Monday, June 8, 2020

Is it?

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son. Hebrews 1:1 

Our generation is preoccupied with methods. When we find a program that works in one business, we immediately want to package and distribute it so that it will work for others. This attitude carries over into the spiritual life as well. We spend much energy looking for spiritual disciplines, books, seminars, or conferences that “work” in order to feel satisfied with our Christian life. God does not want us to trust in methods. He wants us to trust in Him. Trusting in methods rather than in a Person seriously limits the way we experience God. When we expect Him to speak to us only in predictable ways, we forget that God is much more complex than our perception of Him. In times past, God spoke in dreams and visions. He used nature; miraculous signs; prophets; a still, small voice; fire; trumpets; fleece; the casting of lots; and angels. He spoke in the middle of the night, during worship services, at mealtimes, during funerals, while people were walking along the road, through sermons, in the middle of a storm, and through His Son. The important thing was not how God communicated, but that He spoke. The means God uses to communicate with us is irrelevant; the fact that He is communicating is what is critical. Don’t limit yourself to a method, expecting only to hear from your Father in predictable ways. Rather, open yourself up to other means by which God wants to commune with you. Then you will experience God in entirely new dimensions as you are receptive to His voice. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

It's been on my heart these last several days of seemingly contradictory teachings that I have heard in Churches and the plans of God in the Bible. 

It's sort of related to what Blackaby says this day.  He starts out with how we can get preoccupied with methods and try to go with them. 

It reminds me of someone in Scripture who also had a Plan, but it wasn't God's Plan. Good intentions paved the way. It may just be my way of considering the written facts, but in the midst of Peter's denial of his relationship with Jesus those 3 times was a plan to prove himself by believing he was putting himself in a position to save Jesus.  Why do I say that? A few reasons. One. Look in the earlier passages when you compare the Gospels there's an element written that's not included in all.  Peter had a sword and was bent on using it. Peter had a temper and hated to be pegged.  He was told he would deny even knowing Jesus 3 times before the cock crowed.  In some way he dismissed it and believed he was on a mission to save.  Interesting is what Jesus said about it. Satan wanted Peter. He wanted to sift Peter.  Jesus said He prayed for him.  The facts point to Peter believing he was doing the right thing for God! 

Churches today equate each major event in our modern world to a need for a revival.  Yet at the same time ignore parts of Scripture as to how this world WILL be when Christ returns.  Jesus Himself said that He wondered if He would find the faith when He returns.  Read Revelation, the letters to the Churches are also a timeline leading up to His return.  The return of Christ won't be at some Spiritual high from a revival.  The increase of non-biblical Churches is a huge sign of the faith being missing.  The fact that fewer and fewer Churches remain that adhere to the Bible, the whole Bible and nothing but the Bible is a huge sign. 

Revival can happen, but no Plan of man can bring it about!  No more than Peter's plan to save Jesus.  Right in front of Jesus he pulled a sword and cut off the ear of a man.  Jesus rebukes him and heals the man who was attacked.  

In the book of Acts it's the Spirit who brings revival.  He works in the hearts of man by God's will, plan and purpose in His timing.  As someone posted the other day, and it ties in with this...ever notice that in these new prosperity gospel Churches that what they tell you (their plan, not God's) is the same thing that Satan offered Christ when tempting Him?  

"Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the Lord will stand." Proverbs 19:21 

Yet another...

"The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps" Proverbs 16:9

A prevailing theme in the 'good' times in the Old Testament, when Kings walked with God, was hearing of how the hearts of the people turned back to the Lord their God. 

Plans are good. They aren't an evil thing.  Making sure what we do and why we do it matches up with God's Plan is where it always should be.  My success and failure in my life is both at my hands and at God's direction. It's intent is to make me more like Christ.  But many a purported Christian believes that God is mainly there to grant wishes. To heal regardless.  That He will make all our dreams come true.  

The Jesus of the Bible said that the Holy Spirit would guide us into the truth. That we would be His workmanship.  He didn't say He would be at our beck and call to only provide at our whim.  He said we would be changed. We would be transformed.  Said we would have tribulations and trials.  We would have enemies.  Doesn't sound like prosperity does it?

But He also said there is a Plan. Each member of the Church body has a purpose.  We need to find out what that is and do it. Not deciding for ourselves what that is and only find out God asking us "Who told you to do that?"

I did that many decades ago.  It's taken decades to get to where I am in Christ now. Peter was restored in days. 

Preach the Word, in season and out of season.  Make Disciples.  The mission is plain. So is the Plan.  If a revival happens it's because God says so.  Revival of the heart in each of us has to happen first. Then the Spirit will group those together to start a wider, bigger, revival. 

The Lord is coming soon. He said blessed is He whom He finds doing what He is in obedience to God when He arrives. 

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