The heart of God. Who is carrying the banner of that representation into this battlefield? I’m a-thinking…that role belongs to us…and it sometimes brings “hostile fire” from foe and friend alike.
Here is the out-of-nowhere statement that served as a catalyst for some meditations on nations, judgment, and the heart of God: “The financial collapse of the U.S. dollar will happen on Sunday, the 13th of September 2015. The 29th of ELUL 5775 on the Hebrew calendar is the next Shemitah of the 7-year cycle.”*
If you have formed your theology to believe that the heart of God is bent on repetitive judgment, retribution and the soon ending-of-all-things…it just might.
But that viewpoint also undercuts the finished work of Christ, leaving that reconciling-all-nations-unto-
It seems intuitive, therefore, to see the ample supply of various doom-and-judgment-upon-us-
Let me slip from Jesus’ statement to The Message translation of Psalm 46; there is a similar theme regarding God’s heart towards us: “God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need Him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city, this sacred haunt of the Most High. God lives here, the streets are safe. God at your service from crack of dawn. Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten, but Earth does anything He says. Attention, all! See the marvels of God! He plants flowers and trees all over the earth, bans war from pole to pole, breaks all the weapons across His knee. ‘Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at Me, your High God, above politics, above everything.’ (Psa. 46:1-3,8-10)
Think about that: “We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom…” A description of “doom” such as… “the financial collapse of the U.S. dollar”?
After the declaration to stand fearlessly “at the cliff-edge of doom,” the scripture continues that we may be, “courageous in seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains.”
Courageous. That sounds more like the hero of an adventure movie …not the substance of my life…
Or am I missing something? Maybe that is exactly the substance of my life…and yours…if we were to assess things with the perspective that God has. During those times that we take a “long, loving look at (Him), your High God, above politics, above everything.” During those times when we are carrying the banner of “the heart of God” into a messy, confused, chaotic battlefield.
There is another phrase in Psalm 46 that catches my eye: above politics. I find that to be an interesting, even intriguing phrase. It appears to me that we are living in an age of great politicization. We – individually and corporately – are bombarded with nonstop politicizing of circumstances, events, cycles, opinions.
Jesus actually uses the parallel of “leaven of bread” to describe three scenarios: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven” (Matt. 13:33); “the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” mentioned in Matt.16:6,11 which is further described in Luke as “the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1). In Mark, Jesus is quoted as warning, “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15)
Paul taught both the Corinthians and in Galatia, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.” (I Cor. 5:6, Gal. 5:9) Jesus was very clear in describing the leavening process: “It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened.” (Luke 13:21)
Neither Jesus nor Paul was careless in his use of parallel. Just as incorporating the repeated “leaven” of kingdom-perspective and the reconciliation-of-God-to-the-
Put more simply, Paul encouraged the Corinthians to be watchful of not incorporating “the leaven of malice and wickedness” into a feast celebration. (I Cor. 5:8) The consistently transcendent theme of our particular culture-and-age seems to be “we live in troubled times,” often coupled with we-have-reached-the-end-of-
To the first-century church, Paul wrote, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” (2 Cor. 4:8-10)
The life of Jesus manifested in our body. We are the light of the world. We are the salt of the earth. It is our destiny to “stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake…”
Jesus comforted His disciples by saying, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NASB)
Does this counsel mean, hide your head in the sand and ignore “signs of trouble” around you? No. But it is more a call to courageous action, than to allowing the leaven of fear or duplicity or rumor to reconstruct your life and derail you from “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)