Reason Supporting Faith

I have observed often that mental reasoning and a reliance thereon can thwart our response in faith. The entire Humanist religion is founded in reason over faith. Even flimsy ideas like evolution must be continually propped up with twisted reason as new scientific evidence and observations add to the collective error of this theory opposed to creation. However, occasionally sound reason can support faith. 

In 2 Kings 5 is the story of Naaman who was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. The King of Aram heard that a prophet of God was in Israel and could heal leprosy. He sent a letter to the King of Israel and sent Naaman to Elisha. “Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, ‘Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.’ But Naaman went away angry and said, ‘I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?’ So he turned and went off in a rage. Naaman’s servants went to him and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, “Wash and be cleansed!” ‘ So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, ‘Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel…’ ” (2 Kings 5:10-15).

Naaman first reasoned that a big flashy ceremony would be necessary and thought the muddy Jordan river was unfitting and became mad, but his servants straightened out his reasoning which supported obedience to God’s command. Are there situations in your life where your reason was amiss? Have you ever set expectations upon God’s ways, means, or timing? I think it is very common for us go astray in our assumptions. When we focus on news of war, crime, fraud and other evil in this world, we are prone to fret, worry and fear, but if we reason that God is Sovereign over all and our protector, we correctly trust in His loving care. When we encounter situations and circumstances that challenge us we may consider taking matters into our on hands and trust in our own understanding, but then, if we reason how weak, flawed and limited we truly are, we have reasoned correctly and pray, wait in faith, seek God’s guidance and stand upon His promises. 

Many things can only be handled rightly by God, in His way and timing. Our rationalization and reasoning can lead to failure, unless it is founded upon God’s Word, promises, and principles. The Bible says we do not know how to pray as we should, except by the Spirit (Rom. 8:26). It says we have been given the Holy Spirit and gifts enabled by the Spirit (Rom. 8:5-6,13). The fallen human nature is opposed to God, but we live by the Spirit. “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Ephesians 4:17-18). “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:9-10). Child of God you are destined for glory in God’s presence, let nothing persuade otherwise.

Applicable History

Things seems really bad in America, but we should keep things in perspective. “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the Lord I cut them down. They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them down. I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: ‘The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!’ I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.” (Psalm 118:9-17) 

Israel is our example of their rebellious nature and God’s merciful redemption and salvation. On several occasions the cities of Israel were surrounded and held under siege by more powerful enemy armies. When things looked hopeless, God brought victory and delivered Israel, often through His own Sovereign work, occasionally through Israel’s army. Some examples are when the King of Aram surrounded Elisha (2 Kings 6:11-23); When the King of Israel was under siege (2 Kings 6:24-7:10); when Elisha confronted Ahab and the Prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:20-40); when Ahab was attacked by the King of Aram (1 Kings 20:13-21), and there were many more incidents with Moses, David and others. God is our deliverer and hope, irrespective of how great this world full of foes appears.

I wanted to remind and encourage us to put hope in God’s mercy and power, but the Holy Spirit offered a more important aspect to this message. ” ‘Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.’ They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshiping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.” ( 2 Kings 17:38-41)

We must examine ourselves to ascertain whether we are serving any idols, whom the world follows wholeheartedly. Today, these are not symbolized by cast images or statues, but they are the same demonic forces of sexual pleasure/eroticism, avarice/greed/envy, fame/power/influence, selfishness/egotism/pride, intellectualism/humanism, and many other things that promise satisfaction, pleasure or lusts in exchange for our servitude. Lord Yeshua, (Jesus’ Hebrew name) expose our duplicity and deliver us from idolatry of any form, restore our pure devotion to you alone. (See Ps. 116)

The Death Sentence

There are two people in the Bible who did not die.  Do you know their names?  Enoch and Elijah, both were taken by God. Enoch was simply taken, “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.  After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.  Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.  Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” (Genesis 5: 21-24).  This is the account of Elijah, “When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’  ‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied. ‘You have asked a difficult thing,’ Elijah said, ‘yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yoursotherwise, it will not.’  As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.” (2 Kings 2: 9-11).

I believe these two were taken by God for a specific purpose and that they will experience death before the end of all things.  Scripture declares, “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,…” (Hebrews 9: 27).  I can not be dogmatic about this as it involves prophecy, yet unfulfilled, but it seems to fit many purposes.  “And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.  They are the two olive trees and the two lampstands, and they stand before the Lord of the earth.  If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies.  This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.  They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.  Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.  Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great citywhich is figuratively called Sodom and Egyptwhere also their Lord was crucified.  For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial.  The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.  But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them.  Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’  And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.” (Revelation 11: 3-12).

They are called witnesses since living from ancient days till then they would have seen history as it was written.  They are men and able to testify as men to the truth and the law requires the testimony of two witnesses.  They also have stood before the Lord of the earth, during all history.  They will give their testimony and be able to defend themselves against all who try to silence them by death.  They will have power to verify their authority and credibility.  They will occupy or gather a world wide audience and testify for about three and a half years.  After they have completed their testimony the “Beast” from the Abyss comes and kills them, which I believe is a servant of the enemy.  They will lie dead in the public square. The entire world will look upon them and celebrate with joy at their demise.  Until our generation this would be impossible, but with satellite TV and internet it is quite possible, particularly considering the three years of associated messages, miracles, and hostility that will ensue.  After three and a half days they will return to life, stand up and ascend to God in a cloud in accordance with a voice from heaven.

I can imagine the collision of truth with historical revision, political correctness with scriptural precepts, and secular humanism with Holy Spirit inspired faith, it would be a clash of opposites in every respect, a show down much like the Exodus of Israel from Egypt.  God came to earth as a lamb and He will return as a Lion.  The enemies of God can not be convinced of their error, even if someone rises from the dead, because it is willful, intended, and purposed. (Luke 16; 31). In the end all will see how patient, merciful and generous is God Almighty and no one will question his lovingkindness, even as wrath overtakes the enemy.

Holy Spirit In Prayer

 

elishaburningchariotsAgreement is important in prayer.  Agreement first must be with God’s will.  Agreement is also available from the Word of God – when we pray scripture.  Recently, I had a need in my family, it was known by others and seemingly getting more urgent.  I didn’t have faith to say anything, and I knew that words outside the Spirit’s leading could do harm, rather than good.  I began to see prayer, not as a final desperate last resort, but as a place to stand in faith.  I carried this burden to Yeshua, who stands ever interceding for us. (Rom. 8:34). In Him, I found agreement as if we were praying together for release, for healing, for a victory over the enemy.  Then the Holy Spirit Continue reading