Sunday, April 2, 2023

God Needs Us to LEAD OUT


I understand most of you will look at that picture above and instantly make a decision.

You may love this now iconic picture or you may hate it.  That picture might immediately sway you to love this little blog more or it may alienate some of you from me.  In today's culture, it might even incite hate or violence.

That's what we have become.  

This morning, with coffee in hand, I set out to find a new devotion to read.  Having caught up on all the ones I had in progress, I searched out topics like yoga (yes, YOGA), organization, and exercise.  Strangely enough, the two devotions that came up had to do with the Book of Revelation and (oddly enough) Covid (my least favorite subject).

This plan is called Flourish, and although it was written for and during the period now know as "the pandemic," oddly enough, I see why God gave it to me this morning.

It speaks to our time today as well as it did back in 2020.

For instance:

"...we look to the prophet, Habakkuk. He, too, faced the unprecedented, offering true wisdom for how to flourish in your present

Habakkuk is given a vision by God. Not much had happened yet. But as the prophet of God, the mouthpiece, he could see what was coming in the future and was charged with making it known. 

The vision was unsettling. He saw bad guys overcoming the good with God’s blessing. Conflict, injustice, and wickedness prevailed over the righteous. The country was ravaged. It left Habakkuk with huge questions and real perplexities, much like we might find ourselves entertaining with death tolls rising, falling markets, and the strange disappearance of life as we once knew it."

Sound familiar?  Our Country, and our world, are in perilous times.  Almost everything God strictly forbid in the Old Testament seems to be replaying again in today's society.

We are told to recognize sin and love the sinner.  We are told to "get along."  Yet, our insides burn as the Holy Spirit grieves within us.

My reading for today ended like this:

"God is not moving you to survive this moment in history. He needs you to lead out during it. More than He needs His people to make it through, He is looking for you to flourish. So, hear as one who is responsible—not simply for yourself, but to take what you have, use it, and pass it along. He is equipping you for a greater purpose."

I believe we ARE being equipped for a greater purpose.  I'm excited for this new reading and to see what all it holds over the next few days and week.

That last paragraph got me.  God is not moving me to SURVIVE.  He needs me to LEAD OUT and FLOURISH.

Friends, we are about to experience and head down a path in this Country that America has never traversed before.  I said to a friend this week, "I wonder what is like to be Mr. Bragg?  To know you are the one person that is taking America down."  The sad thing is - so many, like Mr. Bragg, believe they are doing the right thing and are excited to be experiencing a first in American history.  

God is calling us.

Did you realize the America is not mentioned in the Book of Revelation?  I had the awesome privilege of sitting under one the the greatest teachers of prophecy and the Book of Revelation in my young Christian years.  His name was Dr. Ed Hinson.  He was a man of great knowledge, learning, and wisdom.  I was also privileged to sit under Tim LaHaye for many teachings.  (Tim was one of the co-authors of the Left Behind series.)

They both recognized that America was not in the Book of Revelation and explained all the symbols and symbolisms to us that sat under their teachings.  Dr. Hinson used to say, "Why is America not mentioned in the Book of Revelation?  Do we cease to exist?"

That is a scary thought my friends.  The Bible says that not one man, not even the SON OF MAN, know the day or hour of His return.  Only God the Father knows that.

I really hope that time is not now.  I hope we are not witnessing the demise and fall of America.  That may be a long stretch I understand.  But, at the same time, I want to be fully aware of what is swirling around me these days.  I don't want to merely survive.  I don't want to be silent like so many Preachers in the pulpits are or even my Christian friends.

I want to LEAD OUT and FLOURISH.  I pray for all of us this week.  I pray and lay hands on (figuratively) Tuesday.  Our Country, our values, our Constitution and other Founding Father documents, and our President need our prayers, our spiritual protection, and divine wisdom.

God, grant us the wisdom for these times.  Grant us opportunities and words.  Grant us peace, empathy, and love.  Protect us all - our Country and our leaders - from violence and hate.  We pray all these things in your name.  Amen

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