WHAT TO DO WHEN IT APPEARS GOD DOESN’T COME THROUGH
Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours? Those lines come from the legendary song by Gordon Lightfoot, titled “The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald”. The 29 men who perished in the icy waters of Lake Superior on November 10, 1976 took no longer than seven minutes to die. It was the great ship’s final voyage. On that fatal stormy day in November, probably all of those 29 men were praying and beseeching God for His intervention. However, their bodies are still kept captive by the frigid waters of the Great Lake they call Gitche Gumee. September 11, 2001, a date that lives in infamy, is imbedded in the minds of most Americans perhaps more than any other date in history. What kind of questions did these ask, those who had the time to ask questions?
It was a clear Saturday day, February 1st when the Colombia Space Shuttle blew up. Part of the break up took place right over where I live. Although only seven people lost their lives, millions were affected.
We will likely have a war with Iraq and this war in my opinion could lead to World War III. Many are protesting the upcoming war, and others are applauding the upcoming war. But, when war does come, all will be crying out to God and beseeching Him for help. Mark my words: The upcoming days and months will cause great terror in the world and in our country and even in our own homes.
But, there is tragedy all around us, all kinds of tragedy. Many people are hurting and many of these individuals are born again believers. Many are having a war within their own households and within their own souls.
Today, I know several strong individuals who are well grounded in the faith and who love the Lord, but they are going through horrendous circumstances.
There are all kinds of religious teachers trying to educate and enlighten those who are suffering.
Since the birth of this newsletter, I have aggressively warned of the fallacies of the “hyper-faith” teaching. One good way to begin to determine if a teaching is false or not is to see what the focus is on. Is the focus on you or God? Is the focus on the Creator or His creation?
This is in no way implies that God does not want to bless us, for He does bless us. And, it does not imply that God does not heal us, for He does heal today in 2003. However, if the scales fall heavily on the “bless me” side and not on dying to self, repentance, being crucified with Christ, and dying to everything you have, then a big red flag needs to immediately go up.
Religious stations such as TBN have more than an ample supply of these false teachers. They come in all colors, sizes, styles, and dictions. The “name it and claim it” theology has sucked the life out of many sincere believers. It sickens me to see someone prancing around waving his hands, zapping people, when many of our brothers and sisters are suffering for their faith in at least 40 different countries. These false teachers are merely would-be actors and actresses.
They teach that if one is not healed, the fault is with the one in need of healing. It’s either too much sin or too little faith when their prayers seemingly go unanswered. These teachers only see one side of the equation. The focus is on self.
Those who listen to their message are not served well by such doctrinaire teachers. These thespian theologians have destroyed many. If you are in this movement, please pray and ask the Holy Spirit if this is of God or not.
There was a book written in 1981 titled: “When Bad Things Happen To Good People” by Harold S. Kushner. Rabbi Kushner has certainly written a thought provoking book and out of his own personal tragedy. But, I suggest he may have gotten the title wrong. We all are evil. None of us is born without sin. Perhaps Rabbi Kushner could have written a book titled: “Why Good Things Happen To Bad People”. We are all bad compared to what God demands. Apart from the exchanged life with Yeshua, we in ourselves are filthy rags.
God is sovereign. He and He alone is absolute, and He is in control. Yahweh does not want a bunch of spoiled and jaded children. You and I see through tunnel vision. It’s like looking at the world through a paper towel roll. You only see what is directly in front of you. However, on either side of us is a whole world that we cannot see. God sees the entire picture, including the future and with complete understanding of the past.
We must place our lives in the protection of the Lord, and trust the results to Him. We have our time to be with Him in eternity, and He will call us to Him when He is ready.
General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson knew this and conveyed his sentiments to Captain John D. Imboden. Captain Imboden remarked:
"How is it that you can keep so cool and appear so utterly insensible to danger in such a storm of shell and bullets as rained about you when your hand was hit?" Jackson instantly became grave and reverential in his manner, and answered in a low tone of great earnestness: "Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me." He added, after a pause, looking Imboden full in the face: "That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."
If I could teach a course at a seminary, I would teach a class on this: that God wants to be God in your life. You are not God, I am not God. Learn your place.
I have witnessed so-called “televangelists” trying to tell God what to do. They demand in their arrogant way their rights.
One of the main things God was trying to teach the Children of Israel was who He was. He wanted to introduce Himself. Before it was over, Pharaoh, the Egyptians and the Children of Israel all knew just who God was. His name was and is Yahweh.
I could write and write pages or even a book with the goal of expounding on the question, “What do we do when it appears God doesn’t come through?” But the answer is simple. It’s found in one word: TRUST.
Job said: Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him. Job 13:15.
Yeshua prayed hours before the cross at Gethsemane “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42
We are to trust and leave the results to the Lord. We may not immediately see the results to our prayers, but God is faithful.
Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:35-40
We, in the Church, need to learn to pray: “Thy will be done.” We need to learn that God is God and He does not always appear to be fair, but He is always just. We see through tunnel vision and God sees the entire picture. He sees the future and has complete understanding of the past. He does this because He has designed it and put it into place. God is sovereign and He is in control. We are to lay down our self-will and conform to His. God may not appear fair, but He is just and He is right, and we must accept His will. We are to simply trust Him.
The baby may die, the medical test may be positive, and the car wreck may be fatal. Ask me why, and I can tell you not. But, ask me our response to such tragedies, and I will tell you to trust.
Stephen was not protected or spared from the stones hurled at him, yet the three Hebrew children were. Why? Paul continued to have a thorn in his flesh, yet through his ministry many were healed. Why? Because God ordained it that way. As He said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient.” We are to trust and we are to abide, no matter what the circumstances. We either walk by faith or by sight. Is this easy? No! It’s impossible! It’s impossible! It’s impossible unless God does it through us. We cannot have this kind of connection with God unless we live in His Word and pray without ceasing.
Our only hope can be in Him and Him alone. We are to trust and abide in Yeshua. Jesus Christ is our only hope. Whether we die or live, whether in sickness or health, we must abide and we must trust.
HOW MANY MORE?
How many more buses will blow up killing innocent men, women and children? How many more will die in airports, plane crashes, and buildings, by the hands of radical Muslims before the masses wake up and admit Islam is not a peaceful religion? Islam is the antithesis of peace. Islam is "hell bent" on destroying anything to do with Israel, the West and Christianity. How many more will have their blood spilled on the streets they call home?
I believe President Bush is certainly in a blatant "catch 22,” but he has erred greatly in calling Islam a peaceful religion. He has erred just as greatly to call for a Palestine State. How many more people will President Bush deceive by calling evil good? I realize Mr. Bush is not Reverend Bush. He is not our pastor, but he is our president. However, he must speak the truth and not pabulum rhetoric and outright lies regarding Islam. I thank God we do not still have his predecessor or just as bad, Al Gore, who tried to steal the election, but Mr. Bush still must speak the truth. I urge all of us to pray for him. I see him as a stronger and better man than his daddy. But, like us all, he has feet of clay, and must embrace honesty. I do not agree with the president on everything, but I do pray for him, and I will continue to do this.
The impending war embraces more than freedom, or even oil. There are strong spiritual overtones. My fear is that Islam is a lot more serious about their false god than most in the West are serious about the true God. Yahweh, the God of the Bible, is the true God.
How many more will die? How many more will continue being deceived by the liberal media? Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
Some say that ignorance is bliss, but too often, it’s the noose that will hang us. How many more will die before we wake up? Perhaps millions, and then it will be too late.
When war does break out, how many will die in this country by the hands of radical Islam cell groups? How many innocent people will die on both sides? How many body bags will return with American Soldiers?
We in this country are in a “Catch 22,” just like President Bush. If we do nothing, we may be damned. If not, we may be damned already.
Is the United Nations surprisingly weak or is it unsurprisingly evil? Will the United States find herself fighting much of the world instead of Iraq alone?
Secretary Collin Powell is certainly wearing different wardrobe than he was months ago; I am surprised. We must pray him, President Bush and all our leaders.
There are 1-2 million Muslims in the United States and over one billion worldwide, and let me assure you, they are NOT all peace loving.
We must learn to trust, not in our leaders, but in the living Yahweh God. We must let Him be our courage, pray for discernment, and then be willing to die for what is right.
Do I have an answer? Not necessarily a political one. But, I do agree we must not ever back down from evil. We are, in my opinion, in the midst of the most critical times in our history. Communist Korea may be the one who stabs the dagger in America’s heart. We must remain strong with military strength. But the tangible answer is to return to God by way of the cross. Then, and only then, will we be equipped to deal with all that lies ahead.
I say with all urgency that Islam is not a peaceful religion, but a perverse and evil religion. Yet, I agree with one of my heroes, General Robert E. Lee, who said, “I have fought against the people of the North because I believe they were seeking to wrest from the South dearest rights. But, I have never cherished toward them bitter or vindictive feelings, and have never seen the day when I did not pray for them.”
I would be amiss if I didn’t quote from another hero of mine, Broker T. Washington, an African slave, who rose by his intelligence and faith in God to head up a university. He said, “I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.”
We must pray and we must love. But, at the same time, we are to protect our families and those whose care God has given us. That care could be for anyone in need.
How many more will not repent? How many more will continue to hide their heads in the sand and sing the ABC song, while America is being deceived, and heads for hell? We are on a volcano and its about to erupt. How many, oh I ask, how many more will be caught up in its aftermath? The hour is at hand. The clock is striking twelve.
In His Service
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem