In my job as a Pastor, I see, more often than I want, people who are experiencing some kind of a sudden crisis. I also see how it affects their spiritual walk. I see the man who suddenly has had his wife utter those words that grip his heart, I’m leaving you. I just can’t do this anymore. The person who has just had their boss tell him or her, I am so sorry but the company has to lay off fifty people and I have to let you go. The person that is sitting with their doctor to find out what those unusual symptoms have been about and he says, I am sorry to tell you this but you have cancer. The person who gets the phone call about their loved one just having a serious accident. All these horrible crisis occurrences can grip the heart and attempt to send one’s mind into a tailspin.
When sincere Christians experience these kinds of painful, heart-gripping events, most at some point begin to process through a spiritual inventory. The thoughts come: What did I do to bring this on? The devil uses these occasions to take advantage and amplify any possible sinful activity and weaknesses and beat this person over their head with condemnation. Because you did this and that and are disobedient to God, this is what happened! It’s all your fault! That is what he does and will continue to do until Jesus has once for all locked him in the eternal lake of fire. Satan is a liar and an accuser and is called the accuser of the brethren. Rev. 12:10 says, “…the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night…”
After listening to these lies, people begin to believe that the accusations they hear are from God and that He is mad at them. They don’t have the discernment to know it’s the voice of Satan. Consequently, some people run from God in these times of crisis. Others, well they get mad at God. They think God has let them down. When people actually have been living whatever lifestyle they choose regardless of what God’s word says, and are guilty of sin but, won’t own up to it, and it has led to pain or crisis, they more than not, blame God. But, since they can’t see God, they blame those that represent God. They blame their Pastor, or religion, or someone who preaches the gospel on television that they can take cheap shots at, or maybe even their Christian friends. Blaming someone else feels better than looking inside through self-examination and repenting of sin.
In times of crisis, when people look inside and examine their heart and their life-style, they wonder if disobedience has led to the crisis they are facing. It might have, but it might not have. The devil will be there to accuse and beat them up telling them it’s entirely their fault regardless. God never operates that way. His goal is always an assurance of His love and willingness to forgive sin from a repentant heart. God’s desire is always reconciliation—the restoring of relationship and right behavior with Him and help and deliverance from the crisis. Examine Jesus’ walk and you will see this is true. Jesus always taught truth which did carry correction and instruction but He also brought the promise of reconciliation and His power to help those who believed in Him by faith! God is never about beating someone up and leaving them in the dust. The devil is all about that. People too often do that to each other, but that is not God’s character.
Crisis often drives healthy self-examination. Isaiah 11:3 (NIV) spoke of Jesus before He came to the earth and describe His character. It said, “…He will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears.” Jesus modeled these godly characteristics for us. First, it would be better if we also “delighted in the fear of the Lord…”. This is a powerful piece of life changing wisdom. Delight in living the way God wants us to. Don’t delight on living on the edge of playing with the fires of sin and hope you’re not in trouble with God. Instead, imagine delighting in living in all the right ways God wants you to. Wouldn’t that be a great change? That kind of thinking will lead to that kind of action.
Then, don’t be moved by the emotion of the moment. Satan takes advantage of your emotional vulnerable times to accuse you and send your mind reeling. Isaiah said about Jesus, “He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears.” There is a New Testament equivalent of this verse. It’s Romans 1:17 (NKJV) that says, “The just shall live by faith.” Both verses are telling us to not let ourselves be ruled by emotions but be ruled by what we know to be true about God. God loves us! He never leaves us! He won’t forsake us. Yes, if you need to repent over something you should sincere do so including changing your behavior. But, God is not behind your crisis! He is the your helper through your crisis. He is all about reconciliation and restoration. He wants you to draw near to Him! These are all truths you need to know about God to help you respond rightly in crisis situations! Run to Him not from Him.
I will remind you again of verses I used yesterday so that you know what to do in a crisis! Run to Him. Don’t let the devil beat you up. Look to Him for His supernatural help and know, that you know, that you know, that because of His love for you, He will help you! Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Romans 5:2 (KJV) says, “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” And Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
It is always the right time to examine your life. It is also always the right time to purge ungodly thoughts, attitudes, unforgiveness, immoral behavior, and anything that we would mark unpleasing to God. Crisis might drive us to our knees. But it would be better to hit our knees before crisis came. It would be better to delight ourselves in the fear of God and move as far away from ungodly attitudes and behavior out of our love for God as possible. If we did, we’d have greater confidence that God would help and deliver us when crisis rears its ugly head instead of being buried in the devil’s condemnation. So, delight yourself in following God’s ways and discover just how much peace it can bring to your life. And now matter what is going on in your life, keep your head and heart straight and run to God who is your solution, not from Him!
Psalms 46:1 (NIV) “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved