Bible Top 1000

Getting Side-tracked
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During a walk through the picturesque Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, our attention was diverted from the huge, majestic, sandstone rocks toward two people wearing homemade robot suits. The park was thronged with summer tourists who immediately began taking pictures of the robots while their children gathered round to touch and talk to them. Folks who had come to admire the silent beauty of God’s creation were now watching people in cardboard costumes sprayed with silver paint.

It reminded me of my quiet time. How often I sit down to seek the Lord through Bible reading and prayer, only to be drawn away by the newspaper, an unpaid bill, or a list of things to be done. The psalmist had better focus when he wrote: “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens! . . . When I consider Your heavens, . . . what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:1,3-4).

While contemplating the Lord and meditating on His creation, the psalmist’s self-important attitude shifted to one of humble appreciation for God’s goodness. It can be true of us too, if we can keep the robots and the rocks in proper perspective.

This Present World

One area of truth that has helped me a great deal concerns the nature and destiny of this present world. What lies in the future for this world? How long is that future? What is God's program concerning this world? What is He doing? What should the focus of our thinking be?

The simple truth is that this present world order "belongs to" Satan and his legions of demons. In Luke 4:5-6, during his temptation of Christ, the devil showed him "all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time" and then said, "All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it." Jesus, using the word, refused the temptation but did not dispute his claim.

Paul called Satan "the god of this world" (II Cor. 4:4). In I John 5:19 we read, "... all the world is under the influence of the evil one" (Twentieth Century New Testament). Other translations agree. See also John 12:31, John 16:11.

In Eph. 6:12, Paul tells us who our true adversaries are. Listen to various translators:

"... against the world-rulers of this darkness" (ASV);
"... the Sovereigns of this present darkness" (Conybeare);
"... the master-spirits of this dark world" (Goodspeed);
"... great evil princes of darkness who rule this world" (Taylor);
"... with the despotisms, the empires, the forces that control and govern this dark world" (Weymouth);
"... the spirits of evil in the heavens" (Conybeare);
"... against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world" (Taylor).

While these hordes of wicked spirits are no match for God nor an obstacle to His purpose, this world is "given over" to their rule. The real power behind governments, nations, movements, philosophies of every kind is demonic and in opposition to God's Spirit and Kingdom over which Christ rules. Even those movements -- religious and otherwise -- that appear to stand for righteousness would quickly crucify Christ were He to walk among them as He did almost 2000 years ago. The anointing would expose the true spirit behind them just as it did that of the supposedly Bible-believing, God-fearing Jews of the first century. Luke 4:16-32.

All of the spirits behind all of the wickedness this cursed world has ever known are alive today -- and they know their time is short. Nations rise and fall. People live and die. The spirits who inspire them to do evil don't die with them: they are with us today -- and they are angry.

God only interferes in the present world order where His purposes are concerned and His purposes concern His people, the elect, those He delivers from the power of darkness and translates into the kingdom of his dear Son (Col. 1:13). This world is an arena, a furnace of affliction (Is. 48:10) in which God's elect are born to everlasting life and prepared for another world to come. This world is temporary and in the next it will not even be remembered (Is. 65:17).

In this world, each one of God's children is placed under the care of angels. Heb. 1:14. Psa. 91:11-12. Psa. 34:7. In addition, we have Christ's promise to be with us till the end of the age. Matt. 28:20.

There's a pattern that we can see in the scriptures with respect to sin and judgment. Sin brings death. It's a process much like a crop that produces a harvest. Many a nation has arisen on the world scene with lofty vision and youthful vigor only to crumble and disappear or be radically altered, replaced by a new power.

Man without God is doomed to failure in his attempts to build kingdoms. Beginning with the tower of Babel, we can see the rebellious pursuit of power and glory by man and the intervention of God when that rebellion reaches a certain point.

Thank God for Children Saying Grace...

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed our heads he said, "God is good, God is great. Thank you for the food, and I would even thank you more if Mom gets us ice cream for dessert and Liberty and justice for all! Amen!"

Along with the laughter from the other customers nearby I heard a woman remark, "That's what's wrong with this country. Kids today don't even know how to pray. Asking God for ice cream! Why, I never!"

Hearing this, my son burst into tears and asked me, "Did I do it wrong? Is God mad at me?"

As I held him and assured him that he had done a terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an elderly gentleman approached the table.

He winked at my son and said, "I happen to know that God thought that was a great prayer. "Really?" my son asked. "Cross my heart," the man replied.

Then in a theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose remark had started this whole thing), "Too bad she never asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the soul sometimes."

Naturally, I bought my kids ice cream at the end of the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did something I will remember the rest of my life.

He picked up his sundae and without a word, walked over and placed it in front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, "Here, this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes; and my soul is good already."


Sometimes we all need some ice cream. I hope God sends you some Ice Cream today!!