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Crucifixes - February 15, 2006

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And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take away sickness from the midst of thee. There shall nothing cast their young, or be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfill. Exodus 23:25-26

What shouldn't we be willing to give up in order to receive God's best into our lives?
Dead works, the trappings of relgion, lovely pictures of Jesus, crosses etc., will not bring us closer to God or make make us one wit more holy.
There is absolutely no benefit in having any of these things around.
But what benefit is there in giving up certain things that may have been a part of our lives for many years (-maybe even since we were born)?
I remember one year my brother gave me a lovely crucifix for Christmas. It was made of material that looked like ivory and really was very beautiful.
I had recently begun fervently serving the Lord, and my brother thought he should give me something religious as a gift. It was truly a gesture of respect on his part.
But I cringed as soon as I saw it. I didn't know why. I knew nothing about crucifixes, but I felt strongly there was something not right about it.
I politely thanked my brother for the gift and promptly laid it high on a bookshelf, safely out of sight (I thought), intending to get rid of it at the earliest opportunity.
Then I forgot all about it--out of sight--out of mind.
Life went on as normal over the next month or so. Except for one thing. I suddenly developed a very bad attitude whenever I was in my home (which was most of the time).
When I would go to town, or church or to visit friends, I would enjoy myself nicely, but as soon as I entered my house, my attitude would drastically change.
It was so sudden and consistent I knew something was not right, but I did not know what. 
I prayed about it. I repented. I felt bad about my attitude and angry behavior, but I could not seem to get a grip on it.
I became extremely unpleasant to be around--for no apparent reason.
One Saturday afternoon, after behaving badly again, I picked up a Christian tract someone had given me and began to read it.
Suddenly a tiny picture on the bottom right hand corner of the page leapt out at me. Truly--it was as if there was nothing else on that page for a moment--my attention was rivited to that tiny image.
It was a picture of a crucifix.
There was a short article next to it explaining that a crucifix is a religious symbol, portraying a dead Jesus (verses a living savior), which attracts powerful evil spirits.
Yes, Jesus did die for us--but without his resurrection--his sacrifice would have accomplished no more than any of the bulls, sheep and goats that preceeded him.
The article further explained that crucifixes are used by priests in exorcisms, and even appear to be sporadically effective at driving devils out of those who are demonized.
The writer of this article explained that the reason for this is because the strong demons affiliated with the crucifix are able to command any lesser devils to leave, and the appearance is given that the person has been delivered.
It was at that point that I remembered the cruxifix that had been lying on my bookshelf for over a month, and I knew it had brought some very unwanted guests into my (previously happy) home.
I got that thing down--got rid of it and commanded any spirits that had entered my home through it to leave in Jesus name.
My bad attitude disappeared instantly and did not return.
Ever since that experience, I have never underestimated the importance of  "cleaning house."
And it it surprising to most of us to find out just how many spirits are brought into our homes and lives through decorative objects, pictures, jewelry, designs on clothing, etc.,

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