Friday, 29 May 2020

A Voice of Reason

Proverbs 8:1 Does not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

      Nelson Mandela said, "Fools multiply when wise men are silent."
      Are you tired of Government doublespeak? Are you fed up with endless conspiracy theories? Have you become drowsy from hearing the repetitive pandemic buzz words? Are you exhausted from the absurdism caused by so many different voices? Then turn your God-given brain back on and allow the peace of God to rule your heart and mind. Who is in charge of your mind, the thinker, or the thought? 2 Tim. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
      What a voice of reason the Lord is to those who have accepted Him as Lord and are following His instructions. No Orwellian doublespeak comes out of God's mouth. The Lord says it, and it is so. Num. 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? God's voice of reason is so full of life and assurance, why would we go anywhere else for life's answers and wisdom? Isa. 1:18a  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD.
     When reading Psalm seventy-three, we can discern that King David is going through a terrible time and was wrestling with his thoughts and emotions. He was looking around at all the circumstances of life and it was bringing him down into despair. To David, the world seems upsidedown. Then he makes a statement that can only happen after being in the presence of God's voice. Suddenly, the word of God's reasoning breaks through his fear-filled thoughts. Psalm 73:18 Until I entered God’s sanctuary. Then I understood their destiny. David's understanding only came after being with the Lord.
     As King David experienced back then, many people today will have to make the choice to listen to what God is saying and turn the surrounding voices off. If you want to hear God's voice of reason than hang around people who have a strong relationship with God. Stay aligned with people who are voicing God's wisdom and understanding. Prov. 8:1  Does not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice? Stop connecting to those who insist on living their lives full of fear because it is the trending spirit of the day. This world psyche is deficient and is not the spirit God gave his sons and daughters. We are to use our voice of reason to eradicate the ever-present fears that haunt this lost society.
      I've had some funny conversations with some of my former bible college students that I've taught over the years. The students who have read my devotional book series have often remarked, "I can't get your voice out of my head when I am reading your books. It's like I'm back in class!." I often reply, "Ha, I got you! I'm like a sliver. Hard get rid of." Prov. 8:4 To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. It pleases me that I have been a voice of reason and had a lasting impact on some of God's people who are still walking and reasoning their way through these hard times. We need to keep surrounding ourselves with men and women of faith who will instill Godly life principles within us rather than worldly bromides of nothingness.
      God's voice is what the world needs right now to get through these hardships that have come upon many souls. It is so hard to find that healing voice among the leaders of the world. In some cases, these leaders believe in nothing and therefore, fall for anything that looks like a life jacket. The blind leading the blind. God says that we know our saviour's voice and we follow Him. Christ's voice is the only one that matters right now, so listen to it. John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Time For The Red Pill

Proverbs 26:6 Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison!

      Morpheus explains to Neo what the Matrix is. He then offers Neo the chance to wake up so to speak. Neo is offered a choice between the red pill and the blue pill. The red pill will reveal an uncomfortable truth, but life will be real. Taking the blue pill, on the other hand, will give Neo the chance to remain in blissful ignorance.
      All dramas aside saints, it is time to take the red pill. There is going to be a lot of uncomfortable and unpleasant truths revealed as to how we were drawn into complete capitulation under government oversight during the pandemic. Where I live, there was very little pushback when the church doors were closed. To me, trusting in a secular world system for spiritual direction is foolish. Prov. 26:6 Trusting a fool to convey a message is like cutting off one’s feet or drinking poison! Yes, we are to pray for our elected officials so that we can live in peace as promised in 1 Timothy 2:2. However, we are compelled to first give to God what is God's then give to Ceaser what is Ceaser's. We are to give God first place in our hearts and lives.
      Every law enforcement agency on earth was licking their chops as they took notes as to how easy it was to shut everything down by pumping out fear twenty-four-seven. In no way, shape or form am I denying the danger and reality of the virus travelling the world destroying lives. Being a person who follows the word of God, I definitely agree with Ecclesiastes 3:5 that says, "There is a time to refrain from embracing." During a pandemic, this is beyond sage advice. This is crucial advice. 
      What I am more concerned about is our reliance upon the government to make choices for the people who in a lot of cases have been treated like idiot children. The abuse of authority is too great a temptation to overcome when superficial politicians forget they were elected to serve and not become dictatorial autocrats. Again, this is why God asks us to pray for our leaders so that He can direct their hearts. God did not say to pray for them if you voted for them, God said to pray for whoever is in power.
      It is time to take the red pill and wake up from expecting government handouts to solve a universal dilemma. Accepting help to get a bit of traction because of the huge disruption our lives have taken is fine, but getting lulled into continual reliance upon government support may cause many to lose their ability to resurrect their creative genius. Work was ordained before the fall of man and it is our God-given right to work and be creative. Gen. 2:15 The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. 
      We cannot keep focusing on what cannot be done, but rather, start thinking and working toward what can be done even if it is a small step before the rude awakening when all the stipends stop flowing. The cost of paying it all back will be overwhelming, and if a lot of the people's creativity went toward gaming the system, well, if you take the shekel you may have to take the shackle of how you will live, breathe, and exist. Prov. 23:1 When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you, 2 and put a knife to your throat if you have a big appetite. If you become too reliant on government stimulus you will eventually have to take their humanistic regulations.
      I'm so grateful to God that I was considered essential during this time and had no choice but to take the red pill. With eyes wide open I could see that I was blessed to be able to go to work even though there were many hardships in getting the work done. Yes, I got to go to work rather than had to go to work. Perspective is everything right now. The freedoms and rights that we enjoy today were fought for throughout history and could easily be eroded if we who are in Christ do not intercede for this world. God loves the world and wants freedom within it so that people are able to choose God's way of salvation. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      I do not know where this is all going to end, but I do know that there are going to be a whole lot of shoulda, woulda, couldas being interjected by experts who after the fact will have all the answers. There will be a ton of criticism to go around and it will not matter what had been done. Whoever said yea and whoever said nay will be equally badmouthed. What we have to do is keep our face toward the Lord and keep praying. As we walk in the real unpleasantness of this world that is so fractured, we can fully put our trust in our Lord and Saviour. Psalm 40:4 Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. We can handle the truth when we know what it is.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Buried Garbage

Proverbs 1:32 For the apostasy of the inexperienced will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.

      Winston Churchill said, "Never let a good crisis go to waste."
      A good thing that has come out of this pandemic is the way it has revealed the incredible generosity and courage of some people and this is to be commended. On the other hand, it has shown the shallowness of character within a lot of souls and the fear that is hidden in so many individuals. It has also revealed a lot of the corruption that our infrastructure runs on and has been built upon. This buried garbage has made its way to the surface in all of the different segments and departments of life. Luke 8:17  For nothing is concealed that won’t be revealed, and nothing hidden that won’t be made known and brought to light. 
      This time of testing has been aggressively burning the dross and the old garbage that has been well lodged in our souls for a long time. We are either dealing with what God is showing us, or we are burying it deeper. The problem with burying the rubbish deeper is that the fear of facing the truth of who we really are within our deepest parts will only allow the personal lies and deceptions to continue. Prov. 1:32 For the apostasy of the inexperienced will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.
      My backyard reveals interesting things when digging to plant a new fruit tree, grapevine, or garden bed. I have found old rusty nuts and bolts, big pieces of corroded chain, basic farm tools, and oxidized steel paraphernalia from times past. Before the development of this area, it was an old farming community, so who knows what debris is buried. The surface of the surrounding neighbourhood has a lot of cultured shrubs, ornamental trees and manicured lawns arranged by landscape companies. However, because I have one of the oldest lots in the area and have been here for a long time, I know what is underneath all of the pretentious appearances the neighbourhood is trying to project.
      In a similar way, we think we can bury or hide the hurts and angry inner arguments from our workmates, friends, and loved ones. Eventually, the garbage starts to work its way to the surface and no amounts of false smiles, disingenuous laughter, or loud bravado can stop the old rusty nail from poking through causing a noticeable infection of the heart. You cannot serve the Lord and your hurt at the same time. You will have to give one of them up!
      King David had buried the sin of murder and adultery and it took a visit from Nathan the prophet to dig it out. In God's eyes, the sin was always in plain sight but to David, he thought it was hidden. 2 Sam 12:7a Nathan replied to David, “You are the man! 9 Why then have you despised the LORD’s command by doing what I consider evil? You struck down Uriah the Hethite with the sword and took his wife as your own wife — you murdered him with the Ammonite’s sword." During this time of isolation, God is giving us many ways to repent and be set free.
      We are in an amazing time of history. We are in a position to be able to get rid of a lot of stuff that has accumulated over the years that has no value to man or the kingdom of God. The trials and testing of our faith are in full swing right now and we can either come forth as mature Christians or remain babies needing milk. By faith, we have a chance to put a lot of bible scripture into real and practical use - like counting our tests as joy because we know we are growing in Christ. James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 
      What these trials and tests are revealing to a lot of people, is that they do not know what is written in their bible or understand their covenantal righteousness with their heavenly Father. Repeating pithy, cutesy, and clever sayings that have been heard from some sloganeers standing in a pulpit is not giving them the fortitude they need to step up and shout a declaration of faith. The word of God has to been burned into their soul so they can live. Many have not taken personal ownership of God's living word and lived within the power of it. Matt.15;8 This people honors Me with the lips, but their heart is kept far away from Me.
      This time in history is unprecedented in that we are in a unique position to be matured by the Holy Spirit because our feelings are raw and some of our empty values are being exposed as useless. We have an opportunity to allow God to do some digging within our souls and unearth some real treasure, but He will have to remove the garbage so that His treasure within us can take center stage. Rev. 1:3 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.
      Don't say, "I can't wait for things to get back to normal." Normal in a lot of Christian circles is starting to show itself as pretty bad, and a lot of buried garbage is showing up. I for one do not want to return to so-called normal. I want to make the body of Christ relevant during my time left on earth. I don't want the church family to return and simply rejoin their old club membership. I want the church family to be authentic. I want the body of Christ to be the pearl of great price and treasure God says it is, and I want to be one of the jewels that makes it so. Yes. Lord, let it be so!

Friday, 8 May 2020

Too Many Experts

Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

      And all the king's horses and all the king's men, could not put the world back together again. 
      They could not give one ounce or real peace or an authentic solution to a worldwide population craving inner assurance during a pandemic. What an absolute display of human inability our world leaders have demonstrated trying to work out a plan of deliverance for a fear-filled world. Our leader's best proclamations have only instilled more fear and caused shouts of, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling." 
      The real help will not come from the human gene pool. This is not a criticism of leaders, but only an observation that they cannot do what God can do for humanity. Authentic help will come from the Lord and those who love Him. As long as people put their trust in the human arm per se, their curse will remain. Jer. 17:5 This is what the LORD says: Cursed is the person who trusts in mankind. He makes human flesh his strength, and his heart turns from the LORD. 
      I am not an expert, and that might be a good thing since there are thousands per minute being introduced by the fear-mongering media channels. Obsequious interviews of one so-called expert after another who supposedly knows all that is knowable about a disease that no one accurately knows about. Most of these media made experts simply have an extensive vocabulary to explain a particular segment of medicine that they work in. That does not make them experts. It makes them a person who is skilled at their jobs, but not someone who has all the answers to unanswerable rumours and unknowns. Rom. 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
      I find it incredible that the world population is looking for deliverance from a medical industry that causes more iatrogenic deaths per year in North American than the total deaths of the virus so far. Physician heal thy self! Fix your own broken medical system, and if you accomplish that, you might become an expert. So-called experts on both sides of every argument and theory are only creating confusion and anxiety on a worldwide level. Turn off the news for one week, and seventy-five percent of your problems will disappear.
      I am not questioning the hearts, sincerity, and dedication of the medical front-line workers who are giving their all and deserve our respect for healing the sick the best way they can. It is the one-world, fear-promoting agendas of government, media, and big pharma with their programmed experts that I'm taking time to question the context of their groupthink. Matt. 7:16a So then, you will recognize them by their fruit. Why are we looking for living answers among those who have dead hearts?    
      As believers in Christ, we cannot let this world event define who we are. God is the one who defines who we are through His grace. Our mandate in the Lord is to go into the world and minister the gospel of salvation, healing, and peace, and not the broadcasting of sickness and disease. The word of God tells us not to forsake the gathering of the saints so that we can encourage each other. Heb 10: 24 And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching. God's word does not say to hide in isolation from the world until they figure out how to heal their mess. 
      We already know that man cannot save himself. Why then would we wait for the world to figure things out when we have the Lord of lords and the King of kings in our hearts. God has already asked us to pray, that God's healing word for a lost and sick world would manifest. Only Christ can handle a world problem and only those in relationship with Him can effectively minister through Godly understanding what is truly needed. Prov. 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
      No saints, I am not an expert. I am a blood-washed son of the living God. I believe what God says we can do, and who we are in Christ. I will not be defined by a disease that is trending throughout the world. I will not become an agent of fear or bad news since I have been given the good news of Jesus Christ. My heart will stay steadfast in the Lord and I will focus on all that He says I am, and who I can be. There is only one true expert at this time that I can trust because through Him, I can do the hard things with His strength. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Take your eyes off of the self-publicized experts and turn your eyes upon Jesus. 

Friday, 1 May 2020

Groupthink

Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
      
      Groupthink; according to the UK dictionary - is the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.
      We are seeing this level of groupthink on a world-wide scale right now. I call it, thinking without real thoughts, thus causing smart people to act dumb. We need to stop looking for answers among the global leaders who are lost for answers and are repeating what other leaders are repeating. Within the world's groupthink cycle, there is no room to think God's way. Most world leaders react impulsively to a crisis coming their way rather than take a sound preventative action. Truly the blind leading the blind.
      There will be no Deus Ex Machina coming from the groupthink crowd. The Godly deliverance will come from the outliers in our society that have not fallen into chronic empathy fatigue. God's grace within us, gives us the strength to keep moving forward because we can call on God's reserves to empower us through the Holy Spirit. Groupthink becomes exhausting and does not have that extra power for souls to get stronger, because their limited reserves are running dry. Their strength is of human origin and not able to feed the spirit.
      Right now, our prayers for our leaders should be that God's creative genius and wisdom would come upon them and help them see the truth of the matter. Also, that they would see their own need for God's help to deliver the nations through this valley of the shadow of death. We want God to move our leader's hearts to bring about a successful resolution. Prov. 21:1 The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
      Our prayers for our first responders, medical personnel, and blue-collar workforce are that they would be covered by God's healing grace and that these dedicated and faithful people would realize and know that they have been chosen for such a time as this. Pray that they would sense God guiding them because it is the Lord who put their caring nature in them. 1 Pet. 2:9a But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.
      Groupthink discourages creativity or individual responsibility, and will eventually leave people helplessly licking their wounds. Pope Francis said, "Licking your wounds could cause a place where you end up staying because it becomes bittersweet and you never leave that place." We need to pray that God's wisdom would fill the hearts of all the frontline people who are seeing real answers for overcoming but are hitting the walls of leadership fear. Let the outlier's voices reach those who can declare the positive actions needed to proceed.
      We who are in Christ, need to stop worrying about our worries and stressing about our stresses. By casting our cares on the Lord, He will take the weight of the cares for us. 1 Pet. 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. As individuals, we are to be responsible for our loved ones and our neighbours in taking precautions to stay healed, safe, and aware of each other's needs. Remaining kind and generous during any upheaval will help us get through it. This is a season of change within the worldwide system, but not necessarily a change in what God says to do in life. If there is a change in our faith, then let it be a change for a stronger relationship with our Lord, because God has not changed. Mal. 3:6 For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.
      We do not have to fear losing control of our life, because God will restore what we have lost. We have a great promise from our God. Everything of importance that was taken from us by this sickness that is of the enemy, will be restored. Whether it is our freedom, work, income, friends, or family there will be restoration by our God. Joel 2:25a And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten. The restoration may take different shapes and timelines but it will happen.
      Prov. 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. Since the best wisdom comes from God, let us lay aside the impulse to groupthink. We can use our God-given minds that we have to bring our society back from the edge of the worldly abyss. We have the Spirit of God in our hearts and we have the power to change the outcome of daily events. Keep making your requests known to God and He will deliver you!