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“Rocky Roads”

February 21, 2009

It goes without saying that we are living in unusual times. This should not be a surprise as we know from scripture that the days prior to Jesus return will be more perilous than any other time in history. Many somehow continue to live inside a bubble; oblivious to the ominous storm clouds buileing on the horizon.  There are, however, an increasing number who are beginning to realize that we’re not merely going through a run-of-the-mill downturn.  When they consider such issues as the economy, the societal decay, the general direction of world events, and what have you, they become fearful of the implications.  They are aware that the worlds agents of stability are failing and that institutions once considered too large to fail are on the verge of doing the unthinkable.

If there’s one thing that seems needful to focus on, it’s the need for every saint to be understanding of the times that we’re in. I know of professing christians who still view the current economic and geo-political situation as merely a down cycle that will surely rebound. They’re attached to this worlds system and have allowed this attachment to obscure the prophetic events that are underway. The status quo as we have come to know it, is dissipating before our eyes. From an economic standpoint, Michigan alone has lost 450,000 jobs over the past few years. In Washington, government officials talk in terms of “trillions” of dollars and toss the phrase around as though it’s pocket change. This is money that simply doesn’t exist in a land that has gone out of its way to forget God. I’m reminded of David Meyers newsletter from July of 2008 entitled:

America A Nation of Empty Souls

This issue is memorable, primarily because of Davids comentary on Nahum 2:2-4 and how the emptiers have emptied out the land. The current economic fiasco is not merely a cyclical event; it’s the results of a nation that is obsessed with material gain, has taken God out of its education system, has murdered seventy million unborn children, (to put this in perspective, the nation of France has approximately seventy million cicizens) and has placed the pursuit of pleasure in higher esteem than the Lord who, in his incredible mercy, sends his rain on the just and on the unjust. Time is simply running out on this age and we must respond accordingly. For the saints, this means that we must be doing those things that we know to be doing. Things that, when they are read, will seem like an observation of the obvious, but because of their importance, can never be over-emphasized.

( 1 ) GET CLOSE TO JESUS. There’s no substitute for this. We cannot navigate these times, nor can we withstand the incredible trials of our faith that lie ahead, if we’re following from afar. The time to get close to the Lord is now; not when the global governments apprehension teams are knocking on doors in the middle of the night and carrying off the free-thinkers.  (Anyone who says “it can’t happen here” doesn’t realize the lateness of the hour)

( 2 ) HIDE THE WORD OF GOD IN OUR HEARTS. We now that Jesus warned of deceptions which seem so authentic “that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”  This should cause us all to consider the seriousness of the matter. The truths of God must be more real to us than the temporal circumstances in which we find ourselves.

( 3 ) CONTINUOUSLY EXAMINE OURSELVES. It’s imperative that we don’t stray from our first love or allow spiritual pride to enter our hearts. We must not allow seeds od disbelief enter in that would cause us to question that which we know to be true. Richard Wurmbrand once stated word to the effect that in times of peace and safety, such conditions in ones heart may go on unnoticed for years. But during times of upheaval or persecution, they lead to betrayal and compromise. We must continuously examine our hearts, regardless of the conditions in the ambience.

( 4 ) REACH THE LOST WHILE THERE’S TIME. The world is getting spiritually harder and colder, but there are stragglers. Those who, even in these final hours, who will receive Jesus Christ as Savior. There are folks at work whom the Lord is working on and as I see an incredible work unfolding, I also know that it’s a “short work.” How imperative it is for us to be consistantly walking in the Spirit and ready to minister to the priceless eternal souls around us.

( 5 ) EXHORT THE SAINTS. Hebrews 10:25 is not a leaglistic verse; it’s a call to lift each other up, bear one anothers burdens, pray for each other and encourage each other to keep looking to Jesus. As the things coming to pass on the earth reach a cresendo and societal meltdown makes it all but imnpossible to know what to expect from those outside the ark of safety, we are going to need each other. This coming season should be a time of fellowship with each other on a level that few of us have ever known.

( 6 ) DON’T BE TROUBLED BY EVENTS IN THE NATURAL. All of us will be astonished at the sheer intensity of these events, but our confidence should be in the lord Jesus Christ. We must understand that “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”

( 7 ) STEP AWAY FROM THE MATRIX. This simply means divorcing the worlds system from our heart of hearts. We are in this very temporal world, but must ensure that we’re not coveting its wares.” If we are harboring any love for this present world, we are placing ourselves in a situation where we may ponder selling our birthright for a morsel of bread. Our affections must be 100% on things above and Jesus must be first in our lives. Many christians fail to grasp the seriousness of this and it routinely shows up in their conversation.

I would encourage a revisiting of Psalm 91, and the last two chapters of Revelation. There are dark days ahead in this world but while the ambience is filled with chaos, the peace of God that passes all understanding can reign in our hearts. When Jesus is truly our first love, there’s a peace and contentment that’s so complete…..so “absolutely complete” that none of  the worlds treasures can compliment it. Nor can any of the enemies threatenings hinder it. Jesus has promised to be with us always; even unto the end of the world. May we all run with patience the race that is set before us.

II Corinthians 4:18 “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things whichare not seen are eternal.”
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8 comments

  1. Timbob,

    Again, I can’t say enough how important your call is! I confess, I’m in love with Christ and the ‘end’ draws no fear.. (possibly #6???)In fact it seems to me that if number one is done, and done for authentic reasons rather than out of soul preservation, the rest all comes with it, if you are truly in the spirit.

    The time to be close to Jesus is always, always, always. God wants each of us, and calls us to love each other into the fold of the kingdom.

    The happenings outside that fold are simply created by the thousands of years of sin of mankind. Evidence, merely that God wants us to engage ourselves to Him voluntarily, submissively… Can you imagine a world that thousnad of people went out into the marketplace with this in mind?

    Thousands of people who refuse to take a bite of the forbidden fruit. I look forward to the future in hope as that is what is promised. Stife only remains to take our eyes off Christ. A ‘spiritual battle’. Like you said, we need not be afraid… the outcome of the battle has already been decided.

    Thank you again, for stirring things up! Cindy


  2. Timbob,

    Regular reader, first time commenter.

    These 7 points really resonate with me. I live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and last September our city was thrown into chaos following hurricane Gustav. A significant change occurred at that moment in the urgency I felt regarding detaching from my need for comfort and convenience. There are so many things that we take for granted here in America that would be considered the most extravagant luxuries elsewhere in the world. But there is no denying that our nation (and our world for that matter) are rapidly changing. There is an ominous, though not necessarily frightening, sense that life will change significantly for Americans in the days ahead. Many people I have talked to have these same thoughts.

    The phrase that has been rolling through my mind during these last months is “we must dig our roots down deep in Christ.” Otherwise, when difficulty comes, we will not be able to stand. If we continue to be contented with lives that are rooted in the vain pursuits of this world, then we will be shattered when these things are snatched away from us.

    May God help us to be a people with an undivided heart and undivided loyalty to Jesus Christ.


  3. Cindy,

    Very well put. My husband and I were talking about this the other night.

    God wants us to trust Him but most including most Christians trust in themselves or the things of this world to protect, provide, etc. To trust means we intimacy know. These days reveal what we trust in and if we truly know Him or not. Matt 7:23. Who have we chosen?

    Rachel


  4. Hi Cindy. I was thinking of the verse “perfect love casts out fear” as I read your comment. The peace that we have in Christ is complete in every way if we keep our eyes on him and not be troubled by the sideshows that would tempt us to think on the storm.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Sorry for taking so long to reply. Things around here have been very hectic as of late.

    Have a blessed day in Jesus.


  5. Hi Irene. I understand the statement “There’s an ominous, though not necessarily frightening sense that life will change significantly for Americans in the days ahead.” I look at this as an opportunity as folks finally realize the inability of flesh to deliver. In prayer for those around me who aren’t saved, I often find myself saying “Lord, pleas do whatever is necessary to bring them to you.” A single soul is more priceless than anything that the world can offer.

    Thanks so much for offering your observations. I’ve never been to Baton Rouge, but I did spend three weeks in Franklin Louisiana back in 1982. Also when I was in the navy, our ship visited New Orleans in 1985 and 1986 during Mardi Gras. This was fascinating because I met saints from all over the country who gathered there each year to share the gospel in the streets. Lord willing, I would like to return someday for this purpose. Thanks again.

    have a blessed day in Jesus.


  6. Hi Rachel. Good observations and something that we all must watch for. It’s so easy to place confidence in those things which appear steadfast ifwe’re not careful. Somethimes I wonder if I focus too much on things coming to pass on the earth, but the intent is always to exhort the saints to look to Jesus and not place confidence in the worlds system. Thanks for dropping by.

    Have a blessed day ihn Jesus.


  7. Timbob, been a while since I drop by. Nice to see all your posts. God bless.


  8. Hi inhisgrace. Great to hear from you. I’ll stop by when I can.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.

    timbob



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