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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Miss Him Yet?

We asked Him to leave; in fact we insisted. Having taken the liberty of packing His bags, fueled by the illusion of our own perceived accomplishments and grandeur, wagging an imperious finger in His face, we demanded that He depart never to return again.

‘Please go’, was the cry of the masses, ‘we no longer have any need of you.’

We treated Him not as Lord, or Creator of all that is, but as some lowly beggar to whom out of the goodness of our hearts, and our benevolent natures we showed charity.

In our mad rush to be rid of Him, we didn’t bother thinking it through; we didn’t bother taking a second to ponder the implications and consequences of no longer having Him in our midst. No, He had become a nuisance, a constant presence that perpetually convicted us of our duplicity, our hypocrisy, our formalism, and our ceremonies absent any spark of the Divine presence. As long as He was present, we could never get the glory we thought ourselves entitled to, nor would we ever get the full credit for all that we’d accomplished. We were done with crediting providence for our accomplishments, preferring instead to credit our own ingenuity and the sweat of our brow.

Never mind the fact that we know in our heart of hearts we are not that ingenious, never mind the fact that we know in our heart of hearts the meteoric rise of our nation would have transcended the land of the miraculous into the impossible if not for the Sovereign hand that guided us and protected us. No, it was us, we did it all, from laying the first brick to finishing the tallest skyscraper, it was all our doing, without the aid of some imagined Deity only the illiterate among us still believe in.

He tried to speak, and we would not hear; He tried to warn us, but we would have none of it. ‘They’re just scare tactics’, we would console each other ‘pay Him no mind. We have achieved greatness of our own strength, and of our own volition, and our greatness will last for generations to come.’

As any gentleman would, he acquiesced to our request, not wanting to overstay His welcome, and with the pained look of rejection clearly visible upon His countenance, He turned and walked away. Had we realized that once He left His blessing would go with Him, had we realized that once He left His protection would go with Him, had we realized that once He left His providence would go with Him, perhaps we would not have been so hasty. We thought we could pull off what no other nation in the history of the world has, expel God from our midst, yet somehow still retain all His blessing and favor.

It was soon after His departure that we realized God doesn’t have to pour out His wrath upon a nation, He does not have to send judgment upon judgment, there need not be any event as dramatic as the plagues of Egypt to cause us to pause in our tracks, all He has to do is remove His hand of blessing and protection from atop a nation. The worst kind of punishment is the punishment we bring upon ourselves, and there is nothing in this world that will so readily lead to chaos, than being left to the desire of our own hearts.

The jubilation of having rid ourselves of what had become an unwanted and unwelcome guest was short lived, replaced by the dreadful realization that He was responsible for more of our prosperity, blessing and wellbeing than we would have ever thought possible, or given Him credit for. Stiff necked as all men are however, as yet we have not humbled ourselves, as yet we have not pleaded with Him to return, to once more make our hearts His home, and bring back the favor and providence we once took for granted. We’ve realized our impotence, this much is certain, but pride is a persistent, malevolent force, and once it has hold of a heart or a nation, it is only with great toil that what it is clutching can be set free.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Beware the Spiritual Cannibals

In the belief that they would appropriate the strength of their enemy, the ancient Aztecs practiced the ritualistic consumption of their felled foe’s heart. In feudal Japan for the same purpose with the same finality, but far less gruesome, warriors used to behead their vanquished adversaries. Brutal, visceral, and overly violent as these cultures might have been, at least one had the opportunity to confront their enemy, and to face them on the battlefield.

Nowadays people prefer to bludgeon their imagined enemies from a thicket, from behind a tree, or from the comfort of their basement-offices which they converted for the specific purpose of being a camouflaged warrior, defending their pet doctrine to the bitter end.

We are no longer content to stand on the shoulders of giants, and as such prefer to stand on their corpses. In our self-righteous zeal, no one is off limits, be they Paul the Apostle, or someone who has gone to their eternal rest.

“They died? They are no longer among us? It matters not, exhume them and unearth them that we may beat their cadavers about the head and shoulders with bamboo sticks. So what if Paul wrote thirteen of the twenty seven books of the New Testament? So what if he suffered unimaginable cruelties for the cause of Christ? Well, no we’ve never suffered for Christ, we’ve never been persecuted, but we have a mandate!

‘From whom might you have said mandate?’

Uh, that’s not important. We were appointed!

‘By whom were you appointed as judge, jury and executioner?’

Uh, by ourselves but that’s not important either.”

Yes, it is far easier to play the scavenger and pick over the corpses of ministries you helped destroy, than to humbly and prayerfully follow God’s guidance and laboriously strive to feed the sheep of His pasture the nourishing truth of the Bible.

Want to grow your ‘ministry’? Pick a fight with another ministry, become the spiritual cannibal the enemy so loves, because if we’re busy backbiting and destroying each other chances are we’ll be too busy to be of any real danger to the devil.

I felt I needed to write and post this essay, because I’ve been getting an inordinate amount of correspondence concerning brewing skirmishes between ministries, and though my perspective might not be new, I felt it was only right that I make my opinion known.

So what are we to do when we get attacked? Are we to go on the offensive; are we to pay back in equal measure; are we to attack those who are attacking us with the same ferocity? I can only speak from personal experience, because we too have been attacked, and unjustly accused, it comes with the territory after all.

A couple years ago there was a super prophetess to the nations, a beacon of light and holy retribution, called, christened, and knighted to fell one and all until only she remained. She went about her task with abandon, sword in one hand, scythe in another, having appropriated God’s own judgment seat, and striking out at one and all. Eventually our ministry settled into her crosshairs, and the vicious attacks began. What she was saying were outright fabrications and lies, but before responding in kind, I went to the Lord in prayer and asked what I should do. The answer I received was simple yet poignant: “It’s not about you, it’s about Me!”

Not a longwinded answer, but one that clarified everything for me.

“You can think the worst of me, but believe the best of Christ!”

That was my position, and it remains so to this day. What we must understand is that God will avenge those who are His, and God will bring about justice. From the last e-mail someone sent me, it seems the super prophetess to the nations is no longer active, having been embroiled in some lawsuits which allege fraud on her part, the drama extending to denial of her identity and a score of other things.

What’s my point in all this? Time will speak to the veracity of a matter like nothing else. In His time God will avenge, in His time God will bring about justice. God will defend His work, God will defend His children. Detractors have come and gone. Those who sharpened their blades for weeks and months and years thinking they would strike the mortal wound saw their blades bend and break, because our Defender is omnipotent, and no weapons formed against us will prosper.

Our only duty is to make certain that our hands are clean before an all knowing God, and that what we teach and what we preach is in accordance with His Word. God will work everything else out.

When we actively pursue our own defense however, when our own reputation is the preeminent issue, then we run the risk of falling into the selfsame snare others have fallen into. Make it about Jesus; let the world think the worst of you, as long as they believe the best of Christ.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

May Oh May

A few months ago I got an e-mail from a sister, who in an attempt to encourage me said, ‘hang in there brother, the battle’s almost over, May is just around the corner.’

I didn’t really pay it any mind, I thought it was a misspelling, until recently when I started getting more and more e-mails about a certain date in particular, that date being May 21, 2011.

If you don’t know by now, drumroll please, this is the date upon which Christ Jesus the Son of God is to return in glory, and as consequence catch away His beloved bride.

I will say to the promulgators of this date, as I said to promulgators of various dates in the past, you would be allot more credible if you wrote out a check for your entire net worth, dated it for one day after you are supposed to ascend into the heavens, and send it to your preferred charity.

Would I believe you then? No, but at least I would believe that you believe it!

This is what happens when we do away with the word of God, and when the Bible is no longer the final authority on matters of Spiritual relevance.

Although there are more, I want to give you to the top three Biblical reasons why May 21 is not the day on which every eye will see the Christ returning in glory.

First, is the not so obvious reason that it is counterproductive to the plan of God! But brother Mike how can knowing the date be counterproductive to the plan of God? Glad you asked.

God’s plan and His desire has always been a relationship with His children. A relationship is built over time, cemented in trust, and a knowledge of the two parties that extends beyond a quick ‘I repent’ on May 20th, just to make sure we get to go to heaven.

We must live in perpetual fellowship with God, in a state of perpetual worship and obedience, and for God to give out a date would hinder His primary desire of an ongoing relationship. Men would look at the date, and the heart being exceedingly evil, they would say, ‘I have no need of repentance today, I still have so many months or years before Christ returns, so might as well dip my toe into the cesspool, might as well live a duplicitous life, might as well attempt to have one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom of God, because I’ll repent of it all as soon as the time gets a little too close for comfort.’

The second reason that Christ’s return will not occur on May 21, 2011, is because the prophecy of Christ Jesus in both the gospel according to Matthew, and the gospel according to Luke concerning the end times is not yet fulfilled. The Word was written for the children of God, and the warnings included therein were placed there so that we might not grow fearful of the darkness that will soon descend upon the earth.

Matthew 24:33, “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the very doors.”

The third reason Christ’s return will not occur on May 21, 2011, is because the Bible tells us, no man knows the day or hour, not even the angels, but only the Father in heaven.

Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”

So taking this scripture into account, there are three possible logical conclusions we can come to. The first possible logical conclusion we can come to, is that the man who set this date is a liar. The second possible logical conclusion we can come to, is that Jesus is a liar, and the third possible logical conclusion we can come to is that the man who set this date is no mere man, not even an angel but God himself.

Personally, I think I’ll go with door number one!

Is Jesus soon to return? Yes, most definitively yes! Is His return at the very doors? By comparing what’s happening in the world today to what the Word says will happen during the last days, the answer is once more a definitive yes! Will we ever know the day and hour of Christ’s return? No, and I prefer it that way, because I labor, I strive for righteousness, and I worship Him today as though it were my last day on this earth, and tomorrow and the day after I will do likewise, because it’s not about the day Jesus returns, it’s about being welcomed into His kingdom when He does return.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Signs

I don’t believe in coincidences, in fact I never have. Far too often it seems that due to our refusal to acknowledge the miraculous, mysterious or supernatural in our lives, we fall back on the tried and true explanations of something either being a fluke, a quirk, or a happenstance.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in hyper spiritualizing everything either. If I’m in a restaurant, ask the waitress for a coke, and she brings me a diet coke, I don’t automatically think it was a message from on High. Maybe the waitress thought I could lose a couple pounds, maybe it just slipped her mind.

There has to be a balance, a happy median in our spiritual journey between believing that the world is all so much laundry set on the spin cycle and that if my car won’t start on the first try on a cold winter’s morning it was a clear message that I should barricade myself in my apartment and not hazard stepping outside for the rest of the day.

Since I am currently in Romania there was a big hubbub here a few days ago concerning a partial solar eclipse that was readily visible throughout Europe and part of Asia. It was on the same day that I started reading reports of birds dropping out of the sky, and dead fish washing up on shore in Arkansas. Independent of each other these stories would not have given me reason for pause, and even clumped together would have stirred little interest if in my evening meditation the previous night I hadn’t been reading a passage out of the gospel according to Luke.

Luke 21:25-26, ‘And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.”

I don’t know, perhaps I’ve fallen into the snare of hyper spiritualizing something that really ought not to be, but as I read the reports on the birds, the fish, and the eclipse, this passage in Luke kept ringing in my ears.

What I do know with certainty is that the times of which Christ prophesied are almost upon us, and in that season of men’s hearts failing them from fear, and the powers of heaven being shaken, there is only one refuge, one comfort, one source of peace, and that is Jesus.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Still Among the Living

Not that anyone was overly inquisitive, but yes, I am still among the living, vertical, and somewhat animated although I have not posted for a few days. This time of year is the only time the entire Boldea clan gets together, and if I can help it I don't like missing out on just being with family and spending time together.

Lest anyone think I've been resting on my laurels doing nothing more than binge eating cabbage rolls, homemade sausage, and headcheese, yes I know we eat strange stuff, I've been making good use of my time and have started recording a series that will be anywhere from 50 to 70 parts in length on rediscovering Christ.

Some time ago I promised I would write it, but speaking comes far easier to me, so I decided to record it. The first of the series should be up on the Hand of Help website in the next day or so, and it will be updated byweekly. You can find the teaching at http://www.handofhelp.com/ under 'truth be told'.

I will get back into the rhythm of of writing consistenlty sometime this week, but for now, God bless you all, and a sincere thank you for all the encouraging words and prayers. They mean more than you know.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.