“wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, Always do they go astray in heart, and these have not known My ways;” (Hebrews 3:10, YLT)
In 2020, I heard the Lord say “My people do not know my ways, nor do they know my word.” This came as a surprise to me because I love the church, but knew that it is falling short of God’s intention for redemption and reconciliation of humanity. This came at a time when Covid-19 was on the rise and many Christians refused to get vaccinated citing religious freedom. While I believe people have the right to choose but our choices must be beneficial and constructive not only for ourselves and our family, but also for others. “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others” (1 Cor.10:23-24 NIV). We faced an unprecedented global crisis and many people lost their lives including Christians. It sparked a thought in my spirit that the concept of ‘freedom’ from a Biblical perspective has become misunderstood by Christians and non-Christians alike. Today, as a nation we are facing a shaking unlike this nation has faced before (Heb. 12:26).
We are facing life-threatening forces of destruction, including global climate change, environmental degradation, accelerating inequity between the wealthy and the many who suffer in poverty, growing number of failed states, the rise of authoritarian regimes, ongoing gun violence, racial tensions, the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection, and spike in threats against the FBI. Right wing rhetoric has escalated along with threats of violence. There is no doubt in my heart and mind that God is taking notice of what is happening in America and all over the world. Scripture says, “He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then leads them away (Job 12:23). Having all power and wisdom, God knows how to make use, even of those who are foolish and bad.
“He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; The rebellious shall not exalt themselves! (Ps. 66:7). He looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens (Job 28:24). Nothing gets pass God’s watchful eye. This is why we must continue to pray for spiritual awakening and revival at home and abroad!
Matthew 13 describes how Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. “A parable is, literally, something “cast alongside” something else. Jesus’ parables were stories that were “cast alongside” a truth in order to illustrate that truth. His parables were teaching aids and can be thought of as extended analogies or inspired comparisons. A common description of a parable is that it is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.”1 In Mark 4:34a, Jesus said, “He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.” Jesus did not speak in parables during his early ministry. Why the change? His disciples had the same question (Matt. 13:10). Jesus explained that His use of parables had a two-fold purpose: to reveal the truth to those who wanted to know it and to conceal the truth from those who were indifferent.
Why is this important today? In many ways the church has become dull of hearing and led astray in their hearts by deceptive teachings. This is why it’s important that we know God’s ways in this critical time of chaos and upheaval. Deception is running rampant in the church and in the world. Sound doctrine seems to be a thing of the past. Paul speaks of and warns Timothy about unsound doctrine in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, which says, “For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” This in turn influences the way we see and respond to the world. Will we respond with the love of Christ or with disdain for those who we have little or not compassion.
I believe that false doctrine has infiltrated the church to the extent that people are bound by human ideologies, There is clear evidence that belief in the only true God has been either distorted or replaced by other belief systems or ideologies. This results in an increasing ignorance about him, his ways and substituting human ideas about ‘god’ in the place of accurate knowledge about him. Paul warned the Christians in Colossae, to make sure no one makes you his prey through some misleading philosophy and empty deception based on traditions fabricated by mere mortals. These are sourced in the elementary principles originating in this world and not in the Anointed One (so don’t let their talks capture you). This is very relevant at this time in the history of the church as many conservative evangelical Christians who still worship former president Donald Trump are captured by the idea of America First and Christian nationalism which clearly does not represent the teachings of Jesus nor the heart of God on loving your neighbor. Obviously, there are political reasons for conservatives to stand by their man, yet Christians are instructed not to put their trust in mortal man who cannot save. Our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Cor, 2:5). The wisdom of man is foolishness to God (1 Cor. 2:6, 3:19).
It is beginning to look as though there is a worldwide fundamental conflict between Christianity and the modern state — a conflict which has little to do with whether the state espouses a leftist or rightist political philosophy.Paul Clayton Vitz, American psychologist – Senior Scholar at Divine Mercy University
It’s important that the church has a prophetic consciousness or awareness governed by God during these critical times. We must pay close attention as not to develop an evil and unbelieving heart that causes us to abandon the living God. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:2-13, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love“. Faith, hope, and love must characterize our lives daily. And the greatest of these is love!
Things may seem blurry now with so much confusion going on every day. I realize that everything I know is only part of the big picture. As believers, we must prophetically see and hear what the Lord is saying and doing if we are to participate in the fulfillment of his will on earth. God often leads his children by a way they did not know; guiding us along unfamiliar paths. Yet, he will surely turn darkness into light and rough places into level ground. In the midst of all of this he will never forsake us. “He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way” (Ps. 25:9).
“Your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left” (Is. 30:21).
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Minister A. Francine Green
Notes: All scripture references are taken from the New American Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.
- “What is a parable?” GotQuestions.org. https://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-a-parable.html.