Thursday, September 20, 2012
Unwise Not To Consider Our Future
Unwise Not To Consider Our Future by Keith Cook
"Her uncleanness was in her skirts; She did not consider her future. Therefore she has fallen astonishingly; She has no comforter.' See, O LORD, my affliction, For the enemy has magnified himself!'" Lamenations 1:9 (NASB)
Over the past few days we have looked at facing the future, how the future is unaffected by our culture, our economy, terrorists, or our calamities and how we are supposed to trust the Lord. In Lamentations, chapter one the Bible says, "she had not considered her future." It is unwise to not consider the future when looking directly at it.
Now let's look at Jerusalem and some of the things that happened to Jerusalem when she didn't consider the future. The first thing was Jerusalem fell. She actually physically and spiritually fell.
Now if America does not consider her future, we are going to fall. If we continue to elect men and women who have no backbone, no character, who have no faith, we are going to fall.
If we continue as a public to endorse lifestyle, habits, entertainment and things of pleasure that have no glory, no profit, or no good value in them, we are going to fall. If we are going to continue to train ourselves and to train our children that money is all there is, and that's all there is to life, we are going to fall.
A few years ago our home was affected by an ice storm. We were not ready for it. We were on the road holding crusades and when we finally we home we had no electricity. I don't even think we had a can of tomato soup in our cupboard and could not have opened it even if we had because our can opener was electric.
We decided right then and there we were going to get a generator, just for normal calamities and things that could happen. We wanted to be prepared for future calamities and to consider the future.
Now I have an emergency plan that includes canned goods, water, and supplies. Our ministry now has a benevolence program and we have a truckload of food. We're not storing it up for ourselves. God says that we are supposed to consider our future and the future of others because we are all connected. What we do affects others. We are storing up supplies for others and are prepared to help all who are having needs in our area. We have no magic "Get out of Calamity" card. But we do have God's word and His assurance we are going to be able to withstand all that comes or we will be standing with Him in Heaven. Either way, we win!
It is a sin not to consider your future. Jerusalem did not consider her future and it led her into sin.
In Jerusalem there also was no comfort. Day after day the people were forced to work under taskmasters and were led astray by the folly of their sin. When they forgot their future there was no comfort. They forgot all the promises of God and walked by the conditions they had around them. They let their environment and the wisdom of the day rob them of their comfort from God's word and His way.
The Spirit was not allowed to work in Jerusalem. When people deny the power of God and do not let the Spirit move there is no hope or future. They forgot that God holds the future, not armies or Kings. Working things out in the natural became Jerusalem's strategy. They forsook the Lord.
The same is true today. When sin is rampant and we find no comfort, then we have a condition where we often deny the Spirit of God and His leading and direction.
If you don't consider your future you too may end up like Jerusalem. Jerusalem would not allow the Spirit of God to move and work. They would not look to God's provision, promises or protection.
Sometimes when we look at the future, or we choose not to look at the future, we are basically saying we like things the way they are. We don't want to change. We don't want to do anything different, and we are not going to let the Spirit of God move.
Now I'm not talking about something freaky, I'm talking about something faithful. I'm not talking about something foolish, I'm talking about something God has foreordained before the foundation of the world. God wants to work in His church. He wants to work in our culture. He wants to work in your heart. He wants to work in your family, your job, your situation and your children. He wants to work with what you have and what you have been given. God says it is a sin and it is unwise not to look at your future. Now I believe God wants us to look at the future and He doesn't want us to fall.
Precious Things Affected
The Bible says that Jerusalem also had problems with their enemies and their enemies continued to grow and would not go away. Boy, does that sound familiar. When you don't look at your future then precious things are affected by the enemy. Hold something precious close to you. Touch something precious in your room or home. The Bible says that the precious things in Jerusalem were affected because Jerusalem, the culture, and the leaders did not consider the future. All they did was work for today. Don't do that.
Joan and I not long ago decided we were going to invest our lives in younger leaders. We decided we were just going to pour out everything we had to train up a generation who can do what we do, which is evangelism.
It has cost us. We could be going around the world in style. If we didn't care about training people, helping people, and considering the future, we could be traveling across America making $5,000 an event teaching seminars on how you could feel good about yourself.
That's not what God said for us to do. He said consider the future because people are precious and they are falling away and becoming affected by the sins of this world.
Don't allow the future and our culture to affect what's precious to you. Right now God is calling us to decide what is really precious to us. Hold on to that which is holy and which God has given.
There are four things which God has given me.
He has given me a wife
He has given me a son
He has given me friends
He has given me the world
I consider them precious! God tells us to. We can't neglect them because precious things are affected by the enemy.
Again, in Lamentations, the Bible says that the shame about not considering your future is that worldliness enters into your religion. What does that mean? It means that God is not allowed to do what God wants to do because we have worldliness in the church.
In order to understand worldliness in the church, we need to understand our world.
Our world is a Dark World full of evil, violence, drugs, sex and abuse. Evil gets more vocal and front page all the time. Once we are shocked often enough we then become complacent and use to the abnormal and profane.
Our world is also a very vocal Third World full of hungry, needy, and emerging people. Because of past neglect and abuse many of the under capitalized nations of the world are bitter and angry.
Our world also includes an Old World full of the status quo. With people looking for security and safety. The have become very traditional and nationalistic. Often they have outdated time warped solutions to new and modern problems.
Our world includes a Disney World of fantasy and childish unrealistic expectations. Children and adults are allowed to live out of control with no absolutes and no moral compass.
There are some in our world who are Out of this World. Computers and technology is pulling us into the new millennium faster than most want to go. The future is here now.
Our world now is a Global World. We are now all connected through the economy, politically and ideologically.
The modern church thinks that they have special insulation from worldliness. They have it all figured out. You know some of us even think we can escape worldliness. We have got God figured out and we have put God in a God box. We go to God when the forest is on fire or when times start getting tough. But, oh that we would let Christ in our religion and we would allow the Holy Spirit of God to move in our hearts and take hold of every area of our lives.
Daily Prayer Focus: Ask the Lord what He has given you. What precious things do you have in your life? Commit them to Christ. Be wise and consider how your actions going into the future affect them. Give every area of your life to Jesus and let Him take care of your precious things.
On The Go Prayer Focus: All the local churches, committees, and leaders who will be working with On The Go Ministries and the Keith Cook Team in creative outreach efforts in the United States and around the world.
Thank you for taking the time to pray for this important division of On The Go Ministries. For more information on any our ministries here at On The Go, you may send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On The Go Daily Devotion for September 20, 2012
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