Hopelessly Devoted to Him

I know it seems like I go on and on about the Rapture, but the thing is that I know it’s coming soon, and like a young bride, I can hardly wait for that day.

I don’t listen to anything but Christian music, and without a TV, I spend my downtime watching sermons of my favorite preachers on YouTube.  I hardly go to movies at all these days because I’ve found that I am very easily upset by violence or offended by bad language or people acting like sin is an acceptable way to live.  Understand that I’m not judging anyone (they will have to stand before the Judge of us all someday), but since I don’t hang around those kind of people in real life, I find it impossible to be entertained by them without my heart being offended.

So it’s funny, but today I was thinking about the Rapture again.  And a song came to me, but not a Christian song.  It’s not even a song that I particularly like: Hopelessly Devoted to You from the musical, Grease.  I like the musical, but that song!  Let’s face it: that song is sappy—it defines sappy.  Olivia Newton John as Sandy goes into the backyard in her nightgown and sings about how lovesick she is despite the bad treatment she’s gotten from Danny (John Travolta’s character).  Really, it’s enough to make Pollyanna throw up.

But despite all that, it really describes my state of mind.  Just like Sandy I’m “out of my head, hopelessly devoted” to Jesus.  I constantly think about the day that He will come and take me away.  And that’s not because my life is so bad, it’s not.  In fact, I couldn’t be happier or in a better place.  Well, not on earth, that is.  I guess Heaven is the only thing missing.  So I go on, doing my work for Him, dreaming of the day that we’ll be together forever.

Today’s Word from the Lord is John 14:12-14: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.”  That’s an awesome promise!  And it happens to be in the same chapter as a Rapture passage.  In verses 2-3, Jesus says: “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.”

I’ve moved a lot in my life (every 5 years on average), and most of them have been long distance moves.  Most of the time I was happy where I was living, but looking forward to the next place.  Now I have broken the lifelong pattern with my move back to Milan in 2010.  This is the first place where I have ever moved back to, and it’s the first time that I’ve lived for more than 7 years in one place.  I love Milan.  I love my friends here.  I love my apartment.  I love my neighborhood.  I love my ministry.  I love my life.  I’m very happy here.  But I’m looking forward to the next place.

So with moony sighs and lovesick tears, I resemble a teenager in love as I wait for my wedding day when I’ll fly away.  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!