Monday, September 22

God is paramount.

"You have said terrible things about me," says the LORD. "But you ask, 'What have we said about you?' You have said, 'It's useless to serve God. What's the use of doing what he says or of trying to show the LORD Almighty that we are sorry for what we have done? As we see it, proud people are the ones who are happy. Evil people not only prosper, but they test God's patience with their evil deeds and get away with it.' “Then the people who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard what they said. In his presence, there was written down in a book a record of those who feared the LORD and respected him. "They will be my people," says the LORD Almighty. "On the day when I act, they will be my very own. I will be merciful to them as parents are merciful to the children who serve them. Once again my people will see the difference between what happens to the righteous and to the wicked, to the person who serves me and the one who does not."
(Mal 3:13-18 GNB)

Much like the rich man who asked Jesus if he could follow Him, we have often times looked to the surroundings that make up our physical world and base our opinion of God’s love upon them. The better times, full of financial stability and good health, show us that God loves us as He speaks of in the Scriptures.

But, when our world is fraught with trials, anguish, and pain……well, God mustn’t love us too much or we haven’t kept His desire paramount in our hearts which is why we suffer; cancer, financial ruin, discontent children. We often wonder why, in the midst of all the pain of relationships that never prosper, struggles that never seem to end, when the time will come for the Lord to deliver us from them. Yet in prosperous times, when the world seems to be going our way, we never look to the future hope that rests within the timing of our God. We never refuse the blessings when they are abundant, but don’t hesitate when they seem to be lacking.

We don’t want to give up anything to follow our God. And, many walk away, shaking their heads at the foolishness of their faith and seeking another way to fulfill the hunger, the thirst, and the yearning that burns in their hearts.

We don’t seem to understand; regardless of the situations in our world…abundance or want, riches or pauper….everyone is going to a future place. One of Heaven or One of Hell. We don’t like to hear those things mentioned in our churches, preached in our small gatherings, or even thought of times of prosperity. The world is a painful place, and it is the rich man’s lot to disavow such in the comfort of his fires, the luxury of his palaces, and the envy of his neighbor.

Then the struggle of following Christ becomes less important; a church service missed here, a Wednesday night gathering ignored there. Morning devotions become shorter, prayers brevet of fervor and supplication. We smile at those who are struggling and shake our heads at their ‘bad luck’. Maybe, we recommend, a bit more prayer, a bit more service, or a bit more living like Christ would solve the problem. After all, we ask not and receive not because of the lack of asking.

We fool ourselves into believing we are happy, after all….God has answered our every need. A nice home, good car, excellent job, and a healthy family. What more could we ask for? And, so we cling to those things and defend those things in the presence of that which would take them away from us, either circumstances, financial stress, or time on our knees in communication with our Heavenly Father. We start tailoring our ‘subjected’ will to things that will protect what we have gained.

Leaving the greatest prize unthought-of, undesired, and a hazy image in the back of our minds.

Even we, claimed children of the Most High God, need His mercy and forgiveness on that day when He storms across the skies of this world to deliver the final judgment upon a wayward and disappointing people. Some will cry out, “We served You” and Christ will spit them from His mouth like foul water, for they served for the instant things of temporary importance on the face of this world and never answered the call to serve God.

Some will cry out, “We followed You” and meet the same fate, because the ‘god’ they chased after was a god of their own design, desire, and making. Not the true God. Not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who sent His only begot Son to the world to save those who would recognize their need to be saved.

The yoke is light, the burden eased under the service to our Lord. Yet we complicate things by creating a ‘requirement’ for such service. We create, in our opinion, what is best and how is easiest to serve God. We deceive ourselves because our hearts are corrupt by the sin of Adam and the continued desire to be a god. In control, in charge.

But it is simple; Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul. Nothing less will do.

Answer the call, count what is lost gain for the Kingdom, and shout your adoration to the one who has, will, and can deliver the hope that lies within His power to give….or take away.

It matters not what we gain or lose in this world; riches, family, possessions, or the multitude of things that we comfort ourselves with in the midst of the day.

God may want us healthy, whole, and happy……I believe that such was the original intention of our creation…..He may want us to be content, needs fulfilled and wants but a breath away from being so.

Or, He may call us to be poor, to struggle for food and substance, life-threatening illnesses, and to greet each day with worry and fright… that we will turn to Him and trust in His decreed hope.

One thing I know for sure; He wants us to be consumed by our love for Him.

Both our presidential candidates say they are for change; for a better world, for a prosperous economy, and for a peace that defies national boundaries.

None call for the change of revival; a return to God. Yet, this is the leadership we would have guide this nation in its darkest hours; children killing children, a people defying God’s design, a world seeking to deny God by creating one of their own making. What change is good without hope?

At the end of the world, when the things of this temporary existence; governments, countries, and lifestyles, are brought to an end by the Creator of it all, there will be a great and final testimony:

Those who were wise, serving the Lord at His pleasure and design trusting Him to return, will be swept up into the arms of the Creator to who they served in love.

And those who were foolish and haughty, serving the Lord of their design according to their own pleasures, and mocked His eventual return, being rejected by the True Lord and Savior.

Which group will you stand in?

It is time to serve the one you love and serve him with the passion to which each of us has grafted into our beings.

Be careful who you chose; for those that are false will crumple under the hoof of His horse to be burned by His furious gaze.

I greet each day with a desperate cry that the Lord would chose this day to come. I spend my day seeking to catch that one last moment, opportunity, or chance to serve as God has called me to serve, in case He does. And I go to sleep at night praying for forgiveness of my transgressions, missed chances, or blown assignments…….and for His return before the morning light.

“I miss Him so much, and want to be with Him so much but I can’t.”

A person I was meant to know, meant to be with, and meant to love……

A hunger that will never be fulfilled at the abundant feasts of this world, a thirst never quenched by the deep waters of earth, nor a soul-breaking yearning that will never be satisfied………..

Until He comes again.

No comments: