Friday, July 31, 2020

Your invited: Both the Believer and Unbeliever

“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days 
of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. 
I will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Joshua 1:5

God's assignment for Joshua might have caused him some concern. Being the successor to Moses was no small task. Through Moses, God had turned the waters in Egypt into blood, parted the Red Sea, destroyed the Egyptian army, and miraculously fed the nation for forty years. God spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and gave him His law. Joshua must have wondered how he could follow Moses.

To erase any doubt, God assured Joshua that Moses’ accomplishments had all been due to God's presence. Joshua grew confident because the same God who walked with Moses now walked with him (Josh. 1:6).
As you read the accounts of God's miraculous work through men and women in the Bible, you may wonder if God still performs such miracles today. Be assured that the same God who walked with Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Peter, James, John, and Paul now lives within you. No power can defeat the God who guides you. The God who blessed them is just as capable of working out His purposes through your life. The same God who gave them victory over seemingly invincible enemies, who provided for them when their own resources were insufficient, and who guided them in their decisions, is prepared to work as powerfully in your life today. The heroes of the faith had one thing in common: they were all ordinary people with no power of their own. The difference is the mighty presence of God. Times may change, but the effect of God's presence remains the same. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Oh how Satan loves to try to get us to believe we are abandoned, alone, that God has given up on us.  Demoralizing people seems to be his second specialty after being the Father of lies. 

Berating people, stripping people of dignity and other aspects of the importance of their existence is what he does and has his minions do.

He has found success in his methods by getting people to warmly embrace the vileness of sinful depravity.  They are as the New Testament says, that they have been given over to do and say things that are not as God had intended between man and woman.  Just as Heaven celebrates at the Salvation that comes upon a new believer, I believe Satan and his minions celebrate at the twisting and perversity of what they have done with people. 

Look at the temptations that Satan tried with Jesus.  Matthew 4.
"And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will command His angels concerning You’; and On their hands they will bear You upSo that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”

This was the tip of the iceberg, but THIS Titanic wasn't hitting.  There were likely even more temptations not written.  Yet what does it say?  Jesus overcame them all. 

Jesus has been the promise maker and promise keeper. 

I don't always remember these things, these truths.  It's hard for me to remember Scripture like the Godly Men who have taught me.  I am very grateful that even in that God has kept His promise to be with me.  He has me living in a time when I have all the assistance I need to look up what my mind struggles to remember in His Word. 

Lately, I seem to feel like a mix if Daniel and what Mordecai said to his niece, Esther.  Placed in this moment in time to be an answer to other people's prayers even if they don't know they are praying.  

Writer's for television sitcoms think it's hilarious to joke about people calling upon Jesus.  Jesus basically says laugh it up. They do talk to Him, He does hear the words of the righteous and unrepentant. He knows the thoughts and intentions of everyone at every moment. It is He who searches the hearts of everyone.  Scripture says it, and I can testify to it.

We who are in Christ are not alone. 

Mercy Me had a song called "No Matter What".  I won't lie. I need that song a great deal of the time.  I, like King David, get overwhelmed by life. By the overwhelming blessings at times and the low valley's of despair.  He wrote of his prayer to the Lord Jesus asking just who is David and what is his house that God would delight to bless him so? I get it. Oh my friend I get it.

I have also understood how both believers and unbelievers can be manipulated by Satan to bring down one who is growing in Christ.  Even Peter went from confessing Jesus as being the Christ to being rebuked in less time than it takes for you to read of me telling you about it. 

In Christ is where believers are. IN. Not next to, not in proximity to. IN.

Secondly, IN Christ means exactly as Jesus said, in His hands.  Meaning Satan's attempts at you are being closely monitored.  To the atom, that closely monitored.  Read the beginning of the book of Job. He has to always seek permission to do anything to a believer. 

Likewise read the reality of the unbeliever. 
No position of protection by Christ because they are not in Him. No need for permission. It's not to say that where the Spirit is working there might yet be a particular kind of protection.  Just not what a person who us saved is getting. 

The Spirit of God is always working.  As the Paraclete, the one who is of the same kind and type as Jesus, He too is working the works of the Father in this world.  

Note also that being close to believers isn't enough.  There's been millions who have, and upon dying, only found out then that close isn't close enough. They woke up in Hell.  To be in Christ is to have your name written down in the book of Life.  Jesus said He knows His sheep.  

We read in many places where it's referring to the final judgment and the separation of the righteous from the unrighteous. The believer from the unbeliever. The true wheat from the false wheat.  

What you don't see written is significant!

Nobody is asked which they are. 

Jesus is the one making that call without any input from anyone. 

In your day today seek out Jesus whether or not you say you are a believer.  What? Huh?

Yes. Do it. Consider it a challenge.  Uh why?

Because for the unbeliever it will mean you discovering that what you have believed all your life will be challenged.  He WILL show up if you but open the door to see for yourself. 

Because for the believer it will be the reassurance you need in this hour of your life.  

As I told someone yesterday.  Look for pictures online of Jesus knocking on a door.   Note closely that there's no doorknob or lock on the door. It can only be opened from inside.  The door only swings inward. 

As powerful and all knowing and omnipotent as Christ is...He only comes by invitation.  

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