Father, forgive them. They know not what they do. (Luke 23:34a).
Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, do NOT lean on your own understanding. This is actually a commandment. It would give the full context if you would please read the whole of Proverbs 3.
His ways are HIGHER than our ways; His thoughts are HIGHER than our thoughts. Fact! (Isaiah 55:9).
This is why we must look to God for everything. I have just read a striking page from a Christian Brother who also belongs to this site. Here’s the link: http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/how-a-loss-of-faith-in-politicians-and-democracy-could-make-2012-the-most-frightening-year-in-living-memory/#comment-40872
It got me thinking about something very personal to me which has just happened. I was initially appalled at the result. A loved one close to me seemed to be very sick. Two family members were very concerned for my own mental health because of the situation I was facing and one of them got involved and started making enquiries on my behalf. Disaster struck again, or so I thought, when, it seemed to me that the trauma I faced was seemingly put down to a lovers’ spat. A tragi-comedic script writer couldn’t have done a better job on this issue than what I’ve lived through over the past three days. If what I’ve just lived through was put on television, it’s possible that people wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Now, I’ve had serious issues that have come up in the recent past which, with the help and love of God, I’ve been able to semi-overcome. But for the latest event, there was a complete misunderstanding on my part as well as the other three people as to what was really wrong. And, what took place after many calls for help completely threw me. Like any audience previously mentioned; I also didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. What I did was promise myself that I would never ask for help for anything from anyone in this world ever again. To me, it just didn’t, and doesn’t, seem worth it. Now, you may be thinking that this is the response from the ‘flesh’. Of course it was. Now, just in case the person making all the very relevant phone calls on my behalf ever reads this, my precious loved one, you are completely absolved. All that happened is nothing to do with you. Let me please make that perfectly clear. Now, to move on to our faith as Christians reading this page:
Throughout what I’ve tried to relate here, and prayerfully, giving no names away and blaming no-one, please allow me to make a very important point which the Lord used to above situation for. First, there’s a warning, (see Proverbs 5) and to follow, a blessing. He will make our paths straight! Part of the blessing is that we call on Christ to help us; NOT the world. Should the Lord send us help from anyone, anywhere, we are to give thanks for them, no matter what happens afterwards. As for afterwards: Friends, we can read Scripture and, although we want to believe and follow what we read, sometimes, it takes a bit of a bang on the head, so to speak, to get us to come out of our spiritual sloth. We are promised a heart of flesh rather than stone and, we say and pray that we want this to happen, but we sometimes wonder why it doesn’t. Here’s why. We are not listening.
“But,” we say, “That’s not true! We pray. We read the Scriptures. What else can we do?”
Hang on a minute. Are you actually applying Scripture to your life? “Well, I believe what I’m reading,” you might say. Well, I have to tell you that I’ve realised that this is just not enough. It has to be proved in us. Sometimes, it takes a shocking event to happen to wake us up. It did for me.
Remember back in the Old Testament, a king called Asa? He had something wrong with his feet and sought the world’s physicians instead of going to the Lord for help. I’m telling you! It’s written in Scripture. (2 Chronicles 16:12). How do we think the Lord feels if we get angry when the world refuses to help us? We are to go to Him and, whatever He deems right, that’s what He will send us.
Look, if anyone thinks that we can live a comfortable life and believe that God will bless us, well, that’s not a wrong belief, but please hear this: God does not want us to gather belongings around us and lovely things to happen to us just so that we can be comfortable in this world. And even though sickness may strike, whatever causes it, God will see us through until either we leave this earth, or He may well agree to heal us. Not everyone is healed just because they believe. Paul wasn’t, and he told Timothy to drink a little wine, not just water for the sake of his stomach and frequent illnesses! (1 Timothy 5:23). If you want further confirmation; please allow me to direct you to the very first blog I wrote concerning those who have put themselves on the front line to bear witness to Christ. They are persecuted, they are often brutally killed or languish in prison, sometimes for years. God knows and He hears their cries along with ours, but precious in the Lord’s eyes is the death of His saints. (Psalm 116:15; Revelation 14:13). When we leave here, in whatever way, we are assured that nothing and no one can ever touch or hurt us ever again. So let us hold our heads up in faith! Folks, this is not God’s kingdom. We are living in the domain of the evil one. I pray the Lord will allow me to remember all the Scripture that’s running through my mind at the moment as I write this page. For instance, in John 17, Christ prays that God will not take us out of the world, but that He will save us from the evil one! (John 17:15). We must realise: Christ intercedes for us and so does the Holy Spirit! Here comes another Scripture:
Love not the world, nor the things in the world. If you are in love with the things of this world, the love of the Father is not ‘in you’. (1 John 2:15).
Do you realise what that means? It means that while your mind is caught up with the things of this world, you are not caught up in the things of heaven. It’s the mind that needs changing. Whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, think on THESE THINGS. (Philippians 4:8).
And what about this? Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. (2 Corinthians 6:17). Come out from what? Essentially, it means don’t join in with things unbelievers hold dear. Folks, the Lord is trying to tell us that we do not belong here. When things we have previously relied on break down, why don’t we understand, and why do we get angry? The things of this world are PERISHING! If what we’ve seen happen in this world since about 2001 is not enough to wake us up, then what will be enough? What do we want? How far does our heavenly Father have to go before we ‘get it’ and wake up?
Everyone remembers Haiti. Everyone remembers the miners in Chile. Everyone remembers that huge earthquake from 2004 in the Indian Ocean in which many thousands of people were killed. Everyone remembers what happened to the Twin Towers. Many may remember the extreme changes that began happening in abundance in 2010. During that year, when I was recovering from a terrible illness, I started realising that spiritually, things had changed forever. Physically, also, in the world. The world I knew as a child was no longer the world in the present. Everything was, and is, undergoing a huge change. The economy had already begun slipping in 2008 and the rumblings began on the so-called interwebs concerning the economic disaster of the 1930’s, and what we could again be looking forward to today. (I choose those words with the greatest care). I should imagine thousands of news articles and blog pages have already been written on that subject alone – never mind the videos that people uploaded in their hundreds, or perhaps even thousands!
So, the world had, and has, changed. Forever.
Then last year. The very first day, a report came in concerning bird deaths in Beebe, Arkansas. Folks, after that, more bird, sea life and mammalian deaths were being reported from all over the world. That massive oil spill in the Gulf which happened in 2010 is something nobody is EVER going to forget. The Japanese disaster from March 11, 2011 is yet another horror story. To repair these things, if it ever gets done, costs so much money, we can’t believe the amounts we read! It’s serious, and we just cannot afford to keep having these disasters happen and expect to be able to pay for all the required repairs. It just isn’t possible. People are starving. Why are we in the West in the news concerning our waistlines along with the curse of throwing good food away? We’ve got far too much of everything, if we can do that without a second thought. How many of us are aware of the Scripture that tells us about being thankful and satisfied with food and clothing? (1 Timothy 6:8).Do we actually read that often enough to get it into our heads and hearts? And what I’ve noticed about that Scripture is that it only mentions food and clothing. NOTHING ELSE! Here’s another truth: Christ was given food wherever He went when He was on this earth. Did you read where He said to someone, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has NOWHERE to lay His head”? (Matthew 8:20). Who is this ‘Jesus’ we say we love and ‘follow’? Just who is He? He was born in some animal’s feeding trough. We like to soften the blow and call it a ‘manger’, and, just as people have recently done, they go all gooey over some festive decoration showing a child in what is perceived as a manger. It was a food trough folks. It probably stank. It certainly wouldn’t have been anything to get gooey over. Someone may have tried to scrub the thing out before they dared to put a newborn child in it, but it was still a receptacle where animals came to feed. Are you sitting up yet? This Jesus of ours, Whom God gave us is far more than some gooey story once or twice a year. He is Someone with Whom we will all have to do someday. He now sits on a Throne, next to His Father after having been through the dreadful pain and curse of the cross. Everyone who hangs on a tree is called cursed. (Galatians 3:13; Deuteronomy 21:23).
That’s our Jesus. He, Who now sits at the right hand of God the Father. (Colossians 3:1). We need to give Him the proper respect that’s due Him. Many hear about Him and say they believe, but where is His respect? Where is His honour?. He asks that Himself in the Scriptures. (Malachi 1:6a) It’s time we paid attention to Him.
So, from the blog link I gave you near the beginning of this message, we may well find that everything economical does certainly begin to crash around us. I can only confirm that by giving yet another link to a film that another precious Christian Brother put up last night.
I can only pray that our faith will be enough to see us through the trouble that’s coming. What will we do when the banks break and we can no longer have ready money when we want/need it? What will we do when the shops suddenly run out of food? Like many have said, are we prepared to trust God then? Are we perhaps preparing to have a few stocks of food put by for the days of famine that are coming? Because they are coming, my friends. Make no mistake about that – they are certainly coming. Now. What are we going to do about it?
Well, we can’t change the world. So, we had better start learning to change our own thinking and get as close to our heavenly Father as we can. We had better start learning not just to believe the Scriptures, but to actually put them into practise. (James 1:22). We had better begin giving God His proper place of honour in our hearts and in our lives. We had better believe that the world is going to crash around us. And we had better learn to trust in the Lord.
With ALL our hearts.
As for the folks to do with my story whom I haven’t actually mentioned, but whom I have had to deal with and who have let me down; if I ever saw them again and found them in need and I could do anything about it, then, because of what Scripture commands from us, I would do everything in God’s power to help them where I could. They are all completely forgiven, because they work for the world’s system, not for God’s. They may each find they need Him some day. Who’s privilege will it be to bring Christ’s message of hope and love to them? I do not know. God knows. But we are told to pray for our enemies, feed them, if necessary, clothe them and certainly give them water to drink. It may or may not heap coals of fire upon their heads (make them feel ashamed of their sins). That is not our business. Not mine, not yours, but God’s alone. Please refer to Romans 12:20.
Let us follow Christ’s commandments and do them. If we truly love Christ, we will be given hearts to do so. May His Kingdom come, and His will be done, in us, as it is done in heaven by all who live there with Him at this present time. God says to His angels, “Do this, “ and “Go there and protect my son, daughter,” and they go. And they do. Without question. That is actually what we are praying for in what we call The Lord’s Prayer when we pray that the Lord’s will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. We must be willing to follow and do as He commands us.
Without question. God help us all to do so. Amen.