YOU CAN’T CHANGE ME:
Unraveling the Lie
PART 4 DETAILS
THE END DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS
He had been gambling since childhood, playing cards, shooting dice, playing for marbles, baseball cards, comic books and so on. Now, he plays the casinos and race tracks–large and small–the game depends on his cash-on-hand and how high the stakes are that day.
Gambling? So what’s the BIG DEAL? Win a little–lose a little. Sure, he owes a lot of people money, but it’s their loss.
He believes he was BORN to be a gambler. It’s in his blood. It’s as second nature to him as getting out of bed, brushing his teeth and drinking water from a glass; and he’d much rather gamble, than have to put energy into the latter.
Gambling and making those next dollar bills to continue gambling, consumes his thoughts. Sure, he likes women, drinking and socializing, but even the women know they take a back seat, when the table is set, the chips are stacked and there’s money waiting to fill his pockets.
Little does he know that he’s just the front guy and his thoughts no longer belong to him. Why not? Because he’s under the spell of another–the real high roller, who only goes for the highest stakes–souls. The front guy labors in vain, as an indentured servant, helping his master to corrupt everyone around him. He can never win enough, no matter how much he wins and he can never pay his debts because his master brings new charges against him daily.
He’s in a rut, but, he’s been down in there so long, down looks like up and up looks like down. Yeh, he’s a winner alright, but he can’t win for losing.
Those who see gambling as innocent unless it becomes addictive, fail to see that it is an issue of FAITH. Where are you placing your faith?! This is what the enemy doesn’t want you to see.
“Now, wait a minute. You’re being a little too pious and holier-than-thou.”
“Really? You think so? Why?”
“Why? Because it’s playing games–recreation–having fun! God doesn’t mind if we’re having fun!”
“Is that all you’re doing? Then, if you’re just having fun and playing games, then, you don’t take the money when you win, right?”
“Of course I take the money. I’m not stupid! That’s the object of game–to win money!”
“And, how do you come to win this money?”
“I take my chances. It’s all a matter of luck!”
“So, now, you’ve given the idol a name, Chance and Luck.”
“What idol? I just said that I take my chances to get lucky.”
“When we are depending upon an unseen force that we believe can alter our circumstances and provide for us, we are relying on another god–an idol. An unseen force who provides for us, does that sound familiar? –Jehovah God, Allah, Yahweh, Elohim? Can you see that you’re replacing Him with an idol?”
“W-w-well…what if I’m relying on The One and Only God in Heaven to win?”
“Then, you are tempting God and expecting Him to provide for you by playing games of chance, which the Almighty, Powerful God doesn’t need to do and will not do. Darkness has no place with Light. So, you cannot say that God desires you to gamble, or win.
When you gamble, you are saying that God is an inadequate God and that He must work for you. You are saying that you will tell Him how and when to provide for you and even how much you want. You have a sense of entitlement and you are idolizing yourself.”
“Well, if I win, I’m helping Him out, aren’t I. He won’t have to give me so much.”
“That doesn’t change the since of entitlement, selfishness and greed that is in your heart, which is not pleasing to God. You are putting yourself and the things of the world before Him and His Kingdom, rejecting His precepts and commandments.”
“So, if I win the lottery and do good things with it, God is not pleased with me?”
“God recognizes your kindness, but, it is kindness wrought from sin and cannot cancel the sin, although, you have helped others. You must still reap what you have sown, for it is your soul and salvation that concerns God. What you do for others must be done out of perfect love, holiness, righteousness, and faith in God, or your works are in vain. You must trust God to provide for you at all times.”
“Every Christian or Believer doesn’t believe like you do. It doesn’t say not to gamble in the Bible. There’s lots of gambling in churches–bingo, raffles, lotteries. Sometimes, the money goes to charity. What makes you think you know more than the priest and ministers?”
“Just because you change names and faces, doesn’t mean God changes or that He changes His mind. Don’t forget that Jesus chased the money changers out of His Father’s house of worship. If you’re looking for the written Word of God to spell out everything you shouldn’t do then, you are looking to live under the law and missing the blessing of being Rebirth or Born Again through God’s Holy Spirit. When we are Born Again and receive God’s Holy Spirit, we receive a new mind, the Mind of Christ. God’s Word (Jesus) is written upon our heart that we may take on God’s Character and come to know His Love, Holiness, and Righteousness. God’s Spirit is our Guide and Counselor and abiding in Him, following Jesus, we are kept from sin.
What I have stated is the Truth, which is the Word of God. Each man, is accountable to God as to whether or not He chooses to believe and obey. God’s shepherds must answer to Him for leading His sheep astray.”
“But, what if I can’t work and I have a natural talent for playing games and winning money?”
“Then, once again, you must look beyond yourself, the flesh, and the things of this world. Who, what master, are you putting your faith and trust in? You must understand that ‘the end does not justify the means’ at anytime with God, for God is unchanging.
Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Where is faith and trust in God? What would He have you to do? If you are still alive, God has a plan for your life, which requires you humble yourself, trust, and obey.”
JESUS AT THE WHEEL
God said to have NO OTHER GODS and to put all of our trust in Him. He will supply our needs. When you put your faith in luck and chance, you live a life that’s not about God’s Will and Way. You have adopted another belief system based upon chance and luck, which is the same belief system where idols and pagan gods were worshiped by our ancestors. Chance and luck are tools of Darkness used by magicians, fortune tellers, and the occult; tools, that you believe will enable you to BEAT THE ODDS!
You are soon fooled into making gambling acceptable because you’re a winner! You’ve got skills and that special touch. You’re a smart cookie, who’s got hustle, street sense, and you’ve got game! ‘You know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.’ YOU control gambling, it doesn’t control you. You’re not addicted so that makes it okay for you to do it.
First Timothy 6:10 tells us,
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Hebrews 13:5 declares,
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
Matthew 6:24 proclaims,
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
But, You are a money-making machine and able to take care of yourself. Even when your pockets are empty and you’re stone cold broke, you’re still believing the lies. You tell yourself, or hear that voice say, “All you need is a little start up money to make the magic happen again.” And that’s what our guy is feeling today, magic at his fingertips, electricity surging through his veins and ready to spark some action. He’s feeling lucky and luck is going to bring in the money to get him what he wants, including MORE MONEY!
Gambling and money are the center of his life. It made him forget about worshiping and serving God a long time ago. Now, he’s separated and isolated from his Help. Now, he feels dependent upon gambling to supply all of his needs, instead of God. It’s his cure for loneliness and inadequacy. It’s his dose of medicine for what ails him on a rainy day. It takes away the hunger for a better life and each time fools him into believing that this is the day when it’s ALL going to change.
He does acknowledge that there is a higher power, but, he tries to serve two masters. In his mind, God exists to do HIS bidding, when he needs Him. He believes God is his side-guy, his good-luck charm, who exists to aid him in winning. And when he wins, he believes it must be God’s reward and his blessing to continue gambling.
He uses God, but he worships and clings to his other master, Satan, doing his bidding. As long as he continues to put his trust and faith in him, he is in BONDAGE. No, he’s not interested in breaking free. What for? He can’t get past his love of the world and worldly things to see that he’s missing out on truly living.
As a result of all of this, he’s developed a kind of split personality and paranoia. Satan has used gambling to instill fear into his heart and mind, and that fear leads him into acts of desperation. This is when he does the most harm to the people around him and those who love him. He uses them; steps on them and over them to get what he wants. It’s all about him and even when it has nothing to do with him, he wants to steal the spotlight!
Some people wonder if he’s got a heart. Others say he lost that a long time ago, or he was born without one.
But, he tells everybody, “I don’t care what they say about me. I’m in this for ME!
I’m taken the easy road so I ain’t gotta be accountable to NOOO–BODY,” he says. He’s his own boss and nobody can tell him what to do!
I’ve met guys like him before, some call them ‘real jerks’, but that just ain’t nice. They’re lost souls. They like things easy because they can’t handle the difficult things in life.
And the world certainly has made it easy for them to gamble; just as the world has made it so easy for everybody to SIN. You don’t have to go to a casino. You can go online at home or go to an internet cafe to become addicted to gambling. There are plenty of ways we can gamble at work, school, home, shopping, etc. Monday night football and so on. People will bet on ANYTHING!
City, county, state, and federal governments encourage gambling to add to the economy, fund schools, government programs, and to circulate wealth. The world is one big slot machine, just pull the handle and watch it spin a lie to keep you hooked!
EVERYONE knows people like to gamble because they like to WIN! Oh, of course they need money and want money, but aren’t there other ways of getting money? Why gambling? IT’S QUICK AND EASY! Immediate gratification…Yes! The thrill and the high…Yes! Need of identity and attention…Yes! All of these things are right, but at the HEART of a habitual gambler is FEAR, which of course stems from PRIDE.
Fear and Pride? Yeh, it’s sort of hard to believe with them being so confident in betting and throwing their money out there, but, it’s like having an infected tooth. We know the only way to get any real relief is to go to the dentist and have it pulled, but they choose to go gamble to try to take their mind off of the pain. As painful as it may be, they don’t want to be cured, or to alleviate the pain because it satisfies another need. But, in the end, gambling doesn’t satisfy their REAL need and after temporary relief, the pain comes back, so they have to repeat the cycle.
To help these kind of people, we’ve got to treat this like a dentist treats an infected tooth. You don’t just pull the tooth, which in this case is Pride, without first treating the infection (FEAR), or the infection will spread throughout the body. To remove the fear, we must dispel the lie that brought it.
If we keep the person away from gambling environments, will that cure their desire to gamble? No? If we take away their winnings each time, will that cure them? No? If we threaten their loved ones, will the desire leave them? Probably not. How about making gambling less enjoyable? Shock therapy? Nope, won’t work. That would be trying to replace one fear with another fear. We could drive the person into finding new ways to escape, along with gambling.
Our gambler retorts, “Oh, no,no,no! I love everybody! –And to prove it, I’m going to buy everyone a round of drinks.”
Well, Jesus, being the calm and cool guy that He is, might give him a warm, understanding smile and say,
“That’s not necessary.
If you truly love them, I would like you to go and tell each one of them everything about yourself, from birth, until now, leaving nothing out.
Tell them how gambling has changed your life. Tell them how it effects your relationships and why you’d rather gamble than have healthy relationships.
Tell them the other feelings that go along with gambling–the fear and desperation, the loneliness, the guilt and shame.
Tell them it is easier for you to hide inside of gambling because it’s too hard for you to surrender your will to God and you like things and relationships that are easy, not requiring any work on your part.
Tell them all you’ve missed out on in your family’s lives.
Tell them that your gambling addiction requires you to remain selfish, greedy, deceitful, secretive, unattached, self-centered, egotistical, and arrogant.
Tell them how you have no accountability to anyone and pretend to be in control of your life to cover up your weaknesses and the fact that you live in constant fear.
Tell them how gambling makes you feel that you don’t need God and winning makes you feel like you are a god. Winning gives you a false sense of being fearless, controlling, and conquering others. You need that feeling that comes from winning, that makes you feel undefeated and invincible, to cover up the fact that you really feel defeated and beaten.
If you truly love them, tell them, that you are addicted to gambling, not just out of fear of not being successful in another area of your life; but for you, it is fear of not being successful in anything else in your life; a curse handed down to you from your father, who loved having money and working for money more than he loved his own son, and more than instilling good morals and values into his son to lead a life led by holiness and righteousness.
Tell them, that is the void you are trying to fill, which could be filled with truly loving others and yourself. It could be filled with becoming who God created you to be. It could be filled with having healthy relationships, if you would surrender your will to God.
If you truly love them, tell them how it all began and how long you’ve been doing this; the faces you’ve seen that have come and gone in and out of your life, because, you refuse to change. Tell them about the other addictions that you struggle with because you opened the door to the adversary and welcomed him in.
Tell them that misery loves company and what you have loved about them is the opportunity to use them, take their money, to see them miserable, like you, to make you feel better about yourself.
Tell them that because you truly love them, you will stop gambling and want to be their role model, mentor, and support system. Humble yourself before God, seek His face, repent of your sins, and follow me.
If you love them, continue to pray for the deliverance of your brothers and sisters and help them to overcome that which has kept you in bondage.
Do this for me, because you truly love Me, as I love you and want to save those whom I love! Follow Me and I will give you peace and fill your void with Perfect Love that casts out fear. I will give you abundant and eternal life. YES, YOU!! Who was lost and in sin. FOLLOW ME, as I follow and obey our Father. Help Me to increase the Kingdom and there we will reign as Children of God and joint heirs.”
Praise God, my Brothers and Sisters!
We could take the scenario of The Gambler and apply it to other addictions and bondage and use it to lead people to Jesus to dispel the lies in their life.
The Jesus within us wants to empower us to lead others to follow Him. We can inspire, encourage and even help others draw from ‘The Well That Shall Never Run Dry’. We can lead them to drink from His Fountain of Perfect Love, Peace, Abundant and Eternal Life and live with Accountability.
First, we must establish a RELATIONSHIP with them. We can’t build up walls and block out communication and we must learn to penetrate walls that have been built up by others. We become the example of Jesus to show them how to live and have a RELATIONSHIP with God, instead of practicing a religion.
Shining our Light as an example is how we take them to meet Jesus, who always did what He saw His Father do and obeyed to please Him. He will tear down all of their walls of Darkness, make them perfect in love, increase their faith, and be their fortress and Light to stand against the enemy. Yes, we can please our Father, too, by abiding in Jesus. Let us dispel lies and free our brother from bondage, doing all things in love.
The world wants us to believe we are just ordinary people. So, you find everyone wanting to become special by changing themselves into something they aren’t, in order to do so. But, this is just part of the lies that Satan feeds us.
Why would an All-Knowing, Almighty God create something ordinary? There are no ordinary people. Each of us is a one-of-a-kind, rare jewel, a masterpiece of workmanship, created by THE Master. God made each one of us extraordinary and unique; each with a set of distinct fingerprints to make his or her mark on the world, not the other way around. WE were created to CHANGE the world and as a result BUILD GOD’S KINGDOM!
It would be wonderful and so easy if we were born knowing exactly what we were created to do. It would also be less stressful, if our society and world were set up and well organized to place everyone in the job they were specifically created to do. However, that’s not how the world works and that’s not how God works.
Yes, God gave us each various talents and gifts, but God wants us to be diverse and flexible so He can use us in various ways to help and serve one another. We may find our niche in the world, but we should keep ourselves open to be used by God in the capacity in which we are needed.
God wants you to know you are special! There is someone only you can help. We must come to realize that God is strategic in His planning and so was He in His creation of man.
Yet, too often, we feel as if life is like living in a big family. We wonder, “When do I get my turn? Where are my blessings?” It is then that Satan has instilled another lie into us, that is, the one that tells us,”It’s all about me and I deserve!” We may even believe we don’t have to wait or shouldn’t have to wait for our turn, because we are more deserving than someone else.
But, it’s not about us, it’s about GOD, who alone is worthy, of “blessings and honor and glory.”
We were created to serve others in order to receive blessings. God gave us everything we need to be a blessing to others, when he embedded part of His spirit within us to give us life. He gave us POTENTIAL! He created us to serve and give, not just to take and get, or to become bitter and jealous of what others have.
ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE:
But, We Must Make One Another Accountable
One day, while waiting at a bus stop, I encountered a gentleman, who was full of anger and hatred, for the world, and his fellow man; especially white people, since they had mistreated him, and his race.
He stood in front of me early on a hot, summer morning, sweating, drinking a beer, and proceeded, in his best drunken machismo style, to make an effort at flattering, and wooing me, expecting to win my admiration and attention.
He belonged to that segment of Black men in our society today, who have been led down the wrong path, or trapped within a racially biased legal system, the result being prison time. Upon release he hadn’t found much more waiting for him, other than–more time and bondage.
He had fathered a child by a woman, I soon came to realize was my cousin. He was very bitter and angry over the child’s court ordered custodial arrangement, due to having a troubled mother and family, leaving himself out of the equation.
I tried to help him reason and turn his anger into understanding, but he became rude, belligerent and profane, even verbally attacking two white men standing nearby, whose attention had been drawn toward us, due to his outburst of volatile behavior, and who probably feared for my safety. However, I remained calm and at peace, no doubt protected by God’s unchanging hand upon me.
The height of his anger came when he realized that I was trying to make him accountable for his current actions, feelings, and role in the course of events. He responded with, “I DON’T HAVE TO JUSTIFY MYSELF TO YOU! ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME. I HAVE A REASON TO BE BITTER AND ANGRY. ”
No you don’t, I said. God is Almighty, All Powerful, He can turn whatever happened in your life into good.
It seemed to make him calm down a little, however, our conversation was soon ended by the arrival of the bus. Whew! I thought that would be the end of it, but, he made it a point to sit across from me on the bus. Apparently, I had connected. I was hoping I wouldn’t receive more of the same behavior or it was going to be a short bus ride for him.
However, I know I shouldn’t continue to be surprised by these things, but he had gained control over that spirit or spirits within him. In a sobered voice and demeanor, he apologized to me and told me that I was right about everything and that he really wasn’t a bad person. I said, “I know you’re not.”
I proceeded to empathize with him and bring out the plight and persecution of the Black male in America, but with that goes accountability not to live up to the enemies expectations. He told me how he wanted to do better for himself and his child. We must pray and believe a seed was planted for God’s Holy Spirit to grow.
How does this relate to THE GAMBLER? Well, both men are living in frustration and bondage, trapped within walls of their own creation, because of pride and fear. They wanted an easy way out and chose gambling, drinking, drugs, racism, blame, violence; some way to feel better about being helpless, emasculated, trapped, demeaned, disenfranchised, disconnected from relationships, guilt, shame, and sin.
They were blinded from Truth and hearing the truth wasn’t easy for either one of them. Upon hearing the Truth, no doubt, pride fought back and Satan tightened his grip. But, those in bondage and those around them MUST HEAR TRUTH OR THEY WILL LEAD OTHERS TO PERISH WITH THEM!
My Brothers and Sisters, this is part of DISCIPLESHIP!
WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT!
Don’t miss OPPORTUNITIES that God places in front of you to make a difference and plant a seed or form a RELATIONSHIP to CHANGE someone’s life. Do not let your eyes and heart deceive you, telling you to put up walls because that person doesn’t look or act worthy of your attention.
LET US TEAR DOWN THE WALLS AND OPEN THE DOOR TO CONVERSATION AND GODLY RELATIONSHIPS!
–Standing in faith and in God’s Holiness and Righteousness–Speaking to you, in Peace, in Love, in Joy, to the Glorification of God, Our Father–Be blessed–Be encouraged,
your servant and soldier, united with the One
1 Timothy 6:9
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
1 John 2:15-17
Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.