Monthly Archives: September 2016

Four Horsemen

Do you ever try to figure out how the stuff in Revelation is going to go down and the World will just blow it off like, “Yeah, it sucks… but whatevs”.   I’ve had a theory for a while that things are just going to continue to get worse and worse until life as we know it will be so bad that the judgements of God will just be … worse.  Well, of course that’s very much like labor pangs.  They start out light and build up.

Anyway, I decided tonight was a good night to spit this out on paper.  This week has been rough as I watch the world get worse and worse and more and more hateful.   Please feel free to discuss in comments!!

2 Thessalonians 2: 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

  • In other words, they’ll believe it’s just a dark chapter in history.  Most deluding influences in the Bible involve initial self-deception that God causes to stick so that the folks self-deluding can’t go back on their choice at the last minute.
  • Scholars are divided about whether or not folks can be saved in the Trib, and then again divided about who can be saved if folks can be saved.  Ice-water fills my veins when I think that there are solid men of God who don’t believe (based on this verse) that those who had the gospel given to them prior to the start of the Trib will be able to be saved.  I pray that God instead chooses to smack the World upside the head for His usual purposes, to get their attention in a last-minute bid for faith.   I have too many unsaved friends to do other than hold that hope… and I don’t believe that God would torment the earth for that long without a *reason*.   That’s not in character.  If He’s just going to squish something, He doesn’t mess around.

2 Thessalonians 2:And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.

  • Those of us who believe in the Rapture consider this a reference to the Holy Spirit.  Because each believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, when we leave, the earth will have less of a presence of the Spirit, thus less restraint.  And frankly, believers stop a lot of evil just by being faithful to God.

Revelation 6:2  I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

  • This is generally understood as AntiChrist.   Someone’s going to show up, and much of the World is going to greet him as a savior. The more division we sow, the worse the economy, the bigger the mess, the better a charismatic ruler who can “fix everything” is going to sound.   You can see this hunger developing now.  We’ve had plenty of demagogues in our time, I don’t know that this is particularly difficult to envision.

Revelation 6: And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him.

  • This doesn’t mean war, per say – this means a warlike spirit.  I think that the riots we’re seeing are only the beginning.  Violence between individuals, races, nations.  Humans are nasty critters, and the evil in men’s hearts will finally be manifest.

Revelation 6:5 When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”

  • Note that basic foods are expensive and luxury foods are not damaged.

Revelation 6:8 I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

  • The additional causes of death here are pestilence and wild beasts.  All four horsemen together kill 1/4 of the world’s population.   Can we look at pestilence?  How many diseases have threatened us with major plagues in the last five years, only to be tamped down?  How would it be if antibiotic resistant strains of Ebola and Spanish Flu showed up, while Zika caused babies to die en masse?  (I always watch disease that disproportionately affects children and babies, as I think as many as possible will be spared the experience of the Tribulation.  No, I don’t believe in infant damnation).
  • Wild beasts are odd.  There just aren’t that many hungry polar bears sitting outside weather stations… I believe the Word, I just don’t see this.   Yet. Of course “wild beasts” can be quite small.  Insects are beasts.

Revelation 6:11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

  • Martyrs.   Well, we’ve all noticed that serious Christians are about as popular as Chicken Pox these days.  *That’s* only going to get worse.

………….

Stuff I look at – carcinogens in the water supply.  Killing off the bees.  Pandemics.  Changing attitudes.  Food instability.  It’s creepy out there, folks.  As Pastor Mike says, “The trumpet case is open”.  😛

My heart cries because of the ugliness we humans have embraced, and I scream maranatha with my whole heart.  And then I think about my beloved unsaved and I can’t scream it so loud.

It’s hard to understand that we’re on mission until we’re called off the field.  This is a war zone, and our various ways to forget that it has always been one are disappearing.   It was CS Lewis who said that the very presence of our craving for the undiscovered country was proof that it exists…

One day we’ll get our rewards, and live in peace and plenty and perfection – but that day is not today.

Everyone wants help

In theory, we know that we’re all part of the Body of Christ, and therefore we all have different jobs and different giftings to do those jobs.  In practice, I’ve not met anyone who was passionate about their job who didn’t want everyone to come help!

There are worse things.

So, *I* think that every child of God should be out there loving on folks and making time in their lives to listen.  What do you mean you “don’t have counsel?”… doesn’t everyone have counsel?   Same goes for those who have evangelism.  Yes, I spread the gospel.   Can you find anyone who knows me who doesn’t know that I’m a Christian?  But I’ve never closed the deal.  Talked, discussed, debated, enthused, gushed, witnessed… but not helped someone down the Romans Road.

I’ve prayed healing.  Don’t have it on tap.  I’m encouraging enough that there’s a good chance I’m going to sprout pom-poms from my wrists some night.   I can explain, though my teaching is meh.  Obviously I’m not a pastor or apostle.  I don’t have (or especially want) tongues.

We really *can’t* all do the same stuff.  I’d like to heal and do miracles and evangelize – but I don’t have the gifts.  I ask.   I figure I’m supposed to ask, I don’t get too bent out of shape by the “no”.

I think it’s a lot like volunteering opportunities.  As a SAHM rolling her kids off into independence, it’s like I poured a vat of honey on my head, I’ve got enough folks hovering around, hoping I’ll come volunteer with them.    Not a bad thing, and most of the causes are worthy.   I do what I can do… I use the gifts I have… but not everyone can do everything.

That’s the point of being a Body – my thumb can’t hear, my ear can’t open a jar.  I want open jars and hearing, so I need both.

And I’ll probably still feel guilty about not getting everything done for everyone… 😀

Being softened

I love the way God works.  Not saying it’s always my favorite, but at the same time I love it, love the knowledge that I’m not to be allowed to be too stupid.

Had gotten myself properly keyed up about my business, and freaked out because try as I could, I couldn’t make clients appear out of thin air.  My method of dealing with obstacles is to back off and attack from another angle.  Perfect recipe for success – according to the World.  And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.  It’s good.

But.  But what I do is get keyed up and focus on myself and depend on myself and… it goes downhill from there pretty fast.  I stop relying on grace, and start relying on works.  I forget that it is God who will provide, not me.  I just work harder.  (Again, not a bad thing in general – it’s what it does to me in specific that’s a problem).

And finally, when I have myself wound up to the point that a sudden loud noise can send me weeping off to my bedroom… I get with God and am told, “In My time, not in yours.  In My season, not according to your plan.  Take your hands off the wheel, you gave it to Me, and I’m not giving it back.”  And then I take a deep breath and stop trying to grab control out of His hands… and find that my creativity comes back, that ideas for my business start flowing, that opportunity opens up… and that, honestly, I’m working just as hard, but I’m not *depending* on myself, I’m just doing what’s in front of me to do.

This, this requirement that I stay softened, is consistent throughout my life.  Whenever I’ve felt like it’s time to gird up and fight hard … I’ve had my armor pulled off and my sword confiscated.   Sometimes that’s really hurt.  Sometimes, like this time, it was just a reminder to not be a dork.

I can’t do my job if I harden myself.  My real job isn’t image consultant, it’s …whatever you’d call the last post.  I don’t think English is a good language to use the words, “freelance Lover of people”, I really don’t.  -rolls on the floor laughing-  But I can’t DO that if I don’t fill myself up with love and joy and have my eyes open for need.

Pastor Mike had a sermon last week … last verse of 1 John.  No idols.  It triggered the realization that I’d started depending on me.   This week has been a week of letting go, releasing the push, and finally, yesterday, sleeping virtually the whole day through.   Has this been totally fixed? Nope.  I’m going to have to remind myself to depend on God and not on me every day…. and that’s a lesson, and a form of softening, in and of itself.

And that’s fine.   Ultimately while I have plenty of wishes… my most profound desire is to be the woman that God wants me to be.  He knows best.  And me?  I’ll just laugh at Him reining me in once again.

Leaving Doors Open

doitanyway

 

I’ve been having a conversation with a friend of mine who doesn’t understand why I leave friendship’s door open to people whom I do not trust.   It’s simple.  My function in this world is to offer counsel and solace – I can’t *do* that if people can’t find me.  Why do I leave the door open?  Because they might need me.

Someday that crazy person might get their head out of their rear end and look up and be ready to hash out their hurts and sorrows, be ready to come to Jesus, or be ready to get their lives back on track.  Someday, they’ll need a friend.   And they will look around at a lot of bridges burnt, but my door will be open.   It’s happened, and it’s happened more than once.

Sometimes they think that I’m stupid.  I can usually tell when someone thinks they’re deceiving the innocent.  Being kind is generally equated with low intelligence.  (This makes me roll my eyes, but whatever).

I’m just “here” for a lot of sane folks too.  Someone has to do it, and I enjoy it.  Shovels want to shovel, I want to make it better, it’s what I was made to do.

I live in trepidation of the parable of the talents – I know very well that I have been greatly gifted with love and support, and I have been carefully protected through many of life’s storms.   My “service”, if you will, is PLEASANT, usually easy, and causes me no distress.  What does cause me distress is the thought that God would send someone to my door and I would fail them.

This is my brand of noblesse oblige.  To whom much has been given, much will be expected… I have been given Love, and I honestly don’t think I’m *capable* of giving it back in the quantities which I’ve been blessed.  But I’m going to try.

And if somewhere along the line, I Love someone who doesn’t deserve it?  I don’t care.  It’s not about me.

This is what I’m for.  Loving.   I … don’t have the right words exactly, but if you know, you know.  You know?  😀

Anyway.  I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain “why” to my friend, and I saw that quote and then it all merged.  So.  There ya go.