Hello folks. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am ready for things to get back to some kind of normal. Hmm. But when I think about it, life -at it is- is somewhat “normal.” The mask thing is getting tiring, but when I go out to public places, and forget to put one on, I feel naked. It’s become a routine. For now, I just wear the mask. COVID19 is frustrating and inconvenient and it has threaten the lives of my family and friends, but I praise God, because He has sustained us. For me, God has taken every measure to keep His people safe during this pandemic. That’s not to say that His children have not fallen victim to the virus, because they have, only that God has not abandoned His people.
“For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?”Romans 11:34
For me, I trust in the goodness of the Lord. I trust that He is working things out according to HIS will, not my will, or man’s will. All of our righteousness is as filthy rags. Isaiah 64:6 reminds us of that little, often overlooked truth,
“But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.”Isaiah 64:6
So, earlier this year, I remembered a dream I had soon after I got married. It was 1983 and I was still a fairly new Christian. At the time, I didn’t understand the dream. But I wondered if it had any significance to my new life in Christ. I asked a couple of people from the church – if they thought it had any meaning. Neither gave it much thought. It was only a dream, they said. I left it at that. But that dream stayed with me, decade after decade. The memory of that dream, has always been quite vivid. And, it was years later that God, being the merciful God that He is, finally got around to revealing the significance of the dream.
In this dream I find myself inside a very warm, cozy room, fireplace going, modestly furnished, with a couple of children, I could only assume were mine. In this room, I had this overwhelming sense of peace. Then for no reason, my attention was drawn to the front door. I see myself walking to the door. Very hesitantly, I reach for the doorknob, turning it ever so slowly to open the door. I felt a sense of foreboding. But I was compelled to step outside. I walked out, but I could not believe what I way seeing. The sight was surreal. In my dream, the house I was in, was raging right down the middle of what I can only describe as rushing flood waters. The house was thrashing back and forth, up and down the wild waters. For some reason, I did not move with the house. I was not even afraid. I found it odd that inside the house I felt nothing of what I was seeing. Well, I saw enough. And even in my dream, I knew to go back inside. I made my way back in and as soon as I shut the door, it was calm. If I had not seen that I was in the middle of a storm, I would not have known it otherwise. The dream was not disturbing. It was intriguing. Maybe that’s why it stayed with me for so long.
Anyway, in 2014, I was in the middle of a spiritual journey. And part of that journey was the realization of that dream. I had gone through many trials and shed many tears since my divorce in 1995, but it was only by the grace of God that I was able to keep my eyes on Him. Up to that point, I was the Christian that asks “Why God?” You know, the doubleminded man. Well, that dream was my “King Nebuchadnezzar wake up call.” I like to call it my Damascus experience, because it was also like the apostle Paul’s eye opening experience. Because that quickly, my eyes were opened. It was nothing as dramatic as Nebuchadnezzar, or as Paul’s, but it was me acknowledging God as the Most High, as the First and the Last, as the Creator of all things, as my Savior, not just with words, but with all that is within me.
“All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?
“At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.”Daniel 4:28-30; 34
The light came on for me in 2014. I finally came to that place in my spiritual journey, where I was fully persuaded that God is who He says He is. I always believed I was, but that was not true for me. Anyway, the lesson was that without Christ, the storms of life would have carried me away, washed me away, discouraged me, made me believe things would never be right without me taking the initiative. I sincerely believed that if things were ever going to get better for me and my girls, I had to pull up my bootstraps and rely on my resources and my abilities to improve my life. And pretty much that’s what I did. That’s what the world demanded of me. I navigated life by my own might, my own desires. I seemingly gave God my heart, but not really, and not my life, not my all. He never had all of me, nevertheless I knew well that my peace of mind was only found in Christ, so I always turned to God. It’s a long story, but that was the gist of it. Today, I realize I cannot make God real to anyone. I wouldn’t even want to. That connection can only come from God. He is the only one that can make Himself real to anyone. So, for me, I choose to stay inside of Christ. I choose to to trust God through the storms. Yes. I know the storms are there, but my peace comes from the Lord.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”Isaiah 26:3
“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”Romans 12:18
For me, this pandemic is only one storm in a sea of many. It has been immense and it continues to loom over us. The Texas freeze was another. And I might add, there’s always a lesson or two to learn from freezing in the dark, but I didn’t expect a lesson on politics. At the moment, there are storms brewing all around me. COVID19 makes it impossible to be where we want to be, but praying and trusting God in these storms is the best thing I can do. God works even if I don’t show up anywhere. I can give my opinion, advice and such, but only God knows the heart of any man and He alone can reach into the abyss to bring anyone out of darkness.
And what I learned in the cold freezing candlelit room is that Republicans are not the keepers of morality. They are not the keepers of the things of God, or the teachings of Jesus. I’ve always had this gut feeling that Texas Republicans hid behind the Cross. And being conservative is simply holding to the traditions of man. When I hear people refer to themselves as proud conservatives, I’m like… biblically speaking that’s an oxymoron. It’s important to say that, because too many Christians believe that one party represents the God of heaven and that’s not true. If Christians read their Bible they would know that God appoints all leaders. To rightly divide the word of God, one has to first read the word of God.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:16-17
I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s getting ever so difficult to spot the living God among so many little gods. As I’ve said prior, they look like Him, talk like Him, but they are not Him. And here, I have accepted that Republicans are not necessarily Christians, at best they may be Christians in name only. I don’t know their faith. I don’t know their heart. As Scripture says, only God knows the heart of any man. And we are supposed to recognize each other by our fruit, but there’s a lot of fake fruit out their. And again, what can one say, when only God knows the heart. It looks pretty, but it doesn’t satisfy. More than ever I have to assess my walk. I have to continually ask God to search my heart.
I came across this book at a local thrift store, “May I have your Order Please” How to get everything you want from God! The title alone grabbed my attention. And that’s just it. Being content is not enough. What’s that Scripture “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.” Matthew 23:25
I believe we have been taught the wrong narrative about Jesus. Learning to walk like Jesus is not easy. Learning to love like Jesus is doubly difficult. And as the love of many grows colder, on both sides, it will not get any easier. One last thing that these last few months have taught me is to stop looking for Christ among celebrity pastors, among pastors that use the pulpit to promote their own agendas. Today’s pastors are teaching that moral issues are dividing this nation. And that’s not a good assessment of the situation that confronts us today. That’s the conflict that exists between man and God. The disunity in this country stems from the Pharisees that want to dismiss the teachings of Jesus. They give it credence, without substance. It’s just like in the days of Jesus. They defended their religious beliefs. It was the Pharisee that wanted to shut Jesus up and we know why. Yes. It was all part of God’s plan of salvation. But the fact that His chosen people crucified His Son, that little fact continues to speak volumes to the danger of the Pharisee, the wolf in sheep’s clothing. The pesky devil continues to use the same phrase, “Did God really say…”
Thanks for reading. This is what I am compelled to do, to share my journey to know God.