Oct 29, 2009
About eleven years ago the Lord began to speak to me about the seriousness of the times, noting that He was bringing the Church to a crossroads where a separation would occur between those who were serious about following Him and those who would choose otherwise. In the midst of this He began to speak to me about certain characteristics of the times of the end which we are entering into more and more as time passes. My initial reaction was one of shock and fear as I realized the deception and wickedness that would be allowed to exist, or perhaps I should say manifest to a greater degree with the unfolding of things. The Lord, however, spoke very comfortingly to my heart and very strongly, assuring me He was able to keep me and that as I stayed close to Him I'd make it through.
Had I remained focused on the things that had caused me to initially fear, however, I would have missed being stabilized and strengthened by His reassurances to my heart. As it now stands, my concern is for the church of Christ as a whole, that she too would hear Him speak words of assurance to her heart in the midst of the present darkness.
WHAT'S THE FRUIT?
In this regard, when the Lord warned me of what was to come, the fruit was not ultimately fear but reassurance and guidance. However, as I have listened to some of the so called "warnings" coming out of His church today, I am witnessing both seeds and fruits of fear and religious works. It seems to me that many of late are speaking out against things for which they only presume to know the details and the outcome thereof. Concerning President Obama and the roots of darkness that are embedded in American presidencies, we have a section of the church that has taken it upon themselves to convince us all that we must fear and war against him and his party etc.
Whether or not there is truth in what is being said is not something I will discuss at length presently. However I would like the church to evaluate its response to these voices, for it seems to me they are simply serving to destabilize the church with fear based presumptions or loose interpretations at the very least, all the while working the masses into a frenzy by focusing on the perceived darkness rather than upon the sure Light.
THE LOUDEST VOICE ISN'T NECESSARILY THE RIGHT VOICE
As I personally sought the Lord about what to think concerning the viewpoints referred to above, the Spirit quickly brought to my awareness the fact that such "campaigns of righteousness" fall very short in fulfilling the mandate of church leadership, for rather than preparing the church for what is to come, such tirades are simply causing her to take up arms, figuratively speaking, in fear of what she perceives to be at hand. Even so I ask you: what good is it to cry out against the inevitable evil that will flow from our governments in these end times if all we are generating is fear and hatred? Are leaders not called to shepherd the sheep, and to lead them to safe pastures? And how can they be led to safe pastures if the focus is not upon the Good Shepherd but upon the perceived evil at hand? Let me say that there is a time to warn but when it is done in a wrong spirit and is based upon man's over interpretation of things, the fruit can't be good.
In this regard, as I have sought the Lord over the years concerning the strong opinions and varied prophetic voices in our midst, I have learned this: the voice that is screaming louder than the rest is generally not the one I should listen to. The majority often gets it wrong. Moreover, wisdom is found as we come away from the loud clattering of men to listen to the whisper of the Holy Spirit. This is all the more necessary when sensationalism takes hold and when things which start out as rumors are capitalized upon by those who wish to use such information to prove their own positions. When this happens, and I believe we are seeing some of it at present, things snowball and by the time the message gets out, it is laced with exaggeration, presumption and unsubstantiated claims. Hence, even if such a message still contains a seed of truth, it can be hard to discern because the message becomes muddied and discredited through its mismanagement.
Sadly, despite these facts, many of the sheep still blindly follow the loudest voice for their ears have not yet been trained to hear the gentle call of the Good Shepherd. But I would say to us all that we would do well to come away from the noise and rather than focusing our energies upon the symbols of our fear, we must learn to refocus those energies upon our King and listening to His voice.
FLESH WILL NOT DISCERN IT
Concerning the position of those who believe they are "warning" the church, I can only imagine how it is that things are to the point where believers are publically denouncing the President as being the antichrist or his right hand man. I can only shake my head in disbelief as believers just repeat what their leaders have told them and convey to the world a church that is in a frenzy and seemingly forgetting that He who sits on the throne will judge as He sees fit!
As already suggested, it seems to me concerning such ones that President Obama has simply become the symbol of their own projected fears and subjective interpretation of things. Ironically, many of the things these Christians are using as ammunition against Obama were amply in play with President Bush and yet we were not "warned" of them at that time. Am I the only one that this strikes as being odd?
As I pondered these things, the Lord brought to mind the admonition of Jesus in Mark 13:21-23. In speaking of the "abomination that causes desolation" Jesus told His disciples: "At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time."
Concerning the above Scriptures I felt the Holy Spirit was bringing them to mind in order to point me to a principle within which translates something like this: "do not listen to the voices of men. They will try to say this man or that man is the antichrist, but flesh will not know it. It must be and will only be discerned by those who hearken to the voice of My Spirit."
WILL YOU BE MOVED BY MEN OR SEATED WITH CHRIST?
In truth, the issue of utmost importance is not how President Obama or other powers and authorities might be linked into the end time antichrist theme, but rather, whether or not the church will stop being thrown here and there by every wind of doctrine (and opinion) (Ephesians 4:14) to take its seat with Christ who sits securely as the Lord of heaven and earth. It is the way of the flesh to run and react with aggression when something makes us afraid or someone tells us things that alarm us. On the contrary, however, as children of the Most High we are called to quiet our souls and rest before our Maker. It is as we sit in His counsel that we will know the way to take.
In this regard, I come back to the fact that the real question that we need to focus upon presently is not "Lord, is this man or that man the antichrist?" (God will reveal to us what we need when we need it!) but rather, "Lord, how shall we prepare for the inevitable?" Certainly we do need to be wise and alert concerning the darkness that Scripture foretold would come but we must stop presuming that we know what it looks like or how it will play out. Again, we must not swallow everything the majority or a few loud voices are decreeing as truth. Rather, as we seek the Lord on these things we can move away from the fruit of the flesh to the fruit of intentional and focused action – but not action that fixates us upon our potential enemies but action that flows from fixing our gaze upon our glorious King, fully trusting in Him who is our refuge and our portion in the land of the living (Psalm 142:5). For Scripture has told us: "He will be the sure foundation for (our) times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure" (Isaiah 33:6).
In conclusion, as the Lord "called me away from the maddening crowd" to simply refocus upon Him concerning these things, He highlighted another Scripture to me. In this regard, I wish to make reference to the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians: "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody" (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12). If we do this, we will find ourselves delivered from the noise of mass pandemonium, and inclined toward the Lord in all simplicity. This will then allow us to remain focused and quieted upon our own individual and God given allotment and purposes in life, rather than becoming distracted by things that don't concern us (Psalm 131). Even so, we will quite naturally find our hearts re-attuned to the heartbeat of the One who holds all things in His hands and who has promised to guide His people to the very end.
All glory be to Him!
For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end. (Psalm 48:14)
Blessings to all,
October 29, 2009
FIRE FROM THE ANVIL