Monday, April 10, 2017, 6:59 p.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Seek the Lord.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Zechariah 10 (Select vv. NASB).
Ask from the Lord (v. 1)
Ask rain from the Lord
in the season of the spring rain,
from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
and he will give them showers of rain,
to everyone the vegetation in the field.
What is a shower? It is a washing and a bath, among other things. It is water (rain) coming down from heaven. Water cleanses, and it refreshes. Water quenches our thirst, and it is necessary to plant life in order to give the plants the important nutrients they need to grow. We, as humans, need food and water in order to live. It is for our survival. When we are born into this world, we are born of water, from our mother’s wombs. In scripture, water is often used to symbolize the Holy Spirit and eternal life in Christ Jesus, given to us who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives. When we are baptized physically upon faith in Jesus Christ, by immersion, this symbolizes our death with Christ to sin and our resurrection with him to newness of life, i.e. our new birth of the Spirit of God.
So, in a spiritual sense, if we ask the Lord for spring rain, during a season which symbolizes everything coming back to life, it could be that we are seeking him for salvation, after we have heard the gospel message of salvation from sin, and upon the Spirit of God convicting our hearts and drawing us to Jesus. We are, thus, seeking him for spiritual cleansing and for eternal and abundant life in Him. Or, it may be that we are going through a spiritually dry period in our lives, so we call upon the Lord for spiritual refreshing and renewal in the Spirit. Or, we may be asking for the Spirit of God to empower, strengthen, equip and encourage us in our walks of faith.
As well, we may have fallen back into sin, and so we have been going through a wilderness time in our lives when we have allowed the devil to get a foothold in our lives again. Our times with the Lord have fallen off, or else we are just going through the motions, because we know we are not living right. We know we are not walking in the ways of the Lord, and that he is not pleased with us. In fact, we are not pleased with us, but yet we continue because we have gotten trapped again or because we have given up hope that we can walk in victory. Been there. Done that. Not a good place to be.
And, so we call on God to deliver us from ourselves, although he has already done that, and yet we know we need to be rescued if we are to live. And, so we repent of our sinful ways, and we call on God to give us what we need to get back on the right path, and we ask for him to revive, renew and restore us. We need to be brought back to God in the sense that he is our ONLY Lord. We need to be refreshed in our spirits and to be encouraged once again in our walks of faith. We need to be strengthened in our perseverance, too, so we don’t give up again. We need the season of spring in our lives, in other words, when everything comes back to life, when the Holy Spirit is leading, instructing, comforting, counseling and strengthening us in the Lord because we are now listening to our Lord, and we are doing what he says.
False Dreams (v. 2)
For the household gods utter nonsense,
and the diviners see lies;
they tell false dreams
and give empty consolation.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.
The problem today, especially here in America, is that not many people seem to be seeking God with all their hearts, and truly desirous of the pouring out of the Spirit on their lives in either genuine salvation, or for empowerment for our spiritual walks, or in revival. Too many people, including those who profess the name of Jesus, are living worldly lives, void of the power of the Spirit of God, still trapped in sin’s deceitfulness, without conscience, and with little to no desire or thought to change their sinful ways via faith in Jesus Christ. They think they don’t have to, in many cases, because their shepherds are telling them that God requires nothing of them.
Today’s modern gospel has nothing to do with death to sin, because that offends people, and it makes them uncomfortable. It does tell of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins, and how he paid the penalty of sin for us so that we could go free from condemnation and have the hope of heaven when we die. But, they fail to tell people that faith in Jesus is not something we create out of our own imaginations. Saving faith is God-given, and it is divinely persuaded as to God’s will for our lives. When we are convinced of God’s will, we submit to that will, not resist it, or think it doesn’t apply to us.
Jesus didn’t die on that cross and shed his own blood for our sins just so we could escape hell and go to heaven when we die. He died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, and that we might walk in the Spirit, in the ways of the Lord, and no longer according to our flesh and the ways of this sinful world. His grace is not a free license to continue in sin without guilt and without remorse. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return (Tit. 2:11-14).
Because these false shepherds of the people are not telling them the truth, but are feeding their minds with lies, and with what their itching ears want to hear, there are many people who believe they are saved when they are not, because they think they just bought fire insurance, but that they have no responsibility to keep their lives from being set on fire by hell.
But, God’s word is perfectly clear on this subject. There is no gray area on this topic. If we walk in darkness, but we say we have fellowship with God, we are liars. If we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. If we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self, we will lose them for eternity. But, if we walk in the light as he is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. If we lose our lives for Christ, i.e. if we die with him to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life, we will live with him for eternity. And, if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ forever and ever, amen (See: 1 Jn. 1:5-10; Ro. 6:1-23; Ro. 8:1-14; Lu. 9:23-25; Gal. 2:20; Acts 26:16-18).
Bring Them Back (vv. 3, 6)
“My anger is hot against the shepherds,
and I will punish the leaders;
for the Lord of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah,
and will make them like his majestic steed in battle…
“I will strengthen the house of Judah,
and I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back because I have compassion on them,
and they shall be as though I had not rejected them,
for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.”
God is angry with the shepherds (pastors, spiritual leaders, elders, Bible teachers) who are telling people lies and who are not giving them the truth. Why? Because they are leading people astray from their pure devotion to Christ, and/or they are presenting to them a false gospel which requires no death to sin, no repentance, no submission to Christ and no obedience to his Word. What this means is that they are leading people straight to hell by telling them what makes them feel good about themselves in this life, but which does not deliver them from slavery to sin, but which keeps them bound in sin and without hope, while believing a lie. So, God will judge them for this. And, he will deliver the people out from under their influence.
God has a plan, which is spelled out for us all throughout the prophecies of scripture, and that is his plan to judge this world in tribulation, but also to revive his church, to rebuild (renew, restore) his temple, the body of Christ, and to bring many to true faith in Jesus Christ before he returns for his bride. He will have compassion on his fallen people and on those who have bought into the lies of these deceivers (the false shepherds), and he will refine them with the fires of tribulation in order to get them to call on their God and to seek him with all their hearts; and for them to find their satisfaction and fulfillment in him, and in him alone. And, they will be as though they had never strayed from the Lord or from his pure word.
Seek the Lord / An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”