It was HOT. Very hot and sunny. We live in a desert, although it has bloomed and blossomed in a joyful display of His fulfillment of His promises. Yet it is still hot during the long dry summers. But when summer ends it − ENDS SUDDENLY! Wind, a clap of thunder, a cloud and the winter rainy season has begun.
I was blessed to be preparing my morning coffee beside an open window as the wind picked up and suddenly I heard the sound of rain. The fresh smell of a summer’s worth of dust being washed away filled my senses with joy. ANOTHER example of the great faithfulness of The Lord. Perhaps the most basic one which has been set before our eyes: the seasons and the morning and the night. I too often take it for granted as they shout His Name before the eyes of every living creature. They speak so openly of His TIMES and of HIS order. Surely the time is shorter then when we first believed. As winter FELL suddenly and summer was no longer here at 4:30am the other morning. So the TIMES will roll away suddenly. SUDDENLY IT WILL ALL BE CHANGED…
But He’s left us “the map” and it is accurate, even in THIS season that we live in now.
I don’t get many emails (and I’m not so great at answering them in a timely manner lately for which I apologize) but I DO get them from diverse people and places, and judging by what I hear, this is surely a time of perplexity and desperation in many places. We can say all sorts of things, but none of us have known a world in which America was not a wealthy and relatively secure power to reckon with and one way or another it has effectively acted as a buffer against much of the world’s evils, even though her hands were not always pure. We all know that it is ONLY in God we can trust, hide, believe, and that all breath is from and through Him, but being confronted by the thought of the actual demise of America as we know it − no matter WHO is elected − is a sobering thought to think through.
It seems to me that the U.S. is already painfully divided in much the same way that Israel and Judea were divided (see 2 Chronicles 11) as God’s Hand of judgment began to be displayed. I read a comment recently that this U.S. election is really, at its heart, all about Israel and at first I pooh-poohed it, but the more I thought about it I wondered. Because I DO see that truly as the times wind down, yes Israel IS at the center with Jerusalem. And yes, we need to understand God’s Heart toward this nation and people if we will stand in these days, as arrogant as that may sound. It is scriptural.
Many years ago, some 40, I heard Campbell McAlpine teach on “God’s ways in judgment.” Although at the time it was most assuredly “days of God’s outpouring and refreshing.” The Holy Spirit checked my heart to HEAR and LISTEN and TAKE IT TO HEART. I did. So as I have read my scriptures throughout the years since then, I have asked Him to teach me and, well, it just all became so evident because it all is so clearly laid out in His Word.
From beginning to end we see His blessing and His judgment − both on His enemies and His elect. Surely in all of the prophetic books highlighted by the Revelation of John, we learn of the strait and narrow path through, which is the ONLY way. I find the word strait fascinating. In English, it sounds just like “straight” but it doesn’t mean the same thing at all. If a path is straight, like a line, it is easy to follow – everything in the same direction – a lot like the Law really. But the Bible says “STRAIT is the way and narrow is the path.”
VERY interestingly, some of the modern versions have actually changed the word there to straight. But “strait” means difficult, troubled, the word “constraint” is derived from it and the word “strait jacket” − a jacket that restricts, restrains a person and is a place of great stress and difficulty. In waterways, the straits are narrow but turbulent and dangerous…and yet the only way through.
That is what the very sudden falling of winter upon us reminded me of. “Keep to the center of the strait and narrow path and major in HIS majors ONLY.”
And so, as tempting as it is to fix my eyes on the U.S. elections, our local upheavals and other events in the world that are dramatic and my flesh would just LOVE to express my opinion on these, HE has been clearly telling me to fix my eyes on HIM alone because only HE can lead me through if I keep my eyes on Him. So rather than “the prophetic time table,” He is telling me to major in loving my brother and neighbor and obeying in faith and trusting Him for everything no matter what, praying without ceasing preferring my brother above myself and waiting for HIM to say, “Go” or “Stay.” Yep! I still have NOT attained to these most foundational fruits of His Spirit.
Perhaps you are like me? Or perhaps your fruit is ripe and good. But in these letters He told me to “record what I see… and tell them.”
And so I was on the train on Friday and did see a most interesting sight. Across from me sat a couple with their son, a family that looked as if they were perhaps royalty in Saudi Arabia. The man and his son were dressed in long white robes and wore ornate turbans on their heads. The woman was dressed in a full black burka or niqab (a niqab is the veil where there is a slit for the eyes to show and her eyes were beautiful) An Israeli Arab sat beside me, also across from them, and gave the little boy candy and toys to the embarrassment of his very modest parents.
When I saw that they did not speak Arabic as it is spoken here (the Israeli Arab had to speak to them in English), I wondered what country they were from and how they decided to be touring in Jewish Israel. Indeed it was an unusual sight. I noted that their faces were peaceful and relaxed, light hearted, not at all like the faces of Arabs that I am used to seeing nor was it the look of “counterfeit peace” that was always seen on the face of Osama bin Laden and so forth. It seemed as if the entire train was watching them with open curiosity.
The same day, one of our patients came to the office. I have a strange relationship with this woman. She is an extreme radical liberal, originally from Switzerland many years ago. She hates Israel and being Jewish and says that God is a myth. Nonetheless, she likes me. She wonders what makes me tick and since it is Him, we continue this interesting relationship. “Shalom Nora, you have been away a long while,” I greeted her.
“There IS no shalom, not here anyway,” she shook her head in disdain but continued, “Yes, I have had a most INTERESTING and REFRESHING trip. I have just spent 3 weeks in Iran.”
I lifted my eyebrows. “Iran? How in the world…”
She cut me off. “Well, you know I also have a Swiss passport. Everything that you hear about Iran is lies. It is WONDERFUL there! It is a marvelous country and all that we hear is lies.”
I WANTED to ask her if they hear the “Truth” about Israel, but I held my tongue. I DID pray silently for HIS response and His purposes. So we went on small talking and I wondered where it will all go.
The recent UN ruling that Israel has no historic connection to Jerusalem has depressed the country. What IS a lying spirit exactly and how does it wield so much power? It really doesn’t matter because Heb 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. “
So I believe that STANDING in THE TRUTH of The Lord − no matter WHAT the world is saying − is the way to fight the power of all lying spirits, even those from Iran (Persia) and from humanism and from Islam and from every other direction.
With the holidays over, our streets are back to normal. I no longer know what normal is, however our apartment building is shockingly peaceful and clean since our upstairs neighbor, Valarie, has moved. Sleep is oh so sweet and the lack of oppression brings to light the reality of the impact of the two and a half years of harassment that we suffered through her. SIX TIMES she called the police on us at night. My heart still pounds when someone knocks on the door! I am only sorry that she did not receive deliverance in Him.
I had a dream about her recently, that she came to my door and hugged me and told me that she was free in Him and we wept together. I continue to pray for her. Meanwhile 2 sisters, students at the local music academy, have moved in and they seem lovely. It is hard to believe but apparently all of that noise and filth was her doing, for it is no longer here. Thank You Lord for Your purposes and Your victory in that battle.
Thank you for baring with me – and such a long winded letter. My heart just gets too full and bursts out on paper. May it only be for HIS glory! I must admit to missing you all. Lovingly, your sister here.