A dear sister in the Lord here in America recently sent me this post in regards to all the politically distracted, militant, Obama-fearing Christians that are caught up and away from real kingdom living. It bears repeating for it is a gem of coherence and simplicity:
“Brother, if ever we needed something to quiet the rampant hysteria “end-times doom” on the ‘net, it is now. We need to remember to skip the Chicken Little mentality, do the best we can with the time we have left toward taking folks with us, and remember that He Who has begun a good work in us will complete it until the day of redemption and provide grace for what we face regardless of what it is.”
She goes on to say:
“Not that I gleefully anticipate whatever doom might be coming but I do want to remember to keep that Ephesians 6 wardrobe polished up and on as it has and is seeing me through a good many unpleasant experiences and is none the worse for wear. I hope – that is – gleefully expect that it will continue to do so.”
Amen, no? Well said.
But why are people who are called “saints” of Jesus, aliens and strangers in this world, so distracted from the task at hand: kingdom building for Him? Why, it’s our arch enemy’s job to distract. He’s really good at it, and he has about 6,000 years experience with human beings…
Why is there rampant hysteria as our sister has testified?
In short, those calling themselves believers are trying to save their lives from suffering. Saving their lives from obedience. Saving their lives from loving God. Not a good thing.
Jesus hates it when we practice disobedience. He does. If the Holy Scriptures teach one thing, it’s this eternal truth. And the Father commands His Son to cast away from His throne all those who insulate themselves and put supreme value on their earthly, worldly, fleshly ease.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. Luke 9:24
But enter Jesus, the Voice of Reason. Praise the Father for this imperishable Gift of grace! Let these familiar words cascade again over and through our hearts like a cool, refreshing North Carolina summer waterfall:
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
Peace. Shalom. Blessing.
To us from Him.
No persistent trouble or fear.
We all get shook temporarily from time to time, as it should be in this vile, evil world if we’re truly living a truthful overcoming kingdom existence.
But perfect, persistent heartfelt peace should be the norm.
Do we have it now? No? Let’s go on until we do. He wants to give it more than we want to receive it. Do you want your children to be fearful and troubled? How much more does our heavenly Father give good gifts to His children.
Before we move on, please notice too that the world gives a “peace.” Much, much different. As in all things worldly, it panders to the flesh, looks good, feels great…and is a bold faced lie, an imposter.
It’s Satan’s underhanded brand that includes the blasphemous illusion of comfort in our circumstances but not in our souls. Just when a deceived and distracted person thinks all is well, Satan has them in the palm of his hand.
How unlike our Master and Savior’s peace.
When He returns after His resurrection a few scant chapters later from the verse a bit earlier, He blesses His dear friends “again” by proclaiming more peace:
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21
Not to be missed, again He enters their lives, and again the King blesses His kingdom’s subjects:
After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” John 20:26
Jesus want us in peace, beloved. He wants our souls at rest. And His kingdom is structured by divine design that it is resident only IN Him. Not around Him, or by Him, but in Him. And not in worldly trust in human institutions and ideas. What bankruptcy that turns out to be.
It’s like foreclosing on our heart and having to move out into the street. Agreed?
These crazy, bizarre times many of us live in are good for growing King Jesus’ worldwide reach. Why might that be? Now, at least in America, there’ll be hopefully an even more clear choice between light and darkness, righteousness and evil that schemes as an angel of light. Isn’t this what we want, really?
Or is it ease and comfort, smooth seas, sunny skies, the next generation of digital technology with even bigger screen TV’s, even more varieties of snacking chips and flavored organic drinks, with ever increasing big bank accounts that we’ll foolishly just leave behind to ruin our kids?
How do we then gain, or regain, this all important peace, this shalom of God? The Spirit gives us abundant grace when we with bold confidence ask Jesus for His help at the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16). We have a clear and distinct path to follow: Jesus Himself and His Hebrews 11 roster of examples:
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and Perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
The endurance here is literally abiding under pressure that brings about proven character through the development of ever increasing hope. Faith is the assurance of what?
The term “fixing our eyes” is a fascinating study. The history of the term itself describes a forceful, deliberate, almost violent wrenching away from all else. Away from all that mars the beauty of the image of Jesus in us. Away from all else. Everything and anything. Even other human beings that cause us to veer off the path of holiness.
Hundreds of years ago a holy man lived that has greatly affected my life. As a child, he was quite sickly and never enjoyed robust health like many of us. At the mature age of 47 in 1721 and a half century before America’s rebellion against England, he penned these Holy Spirit words of enCOURAGEment for us of all generations. This is just one of his over 500 hymns of fruit that remains.
Our brother Isaac Watts from England lived some years prior to the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, from 1674 to 1748.
You probably won’t hear this sung this Sunday. Why not? It’s about suffering. Those songs went out of favor when we started padding our life styles and singing mostly about our earthly comfort vs. God’s uniquely declared will for our lives.
We’re light years away from the live God requires us to live.
Here was a man who understood and lived the gospel, a life of surrendered obedient grace. We’ve much to learn from this song. This is as serious and sober as it gets….
It has an appropriate name for our days now: Am I A Soldier of The Cross?
Am I a SOLDIER of the Cross,
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I FEAR to own His cause
Or BLUSH to speak His name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flow’ry beds of ease
While others FOUGHT to win the prize
And sailed thro’ BLOODY seas?
Are there no FOES for me to face?
Must I not STEM the FLOOD?
Is this VILE world a friend to grace
To help me on to God?
Sure I must FIGHT if I WOULD reign;
Increase my COURAGE, Lord!
I’ll bear the TOIL, endure the PAIN,
Supported by Thy Word.
Thy saints in all this glorious WAR
Shall CONQUER though they DIE;
They see the TRIUMPH from afar
With faith’s discerning eye.
When that illustrious Day shall rise
And all Thine ARMIES shine
In robes of VICTORY through the skies,
The GLORY shall be THINE.
So what now, brethren?
We must be certain to lose our life. And our spouse’s, children’s, other saints, and related family’s too. Everyone.
If you, your spouse, your children, or I don’t, we’ll all end up lost, lost, lost. And being cast into the lake of fire along with the evil one and his henchmen. That’s his goal. And God is altogether loving when He excludes those proven not to love Him by a lack of trustful peace.
We’re commanded in compassionate love to look to and trust only God and God alone for solace, comfort, and a secure future. He may or may not also use His people to dispense these graces.
And in the spiritual ghettos that many of us reside daily, we mostly hear false words of worldly, seducing comfort that keep the demonic status quo in place. The status quo is never the status quo. It’s always destroying souls, both yours and mine. It’s a terrible snare of great proportions. And that’s why, in our opinion, so many today are continuously upset, worried, irritable, anxious, on edge, and extremely fearful.
These people seldom, if ever, talk about and reflect on heaven, our real Home. That’s why our songs today don’t mention that blessed location. They did years ago. And traditional hymns and southern gospel music still do. But people have no intention, by and large, of really longing to depart and to be with our friend Jesus and His glorious Father. Well, maybe one reason. Unless it’s to just stop being so worried about losing their stuff and their political influence here.
Our only hope is in the Father Himself through Jesus. Our only power is in our circumstantial weakness through the overwhelming and overcoming strength of His given Holy Spirit. It’s the only way. The only way.
Not in our circumstances.
Not in the stock market or retirement.
Not in politics. Especially.
Certainly not in America, a sinking ship morally, financially, and physically.
Let’s listen to the Voice of Reason. Our Truth and our Way. The Author and Finisher of our Faith. And return to our first Love. He calls us to suffering, not flowery beds of ease, as brother Watts so aptly wrote.
Again, Jesus’ words supernaturally give us what our hearts ache for:
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
For Jesus sake, be at peace and fully reconciled to God!
Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
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