Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Spoiled Church - Part Three

"If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; 
then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14
(KJV)



I can't begin to tell you how much I agonized over hitting "publish" on that last post.
Oh, I struggled before doing that...and afterwards, too!
I did not want to sound harsh, and it seemed so straightforward and so bold.
And, it is so terribly LONG.
I should have kept track of the times satan whispered that no one would read it, 
due to its length.
I even researched online, AGAIN, how long a blog post should be.
There are many, many suggestions, and as with anything else, 
there is much disagreement on the subject.
This article gives an argument for both shorter posts and longer posts,
and in defense of long posts, the author mentions 1000, 1500, 2000, or even more words.
I thought, "Oh, no!"
My post was double 2,000...and then some...ending up somewhere between 4,600-4,700 words!!

But, as this tug-of-war went on inside of me, the precious Holy Spirit spoke straight to my hesitancy,
"I would not have inspired you to write it, if I wanted you to keep it to yourself.
I did not come to bring peace, but a sword."
(Matthew 10:34)

Then today, I got this email from "Little Mr. Wisdom", 
who has watched as my mental anguish and burdened heart have repeatedly driven me to tears.

This is what he said, verbatim.

"Here Mama, this proves you did the right thing about posting the blog!"...
and below his words was this quote he had come across by JC Ryle,
"Never let us be guilty of sacrificing any portion of truth on the altar of peace."

Thank you, precious Zach.
Your support, encouragement, input, and Godly life never cease to encourage and challenge your Mama and Daddy!
We love you with more love than our hearts can hold.

Dear friends, I mean no hurt by the things I say here.
I wish you could see inside my heart straight down to the motivations and intentions,
and you would see the love and genuine burden I feel as I watch the unfolding of current events.
My spirit is greatly stirred, and I feel that if I don't deliver what God lays upon my heart,
I will burst.

So, I press on to continue this series, as the inspiration flows so quickly that I can scarcely keep up.

We are a spoiled church.
I think I have made my thoughts on this abundantly clear.

And just as spoiled children need to be corrected and redirected back to the right path and way of thinking, so, in a spiritual sense, do we.
And, this, my friend, is why I believe God has allowed things to reach such a peak of desperation among His people.
He is trying His utmost to make us aware of and to correct our errant behavior.
To get us back on track.
To exhaust every avenue of mercy in hopes that we will turn our hearts back to Him.

Don't think for one moment that He is surprised by anything that is going on.
Nothing catches God by surprise.
In fact, He is allowing all of this.

Haven't you and I been praying hard for revival in America?

The recent happenings that have astonished us so
are, in reality, tools in the hand of a loving God to bring about the very revival for which we pray.

I am not intending to speak gloom and doom, but I do intend to speak truth and reality.
Raw.  Unedited.  Undiluted.   Sugar-free.
The truth of the matter is, revival does not usually come,
without there first being a major awakening.
And a major awakening usually happens when God's sleep-induced people are on the verge of,
being threatened by,
or in the throes of adversity, calamity, or persecution.
 Sadly, this is just the way it is.

Why does it take this to wake us up?
Why do we sleep so soundly?
Why can't we just walk in diligent, fully-awake, conscious obedience and live close to Him,
fulfilling His will,
without Him having to go to such measures to get our attention?

Ask the children of Israel.
How many times did they go through the same "hot and cold" spiritual process?

More and more, the modern-day church reminds me of the Old Testament Israelites.

We, as spoiled, passive, apathetic, lethargic children of God in this generation,
have, by our disobedience and laziness, failed miserably on our watch.

We are like the proverbial frog in the pan.
In this hypothetical scenario, (I say hypothetical, because in actuality, real frogs have jumped out in some experiments, but for the sake of metaphoric value...I proceed),
throwing a live frog into a pan of boiling water with the intentions of cooking him alive doesn't usually work.
In most instances, the frog will jump out the instant it hits the hot water.
But, put a comfortable, room-temperature or cold pot of water on the stove,
place the frog in it, then very gradually ease the temperature warmer,
increasing the heat by way of tiny, little increments over a period of time,
and that oblivious frog will sit right there, and comfortably allow itself to be boiled to death.

Evil hasn't attained its current intensity and stronghold overnight.

Through a process of little-by-little advances and pushing the envelope just a bit farther each time,
we have slowly and gradually endorsed evil as being tolerable...even acceptable,
and we have been lulled into a slow, spiritual sleep.

"The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing."
(Quote is attributed to Charles F. Aked, Edmund Burke, and John F. Kennedy.
Read this article for a full explanation.)

So, degree-by-degree things have gotten into a wickedly-deplorable state, and the other day, 
God sent us a loud, trumpeting wake-up call to let us see just how bad things really are.

Tell me, why were we surprised?
Why did we respond with such overwhelming shock?
(And, an even better question is, why is it that so many professing Christians did not?
What?
The fact that there are "believers" who do not seem too alarmed or disturbed, 
and some are even in agreement,
bountifully proves the point of my burden and this series.)

We have sat back, in our spoiled-rotten, lackadaisical, "it will never happen to us" delusions,
and we have failed to "watch and pray" as Jesus so often warned us to,
we have either stayed home on election day or failed to vote our Christian values,
and we, through our failure to do good, have given evil a wide-open, rampant, uncontested, and unobstructed right-of-way.

So, here we are.

The trumpeting wake-up call has sounded, and now, we stretch and yawn,
as, slowly we are beginning to emerge from our state of near spiritual comatose slumber, 
and our blinders are starting to fall off,
and, alas, we are now coming fully awake.

And as we awaken, our senses are heading into panic mode.
It is as if we have just uncovered the Book of the Law we spoke about here,
and we are beginning to experience a fraction of Josiah's dread.

We, as a people, as God's church on earth, have grossly disobeyed our Creator God
by our passivity and lack of fervency and our character and disposition has been
harmed by our pampering, (as discussed in the last post.)
And now we know it.

Then, we find that the biggest abortion-performing facility in the United States
is telling expectant mothers that the living babies inside their growing wombs are just "tissue",
all while they are re-positioning them in utero, so they can carefully extract certain live organs
from the aborted babies to sell them for profit.

Tissue?
Seriously?
If it were tissue, how could live, beating hearts, lungs, livers, and heads be harvested?

Can things honestly become any more appalling?
Is there anything you can imagine that is more wretched or vile?

I sat and watched the video.
I probably shouldn't have.
It has made me so sick of heart, that I don't think I will ever be the same.
I cried from the pit of my soul.
My heart aches for every, single one of those precious, horrifically-mutilated, formed-by-the-hands-of-a-loving-God babies.
A deep, overpowering sorrow springs up from my maternal inner core,
compelling me to fall on my knees and BEG Almighty God to somehow forgive our despicable sin.

How could a doctor sit there eating salad and drinking wine while discussing this heinous, gruesome, monstrous atrociousness...
this barbaric evil that SHE is not only committing,
but for which she appears to feels no sorrow or remorse?

If there were an animal organ donation facility, could a humane doctor operate on an expectant dog, perform an abortion on the puppies inside,
crush certain body parts of the puppies, while being careful not to crush others, for the sake of keeping the most sellable and marketable organ(s) in tact?

If something like this were found out, would it not spark a unified cry of outrage?

While it would be beyond despicable to find out such horrors were being inflicted upon animals,
how much more can we even remotely justify imposing such a contemptible, reprehensible crime upon an unborn, beyond-precious-in-God's-sight human baby?

And she spoke of rearranging birth positions and strategically "crushing body parts" as if she were speaking of something as commonplace and insignificant as rearranging her living room furniture.

Oh, dear Lord!
Honestly, can we do much more to tread upon Your righteousness and invoke Your anger?

We are dead-set on vehemently saving the whales, and we should be,
but why are we not saving the humans?

We have wonderful humane societies in place to protect our animals, as we certainly should,
but how is it that we are so horrendously inhumane to our babies?

I have simply never been able to reconcile this.

I believe, with all my heart, that God's chastening rod now rests lightly upon our nation.
I say "lightly", because truly the extent of His wrath has not even slightly begun to be unleashed.
Right now, we are in the "chastening mode".
"For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth."
Hebrews 12:6
"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: 
nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness 
unto them which are exercised thereby."
Hebrews 12:11

What will our reaction be...now that we have come awake?
Will we be "exercised by" His chastening?

God's chastening rod is seasoned with mercy.
It is sent ahead of His greater wrath with the purpose of opening our eyes and giving us space to repent.

What we do right now, as God's people, 
is direly important.

I feel such an urgency and sense of Godly fear as I type these words.
I truly believe that what we do now, in response to recent happenings,
will directly affect what God does next.

Up until now, we have spiraled through many of the stages the European historian Alexander Fraser Tytler wrote about in his publication called, "The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic".
(There are some who believe this was actually written by Alexis de Tocqueville.
I apologize if I am misplacing attribution.)
According to the writer, (whomever that may be),
the nine stages a democracy passes through are, as follows:

From bondage to spiritual faith,
From spiritual faith to great courage,
From courage to liberty,
From liberty to abundance,
From abundance to selfishness,
From selfishness to complacency,
From complacency to apathy,
From apathy to dependency,
From dependency back again to bondage.

Does anything sound familiar to you?

I don't know where the author would say we, in America, now find ourselves in this nine-step process, but my opinion is that we are in overlapping layers and varying stages of steps six through nine, maybe?  
We are a grossly selfish people, who have settled into a comfortable complacency, that has caused us to become lazy and unresponsive to the conditions surrounding us.  

We have seen the signs of the times, we have felt a measure of fear grip us as we have made brief and feeble attempts here and there to man up and take a stand, but each time, we have quickly fallen back into our little complacent zones of comfort.  
Our complacency has landed us in a state of full-blown apathy.
We, as Christians in America, have settled back on our leas and convinced ourselves that "it will never happen here".
Our laziness has kept us home from the poll booths on election day and smothered our proactive voices.
We have forgotten that God has handed us the stewardship and opportunity to vote based on our Christian values.
We have overlooked the fact that the officials we elect are, in turn, handed the power to 
pick and choose the individual judges to whom they personally want to gift a lifetime appointment to the supreme court.
We, in our spiritually coma-tose state, seem to have been living in a world of make-believe, where the rules apply everywhere else and to all other people, but not to us.

With all due respect to Mr. Tytler, I believe our hope is not solely based on historical data, 
but thankfully it is founded in our faith in Almighty God.

Will He choose to have mercy on America?
Will He allow her to turn around?
Will He stay His hand of wrath?
He says He will hear from Heaven, forgive our sin, and heal our land,
but only after we have taken four contingent, prerequisite steps.

If we continue on the path we have been traveling,
we leave God no other option than to fulfill His Word.

"But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; 
that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee..."
Deuteronomy 28:15

"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."
Psalm 9:17

"If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: 
for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it."
Isaiah 1:19,20

"So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, 
but it shall accomplish that which I please, 
and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:11

Hope is offered us by way of the "4-3 2 Chronicles 7:14 Remedy", 
and the only available prospect for God's mercy is for us to be willing
to wholeheartedly and entirely follow the instructions He laid out for us there.

We can't wait for someone else to do the right thing.
It is going to have to begin with you...and me.
Passing the buck and hoping someone else will take the necessary steps
are the very things that have landed us where we are.

God needs someone us to stand in the gap, intercede, and follow His Biblically laid-out plan.

This is our only path to redemption, my friends.

In the next and fourth post, we will try to tackle step number one of the four steps.  
It isn't the most popular concept, but in order to do the other three, we will have to do this one FIRST.
Trying to perform step #2, #3. or #4 first will be like putting the cart before the horse.
It just plain won't work, and we will stand still in a perpetual rut with the cart never moving.

The first step God is asking us, as His people, to take, 
is to humble ourselves.

What exactly does this mean?
What is required?
How much will it cost?

Are we willing?

This is what we will explore in the next post.

Stay tuned for Part Four of "A Spoiled Church"!!!
Coming soon, Lord willing!!!

28 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Oh, Denise! I am so thankful for your visit. I am praying for you and Eddie. I do trust all will be well with you both. God bless you. :)

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  2. Okay, I've tried to comment on this 3 times now. Grrr....Anyways, I haven't read the previous 2 posts yet, but am going to now. I just wanted to say that I have a friend that I've been trying to show the importance of voting for a while now, and I showed them a part of this post and it definitely helped. :) yay!

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    1. That's good to know. :) Thanks so much for stopping by. God bless you. :)

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  3. I always vote. I agree, it is one of the most important things we can do for our country. I will say that my votes do not always coincide with what many Christians vote for. But, it is the voting itself that is important.

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Your words are always filled with grace and are so appreciated. I loved your post today, too. :) God bless you, sweet friend.

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  4. Oops, I forgot to add that 2 Chronicles 7:14 is one of my very favorites. I once heard a beautiful gospel choir/band perform it in Symphony hall, Boston.

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    1. Oh, I can only imagine how beautiful that was! What a lovely verse to set to music! I would have loved to have heard that. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. :)

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  5. In standing in the gap, we are more and more sifting out those who would be luke warm, who go for rock concerts and socializing and hearing positive affirmations vs the bible believing folks who are not afraid to have their toes stepped on in a sermon, who would hear "The Old Rugged Cross" instead of the latest hard rock song coming from the music inside the church, who would stand on the Bible no matter the cost rather than side with whatever the world desires. You don't become that way spontaneously. You grow with the help of solid preaching and teaching, with a solid church to support you. Solid bible preaching and teaching churches are hard to find anymore, who won't compromise, who names sin for what it is and what to do about it, and how to come to have Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

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    1. Amen, sister! Well-spoken! Thank you for your understanding and encouragement. God's blessings to you!

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  6. Another wonderful post written straight from your heart, dear Cheryl! It absolutely saddens and sickens me to hear of the atrocities that are carried out against the innocent, all for a dollar bill. God help us all! Bless you for being obedient to the voice of the Lord, and writing the things that He has laid on your heart! I pray for a great anointing in all you write, and all you do for HIM!

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    1. OH, dear friend! Thank you for your precious prayers! And your dear, encouraging words! They just mean so much more than I could ever express!!! May the dear Lord bless you abundantly for your support, friendship, and kindness to me. Much love to you from across the miles. :)

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  7. What a lovely piece of encouragement from your son! I wouldn't worry about the length or the contents. It's certainly not a popular opinion but I don't think Christians are meant to be "popular," as in fitting in with mainstream culture. It's very difficult sometimes to stand up for what you believe in and even when you have the best intentions (and I believe you do Cheryl) people will still misunderstand and hate you for it. But what they really hate is what you represent: Jesus Christ, the one and only king and saviour. And we rebellious humans don't like to be reminded that we're in the wrong, as you said in your previous post.

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    1. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! I have just had to put those worries about length aside...it is all in His hands, and I must be obedient. I so appreciated all you said...it was such an uplift to me today. Yes, Zach's precious words came at just the right moment! Such a dear blessing!

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  8. How sweet is your son? I love that he is encouraging you. That blesses my heart so much! What an impact you are having on the next generation (your son) that he will in turn have on the generation after his!

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Caroline! The awesomeness of the responsibility of how we raise him is very important to me. I remember when I was expecting him, it hit me that my walk with the Lord was no longer about just me., but there was a soul God was now entrusting to us to raise and bring up in the way He wanted us to. If we fail in this area, we have failed in the most important trust God has ever put in our grasp. God help us...we need HIM so desperately every moment of our lives! I can't wait until you tell me you are expecting your own sweet miracle!! It is coming, dear friend!!! Many prayers are going up for you, and God is going to send your breakthrough!!!!!! Keep believing!

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  9. So much truth... such sobering times we live in. May we all ask God to search our hearts, to know us, to show us areas of weakness and sin, to equip us to remain steadfast and unmoveable.... always abounding in the work of the Lord. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you ever so much for reading and for the dear encouragement! Yes, these days are extremely sobering...and that is exactly how I believe God is going to work to bring revival. It is time that the church wakes up and takes a stand and stops pretending these things aren't happening. God help us all!

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  10. "Good men doing nothing" - yes, this is part of the enemy's insidious plan. To keep believers silent and inactive and ineffective. It strikes me that his plan is working well, too (unfortunately). It is becoming increasingly more unpopular to speak out, to take a stand, to talk of Truth (with a capital "T"). May the Lord give us courage, to be brave - for His Word is needed like never before.

    Dear Zach, that boy is a wonder. God speaks to him and through him in such a gifted way.

    GOD BLESS.

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    1. Oh, dear friend! Your words are so true! And thank you ever so much for your sweet comments about Zach. God does speak through this boy so many times...I am constantly amazed. To God be the glory. I am praying much for you and sending you lots of love and many hugs from across the miles!!

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  11. My heart grieves for our country. There are many parallels to the Roman Empire and Nazi Germany before the collapse of these civilizations. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
    Linked up with you at Tell Me a True Story -- hope you'll stop by Saved by Grace for a visit!
    God bless,
    Laurie
    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

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    1. My heart grieves, too...it is a deep, aching hurt within. May God help us to do all we can to shine His light in this dark time. So thankful for your sweet visit, Laurie. God bless you, my friend. :)

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  12. What a peaceful blog you gave life to !
    Thank you for having found me, I'm going to follow you with much JOY !
    Sending blessings
    Dany

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    1. Oh, thank you, Daniela! So very thankful for your sweet visit. Your blog is so lovely, too. Such a blessing to visit there. God bless you, and thank you ever so much for following here!!

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  13. If it were not for the staying hand of God and His army of Angelic Warriors, this nation would have already been taken out as were Sodom and Gomorrah. But God - - has something in mind and we must be open to His part in an explosion of Grace and Mercy. Yes, we must keep a tender heart for the atrocities going on here at our door steps, but not allow that tender heart to be filled with fear and hate. Keep a teachable Spirit as God reveals to us what we as a congregation of believers can do to prevent many more from being lost. Thanks for your heart of sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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    1. Your words are chock full of much wisdom, Hazel. Yes, dear Lord, help us not to become filled with fear and hate. I hope you are right about there being an upcoming explosion of grace and mercy, because if ever we needed that, it is now. I so appreciate your insights and thoughts...they are such a blessing. God bless you in return, dear friend. :)

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  14. Cherly, thanks again for linking up at Mondays @ Soul Survival. I pinned on my Mondays @ board.

    Blessings,
    Donna

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    1. Thank you, Donna!! Have a blessed day, and thank you for the link-up!!

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