Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.…”
One of the biggest issues of our day is same sex attraction. It’s been so prevalent a topic and so divisive, even within the Body of Christ. (That alone speaks loudly.) What I haven’t known is how to position my heart and how to relate to and respond to a world confused and divided on this matter.
I have a very clear theology as to why this happens, what the source is, how it can be there pre-birth and how to be set free- all that line up with scripture. But what I haven’t known is how to behave as a Christian toward those whose beliefs differ from mine and toward those who struggle (or refuse to struggle) in this area.
So tonight I simply asked the Lord. And He gave me a lecture. I had to write it down. Here goes-
“Does it make Me less when My creation fails to honor Me? Misrepresents me? Perverts My instruction? No. I Am. No less. (Selah) Do not feel compelled to defend My honor. Care more about the destruction of the souls of those I love at the hands of the enemy of their freedom. Love with My truth. Do not compromise. Love through Me. My ways are not your ways.”
Well, ok. And this is the way the Lord speaks to me- sort of in parables that require interpretation. Parts of it are abundantly clear to me at the time and parts are not. What was abundantly clear was this- I don’t have to worry about God being any less if people speak badly of Him. Let me tell ya, if someone tells me my children said this or didn’t say that or that they can’t stand them, this momma is up in arms. I’m ready to defend to the end. Can you relate?
I never realized this though- I find myself doing the same regarding God! I want to stand up against those who are calling Him names and lying about Him, about what He’s taught us. Ha. Like He needs me. God forgive me. You need no defense. You are no less because of what any one of us thinks. You lose nothing. You are God and You alone.
So what instead? He’s telling me to seek His heart, to have His heart toward the situation. This means I have to let my own heart break for those He loves who are caught in a trap, any trap. I felt His heart and it is truly heartbreaking. There’s peace, not confusion, but sadness and acceptance that things are the way they are. He’s not in a panic or feeling hopeless. He’s saddened by those who have done Him wrong. He knows their choices will open the door wide for pain, either on this planet or after death, and that brings grief.
There’s no doubt in my mind why the two key issues of our day are homosexuality and abortion. Both speak directly to the heart of His creation and they are forever tied together as one plan, one destructive plan to get at the very core of God’s heart. If satan can injure God’s design for a family, damage the normal creation of children, and kill children before they are even born, then he has reached the pinnacle of pain he can inflict upon God. Satan is trying to harm God and simply uses us to do that. Procreation is foundational to God’s creation and desire for our kind to continue so that He can be in relationship with us.
My heart needs to be broken for those who are caught up in this web of lies and feel there is no way out. If there were no way out, the only reasonable response would be compassion. The lie is that there is no freedom. Jesus IS freedom and He showed us how to achieve that freedom but the church has failed to obey His command. If we would only care for those whose feet are caught in this well camouflaged trap in a way that brought freedom, these lies would be revealed as such.
I’ve been sitting by, more concerned about defending God than I am doing what He told me to do- to set the captives free, to pray for them, to stand with truth, in love. God forgive me and show me your ways.
He said “the destruction of their souls.” Wow. When He said that to me, I felt this crushing sense of loss and hidden darkness, a deep and well hidden void that is silent yet pervasive. I felt compassion, His heart. I knew that the degree to which there is noise (and there is a LOT of noise out there), there is equal silence in the darkness, a last stand of sorts.
Oh dear God, let there be freedom where everyone has given up hope- even denied it’s need. Bring light into darkness, freedom where there is bondage, love where there is hate, and healing where there is wounding. Bring Your truth.
I still am unclear as to how exactly to act and react but I know now the foundation on which to build the answers. Thank you, Jesus.
Take away: Seek God’s heart for others before defending Him to them.
Prayer: Dear God of the Universe, You said “I Am” and I believe you. Your ways are not my ways. Please convert my heart, soul, mind, spirit to line up with You. Lead me to the places where You want me to be. Give me the words You want me to speak. Let me see life through Your lens. Most of all, help me to know You. Amen.
I guess it was the mantra of the 70’s…if it feels good, do it. It was grasped by those who needed an excuse for doing what they knew was wrong, but what they wanted to do. Now we are in an even more dangerous place of everything is right and you should celebrate it. There was also that time in History described as every man doing what was right in his OWN eyes. We are so there again. Why are babies aborted? A lie was created to say it is a good thing if you don’t want to have that child; it’s only an embryo. It’ all about what YOU want to do anyway!
I asked the Lord about homosexuality. Are people really born that way? Yes, we are all born needing The Savior. We all have so many areas where the enemy of our souls tries to take us down. Pre-Christians have no defense. We all want to yield to temptations and satisfy the sin nature. Without the Law, there was no sin. Now His law is written on our hearts if we know Him. He told us that the world does not know Me.
In this day in which we live the culture of the world is over taking the culture of the Kingdom of God in our society which used to live more along Biblical lines. The sins were more hidden and now they are flaunted. The worldly culture continues to creep into His Church culture until many no longer look like the Church. The world condemns and ridicules the Church. It intimidates the Body of Christ. They mocked Jesus for who He said He was. Can Believers expect less?
So will He send a revival as He has done in the past? Is the Body of Christ supposed to relax and say only that these are the End Times? (That has been said for 2,000 years actually.)
I believe we are to watch and wait, look for every divine appointment, and speak the TRUTH in love. Abide in Him and He will abide in us. The Son will set you free but if you don’t know Him, you don’t know what Freedom is. Pray for the deceptions of this world to be reveled and the Light of God to pierce the Darkness.
This came in this morning from Francis Frangipane. Auspicious timing. I love it.
One Man- Francis Frangipane
God’s Response to Redemptive Intercession
When Abraham was confronted with the possibility of Sodom’s destruction, he did not immediately jump on the “Destroy Sodom” bandwagon; instead, he went before the Lord and prayed for mercy for the city. Abraham’s prayer is an amazing study on the effect a mercy-motivated intercessor has on the heart of God. Indeed, my objective here is to gaze into the heart of God as it is revealed in the discourse between the Lord and Abraham.
When we look at Abraham’s prayer, we discover an amazing power granted us in intercession. And what is that? God is looking for a mercy reason that would justify Him delaying or canceling wrath. We must not belittle this principle, for in it is great hope for our land as well. The mercy reason for delay is found in the compassionate prayer of an intercessor.
Let us consider the Lord’s initial response to Sodom’s sin. First, He revealed to Abraham, His servant, what He was about to do. Why? Wasn’t the evil so dark that it deserved to be destroyed? Yes, the wickedness in Sodom fully deserved divine wrath. Yet that is not why the Lord revealed to Abraham the pending judgment. The Lord informed Abraham of what was coming not so His servant could criticize, but so Abraham would intercede for mercy. Remember, God delights in mercy (Mic. 7:18) and takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezek. 33:11). The Lord always seeks for opportunities of mercy. Therefore, let’s take note of how Abraham approached the Almighty:
“Abraham came near and said, ‘Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?'” (Gen. 18:23-25).
Notice, Abraham did not pray from a place of anger. He never said, “God, it’s about time You killed the perverts.” There was no finger-pointing vindictiveness in Abraham’s soul. Somehow we have come to believe that non-compromising Christians must also be angry. Abraham never compromised with Sodom’s depraved culture, yet he was above fleshly reaction. In fact, throughout his prayer, Abraham never mentioned what was wrong in Sodom. He appealed, instead, to the mercy and integrity of the Lord.
This is vitally important for us, because Jesus said, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham” (John 8:39). One of Abraham’s most noteworthy deeds involved his intercessory prayer for Sodom, the most perverse city in the world!
Abraham first acknowledged the Lord’s integrity, then he spoke to the Lord’s mercy.
“Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will You indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty?” (Gen. 18:24).
The Lord knew that it would be unjust to slay the righteous with the wicked; Abraham’s prayer did not enlighten the Lord of some unknown fact. But the nature of life on earth is this: God works with man to establish the future, and in the process of determining reality, He always prepares a merciful alternative. In other words, urgent, redemptive prayer shoots straight through the mercy door and enters God’s heart. This door is never shut, especially since we have a High Priest, Jesus Christ, ministering at the mercy seat in the heavens (Heb. 8:1). It is open each and every time we pray.
Listen to how the Lord answered Abraham’s prayer for mercy: “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account” (Gen. 18:26).
How the truth of God’s mercy flies in the face of those so eager to judge their nation! Incredibly, the Lord said He would spare the whole of Sodom if He found fifty righteous people there. Now keep this in mind: the Hebrew word for “spare” means more than “not destroy”; it also means “to forgive or pardon.” This is a tremendous revelation about the living God. He will minimize, delay, or even cancel a day of reckoning as long as Christ-inspired prayer is being offered for sinners!
Time and again throughout the Scriptures the Lord proclaims an ever present truth about His nature: He is “slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness” (Exod. 34:6). Do we believe this? Here it is, demonstrated right before our eyes in the Scriptures. He tells us plainly that a few righteous people scattered in a city can preserve that area from divine wrath.
Abraham knew the love of God. He was an intimate friend of God’s. Abraham, in truth, had a clear view into the heart of God based on his own experiences. This interceding patriarch had seen the Almighty bless, prosper, and forgive him, so he pressed God’s mercy toward its limits.
“What if there are forty?”
The Lord would spare it for forty.
Abraham bargained, “Thirty?”
He would spare it for thirty.
He finally secured the Lord’s promise not to destroy the city if He could find just ten righteous people there. On God’s scales, wrath is on one side and mercy on the other. Put the entire city of Sodom with all its sin and perversion on one side. The scales tip toward wrath as the weightiness of advanced wickedness runs rampant through an entire city. Let’s assume that there were two hundred thousand evil people in Sodom. It is weighed heavily on the side of evil. Yet on the other side, place just ten righteous individuals. As the ten are placed on the scale, the spiritual weight of the righteous, with just ten, tips the scales toward mercy!
In God’s heart, the substance of the righteous far outweighs the wickedness of the evil! Herein we discover what we are seeking in the heart of God through prayer: the Lord would spare (forgive) sinful Sodom, with its gangs of violent homosexuals, because of the influence of ten godly people who dwelt within it!
How About Your Community?
Now, let’s think of your city: Are there ten good people among you? Consider your region. Do you think there might be one hundred praying people living within its borders, people who are pleading with God for mercy? What about nationwide? Do you suppose there might be ten thousand people interceding for your country? God said He would spare Sodom for ten righteous people. Do you think God would spare your nation for ten thousand righteous?
I lived in a metropolitan area in the United States that has about two hundred thousand people. I can list by name scores of righteous individuals, including pastors, intercessors, youth workers, black folks, white folks, Hispanic folks, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Christian business people, moms, dads, godly teenagers, praying grandmothers, secretaries, policemen, and on and on who live there — far more than the ten righteous needed to save a place like Sodom. There are many who care about this city.
Think about your church and the greater church community in your city. Aren’t there at least ten honorable people who sincerely care about your community, who desire that God would bring revival? Remember, the Lord said He would spare Sodom for the sake of the ten.
My plea in this message is that you would see yourself as one who is standing in the gap for your city. See if there are others in your community who will pray with you. The power of prayer can release a tsunami of mercy that can topple strongholds and set captives free in your region.
Finally, let us not give up our communities to the influences of hell. God is able to raise up a standard against wickedness. In fact, He says He looks for a man who will stand in the gap, that He might not strike the earth in His wrath. Will you be that one? You see, the true measure of spirituality is not how angry we become toward sinners, but how Christlike; our mission is not to see men destroyed, but redeemed.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for devaluing the power of prayer. Forgive me for underestimating how passionately You desire to reveal Your mercy. Lord, give me grace to be one who never ceases to cry out to You for mercy. Lord, let me not base my obedience on what my eyes see or my ears hear, but upon the revelation of Your mercy; let me build my life on Thee. Amen!