Basil (not real name), went about sharing his joy with his former friends and many other people by handing out salvation tracts. The devil assigned one young lady to be a stumbling block to him. This is how The Lord exposed the devil and this young woman through this short vision by Charis:

“I was shown in a vision this morning (September 15, 2013) and saw Jenny (not real name) talking to Basil as they were standing on our kitchen stoop. In the vision, I perceived the Lord was angry with one of our ministry members, so I asked the Lord who that was, and He said,“This is just a warning for My son Basil from temptation”. The scene changed and I saw them both standing outside our gate leading to the street talking and smiling. I then saw a HAND; the Lord’s hand was pointing at Jenny repeatedly. They did not see or notice the HAND pointing and the vision ended”.

This was an actual incident witnessed by people and the Lord replayed it as evidence to show the young man, Basil, and this young woman that He is all seeing. This was a warning to Basil against temptation and to Jenny of consequences if she causes someone to stumble in the Lord. Do you know of Christians causing others to stumble in their faith? Do they know their actions hurt the Lord by leading others into disobedience? Well, the Lord’s finger is pointing at them in judgement!

Before I share the follow-up vision, Jenny responded to our message and accepted the Lord about two years ago; she attended our services and the Lord started giving her messages of rebuke and correction through Charis. After a few attendances she joined another group and bad-mouthed our ministry, and doubted saying the Lord was not speaking to Charis. Without us knowing of her malice and slander, the Lord gave her a message with a stunning rebuke exposing her wrong doings, yet calling her back to Him in love. This past Saturday, she called my wife asking if she may come to pray with us. Although she could not come due to some commitment on her side, the Lord knew her motive was not to come and pray, but to serve as a snare to Basil. The Lord revealed in a short vision this morning to Charis (September 16, 2013) her motives:

“In a vision this morning, I saw the Lord Jesus in His usual attire and Brightness, sitting on a chair in our living room. I heard Him weeping, and I asked the Lord Jesus “why is the Lord crying?” He spoke up and said, My daughter Jenny did not actually want to come and pray on Saturday; she wanted to come for wrong things. After the Lord said this, He disappeared and the vision ended.

In conclusion, the Lord protects all His children from the vicious attack of the enemy who preys on our ignorance of his schemes and our desire for pleasure. Also, when we associate with worldly friends, against the counsel of the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:33; 2 Corinthians 6:14), are we not setting up a stumbling block for ourselves?

Let us build up one another in love and out of obedience to Christ, so that we may be found worthy to inherit eternal life in God’s Kingdom.

Your brother in Christ,Glenn K Van Rooyen.