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What Really Concerns Me
A Jealous God
Are You Seeking a Miracle?

 

What Really Concerns Me

As I have been watching the war in Iraq, I have been overwhelmed with concern. There is this bad feeling deep within me that something unexpected will result from this war. On the one hand, I have no doubt about our ability to defeat Saddam’s army of Republican Guards, but if you think that is all there is to his army – then you know very little about SPIRITUAL WARFARE! What concerns me and should concern (I didn’t say “worry”) the church, are the DEMONIC SPIRITS over Iraq that may reposition themselves and come against Israel and the church.

Now before you start to tune me out – think with me on this. We know that our REAL battle is not with “flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, against spiritual forces of wickedness IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES” (Eph. 6:12). So, we’re talking about demonic forces here. This is the ROOT problem or primary CAUSE of the fleshly battle we see on Fox News and CNN.

Now there’s more – stick with me. In Daniel 10, a very interesting revelation is given concerning spiritual warfare. Daniel had been given a vision of a very great conflict (v. 1). Because he didn’t understand the meaning of the vision, Daniel did the next best thing – he prayed and fasted (vv. 2-3). THREE WEEKS went by and no answer from God. WHY? Why did it take so long for the answer to arrive to Daniel?

Listen to these words by one of God’s angels (vv. 12-13) - “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this (21 days prior) and on humbling yourself before your God, your words (i.e. your prayer) were heard, and I have come in response (sent by the Lord) to your words (i.e. your prayer). BUT the PRINCE of the kingdom of PERSIA was withstanding (battling) me for TWENTY-ONE days (the three weeks that Daniel had to wait for his answer); then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me (that is to help me fight the prince of Persia), for I had been left with the KINGS of PERSIA (plural - the good angels is referred to here and not to human kings, because remember Persia only had ONE KING – Cyrus, see 10:1).

Then after this angel had given Daniel the answer to his prayer which occurred twenty-one days earlier, he then ends his talk with Daniel using these words: "Do you understand why I came to you? But I shall now return to fight against the PRINCE of PERSIA (i.e. resume the battle he was taken away from and also where Michael was presumably still fighting); so I am going forth, and behold, the PRINCE OF GREECE (another demonic angel hierarchy) is about to come” (v. 20).

Let me summarize:1. Major countries that play a key role in bible prophecy have assigned to them a demonic stronghold (prince of Persia and prince of Greece). Apparently, these demonic strongholds are there to orchestrate the devil’s agenda – which is threefold: To kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). By the way, Persia is now modern day Iran.

2. These demonic strongholds war with God’s good angels and keep at times, answers to your prayers from coming to you, especially those answers that have to do with the understanding of end time events. Yes it’s true that we have the revelation of God’s Word, but with this revelation also comes a great measure of illumination, which we’re so dependent on.

3. Our disadvantage is that we don’t know what the enemy is planning in the spiritual realm until we see some physical evidence of it on earth. By then, if we not ready spiritually (we too can and have often faced our own “SHOCK and AWE” - remember Sept. 11?)

The recent surge in the stock market is a strong indication that investors are making a gamble that war with Iraq will be quick and painless. But the question I ask is not how we will build Iraq after the war, but what will the enemy do (the demonic strongholds of Iraq) in terms of repositioning themselves for a counter assault – perhaps, the campaign that leads to Armageddon.

However, Iraq has long been an Islamic nation, and the Muslims have a well-established history of destroying the temples belonging to any faith they consider pagan. Perhaps, the demons in Iraq will prevent the destruction of their place of habitation. Thus Iraq will still be open to the possibility of a restored Babylon.

Listen closely: If you think that the temperature of the demonic forces has very little or none to do with earth’s inhabitants, then read this: “Woe to the EARTH and the SEA, because the DEVIL has come down to you, having GREAT WRATH, knowing that he has only a short time” (Rev. 12:12). Notice who is angry? The devil. Notice who is warned? The inhabitants of the earth and sea.

As time marches on and the demonic forces know that their days are running out, they will intensify their agenda to KILL, STEAL and DESTROY. This concerns me – now don’t get me wrong. I’m not concerned about myself. I’m saved and in the “Beloved” (Eph. 1:6). I am secure and confidence in my relationship with Christ. But there are two things that concern me:

1. There are scores of people who are without Christ who will have their lives cut short as a result of demonic wrath.

2. The church of Jesus Christ must intensity its efforts to reach out to the lost with the good news of the gospel while at the same time stop focusing on its own comfort. Reaching out will demand a great deal of risk, but it is my prayer that what we are hearing and seeing in the news will not frighten us to only look inward, but to motivate and burden us to adjust our lives to match up to God’s holiness and to sacrifice all that is necessary to build God’s kingdom by rescuing the perishing. These things are what really concern me.

He who provides for this life, but takes no care for eternity, is wise for a moment, but a fool forever.
 

A Jealous God

O dear saint, need I inform you that you have a jealous God? The Bible tells you...
You shall worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Ex 34.14
The Bible says that you did not choose Jesus. Rather He chose you...
[Jesus said...] You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain. that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you. John 15.16
With His own blood did Jesus purchase you. You were bought with a price...
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He [Christ] has purchased with His own blood. Acts 20.28

For you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Cor 6.20

And He
[Jesus] is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. Col 1.18
God will not accept any other lover in your life. Whoever or whatever tries to take the place of God as your *preeminence* is treading on thin ice. God will not stand for it. Like a jealous lover, God will take action, and woe to the thing or person or enemy that is stealing you away.

Do you know why God created you? Because He had no other like you. Do you know why He chose to save you? Because heaven wouldn’t be His ideal vision without you there. The Father would sooner send His Son to die than to see you perish. And as for Jesus, He would sooner die in your place than to see you damned.

Because of His great love for you, God cannot accept that anything should stand between your heart’s love and affection and Himself. He is very jealous of you. He is also very jealous of the company you keep. To abide in Him only is what makes Him happy. To abide in the world, not just to live in it, but abide so as to entertain another lover is grievous to the heart of your jealous God.

This value of this godly jealously from a loving God is to keep you near Him and also be a comfort to you. If God is that much in love with you, then you can rest securely in the light that nothing bad will ever enter your domain that God Himself wouldn’t first intercept.

But you must never seek to test His love as some test the love of others. God has already proven His great love for you -- what more evidence do you need?
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down His life for his friends. John 15:13

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Rom 5:8
If there must be a test, then you are the one who stands in need of passing it. If you are like most of us, then your love of God is anything but constant. If God so loved you, then surely you can find the heart to reciprocate. If not, then God will be jealous. And a jealous God is an avenging God.

This day and most every day, your love of God will be tested. Will you pass or fail? Begin praying now for your success. God will be watching over YOU -- His precious bride!

Are You Seeking a Miracle?

"Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe” --John 4.48

Miracles are all around you. In fact, we’ve gotten so used to some of them, that you normally don’t view them as miracles anymore. Nevertheless, there is this craving in the mind of man to seek after the stupendous.

You see that book you have before you? You know, the one that is referred to as a Bible. There’s your sign. And you see that journal next to it? You know, the one in which you’ve been recording spiritual manna from God. There’s your wonder.

Jesus Himself was a sign and wonder – yet the crowd wanted more. So why didn’t Jesus just give it to them? If they need signs and wonders to believe, then give them what they need, right?

Jesus also knows the heart and motive of people for wanting such things. Masses were following Jesus at the early stages of His ministry, until He sought for their allegiance and obedience. I have read in the Gospels where Jesus was inundated by the multitude who wouldn’t leave Him alone. Yet, after His death and subsequent resurrection, I also read where there were only a 120 loyal followers waiting for the promise from the Father (Acts 1.15). Where were all the rest?

This perhaps was Jesus’ point in His rebuke. “Signs and wonders shouldn’t be the substance of your faith. I, the Son of God, must be the focus.”

You know why? It doesn’t take long before you become bored with signs and demand bigger and more spectacular ones. We’ve become an entertained oriented society. There’s nothing wrong with wholesome entertainment, but if our orientation in life is built around it, then you will find disappointment in a lot of good things, such as. devotions, prayer, care group meetings (where there is no one there to play the guitar), Sunday School Classes, and counseling, etc.

What if you were never in this life to witness another healing or miracle again? Would you be tempted to give up on God? You see what Jesus was doing? He was trying to get them to ask themselves the question. “Why do you either want to or not want to follow Me?” If the answer is for signs and wonders, then you are following Jesus or staying at a distance for the wrong reasons.

Six hundred years before Mary and Joseph, the prophet Isaiah wrote. “The Lord Himself will give you a sign . . .His name Immanuel” (Isa. 7.14).

That’s all the sign you need. Anything extra will be in God’s own timing.

Have a Blessed Weekend,

Rich

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