Wednesday, June 5, 2013

on Leave a Comment

Hearken Unto The Voice Of The Lord

It always amazes me how relevant God’s word is no matter what the time, place, or circumstances may be. We hear his voice speaking to us from scripture as if He had sent us an email to update us afresh and grant His wisdom for godly living for that very day. He is so awesome to behold each and every day. O that I were more diligent to seek Him every day, that I may learn more of true joy which can come only from walking in the fear of the Lord. Fear, you say? Yes, fear. In fact, it is the only fear that the believer is commanded to have. It does not mean ‘to be afraid of’ in the traditional sense. Rather, we are to regard Him and all that He is, says, and does with the utmost regard and respect.

I find myself often thinking of my Daddy when I think of my heavenly Father. Daddy was far from perfect, as we all are. However, I regard myself very blessed in deed for having a Daddy that didn’t play around or pull any punches. His discipline may not have always been imparted in a completely godly manner, but I was never left to doubt about right and wrong. My Mama and Daddy made a good match. Daddy could be very strict, which is a good thing, and Mama tempered his strictness with her tender way of softening the harshness with loving compassion. I don’t mean that false kind of compassion that seeks to rescue the child from having to suffer the consequences of his actions. I can honestly say that I can’t remember her coming to my ‘rescue’ in a way that would undermine the discipline from my Daddy. She just had a way of talking with you that made you realize that, even if he had administered discipline harshly, in the end it really was for your own good. At any rate, I was raised to respect their authority over me, and it often kept me out of a lot of trouble and danger simply because I did not want to disappoint them. Because I had them in my life, that relationship has helped me learn how valuable and precious is the fear of the Lord. Trouble will come in like a flood when we lose that fear (respect/ awesome regard for Him and His authority), and decide to walk our own way in rebellion and disregard for all that He has taught us. They helped me develop an understanding that doing the will of my Heavenly Father (doing that which was pleasing in His sight) would always be for my own good.

The fear of the Lord forms the whole basis for our faith and the direction of our lives as individuals and as a nation. What we choose - to believe and live for the Lord, or forget God and go our own way - is going to determine our final outcome. I began my study this morning in the book of Jeremiah, specifically chapters one and two. In it, I saw our selves as individuals, the church, and our nation. The Lord begins by telling Jeremiah that he is to be His spokesman, His prophet to speak to the people the truth and will of God. At first, Jeremiah resists for he can not imagine that he would be capable of successfully fulfilling such a seemingly overwhelming task. “But the Lord said unto me (Jeremiah), say not, I am a child; for thou shalt go to all that

I send thee, and whatsoever I command thee Thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee and shall deliver thee, saith the Lord.”(Jer. 1: 7) In other words, He was telling Jeremiah not to be swayed or fearful of mankind, what they may think, agree or disagree with, but to stand strong and not waver or compromise anything that he was told to say. At that time Jeremiah was speaking to the nation of Israel, but God’s word is as prevalent to us and our condition as persons and as a nation today as it was then. If we understand that, reading the Bible is like picking up a newspaper today to read the news of the day, with the exception that everything in the Bible is truth.

God is telling Jeremiah that the people have forgotten Him and have chosen to go their own way. They are acting as if they no longer acknowledge that it was He that delivered them out of Egypt and brought them into their own land to become a nation unto Him. A chosen nation through whom all others may came to know the one true and living God. Because they have turned that back on Him, the Lord begins to show Jeremiah what is going to happen to them as a nation if they do not turn their hearts back to Him and obey only Him. “Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.” (Jer. 1: 14, 15) I can just hear some people saying, “God wouldn’t do that to us today. He is a God of love and forgiveness.” Well, that is true. But He is also still a just God who is the same yesterday, today and for ever. He is a God of order and consistency. As Israel was judged, so shall we.

Once again He told Jeremiah not to fear the faces of man as he went to speak the truth of the Lord to them, for if he did He would confound Jeremiah in their midst. He warned Jeremiah that the people would resist and fight against him, but they would not prevail against him; “for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee. (Jer. 1: 19) This should give pastors and other believers the strength and nerve to take a stand for the Lord and not waver no matter what the people of the world at large think or do. Yet where is our voice, where is the boldness that we should have in taking a stand for the Lord and His ways. Instead, we have let our voices become little or even silenced all together, through intimidation and “fear of their faces.” If you and I, the body of believers can not stand for the Lord in thought, word, and deed then we can blame no one but ourselves when our faith is being marginalized by the secular humanism of this present age.

The Lord asks us today, just as He did of Israel in ancient days: “Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your forefathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity?” (Jer.2: 5) He reminds us today, as then, that He established us as a nation in a land of plenty that had His favor because of our faith in Him. Yet, we too, have forgotten Him and defiled the land, and made our heritage from Him an abomination.

The voice of the Lord, through the prophets and scriptures, still speaks to the preachers and the church as a whole today, telling us that we have forgotten Him. “The priests said not, Where is the Lord? And they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.”(Jer. 2: 8) Is this not happening all over again even in churches that profess faith in Christ? He tells the people to look at the nations around them and see the irony of the fact that, even though they worship false gods that can really do nothing for them, they stay faithful to their false gods and don’t change. However, we who have known the one true living God and have been delivered out of so many tribulations, and experienced such favor from Him “have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.”(Jer.2:11)

Yes, history repeats itself, and yet we refuse to learn from it. We, the body of Christ, have refused to keep the fear of the Lord in our hearts and have gone astray. We have left the protection of our Lord and we have been ‘confounded’ in the eyes of the world for “fear of their faces”. We have left our first love and allowed false teaching to come into our churches. We have become as the harlot, letting ways of false gods come into ourselves and our churches instead of staying true to following Him and His ways and none other. It has many names like pluralism, diversity, secular humanism, universalism, all of which are used to prepare the way of the one world religion of the latter days. All are contributing to the apostasy, or falling away from the true faith in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All are a part of the spirit of anti-Christ. Yet, we are often looking at all of these things and speaking of them as good and signs of evidence that, because we are now more tolerant and accepting of differences, we are now better equipped to demonstrate our love to one another. We are calling evil good.

Still today the loving arm of the Lord is outreached in His mercy and grace.
Yet, we still refuse to listen to His voice urging us to repent and turn our hearts back to Him. He is longsuffering, but he warns us of judgment, still hoping that we will cry out to Him. He warns us by these words: “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and have hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water!” (Jer. 2: 13)

We are witnessing the results of our adultery against the Lord. Our family unit is being destroyed from within as we refuse to study the word for ourselves, and neglect teaching our children of the Lord. We expand the definition of the family to include every deviation imaginable. Then, in our own vanity, we look at all the divers and perverted forms of the family and pronounce them ‘good’. We even consider ourselves as more enlightened, wise, and godly for we think that through our acceptance of greater diversity we have made ourselves more tolerant and loving of others. It has been said that the last standing ethical value in a decadent society will be the perverted form of tolerance. Tolerance used to mean having the ability to love and care for others in spite of differences that we do not agree upon. Now the definition of the word has been perverted to mean that tolerance is not just overlooking differences, but now we must to accept, agree with, and condone the differences in one another. However, the Lord has said this: “Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be ye horribly afraid, be ye desolate, saith the Lord.”(Jer. 2: 12)

We look around us and wonder at the destruction of our cities as they are laid waste by economic failure, sexual rebellion, and every form of violence. We shake our heads and wonder how in the world has this all come about. Others will look upon our demise and think that it’s just a blip in the road, and we will bounce right back before you know it. Our nation has gotten so in debt, and yet few have realized that our debt problem is really a spiritual problem; the solution is not of man, but can only come from the Lord and our return to Him. Some will say the problem is due to one group having too much while others have too little. We have missed the point altogether. It’s not that our pockets are too full or too empty. It’s because our hearts are void of the love of the Lord, and our minds have become sick from a lack of fear of the Lord. We have cast aside all the riches that can only be found through faith and trust in Him. We have forsaken His ways and exchanged them for the corrupt ways of the world. “A man’s ways are right in his own eyes.” In our own pride and arrogance, we have called the ways of the world good and the ways of the Lord evil. We have made God a bigot and a liar. We think we are progressing into our own manmade utopia. Instead we are preparing the way for our further degeneration rather than regeneration.

The Lord, in His wisdom, still unwilling that we should perish, continues to warn us of the results of our godless ways. “Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when He led thee by the way?” (Jer. 2: 17) “Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.”(Jer. 2: 19) He has not given up on us, but continues to beckon us to return to Him. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”(II Chron. 7: 14)

Ginger Rahn


Post a Comment