The benefit of hearing God’s voice.

The Lord told me something recently, that I wasn’t sure what to make of at first. He told me that I have a lot of audacity. He told me that I have the audacity to believe that I can hear His voice every single day. I looked up the word audacity. It means boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought or other restrictions. Mmm. According to Him, I come to Him each and every morning with the audacity to believe that He wants to talk to me. He then asked me a rhetorical question. Where do I get this audacity from? Who told me that He wants to talk to me? I was a little nervous  at this point but I pressed on. His response? He did. All throughout Scripture it tells us that the Lord wants to talk to us. Jesus put it very succinctly in John 10:27, “My sheep here my voice”. And this desire of His, this desire for relationship, actually started in the garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, this happens: “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8

Where are you indeed? Now you have to remember, this was after the fall. Even after they had sinned, He still wanted to talk to them and have a relationship with them. To this day, He still wants to have a relationship with you and with me and that requires conversation. It’s hard to have a relationship with someone, if there is no talking. It’s also been my experience that monologues do not make for good relationships. 

What comes to your mind as you read this? Do you feel convicted to spend more time praying? Do you feel sad because you’ve tried and don’t hear Him? It has not always been easy for me; even to this day I have to persevere to hear Him. Some days are easier than others. I have to have tenacity, determination and single mindedness, if you will. Remember, the first thing that Jesus told His disciples when they asked what would be the signs of the end was “See that no one leads you astray”. Knowing His voice has always been important, but it is becoming even more important in these last days because there are more and more voices out there, voices of strangers, desiring to lead us astray. 

We are told by Matthew in chapter 1:22 that the prophet Isaiah prophesied that “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”. God with us! I know that I’m not telling you anything new here. When Jesus was raptured and went back to the Father, (Acts 1:9) He sent us the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit dwells in us, if we are His. God with us! Why would He not talk to us if He dwells in us?

Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father. He wants a relationship with you and me. He wants to talk to you. If you start with that understanding, He will help you to hear Him.

With that being said, let me share some ideas with you that you might want to consider, to help you hear Him, because there are definitely times He doesn’t answer, even if we speak to Him and wait. I am in no way suggesting that we have to be perfect to hear Him. These are just a couple of ideas that I have found to be true in my own life that I want to share with you. 

Isaiah 29:13 tells us that sometimes His people draw near to Him with their mouth, but their hearts are far from Him. Before we can have the audacity to think He will speak to us, we must cleanse our hearts through repentance. This is not a one time event, or a little prayer we said many years ago. I ask Him to show me my sin on a regular basis and He is always faithful to convict me when I do sin. However, our hearts must be soft and willing to listen. The author of Hebrews tells us “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.

Jesus told us in John 4:24, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Are there lies in your heart? Are you keeping things from Him, things He has convicted you about? Micah 3:4 tells us: Then they will cry to the LORD, but he will not answer them; he will hide his face from them at that time, because they have made their deeds evil”.

How about idolatry? We might not have carved images made of wood or metal these days (or do we?) but are there things which you trust or serve more than Him? Are there things which you fear more than Him? Are there things that you feel secure with, more than you feel with Him? Those are idols. If you come to Him, and there is an idol in your heart which you trust in, which you fear, then it will come between You and Him. That idol will stand between you and Him, and you are in fact talking to it, not Him. He will not answer you. Isaiah 57:11-13 gives us a response that the Lord gave to Israel during a time of great idolatry in the land: “And of whom have you been afraid, or feared, that you have lied and not remembered Me, nor taken it to your heart? Is it not because I have held My peace from of old that you do not fear Me?

I will declare your righteousness and your works, for they will not profit you. When you cry out,

let your collection of idols deliver you.”

God answers us when we call out to Him, not when we are talking to another. It doesn’t matter what we call that idol, even if we call it Jesus, we are talking to it, not the King of kings and Lord of lords. So search your heart, and see if there are idols that you trust or fear more than Him.

The good news is that no matter what the sin is in our lives, we can receive forgiveness through the precious blood of Jesus. He will cleans us from our sins, if we but ask Him to. What the Lord is looking for is our faith in Him. He wants us to fear Him, to trust Him, to follow Him, to find our peace in Him, not in something or someone who cannot save us. That requires us to have a relationship with Him and to know His voice, so we will not follow the voice of a stranger (John 10:5)!

Listening in prayer

Do you keep a journal? We used to call them diaries, but that makes me think of a teenager writing about her secret crushes in the pages of a book she hopes no one will ever read. I’m not a teenager anymore and I don’t have any secret crushes, but I do have secrets. We all do, don’t we? Secrets that we hope no one will ever know, or read about. But I have learned something in my old age, there is Someone who knows all my secrets. His name is Jesus. And even though He knows every single one of them, even the ones I don’t even acknowledge to myself, they are safe with Him. I have discovered that He does one of two things with my secrets (He might do more, I don’t know). First, if I confess my secrets to Him, He will forgive them. I mean, isn’t that what sin is, a secret? And second, He loves me unconditionally, even as He watches me living with those unconfessed secrets. Perhaps, I should add that He does a third thing with my secrets, come to think of it. When I confess them, He forgets them! Micah 7:19 tells us “You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea”. This has often been translated as the sea of forgetfulness.  What powerful imagery! The ocean is a pretty big place and my secrets will easily be hidden and forgotten. Just ask anyone who has ever searched for debris in the middle of the ocean. It’s deep and wide and ever moving. 

But there is something else that I want to mention when it comes to keeping a journal. I write in my journal every morning the things that I believe God is showing me in scripture or telling me through His Holy Spirit. You see, God also has secrets, but His secrets are good, not evil and He likes to share them with His friends. In John 15:15 Jesus says to His disciples, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you”. Jesus wants to share His secrets with you and me as well. How do we know this? Because Jesus had just told the disciples a few moments earlier “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth” and “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you”. (John 14:16-17,26)

In John 10:27 Jesus tells us “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”.

Let me rephrase that. Jesus tells us that if you are His sheep, you will hear His voice and follow Him. Let me ask you a question. Do you know the sound of your mate’s voice? Do you know the sound of your best friend’s voice? I’m assuming you said yes. Why do you know it so well? Is it because you spend time with them, and listen to them when they speak? I’m sure the answer is yes, again. So why do so many not know the voice of their Master? I think you are beginning to see where I’m going with this, at least I hope you do. Is the reason why so many Christian’s don’t know His voice, because they don’t spend any time listening? 

Let me ask you another question. Have you ever spent time with someone who talked non stop and never allowed you to get a word in edge wise? And when they were done, the “conversation” was over? I think a lot of us look at prayer like that. We talk at God, give Him our shopping list, tell Him what we want Him to do for us, and then we walk away. And might I add, that we walk away feeling satisfied, even gratified, because we spent time in prayer. So, how do you feel when someone just talks at you? I bet it’s not a nice feeling. I look at my prayer life, over the past 45 years of being a Christian, and I cringe to think how many times I did that to the Lord, and then patted myself on the back, thinking I had somehow appeased Him. I bet He didn’t feel so good. I have images in my mind of Him opening and shutting His mouth, trying to get a word in, but not being allowed to. Why? Because I never stopped talking long enough to allow Him to say anything.

So let’s go back to that journal. Why do I keep a journal? Because I like to write down all His secrets. I like to write down every single thing He tells me. My journal forces me to stop talking and listen for His voice. It was not easy at first. I had to learn to listen. I had to learn to be quiet and wait. But it has gotten so much easier with time. And I will testify to this, waiting on God and hearing His voice, is so worth it. There is nothing so wonderful as to hear the voice of the one who loves me the most, who delights in me, and died for my sin. And truthfully, He already knows everything I need and want. (I’m not suggesting here that we shouldn’t ask for things in prayer) He tells us in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”. What does seeking the kingdom really mean? Perhaps Mary shows us in Luke 10:41:42, But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” What was Mary doing? She was sitting at the feet of Jesus, and listening. 

Why do you have to love God with all your heart?

Last Winter the Lord told me to do something I didn’t want to do. Have you ever had that happen? You know it’s Him! You know because the second you heard Him say it, this fear just grips your heart, and you know without a shadow of a doubt, that was God! Well that morning as I heard Him ask me to give this thing up, my heart fluttered and I didn’t want to do it. So I told Him that I didn’t want to do it, but, that I would still think about it. So I thought about it. I pondered on it and I came to a conclusion. I still didn’t want to do it, but I have learned over the course of my life, that He never asks me to give something up, without a good reason. I honestly believe, judging from my own experience, that God always gives back better. Seriously.

You’re probably wondering what I was told to give up? You might wonder if it was something evil, or wicked? Something sinful. But it wasn’t! He told me to stop buying so many craft supplies for my crafting hobby. If you know me, you know I love to make handmade cards and other mixed media projects. I was buying cool new products to play with each month. Sinful? No! Distracting? Yes! It was hard to spend time with Him on occasion when I was looking at new toys to play with. And let’s face it, this society loves new toys. Now I want to mention something here. He wasn’t asking me to stop creating. He was asking me to stop buying.

After I had chosen to obey Him, (not a pleasant word, is it?) I was reading in Luke 14:33, “In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not say good-bye to all his possessions cannot be my disciple”. Ouch. I hadn’t seen that one coming and frankly, I was glad I had made the right choice. Thankfully He hadn’t asked me to get rid of all my craft supplies. 

So, why would the Lord ask me to do this? What He showed me is that we often believe that God is only interested in the big things. And in my opinion, buying craft supplies was a little thing. It’s not like I was spending a ton of money. Or that we didn’t have the budget for it. But here’s the problem: it was a part of my heart that I had kept for myself. Have you ever considered that your heart is a big thing? It might actually be the biggest thing you have to give. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37 and John 10:27 that “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. I was keeping a part, albeit a small part of my heart to myself. Even though what I was doing was not evil or harmful, it was a part of my heart that did not belong to Him. I knew this to be true because it would not have been such a struggle to stop, if it had. 

Now, this story would not be complete it I didn’t tell you what happened after I chose to obey Him. (Yes, it really is a choice.) It didn’t take long either. Within days of my submitting to His request, I started to feel this sense of peace come over me. I actually began to feel more joy while I was creating something fun. Instead of always feeling the pressure to actually use the new products I had recently purchased, I was enjoying what I already owned. I began to pull out things I had forgotten about, that I hadn’t played with in years. Amazing. I was surprised, to be honest. I discovered that He really does know what’s best for me! I can trust Him. Even with my whole heart! So, how about you? What immediately came to your mind, when you first read this story? Don’t be afraid. You can trust Him with your whole heart. He is a very good God!

The coming Apocalypse of Jesus Christ

Lately I have had this overwhelming sense of being alone, of confusion and of nothing making sense anymore. I have felt this on and off for some time now, and I know many others have as well.  I know that God is not the author of confusion, and yet, there seems to be this air of turmoil and distress in the atmosphere. I hear people saying “I just want things to get back to normal”, or “I can’t wait for all this to be over”. But what if all “this” is part of a greater plan? No, I’m not talking about conspiracy theories. I’m talking about God’s plan for the end of this world.  When the disciples asked Jesus what would be the signs of the end of the age, the first thing that Jesus said was, “Do not be deceived”. (Matthew 24:4, Mark 13:5, Luke 21:8) Why would He say that unless there is great deception coming on this earth? What if this great deception is already here and it has started with many small deceptions? Most of us who are Christians have read or perhaps heard about the coming anti-Christ talked about in the books of Revelation and Daniel, and even in other books of the Bible. We are told that he will deceive the whole world, and that he will perform great signs and wonders on this earth, to deceive, in the words of Jesus, if it were possible, the very elect. (Matthew 24:24) What if all this turmoil and confusion is so that we are willing to accept this leader who will restore things back to normal? It reminds me of the phrase, if you want to cook a frog, put him in a pot and heat the water slowly. He won’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. 

With this in mind, I want to ask some questions that I hope will get you to think and perhaps even to reinterpret what is really going on in the world right now. Feel free to comment or even add your own questions.

What if one of the reasons for the turmoil we all feel is that there has been very little, if any, teaching in the church about the end of the age? What if the reason we are in distress is because, like the Pharisees and scribes of Jesus’ time period, we have misunderstood, or perhaps misconstrued the scriptures to fit our own narrative? What if our understanding of the “end of the world” has been shaped more by Hollywood and its numerous apocalyptic movies, that we all paid to watch, than by the Bible? What if these movies inadvertently taught us that evil is in control, that God is dead and that the devil will win? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry sometimes, when I look back at how many movies I paid good money for, so I could learn their narrative, in the name of entertainment. You see, the world knows the end is near, but the church for some reason, has chosen to ignore it. 

Here’s another question for you. What if the reason we have all been caught off guard, sleeping, like the 10 virgins, (Matthew 25:1-13) is because our faith has not been in the God of the Bible, but in an idol that we have created in our own minds, a mental “golden calf” that we called Jesus? Have we perhaps done what the Israelites did in Exodus 32 when they made a golden calf out of their own jewelry and then called it Yahweh? Paul warns us in the scriptures that in the end, we would be taught doctrines of demons, and another gospel. This is a particularly tough one for me, because I’ve had to really examine what I have been taught and what I have believed, compared to what’s actually in the Scriptures. There are different gospels being taught, some focus on unity, others focus on prosperity, and some even teach that sin no longer matters because God loves us and just wants us to be happy. These “gospels” are very crafty in what they teach and it is hard to not be fooled by them. Often times it’s not what they teach. It’s what they don’t teach!  

He tells us to pray that we would be counted worthy to escape what is coming on this earth. But how many of us are actually reading the word for ourselves and know this? How many are so familiar with the word of God, that we can recognize when we are being taught a lie, albeit a subtle one? How many recognize deception when it is presented to us? How many of us know the Bible so well that we discern a false gospel when we hear it?

What if our understanding of the word apocalypse is actually incorrect? What if the word does not mean devastation and destruction, as Hollywood has tried so hard to teach us, but instead, revelation. (The Greek word apokalypsis means: disclosure: — appearing, coming, lighten, manifestation, be revealed, revelation).

What if there is actually nothing to be afraid of? What if God is wrapping things up, bringing things to a close and has plans to rapture His church before the time of great tribulation that is coming on this earth? Would you still be afraid? Would you still be confused and in turmoil? And what if I told you that that is exactly what the coming apocalypse is! It is about the revelation of Jesus Christ to the whole world. Jesus tells us in Luke 21:28

“Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” That sounds more like hope than despair to me!

What if our understanding of Scripture is all wrong? What if the entire Bible, 6000 years of history points to the revelation of Jesus Christ? If you look at the Old Testament, every single scripture, every single book, points to His first coming. It all points to Jesus! And from that time forward, from His death and resurrection, every scripture, every book has pointed to His second coming? You see, when you look at His story, History, you see Jesus! Jesus who came to earth, to redeem us and is preparing to come back to restore all things. It’s all about Jesus. We must take our eyes off of the world, off of the media, off of everything except Jesus. He is coming for a pure and spotless bride. And that my friends, is the greatest joy, the greatest victory, the greatest story ever told. 

I know I have asked some tough questions here, but my goal, my desire is to get you to think. Sometimes, a change in perspective, a paradigm shift in our thinking is really all that we need. Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”.

Paul is saying, change your thinking. Stop looking at things from the worlds perspective, from the devil’s perspective, and start looking at things from God’s point of view. I will repeat what I have said in other posts, God is in control. The reason things are heating up in the world is not because God is reacting to the devil! NO. The devil is reacting to God, because he knows his time is short. Revelation 12:12

We have been taught that the devil has power and he does. I’ve even heard it taught that God is not in control, that humans are. What foolishness. God is sovereign! He gives us free will, He delegates His authority at times, but He is, always has been and always will be in control of this world. This is His Story. This is His world and Jesus is coming back soon for His church.

And I might add one more question. Do you know Him? Have you repented of your sins and believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross two thousand years ago for your sins? Do you believe that He then rose from the dead three days later and now sits at the right hand of the Father, ruling and reigning? If you haven’t repented, I encourage you to call out to Him and ask Him to reveal Himself to you and to forgive you for your sin. John 3:16 tells us “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”. He has no desire to send any of us to hell. Hell was created for the devil and his fallen angels. But we too will end up there, if we choose to follow the devil and make a mockery of the cross. We too will end up there if we choose to believe that we are good people and don’t salvation through the cross. Keep watch my friends. Don’t be caught asleep when He comes!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I am an avid journaler. Is there such a word? I haven’t always been, but it’s been my experience that if I don’t write it down, I will forget and then it will be gone with the wind. I journal what I believe the Lord is showing me, revealing to me, or telling me. I can’t tell you the number of times where I thought for sure I was making it up in my head, and then when I go back later, I know it was Him. So this morning, I thought I would be smart. I asked Him the following question: “Lord, if you could answer any question that I could ask, what would your answer be?” I was of course basing this on the realization that I don’t even know what questions to ask Him, He is so far above my understanding. His response was gracious, He always is. He told me it was a good question, since I am finite and He is eternal. But then He pointed something out. He told me that my question was actually based in fear. Yes, the Lord does know my heart! The fear was that I was somehow missing the mark. I was afraid of getting it wrong because I didn’t know the right question to ask. He told me that He is not a formula. If He were, then if I could just get the right combination, the right method if you will, I would then get my answer, or my prayer answered. Think of it as a slot machine. If you do it just right, you hit the jackpot. But our Father is not sitting up in heaven, tapping His foot, waiting for us to get it just right. He knows our finite minds, He knows our limitations. And, our relationship with Him should be based on love and trust, not a formula. This is how He described it to me. Think of it as a child/parent relationship. Children do not understand their world. We, as adults, do not understand ours right now. Paul tells us that now we “know in part” (1 Cor 13:9) and “now we see in a mirror dimly” (1 Cor 13:12). A child trusts the parent to protect them, because they know, or should know, that the parent is safe. They do not understand everything, but they know they can trust their parent. We do not understand everything, and we don’t need to, in order to trust Him. I love to understand. I think we all do. It somehow makes me feel safe, if I can just understand. But my sense of safety should not rest in my understanding, it should rest in Him. Proverbs 3:5 tells us “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding”. There is good reason for this admonition. If we lean on our own understanding of things it will be very easy to become deceived. The enemy loves to deceive us based on our need to understand. Satan will give us “a form of understanding” so that we can trust in it, but that understanding, will not protect us. All it will do is create a false teaching, another form of deception. The Lord took it further for me and showed me why there is so much fear, panic, confusion and hopelessness in the world right now, even among Christians. People do not understand what is happening. They thought they were trusting Him, but their trust was actually in their own understanding of who they thought He was, or what they thought He was. A mental graven image, if you will. I know that sounds harsh. But I think, if we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that we are all tempted by this problem. We want to understand Him who declares to us “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”. (Isaiah 55:8-9) We all come to times and events in our lives, where we thought we understood Him, but then we didn’t! So what do we do now? Nothing makes sense. It would enrage people if I stated that God allowed this to happen in the world. Yet, He tells us in Proverbs 17:3 “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace for gold, and the Lord tests the hearts”. Do we choose to believe He is good and He is trustworthy or do we become like Job’s wife and curse God? Will we trust Him, when He tests our hearts, will I trust Him as He is testing my heart? I have learned through the trials and tests of my life, that He knows things I don’t. I have learned that if I trust Him, no matter what happens to me or those I love, He will work it out for good. And even better, He will work it out in such a way that I will stand amazed, in awe of His goodness and I will bring glory to His name. He is good. He is trustworthy, even when nothing makes sense.

The rapture of the church

Have you ever had a kairos moment in your life? I’m sure you have, we all have. Kairos is a Greek word that means a critical moment in time, an opportune and decisive moment that has to be acted upon. When I look back at my life, I can point to certain moments, moments where I had to make a decision, and that decision changed my life or perhaps the life of another. 

The Bible is full of kairos moments. Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus would be considered a kairos moment. But not all kairos moments start off being that dramatic, and often times they initially appear to be just an ordinary event. It’s only later, sometimes much later, that we look back and realize, that moment, that decision, changed the course of our lives. I ran across such a moment in my Scripture reading the other day. I was reading the book of Genesis, chapters 18 and 19 and I realized as I read this very well known story of Abraham and Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, that this story started off with a kairos moment. Let me explain. This story begins with Abraham taking what would appear to be a nap in the heat of the day: 

And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. (Genesis 18:1-3)

Whether he was taking a nap or just dozing I don’t know, but I did notice that Abraham did not see the men approaching. He looked up and saw them. When you first read this story, it appears as though Abraham knew who was standing in front of him. And he did! My first question is how did he know? It says they were three men, or mortals, not angels. But, if you look at Hebrews 13:2 the writer tells us the following:

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 

The cross reference of this verse is interestingly enough, Genesis 18:3 and also 19:2. What that tells me is that Abraham discerned who was standing before him, but not with his natural eyes. Somehow, Abraham knew the Lord! We know this because he called Him Adonai, which is the proper name of God in Hebrew, spoken in place of Yahweh. Our English translates it simply as Lord, and so it is only in the Hebrew that we understand the significance of what Abraham said. So why do I call this a kairos moment? 

Imagine if Abraham had not recognized Who stood before him? Imagine, if he had thought this was just a group of strangers and had ignored them.? Would I know if the Lord came to my front door and knocked, especially if He had two friends with Him? Would I open the door, invite Him in, make Him a meal and spend the day with Him? Would I have the discernment to realize what was happening in my life that day? I won’t pretend to know the answer but I certainly hope so. That day changed the course of history. It was during that luncheon that God told Sarah and Abraham that in about one year, they would have a son. (Genesis 18:10) That son of course would be Isaac, who became the father of Jacob, who was given the name Israel. That moment, when Abraham realized Who was standing in front of his door, became a kairos moment not only for Abraham and Sarah, but for the whole world. 

Before I move on in the story I want to point out one more thing. I couldn’t help but notice Abraham’s reaction once he realized it was God standing in front of him. In verse 2 it tells us that Abraham ran to meet them. In verse 6, Abraham went quickly to Sarah and told her to quickly make 3 loaves of bread. And finally, in verse 7, we are told that he ran to the herd and took a young calf, and gave it to the young man who prepared it quickly. Abraham wasted no time in getting lunch together for his divine visitors. Let me point out what had not been obvious to me before, Abraham recognized his kairos moment and moved fast! His reaction to the situation however, is the complete opposite of Lot’s reaction just a few hours later, when the angels show up in town to assess the situation in Sodom. Lot is also hospitable and invites them home and feeds them. But, if you look at the scene, it becomes obvious that Lot does not recognize his visitors as divine, he is merely concerned for their safety because he knows Sodom is an evil town and these two “men” want to spend the night in the town square. (Genesis 19:2-3) In the English it says “he pressed them strongly”, but the Hebrew is not so kind. The word used here is quite negative, implying a stubborn, arrogant pressure or pecking at. If you read just a few verses on, this same Hebrew word is used to describe what the men of Sodom do to Lot, when he refuses to let them rape these two visitors. “They pressed hard against the man Lot and drew near to break the door down.” (Genesis 19:9) I guess Lot had learned some of the ways of the world around him. 

This same word is translated as presumption in 1 Samuel 15:23, when Samuel says: 

For rebellion is as the sin of divination,

and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.

Lot was pushing them and I would venture to suggest he was rude and presumptuous in his demands that they come home with him. I’m sure he was afraid for them, but it’s not clear to me why he acted the way he did. However, I do not believe he knew who these men were. Just in case it’s unclear to us, the Bible switches between calling them angels and calling them men. When they first enter Sodom, it calls them angels. After that they are called men, by both Lot and the men of Sodom, and only when it is time to flee Sodom early in the morning, before dawn, are they once again called angels. The point I am trying to make here is that Lot clearly did not recognize his kairos moment! It is only when the angels tell him that God has sent them to destroy the city and ask him if he has anyone else in the city that he wants to save, that it begins to dawn on Lot just who these visitors might be. But, even then, in total contrast to Abraham, he lingers. (Genesis 19:16) 

May I also point out that if it had not been for the intercession of Abraham for his nephew Lot and his family, Lot would have perished. If it had not been for the angels taking them physically by the hands and almost dragging them out of the city and telling them to flee for their lives because they could not destroy the area until they were safe, Lot and his family would have died. And his wife did die, because she did not recognize her kairos moment. She did not take what they said seriously, and when they said “Do not look back” she disobeyed their word and looked back. (Genesis 19:17)

When I look at this story with fresh eyes, I have to remember Jesus’ words to all of us in Matthew 25:13:  

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour”.

Over and over the scriptures admonish us to keep watch. Luke tells us in 12:35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning”.

We are living in perilous times. I believe that we are living in the end of days and that we are the final generation. Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that these days will grow more and more perilous. Luke tells us in chapter 17:28-30: 

Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”

We must stay awake and be aware. We must keep watch and intercede for our friends, neighbors and family for we do not know the day or the hour when our Lord will come. I have this sense of urgency these days and I want to encourage you to stay awake and keep watch. As much as we each have our own kairos moments in life, there is a kairos moment coming that we don’t want to miss. It is called the rapture and it is what Paul talks about in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18:

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

I am encouraging you with these words, stay awake my friends and keep watch.