Summer Heat

Hebrews 12:29 “For our God is a consuming fire.”

As I write, there is a heat wave is sweeping over our region. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest all of my life and have never seen temperatures at the level we are seeing this weekend. Throughout our country many regions are experiencing heat like never before, at least in our lifetime.

Climate change is certainly occuring before our eyes, regardless of the causes of the shift which many have speculated, the reality is our world is changing. The fires we experienced last year in the Northwest may become a consistent reality, water may become more scarce, and the lifestyle that many have enjoyed may become a thing of the past.

Does the threat of change cause anxiety in you?

Depending on your frame of reference, change can inspire hope or incite fear, it really comes down to who or what you believe in. If you think the world happened through a random set of circumstances and all is left to chance, fear is a plausible reality. I would be scared to death if I thought I was just a product of my environment, if I believed my life was nothing more than a random set of mutations and the ‘Universe’ might snuff me out if it deems me unnecessary, I would probably be looking over my shoulder all the time.

Are you Lucky?

I don’t believe in luck. Luck is random. Luck is to believe your life is like a spinning wheel with the hope your number comes up as if you won the lottery. Those who place their hope in luck set themselves up for disappointment.

You cannot believe in the sovereignty of God and luck at the same time, the two concepts are in juxtaposition to one another.

The Lord is at work in us, in our world, and in ways we cannot see. He raises up righteous and evil rulers and places them in positions of power because He is purposeful in everything He does. Consider Pharoah, during the time of Moses and the exodus from Egypt, the Lord placed that man in that position for a reason. The Lord didn’t reach into his soul and harden his heart against Moses, Pharaoh was loved by God as much as God loved Moses. The Lord knew how Pharaoh would react because Pharaoh loved himself more than he loved the prospect of trusting in God. It was by God’s actions that Pharaoh hardened his heart and thus led to his own demise. If the Lord places a man full of pride into a position that invokes pride, He is simply using the tactics of the enemy against them.

Exodus 9:16 “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display My power to you, and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

The Lord works as He pleases. Nothing above, below, or on this earth can dissuade the hand of the Lord. He is Sovereign.

Because the Lord is in control, we need not fear. Change is encouraging to those who know that God’s hand is moving, it means something is on the horizon. When the Lord upends our reality we must not focus on our circumstances as much as we should keep our eyes on our redeemer.

The Lord has led us this far, He will continue to lead us unto the end.

Psalm 40:5 “Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders You have done, and the plans You have for us–none can compare to You–if I proclaim and declare them, they are more than I can count.”

If we only knew the ways that God intervenes in our lives we wouldn’t waste another second of life concerned about the future.

Schizophrenia

I met a guy this week who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. If your not completely aware of this diagnosis I have a brief definition:

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

Why am I sharing this with you?

In my interactions with people on the streets I’ve encountered many who have been diagnosed with this ‘mental disease’. A majority of the cases seem to be directly related to drug and alcohol abuse or childhood abuse that was never resolved. An element often overlooked in many mental disorders is the spiritual attacks people undergo. Those who dwell in a homeless environment tend to sleep very poorly and are continuously bombarded with darkness and gripped with anxiety, couple this survival environment with chemical dependency and you have the formula for trouble.

Coming out of a Covid-19 society, many have exhibited these schizophrenic tendencies. The ER’s at the hospital are absolutely full of people depressed, broken, suicidal, and wrestling with all forms of personal attacks; I can only imagine how much more difficult it is when living homeless.

Handling Uncertainty

Isaiah 55:12 “You will indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Understanding what makes us vulnerable is a step towards growing in strength and security. I will make a plug here for a program I am quite familiar with called Freedom Session. If you have a history of abuse, failure, or any point of change that turned for the worse, Freedom Session will guide you through the necessary healing and restoration that God wants to do in you.

The promises of God are to restore that which the enemy has corrupted. The first step to healing begins with a humble heart that is ready to receive. You don’t have the capacity to heal yourself, trusting the Lord for your healing is much more difficult than you might think. I’ve known so many men who have wrestled with continuing the trust relationship that begin with a decision to follow Christ, as the Lord brings us through each step of restoration, it is imperative that the trust relationship continues to grow.

Hebrews 12:25-29 “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain., since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”

All of this world will be shaken by the Lord. If you are firmly established in Christ, the shaking will make you more holy, it will not ruin you. We need not fear as changes occur, pestilence, earthquakes, hurricanes, or as the natural disasters continue to grow, we find that we are secure in Christ. The consuming fire of God burns away the chaff of this world and leaves the wheat that reveals the bounty of His harvest.

You are that harvest. Remember that you are His.

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