This morning’s reading got my attention, but I’m going to put the Scriptures together in the reverse order that I originally read them. Things are getting tough, and while it’s easy to focus on what is tough, our Lord calls us to look to Him. First, when He sees something in our lives that needs correction, He brings it! “My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when He corrects you. For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.” (Prov 3:11-12)
The Lord loves me and wants the best for me, so even when the correction is painful I choose to “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:16-18) He has brought to mind several things I need to let go of, and the first one is the belief that much freedom is lost.
I was reminded of my current study in Isaiah. The Lord strongly disciplined His chosen people over and over again because they continued to turn away from Him. But there was a prophesy that showed a light at the end of the tunnel: “But the Lord will have mercy on the descendants of Jacob. He will choose Israel as His special people once again. He will bring them back to settle once again in their own land. And people from many different nations will come and join them there and unite with the people of Israel.” (Is 14:1)
The Lord corrects those He loves, instead of turning us over to sin (Rom 1:24, 26, 28). So I am to keep my eyes on Him, because He promises in due time I will see Him one day: “I trust in the Lord for protection. So why do you say to me, ‘Fly like a bird to the mountains for safety! The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right. The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?’ But the Lord is in His holy Temple; the Lord still rules from heaven. He watches everyone closely, examining every person on earth. The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked. He hates those who love violence. He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked, punishing them with scorching winds. For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see His face.” (Ps 11:1-7)
Those who want us to doubt that the Lord is still in control try to get us to look at the temporary earthly circumstances so that we will be fearful. This tactic gives them the opportunity to take some control over us. “The wicked are stringing their bows and fitting their arrows on the bowstrings. They shoot from the shadows at those whose hearts are right.” (Ps 11:2)
We must purposely and prayerfully dress in the full armor of the Lord (Eph 6:12-18). Their purpose is to make us believe their lies that they are in control and the pain will last forever, but God’s Word says otherwise: “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. For you are just a vapor that appears for a little while, and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)
So what is their true purpose in their fear mongering? It’s to get us to think only about surviving whatever is going on at the moment, and the one after that. But our Lord reminded me this morning where to put my passion, and it’s in prayer (which IS the battle) and in abiding in Him so that I’m ready for whatever He shows me He would have me do.
“Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And He healed every kind of disease and illness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.” (Matt 9:35-38)
Our country and the entire world is becoming more divided daily. That’s the devil’s work to keep the gospel from being accepted. The Lord showed me this morning that even those who choose to hate me because I differ in my views from them, I can still love (even from afar) and pray that the Lord will send them another worker to harvest their hearts and souls for His glory. Amen!