Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Sovereignty of God’

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.

sunset-on-the-bay

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?

ridges-in-the-clouds

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.

ridges-in-the-sky-2

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 worshipers and He was jealous for His people. He knew they would cave, and they did—desiring to be just like those idol worshipers.

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 worshiped 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?”

ridges-in-the-sky-3

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?

ridges-in-the-sky-4

“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).

 

Read Full Post »

The past few weeks a battle raged in my mind and heart—God is either sovereign or He’s not. There’s no middle ground. His sovereignty doesn’t bend in light of my circumstances.

And the battle alarm sounded with Paul’s first troublesome words in Romans 13. Words that stormed the siege line I’d erected in my mind and heart concerning the state of America and the current administration.

God says: “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves”(Romans 13:1-2 NAS).

And I said, “Yeah, but God…” and during this three week battle I’ve come to understand when I say, “But God…,” I’m take-to-the-bank doubting Him and I’m wrong.

Those of you who follow my blog know I’ve been out-spoken at best and slanderous at worst, of this administration and all they have done in our country these past years. The Holy Spirit brought to mind God’s Words from Isaiah 45:5-7:

“I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.”

And I heard, “Do you believe I’m in control?” “Yes God, I believe you. But America’s coming apart at the seams. The world is on fire with so many evils and they are spreading. Am I just supposed to sit here and do nothing?”

“Is it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. They will say of Me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength’” (Isaiah 45:21-14 NAS).

“Yeah, but God, aren’t we supposed to stand against evil? Aren’t we supposed to point it out to the folks? Aren’t we supposed to fight?” And that voice in my heart led me to finally tear up my last tirade about the evils we’ve allowed to exist and I wrote the blog last week about what I am—what you are—called to do. Follow our Lord’s command to “Go and make disciples, teaching them to follow all things whatsoever I have commanded you and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

And we can’t and haven’t fulfilled that command if we’re “…not depending on Him who made it, nor did you(me) take into consideration Him who planned it long ago” (Isaiah 22:11b NAS). Especially when we abhor what’s going on.

So from Romans 13 are we to conclude God appointed Obama to be president of America? What do you think? If so, why? And so went the struggle ‘til I surrendered my need to fight—to control—to condemn, and I crowned the Lord God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, Sovereign King over all of my life.

“The Lord of hosts has sworn saying, “surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand…this is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations. For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:24, 26-27 NAS).

When we look at the marvelous order in all of His creation, could we agree His decisions, actions, and judgments all have purpose, according to His plan?

“Remember this, and be assured; recall it to mind, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”

Did the Lord God give any clue why He sent Nebuchadnezzar to take Judah captive? Or Assyria to conquer Israel? Or why He created the calamities He spoke of in Isaiah, or the ones occurring today? Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel headlined those years—long before, during, and after the sieges and captivities. I’d like to hear your thoughts, in light of scripture, and we’ll talk more about this next week.

“The preparations of the heart belong to man. But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weights the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. The Lord has made all for Himself. Yes, even the wicked for the day of doom. Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though they join forces, none will go unpunished. In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil. When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:1-7 NAS). Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded, who are far from righteousness. I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off; and My salvation will not delay. And I will grant salvation in Zion, and My glory for Israel” (Isaiah 46:8-13 NAS).

Read Full Post »

The Sentinental Star’s headline screamed: EXECUTIVE ORDER SIGNED. JEWS TO DIE. EXECUTION DATE: THIRTEENTH DAY OF THE TWELVETH MONTH. Seizure of property and possessions. Commander –in-Chief and VP sit down to drink. City in confusion.

How would you react? Would this order have crossed your line in the sand?

If you are a Jew, what must you do?

Mordecai tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, walked downtown, wailing loudly and bitterly in front of the Citadel.

Think about the citizens of Susa. Some of the condemned folks were their neighbors. Their friends. Some taught their children in school. And some were local bankers and shopkeepers. The order was law. This was real. There was no recourse. People were going to die—all Jews from Ethiopia to India.

Unknown to the Commander-in-Chief, his wife was a Jew. The question of her nationality had never been discussed.

But Mordecai knew. And he refused to be silent.

Imagine the sound of weeping and wailing throughout the city, and the pandemonium. Or perhaps the Gentiles said nothing.

If you turned on TV tonight and a similar executive order had been signed into law, what would you do? It’s not beyond the realm of possibility—remember the Crusades? Remember Hitler? And in Joel 3:1-2, the prophet talks about a time just before the Day of the Lord when God tells us He will bring Judah and Jerusalem again into captivity.

Does the Church today have a heart to weep? A heart to fast? A heart to wail and put on sackcloth? Have we forgotten how to seek God’s face as a congregation? Or will we sit, like those German Christians, turning up the organ’s volume and singing louder so we don’t hear their screams?

Susa’s Secret Service kept the public away from the royal family. So Hadassah sent a servant to Mordecai, asking what was wrong.
Mordecai sent her a copy of the morning news and ordered her to intervene with her husband. He sent this message:

“Do not imagine that you can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent…relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place … and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14 NAS).

Yes, Queen Esther sent word back to her uncle, asking him to assemble all the Jews in Susa and to fast for her for three days and nights. She and her maidens were going to fast also. And then she uttered those courageous words:

“And thus I will go in to the king which is notDSCF4320 according to the law; and if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16 NAS).

Christians what will it take to break our hard hearts? How much worse is it going to have to get before all of God’s people fast and pray for our nation? Yes, Jesus is coming, but it’s going to get real nasty on planet earth before that event. And we are to be standing firm, making disciples ‘til He comes, not hiding in the shadows, hoping not to be noticed.

God tells us in those last days all nations will rise up against Israel. America’s current leaders are well down the path of turning against Israel. One swipe of the pen could end that relationship and place our nation under God’s curse:

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee—” (Genesis 12:3 KJV).

In the final chapters of the Book of Esther, we see how God answered His people when they humbled themselves and fasted before Him. And how those who cursed the Jews were indeed cursed.

Whatever experiences God has allowed in your life have brought you “to such a time as this.” Will you remain silent? Or will you speak up, imploring the King’s favor for His people? Have you contemplated your line in the sand? Will you be courageous enough to stand firm in the principles of God’s Word? Drawing that line and agreeing with Esther, “If I perish, I perish.”

“And by smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action” (Daniel 11:33 NAS).

Next week: The rest of the story.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: