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Rending the Heart

By Watchman | June 12, 2013

” ‘Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning.’  So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of  great kindness…”  ( Joel 2:12-13)

     The world truly is in great turmoil.  Most of the nations of the world are experiencing financial crises for which there seems to be no practical way out.  Those of us here in the United States have seen an unprecedented increase in government control and abuse, and we are rapidly losing our position of world leadership and, I might add, our ability to continue helping those nations who are friendly to us.  Radical Islam is spreading throughout the West and endangering human rights throughout Europe and N America.  The time is certainly propitious for the rising of Antichrist.  For those not looking up and watching for the return of our Lord, anyone who could arrive on the world stage and promise peace and a restoration of plenty would be instantly embraced; even at the cost of loss of  the rights and freedoms that so many gave their lives to ensure.  It would not be difficult for such a person to be accepted as ruler of the world.  But, my friends, there is only One who is the leader of the world!

     It appears that one of the first targets marked for oppression is fundamentalist Christianity.  Already Christians are being silenced and castigated for holding views contrary to those of our government leaders, and Christians are certainly losing their collective voice in the arena of public opinion.   Many, many believers have been fighting this both in their communities and via media–especially TV and Internet–and it is a battle that must indeed be waged as we continue to stand up for God and the values He has told us we must hold to.  However, as I read the above passage from Joel yesterday, the thought crossed my mind that we have become much better at publicly rending our garments than we have at privately rending our hearts.  We have become quite adept at loudly protesting and mourning our loss of religious civil rights (and rightfully so), but we haven’t been nearly as successful at addressing our own failings and sins or at showing the unbelieving public why God’s way is the best way.  Before we become much more involved in fighting the admittedly ungodly and unholy proponents of the New World Order, we need to go before the Lord for cleansing, healing, strength and wisdom.

     For what are we actually doing battle?  Is it for our rights as Christians or for the restoration of God’s word?  The difference may seem to some to be a trifle obscure, but I think it is important to identify which we are doing and determine which we choose to do.   The difference lies within the heart and our own spiritual natures.  We know Who is ultimately going to prevail in this war against the one, true, perfect and holy God, but we cannot prevail in our more secular personal arenas without the help of the Lord.  If we are fighting what we see as a personal attack against us, then we are not so much fighting for God as we are showing resentment as a people achieving minority status and God may or may not stand with us.  Remember that Jesus told us to bear in mind that if the world hates us, it hated Him first.  In other words, if the world hates us, it is because He loves us.  As I’ve noted before, this is not a war against Christians; it is a war against Christ.   If we are fighting for the love of God and heartsickness at the way in which our society has attempted to marginalize and neuter the power of the Holy Spirit and the word of the Father, then we prevail even when the tide goes against us; though we be metaphorically spit upon, arrested or even killed.  Before we attack the unbelievers in power and those following the dictates of false/demonic gods, we must be certain that our hearts are righteous enough and our spirits white enough to withstand the battle and perhaps win a few souls for the kingdom of God.  We can only get to this point of effectiveness if we spend time in His presence, praying with humble and repentant hearts for His forgiveness, and listening to what He tells us to do and how we should conduct ourselves.  We must learn to show His love, even in the midst of persecution and turmoil.  We may be the only contact some have with Scripture and the Holy Spirit.  If we speak too intemperately, if we speak out of anger instead of love, if we call for violence against those who disagree with us, we are not sharing Christ.  (Note here:  I am NOT speaking of those in the military fighting for our freedoms and to squelch tyrannical governments.  I am referring to our public, personal arguments with those who are on the side of those who would vanquish the mention of our holy God in public policy.)

     Listen, Christian believers:  We cannot demonstrate love as we call for hate.  We cannot speak out for God with language unfit for children to read or hear.  We cannot condemn those who are living lives outside the will of God without trying to show them the light of truth and the love that comes with placing one’s heart in the hands of our almighty God.   Hear me, “emergent” churches!  God is not mocked and will not be fooled by congregations kneeling in pews and taking communion yet living unrepentant in sinful lifestyles.  Take heed, false pastors who are leading whole congregations away from the inerrant word of God:  Much has been given to you, and much will be expected of you before the final judgment.    Rend your hearts; not your garments.

Maranatha!

Topics: A Special Word for Today, According to Scripture, Current Events and the End of the Age, Just A Thought, Kingdom Living, Salvation, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Rending the Heart”

  1. Shirley Says:
    June 15th, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    What timely and powerful truth! All of us, as Believers, need to fall on our faces and ask our Heavenly Father to shine HIS spot-light on our hearts. I don’t think any of us will like what we see.

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