Here is a word that I shared during a time of worship at my home church, Emerald City Christian Center. I pray that God will speak to your heart as you listen.
I recently learned that my WordPress blog had been deleted, so, I am in the process of rebuilding my site. I look forward to sharing with you the things that God is doing and what He is saying.
We live in a most exciting and challenging time. It is essential to stay close to God, hear His voice, and obey quickly and completely.
I hope you will join me, here, as we continue our journey of faith.
Originally posted Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Friends,Thanksgiving is our national holiday of giving thanks to God as a Christian nation in honor of His Providence during the beginnings of our country. When I was a child, we did plays, learned this nation’s early struggles of life, death, and impossible circumstances. I was taught that dependence on God was what saved the Pilgrims and how God used the Indians to save the Pilgrims and shared Thanksgiving together. I was taught that God birthed this nation to be a light to the world.
That true remembrance of our history is now illegal for little children to know–not since the Nazis seized control of education in Germany and replaced their history and science with Nordic occultic nationalism and racial delusion has any Christian people been so railroaded. Our book-burnings have been committed much more subtly through judges in black robes, college professors, politicians, and revisionists–the rule of man’s law has attempted to overthrow the Law of God, once again in the history of fools.
Once again, in the history of fools, at what price?
I do want a heart of gratitude towards God for all He does and has done. I am forgiven through the Blood of Jesus Christ, the Passover Lamb of God!
I want a heart of faith and not complaining. I am blessed of God. I am thankful for my wife, my children, our freedoms. God has been so very faithful to give us a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear, transportation. I am thankful and amazed He uses me, that we have the freedoms to worship, to speak, to assemble. I have been blessed with men and women of God who have been loving and tolerant.
I am thankful for a free will. I am thankful for the Grace of God to know and to see. I am thankful for miracles, for resources, for the inner work of the Holy Spirit to convict, to guide, to comfort, and to reveal Jesus. I am convicted of complaining and being hard-hearted and hurtful in my attitudes, AND basically of knowing I have discernment and foresight, but not trusting the Lord the way I should.
I have been seeing and speaking this season by the Holy Spirit for nearly thirty years–it is one thing to see it, speak it, and know something will come to pass, and it is another thing to know I am living in the middle of it. We have all fallen into the Hands of the Living God and are living in the Latter Days spoken of in the Book of Daniel. Thank God we are under Grace and walking into His marvelous mysteries for these days.
This is a time for all of us to forbear and submit to Kingdom realities, one of the main being that the times and seasons are in God’s Own Hands, according to Acts 1. As much as our humanity demands to be in control, for many of us, this is a “contrite” time of trust in which circumstances beyond our grasp are forging the world around us so that “what is written” must be fulfilled, regardless of our personal sensibilities. Many are offended.
I do wonder if many Christians here are not at the checkout counter of Heaven asking for a price check.
Mary rode on a donkey while she was in labor, in fear of and obedience to a brutal civil authority; John the Baptist lived in a wilderness; Abraham left a comfortable and entitled life to pursue God, as did Moses; Paul abandoned a career and family of influence to pour his life into Jesus–these are only a few examples of our cloud of witnesses, but all of them found themselves, not pawns in the Hands of a capricious God, but part of an Eternal Plan that pushed them, under His protection, into lives and circumstances that went against the grain of all they had believed or wanted.
Yes, their faith and trust in God were challenged, but they emerged. We sometimes face times in our walk in which we either emerge or seem to drown–even in our “overwhelmingness”, God is faithful and will cause us to triumph through the Covenant even when we feel insufficient. Remember that both Ruth and Orpah were both Moabitesses, both married to Jews, both widowed, both had the same wise mother-in-law, Naomi. Both faced the same sorrow and hopelessness. Ruth stepped into a place of Covenant with God in an impossible situation and became one of Jesus’s ancestors; Orpah went back to a defiled land and disappeared from the pages of Bible history. The entire Bible is full of the choices people made when the “natural flow” of life had eroded and they were faced with the trial and error specter of being totally dependent on obedience to an invisible God.
So many are in sorrow and fear now. I honestly get overwhelmed when I face the certain collapse of our bankrupt and corrupt social system–it will be a nightmare as the brutal realities of life are made naked by lack. The very hard choices that face all of us will be made based upon our foundation–none of us are sufficient for these things, as regardless of our hearts toward God, we have lived in the hiatus of a wicked system grooming its proud and arrogant self for judgment our entire lives. What I can say with confidence is that God is faithful, His promises are eternal, and we are His children and are not appointed to His Wrath. Our trouble comes from those who hate Him.
Sometimes I believe we Christians get stricken with a combination of fear and conceit when we see the lives of others get shaken. A great many Christians believe that all hard times, trials, and tribulations are the work of God in our lives; others believe that all adversity is an attack of Satan: it is far too easy to get “religious” about things that we need to resist vigorously or to walk through gracefully. God will cause all things to work together for our good, but that does not mean all things come from Him. We need wisdom, perseverance, and humility along with our faith and power. The fear is that we, too, will be shaken when we see others in trials; the conceit is that we presume the vulnerability of others is due to some weakness in their lives.
For fifty years, the American economy rocked, even while the nation was being destroyed morally and spiritually, with the entire infrastructure frayed and dissolved. Detroit was the gem of American industry and prosperity 60 years ago, the pride of the entire world–now it is considered by many to be a dead city, collapsing from the inside out and gasping on the crumbling shell of dwindling government spending. During this half century of Utopian, anti-Christian experiment, the rain of God fell on both the righteous and the wicked. Basically those who worked hard and used prudence in personal life and work ethic did quite well. The mainstream of the country hummed on, and in the machine of life, we blinded ourselves to the constant replacement of God and Godly wisdom with man and methods gripped by the spirit of antichrist. God has so striven with this nation and continues to.
Now the spiritual climate has shifted. Yes I believe with all my heart, revival will come to America on a level we have not known, but I also believe it will be in the face of opposition. Christians must come to terms with certain judgment of unknown severity coming to challenge all that has mocked God–it will not be without adversity, for as the rain of God falls on both the wicked and the righteous, so does the severity of God. According to the Scriptural patterns, at least in the beginning of Judgments, all suffer. It seems that when the people of God get clued into the realities of Mount Carmel ( the Lord, He is God!) there is a separation, and we enter into a new place with Him while He deals with what opposes Him.
THEN THE RAINS FELL ON ISRAEL AFTER A THREE YEAR DROUGHT.
This took place in Egypt during the Exodus as well. The Israelites suffered the first three plagues with Egypt–when they repented and drew near, they lived in Goshen and were overshadowed by the Most High.
THEN THEY WERE RESCUED AND DELIVERED IN THE PLAGUES, AND PROTECTED AND BLESSED IN THE DESERT.
My heart breaks for the great trouble I see in the lives of so many–I believe we are in a strategic time of shaking, dislocation, rebuilding, repair, and reality. Old idols are crumbling, strongholds of thought being challenged: unknown arenas of obedience and service are opening–ALL OF IT IS, FOR THE MOST PART, OUT OF OUR CONTROL. We can pray, we can plan, we can do, we can lead, but we are not calling any shots which God has not put in our hearts and mouths according to His Will. Godly intercession will bear much fruit and history is being made through prayers, and His banner over us is Love, but beloved, no flesh will glory in this season. NONE.
God is not the Author of confusion, Satan is. These are really odd times as a couple of dynamics are at work. First of all, Satan is seeking to sift us like wheat to destroy us. Secondly, the fire of God has fallen upon us and God seeks to separate the wheat from the chaff for our consecration and power. Because we have been carnally minded and in love with our culture, we don’t know if we are being destroyed by Satan or prepared by God. If we are not careful to draw closer to the Lord, a rift can form in our hearts against Him in times of testing.
Jesus never fails–
“…and he who believes on Him will be no means be put to shame.” I Peter 1:6b
Men and all the circumstances of this world, in the grip of its own god, may seek to put us to shame, but He will not allow us to be put to shame. Our redemption is Covenantal through the Blood of Jesus. We are in that process of choosing now, in the shame of our culture, whether Jesus Christ, the only Way, the Truth, and the Life, is our Precious Cornerstone or a Stone of Stumbling and a Rock of Offense ( I Peter 2:1-10). Sometimes it take a shaking to see what we need to see:
‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.’ Now this, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken may remain, let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” –Hebrews 12:26b-29
There are a few points we must consider in this passage of Scripture. First of all God is a consuming Fire Who can and will shake heaven and earth at the appointed times. The things that cannot be shaken are revealed while all else is shaken. We can only then accurately discern the Eternal Kingdom that cannot be shaken.
The impact of this time of shaking is overshadowed by what is revealed and the special grace provided by God to serve Him with reverence and godly fear. He is a Consuming Fire that will protect and deliver us.
No one likes the times of passage and seasons of the placing of stones of remembrance upon our journey–it is too much reality, but necessary, to know experientially we are strangers here in a stranger land, looking for a City Whose Builder and Maker is God. Here we have no continuing dwelling place, but are pilgrims and sojourners on a continuous trip we do not always have a visible map for guidance. (Hebrews 11)
Do not be disheartened in the journey, and see the traps set so cleverly by the enemy to cause you to harden your heart. There is no sorrow so deep, He is not there. Read Psalm 139. Life seems to be a minefield, sometimes rather brutal, often explosive. One of the hardest realities we must face as Believers is that no one gets out of here alive without Jesus. We are not only survivors, we are overcomers with Jesus, already seated in heavenly places with Him. We also are Ambassadors of Jesus Christ, and He has not appointed us to failure.
We have confidence in Him, in all the Promises of God–Jesus is the Eye of the storm. I have long pondered the splendor that was Europe before WWII and the spiritual decline of such a beautiful culture–there are many contributing factors, but one chilling discussion with a Christian leader from the United Kingdom brought me to perception. When I asked him about the anti-Christian secularism in Europe, his simple answer was,
“The people of Europe never forgave God for what they went through in WWII–they could not accept He allowed it.”
Our Kingdom is not of this world. I think one of the most subtle and destructive defilements of this life is the seduction of an immovable earthly abode. Those born into trouble and adversity for their faith often believe they have no other possibilities–I have seen this, but particularly in Believers from countries that oppose Christianity with open hatred with legal license to destroy: there Satan is a roaring lion who kills and destroys, but who breaks the human soul with sorrow and suffering. Those born into ease and prosperity where their faith is not blatantly challenged often believe they will have no sorrow or hardness in life: there Satan is an angel of light who deceives to believe God will not allow them to know such suffering.
We are blessed in this life and provided for, but our table is set in the presence of our enemies whether by frontal attack or deception. While I was working on this letter, I watched a few minutes of a Christian broadcast and gleaned these things from Joyce Meyer which I found especially “there” with where the Lord has had my heart the past few months:
The devil always uses fear to stop our obedience to God–obey God in the face of fear, just do it afraid. Courage is not the absence of fear, but do what God says anyway. Keep a good attitude and realize what you can change and what you cannot. Sometimes life is what it is and you will survive. God will give us the grace and courage to wait on Him where we are at until He gets us where we are going.
My love and thanks to all of you who pray for and support our ministry. We are going through together brethren. We will see Him together. God bless you.
I appreciate you all.
Pastor Randy Gearhart asked me to share whatever was on my heart at a recent Thursday Night Live! service at Emerald City Christian Center (EC3), our home church. You can listen to my message, “Pressing On Through Adversity,” by using the audio player, below.