If God Wills

Monday, November 17, 2014, 5:30 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Awaken the Dawn.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read James 4 (ESV).

Wrong Desires

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

A fight can be verbal and abusive, and/or it can be physical and violent. Its purpose is usually to win, to conquer and/or to overpower an opponent (or a perceived opponent). A quarrel is usually an angry dispute between people, which generally involves personal attacks against the other’s character, backbiting, crude or rude remarks, slander, and hate-speech, etc. An example of this might be the actions of the U.S. government and military in going to war with other nations and/or in going into other nations under the guise of rescue efforts, yet for the true purpose of conquering other nations and people in order to bring the nations of this world under a one world government rule (alias “the beast”).

I believe the Lord Jesus has been teaching me for some time now that the US government and military (and their allies) are involved in this conquering of nations and at the cost of innocent lives, even or perhaps most especially the lives of those who hold to the testimony of Jesus and who do not deny his name (See: Rev. 12). The Bible speaks much on this subject of persecution of the saints of God at the end of time, and how the dragon (Satan) is hotly pursuing those of us who are sharing the full gospel message of salvation and who stand on the Word of Truth.

Many throughout the world presently are suffering severe persecution for their faith and testimonies for Jesus Christ, and are even being put to death for their faith. I believe scripture teaches that there will be a type of holocaust (genocide; extermination) of Christians in these last days (See: Rev. 12-14), and for the purpose that Satan and his cohorts can rule (conquer) the world and its people for a time. Yet, I also believe that God is absolutely sovereign over all things, and that Satan can do nothing without God’s permission, so since this is to take place, God is allowing it, and he is allowing it for a purpose. I believe the major purpose is the revival of his church, the spreading of the gospel, and it is for the salvation of many souls on this earth before the return of Christ.

For us personally, we might get involved in a fight or a quarrel because we want something that is not right for us to have or that is to be used for sinful or selfish reasons. We may not murder to get it, but Jesus said hate is the same as murder. So, we may treat with hatred and disdain those who oppose us and/or who stand in the way from us getting what we want – even those among our brothers and sisters in Christ. Many within the church are doing this, even some of the church leadership, because what they want is a church in conformity to much of the world’s system, because that is what will draw the world into their churches. They want the world to be comfortable, happy and to feel accepted in their meetings, so they compromise (make nice) with the world in order to appeal to the world, so they may gain the world for their flesh-driven human organizations and businesses. Those who stand on the Word of Truth thus serve as a threat and must be discarded.

He Yearns Jealousy

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Even though God’s grace has provided us with all we need to live godly and holy lives in this present world, many of us have sinned against him or are presently involved in willful acts of sinful rebellion against God. And, God is not pleased. He is still a jealous God! We were promised to one husband – Jesus Christ. So, we should no longer run after “other lovers,” i.e. after the “gods” of this world. We should not participate in immorality and wickedness in any shape or form – either in physical or mental participation, or in giving approval to such things through allowing ourselves to be entertained by the sins of others (See: 1 Co. 10).

We are to flee (bolt from; run away from) idolatry in its various forms. An idol can be a hero, an obsession; something admired and loved to excess, or something that is worshiped as a god. Worship involves loyalty, commitment, faithfulness, and fidelity. So, what do we worship? What gets our heart, time, energies, devotion, commitment, and faithfulness, etc.? What are we passionate about? What stirs us emotionally? What is uppermost on our minds when we arise in the morning and when we go to bed at night? What do we feel we could not live without? There are many things that could be our idols, such as vehicles, houses, possessions, “toys,” games, entertainment, careers, people, etc. Basically, whatever gets our hearts, passion, desires, thoughts, time, etc. has the potential of becoming an idol, especially if it is “worshiped” over and above God/Jesus Christ.

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, we participate in his death – in his body and blood – through death to our old lives of sin. And, we participate in his resurrection through being transformed in heart and mind and through putting on our new selves in Christ Jesus. We, as believers in Christ, are now the body of Christ. And, we are now in daily fellowship with him. We, thus, partake in Christ day-to-day through our times of prayer, worship, and our times of sitting at his feet, listening to him speak, and then following him in obedience and surrender to his will, as well as just through having his Spirit living within us. So, when we follow after the idols of men instead of following our Lord Jesus, in submission to his will, it is like breaking fellowship with God. We can’t be in fellowship with the world of sin and with the Lord Jesus at the same time. We can’t fill our minds with the trash of this world and then expect to enter into times of sweet fellowship with our Lord. The two don’t mix.

Speak No Evil

Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

Not everyone who has a difference of opinion (or belief) or who contends with another is doing so for selfish reasons. The life of Jesus and the lives of the apostles are examples of that. Paul, for instance, said that he was put here for the defense of the gospel, and that he preached Christ out of love and goodwill, while there were others who preached out of envy and rivalry, and in order to stir up trouble (See: Phil. 1:15-17). When we stand on truth against opposing forces, it can sometimes lead to back and forth discussion where we stand on what we believe, and where we address what we believe is in error. Yet, it should not turn to quarreling and fighting. Discussions should be kind and respectful of one another.

We should never say hateful things to one another, and especially we should not judge one another's thoughts and intents when we have no knowledge of what goes on in another person's heart. We should not treat each other as junk. We should not participate in snide or rude comments intended to put each other down. We should not be involved in character assassinations of each other or in slanderous remarks intended to make others look bad. We should speak the truth in love, though, in order to help one another grow in Christ. We should do so kindly, but never using flattery or lying to people just to make them feel good. We should also never compromise truth, our faith or the gospel to make people feel good.

If The Lord Wills

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

The bottom line in all of this, I believe, is “Who are we following?” Are we following after other humans, after the gods of this world, and/or after our own fleshly desires, or are we followers of Jesus Christ? When we follow anyone or anything other than Christ, we are adulterous people, which is why we fight and quarrel, hate and murder, and covet and conquer, etc., because we want what is not of God, and so we discard the truth of scripture, and we even reject and mistreat God’s servants, so that we can follow after what we want.

When we are following after our own human flesh, we think we have control over our own lives, and we get this false sense of security that life will continue on as it always has. Yet, tomorrow could bring great disaster and enormous loss of life, and we may never see tomorrow. So, we should walk in the will of the Lord, and live our lives pleasing to him.

God is calling his church to come out from the world of sin, to no longer partake in its delicacies, and to put on the full armor of God with which to fight off the devil’s schemes against us. He has called us to be a holy people, committed to him. He is a jealous God! He does not want to share us with other lovers. So, if you are eating and drinking at the table of demons through idolatry, sexual immorality, greed, gossip and the like, I pray that you will turn from your sins, and that you will make the Lord your only God today.

Awaken the Dawn / An Original Work / January 15, 2013
Based off Psalm 57 (NIV 1984)

O my God, have mercy on me!
In the Lord, my soul takes refuge.
In the shadow of Your wings, Lord,
I find shelter till the storms pass.
I cry out to my God Most High.
He fulfills His purpose for me.
He sent His Son to die for me,
So I could be saved.

I am in the midst of lions;
Men whose teeth are spears and arrows;
Whose tongues are sharp; words accusing.
They spread a net, my feet to catch.
They dug a pit, in hopes I’d fall.
O God, be exalted o’er all.
Let Your glory shine to all men,
So they may be saved.

Steadfast is my heart, O my God;
I will sing of all Your wonders.
Awake, my soul! Sing praise to God!
Early I will rise and praise Him!
I’ll praise God among the nations;
I will sing among the peoples.
God’s love reaches to the heavens,
So we may be saved.