Friday evening I was doing my daily two-mile walk in downtown Phoenix when I encountered the “Black Lives Matter” rally. It had been only one day since the Dallas shooting, so I was somewhat concerned about my safety. However the passion of the speaker was compelling, so I stopped to listen temporarily disregarding common sense.
As you would imagine, the central theme focused on police aggression and the unjust killing of black men. Just then, a counter-protest began across the street. These new protesters were chanting “Blue Lives Matter” and calling out various other injustices that seemed to be equally important to them. As the two diverse crowds began to move towards each other, I thought it might be a good time to continue my walk in the opposite direction.
Thinking back, I have not seen such anger and division in our country since my college days back in the sixties. The Vietnam War was raging, Watts was burning, men were dying every day and the country was in turmoil. I thought those days were over, yet here we are again. Divisions over race, unjust wars and lying politicians abound. I guess some things never change.
From time immemorial men have cried out against injustice and evil. Over four-thousand years ago Job cried out “When I looked for good, evil came to me; and when I waited for light, then came darkness.” Many today feel the same as Job when he said, “My heart is in turmoil and cannot rest.”
Yet the Bible reminds me that this world is not our home and that we are just passing through. I am also reminded by Paul when he wrote to Timothy: “Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge. (I Tim 6:20) “…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”(Phil 4:7) I guess these things must happen, but by the grace of God, I choose not be anxious because of them.
In His name,
In my last blog, I shared about our trip to the Grand Canyon, where the Lord parted the clouds and cast off the blanket of fog that obscured our view of the Canyon when we arrived. It was as an echo of the Red Sea crossing to me. On this outcropping which protrudes out into the canyon is the viewing area on which is built a watchtower. It has a patio of sorts which gives you an elevated view of the canyon. On the wall of the this patio is a plaque with Psalm 64:4 imprinted on it. It reads, "All the earth worships Thee; they sing praises to Thee, sing praises to Thy name." From its position you gaze across the canyon and the praises of God do fill your heart and mind. As we departed this area, a young couple approached and read the sign aloud. My wife proclaimed to them, "Isn't God incredible?" But our hearts were solemn as we heard a muffled retort come from the young man saying, "He isn't my God!" In our hearts we prayed that God would reveal Himself to them just as God has done to us.
As we boarded the bus to move on to another location, the echo of the Red Sea was again displayed. With my mind on the proclamation of the young man, our bus pulled away and we saw, in the same manner as the Lord swept them away, the clouds begin to fill the canyon, the fog encroached upon the whole area and the snow and sleet begin again. It was as the waters were returning to engulf the Egyptian army and Pharaoh, whose heart was hardened against the Lord and the people of God. Thankfully, this was not drowning water and the young couple have the opportunity to still call upon the name of the Lord, because of the mercy of God and His longsuffering, that none should perish. I was reminded of the veil which blinds those who choose not to believe and that it can be lifted only by the Holy Spirit.
But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the old testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
2 Corinthians 3: 14-16 NKJV
The episode was a confirming moment that God is sovereign. He will not be mocked and that all will bow the knee and proclaim He is Lord. This question only remains; From what perspective will that proclamation come? Will it come from a heart of praise and worship or from a heart of remorse and trembling.
I pray the Lord will continue to bring to the remembrance of that young couple, the plaque and that the words, "Isn't God incredible?", would ring in their ears. Moments such the one that occurred are not coincidences but are used by the Lord to burden the spirit. It continues to burden my spirit prompting me to pray for that couple specifically and hopefully it continues to burden them, prompting them to seek after the truths of the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ.
Such a cool testimony it would be for them to one day return to that very plaque and be able to rejoice in the Lord, knowing that they once were lost but by the grace and mercies of very creator they mocked, they were found. How can I hope for such a specific thing? Because I know that the Lord can take a person who is wrapped up in self, wrapped up in science and wrapped up in the world and use the smallest of things, things that may be considered foolish things, open the heart and eyes of a perishing soul. He did it for me.
But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty]. God has selected [for His purpose] the insignificant (base) things of the world, and the things that are despised and treated with contempt, [even] the things that are nothing, so that He might reduce to nothing the things that are, so that no one may [be able to] boast in the presence of God.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29AMP
It was a great trip filled with God moments for me, this being just one. He is faithful and revealing Himself to each of us. I pray you will look for Him throughout your day.
In His service,
Words of encouragement from the leadership at Calvary North.