What does the future look like for my children and grandchildren?
Will they know the same level of peace that I have enjoyed and taken for granted?
The future looks so tenuous and fragile.
What does a 3rd world country look like?
1./ There is rampant inflation.
Every day goods are priced out of reach of common people.
2./ Businesses and homes have bars on all the windows as anarchy reigns.
3./ Unemployment becomes the occupational norm.
4./ The government has dictator like powers.
5./ Personal freedoms and rights are stripped away.
6./ People become slaves within their own country as foreign owners pillage the natural resources.
7./ Fear and hopelessness fills the hearts of the people.
When God removes His presence and hand of blessing, when the people refuse to repent, the devil has free reign to ravish the country. You will know this has begun when fear begins to replace the peace we have enjoyed for so many years.
An old friend recently gave me a critique on my blog. She said there was a lack of humility in it. Not the boastful type of pride but one that holds to opinions as though they were fact. She’s probably correct on that one. (I’m trying to hold lightly my opinion of her critique.) Upon more consideration I thought, well at least I have some conviction of my opinion.
Once I met a pastor of a large cultish congregation and asked him a question. “Why don’t you guys get along with and meet with the other pastors in the city?” He replied, “if I really believe I’m right about something, and someone believes differently, then they are inherently wrong.” His response has stuck in my mind for many years. The problem with his logic is that his reference point for what is right or wrong is his personal view of everything. Anyone who disagrees with his viewpoint is wrong. That sets up his mind as infallible. Kind of like the pope.
Opinions are just that, opinions, not fact. The answer is that there’s safety in the multitude of councilors as long as one of them we seek happens to be the Holy Spirit. So as long as I do due diligence when developing my opinions, check them out with the scriptures as to their validity, and am honest with myself and not just being stubborn, I can be reasonably certain that I am about 82% correct. On the overwhelming assurance of my position of strength, I can confidently open my mouth and state my opinion. Perhaps even write a blog about it. At least it’s better than being lost in the valley of indecision and never having an opinion about anything.
In China, men have been trained to be afraid to speak up about anything. Mao very effectively silenced dissenters as they would conveniently disappear.
I’ve been inspired by reading about John Wesley, the British evangelist who at a young age, boldly spoke his conviction.
There is a lot of pressure in our society to be politically correct about our opinions relating to righteousness in a sinful world.
Where are the Mavericks today? We are so preoccupied with petty theological arguments between us, that we don’t challenge the rest of the world about their Ungodliness.
The spineless sniveling cowards masquerading as men that proliferate our churches are so afraid to state any opinion that goes against the flow that they say nothing. Fear that someone might disagree with them and possibly hurt their feelings, paralyzes them except to criticize anyone who does speak up. Jesus said “the fearful will not inherent the kingdom of heaven” and I kind of like the idea of one day going to heaven. Therefore, I will continue to read my bible and blog frequently. If you don’t like my opinion, I’m ok with that.
Today I ran a red light. There wasn’t a car in sight either way. Besides that it was totally safe and I was in a hurry. Did I have a tinge of guilt when I did it? Well, maybe a little bit. But I’ve exercised my mind to block out any guilt feelings for minor infractions. God overlooks the details of my little insignificant shortcomings and really just looks on my heart.
What’s wrong with this logic? The first part is purely an excuse to justify wrong doing. Yes, God looks on our heart and what He sees is that it is wicked and deceitful above all things. This logic implies that if your heart is basically good, a little sin is cancelled. Sounds a lot like a works based salvation to me. Now this little sin is sin for which Christ died and paid the penalty of death for. Guilt feelings are another name for a violated conscience. A shortcoming is really just a fancy word for sin. There are no insignificant ones and last I checked, the only way to deal with sin is to repent of it.
The other day I was talking to a friend who described a few possible excuses he would give to a cop for his faulty tail light if he got pulled over. Didn’t have time, was on the way to the shop to get it fixed, didn’t know it was blown out? Essentially he was premeditating a sin.
When a person’s desire is to sin, he will go through all kinds of mental gymnastics and become very creative in his effort to justify what he wants to do.
When one develops a love for righteousness, and a desire to be holy, life is not as complicated. Issues are either right or wrong. The decision boils down to doing it God’s way or your way. Doing it your way is like guessing a number in a Sudoku game. It has a domino effect and the whole game goes wrong. Doing it God’s way brings His blessing. Everything you do just seems right. That’s because it is right.
An older gentleman was looking at some Dinky toys in our showcase. I jokingly said “hey, you’re too old to play with toys.”
“No I’m not, I love my toys.”
” Who are you, Peter Pan? ”
“That’s right, I’m never going to grow up and stop playing with my toys.” His wife stood behind him and rolled her eyes.
Trouble is, he was dead serious! A grown man probably in his late 60’s, admitting that he wanted to act like a child.
There is a hobby store close to where I live. I’m always amazed that most people going into the store are older men. My neighbor has a room in his basement dedicated to his model train set. I can see it now, “excuse me dear, things are hard for me right now. I’m going to go down and play with my toy train for a while, can you bring me my blankie and my soother.”
Where did this fixation with childishness come from, and why are men refusing to grow up these days?
God has designed men to take on responsibility and to rule and reign on this earth. Man’s lower nature (read sin nature) is to avoid all such responsibility and retreat to redundancy. There is a cosmic battle going on. God is looking for men to be leaders, where as the devil, in opposition to God, wants men to be followers (of him). The stakes are high in this “battle for the hearts and minds of men” and the road is littered with the defeated souls to whom satan has said, “go play, let me take charge.”
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.