This is an uplifting, positive and hope-filled message.
In light of all that has happened over the past several weeks, the world is seamlessly conforming to governing authorities. Food and supply rationing, voluntary and involuntary quarantine and many, many more limitations and restrictions.
For those that believe and obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, trials and tribulations are a way of life. At least, they should be.
If we focus on heaven and understand that heaven is our final destination and the place where we’re told to invest our treasures, our HOPE in heaven should actually be a stronger contagion than an invisible virus.
If, however, God’s people are preoccupied with a worldly utopianism, then our hope in heaven is sadly muted. The lost will see no distinction between worldly utopianism and the hope of heaven.
Recently I became convicted over my hoarding of toilet paper. I had purchased four packs of 12 rolls. While I made the surplus purchase for my out-of-town children, the quarantine has kept us from traveling to them, and now I’m stuck starring at my surplus, while others are in need.
The story of the Children of God in the Egyptian Wilderness that had left all their securities and comforts in their flight from Pharaoh came flooding into my mind. Helpless and without food and the necessities of life, they began to witness miracle after miracle.
God immediately began to feed them food from heaven. All they had to do was to each morning gather it up. There were no lines of people or social distancing. There shoes and clothing stoped showing wear and tear. God’s presence in the form of an enormous pillar of fire during the night and an amazing pillar of smoke during the day, comforted and protected the Children of Israel.
But, like God’s ancient children of Israel, we too gathered up more than we needed for the day and even the week.
The Children of Israel, escaping 400 years of slavery, had become too dependent upon Egypt for their meager rationing of food; of building materials, supplies and clothing. Their slave-mentality and worldly dependency conflicted with the tenderness of the Father-Hearted God of Israel.
Even with God’s promises of a land flowing with milk and honey as their very own possession, it could not break the slave-mentality of God’s people. They craved the guarantees of enslavement to the most powerful nation on the earth, more than the promises of God, creator of heaven and earth!
During the 40 years of wilderness wandering, the Children of Israel gathered more than enough food for the day. However, every time they hoarded more than enough, it rotted by the next morning, rendering it inedible.
Then they complained about the lack of variety and craved meat, so God sent them quail. They even abused God’s generosity and began gathering too much of the birds. Then God sends them so much quail, the birds stacked up knee-deep, creating a new problem with the “hoarders of Israel.” The quail rotted in their teeth making them sick.
You see, God wants his people to standout. God wants to show the world, through you and I that he can, and does provide. God wants his people to believe in his promises of Heaven, just like he wanted his children of Israel to believe in the promises of a land flowing with milk and honey.
As Moses sent out twelve spies to scout out the promised land, only two came back with a good report. The other ten spies only saw the land of giants and their slave-mentality robbed them once again of experiencing God’s promises.
The two optimistic spies filtered out the impossible because they believed in the goodness and greatness of God which was shown to them since God rescued them from Egypt and Pharaoh’s might.
Are you optimistic about God? Or are you optimistic in governmental control?
Are you more enamored in worldly utopianism, or are you heavenly-minded?
I think just like the testing that went on and on during the wilderness wandering of the Children of Israel, many of God’s Children today are wandering, and wondering with fear and doubt. So much fear and doubt that many are clinging to a slave-mentality. Many are craving the power of America just like their biblical ancestors craved the might of Eygpt and the power of Pharaoh.
Adjust your trust and pass this test!
Show the world that you are the Children of God, by trusting in his goodness and father-heart. Start obeying the truth of God’s promises so that the world can see heavenward.
Stop your needless wandering and start to wonder about the amazing and unstoppable love and goodness of God.
Obedience becomes a response and act of love towards God. “If you love me, you will obey all that I’ve commanded you, writes the Apostle, John. We don’t love, to be justified, rather we love because we are justified. We don’t love God to be loved, rather we love God because he first loved us. “…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Writes Paul to the Roman Christians.
But alas, we have lost our vision and appetite for heaven. Our longing for heaven has been replaced with impatience and synthesized heaven. Our eternal hope has been replaced with the expediency of the here and now; the instant access to “Turkish delights” and winks and giggles to worldly compromise. We simply create an app for our smartphones and tablet PCs to displace our heavenly hope.
We’ve joined the world in their quest for a “perfect” society, here and now. If we don’t live in our Heavenly Hope, we have nothing to show or challenge their false visions of Nirvana.
Fifty percent of today’s youth want Socialism. Why? Because Socialism is filling the vacuum left by a retreating Church from its place in society and culture.
If we would simply fall in love again with our First Love and paint on the canvases of our faces our heavenly hope; recapture the joy of our salvation, maybe the world would notice that a better world does indeed exist. Maybe – just maybe, we would have words rather than judgments to express the Hope, which lies in the heart and soul of us who believe.
“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world so that all nations will hear it, and then, finally, the end will come,” writes Matthew
Let’s leave all our earthy heaven-building and our legislative agendas of Christian Utopianism and unveil the true Heaven, which by the way, is not of this world.
Let’s get back to preaching and declaring the Good News about the Kingdom of God to every Nation so that end will end, and the beginning can begin.
Our future is in a New Heaven and in a New Earth and not in a New Social Order. Let our heavenly hope to be the new contagion and become the new pandemic!