Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Monday, January 9, 2012

When Disaster Comes

Dear Father,
     Thank You that "when disaster comes to a city" it is You who has caused it (Amos 3:6). I have heard of Your deeds. Please renew them in our time and in Your wrath remember mercy. Will I repeat here what You have already had me write before? Help me to do Your will and please show Your glory to Your people!
In Jesus Christ's Name,

Theme Song: You are our Hope

15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. Deut 8

       Dear family, we are in the midst of a vast and dreadful desert. 

     This desert is vast due to the many kinds of evil and darkness around us. The desert is vast due to the legions of evil spirits that plague the hearts and minds of those around us. Without Spiritual sight given to us from above, this vastness appears to be endless in every direction. 

18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.Eph 4

     This desert is dreadful because the Lord of hosts has pronounced His judgment upon our land. No, not only the land of America, but He has pronouned judgment on the inhabitants of this entire world. 

 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land.Amos 7:4

This land is thirsty and waterless because the inhabitants have done two things:

13 “My people have committed two sins: 
They have forsaken Me, 
   the Spring of living water, 
and have dug their own cisterns, 
   broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jer 2

This land is thirsty and waterless because the inhabitants are under a famine of the Word of God.

11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, 
   “when I will send a famine through the land— 
not a famine of food or a thirst for water, 
   but a famine of hearing the Words of the LORD. 
12 Men will stagger from sea to sea 
   and wander from north to east, 
searching for the Word of the LORD, 
   but they will not find It. Amos 8

The snakes and scorpions are the principalities, evil forces, demons, false doctrines, and the spirits who "masquerade as angels of light". We know that those who are in Christ are not harmed by these.

Have we not felt it? Have we not known the endless cruelty of the waning rule of the evil one who sets himself up against our glorious God? Are you not undergoing certain events in your life which are as to you: a dark valley and an endless desert? 

His message to us is that He Himself is causing these disasters in our lives. He knows the disasters in your life and He Himself has surely caused them. 

7 Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty says:
   “See, I will refine and test them,
   for what else can I do 
   because of the sin of My people? Jer 9

     He has caused them because it is only when we are in this desert that we receive His Living Water from the Rock and His Manna from Heaven. We have never known this Food and Drink. We have never tasted them. But He has brought us here that we may be humbled and that we may taste Him. His heart's desire and plan, which will certainly come to pass, is that it may go well with us in the end. 

His message to us is to wait and to watch for His movement on our behalf. Every disaster that comes your way is a blessing and a chance TO TASTE HIM.

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
   therefore I will wait for Him.”
 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in Him,
   to the one who seeks Him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
   for the salvation of the LORD. Lam 3

     He is going to cause us to experience many disasters, and He is going to show us His glory through giving us Living Water and Manna that we have never tasted before. Through the Spirit you have put your faith in this Food and Drink, yet we know that we have tasted so little of them to this day. Expect calamity and yet eagerly await what comes from His Hand. 

 14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; 
   I will lead her into the desert 

   and speak tenderly to her. Hos 2

     For what comes from His Hand will reveal His glory to us. We will then know that there is nothing else that satisfies and we will worship Him with all of our heart and soul. 

     Do we see how good it is for us to see the glory of God? Visions of the glory of God are so essential, so necessary for us to love and obey Him. His inspiration of our hearts is so vital for the prevention of our backsliding. If we cannot see His glory, we can never understand this path that we travel or the One whom we so eagerly seek. When will He reveal His glory? Surely the Father will willingly pour out the Spirit on those who have faith. He commands us to seek Him and press on to acknowledge Him. He reveals Himself to the one who seeks Him with all his heart.

1 “Come, let us return to the LORD.
He has torn us to pieces
   but He will heal us;
He has injured us
   but He will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days He will revive us;
   on the third day He will restore us,
   that we may live in His presence.
3 Let us acknowledge the LORD;
   let us press on to acknowledge Him.
As surely as the sun rises,
   He will appear;
He will come to us like the winter rains,
   like the spring rains that water the earth.”Hos 6

     He will truly reveal Himself. What else do you desire? The smallest revelation of His glory will change us entirely. And apart from the revelation of His glory, we could never know Him or desire Him. Do we not cling to Him because something of His Words of Life or His comfort and fellowship had captured some part of us that could never let go of Him? We need to be absolutely still.There are some who have found Him and they could sing praises and hymns to Him as they were tortured, beaten, and led to the gallows. They rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer for the Lamb. How can we know His great worth if we cannot see our great need in the face of our great worthlessness? We have to see our great need! We must see it clearly, however gruesome and horrifying it will seem to us. He will do whatever it takes to reveal His life-changing and Life-bringing glory to us.

16 I heard and my heart pounded,
   my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
   and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
   to come on the nation invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
   and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
   and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
   and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
   I will be joyful in God my Savior.

 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
   He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
   He enables me to go on the heights. Hab 3

Outcomes of Seeing His Glory: from my perspective

I have seen a few glimpses of the glory of God in the recent weeks. They did not come after I spent hours praying or after spending all day in the Word. They did not come after a prolonged period of purity in my heart (As though my own righteousness paved the way for Him). They did not come when I expected them. Here were the characteristics that I remember from these instances:

1. I was silenced and awed. Normally my mind and heart are very active (though I am known by family and friends as peacefully gloomy and quiet in the recent month), and I am weighing the souls of others and myself. But when I saw His glory, my mind was stopped and yet at the same time confusion was washed away. It was as though the glimpse of complete understanding of Him removed my need to think or ponder or even feel.

2. Nothing was even remotely offensive or irritating to me. It was as though I was set free from the feeling of irritation in the flesh that is caused by various nuisances or words by others around me. It was as though my mind and body were elsewhere and I could no longer succumb to the thoughts of the futile mind.

3. Everything brought tears to my eyes. Every image of another person whom I love, every story someone shared with me, every email I read, every thought I had, reminded me of God's goodness and God's ultimate plan. 

4. I had love for people that I could never contrive. I have tried so hard on my own to AGAPE my family and people around me, but I usually feel like I can never do it. I always end up losing physical strength or needing to be alone very quickly. But after these instances, God gave a love for His people that was so closely tied to His concurrent revelation of the souls of others. I cannot read minds and hearts of people, but when I had recently seen His glory, the souls of men and women are laid bare before my eyes. When He reveals a soul, He never fails to give Agape to the one whom He reveals it to. A single sight of a redeemed soul changes the perspective completely.

5. God's Word comes alive. Reading His Word is enlightened with images of His love and splendor. Every Word and phrase fits in to the granted better understanding of His will and ultimate plan.

6. I no longer sought the love of man (which is perhaps my only human desire remaining in addition to physical comfort). I understood that everything apart from Him was corrupt and I no longer sought this as something to marvel at. I was ravished by His Great Gospel and knew I had to give what He gave me to others.

7. I understood His Gospel more clearly and His Words of Life came freely to me to deliver to others. Understanding of the Life given to us in Christ filled me with a hope and longing for heaven that I sadly do not consistently have.

8. I wanted more. I knew that I needed to see Him again and again in order to survive. I wondered how I could live most of my life without seeing Him in this way. My longing for Him increased.

Dear family, this knowledge of His glory seems like some kind of positive feedback mechanism. The more we see, the more we long for and desire Him. The more we lose sight of Him and fail to seek Him and His Word, the less we long for and desire Him.

Closing Song: Take Heart

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