Archive for July, 2008

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“Stubblefield”

July 29, 2008

As we approach the end of the age, we find a generation that’s wholly given over to the acquisition of stuff. Material possessions which tie ones heart to this present world with a fatal attraction as they become consumed with “gain” and status among their contemporaries. We can expect this from those who, as of yet, know not God. We have all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of the flesh (all have sinned) and remember the former life from which the Lord Jesus has delivered us. Tragically, however, the quest for material gain and the proverbial “your best life now” mentality has permeated the ranks of twenty first century christianity. Professing saints who put on a spiritual showing, but through their conversation reveal that they are more interested in building earthly kingdoms than laying up treasure in heaven.

Such will often quote I Timothy 6:10; stating that the love of money, “not” money is the root of all evil, but give little heed to verses 1-9 which spell out the inherant dangers of excessive material accumulation. The sixth chapter of I Timothy was covered in detail several months ago, but I can’t remember the post in which it’s found. Nonetheless, multi-million dollar mega-churches are constructed on the outskirts of cities whose parks are filled with homeless souls who have gone two or three days without food. God knows each of their names, has the hairs of their heads numbered, and knows who didn’t reach them. Jesus said that the poor would always be with us and I’m convinced that this is to try the hearts of those who have been given much. We should visit Matthew 25:31-46 on a regular basis. I can think of nothing more tragic (and sobering) than the thought of folks going into eternity thinking “I got mine,” only to learn that they never really knew him.

Every one of us should continually examine ourselves.

The intent of this post is to encourage the saints to let go of the temporal and lay hold of that which is eternal. To abide ever closer to Jesus and feed daily on scriptures which are able to make us wise unto salvation. To become so heavenly minded that our only concern is to be pleasing to the Lord and our only desire for being in this world will be to shine the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ both in word and deed. A truly heavenly minded person will turn the world upside down and truth will go forth; regardless of the physical consequences. The apostle Paul was of such a mindset. He was “betwixt; having a desire to be with Jesus and yet desiring to remain here to further the gospel and strengthen the churches. We cannot even begin to fathom the burden that must have been on his heart. Philippians chapter three offers much insight into being heavenly minded and the following passages are from one of my favorite places in scripture.

Philippians 3:2-3 “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

This passage reveals the contrast between the saints and the non-saints. The true saints simply love the Lord Jesus and find their joy therein. As we grow spiritually, those things which are flesh-based will diminish in their appeal. Evil workers will always pander to the flesh and regardless of how much we grow spiritually, we should always be on guard for such. (The above passage echoes Pauls warning to the Ephesians in Acts 20:29-30.) In the chapter at hand, Paul goes on to explain how he had everything in this world; education, status above many of his countrymen and how that he was “a Hebrew of Hebrews.” This makes the following passage even more phenomenal; and yet it should be the case with all who come to Jesus and have their sins washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Philippians 3:7-8 “But what things were gain to me, those I counted but loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

Wow! Verse seven has been on my heart a lot lately. Anything that we obtain in this world for self-consumption is lost to eternity. A multi-million dollar cathedral decorated with the logo of a particular ministry is wood, hay and stubble. Bringing nourishment and hope to one who has been all but forgotten in this world is a simple act that will carry over into the realm of the everlasting. Everything that we possess in this world is, as Paul writes, “dung.” Some of us have a lot of expensive dung and others have just a few pieces of dung. Nonetheless, it’s dung, it stinks, and too much of it will pull at the heart like gravity. A quick visit to I Timothy 6:9 is needful. “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in perdition.”

Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Keep pressing ahead. Let go of yesterday and keep looking unto Jesus. Paul is also warning us not to “plateau” and think to ourselves “I’ve arrived. Gods ways are so far above ours that none of us could even begin to wrap our mind around it. This is an awesome thought and just makes one desire all the more to let go of the temporal and learn of great and mighty things which we know not. This post is already past the point where I usually end, so I’ll start going quicker. This next verse is needful.

Philippians 3:15 “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”

If we begin to go astray; even if it’s so slight that it evades our radar, the Holy Spirit will make it known to us; so long as were atuned. If we love the Lord, we’ll strive to live for him and will keep our hearts with all diligence. We should never underestimate the danger of a little drifting or stagnation. The next passage is a stern warning to be aware of those who obsess over the wood hay and stubble of this world.

Philippians 3:18-19 “(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is there belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

They mind earthly things. The thorns of this world have consumed them to the point that, while they go through the motions of christianity, their hearts are right here and they pursue a life of self-indulgence. I was just thinking of how Paul writes this “even weeping.” Professing christians who are consumed by this world present a heartbreaking situation because they’re missing so much. The joy of the Lord and the reality of the age to come is so awesome that it resides far beyond anything that the world can offer. Yet many choose to find a nitche, settle in, and get cozy instead moving into the deep things of God. This comes from experience. I’ve had more carnal phases than I care to think about, and have a lot of growing to do still, but when the Lord delivers us from something, what a wonderful and joyous thing it is. It makes us all the more want to press on and grow into the fulness of Christ.

Well, I have to wrap this up. It’s late and I’m on first shift now. (at least for now) The final two verses tell us where our conversation should be and what the end of that conversation is. Our speech and actions will inevitably reveal the contents of our heart. If we love the Lord Jesus and long for his appearing, this is where our conversation will be. The worlds conversation will simply fail to move us as it contains no life and offers no hope. Well, I’ll close for now; despite the profound need for editing. I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus.

Philippians 3:20-21 “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working thereby he is able even to subdue all things to himself.”

 

 

 

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Something Wiccan That Way Goes

July 22, 2008

It began with a dream and it involves a situation to which the conclusion is currently uncertain. For these two reasons I wrestled with putting together this post; wondering if it would have any relevance. Yet there are three notable things that can be gleaned from the account:

( 1 ) We are engaged in spiritual warfare 24/7 whether we are mindful of it or not. The enemy has but a short time and he’s going all out to destroy as many as he possibly can. We must be aware of the devils tactics and always be mindful that “Greater is he (Jesus) that is in us than he that is in the world.” 

( 2 ) We must always be mindful of the souls who pass through our lives and as I Peter 3:15 states “be ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.”

( 3 ) Pray for those who are outside of the household of faith; regardless of how far removed from the truth they may appear. “God gives the increase.”

In the summer of 2002, the company that I currently work for went through a hiring phase and I was one of the new employees. After spending fourteen years in the HVAC industry, it was quite a change and while the work was (and is) monotonous, it was (and is) interesting to work with folks from a host of different backgrounds. One such person was a girl who I’ll refer to as Cindy. Although she tended to let things at work “get to her” more than was necessary, she was a pleasent person to be around and it was really easy to crack her up. (a vent for my clowning around problem.) Normally it takes me a while to get to know a person, however, if one has a healthy sense of humor, the process is much quicker and such was the case with Cindy.

From a spiritual standpoint, however, the situation was, to put it mildly, perilous. At the time, I was profoundly backslidden and consumed by the cares of this life. When I think of all the souls who passed in and out of my circle during those years who should have been reached with the gospel, but weren’t, it’s nearly too much to bear. Cindy was a practicing Wiccan; heading down a path which appeared enlightening, compassionate, and a way to find spiritual fulfilment, but ultimately leads to destruction. Words cannot adequately express how important it is for us to be walking in the Spirit, praying fervently for, and reaching out to those around us for whom Jesus shed his blood. I wasted a lot of years and while I praise God for waking me up, I wish that I had never drifted so far off course.

In March of 2004, the Lord Jesus “did a work suddenly” in my life. It began one night, while sitting right where I am now. I came across my old church in Virginia while surfing around the internet. Memories were stirred and over the next day or so, I began remembering from whence I had fallen. One night in bed, I uttered the words from Jeremiah 8:6 “What have I done” and the following day, while driving to work on Millers Mill road, I repented of the wasted years along with the wickedness that I had engaged in. The Lord Jesus was faithful and began a restoration work that is still ongoing and continues to astonish me. Jesus Christ; our Savior and High Priest who ever lives to make intercession for us. WOO HOO!  

Shortly thereafter, I was compelled to begin praying for Cindy who had left the company a few months prior. I had no idea as to where she was or how things were transpiring in her life, but I was minded nonetherless to begin praying for her upon every rememberance. As I began to routinely lift her up in prayer, there was an opposition. It was almost a resistance that could be felt whenever prayer was made for her. Thoughts would come to mind suggesting that she wasn’t to be prayed for. Sometimes, it was almost as though a “praying through” had to take place. At the time, I wasn’t certain if I was up against a spiritual entity or if my imagination was just working overtime. (I have an overactive imagination that requires continuous casting down.) Although the enemy always works to keep us from prayer; along with everything else that furthers the kingdom of God, praying for Cindy was more intense than average.

Time marches on and memories slowly reduce down to more abstract images. Praying for someone “upon every rememberance” may gradually diminish from a few times daily to maybe once a week or so as other issues become pressing. So the dream that transpired about five weeks ago really caught me off guard. (I rarely have dreams, but the ones that I do have usually involve some form of spiritual warfare) As it began, I was having a casual conversation with Cindy; just as would have taken place when we worked together. Only it wasn’t at work. In fact the background was obscure and displayed no details that would indicate where this conversation was taking place. Nonetheless, it was as though the clock had been turned back about six years-minus the rebellious state that I was in at the time.

Then, without warning, Cindy was far removed, way off in the distance. Suddenly there was, in front of me, what looked like a very young man with somewhat unmanaged hair an expression of quiet confidence on his face. In my spirit, I knew that he was an opposer of truth and was routinely sent to neutralize anyone who was a threat to that way. I understood that he was routinely successful and that in his eyes, I was simply the next one to be rendered “no longer a threat.” This is where it gets strange.  His demeanor of total confidence caused me to be somewhat fearful of him. I knew that this shouldn’t happen, but happening it was. I cannot overemphasize just how confident he appeared to be; as though he was going to take me down without breaking a sweat. (Oddly enough, he looked like one of Morgans old boyfriends)

I then began praying and talking with the Lord Jesus. Two things are notable about this prayer which took place as the opposer of truth was readying himself to make me as all of the others that he had defeated. First, it was in a casual tone. Unlike most stressful situations where we feel compelled to pray louder as though it will help to move the prayer along faster. The prayer was non hurried and relaxed. Just talking to the Lord Jesus. Second, the opposer of truth wasn’t the topic of discussion. I cannot remember exactly what I was talking to the Lord about, but it wasn’t really about the situation at hand; even when the opposer unleashed his salvos.

The opposer was standing about twelve feet in front of me and he launched what looked like hundreds upon hundreds of tiny comets; each with a softball sized nucleus and a tail about three feet long. They flew at me and each one; as it got to within a couple of feet of where I was, fizzled. The barage continued on, I kept talking to the Lord Jesus, and every comet-looking salvo vanished at is drew close. I was still in prayer but the initial fear was gone and I noticed the expression on the opposers face. It still looked just as it did in the beginning; confident and unwavering, but I could sense that he was baffled at the complete ineffectiveness of the ongoing assault. This sense of bafflement began to give way to frustration and finally anger as the opposer began to realize that he was unable to accomplish his assignment. (Somehow, failure seemed to be completely unexpected)

James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

I finally awakened from this dream and was, needless to say, perplexed. I’m certain that something in the spiritual realm came down that night, but I have no idea of what’s transpiring now. I’ve not heard from Cindy in five years. Sometimes when a person has been out of contact for so long, it becomes harder to keep them in prayer. New situations come up, new battles emerge, and our circle of contacts gradually shifts as we move through the various seasons of life.  Nonetheless, I’m determined to keep Cindy in prayer; knowing that Jesus paid for the sins of all and that when God does a thing suddenly, there’s salvation and true deliverance.  Every soul is eternal and priceless.

We really need to be atuned to the seriousness of souls hanging in the balance and the spiritual battles taking place all around us. Without a doubt, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. We never know when a brief prayer unto the Lord Jesus while walking out to the barn may result in the bringing down of a stronghold somewhere that we didn’t even know about. The Lord used an elderly lady who prayed for David Meyers a long time to bring him out of darkness. His testimony can be read HERE. Well, I’m still hesitant about posting this, but here it goes.

Have a blessed day in Jesus.

 

  

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My Sweet Sweet Song

July 20, 2008

Psalm 42:7-8 “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”

Isaiah 30:29 “Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.” 

Lately A number of recent posts (like the previous one) have dealt with upheaval in the physical world and trials of a nature that most saints in the west cannot fathom. It’s not so much that we are unaware of their possible manifestation; rather we have simply never been faced with such circumstances. For centuries saints in various parts of the world have faced persecution, separation from those closest to them and a continual sense of not knowing what the next day would bring forth. They learned to place their complete confidence in the Lord Jesus and “from their heart” let go of every earthly entanglement. Nobody that I am in regular contact with has ever had to endure such things on a notable level. Other than a theological understanding, most of us have no idea of what it would be like to be hauled off in the middle of the night to an undisclosed location because we maintain the testimony of Jesus Christ. A testimony which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to us proclaims the salvation of God. 

One thing that I know to be true is that when we meditate upon the Lord Jesus Christ who redeemed us from everlasting death, there’s a peace so incredibly strong that all the forces of hell cannot shake it. A supernatural joy as we are in fellowship with our Creator who inhabits eternity and places a spiritual song in our heart. A song so sweet and out of this world that no earthly instruments are able to collaborate with it. A heavenly melody; the words of which have no earthly translation, that resides solely in the spiritual realm giving honor and praise unto Jesus; the King of kings and Lord of lords. When we come into contact with it, the majority of what passes for “christian music” in this world will fail us. It takes us into a deeper place as we begin to fathom a level of God that we never encountered before.  The structures of tradition and programs of men fade from view as we draw into a closer fellowship with the Ancient of days.

It’s a relationship with the Lord on levels that I’ve only caught passing glimpses of; but strive to remain in continually. When we meditate on the unfathomable awesomeness of God, the heart just begins singing. I don’t know how to place into words what I’m talking about. There’s such a closeness, such a sense of awe, such a rejoicing in the Lord Jesus; by whom all things were created and with whom we shall abide throughout the eons to come…”world without end.” I would like to write down Isaiah 26:3, but over the course of this blogging season, it has probably been the most “referred to” passage already. Nonetheless, it is 100% true. If we keep our eyes on Jesus and on the world to come, we’ll not be overwhelmed by the events transpiring in the physical realm. Gods perfect peace transcends every storm, every earthly uncertainty, every form of physical circumstance that one may be exposed to. In the world we shall have tribulation, but Jesus has overcome the world and has gone to prepare a place for us.

Most of us are familiar with the account of Paul and Silas singing at midnight from the innermost chamber of a Philippian jail. This wasn’t a psychological method of trying to deal with a traumatic situation; it was heartfelt praise for God who had granted them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. The truth that Jesus Christ had come into the world to save sinners and that the gift of eternal life was available to “whosoever will.” Their eyes were on Jesus; their treasure in heven and anything that transpired on earth was only for a very short season. The entire account of that night, the singing, the earthquake, and the prisoners remaining despite their bands being loosed, is fascinating. Paul and silas could have escaped and rejoiced in having been delivered from the hands of unjust men, and yet they remained. We know that there is a Philippian jailer, along with those of his household, abiding in heaven at this moment becuase of the events of that night two thousand years ago.

In short, we need to get our eyes of Jesus and keep our hearts on the eternal. The peace of God that passes understanding is real. It’s more real than everything that’s made of atoms and will eventually burn. When we are focused on the eternal, the present; no matter how traumatic it may become, will fail to rattle us. I probably ponder end time events more than the average person but I don’t become fearful as I did in the early years. Such ponderings only intensify the desire to get as close to Jesus as I can and to be about those issues with eternal ramifications. We may “observe” events, but we “focus” on the Lord Jesus Christ and the incredible love that he has for us. When we do this, the song will meet us there.

Please read this post by Michael Boldea as it pertains to seekint the will of God in these final moments of the age. I link to it because it touches on something that’s been on my heart for a long time. We know that tragically, many are sleeping instead of filling their lamps. Of those who are aware of the lateness of the hour, there’s another tendancy; that of listening to what those who are like-minded are saying to do instead of seeking the Lords will for themselves. He doesn’t have a cookie cutter plan that fits every saint who is to be standing here when Jesus returns. We each need to seek his will for ourselves. This is a very important post and, while it is lengthy, the subject is so important that it should be read. PLEASE check it out. I’m planning to make copies of it for others.

Another notable read is The Prophetic Savant which touches on the subject of the disconnect experienced by those who draw really close to the Lord Jesus. When we first accept Jesus Christ as Savior, the world begins to think that we’re strange. As we draw ever closer to the Lord, an increasing number of christians also begin to think that we’re strange. This posting; ever since I first read it, has caused in me a greater desire to let go of everything that besets and seek the deep things of God.  

I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.

Psalm 107:8 “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” 

Ephesians 5:19-21 “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto the Lord.”

Jude 20-21 “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”  

 

 

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Temptation with Perplexity

July 10, 2008

 Luke 21:19 “In your patience possess ye your souls.”

I Peter 1:7-9 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love: in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

Actually I should have started with I Peter 1:1, but that would have consumed much space in what has the potential of becoming a lengthy post. The above verses reveal some important truths.

( 1 ) Trials are of more value than gold. It’s amazing how many saints are consumed with collecting wood hay and stubble as opposed to laying up treasure in heaven.

( 2 ) As Jesus said to Thomas “Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believed.” Although we are currently present in the flesh and see not our Lord and Savior, our love for him should grow continuously.

( 3 ) The end of our faith is salvation; an eternity with the Lord who is from everlasting to everlasting. We must continuously focus on the Lord Jesus and the blessed hope that we have. This post is going to cover some things that many will challenge every saint; regardless of their maturity level. Yet I bring them forth because to suddenly be thrust into situations and not be prepared spiritually will spell certain disaster. This next verse was on my heart much yesterday while driving to Kalamazoo.

Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

This is one of those truths that become increasingly incredible. For thirty three years, Jesus was in a physical body, participating in the same fallen world that we are currently players in, In that time, he never sinned; even though he was tempted in “all points” as we are. He was in perfect obediance to the Father and although he could have called twelve thousand angels, he instead endured the cross and paid for our sins with his own blood. Our salvation is so incredible, that one could spend a lifetime of pondering and still not grasp the full of it. Lately I’ve been asking the Lord for a deeper revelation of just how great our salvation is. Had we died the day before coming to Jesus, we would be in hell at this very moment. The God who created all things was merciful when we were contrary, and granted us repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. WOO HOO! THAT’S A GREAT SALVATION!

Temptation is something that will always be around as long as we are abiding in the flesh. As we grow in Christ, it’s easy to become neglegent and even convince ourselves that we would never succumb to certain things. We may even catagorize temptations into two camps; those things to be careful of and those areas where we think we’re beyond stumbling. We can be assured that the devil knows when we have become over-confident or dull of hearing and he knows exactly when to offer up a sugestion. He’s continuously seeking whom he may devour and lies in wait for sheep who unwittingly begin to stray from the shepherd. This is important to be mindful of because we’re entering a season where we’ll face temptations that most cannot fathom at this current time. Temptations that; if succumbed to, will result in everlasting lament. This post is about to enter the realm of things “hard to consider.”

Matthew 19:29-30 “And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” But many that are first shall, be last; and the last shall be first.”

Earlier this week on his shortwave broadcast, Steve Quayle mentioned  a couple of phone calls that he recieved a few years ago. They were from ladies who asked the question “can a person be forgiven if they take the mark of the beast in order to provide for their families?” Of course a person CANNOT take this mark under any circumstances as it will forever separate that person from God. Yet despite the scriptural warnings against such an act, this idea was being floated by individuals who undoubtedly love their children, as we all do, but were looking at things from a perspective of sustaining life in this world. If such ponderings are taking place during a season of relative peace and safety, one can only imagine what will be up for consideration when mens hearts are failing them for fear. As much as we love our children, spouses, parents, and neighbors, we absolutely must put Jesus first. Compromise; even with the intent of helping those closest to us, ultimately does disservice to them as well. (Psalm 37:25 reveals that God is our true provider; regardless of the ambient dramas)

I’m bringing this up, disturbing as it is, because we’re entering a time in which circumstances will be way beyond our natural ability to contend with. The old song “I Need Thee Every Hour” will take on a much deeper meaning because if we’re not abiding close to the Lord Jesus, we’ll go nutty along with everyone around us. At this moment, I can’t imagine being unable to provide for my household and yet I know that the machinery is in place to facilitate the identification of every “global citizen” with a mark.” We know from scripture that such a system “will” become manifest, that those who know not God will embrace it, and that without taking a mark, a person will be unable to participate in the global economy. We know that the saints will be prevailed over in the physical realm as they are systematically sought out and beheaded. I’m sorry for being so gruesome, but the truth is that we have been counted as sheep for the slaughter for thousands of years and some are appointed to glorify God with such a testimony. (Revelation 2:10 reveals this to be the case. Revelation 15:2-3 is incredible!)  

Matthew 24:19 “And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!”

Note the use of an exclamation mark after this verse. Natural affection causes us to look out for the well being of our households and indeed to care not for our own is to be counted worse than an infidel. (I Timothy 5:8.) For those who have children to care for, a whole new set of temptations become manifest in times of upheaval. In other words, if we were to enter the hour of temptation single and without children, it would be much easier to love not our life unto death. But when children are in the picture and our faithfulness may cause them to (this is really hard to write) endure physical suffering, we will be in over our heads. Only through the power of the Holy Ghost can we endure this. Such times reveal what a person truly believes and any seeds of doubt or unbelief will spell disaster for all parties involved. Richard Wurmbrand once stated words to the effect that “we must move beyond the realm of words and grasp the truths that they relay to us.”

Anyone who has read Richard Wurmbrands testimony will be familiar with things that transpired in Romania. Many parents were told by the authorities to either deny Christ or they would forever lose custody of their children. Yet many held fast the profession of their faith; even knowing that the state would henceforth have unlimited influence on their children. He went on to tell of children who maintained the testimony of Jesus; despite years of unfettered communist ideological instruction. “With God all things are possible!” It’s imperative to not base things on natural reasoning; but to trust in the living God who holds the very universe together and is able to sustain his own; even in the most hostile of situations.

These considerations should cause us to drop every ounce of superfluous nonsense (note to myself) and draw closer to the Lord than we’ve ever been in our lives. We “must” do this as the spiritual climate is growing darker by the hour and prophetic fulfillment is transpiring. The devil is currently in a spiritual “two-minute offense” as he knows that time is running out. I know that this is a hard post and it would be much easier to write about what I desire to write about instead of what’s on my heart. If there’s one dominant concern; it’s that very few saints are prepared spiritually for what’s about to transpire. I wonder if I’m prepared; especially after a topic such as this. It’s easy to say “Lord I’m ready to die for you” when sitting in fron of a computer with a box of town house crackers, a container of Philadelphia cream cheese, and a can of anchovies. When your cupboards full, the paychecks are consistant, and the children are well fed, we can make all kinds of lofty professions. We must submit ourselves to God continuously and make use of every possible moment to grow spiritually and prepare.

I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus.

Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

 

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Sailing Away From Babylon

July 4, 2008

Greetings. Once again, we find ourselves in a holiday weekend; at least in the United States. This is one of those topics that, if not worded properly, could leave an impression that I’m either unpatriotic lacking in faith, or just weird. Most people look forward to holidays for a host of reasons. First, there are the reflections on the purpose that the holiday was established such as the fourth of July being the day when the United States declared her independance. Other reasons involve time away from work, getting together with family and friends, travelling, or just relaxing and putting away the cares of the mundane. All of these are notable things to look forward to and many place a lot of planning into how the holiday will be observed. Before continuing on, this first passage is important to be mindful of, regardless of the level of ones enthusiasm concerning days set aside for observation:

Romans 14:5-6 “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be persueded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

In other words, my thoughts are not an indictment on the actions of others concerning this, nor should they be. Verse 17 of the same chapter states “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” The issue of whether or not a person goes to extremes to esteem a day isn’t really that big of a deal and in times past, I’ve been one to look forward to holidays with great anticipation. While I still enjoy them, things are much more subdued. My peace and joy comes from the Lord Jesus Christ and is so awesome that nothing in this world can add to it or take from it. As the Lord draws us ever closer to him, the things that we once looked forward to or found pleasure in just seem to loose their pizzazz. Insofar as holidays are concerned, it’s not a disagreement with the purpose of the holiday; it’s just the lack of eternal significance that makes the cause hard to get too worked up over.

Take the fourth of July; the day in history when the nations of England and the United States went their separate ways. Had things ended up differently and the American colonies remained a part of the British Empire, our salvation would be every bit as great as it is now.  (Our citizenship is truly in heaven.) Earthly events can have phenominal significance concerning the course of history and may affect the conditions under which one has to live out their days under the sun, but they have no bearing on eternal matters. Governments; be they monarchies, republics, theocracies, or the emerging global tyrrany that will be headed by the son of perdition, lose their influence on a person once that person passes into eternity. This next sobering passage says it all:

Revelation 20:12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

 The issues of eternal significance are so permanent that as we draw closer to Jesus, the things of a temporal nature fail to move us as they may have in times past. This is not an ideological or legalistic shift; it’s just a “diminishing” of enthusiasm for something that, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t a big deal. This not only goes for holidays but applies to an array of issues. A good example would be a recent visit to the dentist. As I was in the chair, Dr Humphries brought up the Red Wings winning the stanley cup this season. Now a few years ago, I would have been really excited, would have tuned into every game possible, and would now have two or three t-shirts commemorating the accomplishment. Instead, his invitation to comment caught me off guard and I responded with a “huh…oh…yea…I saw it in the paper.” This is not an indictment of hockey or of my dentist who is outstanding in his profession.  It’s just that…well….I COULDN’T CARE LESS ABOUT WHO WON THE STANLEY CUP! 

As the Lord transforms us into his image and spiritual growth takes place in our lives, our agendas will be altered as well. Up until 2004, I was very politically minded and would have been a good poster child for neo-conism. I was ensnared by an ideological mindset that hampered me spiritually and spun everything observable into a conservative format. (Note: when something is spinning, it’s hard to make out the details as they truly are) Today the Lord has completely delivered me from this hinderance and the eternal perspective of things is much more in focus. Everyone, liberal or conservative, rich or poor, well-educated or barely literate, bond or free, will stand before God. When a person enters eternity, wealth, race, fame, knowledge of the things of this world, and all other temporal issues lose their significance. If one were to peer into hell at this very moment, I doubt that they would find any conversations about the upcomming election. This is not to suggest that one should not partake in the upcomming elections. It’s just that its outcome will have only temporal ramifications. I still wonder; will the elections even take place and if so, will our next president be the final one? (The prophesy concerning this can be read HERE but PLEASE do so prayerfully.)

Well, I’ll be going for now as I have a lot of things to get done today and the goats are waiting for breakfast. In short, we should look to the eternal and while we are players in the temporal course of events, they should not be overly dominant. Our peace is in Christ and that transcends everything that this world can offer. Please check out this posting at Scottish Warriors. It’s far more relevant than my ramblings in the preceeding sections of this post and reveals the importance of being grounded in the faith. Until the next time, I wish to all a blessed weekend in Christ.

 

 

 

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Inhabiter of Eternity

July 2, 2008

Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

Klett Road is one with which I’ve been familiar nearly my entire life as the farm that I grew up on borders it. My first girlfriend lived on this road, but in for the most part, it was mostly fields at the time. After getting married (not to my first girlfriend; that would have been a disaster) we lived on this road for eight years and two months. Today, I usually travel this road on my way to work as to avoid the traffic situation in Constantine. Recently, as I was doing thus, I began to reflect on the many changes that had taken place along this road since the days of my youth. New houses built, families moved in, and small farms incorporated into larger farms. A few years ago, the road was finally paved (right after we moved) and sub-divided lots which had been vacant for years now have houses on them.

As I was lost in reflection, I caught a glimpse of a distant tree line and, above it, a brilliant sky with scattered clouds. Suddenly I found myself thinking of the steadfastness of God who changes not. Seasons give way to subsequent seasons, fads go through their cycle, and each generation progresses down the path from cradle to grave. But the Creator of all that is never changes. He has always been God and will always be God; regardless of what takes place here. The dramas and seemingly insurmountable circumstances of life are as nothing to the Ancient of Days who established the earth and set the firmament in its place. When this truth gets into our heart of hearts, we’ll not be rattled by even the most astonishing of events. No matter what we’re going through at this very moment, it’s only for a season.

Psalm 41:13 “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen and Amen.”

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.”

The eternal unchanging nature of God is a main truth that cannot be compromised. It’s a truth that’s as wonderful as it is impossible for us to grasp a hold of in its entirety. We understand it as being true, yet to actually abide in a realm where time doesn’t play a role is something that we’ve never experienced. All who are in Christ have the blessed hope of eternal life, but none of us can relate to an existance void of chronology.  As fascinating as eternity future is, the fact that God has “always been;” just as he is today with no beginning is so far beyond awesome that there are no words to define it. Its wonderful, incomprehensible, and comforting; to know that when we awaken tomorrow morning, God will be the same as he has been throughout the eons past. 

John 8:58 “Jesus said unto them Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”    

This simple yet wonderful attribute of God has been on my mind a lot lately. As this age winds down and those things fortold in scripture come to pass, it will be important to keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ who is God manifest in the flesh and redeemed us with his own blood. We will have to look to the eternal and place more confidence in Gods truth than in what we’re seeing in the natural. “Almost persueded” doesn’t carry any weight will cause one to scramble for security in the realm of this present world. Soon the separation between the “almost persuededs” and those that “know” their God will be complete. It is imperative for each of us to examine ourselves continually and ensure that no unbelief is hiding somewhere beneath our profession.  The time for doing this is now, before the twilight gives way to complete darkness.  Two more familiar passages.

 John 6:68-69 “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

This age is ending. The son of perdition will soon be presented to the world and the world will wonder after him. He will make war with the saints and, for a short space of time in the physical realm, prevail against them. We must have our eyes on the one who inhabits eternity and harbor no confidence in the flesh. In this hour, there’s no such thing as being “too heavenly minded.” Well, I should be going for now as it’s late and a lot has to be done tomorrow. Sorry if this post is choppy; I’ll clean it up when time permits. Please check out this posting from New Wine Ministry entitled Look Up as it will be an encouragement to all who love the Lord Jesus and long for his appearing. Until the next time, I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.