God’s Surprising Ways

Habakkuk 1:5   (KJV)   5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

Our God is a sovereign God. He is a creative God. He’s not bound to anything or anyone, not even to the ways He’s done things in the past. In fact, the Lord will do something new Habakkuk 1.5 - God's Surprising Waysin our nations, something wonderful and marvelous. It will be so amazing that it will be so hard to believe if we are told about it now.

Godlessness pervades our nations. We find it in every corner and facet of society. Lies, deception, and fake news are everywhere. But our just and loving God don’t just sit idly by. He won’t allow the righteous to be caught in insidious plots and deadly traps of the enemy.

The wicked trusts in their own devices; they glory in their ability to deceive; they don’t realize that God watches over His people. They march boldy brandishing their banner of evil while gleefully setting up the righteous for a fall, not realizing that they’ll be caught in their own snares. The harm they plan for God’s people will boomerang to them.

God, our heavenly Father Who created this big, vast, inscrutable universe surprises His enemies. They can’t predict how He does things. We as His people, though surrounded by evil, live in peace. Our confidence is in the LORD. We’ve tasted and seen that the LORD is good. He never leaves us defenseless. We may not be sure as to the ways He delivers us, but we’re sure He always delivers us.

Even though lawlessness may exponentially increase, even though our economy may suddenly collapse, even though our freedom may be greatly threatened, even though God’s people are constantly harassed, we will neither fear nor be dismayed. We will find our joy and our peace in the God of our provision and protection. He is our strength; He establishes our steps. After all is said and done, everyone will recognize: God is God. He continually governs in the affairs of man. He rules over all nations. The lives of kings and queens, presidents and rulers are in His hands. Every knee will bow, and every eye will see: He is Lord. So yes; we’re at peace—always ready to be amazed by our Father’s new yet always astonishing interventions.

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Strongly Deluded

2 Thessalonians 2:11   (KJV)   11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

For God to send strong delusion for people to believe lies sounds very “unGodlike.” But the statement isn’t a point blank no-context declaration.  The people God causes to be greatly deceived are those who refuse to love the truth.  They refuse the truth that saves.  2 Thessalonians 2.11 - Strongly DeludedWe may ask, why doesn’t God send them stronger convincing proofs and truths?  He already has, and He knows no greater revelation will convince them otherwise.

As sad as it may be, there are people we lovingly and sincerely pray for, but they’re just implacably set in their ways.  No amount of dialogue, conversations, love, reason, or evidence will make them change their minds.  They pursue their godless ways, influence others to doing the same, and even invent new ways to do evil.  In God’s patience, wisdom, justice, and gentleness, He lets them be, and turns them over to reprobate minds.

We won’t give up praying for everyone, no matter how hopeless, hardheaded, and hardhearted they may seem.  We don’t know if they’re unyielding; only God does.  We’ve often been surprised by God’s Spirit.  We’ve witnessed the most hardened criminals and even the most “hell-bent” terrorists come to their senses, humble themselves before God, and bow their knees to Him in full trust and surrender.  Most of us probably didn’t believe the first time we heard the Gospel.  We can’t really count the number of times Jesus through His Spirit knocked on the doors of our hearts before we finally opened up and invited Him to reside in us.

Praise God, He didn’t give up on us. Praise God, people didn’t stop praying for us.  We may have been considered cold, hardheaded, hardhearted, and inconvincible as well, but the “Hound of Heaven,” with His stubborn love, didn’t let go of us.  But here we are now—fruits of God’s love, patience, grace, and mercy, enjoying the blessings of those who met Him heart to heart, Spirit to spirit,” and soon, face to face.

Of Truth and Silence

acts-23-22-of-truth-and-silence

Acts 23:22   (KJV)   22 So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.

Truth is important; truth will prevail, but truth need not always be told and need not always be known. Truth is safe in the possession of the good; it may not be as safe at the hands of evil people. To be clear: contrary to what others believe, I believe that hiding truth isn’t equivalent to lying. Even God, in His perfect wisdom finds it appropriate to keep secrets, even from us—His very own children. We need to be very careful in the way we handle the truth. True, not everyone can receive it well, not everyone uses it well.

 

God Bless the Nations

Jeremiah 4:2   (KJV)   2 And thou shalt swear, The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.

This is our declaratiJeremiah 4.2 - God Bless the Nationson: God is God; God is good; He is real, and He exists. A cliché to some, but the message is immensely important. We don’t need a God Who lies. A lying God will lead us to utter confusion. We don’t need a God Who’s unfair. Better not have one than live in a world where God is the reason why the guilty is rewarded and the innocent is punished. Sure, corruption is found in the world’s justice system, but it’s the justice of God that gives us hope, confidence, and assurance that a time is coming when justice will rise from the prison of conspiracies, cover-ups, and false accusations. We don’t need an unrighteous God. How can our steps be established if we don’t know that the One we depend on won’t always do right?

We raise His banner; it’s the banner everyone can look to and find hope. Not everyone realizes that. If they do, most of them would come running to Him. God has given us so many proofs of Himself: His reality, His power, His love. It’s obvious: God’s plans, intents, and acts towards mankind are always for the best. For us, it makes sense that we not only gravitate towards Him; we passionately throw ourselves to His strong loving arms.

This is the truth sadly missed by so many; this is the truth we tell. It’s a pure truth, a good truth. We won’t convince all—as much as we want to—as much as God wants everyone to be saved.  Oh, if only people would open their hearts and welcome our loving Father; if only they would receive and experience His salvation and freedom. To this incomparably important end, we present and represent our Father. We too live truthfully, fairly, righteously. There is so much blessedness in this, blessedness offered to and sufficient for all nations, for the entire creation.

Of Truth and Enemies

Galatians 4:16  (KJV)   16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Truth can create enemies. People can be so innocently deceived and be so convinced that they’re right. Others are deliberate deceivers.  They know they’re wrong but they continue to deceive because of personal benefits. The more important the truth, the more passionate people can become with it. Bearers of the truth stand in the way of the deceived and the deceiver; no; they crash against each other.

Truth-bearers, truth-sharers will make enemies – not by choice, but as a consequence. With that in mind, will we stand back? Having enemies isn’t ungodly; this is unavoidable. We ought to love them of course. Not that easy but it ought to be done. In fact, if it’s at all possible, we ought to pursue peace. But if peace means muzzling and sacrificing of truth, let’s then prepare to live with the presence of enemies. There are truths that are pleasant and truths that are ugly. Truth will hurt, especially ugly truths about ourselves.

Some have become very comfortable with hidden ugly truths. They want to live in them instead of being free from them. They’ve chosen and mastered the path of covering the inner monsters instead of getting rid of them. They know how to act on the outside differently from what they feel inside; they act differently in front of people and they act differently alone. They don’t want to be found out. Truth also liberates those who genuinely seek it. Some will welcome it, some will abhor it. If truth be told: truth ought to be told – especially the truth that makes a difference in our eternal destination or existence.

Dear God, You are Truth. You are so good, so great. Men and women from all corners of the earth ought to know You; You’re really good news. In fact, there’s no better news than You, what You’ve done for us, and what You have in store for us. Please help us to always remember the value of what You’ve deposited in us, that we may see the value of sharing them – at all godly cost.

False Christs

Luke 21:8  (KJV)   And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

One of the undesirable signs of the end of the age that Jesus pointed out is the rise of false Christs. It’s something that needs to be vigilantly watched because of its awful potential results – the deception of many. This will not be an isolated sign from a single impostor; many will try. The implication is that there will be credibility factor, perhaps presenting itself in many different angles. That’s why there will be a significant pull to follow them. But Jesus’ command is forthcoming: don’t follow them.

False Christs are already here. As the end of the age approaches, we can expect many more. It’s appalling to see how alarming numbers of people are blindly following. The present day false Christs don’t have marvelous miracles to show; they just have few remarkable achievements. Some don’t even have any achievements to show; all they have are their claims. As the end draws near, the enemy will empower his tools. They will be believable. They may even perform astounding feats – perhaps even miraculous. Sadly, if thousands are deceived now, we can only expect the numbers of the deceived to grow exponentially. Here’s where we have to be steadfast. Our Lord Jesus showed us how He will come back: we will see Him descend from heaven. It doesn’t matter how charismatic the personalities are and how wondrous and even seemingly helpful the works are, if they claim to be the Christ, that’s a non-negotiable indicator and a huge banner waved in front of our faces: “false.”

Our one true God, please grow our wisdom and discernment, and strengthen our resolve that we won’t ever be swayed by things we hear and see. May we be  guided by Your Word that we may know which ones are genuine and which ones are false, And may we be your voices to guide others as well.  In Jesus’ Name, amen.