Limited Trials versus Unlimited Deity

“With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.” (2 Chr. 32:8).

 It is only a man or woman who knows God as victorious in battle that can speak like the old King of Judah. It is one thing to go around “confessing” victory, pretending that you made spiritual conquests and carry a fake résumé of success and it is entirely another thing with grime and mud on your gun and uniform coming back from the field of battle alive and talking.

 What is all this talk of victory without any fighting? For instance, we can study and report on the Operation New Dawn campaign in Iraq and recall all the facts about it, but nothing replaces the perspective of a soldier who has been in such a war.  How can we say he always causes us to” triumph in Christ” and thanks be unto “God who gives us the victory” if there has been no struggle against the unseen forces of darkness. Let me state as I have previously, struggle is not loss; it is a sign of life. Scrapes and scratches are proof of a scuffle. Wounds, injuries and bruises are only proof of greater fighting. But none of these are a sign of defeat, just challenges that could not stand against us as God’s children.

Hezekiah’s words put courage and life back into his people. The people “rested upon his words.” They relied and trusted in the word of the king. It put confidence and life back into the battle weary people. Your heavenly King has given you a life giving word in the scripture. Oh that we could rest upon the words of the Lord. As we ponder and contemplate his Word he calms us down spiritually, mentally and physically. Then our soul would quiet itself like a weaned child, we would see God is more than enough and being afraid of anything else is a waste of time.

 All of the weapons, the difficulties and the trials we go through are described under one heading: flesh. King Jesus said this:  “The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63).  Here is a huge army as far as the eye can see outnumbering Judah and the demonic words of the enemy army’s general screaming at them.  All the odds are against them, but hell is overpowered by the omnipotent Holy Spirit and the Spirit inspired words of the king. Matthew Henry comments, “…a believing confidence in God will raise us above the prevailing fear of man.” What others are afraid of, we will not be afraid of.  The Bible says a few verses later, “And the Lord sent an angel, who annihilated all the fighting men and the leaders and officers in the camp of the Assyrian king. So he withdrew to his own land in disgrace.” (2 Chr. 32:21).

 Here is the word of the Lord for you today my friend, “I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction? For where is the wrath of the oppressor?” (Isa. 51:12-13).  No matter how great the enemy, no distress has Almighty power. They are embarrassingly limited, confined and restricted. God asks where are they? God metaphorically says that they are so small he cannot see them!  How can he take their threat seriously? The Lord is so great; his majestic power cannot be measured or gauged.

 Yes, your difficulty is very real and that God sees and go through it with you. He does see your pain, that is very clear to him. That is why JESUS is so wonderful. “…He had to enter into every detail of human life…all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed.” (Heb 2: 17-18MSG). Jesus was not just an object lesson or an example he went through things vicariously, he suffered for us so he could help us with understanding and compassion.

 Yet we must rest upon the words of the King. “All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” (1 Cor. 10:13MSG). The trial has an end, it is not forever though it may seem that way.  It will lose its strength and the clock is ticking. It is almost over. It can only go as far as the Lord says and that is it!

© 2012 Soul Health Care Ministries, If you share this article just let them know about us and where it came from.

There Will Be No Peace

2971049198_1b0df8dd00Lately, the popular Playing for Peace concept has been gaining momentum, especially with the Ben E. King classic,  “Stand By Me” video on You Tube. It is an incredible effort by sound technicians and well done.  I have to give them credit. People from all over the world never having met each other and singing the same song. After watching and listening to the Stand by Me Video you will understand the hard work that goes into such a project.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM

Mark Johnson the creator of Playing for Change (playingforchange.com)  has the idealistic concept and as he puts it, “desire to inspire each other and come together as the human race and music is the best way to do this is through music…and the belief that we can do a lot more for this world if we work together than we ever can apart.” 

The Playing For Change Foundation (PFCF)  is attempting to raise funds for  the new Ntonga Music School in Guguletu, South Africa that will help children in extreme poverty. PFCF is also looking to build the Mehlo Arts Center in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Mehlo Arts Center is a creative writing school or “Talking Songs”” for the youth of Johannesburg. PFCF also is attempting to rebuild and enhance Tibetan refugee centers in Dharamsala, India and Kathmandu, Nepal. All of these things are incredibly important, especially creating a safe place for the persecuted and abused.

Music is powerful. There is no doubt about that.  Albert Einstein said, “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. … I get most joy in life out of music.”  But music in its best form has no power to transform the human heart. We see the horrors of inhuman acts done to people and I applaud PFCF for wanting to do something about it.

That is is one problem that stands in the way of  PFCF: Human nature. No this is not cynicism talking, it is the undeniable evidence seen in the issues they confront. 

The scriptures say of people, “Their feet run to evil and they are swift to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their highways. The way of peace they do not know, and there is no justice in their paths they have made their roads crooked;  no one who treads on them knows peace. Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.” (Isaiah 59:7-9ESV).

I am sure  groups like PFCF see religion, politics and such creating war. Who can argue with that. But religion or politics is never the culprit. I think people use this argument to oversimplify the issue but create non entities at which they can throw stones. It is always the responsibility of the individual and a matter of the heart.  There are those of us recognize the enemy is not out there, it is within. A enemy so intelligently corrupt, deceitful, so frighteningly warlike unless it experiences a radical supernatural change, there will be no peace. That enemy is within, and music cannot pacify it. There is no peace for the wicked (Isa. 48:22; 57:21).

The concept of music changing the world sounds good (and is not a new concept) on the surface but can it change the nature of people? Can Mark Johnson and PCFC  promise that? From my experience with people and especially in churches the style of music can  create great controversy and even division. Music is so diverse it represents entire sub cultures and people just are everything from stubborn to unpredictable even when it comes to the idea of taste in music.

Let me also state that words still have meaning. You cannot change that. Lyrics from the Christian worldview should reflect the truth about biblical doctrine. Are they singing the truth or do they need to focus on benign agreeable lyrics that gloss over reality-the reality that human beings are NOT inherently good and moral but there is some radically wrong with each individual. The fountain of their hearts is controlled by the sinful nature. they are radically depraved. Because of this they always will fight and have no peace. Marc and others like him unknowingly may be guilty of the error of the false prophets who offer superficial treatments for people’s mortal wound by giving assurances of peace when there is no peace. (Jer 6:14; 8:11). Music by itself cannot bring peace, or he would not have to use it to raise funds for his causes.

On the other hand, Jesus Christ is called, “the Prince of Peace” and unless the Jesus of the scriptures rules the hearts of people they will never manage their anger, and repent of their hostility or hate. I think churches and their preachers should focus more on the idea of peace, domestically and abroad.  But especially peace in the heart. Peace is the result and effect of righteous living (Isa. 32:17; 48:18). This would mean constant strife in the home, church and soceity shows that our heart are not right and we need to repent of the sin of anger. The Bible is clear, “The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” (James 3:18). 

May Christ give you the music of peace in your heart and you see his kingdom and his peace.