Pray to Him While He May be Found

Venice

 

That’s me in the pink hat, singing and praising God

“Therefore let all the faithful pray to You while You may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.  You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance,” (Psalm 32:6-7).

Friends, if it seems like I am writing a lot about the Rapture lately, it’s only because God keeps bringing the Rapture to my mind.  Honestly, I can only think of one reason why He would do that: because the time is short.  I was surprised by this verse because I’ve read through the Psalms many, many times, but I don’t remember ever reading anything in there about the Rapture.

Pray to God while He may be found!  In the midst of the post-Rapture chaos it is going to be difficult to calm your heart and pray, and even more difficult to hear His voice.  The antichrist will arrive on the world scene with powerful demonic deception.  He is already in the world today, and already very well-known among the world’s decision-makers.  He’s ready to step in and “solve” the world’s problems and restore order.  [I’m not going to name any names here, but with a little research, you can discover the one man in the whole world who fits all the prophecies.]  The Catholic Church is probably going to tell people that there has been a mass abduction by aliens.  And the antichrist is probably going to claim to be Jesus, the mahdi (Muslim messiah), and an alien.

I know!  It sounds like science fiction!  It is surreal just to be writing this.  But when you see all this happen, remember where you read it and when.

Pray to God while He may be found.  But what should we be praying?  Jesus told us what to pray:

Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.  When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.  So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.  Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.  For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.  Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man,” (Luke 21:29-36 NKJV, emphasis mine).

We should be praying that we may be counted worthy to escape the Tribulation.  It’s going to get really ugly.  Christians will be beheaded for their faith.  And many will take the Mark of the Beast out of cowardice (see The Damned Cowards!).  Are you ready to have your head cut off for your faith?

Besides praying, we should be diligently doing the work that God has given us to do.  God has given each of us a task to do for the Kingdom.  If you’re too busy to do the work that God has given you, then you’re too busy.  I’ll bet you’re never too busy to watch TV, check Facebook, or play computer games.  Keeping you busy is one way that the enemy keeps you ineffective as a Christian.  He will sometimes have you do a whole lot of “Christian” work in order to keep you from doing that one thing that God has called you to do.  Often we agree to do things to which we are not called just because we don’t know how to say no.  Go over your calendar with God, and ask Him what things you need to quit doing.  Then have the courage to quit those things.  People will complain.  They will say that you’re letting them down.  They will try to put a big guilt trip on you.  I know because I did this.  It’s really hard.  You might lose some friends.  But keep in mind that it’s more important to be faithful to God.

Keep your eyes on the prize!  Remember that it’s not your works that save you, but laziness could cost you your head.  Stay focused!  Pray to God while He can still be found.  And never forget: God is good!

Looking for An Answer

Day Twenty-One

I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what He will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness—indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples, (Habakkuk 2:1-5, emphasis mine).

One of my prayer partners said that while praying for me, the Lord had indicated Habakkuk, which is only 3 chapters long.  So I read it, then read it again.  Then I listened to it on my audio Bible, and listened to it again.  This is what the Lord wants me to do with the answer: write it down.  Make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it—the modern version of which is of course, the internet.

Habakkuk, like me, wanted an answer.  He asked his question in chapter 1, and then in chapter 2 (see above), he stationed himself on the ramparts.  A rampart is a defensive structure.  It is the outer wall of a castle or city.  From the rampart you can see any enemy that is coming long before they actually arrive, so you have time to get your defenses ready.

And here also I find my answer.  My question is: these being the End Times, what comes next, and how should we be preparing for it.

The Answer: the enemy is coming with great deception.  Station yourself on the ramparts.  Watch and listen.  Be alert.

Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies! You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and let your nakedness be exposed! The cup from the Lord’s right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory, (Habakkuk 2:15-16, emphasis mine).

Jesus warned us about deception in the End Times in Matthew 24:24: “False messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect,” (emphasis mine).  Deceiving the people who are already deceived is one thing, but to deceive even the elect—the people Jesus chose for Himself, that’s powerful deception.  Yes, Jesus chose you:

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you, (John 15:16, emphasis mine).

We have been lulled to sleep by the media invading our very houses.  Think about what you are watching!  Shows like Big Brother encourage people to form alliances against each other, and even to have sex outside of marriage.  There are shows depicting all sorts of living arrangements that defy the Biblical definition of marriage.  And even Christians watch these things and have begun to accept them as “normal.”  How many depictions of murder have you witnessed in the name of entertainment in the past month?

This is how hearts become hardened, not all at once, but gradually, like a stalactite, one drop at a time.  When is the last time you walked out of a movie that offended you?  When is the last time you turned off the TV because the message was contrary to the Word of God?  Even the news is spun with an anti-Christian message.

You’ve got to do something now because when the antichrist comes with all the devil’s power of deception, you’ll be already primed to believe him.  Your ramparts have been broken down.

But the situation is not hopeless.  Begin today, now, to seek God.  Be alert.  Shut off the noise of the world and listen for His voice.

Sometimes people—believers!—say things to me that indicate that they think I’m some sort of super saint.  I’m not!  I’m an ordinary person.  The only difference between me and any other Christian is probably just a matter of surrender.  When I had nothing left to lose, I surrendered the little that I had left.  It wasn’t easy, but I’ve never regretted it.  In fact, my only regret is that I hadn’t surrendered sooner.  It would have saved me a whole lot of trouble.  So don’t dismiss what I’m saying by thinking that you have to be a special person.  You are a special person, chosen by Jesus, Himself.  To believe otherwise is to buy into the enemy’s deception.

The Rapture is imminent, right around the corner.  Don’t be left behind!  Things are going to get really bad after that.  Christians will be beheaded for their faith (Revelation 20:4).  Be alert!

Look, Listen, Love was God’s message to me for the Faith Trip I needed to take in order to follow Him more closely.  Look at what is going on around you.  Listen for His voice.  Let Love be the motivation behind everything you do.  Station yourself on the ramparts and watch.  Stay focused.  God is good!  He has given us a way out!

Nefarious – Merchant of Souls

Day Four

Greetings from Bologna!

I came here to see the screening of Nefarious.  Nefarious is a film about human trafficking (modern slavery), the vast majority of which is for purposes of prostitution.  The film is a deeply disturbing documentary which chronicles the lives of prostitutes in Europe, Thailand, and the US.  The organization that produced the film is Exodus Cry (http://exoduscry.com/).

The word nefarious means extremely wicked or villainous, and that describes the traffickers and also the men who frequent prostitutes.

The girls in the film had been rescued from prostitution.  Some described how they were tricked into prostitution by boyfriends who turned out to be traffickers.  Others told how they had been kidnapped.  Both of these went through a process of breaking-down their will and their resistance.  This process involves isolation, humiliation, drugging, severe beatings, and repeated rape until all the fight has gone out of them—along with any self-esteem or human dignity.

Some girls were made to strip naked and walk in line across a stage in a slave auction for buyers to bid on.  These buyers were the owners of brothels and massage parlors throughout Europe.  Often the buyers would manhandle them, forcing them to open their mouth and show their teeth, checking them over like merchandise.  Some buyers asked to “try the product” before they buy.

Some of the girls had been orphaned or abandoned by their parents in Eastern Europe.  One described how the orphanage director had encouraged the girls to “go off with the boys and have some fun.”  They were prostituting them.  Then when they reached 18 years of age, the traffickers came to pick them up from the orphanage and they were never heard from again.  East European girls have been trafficked into prostitution all around the world.  Their passports have been stolen by their captors.  They are invisible because they have no family, and usually they have no knowledge of the language in the place where they end up, except for what they need to know for working in prostitution.  The traffickers prey upon the most vulnerable: orphans and children.

Anywhere there is prostitution, there is trafficking.  The legalization of prostitution only helps the traffickers by giving them a “legitimate” market.  But legalization in no way means that the girls are working as prostitutes by choice.  The only girls in the film who had entered prostitution voluntarily had been lured by the glamour of becoming a high-priced Las Vegas call girl.  They dreamed of meeting and marrying a high-roller who could give them a luxurious lifestyle.  They were each disillusioned by the realities of prostitution.  Part of that reality is that some of the clients are men who hate women with a murderous passion.  All of the women had suffered beatings and strangling.  The thing that each of the voluntary prostitutes had in common was a history of sexual abuse as children, and the low self-esteem that comes with being the victim of abuse.

The purpose of the film is to educate the public about this extreme evil that exists all over the world.  The film also shows the only country in the world in which prostitution has virtually ended: Sweden.  Sweden’s approach is simple and effective: severely punish the clients and the traffickers.  In effect: stop the demand and prostitution stops.

Exodus Cry works on a 3 point attack: Prevention, Intervention, and Restoration.  The ultimate goal is to have people who are healed: physically, emotionally, and spiritually—and not only the girls, but also the clients and traffickers, whenever possible.

So what does all this have to do with my fasting and prayer for understanding of the things to come?  I believe that it is just a confirmation of darkness of these End Times days.  It’s confirmation that I am on the right track by fasting and praying for understanding.  Most of these girls were deceived in one way or another.  When the Antichrist comes upon the world stage, he will come with such great deception that even the elect, God’s chosen ones, will be in grave danger of falling for his lies.  This calls for us to be alert—super-alert!  We cannot afford to coast through these days on auto-pilot.

You can get involved with Exodus Cry through: Prayer, Awareness, Reform, and Donation.  Exodus Cry is above all a prayer movement.  They wisely recognize that none of this will change without prayer.  They also realize that nothing will change without laws that punish the men who exploit women and children.  I want to encourage each of you to support Exodus Cry with your prayers and finances.  All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.  Now that you know, you have the obligation to help the “least of these.”  God is good!  Go do good, too!