The Long Season of waiting
|"Indeed, while following the way of Your judgments, O Lord, We have waited for You eagerly; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls," (Isaiah 26:8).|
Waiting can be difficult. Waiting requires patience and in the case of looking to God, it also involves trust. After praying, we are called to trust God and to seek His will. Sometimes this involves long periods of time. One of the reasons that God does not answer our prayers right away is so that we would yet again turn to Him in prayer. Our repeated turning to Him in prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is good for our souls, our hearts, and our minds. If God answered our prayers quickly we might not be as predisposed to depend on Him over long periods of time -- and we might not be as trusting when the seasons of difficulty overtake us. Though God can answer quickly, He often withholds himself so that the circumstances that would bring about an answer might be arranged by His mighty and sovereign hand. Therefore, we need to be patient as God prepares the answer. Remember, it is through our repeated prayers that we avail much with God (James 5:16). And it is through our prayers that we dwell in His presence and are changed in our hearts.
In the case of this verse, the Israelites were waiting for God's judgment upon the wicked. They needed the Lord's deliverance and yet they were required to wait. But, their waiting was not passive; it was eager. That is, they had an active and trusting expectation. The only way to eagerly wait is to believe that God answers prayer and to have confidence in His ability and His willingness to deliver you, to hear you, and to know that his concern for you is ever present. And, you must accept that whatever He allows is best for His glory and for us.
Finally, notice that the Israelites desired God. They desired to bring glory to Him, to think of Him, to remember Him deep in their souls. In other words, they desired God passionately.
Are you passionate about your relationship with God? Do you desire Him in your soul? Are you desiring to wait eagerly before Him and do you desire His name and His memory? What are your answers to these questions and how are you going to pray concerning them?
These past two weeks have been certainly eventful as Matt and I have had the privilege to go to Twin Falls, Idaho to attend the Mormon Temple open house. During our first day there, we took a tour through the beautiful Mormon Temple. The exquisite structure was certainly breathtaking with the numerous colorful hand painted rooms of nature scenes, the white painted baptismal pool on the backs of twelve oxen, and the dazzling stained glass which adorned the interior and exterior of the building.
While this temple was certainly stunning, it is truly amazing how deep these kind Mormons are in the trenches of error. After taking the tour, I stood on the side of the street with a sign titled "BookofMormon.com." One kind older lady asked me what I was doing. I told her that I was sharing the truth about Jesus with Mormons.
This roughly 80-year old woman politely asked for some of the literature that I was passing out. I then gave it to her. I gently explained to she and her husband the problem with Mormon teaching regarding salvation since the Mormon Church teaches it is not by faith alone one is justified. Her husband said that I was in error and did not know what I was talking about. He said that Mormonism was true. I gently asked him how he knew it was true. He responded in typical Mormon fashion, "I just know it is true.” He then drove off. I do not know what will happen to this man and his wife, but I know they did hear the truth and they have something tangible in their hand that explains the gospel. Unfortunately, I may have been the last person who will share the gospel with them before they die.
While spending three days out of the past two weeks at the temple, it is certainly eye opening how normal these Mormon people are. They are just like you and me. There are young and old. Most of them are certainly kind people who make great neighbors and friends. However, it deeply burdens me how steeped they are in error.
As I watched numerous cars drive away from the temple as I held my giant sign, I could not help but wonder how much time these people have before they face their Creator. Some of the Mormon visitors were so old they were using walkers or canes. Sometimes I wish there was more that I could do. While oftentimes all I can do is just hold a sign, I can still at least pray for these people. My hope and prayer is that God will open their hearts to the truth of the real Jesus who is eternally God and provides salvation to those who depend on Him alone for salvation.
|Twin Falls Mormon Temple Opening||Ryan and I have been going out to Twin Falls, Idaho to the latest Mormon Temple opening. It takes about two hours to drive there and we go up and back twice a week. Mainly, we stand around on the corners next to a boulevard and hold up signs. We don't pass out literature very often because most people are not interested in it. But, they do see the signs and we know that they are effective. One sign says sacredorsecret.com. Another is bookofmormon.com and the one put out by CARM is ismormonismchristian.com.|
And, for the most part, the Mormons are polite and even though they do not approve of what we do, they tolerate us. Still, the police were called and we were instructed not to stand on the grass -- the grass that is between the sidewalk and the street. The police informed us that it belonged to the Mormon Church and that they had requested that we stay off it. All right, not a problem. We just set up our chairs on the sidewalks, sit, stand, walk, and occasionally talk to people. It's hot and we get dehydrated. But, that's all part of the joy of serving God.
One of the things I was doing last week on Thursday was watching the tour groups being escorted to the temple. I would then walk with my sign to a place on the sidewalk that was right in line with the direction that people would be walking towards the entrance to the Temple. I would hold up the sign over the fence so that everyone was able to read that sign (ismormonismchristian.com) as they approached the temple.
Standing out there isn't dangerous. No one throws anything at us. No one threatens us. But, I've been cussed at, flipped off, told to get a life, and to go home. Oh well. That will not make us stop. We are doing this because we want to reach the Mormons for the true Christ and we want others to not join Mormonism and to also find the truth in Christ.
So, please pray for us as were out there standing, walking, etc. Pray for our health, our safety, and most importantly pray that the Mormons would find the true and living God and come out of their false religious system. We're not there to make them angry. We are there because we care about them and want them to know the truth.
|Debate Videos||The DVD's for the Pensacola debate that I had with an atheist in April are here. If you are interested in getting the video DVD's, then go to http://shop.carm.org/shop/?shop=1&cat=35&. We will provide the MP3 (audio format) for download later.|
|Head in |
|What the Heck?|
This feature is not so we can make fun of anyone. This is serious stuff. It is to show what kind of thinking is out there. We regularly get stuff like this. Pray for this ministry.
|CARM Needs Staff||How would you like to work in the ministry where the rewards are small, the challenges are huge, you get ridiculed, there's spiritual attack, sometimes you don't know if you are going to make it financially, you have to support yourself, and you have to research and write about false systems and compare them with Scripture? |
If that sounds appealing, then maybe you might be interested in working with CARM.
You can be male or female. You have to agree to the CARM statement of faith, and I prefer (though it is not necessary) people who are educated and/or experienced in their field of expertise. But I must reiterate; this is not an easy ministry. It is time-consuming, often unrewarding, frustrating, etc. But, there are rewards. You get to know that what you produce will affect thousands of people for years to come. This ministry is a challenge and it is not for the fainthearted. Interested? If so, contact Matt at [email protected]
Love and Hate Mail
| Matt Slick|