A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Trust God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trust God. Show all posts

May 11, 2023

Trust God To Move!


I know, without a doubt, that millions of people in this nation are praying 2 Chronicles 7:14 ... Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. Yet things just seem to be going from bad to worse, don't they? You may be asking, "Does God hear our prayers and the millions of voices crying out to Him"? And I can hear you thinking, "Things are getting pretty desperate down here in the good 'ol USA, Father. We could use Your intervention and a move on Your part to restore this nation to its greatness". So, I want to ask you a question ... do you trust God to move in the midst of the crises we are facing?

I know how extremely serious and grim it looks. We will soon see thousands of people storming our southern border to enter "this land of milk and honey". And with them come the threats of overwhelming every system that exists to ensure our health, safety, and economic welfare. Our government officials [at the highest level] are serving themselves, instead of the people they've been given the authority [by God] to serve. Our success and future as a nation have been mismanaged to the point that we are in extreme danger of losing who we are. The principles that we have held dear -- the right to free speech; the right to determine the degree of our prosperity and well-being; the promise of law and order that guarantees safe and secure communities; the right to defend ourselves; and the freedom to live and let live in peace and comfort -- all this seems but a moment away from disappearing.

But, I will ask you again ... Do you trust God to move in the midst of these crises? I ask because I want to share a concept expressed in a sermon by Pastor Marty Strait, of Pathway Church in Longview. TX.  The good Pastor said, "It's not a question of IF God wants to move. The question is WHO is He going to move through"? Ponder that for a moment ... I know that there will be people who will say that God no longer makes big Biblical moves in the world today. They will say He doesn't show up in the pillars of cloud and fire like He did for the Israelites in the Exodus; He doesn't divinely guide us, appearing in a miraculous way to lead us out of this quagmire we have built for ourselves. The Bible makes it clear that it pleased God to appear to His people who cried out in the midst of their bondage in Egypt. Perhaps it appears to some today that God is not likewise pleased to answer our cries and groanings for deliverance. Why is He silent? Why does He not move in our land?

Those are some serious questions that deserve some serious attention. First, I would like to state that I believe it always pleases God to move in the affairs of men, and He desires to lead and guide us in miraculous ways. He is our never-changing Immutable God! We were created for relationship with Him from the beginning in the Garden, and He has moved, is moving, and will always move through those who are uncompromised. So, when we ask where He is during this, our moment of need -- or why hasn't He responded to our prayers to rescue us -- perhaps we need to ask how many of us are compromised? Which of us are unquestioningly and consistently "turning from our wicked ways", which is a prerequisite to God hearing and responding to our prayers and restoring our land?

It's not enough to just pray and worship our Righteous and Holy God. We have to change and turn from our wicked ways. Sadly, I think too many of us have compromised with our culture -- exchanging our "works" for the Lord and our "worship" of His Majesty for self-proclaimed righteousness. Have any of us accepted standards for our society that are lower than God has commanded? Be honest! Have any of us modified God's commandments in order to strike "a bargain" or make concession with the rest of society? Have we been agreeable to take the middle ground in moral issues rather than the high ground, in order to avoid conflict? 

If we've answered "yes" to any of these questions, or even have doubts as to how we should answer, then we have not fully turned from what God considers "wicked ways". And because we have not been attentive to changing our ways -- by compromising and making concessions -- perhaps we also haven't understood the consequences of breaking relationship with God and how it leads to disharmony, and ultimately the breaking up of what is good and desirable [in God's eyes] for man and society. 

When I did a deep dive on the meaning and understanding of the word "wicked" in Strong's Concordance, I found a most interesting exegesis... "As absolute Sovereign, the Lord creates a universe governed by a moral order. Calamity and misfortune will surely ensue from the wickedness of ungodly men. When He purposely withdraws His powerful hand, resorting to providence and sovereignty, and leaves the situation to ungodly men, He has created a situation wherein peace and wholesomeness will not stand. The ungodly men will wreck the peace and establish that which is poor, less than His reflection, and hurtful to all considered". In other words, a nation, a society -- and yes, even a Church -- that has been willing to accept  compromise, lower standards, and concessions that do not represent God, can expect ungodly men to rule the day. 

That is unacceptable to our righteous God! He will not honor anything but our complete and full repentance. We cannot rightly serve Him if we are not "all in". Make no mistake, I believe He wants to work through us and display a Mighty, Miraculous Move in this nation! But let's take seriously the conditions our God lays before us ... humble ourselves; pray; seek His face; and turn from our wicked ways -- REPENT WITH A CLEAN HEART. He makes it clear: IF we will do these things, THEN He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins and wicked ways, and restore our land! There is no compromise, no doing it half-way! Be bold in admitting the mistakes we've made and how we've taken Him for granted! And then trust that HE WILL MOVE in a mighty way and restore our nation. This is no time to doubt or fear; it's time to commit, submit, and trust that God is who He says He is, and will do what He says He will do! 

2 Chronicles 6:30-31    ... then hear from heaven Your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart You know, according to all his ways, for You, You only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, that they may fear You and walk in Your ways all the days that they live in the land that You gave to our fathers.

April 26, 2023

Our Choice is Clear: Fear or Fortitude

It should come as no surprise that we are battling for not only the soul of this nation, but our very existence. Since the beginning of our colonial history, the Framers of the Constitution fought to avoid the political and social divisions that ripped England apart in their bloody civil wars. It was a tenuous time as they desperately tried to start our new nation on solid ground. Less than 100 years later, that ground was shattered and bloody from our own civil war. And I'm not sure we ever fully recovered, politically or socially, from those fractures. But somehow the fabric of the nation held, we bound up our wounds, and have managed to survive through two world wars, and multiple foreign wars [all of which made international bankers and champions of the war machines wealthy], at the cost of millions of lives.

So, here we are, nearly two-and-a-half centuries later, and our survival as a nation seems to be just as tenuous. Actually, the world, itself, seems to be on the verge of destruction! I mean, how many people in the world sense that unprecedented Evil is about to come upon the peoples of this planet?  Both Christians and nonbelievers have a heightened awareness that there is danger and darkness in the offing; and how many of you have heard the warnings and prophecies forecasting that 2025 is the culmination of the final age of man?  I've heard everything from world-wide economic collapse, to serious natural disasters, and of course, the beginning of WWIII... all guaranteed to strike fear in the hearts of men and women.

How could it not? There doesn't seem to be much good news to look forward to, right? But we have a choice in how we will confront the possibilities. Will we allow a spirit of fear to render us silent and cowering in a corner; submitting to the forces of evil who wish to eradicate us? Or we will we approach the uncertain and scary future with fortitude; with courage, resilience, moral fiber, strength of mind and character, and steadfast spirit? Those choices couldn't be further apart, but are most likely what it will come down to for each individual. There is no middle ground.

And there is no middle ground in this spiritual war between the God we serve and the Enemy of all mankind. Because of how much evil is being brought against God's creation, His anger is mounting and I believe His cup of wrath will soon be filled to the brim. And the Lord's sheep are sensing it and becoming full of worry and apprehension. How are we to prepare for what's coming? What should we be expecting from ourselves? We all hope we will face the future with confidence in the Lord, and with the courage and fortitude of Christ. And since we look to Him as our model in all human circumstances, let us consider how He responded in His hour of fear and uncertainty...

Could anything we face compare to the anxiety and dread that our Lord must have felt in the Garden of Gethsemane?  If I may paraphrase one of my favorite Bible commentators, Matthew Henry, "Jesus had an awful sense of the wrath of God, of the weight of sin. His human nature was ready to sink under that heavy load, and would have sunk, had He been forsaken of help and comfort from God; but He was heard in His prayers, He was supported through the agonies of death."

This understanding, along with the example Jesus gives us on how to approach God in our times of distress and agony of soul, is something that I wish us all to embrace. Yes, we have examples of Jesus praying throughout the gospels, including His rising early in the morning to pray (Mark 1:35), praying all night (Luke 6:12), and praying while fasting 40 days (Matthew 4:2).  In fact, the disciples saw how important prayer was to Jesus and asked Him to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1).

But in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus's prayer was not casual or routine; it was intense and passionate. Let's look at what is involved in His prayers during this time of apprehension and foreboding. The most common component of many of our prayers is tears, which Jesus also exhibited during His time of intense prayer. Tears are often a sign of pain in our soul. Jesus had a heart full of compassion for His creation and could feel in His heart the sickness, suffering, and coming death of mankind. Our "lostness" pained His heart. Our pain was His pain. He wept for us as He prayed.

Notice also that He prayed with great shouting. Have you ever shouted out loud to God during your most private conversations with Him? Shouting is often a sign of resistance. In times of spiritual warfare -- and believe me, there was a war going on in the spiritual realm as Jesus faced His crucifixion -- we all face the forces of sin and Satan. While shouting and praying, Jesus was fighting in the spiritual realm against the moral darkness of the world.  He was opposing evil and overcame it. In His fervent prayer, He was fighting energetically [and vehemently] on our behalf. And I believe He is doing the same today -- and boy, do we need it!

The political and spiritual forces have aligned to try to strike fear in our hearts and render us silent, powerless, and impotent. For a Biblical example, we only have to look back at the Biblical story of Joshua and Caleb, who were part of the contingent of 12 spies sent into the Promised Land to determine if it could be conquered. But ten of the spies came back and reported that they were defeated before they ever began. They were filled with fear and let that fear completely vanquish them. But it was Caleb who said, "But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God". 

Caleb was free from fear, and he used his trust in God to try to help the people of Israel overcome their fears. And those of us who are like Caleb, and surrender to the will of God, have something to say to people who are afraid. Our surrender to God is the only answer to the problem of fear. It doesn't mean we ignore the facts, or we stick our head in the sand, and pretend that there will be no difficulties; we cannot and should not persuade others to escape reality. That is a disservice to others. But all people would be well-served to remember Caleb's words. He didn't deny the giants existed, or that it wouldn't be difficult to overcome them. Instead, he said, "We are well able". This does not mean that he had confidence only in himself.  Nor did he put undue emphasis on the military strength of Israel, either.  No.  He was emphasizing where their power really came from. It came from firm confidence in God’s power.

We are well able! We are able to overcome our differences and work together for the good of the country and the world -- if we are willing to follow the One who offers us hope. We are well able to join forces with the Heavenly Host to battle the Enemy's demonic partners who seek to destroy us physically, spiritually, and socially. We are well able to survive whatever is coming -- our ancestors made it through the Depression; the Jews overcame the Holocaust, and survived the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires. Millions of people throughout the ages have suffered in genocides, plagues, slavery, and totalitarianism. None of it was pretty or easy. In fact, it was diabolical. 

The truth is, none of us know what the future holds for us, and I'm sure many of us are consumed with fear over the possibilities. I also know that most of you are joining me in solemn and dedicated prayer, asking God for mercy and forgiveness in His coming judgment (that we so thoroughly deserve). Let us strive for an attitude of fortitude -- the same kind of courage Jesus showed in His adversity on the eve of His most frightening and devastating experience. It's OK to cry out to the Lord and shout to Heaven in our moments of agony, fright, and doubt. But if we approach our Father with godly fear and reverence, He will hear us and will provide the means for us to be carried through whatever awaits us. I truly believe that!

Just as Matthew Henry wrote, I am convinced that, like Jesus, we will not be forsaken in our moment of need. We will be helped and comforted by God, who will hear our prayers, and we will be supported, even unto death. We must follow Christ's example, devoting ourselves to Him, denying ourselves (and our natural human fears); and take up our cross, follow Him unto death, [if it is God's will], proclaiming our victory over Evil. Praise the Lord for the standard He has set before us! Praise Him for His fortitude, and for showing us that God's mercy is sufficient, and enough to see us through anything the Enemy can bring against us.  God will bring order out of this chaos! He's done it before and His Word says He will do it again. Please pray that mankind rejects the lies and temptations of the Evil One before we've gone too far. The Man of Lawlessness is ready to take the stage, but God, in His Sovereignty, will determine the time of His appearance. 

Father, we pray for Your protection from the shaking that we deserve! Destroy the plans of everyone whose heart is aligned with the Enemy, and may Your Holy Spirit guide us away from a spirit of fear. You are our Hope and Strength and Refuge! Fill us with the Godly fortitude of Jesus!

Jeremiah 10:10     But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure His indignation.



February 16, 2022

Trust The Lord To Lead You In The Way You Should Go

I want to begin today by stating clearly that I know we Believers are destined for victory in our Lord. I believe that we are Overcomers with a glorious inheritance awaiting us in eternity. I believe that the hope we have through our faith will fortify our spirits and we will triumph over this world and dwell in the House of the Lord forever. But forgive me if I don't jump on the various prophecy trains that have predicted a world-wide revival, or "shifts in the spiritual atmosphere" that will restore our nation's prosperity and heal the corruption, perversion, and greed that pervades our land. It's not that I doubt that God can do all that, or that He still reveals warnings and messages of hope to His people on earth. I am just more likely to believe these "prophetic words" when they line up with Scripture. For me, that is the ultimate vetting process for the reliability of prophecy. As much as I want to believe these self-proclaimed prophecies are God's truth, and we will see them fulfilled, the track record of such prophetic voices is not very convincing to me. And Jesus's own account of the time before He returns doesn't promise such a rosy picture.

That is not to say, that I discount my God when He declares, "And in the last days it shall be that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams". And I certainly support pointing everyone to the saving grace of Christ and His triumph over evil! I praise those who share that message with the world! That message is the foundation of what I believe! But there are other messages that I find myself called to share, and it is those that I wish to address today.

I know that God has not anointed me as a prophet, [and I would never claim to be] yet I have had dreams that my spirit discerns are messages of His warnings, or I have received words of counsel and guidance from the Holy Spirit about something the Father wants me to comprehend. In my conversations with Him, answers are revealed that are beyond my carnal knowledge or understanding, and it is only through drawing closer to Him and seeking the mind of Christ that I can even hope to know His will in a matter. 

It is difficult to share all those insights with the Body of Christ because first of all, we live in an age of celebrity and "name recognition" -- even in the Church. I don't wish to seek that for myself. Any time I have stepped up to the podium to speak or teach on a subject that is relevant to Believers, my spirit cries out to hear from the Lord that it is truly His will. And I will admit that there have been some thorny issues that I was hesitant to introduce because I knew it would not align with the current messages of triumph, victory, and revival that people want to hear. And I know of others who encounter the same reticence in their spirit when contending whether to reveal the haunting dreams and visions they experience. 

So, I want to encourage those who are walking this private path; those who are not seeking the spotlight or the recognition ... I know what a lonely road it can seem. If I can speak on your behalf and from my own experience, I would say this: It's as if we are swimming against the current, yet we must be true to our spirit and we will not be persuaded to abandon our convictions. Our relationship with the Lord is so intimate; we know His voice and trust what He is telling us. We are unable to speak what itching ears want to hear, no matter what it costs us. It's not easy to speak God's Truth that He has entrusted to us because we know it's going to be unpopular and probably be criticized. But in these days, comfortable, soothing words will not prepare the lost [nor the Body of Christ] for what the Enemy has planned in his spiritual war to kill, steal, and destroy the world's hope.

So, if this describes you, I want to exhort you to stand strong and firm in your unique assignment for the Kingdom of God. Our names will not be remembered in the annals of history; books won't be written about us. Even our attempts at utilizing social media and technology for the Lord will fade away when what the Lord has shown us begins to take place. I don't think I'm all that special in the Lord's plans for revelation; and I'm sure I'm not the only one receiving these same warnings. I just know that I must discern the sometimes complex and puzzling clues He gives me, and when given the opportunity and the command to share them, I will be obedient. And I think God wants to do that with all His children. He wants us to be tuned in to His voice; to be confident in proclaiming His Truth, and to be steadfast in times of confusion and bewilderment. You are not alone if this post spoke to you today. And if you are among my fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and find it unpleasant to hear my words of caution, please know that I have not abandoned my hope or victory in Christ -- it is because of my love for the Body of Christ that I cannot be silent. It is my prayer that we remain committed to the whole counsel of God and walk together in unity, harmony, and peace.

Isaiah 58:11   The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.


August 13, 2021

What Are You Afraid Of?

I guess the answer to that question depends on your worldview, doesn't it? And for those who aren't sure what constitutes a worldview, here is a great definition from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries: 1) It is the metaphysical (conceptual), or philosophical, or ideological reality of the world you and I live in; 2) It governs how we live, not where we live. It defines why we live, what we live for, what we appreciate, what we reject, what we are passionate about, and what we detest. So, it makes sense, that our worldview can define who we are, how we see ourselves, and what we define as valuable. 

If we define ourselves as Christians, let's see how that definition breaks down ... and let me speak for myself. My concept, philosophy and reality of the world I live in is that the human race lives in a fallen state, in which mankind surrendered his divinely-bestowed authority over the earth to the Enemy of the God that created this planet we inhabit. Therefore, history is a record of the battle between Good and Evil; between those who follow the Most High God, and those who pledge their allegiance to the Prince of Darkness. But the God who created us was not willing to give up on us and sacrificed a part of Himself to offer us a rescue plan; a way to defeat the consequences of Death and His wrath, and to restore this earth to its original design and ownership. 

Now, I know that sounds really religious, and although that is the knowledge that underlies my worldview, I also know that I have to live in this world, make a living to support myself, and that I don't live alone segregated from the rest of humankind. There is a way to treat people that is moral and right. This view of the world governs how I live as well as my purpose for living.

I have made a choice to align myself with my Creator and His character and nature. That means I exist because I have a job to do while I'm on this earth. I have been afforded a great gift -- forgiveness of the life I used to live, when I thought only of myself in unbridled self-absorption. And I know I've been given the opportunity to share what my faith has done in changing who I am. I know that the number of my days on this earth are short and I was created to point the way to the One True God. That means that I'm aware of how people operate in the world -- from the people I call friends to those in the highest levels of world government. I know that there is judgment coming upon the earth for how we've treated others, and I know that it is my desire to please the God who saved me from falling for the lies of the world. I am passionate about living a life that has eternal meaning, not just existing for the material comforts this world can offer. I rejoice that I know my Savior, and He knows me! And I detest anything that comes against that and my purpose for being alive. I am not afraid of dying because I know what comes after this and it is glorious!

Yet, as Christians, we still find ourselves battling those feelings of anxiety and apprehension in these days. I am seeing and hearing from many people who I know love Jesus, but are still firmly tied to this world. Fear of losing jobs, homes, health, family members, and freedom has shaken our foundation. And for some, even the foundation of their faith is now unbalanced. Sadly, those who have benefited from the extraordinary opportunities to amass wealth in this country (both Christian and non-believers alike) are now focused on trying to protect their storehouses of treasure. I see people still looking for political leaders to be resurrected and lead us out of this nightmare. I see many of the faithful denying what Scripture says about what happens when God's cup of wrath is full, and wanting to lean on only the hope-filled verses that make us feel good. 

I was fortunate in stumbling upon these couple of sentences by Pastor Bob Deffinbaugh of Richardson, Texas, and I think they sum up what I'm trying to say ... "God is judging men for their sin today and few even know it is happening. Unbelievers are unaware of God’s judgment, because they do not know God, nor are they alert to His presence and power in the world today. This is to be expected. But many Christians are equally ignorant of God’s present judgment of sin. They think of God’s judgment only in terms of the future." So, we ask why the world is deteriorating, and keep expecting that it is going to "return to normal", or at least get better. Or we preach that a return to godliness is just around the corner, "because we have victory in Christ"! What are we really afraid we're going to see, if we face our fears?

Could it be that our Christian worldview has become tarnished or tepid? Have we become self-indulgent even in believing what our Bible tells us? If we are afraid of losing everything [all our possessions or all that we've worked for and dreamed of ] ... or we are afraid of losing relationships and even our own life ... then we are afraid that eternal life might cost us something, and we aren't willing or prepared to give all of it to Jesus. 

I understand that this time is unprecedented in the history of our nation. When considered from the lens of all of history, we have seen our country fall from grace and favor in what seems like the blink of an eye. But if we have a solid Christian worldview, then we should be seeing the battlefield and the forces lining up in their strategic positions. But we should not cower in fear! There is no need to panic! The Lord battles with us and for us! We know the ultimate plan and who wins! Our God is the Everlasting God and He sits on His throne and will never be ousted. It will be in His timing and His administration that we will be victorious in more than what we've accumulated in this life, and in this world. We may lose everything that the present world defines as precious -- but we have everything to gain! 

So, if you find yourself obsessed about what is at risk in the treacherous days ahead, please stop and reassess what you are afraid of losing. If the focus is all on your material possessions or status, then maybe you don't believe the Bible is truth; or maybe you're afraid Jesus won't really come through for you. You might even doubt the reality of an afterlife or eternal life. But I'm here to tell you that now is the time to establish who you are and what is the foundation of your worldview. It is my prayer that you will build a spiritual house, with Jesus as your Cornerstone; and where you can weather all the slings and arrows thrown at you by the Enemy; where you rest in confidence that the One who is Faithful and True can and will establish you as an heir of the Kingdom. You will suffer no fear or anxiety, as you bask in the Source of Life everlasting. There is no fear for what tomorrow may bring, because there will soon be a day that dawns bright in the Kingdom of God! That day is worth more than all we can accumulate in this life! Let that worldview be yours today!

Psalm 56:11     What harm could man do to me? With God on my side, I will not be afraid of what comes. My heart overflows with praise to God and for His promises. I will always trust in Him.