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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pride and Penitence

Newton’s law of motion declares that to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Although this might be true as pertains to the basis for classical mechanics, man’s reaction to the will, law, commands and even sovereignty of God isn’t always equal or opposite.

Whenever God commands a thing of a nation, or an individual the reactions to His commands are wide ranging and varied. Some react by obeying the voice of God, others by rejecting it, while a good portion, simply pretend they did not hear and go about their lives as if nothing ever happened.

If reaction to the will and Word of God is wide ranging among men, when it comes to our reaction to calamity, trials, hardships and what we have deemed natural disasters, can be boiled down to one of two. Either we react with an attitude of pride, shaking our fist at God, then beating our chest crying to the heavens that we will overcome, or we react with an attitude of penitence, humbling ourselves and bowing our knee crying out for the mercy of God to once more be made manifest in our lives.

There was once a time when man knew the fear of God, when they acknowledged Him for who He truly is creator of all, sovereign over all, omnipotent over all. There was once a time when the fear of God overrode the fear of men, and those who spoke in His name neither tried to explain Him away, apologize for Him, or question His works, but simply proclaimed the oracles of God, as honorable and faithful stewards of a high and noble calling. No, these were not long termers with pension plans, and retirement accounts, these were not the ‘put in the thirty years and get the condo in Palm Springs’ types, they were men ready and willing to lay down their lives, men who proclaimed a hard, and often unwelcome truth to a people as stubborn, hard hearted, and antagonistic toward God as this present generation is.

Pride has weakened us, it has diluted our resolve making us seem great in our own eyes, when we are woefully inferior to the generations that came before us who lived penitent lives of prayer and supplication, who knew that the fear of the Lord was not something to be avoided, but rather embraced because this fear of the Lord, was the spark of wisdom in the heart and mind of man.

There is an ugly cycle that is playing out today, made all the more so because it is not playing out in the world, but rather in the church. Men absent of any divine guidance or sanctifying fear continue, and foolishly so to attempt and make God smaller, that they might seem greater.

‘No, God doesn’t do any of those things any more. You know, these were uncivilized folks, they were backward, and so they attributed everything to God, but we being wiser than they know that it’s not Him. No, God isn’t trying to send us a message, why would He? We have a building fund for the new church building; the tithes are coming into the storehouse praise Jesus, no, we’re not perfect, but then again no one is, so we need to focus on the positive.”

These backward, uncivilized folks, as some preachers have shamelessly portrayed the forefathers of the faith, and the heroes of the Bible, saw the power of God in such a way that these men with all their degrees, and all their linear thinking seminars couldn’t even begin to comprehend. We speak of the concept of fire, the idea and its function, Moses saw a burning bush talking to him! We speak of slaying metaphorical giants in our lives; David slew a real life giant with a slingshot and a stone!

We speak of the possibility of miracles in the church today; the primary church lived the reality of miracles every day of its existence! Who is stunted spiritually? Who is immature in their faith? Is it the men and women of God we read of that did great exploits in His name, who saw the might and power of the God they served, or is it the windbags in five thousand dollar suits and diamond encrusted pinkie rings that speak to us in gentle tones about a disinterested God who really can’t do anything more than give you a nice return on your investment into their kingdoms? Pride has made us fools, and we play the jester all the while stumbling toward our own destruction.

The one hope we have is true penitence of the heart, that sort of penitence that brings us low into the dust, that sort of penitence that rekindles the fear of the Lord deep in our souls, that sort of penitence that gives God His rightful place in our hearts, and obeys His will without question.

Job 9:4-8, “God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered? He removes the mountains, and they do not know when He overturns them in His anger; He shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble; He commands the sun, and it does not rise; He seals off the stars; He alone spreads out the heavens, and threads on the waves of the sea.”

This is the God we serve! Not an indifferent God, not an impotent God, not a disinterested God, but a God who is wise in heart and mighty in strength. We serve a God who overturns mountains in His anger, and shakes the earth out of its place, and yet we still harden ourselves against Him, and scoff at His loving warnings.

The worst is not behind us dear friends; the worst has yet to begin because we have chosen pride over penitence, disobedience over obedience, sin over righteousness, and lies over the truth.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Anonymous said...

hey Michael,

i haven't posted any replies for awhile, though i have been visiting and reading your blog through the changing seasons. thank you for keeping this site "alive" and for sharing your thoughts as you are so moved. some of your lessons i thoroughly enjoy, this one, well, saddened my heart as the reality of what you wrote started to sink in. of those whom i rub shoulders with in the christian realm, most miss the idea of a penitent heart. "we have done that already" they would say. "it is time to move on to the wonderful things of the Lord, our God is not negative, don't say such things in our hearing."
we too have such "understanding" in our midst. how do we respond when we cannot recognize God in the obvious. how can we ever expect to recognize him in the subtle. look at how the world has changed and rearranged in just a matter of months-look at how turkey has turned against israel, at how our own nation is seething with its many undercurrents and strange voices, with europe on the ropes financially, china and russia, and the koreans- if we don't repent and cry out for mercy now, how will we when the dam finally bursts and all hell's fury is unleashed against a "church" that is totally unaware? i take courage in knowing that this is planned and that Jesus is way bigger then all that is churning around us, my sadness, is the awareness of my own family and friends and neighbors woeful lack of spiritual preparation. we did not ask for such a time as this, and yet a great opportunity is before us ,if only we will rise up and meet the Spirit's challenge through the course of the next several months.

--looks like rain--

wendyworn said...

Happy 10th Anniversary!