Who will take care of you when your oil runs out?
Blood moons, financial collapse on the horizon, prophecies about earthquakes, warnings about other countries’ invasion of ours…...on and on and on. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed, reading articles and listening to programs each day about the coming doom.
As I pray, I sense that God is cautioning us about balance. He does want us to be informed, alert and aware of possibilities. We should not hide our heads in the sand or dismiss these warnings as though they were nothing. They are true (mostly) possibilities and we need to have wisdom. Living in denial will not position us in a place of victory.
Our true preparation is our spiritual one. Why? Because when things get really rough, our only true hope is in Him. That is true even today as we face so many troubles in life. We need our focus on Jesus and all He offers us. It’s the only way to have peace or gain wisdom. He imparts divine wisdom when we have none. We must learn to hear Him clearly.
In Matthew 25:1-13 we read a parable about the virgins who prepared their lamps with oil to be ready to meet the Bridegroom. Half of them secured their oil, and made the necessary preparations to be ready for Him. The other five just went to sleep, not taking any trouble to be sure their provisions were in order. Then, when the Bridegroom arrived, the wise virgins were ready, but of course, the foolish ones were whining to the wise ones to give them their oil. Since there wasn’t enough, the foolish ones had to go out at midnight to find a place to buy oil and by the time they returned, it was too late!
We know this story is about the return of Jesus and how we should be ready. It certainly applies to our situation today as well. We have been warned aplenty of our need to get our spiritual lives and our houses in order for whatever is on the horizon. Still, many are refusing to listen. Many mock. Many put other things as a priority. What will the outcome be? Just like those foolish virgins, when things crash in, the foolish will be crying out to the others to share what they stored or prepared with them. They will be miserable in not knowing how to depend on the Lord because they’ve ignored their spiritual lives. They will be in despair because their children and other loved ones are looking to them for strength and hope and they won’t know how to grasp those things for themselves, nor how to give them to others.
Please get yourself on the “wise” list. Stop chasing after more money, titles, or whatever distracts you and get on your knees right away. Wake up! Don’t be deceived into thinking that your wise friends will be ready to share all they have because you were too foolish to prepare your own house. They might be. They might not. Everyone has to answer to God individually. No one can do it for you. If you don’t know Him today, please open that door and let Him in. You can never say you had no warning. He loves you deeply and is sending those alerts constantly. Time is running out. Fill your lamps with oil now. Then you can keep a healthy balance in where you spend time and energy.
The Devil Doesn't Play Fair
Have you ever had a week where anything that could go wrong went wrong? The past two weeks we’ve had a domino collapsing party around our house. One thing leads to another to another to another. There are moments where I sit down and say “Lord, what are You thinking here?”
You might wonder if I’m being a drama queen. Well, I’m not generally that. My husband was called with a bad medical report, so we had to scramble to go have more tests run. I was not exactly scrambling because I had been hit with a severe case of sciatica and was having trouble walking. One of my online accounts was hacked. We had two major mistakes on some billing --- you know those kind where you’re on the phone for hours with several different people who can’t seem to understand what’s going on? (You all have those and know how fun they are.) Then, when it was time to go for my hubby’s test, I was afflicted with some weird tooth problem. Oh yeah, and did I mention it began on the weekend, so I had to bite the bullet, so to speak, and it was quite painful, for days. There were some other things as well, which I’ll spare you the details on, but I think you get my drift.
When we’re in a state of battling one issue after another, guess what? We get tired. We get frustrated and we sometimes lose our focus. I’m the one who’s always teaching about standing firm in times of trouble. I’m the one who tells people to stay in the Word, in prayer, keeping that sword drawn against the enemy, right? So, I guess it stands to reason that I have to be tested. I hope I passed the test as these trials seem to be lessening by today. (Only God knows.)
What I want to share is that even though I teach those things all the time, I found myself at a couple of low points where I was so exhausted and negative thoughts were pounding my brain. Did I exhibit perfect peace and joy in my trial? I don’t think I did. I got kinda grumpy and even thought about hosting a full blown pity party one night. But….I did realize at one point that the enemy was joining in to bring me down. He does that! God, on the other hand, is so gracious that He tipped me off to the devil’s schemes. What a Father!!
I was lying on the bed with an ice pack under my hip, and holding another one on my jaw when a couple of thoughts hit me that seemed strange. They were dark, ugly thoughts that really weren’t like me at all. Not that I’m perfect by any means, but they were self destructive thoughts that I do not ever have. Thoughts of giving up, resigning from everything, blaming God. As miserable as I was that day, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me, warning me that this is how the enemy works---kicking you when you’re down.
Thank God I took His authority over the whole mess! I began to pray differently, stop whining, and reflect on how blessed my life really is. I put my earphones in with my praise music flowing. I felt the heaviness lifting off within a few minutes.
My point in sharing today is that you are going to have some rotten days, maybe even weeks. Things don’t always go well, even when you’re giving it your best shot. But when you’re in the middle of the storm, remember that your enemy will jump right in there to try to bring you down. You have to put on that whole armor of God and stand firm. Don’t let that devil get a victory just because you’re tired or sick. God will deliver you out of it!! When the storm is past, you will look back, as I am today, and see how distorted things can become when you let your guard down. And you can remind yourself of one of my favorite scriptures, “and it came to pass…” ha. It will pass! Things always change and things always get better. “The testing of our faith produces endurance, so that we may be complete..” James 1:3.
You Set your Alarm Clock, but what about Your Spiritual Alarm Clock?
I saw a joke today about how many pastors were posting on social media about setting clocks so that no one would miss church, but most of them aren’t warning anyone about missing the critically important season we are in. It wasn’t funny to me. I’m not pastor- bashing; I don’t do that. I am a pastor. I’m just asking a question: how many are truly preparing their flocks for some serious times coming soon? If you are in a church where all you hear in sermons is how happy, prosperous days are just around the corner, you are in trouble. I will never tell you that God is not faithful or that he doesn’t bless us. It’s undeniably true that He blesses, protects us and is good. But, friends, we are on the brink of some treacherously serious days, and we must get prepared.
Some have already turned away from this or deleted it because they don’t want to hear it or believe it. Ignorance can be bliss….but only for a short time. We can’t do anything about that except pray for them. I am so concerned about the body of Christ who is sitting in ignorant bliss each week, hearing messages about how God is about to make them rich and deliriously happy...any minute now, if they just claim it or decree it. If you are on social media, you see countless memes with these messages too. Granted, they can be encouraging when you’re a little down but where are the ones warning people that time is short, and it’s time to get hearts right?
God is warning His people. He is sending us dreams and visions, highlighting scripture as we read it, and shaking our spirits to say, “Wake up! Pay attention! Judgment is coming to America!” Take a little walk through history. Every time our leaders have done any action that negatively affects Israel, we have a major weather event that shakes cities or regions. God keeps trying to get our attention, but we blindly go on our merry ways. Pastor Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth, once said, “If God doesn’t bring judgment to America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.” So true. God is not kidding around about us getting our lives in order, His order.
God wants you to come to Him; get clean. Repent of things in your life that don’t please Him. Have a clear conscience, a pure heart, washing clean the channels through which He speaks. Then He will show you what is coming and what you personally need to do. He doesn’t want His people to be taken by surprise, and devastated by world events. He spelled it all out in His Word, which most people don’t read or take to heart. If you only pull out a few verses here and there that make you feel good, you are missing the greatest opportunity of your life---to know the true and living God! And to understand His purposes.
I’m writing this because I encounter Christians every day who tell me they don’t want to hear this. They choose to blindly go on to the mall and ignore the warnings. How is this going to benefit your family, your children, when times get rough? Please take time to go to the Lord and ask Him if I’m speaking truth? When tragedy strikes where you live, will you be the one God uses to encourage others and lead them to Him, offering hope and peace in the storm? Or, will you be falling apart, writhing in fear, angry at God because you always heard in church that you would be raptured before any tough stuff came along? Ask believers in other countries what they think about that, as they are suffering for Christ daily?
I feel an urgency to warn people. If you are paying any attention to world events, and you have read the Bible at least once, you know I’m telling the truth. Don’t hide your head in the sand. It’s quicksand, my friend. I’m praying that you wake up and smell the coffee, which is boiling over at this moment. Take heed, be obedient to your Father, and turn away from those who sugar coat the gospel for their own gain. Time is short and God is calling His people to prepare so that we can be vessels for His use in times of trouble. You will need His peace in the storm. You likely will not have it if you have not prepared beforehand. Learning how to press into Him and hear His instructions and guidance will be your salvation and hope. I pray you do this now.
God is Always There
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"Living in God's Rest...At Peace in a Chaotic World" and "Masked in Deceit," are both available now. Living in God's Rest can be purchased from any of your favorite booksellers online or in stores. Masked in Deceit, a novel, is available from Amazon. Both books are offered in ebook versions as well. I always appreciate reviews on the seller's sites. Just click the books below and you will find links to purchase.
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