Kings and Conspiracies

In the midst of elections I found great hope as I read the book of Esther.  I don’t think I would have noticed it as much had I not been reading The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard (a must read for any Christian interested in maturing in Christ).

In the participants guide for “The Divine Conspiracy” DVD lessons the 1st question is:  “What is an example of something God is doing in the world, but many people don’t notice or realize it?” (The Divine Conspiracy, Participants Guide, page 15, video discussion question #1).

My answer was “that ultimately God is choosing our leaders, presidents, kings, etc.

I believe God gives us free choice.  We want our way and often He steps aside and lets us have it.

1 Samuel 8:4-9 is all about the people wanting a king over them.

1 Samuel 8:22 “So the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Heed their voice, and make them a king’”

I find it comforting that if I end up regretting who I vote for I can cry out to God, after all, He has experienced the very same thing!

1 Samuel 15:10-11 “Now the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.”  And it grieved Samuel and he cried out to the LORD all night.”

My hope and joy comes from the history throughout the Bible of Kings, Pharaohs, and leaders of any and many varying titles chosen and yet being moved by the divine hand of God.  God has a very long track record of moving hearts, changing minds, and setting into motion a series of events that pushes forward His will, His way and protects His people.

I read the book of Esther the other day (actually I listened to it on a Bible app) and I was so struck by the most common everyday subtle circumstances that put into motion a chain of events so monumental it was life changing.  Have you ever seen a cartoon of the tiny snowball rolling down the mountain side and becoming a giant ball of snow that squashes an entire city? snowball effect cartoon by Gar-E

Sure, you know Esther becomes Queen but…there is SO MUCH MORE!  The King didn’t just agree to Queen Esther’s request without some back story.

First of all Mordecai saved the Kings life (Esther 2:21-23) vs. 23 ends by saying “…and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.”

Now let’s skip to chapter 6:1-10.  Esther 6:1 “That night the king could not sleep.  So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.”

WOW!  How many sleepless nights have been God at work!  You see a conspiracy was already going on by the kings’ advisor and right hand man Haman to kill the Jews – especially Mordecai.

Coincidence?  NO WAY!  The story doesn’t stop there and as I said before, the entire Bible is full of God working, moving, loving, protecting, guiding and changing both individuals, nations and the entire course of history.

The LORD created the earth and everything in it.  He chose to walk among us and speak to us one on one in the garden, we chose to disobey and hide. (Genesis 2 and 3).  He has always been seeking us, calling to us, reaching out to us.  Noah heard Him, Abraham listened as did many afterward and still do.  Moses spoke with God and Israel sought to hear from Moses what God said (Exodus 20:19), his father in law wisely advised Moses of creating judges (Exodus 18:13-26).

In time Israel wanted a king, ‘like the other nations’.

Note to self:  Why do I often think I’d be better off having what the world has as well?

So, history marches on – here we are America, ready to vote or maybe you’ve mailed it in already or refuse to vote at all.  In any case be of great cheer and take courage believing in the GOOD NEWS that God Himself is in control!  He may give us just what we ask for yet He is up to something grand.  He puts in motion what is to be and has a “book of chronicles of The King” (the Bible) which has record of His faithfulness to us.

The bigger picture is a divine conspiracy, honestly it’s no secret, and He gives us a sneak peek of His overall end game.  The plan, if you will, (whenever it comes) is that we (His chosen) will walk with Him again in His garden (Revelation 22:1-5).

God Bless America and bring forth His Will!

Satan’s attempt to hijack all things hallowed

My definition of Halloween:  the devil attempting to distract us from the sacred things and saints.

Why?  Well, Nov. 1st is Saints Day.  Do we know that?  Do we buy cards for it or celebrate it?  I don’t!  I’m usually pretty tired and crashed from my sugar highs from the night before.  Handing out candy (one for them, one for me) and sorting candy for my kids (Mommy better try that one and make sure it’s safe).

Oct. 31st was originally All Saints Eve.  Now I’m not suggesting being legalistic and refusing to celebrate or acknowledge it.  If anything I challenge you to jump in and join in and TAKE IT BACK making God’s Word the focus.  How about we let our little lights shine on the “darkest” night of all?

How?

By smiling, enjoying every ghoulish moment as a reminder and opportunity to share who God is and what is actually written in His Word.  Hand out candy and ask a question, dress up and give explanation to what you are or ask others if they know where their charactor first shows up in history (as in His Story – the Bible).

Here are some ideas, I’m sure you’ll catch on quickly and the Holy Spirit will give you inspiration AND opportunity to be a courageous witness.

Ask or reference some of the following:

Do you know what tomorrow is? – Discuss All Saints Day and possibly ‘ what is a “saint”?’  After all what better intro to salvation – would YOU like to be a saint?  Step 1:  Become a “whosoever” (whosoever believes in Him…)  Step 2:  Become a zombie – die and be raised again with Him (salvation and baptism and live for Christ not self)

Did you know the first ____________ was in the Bible?  (here is a list of possible costumes and a biblical reference or more, feel free to research your own.  Remember if people are dressed as hookers don’t take them to the verse where they go to hell!  You take them to the woman at the well or the woman in which no one could throw a stone.  Bring ALL to Jesus, His grace, mercy and forgiveness.  God’s interest in things creepy and ugly are as our redeemer, He redeems it all with “His blood!”)

Skeletons – Ezekiel 37:2-5,7

Zombies – John 11:38 – 44, John 12:9 (Lazarus), Ezekiel 37:10, 12-13, Jesus (rose from the dead and appeared to many all 4 gospels)

Ghosts – 1Samuel 28:11-14, 1 Samuel 28:3 (Spirit of Samuel brought up from the dead)

Witch – 1 Samuel 28:7 (notice the woman is from En-Dor, remind you of Endora from Bewitched?)

Mummy – John 11:44 (Lazarus)

Grim Reaper – 2 Kings 19:35, Isaiah 37:36, Exodus 12:23,29

Sorcerers – Exodus 7:11

Vampire – John 6:53, 1 Cor 11:25, Revelation 16:4-6

Now I’m not trying to be irreverent.  Christians/Saints are NOT vampires as we partake of the Lords Supper – a sacred and holy moment of remembrance.  I AM drawing your attention to the fact that to believe in being raised from the dead, to die to self and live for Christ, to partake in the flesh and blood of Christ as our salvation are all things that the devil wants to distort, twist, and claim as his own in a wicked way.

Let’s be BOLD!  Let’s TAKE BACK the night and use Halloween as another holiday to create saints.  Who says we can’t give Christmas and Easter an added holiday for competition as to which draws more souls into the house of God, more importantly into living out the kingdom of God!

Wouldn’t it be great to wake up on All Saints Day knowing there are a dozen or more souls that just took their first step into sainthood?
And with that…. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!