Posts Tagged ‘Scriptures’

Does God hear our prayers? When God says, ‘You ALWAYS have My attention; do I have YOUR attention now?’

June 29, 2016

Sometimes you should simply begin at the beginning when you tell a story.

Two days ago I was hiking with my best dog friend and my best human friend.  I’m up ahead, my best human friend is in the rear and my best dog friend is in the middle.  And as we were well on the way up the first of several blind canyons we go up and down on this ten mile hike, my best human friend believes she sees something wrong with my best dog friend.

I looked and didn’t see anything that looked wrong.  And a few minutes later, after we’d got to the top of the box canyon and were on our way back down, the dog RACES past us showering the two slow-moving humans with sand.  She looked find.

The rest of the hike the dog seemed fine.  But after getting home, I thought I might have seen a bit of a limp.

The next day there was no question: she was periodically limping fairly badly.

Well, I ALWAYS take the dog for the hike.  And just in case you are wondering what “butthurt” looks like, it looks like my dog if she doesn’t go with her master on that hike.  One time I took my nephew shooting, and geared up pretty much the same I would as if I were hiking, and I heard her howling piteously.  If it were left up to her, she’d do her “Black Knight” impression and tell me, “Tis just a flesh wound!”  And it wasn’t a terrible limp.  But I made the call to leave her at home and give her leg a better chance to heal up.

I actually took her treats into the back room of the house, gave her one, ran out and took out my gear, then gave her more and ran out of the house so either a) she wouldn’t know I was leaving her to go hiking or b) so I wouldn’t have to see the look on her face as I betrayed her like a Judas-class traitor.  You decide which.

Anyway, as I’m hiking  I briefly talk to my best human friend on the phone.  I’ll call her “Gabriela,” since I’ve always liked that name and also since it actually happens to BE my friend’s name.  And I tell my friend Gabriela the shocking news that I didn’t take my dog.

Gabriela reminds me that she DID see something the night before.  And I said, “Maybe you did, but remember how she seemed fine afterward and for the rest of the walk?”

And Gabriela said something that turned out to be very fascinating: she said she might have been seeing it prophetically, pointing out that she’d never asked me if the dog was all right before on any of the other hikes we’d taken.

Do you believe that someone who is sensitive to the movement of the Holy Spirit can see something that the Spirit is about to do?  Maybe you do and maybe you don’t.  But let me continue with the story.

I’m walking up the same first blind canyon where Gabriela had believed she’d seen something wrong with my dog, and a thought suddenly occurs to me: “If you’re going to allow any rattlesnakes, Lord, let them come tonight when I don’t have my dog with me.”

You need to understand: I’m an old former soldier and I have literally walked through tens of thousands of miles of bushes in my life.  On my own, I’m not terrified of rattlesnakes.  They are deadly and you better be careful if you’re going to mess with one; but I’m pretty confident in my ability to spot them because I generally keep to the trails and I am constantly watching for them.  What freaks me out – as I’ve pointed out in the past – is my fear for my dog.  She’s my baby.  If every parent loved their child at least as much as I love my dog, the world would be a much sweeter place.

On my own, I tend toward being pretty brave; but I’ve had encounters with rattlesnakes involving my dog that had me literally sick and shaking with fear.  The parent who just saw his or her little kid run out into the street right in front of a car understands that terror.  And what is your instinct as a parent?  You jump right in front of that car and you block your child with your very own body and you don’t even think twice about it, either.

So I’m saying to the LORD, “If you have any rattlesnakes to put in my path, put them here now.”

Immediately after saying that, I understand that if I’m going to ask the LORD to allow a deadly serpent in my path, I’d BETTER be prayed upRattlesnakes are deadly poisonous, and when they move, they move so fast and so quick they stun you.  They go from zero mph to full astonishing speed INSTANTLY.  if you’re close enough to hurt them, believe me, they are close enough to hurt you.  You try to hit them and you miss, and they suddenly slither your way, you aren’t going to be able to get out of the way.  And so I prayed and confessed all my sins.  And not just my sins, but my transgressions, my iniquities, my rebellions against God and His lordship over my life.  I asked my God for forgiveness through the perfect life lived in my place and the ultimate sacrificial death given in my place by my Lord Jesus.  And I prayed that the LORD would protect me, and deliver me, and keep me safe from the world and from the flesh and from the devil.  I prayed that the LORD would shut up the mouth of the serpent so that it could not bite or strike, and that the LORD would deliver it into my hand so that I could kill it.

And no sooner – and I mean not one SECOND AFTER – I prayed that prayer, what did I see?

Two years ago I encountered a dozen rattlesnakes in one year.  Last year it was like eight.  But I’ve only seen one this year and it was back in February.

But yeah.  AS IF ON CUE, a rattlesnake was just all of a sudden there.

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I took the picture AFTER I killed it.  And I staged the picture from behind to conceal the smashed-head part.  I’m afraid I’m not of this generation where the first thing you think of is taking a selfie with something that you ought to either be killing or fleeing.  Fight or flight first, photo afterward.

And no, that rattlesnake will never threaten my dog again.  And it’s kids won’t have a chance to, either.  It won’t bite any other hiker or harm any child.

I know there are some environmentalists out there who are recoiling in horror that whenever I see a rattlesnake, I kill it dead, DEAD, DEAD.  Whereas I not only don’t kill constrictor snakes; I step over ant mounds and stink bugs.  It’s actually kind of weird who the radical environmentalist thinks, because on the one hand they believe that humans are merely part of nature, as part of the same evolutionary process that spawned everything else; but at the same time we humans are somehow apart from nature in spite of the fact that, no, we actually are NOT apart from nature on their own view.  If we are merely part of evolution, then how is everything we do not merely part of “nature” too?  This is merely one of the ways those who don’t believe in God literally self-refute their own foundations!  Whereas I believe that God truly made us different from every other creature and that ultimately we are HIS image-bearers created in HIS spiritual and moral likeness.  And the God who created us in His image gave us dominion over the earth.

I don’t kill rattlesnakes because I enjoy it.  I know I’m doing so at risk to myself.  One mistake on my part, one aggressive move on their part, and I’m out in the middle of nowhere very likely by myself out of cell range screaming in pain and in a life-threatening situation.  But they are incredibly dangerous predators.  They are literally living land mines.  And I’ll simply put it this way: you threaten my little girl – as rattlers have in the past – and I will END you.

Thank GOD my dog wasn’t there to be the first one to encounter that venomous serpent on the trail – and hampered with a hurting leg.

I truly believe if she hadn’t had that sore leg – that my dear friend Gabriela anticipated prophetically – and had I not made that gut-informed decision not to take her when I ALWAYS take her on my hikes, that rattlesnake would have bit my beautiful, beloved dog.

It was for Gabriela to prophetically see so she could be a witness to the power of God; it was for me directly experience so I could testify to the power of God who knows the end from the beginning and who delivers His people.  And their little dogs, too!

So in the aftermath, I was praising God, thanking my LORD, adoring Jesus my Savior, wondering in awe of my infinite Creator God who is omniscient and omnipresent and omnipotent and who surrounds me and goes before me and places His holy angels all around me and before me.

No it was NOT a simple coincidence that I asked the LORD that something would happen that hadn’t happened since February 17 and it happened AS I PRAYED FOR IT.  Judy as it was no coincidence that my friend Gabriela noticed something wrong with my dog when to physical eyes she seemed fine at the time.

Because there is a God who speaks to His people, and who LISTENS to His people when they seek His face and call out to Him.

Some verses of Scripture I’ve memorized come to mind here:

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.  — Romans 8:28

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  — Jeremiah 29:11

I love Thee, O LORD, my strength.  The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I call upon the LORD who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. — Psalm 18:1-3

I prayed to the LORD, and He answered me.  He freed me from all my fears.  Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.  In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; He saved me from all my troubles.  For the Angel of the LORD is a guard; He surrounds and defends all who fear Him.  Taste and see that the LORD is good.  Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!  — Psalm 34:4-8

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for You are with me.  Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. — Psalm 23

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.  Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from I flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see, and not another.  — Job 19:25-27

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.  — Romans 8:37-39

I don’t know what will happen in your future.  I don’t even know what will happen in my OWN future.  Sometimes God allows seemingly bad things to happen – such as my dog coming up with a bum leg – but He has a good purpose in allowing that thing to happen.  Sometimes we can see what that good thing is in hindsight, sometimes we can’t see or the good thing unfolds on behalf of someone else.  I also know that there is something called “the fear of the LORD,” which “is the beginning of wisdom.”  That’s Proverbs 9:10.  I’ve been forced to ponder that verse as I do my daily ten milers, because I hike in areas where rattlesnakes are hardly the only threat; there are plenty of human rattlesnakes, too, as well as coyotes, cougars, bobcats, scorpions, pests and pestilence where we even have to live in fear of mosquitos, and many other things.  I go out into that desert and I pray every single night.  Because I know that I am in the LORD’s hand, and I can NOT deliver myself from every danger that is out there and I can’t deliver my dog from every danger that is out there.

There are things that I would do, sins that I would commit, thoughts that I would have, that I don’t allow myself to do or commit or have; because I have the fear of the LORD and I don’t want to go out there having rebelled against my God who holds me in His hand.  That is the fear of the LORD.  But it is only the BEGINNING of wisdom; not the end.  It is only in that place where you truly and fully realize that you are in the hands of God who holds your life and your future in His hands that you truly even CAN begin to experience genuine wisdom.

That’s one of the things that keeps me determined to go on those nightly hikes; it’s not merely physical exercise; it’s God as He “leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

God heard me last night.  And God heard me last night because God hears me EVERY night; there is never a moment when He does not see me and hear me.  And care about me.

Thank you for ALWAYS having me as the object of Your attention.  And thank you for ensuring that You have MY attention!!!

 

 

 

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Left Calls Terrorists Good And Israel Evil. Shame On Them.

April 9, 2011

One Youtube video is worth all the morally depraved leftist arguments in the world:

Why are Israelis so harsh when it comes to allowing Palestinians to enter Israel?

The answer is agonizingly simple: because Israelis have had long and hard experience with what the Palestinians are like.

The above video shows a woman (Wool Wafa Samir Ibraim Bas) who had been given a medical certificate to go to Soroka Hospital in Israel for treatment on compassionate grounds by Israel being stopped for an inspection.  It turned out she was a suicide bomber with a massive explosive device concealed in her pants.  She detonated herself at the Erez barrier checkpoint; had she been allowed to pass she would have murdered countless hospital staff.

At every turn, Palestinian Muslims take advantage of every kind and charitable act by Jews and turn it into another attempt to do the worst evil imaginable.

At every turn, Muslims have attempted to target and murder Jewish children.  They are despicable, as is every single member of the left who takes their side against Israel and against Jewish children.

This is the truth of the Islamic worldview versus the truth of the Judeo-Christian worldview.

And here is what the Scriptures say about both the terrorists and the leftists who take their side:

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools – Romans 1:22

For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of those who in their wickedness suppress the truth – Romans 1:18

You love evil more than good, Falsehood more than speaking what is right. — Psalm 52:3

But he who sins against Me injures himself; all those who hate Me love death — Proverbs 8:36

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! — Isaiah 5:20

You who hate good and love evil, Who tear off their skin from them And their flesh from their bones — Micah 3:2

In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe to keep them from seeing the light of the glorious gospel of the Messiah, who is the image of God. — 2 Corinthians 4:4

Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron — 1 Timothy 4:2

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. — 2 Tim 4:3-4

Pray for Israel.  Pray for the apple of God’s eye.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  And then make sure your elected officials know where you stand, and that your vote for them depends on whether they will stand with Israel through thick or thin.

The Crisis In Egypt, The Future And Bible Prophecy

January 31, 2011

If the crisis occurring now in Egypt had instead occurred during George Bush’s watch, you can rest assured that the entirety of the mainstream media would have been asking, “Why didn’t the administration know this was coming?”  “How was this not a massive intelligence failure?”  And they would have characterized the Egyptian crisis as a failure of American leadership.

Conservatives like me have taken the attitude, “Do Unto Obama What Liberals Did Unto Bush.”  You find that the ideology out of power can drag down a president one bloody chunk of meat at a time.   Which was precisely what liberals did to Bush for eight unrelenting years.

As a conservative blogwarrior, what I would ordinarily want to do is take an event like the building collapse of the Egyptian government, link it to Obama, and blame his failure of leadership.  That’s what the liberals did on a daily basis to George Bush, and as much as the left decries the very tactic they developed and used to such advantage, it works.

And I CAN link this to Obama.  It was OBAMA’S regime that has been secretly backing Egyptian rebels, who literally set this whole firestorm in motion.  This support began during the period of transition, when Bush was on his way out and Obama was on his way in, and continued under Obama’s thumb.  And the American response to the Egyptian crisis has been nothing short of a fiasco:  Obama’s vice president Joe Biden said that Mubarak isn’t a dictator.  Which means he should stay.  But then Obama’s secretary of state Hillary Clinton says there needs to be an orderly transition of power, which means that he should go.  And then Obama’s press secretary says that the U.S. isn’t taking sides, when in fact the U.S. is incoherently taking sides first one way and then the other, basically as the wind blows.

Right wingers basically have all the evidence they need to throw out the bomb that Obama has been working to undermine US ally Mubarak in order to enable the Muslim Brotherhood to take over strategically vital Egypt.  And that he is even now undermining any coherent American effort to restore order.

And the thing about propaganda is that you can turn out to be completely wrong, but if people believe you at the time, you win, because those people turn against the leader(s) you’re seeking to undermine – and it’s hard to win them back.  And if you throw up enough blame, some of it is bound to stick.

All that said…

While I’m a political conservative, I’m not JUST a political conservative.  Unlike political liberals, who are secular humanists whose religion is big government – and for whom government is the only answer to the problems of man – politics is NOT the only solution to the world’s problems for me.  I also have Jesus Christ and the Scriptures that He came to fulfill.

And what the Scriptures say are more important to me than my opinions about Obama or even my limited government conservative political ideology.

With that said, I will NOT play the game of the political ideologue, using the latest crisis to denounce the current administration’s mishandling and predicting doom as a result of the president’s incompetence.

I will try to state what the Scriptures say about a strategically incredibly important nation that is nearly as ancient as man himself.

And so I am going to say that, as a student of Scripture and of Bible prophecy, I believe that Egypt will ultimately turn out okay.  Rather than point to the unrest in Egypt and denounce Obama for the horrors that will surely follow – as I would do if I were simply operating as a conservative ideologue and blogwarrior – I am stating my belief that Egypt won’t turn out like Iran.

Now why do I say that?

Because of the book of Ezekiel chapters 38-39.

Ezekiel 38 and 39 describes a list of seemingly obscure names of nations bearing their sixth century BC names.  Scholars can trace those ancient names and pair them with peoples and nations of today.  What we learn is that in the future, in the last days, a vast army of what are today Islamic countries led by Russia and Iran will launch a surprise attack against Israel.  And that God Himself will divinely and supernaturally intervene on Israel’s behalf.

Two things are significant: 1) the names of the nations on the list.  Why?  Because except for Russia – a key ally to Islamic regimes – every nation on the list is today a Muslim nation with animosity toward Israel; and 2) the names of the nations that are not on the list.

Joel Rosenberg became famous understanding this.  As just one example, Rosenberg wrote a “last days” novel.  Because he understood that Iraq (ancient Babylon) was not mentioned as one of the nations that would join the Russian-Iran-led coalition to attack Israel, Rosenberg “killed off” Saddam Hussein – whom he rightly understood would have participated in such an invasion.  And how did he do it?  By having America take him out after a terrorist flew a plane into an American building.  And he wrote this nine months prior to the 9/11 attack.

He writes in an interesting article that explains the book of Ezekiel and Bible prophecy:

It should be noted that conspicuously absent from the list is Egypt and Iraq (typically referred to in Scripture as Babylon or Mesapotamia). This is noteworthy since Ezekiel was writing the prophecy in the City of Babylon, in the heart of Iraq. We would have to expect, then, that neither Egypt nor Iraq will participate. Egypt, of course, signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Iraq is now so engrossed in its own internal struggles that it would be unlikely to join a coalition to destroy Israel in the next few years. We are, therefore, living in the first window in human history in which neither of these historic enemies of the Jewish people are likely to be involved in the next major Middle East war.

This isn’t the first article in which I make mention of Egypt and Iraq and their role in the future according to Bible prophecy, for the record.

Now, I don’t cite Joel Rosenberg because he’s a “prophet.”  Nor would he want me to do so.  Rather, I cite him because he has a rock-solid understanding of Bible prophecy and because he has concretely demonstrated that his understanding of the Bible makes him prescient of otherwise obscure and constantly-changing modern times events.

Prior to Anwar Sadat’s signing of a peace treaty with Israel in 1979 (for which he was murdered), Egypt had fought Israel during the 1948 war; it had fought Israel in 1956; it had fought Israel again in 1967; and it had fought Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

What is happening now in Egypt – with riots and violence and deaths and looting and vigilantes – is terrifying.  But somehow Egypt will end up with a government that will continue to be at peace with Israel.  Which means it won’t ultimately be controlled by terrorists or jihadist regimes.  We can’t know what will happen in the very near term, but overall, the terrorists of the Muslim Brotherhood will not end up in control of Egypt.  And up to this point, thank God, there has been a conspicuous absence of Israeli and American flag burnings in Egypt.

Frightening things are happening in the Middle East.  Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria and Egypt are spiraling out of control as we speak.  Iran is one the verge of having The Bomb, and the world will become a very different place after this terrorism-sponsoring rogue regime feels it can act with impunity.  And the fact that Iran is Shiite will force many Sunni nations to develop nuclear weapons of their own in a terrifying arms race in the craziest place in the world.  And, of course, North Korea has committed several acts of war against its South Korean counterpart.

Jesus said that in the last days there would be wars and rumors of wars.  He described “birth pangs” in which each wave would be more painful than the last.  And while there have ALWAYS been wars, what we would see would be a level above anything the past has witnessed.  After two thousand years of relative peace, we had World War I, World War II, the Cold War (of which the Korean War and the Vietnam War were part), and now fighting that has at once gone to the “biblical world” (Iraq – Operations Desert Storm and then Desert Fox – as well as Afghanistan) even as it has spread to the rest of the world in an unprecedented way via terrorism.

And we aint seen nothin’ yet.  Soon there will come the Antichrist, also called the beast, who will come promising peace and prosperity, and who will come to rule the world, but who will in reality turn into the devil incarnate.  And those who are left on the earth will find war and ruin and death such as the world has never witnessed in all of its history.

It all sounds terrifying.  And of course it IS terrifying.  But I don’t have to be afraid.

First of all, I believe that God is in control.  And that God protects and delivers His people.  Second, I believe in the Rapture of the saints prior to the wrath of God.

What is God’s purpose for allowing such terrible events to befall mankind?  Why does God permit the coming of the beast?  Because mankind is in a stage in which it denies God and even claims that belief in God is creating all the problems in the world.  This powerful global secular humanist movement says that mankind is on the verge of greatness and that if the intolerant Christians could only be removed, humanity could attain that greatness.  And God will give them their chance.  He will remove all those who believe in His Son, and give the world its chance to govern itself without Him.  And what we will see instead of the Utopia these secularists have always described will be literal hell on earth.

And Jesus Christ will ultimately return to earth as King of kings and as Lord of lords just in time to prevent mankind from totally destroying itself as all the armies of the world gather at a place known as Armageddon.

It is THIS King of kings whose government I trust in; and no other.

The Book of Daniel says, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Daniel 12:4).  Knowledge has exploded as no other period in human history has ever seen, and yet we run to and fro in panic and uncertainty more than at any other time.

You don’t have to be afraid.  There is a God who knows the end from the beginning.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own [or the expert’s] understanding, and rest assured that ultimately the government of the world will be upon the shoulders of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7).