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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Difference

Psalm 91:2, "I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust."
One of the many graces of being a child of God, redeemed and sanctified by the blood of Christ is the ability of seeing the world in a different light than the rest of humanity. What the world sees as a means of security, and something they could readily place their trust in, the children of God see as futile and vain, temporal and passing, deceptively constant until as suddenly as a thunderbolt it disappears into the ether, becoming so much ash and mist.
As far as I am concerned, one of the most sinister and tragic attacks upon the hearts and minds of God’s children, is the doctrine of mirroring the world in that we ought to trust in what the world trusts, respect what the world respects, and desire what the world desires. There is no surer way of finding oneself alone, helpless, and hopeless than attempting to serve God while mirroring the nature of the world. In attempting to retain the mindset of the world while attempting to serve God, one becomes an outcast of both societies, not being wholly given over to the world, but by the same token not being wholly given over to God either.
If we are to persevere and overcome, if we are to be lights in the midst of the darkness, then we must reacquaint ourselves with the notion of being in the world, but separate from it, walking in the midst of a godless generation, yet filled to overflowing with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
What has been keeping me up nights as of late is the thought of countless souls who not only took the bait, but swallowed the hook when it came to desiring the things of this present life, and the material excesses of this present world. Rather than keeping their trust, and their faith firmly planted in the omnipotent God whom they purport to serve, they have put all of their trust in the selfsame things they are being stripped of daily.
When one’s trust is not in God, and in God’s ability to provide and to keep, every dip in the stock market, every negative news item, every dreary projection of the future that is upon us, is like a merciless blow to the heart. Some have no time to catch their breath as their safety blankets are ripped from beneath them one after another in such quick succession that they feel as though the world is coming down around them.
In the midst of all the turmoil, we see the wisdom of God rise to the surface again. In the midst of all the trials and the hardships that are plaguing not only this nation, but the world as a whole, we see the indisputable and undeniable wisdom of not trusting in the arm of the flesh, and of not trusting in possessions.
Long ago, the city of Samaria was under siege. The king of Syria, at the time King Hadad, had gathered all his army and besieged Samaria for a very lengthy period of time. Things got bad. Things got really bad. At the height of the famine, a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, about a cup and a quarter of dove droppings for five shekels of silver. Things got worse still, but how bad it got is not the point of this post.
Just as a means of comparison, we must keep in mind that some fifteen hundred years later, Judas sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. So for almost two and a half times what Judas got for betraying Christ, you could buy a donkey’s had in ancient Samaria at the height of the famine. We’re not talking a donkey porterhouse, or a nice donkey rump roast, but a donkey head.
One day at the height of the famine, the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, and a woman cried out to him saying, “Help, my lord, O King!”
And the king answered, “If the Lord does not help you where can I find help for you?”
So what’s my point? Well, my point is as simple as it is profound. When times get tough, I mean really tough, unimaginably tough, neither gold nor silver, nor kings, nor princes will be able to lend a helping hand, ease the pain, or fill an empty stomach.
Only One is able to keep us, to protect us, to shelter us, and to provide for us in the midst of hardship, and that is God. If the Lord does not help us where can we find help?
If I’ve learned anything in over twenty years of ministry is that placing one trust in God is never futile. God always provides, God always comes through, even if He must perform a miracle in order to do so.
The difference between the children of God and the world is that the children of God have a hope in their Father; the children of God know that the Lord will help them.
It would be so easy to allow fear for tomorrow to worm its way into our hearts, it would be so easy to begin to doubt, it would be so easy to adopt the mindset of the world and believe if only we amass enough, if only we store up enough, if only there’s enough money in the savings account we will weather the storm. The truth is that food spoils, money becomes worthless, but God remains ever faithful in perpetuity. Trust in God and your trust will not be misplaced. Trust in God and you will see His provision and protection.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This word is truly amazing and confirming.It is exactly what the Lord has been dealing with my heart.In my own walk with God , working out our salvation with fear and trembling, the Lord is really starting to show me what's in my heart. I'm ashamed to say I don't like what is being revealed.It is necessary though for growth in my life as well as a continued walk of Holiness with God.I can not express in words, which seem so inadequate,just how thankful I am that the Lord is ever faithful.May all who trust in the Lord continue in grace, love, and righteousness.The Lord bless and keep you all.

Doug B. said...

Thank you Michael. I needed to hear that. Even in attempting to be wise for our families, we become fools. At the end of the day, there's nothing substantive to hold on to -- to trust in -- in this world.

Mary said...

Michael you are so right is what you say. In these days a head of us that are being filled with trouble on all fronts, the only one who can see us though it all is Jesus. If it were not for the fact that He has saved me and washed me clean and given me hope in Him, I would be worried sick. But I am not. For He has prayed for me. He has made me to stand. Thanks Michael for the uplifting you give.
As always, blessings to you and your family.
Mary

rleigh said...

Thank-you for this post, Brother Michael, it filled me with peace deep within as I read it. There's very little out on the internet these days that fills me with peace, very little that draws me closer to the Father. What you shared is so true, and so obviously straight from the Father's heart. I wonder if the things we are experiencing are not only judgement, or punishment, or justice -- could they also be an expression of His perfect mercy toward us? How could we possibly know what it means to truly trust Him if we are never put into a situation that demands absolute trust? How can we possibly know the thrill of His infinite provision if all we have ever existed in is materialistic plenty? I do not long for pain, or for trials, or for all that I sense is coming. All I have ever longed for, since the first conscious thoughts I can remember, is to know Him, to truly and completely know Him. If pain, or trials, or deprivations will bring me to that place then I will embrace them as gifts from His loving hand. And I will lean upon His provision for the grace to see it through faithfully to the end. We must never forget that not one of us is here by chance -- He has called us forth to life, He has chosen these times for us to live in, and He WILL COMPLETE THE GOOD WORK HE HAS BEGUN WITHIN US. Watch and see what our King will do, if we will only trust completely in Him!! Thank-you again for what you shared -- it will feed and sustain us for many days to come. God bless you!

Sam said...

Psalm 91 is a great chapter to memorize.

rory said...

Thank you for a timely reminder. As we watch and hear the prophecies, dreams, and words of judgements, the most important thing is to not take our eyes off the Man in the boat that calmed the waves and storm.

TJ said...

Well said, brother! The need to turn to the Lord is greater than at any time in modern history. I don't think people understand that the secret place is only accessible to those who have a developed relationship, an abiding relationship with Jesus. The time of the rising of the Jordan (stress and tribulation)is not the time when, as a last resort, He can be found or His protection entered into. TJ

Mark said...

Michael, around the time you posted this message, I read the exact same chapter about the siege of Samaria in my daily devotions. This was a confirmation for me!