Thursday, April 30, 2009, "Being Obedient When It Is Most Difficult"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
By: Teresa Criswell

"Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves..."
~ Matthew 10:16 ~

As I was praying for the families that have lost loved one's to the 'swine flu', I wanted to not just look at it as just a couple of people dying, but truly wanting to see the people, and in the process this is what was played in my mind:

I sadly imagine a mother desperately holding onto her daughter who has passed on; rocking back and forth in anguish.

A few days prior her daughter was beautifully spinning and dancing around in the house, humming and singing her favorite song. Many times during the days on this earth she with great energy would jump up and down with excitement as she with many words would describe the exciting day in school and how she anticipated an upcoming birthday party that she was planning to attend. As a matter of fact, she had just talked about the outfit that she was going to wear and how much her friend was going to love the gift she picked out for her.

Suddenly! Today with no warning, death came to snatch her little life. I imagine seeing the mother wailing over the body of her child. The guilty questions, "I wish I would have spent more time with you..." The laughter and smile of her daughter is the one thing that brings her to her knees in desperation of wanting to hear her sound of laughter one more time. So badly wanting to bandage up the 'boo-boo' on her knee one more time, wanting that moment again as she would smell the scent of her daughter's hair as she bent down to hug and kiss her. The one more time scenario's she rehearses in her mind over and over again.

As the scene is interrupted, I ponder the world we live in. Especially the 'Christian' world. Political correctness has taken over many churches and pulpits. What happened? How did it sneak in so subtly? It must have started in our own lives. I am guilty of forgetting for whom I am to ultimately live for. This life I live is so real, but it is just the beginning of life eternally.

Many times I take for granted common sense and forsake the godly wisdom for the wisdom of man and the world, because it may seem more cunning or eloquent in speech.

As I take a step back, seeing how we are annihilated with unemployment, financial stresses beyond what could have been imagined. Yet, there were people warning us, like Lindsey Williams and Steve Quayle on the alternative news and many others. Because it wasn't coming from the mainstream media, we called it, 'conspiratal'. It's amazing how these people have surrounded and saturated themselves in the Word of God. Face down on their knees being 'downloaded' with what to do and as they walked in faith getting understanding on how to do it, even 'divinely' knowing and having the ears and mouths of 'inside people' so that they could help others now and along the way. We weren't listening, we were like the people in the days of Noah...making fun, going about our 'business' as usual with the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.

I am guilty of becoming so misguided by my feelings and driven by today and not eternity. The things I've heard from someone else and call it the 'gospel truth' when I haven't taken it to the Lord and researched it out myself to verify if it is truth.

For instance when I hear the reports on what my husband would call the "Tell-a-lie-a-vision", how do we know what we are hearing is truth? It is amazing as we have gone to the Lord in prayer for protection in our own lives, as we pray over situations and such things as the 'swine flu', He has faithfully provided protection as He leads us in Truth through unlikely sources; such as the alternative media.

We must 'rise up' and truly "be wise as serpents and harmless as doves" as Jesus said. It takes work to protect and guard those things, however, I realize that I must also trust God in the process when He leads us in truth of what to do and we will gain understanding on how to do it.

I am reminded that when He protects us He can do it in ways we would unlikely suspect. He wants to protect us, will we be like Noah or will be like the one's in his day who make fun and say, "We are the greatest nation ever, that can't happen to us, it's never 'rained' before." Are we going to help build the ark of protection? Or are we going to slip away in our 'political correctness' and 'drown' with the rest of the world?

I need to also remember that the unlikely men and women, the 'watchmen on the wall' throughout history and even now, were often ignored. I don't want to be the one who is guilty of ignoring them anymore. We have got to be, it is a must that we are the generation that rises up and have ears to hear. We must be prepared in every realm.

Look around us, in our church; we aren't prepared, we aren't ready, many of us are twiddling our thumbs, listening to the 'encouraging' messages to make us feel better and blessed for the day. We are to rise up and call HIM blessed. Yet we are divided in what kind of music we'd rather listen to in church, or ridicule the pastor for preaching that particular message. We are a generation into ourselves. Lord, forgive me for being one that has sat there in the 'pew' of life with my mouth opened so plump spiritually and saying, "Feed me, feed me more." We have to activate our faith in God. With faith and action power is ignited. If we truly do this, I believe that the pattern of selfishness will be destroyed and a new pattern will take place as we truly listen and heed to His voice.

This devotional is hard for me to write in particular, because I love to encourage and I don't like to step on people's toes and maybe cause offense. However, I am slowly coming to a place in my life where I can't care what others think when it comes to the truth. My love for the Lord has to be bigger than the care and concern of what people may think of me.

It doesn't mean it won't bother me, but I have to know that if I am finding the things I am finding out, no matter how 'crazy' it sounds, I have learned it for a Mordecai said to Esther (Esther 4:14), "you have been elevated to the palace for such a time as this."

This is the time to be so sensitive to the voice of God. Not to be led by fear of emotions, but to be led by faith in Him even in the midst of fear.

I must confess that I have been captivated by the world and it's deceit moreso than the Kingdom of God. One day when we reign with Jesus, I am sure that we will say shaking our heads, "We were concerned with that?"

I want to be vigilant for the glory of God as Esther and Noah. I may not see instant gratification in doing the right thing, however I will see that it can be as an act of worship unto the Lord as we are obedient, even when it is most difficult.


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