En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Archive for the ‘A Look At Micah’ Category

-From A Dad:After All the Punishment…God’s Mercy! Micah 7

Posted by Scott on January 2, 2008

 After all the punishment, the refinement, the sifting as wheat…our God desires to stop His wrath and heap upon us His mercy and grace to His elect, His chosen people, the remnant of exiles because of our failed humanity.  Micah 7 is a great conclusion for God’s people.

Whenever we find ourselves in the middle of such a sinful and wicked people, it is necessary to look to our Lord and wait on Him for relief, direction, and restful peace. 

In the events that surround our sinfulness, we must work through the punishing refinement that is necessary until the Lord in His gracious love subdues His wrath and begins to restore us, rebuild us, and expand the borders to which we are now confined.  During this refining period much like silver, all the impurities, the froth are burned away by an intense fire.  This fire brings us to .999% pure.  We will only be 100% pure at the time that our bodies are returned to our souls at the time of Christ second coming when we meet Him in the air. 

In the refining periods of our lives, the world watches with its sneering glow at how the God we claim to worship finishes His work in us.  This is the testimony that we lay hold of in our Lord. In Micah 7 we read the witness account of the world as it sinks to about the lowest point in its history at the time when even fathers and sons could not trust each other, because of the vile sinful wickedness that existed in that day.  In the midst of this time the world was watching to see if the God of Israel would spare His people.  At the height of His wrathful punishing restoration, the aroma of the Lord’s compassion fills the air like freshly blooming roses after a spring rain.  It is so strong that all people in existence in that area of the world could smell it.  His chosen people, the remnant, His elect were the recipients of this compassion.  The Lord’s tremendous unfailing love was blossoming again towards His people.  In amazement the others around witnessed this miraculous love and commented about this great testimony. 

The Lord promises His restful peace and prosperity to return to His people. 

          “I will do mighty miracles for you, like those I did when I

          rescued you from slavery in Egypt.”

This was a display for all that were watching this love affair between the Lord and His chosen people.  This was in order for God to be mightily glorified and honored in the day of His remnant’s restoration.  All the soulless arrogant people would be shown how insignificant they really are in the light of the larger providential plan of our sovereign Lord. 

In grand amazement the people could only wonder who this God was that put blinders on and pardon the sins of His people.  To their surprise the Israelite’s God did not remain angry for very long nor did He punish them completely for all their sins…His grace is always intervening shortly after His wrath has fallen when His people cry out to Him and call our Lord by name.  In a short period of time they realized all the events that took place was to rebuild His remnant and destroy those wicked proud sinful people who had taken Israel hostage.  They thought they could do as they pleased and get richer and richer off the backs of God’s people, but His wrath would soon fall upon them with no reprieve.  God can and will use people and events for His purposes, both the good and bad.  As this has played out, because God “delights in showing mercy”. 

We finish the story to find God, the almighty one, the sovereign Lord of us all with His arm open wide spreading His faithful and unfailing love out like a table cloth adorning a grand oak table with a feast fit for only the family of the King.  For those of us in the 21st century this promise of faithfulness and unfailing love remains.  This feast is still spread upon His table for us.  Our greatest need as believers is to turn back towards our holy and majestic God.  We will witness the most magnificent transformation in our lives as God pours out His fresh mercies, faithfulness, and unfailing love upon His chosen people.  The Lord wants us to move in the direction of holiness…a purified vessel ready for daily use by our awesome Creator.

 For You, O God, tested us, You refined us like silver.  You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.  You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of abundance.”  -Psalm 66:10-12

For those of us that are a part of this remnant, His chosen people, we will be refined, purified, and stretched.  However, the promise of God is that our ultimate end is not destruction.  We need to hold onto what God has promised us even though everyone around us including voices in our heads may tell us differently.  Difficulties will come our way…this is a part of the suffering we as believers must endure.  Many times as we march forward as we sense God would have us do, things may get worse before they get better, just count on it.  God is doing a far greater work in us than we could ever imagine.  In just a short time, our sovereign Lord will bring us into that “place of abundance”, as He promises.

Just as the Lord promised Israel He would rebuild their cities and extend their borders, He intends to do the same with us.  Although we may be surrounded by pitch darkness, the Lord will be our light. 

Are we ready to be rebuilt by an awesome God?  Are we ready to have our borders extended beyond our sight?  In the quest for His holiness we will experience His righteousness soon.

-Scott Bailey © 2008

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-From A Dad: A Revived Call to Holiness!

Posted by Scott on December 31, 2007

Can I be frank with you, Guys?  God is calling His people back to holiness.  Our families are looking to us as husbands, fathers, and leaders to usher in this holiness to our homes, churches, and even the workplace.  Are we inadvertently losing our desire to be holy?  This is not the direction the majority of the churches are moving today either.  As a matter of fact, the church in general is moving as far away from holiness as it can all in the name of progress in winning the lost to Christ.  We see the great hymns that testify to His holiness and sovereignty pushed aside for more upbeat, rock style chants.  Such old hymns as “Take Time to be Holy” by William D. Longstaff of 1882 with such words as

“Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord; abide in Him always, and feed on His word.  Make friends of God’s children; help those who are weak; forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek”

are missing within the walls of churches of today.  Preachers are not standing in the pulpits anymore with the Holy Scriptures in front of them proclaiming God as holy and that we should be moving in that holy direction ourselves as the Spirit of God prompts us.  We cannot embrace success until we have successfully embraced the suffering of Christ as a part of Christianity.   

Here in Micah 5:1-15 we find a special treat as the coming birth of Christ is foretold.  The coming of Christ was the great hope for the oppressed people of this day and time.  This is not much different than the hopes we have today of Christ second coming.  My concern is the condition of “the bride of Christ” when He returns.  The task at hand for us is a return to the holiness of God.  Micah 5:4 states “He will stand to lead His flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God”.  Verse 5 “He will be the source of our peace”. God always uses a remnant for His purposes.  As the Israelites of this day and time were captured and hauled off to captivity, God promises to keep a remnant for His use.  He promises to restore and redeem this remnant for His greater glory.  This remnant is a people with little significance to the world from an earthly point of view.  These are people God strips bare and purifies with His mighty hand deep into the core of their being, and rebuilds them to accomplish His work here on earth.  The remnant is a people striving to live a holy life before God with little regard for the opinions of the masses including those within their on Christian circles.  As we look around, so many “play” at Christianity with little power in their lives.  For some reason it is “hip” in the Bible-Belt of America to tag yourself with the label of “Christian”.  To live this life out with a holy humble calling does not enter their thought process.  The church wonders why it does not have an effect on lives in their communities.  The church has left its first love, Christ, for a false doctrine of prosperity and feeling good.  The church has become in many circles the Oprah or Doctor Phil show with a Christian twist.  People are entertained by rock bands, skits, and celebrity preachers into the pits of hell, but are convinced in their own hearts that it is the work of God.  Holiness is not an easy task nor is it an easy topic to explore.  This will not be a deep search into holiness, that article will come later. 

This is a holiness called out by God from the prophet Micah years ago to a people that had been warned to turn back to God and seek His holiness in their lives.  This same holiness is welling up again within the groaning’s of this fallen world.  Being purified for His holy calling on our lives requires a painful, sometimes stressing, and bloody process.  God wants absolutely nothing between Him and us.  I am convinced that He will not stop short of destroying each and every security we have on this earth in order to achieve the holiness in us He intends.  Our finances are of no concern to Him if that must be taken in order to get our attention.  Many of us find great security in our jobs and family, yet that is not safe from this purification process.  Our toys are certainly at risk of rust and disaster if any chance exists they would get in the way of our walk with Christ.  As we see His awesome work in Micah and His people as he purifies His remnant by destroying the idols in their lives.  He was destroying anything that they may have held in greater confidence than His Majesty.  He will banish all items and concepts that pushed them away from His work within their hearts.  God would not allow anything to be left of their old life within them.  Any education that penetrates our mind and heart on the contrary to Him must go.  Micah 5:13 “…never again worship the work of your own hands.”  

In order to rebuild something you must gut it out.  Have you ever seen a home that is being remodeled?  Typically, if it is a complete remodel you take the inside of the home down to the studs of the walls.  You get rid of the old countertops, the old kitchen cabinets, the old flooring, the old musty walls and ceilings in order to restore the home and update it for better use.  In the same way, the Lord guts us out inside and rebuilds us to His specifications. 

I found in this passage of Micah 5:7 that this remnant of God is like “dew sent by the Lord or rain falling on the grass, which no one can hold back”.  I can picture thirsty, parched, brown grassland that once the dew or rain has touched it comes back to life.  Within a few days that grass greens up again and becomes vibrant and healthy for cattle, sheep, or horses to eat.  Today, I read all over the internet and listen to people I am around moan in thirst for God’s truth.  These dry, parched, famished people look at everything for the truth that will satisfy their void for truth.  They long for someone to drench their tongue with the dew of God’s holy word.  Yet what they find is a message that merely tickles their ears and is little more than a mist that evaporates before than can even swallow.  For ministers that are trusted with the word of God to water down this gospel of Christ or only deliver a message that never requires anything of God’s people is a sinful act of their own will.  This is having tragic effects on the people that God is calling to His holiness, but how can they understand His holiness when they are never told how to be holy?   

In an act of obedience I deliver this message that God is calling us as layman and leaders of the church back to “holiness”.  I am not speaking of perfection here, but holiness.  This is a life that is lived for Christ against every possible oddity that can be found.  This holy life is one that mirrors God Himself.  This is a life that is not lived out for ones self, but surrendered to a Holy God that is majestic in every way.  God deserves nothing less than our entire lives and the best the Holy Spirit can wrench out of us. 

This is the straight forward truth.  This is the rain that revives and helps us to grow.  His holiness is found within the pages of the bible.   God is looking for obedient followers that march forward to His calling and His instructions, and sense the calling to be holy and work at it with every ounce of energy they have.  Disobedience will be met with God’s vengeance and stamped out.  It is better to obey than to sacrifice, however, in the quest for holiness sacrifice is also a large part of it as we rid ourselves of selfish desires and selfish activities. 

C.S. Lewis has written: 

“If I have read the New Testament right it leaves no room for our ‘creativeness’…Our whole destiny seems to lie in the opposite direction, in being as little as possible ourselves, in acquiring a fragrance that is not our own but borrowed, in becoming clean mirrors filled with the image of a face that is not ours.” 

Just remember that God does not usually work through the majority in order to accomplish His work, but a special few called “His remnant” that are set aside for His special use.  How will those of us hearing this call respond?  Will we pursue God and His holiness in order to be of greater use to Him?  Again, this is not a call to perfection…this is a call to change and bend at the will of our holy God in unabashed obedience to Him. 

-Scott Bailey © 2007

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