Ignoring The Obvious!

Ignoring The Obvious!

Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them. However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you: You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out. The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed. The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. Deuteronomy 28:14-25 NIV

When we choose to ignore God, we choose to be the recipients of His Word–whether it is a blessing or a curse; it is our choice that determines what happens to us in life.

For the unbelieving–they won’t care because they don’t believe and won’t believe; God’s Word means nothing to them except to be an object of scorn and derision. And Believers–true Believers (not those professing to be Christians but have no demonstrable fruit as proof of who they are), should know we cannot afford to ignore God–and the obvious–the benefits or the consequences. For God’s Word was given to man for our benefit that we might stand in righteousness and be a beacon of light and hope for the unbelieving. The problem is–if our behavior and conduct is no different than what the unbelievers do–why would they pay attention to us?

Let’s look at the world of the unbelieving–they lie to get what they want, will cheat others, plot conspiracies to destroy reputations, in the corporate world and in communities. People get caught up on wanting titles and positions and status and will do anything to get what they want. Hollywood accentuates the life of the unbelieving as the means to crush the opposition and to control what others do.

In every day life–we see the results of corporate corruption and greed and when greed needs to be fed, everything in its path becomes food to soothe the craving. Big companies swallow up the little ones without regard to the people who must eek out a living–the best they can and when that becomes problematic, the people–turn to whatever is available–drugs, alcohol, bribery, more corruption–just to survive. And if they ever had a conscience, many turn to suicide–not willing to face themselves or what they’ve done or others and what they’ve done.

In the church buildings (because many have forgotten they are the church), many end up making the church leaders their god, and will do everything the leader wants them to do in order to maintain an avenue to move forward. Those claiming to be Christians will lie and mislead, promoting untruths to pacify a leader who has turned aside from God. Church leaders have been guilty of predatory behavior, sexually and financially; they have cheated the people they lead and planted the seeds of corruption by convincing others to do what they say and to treat others with disdain. The behavior of the leaders have led to public scrutiny and lawsuits and growing unbelief in the leaders, church and God.

Why is this occurring across the land? We have ignored the obvious–we stopped obeying God and chose to obey the lust of the flesh and to follow the leaders who don’t know God. So we should not be amazed that the consequences of our actions are bringing the Word to life in a way that we can no longer ignore God’s Word. If we ever plan to see a change in this world, it is time to turn aside–from everything and everyone–from ignoring God. We can no longer afford to not make God a priority in our lives.

But is it too late? Have we already set the stage for the next act that brings about our destruction for all the world to see? We are on the precipice–overlooking a cliff–with a depth we cannot see with our physical eyes, and once we go over–there is no help, no return–no other chance to get things right with God.

God has said in His Word that only a remnant will be saved from the destruction the enemy has plotted for all who ignore God. Are we included in the remnant? Have we maintained a right relationship with God, securing our destination and eternity to live with Him? Or have we ignored the obvious by choosing to make men and women our gods, following them instead of God?

Though The Word of God applies to anyone who Believes it–regardless of nationality or ethnicity–I believe we can see God speaking directly to Americans at this intersection in our history. Which way will we go? Will we continue to follow lying leaders or will we rise up and take a stand to give God His rightful place in our lives and speak up for justice?

It’s up to us–we all have to choice to make and I pray our choice is God, not men, and we will stop ignoring the obvious.

What God Expects!

What God Expects!

“And now, you priests, this warning is for you. If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me. “Because of you I will rebuke your descendants; I will smear on your faces the dung from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it. And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi may continue,” says the LORD Almighty.“My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty. Malachi 2:1-8 NIV [Read all for clarity]

The most important leadership to whom we should trust is the leadership in the church. From this point forward–all other leaders are measured–by The Word of God.

Simply put–when the church–the body of Christ–corporately, gets its act together, the world will become a better place.  Why? When people are “grounded in The Word” they take what they know and understand into all areas of their lives–from keeping peace, harmony and order in their home to the highest place of government. When we know God, we do what is right at all times, for all people.

With that premise in mind, we can safely conclude (by what we see) that we have strayed far from God’s Word in our daily living and as a result–chaos and confusion reign–in the hearts of men/women and all across the land.

When the prophet Malachi was admonishing the priests who had let the temple far into disrepair, he was also warning all who followed–those of us right now–that when we don’t do what God expects us to do–He takes a hands-off approach to us. When we do what He expects–we are blessed and when we don’t–the curses fall upon us and since God is not a respecter of persons–the blesses fall upon all who obey and the curses fall upon all who disobey. As Children of The Most–Believers should understand when we are blessed, we are to be a blessing to others–for when we are cursed–the curse also falls upon others.

Throughout biblical accounts of history we see how entire nations either rose to greatness or fell in despair because of the leadership–those in positions of authority and entrusted to guide the people according to God’s Ways, and not their own. When the leadership was obedient–all the people were blessed and rejoiced and when the leadership ignored God–all the people suffered and wailed in despair and hopelessness.

We have to know God in order to hear God and when we hear God, we must obey God–not those who have agendas that do not lead to a nation being blessed.

This is what God expects from those who are in leadership positions!

What The Righteous Can Anticipate For Obeying God!

“Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.” (Psalm 112:6-8 NIV)

What can the righteous–those in right-standing with God expect? The first verse begins the expectations for the righteous. “Blessed is the man who fears (reverently respects) the Lord and delights in keeping His commands.” And then, the blessings are enumerated along with the curses for those who do not reverently respect The Lord or delight in His commands.

The righteous shall never be moved or ruffled by current events–not wars, nor rumors of war, not the foolishness of politicians or the ungodliness of judges. They shall not be moved the obvious influences of Satan that lead to the deaths of innocents or plots to overthrow. The righteous shall be remembered forever for their attempts to live a life that pleases God and not man.

The righteous shall have not fear or be moved by all the bad news in the world. They will–with every event–look to the Lord for comfort and solace and keep praising Him for His goodness. With every newscast that broadcasts events that cause others to shudder and quake, the righteous will continue to pray, and not be overly concerned about what they see on the surface, for they know The Word and the times in which we live. The righteous understand that certain events must take place as the final revelation unfolds for all the world to see. The righteous are not concerned about their end for they know, their final destination is to spend eternity with Jesus.

As we get closer to seeing those things that must come–we know the end is not yet–but we are getting closer. Satan’s influence in the minds of people can be see in every aspect of our daily lives. He is the author of confusion and chaos and where ever he reigns, we can see the results. When men and women are distraught over who God intended them to be and change to please themselves, it is confusion that ignites the change and chaos that ensues. Throughout history–if one would care to investigate–every time man rises up against God and His intent for our being, tragedy occurs on every front, leaving some shaking their heads, confused because they do not realize we were created for His good pleasure and not our own.

Finally, when the end comes–the righteous will have opportunity to see the look amazement on the faces of all those who attempted to belittle and persecute those who trust in The Lord. For when The Lord returns to claim those who are His, the rest will have only a fiery lake to anticipate–their eternity for unbelief and disobedience.

Of course, there will remain those who continue to pacify flesh instead of seeking God’s wisdom and obeying Him. They will be without excuse for their final outcome for the righteous–those in right-standing with God–have ever continued to point them in the right direction and they refused to see the benefit of obeying our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Walking to Crawling!

“Then the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live.” (Genesis 3:14 NLT)

The curses that fell upon the serpent for manipulating the woman–Eve!

The chain reaction to obedience can be devastating for a number of people–people who often experience the effects of what others have done. This is what happened to the “snake” who dared to interfere with God’s plan for mankind.

Back-tracking a bit–Adam did nothing to help his own case in the disobedience by blaming God for giving him the woman in the first place. And then Eve–who shouldn’t have listened to the serpent in the first place, blamed the serpent rather than accepting responsibility for her role in the fiasco. The serpent “Satan” in disguise had absolutely nothing to say because he knew what he was doing and had succeeded. Now, he had to deal with the consequences of his behavior–this is something he had not considered–what happens to him when he’s found guilty!

Because of what God said to the serpent, we can infer that before the curse–he (the serpent) was walking upright–standing tall among all the other animals. In this state–walking, standing tall–he probably felt superior to some of the other animals as well. Again, this is inference on my part based upon what was said, “more cursed than all the animals, domestic and wild.”

Imagine that! Feelings of superiority and hatred for God has created leading to a fall–from being on top of the world to crawling on one’s belly, trying to avoid being wiped out by those who now stand over you.

We have seen examples of Satan’s influence in the lives of many that are a matter of public record–those who thought they were superior to others and acted out of hatred and that feeling of superior–most of them are no longer with us–having receive their just reward for their actions. The first person who comes to mind is Hitler, and now we can see what is happening to others in their quest to reign over all mankind. “The wages of sin is death.”

There are others–who because of their feelings of superiority–who will find themselves crawling on their bellies, trying to avoid being wiped out by those they attempted to destroy. God is–the same today as He was yesterday, and will be tomorrow-intolerant of disobedience to Him when people try to destroy His plans for mankind.

But just like He did not destroy the serpent (and He could have), He chose to leave the serpent to suffer the consequences of his actions for all generations. God’s Word is true–mankind (men and women) who might fear snakes, have no fear in killing them.

Amazing! When God could have destroyed His creation (the serpent), He didn’t and would have been justified in doing so. Now, if God didn’t destroy the serpent who caused all the uproar in the Garden of Eden, why are people so willing to think that God destroys people? People make choices and their choices will either bring about a positive consequence or a negative one. It is our choice.

Listen to The Lord and obey always and don’t worry about going from walking to crawling for all the world to see!

When You See This!

“When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes” (Isaiah 66:14 NIV).

The thirteenth verse of scripture states that, “The Lord comfort like a mother” (paraphrased) and all will see this. Moving on to the next verse, we are told what will happen when we see this.

Our hearts will rejoice–overflowing with joy.

We will flourish like grass–keep increasing year after year and look good (if well-kept and cared for).

Everyone will know that the hand of The Lord guides us and keeps us safe from harm and directs our success.

And…His enemies–those who openly oppose Him–deny His existence and disobey His Word–shall know His fury!

I don’t know about you, but I plan to remain His child and receive His comfort and never, ever become one His enemies!

When we know we are doing the right thing for all the right reasons–we can expect to see His blessings in our lives. But for those who choose not to do what is right, they too can expect–to see His fury.

When I look at our society–on a global level–I cannot help but wonder whether some of the extreme weather conditions we see are the result of His fury–against those who oppose Him. Now, notice I did not say that the weather is a result of His displeasure; I said, I wonder.

No matter what anyone thinks or wonders-we only have to look back at history to understand how God operates–when sin is in the atmosphere, it tends to shake things up and everyone not willing to change their ways–creates an environment that leads to destruction–of many!

So, when we see–the violence that escalates in countries, nation against nation, brother against brother, parents against children and children against parents, disrespect of self and others of such magnitude that children could not possibly understand moral ethics when they do not see any–from anyone–especially those in the public arena. When we see the changes in the environment that threaten the very existence of whole communities, do we understand why or do we just continue to accept sin as a way of life and do nothing to preserve humanity?

The choice is ours–we can receive His comfort or His fury. What are we going to see?

When we see the need to honor and respect--The One who created all things and without whom, nothing was ever created, we will see His comfort–love, mercy, grace and changes in the atmosphere–peace in the land–confirming and justifying our faith in Him.

 

Choices And Consequences!

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…”(Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV).

To be blessed or be cursed--is a choice we make–based upon our decisions.

We either choose life–being obedient in all that God says, or we choose death, being cursed–when we disobey.

In the life of a true believer–the choice is simple. We understand the blessings of obedience and the consequences of disobedience. When we know God through our relationship with Him–nothing that happens in life is a surprise. We know we are either blessed or cursed and we know we are the ones who choose whether we are blessed or cursed.

Today, a decision has to be made that will affect the rest of our lives and the lives of our children. We must exercise wisdom in all things and know that God has established a credible witness (Holy Spirit) who will testify to what He sees and hears. We cannot fool God–we can only fool people and that for only a short period of time. The truth will always be revealed–when we least expect it–the lies shall be uncovered for all the world to see. Shed the cloak of deception and drape the garment of righteousness around you and those you love–choose life and be blessed!

Leave no room–in your heart or mind–for the enemy to continue to influence your thoughts and what you do. Time is not manipulated by us, but controlled by God. We have been given another chance to get it right–let’s do it, today!

Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to understand that we must obey Your Word, even when it goes against the grain of popular opinion or political correctness. It is Your Word that gives us life and puts us into position to be blessed by You. Give us the strength to stand against the winds of adversity–fully focused on doing Your Will and not our own. We declare all works of the enemy void and powerless in our lives and it is done! Amen!

Run Me Over!

“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you obey The Lord, your God” (Deuteronomy 28:2).

Whenever I think of this passage of scripture, I think about an 18-wheeler, running me down and overtaking me on the highway and being left standing, more blessed than I could handle.  You may not have the imagination I have when you read this, but just think about it for a minute.  If we just obey God, His blessings will come upon us and overtake us! Wow!

Now, what are the blessings?  All those listed throughout the next 11 verses, are our blessings to expect when we are obedient.  His promises to us:  we’ll be blessed no matter where we live, our children will be blessed and anything we produce will be blessed, whatever we put our hands to (constructively) will be blessed, we’ll be blessed going into places and coming out of places, our enemies will be defeated in front of us, people will know we belong to the Lord by our actions and welcome us into their presence, we will be blessed with abundant prosperity, we’ll be the head and not the tail (start businesses and not just be the last hired)–if we pay attention to what The Lord has said and are not deterred by what men say, God will bless everything we do when we are obedient to Him.

When we don’t obey or just ignore His commands and become more concerned about what man has said, we open ourselves to the curses–a much longer list in the same passage of scripture.  Beat down by curses or run over with blessings? It is our choice.

I don’t know about you, but I want God’s blessings to run me over and never stop!  Now, I have something to do.

Lord, keep me focused on what You have said and help me to obey and to remind others of Your goodness, daily.  In Jesus’ name, I pray and thank You, Amen!

Blessed or Cursed?

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV). 

Many people do not like to be reminded of what is said in Old Testament scriptures and actually attempt to discredit much of which is said.  While I will not enter into a debate about it, I will point some things out that have come to pass, just as The Word said it would. 

I have always considered Deuteronomy 28 to be the book of blesses and curses, simply because the first 14 verses talk about how God will bless us.  And then from verse 15 through 68, we are told how we become cursed–through disobedience.  Notice there are far more scriptures relating to how we’ll be cursed than how we are blessed. 

And then are those people who would attempt to discredit a person’s ability to “choose” to believe God.  We see in this verse–that we have always had a choice–to be obedient or disobedient.  We choose life or death; blessings or curses by our obedience or disobedience to God’s Word.  Now for those who don’t believe God exists, that’s a choice, too. But for those of us who profess an unwavering belief in God and His Word, we are accountable for what we do–we should all be walking in the blessings of the Lord. 

The bottom line for me is simply this:  If I am obedient to God in “all” He says (love Him and love others), I will be blessed and everything I put my hands to shall prosper.  If I choose to disobey (hold hatred against others and create chaos and confusion by my words or acts), then I can expect my efforts not to do much of anything, but be cursed. I get it!

I choose life and prosperity and being blessed over being cursed.  What about you?