Time with God – Jeremiah 2 & 3 & Joel 2

30 12 2010

This morning I got up and did the normal very, very first things…for us, that’s letting the dogs out (and cats in) the house. Then it’s coffee or breakfast or whatever. Sometimes I watch a bit of t.v. like the news or poke around the Christian channels (unfortunately, there are many programs I can no longer stomach.) It depends on what time we get up since we work at home, we often go to bed really late (or early in the a.m., depending on how you look at it.)

Today, however, I felt the strong need to go back into my room and really, really seek the Lord. To tune out all distractions and just focus on Him. I started with worship songs but there came a point where I felt I was to turn those off, get on my knees by the side of the bed and just “enter in.”

I did and I arrived at a place where I felt it was just me and God. Almost like a cave in the heavens, with a bit of an echo but no real walls or anything, just this small, darkish ethereal place.  I poured out my heart, my love, my confusion and doubt about the church’s teachings, my concerns about the apostasy and I also poured out my worship.

All in my head, just giving all of my insides to Him. I said to Him (as I have many other times in my life) that I’m not sure how to truly approach Him…the Living GOD, the very creator of the Universe and how empty the “typical” praise words sound to my own ears at times.

(You know the times in church where the worship pastor stops and says, “just pour out your hearts to him, tell Him how you love him?” We all dutifully say things like: “I love you Lord, you are the most high God, we worship and adore you, you are King of Kings and Lord of Lords”, etc., etc.)

But when I do it in prayer, sometimes they sound like “just words” and I long for something else, something deeper, something more.

Today I found it and I climbed into my father’s lap and experienced complete communion and peace with Him.  He spoke to me and held me and loved me.  It was wonderful. 

(Why, oh WHY do I ever resist time with God?  I know we all do it and yeah, we all know the enemy wants us to stay too busy and hates our prayer life BUT why do we EVER go along with not spending time with God?  Like what, are we stupid?  How ELSE can we get connected, refilled and directed!)

He gave me Jeremiah 3:2 and Joel 2:22 in my head as I ended this wonderful prayer / communion time. (It’s very rare for me to hear scriptures to look up in my head…usually I just ask the Lord to show me something, which He has always been faithful to do since 1987 or I’m just simply studying the bible or a specific subject.)  I looked them up and then did as I usually do, read the surrounding scriptures for context

Surprise, surprise!  They’re both about judgement, restoration and the end time/Day of the Lord.

In Jeremiah 2 & 3, I found God admonishing Israel and charging them will all their sins, wrongdoings and idol worship and His offer for them to (yet again) turn away and return to Him.

He is very specific about Ba’al worship and His complete fury regarding it.  So I looked up what it is.   Chld sacrifice, sexual immorality, drunkeness, gluttony and worship of the heavenly hosts are some of the things involved.  Whoa.  I’m not involved in any of those (although I was raised on astrology and I know I still mentally calculate someone’s birth sign…I suspect I’m being told to guard my mind and not let any of that into my life AT ALL.) 

I’ve laid down the other things involved in that type of worship as well…don’t drink alcohol any more, walk in celibacy since I’m not married and never did have a problem with gluttony (and obviously haven’t ever thrown any children into the fire.)

So I look at it and think:  “Message for America” since so much New Age stuff has crept into today’s churches (post I’ll put on my other blog, Christians Get Ready.)

But wait, then I think:  “What kind of stuff is on the t.v.?  Is watching the highly sexually charged t.v. shows that abound in America today part of it?”  Yes, it is. 

Is going nuts at the mall or on Ebay buying stuff a form of gluttony?  Yes, it is.  It’s not just food (and it seems to me that the only “allowable sin” in churches today is over eating.)

Can we be drunk on other things besides alcohol?  Yes, we can.  Power.  Success.  Fame.  Material possessions.  Fill in the blank.

Do we sacrifice our children today?  How about by neglecting them…working two jobs so we can have nicer material possessions?  Are latch-key kids being sacrificed to television, online chat rooms (where predators DO lie in wait) and other “modern” conveniences that babysit them while we work so hard? 

Hmmmm, worth considering.

Regarding Joel 2:22 (and surrounding verses) I came to the conclusion that I’ve used that verse for YEARS pointing to why the Spirit is being poured out on churches (I’ve been in ‘Spirit filled’ churches for the most part along with Baptist…talk about differing views on what Scripture says and means!) I have heard that preached and so have looked at Joel 2:28-32 for years because it is pointed to as part of prophecy for today’s church (Spirit-Filled, Evangelical circles I mean…certainly not in the Baptist churches we’ve gone to…they don’t believe in ANY of the gifts.)

Well, this is part of the doubts I’m having now since the whole idea of the Pre-Trib rapture, 7 church ages, and “end times” prophecies may be all part of what “itching ears want to hear.”

Today I look and I see that I have been ignoring the words that START Joel 2:28 “And afterward.” Um, kinda like saying “resist the devil and he must flee” ignoring the FIRST part which says “submit yourselves to God.”

“And afterward” means after something that hasn’t happened yet! We know that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us AFTER His death and resurrection so we have to conclude that God meant the Joel scriptures NOT to have been about that time but must instead refer to future times (since the Great Day of the Lord has not occured yet.)

So does that mean that all the “stuff” going on in today’s Evangelical / Spirit Filled churches contains much not from God? It’s a huge possibility and my whole belief system and world is really rocking right now!

I have ONE thing to stand on: God. I trust Him, I know He IS faithful and I know He’ll tell me the true path.

I have one goal in life and that’s to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” So I need to stay tucked under His wing, commune constantly with Him, serve where He tells me to serve and walk in the way He wants me to walk.

I do believe the gifts are still in operation today but I will be very selective about taking preaching at face value. I want the WHOLE COUNSEL of the Lord, not just bits and pieces taken out of context in order to fit my (man’s) ideas and beliefs. I want TRUTH, straight up with no chaser!


Nehemiah 6-13

29 12 2010

I’m not going to type out all the scripture but instead comment on why I read it all. The first part (Nehemiah 6) was about rebuilding the wall, something that Jason & I had just been looking up online (rebuilding the Jewish temple) as we’re discussing the end times and whether or not there needs to be an actual rebuilt temple.  Why are we doing this?  Because we’re now questioning so much of what is currently taught in the churches we’ve attended, and has been taught to us over the last 24 years, regarding the times we live in, the things we should watch for (since Jesus clearly told His followers to watch the signs of the times) and how we should live.

We now believe that a lot of what’s being taught in today’s churches in America is wrong specifically regarding the Rapture, the 7 church ages and other related subjects on Pre-Trib Rapture and Dispensationalism.  (Well, actually we’ve never really believed it but now we’ve no remaining doubt that the concept is part of a big lie and part of the apostasy of the church.)

Primarily I mean that if the idea of a secret first rapture is not true, then so much of the surrounding teachings are incorrect. That is a specific part, but only a part of what we’ve learned in church. Much of it is about how to live as a Christian and so we will not go as far as to say the church in America is wrong about everything because it’s not.

So when I grabbed my Bible last night after discussions with Jason, both of us searching online about various things and looking up about the temple being rebuilt in Jerusalem, I needed a God-break and head clearing!

I just spoke to the Lord and said, “Lord, please talk to me, please talk to me. I want to hear what YOU want me to hear.”

That’s when I turned to Nehemiah and started with the part about opposition to rebuilding the wall in chapter 6.  I laughed (given the previous hours of studying and wondering about just that subject) and then just kept reading, all the way until the end.

Nehemiah was fervent for the Lord and His holy commands and the way He has commanded his people to act. He was a society changer, he went among the people and talked about God, he re-instated proper worship, he had them read the word aloud and remember God’s goodness. His final reforms had to do with making sure the people that served the Lord were well taken care of and that all the tithes and offerings were done properly as well as making sure the house of God was purified and all who defiled it were cast out.

For me this translated to looking at what I need to purify in myself, to throw out all wrong belief systems and find out what God really wants from me in the way of worship that is pleasing to HIM.

I know it starts with giving Him my time, prayers, honor and focus above all else. To start my day with Him, not my computer or the morning news or anything else!  To force myself to ignore the distractions of life and give Him my all.

To rebuild my OWN temple and my own wall.  I may be a watchwoman on the wall for the signs of the times but I must first watch my own wall…what is getting in, what cause wrong thinking, what ungodly influences I’m allowing into my own heart, my life AND my household.  I’m still responsible for my son (even though he’s an adult) by way of that I’m his only parent…my actions still affect him and he lives under my roof. 

That means confronting both of us when we act wrong, listening to him (because he is an adult now) when he busts me on stuff I’m doing as well.  Taking care of my health, my spirit and my psyche…the temple of the Holy Spirit.

But mostly, putting God first and watching to make sure that He is given the honor, obedience, worship and service that is fitting to give the God of all, the one who created us.  To worship Him with my whole life and my whole heart and with all my strength in a way that is pleasing to HIM.

Isaiah 21:11-12 Watch Woman on the Wall

28 12 2010

Because we’ve got two blogs going, (the other blog is “Christians Get Ready“) I’m “late” posting what God gave me the first day.  On December 28, 2010, Jason & I started this “A Year In Christ” blog as a way to do our daily bible study “together yet seperate” and utilize tools that are familiar to both of us…computers!

Isaiah 21:11-12 “An oracle concerning Dumah:  Someone calls to me from Seir, “Watchman, what is left of the night?  Watchman, what is left of the night?”  The watchman replies, “Morning is coming, but also the night.  If you would ask, then ask; and come back yet again.”

God has given me the “watchman title” many, many times in the past to the point where I say “I’m a watchman on the wall.”  (It wasn’t until blogging that I decided to use “watch woman” which is accurate given my gender as well as the fact that I love alliteration!)

What struck me me about this first was that God was re-iterating His call to me to “watch” the times (exactly what I’m doing with the other blog) but also for us, for myself and my son.  I’m the head of the household since there are just the 2 of us in our family.  I’ve been charged with raising him to be a good Christian man (the first thing God ever said out loud to me after I got saved when Jason was 2 years old.)

Watching the times, watching the signs.  Paying attention to what’s going on around us in the world, on the news, in the church.

The second thing that struck me was that morning is coming but also the night.  Given how many times the Lord takes me to scriptures having to do with the end times, the coming calamity upon the earth, the part about “morning is coming but also the night” leads me to believe that while the “End” has to do with terrible destruction of our world and the ungodly world system, the hope of His glorious restoration is also there.  I also got, for me, the command to keep asking, to keep watching, to keep coming to Him.

Yes, Lord, I will!