Characteristics of the Last Days
But you need to be aware that in the final days the culture of society will become extremely fierce. People will be self-centered lovers of themselves and obsessed with money. They will boast of great things as they strut around in their arrogant pride and mock all that is right. They will ignore their own families. They will be ungrateful and ungodly. They will become addicted to hateful and malicious slander. Slaves to their desires, they will be ferocious, belligerent haters of what is good and right. With brutal treachery, they will act without restrain, bigoted and wrapped in clouds of their conceit. they will find their delight in the pleasures of this world more than the pleasures of the loving God. They may pretend to have a respect for God, but in reality they want nothing to do with God’s power. Stay away from people like these!2 Timothy 3:1-5 TPT
It should be clear now that we are in the last days before Christ’s return. The wickedness of this world is increasing, and the scary thing about it is that a lot of Christians are getting sucked into its bewitchment. Today it is growing progressively hard to stand against such evil. Everyone is in love with themselves and addicted to hating what is good and right. How can one withstand such influence?
Without Holy Spirit, no one can refuse to be lured into sin’s clutches. He is the one who strengthens us, equips us, and empowers us to take a stand. When we lean into the presence of God, we can make room for Holy Spirit to wash away our frustrations and anger towards what we see in the world. We have to set aside time in our lives to allow the oil of the Lord to fill up our hearts, replenishing our thirst for hope.
The place that I go with the Lord often is the Psalms. David was a man who went after God’s heart. He wasn’t looking for what God could do for him, instead he was looking for what he could do for God! When I am irritated by the foolish ways of man, I run to the throne room and sit on my Daddy’s lap. I’ve learned to pour my emotions onto Him there, so that I can be free of their grip on my soul and body. Many will leave Him at that point and carry on their way, but I have learned the art of lament.
Lament is the way God designed us to handle grief. If we allow grief to sit in a stagnant place in our hearts instead of moving through it with the Lord, we will be in danger of losing our connection with Him. Grief was never designed to be a lifestyle. Instead, grief is a pathway to closer intimacy with Jesus. He knew loss and disappointment. He knew abandonment and betrayal. And yet, Jesus Christ remained close to His Father, never allowing grief to develop this blockage to oneness with God.
Grief looks different to people. We all hurt the same, but the way we handle those hurts are distinctly personal to the one who is grieving. Right now, my heart is grieved by how Minnesota passed a law in support of the shedding of innocent blood. I am angry. I am sad. I am confused. So, I run to God’s lap and ask Him why my prayers have not been answered.
The Lord brought me to Psalm 11, which is titled: Song of the Steadfast. It is a song that will turn your gaze back on Jesus and cause you to trust Him with what is next. This Psalm will mess with any sort of man-made theology about the political realm. We must remember that the right and left of man’s kingdom is not God’s Kingdom. The kingdoms of this world will pass away, but the Kingdom of Heaven will live forever! That is a hope we can hold tightly to in these last days.
Lord, don’t you hear what my will-meaning friends keep saying to me: “Run while you still can! Fly away like a bird to hid in the mountains for safety. for your enemies have prepared a trap for you! They plan to destroy you with their slander and deceitful lies. Can’t you see them hiding in their places of darkness and shadows? They’re set against you and all those who live upright lives.”Psalm 11:1-2
Maybe you have heard this kind of speech from people around you, or maybe it has been the dialogue in your own head. What I want you to notice here is that it sounds like wisdom at first. Cynicism dresses up to look like discernment, but the root underneath its branches is fear. To protect our trust in God’s promises, we have to be careful with who we allow to have a place of influence in our hearts. Running to a mountain where God isn’t leading us to is foolish. It is a fear-based lie that we retreat in the face of evil. God tells us to remain steadfast, and in Ephesians 6:13, Paul tells us to put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, we may be able to stand our ground, and after we have done everything, to stand.
But don’t they know, Lord, that I have made you my only hiding place? Don’t they know that I always trust in you?Psalm 11:1-2
According to Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs to it and is safe and set on high [far above evil].” We must learn how to hide ourselves in the fortress of God. I tell my kids often that part of our armor, the greatest part, is God’s presence. He surrounds us like a wrap-around-shield. To my son, he imagines it like a forcefield from the movies. Nothing can penetrate God’s property, and there is comfort in that. My prayer for you, dear reader, is that you would learn to trust him more. Great is His faithfulness, His mercy, and His love. It is safe to trust Him, even today.
What can the righteous accomplish when truth’s pillars are destroyed and law and order collapse? Yet, the eternal one is never shaken- he is still found in his temple of holiness, reigning as Lord and King over all. He is closely watching everything that happens. And with a glance, his eyes examine every heart. For his heavenly rule will prevail over all. He will test both the righteous and the wicked, exposing every heart. God’s very own soul detests those who love to resort to violence. He will rain down upon them judgement for their sins. A scorching wind will be their portion and lot in life. But remember this: The righteous Lord loves what is right and just and every godly one will come into his presence and gaze upon his face!Psalm 11:3-7
David wrestles with this tension of a what is on earth and what is in Heaven. He remembers that God is still on His throne!
One of my favorite songs to worship to is called, “Victors Crown” by Darlene Zschech. Why don’t you give it a listen and fight off every form of fear, doubt, and timidity that would quench your devotion to Him. And make sure that you share this with a friend who needs encouragement.
We know the end of this story.