March 1 2016
Like so many of you, I’ve been watching the recent prophetic developments including the rapidly increasing influence and in-roads of the Papacy – truly one of the more impressive historic and prophetic developments of our time.
And yet, this should not come as a surprise to Seventh-day Adventists, who have long held that the Bible teaches a resurgence of this power, and that the world will “wonder after the beast…” (Revelation 13:3).
These developments have also provided striking reminders of the accuracy of what we’ve read about in the Spirit of Prophecy regarding end time events. It reminds me of hearing someone say a few years ago that the book Great Controversy, which has embarrassed some SDA’s, would prove to be so accurate that in the end, those same people would be embarrassed by their once lack of faith in it.
Well with the things we’re witnessing, we certainly see prophecy being fulfilled with striking accuracy.
But amidst all the discussion, the many comments from my fellow believers about the rising of the beast power and the reminders of her sins, I feel something is not being emphasized enough.
Lately, I find myself thinking more and more about the importance of practical godliness. I’m talking about real depth of character. In fact, let me be more honest – not just talking, but rather I find myself asking: “do I have it?” – The character of Christ?
It seems to me, an understanding of end time events should most of all cause us to ask the deeper questions about our own personal Christian experience.
Having a knowledge of prophecy is not enough. Please don’t misunderstand me, however. I’m not suggesting it’s not important to understand prophecy. Jesus Himself said, “When ye see these things, then KNOW…”. So knowing the times by the signs of the times is important, yes – but not enough.
God wants us to go even farther than that, and ask – what decisions must I make and what new actions should I take – in light of what I see happening in the world around me?
Is my family ready? Since world events point to the nearness of our Lord’s return, what do I need to change in my personal life to deepen my experience with Christ? What do I need to change in my personal life so that I’m in optimal spiritual shape to not just face what’s coming, but even more – to be a leader God can use during the most challenging moments in earth’s history? What do I need to change to have a bigger influence on my family?
And for me, questions like these always lead me to think about the practical plans God has laid out for us. Plans to live our lives quite differently from the rest of the world.
I’ll admit that I have a pragmatic bent. I don’t like the philosophical as much as I like simple, straightforward action steps – “What wouldst thou have me to DO?”
You see, I believe that God’s favorite ways to transform us, are often through real practical activities. He wants to reach us in ways that can’t be explained on a white board or a powerpoint presentation (not that there’s any thing wrong with those – I use them too :-).)
The heart work that needs to be done, can best be imparted through practical activities, and so God gives us tasks to do that provide the right experience by which we can grow and be transformed into His image. “The science of salvation cannot be explained, but it can be known by experience.” DA 495
And so He calls us to enter His training – which include things like moving our families out of the city and learning to live off the land, growing our own food in the garden, dealing with the obstacles and difficulties of a more rugged lifestyle, adopting a simpler diet, etc..
For a long time, I’ve felt compelled to focus more on practical things – the things God asks us to do. Partly because they resonate with me and partly because it seems they’re not getting enough attention.
So over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing some things that I’ve found helpful in re-focusing our attention to the deeper spiritual matters of the heart.
I invite you to come with me on this journey.
For sure, the end is near. The din and noise of the world is, it seems at times deafening. Even in the church, it seems there’s so much noise. But you and I are to be guided by that still small voice. Can you hear it?
“Everyone needs to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Ps. 46:10. Here alone can true rest be found. And this is the effectual preparation for all who labor for God. Amid the hurrying throng, and the strain of life’s intense activities, the soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. The life will breathe out fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men’s hearts.” DA 363
That’s what I want – how about you?
Talk again soon!