Friday, October 16, 2009

Contanta Romania

Its been a long time since I wrote last,
God has been taking me on a journey across the globe and trough a full spectrum of human and church drama. I am beginning to understand a bit more of the depth and meaning to the verse;
(1Jn 2:15) Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
The difficulty is in the definition of “the world” Some would say it is just the love of money and job and material things like cars and TVs. Some would go farther and say it could even include your own family and children.
(Luk 14:26) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
When Abraham was required to offer up his son it was a test of this type of faith and of course a prophesy of the coming messiah. But we see a bit of Gods heart. Later in the book of Hosea we see God order the prophet to marry a whore and he has to battle continually with trying to keep her faithful (with little result). We see the prophetic nature of this relationship and the way Israel and us personally tend to stray from god as our focus and turn to other things.
Often we try to justify our love of the world or rationalize it in some way. We choose a mate and then say we accumulate things and gain wealth and material things in an effort to please them out of love. That love is our primary motivation and not the desire to more fully enjoy this life on earth by seeing it through another's eyes.
We say we do not so much desire a new car or a big house but only have these things so that we can see the expression of joy on the face of our mate and children. Our motivations are more lofty if we are doing things to gain happiness indirectly by pleasing others, and yet it is still not aimed at the worship of God.
Often we even will do things like feed the needy or clothe the naked so that we can feel good seeing the results the happiness we bring to others, the admiration of others. The pride of knowing we have done a good thing, and yet again God and his desire is still not our primary motivation.
The pharisees were masters at keeping the law. The paid alms (charity) they gave the right amount of money and profit to god. The went to church did all the right things but again it was driven by the need to look good in their community and to gain the admiration and acceptance of men, and to feel good about themselves.
Ray comfort tells a parable about salvation being like a parachute and how if you offered it to someone to wear on a plane and told them it would make them more comfortable and improve their ride if they wore it they might try it for a while and then take it off, but if you told them someone chose to give it up for them. That this parachute was one of very few and the plane would crash soon and the time was close where this will be their only salvation, you could not pry that chute from them if you tried.
Jesus said (Mat 10:34) Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. And (Luk 9:23) And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. No exactly a feel good message meant to increase numbers in the church and promote a full offering basket.
I find that the denial of self is incredibly difficult because we tend to deceive ourselves all the time. We act as if this world is going to last and that the lord is not coming back soon and that all the fire and plagues and things forecast in revelation and by all the prophets will not come to pass. We sound like all the victims on the news after any great tragedy “it will never happen to us”.
We attach importance to things that have no lasting meaning. We congratulate ourselves often by how we can see the next level and how we are not as shallow as the next guy. We think that if we just do not covet money so much or are not addicted to drugs or have some measure of control over some of the more baser forms of love for this world that we have somehow obtained the goal.
Vapor is how Solomon describes it in ecclesiastics and how James describes it here;
(Jas 4:14) Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Jesus said those who seek to save their life will loose it. Everything given to us by god is meant to to spent in his service. To love god with all our heart mind and strength, our every waking moment to speak of him (duet 6) to have his face be the focus and not just his hand.
No husband want a wife that just wants him for his money. A woman that is only looking at her man as a paycheck that wears pants. We so often treat God this way. I am continually looking to God for provision and to make ministry happen so I can justify myself to others. I try often to define myself by the work God gives me or by the miracles he provides when needed around me. This is no different than the woman who is after the gold the man owns and not the man's heart.
The other day I was witnessing to Gypsies on the street and it was exciting to be sharing the gospel in the Gypsy language with gypsies and to watch as God changes hearts. I was pleased when after I gave a few bucks to a woman living on the street with her baby a few bucks God had a friend call me 15 seconds later to tell me they put money in my account. I was pleased when as we get near the time we are all about to be homeless again and all our communications are messed up god provides a new apt and it looks like better Internet.
I am pleased with all god gives me and to many the traveling around the world. The miracles and all the things god does would be a massive step up from just working a 9-5 and being wrapped up in what seems to be mundane and ordinary. The idea of being trapped in a meaningless and ordinary life would be like a hell to many and the idea of constant adventure, miracles and wonders sounds like the perfect life, but it is yet just another level of love for this world, and the things of it.
I want to see his face. Or at least to be face first on the floor before him and see a bit of big toe or something. Because that is the only reality to this world. Him and his presence. After the universe is rolled up like a scroll he will still be there. When the house the 2.3 children and family pets have all gone. When all the vacation photos are all faded and the memories of youth and excitement soon follow he will remain.
My uncle once pointed out to me that a retarded kid is happy and in bliss with only a glass of milk and a stack of Oreo cookies and the rest of us need so much more. Solomon said about the same thing;
(Ecc 1:18) For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
After seeing just the glimpses of God I have and after seeking his wisdom I find that it does not take long before the things of this world loose their ability to satisfy. I have not been writing a lot no because there is little going on around me as much as trying to get it all to gel in my mind what God is trying to say with all of it.
The trip before to Kazakhstan was about faith and the need to be abandoned to his will at all costs. Now I find there is more here to learn. I am attempting now after so many wild experiences to find a way to relate to those who are still trapped in the attachment to this world and its relationships. To understand how to see things as I did before I decided that Eternity with God was more important than anything in this mortal life including the avoidance of death and torture.
I Guess I am still a bit numbed by all the excitement in my life and trying to bring some reason to it all. I have many telling me I should take one course or another. Some say I should continue in the high risk stuff, others that I should keep teaching. I have others that want to see me become rich with the knowledge I have of computers and technology, and yet others think I just need a good woman to straighten me out.
I keep waiting on god to directly show up. So far even springtime in Paris and late summer in Constanta. Travel through Prague and Budapest all pales in light of the real goal, his presence. I keep seeking his kingdom not so that I can have things added but because the only true and lasting joy comes from there.
With all the signs I see every day Obama's ungodly declarations of how we are no longer a Christian nation and all the sin I see increasing the current event that keep lining up with end time prophesy I can only think the time is soon for his coming. I worry about my church, family, and nation that assign so much value to things that will soon be gone. I pray that the church will wake up and see gods patience and mercy in delay of judgment on our land and lives. I am deeply sorry that I have been unable to describe clear enough the need to dispense with the meaningless garbage and get about seeking his face and not just another social club with a cross on the building.
I am defiantly still working on escaping the attachments of this world, while still remaining concerned and on fire enough to communicate the urgency of the soon coming king and the need for repentance and change not only in the unbelievers life but in the church as a whole. I know that our christian nation chose a president that declares that we are not a christian nation. This can only mean the church is more about being a social club and less of training center where people can learn how to get free of the bondage's of this world so they can lead more to salvation.
I hope this article reaches you at a productive time in your life and helps you as much as has me. I often find by expressing these things in words that it helps to clarify my vision and help to answer a lot of the more interesting questions of life. Perhaps one day I will actually learn how to write but until then........
Yours in Christ,
Donald C Phinney II