Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Whether Forcast - Knowing the Future

By Graeme Robertson

As human beings we have a human trait which is insecurity about the future   and this is evidenced in the way we go about our lives and in what is shown on the news, and the way we relate to people.  Historically, it even goes back to the time of Nebuchadnezer, in the book of Daniel, and he had sorcerers etc to predict the future and his spirit was anxious to know the answer to the dream that he had.  Today we consult tarot cards and mediums, we have polls and questionnaires because we are anxious to know about tomorrow, which is really just an insecurity. We dont like not knowing what tomorrow will bring because we want to be in control.  How often have we Christians sought counsel from worldly people do we catch ourselves still asking, whether we should do something or whether we shouldn’t? The weather forecast tries to predict the future weather and the whether forecast tries to predict the future. As Christians we have the answer because we can ask God ourselves.

In Matthew 27:51, it says that the curtain, or the veil was torn in two from top to bottom when Jesus rose from the dead.  The veil separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Tabernacle. It symbolized a separation between God and the world and it has now been removed; now all mankind can approach God through Jesus Christ.  Before then, only those people God selected could approach Him, but now we can talk to God through Jesus.  However, we don’t always do that. 

Instead we list all our problems and grief’s to Him in prayer only when it suits us.  We should start our prayers with, ‘Dear Lord…’ and then describe our problem, but what we often do is we try to sort out the problem on our own and then pray about our solution.  We cant see the big picture, but Jesus knows the big pictureif you want peace and knowledgeseek Jesus.  How often do we try to figure out the problem and then pray.  For example I’ve just run out of petrol, so I’ll ask someone for petrol and then pray for that person to give it to me…but this is the wrong approach. Commit the situation to God; pray first because he knows the big picture and because He cares for us.

As Christians we must be vigilant and not worry about the future.  Why did God put us on this planet?  Did He ask us to try and figure out the future and what heaven will look like?  Jesus said in John 14:1, “Let not your heart be troubled, my Fathers house has many mansions…” Jesus is preparing a place for us and these are His words and He has said, “Dont worry about the future, I’ve got that under control...just carry on with what God has for you to do.”

Many churches around the world are discussing the ‘End Times’ and trying to figure out when that time will be, so they can be ready and prepared for it. However, Luke 12:35-40 says instead that we are to, “Let your waist be girded (be dressed and ready) and oil burning in your lampso you can open the door immediately when the master comes homeblessed are those who are ready when the master comesblessed are those servantsbut if they knew what hour the master was coming they might not be ready.’” In the same way Jesus will come again and we Christians should just be ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you dont expect. 

In addition, Jesus told His disciples in Acts 1:7-8, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority” but they were to be His witnesses ‘to the ends of the earth’ And we live in New Zealand which could be considered the ‘end of the earth’.  In those times they didn’tt even know NZ existed. This means that God knows the big picture and If God tells you to do something, go there or here, you better do it because He knows what He is doing.  If you say, let me ask so and so first because you are not sure - wrong, because He knows the bigger picture. 

Often we forget about praying for guidance.  Christianity is a personal walk with Jesus and it’s not one size fits all because Jesus talks to each one individually and gives the words that they need to hear.  Jesus through the Holy Spirit will help each person to hear what they need to hear and this can be seen through the way that one preaching will give a different message to each person who hears it.  There is no limit to God and we cant limit God.  We have to surrender every part of our lives to God.  Is the lord in control of your life?  We have to pray every moment.  A lot of people have difficulty praying and think it’s some sort of formula, but praying is in built and its hard wired…that means there is no switch on the wall that has to be turned on, but it is automatically always on.  Jesus wants us to be in constant contact with Him and we need to be aware of the Holy Spirit in our spirit.

Do you ever experience a song in your mind that you can’t turn off?  The other day a person told me that a song was stuck in her head and she couldn’t stop playing it over and over and in a similar way that makes us aware of the Holy Spirit. We can still focus on the job we have to do but we are also aware of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  We need to be aware and listening to the Holy Spirit with every step, breath and word we say, at home and not at home.  Jesus is the head of our home and the unseen listener to every conversation.

In order to know the will of God we also have to just sit still and listen. Although it’s not natural to sit quietly and surrender, especially for us blokes who like to be busy and doing things, but we have to sit quietly where there are no external influences and just sit and ask the Holy Spirit to come and then soak in His presence and allow Him to give us what He knows we need, listen for Jesuss words.  The worst problem in your heartjust lift it up and let the Holy Spirit saturate you and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and show you the way because He is the Shepherd and He leads.

But, we have to trust and leave with the Lord every situation and allow Him to make the decisions and give entirely the problem to God rather than discussing it with Him.  Jesus is listening to us.. and He hears the very second we ask. He never says, ‘I’m busy’, or ‘Talk to me later.’ No, He is right there so just surrendergive it all to Jesus and wait for the answerit will come. 

Often we like to take a little bit of control -but it doesn’t work like that, we have to surrender 100% or not at all…it cant be half and half and sit in the fence.  Do we submit all our problems to Jesus and take the first step to Jesus or do we try to find the answer elsewhere, do we try to find solutions on our own and not accept Gods answer?

Jesus has given us a job to do, fullstop! Furthermore it’s not for us to know the times/seasons, when something will happen but this is under God’s authority alone. In other words, ‘dont sweat the little stuff’ because God is in control.  But the one thing He tells us to do is to spread the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ and his resurrection from the dead. Acts 1:8, “After receiving the power from the Holy Spirit you have to be a witness to the world.” We have to show Jesus to others, we dont have to push the gospel down peoples throat or stand on the street corner and preach, but just let the Holy Spirit prove to the world that we are different by our actions and people will say, “There is something about youyou are different.  Have the Holy Spirit glow out from you so that you wont have to say a word before people know you are a Christian and they will come to you for answers.  They will know you are different.

I spent weeks and months learning songs that I used to sing in pubs and I knew about 180 songs but when I came to the Lord I only sung songs about Jesus. When I decided to go busking (singing on the street and people can give money) recently, I had difficulty learning secular songs again and so I had to sing mostly Christian songs.  I went for two hours busking on Saturday morning and after 2 hours, I only earned 2 dollars.  There is a time and place for everything and even though I didn’t earn much money I was being a witness to Jesus.  When people walk past and hear the songs of Jesus, some smile and I believe its the Holy Spirit saying He has that persons soul under control.

When you witness to people, you may not even remember what you have said but you will praise God because His Holy Spirit did all the talking.  When you are doing the Lord’s work, you will feel as close to heaven as you can on this earth and you will feel God’s voice saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

In New Zealand youth suicide is high and I believe it’s because there is no hope. We all need hope that God is in control and He knows the big picture. Let’s go from here today and have an awareness, ask God to prompt you, to remind us of His presence with us. I dont know what your prompt will bemaybe music or an alarm that wakes you up in the morning with Christian music to keep us aware of Jesus constantly.


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