“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Social media is swamped with everything from pity and woe, to beware and be scared. It is not that I do not understand these emotions, these fears, I do.
I have lost loved ones too soon. The list is long. I lost a sibling tragically. I did not understand. I was not asked to. I know death up close and personal. I have watched it suffocate. I watched my dad crash. I watched his lung suctioned. Scripture asks me to trust. Obey. Faith.
I have walked through hard times of jobs lost, savings and retirement gone, car and home lost. No income. It is hard. It is devastating. But, God had a plan. I was not asked to like the circumstances I was passing through, just to stand on His firm foundation and trust His plan. It does not matter if I ever understand the reason this side of Heaven. I am asked to trust. Faith.
Seniors are missing end of year memories. It is hard, I know. I did not go to homecoming or prom. I had worked all summer with 8 girls; made them 3 uniforms each. Those 27 uniforms saw little use when my senior year world was turned upside down. A boy was stabbed in the heart in front of me. Memories? I was 16 years old. My brother turned to protect me and push me out of the way of the five boys attacking. The police took four of us as witnesses. They let my brother stay with me. It was an away game. Cell phones were not invented. My parents met the busses, heard there was a stabbing. My brother and I did not get off the bus. Someone told them we were ok and I was a witness. They had to go home and wait for a call. They caught all but one of the five that night. The guy that stabbed the boy in the heart got away. They lined them up in front of us and we pointed them out. No two way mirrors, face to face. Three days later I came face to face with the guy that stabbed the boy in the heart. Fear unimaginable. I got the detective. He got him. The threats came on the phone in the middle of the night. Dad took the phone off the hook. The threats and more came at school then. The school was suspended from all extra curricular events. My 17th birthday came and went. Two witnesses dropped out due to threats. The nightmares. The trial was horrible. The tranquilizers didn’t help. The stress and fear were overwhelming. I alienated friends, and eventually my high school sweetheart. Senior year? We got back activities after dad and another father threatened to shut down all 64 high schools if superintendent did not lift ban. Our teams, band, chorus, drama, etc., were able to do some events. I graduated. It is a blur. All the years of dreams gone. In the next six months dad had lung cancer. Senior year. It is not good for everyone. Focus on the good circumstances and memories you had and be thankful. You do not like the circumstances but, God has a plan. Grow. Look for the His plan. I did not at first. I dwelled on disappointment and lost dreams. I was grounded in faith, found I was still on His firm foundation. He carried me through. People look to see how you handle these circumstances if you are a Christian. You may never understand. Will you learn anything? Will you grow? Do they see faith?
These current circumstances are no different. Life is hard. Are these the end times? Does it matter? We entered the end times with the fall of Adam. There are no new trials or circumstances, no new sins. We should always live as this is the last days. Never take for granted our Lord’s grace and mercy. The Romans persecuted Christians in arenas for sport. The idol temples were filled with debauchery and sins unimaginable for profit. Plagues and famines have been recorded since Pharaohs’ days. Only the Holy Spirit can bring someone to salvation. You cannot scare them into it. So point to God’s sovereign love, mercy and grace. Show them trust and faith in your Lord, not fear of circumstances.
This too shall past. Be steadfast.
Psalm 26:12 NASB “My foot stands on a level place; In the congregations I shall bless the LORD”
There is a difference between God and gods. There are many false gods. Who are your gods? The devil is the god of this world, as evident of mankind’s worship of all things sin. They choose him, to be blinded.
2 Corinthians 4:4 “in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
While satan* rules this earth, he is not in control unless you give him control. In essence you worship him when you worship a sin and it controls you.
Some worship lying, they will con you out of your last dollar. They will trick you into taking the side of wrong, they will lead you to believe in false data. They mess with your mental focus. The Bible tells us who is the father of deceit, satan*.
Some worship the flesh. Ignoring all other aspects of their being… mental, emotional and spiritual, their focus is all things physical. Instead of spirituality being foremost it is last or nonexistent. The physical controls their mental and emotional to the point of deprivation.
Many worship materialistic gods; houses, cars, boats, sports, money. Their gods control their decisions leaving them in patterns of habitual sin. Not all things are sinful but, prioritizing them to the point of worshipping them is sinful. They confuse wants with needs.
Although many prioritize everything above God, in essence making satan* their god, their priorities and satan* are not God. “The One, I Am” is God. God won the war over sin for all who believe Jesus came, lived, died and rose again as their Savior.
All of us have a void in us that occurred with the fall of man. When God left, the emptiness of life without Him began. Mankind tries to fill their emptiness with all sorts of gods. The only filling of that void comes when The Holy Spirit fills it after we accept Christ as our Savior.
Sadly, many Christians take control of their life and try to replace the Holy Spirit, ignoring the Power He gives, leaving a sense of emptiness again. The Holy Spirit is still there, willing an able to replace your substitute gods.
“The One, I Am” is God. He won for man the war over sin once and for ALL. All who believe Jesus came, lived, died and rose again as their Savior are victors with Christ.
Who are what are your gods today. Is God Lord or, are you and your gods in charge?
*lower case because he is one.
The Great Awakenings, revivals and growth of His Church through the eons has been when churches worshipped the Almighty God. When the word Awesome was reserved only for Him, we worshipped Who He IS, The Author and Finisher of our faith; The Alpha and Omega.
When churches taught God’s Word and truths without adding to or taking away, His Church grew. When His Church teaches what Jesus said, and not fret over what He did not, His Church grows. Too many churches complicate the simple truth of His Word. Theological study is wonderful until we see it as how Biblically intellectual we are.
Back to The Bible, back to His truths. No fanfare, entertainment value or performance needed. The Revivals all over the world today are happening where His gospel is delivered in Word and music. No distractions, No repetitive needed. After all, they can get that every day by turning on a TV, walking in a crowd, or using a computer.
The world is hunget for Truth, His. Why are we distracting them? Why do we allow churches to become stumbling blocks?
We can not entertain them into His Truth. They have a hunger, let us not give them cake. We, nor the churches, are here to replace the work of The Holy Spirit. We are here to deliver His message. Simple Truth, His: Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King.
What did Jesus say? Matthew 18:1-7 NASB
“1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!”
As we come together each week to worship, let us come humbly, as a child, ready to listen and be taught by The Holy Spirit. Be still and know. ~ RBG
I have written about quiet before (Shhhhh), there is nothing like quiet. Do you ever stop and listen to a breeze? I am a very outgoing type personality, so when I get quiet people think I am sick. When I am quiet, I am listening.
My husband and I relish in our time together when we are “quiet”. One time my daughter asked me if we were okay. I asked her what she meant. She said, “you and dad go to the beach together and he fishes or reads and you shell, but you never talk.” We talk. We just do it without words. Sometimes, we sit and read for hours, or we go to the beach and he fishes and I shell. I always look up and watch him reel in his fish. He looks out to watch me shell. If I get out of sight for too long he comes looking to check on me. We communicate without words, a lot. We have been married for 43+ years and we dated almost seven. We knew each other four years before we dated. That is 51 years of “talking”. Through the years we have grown close enough to not always need to “talk”. But, we talk, we communicate. We do not have to shout to each other, or constantly talk out loud. With some relationships, quiet IS conversation.
Our walk with the Lord is like that. God doesn’t yell to us or shout from Heaven. Most of what He tells us is in a whisper. Why?
There is a story of an old preacher who is visited by a young man in trouble. He tells the preacher he has prayed and prayed and God has not answered. The old preacher says something. But, the young man could not hear him, so he moved closer, “what did you say?” The preacher repeats it, and again the young man moves closer, “What? I cannot hear you.” One more time the old preacher repeats himself and the young man walks right up to him and asks him to repeat again. “God sometimes whispers,” he said, “so we will move closer to hear Him.”
My best conversations with GOD are when I say nothing at all.
1 Kings 19:11-13 (HCSB) “Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the Lord’s presence.”At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Suddenly, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
James 1:19 (NASB) “This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak…”
Renee’ Green Copyright 2013