“Look the Lord’s anger burst out like a storm, a whirl wind that swarms down on the heads of the wicked!” (Jeremiah 23.19)
The biggest burden I carry in being a husband and father of three school-aged kids at a time when it seems the world is going mad, is how to prepare my family for what I see happening! How to steel the mind of my kids without stealing their joy? If I’m being honest I ask that same question in child like faith to my heavenly Father:
“Dear Father, It’s getting really dark and stormy outside. Living in or near Tornado Alley one of the routines during stormy nights that I feel so blessed by is to see all my kids run to me for assurance that we are going to be all right, right Dad?”
Daily life usually goes down something like this. The day starts out with its normal routines but you go about your business with one eye to the sky because the weather stations from our area have told us that today’s weather pattern and conditions are ripe for “stormy conditions.” So with that in the back of the mind you go through your day. As day pushes toward evening you become more and more aware of the dark clouds forming off to the southwest. One by one, from my wife calling on her cell phone on her drive home for work to each kid taking notice the questions pop up, “Is it storming yet, is it going to be a bad storm? Ya think it’ll miss us?”
My job as a dad, which I take seriously, is to be full of faith pointing to Scripture and reminding my kids of the “shelter” we have in God and the storm shelter in our home!
But then it happens, an annoying sound(s) go off. The weatherman interrupts with a BREAKING WEATHER ALERT: “A Tornado warning has been issued for parts of southern Lawrence Count.” Your heart races, “Kids, hurry up.”
The anxiety rises in their minds, “Is it going to hit us?” We all hurry along down into our storm shelter, so thankful we are in a safe place but we are very unsettled, listening to the wind and cracking thunder. We sit in uncomfortable positions, enduring the dark and stormy moment in time. Our kids clinging to me and my wife, with their eyes glued to our countenance looking for hope, for the calm and assurance that everything is going to be just fine.
Then finally the storm passes.
On New Year’s Eve I sat down my three kids along with my wife using this very scenario as I shared a devotion of preparation for 2013. I asked all three kids, “What do you think when you see super-duper dark clouds to the southwest? And hear the wind begin to howl? And see the lightning? And hear the thunder? “Is it going to tornado? Do we need to go to the shelter?” And on those nights, kids, if you turn on the TV and flip channels what do you see and hear? Weathermen on EVERY channel describing and warning!
Well kids, the Lord as your Father/Shepherd is telling you that according to the Bible 2013 is a year to “take shelter” and as a family we need to be closer to our heavenly Father than ever cause He has written us a letter warning us that when we see the nations unite to divide Israel to not be scared but to be prepared!!
I have a friend and He studied Meteorology/Storm Chasing at the University of Oklahoma. I remember one particular day we were hanging out and that particular day was ripe for a “big one.” He was so alert. We were sitting “watch,” then suddenly while we were talking his countenance changed and he got all serious and said, “LOOK, LOOK” and I was like, “WHAT?” “What do you see, that I don’t?” I mean it did look stormy but he saw something in the clouds that he recognized that caused his demeanor and voice to grow much more urgent. He saw the wall cloud and its circulation, and then it happened. A tornado dropped from the sky. He picked up a phone and reported it to a local weather station and then URGENTLY called friends in the path.
Why am I so confident that 2013 is going to be a year of greater “travail?” Just as when it’s a stormy night and you turn on the TV and ALL of your local weatherman on duty are warning of the storm at hand so is it that many watchman are even now doing that very thing! WHY? Not because of some feeling, but because of God’s Word. Joel 3 speaks of a time that God will cause the nations of the world to come under His judgment because they have divided HIS LAND. We see those very clouds forming now as talk of a plan to divide Israel is even in the works. It makes you want to scream, “DO NOT DO THAT!” But God’s Word says it is going to happen, so we must warn those who will listen to be prepared for what is coming!
On May 19, of 2011 President Obama addressed the issue and declared his desire to see Israel concede land back to “1967 borders.” In light of the recent UN resolution to recognize Palestine’s right to statehood the big push will be for them to have their “own land” and of course if you pay attention it will be nothing less than Israel and specifically Jerusalem that they will demand. Post US elections, President Obama is emboldened to see this issue resolved and undoubtedly will begin to make this his center of attention. It’s obvious from Joel 3 that God does NOT take this lightly. Whether during this age or dispensation God sends or God allows hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami’s or disasters of the like. I will not debate, but this I will warn: Be prepared to witness greater travail in this coming year than what you have seen in the past because of mans evil plan to divide God’s land!
I’m telling you, “It sure looks stormy!”
Darkness and even gross darkness is covering this earth at such an alarming rate.
People are on edge everywhere and the recent increase in sales of weapons and ammunitions speaks to man’s innate desire to seek to save their own life! And yet there are those who are hell-bent on taking those weapons and using them to steal, kill and destroy. Even to the point of killing elementary kids like sitting ducks. It is here that I’d like to take a moment and speak to this very thing!
Hebrews 11.7: “By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
BEING DIVINELY WARNED
Sometimes we do NOT want to really stop and think, but that is exactly what I’m about to ask everyone to do who is reading this message. I want us to take a moment and stop and think, “what if.” What if the weathermen on duty just prior to the Joplin Tornado of 2011 could have known of the devastation they were warning about? I mean if those weathermen could have known that when they were looking at their maps and computer models, if they knew BEFORE — that hundreds of souls would be lost and could have known how truly big the storm was that they were warning of.
What impact would that have made on their urgency in their warning? Knowing they were looking at something on a map that would be one of the deadliest tornadoes on record, IF they would have known as one doctor reported of hearing someone sucked out of the Joplin hospital “wailing and screaming” for HELP, of what impact would that or should that have had upon the weathermen?
I remember watching one of the most renowned storm chasers working that storm arriving on the scene after the fact and breaking down in tears wishing he could have warned the people! It showed him arriving into the Joplin area about the same time as the tornado. He was screaming at police officers to SOUND THE SIRENS. PLEASE SOUND THE SIRENS! But it was too late.
By faith, we can all open-up the Word of God and read, being divinely warned that there is coming an hour that is going to be so devastating to the lives around us that it will render the Joplin tornado a distant memory, that will be so violent that Newtown, Connecticut will seem like an act of mercy to those who are still here. In fact the Bible says it will be so evil and wicked that, “unless God shortens the days no flesh will survive.”
Psalm 9, says that the nations that forget God shall be turned into hell. Jesus said the reason it is so dark outside is that they love the darkness but hate the light because their deeds are evil. Because of this very thing there is a major cry to tell GOD to “get us out” or in other words please “turn off the light” and that is exactly what is about to happen, God is going to call out of this earth all those who are His and let man reap what they have sown in a time of such great travail that as shocking as this may sound it will even make the Holocaust pale in comparison.
And you and I have been divinely warned of this very thing! We are the weathermen before the storm, who should realize what is to come and be moved with godly fear preparing an ark to save the household! Please stop and think of the forewarned time at hand that says there is coming a real moment when people will seek death and “find it not.” Our lost friends and neighbors and co-workers will be wishing they had heard, wishing they had listened and will be dealing with a time of such wrath and despair that they will be suicidal but will not be able to die!
But we don’t believe this! Not really. The Bible says it but we don’t believe it. If we did we would see prayer meetings of groans and wails popping up everywhere, pleading with God for boldness, asking God for forgiveness, asking God for mercy! We would be so broken in our gatherings that preachers wouldn’t even be able to stand up and minister.
I say, “Shame on us. SHAME ON ME!” I pray even now in this time that God in His mercy tarries, that He will pour out His Spirit upon us, and BREAK US for the time at hand. That we WILL be divinely warned and sincerely be moved with compassion and godly fear and fall our faces in greater prayer and travail than the church has ever seen producing the greatest urgency and boldness to share the gospel unlike the world has ever seen. Because, “Man it sure is looking stormy.”
“Heavenly Father, please, please, please — pour out a spirit of prayer, repentance and intercession upon all who are alive and remain.”
Romans 13.11: “This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”
If you have read this message and are asking, “What must I do to be saved from the time you are warning about?” Realize that you are alive because you were created. Your Creator gave you life and His laws to live by, but you have broken His laws and right now stand before Your Creator GUILTY as a “law breaker” and deserve to die, and dying you are with each beat of your heart. You are dying but God in His goodness and mercy didn’t make you to do so. He wants you to live eternally and because of this very fact, just over 2,000 years ago He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to take your place and because of you and for you, He willingly allowed mankind to crucify Him on a cross for your sins and my sins.
He then promised to prove that He is God and would rise from the grave and three days later He did that very thing and today an empty tomb shouts to the whole world He is alive! In order for you to be saved from the wrath to come you must ask forgiveness and repent:
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10: 9).