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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Looking Up

Even the most optimistic among us would have a hard time denying that the world is fast descending further and further into chaos. To those with spiritual foresight and intuition, those that have learned by fellowship with the Father to hear his voice, it is undeniable that harsh and difficult times are on the horizon.
If it were only the opinion of a handful without any Biblical basis, it would be easy to dismiss the warnings as mere rants coming from the mouths of delusional men who harbor apocalyptic fantasies. As we study the Word however, the portrait it paints concerning the times we live in confirm our darkest suspicions that in fact we are not in for a season of prosperity and revival but one of hardship and great global turmoil.
As I was reading my Bible I happened upon a verse, which gave me great comfort. It is an encouragement uttered by Christ, intended exclusively for His followers, those that have not only found the truth, but also live the truth. Since we are not of the world, we cannot view current events through the eyes of the world, nor react to them as the world does.
Luke 21:28, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
In order to understand the depth of this encouragement, we must know the context in which it was spoken. Before speaking these words, Christ shared what the world would be like before his return, everything from distress of nations, to signs in the sun, to men’s hearts failing hem for fear and expectation of the things which are coming upon the earth.
It is easy to look up, and lift our heads when all is well, when the seas are calm, and blessings abound, but we are told by Christ to look up when all is dark, the future seems bleak, and by human reckoning there seems to be no way out of our predicament.
When Christ speaks the words ‘look up’ they were not intended for the world, for the world does not have spiritual eyes, it cannot behold his countenance, nor feel His presence. Now the logical question that remains to be asked, if in these times right before His return we are instructed to look up, if in these times of turmoil, strife, destruction, and natural disasters the children of God are told to lift their heads, would it not be logical to ascertain that we will be here?
There are numerous avenues we can pursue just from this single verse in the Bible, and we can have an entire study on the end times, the Christian’s role in the end times, where the children of God will be, and what our duties before God are, but I would like to stick to the central issue, for it is of preeminent importance in our lives.
If we believe that our redemption will come by way of the preparations we’ve made in a physical sense, if we believe our redemption will come because we’ve stored up food, and we’ve built bomb shelters, we are deluding and deceiving ourselves. There is only one place from which our redemption will come, and that is Christ, and Christ alone.
The beauty of the words Christ spoke is that they are deeper than they seem at first glance. We can read into these two words, ‘look up’ and understand that we are being instructed not merely to lift our heads, not merely to gaze toward the heavens, but to place our trust in those things not of this earth. We have become a generation that revels in the trappings of material crutches. We say we believe, we trust, but our actions betray our true heart. Even though with our lips we say we trust God, we hoard and amass for the coming dark days, as though the things we store up will somehow save or spare us. There is only one place where we will find safety, one place where we will find the long promised redemption, and if our gaze is fixed upon the things of this earth, if our hearts are still tethered to the material rather than the spiritual, we will discover, sooner rather than later, that nothing we were able to do on our own will be enough to spare us the heartache and distress.
If we are God’s and He is ours, then our trust in Him must be complete, we must look up, and know that He is there, aware of our hardships and trials, ready and able to rescue us at the appropriate time.
If we open our eyes, we will see. If we open our hearts we will receive. If we open our minds we will be enlightened. Though heaven and earth may pass away, His words will by no means pass away.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

13 comments:

a seed sower said...

Yes Bro Michael His children have no cause to fear that which is to come upon the earth, because He will keep His children as He has always kept them, whether unto natural death, martyerdom or to be alive at His coming.. Amen..Just to be counted worthy to be in His presence will be worth it all. Amen

Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen Brother Michael. Heaven and earth may pass away, but His Word is sealed in the eternal; where He, and we will dwell!

Anonymous said...

Mike,
Thanks again for taking the time to write. I don't comment on every entry, but I do read them.
God Bless,
Jeff

Mrs. Pugh said...

Thank you, (Yet again!)

I was raised with survivalist and it was often hard for me differentiate between basic preparedness, and "I must be in control and have lots of stuff on hand!" This is an issue that God has dealt and continues to deal with in my life. And I must say... the more stuff I get rid of, the more room there is for Jesus.
What you wrote is comletely accurate... "nothing we were able to do on our own will be enough to spare us the heartache and distress." Rely on Jesus or don't. But don't think you can plan everything and then just have Him help when you need a little something extra.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Mrs. Pugh

Mrs. Pugh said...

Thank you, (Yet again!)

I was raised with survivalist and it was often hard for me differentiate between basic preparedness, and "I must be in control and have lots of stuff on hand!" This is an issue that God has dealt and continues to deal with in my life. And I must say... the more stuff I get rid of, the more room there is for Jesus.
What you wrote is comletely accurate... "nothing we were able to do on our own will be enough to spare us the heartache and distress." Rely on Jesus or don't. But don't think you can plan everything and then just have Him help when you need a little something extra.

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Mrs. Pugh

Elm Street Chapel said...

Amen Michael.
All you spoke is true, yet there is more. Our examples for the coming days are Job, Noah and Daniel. Job remained where he was but for a season was tried. Noah prepared and stored up years ahead of his trial and by God's mercy lived. Daniel went into captivity, yet prospered within trials. All survived by their righteousness, their faith, in hearing and trusting God. Our Father is not bound to wait to the last minute for our surprise deliverance, on the contrary more often than not God warns far off. Your grandfather knew of places of safety in this country. You, yourself said that at a certain point you would not return to the USA. God does not do things in secret, hidden from His servants and friends. Those who prepare in their own wisdom are deceived. Those who have and are preparing at God's direction are wise and act according to God's will. Those who have gathered much will have none left over, those who have gathered little will have no lack, and to God be the glory. In this day of apostasy with every divisive doctrine of man and devil, truth remains the exclusive realm of the Holy Spirit to the speaker and hearer alike.

When He (the Holy Spirit) who hinders will let, every foul, unclean spirit will be loosed (for the lawful, except those bound, already judged). Add in God sending strong delusion, Satan wearing out the minds of those saints who he can, and the beast making war with the saints and those who were foolish and entered into the tribulation without the oil, we see the making of falling away and those beheaded. Not much is written of those that have little strength and their being kept, but we are instructed to pray that we are found worthy to escape. Escape by what form? Ears to hear, hear every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. He is speaking today and every day, but who can hear? Those who have ears to hear and do not think it robbery, in Spirit and in truth, fact.
L,J,P&HG
Dave

Anonymous said...

Hey Michael, I want you to know that I pray for you my freind. Thank you for sharing with us. If your grandfather had not suffered what he had, and wrote about it, only God knows where I would be today. God bless you, I covet your prayers for me and my family. Glenn Fountain

rleigh said...

What a wonderful perspective! Most often when I've read that passage, I focus on the signs listed that point to the arrival of the end times. How much better to focus on the one who is arriving rather than the conditions surrounding the arrival! That is what brings peace, that is what gives direction, that is where we ultimately find our final destination. You are so correct that in the natural we have no way to prepare for what will be needed, no way to carry ourselves or our loved ones through the times that are just ahead. But in Him, looking up & focused on His provision & His direction we cannot fail no matter what comes. We were called forth to life by Him for these times, we were chosen to be here now, we each have a part to play, how ever small or large. We will only fulfill His purposes and magnify His glory if we are looking up!
Thank-you so much for encouraging us and pointing us to the only righteous perspective to be had in these times. May we glorify Him and bring Him joy by how we each respond in the coming days!

a seed sower said...

Those who are beheaded for their witness of Jesus Christ during the time of Great tribulation receive the reward of being kings and priests of God and ruling and reigning with Christ Himself for a thousand years. God rewards the luke warm by spewing them out of His mouth not placing a crown upon their heads...Amen ...With God it is black and white, hot and cold. God does not reward the luke warm, never has never will. The luke warm are fit only to be cast into the fire....sorry had to say it...i don't want to be red faced when I stand face to face with those who have given their lives for the cause of the gospel and for their unrelenting faith in Jesus Christ, knowing that I had the ordasity to classs them as luke warm, thinking they had to give their lives because they were not found worthy as others to escape what is to come upon the earth...he who seeks to save his life SHALL LOOSE IT...AMEN...

Anonymous said...

Shalom! I read every article, every day and learn plenty and make it my own.

I also very much enjoy Mrs. Pugh! With all due respect: You go, Girl!!! So many, many times you are reading my cue-cards and posting my thoughts, too; or, I'm encouraged and further blessed by your input.

Blessings to Mrs. Pugh and Michael both. All thanks and praise to our Father. Halleluyah!

Anonymous said...

jpeacher mtzion@hughes.net

Christ said there are enough troubles for today; do not worry about tomorrow.

From a perspective of hoarding and saving in fear of what is coming upon our nation and the earth I am reminded of the Children of Israel who tried to hoard and save the manna God gave them for DAILY existence. What the stored rotted?!!

There is something in human nature that I battle daily; it is the will to survive, to save and store like a pack rat for a day when things may dissapear and when I may need them.

This is so much easier than relying on God. He said to trust in Him, that He would supply our every need. He has numbered the hair on our head, He knows the day we were born and the day we will pass from the scene on this earth.

My great fear is that if I have 6 months supply of anything that I will grow greedy and not share it with my neighbors, or just share it with those I like, and so forth.

How does God come forth through this self greed; and it is self...

I would rather depend upon Him, He said He is faithful. He will supply; it might just be a half loaf of bread and a little milk or juice per day, but given the fact that I am a fat, overweight American, this may be what I need anyway!!

Fear not, He has everything under control. He knows and has established the times and the seasons for blessing, for judgment, and for redemption.

I chose to rest on His promise to be faithful in my hour of need. If I have been faithful in small things and given, He will be faithful in my need, on a daily basis if necessary. And if this happens, then it is necessary!

Cale said...

Let each one do or not do, as the Spirit of God leads. To one He says prepare and store, to another He says do nothing. To both He says obey and follow me.

Cale

Bonny said...

"Christ, and Christ alone". Amen, Brother Michael.