Stay Smart, Not Marked, 12MAY – #1152

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Waking up with shoulder pain is not new to me, nor is waking up in the middle of the night.  Ibuprofen might help the shoulder, but what about the wandering mind? Prayer, study, being still. I woke up with the song lyrics “You go before I know that you’ve even gone to win my war…” so true, God goes ahead of us, even to the end. Jesus is the beginning and the end. I have a hard time understanding processing but that’s ok, He only wants our faith.  I have faith because He has carried me so far. (I went back to sleep, no worries)

Well I appreciate that He goes ahead of us and me, I need that, we MUST trust in the Lord. We must stay smart and remember it is not our battle with the powers that drag us down, it’s the Lord’s battle and He will carry us inside His armor. Pain brings us awareness, like my shoulder, and then we have to do something about it. Pain, fear, strife bring us awareness of God, and then we have to let Him do something about it. 

Instead of listening to those worries, I brought myself back to reading thru the bible,  I am in Exodus, where Pharaoh’s heart is getting harder and harder, by God’s power to allow him to go down that road, by Pharaoh not respecting God. Moses (and Aaron) have  to convince first the people then Pharaoh that God, THE GOD, THEIR GOD, is talking to them thru Moses (and Aaron). The israelite slaves just see it getting worse, and back and forth they all see it get tough before it gets better. And then the dividing of the punishments, before the dividing of the red sea. Initially, Pharaoh doesn’t believe and sees his magician folks do similar tricks to initial signs by Moses and Aaron.  But then his people see real and rough plagues, sent by God, believed by the magicians. All these take their toll on the Egyptians as the plagues get weirder and weirder. The outcome is eventually that Pharaoh lets the israelite slaves leave. But only after Pharaoh had to BOTH believe AND fear God.

Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said. Exodus 8:18-19

How about dragons? Thinking separately about the Book of Revelation, it ALSO gets WEIRDER and WEIRDER.   I’m not sure how many more years, months, days we have before rapture and tribulation, so I recommend a bible study to step you thru the weirdness of those prophecies.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, I remind myself and us to put on the armor of God to approach life today. Tomorrow too. God knows each day… simply let us be faithful to God, let us take on the day and ONLY this day.

So in yesterday’s recorded message of a bible study of Revelation, I heard something key: “tell your unsaved friends and family to NOT get the mark of the beast, because you won’t be here to tell them not to…

Hmmm… we won’t be here. Rapture takes the believers up like a surprise, and the people left will be left wondering. They heard but did not believe, like Pharaoh. Too many people are making that mistake today. In tribulation times, 7 years after the Rapture, “the mark” and “the number” will mean something for those left behind in the broken world. But what symbol is not yet fully known now because we are not there yet, it is out of context reading it. 

We need faith and discernment now, but then the people will need discernment to realize… They will have to LISTEN AND BELIEVE. The key scriptures state that there will be a GREAT AWAKENING in those left. But not all. Therefore the only thing I suggest we worry about today, for tomorrow, is what the memory of today will be. Will others, especially non-believers, know how we are faithful and depend on faith today?

Oh, we have to remember to not get upset about the world in a way that detracts from our Way, but work for the Word. The world is going to keep going downhill, but the Word never changes, therefore we must prepare ourselves for spiritual battle every day. We must wake to work and see what God has already won and done, and we build upon that. 

We must know AND believe. Jesus, we put our trust in You.

Today is known to God. Jesus, Lord, please walk us thru today WITH YOU. 

Amen 

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