Monday, May 11, 2020

I will shake the nations and separate the gold from the mud!

For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more, in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the desirable and precious things of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory and splendor,’ says the Lord of hosts. Haggai 2:6-7

No matter where or how this pandemic originated, whether by man for nefarious purposes or by accident, it's important to remember that God allowed it. For what purpose, we can only guess, for who can know the mind of God? Yet wouldn't you agree that all the nations are being shaken?  Perhaps you feel a little bit shaken in your own life. Maybe you lost your job, your source of income, your business. Maybe you wonder how you will feed your family in the coming months. Perhaps one of your family members is sick or in the hospital fighting for their lives, or maybe you're just terrified that someone you love will catch the virus. Maybe the fear and loneliness of being confined to your home is causing you to get depressed and over anxious and easily irritated. Yes, I think we all are being shaken in these times. 

What happens when you put a substance in a strainer and shake it back and forth? Years ago I went gold panning up here in the California hills with a couple of girlfriends. The process was an easy one. You sit by the creek, scoop up a handful of mud from the bottom and put it in a wide pan. Then you add water and keep adding water and swirl it around, swishing the mud and water off the sides. The gold, which is heavier will settle and remain, while the dirt and pebbles will be swept overboard. 

This may be what the Lord is doing to the world right now, to each nation, each family, and to us individually. He's shaking things up, bringing the things that are of no value to the surface, the mud and dirt in our lives, and washing it away, leaving only precious gold. Because honestly, it's only during hard times that we discover our true nature and our true faith. 

How can you say you really trust God to provide for you until you are in a position when you do no know where your next meal is coming from? 

Will you truly believe that ALL things work together for good for those who love God when your spouse is lying in hospital dying?  

Many believers have relied exclusively on Sunday church service as their sole relationship with God. They rely on Bible studies and classes or maybe they have relied far too much on their pastor or a spiritual mentor. Now, when all that has been taken from them, what remains?  Who can they go to? How will they worship? Who will feed them the Word?  The thing is, if they truly love God and want to know Him, they are now forced to read the Bible for themselves and spend time in prayer with the Lord by themselves!  This is what our Lord craves! He wants to hang out with you one on one! 

Faith must be tested and tried in the furnace of trials in order to come out pure. It is my opinion that the Lord is using this pandemic to test each one of His children to see the measure of their faith. For those whose faith is genuine, they will come out stronger than ever before. They will dive into the Word for themselves, pray more often, ask God to supply their needs, and slowly their love for the Lord and their faith will grow. But for those whose faith was shallow or never real, they will give up on God, get discouraged, fearful, stop praying and never read their Bible. They will end up being mad at God and walking away from their faith.

I believe God is making a last ditch effort to call His people into a deep, abiding, faith-filled walk with Him. This involves not only a belief in Him but obedience to His Word!

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall. 
  Matthew 7:24-27

 Where will you build your house? Are you using this time to complain and be fearful? Or are you using it to grow deeper in your walk with Jesus? I guarantee that the more time you spend with Him and reading His Word, the more you will trust Him to take care of ALL your needs. 


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