“Shifting Sands”

Robert

Well-Known Member
"“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes."(Matthew 7:24-28, NASB, emphasis mine)

When Jesus spoke this in 1st century Judea, people still built their houses with their own hands. They understood the necessity of building their houses on solid rock instead of shifting sand; the rains in Israel would come during the winter and make roads unusable and would soak the ground. Any structure built on mud, sand or anything other than solid rock was a disaster waiting to happen, and when that disaster struck, there were no shelters for people to go to or "emergency funds" or government agencies for anyone to fall back on.


Yet in these last days, many indeed have built their "houses" on shifting sands, and are in a great deal of danger...


When we witness to this world, we are going to be questioned on every single thing we say about God, Jesus, Satan, hell, sin, man's fallen state, you name it. Often, these questions are couched in hostility, anger, and resentment stemming from fear, pain and injury as a result of things that have happened to them in their lifetimes. But all too often, they are met with equal hostility and anger when they engage with the Church in conversation. They are told "you just don't want to believe" or "you just want to remain in your sins" and when they ask why, they are informed that "scripture says so." Believers in the west have become offended at answering questions and think people are "just playing games"; while this does happen, it gets to the point where a "blanket judgment" is made. The defenses immediately go up whenever the slightest hint pops up.

But scripture tells us:

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:14-21, NASB, emphasis mine)


That said, why the counterattack?


Another matter: the news constantly streams in the events going on. The television and internet inundate us with news from across the globe, ranging from the current situation in the Middle East to the weather running amok. And it is heard so often, that soon Fear, Uncertainty and Doom begin to cause panic. Every news report and every article online that speaks of another disaster, crime, war or perceived government subterfuge sends a new wave of emotional convulsions that grips with apprehension. And should anyone try to speak otherwise, they are decried and pointed to the storm clouds that are seen on the horizon as the basis for the feelings of terror.


But what do these two issues have to do with one another?


They share a common root:

"“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” (Matthew 13:18-23, NASB, emphasis mine)

The "rocky soil" type of plant has roots that cannot gain enough sustenance for the plant; just like that plant, when challenged, the believer who has no solid root withers because they are not firmly rooted. Meantime, the plant that is amongst the thorns is choked because "the word is choked"; they focus more on the world. In both cases, the "plant" withers and dies because it was deprived of the sustenance it needed to thrive. Like those plants, when we do not know "why we believe what we believe", we too will wither.


So, how is not knowing why we believe akin to this? And how does it apply here in total?


It is one thing to read that we need salvation, but another to actually realize that we personally need it. We know that without it, we would go to hell; but do we know why our sin keeps us from the Lord? Are we weary of our sin, to the point where we want to be free of it? I don't just mean kind of "tuckered out": I mean are we so grieved and heartbroken over it, so hurt and crushed by sin, so burdened and bound by it like a heavy weight that we crawl before the Lord and cry in despair and anguish over our sin? Have we felt His hand lift the massive burden of it from our bowed, wracked shoulders and the brutal weight removed from our broken backs? Do we live as though we have had that kind of salvation happen to us? Have we cried tears of relief and joy that the burden of sin had been removed from, us and that we have been forgiven? Have we been so heartbroken and bothered by our sins that we asked the Lord to help us with it and unlearn the habits and patterns that lead us into it?

Because if we have, then THAT is our witness. That is our reason to not just "believe" but to KNOW that The Lord is THE GOD, and that Jesus Christ is THE LORD. This is the foundation that we build upon, and this is our Rock; when we have those, we are solid, firm, ready both in and out of "season" and sober in all things":

"I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. " (2 Timothy 4:1-5, NASB, emphasis mine)

But when we do NOT KNOW, we are uncertain of where we stand, and uncertain of what tomorrow will bring; we end up having no "foundation" Paul tells us in scripture:

"According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." (1 Corinthians 3:10-15, NASB, emphasis mine)

If we do not "found" ourselves on what the Lord has said, as stated in Matthew 7, then we indeed are built upon "shifting sands." We then have to ask ourselves: are we so trapped in our behaviors and habits that we never see that we have a choice NOT to sin? And do we communicate that we have this choice to others?

Whether it is a lost person asking us hard questions, or these times looming on the horizon, we feel threatened and we "wither". And while we do indeed make preparations for both situations, we cannot rely on "scripture says so" as a sufficient reason, nor can we rely on prepared supplies alone to get us through difficult times. When we know, neither a challenge from someone asking tough questions will shake us, nor will times of trial and testing move us.

In both, we HAVE to KNOW why we KNOW; not just "believe" (after all, even the demons believe and tremble), but KNOW.



YBIC,


-Robert
 

Meg

Well-Known Member
One thing few people realize is that the foundations of our lives are, in many ways, built on lies. It is often claimed that if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes true. This point is being hammered by that man Breivik, who massacred so many people in Norway, and the deceit is clear in that clever smirk on his face and in the fact that satan has filled his heart with a desire to die in his sin.

A crucial part of Sanctification is the separation of truth from lies we are burdened. This revelation of truth as God sees it frees us from self hatred, self doubt and defeat, but the truth often seems so strange it is a real shock to hear it for the first time. For this reason and many others, it is so critical to seek out the truth in Scripture and in prayer. This is the only way we can and will discover why we believe what we believe. And when we know why we believe what we believe, we will be secure in our Holy Fortress, Jesus Christ. This is the Treasure we should be seeking with diligence and determination, a Truth that surpasses impressions and assumptions, that digs past what we may have thought was "true", and which leads us into the genuine peace that surpasses all understanding. This truth is there to find, guided by a love much broader and deeper than any love the human heart could conceive. This is the only Truth profound enough to defeat the fear that crowds on all of us as the Night approaches and we await the Coming of our Lord...
 

Robert

Well-Known Member
One thing few people realize is that the foundations of our lives are, in many ways, built on lies. It is often claimed that if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes true. This point is being hammered by that man Breivik, who massacred so many people in Norway, and the deceit is clear in that clever smirk on his face and in the fact that satan has filled his heart with a desire to die in his sin.

A crucial part of Sanctification is the separation of truth from lies we are burdened. This revelation of truth as God sees it frees us from self hatred, self doubt and defeat, but the truth often seems so strange it is a real shock to hear it for the first time. For this reason and many others, it is so critical to seek out the truth in Scripture and in prayer. This is the only way we can and will discover why we believe what we believe. And when we know why we believe what we believe, we will be secure in our Holy Fortress, Jesus Christ. This is the Treasure we should be seeking with diligence and determination, a Truth that surpasses impressions and assumptions, that digs past what we may have thought was "true", and which leads us into the genuine peace that surpasses all understanding. This truth is there to find, guided by a love much broader and deeper than any love the human heart could conceive. This is the only Truth profound enough to defeat the fear that crowds on all of us as the Night approaches and we await the Coming of our Lord...
:thumbup
 

soundingthealarm

Fleethewrath2come
Awesome Message and timely! "Yet once more I will shake everything that can be shaken" is Coming and in alot of ways is already happening. Just as the story told of the Asian Tsunami that the animals sensing something was coming headed for the hills..I pray that many are waking up and are heading to solid/higher ground and looking to the Hills from whence cometh our help and in their looking they are knowing in whom they have believed and have been persuaded that He is able to keep that which they are committing to Him...Growing freer and freer from what is holding them back or down.

Great job you two, you make a great team ya know? thanks for sharing this
 

Meg

Well-Known Member
Thank you, Sounding, your complement really touched my heart! I am so blessed to have Robert, this marriage was a very deep gift from God...

We both have reason to believe that just before the Rapture, the Church at large is going to face hard times. Nobody seems to have been prepared for that, the assumption was that we would all be evacuated (Raptured) before anything got bad; I largely blame the Left Behind books for that, they really downplayed the Trib among other issues... This is absolutely Scriptural too:

1 Peter 4:17 (NASB for clearest wording)

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
We so need to be prepared for difficulty, not for assumptions of exemptions! Now is the call to build our faith while there is still time.

I have noticed that in the recent tornadoes etc that God is destroying possessions, but sparing people's lives. I think there is an important message there.
 

soundingthealarm

Fleethewrath2come
Thank you, Sounding, your complement really touched my heart! I am so blessed to have Robert, this marriage was a very deep gift from God...

We both have reason to believe that just before the Rapture, the Church at large is going to face hard times. Nobody seems to have been prepared for that, the assumption was that we would all be evacuated (Raptured) before anything got bad; I largely blame the Left Behind books for that, they really downplayed the Trib among other issues... This is absolutely Scriptural too:

1 Peter 4:17 (NASB for clearest wording)



We so need to be prepared for difficulty, not for assumptions of exemptions! Now is the call to build our faith while there is still time.

I have noticed that in the recent tornadoes etc that God is destroying possessions, but sparing people's lives. I think there is an important message there.
I absolutely agree Meg, Believer's in Greece and Spain are going through difficult times PRE-TRIB already as the suffering persecuted Church Globally speaking in many places are being hunted down and treated like animals

And ask for difficult times my wife has been having to recently be telling me and reminding me.."there is a reason Jesus said to pray give us this DAY our Daily Bread" I think it quite possible God delights when we have no security blankets anymore because then we can see His Glory more surely. He never fails and all His promises are yes and amen...but sometimes we can be blinded by that which we can see over that whom we can't..until it comes to the forefront that The ONLY thing truly holding us up Is He who has taken us out of the miry clay and put our feet on The ROCK to stay!!! (NOT Shifting Sand)

Kinda like the Children of Israel who grew to think bondage was comfort in Egypt so much so that when God showed up as Fire by Night and a Cloud by day and feeding them with manna from heaven because they were forced upon God reliance instead of Self Reliance....they wanted to go back!! God Help us as during these times of Your Refining Fire we don't squirm to go back but realize what you are preparing us for THE PROMISED LAND :yeah: In the words of an Old Petra Song..."I AM ON THE ROCK"
 

Meg

Well-Known Member
I absolutely agree Meg, Believer's in Greece and Spain are going through difficult times PRE-TRIB already as the suffering persecuted Church Globally speaking in many places are being hunted down and treated like animals

And ask for difficult times my wife has been having to recently be telling me and reminding me.."there is a reason Jesus said to pray give us this DAY our Daily Bread" I think it quite possible God delights when we have no security blankets anymore because then we can see His Glory more surely. He never fails and all His promises are yes and amen...but sometimes we can be blinded by that which we can see over that whom we can't..until it comes to the forefront that The ONLY thing truly holding us up Is He who has taken us out of the miry clay and put our feet on The ROCK to stay!!! (NOT Shifting Sand)

Kinda like the Children of Israel who grew to think bondage was comfort in Egypt so much so that when God showed up as Fire by Night and a Cloud by day and feeding them with manna from heaven because they were forced upon God reliance instead of Self Reliance....they wanted to go back!! God Help us as during these times of Your Refining Fire we don't squirm to go back but realize what you are preparing us for THE PROMISED LAND :yeah: In the words of an Old Petra Song..."I AM ON THE ROCK"
:hug :hug :hug :hug Thank you for saying that, Sounding! Robert and I are currently on the edge, wondering if we are going to have to move across the country in search of work. The final decision is coming down in the next 5 weeks or so. If it comes to that, we will trust in the Lord and we will go, without most of our furniture... So be it, we're braced. And we trust in the Lord. God bless you deeply, dear Brother, thank you so much for encouraging me yet again! :hug :hug :hug
 

SteveJM

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Robert! A good message for all of us, especially the many who are victims of FUD, and for those who are not grounded in and applying the truth of God's word in their lives and daily walk. We all need to know our Savior better. The closer we are to Him the greater our joy and confidence will be. We should not be content with knowing Him as only our Savior. He is our God, our creator, our High Priest, our brother, our Rock. :thumbup
 
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