Friday, June 28, 2013

Who is on the Lord's Side?


Josh.5: 13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?
14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?
15 And the captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

God is on no one’s side. He calls everyone to come before Him and worship. Leave the things of this world and find a sacred place which shall have no end and which has no shadow of turning. The world plays all kinds of moral high ground and power struggles games, but we have been called to bow before Him, and speak His words, and remain humble and broken before Him. We care not about the cares of this present world. They are like the chaff and the wind. They are here today and gone tomorrow. They are not only a distraction away from our precious Lord, but they are set against His kingdom even if they seem like they fight for something right.

On Tuesday the conservatives were dancing because of the Supreme Court decision removing a section of the Voting Rights Act, and then just 24 hours later the liberals were dancing and the conservatives were decrying the court because of the decision concerning DOMA. And both decisions were of a 5 to 4 vote. It’s better than a Laurel and Hardy cartoon and people get apoplexy over it on both sides. But when you are on the Lord’s side the decisions have already been made.

Oh dear brothers and sisters do you not see to whom we must run? Are your eyes so blind that they cannot see that this world is an enemy of the Holy One? Are we so absorbed by the things of this world that we leave the shelter of His wings and go chasing after that which has no eternal substance? These are the days in which hell has emptied its evil spirits and they now roam with a designed viciousness around the world. But do not be deceived. These spirits know how to be pro-life and pro-traditional marriage and how to categorically state how they believe the Bible but all the while they have come as angels of light but are doing Satan’s bidding. The systems of this world are like cotton candy…once placed in the mouth they disappear as nothing. They are like running on a treadmill, burning up energy, but going nowhere.

Turn your eyes and ears and hearts toward Jesus alone. The spirit of the world is powerful and has a wicked undertow. It continues to sweep believers into many a fallen endeavor that is not only worthless in God’s kingdom but is counterproductive to the everlasting gospel message. When we are on the Lord’s side we reject all the labels of man. I am not a conservative or a liberal; I am not a Republican or a Democrat; I am not an American or a German; I am not some denomination. Although I may seen as such by some men, in truth I am a servant of Christ who has been redeemed by God’s grace through the blood of the Lamb. I cannot have a greater moniker and I take no glory in anything but Christ.

It is most sad to see how many professing believers are moved by the ebbs and flows of this fallen world. Do you believe that before gay marriage was made legal that righteousness reigned? Marriage is nothing more than a piece of paper recognized by the government. But in Christ marriage is a sacred covenant which is recognized by God. Unrighteousness reigned in Noah’s day just like today.

But did Noah attempt to change the culture or did he get involved with earthly endeavors? No, he had a call from God and he continued to build the ark. We as believers also have a call from God. We are now living arks that carry the presence of God within us. Look past all the fallen commotion and do not pin any of your hopes upon anything on this earth. It is all like withering grass and fading flowers. Only the Word of God will last for all eternity.

This world does not need legislation or morality or more money. This world needs redemption which is only found in Jesus. Let us, His body, be Jesus to these precious souls and refuse to sell our birthright for some political and moral pottage. The calling we have is the most sacred calling anyone can have while still in this earthly habitation. Better to be a doorman in God’s house than to be the king of all the earth.

I wish to relate a story which was reported in the magazine “The Voice of the Martyrs”. It is a great periodical which brings to our attention the realities which are so often lost in American evangelicalism. Oh my dear brothers and sisters who claim His matchless name, we are blinded by our culture and so often miss the glory of God being truly manifested in the lives of His servants around the world.

His name is Pastor Matak and he ministers in Sudan. In 1982 he was arrested and then arrested again in 1986. He spent the next 8 years in prison where he endured much torture. He was beaten relentlessly with wooden slats and iron rods. Electrodes were attached to his ears, his genitals were crushed, his fingernails were pulled out, and he was whipped with wires. Even through the most unthinkable agony this servant of Christ would not renounce his faith. Upon his release Pastor Matak told his fellow believers that “God showed me that “I am with you”. God reminded me that the body can die but the soul cannot.” He said to his tormentors, “You can torture me, but if you kill me, I will just see Jesus Christ!”

This precious pastor’s testimony and witness has been used by God to lift up Jesus and His gospel message. Is this not the way of Jesus? Can you compare all the political nonsense with the glory that is revealed in the servants of Christ who endure such hardships but still give Christ all the glory? This, my dear friends, is only a glimpse of how God is manifesting Himself in the hearts and lives all over the world. And in the most violent places on earth God’s glory shines brightly in and through believers who remain faithful under the most trying of circumstances.

You see, we do not call God to come to our side. We run to His side and there we live and breathe and have our being. God will not be used for the strategies of man. The Captain of the Lord of Hosts calls those that are His to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. The ground we walk upon is holy ground. Drenched with and made holy by the blood of the Lamb, we now are crucified with Christ and the lives we now live we live by the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave His life for us. Amen. Selah.


Glenn Abernethy said...

Beautiful. Amen!

Lorena said...

Thank you for this encouraging post, Rick. It has given me strength and joy. We do run to His side and there, live our lives. Nothing of this world is comforting.
Thank you Lord Jesus! Amen.

Anonymous said...

First, to say that my very first impulse was to post, "Beautiful!" And then I see Glen Abernethy's post, "Beautiful. Amen!" The Spirit of the Lord draws us all in unity.

Thank you Lord for this beautiful word and for inspiring Bro. Rick.


Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of a song we used to play in worship, "Whose report will you believe? I'll believe in the report of the Lord!"

When I listen to news, it's the world's report. I have to go back to the Lord's report. Then it all comes into perspective.


Anonymous said...

Sorry, another thought I'll share which just popped into my headachy head.

The Lord isn't on George Zimmerman's side or the prosecutors of Trayvon Martin's side. I personally would like to see the Lord to bring justice and closure for Trayvon's parents and family. And I have to believe that little Trayvon who may have been exposed to the gospel in his short life, called out to Jesus, in his heart, in his distress before he died and is safe and secure with Jesus.

But, the world would have us choose sides. As a christian, now, I have to pray for George Zimmerman, that he finds Jesus in this maze. I've read that Mr. Martin and Mrs. Fulton have already stated they have forgiven Mr. Z. and I believe if the reports are correct, that this will bring Jesus right in the middle of this trial and no man, no right-wing network, can turn this into a competition of right and wrong. Even if they try, true forgiveness in Christ will show God's mercy and goodness and grace and no man can steal the glory.

Whatever man tries to spin out of it, if the Lord is in the works, the spin will unravel and the truth will be revealed. And healing can start to happen to both camps, if they choose to be on God's side. Alleluia!!


Annette said...

This is moving Pastor Rick. Thank-you for pointing out the testimony of Pastor Matak and God's amazing grace through persecution. We cannot even begin to understand the depth of his tribulation until we, ourselves, are placed into those circumstances, and may the LORD have mercy upon us if it should come to fruition here in the U.S.

The one who humbles himself will be exalted....Praise Jesus.

Anonymous said...

All of us need a physician; all of us; or, to use the language of the Apostle Paul, ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God’. We’re all sinners. But the great news of the gospel is this: to our side, the sinner’s side, Jesus came, to bear our sin and carry our sorrow.

The LORD God consistently takes the side of those who love justice and mercy.

That’s what we find with Jesus. He took sides as he healed the sick, touched the leprous, exposed hypocrites, and stood with the faithful.

Jesus took the side of those who were lost and needed to be found, the side of those who were blind and needed to see, the side of those who were broken and contrite who had sinned and needed to be forgiven.

Reine Gnade

Cherie c. said...

Something to think about below that goes quite well with this post.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

P.S. Please pray for me, the war path is on this weekend. Can't wait for Monday.

Cherie c. said...

Is an unforgiving heart mean that you have an unrepentant heart?

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 18:35 "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."

Mark 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."

Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one."

Luke 23:34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.

I am trying not to sound harsh or hard Cherie, but if our Lord and Savior being nailed to a cross and forgave those that put Him there, I think we are to forgive others no matter what they have done. Even if it is family and they know better. Otherwise you are leaving yourself open for Satan to enter into your life. So I believe that an unforgiving heart is an unrepentant heart.


Anonymous said...

Although true believers are regularly to forgive others who have sinned against them they are also aware that human nature wars against this.

As Paul said, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me” (Romans 7:21). Like Paul, we must know that of our own strength, we are powerless to do the right thing.

The good news is as Christians who possess the Holy Spirit, and when we rely on His power, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

Christ strengthens His saints to be forgiving! Were it beyond our ability to forgive from the heart, Jesus would never have commanded us to do it. Let's be quick to remember that it was Jesus who cried out from the cross, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

Stephen also asked that those who were stoning him be forgiven (Acts 7:60). In both cases, forgiveness was unconditional. Those around the cross were not asking for forgiveness, and neither were those stoning Stephen.

Let's praise the LORD for His glorious gift of forgiveness.

Reine Gnade

Cherie c. said...

Dear Joel, It is not for me I am asking. I always forgive others because I was once them and that is what the Word of God says we as the Church should do. I am hurt that you would think that of me, but I am sure it is because the way I phrased my question. I did not want to indicate who it was I was referring to. Love you anyway. Not your fault.

I live with people who claim to be "Christian", they do not say followers of Christ. But they are cold as stone when it comes to me, and each other and I just need, once in a while, some reassurance that I am doing right by the Lord. Even when I was not saved I didn't hold any grudges. That does not make me wonderful, quite the contrary. But now that I am saved, at times I witness them that say they are but behave and speak otherwise. I need to know that I am on the side of the Lord.

I endure some very hurtful scorn at the hands of those who profess to love me. I don't always respond as I should because my flesh gets the better of me. I am told to endure and love and for the most part I do, although at times very difficult, but I fear God more than man most of the time. But there are those few occasions where I feel the need to defend myself and it never goes as planned. I think to myself, they need to understand, and it never works out quite the way I envision. No wonder, I am operating out of flesh instead of allowing the Spirit to lead.

But as a person in flesh, not of it, I succumb and need to repent. I am not glorying in my condition, because it is Christ's alone, but I just need on occasion, to know that some of what I am doing is on the side of Jesus. Reassurance.

I love my husband and family and although they hurt me, I would never pray for, or wish anything bad upon them. And I do not hold any grudges. My husband asked me yesterday how I could speak to him as if nothing happened this week and weekend. I was so puzzled at this question. He then told me he could not forgive me.

I am not afraid to be honest and truthful here regarding this particular incident or any for that matter. He is angry with me because he accused me of lying to him when I did not. Without taking up the entire comment section, my husband is a very stingy man. He is not interested in helping anyone especially his own children. Because his parents were less than loving to him, he has become the same way.

see next post.

Cherie c.

Cherie c. said...

Money means a lot to him. My older son had a car accident last Dec. and since then he has been sharing one car between himself and his younger brother, the owner of the car they shared. Well, schedule conflicts had reached a point where another car was needed. Since the car I currently owned became increasingly difficult to drive due to my upper back pain, and bursitis, I discussed with my husband to purchase a car for me and give my truck to my younger son, letting his older brother take over the car they shared. He went ballistic. After he calmed down, but still angry, he requested of me a way he wanted it done if I was to get the new car. He must of thought it impossible because he again was furious at me when it all worked out the way he wanted. My older son was to pay my younger son for his car, so Cory did that. The price was $1.00. My husband said Cory could set the price. My older son even offered to pay one car payment Cory now has to pay, but Cory said Mom, I just can't do that to Jeff, he is family. I lost it there, Praise God for his generosity.

Then my younger son was to take over the payments of (only about a year left on the truck) the truck. Which he did. The new car was to be at the same budget we spent for the truck. Actually the payments are lower by about $45.

I went and picked up the car on Thursday night after all the arrangements were done exactly according to my husband's terms. He said to me he never said anything of the sort and that I lied to him. Well, yup you guessed it, I then became angry. Very angry and defended myself about being called a liar. I did not lie at all. He was made that I go the car at all. He is mad at everything. He complains about everything. After a day of constant complaining, I asked him to please not do it anymore as we went to get ice cream. He said he was really struggling during the car ride.???!!! The man does not know how to have a conversation without complaining about something. When did this happen? He never used to be that way. Since his father passed away he has completely changed. Very cold hearted, not that he wasn't before, but even worse now.

final next post

Cherie c. said...

My husband thinks he has a relationship with the Lord. He says he doesn't need to read the the Bible because he knows.???? My son told me Thursday night that I would be punished for getting the new car; by the way it isn't new new, it is a 2010. New to me, but used. Like I said, I stayed in the budget as my husband directed.

I did not lie to him. In fact while at the dealer I called him several times. He was even cordial on the phone after ignoring my calls all day. I guess my flesh got the best of me because I told him straight out that I did not lie, he is just mad that it worked out because he thinks the boys get too much. My sons do have at times bad attitudes. I do remind them on occasion that appreciation is a good quality to have, and that humbleness is what the Lord wants us to display. But by no means do they think they are entitled to anything as my husband so often says. I help them financially, yes, but things are different these days, and I do not care about money, never did. They are my mission field. He yelled at me that I would give money away to a stranger then think about our future and he is right about that. Then he got really furious when I said my future is in Heaven, not here.

When things calmed down last evening, is when he asked me how I could go about as if nothing happened, and I said I forgave him and he could not understand it. He said he could not do that so easily. I said do what? He said forgive me for lying to him. Again I said, you are mad that the car situation worked out at all. I know you tried to make it difficult for me, but I did not think it difficult, only ungenerous, but that I followed everything you said to the letter. He said he never said that and that I lied to him. My son almost lost his skin because he even spoke to him on the phone from the dealer too, ensuring my husband that he would make the remaining payments on the truck. I just walked away.

That is why I asked what I asked because I know that my husband isn't saved. I just wanted to know that I was doing right. Sometimes I get so down about my walk with the Lord. I try to do what the Word says, but after so much I can't take it, I fail. And then I feel even worse because I failed the Lord. He keeps me whole and I fail Him. My husband tries to put me in situations where I will not be godly or loving towards him, and at times he is successful. I loathe it when this happens. I hardly feel like I have even Jesus' righteousness let alone being called a child of God. I am wretched and I deserve everything the Bible says a sinner deserves. My only hope is that Jesus finds something in me worth having in His Kingdom to come. I am broken. I only asked because if I view my husband as worldly and in need of a Savior, I will not hold a grudge, but have compassion. If the day comes where I lose that approach, I will be lost and damned to hell because I will have walked away from the Lord. My hope and prayer is that when Jesus returns that He will find my faith in Him along with the faith of the brothers and sisters in Christ. I enjoy what the Lord provides, but I am also cognoscent of the fact that it is temporal. But I count it as nothing for Jesus. Yes, even a new car. This one does not hurt my back so much as the truck seats. So I am hopeful I can drive to work without hunching and further damaging a very sore body. The arthritis contributes to other health issues so I need, not want, things to help me function, and on occasion something I want. I asked that question already knowing the answer, just looking for reassurance. I am sorry Joel if I wrote it where it made you think it was me I was asking for. Please forgive me.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Cherie, please forgive me. I don't want to hurt or cause pain to you. I apologize.


Cherie c. said...

Dear Brother Joel,

You did nothing wrong. I don't always phrase my thoughts correctly. I am sorry if I caused misunderstanding. Love ya dear brother.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Annette said...

Dear Cheri,

There are a myraid of things I wish I could say to you as the burdens you suffer are common in many homes. Please know, you are not alone. Please know that you are human and we all fall short....not only you, but me as well....and honestly....all of the saints fall short and are stubbling blocks at times.

Our Father tells us children in His very Word..."Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burden, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load." Galations 6:1-5
Author: God

As followers of our LORD Jesus Christ, please know that we are here for you Cheri. We are the ecclesia, and we bear one another's burdens, praying in the Holy Spirit for one another. Since we cannot be there to give you a hug, or hold your hand, we know that Jesus will meet you where you are as we lift you up in prayer.

Jesus sees your tears and He knows your pain for He loves you. There is no greater love than that of Christ Jesus. No greater love at all.

We are the body of Jesus Christ and we are here for you, dear sister Cheri.

'Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen." Galations 6:18