Thursday, February 5, 2009

God's Hand of Justice

"For he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." (Romans 13:4)

God's view on dealing with terrorists:

In I Kings 20:28-43, God had promised Ahab victory over the Syrians in battle because they had boasted of their gods, that they were greater than the God of Israel. So even though Ahab was wicked, God promised him victory for this reason; but here's the point...

During the heat of the battle, Ben-ha-dad, the King of Syria had fled and hid. But then his servants came to him and counseled him to go surrender himself to Ahab, because they had heard that "the kings of the house of Israel were merciful kings” (I Kings 20:31), and that perhaps his life would be spared. In other words, they counseled him to exploit the “mercy” that they had heard about, concerning Israel. So the king of Syria went to Ahab.

What happened next is truly amazing, for not only did Ahab let him go, but he also “made a covenant with him.” (I Kings 20:34) In other words, he "negotiated" with the King of Syria, who was not only his own enemy, but also the enemy of God!

Was God pleased with this act of “mercy?” Apparently not, as he immediately sent a prophet to him with a message;

“Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his life." (I Kings 20:42)

Ahab would later die by the hand of the King of Syria.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Heavenly Calling

“…I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.” (Acts 26:19)

Even the enemies of God understand the requirement of accountability to a universal Creator. That’s why they hate him, because they understand that such a Creator requires obedience and acknowledgement of his “eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:19-20). But why, as believers, do we run and hide?

“If I serve God, I’m afraid he’ll make me a missionary and send me to Africa or China, or worse yet, the Middle East!” “If I serve God, he may tell me to preach, and everyone knows I’m not very literate or a good orator!” “What if he wants me to become a pastor or evangelist ?” “No way, that’s just not me!” And so we run!

But heaven is not a democracy, and God does not give us a choice; he gives us an “offer we can’t refuse!” All we can do is accept or reject his invitation (Luke 14:16-24).

A call from God will not make us popular, and it is for sure that we will not be everyone’s “friend!” In fact, the greater the anointing upon our lives, the greater the isolation, misunderstanding and rejection will be. As the power increases in our prayer life or ministry, we also become a greater target for demonic attack and harassment (II Corinthians 12:7, II Timothy 1:8).

Am I talking about the calling of an apostle? A prophet? Or maybe an evangelist, pastor or teacher? Perhaps, but rather the calling of every believer, to take up his cross and follow him (Hebrews 3:1).

God has not called us to walk an easy path; the road to heaven is narrow, and the way is difficult, and it is not for the weak or faint-hearted (Ephesians 6:10). Few choose to travel this path, and the casualties and desertions are many (Matthew 7:14).

This present age is drawing to a close, and we must draw near to the Lord as never before. He does not require us to fulfill our calling in our own strength, neither does he permit it. For our strength is wholly inadequate for the job, and it only gets in his way. If we ask him, he will help us; if we submit our plans to him, he will show us what is needful for the day, and give us the strength and ability to do it. Time is our friend, not our enemy, when we live and walk in the Spirit.