Thursday, January 10, 2013
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
Trust and obey, Friend.
Like most preachers, I usually make some sort of proclamation concerning the New Year. This year I have deemed it “The Year of Overcoming Triskaidekaphobia.” For those who are not up to speed on this condition, it means fear of the number 13. The history of the superstition surrounding this number is a little murky, but it seems an appropriate reference based on what the Spirit has been saying to me. In seeking the Lord about the year ahead, I first looked to those to whom I am submitted to hear what they are saying. For this year I am in agreement with our FCF Founder, Pat Harrison: this is the year we will learn to live without fear. The world is spinning frighteningly out of control. The good news is that Jesus has overcome the world. The antidote to fear is faith. We will need to use all the faith we have learned and trust God in the middle of the mess.
In my own heart, I believe that this year will see a rise in rebellion. E. W. Bullinger suggests that the number 13 is associated with rebellion based on Gen 14:4 as the first mention, and the circumcision of Ishmael as the second. I am not a big numerology guy, but somehow this rang true in my spirit. The world will continue to throw off what they see as the shackles of Christian belief. There will be increased hostility toward the things of God as they shake their fist at any authority. The government we once trusted for protection will increasingly become our enemy. Unfortunately, the church will not be exempt from the rebellious spirit. Ishmaels among us will rise up against their covenant partners. Folks you thought loved you will begin to buck. Each of us will be challenged to keep our own attitudes submissive and obedient, and to stay plugged in where God planted us. The nation will find itself increasingly divided, and the spirit of rebellion will increase on both sides of the political spectrum. Unrest will be the order of the day. As Christians we will be challenged to decide where our lines will be drawn concerning laws that contradict our faith. Some things are matters of political conviction, but not biblical mandate. We must strive to be intellectually honest in these areas. The challenge is ever to remain submissive and respectful while obeying God. We will each need to revisit the things the Lord has given us to do and remind ourselves of our calling. We are here for a reason and a season. The resources, influence and energy God has given us are for the purpose of furthering His agenda, not ours. Peace, provision, and joy are in the place of faith and obedience.
Somebody Said: The bottom line in the Christian life is obedience and most people don’t even like the word. Charles Stanley
Scripture Reading: “Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.” This is GOD’s Message: “If your sins are blood-red, they’ll be snow-white. If they’re red like crimson, they’ll be like wool. If you’ll willingly obey, you’ll feast like kings. But if you’re willful and stubborn, you’ll die like dogs.” That’s right. GOD says so. (Isaiah 1:18-20 MSG)
In 2013 the challenges will be fear and rebellion; the victory will come through faith and obedience. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way.