Sometimes We Can’t See The Forest For The Trees
When Job was severely tested, and his friends gathered around him to explain to him how there must be sin in his life for such tragedy to have occurred, eventually the Lord interjected with this phrase: “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now brace yourself like a man. I will question you and you shall answer Me.” [Job 38:2-3]
When God finished his inquiry of Job, Job answered in part:
“I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. … Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know…” [Job 42:2-3]
It’s not that Job’s laments or Job’s friends’ deductions were untrue, for there was truth in them. It’s that they lacked understanding. They did not know how things fit together. They were, in fact, looking at pieces to declare the whole.
In national and world events today, this is our same mistake. We declare things which we don’t understand. We evaluate and deduce, we research and reproduce, and we glean truths and think we know. (and I’m speaking of myself in this as well) The problem, or rather solution, as we learn from Job is this: we must have God’s perspective to gain understanding, and even then, in our humanness we probably don’t have all the clarity we need.
There is no shortage of theories, accusations and declarations about today’s current events. Some of them are quite true, as Job’s friends’ deductions were. But if our application of these truths is not in harmony with God’s view, we are equally in error.
In a perfect world it would be amazing to have a national leader without blemish, in high noble character, unassailable for faults, foibles and mistakes. From the sound of some Christians, this is the only acceptable President for the United States of America. Somehow for legalistic, religious Christians, the only acceptable leader is one without moral sin. Yet there is no leader (apart from Christ) that we can find in Scripture that encapsulates such a person. [In fact, I’d go so far as to say these particular critics of our presidents rarely have the same requirements of their pastors, but that is a different topic.]
When the imposter Barack Obama was elected, the Lord said to me, “I’ve put a mirror up in front of the American people.” I understood that to mean that America had elected a president that reflects the condition of the American soul. For one, consider that BO was all about special interests. “Special interests” is the danger we fall into when we begin to feel like our own set of circumstances is different than others and we therefore should get differential treatment. It is the manifestation of selfishness, self-centeredness, and self-absorption. All of a sudden all sorts of special interest groups were catered to: LGBT, race, climate, etc. Those not involved in such interests were considered enemies or opposition to their goals. This bred demarcations in American citizenship in new places.
For another, BO was a pretender who had been groomed for this hour, and his real identity had been altered to present a palatable forerunner for “change” and the laughable misnomer of “hope”. The change he wanted and he clearly stated, was to fundamentally transform the United States. And his wife went on to declare America was “going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.”
BO’s real identity was cloaked in secrecy, and his stage identity played on the ever increasing confused identity of Americans who had lost their way, or never found their way. These Americans (that voted and endorsed this actor) were just like him in the sense that they lacked conviction, honor and identity as Americans in accordance with the original spirit of America. Just as BO was not a true American, just as he did not endorse the principles and traditions that founded America, so was this group that embraced him.
[Yes, some people were deceived and changed their mind as they gained understanding. The rest endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton.]
[I do not mean to imply prior administrations were righteous. Both Bushes with Clinton sandwiched between were instrumental at implementing nefarious schemes to weaken America for its future destruction. They were all wicked, twenty years before BO. (And yes, it goes way beyond that, but I’m dealing with recent modern American history right now.)]
A remarkable thing happened over the eight years of BO’s “leadership”. The real Christians began to repent. Adherents to the teachings of Christ and the Word of God began to cry out personally and publicly. They took seriously the admonition given through King Solomon, “If My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
I don’t know if there was just a growing awakening as we moved from one appalling president to another. What I think was happening simultaneously during these ever increasing years of growing evil was the technology age opened avenues for truth to be obtained at more widespread levels than ever before. Increasing access to information coupled with a growing revelation of personal awareness began an upswing of revelation to both our personal condition and our national condition.
To me, after twenty years of the Bushes and Clintons, a separation was occurring. When BO was elected, it seemed that the real Believers had a wake up encounter. However at the time, it seemed a little too late. The momentum was building for the liberal, atheistic, communistic agenda (masked as anything but such), and with the help of a bought and paid for media and in partnership with a corrupt educational/indoctrination system, the deception had matured to the point it looked like it was going to succeed.
And the Believers repented. And the Believers cried out to their God. There were prayer assemblies, State Capital prayer calls, and national conferences of Believers asking for God to intervene. In fact, Believers in other countries were praying for Christians in America and for America as a whole. For eight years those who call on the name of the Lord called on His Name. I knew BO was going to be elected a second term because the Lord was letting His people suffer for our apathy, and really begin to feel the consequences of unrighteousness. He was testing our hearts to see if we were really repentant, if we really wanted His intervention, if we were willing to make personal sacrifices.
In the meantime, the wickedness of our rulers (and I don’t just mean elected officials) increased, and their boldness increased. They laughed at the thought of justice. They flaunted their misdeeds before us with the message that they are untouchable. They called on the powers of darkness with horrifying sacrifices of innocent lives, and they began to feel indestructible.
At the end of BO’s term it seemed that the reins of evil would be handed over to Hillary Clinton to move in for the crippling emasculation of our nation. Again God’s people cried out, and we thought we knew what we needed. We endorsed people we thought would be the answer for turning America from the fast approaching cliff, people like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. (How little do we really know!) We pleaded for Ben Carson’s appointment.
And we got Trump.
We have got to stop thinking we know what we need! We have got to stop assuming we know what God thinks! We don’t know! We can’t see everything! We need to stop declaring things we don’t understand! We have to learn to ask God for His heart, and keep silent when we don’t know.
Why was Nebuchadnezzar the tool God used for Israel’s humbling? Why was Nebuchadnezzar God’s man of choice to accomplish His will? Do we know? Do we understand? Do we realize when we reach the streets of Eternity evidence indicates the heathen king Nebuchadnezzar will be there with us??
Gosh, we think we know who God is going to use, and then He speaks from a donkey!
We think we know what a godly leader should look like, and God endorses an adulterer and murderer as “a man after His own heart”!
When Joshua set out to take the Promised Land he encountered a man with a drawn sword. That man was an angel of the Lord and Joshua asked, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” The man replied, “Neither, but as captain of the Lord’s armies, I now come.” When are we going to understand that God’s purposes are HIS purposes?? We better learn to seek them, even if they look different than how we think they should.
Trump obviously doesn’t look like Christendom’s leader for our nation. There are flaws and weaknesses, there are mistakes and worse. But what does God think? Why has God chosen Him?
If we’re not careful, our religious thinking is going to be our judgment. In Jeremiah’s day there were all kinds of spokespersons for the Lord the people were listening to. But what did God say [Jer 23:18]???
“But who has stood in the council of the Lord that he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened?”
We better be standing in the council of the Lord or listening to those we know are or we’re going to be led astray. We’re going to believe things that aren’t according to the Lord’s will. We’re going to oppose the Lord’s plans Himself if we aren’t paying attention. Who are we to think because we know a few Scriptures that we understand what the Lord is doing right now? Didn’t the Jews of Christ’s day make that same mistake?
Do we know why God raised up a pagan king to build His temple? Do we understand why God called pagan Cyrus His “shepherd” that would do all that God desired?? [2 Chron 36:22, Is 44:28] Are we sure we can say God isn’t using Trump??
Surely we see in part and we prophesy in part! Surely we don’t know everything on the heart of God or how He has chosen to move or through whom He has chosen! We have got to learn to inquire of the Lord, to stand in the council of the Lord!
I follow a well-known national writer who is a Christian. I really like him. I think he writes well and makes very good points. However, he likes to make judgments on the things Trump is doing or not doing as though his judgments are right because there’s only one way to look at it: through his religious lens. I understand; I used to do that. We have to stop!
We have to stop doing that with Trump, and we have to stop doing that with each other. We don’t see everything. We can’t know everything. We may not understand why God had Samuel anoint David king under the pretense of making a sacrifice to God. It seemed deceitful. Or why Moses asked Pharaoh to let the Israelites go so they could celebrate a feast to God in the wilderness, when really He was going to emancipate them. We like to think we have the God thing figured out and how He is going to work, or is supposed to work. We like to think He’s going to operate in ways we can calculate, and then when it goes another way we are insistent that it wasn’t God’s doing. We think we know.
Both the truth and the reality are, we often don’t know. We are often wrong. God works in ways that mystify, confound, disappoint and even anger us. We’re over here rooting for Saul’s leadership, all the while unaware God’s anointing has long left Saul and is resting on an unassuming shepherd boy. We’re giving accolades to Saul of Tarsus while scorning Peter the fisherman. We frequently miss God’s hand and anointing on people for the preconceived ideas of how we think it’s supposed to look.
There’s a popular accusation against Trump supporters in the super religious and (self) righteous crowd of zealous Christians in accusing anyone of supporting Trump in the face of their particular criticisms and judgments as that they are elevating him as their savior. Really? You know my heart? You know who I worship and how?
Here’s the deal. God is going to use who He’s going to use, whether you and I agree and understand or not. And He may choose a man riddled with failures and sins, or someone who’s never had a parking ticket. What if the Israelites in Cyrus’s day didn’t like the man God appointed to restore the temple? What if they rattled off their list of Cyrus’s sins and worldly vices and disregarded the man of the hour God had chosen?
What did Christ do when the people of His day didn’t recognize God’s anointing on Him? He used who did! Do you understand who really fails here? It’s not Trump, and it’s not God. It’s those who don’t or can’t see what God is doing and oppose Him. God isn’t changing His plan because we’re too busy dictating how it should go down. He employs those who are listening for His voice, looking for His will, and joining Him in His work.
We prayed for God’s hand to stop the evil in our land, and now a portion of His people are resisting the tool He’s using to bring it. Lord have mercy! Do you understand the depth of evil that has been prevailing in our land? It will literally take an act of God to dismantle and destroy it. It is centuries deep and reinforced with satanic allegiances. Maybe, just maybe, the tree (pick your pet project: Planned Parenthood, gross debt, illegal immigration, etc.) in front of your face that’s all you can see right now is blinding you from seeing the forest: God’s Sovereignty on the earth, Christ’s Kingdom, mankind’s salvation.
What we need to be doing is discerning the will of the Lord, first in our own lives, and then in our nation. We will better discern what God’s doing nationally when we’re in alignment with what He’s doing within our own lives. If you can’t see the hand of God in the affairs of our nation, keep your mouth shut until you can.
The “election” of B.Obama was ordained by God for God’s purposes. It was fraudulent, yes, but nevertheless ordained by God. There is such a thing as the ripening of evil before the harvest, just as there is a ripening of the righteous for the harvest. Trump’s election was ordained for God’s purpose. We should be a little less concerned with the man of Trump and a little more concerned with the plan of God. We must not darken counsel with words without knowledge. There are things we do not know, things we do not understand. We must, like Job, get to the place we see God by the hearing of His plan and the witness of His Hand.
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