Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Praise the Lord, we live in interesting times!
There is a proverb/curse of alleged Chinese origin, "May you live in interesting times." The implication is that a life lived in interesting times is less desirable than one lived in peace and tranquility. To be sure, the danger and uncertainty and lack and want of these years are difficult to manage sometimes, but surely it is better to live in interesting times than uninteresting. Why? Jesus.
We could change that phrase to "May you live in prophetic times" and it would be better applicable for the believer. For those who are IN the Lord, believers in Jesus and saved by His grace, we know that though difficult, the times that are more "interesting" offer more growth in sanctification than times when everything is going along peacefully. If I had my druthers, I would prefer to live in prophetic times. LOL, I don't have my druthers, He put me here, of all us are here, for just such a time as this.
The tremendous opportunity we have to actually watch God at work in the world in such an interesting and visible way fuels my love for Him and my amazement at His sovereignty. Yes, a life in a previous time might well have been more peaceful, but less astonishing. And the difficult times offer us the opportunity to grow in Jesus. He is the Potter. He sanctifies us and shapes us through trials and challenges. And my, what challenges these times offer. Therefore the growth in Christlikeness should be even greater than when living in uninteresting times.
I agree, the times are hard. No one likes living in the era when our beloved nation America failed, collapsed, and imploded. Instead, let's focus on what God is doing. He is so high above us, yet He told us ages ago what He would do. And now He is doing it. This is cause for praise and celebration.
What is God doing on earth? He said He would judge nations, set up kings and take them down.
"but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another." (Psalm 75:11). Also see Daniel 2:21)
Imagine being in heaven where we can recount His mighty deeds from our own generation! 'In 1990, God threw down Gog and in 2000 He raised Him up again!" Or, 'His might destroyed Damascus, just like He said He would!' Or, "I lived in America, the greatest nation in centuries but He completely struck that nation down for idolatry and godlessness in just four years!'
Keep that Psalms & Daniel verse in mind as election season approaches. A Pastor friend of mine wrote: "Our vote does not determine who will be elected to serve in any political office. God ordains and appoints who will serve and for how long. ... Our vote reveals our convictions and value system; what we believe."
We can be mindful and diligent in our voting but if the outcome seems drastic (like Obama re-elected) or is not your preferred outcome, then just remember He is doing a work! We get to see it! And then we get to praise Him!
"A Psalm of Asaph. God takes His stand in His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the rulers." (Psalm 82:1).
Matthew Henry explains, "Good princes and good judges, who mean well, are under Divine direction; and bad ones, who mean ill, are under Divine restraint."
Obama is under restraint. What is happening is under God's divine plan. Russia's Putin is under restraint. Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and Ahmadinejad are under restraint. Even Hitler was under restraint. The Holy Spirit sends His restraining power upon the earth. No king, or president or Prime Minister or dictator is doing anything God does not want to happen.
But... woe to the inhabitants of the earth when the Spirit is taken out of the way!
"And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way." (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7)
The world really does feel like it is out of control. But it isn't. See, this verse comforts:
"We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds. “At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars." (Psalm 75:1-3).
The LORD will steady its pillars. May you live in prophetic times! (and enjoy them!)
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