As in the days of Noah....
Everyone has been affected by the latest banking crisis.
I call it a banking crisis because it's just that; not a credit crunch, but a banking crunch as lame ducks come home to roost with banks, now devoid of the greedy bankers who have made their money and run away to places where they can now sit back and enjoy watching the world fall apart.
Values drop, folks futures expire and people despair.
Like vultures in their Caribean hideaways, they hide and watch their money, ready to decend once again to pick the prize portions from the carcases of bankrupt people, as these sleaze bags acquire fire sale assets at knock down prices.
Do I sound bitter?
No not really bitter, more just plain cynical and a little more wise to the ways of this world.
I started life poor and have been rich twice... but poor three times!
Will I get rich again? - Who knows, probably not from writing on hub pages, but then again this is therapy for me not a job.
My last return to normality (because most people are not rich) was brought about by the wrong advice of my professional advisers, advisor's who charged $750 per hour to give the wrong advice, then pick up your assets once you are ground down on the floor.
I could sue them, but they have my assets now and they can afford better lawyers than I could now hope for, so I am stuffed in any case.
This is the way of the world.
But I am a bible believing Christian so surely God will protect me, provide for me, give me abundance pressed down and overflowing?
Obviously not, because this has been my lot since April 2008, when I drew my last salary from the company and gave up all hope of restoring the situation for myself and my shareholders.
So what had I done to qualify for this situation?
I had carried on as normal, grown to accept that the large amount of fees that I drew monthly were 'normal' even my due to receive. I believed the lie that the company needed my special skills, that I was actually worth what I paid myself, that I was truly special.
To a degree I was right, if you consider being in the top 2% of income earners to be a special event or gifted circumstance, then I was special, as you are special.
For if, by accident of birth, we are born in the northern hemisphere of planet earth, then we will be part of the 5% of humanity who consume 95% of the worlds resources.
Selah.... (think about that)
Our poorest member of our society is better provided for than most of the rest of the world are on their best day.
So in my 'normality' I had committed a great sin, I had committed the sin of thinking that my 'sacrifices' on the altar of 'doing good deeds and helping the poor' were sufficient to appease God and ensure my personal long term security and comfort.
Not content with having been forgiven all my sin, nor with being well provided for, protected from evil and gifted with good health and Gods Holy Spirit, I expected that God would wink at my laxity in observance to Him.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart.
These, O God, You will not despise.
My heart had not been contrite for a long while and my spirit was anything but broken.
There had been a time (as Leonard Cohen sings) when God above would let me know what was happening below, but not any more.
I had grown cold in my love of God in direct proportion to how much I had absorbed the lies of this world. We all like to be told and feel we are special, and the world knows full well that fawning flattery will overpower most minds, especially when the mind being flattered covets power and has pride working against it.
I joined a long list of biblical characters who had succumbed to the same temptations.
Fortunately our God is a God of the second chance, indeed He often cannot get what He requires from someone until they have been broken on the altar of self and restored to a position of having that "broken spirit, and a contrite heart".
All around I see bewildered Christians wondering what happened to their lives.
The security they thought they had disappeared in the puff of smoke that it was based upon, the world offers a transient ownership of assets and most people can fall foul of the world system.
We have all seen films where with one keystroke a person ceases to exist, well it's not simply fiction, it's fact, and a banker you have never met in a bank you have never banked with had the power to give away your wealth and assets without reference to yourself.
It's happened and there is nothing you can do about it.
- Does our God have a perverse sense of humour?
- Does He delight in tearing the wings of our little plans to watch us squirm?
I think not, indeed I know not, for God has told us:
...we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
No. God has a plan, and a better plan and part of that plan requires bringing His people to a better relationship with Him, and unfortunately like all His people have done throughout history, we have been blinded by the riches of this world.
God needs us with "broken and a contrite hearts"
Now I know many Christians who will not like this message, who live in the 'pressed down and overflowing' world of prosperity and believe that it's their duty and obligation to stay there until the wonderful day when Christ appears in the sky to take them home to glory.
Don't get me wrong, I believe Christ will return for His flock, I just think we may have misunderstood the 'as in the days of Noah' concept a little, you see when Noah walked the earth, and God commanded him to build an Ark, he had to leave the corrupt society that was the main reason he needed to build an ark, and he got a lot of flak for doing that.
Imagine, here you are commanded to build an Ark on the top of a mountain, it's a logistical nightmare in a world where the wood grows in the valleys, and in any case everyone else is convinced you are a complete idiot and crazy into the bargain.
Add to that the fact that you are building this Ark for nearly 100 years, and all the time folk are sniggering, 'Wens the world gonna end Noah?, yur god tol you yet?" (sorry to put that bit in gibberish, but scoffers always seem to have difficulty with their vocabulary, and I seek authenticity.... anyhow you get the picture.
The one definite fact was (and will be) that NONE of those who were "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage" was/will be saved from what is to come.
So where are you in all this?
My belief is that God is calling out a generation of Noah's now, to build 'Arks' to carry those who will be saved to the dry ground of Gods word and scriptural living.
Noah did not get in the Ark because he built it, he built it because he was qualified by God to be the man of the moment (and 100 years is a long moment to be man of), and Noah had obviously trained his children and their spouses well as they were saved also.
No church member wants to have a place in the tribulation, it would be the ultimate failure if having lived all your life as a church member you found that you were not taken, that you had somehow 'missed the mark' for being captured up with Christ when he came for his church.
Missed the mark is the real meaning of sin, which was a term used to describe when an archer missed the target.
We do not want to miss the mark when Christ returns.