Monthly Archives: September 2012

In Samuel’s Footsteps

 

God blessed the nation’s beginning, providing freedom from oppression. Early free men prayed for God’s blessing, He answered more abundantly than any other nation on earth. Gradually, deliberately, methodically men walked further and further away from their God. Heightened affluence created inflated egos that created their own gods, including worship of themselves. Now, any voice declaring honor of God is met with violent, belligerent resistance.

 

God, this can’t be okay with you! Stop this downfall somehow, help people see they need to return to you!

 

“They won’t return, they will demand their way. Give them what they want; but warn them about what the results of their choice will bring.”

 

The faith leader sounds an alarm, painting a grim picture of where their current path will lead.

 

Increased taxes.

Taking from the wealthy, redistributing resources according to government preference.

Indoctrinate and enslave youth, pumped with propaganda and forced to work for the system.

Farther and farther away from God and morality, deeper and deeper into depravity.

 

The message is sounded, the masses disregard.

 

The prophet Samuel anoints Saul king of Israel.  (I Sam. 8)

 

And all that was prophesied, comes to pass.

 

Two lessons for us, if we seek to follow in Samuel’s footsteps.

 

First, Samuel prayed, diligently seeking God’s wisdom in what to do. He then stepped forward to what was his role in selecting the new leader.

 

Likewise, we need to be seriously in prayer, asking God what His plan is, what His desire is for us to do in our responsibility of selecting our new leader.

 

Samuel didn’t neglect his responsibility because the choice in front of him wasn’t someone he would have chosen; he trusted God was wiser, had a perfect plan, was ultimately sovereign in all things.

 

Next, even though he could see the negative path the nation had chosen, Samuel promised not to sin against God  by ceasing to pray for the people, and committed himself to continuing to teach them Truth. (I Sam. 12:23) 

 

In the days and years ahead we see Samuel continuing to pray, weep, teach, and serve God by serving His people.

 

Knees raw from kneeling.

 

Eyes red from crying, truly grieving for God’s people.

 

Throat sore from continuing to speak truth to those who refused to listen.

 

Sandals dusty from miles and miles and miles of walking, simply doing God’s best every single day  –  –  no matter what others chose.

 

May we, today, follow in Samuel’s footsteps.

Advertisements

Clearer By The Day

 

It has puzzled me for decades.

Literally.

 

Watched it, read it, studied it, understood it.

But couldn’t see “how” it could be.

 

Now I think I’m beginning to understand.

 

 

Since junior high (which was a LOT of years ago…) Biblical prophecy has been a major area of study. Many things are meant for us to have an understanding of detail  –  to know the times, seasons, symbols clearly & distinctly. Others are meant for us to have an understanding of trust  –  to know that God is in control, we are not, and only He has full knowledge & control of earth’s final chapter.

 

One area has consistent agreement among most scholars: the United States of America is not clearly identified or evident in any end-times dialogue.  While most agree we can’t find the USA listed, rationale behind its absence is varied.

 

Nuclear war has taken the country out.

Rapture has occurred; there’s so many believers most of the country is gone.

Some have tried to equate the US with Israel.

Others are pretty convinced we’re more like Babylon.

 

Whatever the detail, the concept remains the same: the USA is not significantly mentioned or present in last days Biblical prophecy.

 

It has confused so many for so long, because the USA has been so significant, so strong on the world’s stage.

 

Until recently.

 

No longer are we a respected leader on the world’s stage.

No longer are we considered a key player in establishing a moral compass.

For a while now our military strength has been whittled away.

Our financial system continues to crumble.

 

Our “united-ness” has been chipped away so significantly that we find far too many things to disagree on, to attack each other on, that most of the world doesn’t have to do a thing to start a fight on our soil. We start them well enough on our own.

 

 

We are like the proverbial ant, riding on the back of an elephant as it carries a heavy load. At the end of the trip the ant says “look what we did!”

 

Or like the Galatians, to whom Paul said in the third chapter of his letter to them “You foolish Galatians!”  He then describes the total foolishness of a people who have been blessed by God, who forget it was God who gave them everything they have.

 

Sound familiar?

 

From founding fathers who relied on their Creator for everything, we have evolved into a people seemingly desperate to remove Him at every opportunity.

 

“God Bless America” was written by Irving Berlin as a prayer in 1918. Since that time it has been prayed and sung countless times. And God has answered.

 

And blessed America.

 

And…..America, the blessed, has forgotten her God.

 

It wasn’t foreign countries, it has been us.

It wasn’t the rapture; we’re still here.

We are so not Israel; she exists strongly, inviting us to stay allied with her.

We aren’t Babylon, although our attitudes often reflect Babylonian depravity.

 

We need to pray like Daniel, in chapter 9 of his book.

We need to confess that we have sinned, we have forgotten, we have left behind the great God Who created us, saved us, and desires deeply to lead us.

 

We need to pray  “Oh Lord, hear! Oh Lord, forgive…” as he prayed in verse 19.

 

If we do, He promises to hear, to forgive our sins, and to heal our land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

 

If we do not, it should come as no surprise to us  –  or anyone  –  when we become increasingly irrelevant to the rest of the world.


Purely Blessed

 

 

Clean.

Pure.

Clear.

 

Intentional, deliberate choosing of good,

Persistent rejection of the tainted.

 

Refuse to compromise

 

So many choose to allow ‘a little of the world’; blend in, fit in, fall in.

 

Small distractions can’t hurt, can they?

It’s just entertainment; no harm, no foul.

 

Saved?

Yes.

 

Seeing God?

Doubtful.

 

 

Cleansed of the pollution of sin.

 

Sifted through a sieve, winnowed as wheat.

 

Deliberate, consistent, constant choice.

 

Uncommon. Abnormal. Extreme.

 

 

Heart.

Thoughts. Reasoning. Understanding.

Submitting it all to be cleansed, purified.

Surrender of emotions, and all that affects them.

 

Cleansed, sifted, winnowed  –  at the deepest core of our being.

Every thought. Desire. Longing.

Attraction, affection, distraction.

 

Want to see God?

 

Allow the bulldozer of His purification and cleansing to remove all walls.

 

Voluntarily submit to the steel wool of the Spirit as He removes all things negative and replaces them with all things pure.

 

Commit to refusing entry to anything slightly tainted by the dust, smoke, smell of death.

 

When you open your eyes, you will see your Father.

 

And His smile will be upon you.

 


Not My Heartache

 

Tears fall, sadness creeps in.

 

Pain that stings

 

Stings deep enough, severe enough, momentarily immobile.

 

Then, unmistakably moving.

 

 

Forward, stepping, reaching…into another’s pain.

 

Enter the fight for a brother’s broken heart.

 

Search for solution, spend and be spent

 

But not for yourself. For someone else.

 

 

Grieving within for the condition of a sister.

 

Compelled to bandage, soothe, calm, caress, embrace.

 

Bring peace into another’s chaos; speak hope into their desperation.

 

 

When they stand on their own, strengthened, you quietly celebrate within.

 

Spent, exhausted, blessed.

 

Beyond measure, blessed.

 

You have discovered another secret to the Blessed Life.

 

For all of Him that is prayed by you, flows through you.

 

It heals you, strengthens you, encourages you.

 

Holds you close, pours peace into the deepest corners of your broken soul.

 

Blessed are those whose hearts break so deeply for the needs of others, their lives are compelled to action.

 

 

Compassion without action is empty mist.

 

Mercy that moves opens the heavens for healing rain to fall on all whose hearts are broken.

 

No matter whose heartache came first.