The Time for War

You know that point when temptation rises in your heart, and there is that uncontrollable fleshly pull – a longing, a gleeful sin-filled desire – to act on the opportunity in front of you. In that moment you know it’s wrong. You know you shouldn’t. You know the Holy Spirit is crying “No! Don’t!” Yet the old nature in you fights so strongly for that moment of fleshly fulfillment.

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, though for every person reading this post, the temptation is something different. It may be that draw of sexual temptation or pornography. It could be that moment standing in the gossip circle with something juicy to add. It may be the desire to throw a punch, or pour another drink. The opportunity to sin is an ever-present reality for all of us, though we all struggle with different things. In fact, look around. Right now you may be in what you consider a completely benign situation, yet someone around you in the same situation is in the middle of a temptation you can’t even imagine.

The question is, why, in that moment of temptation, is it so easy for us to give into the flesh and go for it? Why, all-too-often, do we so easily give up our firm stance to the enemy, and fall?

One story in the Bible that I think speaks so much to this spiritual reality is the story of King David and Bathsheba.

“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her…” (2 Samuel 11:1-4)

This temptation and sin of David, as we know, led to further sin on his part; even the death of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, in an attempt to cover what he had done.

Now in reading this story, for any honest guy, we can understand David’s problem. Lust creeps up so easily on us. I want to believe David was on the roof of his house doing his Kingly duties; thinking about some strategy for his next military conquest, or even in prayer for God’s guidance through the day. But then out of nowhere he is blindsided by a beautiful, naked woman nearby, and he looks. That’s all it takes for those moments of temptation to hit us. A glance. A situation out of our hands. A thought. A small taste of the forbidden fruit. And way more than most of us would care to admit, in the same way as David, we too fall.

Changing the Scenario

Now, while I fully understand the situation David found himself in, I don’t think the scenario had to play out that way. I see two glaring problems in this story that add up the David’s fall into sin. And I think these two issues are the same issue too many of us find ourselves facing when temptations come our way as well.

The first issue is David’s recklessness with his God-given identity. God had anointed David and called him as King. David also heard the voice of God and was known as a prophet. He was called to be the Man of God at the head of God’s people. And he knew this. He knew what the anointing carried, because many times in the book of 1 Samuel we see David refuse to kill King Saul because of that anointing on him. Yet in a brief lapse in his judgement, David threw away all notion of the life and responsibility of being the Lord’s anointed for a few moments of sinful pleasure. David fell because he forgot who he was in God.

The second issue is that David wasn’t where he should have been. Verse 1 above says, in “the time when kings go out to battle… David remained in Jerusalem.” When as the head of God’s people, David should have been leading God’s people into battle, David did not go to war. Notice, he didn’t excuse anyone else from going to war. He sent them all to the battle. He knew the battle was necessary, but he did not think it necessary for himself to be engaged in. It is in his not going to battle, that David finds himself in the situation where the temptation could even arise. David fell because he neglected to go to war.

What about us?

I said I think these two issues apply to us, but how? I mean none of us have been anointed as King or the head of God’s people. None of us have been called to a physical war with the enemies of God. Our situation is quite different from David’s, right?

Well not so fast.

First off, though it is true that you are not the King of God’s people, it doesn’t change the fact that as God’s child, you are royalty. We are children of the King and heirs to the Kingdom of God. As such, we have an anointing on our lives that carries expectations and responsibilities that those outside the Kingdom do not have.

Secondly, we are called to battle. We are to be both warring against the desires of the flesh and the works of the devil. As the church collectively we are to be engaging and plundering the gates of hell. The people of God and His Kingdom have an enemy, and now is the time for war.

I would contend then that when the moment of temptation comes so strongly on our hearts and we fall it is because we, like David, have neglected these two things. We don’t stand firm in our identity as royalty in God’s Kingdom, and therefore do not see the dangers in giving in to momentary pleasure. And for too many, we have never even entered the spiritual battlefield. We think that all that “spiritual warfare” stuff is only for the spiritual elites – the pastors or missionaries overseas. We don’t deny the fact that spiritual warfare is a real thing. But most of us just don’t think we are called to that battle too much of the time.

If I were to put into the scriptural phrasing what I think happens to us too often, it would be this:

In the time of temptation, the time when children of the King go out to battle… we don’t go to the fight.

We fall because we don’t grasp who we are, or the fact that the battle is ours.

It’s time for War.

If you have given your life to Christ and believe you are saved by His grace, it is time for you to go deeper into this thing than having just having said a prayer in sunday school as a kid.

You are royalty. You are seated in heavenly places with Christ (Eph. 2:6) and have access to all the resources of Heaven. And you are called to the battlefield.

Stop playing the victim to sin. Stop acting like you can’t do anything about it. Get up from your non-engaging life, accept who you are in Christ, and take up arms. It’s time for God’s Children to go to war. Welcome to the fight.

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Boasting in God’s Amazing Grace

As I have been thinking on the subject of grace and the forgiveness of God for our sins through the cross of Christ, I am becoming more and more aware that all-too-often, we as believers forget just how amazing it really is.

Now, I know that you know that we are completely forgiven of all sins – past, present, and future. And you know what it took to get that forgiveness – the brutal murder of the sinless Son of God. None of us purposely downplay those things, because as followers of Christ, we stake our life and eternity on these things.

What I mean to say is that if you are like me, you probably tend to look at grace as a daily occurrence of forgiveness whenever you fall to sin, rather than as an unending flow that covers you all the time. For instance, right now, think of that one sin that always knocks you down, brings so much self-condemnation, and seems to cut off your relationship with God until you repent and get back on your feet. Usually, we are not even aware of grace at the point of sin or during the self-loathing. We usually don’t realize that grace is for us until we come to the point of repentance.

But what if that isn’t the extent of grace? I mean, what if the bible teaches that grace covers more than just your big sins, or sins you’re aware of? What if all of those little hateful thoughts you never spoke, or that little piece of gossip you delighted in at work actually offends God as much as the big sins you feel knock you down? What if God’s free grace covers that as well, whether you realize it or not? I believe it does.

Let’s go a little further. What if it isn’t even the things we call sin, that grieve the heart of God? What if sometimes, even the good things we accomplish and pride ourselves in can offend God? What if our self-glorification in obedience and well-doing are the same in the eyes of God as those sins we loathe in ourselves?

That sounds ridiculous, right? Well… The bible may not think so.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. (Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25)

This word for “right” in the Hebrew translates as righteous or upright. It means there is a way that seems honorable, but is not.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. (Isaiah 64:6)

The Hebrew here for “polluted garment” is speaking of a woman’s menstrual cloth. To God, even the good deeds we do outside of walking in the Spirit and being led by Him is  that disgusting.

And for good measure here is one more, in which Paul is discussing all of his righteous acts prior to meeting Christ. He did everything the law requires, but of those things he says this.

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish (Hebrew word for feces), in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith. (Philippians 3:8-9, parenthesis mine)

Now, I don’t say any of this to bring condemnation on you or to make you feel down. This is the condition of all humanity. Theologically we call it “total depravity.” It carries the idea that, contrary to the world’s opinion of itself, people are inherently sinful.

What this does for the believer, though, is that we get to join with the Apostle Paul, as we glorify God and boast of only in His grace.

God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:28-31)

This week my challenge to you is that you look at your life, count everything as loss for the sake of knowing Christ, and let the boasting of His grace begin.

Ministry Update – September 2012

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It is really hard for me to believe I’ve already been in Haiti for a full seven months. It has gone by so fast. I am also quickly getting hit with the reality that my time here is growing shorter every day.

This month I have been preaching in multiple churches and we are continually making progress on the work projects as God gives us the ability. Today I delivered the money to buy the wood and nails to build the new rafters on the orphanage roof reconstruction. The retaining wall for the eroding church foundation is also almost complete, and plans are in the works to build an addition onto the orphanage so that my replacement on the ground full-time next year, Erin, can stay at the center and begin investing in the kids more hands-on every day than I have had the ability to do.

Another aspect of my personal ministry has been to begin planning out the next missions God has put before me. All my flights are booked to go with Heart of God Africa on the first-ever trip to South Sudan later in October. We are working on a possible trip with Heart of God India in March of next year, and I have personally been communicating with a ministry connection in the 10-40 window to plan an evangelistic outreach in April. (For security reasons, the location cannot be disclosed at this time.)

Among next month’s travels, I will also be making a quick stop in west Texas to get a new driver’s license. Mine was stolen with my phone and camera last month, and with the cops in Haiti cracking down on everything from seat belts to only allowing non-drivers to drink in the car, I must get this ASAP.

As many of you know, the missionary life carries with it a lot of responsibility to not only God and to the people on the mission field, but also to all of the churches and individuals who so graciously support the work in both prayer and finances.

Firstly, I don’t think I can tell you “thank you,” enough for your support. I can’t do this without you.

Secondly, I also want to let you know that this long-term stay in Haiti will be finishing up in February, and I will be back in the U.S. for a while to catch up with donors and do some much needed support raising.

Whether you are a current supporter or not, if you would like to schedule a visit to your church to give report and share my ministry, I would love to work that out with you. You can check for open dates on my itinerary.

No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the devil; not that he practices it, but he suffers from it. ~Guy H. King

  • Pray for God to send revival; that salvation and healing will come to this nation.
  • Pray for my travel in October and November (17 flights in all).
  • Pray for Erin as she is beginning her own preparation to move to Haiti in 2013.
  • Pray for me as the move to the higher altitude is causing daily headaches and frequent allergies.

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A Wonderful Parallel

I love the story of Jesus getting baptized as the Holy Spirit descends of Him and God speaks from Heaven, “You are my beloved Son, with You I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). Imagine what it would be like for you if, right now, God spoke such encouraging words over you.

It isn’t long however that while spending some alone time with His Father, fasting and praying in the wilderness, Jesus finds himself tempted by the devil. Probably not surprisingly, it is the last thing God spoke over Jesus that is the first thing the enemy tries to rob from Him. “If you are the Son of God..,” the temptation begins.

This isn’t just a temptation to sin. This is a challenge to His identity. If this challenge succeeds, then the plan for our salvation would fail. But Jesus resists the enemy, and because of this victory, where the Bible says he walked into the wilderness “led by the Spirit” (Luke 4:1), he now returns “in the power of the Spirit” (4:14).

Identity enables purpose

From here, after He has stood firmly in who He is, the next thing we read in the story is that Jesus walks into the Synagogue in Nazareth, stands up to read from the book of Isaiah, and finds these words.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

After reading these words, Jesus rolls up the scroll, sits down, and essentially says “I know who I Am. You want to know who I Am? I Am the fulfillment of this prophecy. Messiah is here.” The personal realization of His identity as the Son of God, enabled Him to publicly accept His role in life.

At first the crowd is confused and amazed at his teachings, but the amazement fades as they realize the identity He is claiming is different from the one they know. To them, Jesus is only the carpenter’s son. They grow angry and eventually try to kill Him over this issue.

I can’t help but wonder, if Jesus had not been confident in the Word of His Father, would He have ever had the courage to stand before men and accept His destiny? Had the enemy not challenged Him privately, would Jesus have claimed His anointing publicly? I can’t answer those questions, because there is too much behind the scenes that we don’t know. But what I can say is that I find here a wonderful parallel between the story of Jesus and the life of every believer today.

YOU ARE MY SON!

God spoke the word over Jesus, “You are My Son.” Now while most of us haven’t heard the voice of God over us in the same way, as believers we do hang our faith on the scriptures as the Word of God. And in the scriptures we read this:

“But to all who did receive (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)

The Bible says that by our faith in Jesus Christ, His death on the cross and resurrection three days later, we have been adopted by the Father, and now, just as Jesus was the Son of God, now we too are the sons and daughters of God. This is the identity we are given when we receive salvation in faith.

ARE YOU REALLY GOD’S SON?

The hard part is that just like Jesus was tempted to doubt His identity by the enemy, we too will face the same challenge. All of us will go through an identity crisis as we have to “put off the old self which belongs to the former manner of life” (Ephesians 4:22) and “present ourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life” (Romans 6:13).

The temptations will always come, and it is at these times that our spiritual reality will be challenged to overcome the weakness of the flesh (Matthew 26:41). This will be a battle fought on many fronts as Jesus also said we will not be accepted by the world because we no longer belong to the world system (Matthew 10:16-25).

By faith we have to take hold of our identity as the children of God and not let the enemy, the flesh, or the world rob us of it. And the reward for standing firm is that it enables us to fulfill our destiny in Christ (Ephesians 2:10).

ANOINTED TO PROCLAIM GOOD NEWS

Jesus stood in the synagogue and declared from scripture the role God has called Him to. It was laid out plainly in the book of the prophet Isaiah. Once we understand our new identity in Him, we too can find that our mission and anointing is clearly spelled out in the scriptures as well:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18)

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

So do you know who you are? Are you sure enough of that to stand firm in the face of trial and temptation? Then what are you going to do with this revelation?

Would Jesus Lie?

In John 14:26, Jesus tells the disciples that, “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.” Jesus goes on to say in John 16:7, “I tell you the truth it is to your advantage that I go away…,” which most modern Christians fundamentally disagree with. After all, if Jesus was here, things would be way better, right? And we’d know exactly how to live the Christian life because He’d show us, right? But He still says His leaving was to our advantage because, “if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.”

So Jesus said that it is to the benefit of the church that He has left the earth because He has sent the Holy Spirit in His place. This is a benefit because the Holy Spirit will not only remind us of what Jesus said, but He will teach us the full truth of the Gospel, revealing to us the Kingdom of God in fresh and deeper ways every day.

Would Jesus Lie to Us?

Now, let’s get real for a second. I don’t think there is a single person reading this who doesn’t stop for a moment and think, “Yeah, having the Holy Spirit is good and all, but I think it’d be better if Jesus were here to fix everything.” For those of us raised in the rationalist, naturalist worldview of the west, we fundamentally cannot imagine that an unseen, metaphysical presence of God is better than the physical, touchable, seeable and hearable presence of God in Christ. We are convinced that physical reality is better. So the question is, would Jesus lie to us?

In mentally resolving this issue, it can easily become a test of faith for us as our logical mind, clinging to primacy of Jesus’ physical presence, is placed against our faith in the very words of Jesus saying it’s better that He goes away.

In fact, Jesus even tells us that there are things we need to learn, but that they had to come from the unseen Holy Spirit, and not from Him directly.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak and He will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:12-13)

An Issue of Identity

I believe our desire to have Jesus with us comes from a place of misunderstanding about the identity and calling of the church. See, Jesus said He would establish the church, which throughout the rest of scripture, after Jesus’ ascension to Heaven, is called the “Body of Christ.” In essence this is saying that Jesus’ hands and feet have not left the world, but in His going and sending the Spirit to dwell within the church, His hands and feet have been multiplied millions of times over. Christ has physically left, but it is Christ’s Spirit that is now living and active in the church when we learn to follow His lead.

This is why so much of Jesus’ teaching time with the disciples was spent telling them, “This is how things work in the Kingdom…” “This is how you engage with God…” “Where is your faith?” “Don’t be afraid.” “How long will I be with you? You have to learn this…”

And it seems that when Jesus left, He really did expect that all of the things He has been doing on earth (including the crazy miracles and such) would continue on in the church, as we learned to walk by the leading of the Spirit. He even says so in John 14:12

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

Yet the works that Jesus did were only the works that He saw the Father doing through the leading of the Holy Spirit:

“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” (John 5:19)

And the words that Jesus spoke were only the words that He heard the Father speaking through the Holy Spirit:

“The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” (John 14:10)

Claiming Our Calling

So if the church is to be the hands and feet of Jesus, active in this world, and continuing the ministry of Jesus, then the only way it’s going to happen is when we learn to pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s leading as He teaches us what to say and do.

We can no longer just passively sit back, watch the world go to hell in a handbasket, and think to ourselves, “I can’t wait until Jesus comes back and fixes this mess.”

When Jesus gave us the authority of Heaven, He was telling us that it is our job to be cleaning up this mess ourselves. We are to seek Heaven for the transformation of our world, and then be the active agents through which that change comes.

So it’s time for the church to come alive again. It’s time for the disciples of Christ go, be who God is calling us to be, and do what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do. I believe Jesus is still sending us out with the same instructions He began with:

“Go…And proclaim as you go, saying ,‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleans lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; now give without pay.” (Matthew 10:5-8)

Ministry Update – August 2012

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August has definitely been a month filled with many highs and lows, but God’s goodness has and will continue to prove faithful to us. The month began in preparation for a visit from Heart of God Haiti’s Executive Director, Dave Young, and a team that included HGIM President Jan Ross, two HG Haiti advisory board members, and another young woman praying about coming to Haiti as my relief next year.

The team was fired up to see all the good things God has been doing here since the last trip, and was able to make some plans for the immediate future including formalizing a child-sponsorship program and moving forward with some much-needed building projects at the center.

After the team left, it didn’t take long for the joy to turn to fear as we became aware that Tropical Storm Isaac was set to reach hurricane status and pass right over Port-au-Prince. However, many of you took this straight to prayer and as a result the storm did not measure up to expectations, nor did not cross over the city. Unfortunately, one strong gust of wind at the end of the storm did manage to take the roof off of the orphanage.

The good thing is that none of our children or staff were injured; just a bit shaken up. They are now sleeping inside the church, having put benches together and laid mattresses on top. Meanwhile, construction has begun to put the roof back on.

Again, thank you so much for your prayers and a special “thanks” to those of you who have donated to the reconstruction projects. Though you are not with me in person, my work would not be possible without your faithful dedication to my ministry.

The Salvant family has returned to Haiti, and I have moved out of their house. Though there was a short period of crisis trying to figure out where I’d live next, I am now staying at a nice guesthouse up the mountain; closer to the orphanage.

Staying here has the benefit of much cooler temperatures (who thought I’d need a hoodie in the Caribbean?) and it gives me the opportunity to daily oversee the rebuilding projects.

If I were to be honest, Haiti has began to wear me out a little bit, but I can honestly say that God is proving Himself faithful, not only to our ministry, but to me personally. He is giving me a personal understanding of what it means that when we are weak, He is strong.

This is definitely the perfect training ground for the ministry God has called me to, and I truly am thankful for the new lessons I am learning from Him everyday

“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom”  ~Charles Spurgeon

  • Pray for God to send revival; that salvation and healing will come to this nation.
  • Pray for Heart of God Haiti’s funding for the immediate reconstruction needs and other property development projects in the months ahead.
  • Pray for God’s direction for Heart of God Haiti as the mission continues to develop.

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What About It, Pat Robertson?

Now Tropical Storm Isaac has passed Haiti, I think it’s fair to say that God demonstrated how great His mercy is to this nation. After all, it was predicted that the storm would reach hurricane force wind before hitting our coast. The trajectory of the storm for days before had predicted that the eye of the hurricane would come straight across Port-au-Prince. And the devastating expectations were set very, very high.

What happened, though, was that many people, including many of you reading this right now, showered this nation with prayers asking for God to act. And He did.

If I were to be really honest about my feelings going into the storm, I had a lot of anxiety about the potential damage to our orphanage (which could have been way worse than losing a tin roof), worry for the people living in the tent cities, and fear for the unknown. At the same time, however, there was also a little bit of excitement in me because, as a west Texas boy, it’s fair to assume I’ve never been in a hurricane before. There is always a sense of adventure that comes with the possibility of danger.

However, as the time drew close for the storm to hit, one thought kept coming through my mind… “This must be the most boring ‘hurricane’ ever.” In the end, the storm never picked up enough speed to become a hurricane, and the course had shifted away from coming right over us. In fact, the storm was so ‘boring’ that after it had stalled in the ocean to the south of us for almost 8 hours, I went to bed and slept right through it. The next morning I learned that the core of the storm finally shot across the southern peninsula of Haiti in just under 3 hours. How crazy is that?

As far as the devastation goes, the last count I heard was that Isaac has left 24 dead, 42 injured, 335 homes destroyed, and 2,346 homes damaged (the numbers include regular homes as well as shanties built after the 2010 earthquake). All in all, what could have been a major catastrophe was pretty much diverted.

Is God to blame for this?

When a natural disaster strikes and there is major loss of life and major destruction left in it’s wake, God always catches the blame. So now I think it is vital to point out the fact that this storm was restrained from doing that much damage, must also be considered the hand of God. I absolutely believe that God held back this storm.

So I must ask the question: What about it, Pat Robertson?

If only two years ago, God was ready to destroy this nation because of it’s history of sin and voodou, then why didn’t He finish the job now, before reconstruction can really have much affect?

Well, I’ll tell you why. Because even though God will put an end to all sin and even though the whole earth is saved up for destruction in God’s wrath, we are living in an age where God is withholding this judgement in order that grace can be extended to the nations and all peoples will have the opportunity to repent and be saved. But don’t take my word for it. Check out what God said Himself in His word:

“…the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance…” (2 Peter 3:5-9)

So while the curse is still on much of humanity from sin, and the creation is still fighting against us making life difficult (see Genesis 3:17-18), we cannot attribute this to God’s decisive judgement. The new testament teaches that those things have and will always come our way (see passages like Matthew 24:6-8). Instead of destroying humanity, after having won the victory on the cross, God is currently in the business of putting salvation into full effect by reaching those who should be saved. This generation is seeing grace upon grace despite the fact that our sin deserves God’s destruction.

So in the case of Tropical Storm Isaac, I absolutely believe that God heard the prayers of His people for Haiti and has spared her. I further believe that God is at work in Haiti, as the gospel continues to go out and souls are being brought into His Kingdom. I will even go farther and say it is my personal conviction that revival is ready to break out in Haiti as the people of God here are beginning to rise up and seeking His face on behalf of this place.

All of that to say this. I am very thankful to our merciful Savior for a boring storm, and all the grace that this lack-of-destruction demonstrates. And now, as this storm approaches New Orleans (another of Pat Robertson’s ‘condemned’ cities), I pray that God graces those people with a boring storm as well. Will you pray the same as well?

“Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.”