Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Famine for the Word of God

The lie is that the only way to love fully is to exclude the truth.  The lie is that love is love, but it cancels the need for a love so great that the Love laid down His life to cancel the sin.

Satan is crafty, an angel of light is how he manifests himself.  Don't be fooled, he will come in "love," but it won't be the same definition of love that dances across God's holy pages.  It will come as a love void of any need for truth or holiness or repentance.  It will be all-inclusive without any need for heart surgery and heart change.

Don't be fooled.  We are in a famine.  A famine of hearing the Word of God.  A famine of knowing the Word of God for ourselves.

Today, I sense more than any other time in my whole life, the desperation of the hour.  We absolutely must know what God's Word says.

We have a beautiful, gentle, and comforting teacher.  He is the Holy Spirit and He is amazing at making sure all the glory goes to the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  I believe the Holy Spirit delights in showing us truth.  Wisdom is ours for the asking.  Let's dig into the Word and see the heartbeat of God.

Grace allows us to repent.  Grace never excuses us from the need for repentance.  Grace makes us poor in spirit as it shows us our spiritual bankruptcy.  Grace pays the debt and makes us co-heirs with Christ.  Grace calls us to a new standard, "Go, and sin no more."

As Jesus walks across the gospels, we see Him heal.  Love the outcast.  Reveal the Father.  Calm Storms.  Rebuke demons.  Feed thousands.  He is compassion on a mission.

But, Jesus said he is also bringing a sword of division.  He said we are not worthy of Him if we love our father, mother, son, or daughter more than Him.  He said we have a cross to carry.  He even declares woe to particular cities "because they did not repent."  He pronounces them miserable and says judgment is inevitable.  Christ wanted so badly to break their hearts from sin, but instead, he was the one that walked away heart broken.

A gospel that is just love with no repentance is the enemy's gospel.  Christianity that worships the Lamb but not the Lion is only half correct in its theology.

You have to have the Holy Roar of the Lion before you need the tender sacrifice of the Lamb.  God never (ever-ever) accepts sin in a person.  Instead, He covers it by the blood of His One and Only.

Lord, we have lost sight of Who you are.
Feed us, Lord.
We are in a famine, and we are begging you to reach down and feed us.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A God Who Cherishes the Fetus

While studying God's glory (kabod: weight) I came across Exodus 33.  Don't you love it when God will reveal something fresh and deep with a passage that you just think you understand?

It is the all-famous passage where Moses dares ask God to show him His glory.  Spurgeon says it is the 'greatest request that man could ever make to God':  show me your glory! I love how God doesn't reveal His glory at first, but prepares Moses for what His glory is going to look like.  It is as if God is saying "Number one, it will be seen in my goodness (towb:  goodness, beauty, bounty.)"  "Number two, it will be seen in my name. (the LORD:  Yahweh)"  And Number three, it will be in the fact that I am merciful and gracious to whom I want."  (We see that God's glory is evident not just in his mercy and grace but in His sovereignty over whom and how He wants to exercise that.)

So, God prepares Moses for this weighty thing that is about to occur.  But, who of us can ever really be prepared for His Glory?  God knows that is will knock us dead, so he tells Moses that He is going to allow him to stand on a rock...He will hide Him in the cleft of a rock while His glory passes by.  {Another occurrence of JESUS...can I get an amen?} 
Rock of Ages
Cleft for Me
Let Me Hide Myself in Thee

Do you see?  Our weight must be on the rock that is Jesus for us to behold the weight of God's glory!  We stand on Christ alone. Is your house built on the rock?  He is the chief cornerstone.  1 Corinthians 10:4 says "and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ."  Jesus is our rock. He is our only hope of beholding God's glory and living to tell about it!

Remember how I said the Hebrew word for Glory was Kabod?  Well, I googled it and wouldn't you know it, Satan decided to take the word that pointed to God's character and weight and turn it into something entirely different.  He is the counterfeit and He has tried to steal the very word for glory and turn it into something that might glorify his own evil ways.  I don't recommend looking it up, but Kabod is an online game featuring sexual and adult content.  Satan tries to twist everything, doesn't he?!!

So, back to Exodus 33.  God tells Moses what His glory is going to look like.  One of those things is regarding his mercy and grace.  "I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will show mercy on whom I will show mercy."  (Ex. 33:19b)  What I discovered is that the Hebrew word for mercy there is "racham"  which means compassion or the womb or to cherish the fetus in the womb.

If you have carried a baby for any amount of time, then I know this makes your heart pound.  It stirs something deep inside of me to know that God's mercy towards me is similar to how I have felt towards my unborn babies. 

Each time was no different.  From the moment I saw the line turn on the tests, something changed inside.  I became fierce.  I became consumed with a whole new level of love.  I was willing to freely give up coke, coffee, and fried food while also being willing to swallow horse pills doctors call vitamins.  My dreams and ambitions became different.  I would do whatever was in my power to protect and care for the child inside.  If I had anything to do with it, the child would live and be guarded from anything evil.

I cherished each fetus, looking forward to not only what they were, but what they would become.

I think of a fetus inside of a mother and I think of how utterly vulnerable it is.  It is helpless, totally dependent on the mother for sustenance and life.

God is telling us that His great mercy towards us is that of a mother towards her unborn baby.  He sheds His mercy on us because He dreams of what we can be with His grace.
All I can think about since last night's debate is the blood of 60 million aborted babies that is crying out unto Creator God against our nation.  Genesis 4 tells us that blood cries out.  Genesis 4 tells us that God hears the spilled blood that cries out. Genesis 4 tells us about a curse that results from this innocent blood poured out.
I am undone.  Shaking.  The murder has to stop.
Eric and I are visiting our local pro-life clinic soon to see how we can be actively involved. We need to put to action to what our mouths are spewing.  I don't know what that looks like, but I know it is a simple step of faith in the right direction.
If we lean into Creator's ear, we too, can hear the blood of the innocents crying out.
Jeremiah 19:4-6

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ruin (for the Glory of God)

Just like Israel in Jeremiah's time, we, the people of America, have committed two sins:  1.  We have forsaken Yahweh, the fountain of living water.  2.  We have dug out cisterns for ourselves that are broken and incapable of holding water. (See Jeremiah 2)

In Palestine, there were three sources of water that went from freshest to nastiest.  These were:
1.  Fresh running water that flowed from a spring that was actually called "living water."
2.  Ground water like from a well.
3.  Runoff water that was collected in cisterns.  Cisterns were pits hewn into limestone and plastered to prevent seepage.  Of course, the pits also collected silt and mosquito larvae because the water was stagnant.

(The above info is from my ESV study bible.)

We have traded the best for the worst, except we are worse off than we thought because our cisterns are broken.  The water has leaked out and all we have to show for it is silt and mosquito infestations.

We aren't just an ungrateful people, we are a foolish people.  We have spit out our living water and are absolutely dying of thirst. We are in desperate need of wisdom, protection, and peace. We are dying as a nation.

In the book of Judges, we find something called the sin cycle.  First, the Israelites would do what was evil in God's sight.  Second, God would allow them to be conquered and oppressed by an enemy.  Third, the people would cry out to God. And fourth, God would send a judge to deliver them.  So, the cycle was:  Apostasy, Servitude, Supplication, and Salvation.

They repeated this cycle for years and years. It proves just how longsuffering our God is.

We Americans are obviously in the apostasy phase.  Apostasy in Hebrew is "meshubah" and means "turning back."  We have abandoned God, revolted against God, been unfaithful to God, and spit on God.

God doesn't have to deal with other nations like He did with His set-apart nation of Israel.  He sets up kingdoms and wipes out kingdoms, whatever brings Him glory.  But, let's just say that God wanted to deal with America like He did Israel.  The next phase is servitude.

That is hard to write and even harder to wrap my brain around.  I have been free my whole 39 years.  I can't even imagine another people group ruling over me or stealing all my food like in Gideon's day.  I can't imagine being denied the freedom to worship in public as I please.

Oh, how we have taken our freedoms for granted. 

I've thought a lot about Nebuchadnezzar and God pouring His mercy out on this pagan King.  God put him in a season of wilderness training where for SEVEN years, the king ate grass like an ox.  He went on like this until he recognized that Yahweh alone is the Most High God.

What if we prayed for that kind of mercy on our land....that God would do whatever it takes to allow evil people to humbly lift their eyes to heaven and worship the Most High?  He is able to humble the evil.  The worst case scenario in our land right now is that God would leave us to ourselves.

We desperately need an intervention, even if it looks like severe mercy.

What if it is the second phase of the sin cycle that will open our land's eyes to KNOWING that Yahweh is the LORD?  What if FOREIGN INVASION is what brings repentance?  What if God giving us over to our enemies is what brings HIM the MOST GLORY?

When God spoke my word for 2016 back in December of 2015, I could hardly believe Him.  He knew I was flabbergasted and gave me repeated scripture as confirmation.  He was very clear and told me that America would be brought to RUIN in 2016.  All I have to do is take a peak at our Presidential candidates and know that He was not kidding one bit.

I'm telling you, tears are falling right now because I love being an American.  I love our land, liberty, and life.  I want so desperately for our boys to grow up with the same freedoms.  But, I have got to remember first and foremost, I am a citizen of Heaven; I belong to Christ's Kingdom above all else.  It is the only kingdom that will never fade.  I must hold America, my beloved nation, with a loose hand, and ask God to show me the bigger picture.

The Glory of GOD is always the bigger picture.

Make Yourself known, Jehovah Sabaoth. If you give us over to our enemies, then give us glimpses of Your glory along the way. If you don't hand us over, then please bring about repentance through another avenue.

In Isaiah 6, God tells the prophet to speak truth, even though the truth would fall on deaf ears, blind eyes, and dull hearts until the day that RUIN overtakes them.  Perhaps ruin is mercy if it allows ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to understand.

Don't leave us to ourselves, Lord.  Step down in mercy as we surrender our definition of what that mercy should look like.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

a new season

{written on 10/1.}

He breathed into her.  He bent down and kissed the ditch dweller and made her royal…made her His very own.  He cleaned her up, washed her outside and scrubbed her innards…innards white-washed with His own blood.  How red turns black into white, she will never comprehend; it is the swirling art of grace.

She is new in His sight.  She beholds His face as He breathes out, the fog waltzing through the landscape.  She hears His laughter as the sun rises like a rose on fire.  She closes her eyes and listens to the still small voice, “It is time.”  The season of summer obediently exits and fall takes the stage.  The leaves tumble, the air crisps, the pumpkins orange right up, and the hues beckon her outside to behold a creation in servitude to its Creator.

She ponders, “Why doesn’t everyone want to worship the Rescuer?”  He gives sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf.  He raises the dead straight up, calling decayed bones alive.  He colors her story with more Crayola crayons than can be found in the highest count box.


{She pauses and a tear seeps.}


She weeps at the loss of her friend, the fellow-worshiper.  She presses hard into Rescuer’s chest, not doubting His goodness, but simply not understanding His ways.  The worshiper was still needed here on her planet, at least it seemed that way when she peered into the eyes of his children left behind.

She’s been down this path of questioning and heart-carving before.  She knows surrender puts her in the circle of quiet where sovereignty is shockingly sufficient.  So, she does just that.  She inhales God and exhales her right to know.  Praise erupts as she visualizes her fellow-worshiper at the feet of Rescuer.

The new season is here.  She asks Rescuer to take her hand and allow her to walk so closely to Him that her footsteps start to mirror His own.  “Make me like You,” she timidly whispers.  He throws His head back in sheer bliss, His grin bigger than heaven’s expanse.  She knows down deep, where her spirit makes itself at home, that this is one prayer He will delight in satisfying.