“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls. – Joel 2:28-32 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joel2:28-32&version=NIV
Did you travel hundreds, even thousands of miles to view the total solar eclipse yesterday? Some people did. You know that one day there will be an eclipse or some such phenomenon which darkens the sun AND the moon will turn blood red just prior to “the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” For those of you into astrological signs, put those two at the top of your list. They are signs of the second coming of Christ. That day will indeed be dreadful for those not prepared for it. This eclipse was just a foretaste, a warning. Get yourself ready.
I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. – Psalm 42:9-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm42:9-11&version=NIV
The Psalmists know how to tell it like it is. They don’t hold back from pouring out their pain, frustration, anger, heartache – they share their heart with their Lord. We should do the same. God knows where you are emotionally, at the gut level. He just wants you to trust Him enough to be vulnerable to Him. Share your hopes, share your joys, share your victories, share your defeats, share your heart aches, share your pain – He wants to walk through all of your life with you, sustaining you, holding you up.
Reach out to God. He’s there for you.
There is something about water that is powerful. This particular waterfall in California is not Niagara Falls by any stretch. Nevertheless, not only is it beautiful, but it has power to change even the face of the rock over which it falls over time.
Water has power over humans as well. We depend on water. Without it we would die. Our food supply is dependent on water to maintain fields, irrigate crops, keep produce fresh in stores. Our bodies need water constantly to keep functioning properly. We watched “Flight of the Phoenix” last night. They crash landed in the Gobi Desert and had to ration their small amount of water to survive. Yes indeed, we need water.
Water also can produce electricity by powering turbines in dams. Hydroelectricity is not our main source of electrical generation but it is a significant minority player in powering our electrical devices.
Water can also be powerfully destructive. Floods, hurricanes, earthquake/landslide induced tidal surges – water has power to destroy.
Water is a source for life and death, benefit and hindrance, blessing and curse.
“His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters” (Revelation 1:15). The voice of the risen Christ: powerful, just like “the sound of rushing waters.” Jesus Christ has the power to give life: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (I John 5:11-12); Jesus Christ has the power to destroy life: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
Water is powerful. It is also created. Jesus Christ is all-powerful. He is the Creator. Which one, water or Jesus Christ, is more important in your life?
I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. – Revelation 1:12-18 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation1:12-18&version=NIV
The events in Virginia a few days ago are a stark reminder of the reality in which we live: we are a house divided. Now, when it comes to white supremacy, KKK, neo-nazism, bifurcation is applicable: you are either pro white supremacy or you are not. There is a decided division, no – chasm – between those who espouse white only ideology and those who seek to include, appreciate, yes even love those who are created by God differently than they are. I suppose white supremacists, if they believe in a god, believe in a god who is white. I guess the rest of the non-white world is sub-human. It’s dangerous to question and relegate to sub-human status those who God created with different skin tone than lily-white. I guess the God of the Bible is not the god the white supremacists serve because the God of the Bible created all the races, all the skin colors, all the multiple ethnicities, and all were created well, with purpose, with dignity, with a reason to live as humans, not sub-human.
But we in America are really polyfurcated, i.e. divided in multifarious ways. The religion of American individualism has made it so a house divided is part of our national DNA. We can’t escape it, not if we cling to our “inalienable right” to determine my own destiny in my own way. Most of we Americans are not that much different from the KKK, neo-nazis, white supremacists. We are just more subtle. For us, it’s not white-supremacy, it’s ME supremacy. I am on the throne of my life, my rugged American individualistic life. When God, my creator, is not on the throne of my life, you get what you see in America:
A house divided
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. – 1 Peter 5:10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1Peter5:10&version=NIV
It can be hard to believe the promise of restoration while we are going through the suffering, at the bottom of the “valley of the shadow of death,” but believe it we must because doubts and fears can rain down like bombs on our hearts if we choose not to exercise strong faith in the midst of crisis and trauma. God is faithful and will bring His children through WHATEVER He allows us to go through. He will never lead us to a brick wall, the end of our rope, the chasm without a bridge. He will always be there with us to show us the way through.