As this deadly virus obliterates the world around us, you, of course, are not shaken in the slightest. You are confident that you know everything relevant to your present existence on earth. You know exactly what’s going on and what to do. Right?
Of course not. Everyone is at a loss for answers. The truth is, no one on earth has ever faced such calamity. Who does not feel utterly inadequate in such a time as this? As a friend, I ask you to take this attitude of humility and go far deeper. Let it trigger in you a place you’ve never gone; a deep calculation of individual accountability; “What am I going to do?”. Humility is the road that will offer you real answers.
We have preached the living Jesus on the streets of New York, Tokyo, Chicago, Rio, Paris, Madrid etc. We have touched the suffering of multitudes but never the shock of something that can only be answered by the living God. But the gut reaction of many is to accuse God of enjoying the terrible suffering of mankind: “He must be some kind of monster”. But this thinking is not objective consideration of sound reasoning of Biblical revelation and the human conscience. It is rooted in an emotional knee-jerk grudge against God as a result of some prior ill-effect from the world upon one’s life experience. An intelligent analysis of even the most basic facts eliminates such distorted accusations.
Instead of remaining in the dark, the Father beckons YOU to come into His light and discover a new place of secret things occurring behind the frightening scenes on TV. He is using this disaster to draw a human heart into the life-transformation of the death of His Son. This is no little thing. People are conditioned by Hollywood movies of zombies and apocalyptic scenarios where men conquer “end time” conflict in a sensational world setting. “Lights, camera, monsters, lightning, action…”. The reality is Jesus shall return in the most mundane and common setting; like a “Thief in the Night” (Rev.15:16, Mt.24:43, 1Thess.5:2).
This is about a real battle for human souls. And you are the ONE He is looking at right now. God is offering you, this “acceptable time”, to get alone and learn His secret antidote (2 Cor. 6:2/Heb.3:7,-11,4:7). The spread of this virus is not instigated by the wrath of God. One “little” fact. God was not behind all the wars, crimes, disease, etc. throughout time. The Scriptures reveal that the devil, not God, rules this world. He has all power to use all evil to destroy mankind (Mat.4:6, 2Cor.4:4, Rev.12:9, Jn.12:13, 1Jn.5:19). It is God, the Father, Who initiated merciful redemption, despite man’s rebellion to Him, to send His Son to earth to rescue us from this world (John 10:10).
Please, I beg you, to stop and ask yourself; “Do I really know God? Do I really understand what it means to know the living Jesus?”. You are at risk of hell, and have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by deep humility. Even as you read this, most will gloss over what I write, driven so deeply by a “virus” far more deadly than this. For generations Satan has long been spreading another kind of “virus” called presumption. I would beg you to: S.T.O.P:
- Stop in everything you DO or SAY and…
- Think. Reevaluate the quick response by your instincts.
- Open your heart to God. What is your actual state of mind and heart.
- Pray like never before. Just shoot from the hip. Beg God to protect you from presumption. Talk to Him from your depths.
No one likes violent ways. No one listens to radical voices. I am not a religious zealot on a wrath-of-God rampage. I am a son. I am your brother, fighting with you, and for you, to help you understand that God is a very holy Creator and Father. He is not bum on a park bench or a passing stranger with an opinion. I love you man. But Jesus warns that a “violence” of will is essential to get beyond our lazy and selfish ways, escape the perils of this world and break into the reality of a fearful God (Mt. 11:12,4:1-11/Rev.12:9/John 12:31/ 1Jn.5:19).
You are not a scarecrow dangling from a post in a corn field. You have a power to awaken what God has put in you, the free will. It has the capacity, when united with faith, to touch the supernatural. It is God created and God imparted and if you will reject the claims and excuses of a victim and exert the attrition of a fighter you will receive great reward (Heb.11:6).
Do you understand how “presumption” is like a deadly “virus”? It entered our human bloodstream 10,000 years ago when Adam sinned. Satan designed presumption as the thinking to separate all mankind, from God (Gen.3:4/2 Cor.10:3). We think exactly what Adam and Eve thought; “I already know God. Therefore I can presume He is with me in what I choose to do”. It is the arrogance that God is subject to YOU rather than you are subject to Him. Presumption is deference to SELF, instead of a bended knee and bowed head of obedience. Don’t let this be a platitude. Stop… Open… Pray… A unique response is “What more can I do to know You oh God?”. To admit your void of God is not to deny a prior “commitment” but to dare upon the mercy of God at the price of your humiliation. How much more does God need to shake you to wake up? There comes a time when He sees the casual indifference and self-righteous response and says “Fine. Your choice”.
Jesus says; “I warn you whom to fear: fear the One, Who after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:5).
Stay with me. This is crucial. If you think this does not pertain to you, presumption is working perfectly. It is the reason for all your problems. You see, presumption is what gives you a feeling that everything is fine with God, when it is not. We are all born with a phenomenal knowledge of God already in our conscience. This knowledge is tragically equated with a relationship with Jesus (Rm.1:20).
We live in a “Christian” world where the knowledge of Christ is common. It streams to us in multitudes of venues. Millions of preachers and “churches” flood the cities and airwaves. This glut of Christian knowledge has greatly increased presumption (1 Cor.8:1-3). Jesus says even knowledge of the Scriptures results in presumption, without directly coming to Him (Jn.5:39-40)
Our con science (with knowledge) reflects the image of God. It also resounds to us of His Character, regardless of whether men deny it (Read Romans 1:20,2:14). So presumption says “I already have all this knowledge about God. I don’t need to go to the cross and lose my life in Jesus”.
David begs God to protect him from this foul attitude because presumption of God is defiance to God (Ps.19:13). It exposes ignorance to the intimacy of Jesus. Consider Job. Initially he exalted in his wisdom of God. But when he finally came into His presence he shut his mouth and put his face to the ground (Job chapter 42). An eternal God can not be known by a finite brain. Can you imagine standing before God and saying “Hi God. I already know You so I’m fine”? Absolute stupidity.
God tests each of us for the “virus” of presumption. Then, on the spot, He presents the results to our conscience. When you insist that you already know God, but deep inside, you are fully aware that you are not in fellowship with Him, your conscience is tormented because you are living a lie. It reverberates with the symptoms of deep anxiety, the false sense “I’m fine”, frustration over lack of change, spiritual laziness, blame, and self-pity. All these expose the void of the living Jesus. It is a foundation in presumption. Obligation and guilt replace a sincere love for God.
Tragically, this “virus” of presumption does exactly the opposite of what you think. It does not give you a relationship with God. It takes away all the time and hope of you building one. If you are not “violent” against presumption it will kill you, like it does to billions. No matter how much you may know “God RESISTS the proud” (Jm.4:6/1 Pt.5:5). The secret antidote?
“Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will show him the way he should choose…The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He reveals His promises to them…How great is Your goodness that You have stored up for those who fear You…You hide them in the protection of Your presence” (Psalms 25:12-14,31:19).
So I ask you. Would you like, once and for all, to extinguish the flames of presumption? To not leave one ember of pride burning. To look at its face in the mirror and say “I shall defy that defiance. I shall fear God. I shall learn to love God”. (Rm.3:18, 5:12)? If Jesus humbled Himself how much more should we (Phil.2:5). If He became a bondservant, and washed His brothers filthy feet, how low will we go to behold the Father as He did?
“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov.9:10).
God has done His part to literally ‘scare the hell out of us’. Now it is our part to put our face in the dust and realize we deserve hell fire. People throw around the word “sinner” like it means a social misfit. When in reality it is the most offensive word in the human language. God says we are not basically good, but essentially wicked (Rom.3:10-12 Is.59:4-11). Where are you sitting? Find the tiniest particle of dirt closest to you. Put it on the tip of your finger. It has more value than our life. “…We are but dust.” (Ps.103:14). This realization is the attitude that Paul used to fight presumption (1 Cor.4:13/1Tim.1:15, see also Job 25:6). It was not a complication but a qualification for God’s grace.
Now how does that strike you? Can you get “there”? This honesty puts us in the perfect position for mercy. On the ‘heart-monitor of meaning’ our lives read out as a flatline. In fact, our life is worse than nothing, because our wicked ways are an assault on the nature of a holy God. When I first realized this, it did not offend me, it freed me from striving to be what I knew I wasn’t; a good person. I then learned to live by faith in Jesus.
Answer this: Why is it we want others to think we are something that we are not? Why do we hide our little stupid stuff from everyone? Because we know that what we really are is wicked, while at the same time project to others our presumptuous ways. The only way to break this stronghold is to set our will on being transparent about our sin (John 3:14).
The secret antidote to presumption requires a depth of transparency. It is here where the fear of God goes from being an ambiguous term to a reality in your life. Paul said he was the worst sinner and ‘the scum of the earth’ (1 Tim.1:15/1 Cor. 4:13). He saw humiliation, not as demeaning, but as a means to learn transparency. For when you know that you deserve eternal torment in hell this changes everything. Whatever it takes to brake your pride then becomes a blessing (Ps.84:10).
Lesson 101 in the fear of God; nothing should be based on the measly in’s and out’s of whether this or that happens in your life. God is not a means to an end, but the means and the end. “Oh the depths and riches of God…” said this man who was beaten, homeless and shipwrecked (Rom.11:33).
No mind can fathom His beauty. His glance gives birth to galaxies. Ocean waves explode at His nod. The sun sits still while gigantic planets zoom about it in perfect rotation. He hears every sound, frequency and whisper. He knows how many times every animal blinks. His compassions for mankind moved Him to sacrifice His only Son and attack us with mercy like an army sent to rescue. He is the “Watcher of mankind” (Job 7:20). His majesty reigns forever. My heart grieves for all those suffering at this time. If anyone will hear what their conscience tells them, they will recognize God calling them to escape the fear of the virus by the fear of His Holy Word.
We must learn, like Job, that regardless of any suffering, God is worthy to bow in silent tongue and worship Him. If we are in touch with God we realize it is not “What about ME?”. The outcome of true repentance is not self-happiness but to walk in awe of God. This is to give Him His due. This is contentment and peace of mind. It is what everyone is seeking at this time of consternation. It is the blessing of knowing the secret (Phil. 4:12,6-7). No more contending with God that He must be, or do, what we want.
We declare “YOU ALONE ARE GOD. AND THERE IS NO ONE LIKE YOU”. And for this holy decision He renders reward (Heb.11:6).
The living Jesus knows the secrets of God and the secrets of our sin. He knows the lingering effects of presumption (2 Cor.4:4). On the cross, Jesus produced the ultimate antidote, to mediate the secret sin in our heart with the secret of a holy God. So He designed a humility not found in the common market. It remains presumption to “the wise and intelligent” and is revealed in the spirit of truth to a little “child” (Mt.11:25).
The word “secret” in Hebrew is “sod” and means friendship. (see Ps.25:14 ASV/ Amplified/ KJV “the sweet friendship and companionship of the Lord is with those who fear Him”). Imagine replacing presumption with a depth of God. Jesus says “No longer do I call you servants…but friends” (Jn.15:15). He doesn’t want self-righteousness (Rm.10:6-10). He requires we come to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Lam.3/Rm. 6:6). He returns like a thief in the night.
The Scriptures warn; EVERY MOUTH WILL BE SHUT AND THE WHOLE WORLD WILL BECOME SUBJECT TO GOD’S JUDGMENT (Rm.3:19).
I wasted a lot of time “waiting on God”. My prayers went “unanswered” day, after day, year after year due to my presumption. I expected God to do a song and dance for me when I prayed. Guess what happened? Nothing. So then I began to think “Could He be waiting for me to get up and do the song and dance for Him?”. Could my “growing up” open up God? I faced my presumption. I became accountable for my life. I taught myself to fear Him, obey His Word and implement a plan.
Of course, we don’t want to think this, because laziness is the root of presumption. We want to throw everything on God because……well…because He is God. He can do anything, right? No, He can’t. God can not violate His own creation. He has given us a power of the free will. He cannot lie. It would contradict His holy Character to then violate our free will to impose His will. It is not that God refuses to answer your prayers. It is that you refuse to “hear” His answer.
Have you ever had something right there at your fingertips but you let it slip away? Everything you need from God is right there at the fingertips of your heart. All you need do is act.
Things can change on a dime, now, tonight on your bed, in the morning, turn right instead of left, change your mind, slide to your knees, feel bad instead of self-righteous, take back that word. What if all you have to do is ask Him for help? Maybe you just need to hear words come out of your mouth that you never heard before. Like “I’m sorry” or “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I changed my mind” or “Can you give me another chance?” or “Can you help me I have no idea?”.
This kind of change is an outcome of the fear of God. If you don’t stretch you will never touch. Reach always requires a stretch. If you would just be willing to realign your demeanor with one tiny mustard seed (Mark 11:22-26). Can’t be any closer. God is giving the whole world the time to think and say what we need to think and say.
“And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your temporary residence” (1 Peter.1:17).
If you want to “Go for it” it doesn’t make any sense to do so in ways that do not guarantee the “with an oath” to give you the desired outcome (Jn.12:25/Heb.6:16,7:20). The cross does not mean 10 things. It means one thing; death, resulting in eternal life. God does not make us a “better” person, by fixing our problems. The cross is God’s power for us to die (1 Cor.1:18).
We are like sheep led to slaughter that so we become a ‘new creation’ by the power of His resurrection (Rm.8:36ff/Phil.3:3-11). Every fear can be traced back to our fear of death. So the fear of God, to obey Him, eliminates all fear, because His “perfect love casts out all fear” (1 Jn. 4:18). If you are willing to die with Christ you are promised that you shall live with Him (Rm.6:6).
Apply the branding iron of the cross. It’s not ‘out there’, my brother or sister. It’s RIGHT THERE, in front of you. Here, take it. Die. Pick up it up. Right now. No, you don’t have to go someplace or wait one more second. Stop it. Seal His cross upon your “old man”. This one second can determine your eternal destiny. It’s just faith man. Love the burn.
“Do not fear what they fear; do not be terrified. You are to regard only the Lord of Hosts as holy. Only He should be feared, only He should cause your dread” (Isaiah 8:12-13).
This is the moment to brush aside whatever holds you back. What others say or think, including family and friends, will mean nothing in heaven or in hell. Some people are set on drugs, some on religion, some on guns. I advise you to set your heart to find the words like the prodigal son. It wasn’t enough to come to his senses. He had to find the heart and the words (Lk.15:18). It starts with a cherished whisper “Save me Jesus”.
Moses was the “humblest man on earth” (Num.12:3). He was told to remove his shoes and did so without question. His fear of God rewarded Him with the presence of Yahweh “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious…” (Ex.34:6ff). God says we must test ourselves; 24/7 “Am I being moved to do this by my presumption or by Your Spirit Oh Father” (2 Cor.13:5/ Phil.2:5).
When you feel shaken, as if life’s foundations are taken down around you,
looking for a substance strong enough to ground you,
and when the streets of paved routines seem desolate,
reaching are His eyes that found you.
For when common freedoms are defeated and uncertainty yields to grief and weakness,
there remains yet the deepest and most obscured secret.
It is undisclosed to those who suppose this hidden mystery is already well known.
But yet to the humble who would dare to draw near,
so as to tremble and to hear Him,
The secret of the Lord is revealed to those who choose to fear Him.
resolute reverence, as the antidote well tested,
created in wisdom with which God long ago invested,
giving His perfect Son Who bore our infection to heal us with His love through fellowship,
showing all things will be done just He has made known to the one with whom His secret has been disclosed.
Things are terrible here in Brazil. But we are learning the secret and cast ourselves before His throne. We pray for His mercies upon those of you we know and upon this world, especially Christians. We hope for one more chance to witness Jesus in greater fervor than ever before. If anyone would like to help us we would greatly appreciate it. Despite what anyone might think, we’ve only had like two responses. Everything helps us. Especially in these difficult times. Thank you for reading this.
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