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Posts Tagged ‘Relationship with Jesus’

As we are well into April, 2020 will go down in history as the Corona Virus year…the worldwide Corona Virus Year. Three months that have shaken the world scene from political, to personal, to theology, to educational, to…you name it. Confined at home with a “shelter-in-place” order, what have you learned? What troubles you the most in those wee hours of darkness, when you can’t sleep?

I’ve long since turned off the local and national news at night. About one news broadcast a day plunges my brain into overload. Instead, I’ve turned to the Bible and my Lord Jesus Christ.
Hot in the Kitchen 4
One of the first lessons I’ve learned these past months is God keeps His promises to widows. Yes, after losing my husband in August of last year, I’ve learned God promises in Isaiah 54:4-5 He will be my husband. And again, in Proverbs 15:25, God promises “He will establish the boundaries of the widow.” Because I belong to Him—He holds onto me and I hold onto Him—regardless of the sorrow and pain death and separation have brought into my life, some way, somehow, God will bring good out of this too. I have already learned to do things I never thought I could do…and I give my Lord glory for those things.

Talk about an attitude adjuster…I am His, He is mine… that’s a fact! But the last few days of attempting to fast and pray found me distracted and discouraged. I know it’s a spiritual battle, but it’s been disconcerting. I feel like a failure and I wonder how many other brothers and sisters in Christ find themselves tossed about by all this discord and uncertainty? Finding it difficult to carry all their burden to the Lord…what would He say? What would He think about me? I have a shocking truth for you…He already knows what your burden is and how you’re reacting. I can almost hear you asking… “Why do we have to carry our burden to the Lord if He already knows?” None of us are good burden carriers. And Jesus wants you and me to recognize we are carrying needless burdens. Burdens we weren’t meant to carry, but Jesus is.
Truth stumbled in the street
I’m concerned far too many in the church have allowed themselves, conscientiously or unconscientiously, to wander from the truth of the Word of God. We’ve become a dial flipping generation that chooses what we believe about God, ourselves, and the devil—and sometimes we’re just plain wrong in what we choose to believe. False prophets abound these days, and seem to grow more and more brash, provocative, yet convincing…and you too can be trapped in Satan’s snare. That’s why your attitude is so crucial.

With the majority of the Church limited in their knowledge of the complete truth of the Word of God, Satan is having a heyday! Oh, we all can pluck a memory verse or two we can quote on demand. Some of us have even committed several passages to memory…but how few of us truly know and can connect the scarlet thread dots of scripture from beginning to end? And if you’re answering my question with a so-what-attitude do you see how this could be a problem?

As I crawled from the covers this morning a gnawing in my spirit called me to read the 9th Chapter of Daniel. I knew this chapter happened at the end of Jewish captivity in Babylon. You see God had given them over for their continued disobedience to the King of Babylon—for seventy years. King Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the holy city in three sieges and taken God’s people captive. But now, they were about to go back to Jerusalem…at least some of them…and Daniel “observed in the books” the number of years for the completion of their desolation was about over.
Crandall Sunset 2
In verse 9:3, God’s finger of conviction pressed sore on my heart as I read… “So, I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” I winced as I thought about my own failure at fasting and praying the prior day.

The thought came to my mind, that’s right where Satan wanted you. So real was the voice I looked around, but I knew the Holy Spirit breathed those words to me. So I asked, What did Daniel do?

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore, he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8 KJV).

Daniel refused to blend in. Daniel purposed in his heart he would remain true to His Jewish faith even far from home in a pagan land, and faithful to the Word of God. And now I’m reading, seventy years later he remained true to the principles and precepts of his faith. If you’ve never read the twelve chapters in this powerful book of the Old Testament, now might be a great time to sit down and read Daniel’s words and God’s message back to him…and to us.

Having lived such a righteous life, you might think Daniel would have approached God with a higher-than-thou attitude. He had kept the faith. He hadn’t taken up the ways of the pagan Babylonians…as a matter of scripture, it appears Daniel was the lone voice of truth to King Nebuchadnezzar and it may have been Daniel’ attitude that brought that king to faith and trust in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But Daniel’s prayer showed his attitude.

And when Daniel knelt to pray, in Daniel 9:5 this servant of the Living God said:

“O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments; we have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from Thy precepts and from Thy judgments:”

Daniel’s attitude was humility before God. He owned the sin. He didn’t point a boney, self-righteous finger at those Jews who had adapted to Babylonian ways…he repented for the actions and way of life he and the rest of the Jewish nation had participated in that caused God to shake their world and send them into captivity in a strange, pagan land. He accepted God’s judgment as right and acknowledged their sin was wrong.
sunset-on-the-bay
So where do you believe Daniel’s attitude came from? Could it be Daniel had God fearing parents who taught him to worship and serve Jehovah YHWH? We know Daniel’s name means “God is my judge.” Could it be his parents were told by God he would be a man of honor before God? We know he was taken captive in the first group in 605 B.C. Daniel 1:3 tells us the king ordered the chief of his officials to bring in “…some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, youths in whom was no defect…” Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah or as we’ve come to know them, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego were part of these young men, righteous young men who knew and practiced their faith in God—even in a pagan, foreign land.

I’m sure you’re asking, “How does this apply to me today? What’s your point, DiAne?”

America has become like Daniel’s rebellious nation. My grandparents would not recognize today’s America. And until the church folk rent their arrogant attitude and adopt an attitude like Daniel’s, God cannot and will not hear us. Until we humble ourselves and recognize how like the world we’ve become and repent, God cannot and will not hear us. Until we repent and turn to walk according to the principles and precepts of Our Living God, He cannot and will not hear us. Does that mean we have to be different? Oh yes, but isn’t that what God called us to be—a peculiar people?
Colors run into sea
At this moment America hangs in the balances. It only takes one look at history to see God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. “Judgment must begin at the house of God.” This nation who once proclaimed to be One Nation Under God, has plunged off the cliff into Satan’s clutches. Much of the church has been neutered.

It’s up to us…to you and to me. Which way will we turn? Do your prayers typify a nannie-nannie-boo-boo tone as you point your finger at others’ sins? Finger-pointing time is over. Or will you and I be like Daniel? Will you and I accept we are all part of the problem and fall on our collective faces before Him pleading for His mercy and grace? If God depended on your attitude, or mine, to usher in the wind and fire of the Holy Spirit, what would be the result?

Deliverance or judgment? God is faithful…are you? Am I?

We may be standing on the precipice of America’s destruction. Our attitudes up to this point have spoken volumes to our children. The majority of our heritage are racing down that broad road because our attitudes and our actions have been out of line with the Word of God. We’ve worshiped the things of this world…the want more, get more, and then multiply that more has prevailed. We’ve replaced evenings with the Word of God with the latest technical entertainment. We’ve sent our kids to high ranking, expensive, ungodly colleges and universities with money we didn’t have. We’ve played church…and a majority of these highly educated kids have seen through the hollowness of our phony faith.
Spring Tornado
The sands in America’s rebellious hour glass are draining away. If the Church doesn’t repent and return to the Lord our God and faith in His only Son, Jesus Christ, those trickling sands will evaporate in the swish of a moment! And like Jerusalem…. America will be swept into the tornado of God’s righteous judgment. Remember Abraham’s pleading with God over Sodom and Gomorrah? Are you confessing your sin and pleading with God to wash and cleanse the polluted soil of your heart and your nation with Christ’s blood?

“O my God, incline Thine ear and hear! Open Thine eyes and see our desolation’s and the city which is called by Thy name; for we are not presenting our supplications before Thee on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Thy great compassion. O Lord hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Thine own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Thy city and Thy people are called by Thy name” (Daniel 9:18-19 NAS).

Are we still One Nation Under God? One former president and many of those in His White House and in this Congress today say “America is no longer a Christian nation.”

As we spend these next three days pondering the impact of what Jesus did for each one of us over 2,000 years ago—What does your attitude say?

HAPPY EASTER! HE IS RISEN…HE IS RISEN INDEED!

DiAne

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