The Bare Soul - January 4, 2009
God's Recompense, Part I

Isaiah 35:4-6 - Say to those with anxious heart, "Take courage, fear not, behold, your God will come with vengeance; the recompense of God will come, but He will save you." Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy ...

No one likes uncertainty. The past several months have been fraught with uncertain times as our economic situation has teetered on the brink of disaster. Most who have kept their jobs know that keeping employed in these present times is at the best, precarious. Many folks who have lost jobs along with their life savings have moved from a place of uncertainty to a place of near panic as the crisis deepens. Every day, one can look at the headlines as Wall Street heaves and sighs in cadence with the dismal financial forecast. Although we all hate to admit it, we were due for an "adjustment", as the economists have stated. Unfortunately, no one likes the adjustment to come to our own living rooms via lost jobs and shrunken portfolios.

There is a common dynamic that occurs when physical adjustments, such as our current financial meltdown are transpiring. When physical changes are evident, then often spiritual changes are being worked out by God "off stage", so to speak. In the same way as the physical life of a man or woman comes first, then comes their spiritual life as it is manifested whether good or evil (I Corinthians 15:46). In Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a saying: "Fake it til you make it!". The implication is that sometimes not drinking and doing the right things need to come first before the psychic change can occur. This is only one of a plethora of examples to support the idea that when something is happening in not only us but also in our material world, that there is a spiritual dynamic working behind the scenes. In the case of the current "meltdown", God is surely at work making the appropriate "adjustments".

Isaiah 35:4-6 states, first of all, that we should not be anxious and to fear not. The prophet begins with comforting words because he goes on to state something quite unnerving -- that God is coming with vengeance and with recompense. To many, this would seem alarming and full of dread. How could the loving God that we worship with all our hearts on Sunday mornings be out to get us with "vengeance and recompense"? Actually, those who worship him OTHER than just Sunday mornings will probably better understand why He must come in this seemingly fitful way. Those who know Him as their Lord and Savior 24X7 will see that the earth is long overdue for an "adjustment". Not only does our economy totter, but our nation and the world is dangerously close to utter and complete moral bankruptcy. The hearts of men and women have grown cold with their own desires. Approximately 50 million aborted children (probably on the low-side) have been murdered since the inception of Roe v. Wade in the U.S. Homosexuals are allowed to spurn the will of the people in states such as California and Massachusetts and rely on activist judges to define marriage. Human traffickers throughout the world are currently imprisoning 20 million children to be used as sex slaves (some say this number could be as high as 200 million!). Drug trafficking and addiction are at an all time high, worldwide. Without a doubt, God is shaking the earth because He is getting ready to shake the heavenlies with His desire for justice upon the earth.

Though the outlook might look bleak to the hopeless, Isaiah tells us in those same verses that we will be saved if we but look to Him and His salvation. Then, something truly remarkable can begin to happen. Not only will the Lord Jesus Christ establish justice on this earth through this "adjustment', but He will pour forth His Spirit in a way that is only seen in direct correlation with "light chasing away darkness". Romans 5:20 states that where sin abounds, grace does abound all the more. In times of great national upheaval, we have seen some of the greatest outpourings of God's Spirit on this land. Before and during the Revolutionary War in Britain and in this country, the Great Awakening led by George Whitefield and John and Charles Wesley spread through the civilized world like a torch. There was much civil and social upheaval at the time yet God's grace manifested itself in a profound way with demonstrative gifts of the Holy Spirit including remarkable, documented healings. Charles Finney, a leader of the Second Awakening in this country prior to the Civil War preached to tens of thousands who were swept under the power of God. God poured forth His Spirit with unction and conviction first in the Welsh Revival in 1904 and then with the demonstration of healing, prophecy, and speaking with tongues during the 1906 Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles. All of these and many other movements not mentioned were associated with great social upheavals. Yet, even in the midst of seeming calamity,  it was apparent that God was causing good to come out of seeming chaos.

Without a doubt, God is coming to shake up this world once again. Will this be the final adjustment, or will our children or our children's children see others before the end of days? (We have just begun to see the end time book of "Acts" [Book of Revelation] being played out before us!) Most certainly God will continue to make His corrections right along with our financial and social adjustments before the return of His Son. While we all must live through these distresses, those of us who know the Lord can rely on Him for a true outpouring of His Spirit that will once again right what is wrong, bringing not only manifestations of physical healings, but more importantly the healing of men's souls. For only as the earth experiences His judgments, can humanity truly experience the grace and love that He desires to bestow upon all flesh.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

 

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