Friday, December 21, 2012

Isaiah 13-17: Is This the Man?

Isaiah 14:11-16
11 Your pomp and magnificence are brought down to Sheol (the underworld), along with the sound of your harps; the maggots [which prey upon dead bodies] are spread out under you and worms cover you [O Babylonian rulers].

12 How have you fallen from heaven, O light-bringer and daystar, son of the morning! How you have been cut down to the ground, you who weakened and laid low the nations [O blasphemous, satanic king of Babylon!]

13 And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north.

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.

15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol (Hades), to the innermost recesses of the pit (the region of the dead).

16 Those who see you will gaze at you and consider you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms?—

Reading these verses literally depict Isaiah's parable against the king of Babylon, but symbolically these verses can be thought to represent Lucifer, the fallen "light-bringer."

I am currently re-reading a fictional novel by Wendy Alec, "The Fall of Lucifer" from The Chronicles of Brothers series. Alec's fantastical account of Lucifer's fall traces how jealousy gives birth to a wounded heart, which then becomes malignant with a lust for power fueled by pride.

Lucifer, the light-bearer and worship leader of heaven, Michael, the holy chief of Yehovah's angelic armies, and Gabriel, the prophetic revelator filled with wisdom and justice were brothers-each serving their beloved Father by utilizing their unique giftings...then God created man in His own image.  

Lucifer couldn't swallow the truth that his Father had created an inferior race with His own DNA.  Lucifer, a powerful angelic prince, felt abandoned by his beloved God.

"'The race of men are truly beloved of our Father.'"  Michael stared ahead in wonder.  "'He has replicated Eden for them.'" 
"Slowly Lucifer pushed the gate open.  It was almost twelve feet high and two feet in breadth, carved of solid gold and embedded with rubies and diamonds set in a vast jacinth wall that surrounded the entrance to the inner sanctum of Eden."  
"'He would walk with them...,' Lucifer murmured." 
"Very slowly, Michael lifted his gaze to Lucifer's face as he stared ahead at the grotto at the very edge of the cliffs of Eden  surrounded by eight ancient olive trees.  A harrowing look of intense suffering clouded Lucifer's features   A solitary tear fell down his cheek.  His whisper was barely audible." 
"'He had abandoned us.'"

 I actually felt sorry for Lucifer as he struggled to comprehend God's great love for man, while trusting that God still loved him.  

This book is a sobering reminder to "guard our hearts."

Proverbs 4:23
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

Genesis 4:7Amplified Bible (AMP)
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.

Beloved Father, show us any areas within our hearts that separate us from You.  Help us to hear Your voice alone, not the condemning voice of the one who choose against You.  In Jesus' holy name, AMEN!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2 Chronicles 28; 2 Kings 16-17: Unfaithfulness in Distress

2 Chronicles 28:22
Amplified Bible (AMP)

22 In the time of his distress he became still more unfaithful to the Lord—this same King Ahaz.

We live in a world full of stressors. Sometimes circumstance-inducing stressors escalate into "mental or physical suffering or anguish" more commonly referred to as distress (thefreedictionary).

King Ahaz was distressed.  

Ahaz became king of Judah at age twenty.  I can't imagine the stress of leading a nation heaped upon one so young.  But, I don't believe this stress needed to escalate into distress.  

From the beginning of his reign, Ahaz "did not do right in the sight of the Lord." (2 Chronicles 28:1)  He was an idolator (v. 2) and went so far as to burn his sons as an offering to these demon gods. (v. 3)

Because Ahaz turned away from God, the Lord sent the kings of Syria and Israel to defeat Judah.  

Ahaz sent a distress call to the king of Assyria (v. 16), but Tilgath-pilneser distressed him without strengthening him (v. 20).

God will discipline those He loves when they do wrong!

Without Holy Spirit's constant refill of spirit, we can become distressed.

Distress can induce us to be unfaithful to the Lord.

Did you ever hear of the saying,  

"What comes out of you when you are squeezed is what is inside of you."   
Wayne Dyer

When faced with life's stressors.  When I am squeezed beyond my ability to endure, I want to exude Holy Spirit's fruit...Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-control.

The only way to manifest these fruit is by consistent interaction with His Spirit.  I would love to report that in every instance of squeezing, these characteristics flowed from me, but that has not always been the case.

What to do?  

Repent, and ask Holy Spirit to fill me again and again.  Grow me, mature me, to the point that each stressor causes Jesus to shine, that each stressor would point the way to The Way