The Quest for Deliverance

Knowledge, even self-knowledge is power. The knowledge presented here is to help you begin to develop skills to stand against the challenges of life that can confront your family. The quest for deliverance can be harmful, unless you understand the risks.

One of the worst, heart-rending challenges is a father's inability to protect his precious children from every merciless attack. Accidents, sickness and disease all expose this human weakness. When these challenges happen to a child, various emotions can be overwhelming to the father and the despair of helplessness can dominate. These emotions can debilitate even the strongest father. Our ignorance about how to proceed can be costly and even dangerous.

It is completely natural and understandable to be driven to find a solution, a cure, just as quickly as possible, regardless of the cost. There is the desire for healing so that life can get back to normal. The attack on the child is also an attack on our plans, schedules, finances, almost everything of critical importance that holds our life together. These could all crumble into a magnificent ruin. A cure MUST be found RIGHT NOW! It is certainly not obvious, but I have found that this is an ineffective mind-set. Panic is never advised. The desperate, singular focus on obtaining (and expecting) an immediate cure can produce additional long term anguish, pain, and suffering for the family.

All 4 generations of my family (starting with my grandfathers) have experienced chronic health related challenges. I spent years focused on and expecting a cure for the challenges in my immediate family. I observed other branches of the family in the same quest. We all ended up without the expected complete deliverance. Religion and the self-help industry provided lots of advice, but few godly results. I have seen people at this point become consumed with anger and bitterness directed at their heavenly father. My response was to return to the scriptures and research each record of healing that I could find, looking for a "healing recipe". There had to be something that all the accounts had in common, something I was missing. What was found was not what I expected.

I did not find a "healing recipe". Every single act of godly deliverance was different, tailored to the individual and their unique circumstances. There was one attribute which was common to a majority of the accounts. This one attribute is "endurance". Those in need endured, sometimes for years. My response to this discovery was to end my singular focus on deliverance. Instead, I focused on "enduring until deliverance". I had a great conflict about this change because it contradicted so much of what I (and others) had been taught. The bottom line is that what "prosperity" religion and the self-help industry adherents believe is that to change their focus on deliverance is a capitulation to the challenge. They believe it is wrong, is sinful, and is dishonoring God. There is much fear associated with this destructive, erroneous, singular focus on deliverance.  However, what I had been taught was shown to be in error, so I continued with my new focus on "enduring until deliverance". This change in focus made a dramatic difference in my life and family. Now it was OK to make incremental improvements without the attending feelings of condemnation, disappointment and failure. The stress and pressure to produce complete deliverance NOW was gone. Virtually every aspect of my family life improved. It wasn't that things got easier or the circumstances changed. I changed, and was able to become skillful in this aspect of life.

All these improvements did not happen overnight; I did not get skillful the next day. No, this required years of patient persistence. The first thing that happened was the release from the emotional stress, condemnation and disappointment produced by the singular focus on deliverance. This release provided more energy to apply to endurance; I became stronger. Notice that I had to learn to become skillful while under attack. It is another example of "on the job training" which we experience. My children who lived through these challenging times learned how to endure. They made these skills their own as they endured their own challenges as adults.

No, you won't find the deliverance you are seeking for every challenge that faces you. We all die of something. We will all be working to improve some aspect of our life when we do pass away. Growth and improvement is a never ending process in this life. I have spoken to other beloved children of God who are enduring chronic health issues. They have not allowed these challenges to stop them from serving and walking with God.

My maternal grandfather had learned to live in this practical way. When his son-in-law, my uncle, became totally blind, grandpa used his contacts to obtain a scholarship at a premier school for the blind. My uncle eventually obtained a PHD in psychology. In his career, he began pioneering research with emotionally disturbed handicapped children. By standing against these formidable challenges and enduring, he became a man, husband and father of great godly value. His family continued with the singular focus on deliverance which (I believe) took an emotional toll on them. The difficulty with their quest certainly touched my heart. In the end, none of this prevented the godly impact of his family in this life.

Things that rob your endurance and peace

When you and your family are faced with the challenges of life such as accidents and illness, there are common reactions which are not beneficial. These reactions, although understandable, actually weaken us. The challenges of life are actually processes of destruction. This process of destruction is designed to influence the victim, close family and caretakers to abandon their self-directed life. You then are bound to a life which is directed by uncontrollable circumstances and overwhelming emotion. It is accomplished through a process of stimulus and response to keep you emotionally upset, hopeless, helpless and weak. Understanding the nature of the attack and its purpose can help you resist the processes that are at work.

For years I asked the questions, "why me?", "why do I have to go through this?" "what did I do wrong?", "when will this end?". You may have asked these or other similar questions. Eventually I learned that having the answers to these questions would not help me endure. In some cases the answers could prove burdensome. It is better not to dwell on these questions. I have provided foundational answer to the question "what did I do wrong?" in my book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity". This book will also help with the obsessive religious habits of self-accusation and self-condemnation.

It is very detrimental to hide and suppress any anger you may have with God. This anger may be suppressed out of guilt. God is much bigger than our emotions and our limited view. It is better to honestly open your heart to him and share yourself with him. You are his child and he will treat you with all the love he has. Yes, I have been angry with him. It may sound silly, but for my own health I even forgave him because of my emotional perception of having been harmed. Some emotions can't be prevented!

There is nothing godly to gain by playing the "blame game". If blame is affixed to something or someone, the next step is to "make sure it never happens again", which is nothing but revenge. All this is actually part of the destructive process which challenges you. It is designed to rob your strength and peace. It does this by keeping you angry, upset, bitter and focused on how unfairly hurt you are. Ultimately you become a chronic victim, consumed and imprisoned by anger and bitterness. There is no deliverance to be had on this path of destruction.

Although it may require some time, when disaster strikes, discard the panic as quickly as possible. Manage the immediate needs but be prepared for the long-haul. Don't give yourself over to anger, bitterness or despair. Share your anger and grief with God. Keep your focus on your family and their needs. For yourself, keep your focus on enduring until deliverance is achieved!

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKJKXHE

The paperback is available at
https://www.createspace.com/4552448
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2017 Keith S. Radcliffe

Obtain A Knowledge of the Scriptures

There is a question that is asked from time to time; “How does one obtain a knowledge of the scriptures?”. The question stated in this manner does not express what is really being asked, so I will restate it.
 
“How does one who is not a scholar, or an intellectual, effectively obtain a functional, accurate knowledge of the scriptures?”. I might add that the person seeking may have limited reading skills and a limited use of the English language.
 
All of us started out knowing absolutely nothing about the Bible, God, Jesus Christ, or the concepts of prayer and worship. Someone had to teach us about these things. I was blessed to be taught the Bible by my parents, starting at a very early age. As a young child I acquired some knowledge of the scriptures without any study, reading, or memorization. My parents taught me by informally telling stories, during the day or before bed time. In the years since, most of my time with the Bible could not be classified as “studying”, but reading, as one would read for enjoyment.
 
In a related note, I must state that there are men and women in the body of Christ who are quite adept at the art of storytelling. It has been my experience that these people and their calling are unappreciated; they seldom are permitted to serve. If they are permitted to serve, it is in the capacity of (almost invisible) baby-sitters. Identify these men and women and incorporate their service into the general activities of the body of Christ; the benefits will be amazing! 
 
There is basically only one prerequisite for acquiring a knowledge of the scriptures and that is a hunger to know The Truth. The hunger to know The Truth is a desire that is intense enough to be compared to physical hunger. This is a desire that is enough to motivate a person to act. If you have a ravenous hunger, you will be fed as much as you desire.
 
The first step in acquiring a knowledge of the scriptures is to make the time to become familiar with the numerous stories that are recorded in the Bible. One book my parents used to teach me the stories in the Bible was “Hurlburt's Story of the Bible”, which is available on the Internet.
 
The author of this book arranged the stories in their chronological order. Each story is expressed in simple, clear language. Each one is a complete story and can stand on its own. Yet, together these stories construct the narrative of the Bible, thus expressing “the story of the Bible”. The target audience of the book are those who do not have a Biblical background and may have a limited English vocabulary.
Artwork is included in the book to make it even more appealing. The artwork is not accurate so it can be ignored. Scriptural references are noted with each story, so it is easy to read each story from the Bible whenever you are ready.
 
Then find a version of the Bible that is easy and enjoyable for you to read. When I just want to read, I use the Revised English Bible. When I want to read in preparation for studying or for teaching, I use the English Standard Version. Once you have become familiar with the stories of the Bible, you can begin using your reading Bible. Read as if you are reading a novel. Just read for enjoyment. If you come across a section that you don't enjoy reading, such as a family tree or genealogy, skip that section. Don't attempt to retain and understand every little detail. Read to capture the narrative, the story. Memorization of individual scriptures at this point is not needed. It is much easier to remember a story than the individual scriptures that make up the story. Even young children can remember stories.
 
Once you have learned the general narrative of the Bible, you can begin to perceive the different contexts that make up that narrative. Now you can begin to read the contexts and see how they fit together. All the while you are reading for enjoyment.
 
“How much time will this take?” you might ask. It depends upon how hungry and persistent you are. Everyone grows at their own pace.
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

 

 

 

Preparing For an Uncertain Future

Preparing for an uncertain future has its advantages, it is one way in which we begin to adjust to a changing world. The question is, how well will we and our families endure these changes?
 
I don't write this to cause discouragement and grief but I write for the sake of endurance and thoughtful planning. Thinking through and preparing for "the worst that can happen" can negate or reduce the tendency to be consumed with fear and worry. If one is to prevail (not just survive), one must be strong enough to endure.
 
Today, much of what is published in the media and on the Internet has the purpose of provoking a strong emotional reaction. There is hope of a magical "awakening" of the American masses that will somehow stop the destruction of our country and the elimination of our freedoms. I submit to you that this hope is a mirage, a pipe dream; if it were to actually happen, it would do little to restore our country and freedoms. One reason I state this is the national debt; our country and untold generations of our children have been sold into slavery.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
(Proverbs 22:7 ESV)

 

 

This truth has not been experienced by the electorate in the manner which would be expected. Individually, our lives seem to continue as they always have. However, there is much discontent and anguish because we cannot gain control of our government. On critical issues the government is unresponsive to the will of the people; instead it is marching in unison towards tyranny. I submit that it is our government which is experiencing this enslavement; regardless of the desire of any individual politician, they have no choice but to ignore the will of the people and to ignore the constitution. They must obey the will of our lenders and those who continue to prop up our economy.
 
The truth of the matter is this; what used to be America is gone, only a shell remains. The constitution has become irrelevant; it is only a script for the theater and drama that is staged in Washington. The freedoms we continue to enjoy are imperiled. A tyrant is not required to control everyone all the time; a tyrant is only required to have access to any individual and control of any individual at any time. This type of tactic is what we seem to be subjected to, more and more.
 
So, if this is true, what can any individual do, how should an individual respond? I offer the following suggestions. If nothing else, don't react, but think through your own response.
 
Mourn and grieve the loss of our country. Have a funeral, put flowers on the grave if needed. Right now there is enough time to do this. Try to release the past and begin to face the future.
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
Ecclesiastes 7:10 ESV)

 

 

Don't make any effort to attempt to reclaim or restore the "glory days" of the past. The world has changed and those days are gone. These efforts will weaken the ability to endure the challenges of the future.
 
Do some research regarding people of faith in tyrannical countries; here are a couple of books to start with:
 
 
 
If you are worried about your ability to worship and serve God in the manner in which you are accustomed to, please consider the following:
 
The time span to consider for your planning is multi-generational. Plan for the prevailing endurance of your great-grandchildren. There is an example of this kind of planning in the bible, in Jeremiah 29. We are in similar circumstances. One of the things recorded, which is good guidance for the current challenges is:
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
(Jeremiah 29:7 ESV)

 

 

Note the lack of guidance for an armed resistance or violence of any kind.
  • Think through the best long-term location for your family to live; Brazil? Argentina? Chile? Where? In the country or in the city?
  • What kind of spouse should your children look for; Chinese? Arab? Latino?
  • What kind of skills and training should your children have?
Today we are free to make some choices that may not be available tomorrow. Today there is time to prepare ourselves, mentally, emotionally and practically for the challenges, fears and shocks that are sure to occur in the near future. 
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.
(Proverbs 22:3 ESV)

 

 

"Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe