Two weeks ago I replied to a political post on Friday and my reply was shared and agreed to by a multitude, but apparently the social media police didn’t share my followers’ opinions. The next day, with no questions or warning, social media shut me out—for eight days.
I was in jail.
There was no email address or phone number I could contact to reason or discuss the situation. Someone without a face, or voice, or identity, controlled my access to cyber life. It was if a thief sneaked into my house and sliced my communication to the outside world.
For the next eight days I ping-ponged between irate and grief stricken. My world shaken. I’m a writer. What would I do if I lost all those friends I had worked to gather into my circle of friends? My career would be diminished. And anxious anger multiplied.
Until God spoke to my rebellious, haughty heart and reminded me the number of times I repeated I. Really? Oh my, yes I had. I had taken credit for everything God had set before me. And then the learning part of difficult began. Thoughts rushed through my mind as reality settled in.
This stuff is small potatoes. Five years ago you didn’t know what social media was. If you’re this emotional and out of control over small stuff, what are you going to do when real persecution arrives? Will you deny your testimony? Will you cave? Will you forsake Me?
I confessed my sin of idol worship and my ignoring the fact God is even in control of cyberspace, and I thanked Him and vowed to take my hands off the whole situation. Eight days after being shut off social media returned to my computer and nothing was lost—after I relinquished control and placed myself in the hands of my Father in heaven.
But in the quiet of the moment that still, small voice in my heart asked what are you going to do now?
I’d love to pontificate some marvelous response and lessons I’ve learned, but every day I’m listening and seeking and hopefully understanding God is sovereign over everything in my life—even the bad stuff. The chaotic crisis. But I don’t like bad stuff or chaos, do you? Strange isn’t it, we only learn when the difficulties grow beyond our ability to manipulate.
I whispered, “Help me, Lord.”
“Count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:2-8 NAS).
This morning as I prayed for revival to sweep across our land and turn our nation back to God, He again stirred my heart. Revival can’t come unless your cold, hard, disobedient heart is shattered and melted to repent of the evil you are doing.
Unfortunately, we don’t identify evil as God does. But God’s definition is all that matters.
He reminded me when He brought Ancient Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness and into the promised land. A trip that should have taken a few weeks or month—but it took over twenty years. Why? Because they had cold, hard, disobedient hearts. He called them stiff-necked people. I wonder what He calls our American hearts today?
When Israel stood on the banks of the river about to enter this land of milk and honey, God instructed them to utterly destroy the enemies of God. Why? Because the inhabitants of the land were wicked idol worshippers and He was jealous for His people. He knew they would cave, and they did—desiring to be just like those idol worshippers.
The Israelites had several battles, and as long as they followed God’s instructions they were victorious in battle. But they grew weary and decided it would be much easier to dwell with these idol worshippers rather than destroy them. After all, how wicked could they be? And again we all know the answer and the consequences—Israel adopted the ways of God’s enemies. And to be safe, they worshipped the idols as well as God.
And so have we! Their perversion didn’t end well for Israel and our perversion won’t end well for America either.
Jesus gave us one instruction after He suffered, bled, died, and was raised by the power of The Living God. “Go and make disciples. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” But we have decided it’s easier to live with the enemies of Christ than to go make disciples of them.
We’ve adopted their idols. Idols that leave us too busy to care about our spouses, children, or neighbors. But like Israel, we pick up our Bibles and go to church every Sunday, don’t we? Like carrying a Bible is our ticket in Heaven’s door. But have we opened The Word during the week? How do we treat our neighbors? Do we even see them? Or speak to them?
“Oh,” but you say. “We’re both so busy—”
Do you even hear Jesus’ command anymore? “Go and make disciples?”
Yes, it’s much easier to just live with ’em. No fuss. No bother. No love or ability to think about their future destination—separated from God forever—because we don’t really care. Cold, hard hearts can’t care. If you and I gave serious thought to the eternal reality and torment of living separated from God forever—if we could even grasp that fact—wouldn’t we be banging on their doors, dragging them from the flames to salvation? Or have we grown so comfortable with the message we don’t really believe that stuff about flames and separation anymore? Or the darkness?
Sad thing is, it won’t take but a split second of hell’s fire to change our minds, but then it will be too late.
God tells us in Jeremiah, “If we haven’t given them the message of the truth of the love of God and the message of the gospel, their blood is on our hands.” We are guilty of their deaths.
And folks we’re at that time in America.
We are no longer the land of the brave and the home of the free. Our leaders are corrupt. Our churches are preaching their own version of truth. Our homes and our lives are filled with the lusts and lures of the world. We’ve forgotten or perhaps never known God calls us to love and to be holy.
We have forsaken God. We have decided we’d rather live in the middle of the squalor of the enemy camp than to obey Jesus’ command.
Cold, hard, hearts, Lord, so deceived we don’t even realize we don’t know the Word of God, and we’re too busy with our idols to care or spend the time reading, learning, and applying those Ancient Truths that cost the prophets and disciples their lives. But I’m thinking we’re about to find out.
While it’s been so much easier to live with the enemies of God than to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them, some are beginning to recognize we’ve given the reins of control to the enemy of God. We’ve looked the other way and overlooked the screaming signs. We’ve paid the bill and looked the other way as our children were sacrificed to the ways of the ungodly. And we’ve become more ungodly than the world…because we knew and held the truth. Knew the truth, but rejected the truth of the necessity to be holy and blameless. And that only comes by faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and the price He paid for you and for me.
We’ve allowed lies to petrify the dark caverns of our hearts. Like icebergs of cancer, slowly inching numbness, as the penetrating cold creeps, covers, and steals our heart’s affection from the living God.
What will you do to stem the flow of lies washing over us like a tsunami? Stand firm in the Word or drown?
“Now hear this oh foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see; who have ears but do not hear. Do you not fear Me? Declares the Lord. Do you not tremble in My presence? (Jeremiah 5:21-22 NAS).
“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority, and My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31 NAS).