It’s astonishing when the Lord calls your attention to a thing in an undeniable fashion. It becomes more astonishing when, just as one thinks they’ve gleaned the bulk of the pondering, he takes it to a new and unexpected level. Such was the case over the past few days as I found myself fixated on a portion of scripture. Before going into this, however, here’s the link to the June 2009 issue of the Last trumpet Newsletter entitled:
THE FALL of the UNITED STATES OF BABYLON
Psalms Three and four were penned by King David; the third being written as he fled from his son Absolom. While both were the object of much visiting and cogitation over the past four days, two passages have really stuck out. The first one is:
Psalm 3:5-6 “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.”
The peace of God in the midst of turmoil. It’s such confidence in the Lord that one can be compassed about by those who would seek to take them down, and yet they are able to rest soundly. Throughout scripture, the saints are called to trust God and not be fearful of threatening manifestations in the physical realm. Psalm 46:10 admonishes us to “Be still and know that I am God” while Nahum 1:7 reminds us that “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” In the new testament, we know that Peter was able to walk on water, until the wind in his face and the horrendous noise made by the crashing of waves caused him to focus on the surroundings instead of Jesus. We should never be paralyzed by fear over what’s transpiring in the natural, but to place our complete confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ as unto a faithful Creator.
I know a number of professing saints who, whenever talk of end times events comes up, one can look into their eyes and see the uneasiness building up. Whenever we’re entertaining fear that’s not a godly fear, there are underlying issues that must be brought before the Lord. Issues that, if not resolved in the present season, could lead to compromise in the day of trying. The apostle Paul wrote “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Anything less than a complete abandonment of the fixations of this world and a total surrendering to the Lord Jesus will leave one ill-prepared should they find themselves being called upon to testify of Jesus before kings and governors. This is why the book of Philippians is so fascinating; it highlights an attitude of complete confidence in Jesus and a total discarding of the former lusts.
The other passage that became a focal point is Psalm 4. In the first verse, Kind David is calling on God while calling into rememberance how he had delivered him when he was in distress. He then brings forth the following inquiry:
Psalm 4:2 “O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing?”
Loving vanity and seeking after that which is temporal. Although it’s talkiing of those who make no claim to have a relationship with the Lord, this verse conjured up thoughts of how many professing christians these days seem to be consumed by temporal matters. They carry the name “christian” but maintain a profound level of attachment to worldly lusts and merchandise. In time they will heap to themselves teachers who offer instruction on finaincial success and living their best life now. (If this temporal life is ones best, what kind of an eternity is one planning on?) A smooth-talking prosperity preacher can bring in millions by presenting a tribulation-free gospel that focuses on the acquisition of wood hay and stubble. This teaching really grinds me because it causes babes who are unskilled in the word to become sidetracked into a never-ending pursuit of material gain (equating it to godliness) while neglecting the things that really matter.
In a nutshell, the past four days have been filled with thoughts of trusting the Lord Jesus completely, loving not our lives in this world, and the dangers of entertaining worldly lusts. Just when it seemed that it couldn’t become more profound, last night something transpired that took it to a new level. I found myself casually going through the perpetual pile of mail, school papers, and what have you that sits on the kitchen counter next to the wall. (Mrs timbob is always reminding me to clean it up. I keep it down, but it never actually goes away) A particular letter grabbed my attention which had come from the Open Doors Ministry. I opened it and inside was a world map containing dots on fifty countries where persecution against the saints is the most severe. The accompanying letter, told of how the Iranian government has passed a law making the crime of a Muslim converting to christianity punishable by death. In reading the letter and looking at the numberd dots that blanketed the map, I was spoken to in a way that was undeniable.
“I’M DOING A SHORT WORK”
While we are busy in this country, building our earthly kingdoms and proclaiming how we shall never see trying times because we “are not appointed unto wrath” saints in North Korea, Iran, Yemen, Eritrea, and a host of other places are loving not their lives unto death. In that moment, the disconnect between those for whom professing faith in Jesus costs them everything and those of us who have no idea of what real persecution is came into full view. My discussion here is theological because I’ve never been through such trials. During the past four days, I was pondering Psalms three and four. While grilling burgers, I read them from the bible that I keep in the garage. In the kitchen I was using the small bible on the counter, next to the pile of mail. In the bedroom, I used my main bible. Monday evening, while talking to CR in the driveway, I grabbed the bible that sits on my truck seat, next to the lunch cooler which contains not only another bible, but also a compact concordance. Our house is filled with copies of Gods word while in churches across China those precious saints may hover around a single copy; understanding it’s preciousness on a level that we cannot fathom.
And yet, despite the availability of scripture, there is famine in this land. A bible in every house, and a church on every corner. Yet in many venues across the United States, the life changing gospel of Jesus christ is watered down, mingled with the teachings of men and cleverly marketed for widespread acceptance. Subsequently, many sincere but undiscerning saints are reduced to settling for a fleshy gospel that focuses more on entetainment and drawing a crowd than preparing the remnant for the days ahead. Days in which persecution and martyrdom may not only transpire in places like Mauritania, but could be a very present reality in Hometown USA.
Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come.”
Well I hope that this all doesn’t come across as being overly dramatic. I fear that none of us truly understand the lateness of the hour or the shortening of the days that’s transpiring. We need to draw closer to the Lord Jesus. Regardless of where we are spiritually, we need to become more so. Please check out the following post by Brother Malachi entitled:
DAYTON OHIO THE EPITOME OF COMMUNIST ROMANIA
Two other posts that seem needful involve not allowing fear to have dominion over us. Jesus warned us that in the last days mens hearts would fail them for fear and so both of these posts are timely.
FEAR RIDING ON MY SHOULDERS by Rachel
TRUSTING GODS POWER by Marianne Lordi (This contains a very lively comment section)
I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus.
Psalm 4:3-5 “But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD”
Philippians 1:27-28 “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.”
I Peter 4:19 “Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls unto him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.”