Spiritual Blindness – 1 Corinthians 2:6-10

If Satan Had Understood The Purpose Of Christ, He Would NEVER Had Tried To Crucify Him

6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him-

6 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.

Worldly Wisdom

There is a worldly wisdom that pervades our culture.  It reveals part of the truth, but ignores the truth about the spiritual activity that goes on around us.  The world desires that the rest of us follow its lead, hoping that we will not be “duped” by the truth of the One who is all-wise who came among us.

Wonderful Wisdom

God’s wisdom has been and, for many, is still a mystery that they are unable to unfold and comprehend.  The world seeks God “in the box” – the known universe – but ignores the Spiritual realm as “something spooky filled with ghosts and other benign and malicious creatures”.  God instead greatly desires to reveal the mysteries of the Spiritual realm to us, but in His way.  His wisdom has been recorded in His word, but even now is ignored by many due to the strongholds that prohibit them from seeing the truth.

Reigning Rulers

The reigning rulers and wise people of this world are blinded by their inability to properly discern Spiritual truths.  Even Satan, who once was with God in Heaven, is unable to properly discern spiritual truth.  If he had understood the purpose of Christ coming to Earth in the flesh, Satan would NEVER had placed the hatred in the hearts of men to crucify our Savior.

If man had not crucified our Savior, Jesus would not have received the punishment that we were intended to receive.  Jesus would have had a wonderfully long ministry on Earth, but our sins would not have been atoned for by His blood, because it was necessary that man shed Jesus’ blood for the plan of God to succeed.

Particularly Prepared

God reveals His wisdom through His word and the Holy Spirit who helps us to understand the truth as it was, and is, being revealed.  We need to rely upon the Spirit of God for this revelation, because we simply cannot comprehend apart from Almighty God’s help the depth and beauty of His wisdom in all that He does.

Salvation was a mystery from the very beginning.  It is something that the angels of God sought out, but did not know either, until it was revealed.  This was done to glorify God, as well as to ensure that God’s plan would be fully fulfilled in its proper time and by the proper vessels.

Spirit Searches

The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of all reality, including the thoughts of God and men.  We cannot even begin to fathom what God is doing because His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His ways are higher than our ways.  It only makes sense that He would need to reveal to us these things, for they cannot be ascertained apart from spiritual insight provided to us by Almighty God Himself.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I listening to the revelation of the Holy Spirit as He speaks to me?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, Your word reveals Your will and Your ways to me.  Help me to learn these lessons, and to keep my heart attuned to Yours.  Help me to listen to the Holy Spirit as He unveils the truth about life and Godliness, and reveals Jesus to me.  Help me to remember that spiritual blindness can occur if I am not seeking You with all of my heart, mind soul, and strength.  Guide me in the ways that I should go, and prepare me for what is to come.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

 

God is Sovereign – Isaiah 40:21-24

God Is Responsible For Installing Rulers Among Men As Well As Removing Them

21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

Forgotten Foundations

When events in our lives trigger great emotional distress, we are often at risk of forgetting our foundational beliefs.  For many people, the recent election of Donald J. Trump to the office of President of the United States has caused great anguish.  It was reported that upon hearing the news, many people wept openly and bitterly.  Others cheered and rejoiced.  Both were emotional responses to a desired outcome that either was fulfilled or frustrated.

When we experience this type of deep emotional response to something, we should take a step back, and check it against our core values.  We should then ask ourselves some questions:

  1. Why am I feeling this way?
  2. How should I respond?
  3. What is God doing?

In our emotional condition, we can often forget a most important aspect about God – that He is Sovereign.

Supreme Sovereignty

God is seated on His throne in Heaven.  He and He alone is sovereign over all of the universe.  God is the one who raises rulers up and takes rulers downThere is no authority on Earth except that which is established by God, either currently ruling, in training to rule, or being removed from their rule.

Disciples of Christ have a tendency to forget that we are merely ambassadors for Christ here on earth; our true home is in Heaven with Jesus.  And while the world around us is amazed and bewildered by the seemingly random and odd circumstances that they find themselves in, disciples of Christ should realize that God is sovereign, He has a plan, He is working His plan, and we have nothing to fear because God works out everything to good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Royals Removed

God is the one who topples rulers.  We are like a mist; here for a short while, and then gone.  There is no position of authority that we place men and women in rule above us that is not overseen by God. We think that because we have voted someone in or out of office, or they have been assassinated, or they are disgraced, that somehow we have done these things.  It is instead God who has allowed them to happen.  Nothing happens in this universe without the express prior knowledge and approval of God.

To think that we are solely responsible for the removal of persons in power is mere arrogance and pride.  God is able to protect His rulers from all harm and evil if it suits His purposes.  It was said that the American Indians realized that George Washington was blessed and approved by the Great Spirit.  Indian warriors of renown who never missed their prey with their arrows reported that their aim was true when they would fire upon Washington, but the arrows would not find their mark.  Even now, shells fired from rockets that get through the Iron Dome in Israel are sometimes blown out to sea by great winds that suddenly arise after the shells penetrate Israel’s defensive perimeter (much to the chagrin of those who fire them at Israel).

Deep Distraction

God’s people have allowed politics to cloud their vision of Him, His power, His will, and His way.  Many disciples of Christ set their hopes, fortunes, paths, and joy on the outcome of elections rather than the goodness, mercy, grace, holiness, and righteousness of God.  We place God in a second-tier position, as though God is the one who is responsible for executing our commands and fulfilling our every desire.

We treat God like a genie, and send prayers up to God (“rub the genie’s bottle”) every time we need something, only to shove the genie back in the bottle and cork it when we have our wish and don’t need Him anymore in our lives.  We relegate God to our slave and desire Him to only be sovereign in our lives when WE want something changed.

We have forgotten that God is sovereign.  We weep and wail when we don’t get our way.  James gently chides us for this:

1 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? 2 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 You adulterous people!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Instead of sorrow at our circumstances, or who is pulling the switches and levers of power in this Earthly realm, let us set our eyes upon Him who is in the Heavenly realm, and petition Him according to His will.  Let us submit ourselves to God, resist the devil, and watch as the enemy flees*.  Let us rejoice that our Creator is in charge, and that leaders come and go at His behest.  Let us set our hearts upon the commission that we have received, and let God take care of our provision and care.

Was God able to rescue Joseph from the hands of his brothers and Potiphar?  Was God able to rescue Daniel from the lion’s den?  Was God able to rescue Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the flaming furnace?  Was God able to rescue Peter from being chained in jail with guards?  Was God able to rescue Paul from those who sought his death?  Was God able to rescue Jesus Christ from eternal death?   If He is able to do that for them, why would you think that He is unable to do that for you?

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I more concerned about politics or God’s will?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You and You alone are sovereign over all.  Help me to remember that I am merely a visitor here on Earth, and that my place is with Christ in Heaven.  Help me to have a proper perspective on all that occurs in life, so that I may not be shaken or swayed when events do not go my way, and especially when then do go my way.  Father, help me to have a heart that is always centered on You, and to accept Your sovereign rule in the lives of men.  Give me peace in the choices that You make in the rulers over my life, and help me to be a faithful witness of Your Son regardless of the circumstances I find myself in.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?


Notes: This blog was edited for spelling errors.

  • Jesus was comforted by angels after his encounter with Satan in the desert.  When we submit ourselves to God (the rest of these sequence of events is PREDICATED upon this primary principle), resist the devil (which may come at a very high cost in money, emotional distress, and/or difficult circumstances), it is only then that he will flee.  Don’t think that this is going to be easy.  You have signed up for a war.  Many of the combatants don’t even know they are engaged in it.  Be wary, and listen to your Commander-in-Chief, who will provide all necessary instruction to win the battles (Jesus already won the war on the cross…).

Transition of Power – 1 Chronicles 11:1-3

The Whole People Should Recognize The Leader That God Has Chosen

1 All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 2 In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord your God said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'”

3 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the Lord had promised through Samuel.

A Great Gathering

After Saul died, all of Israel came together as a group.   This was important, for it showed unanimous consensus among God’s people that they recognized the transition of leadership to David.  Samuel had anointed David’s head with oil as the next king over a decade prior.  And now, that promise of God was being fulfilled.

Royal Recognition

It is important that all of them recognized the transition of power.  Rather than refuse to acknowledge the new king, they embraced him as God intended as one people.  It is very difficult when questionable circumstances overshadow the transition of power.  That can divide a nation and cause irreparable harm to the unity of the people.  It has been said, “United we stand, divided we fall.”

The enemies of peace have long understood this concept, and work tirelessly in opposition to unity in order to foment discontent and resentment towards the leaders that they do not like.  When a nation is torn in two this way, the nation is being set up to be financially pillaged and eventually overrun.  There is great profit in confusion.

In this particular case, the people pulled together to recognize David as their new king.  The ardent followers of Saul supported David.  They did not try to stage a coup and insert their own candidate for king.  This served to unite the people even more.

A Climatic Covenant

David not only assumed the throne, he made a covenant with the people.  He did not merely take a verbal oath, he made a promise that carried with it the penalty of death should it not have been held up.  David was a servant to the people.  He shepherded them as God intended, rather than seek His own glory, power, and recognition apart from The Lord God Almighty.  This solidified his position with the people and gave him the accountability necessary to ensure that he would take promise and responsibility towards the people with the gravest of attitudes.

The Powerful Promise

By uniting the people, recognizing his role, and taking the necessary steps to ensure his accountability, the promise that God had made to David was fully secured in the support of the people.  Samuel’s anointing of David’s head as the next ruler of the people of Israel was complete, and he was able to rule them in joy and with God’s protection and power.  God demonstrated His choice of David as His chosen vessel of authority over men in that He increased David’s power and influence among them.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  Am I willing to accept the leadership that God has placed over me?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You have placed leaders over us for our protection and to bring about Your will.  Help me to be supportive of Your decisions, and to do my very best to submit to leaders who are yielded to You.  Father, I ask that You would strengthen and encourage the men and women You have chosen as leaders over me to yield themselves to You.  Help them to become the servant-leaders that You desire them to be.  Give me the strength to endure wicked leaders when You send them as judgment upon a nation, and to encourage all to pray for the people who are under difficult leadership that they would call out to You, and seek Your face, and turn from their wicked ways, that You would heal the land.  Bless the leaders that You have chosen with wisdom, restraint, and advisors that would honor and glorify Your name.  This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?