Abiding in His Perfect Peace in Times Like These

The Coeur d Alene River near the Cataldo Mission

 

In Susanne Schuberth’s recent blog article (1) she quoted the whole of Isaiah chapter twenty-eight and spoke of how it applies to the world we are in and our place in it as the saints of God.  I would like to quote the first few verses…

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; he sets up salvation as walls and bulwarks. Open the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps faith may enter in. Thou dost keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee. Trust in the LORD for ever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock. For he has brought low the inhabitants of the height, the lofty city. He lays it low, lays it low to the ground, casts it to the dust. The foot tramples it, the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy.” The way of the righteous is level; thou dost make smooth the path of the righteous. In the path of thy judgments, O LORD, we wait for thee; thy memorial name is the desire of our soul. My soul yearns for thee in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks thee. For when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. (Isa 26:1-9, RSV)

There is so much panic around the world as we see people coming down with and dying of Covid-19. Most of the world has put its faith in what powerful men and governments can do along with their scientists and medical professionals. Their disillusionment and anger with these people when they do not come through with a fix makes this all too obvious. People have gathered together in huge cities seeking protection and employment, only to see these same cities become a threat as those who are bunched together come down with the disease through social transmission and their incomes  are threatened as businesses close down out of fear.  It seems this thing is made to overwhelm all things of this world system, even when our governments throw trillions of dollars at it! In Hebrews we read,

See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. His voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. (Heb 12:25-29, RSV)

Through all these calamities that are upon us, God IS SPEAKING! Jesus called it “birth pangs.” His salvation has been made known through His Son, Jesus Christ, and God uses these things to cause men and women to draw close to Him and the Son of His salvation.

In the beginning of the Book of Hebrews we read, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son…” (Heb 1:1-2, ESV)

Jesus died for our sins that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. He sits at the right hand of the Father and HE STILL SPEAKS to those who have spiritual ears to hear. Mankind and all its leaders are running to and fro doing all they can to stem the effects of this virus, yet hundreds of thousands are still infected and thousands are still dying. All who are not founded on faith in the Son of God and who are not abiding in His love and obeying His voice are being shaken. This includes today’s Christianity! Churches are shut down and even the Vatican and the pope’s Sunday public message in that vast square that normally holds thousands is vacant. The visible church is being shaken. Even earthquakes and fires seem to be aimed at Christianity’s monolithic church buildings and cathedrals all over the world.  But the ecclesia of God, the true Church is not a building made with hands (see Acts 7: 48-51). It is not a building or a place which can be shaken, but it is composed of all who believe in, trust in and rely totally on Jesus Christ and who have the heart and mind of Christ abiding in them. THESE people cannot be shaken because they do not put their trust in doctors or governments, but in the One who sits at the right hand of God making intercession for them. Recently I have had a bout of premature ventricle contractions in my heart which caused me some alarm at first, because at one point I had chest pains to go with it. The doctors I went to see really had no cure other than some pills to try to keep it under control. God is in all this that I might draw closer to Him and not the things of this world that can be shaken.

We read in Hebrews about our Great High Priest in heaven,

The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb 7:23-25, ESV)

Drawing near to and gathering around a priest or a pastor will not save us because they can be shaken just like everything else of the worldly systems of men. But we have a Priest who has overcome death for us to put our trust in if we draw near to our Father through Him. Jesus is our Great Intercessor who ever stands before the Father to deflect the attacks of the accuser of the brethren that we might know that ALL things come to us from the Father. If we abide in Jesus we have no reason to fear no matter what may come upon us in this physical world.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:35-39, ESV)

Be at peace as you abide in the Son and put your faith in Him especially during this time of shaking, dear saints.

In His love for you all,

Michael.

(1) https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2020/03/17/the-coronavirus-causing-chaos-or-you-keep-him-in-perfect-peace-whose-mind-is-stayed-on-you/

27 comments on “Abiding in His Perfect Peace in Times Like These

  1. dimple says:

    Reblogged this on idahodimple and commented:
    A word for the time we are in…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dimple says:

    Thank you, Michael, this is a timely word.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, Michael, indeed! Great article!! 🙂

    I have come to similar conclusions in my blog article I published about one hour after yours (not having read yours before, though!). 😉 You wrote so aptly,

    “Through all these calamities that are upon us, God IS SPEAKING!”

    But who can hear His voice? Only those whose ears have been opened by Him. The apostle John put it bluntly. He said,

    “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (Jn 8:47 ESV)

    Period.

    So many want to speak for God. Yet they have nothing to say but ‘words’, words that have sprung from their own heart and thoughts, or worse, words that were given to them by false spirits in order to confuse other people as well. It is not our job to blame or even hate them, we can only pray for them… yet I do not moderate their comments. This is the authority that has been given to us by Him, I believe.

    Reading about the earthquakes you mentioned, Michael, I saw, like you, that there was not only one lately, even some more. The first one on March 8, 2020 I would read of had happened on Madeira island in Portugal where my husband Paul and I once spent our vacation. Then this second strange earthquake in Salt Lake City that happened two days before you and Dorothy were able to fly back from Texas to Idaho with layover in Salt Lake City. On that day the trumpet from this angel Moroni fell off (March 18, 2020) – a sign of the end time as the Mormons believe – or not? 🙄 Then the damage of the famous cathedral in Zagreb, Croatia, on March 22. The story and the shaking of the visible, sensual, earthly things goes on… especially the shaking of everything that has God’s name on it without Christ as its true foundation.

    Another thought came to my mind as I read John 3:16 you quoted above. It is true that everyone who believes in Jesus should not perish and have eternal life. However, twenty verses later, the same apostle John writes,

    “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (Jn 3:36 ESV)

    Faith without works is dead as James told us. So, if we profess Jesus’ name publicly, yet are neither led by Him nor do the “good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:10 ESV), whom do we think we serve? 🙄

    “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” as the letter to the Romans (ch.8, verse 9) warns us as well. I hope and pray that we do not take the gospel too lightly, especially nowadays.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, it has always amazed me ever since God opened my spiritual eyes and ears that men still insist on worshipping God in buildings made with their own hands when the scriptures are so clear that this old system of temple worship has been done away with. God severely shook that old Jewish system in 68 AD when the Romans invaded and killed off the temple priests and raised their temple to the ground, thus fulfilling Jesus’ and Isaiah’s prophesies. These same Jews killed Stephen the Church’s first martyr a few weeks later over this very thing when he said to them,

      “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’ You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.” (Acts 7:49-51, ESV)

      Uncircumcised ears are still the problem today as people would rather follow smooth talking men in their fancy buildings than the Christ who died for them and said to them regarding the temple, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” (Matt 24:2, ESV)

      Yes, that old system that was earthly was judged and this newer system that men have built in its place is also under His judgment. “EVERYTHING that can be shaken, those things that are not IN Christ, will be shaken weather it be buildings, governments, monetary systems, educational systems, spiritual systems… all things that are not out from Christ and still abiding in Him. Jesus said, “Apart form me you can do NOTHING!” And NOTHING describes most of what men in their spiritual blindness are doing today in heaven’s name as far as Jesus is concerned.

      Imagine how the Jews mourned the loss of their temple. “How could God allow such a thing.” It is no different today as church men watch their precious monoliths under the judgment of His mighty hand.

      Seeking only that which is Unshakable and IN Christ with you,
      Michael

      Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Susanne, as usual there is much more to contemplate in your comment than I have addressed so far. You wrote,

      “”But who can hear His voice? Only those whose ears have been opened by Him. The apostle John put it bluntly. He said, “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” (Jn 8:47 ESV) “”

      Jesus told the 12, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” (John 6:65, ESV) So much for the easy-believism altar call with every eye closed and one little finger raised in the air for pastor wonderful to see… “Shazam! I’m saved!” Salvation is totally up to Him and not because we say so. Is it any wonder that today’s “Christians” are so shallow? Like I wrote to Ken B., through all these trials that are coming upon the world, the sheep are being separated from the goats and because of offences, the love of many who claim Christ is waxing cold.

      You wrote, “So many want to speak for God. Yet they have nothing to say but ‘words’, words that have sprung from their own heart and thoughts, or worse, words that were given to them by false spirits in order to confuse other people as well.”

      Oh yes! For a season I went to what were called “Apostolic – Prophetic” meetings. I saw Jesus’ prophesy being fulfilled, but not as they presumed. It was the fulfillment of HIS words when He said, “Many will come in my name saying I am Christ and they will deceive many.” The flesh loves titles. It either seeks titles for itself or desires to follow those who have lofty titles… Pastor, Teacher, Evangelist, Prophet, Apostle, Chief Apostle, Father, Monsignor, Bishop, Cardinal, Pope, etc. It is interesting to note that when the Jewish establishment pressed John the baptizer for who he said that he was, he deflected the title of prophet or messiah and said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” Humility is an imperative sign of those whom God chooses to speak through… the humility of Christ.

      Yes, earthquakes that damage or destroy temples and cathedrals… don’t forget the cathedral that was the main attraction in Christchurch, NewZealand. It was so damaged by an earthquake that they finally had to tear it the rest of the way down and replace it with another one MADE OF CARDBOARD! Boy, THAT is desperate! And how about the Notre Dame cathedral? Another spire that was toppled. There is so much lead left over from the fire that it has been dangerous to try and repair it. Churches being destroyed by tornados and fires are becoming common place here in America… even mass shootings taking place in them! I believe the message is clear, “God does not dwell in houses made by the hands of men.” As Peter said to those who are Christ’s,

      “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1Pet 2:4-5, ESV)

      His holy priesthood abides in all humility in a spiritual house made of living stones. These living stones are held together by His love. Oh, what fellowship we have together IN Christ, my dear sister!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carina says:

    That was good meat to chew!
    Two things call my attention. Birth pangs. One thing that is different between birth pangs and the contractions a woman can have earlier in pregnancy is that the painful contractions that signal labor has started mean that birth is imminent and the process cannot be stopped. It can last 24 hours for a first pregnancy, and here we don’t know the day or the hour, but we can tell it’s a time for sobriety, a vigilant mind and a heart that is not playing the religious game. Either we take God seriously now or we may not have another day to repent.
    Second point, I was recently reminded by Abba of a verse in Haggai that speaks about a great shaking taking place. Your quote from Hebrews is a confirmation. Indeed I feel this is one of the last chances God is giving humanity to get right with Him. We cannot know how much time we have left, but we can tell that we’re coming to very “interesting” times indeed. If all of God’s people turn to God in earnest prayer as outlined in 2 Chronicles 7, the process will be less painful but I still think the signs indicate the pains of labor will become worse and more frequent for unrepentant humanity who in spite of God’s clear warnings refuse to reflect and prefer to continue sharing memes to forget the crisis.
    May God open the eyes of His children who are still sleeping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Carina, for expanding on what I wrote. I agree with all you said, Interesting times for sure. I pray that we might all have the mind of Christ and embrace all that the Father has for us that we might see Jesus as He is and thus be like Him. Amen

      Like

  5. Rhen Laird says:

    Marvelous post, Brother Michael–may HE bless you Abundantly!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pat Orr says:

    Thank you, my Brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ken Burgess says:

    Michael, good morning. This is a great post. It is always encouraging to know that we are able to hear our Father’s voice. Especially in times like these when there are so many voices and diverse opinions. The long and short to it is, HiS voice is the only one that matters. I pray all is well with you and our Dorathy. Hugs to all. Ken

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michael says:

      Thanks, Ken. It seems to me as the heat is turned up that it will cause a great refining among Christiandom. I think that the sheep are being separated from the goats through it all by the way they each react to the process of what God is doing in their lives. It is just like Jesus separated the “loaves and fishes followers” that wanted to make Him King because He fed them from the few that were left. He challenged them to eat His flesh and drink His blood or they would have nothing to do with Him. It was not long until only the 12 remained. His disciples were all that were left saying, “This is a hard saying, who can receive it?” to which Jesus said, “Will you leave me also?” As we know, even one of them would betray Him. We are seeing another prophesy come true, “Because of offenses, the love of many will wax cold.” As Jesus told John the baptizer when he started to doubt, “Blessed is he who is not offended in Me.”

      Good to hear from you again, my brother.
      As Peter observed, where else can we go? His words into our hearts are eternal life.

      Say “Hi” to your family for us.

      Like

      • Carina says:

        And many hard sayings in your post too. Many a pastor reading you would be tempted to stone you just like Stephen. 😉
        The Lord brought me back to the passage in Haggai and reminded me that after the great shaking, His glory is displayed in His temple. And we, as temple of the Holy Spirit, cannot be good vessels of His glory if so much of the old covenant mentality needs to be shaken off. Then and only then can we truly be the beacons the world needs in such dark times.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Your pastor or pastors in general? David said, “The Lord is my shepherd…” not, Nathan the prophet or the high priest, etc. Like you said, Carina, much of our old covenant mentality needs to be shaken off. Jesus pointed to Himself as our Shepherd.

        “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.” (John 10:1-7, ESV)

        Yes, there is MUCH about the old testament mentality we need to shake off just as Jeremiah prophesied:

        “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer 31:31-34, ESV)

        And as Ezekiel foretold,

        “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezek 36:26-27, ESV)

        This is a NEW and everlasting covenant and to go back to the old covenant and its laws (the yoke of bondage) is a slap in the face of Christ and His perfect sacrifice for us all as He filled up the requirements of the law on the cross.

        May we all yield to all that is ours IN Christ and be free in Christ as we shine forth with His glory.

        Thanks for your comment, Carina.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Our foundation is the Rock. There is no substitute. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Michael says:

    Speaking of shaking, about an hour ago we had a 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Idaho, 260 miles SSE of where we live. So we only felt a light shaking here. The epicentre was deep in the Sawtooth Mountains, a wilderness area, so there will be very little structural damage.

    Liked by 1 person

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