'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Several years ago a motion picture was released entitled "The French Connection". And as it turned out there was indeed a "French Connection"! In the spiritual realm - is there ever a "connection" between SIN and events? If we would ask God that same question, He could give us His answer with the following:
"Prepare chains, because the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of violence. I will bring the most wicked of the nations to take possession of their houses; I will put an end to the pride of the mighty, and their sanctuaries will be desecrated. When terror comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none. Calamity upon calamity will come, and rumor upon rumor. They will try to get a vision from the prophet; the teaching of the law by the priest will be lost, as will the counsel of the elders" - Ezekiel 7:23-26 (NIV). After these events come to pass, the nation of Judah in Israel of many centuries ago should have had no difficulty making a connection. However, unfortunately, they did.
Last week we discussed briefly in this column the why of sin in the world, how sin is used by the god of this world, and how Almighty God has planned to use both the agent of sin, and sin itself for the eventual salvation of the world through Jesus Christ. In this world today, there is very little recognition of any connection made between the events on earth in a global sense, or especially on a personal level. Although sin may have seemed dormant at times, it is always active and always lying "at the door"(Genesis 4:7). Behind every occurrence globally nationally, communally, or individually, there is always woven into the fabric a sin principle. This IS Satan’s world, in the sense that he is allowed to influence and to sway the worldly institutions and makeup of the world system (Ephesians 2:1-3). We all must live in this world system. But as God’s people, He enables us to function IN it without being OF it. This seems a contradiction, and can only be accomplished in Jesus Christ, and Him in us! Knowing these things, it is not our place to judge Satan, but to become enlightened as to His way in the world, and in particular his way of dealing with us.
A meteorological and climate expert recently stated that we really should not get worried or excited about the weather, etc., because it is just all normal, and that it has all happened in the past, in the cycles of the earth. A scripture comes to mind here (2 Peter 3:4). For most, God (and especially Satan!) is not considered a factor one way or the other, even if they do exist. But God IS involved, and Satan IS involved in a very active way (Job 1). As we see from the scripture quoted above, disasters and the threat of the same are the "acts of God" (a familiar legal phrase) and they are the result of the sins of mankind. God has always dealt with mankind the same way. He always visits correction and chastisement on His own children, and records the sins of the whole world for either immediate or eventual punishment.
There is a tension here concerning God’s dealings with the world under Satan’s influence, and with His children at the same time. Often when God sends punishment upon evil doers, His people also suffer along with the evil - seemingly to the same or even greater degree at times. Why God’s people suffer along with the evil inflicted upon the world has always been troubling to many. There are at least two factors here that we must consider. First, ALL have and DO sin, unbelievers and believers (Romans 5:12; 1 John 1:8-10)). Secondly, God many times does not shield us from the satanic conditions and punishments of the ungodly, but allows true Christians to suffer along with the world for their spiritual growth, for an example to others (Matthew 5:45) or for any number of reason known only to Him. Perhaps there are sins and character flaws that are buried so deep in our being that there is no other way to get our attention in order to even ask about them. Satan is in the world, and is behind the promotion of everything that is anti-God, but we are culpable - our sins are removed from God’s sight for condemnation (Romans 8:1), but sin is still a part of our nature, and as our part in our purification and spiritual development, He will cause us to come to see it for what it is. God is VERY patient and longsuffering. He waits longingly for us to "see" ourselves the way He does. Mostly He uses "gentle persuasion" designed to lead - not drive - us back to Him in repentance. However, He loves us too much to let us go on indefinitely in our self-deception of sin.
For each of us as individual Christians, when trouble comes, or when a disaster strikes, it is God’s doing. Yes, He originates "time and chance"(Ecclesiastes 9:11). But God is also in charge of time and chance! NOTHING is outside of His control. Many events are proposed by Satan, as we see the example in Job chapter one. God may or may not allow his proposals. The very first thing to ask ourselves individually when some trouble, tragedy, or catastrophe enters our life is to ask is: IS THERE A SIN CONNECTION IN US?...The world around us for the most part does not believe there is a "sin connection". Many Christians either do no believe or do not realize that there could be a sin connection to the events in their lives. This is particularly true when the events that do happen in life are generally pleasant and "uneventful" - an event would have to be a tragedy. If life just coasts along without an "eventful moment", perhaps we should also ask the same question: could there be a connection between the silence and sin?...The only thing that could possibly be more horrible than the conviction of the realization that something in our lives is related to sin, it would be SILENCE. God has dealt with others before us in this way, so He certainly could do so now (2 Chronicles 32:31). Sooner or later, the silence will be broken - for us and for the whole world. An example of God finally breaking silence with nations is recorded regarding the giving of the promised land to Israel after coming our of Egypt. Here is a good example of how God works within a sin-dominated world. Surely everything must have seemed that all was well and going their way with the nations prior to their removal from their lands. But what was the reason given by God for removing them? Was it ONLY because of Israel? No. The sins of those nations had "come to the full". Again...how wonderful! How wise! How omnipotent and omnipresent is our Lord and our Savior! Yes, there is a "sin connection" to the events in the world. There can also be a sin connection to the events and occurrences in your life and mine.
Is there a crisis in your life?...
Is there silence?...
Pray that you may learn whatever God has for you learn today the easiest way possible, and that He will only need to administer an abundance of His loving, "gentle persuasion"...
"It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him". - Lamentations 3:22-24 (Amplified Bible)
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