In the Shadow of Forewarning

Some things are right before our eyes …

Copyright © Wanda Murry, August 31, 2018

Forewarn (Webster):

To admonish beforehand; To inform previously; To give previous notice; To caution beforehand

Forewarn (Strong’s Concordance):

To exhibit under the eyes; To exemplify (instruct, admonish); To show by making known future things

This I know because it has been foretold,

That in these last days, perilous times would come,

Where me, myself & I would be lovers of their selves;

Where the heart would covet, boast, and proudly ignore.

Where blasphemers rail against knowledge to disobey parents,

Unthankful for their welfare, and unholy in their cares.

Without natural affection, trucebreakers who falsify pacts.

These false accusers fill jails; incontinent slackers they are.

Under fierce attacks, they are despisers of those that are good.

Traitors who prey relentlessly, always heady in mischief.

Highminded, they are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.

Delusional in their form of godliness, they deny the power of the source.

Beware my sisters, for they creep into houses to lead silly women captive;

Catering to those laden with sins and willingly led away with divers lusts.

Beware brethren of ever learning, when acts and deeds uncover

The inability to come to the knowledge of the truth,

Under the shadow of what is still yet to materialize …

abstract ancient architecture art

4And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.  5But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.  Luke 12:4-5

 

Are You Ready?

Not all exams allow a retest …

Copyright © Wanda Murry, August 28, 2018

Lately, I find myself thinking more and more about the day when I will come face to face with Christ.  I’m fairly sure I won’t be able to say anything!  And, although crying is a release mechanism for me, I will have a glorified body, so I’m pretty sure that’s not an option.

It’s not just standing before him though – I’m sure of my salvation and it’s not in question.  What I wonder about is if he’ll be pleased with what I’ve done with His gift over these 40 plus years, and if I have represented Him well.

man wearing gray sweater in selective focus photography
Photo by Segopotso Makhutja on Pexels.com

Every time I think about it I remember a scene from the Bruce Willis movie “The Sixth Sense.”  Toward the end, the little boy is finally explaining to his mom that he sees and talks to the dead. He tells his mom that his grandmother said her answer was “Yes” to a question the mother had.  Asking his mom what the question was, the mother responds, “I asked if I make her proud?

I only get one day at a time to make God proud.  I know He doesn’t expect me to be perfect, but at the end of each day, my hope is that God is proud of something I did to magnify His glory.  Daily, the thought of meeting my Savior face-to-face is a welcome desire.  Yet, there are other moments when I ask myself if I am truly ready to stand in His presence?

Definitely a reflective moment worth more than just a cursory thought!

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18  (KJV)

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Blindsided by the Blind Spots in the Wall

Beware of the dust that gathers while standing still at the gate!

Copyright © Wanda Murry, Speak True Life, May 23, 2018

Encarta Dictionary: English (North America):  blind–side (transitive verb), blind–side (blind·sid·ed, blind·sid·ing, blind·sides)

  1.  Attack from blind side

to attack somebody suddenly and physically by hitting the person on a side where his or her peripheral vision is obstructed

  1.  Attack when vulnerable

to take somebody unawares suddenly, with detrimental results to that person

WebstersDictionary.com – blind spot  noun

2an area in which one fails to exercise judgment or discrimination

Your chest is on fire; your eyes burn with cloudiness; your breathing is labored.  Your head hurts as swirls of darkness envelop you like a soft glove.  You are rattled to the core and left feeling as if a sledgehammer has pummeled your chest. Surely you must be dying; surely the pain will be to your demise.

Tremors ripple throughout your body leaving you spineless.  Your body, in slow motion, crumbles into a heap upon the floor.  Using the last bit of strength you can muster, you wrap your arms around your body as you curl into a ball.  As tears fall, draining you of any coherent thought, even death becomes a welcome idea.

You have just been blindsided by the blind spots in your life.  While you were busy managing the multiplicity of life, you left yourself vulnerable to the attacks that are constant against those in Christ, and that which is common to the flesh.  Sometimes, the greatest blind spot is to believe one is exempt from the very temptations and troubles that accumulate into lusts of the flesh, the eyes, and pride, even though God’s Word speaks to the contrary.

In our failure to stay spiritually and mentally alert through God’s Word and an active prayer life, complacency creeps in like a tiny spider—unseen until its webs are anchored in the dark spaces our eyes did not see — and our lukewarm hearts did not feel.  Blind spots take many forms: stubbornness, carelessness, laziness, pride, trust issues, scriptural starvation, spouses, work, multiple endeavors (spiritual & physical), worldly lusts, fear, ministry(ies), bitterness, fatigue, children, weariness, etc., etc., etc.  Their development grows as one gets a little too comfortable in their state of fellowship and worship with the Holy God.

Old Testament stories highlight this common breach in the life of those on varying levels of relationship with God.  Nothing new under the sun, for there are many examples of strong beginnings of faithful servants who later falter and fall.  A tour of the internet provides an increasing number of moral failures in our churches for our learning in these modern days.  And, it is this faltering that creates the breach in our spiritual fortress.  The story found in Nehemiah is a welcome reminder.

worm view of concrete structure
Photo by Chris Carter on Pexels.com

In learning that The remnant left of the captivity in the province … (were) in great affliction and reproach: (1:3), Nehemiah’s response provides us with a picture of one whose heart is towards God and God’s people, much like an uncompromising shepherd in this Laodicean church age.  In short, verses 3b-11 is the hope of a heart for what God loves … his people.  Note:

… the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, … Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, … 11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: … and grant him mercy in the sight of this man…”

We are warned to remember the examples in the Old Testament by 1 Corinthians 10:1-12 – to not lust after evil things, be idolaters, commit fornication, tempt Christ, or murmur. Nonetheless, when there are blind spots in our vision, the walls of spiritual protection fall, delivering our moral compasses into the hands of worldly versions of right vs. wrong, causing spiritual weakness and compromise.052418-PrideWhen I read “There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” (Proverbs 30:12) or the warning cry of Isaiah 5:21-Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” it is like the slap of wet hands upon the face saying, WAKE UP!  Ignorant I am not – I have fallen into several pits with scars to show.  I suspect there may be more.  So there is a great need to minimize more damage by banishing complacency, and opening my eyes and ears.  It is as good a place as any to start – at least for me.

 

The walls are failing, the breaches are widening, and God’s people cannot afford to abandon their posts#2.

Lord, wipe away the haze from our eyes; open our ears to hear the crumbling of the walls that we may turn our hearts to you again. Though our fortresses are weakened by decay, help us arm ourselves with the building materials of your mighty sword (Hebrew 4:12) and vanquish the enemy of our flesh.  Keep us from getting lost in the fabric of a busy life, that we may fortify the kingdom of God and secure the breaches with armed watchmen upon thy walls.