Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Just how desperate am I?

A hungry woman gathering a few dry sticks on the edge of town was asked by the prophet of a God she didn't worship to make him food from the last scraps she owned.  Most likely, this woman had wept in the night over the sleeping form of her son, who she fully expected to die after their last meal together.  What was going through her mind when she obeyed this man?  Why did she do it?  Would you?

If you were so desperate?  Would you put your faith, and the last of your food, in such a chance?

Probably!  I would, if it was my last chance for the survival of my family.

These are days that seem very discouraging to the Christians I know.  We are feeling desperate, and our disappointment is tangible.  The American public is more blind than it has ever been before.  Even people professing Christ have, in vast numbers, chosen a flagrantly wicked man to flaunts his vile lifestyle, just because he's "better" than the other option.  People I know are sickened by the prospects.  Hope is differed, and the heart is sick. (Proverbs 13:12) We now have a choice between two socialists.  There is no win for America here, no path that does not lead to disaster.

A few days ago, I read the story of the widow in Zarephath, and God drew me to note the desperation of this woman, and her obedience, which led to a wonderful work of God in her life. Some other verses came to mind.
Matthew 5:3  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Psalms 40:17  But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
Psalms 34:6  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalms 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Psalms 34:18  The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Just how desperate are we?  Do we hunger and thirst after God, or victory?  Are we willing to mourn with God over the wickedness about us, or are we just trying to hang on the blessings on past righteousness?  

We have been so angry over the loss of our blessings, and it is grevous, but if we get what we want politically, would we heave a great sigh of relief and return to normal apathy?

God's people in America live for self and self interests.  Church is nothing more than a cultural norm, and the Great Commission is for someone else.  We have not be desperate for years.  After a breif glimpse of our powerlessness on September 11, 2001, we have sunk back into a contented, entertained apathy, disturbed only by irritation over the loss of freedom.  

Let me be clear.  Freedom is a precious gift of God.  But He is passionate about righteousness and the salvation of souls.  If we cry over the loss of freedom, yet yawn at the eternal suffering of the lost, we have left the heart of God far behind us.  If we are angry about our rights slipping away, yet wink at our own private sin, we stand in danger of the chastening hand of God.  How can He bless our lethargic spirit of devotion?

It's time we realized how poor and needy we have always been.

It's time we recognized our complete dependence on Him.

Revelation 3:17-19  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  (18)  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.  (19)  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

We will probably never get those blessings back.  As a parent, I know my child is not repentant as long as he is angry over the consequences of his wrongdoing.  He is repentant when he wants to obey and hates his sin.  Where are we?  Where am I?